stitched shibori samples…

In between other projects (a surprise is in the mail for someone!), I’ve been working on more stitched shibori. I’m hoping that by the time I actually take the class at the Textile Center, I’ll know all the right questions to ask. (You know, the questions you don’t have about a process until you actually try to do it.)

Length of fabric, stitched in bowed parallel lines (reminiscent of a corset):

Cotton hankies, because what else could I possibly do with them?:

Potential cotton table runner, stitched with 3 moons (using slightly different stitching on each circle):

And yes, still working on Mark Twain!

“A Common Thread” at The Textile Center

This is the last week to view the members’ show at the Textile Center before it comes down on February 27. “A Common Thread” features work by 90 + artists experimenting with fiber and textile arts. I went through the exhibit last weekend to check out the show, and to spy on my artwork.

The show features a variety of great work. I’m glad I finally made time to walk through it! My piece is in the front gallery in a terrific location.

let’s stitch this by hand

This week I began a new set of stitched fabric pieces, in preparation for an upcoming stitched shibori class.

The basic idea is that each row of stitching will be pulled up–or gathered–tightly and the thread knotted before the fabric is tossed in the dyebath. The stitched and gathered areas will compress the fabric and help it to resist the dye. I’m using cotton for this project, partly because I find it easy to hand sew, on pieces that are maybe 14″ by 30″.

I’m experimenting to see what kind of effects I can get using different stitch techniques.  You know, like stitching all over and leaving some spaces stitch free:

The circles are freezer paper cutouts to help remind me where not to stitch. So far, the plan is just to stitch everywhere else.

I have a while to go before I’ll know how this turns out. And many, many, rows of hand-stitching. Thank goodness for “Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1″ on audiobooks.

new work in progress…

This week I’m hand-stitching on a new painted silk work.

I’m hoping to have it ready for the Surface Design Association members’ exhibit this spring, taking place in the Twin Cities in conjunction with SDA’s annual conference.

I’ve been stitching my way across the piece, as you can tell by this detail shot.

It’s slow going, but I’ve been catching up on my radio podcasts and audio books. Who wouldn’t want to listen to Midmorning on MPR and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes?


A few weeks ago, I participated in a shibori class offered at the Textile Center taught by Sandra Brick.

Here’s some of the fabric that I dyed:

Shibori refers to a set of traditional methods by which fabric is manipulated before dyeing so that it creates a pattern. (The manipulated areas of the fabric resist the dye in predictable ways, creating a pattern. “Shibori” comes from the Japanese verb “shiboru”, meaning “to press; to wring; to squeeze” and the methods rely on these techniques.)  Shibori methods include folding, clamping, binding, stitching, wrapping and capping. These basic cloth manipulation & dyeing methods are used all over the world, although in Japan the techniques have received special attention.

In our class, we tried folding & clamping, twisting, and pole-wrapping (arashi). We then dyed our fabric. I also went out on my own and tried some stiched shibori (the first 2 all blue samples), which I think I might like the best in the end.

I’ve never really dyed anything before or tried shibori (other than tie-dying in 4-H a million years ago and I don’t think that counts) so this class was a real treat! I’m taking the stitched shibori class in the spring, so I’m excited to learn more about this technique and see what I can make from this fabric. Yay for new ideas!