Tuesday, October 17, 2017


Our group has decided to decorate aprons for us to use at events, so that we can be identified as a group. For the local quilt show this will set us apart as textile artists, as opposed to the regular guild membership. We discussed t-shirts, but thought the aprons would be more fun, and have more area to cover. I created the type setting in Photoshop, in several different fonts, and we voted online for the one we liked best. The "Papyrus" font won the vote. I scanned it into the Brother Scan N Cut, and cut a stencil on exposed x-ray film. The stencil worked great, the plastic film is just perfect. We took turns stenciling acrylic paint with a foam brush onto the top of each apron, we could choose our own colors.
We were originally going to start with ice dyeing the aprons, but the weather wasn't hot enough to set the dye or melt the ice. So we began by using acrylic paint, which will act as a resist for later dyeing, the aprons will get many layers of techniques built up. Amy used blue & purple to stencil the spirals on the bottom of her apron. Jenny began with a very personal hand print.
Different stencils were used as we began.
Pat used a foam stamp to create a multi-colored bouquet of flowers. Then a stencil was used to add a rooster, hen and chicks.
Pat finished hers off with a chicken wire stencil across the bottom of the apron.
Amy used several Thermo-fax screens to print the foliage coming from the pocket, then a fern stencil at the base of the pocket. The medallions are stamped with a foam stamp.
Vi did not make it to the paint day, but came to a second workshop when we ice dyed, about a week later the weather had warmed back up. This is wet from the dye bath, it will rinse out lighter. So this is just the beginning for us, some are considering applique, more dyeing and printing, others are going to couch some of the dyed yarn from our Shibori dyeing, and others are bead-aholics. Who knows where we will end up.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Felted Bowls

Several talented silly textile artists got together and had a play day at Amy's. We had a great time getting wet and laughing ourselves silly making wool felted bowls.
We had a beautiful sunny day to work in and lots of great fibers to work with.
We worked on plastic cafeteria trays, aluminum or metal cookie trays would work well. Laid out a layer of tulle, any color, then made the outside layers of colorful fibers, added several layers of alternating directions white wool for the base, then more layers of color for the interior. Make 5 or more layers of fiber for strength and thickness.
Wrap the fibers and tulle around the orange, then stuff into the toe of a nylon stocking and knot off the nylon. We also tried limes and grapefruit, the limes work fine, the grapefruit are a little thin skinned, we pulverized one, but if you are gentle, it's ok. The navel oranges were very thick skinned and we could use them twice, try a lemon if you can find one with out a point on the tip.
To wet felt wool, you need three things, HEAT, SOAP AND AGGITATION. Use water from the stove that is just about to simmer and heavy latex gloves, dip the ball in the hot water and add a squirt of cheap dish soap. Careful not to burn yourself. Now rub and agitate the ball, for several minutes, scrubbing, turning and rolling to get all sides. Remove from stocking and peel off the tulle, if the tulle sticks, just pry it away, we had to leave the tulle on one because it was felted in. Keep rubbing hard in soapy hot water until felting is finished and fibers are firm together. I ended up using a plastic basket from the dollar store for a ribbed texture for rubbing, we also tried an old fashioned laundry scrub board.
Now the fun part, removing the orange, if you have a thin spot, choose that as the opening and pry the fibers apart, until the orange can be removed. Or cut a small circle at the place you want the top to be, about 1-2" diameter, then pry apart with force until orange comes free. The 3rd choice is to cut an "X" into the top, flip back the flaps and remove orange, the cut can be like flower petals or any other shape you want it to be.
The top of Amy's bowl has a pulled apart, raw jagged edge.
Clare used a black wool for her interior.
Sorry, I lost track of who made which bowls.
We discussed embellishments to add to the finished bowls, beads, couched yarns, embroidery, sticks and twigs, shells, and other fun stuff. Decorate your bowls any way you like.
Any wool fiber can be used, merino, dyed, mohair, angora, but silk fibers won't felt and need to be placed between layers of wool to hold it in place. Try wool yarns, especially handspun, to layer in the mix, just don't add it at the top, cover with a few wool fibers, cause it wont always felt in, and then you have loose strings. We had lots of fun and want to do it again and again!! I learned this from a blog on Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Friday" I'm sorry I can't find it again to give credit, let me know the link so I can give credit, Amy.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Bandon Art Retreat 2016

Nine creative and talented members of Fyber Café took a trip to the Oregon coast for our annual Art Retreat in Bandon. Forget-Me-Knots quilt shop has a wonderful retreat center above the shop. It is right next to the new Face Rock Creamery and right on the edge of "Old Town Bandon" shops and the boardwalk and marina. Amy and Susan started work on "Happy Villages." Starting with charm squares and cutting shapes for the houses, then adding windows, doors and roofs.
Susan's village began with a river running through it. Bridges and houses grew along either side of the river, as she stacked the fabric houses.
UFO's were a theme for Amy as she free motion machine quilted her original design of a Ricky Tims medallion. Hearts and loop-de-loops quilting finished the Flower Fairy baby quilt for her nephew's new baby girl.
Annaka spent a good deal of time, drawing and shading her detailed dragon. She will enter it in the county fair.
Cheryl taught Annaka how to wet felt a multicolor wool purse. By rolling and rolling and rolling some more, to get enough agitation to felt the wool fibers together. This project was too much for Annaka's patience, but she finished a nice reversible purse.
Barb worked on getting the different pieces of her oriental quilt together. Elegantly made with red, black and gold prints, she made good progress on it.
Barb started composing elements from her girl scout days. She has a lot more badges and other memorabilia to add to it.
barb also worked on red, black and white "Pineapple" placemats, and a green and gold batik table runner.
It was all about wool for Cheryl during the retreat. She spent a lot of time spinning beautiful yarn, and dyeing small batches of wool in bright colors.
Cheryl did the wet felting with Annaka, with the wool she had just dyed, and made a pouch type purse also.
Cheryl's husband Larry came along also, and they spent each morning on long walks on the beach. As Cheryl spun, Larry hand carded soft orange, gold and green wool.
When Cheryl was done spinning, Larry took his turn at the wheel and spun all the wool he had carded. He also played his guitar for us and wrote a song about walking on the beach with Cheryl.
Lorraine made several fantasy fish, with bright florals, large print batiks and Kaffe Fasset colorful prints. She had elements pre-cut and they already had fusible on the backs. She had fun playing and changing all the elements around.
Knowing we were going to work on villages, Lorraine brought her's to show us, that she had made, in a class taken with the author. We also took some field trips, South of town we went to the Langlois Wool Shop, and found colorful roving for needle felting, specialty fibers like silk and cashmere, and other wonderful stuff. Further South to Gold Beach we went to the quilt shop and stocked up on more fabric, we did not need. Back in Bandon we went to lunch at the Wheelhouse, and the bakery had tasty home made bread sandwiches. We did potluck for our other meals and had a great time visiting around the kitchen table.
Several early morning walks on the beach, called us out of bed. The tide was very low both mornings, and we could walk out to several of the large rocks usually sitting in the water.
After consuming some fruit of the vine one evening, Susan and Amy had been thinking of putting some color in their hair. So we all trooped off to the nearest Rite Aid and raided the shelves for pink, purple and blue temporary hair dye.
We all dyed our hair, being silly and having fun. Most of the products lasted for 2-3 shampooings. After the retreat Amy and Meredith went to their hairdressers and had the color put in for real. We were all sorry to have to leave, we got a lot of quilting and spinning done and had loads of fun.