Sunday, January 3, 2010


shooting range 022
I clearly remember the event that shifted my perception of time with regard to my fiber art. I had invited 2 friends from my Quadra Island guild over for some dyeing fun, we finally had finished our outdoor projects and escaped the 100 degree heat, and lo and behold another quilter shows up at my door. "A fellow on the dock told me to come up here to the quilting session." And so she wandered up my trail and joined our group. She was from LaConner, Washington, and was obviously an accomplished quilter as she was wearing a tiny silk pieced (centimeter sized pieces) bag around her neck that held her sewing tools. It was a work of art. With our icy lemonades in the cool of my living room, the conversation took on the personality of a crazy quilt: sharing experiences, shifting topics, laughter and fun. But when this visitor told us of the quilter who decided to dye all of her FINISHED quilts BLACK, I was taken aback. "NO WAY!", I exclaimed. And from then on I have shifted how I approach the process.
fiber art 037
I had recently finished a queen-size quilt that had 13 specialty dyed strips to which I free-motioned  an ocean scene: over 40 rockfish, 6 crab, 3 large jellyfish and rocks at the bottom. I finished it off with swirly spirals as the ocean's currents. It was a ton of work and I loved it, but had to admit that the free-motion objects were totally lost in the busy-ness of the fabric. So, the fact that someone else had taken their finished quilts and dyed them black, gave me the liberty to continue on with my ocean quilt. My supposedly finished quilt now was work in progress, and I began bleach painting the objects to finally get them to pop out. And now this sequence flip of discharging the fabric AFTER the piecing and the quilting are completed seems as natural as breathing.
shooting range 026
And so it is: dye, piece, sandwich, quilt with CLOSED shapes that can later be discharged( bleached) or painted, then fill in with spirals or other filler pattern, discharge, wash and finish as desired. I'm enchanted with the process.
And so, as I enter the new year and toss around resolution ideas, I keep coming back to time. I always seem to struggle with it, want more, get cranky when I'm time's a no-win situation. But with mindfulness to how I shifted my creative process, I'm trying to be more mindful of shifting my life process. Linear time (schedules and time blocks) only cause me angst, and I believe I can reframe this. Not sure how, but the mindfulness is my key. My friend Glen has a mantra that she embraces: I have all the time I need to do what I have to do. I believe I'll get there too.
So, if you want to try your hand at discharging, you can try a sample patch with any of the gel cleansers with bleach. I apply it with either a paint brush or from a small metal-tipped bottle. I work with lots of ventilation and in short spurts, not longer than 30 minutes.
shooting range 029

And by the way, Happy Hew Year. 2010 is going to be amazing!

No comments: