Today was a cool fall day but I still got out and made some Shibori and Indigo dyed samples for my upcoming indigo dye classes at The Electric Needle.
Fall is coming again. Dang it. I thought summer would go on and on. For some reason (hope related) I always think summer will never end, not this year. But I was wrong again.
I’ve either sold or quilted many of my arashi samples so I knocked out a few more. I just love arashi shibori. All of these were made by sewing the fabric into a tube that was then put around a PVC pipe and then NOT wrapped with string (ummm…if you’ve never done it before, trust me, that makes more sense when you see the process). I love how organic and watery they look. The wider guys are half yards. One was a tight tube and one was loose, which makes such a dramatic difference!
These skinny dudes are actually called “skinny quarters”. They are 9 inches wide. Each one was sewn into a bias tube and put on a tube. Only one was a tight tube and I’m embarrassed to admit that I can’t remember which is which. They are hanging on the line right now. I’m pretty durn sure that it’s the one with more white.
I also needed some Itajime samples. I met some amazing dye artists last weekend at a Circle of Life Studio event in Eagle River. They were all so inspiring. I followed the lead of Yukako Kadono of Slow Stitch Studio. I moved my blocks around and got these great color changes. I love this picture especially because you can see the green from the color change that indigo goes through on the left side of the star.
I did play a little but with some Katano Shibori. It’s done with a sewing machine and can really look dramatic. I haven’t done this one very much but I really enjoy it and plan to do more.
And finally this big one is a blank from Dharma Trading Company that I wanted to test out. I think this size cloth (about 42 X42) would make awesome wrapping cloths for presents.
I dyed till I ran out of light last night. If you scroll through all the pictures, you can kinda see the progression of the sun going down.
As much as I’m bummed that summer is ending (NOOOOoooooooOOOO!!!), I’m glad to get back into the Electric Needle Studio to teach. We’ve scheduled classes on the first Saturday of every month from October to May (not including January) and it feels like I’m going home again. You can check my events page or just head over to the Electric Needle’s class page to learn more and sign up.
I’ll post more about last weekend in another post. I’m still kinda processing how awesome it was.
The students were very interested in trying out new techniques. Lots had experience with dyeing but not with indigo, which was super cool.
Chopsticks were very popular in this class. It’s funny how different patterns will trend in different classes. But the Mandala is always a popular pattern.
You can still see lots of green in this one. The indigo is still oxidizing.
As I always end up doing there, I tied the lines between two cars.
Fortunately, this student’s car not only had a roof rack, but was also the right color.
And that sky!
It was hot and buggy but everyone left happy. I love teaching classes and try to get to Mill House at least once a year. It’s not easy to travel with indigo but the back of the shop is pretty ideal for indigo: breezy and just shady enough in the afternoon.
I’ve been dyeing like crazy to get ready for my December 3rd Sale at the Aldo Leopold Center in Madison. To be honest, I fear that I made too much. I’m going to bring a bunch of stuff, display one or two of each type of dyed thing and keep some under the tables. But you’re in the know, so ask me to bring out more patterns when you stop by my table.
I had a lot of fun dyeing atOne One Thousand but only shared pictures through Instagram so here are some collaged screen shots
I’ve been lucky enough to dye in all of the publicly available dye studios in town: Blue Bar Quilts, The Electric Needle and – though it not officially a dye studio – One One Thousand. They are all my favorite places to dye. All of them.
So if you are a local dyer, I recommend that you call one up and reserve some time. They are all equally awesome. I was treated to a beautiful sunset when leaving One One Thousand so I’m sharing my blurry picture of it with you. I hope I see you tomorrow!!!
I recently acquired a box full of itajime blocks. I plan to have them available at the Deep Into Indigo Retreat. The Retreat is a blast. This year, to ensure our sanity, we have decided to ask for a $150 deposit due by January 30th. If we get 10 people by then, the Retreat will run. If not, we are going to focus on other events. But we reeeeeally want the Retreat to run. So if you plan to wait until the last possible minute to register, that minute is coming up really soon.
You don’t need access to acrylic blocks to make gorgeous work, simple rubber bands will do the job very nicely. Itajime is a very simple, yet beautiful and sophisticated technique. Like all shibori techniques, it has a bajillion possible variations.
First you accordion or fan fold your fabric. Then you do it again. I like to use a triangle fold but you could totally use a square or rectangle. My favorite triangle fold is the equilateral triangle. You make it using a fold and a flip.
As you fold it, you need to go on as you began…finally that advice makes sense to me. Meaning, if your first fold is away from you, after you flip it, all of the folds need to go away from you. Not that “away from you” is the only way, any way is right as long as you are consistent. Now, that’s some good advice.
It’s easier to show than to tell, though, so I made a quick video about it. It’s less than two minutes long.
Once you have made your triangle bundle, you get to pick how to place your resists and which resists to use. This is also half the fun. Every slight variation you make in where you put it, will totally change the look of your pattern. Mighty cool.
Let me know if you have questions about the technique or the Deep Into Indigo Retreat. Happy dyeing!
My plan for the Deep Into Indigo Retreat is to teach shibori techniques of many kinds, batik techniques and how to make henna, fructose and iron vats and to dye, dye dye!!! And also to – with the help of the awesome Jenina Mella – feed people well in a beautiful and warm environment and bring the fun!!
It’s my birthday month but it’s also mother’s day month – which is almost as important – so in honor of these two monumental events, I’m giving away a set of two Queen Sized Cotton Sateen Indigo Dyed (natch) pillow cases.
The Giveaway has ended but feel free to do any of these things. You won’t win anything but I’ll really appreciate it!
Jenina and I have been recording some of our thoughts about our Deep Into Indigo Retreat plans. Also, adding many pretty pictures, because pretty is what it’s all about. Also fun. Also food. Also Friends. The best F words.
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