Wingspan

I think all my other knitting projects are going to take a backseat to this one. Wingspan by Maylin Tan is one of the most addictive, easy patterns I’ve found recently.

I’m using all handspun yarns. Four I’ve spun and one that was gifted to me by a dear friend.

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Of course I’m still quilting and sewing, but not on projects I have permission to show.

Painted Fabrics

The weather and the timing were perfect this morning and I was able to get outside for a little bit and do some fabric painting. I never know quite what I’m going to come up with on days like today, it’s just a matter of whichever color paints I combine that particular day.

These were done with Pebeo Setacolor paints, in bright sunlight.  After drying these, heat setting them in the dryer and then steam pressing them, the hand is wonderful and I’m looking forward to getting to work with these.  (yes, I have plans for them!)

The process I use is really simple.  I used a PFD (prepared for dyeing) fabric this morning, but have used regular commercial cottons, white on whites, tone on tones, whatever I have on hand that I want to use.

First I cut my pieces into sizes I want to work with, today I used fat quarter pieces.  I soak them in a bucket of plain water and gather my supplies.  Supplies today included my Setacolor paints, a spray bottle of water, foam brushes and some plastic trays.  One piece at a time, I choose my colors and method.  Most of these are scrunched, a few are specifically striped and hung to dry.

What is do to start is to spread the wet piece of fabric out onto the picnic table (where I work) and pour a little paint into a plastic tray, brush it onto the fabric with the foam brush, spraying the fabric with the water bottle to keep it wet and to spread the colors.   Sometimes I’ll pick up a piece of fabric and twist it, or paint the colors in stripes and then twist.  After the piece is sufficiently painted to my liking, I scrunch the fabric on the picnic table and leave it to dry.  It’s the scrunching that causes the deep variations in the color.

The pieces I want more control on (skies, landscape backgrounds), I’ll paint in specific strokes and leave to dry either flat on the picnic table, or if it’s striped, I may hang it on the line to dry.  Sometimes I hang it with the stripes vertical so there is no color run between stripes and sometimes I hang it with the stripes horizontal if I’m not concerned about color run.  Although when it’s this hot, the paint doesn’t have long to run before it’s actually dried!

I actually have no green or purple paints in my colors.  I have several shades of yellows, reds, oranges and blues, with one jar of Fawn as well.  Part of the fun of this (for me) is to pull the paints I think are going to produce a specific color range and see if it actually does that once they’re mixed.  Today I was spot on for 10 of the 11 fabrics.  Which one do you think I was “off” for?

Thread Nest

I’m currently working on a piece for the Iredell Arts Council “Roots & Wings Gala”.   As per usual with the pieces I make, I start with an idea and it takes on a life of it’s own.  This piece has some 3D components to it, including the birdhouse and nest.

Today’s project was to construct the base of the nest which will fit into the bird house itself.  This started  in my mind as a woven piece, and evolved into a “thread nest”.  As a longarm quilter, the term “thread nest” has very negative connotations, but as an artist it’s full of possibilities.

Here’s the progress so far, currently drying to shape inside the lid to my cough drop jar:

Now that I know the size of the nest, I can start the structure of the birdhouse itself.  We can’t have a nest bigger than the inner dimensions of the birdhouse, now can we?