Botanical printing and staining is using the dyes of leaves, roots, and flowers to color and print cloth and yarn. I have been thinking about this process and how to use it in my textile work and designs for some time. I have been reading and studying this ecological process. There are several books to research with a variety of techniques and recipes. My favorite book is Eco Colour: Beautiful Dyes for Beautiful Textiles by India Flint. I have been following India Flint for years, inspired by her lovely garments made from her explorations.
My preference is to take a class, getting hands on information from an expert. Then to follow up are several options to continue my practice. First, Jane Dunnewold gives a prelude on Facebook to her online Botanical Workshop, as well as, Design Matters TV with Linda Kemshall's online class of the same subject. Artistic Artifacts in Alexandria, Virginia is offering summer workshops teaching this technique working with a variety of substrates, cloth and paper.
My plans...were to begin planting a 'dyers' garden. I will be collecting the leaves, seeds, stems, roots and blossoms from my own garden to use to print and stain my cloth and paper instead of tossing into compost bin.
Last summer, while waiting for my garden to bloom, and then waiting to harvest, my garden got away from me; it was like a jungle out there.
This time, I have other options for practice and to explore naturally colored and printed cloth. I have been collecting onion skins, dried rose petals, leaves and stems, and a bag of black beans.
Whether making art, jewelry or designing fashion, I want to create movement, contrast, and balance. Before I pull out beads, paint and bolts of fabric I need to understand the language of color and employ the tools to help me use and mix different colors together. It all begins with the Color Wheel, an indispensable tool for me. These color-planning tools help me to choose great combinations for designing and piecing my textile art and wearable art.
This is a great way to find your personal palette for each project.
The color wheel defines a color palette that may extend throughout the year and cross over into other aspects of my life, in my fashion, my home interiors, my textile designs and my jewelry making.
Color is an element of design. There is much information to found about Color Theory; it is a life long journey. Below are color tools that I presently use.
This article is from Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) weekly online newsletter. I truly appreciate and love textiles and the art of quilting. I do not need a special day to celebrate or come together with friends to show my appreciation for quilting and quilters. But it just so happens that my Quilt Guild, Uhuru meets on that day, and I will surely be there and spend my day with sister quilters, some old friends and some new friends, lots of quilts and food.
Several organizations have activities planned to celebrate National Quilting Day on March 16! The National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky, USA, will hold a kickoff event on March 16, at 10am CST. Quilters from around the world are invited to watch the event via live stream on The National Quilt Museum's Facebook page. Be sure to log in early as high viewership is expected.
Amy Ellis of Amy's Creative Side is celebrating National Quilting Day throughout the entire month with her annual Instagram Quilt Festival again. Quilt makers of all kinds can use the prompts provided to exchange information, tips, and inspiration. If you've ever wondered what to post on your quilt-related Instagram account, this activity is a convenient starting point.
Other quilt museums will have local celebrations on March 16. The International Quilt Study Center & Museum and the Virginia Quilt Museum have scheduled various lectures, demonstrations, and activities. Bring your quilt to the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles and learn about your quilt's history, including the styles, patterns, fabrics and estimated age. The New England Quilt Museum will host a SAQA panel on the Creative Power of Artists both in celebration of National Quilting Day as well as SAQA's 30th anniversary this year!
I enjoy making traditional quilts, using patterns and precision piecing to create large bed quilts. I also enjoy piecing contemporary and improvised art quilts. I enjoy the entire process. This improvisational style of piecing is the beginning of originality and creativity and allows for working spontaneously, intuitively and painterly. The use of strips and scraps will add interest to make your personal statement and tell your story. I am using the Quilt-As-You-Go-method-of-making, because of the many design possibilities, as well as, the obvious, to quilt as you sew/go. This is not to say that I cannot or will not add more quilting to each segment before joining the blocks together.
There are several ways to construct the segments/blocks together for each quilt.
The Quilt-As-You-Go method is using the batting and backing as foundation, and piecing or appliqueing through all of the layers at once. The blocks/segments are then joined together after they are quilted. The stitch is a design element within the textile composition.
My planning includes a list of parameters/guidelines, that hopefully will keep me focused and on point as I compose my quilt. To make a 36"x 36" quilt I will need:
*40" square of batting and backing
*Solid fabrics, strips, scraps
* Basic Sewing Supplies
This method is stitched in one piece. It is a one block construction.
Stitch through all layers using quarter inch seam allowance. Flip open fabric strips and press. Next, add third strip of fabric, right sides facing, align with edges of the two strips and sew. Open and press. Continue to add strips, flip, and press.
I am looking forward to spinning some yarn. I am in the mood to make something beautiful with this wool. Preferably whilst sitting on the porch, weather permitting.
Here is the new batch of prepared to spin roving. I am looking for other materials to add to this gorgeous Merino and Tussah Silk Roving, as I spin a new skein of some artsy yarn.
These batts can fit onto a dinner plate, so each batt gives a pretty nice size skein. Pretty pricey though, when you consider you can purchase a skein of yarn already spun and prepared to be knit. So let's see where this venture takes me and how lucrative it is.
Cloth, yarn and working with raw fibers and the like is what I have always enjoyed. I am simply inspired by and drawn to making fabric and designing textiles. Whether knitting, weaving or felting wool fibers to make cloth, textiles in any form or fashion is my mission and my passion.
My latest endeavor is spinning raw materials to create threads and yarns. I have always wanted to make my own 'art' yarn for embellishment and knitting.
My sewing machine is my favorite tool and I use it daily. In the same way I find that the meditative, and contemplative slow stitch and hand work are vastly important in my art work.
Spinning skeins of yarn, using a spindle and batts of wool, roving, silk, and bits and pieces of things and stuff has been on my "list" of things to do for some time. Spinning is slow, meditative, focused and calming handiwork. I find this ancient and creative method of "making" satisfying and I cannot wait to use my new yarn.
Boro is how fabric and garments were repaired and mended using patches and stitch to strengthen the cloth, giving longevity in use and wear. Boro can be compared to "darning", consisting of a simple running stitch over and under the threads of the ground fabric. Boro is to up-cycle, re-purpose, recycle, reuse, mend, repair, remnants, utilitarian use of scraps and what is left.
I have been working in this manner for several years; using the running stitch to embellish my textiles. Boro is an ancient Japanese needlework. I enjoy Boro and the serendipitous workmanship that parallels post Civil War African American quilting with use of fabrics and stitch; as well as, utilizing cloth with zero waste.
I am a member of an art group. We are an intimate group who have known each other and worked together for two decades or more. We work specifically with textiles, creating Portraiture, Still Life, collage, art quilts, bed quilts, garments, accessories and jewelry. We use dyes, paints, and inks in our art; to print, and stain fabric, we use resists and discharge and other media to convey and express ourselves within our art form. We use stitch to further mark and add texture.
Our latest endeavor, is a challenge to use stitch, whether hand or machine to create embroidery and applique as a design feature. Specifically...Boro which is a Japanese technique used during the Edo era. Boro is how fabric was repaired using fabric patches and traditional needlework called Sashiko to add strength and longevity in garments.
I've studied and practiced the quilt stitch and darning stitch (a.k.a. the running stitch) to design primitive and rustic embroideries for art and garments.
The past year I have been working on a series mastering the running stitch to embellish the cloth. There are four pieces in the series, which has been a slow and contemplative process. I hope to complete this project by the end of the year, December 31. What am I saying, that is in four days. I may have to set a new deadline.