Posts tagged ‘Fabric’

April 24, 2012

Textile Tuesday::Stress Reducing Hexies

by heatherkp

A very talented and good friend of mine, Betz White, sometimes asks me to do a little pattern testing for her when she’s preparing something new and wonderful to publish.  I had volunteered to participate in some testing for her recently and when she sent me the pattern my initial reaction was to be kind of freaked out.  The pattern in question required some piecing involving sewing hexagons.  Oh boy, I am not a quilter and I would consider myself  only a moderately skilled seamstress.  I took a step back and thought/read through the pattern and decided to give  it a shot.  I love hexagons and since they are part of my logo and my brand identity I though it might be cool to be able to sew some hexagons and incorporate them into my art and designs in the future.

I decided to use some scraps of silk dupioni I had done some rust dying on.  The aesthetic of these are very different from what Betz uses but I was working with a limited selection from my stash that I have here in my temporary home.  I choose 2 contrasting colors, the silver and a dark red brown that both had rust spots.  The repetition of the process is quite fun and can be done in batches, first cutting out all the pieces, laying them out, pinning, stitching, pressing, stitching etc…

The only part I got a little unsure of was the back side of the Y shaped union where 3 hexes come together.  It’s a little figity to get them to press flatly.  There can also be a very small hole here which I was worried about but in the end realized it was fine (I’m a bit of a perfectionist!).  There is a certain amount of patience and care needed to do this and I found it stress relieving because it forced me to slow down and focus on the process.  If you have the desire to try piecing hexagons, take some advise from Betz and go check out Lady Harvatine’s video.  I can’t show you the finished piece but go check out Betz’s patterns and keep an eye out for the new pattern she has previewed here that will use hexagons!

I love the way these turned out!  I will be doing more of this, I guarantee it.  Like I said it was a very soothing, repetitive, tactile process for me.  I did this project in the midst of my in law’s kitchen table over a 2 day period with limited space, materials etc…never the less I feel I learned a beautiful new skill and got a beautiful piece from this process.  Maybe you would like to give sewing Hexagons a try?  I’m not saying I’ll be turning to quilting but I will be incorporating this new skill into my work in the future.  Do you enjoying doing repetitive projects to reduce your stress?

February 17, 2012

Friday Fieldtrip::Mary Jo’s Fabric

by heatherkp

This place is huge and has an amazing selection!  It’s a bit south of Charlotte and I went on my most recent trip while visiting a friend.  I’ve seen a lot of textile stores but this one impressed my by the sheer volume and selection!  There were your typical calico’s, suiting fabrics, upholstery, patterns, etc…but there were some jem’s hidden in those rolls!

They also had a wonderful selection of bridal and evening wear laces and silks at pretty reasonable prices.

We (a fellow textile design friend and I) totally loved one particular line of printed upholstery textiles by Spanish company Textiles Vilber.  They were whimsical, large in scale, funky, fun, bright and playful as well as well designed!  As we walked by the US textile upholstery manufactures designs we just wondered why we can’t design better, more original designs here domestically?

Circus

Mock Crewel

Grafiti

Tarot Cards

Frogs

Snakes

And Paper Dolls! Oh My!

Trim

Buttons…

And a whole lot of NEON!

Mary Jo’s is worth a trip if you are in the area and I spotted the infamous lady in the store, her reputation precedes her!  She certainly knows how to run a fabric shop!

October 4, 2011

Textile Tuesday::Experiments with Bits of Cloth and Thread

by heatherkp

 

In the midst of the moving madness I’ve managed to continue to do a bit of textile work.  Expanding upon my rust experiments I’ve done some scarf dying.

This is a detail of one end of a long narrow scarf.  I am so intrigued by the metallic shades, rainbows and oxidation that occurs on the fabrics.  The effect here partially washed away after I rinsed the fabric.

I’m embarking upon the exploration of natural dying, slowly trying to learn a bit more about it because I’ve never really done much of it but am now very interested.  It seems a natural progression bringing together my interests in gardening, sustainability and textiles.  I’ve started with onion skin collected (from my local CSA) over the last couple years (because I don’t need to MOVE them!), both yellow and red.

I got a variety of hues and shades on both fabric and yarn varying from a green gold to a warm pale brown.  I experimented with silk, cotton, wool and linen and used alum as a mordant.

I’ve also been experimenting with the process of natural dying via bundling bits of dirt, bark, lichen, leaves and other debris in fabric Ala India Flint.  These experiments haven’t been tremendously successful but it’s new and fascinating to me so I’m enjoying the process.  I think it’s time I get India’s Book “Eco Color” though so I don’t waste too much time and fabric in the learning process.  I did have some faint success with fern leaves and with mud so far though.

Finally I’ve been trying my hand with a little textile and mixed media assemblage.  This is a work in progress that I’m playing around with.

…PS…Knitting season has returned (I usually put down the needles in the summer) so I’ve picked up the needles again and have a couple projects going (they are gifts so I can’t show them yet).

 

January 28, 2011

Fiber Friday

by heatherkp

Happy Friday!  This has been a relaxing week and we’ve finally gotten some real snow.  As I sit here writing this there is snow on the ground and more falling.  Due to the snow this week I was unable to get out for my weekly field trip so today I’ll bring you some fibery goodness from around the web.  These are some of my all time favorite fiber artists (not an extensive list though).  I hope I’ve shared a few new artist and designers with you here, or some old favorites.  All photos are courtesy of the individual designers and artist websites and if you click the photo’s you will be directed to their sites.

Spirit Cloth Stitched and Quilted Textile

Red 2 White Scarf

Alabama Chanin Pillow

Betz White New Scarf

Elyse Allen Knit Textiles

Anne Kyyro Quinn Textile Installations

Jeung-Hwa Park Shibori Knits

Tinctory Fiber Jewelry

January 21, 2011

Field Trip Friday::Oasis @ The Textile Museum

by heatherkp

Colors of the Oasis: Central Asian Ikats (image copyright The Textile Museum)

I went to check this show out last week with a friend.  We had also intended to go to the Phillips Collection which was FREE to the public last weekend to celebrate their 90th, but alas the line was insanely long so that didn’t happen!  It was okay because I’d had this exhibit on my to-see list for way too long.  I admit that sometimes I take the Textile Museum for granted and don’t get as excited about some of the more traditional exhibits, boy was I wrong about this one!  I just thought it would be another nice Ikat exhibit (right~ you know I’m a textile designer when I say that) but it was so much better than I had anticipated!  Look at the COLORS, wow!  No wonder they called it Colors of the Oasis.

Colors of the Oasis: Central Asian Ikats (image copyright The Textile Museum)

This exhibit showcases 19th century Ikats from central Asia.  The collection (of over 200 Ikats but not all are on view was donated to the Textile Museum by collector  Murad Megalli.  This is the first time this collection has been on view for the public and many of the pieces were beautifully restored.

Colors of the Oasis: Central Asian Ikats (image copyright The Textile Museum)

They chose such a fantastic color for the walls to offset this collection.  I can’t say I’ve ever really noticed the walls at an art exhibit but this color really does the collection justice.  These warp ikat designs are characterized by vibrant colors (with a lot of primary’s used) and bold, rather large scale motif’s with quite a bit of contrast.

Colors of The Oasis: Central Asian Ikats (copyright The Textile Museum)

I would love to really be able to study the motifs and color combination’s used more closely, it was so inspiring.  It’s no wonder these magnificent textiles were a sign of prestige and status in the Oasis towns of Central Asia.  Colors of the Oasis: Central Asian Ikats (copyright The Textile Museum)The exhibit also featured a small display and video explaining the technique and process used to create warp Ikat designs.  These were contributed by students at MICA’s Fibers department.  The exhibit is also accompanied by an in depth exhibit catalog (that I would LOVE to have!).  I’ve been a member of The Textile Museum for the past 5 years and I’d greatly encourage you to donate or join if you are inclined to value the research and exhibitions in textiles that this world class museum provides.

November 30, 2010

Tuesday Out~takes

by heatherkp

This Tuesday I’m sharing an art piece I have been commissioned to make. This client really loves my weaving’s but since I don’t currently have a loom set up I had to come up with an alternate idea.  Below I have taken neutral cotton thread and threaded it through a reed to space it evenly the full width of my finished piece.

Next I’ve painted the “warp” with dyes to match the decor and colors that my clients have requested.  This process is similar to warp painted ikat which is usually done after a warp has been threaded onto a loom but before it’s been woven.  In this case I wasn’t working with a loom so I threaded the reed and secured it to a surface and painted the threads without tension.  This allowed for a painterly effect but wouldn’t be ideal for very precise image/color placement.

These “fringe” will become one layer in the finished piece.

Below is the layer that will go behind the fringe.

I haven’t decided if I will be using the blue layer and I have a couple other tricks up my sleeve but in all I’m pleased that this project is progressing and will soon be finished and ready to present to  my client!