More Challenge Fabric

I used some thermofax screens that Bobbie Vance made for me from my photos of trees to add some further dimension to the farm fabrics for the challenge by an Indy fabric shop.   can see the original fabric in an older post.  I liked the added interest of trees that are different than what is in the fabric and that it is transparent so that I can still see the shibori through them.





I used some oatmeal as a resist on some of the fabric and really liked what it did, but did not enjoy the mess!  I was thinking if I get a really good one and take a picture or scan it I can make a thermofax of the texture and save myself some headache!

I am almost done with the quilt for the challenge and can’t wait to show you how it turns out.  I’m pretty happy with it.


This one didn’t make it into the quilt, nor is it the challenge fabric, but I made it as a possibility of use in the quilt and love the graphic nature of the tree print, the dye complexity, and the photo holds special memories for me.  The tree was in a field we went through to get to a very old church in the little town I lived in in Italy.  My sister, her husband and I went for a walk in our little town, saw a sign pointing us down a walking path between some houses and out into a field.  In the middle of the field was an old church that is no longer used except for once a year for the towns festival of the patron saint. That was only one of the wonderful treasures we found that day.

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Second Batch from Dye Class

We had a great time in dye class sharing our first batches of fabric.  Some real beauties!  We did a bit of clamp resist.







I did a piece with corn startch resist and the wooden stamp again.  I also got my new thermofax screens and can’t wait to get a chance to try them out! 


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Challenging Fabric

Moda Farmyard Fabric

At last months Indianapolis Modern Quilt Guild meeting at The French Seam fabric shop, one of our fearless leaders, Rachael, encouraged me to join in the shop’s quilt challenge.  The challenge is simple use a piece of each of the three challenge fabrics to make a quilt.  Sounds easy, but the fabric is … FARMYARD!  That’s right, barns, chickens, crows, crops, etc.  Definitely not my thing.  So I’m overdyeing and removing color from the fabric to make it more palatable for me.   What will come next I don’t know.  But here are some of my results so far.

By the way, LOVED the fabric shop!  High end fabrics and they were so wonderful to us.  They provided a cute project and supplies and a tower of the tallest iced cupcakes I’ve ever seen!

I matched the red in the fabric and shibori overdyed a piece of the farm and tree fabric.  I overdyed the wheat in the golden yellow but didn’t like the color as much as the red which covers up more of the pictures.  So the yellow probably won’t be used in the quilt.

Overdyed Commercial Farm Print Dyed to Match the Red in the Trees. On the left is the wheat fabric and it is overdyed golden yellow in the top right corner. The allover tree fabric is shown in the small swatches that I overdyed.


I bleached and removed color, but I wasn’t all that thrilled with the results of the dye removal with a stamp because it isn’t a drastic enough change and the bleached trees are lost.   I do like the results of the shibori color removal, although still too bright and obvious for me.  Maybe some more overdyeing.

Bleached shibori farm fabric


Allover tree fabric after shibori with dishcarge paste



The allover tree fabric is more interesting to me with the shibori color removal.  To overdye or leave alone next?



Here are some companion shibori dyed pieces that I did with the same dye stock as the farm fabric.

Pole Wrapped Shibori Overdye


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Dye Class Fun

I’m taking an independent studio dye class by Bobbie Vance at the Indianopolis Art Center.  We are a small class, just 4 of us and the other 3 are on their second class after having taken monoprint dyeing last semester.  So, while they are learning the basics, I’m playing.  Bobbie does some beautiful dyeing and I’m glad she decided to do this class before she moves away.  She also makes thermofax screens and I just gave her a small stack of graphics from photos I took in Italy and I can’t wait to get playing with those as well!

Pole Wrapped Shibori Overdye

Pole Wrapped Shibori Overdye

I jumped right in and did some pole, clamp, and stitched shibori.

Clamped Resist Using Plastic Electrical Outlet Faceplate

I used corn syrup and mashed potatoes as resists with mixed success.


Corn Syrup Stamped Resisted and Overdyed

I am also working on some fabric for a fabric shop challenge, but I’ll save that for the next post.

I wanted to match a color in a challenge fabric and had a fabulous success on the first shot.  Gotta love that!  It is only the second time I’ve gone for a particular color and it worked last time as well.  I look at either pantones or print colors and the breakdowns of the colors used to make them and use those basic percentages when mixing the dye powders.  Hopefully it hasn’t just been beginners luck.  Below is a small sample.  The wheat print on the left is original.  Next is the overdyed shibori pole wrap.  Top right is two test yellows which matched the original golden yellow in the prints and on top of that is the all over tree print that I overdyed with a very very closely matched red.  Below right is the wheat print shibori overdyed with test swatches of some premixed dyes which were not quite the right color.

Overdyed Commercial Farm Print Overdyed to Match the Red in the Trees.


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Skype Scambio

I have a dear group of friends that I met in Italy and spent many Thursdays getting together to be creative and to go on day trips when we all lived there a couple of years back.  Now we are scattered throughout the US and some of us get together via Skype most Thursdays for a group video creative session.

Last week I decided to just play rather than to work on something already started.  I pulled out the wooden tjap I bought over the summer.  It is a wooden printing/batiking block that is carved with a design.  I thought it was high time I tried it out.  I had some scraps of already hand dyed fabrics and had fun!  I could have gone on all day, but had some other painting I wanted to try. 


I painted over scissors, pins, and more sewing paraphenalia but wasn’t overly thrilled with the results like I was when I did it with antique Italian keys.  I also overpainted some previously painted fabric in hopes of some indoor sunprinting and although it is pretty, it did not sunprint.

I always have a good time catching up with my friends and exchanging ideas as we work.  I can’t wait to show you what I worked on yesterday during our skype session!

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Welcome to my artsi fartsi world!

Italian Doors

I have had the time of my life in Italy and I am very sad to leave.  I have had such fun exploring Italy and photographing doors.  Quirky, I know, but hey, someone’s got to do it.  So, expect to see lots of Italian doors and gelato spoons appear in my art.  It is not just Italy that has made it wonderful, but the great friends who have come along for the exploration!

One of my terrific friends gave me a farewell gift that is one of the best gifts I’ve ever gotten!  She made it herself and it is a book, which she is a wonderful book binder, but she didn’t stop there, she incorporated felting and beading as well, which I gave her the fever to do.  She thanked me for opening creative doors for her that she wouldn’t have gone through had she not met me.  She made a virgin page (page not cut on the front edge: like two pages stuck together) in the book with an inscription and an original print she made of a white door (you don’t see those much in Italy!) that we saw after our long walk up and back down from Piazzale Michelangelo that overlooks Florence.  (This is where the background photo of the Duomo in Florence on my personal blog came from.  But I digress!) So, I had to decide how to open the pages and reveal them.   Inside was expressed her gratitude for the doors I’ve opened for her.


The page spread Trinia did for me

She has opened many for me and when I said, “hey what if…”,  she said, “yeah, and then you could…”  and it went spiraling out of control from there!  I have actually left her house and 2 minutes down the road had to call and tell her what idea I just came up with and then her expand it and then just before getting home I called again with even more ideas.  She is a great sounding board and creative mind.  Not that my other friends haven’t given great ideas and input as well, but she and I just seem to feed each other!

I was so excited last week when she finished a necklace that was completely her own design and it was so creative, beautiful and unique.  I asked her if she could have imagined doing it a year ago when she first decided to make jewelry after I reeled her in for a first Scambio Creativo class in beading.   Hopefully she will take some nice photos and send me one or put some up on the Scambio Creativo website so you can all see it, although she may want to wait until after the soon to be recipient actually gets it!

I will have such fun with my new Doorways book and will use it as an artistic journal as I explore Italian doors in my art now instead of just my photos on my hard drive!  Every time that I see it I will be reminded of our great fun together in Italy from the yarn that she bought at the yarn factory, to the way we had fun talking about how to felt, what would happen if we used felting and non-felting yarns, to making books, to the beading and bead buying on Murano, and so much more all wrapped up in a beautiful book!

Beaded book closure

And I was thrilled when she gave me a mini book as a charm swap!  In that one she put tiny photos of doors from Venice!  What beautiful reminders to keep me inspired for years!

Thanks to all of you who have opened doorways for me and I know that we will continue to open them for each other even if we can only do it via the internet and swapping long distance!

Grazie Mille!!!!

Now for some more photos!!!

Front of Door Book closed

Back of book


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