Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Monday Molas and Tuesday Treasures!

Monday was a fun lunch at Priscilla's, getting to see the hundreds of molas she brought back from Panama on her latest trip. She said that she saw far fewer on this trip and had to work to get a stash to bring back -- her molas are always big sellers and she offers them so reasonably compared to the going rates on ebay and other sellers. I was very controlled this time although she probably had a better assortment than ever!! I couldn't resist a couple of special large ones and several small ones -- I was focusing on getting birds or fish that were facing left instead of right!! It is always a treat to see the ones that she keeps as well!!! She will be selling them at our RAFA meeting on Thursday so I may just.....

These are several of the small molas or appliques that I got.

The above molas were all quite small (about 7 in square) while this next bunch was the next "larger" size and were about 12 x 18 inches.

This first one is my very favorite and you should double click to see it more clearly. It is lots of spiders and exquisite workmanship. Just had to have it!

This second one was very unusual and Priscilla thinks that it may be indicative of a new trend. It is actually the reverse applique done on top of a printed piece of fabric. The base fabric is white with big black swirls. They somehow cut out so carefully that there is just a slight outline of the black swirl showing and looks like it is another layer of reverse applique but it isn't. I loved it! Their workmanship is incredible. On some of these pieces there is probably 30-40 stitches to the inch to tack down the appliques. The only thing I have seen close is some of the quilts from the early 1800s in the US that were at the Rochester Museum and Science Center (where we were documenting their collection).

This was an interesting geometric that caught my eye!

I just had to have these iguanas!

Anyway, I was back marbling today. The morning started pretty gloomy which inspired me to work in bright brights -- primary pallette which I almost never do -- my favorite pallette is secondary colors of orange, green and purple. Primary just seemed right today though. As the day cleared though, I switched to earthtones again -- using up all my prepared white fabric and all but about two pieces of the "uglies". The weather has not been cooperating at all as it has been raining every day and is supposed to for the rest of the week. So alum-ing more fabric will have to wait and I will have to get back to some sewing.

Just my basic blue and lavender pallette which I switched to after a few of the bright primaries!

How is this for July 4th!

This was an interesting exercise although not a very pretty piece. It shows what happens when you keep adding color just in the middle so there is more space on the outer perimeters for the paints to expand. The surface tension was different all over and I may play some more with this effect. Does give a feeling of depth.

Just another of the stripey primary pieces.

Again, fireworks in preparation for July 4th!
I will have to wait for the sun to come out before I can take pictures of some of the second bunch I did today. I have some Seminole strips that I made a LONG time ago that are in red, yellow and blue pallette so these pieces will probably end up with those in another jacket somewhere along the way!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Maverick Marbler.......

Yea, sometimes the combs are fun to use and get traditional marbling patterns; but, it is a lot more fun to just play and see what kind of mischief you can do!

Yesterday, I just about ran out of all the ugly fabric that I had alum-ed and decided to do a few pairs of baby socks for my new granddaughter and also some just plain whites again (just got an additional thirty yards of my favorite dyeing and marbling fabric in the mail). So I alum-ed up 4 yards of the fabric and six pairs of baby sox. That will give me 16 nice fat quarters of fabric to play with. I made a good start today! Using the white fabrics, you get so many of the subtleties that you miss on the colored fabric -- of course the messes show more too! Of course, I have found a bunch more of the discarded fabric to play with as well but the rain showers have returned so it is not a good time to hang things outside!

This is just a kind of boring piece with all the different blues that I have. It looks better in person and magnified a bit!

This was the volcano that developed after I dunked the socks in the middle of the bath and then added a little more color. The colors were all rushing toward the middle to fill in the empty space.

This was some more of the stripes. The ultramarine blue is a pretty aggressive color and tends to compress everything else. The other colors will make it shift for awhile but the blue again takes over!

Again, more of the blue with browns in the background. I had first covered the size with the various browns using whisks and then dropped eyedroppers of the various shades of blue that I have and then whisked some yellow on at the end.

More of the stripes. These really do look better in person!

Of course, the boys are always looking for new entertainment so they discovered the jacuzzi with a bell ball in it. It seems you can play endlessly but Cheney just prefers to sit and watch George go for it!

George is having a bad couple of days as he is snarfling again and his eyes are a bit irritated again. He is such a lovely friendly cat except for the darned herpes virus which he will probably have forever. He is one of the unlucky kitties who shows the symptoms forever. It doesn't seem to affect his appetite though and he loves to play! We keep our fingers crossed that he will grow out of it some day!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

This is Just Too Much Fun!

Just in case you think that the only thing I do is to marble fabric, there have been other accomplishments during the past couple of weeks!! I managed to finish the Orange Jacket and to make a cute outfit for my new granddaughter. I already sent out the matching hat to the little dress so that Amelia would not get a sunburn! My daughter and son in law have not gotten pictures uploaded for awhile now, so I will patiently wait.

This is the front of the jacket. The bands down the middle are composed of very small hexagons with radial symetry. There is also a band of these on each sleeve. On the bottom right (your right, not the jacket's), there is a big chunk of marbled fabric which worked perfectly. The oranges and the long medium green stripes are also marbled fabric. All the "solids" are my hand dyeds so it is almost completely made up of my fabric!

The back of the jacket has a little "quilt" in the middle again made up of hexagons with radial symetry.

However, this marbling on my old uglies has really been even more fun as all I am "wasting" is the paints (and they are expensive) and not the fabric as I had already given up hope on that!! Today I have been playing with an expansion of the stripes and adding a little pattern with some controlled dropping of colors. My favorite was my last one. The piece of fabric was a failed experiment in an Elin Noble class (using two different kinds of dyes). I had stamped with a rectangular stamp all over the piece and there were these reddish rectangles and a turquoise background. I decided to put stripes on top of it (figuring it would be really hideous) as I like to REALLY take chances with the last piece of a session! I am really quite pleased with it! Who would have thought!

There is an outside chance that dear husband will be gone again for two weeks. I have decided that if he does, I will devote those two weeks to extensive salt dyeing if the weather cooperates! As I am not going to QBL this year, I need to have a creative break of some kind. Today would be perfect as it is supposed to be 90 and the humidity is relatively high.

These two are the snakes. They are on a nondescript purplish fabric.

The one on the left was done on a very bright kelly green. Used some dulled greens to tone it down. The next one is another of the stripes.

This was my very favorite and is the one that is done on the rectangles. You can just vaguely see those rectangles. You can always double click to see a bigger image!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Stripes are Coming!

Well, back to the basement again as the weather is just gorgeous out and I can hang things outside again! I had a change of course that started with this first piece. I had quite a few pieces of this nondescript dyed kind of dark pink fabric so I thought I would play with dropping color in areas and then adding a stone pattern on top. Of course that evolved to stripes and I think I will find those very, very useful. I will play some more with this.

So here are my first attempts at the stripes on this dark pink fabric. I placed the stripes so that I can cut across them on the long side of the fabric.

I didn't add as much color with this one and think I like the more color ones better.

These two pieces are the front and back sides of one piece which I liked a lot both ways! It was again on this very pink fabric. There was a lot of color on this one so that back has a lot on it as well.

Just a plain old stone pattern on an icky old green.

These are the before and after of a class piece I made some time ago and had no use for. I was practicing making black marks with thickened dyes. I think it is much improved with the marbling over it (there is only so much you can do with a piece like this!). The black lines are broken up a little

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Marbling - Okay Now What Do I Do With All of This?

This is the question of the day. I probably have 40 yards in fat quarters of marbled fabrics now. No, I am not going to give it away YET!! So far I have been using it like I would use commercial fabric. It has made great background fabric in my pelican and Birds of Paradise quilts and I have used it in one of my jackets as well. The biggest problem with most of it is that it reads as a background fabric so it will be difficult to highlight it except for cutting out smaller pieces of it that read as small compositions. Maybe combining strips with some hand dyed fabrics to break up some of the busyness of the marbled fabrics? These more organic marbled fabrics do solve one of the problems of the highly stylized marbled fabrics where the pattern glares out at you when you mix it with others (like most highly geometric prints).

So if you have any ideas, let me know.....

We had a LOT of rain and one of the dreariest days in recent memory but I just put up a laundry rack in the basement and had at it. These two were both redish purples underneath and I used lots of yellows and reds on top with a little purple thrown in for good luck. I like them!

This was the last of my ultimate ugly dyed and discharged.

This was on a lavender base.

This was also on a lavender base but concentrated on blues and lavenders here.

Again on a blue/lavender base.

This last one was my favorite. It was done on a relatively attractive scrap of dark green/blue that I had. I think the picture looks better than the fabric but I do like the fabric! Too bad I don't have more!
My guess is I won't get a whole lot done today as I left my bedroom door open as my cat George was snuffly and wanted to be with me. Big mistake as his brother thinks 1 and 6 in the morning are great times to cavort across, over and jump continuously when he isn't eating my fingers or purring in my ear. I finally gave up and got up at 6:30!! It falls into the category of "it seemed like a good idea at the time".

Friday, June 19, 2009

While There is a Break in the Weather!

We are having a few hours of sunshine, so what else would I do but marble a few fabrics so that I can hang them outside to dry. It is supposed to rain again tomorrow all day, so today will have to doI have been whittling away at the pile of uglies that I alum-ed a few days ago and have been ironing each night. Some are definitely more ugly than others but most all are improved with a layer of marbling.

This is really two pieces - the back one is really a brilliant blue now and it was marbled over a lavender piece that wasn't too ugly. The forward piece was a scrap of a larger dye painted piece that was painted with very intense scraped colors.

This was the before piece. It had been dyed and then discharged and really ugly. It is definitely improved in the "after" picture below.

This is the before picture of a not so ugly piece that was a half yard and done by dye painting in a class a few years ago. It was not very exciting and I like the overmarbling below better.

This was done over another of the really ugly gold fabrics. These were fabrics that were commercial yellows and probably had some permanent press in them. I had overdyed them with brown at some point and got the icky mustard color.