Sunday, July 31, 2011

More Shibori

Wednesday I spent a couple more hours with Sandy dying silk. She soaks the fabric in water with White Vinegar. Roughly 1 cup of Vinegar in a big bucket of water. She lets the fabric soak for a minimum of 15 minutes, then rings it out, & scrunches it on a plate. She drips the dyes on. The dyes are Jaquard Acid dyes, just the powder mixed in a little water until dissolved. These can be kept forever, & used until they are gone. They don't bind in the water & lose the ability to dye the fabric the way other dyes do.
After Sandy's, I went to the local art store & bought some dyes, & set up on my hutch. I used straws to mix & transfer the dyes to the fabric, just dipping & holding my finger on the end of the straw, then dropping the dyes where ever I pleased.

After dripping dyes on to scrunched fabric, it's covered in plastic wrap & microwaved for a couple of minutes. Sandy did 3 minutes in her microwave, but mine is a little more powerful. The microwave causes the dyes to steam under the plastic wrap, & therefore sets the dyes.

After taking it out of the microwave, let it set for a few minutes more under the plastic to continue steaming, & to cool down a bit. The next step is to rinse the fabric well under running water, then let it dry.
Wrapped on a piece of PVC drain pipe (this has to be smooth, not bumpy). Using plain string wrapped tightly around the fabric, & rocks added as you go. The pole with fabric was soaked again in the vinegar water bucket, then more dye was added after wrapping.  Next was the hard part....waiting for it to dry...
This was how it looked when finished.
Tonight I did 3 more pieces. This first one, I used beads instead of stones.

Broc modeled one of the finished pieces. It has potential for a Halloween costume..Broccosaurus?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Acid Dyes

The thought of using "acid dyes" had always made me a little nervous. I had never really considered that the "acid" was only white vinegar. I had taken a couple of silk painting classes in the past, & love how the dyes flowed & colored the silk, but honestly never actually "got it" until yesterday, when my friend Sandy Winfree invited to come over & play at her house, & do some silk dying.  I forgot to bring my camera along for the the process, but here are the results so far......

Here are the silk wrapped on poles, Shibori style, with the 3 to the left including rocks & small stones to add texture. Today we will be adding another layer of color, then I have to wait a few days for the fabric to dry completely before we can see the finale results.

Sandy's process involves ironing & pleating her fabric before wrapping on the pole, which I did do for one small piece, but the others I just did the wrapping, scrunching & rocks, for what I hope will be a more organic result. Below is one of Sandy's breath-takingly beautiful quilts. She came to quilting from a doll-making background. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Birthdays Quards

I have to start out, by saying gee Thanks! for all the compliments on the Raven! It was nothing! Really! I could teach each & every one of you haw to do the same thing!

Always there are people I want to make quilts for, & never enough time to do all I want to do. I make little "Quards" (my term for quilted cards), for special people in my life. July is birthday for 2 of my grand-daughters. Alex turned 19 on the 2nd.

Carys turned 4 on the 19th. (Which is today for her, but tomorrow for me yet, since she is over the International Dateline). Carys's card was a bit of serendipity. I had a felted piece, with 2 goofy little fishes on it, that I made a long time ago. She is into mermaids right now, & I had this great photo of her from our vacation time together last month. I just cut out her face & glued it on the background, then added the Threadplay & quilting. Easy-peasy, & lots of fun. I called her tonight to say happy birthday. She has a cold, as does her baby sister Zoe, & Daddy Brandon has a cold & Mono again. It's a good thing Laura is healthy!

Thursday was Calendar Girls at Margaret's house. Margaret shared some of her latest projects, & fed us great food. We also had a great time talking & laughing.Her crown was made by Carol. She has made each one of us one this year. We are going to wear them at the Quilt Show in Sept.

This is the front cover,
& back cover of a portfolio booklet that Margaret made.

I also want to mention that my pal Stephanie told me I would like author Janet Evanovich. I just finished reading "One For the Money", & I have to say, it was the funniest, laugh out loud book, that I have read in a long time. I am already on to the next book, & it's making me laugh too. They are detective type stories, & my kind of humor. Thanks Steph!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Raven the Collector

This was a 2 for 1 Challenge. I had the Fiberactions Challenge word "Departure", & the Calendar Girls challenge "Our Inner Animal".  I decided to make a Raven, who has been very special to me ever since I came to Alaska. I do like to wear black, but love other colors too, so I started on him by thread painting with neon brights, then over laid them with the blacks. I surrounded him with bits & baubles of fused glass made by my BFF Mindy, & friendly plastic, & a bit of jewelry. The background includes Angelina Fibers under black Tulle. I did Thread play on Wash-away stabilizer for both the Raven & the cabochons to hold more glass galaxies on the upper left. The background moon is glow-in-the-dark fabric.

Check out the Fiberactions blog for all of the other Departure pieces.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sneak Peek

I have been busy in the studio, working on my "Departure" piece, for the Fiberactions Challenge. It's done, but can't be shared until Friday. Above is a sneak peek of a small portion of it.

Below are some of the local wildlife taking a respite in my back yard a couple of days ago.
Yesterday Byan & Brandon came over to help Warren finish the skirt on our deck. It took 2 to hold while one ran the drill. I fed them well afterward.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Quilter's Lunch

Today after Quilt Guild, a few of the ladies wanted to go for lunch at the brewery to see my quilts on the walls. We even had 2 husbands join us! Beer & quilts seems to be a good combination! It's been fun talking to the people who work at the restaurant. Several have said that we've helped educate them, that quilts can be art as well as bed coverings.

Two of the smaller quilts have sold. The smallest one, second from far right above, & the one on the far right below.
Below, this picture is the grouping by the door, where I've placed a little book that I hope people will sign to let me know they dropped by. Do you see the design on the cabinet below the green bordered quilt? It's the same. I made the quilt design by rubbing an oil-paint stick on fabric, over the top of that cabinet.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

It's that time of year, here in the Land of the Midnight Sun, where most of us tend to get a little manic because the sky never gets dark. We've been very busy with getting ready for my show, & gathering with friends & entertaining too.

 One kind of funny thing that happened this past week (which wasn't so funny at first) was an incident with my Rowenta steam generator iron & my cat. I'm talking about the iron that runs around $200.00. I went to iron a small piece of fabric on my small ironing pad, that always sets on the table next to the iron. I hit the steam button, & got this HORRIBLE smell of ammonia. I thought, "Oh no, Broccoli has peed on my ironing pad!"

I shut off the iron, threw away the ironing pad, & proceeded to tell my DH that we needed to take Broccoli to the Vet to get checked out. I figured he either had a cystitis going on, or crystals in his urine. Well Broccoli checked out fine. Aside from being a little on the concentrated side, he didn't have any abnormals on his lab work, & the vet just recommended wet cat food with a little extra water mixed in.
That's not the end of the story. The next time the iron was turned on, Warren was going to iron his shirt. He hits the steam button, & there it is again. Ammonia!  UGH!  This time, I looked closer, & realized the "water" jug that I had filled my iron with had "UREA" written on the label in my own handwriting! I had mixed it for dying fabric months ago, & the jug had been setting right next to my water jug that I had just used up last week!  After much rinsing, & running lots of steam through the iron, it smells & works fine, & Broccoli is happy to be home & eating wet cat food!

Aside from that little comedy, we had a fun evening with new friends. This is James with Warren out on the deck. James is a friend of my son Brandon. They worked together in Kwajalein for the past 5 years. James & Susie, along with her son Blake came over for dinner on Thursday evening. They are in the process of moving to Fairbanks. 
We also had Bryan &his friend Brandon  over too. Bryan is Anita Heady's son. The 2 boys are fresh out of the military, & are signed up to go to UAA this year. I told them I am adopting them for now. We had dinner with them Wed., Thurs. & Friday this week! They are nice boys.
On Friday, it was the official opening of my quilt show at the Midnight Sun Brewery Restaurant. As the "Artist of the month" I got to "Tap the Firkin". I didn't even know what a "Firkin" was!

Well after some instructions, I was given this heavy metal mallet...
& after about 6 good whacks (only one of which hit my thumb), the beer was flowing, & the party began.

My friend Judy took this shot of Susie, James, me, Warren, Brandon, & Bryan.

The star of my show, "Oh! to Dance With a Dolphin!", looks nice on the wall. I have 26 quilts hanging in the show.

Some of these guys looked familiar. (Docs we know, who shall remain unnamed).
Friends Mindy & John came too late for food, so after the restaurant closed we all went to our house & I threw together a late meal.
This morning I went to Mindy & John's for breakfast, & Mindy had made a Fused glass necklace to give to my friend Judy for her birthday, which we celebrated this evening.

This was the card I made for her,

& the necklace by Mindy.

Judy loved it.

Now that the show is up & running itself, I can get to work on the next Fiberactions challenge, & customer quilts.Whew! I'm looking forward to darkness again!

Friday, July 01, 2011

My Solo Show Opens Tonight

Not Your Grandma’s Quilts!

A show of 26 art quilts,


Debra Jo Hardman

July1-August 2, 2011

First Friday Show tonight along with First Tap
starts 5 p.m.  to 8 p.m.

Midnight Sun Brewing Co Restaurant

8111 Dimond Hook Drive
Anchorage, Alaska [AK] 99507


Midnight Sun Brewing Company is located in South Anchorage on Dimond Hook Drive, a couple blocks North of Home Depot on Abbott Rd. Heading east on Dimond Blvd past Seward Hwy and Sandlewood Place, get in the left turn lane then do "the squiggle" to remain on E. Dimond Blvd. Turn left on Petersberg Street. Turn right on Dimond Hook Drive...brown block bldg.