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Becoming a Smurf

Learning color relationships

New week, new class at Quilt Surface Design Symposium in Columbus, Ohio. The official name of the class is "Just Silk Screens" but if you could see my hands, arms, even toes, you'd think the class is about "Becoming a Smurf." I manage to dye as much of my body as I dye fabric, and I love working with blue and turquoise, thus my increasing spiral into Smurf-dom. I'd be a full Smurf already were it not for my apron and rubber gloves.

While I've done photo emulsion silk screening in the past, this class, taught by Pat Pauly, is devoted to working with thickened dyes. Our first exercise was to create a half yard piece using all eight colors provided to us toward discovering how they relate to each other. We're working with Procion dyes and print paste, which when used with a color, lightens the color. We've got two yellows, fuchsia, red, blue, turquoise, green and black.

Newspaper blues

Our second assignment was to tear strips of newspaper to use as a resist. The white areas are where the newspaper covered the screen so no dye could get through to the fabric. This piece will likely get a background added to it before week's end.

Next up was using Tyvek as a resist. I cut a shape reminiscent of a columbine leaf out of the center of a square of Tyvek then printed two of these shapes in green on a half yard of fabric. Can you see those shapes under the additional printing I did on this piece?

Tuesday afternoon we did rubbings — a stencil or raised shape is placed under the fabric then the dye is rolled or scraped across the stencil or shape — and to place a stencil on top of the fabric then apply dye with a dense foam roller.

How many textures can you find? I used a bathmat, a sink mat, shapes I cut from adhesive fun foam and several commercial stencils to add texture to this piece. It's a learning piece but I'm liking it more than I thought I would. Making it added green, orange and yellow highlights to my otherwise blue Smurf look.

Another assignment was designed to help us learn how to create dark, medium and light shades of colors. Step 1 was to cut a large shape from Tyvek. Step 2 was to print it multiple times moving from light to dark in one of several possible patterns toward achieving an ombre effect.

This piece is not finished. It will get a background treatment at some point. What do you think this shape is? I have one quilt bud who I suspect will see a macaron.

Three days to go so I expect to learn a lot more techniques as I create more unique fabric. Check back in the next few days to see what comes next.

1 Spot Left in June

Demystifying Class

There's one seat left in my June 23 and 30, 2022, open enrollment "Demystifying Design for Foundation Piecing" class. With a maximum of 10 students, each person gets one-on-one attention as they create a block design and then a quilt design working from a photo.

Bird on a Branch ©by Dana Jones

Signing up is easy. Just go to the Book Online heading on my website.

Thoughts on Quilting and Art Coming Soon

In the next few days, I'll share some thoughts on art and quilting. I've been on the edge of multiple conversations about this while here at QSDS. I'd love to know your thoughts on this subject now and/or after you read mine. So watch for that soon.

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