Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Soy wax yardage

For my dear friend's birthday gift this year I batiked her several long runs of cotton fabric for her next quilting project.
I used soy wax this time rather than traditional wax because I wanted to log in more hours using the stuff to see if my opinion of it would change. It hasn't.
On the plus side, it covers well. It brushes on well and is fine with the tjanting needle.
After ironing out, it rinses off reasonably well which is a plus- no paint thinner or boiling out needed.
On the negative side, it feels terrible on my skin- but why would one put it on the skin anyway, right? Sometimes batik wax splatters on me and this did the same thing but it felt icky. Don't like the feel of it at all. It's oily and crumbly.
The other critical thing is that with full immersion dyeing or even when I would get liberal with the dyes and really heap them on, the soy wax deteriorated at a very high speed and crumbles up to the point of ridiculous. For those times, traditional waxes are needed. When painting on the dyes with a certain amount of care, it's fine.
For me- I will probably use it 10% of the time. The rest of the time, I'll stick with bees, batik, or paraffin mixed waxes.
What do you think?
Happy dyeing!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

QU classes to round out the year

Have you ever dyed so much fabric that you ran out of containers? I have a white board that keeps track of multiple dyeings like this so that I know exactly what container has what in it and how much longer it has to go before rinsing. Sometimes it gets wild and wacky around here but for the most part I can do 20 things at the same time with good results. Mega-tasking is something I am pretty good at doing.
Upcoming QU classes (www.quiltuniversity.com) you might be interested in taking include Quilter's Palette for Landscape and Portrait Colors- September 3, Fabric Painting using Jacquard Textile Colors- September 17, Gutta Resist on Silk- October 1, and beginning Cotton Dyeing- October 8.
Fun stuff. Come join us.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Weddings and speaker covers-what do they have in common?

Things have been rather slow this week in the world of hand dyed silk and cotton textiles.

I have made a few custom orders for weddings and formal wear and completed some more silk used for speaker covers as you can see below. I occasionally get orders for this kind of thing and enjoy the men I get to work with which are totally different from my women customers who make up 90% of my client base.

Today I have another custom color run to do that will include some metallic paint applied to the silk. It is a very interesting color combination this time- Navy blue and gray on silk habotai with silver flecks. I will post about it next week.

With the sagging economy, I thought a long term dip would have hit sooner than this but I really have been doing okay. I have been at it long enough to know that this is the time of year when things coast to a near stand still before picking up again in the fall.

Life is all about pacing yourself. I tend to be a sprinter. I forget that most of the time we have to be distance runners rather than speed demons.
Thank you everyone who has helped make Fabric Designs.com such a huge success which has sustained me and my family for these 11 years. God has richly blessed me with a job that is my passion as well as my business.
So for this week- heed my warning: pace yourselves.
Happy dyeing.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Adding a fourth class to Batik Seminar at QU!

If any of you have taken my Batik class at www.quiltuniversity.com, then you will remember that it is only three lessons long.

I have just finished writing lesson four if you would like to come back and take the course again.

The last lesson includes stamping the wax on using vegetables as your tjap. Way fun.

I will show you how to do batiking on paper for brilliant results.

How to use other things than wax to make a resist.

And even more fun stuff to make this medium...well....irrestable. (smile). You game? Class starts August 13th.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Chico Art Center Fiber Art Show

The two large scale wicking experiments that I blogged about below are now hanging at the Chico Art Center. I was very happy that they both got hung in such a manner that they are not only extremely visible but show off their color and size quite well. As you can see, they are hanging without any wall behind them.
Here is the second piece. I should have taken a picture for you from a distance back but was too preoccupied with other stuff to do that. I will see if someone else took a picture and then post it again.

I thought the show was pleasantly diverse and that the art center did a fine job of putting the pieces together so that they show off the talents represented.
Next show of the California Fiber Artists will be here in my home town of Woodland, CA in November and December.
I'm not finished exploring the world of wicking so will be doing more of that. I think I will be adding a new dimension to the pieces by adding tucks and folds in the finished piece. Stay tuned.

This is a picrture I took on the drive home of the street lights. Cool.
Tomorrow I will finish cleaning the dye studio (really!) as I have a custom run of silks to do for a bride to be in New York and there cannot be ANY stray dye or flecks of random color anywhere to cause damage. Know what I mean? Sigh. Maybe you do.
Thanks for looking!

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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