Sunday, July 31, 2011

QBL Part 2

There are so many things I want to say about my week at Quilting by the Lake that I have been trying to condense into one reasonably sized post, but today I just gave up and started writing. Jane Dunnewold walked into class Monday morning and we were soon moving from the familiar territory of the basics of dyeing and fabric manipulation to dyeing silk and rayon and making stencils.  By the evening of the first day the common room of our dorm suite--all three of us in the suite were taking the same class--was covered with color, all small samples drying for the next step the next morning:
My fabric is on the coffee table in the upper left of this picture. Most of these fabrics went through an another overdye bath and some even a second overdyeing, and soon some of them were becoming backgrounds for the stamps, stencils, and paint.

"Now is the time to experiment with a color you don't like," Jane said at one point, and so I tried orange with my sun stencil, a color I shy away from using.
This is a piece of silk, although the photo does not pick up the luster. I fell in love with silk during this class, the way it takes dye, the way it moves, the way it shimmers, the way it feels.

Another piece of silk became a beautiful mottled purple after three dyeings, and then took two layers of stenciling, the second layer with a metallic paint. 
One of the assignments was to choose a background with a gridlike pattern and add shape/color to it:
This is a rayon fabric, and I began with adding the colored rectangles and later in the week when we learned how to apply gold leaf, I added that. I think I am ready to add some stitching and see how the gold leaf responds.

We also made stamps and then played with creating a repetitive background pattern.
While we were learning all these techniques, we were also getting a hands-on course in color theory since we had to mix paints to create analogous or complementary colors, according to the assignment.  And I finally understood how a color wheel really comes in handy.  

Another new technique I got to try out was screen printing, and probably due to beginner's luck, I really like the piece. We covered our screens with flour paste, let it dry, and then scratched something into the dried paste. For some reason, I was thinking of all the beautiful tall grass in the fields I walk through with Terra each morning and so drew four grass stems. Jane suggested I print several of the same image on the same sample fabric, just moving the screen a bit each time, and adding another color after a couple of prints. This is the original background that I manipulated and overdyed one more time to get the soft grid behind the grass:
And here is the printed piece:
It was calling for something more--a round moon that I originally thought would be gold leaf, but I waited until I got home to decide and ultimately added two layers of tulle so that you can still see the grass through it.
I am not sure what I will do with this sample yet, but it's good enough to take to another stage.

So here's a picture of Jane "wrapping up" the class, after a very stimulating, busy, exhausting, hot week. (Thank goodness for air conditioning as we broke 100 degrees one day!)
I'll save the analysis for the next post. And if you're still reading, thanks for the company!


quilthexle said...

I just LOVE what you made in this class - especially the one with the grass. Will be fun to see what you make out of it.

IHaveANotion ~ Kelly Jackson said...

Oh wow...what an amazing opportunity you gave your work and the idea of getting away to focus on such fun.