A TECHNIQUE DRIVEN Blog dedicated to mastery of surface design techniques. First we dye, overdye, paint, stitch, resist, tie, fold, silk screen, stamp, thermofax, batik, bejewel, stretch, shrink, sprinkle, Smooch, fuse, slice, dice, AND then we set it on fire using a variety of heat tools.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Great Examples of How to Use Shibori Fabrics

I love the shibori fabrics we all have made, but I was at a loss as to how I might use mine. A friend recommended this site to me. There are GORGEOUS quilts made from GORGEOUS shibori fabrics. Check out Jan Myers-Newberry's work at her website. (http://www.janmyersnewbury.com/) Click on "Portfolio" at the bottom of the page. Wow!

The February Challenge is here!!

As announced last week, the February challenge will be batik. This is a tutorial I did a few months ago on batiking using thinned fabric paint. You can use any colorant you'd like but you have to remember that not all paints will give you a soft hand. I used water thinned (ProChemical's) ProFab paint. SetaColor, Dyna Flow and other fabric paints should give you color with a soft hand too.
I was challenged to batik with dyes by my friend Marcella who owns Mace's store in Rockland, Maine where I buy all my hippie clothes. She came over one day with a yellow and a blue gauze shirt, handed them to me and said, "Dye these." Here is the result. With the dyes, the outcome of overdyeing will be unknown until the fabric is finished, wax removed and washed in hot water. On the blue shirt, I started with the potato masher (oval with lines) which appear blue - the color of the shirt at the beginning. I dyed the entire shirt Khaki (Dharma) and everyone said, "Why did you dye it brown?" OK, so it was a bit dull but I like blue and brown. I hung the shirt and let it drip dry. When it was completely dry I used my oval car sponge with the center removed and dyed the shirt purple. I just let them soak in the dye a few hours then let drip dry. I did wring them by hand which gave me some lovely cracking of the wax. When I had ironed out the wax and washed in hot water and syntrapol, the brown looked olive. The purple/olive combo is my favorite combination of colors. Needless to say, I LOVE this shirt.
Why not get a "Goodwill" shirt or an old one from your closet and give batiking with dye a whirl. I am already planning a trip to Goodwill for my challenge piece this month. Pre-made silk scarves are wonderful and pretty cheap for a painted batik project. I will probably batik a silk scarf too. That same friend, Marcella, gifted me with an AMAZING antique potato masher and I want to do another scarf using it. so stay tuned....

Friday, January 28, 2011

Shibori -- again

Finally, some shibori that I'm really happy with! They look a little faded because I took the pictures after work tonight, when the sun was already down but there was still a little light left.

I learned a lot this month, and am happy with the results. I learned that I really had to scrunch the fabric down hard on the pole, and keep it tight to get the results I wanted.

I went to Staples at lunchtime today to get some large copies made (a pattern), and I plan to make something with this fabric this weekend. I know, we all have plans that end up taking more time than what we have available, but I'm giving it a shot.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


A woman named Dea made a comment on something I wrote on either my blog or this one and I went to check out her blog. She had some very nice work and was very diligent about documenting her tyvek and textural rubbings experiments. I put her my iGoogle homepage and today while "looking" at her blog which I can't read decided to click on a few of the blogs she was following. I came upon this one and what I found was posts about shibori and snow dyeing - exactly what we FIVE have been doing in Maine.
This was such a clear case of synchronicity that I had to post about it. I knew synchronicity meant that disparate people separated by long distances had the same thoughts/realizations at the same point in time. Maybe I am the only one fascinated by this phenomenon but I thought I'd share this with you.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Shibori Review

I can't figure out how to post these pictures over at "And Then We Set It On Fire" so I am posting all my all shibori pictures here and giving them a link. Hope you don't mind looking at the pictures again. If you want more information, you could probably search the label shibori and come up with the original blog.

This little quilt was made by a friend using my shibori fabric.

I didn't make this one. It is part of a sari that I bought.

Shibori picture review

I played a little with shibori over this last year and have posted pictures and instructions on my own blog.  I can't figure out how to get the pictures onto this blog without uploading them all again. So, I have posted one summary blog  at "Quilt of Dye" of the pictures and am linking you to that one.  If you want more information about the how to, you could search my blog under the label "Shibori" and find the list of original posts.  I hope you enjoy the pictures.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Little Shibori Fish

Here is my second attempt at pole wrapping.  I like it better because I followed suggestions and wet it before I dyed it.  It has more white than my first attempt.  It is about a yard long and the width of the fabric.
I am using the fabric to make a whole cloth baby quilt.  Not done yet but I am adding little fishies with watercolor crayons and pencils.  Here are two pictures.  I'll show you the entire top when it is finished.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Pleater Board for Shibori

Here is a site that gives you instructions for making a pleater board to make pleats for dyeing. Remember a couple of Charlene's pieces were pleated before wrapping and dyeing.  I also have some gorgeous silk ribbon that was pleated then dyed by Shibori Girl.  Anyway, sounds like a lot of work (not tried it) but once it is made, you can use and reuse and re-reuse it.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Using Shibori Fabric

Has anyone used any of their shibori fabric in a project yet? I'm having some trouble coming up with ideas, and could use some inspiration.

Here's a link I've found to a beautiful piece done with some fantastic shibori fabric:


Why can't my shibori look like that??

Monday, January 17, 2011

February Challenge is right around the corner

February Challenge is right around the corner

For the February challenge I thought I would choose BATIK. I have always loved batik fabric and when I read about this quick and dirty method* of using paints instead of dyes, I knew I had to try it. One of the times our group of FIVE met, we used soy wax and assorted “toys” to acts a s a resist and used many varieties if paint to batik fabrics. We all used silk scarves which we purchased online with fabulous results.

I love to “color” fabric whether with fiber reactive dyes, acid dyes or paint. This was yet another opportunity for me to create surface designs with color. The materials I used were:
  • Fabric – cotton, silk, rayon, whatever
  • Fabric paint – dyna-flow, setacolor, ProFab (Pro Chemical) which has a huge array of pearlescent colors.
  • MX dyes if you prefer – different process
  • Wax (I prefer soy wax because of it’s biodegradability.)
  • Electric frying pan or other SAFE method of heating your wax.
  • Foam sponge or sponge brush
  • TOYS like potato masher, egg beater, metal trivet, or anything that can be dipped in hot wax and will leave a mark.

You will also need plenty of newspapers, an iron and some syntrapol or Prosapol.
If you are using MX dyes, you will also need soda ash.

*Article: Quilting Arts Magazine, June/July 2010 issue 45, pages 50-54.


Brushes, sponge

A safe method of heating wax which must be dedicated to melting wax only and never for food preparation.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Call For Entry-Movement

I'm part of a group called PAQA-South, and volunteered to work on publicity for our upcoming show. Since there is so much movement in our shibori pieces of fabric, I thought it would be appropriate to post the call for entry here. I hope that some in this group will heed the call, as well as all of our blog readers--there is so much talent out there!

The Professional Art Quilters Alliance-South (PAQA-South) announces its ninth Annual Juried Exhibition of Innovative Quilts: Movement evokes moods as varied as the individuals contemplating it. Rhythmic strains of music, the flow of language, lithe dancers, or public change and social advocacy; all are examples that encompass the meaning of movement. Are you startled by a sudden movement, drawn in to the quickly moving plot of a good book, or feel the pulse of your heart as bloods flows through your veins? Military maneuvers, the inner workings of a watch, and a well-oiled machine all portray this basic necessity of life: movement. We invite you to share your interpretation of Movement in quiltart form.
Exhibit Opens: May 20, 2011
Deadline for entry receipt: March 19, 2011
Show dates: May 20 – July 24, 2011:
Durham Arts Council, Durham, NC http://www.durhamarts.org/facility.html
Entry Fee: $15 for PAQA-South members, $25 for non-members for up to three works submitted.
Size Limitations: No larger than 40 inches wide and 60 inches high.

Download Movement Prospectus & Entry Form

Contact: AQmovements@gmail.com with questions.
Note: ARTQUILTSmovement will be judged via unenhanced digital jpg image, only.
The PAQA-South International Juried Exhibition: ARTQUILTSmovement will open in the Allenton and Siemens galleries of the Durham Arts Council of Durham, NC. The opening reception will be Friday, May 20, 2011, 5-7:00 p.m.

*It is possible that the show will travel, so please be sure to check the entry form as to whether or not you give permission for your piece to travel with the show, should it be chosen.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Last of Charlene's Shibori

Here are the last pictures of Charlene's shibori. Alas, on Monday I have to give them all back to her.  She counted them before she loaned them to me so I can't even "forget" one or two of them. They are in no particular order other than my favorite is first.

 This is a fold and stitch resist method named Ori-nui.  Charlene says when it is done right it will look like a row of teeth.

 This is another stitch resist method.  On this one Charlene used a pleater to gather the fabric evenly before dyeing it.

 I should have shown you this one yesterday when I showed you the other chevron piece. This one has a tag that says to iron 1" pleats all in the same direction before wrapping.

 A nice example of fold and clamp.

Last, this piece shows multiple techniques. The background is a potatoe dextrine resist.  The white is a stitch and gather technique.  The piece is large enough that when I was a little chilly in my office this last week, I wore it as a shawl.  Looked good on me!

Shibori--Discharge Dyeing

I decided to do a bit more discharge shibori before I put all my supplies away. This piece is a bit different from the others I posted. I loosely rolled my black fabric (Blank Textiles 100% cotton) onto a piece of nylon string (on the diagonal). Then I scrunched it up as tight as I could and tied the string together to keep its shape. (I ended up having to do this twice; the first time, only half of the fabric had discharged.) I think it looks like some kind of animal skin.
 This is what it looked like before the bleach bath.
I found a great resource for discharge dyeing. If you are interested, check out www.threadsmagazine.com/item/3720/dyeing-with-bleach.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

More of Charlene's work

Here a few more pieces of Charlene's shibori pieces.

 These first two were first printed with a spiral plate and then pole wrapped.

These next two were parallel wrapped in one direction and dyed, and then wrapped in the opposite direction and dyed to make a plaid.  You can see the step 1 fabric and step 2 fabric side by side.

 This is a chevron stripe pattern.  The note attached to it says: "1) Brown fiber reactive dye. 2) Chevron.  3) Discharge. 4) Turquoise fiber reactive dye."  The Chevron pattern looks like the material was folded with nice crisp folds to form pleats and then wrapped in a diagonal wrap.  I am interested to try this method.

This last piece for today has stitching marks along the long sides of the fabric.  I assume it was made by stitching the fabric into a tube that fit the pole and then sliding and scrunching it on the pole.

Wonderful Shibori Article

Here is a great article on shibori by Vicki Jenson who is the classroom coordinator and Lab Manager at Pro Chemical and Dye. She also conducts a dyeing workshop twice a year at ProChem. Last year Rosalita and I had the priviledge of being in her class.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Be careful with those scissors!

Due to an increasingly non-rare southern snowstorm (our 5th or 6th this winter so far) I was stuck at home Monday & Tuesday. I tried some shibori again yesterday that I wasn't that happy with and will probably re-dye or do some other type of surface design sometime in the future (maybe batik!).

I did want to point out that cutting those little threads can be problematic, especially if you're in a hurry or not paying attention.

I taped this up to my window so the sunlight would shine through it and you could see the tiny hole I cut into the circle on the far right. If I knew how to put an arrow on the picture pointing this out, I would, but sorry, don't know how to. I found I did the same thing to the 2nd piece I did, no pictures of that, though.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Shibori--Scrunching, Wrapping, Folding, Rolling

I am the novice of this group. I have never dyed any fabric on my own. ...so, I purchased some basic dyes, purchased soda ash, purchased some PFD (prepared for dyeing) fabric, and read lots of information about dyeing fabric. Then, a friend and I had a "play day" yesterday. Here is what I did.

First, I twisted PFD fabric very tightly until it twisted back upon itself. I dyed it with an orangy-yellow color.
This is how it turned out. I love the surprise of this technique. (I'm sure you can do a "controlled" version when you really know what you are doing.) Part of the reason I got different colors in this piece is because of a mistake. I put the twisted up bundle into a plastic container with other pieces. They were all separated, but some of the run-off dye from other pieces ended up on this piece. What a happy accident! 
This is the container. (You can see a little of the orange piece on the top left.) The really dark piece on the top right was loosely rolled (on the diagonal) onto a piece of jute. Then, I scrunched it as tightly as I could and tied the ends of the jute together to hold it. I had the same situation with this piece as I had with the orange piece. It ended up sitting in some of the run-off dye from the other pieces in the container.
...and here is the piece. I used turquoise dye. The other colors came from the run-off dyes...another happy accident. I used PFD fabric for this piece too.
This is the piece that came from the pole on the right (in the container above). I dyed one side turquoise, one side red, and the middle yellow. I guess it needed to be scrunched up a bit more (or wrapped more) for the "shibori" designs to show up. I used PFD fabric for this piece.
This is the red piece that came from the pole on the left (above). The "shibori" designs are VERY subtle on this piece. I used an ugly muslin fabric that had white flowers on it. This is the back of the fabric.
This started off as that same piece of ugly fabric--muslin with white flowers. I figured I didn't have anything to lose by dyeing it. I accordian folded it and wrapped it on the pole. Evidently, I wrapped it too loosely. I also wasn't careful enough and dripped a darker dye onto it--lesson learned.
This is how it turned out. What started out as an ugly fabric is still ugly! This is the back of the fabric...I just can't take those little white flowers. There is very little change in the fabric other than color. I used a coral to dye this piece. Now, what can I do with it...any ideas? 
I also painted dye onto a flour-paste resist piece I had done earlier in the year. You can check it out on my personal blog if you'd like to see it. I'd like to have your opinions on what I can add to that piece. (I didn't post the picture to this blog since I didn't use the "shibori" technique to do it.)

Now, for what I learned...I read several blogs and books before I started. I found there were three ways to deal with the soda ash--prepare a soda ash solution and soak the fabric before dyeing, mix the soda ash into the dye solution, or prepare a soda ash solution and apply it to the fabric after dyeing. I MADE THE WRONG CHOICE! I chose to apply it after the dyeing. Since I'd never done any dyeing before, I didn't realize the error of my ways until it was too late. It might not have been so bad had I not chosen to do several colors. I had to have a SEPARATE soda ash solution for each color I used! The next time I do it, I definitely will make a different choice. As a matter of fact, I presoaked quite a bit of fabric in soda ash solution today. There may be more dyeing in my near future!

John Marshall

If you want to see some professional level shibori, check out John Marshall's sale.

Disperse Dye/Transfer Paints

Hi all,

For our November technique, we're going to be working with transfer paints (aka disperse dyes). 

Materials required:

good quality paper
disperse dye (powder form) and/or transfer paints (liquid form)
brushes and sponges for application
fabric that is at least 60% polyester
a variety of resists (whatever floats your boat)

This is a method in which you paint paper with either disperse power dyes, or liquid transfer paint, and then iron your design onto fabric.  A variety of techniques will produce varying results - and we'll go through some of them.

Here are some examples:

"Loli Girl" at the Quilting Arts website made these rocks by using the disperse dye method on interfacing

Gurli Gregersen made this whole cloth quilt using a transfer print, which she then embellished with paint sticks and other media.

Marie-Therese Wisniowski used the technique with resists to produce this lovely example.
I'll give you a couple of days to gather supplies and we'll talk soon!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Charlene Huntley

Charlene is part of the surface design play group in which I participate. When she heard I was doing shibori, she pulled out examples of hers from a class she had taken.  I begged to take some of the examples home to photograph and post here. Over the next couple of days, as I have time, I will put up her beautiful work for your ooooos and aaaaahs.
 These are spiderwebs shibori or kumo. Instructions are on page 68 of Shibori: The Inventive Art of Japanese Shaped Resist Dyeing.  Here are the instructions: "The cloth, dampened slightly, is pushed up from underneath by the left index finger, pulled taut (they use a hook but I just use my other hand), and drawn into folds. With the shaped cloth held firmly in the left hand, the dampened thread is bound from the base of the unit, where the folds are gathered, to the top.  The spacing of the thread is even.The thread is brought back to the starting point at the base by making several turns around the bound cloth. The thread is neither knotted or cut but is carried to the next unit."  I use the kamosage knot before I carry it over to the next unit.(page 57)

 Aren't these lovely mandalas? They are formed from a stitching technique called Japanese Larch or karamatsu shibori. The material is folded in half and rows of small stitches are taken in a semi-circle on the fold.  When the stitching is complete, the lines of stitching are pulled tight then dyed.  A "perfect" example will have a row of little dots down the middle of the fold from the knots.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

More shibori

Tried some Spiderweb Shibori today. For this piece, I started with a white piece of fabric, then tied it off. First I dipped the tied tips into some blue, then dyed the whole piece black. Sorry, forgot to take pictures of the process, it was kind of early when I started this a.m.

This piece was one I dyed a few months ago (mixed soda ash with dry dye powder--purple & green, then sprinkled it onto the fabric). I wasn't thrilled with how it turned out, so today I tied a bunch of circles into it, then dyed in a cobalt blue dye bath:

And here's a composite of my dyeing day--