Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Cranking out new stitch designs!

Amy Grief is the soul of patience.  I asked her to try some more machine stitched Shibori, so she brought her antique Singer 66 Hand-crank Sewing Machine, and set about the difficult task of accordion pleating fabric then hand guiding the fabric through her machine while cranking the handle to create a stitch line.  She really got creative.  She also used 10 layers (5 mountain and 5 valley folds) to stitch through  Before you try this, remember to adjust your stitch length to as long as possible.  Remember also that the denser the stitching, the more difficult to get good dye penetration to the center of the folds.

On each of the examples shown, you can see the type of stitch design used on the left and right dark edges, and the results of the pressure of the thread on the interior portion of the designs.  It can help create variety of color and design if that is what you are looking for; but if not, then you will have to adjust the number of folds, or the pressure on the fabric while sewing.  The folds are two inches widee, but for rank beginners I would not advise anything less than 4" for the folds.

For those of you with a needle down option on you machine, this would be very easy design, but this is an antique Singer 66 Hand-cranked machine, so it was very tedious getting this design.

Simple diagonal pairs of lines, but again no needle down option, so more tedium.

Just for the heck of it I asked Amy to try a stacked Check mark design.  Bless her heart she did it.

This was the most difficult of all, a free motion stitch pattern really limited in space to move around and hand cranked all the way through.  The stitches were also really difficult to remove, and you can see how tightly they held the internal layers, not allowing the dye to penetrate the interior.

Thank you so much, Amy Grief for your generous patience and time.

Let's Twist Again!

Amy Grief agreed to spend part of the workshop helping me to do a photo essay of Arashi Shibori, or the pole-wrapping technique.  She provided a piece of cotton eyelet material, and we set about documenting each step so that beginners could learn this technique.  I hope you like it.

Amy is holding up the piece of white cotton eyelet material that she has started to fold into 4 even folds before wrapping,.

The folded fabric laying next to the 4" PVC pipe on which it will be wrapped on the diagonal then tied and compressed before soaking and dyeing.

Begin and end the folded, wrapped fabric with pieces of painter's tape to anchor the ends while it is string wrapped.  Once the string is wrapped on an angle from top to bottom, the piece of fabric is pushed toward the bottom causing it to accordion pleat itself.  It is then thoroughly soaked in water to help the dye penetrate the interior folds.

This phto shows the wrapped, tied and compressed fabric after soaking a dyeing in the indigo vat.  It is allowed to fully oxidize before removing the wrapping string.

Amy is removing the wrapping string after the piece oxidized on the pole.

Amy is allowing the fabric to slighty expand after removing the string to show how the pattern is forming.

String removed and fabric removed from the pole.  first fold opened and it reveals the chevron pattern.

All of the fold are now open, and the piece has been rinsed.  Nice work and thank you, Amy Grief.

New Year's Blues!

Well, the first workshop for 2016 is here and gone.  My students brought their thinking caps and tried many new techniques.  Some revived past work and tried to improve it.  Some tried making wearable garments from up-cycled goods, and some just tried to create new patterns in fabric that will be used for quilts and other goods.

Whatever they did, they did with gusto!  They gave the class their all and the end results were wonderful.  I would like to share a few of them with you.

Not satisfied with her first attempt at Arashi Shibori, Marilyn Hines decided to re-wrap and dye again but in reverse.  This lovely piece is the result of her creative thinking.

Another Arashi Shibori piece re-wrapped and dyed in reverse.  Marilyn managed to create some wonderful desin play with the light and dark patterns.

Another Arashi piece that Marilyn was not happy with, but instead of reverse wrapping and dyeing, she over dyed the piece with the dye extract from wild cherry leaves.

This piece was a lovely light indigo color with designs from twisting and dyeing that Marilyn was not satisfied with.  She decided to over dye the whole piece in wild cherry  leaf extract and achieved a lovely green with the original patterns still visible.  Unfortunately, my photo was unable to catch all of its beauty.

This unique design by Maggie Clark was a tour de force of Shibori techniques.  Believe it or not this piece has folding and clamping,  Hickory nuts tied into the fabric,  twisting and tying the fabric and finally pole wrapping.  I like the end result!

The vintage linen piece by Linda Johnson is just wonderful.  She decided to treat the lace edges like regular fabric and twist and tie the fabric before dyeing..  Nice result, Linda!

Another vintage linen and lace piece by Linda Johnson.  This is a combination of clamped wooden strips and twisting the fabric before dyeing.  The combination of solid fabric and Battenberg lace edgings show her design skills very well.

Indigo, vintage linens and antique farm equipment, great combination!

More indigo and vintage Battenberg lace on table linen.

Maggie Clark did a marvelous job with the folding and clamping on this blouse.  There are eyelet and embroidery designs on the fabric that are perfect with the indigo pattern.

Folding and clamping with non-uniform folds along with twisting the fabric before clamping helped to create this lovely piece by Linda Johnson

Another multi technique piece.

Very interesting wrap and tie piece with multiple dips in the vat by Amy Grief..  So delicate looking.

This sleeveless blouse by Linda Johnson is a combination of twisting and tying.  Linda had to leave before I could take a better photo of this, but perhaps I can re-post another photo later.

Marilyn Hines is getting pretty good with the clay paste resist and quilt stencils.  She has just completed a lovely quilt using only natural dyed and printed fabrics from our classes.  I will post a photo of the quilt a little later on.

I am goong to post more photos from this workshop, but they are more in the style of a photo essay of the Arashi Shibori technique.  Amy Grief assisted me with a step by step photo shoot, and it is worthy of its own post.  For those who have never tried Arashi Shibori (or Pole Wrapping) I hope the post is of some benefit to you and you feel encouraged to try it.