Monday, July 28, 2008

E-Newsletter sent today

The first e-newsletter was sent out today to those people who requested it. I had to launch it without my trusted warrior pal Myrna G. who is on vacation and left all electronic equipment behind for her week of bliss!! The next issue will have her thoughts and journeys included for you to read and enjoy. If you would like to receive a copy, let me know. In this first issue I talk about the new class I am writing for Quilt University, about my first attempts at Norizome resist (see above), using silk sizing, and much more.

I will be gone from August 5th to the 9th for some unlovely surgery. All classes will be moved back a week to accommodate MY time away from electronics. Estimated time of recovery is fast so not to worry.

Happy dyeing everyone!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

How To Hand Dye Fabric

Here is your complete guide for how to hand dye cotton fabric. Based on the Quilt University course called Cotton Dyeing Basics, learn how to make gradations, mottled and solid colors, how to over dye, and much more. This comprehensive workbook contains a supply list, five easy to follow lessons with key pages in plastic sleeves, and extra pages to attach your swatches and keep records of your dyeing adventures. This workbook will be your reference guide for years to come.
Go to and click on the supplies page for the order form.
Happy dyeing!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Gutta Resist Shawl

This shawl/poncho/wrap is crepe silk and about 60" wide by 4 yards long. First step was to stretch it on my wide stretcher bars.

Next step was to apply the gutta resist. I loaded it into a hair dye bottle as I knew I wanted the lines to be big and thick and bold. A lot of dye was going to be applied to this wrap so the lines would need to hold.

I did not stop to think or draw or plan out this design. I just went to it and squirted on the gutta. Many times my best work is done on the run. I tend to over think and the freedom I have when I just go with it most always has a high pay off in the end. This is true with my tennis game, with my art making, with so many life issues- over thinking gets me into trouble. Usually...not always...but usually my tendency to think too much gets in the way.

Applying the dyes is always the best part. Again, not a lot of thought went into this except that I knew what colors I wanted and about where I wanted to place them. I started slapping them on and this is how it looked when this lower section was finished. Yes, there was a lot of slopping and the dams burst a few times with the green but I used that as an opportunity to do some shading. I did a lot of blending with the green into the orange.

Once the lower section was almost dry, I moved the piece to the larger dyeing table. I spread the upper part of the silk out so that I could apply the dyes to that portion without interfering with the iris section. I purposely did NOT allow the dye colors to mingle at this point allowing the wicking process to do its thing and the purple rewarded me with some nice pinks and blues that separated out from the mix.

You can just see it starting in this picture.

It came out really nicely and as I was telling my Gutta Students at Quilt University, I ended up giving this away to a friend who saw it and fell in love. It looked a lot better on her than on me. Soooo....since I was making this for my niece's wedding, I will make another one. I may not put iris on it. Might. Might not. See? I'm already starting to over think!!

Thinking AFTER the fact has some benefits however. I often ask my students, "If you had this to do over again, what might you do differently?" On this piece, I would have only done ONE thing differently. I would have started out on the long table. I originally thought I would only do the lower portion and another day come back and do the top part but I changed my mind. When I do the next one, I will stretch the bottom on the bars and do the gutta (or not)and extend the rest out on a sheet the way I did here and do the whole thing in one session.

Live and learn.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Kid Pics and how to buy a workbook-

Yesterday I taught some very cute kids how to tie dye. Here is the first group- see how clean they are? There were about 678,945,554 children there who all wanted to tie dye. How can you resist?
And the dye started to fly! This little boy was in hog heaven.

For many of them, just getting the rubber gloves on was a challenge!

A common question was, "Does this come off of clothes?" or "will this come off my skin?" I said, "no" to the clothes and "after a few days" to the skin. This young man will be remembering this experience for quite awhile....

-About the workbook-

Email me if you want a copy of the workbook Cotton Dyeing Basics. It will be for sale on my web site August 1st but I have them ready to go now if you want to be the first on your block to have a copy.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Using a pen with batiked/gutta resists

The subject has come up in my Quilt University classes of using metallic pens on batiked or gutta resist pieces. Here are two examples of what pens looks like on fabric. The top picture is of gold metallic paint applied with a pen made by Bic. It is not specifically a pen for fabric use but it works well. Just a hint of gold and this piece is given some flash.

This is a silk piece done using a Japanese resist process made from rice paste. The process is called Norizome. If a lot of dye is used, then the resist weakens. My final results were just mediocre until I added the black line from an "Identipen". Love it now!

Try mixing mediums. You'll love what happens. Happy dyeing!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Resurrecting old designs

This is a batik I did about 8 years ago. I have always loved the design and have decided to go back and rather than plow up new ground, will go back to ideas that haven't quite run their course and finish the thought. I want to do this again in deeper earth tones and have the outer portion of the circle very dark to see the difference a dark outer portion makes to the overall feel of the piece.

It's really fun to go back to things you have done and rework them with the accumulated knowledge and skill that time gives us as artists. Try it sometime! Let me know how it goes for you.

I haven't finished the batik of our son and his friends. I am doing a lot of hand stitching and some machine stitching on it. Pictures will show up here soon.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Myrna and Marjie's Newsletter

Myrna Giesbrecht and I are putting together a quarterly e-newsletter for anyone interested in the life of two fiber artists. In it you will find out what we are doing in our studios and what classes or events are coming up that you won't want to miss. Also we have a products page that will inform you of new things we are offering for sale on our web sites to make you a happy fiber artist.

Let us know if you would like to be added to our e-newsletter email list. Email me: or Myrna at:

About Me

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Woodland, California, United States
I am a fiber artist. I am a teacher. I am a Reverend. I teach, I create, I counsel, I listen.

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