Posted in house quilts, In the Company of Cloth, indigo, Middle Passage, tagged "dee mallon", 'middle passage', corn syrup, dyeing quilts, edge of the moon, Glennis Dolce class, house quilt, indigo, quilt, shibori on November 6, 2012 |
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It is hard to think about anything but the election or the Nor ‘Easter rambling up the coast, but before too much more time goes by, I wanted to catch up my dear readers on the the Middle Passage quilt experiments. You may recall “Middle Passage I” after its first dunk in the indigo vat:
It looked more like blue fog than rising water, so I dunked the entire bottom half. But first, I used corn syrup as a resist. I slathered it on with a paint brush, hoping to preserve some of the color of the floral green shapes, the green hut, the turtle, and a few of the red stripes of the batik.
The corn syrup worked as a resist, but it will take some quilting to make it ‘work’ as a visual treatment. And maybe it won’t. We’ll see. Not sure what the sugars did, if anything, to the indigo vat.
The back shows how much dye the quilt has absorbed. Some dye landed on the upper green/white linen area by accident, so with a paint brush I applied more dye just to the surface (techniques learned in Glennis Dolce’s Indigo Class). I also shadowed the edge of the moon with indigo.
Last week my fingers turned blue while quilting those floral green areas and the turtle. And, I was disappointed with what the stitching accomplished. Between the transfer of dye to my fingers and the presence of batik (notoriously difficult to poke a needle through), I may opt to draw with thread on one of my machines.
Also, it occurred to me that if this quilt is to live on someone’s wall in the future, it will need to be backed with fresh cloth, because I think the dye would transfer to the wall as well. Maybe I could rinse in vinegar? Then wash in soap and water? I did this for the first time with one of the rectangular pieces of linen that I hemmed into a scarf. Not a trace of blue came out in the rinse, which means success – I think!
I am prepared to be disappointed with these experiments. It is the very nature of an experiment that the outcome is unknown. In a way, every quilt is an experiment. But, sometimes we add new techniques or color choices that scramble things more than usual. If this one bombs, I will cut it up and try to use the pieces in another way.
What do YOU do with failed experiments? And, how do you talk to yourself while trying something utterly new and possibly terrible looking?
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This is ‘Middle Passage I’ after dunking the lower edge into the indigo vat. By adding more resists, I managed to retain more of the original fabric than I did with the other Middle Passage piece (where I turned the bottom four inches of the quilt into a solid band of dark blue).
I like how some of the dye concentrated on the stitches.
I also like how some of the indigo visually ties into the hand-dyed fabric that I had purchased and pieced right above the yellow-dunked print (they’re the ivory, ecru, and blue rectangles). But, overall, this experiment might have proved more satisfactory had I dyed the cloth prior to attaching the three layers together – the batting absorbed a lot of the dye that might have otherwise saturated the quilt top. Some of the indigo streaks don’t appear to fully saturate the threads. Below, is a view of the quilt that did NOT get immersed.
This morning, I twisted and dunked yet ANOTHER Middle Passage quilt (III?).
I can’t show you how it looks yet, but it is the least successful of the three by a lot. Here’s how it looked prior to submersion:
Because I liked the red batik border on this one, I folded the quilt and immersed the mid-section.
Because I’m unhappy with the result, tomorrow I will probably go ahead and dunk the entire lower half. I wish I knew how to apply a rice paste – I would use that to preserve some of the red.
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Today WAS cool. Blessedly cool. I damp stretched a small house quilt, continued quilting one of the Middle Passage quilts (shown above and below), started a patch on a silk jacket, ran to SuperSavers, cleaned up the kitchen, wondered (again) why I blog, and did some reading.
Today, I offer you this — fiber in action - here
and pose the question: Why do YOU blog?
[This started as a comment to others' comments, but I'm putting my thoughts here instead]:
I love the connections here (in cyberspace), too… I find fiber artists’ blogs to be witty, generous, and inspiring, on many levels – not just creatively… and I would miss them terribly if I somehow found myself in a hut at 9,000 feet above sea level with no internet access. In fact, blogging and connecting online were the things I missed the very most that year-plus-a-little that I worked 9 to 5.
I, do, however, need to learn to manage some reactions I seem to repeatedly have… and to continue to work toward finding what, exactly, my style here wants to be… not unlike with quilting itself.
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Posted in Bags and purses and wraps, Middle Passage, tagged "dee mallon", "magic feather", 'middle passage', applique, patchwork, purse, quilt, quilting on May 26, 2012 |
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Back to the boards this morning. Garden not quite yet calling.
Sometimes the scale of these larger pieces overwhelms. Today I am liking the fact that progress is made piece by piece, section by section. There is nothing to do except to keep composing each section, viewing the recently-pieced area with the entirety, then tackling another section.
Day will be interrupted, as usual, with a doctor’s appt. Today’s involves a lot of driving. Next week is officially “No Appointment Week”!!
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