Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Indigo Work of Lynn Pollard

I'm currently in a whirlwind - this is the time of year I move up to the Northwest farm and I'm sorting and re-sorting, packing and re-packing, trying to figure out which of my fibers, dyes, and equipment I can fit into the car.  I alternate between hope and uncertainty!

I'll most likely be quiet on the blog for a week or two until I get things settled, so I'm leaving you with some beautiful work to ponder!  This summer, I'm planning on focusing on my indigo dyeing and Lynn Pollard's indigo dyed papers have been inspiring to me ever since I first saw her work.

Like Lynn, I'm in love with the magic of indigo!  There are so many factors that affect what you get, that a large amount of the results are serendipity.  Not enough to make you nervous, just enough to add excitement - like opening a package on your birthday.  The layers in her work are amazing!

To see more of Lynn's work, see her website here.  And I highly recommend this Make video showing her at work.  It does a great job of capturing indigo's magic!

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Friday, May 15, 2015

Friday Inspiration - Summer 2015 Fiber Exhibits

There's nothing more inspiring than immersing oneself in a good fiber art exhibit!  Here are several around the country you may want to view if your summer travels take you nearby.

Historic Deerfield in Deerfield, Massachusetts is exhibiting American and European clothing, accessories, textiles, and needlework through December 27, 2015 in the Helen Geier Flynt Textile Gallery.  If you love costuming, this is your chance to see 38 pieces in silk, wool, linen, and cotton.  Exhibit details are here.

HGA's Small Expressions Exhibit will be running at the Textile Center's Joan Mondale Gallery in Minneapolis, Minnesota from May 28th to July 3, 2015.  All pieces in this exhibit are small scale - nothing over 15 inches!

The Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts in Cedarburg, Wisconsin will be holding their Second Fiber Arts Biennale from July 16 to October 18, 2015.   This quilted yurt looks very interesting!  

From May 8 to July 11, 2015, the Carnegie Center for Art and History in New Albany, Indiana is presenting Form, Not Function Quilted Art.  Based on the press release photos, this looks like a good opportunity to see how quilting is currently being used in fiber art in ways that are not the usual flat, blanket type quilt!

Moving west, if you love the usual flat, blanket type quilt you'll definitely want to visit the Sisters Oregon Quilt Show at some point in your life!  Held on the second Saturday in July, this year's festival is on July 11.  There is so much that goes on, it would be impossible to cover it in one little paragraph, so for more information visit the quilt show's website here.

If you'll be near San Jose, California, the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles will be showing two interesting looking fiber art exhibits.  Through July 5, 2015 you can view A Common Thread featuring 17 contemporary needlework artists and also an exhibit on Bedouin Textiles from the Robert and Joy Totah Hilden.  Information on both here.

Cushion Cover, c. 1975 Hafar Al Batin tribe, sheep wool, goat hair, cotton.

Ten Thousand French Knots, 2010, Jeana Eve Klein.  Cotton, hand stitched french knots.

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Works in Progress

I'm never short of works in progress!  This week, working on the pinwheel scrap quilt has taken a backseat to working on the garden.  Our gardening season in Phoenix is a little backwards.  Right now, the garden's approaching its peak and with all the rain this spring, it is quite a peak!  Our cherry tomatoes are going crazy, the greens are gargantuan, the beans are about to be bountiful.  We let some of our fall carrots go to seed and now are enjoying their beautiful blossoms.  The bougainvillea is gorgeous and it's almost time for our yearly battle with the birds over the plums!  We're very happy to share, but their idea of sharing is to take a few bites from each one.  And this spring we're having milder than usual weather, so we're able to be outside enjoying the garden more than is usual for May.

I have been getting in my knitting time, however!  Something for Charlie in Sirdar Snuggly Baby Bamboo's Lula colorway .... 

and I'm trying my hand at knitting with beads.  So far, I'm hooked!  This is Sachiko Uemura's Jeweled Cowl, a free pattern available on Ravelry here.  The yarn is Shibui Knits' Cima in Mineral.  This yarn is like knitting a cloud - so soft and fluffy with its 70% baby alpaca and 30% merino fibers.  I ordered mine here.

And I finished a small shawl/scarf that was fun!  This is Michaela Jandacek's Aisling (not to be confused with the pattern for a larger shawl also named Aisling by another designer).  The yarn is Madelinetosh DK in Nassau Blue - and it's quite a bit brighter than I could get the photo to show.

Finally, remember the yarn giveaway back in March?  I randomly drew one of the comments and have been trying to get in contact with the person who won ever since ... unsuccessfully.  So, if I don't hear from Lori Molowitz by next week, I will be drawing a new name from the comments that were there by the deadline.  Check back next Wednesday!

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Friday, May 8, 2015

Friday Inspiration - Doilies!

I've been having fantastic luck finding doilies on my weekly Goodwill runs - some I'm dyeing, but others are in such great shape I'm considering leaving them white and doing some repurposing.  I found lots and lots of ideas just Googling "repurposed doilies" and here are some of my favorites.

This great apron was available on in the past.  It's backed with burlap, not one of my favorite fabrics, but a good muslin would also work.

I really like this doily table runner from Under the Sycamore.  I'm thinking of making one of these backed with muslin, also.

This quilt from Suziqu's Threadworks uses velvet as a backing for vintage doilies.  Gorgeous!  If one had inherited doilies, this idea would make a wonderful blanket for a new baby.

Smaller doilies work really well in Aimee Warburton's repurposed doily scarf.  And dyeing the doilies first would also look nice!

Finally, this vintage doily purse from Daphne Nicole and Linda Cade's blog is gorgeous!  And would be another good use for family heirloom doilies - maybe as a bride's purse?

What to do if you can't find doilies to repurpose?  There's nothing to say you can't make your own!  You can find tons of free vintage doily patterns on Free Vintage Crochet here.  These two are on my to-do list!

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Crocheted Flower Coasters

I'm still in my floral inspiration period!  These newest ranunculus are the inspiration for a crocheted coaster that'll work for spring into summer.

*Knitpicks Cotlin - I used Swan (A), Flamingo (B), and Cerise (C)
*size E crochet hook

Beginning:  With A, chain 5 and join with a slip stitch to make a ring.
Round 1:  Chain 3 - counts as your first double crochet (dc).  Into the ring, make 1 dc and 1 chain.  *Make 2 dc and 1 chain.  Repeat from * 4 more times until you have 12 dc and 6 chain spaces total.  Join to third chain of first dc with a slip stitch.  Fasten off.

Round 2:  Attach B into a chain 1 space.  Chain 3 - counts as your first dc.  In the same chain 1 space, make 2 dc, 1 chain, and 3 dc.  *Moving onto the next chain 1 space, make 3 dc, 1 chain, and 3 dc.  Repeat from * 4 more times until you all 6 chain 1 spaces filled (6 groups total).  Join to third chain of first dc with a slip stitch.

Round 3:  Slip stitch into the first chain 1 space.  Chain 3 - counts as your first dc.  Make 3 more dc, 1 chain, and 4 dc into the same chain 1 space.  *Make 4 dc, 1 chain, and 4 dc into the next chain 1 space.  Repeat from * until you have all 6 chain 1 spaces filled (6 groups in total). Join to third chain of first dc with a slip stitch. Fasten off.

Round 4:  Attach C into a chain 1 space.  Chain 3 - counts as your first dc.  Make 4 more dc, 1 chain, and 5 dc into the same chain 1 space.  Slip stitch into the space between groupings.  *Make 5 dc, 1 chain, and 5 dc into the next chain 1 space.  Slip stitch into the next space between groupings.  Repeat from * until you have all 6 chain 1 spaces filled (6 groups in total). Join to third chain of first dc with a slip stitch. Fasten off.

Attach B to the first dc of one grouping.  Sc across each dc and each slip stitch all the way around.  Join to first sc with a slip stitch and fasten off.  Make sure you do not crochet this round too tightly or your coaster will curl up at the edges!

I also made some of the coasters with colors B and C reversed.

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Friday, May 1, 2015

Friday Inspiration - Botanical Knitting

Much of the inspiration for my work comes from nature and recently I found a write-up for a knitting exhibition I wish so much I'd been able to see.  At the end of 2013/beginning of 2014, the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens was home to Knit, Purl, Sow featuring the work of several textile artists.  Some of the pieces are amazing botanically correct reproductions and some more fanciful - all are wonderful and very inspiring!

Ruth Marshall, Lotus, 2013.  Knitted, crocheted, and embroidered yarn, wire, pins. Artist photo.

Tatyana Yanishevsky, Tiger Lily, 2011.  Knitted yarn and steel.  Photo Karen Phillipi.
Tatyana Yanishevsky, Dausus carota: Wild Carrot, 2005.  Knitted yarn, wire, stuffing.  Photo Megan Jones.

Tatyana Yanishevky, Love at First Sight, 2012.  Knitted yarn and resin.  Photo by Karen Phillipi.

If you think you might like to try your hand at smaller versions, I also came across the book Noni Flowers by Nora J. Bellows.  It's now on it's way to me and I can't wait to try a few!  Amazon offers a peek inside here.

Happy Creating!  Deborah