Wednesday, August 27, 2014

More Fabric Kits for Kate!

Kate Themel has an upcoming Magnolia workshop at Sew Inspired quilt shop in Simsbury, CT on September 5th. This means I'm busy-busy putting ice dyeing and low immersion techniques to use. 

Here they are soaking in their respective tubs!

Next I pull a file-o-fun from the dryer!

Lastly I prep the kits for class! The students are ready for Kate's instruction and will learn the tricks to her unique layering process.
Please check out Kate's web site and explore her fabulous finer art! 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Whiffle Balls Meet Indigo!

I'm having fun with whiffle balls again... this time I dipped the whole mass into the indigo vat! Gotta love this fun design and color! 

Just for fun I wrapped a piece of cotton around an old pool hose in the below picture. There seem to be separate strips of colors and designs. I'll add another type of surface design because it doesn't feel finished yet but it's off to a fun start!

Have you tried dyeing or painting with whiffle balls yet?! 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Whiffle Balls + Fabric Paint + Dye!

Do you remember playing with a bat and whiffle ball as a kid? It's a light weight plastic ball with holes in it. The original design was created by a Dad in Shelton, Ct - where I happen to live! I'm sure he had no idea the balls were also perfect for creating fun designs and textures on fabric! 

I began by randomly placing the whiffle balls in the damp cotton fabric 
and securing them with rubber bands.

For this piece I painted with dyes. Dyes can be applied with a brush just like fabric paint so why not go for it! The colors collect and mingle in the folds of the fabric creating those darker colors.  

This piece was painted with fabric paint and left to dry in the sun. Be sure the fabric is damp to encourage the paints to spread into all the folds. 

Here is a detail of a painted piece. You can see how the paint dries at intermittent times creating fun wiggly lines! 

As I recall the balls in this piece were spaced a little further apart than the ones in the first picture. This created more individual shapes.. give the technique a try and let me know how your whiffle ball piece comes out! 

Monday, August 11, 2014

They got hitched!

My son is now a husband and I gained a daughter in law... life is grand! Their wedding was magical and my hubby and I couldn't have been more proud of them! 


Hannah's dad married them! 


Their friends were so much fun! 

Life lesson #1 - never take yourself too seriously! 

My sweet boys! 
I look forward to the next chapter in our family! Thanks for taking the time to share our joy! 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Life is Wonderful!

We are so pleased that our son is marrying the love of his life next week! The celebration has created lots of reasons to ponder life and count our blessings. 

I'll come back to the studio with fresh ideas inspired by the joys of life, family and health!


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Mud Cloth!

Bogolanfini or Bogoan (mud cloth) is handmade Malian cotton fabric dyed with fermented mud! Traditionally men wove the cloth and woman dyed it although in today's economic climate men have taken over the majority of the process. 

The fabric is woven on narrow looms and then pieced together to create full cloths. In the below detail shot you can see the individual strips and the wonderful texture of the course cloth. The hourglass symbolizes "time will tell". 

The cloth is first soaked in a dye bath made from mashed and boiled leaves of the n'gallama tree which turns the cloth yellow. The mud is collected from riverbeds and fermented at times for up to a year.The designs are added by carefully applying the special mud using a piece of metal or wood. The combination of the mud and cloth creates a chemical reaction so when the mud is washed off the brown color remains.
The final step is to wash off the yellow n'gallama dye from the unpainted parts of the cloth using soap and bleach. Although this cloth doesn't have any white in the design many of the designs incorporate white which is apparent once the cloth is bleached. The Smithsonian Museum has a great mud cloth introduction showing the process - check it out 
To maintain the integrity of my treasured piece of mud cloth I chose to simply create a sleeve on each end to hang as is. I love the cloth and it makes me smile when I think of how it was created and the many hands it took to reach me. 

 My wonderful piece of mud cloth came from Wendy Mamattah's Esty shop. Wendy has a full line of fabrics she imports directly from Africa. I discovered Wendy due to our mutual love of fabric! She was looking for a piece that reminded her of that special glow of the African sun. Please take a moment to check out Wendy's Etsy shop and her web site at Braid and Stitch.