Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Do you love this?  I do too. This is hand dyed 100% cotton fabric I made years ago as a backdrop for an Easter Sunday concert. The 18' long panels hung on the stage as well as draped around the hand rails leading up to the stage, so I have tons of it left sitting on my shelf. 

I have recently challenged myself to not buy or dye anything new for my own use until I have recycled the miles and miles of fabric I already have on the shelves. Because I am not a quilter (shocking, I know) I don't use my seconds or fabric I experiment on or use as samples for the classes I teach. So what happens to it all? It gets given away, sold off,  overdyed for fiber arts projects or...it sits on the shelf and waits for inspiration.

Yes, it will fade. All fabric fades. I plan on trying to move it out of the sun when I think of it (for the first week) but mostly it will just age.  When it gets ratty looking, I have about 8 more panels I can replace it with so yay for me.

Thanks for looking.

Friday, April 26, 2013


 At the end of this year, QU will be closing its doors.  It's hard to believe, but I knew it would happen someday.This makes my heart so very sad.  I have been with QU almost from its first breath. It has sustained me and my family through our own financial crisis, introduced me to over 12,000 student from around the world, and taught me how to be a better teacher, woman, and artist. 

Carol Miller was my mentor in many ways. She defended me, coached me, tempered me, and asked me hard questions. Having to teach these techniques, which in many ways come second nature to me, has been wonderful and refining.  I owe this place so much.

That said, what's to happen to my classes and to my students who have yet to take all the ones you wanted to take?   I am in the process of making my 13 classes into workbooks that can be ordered through my web site, www.fabricdesigns.com.  So far I have three ready: Basic Cotton Dyeing, Intermediate Cotton Dyeing for Landscape and Portrait Colors (this is Quilter's Palette class at QU), and Silk Dyeing.  Presently I am working on combining Shibori Dyeing with Shibori Dyeing II so that both courses are in one book. After this, I'm not sure which one will come next but all classes will eventually be a workbook. 

Here is my schedule for the rest of 2013:

Three Unusual Ways to Dye- (spray dyeing, discharge dyeing, using potato dextrin)-4/26
Shibori Dyeing-5/10
Thick and Thin (using sodium alginate as a dye thickener)-5/31
Dyeing Cotton-6/21
Tea and Spice Dyeing-6/12
Dyeing Wool-6/26
Fabric Painting-8/16
Dyeing Silk-8/2
Quilter's Palette-9/6
Three Unusual Ways to Dye-10/4
Thick and Thin- 10/18

If you would like me to send you the supply lists to any of these classes, email me!

Until then, we have a lot of time to play and talk and adjust to the inevitable. 

My plans are to go back to teaching fabric designing classes from my home studio. I haven't had real live students for a long, long time and I do miss warm bodies, so to speak. I am also going to start some marketing ideas for some of Fabric Designs' products. Another thing I am pursuing is a home horticulture certificate through Oregon State University. I want to learn more about how to cultivate dye plants. Gardening is a passion of mine and my own back yard is too small to hold what my big dream contains. I have farming friends who are willing to donate portions of their land to this project which may include teams of students who want to join me in the adventure of planting, tending and harvesting and then dyeing with the goods the earth provides us.

It's all good. We have to look at the closing of one door as an opportunity to open another door somewhere else.

I have loved this place. I hope you have too.

It's all good.


Saturday, April 20, 2013

My third workbook is available for sale on my web site. Here's the promo for it:

*This 40 page workbook comes in a convenient 3-ring binder with plastic covered recipe pages and places to save swatches and keep notes for years of use as your own personal hand dyeing journal and reference tool.
*Prop it up or lay it flat to do your lessons.
*Each lesson contains step-by-step, easy to follow instructions and color photographs that take the mystery out of dyeing 100% pure silk textiles.
Outline: Supply List- Everything you need for the four lesson series and where to get it.
Lesson One- Painting on Dyes and How to Use Silk Sizing as a Resist
Lesson Two-Full Immersion, Partial Immersion, Sprinkling on Dyes
Lesson Three-Shibori Dyeing on Silk
Lesson Four-Paste Resists on Silk (Norizome)
*First edition.

Let me know if you'd like me to autograph it for free!

Next workbook up- Wool Dyeing.

Click on "supplies". 

Monday, April 8, 2013

New YouTube video!

Just posted another YouTube video on how to label fabrics before dyeing. This is important when dyeing a lotta fabric at the same time and if your brain gets easily overloaded or distracted.

This picture is of 30 containers of dye with fabric in them. I think this may have been my own personal world's record for the most containers used to dye separate fabrics at one time. It isn't the most fabric I've ever dyed at one time...that would be 45 yards. No need to label it as it was all the same color- rust. It had been batiked and was for a couch. Raise your hand if you remember that beastly piece of furniture my parent's owned. 

Anyway- take a look at the video. Soon I will master not only focusing but improving the lighting. 


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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