Friday, September 16, 2016


September has and will continue to be a very busy month......which doesn't allow for much studio time.  However, I feel very fortunate to have so many activities that keep me engaged in life!
As my eyes slowly heal (now nearly 4 months post cataract surgery), I get more and more itchy to get back to enhancing my projects with handwork.

Early this spring, pals Kate, Judy and I enjoyed a couple of care-free days at Folly Beach to ice-dye and otherwise get messy.  With stacks of dyed cottons in my stash already, I brought some odd-ball fabrics in the hopes of getting interesting results that would kick-start new directions for me to explore.

I cut an antique linen lace embellished table runner in half and dyed each section using different colors.
This will be somewhat challenging as the linen is fairly wimpy and three sides are already finished.....leaving little opportunity to square the finished piece.
The three of us had a successful exhibit at the North Carolina Arboretum which concluded in early July.  Happily, we've already been invited to return in 2018.  I KNOW that sounds far in the future, but considering we are able to hang nearly 100 pieces, it's not too soon to start new botanical inspired pieces.

So, along with the ice-dyed brown lace-edged piece, I dug out some dyed crinkled poly and a very pale piece of dyed cotton.  I think the later may have been microwave dyed. I try to document the types of methods used when dyeing but.....well I guess I don't have to explain.....
......So then I set about creating a design featuring Honesty plants. I'm not rushing the project....just trying to enjoy the's what I have so far.
The discs are made by fusing Wonder-under to the w/s of the dyed cotton fabric and layering some small circular brown fabric 'seeds' on top, between the crinkled poly fabric and Misty Fuse.  The main stem is a very narrow strip of hand-dyed fabric and the smaller stems are hand embroidered.  

I had planned to machine satin stitch the discs to the background, but even with stabilizing I worried about distortion, so I'll be slowly hand blanket stitching around each one and further embellishing with simple straight stitches using brown embroidery thread.  It's a bit of a challenge since focusing is still somewhat difficult but I am improving and relieved to get my fingers on a needle!

Visit other creative artists and see what they've been working on this week.  Nina-Marie's Off The Wall Friday, Sarah's Whoop Whoop Friday, and Crazy Mom Sews


Kathy said...

YES! Wonderful use of those vintage linens! This looks like it will be a wonderful piece and you are wise to avoid machine work on those leaves. Lovely, lovely, lovely!

Norma Schlager said...

Serendipity! I have been planning to go to the big flea market near me this Sunday to search for vintage linen napkins. I plan to do shibori and/or ice dyeing. Like the way yours is turning out.

Judy Warner said...

Sounds like you will be busy getting ready for next summer for all of the winter! Glad that you are getting your eyesight back - it has been a long haul for you.

Nancy said...

Great results with the ice dyeing and the vintage linens! You're taking it in a beautiful new direction.

Linda M said...

Glad to hear your eyes are improving. This piece is going to be lovely. Congratulations on getting scheduled for another show.

quiltedfabricart said...

The linens came out beautifully! Very exciting about the show too, congratulations! Keep those projects coming :-)

SewPsyched! said...

I am SO excited to hear that your post op recovery is going so well!! And what brilliant news about the exhibits! Congrats!!
I can't wait for winter to come here in Alaska, I've been itching to try some ice dyeing and I think that snow will lend a nice touch. Your work is just lovely!

Robbie said...

The linen pieces are BEAUTIFUL! And what you're doing with the brown one is really nice!!!!!

The Idaho Beauty said...

I've had great success in using fusible tricot interfacing on tie silk to stabilize it without it losing its suppleness. I wonder if it wouldn't help with the linen. In the past I've ordered it from Clotilde which I don't think is in business anymore. I think Nancy's Notions carries it too.

The Inside Stori said...

Idaho Beauty suggested using fusible tricot interfacing as a stabilizer. Funny you should mention it as I did on the(blue) other half of this piece as I had an design idea for that section prior to reverting to the brown one. Even though BOTH fabrics were preached (tricot products recommend pre-soaking....which I did) puckered like crazy when applied. I've used this product when making wearables for fact still have half bolts left of two similar products.

It was surprising and very disappointing......the brown piece is now stabilized with my standby, Pellon's non-fusible light-weight interfacing. It seems to be working well as long as I'm careful.