Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Ice Dyeing and is there ever enough time in the day?

 

Spring 2021 started for me in March as I prepared ice dyed garments for the Hayward Gallery & Gifts. I knew I had plenty of time to dye the 35+ pieces I had ordered to prepare for the gallery. I was ready. 

Not so fast pardner! 

I had a not so surprising call from a person affiliated with another gallery. She had talked with me several times over the past year and a half asking if I would like to submit to their gallery. This year the timing was better for me personally and I said yes.  

They liked the look of the garments, gourds, and journal/sketchbooks that I make and so I became a member of the Arts in Hands Gallery in Spooner WI.  

I anticipated a slow start for my things to sell and for people to have the time to get used to my style. I was seriously wrong about that. They love my work and the customers have purchased enough of my things that I've had to refill and make more to replace the sold items. 

This means after being in both galleries for about 6 weeks for the 2021 season, I've now had to process 3 different batches of additional garments. Last year I made 1 batch. I'm honestly flattered and also wondering if I'm causing a time problem for myself. 

I'm in for a ride. Good thing I don't require a lot of sleep.

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Perfect time of the winter for ice dyeing

Today I started a first batch of ice dye fabric. I started with 1 yard pieces of prewashed muslin presoaked in soda ash hot water. I use ice cream buckets for each yard of fabric which is crammed to the bottom of the bucket then it's filled with granular ice from the snowbank outside. I work with 10 buckets per batch. I've put the powdered dye on top of the ice/snow and then it gets to melt at room temperature for 1 to 2 days. After this, I will rinse it out, wash with a fixative, dry, press. I hope to list these yard pieces for sale this summer at the gallery.


Thursday, February 11, 2021

Hunkered Down in the Cold

Waking up this morning at 5:30am for the first potty run of the day for the dogs, it was -30. It's crisp and squeaky when outside walking and the dogs need their boots and coats. The saying not safe for man or beast makes sense when the sharp air hits your face. 

Best way to deal with it is to keep plugging away at  the table runners to sell. I have 7 yet to do for my goal for quilting. The stack for bindings is getting thick also. 

Angus, Shelby and Duncan are loving this week because it's too cold for their guy to work outside. That means more play time and a few naps. 

Shelby doesn't have boots for her feet like the boys because she has massive feet and is a tougher breed. In this bitter weather even wearing boots, 15 minutes is a long time out there. 

Hurry up! We are ready to go.

 

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Multitasking

Everyday seems like a busy day to me. 

Yesterday I had a friend renting one of my longarm machines to quilt her quilt top for a granddaughter. I decided to finish the next batch of journals. I now have 54 journals completed. 

Each one is a treasure to me and I love each one. 

In between the joys of working with fiber and color, there are necessary duties of a dog mom. Yes, I'm talking poop duty. With three big dog butts, that means big poop sickles. I hate stepping in it so I pick it up as much as possible.  

Today is the start of fiber art table runners. I prefer to work with batiks for the tight weave of the fabrics and the saturation of colors for the backgrounds. I then layer on yarns, ribbons, nettings, angelina, silk flowers or leaves and then a little wool dye cut shape. In this case it is a dark brown dragonfly. I try to use recycled wool that I've gotten from the thrift shop. It's usually thicker and well felted if it comes from a coat.

The quilting will be freeform and fairly dense. I try to quilt around 6 of these on the same backing with each being different. It saves time pinning and wastes less backing fabric. For the runners the binding is the same as the base fabric on top.

 

Sunday, January 31, 2021

The end of 2020 and Taxes

Today is January 31st and it's the day sales taxes are due in Wisconsin for the year 2020. Because I'm talking taxes I thought I would share a few furry happy faces. 
They don't care that I hate sales tax day or that I also hate fed tax day on April 15th. All they care about is eating, playing and getting to go potty. If only our lives were that simple. 

This year had the challenge of forced business shut downs and strict guidelines for individuals out in the community. Working primarily from home as a self employed craftsman has been to my benefit I never had to shut down. I did see fewer items come to me for quilting and I was able to keep up with the work that had been brought to me.



I also was able to find extra time to keep my fiber art supplies up for stocking at the gallery. I'm still working on the fiber layered journals and sketchbooks with another dozen to finish tomorrow. After that, I start on my fiber layered table runners that sell very well in the summer. 

As we lead into the beginning of 2021, my helpers send you greetings. Angus, Shelby, Duncan, Abby, Pepper and Willow (she was camera shy).

 

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

End Goal

This is the result of the fabric making. There are 26 finished journals and sketchbooks. After a serious online search, I finally found a source for journals with nice faux leather covers that I can buy in bulk. As much as I wish I could live without Amazon, it was the answer to my problem. Now I have 32 journals in 2 different sizes coming. 

At the rate that I'm going with these, I should have enough to last all through the summer and fall this year.


 

Sunday, January 24, 2021

These are a few of the stitched layered fabrics for the journals and sketchbooks. 

My stitching method is not complicated. I usually make swirling circles to cover the whole fabric to hold down the fibers. I stitch on the flower petals to make sure the petals stay on and do not fall off or are loose when the stabilizer is rinsed off.



My goal is to have a variety of colors and themes. Not everyone likes what I like so I do force myself to work with colors that are not "me".