Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The latest: WIP Wednesday

Today I woke up to dark gray skies and pouring rain, but at least I have photographic reminders of sunnier times.  Last week, a couple of quilting friends came over to try indigo dyeing, and K. sent me photos from the day.  Here are some samples of the fabric dyed by my "students":

P. likes to work big and bold:

The piece on the left is bomaki (a pole wrapping technique) on linen.  In the middle piece, P. ambitiously stitched up an entire half yard and tried shirokage, but with a resist on just the back side, and no cotton wadding on the other side.  As a result, quite a bit of dye reached the center squares, but even so, there's still some resist, and the results are striking.  On the right, P. tried itajime and achieved a simple, yet dramatic, set of large rectangles.

K. wanted to try more intricate techniques.  She carefully wrapped a pleated FQ for tesuji, and she also tried some nui (stitched) shibori, along with a simple arashi sample:

K.'s samples, happily drying at home
I showed K. how to tie leaf shapes, which you can see in the lower right-hand side of her nui shibori sample.  Elsewhere, she also tied some freehand kumo circles, and she tried both overcast and running stitches.

K. and P. both ended up with some magnificent fabrics, and we all enjoyed a happy summer day at the indigo vat.

As for my own WIPs, I got last week's fabrics washed, dried, and ironed.  I'll blog about some of them in other posts (including a couple on kumo shibori that are already up), so here I'll just show a few that won't receive further attention:

Tesuji in a willow variant--quarter yard with three large kumo knots (two visible in the photo) tied first before the fabric was pleated and bound:

The kumo "knotholes" aren't quite as prominent as I had hoped they would be, but I still love this piece and will try for the willow pattern again in the next round of dyeing.

Ori nui in the tatewaku pattern:

Mokume attempted on Kaufman Essex linen (55% linen, 45% cotton):

I wanted to see what would happen if I just stitched the straight lines by eye, rather than marking them first.  That, combined with the use of the linen-cotton mix, probably accounts for some of the unevenness in dyeing.  I will try again with a more carefully stitched pieced!

As indicated above, I've started stitching and tying fabrics for my last indigo dyeing session of the year, which will take place sometime in the next ten days or so.  I'm not very far along yet, so I will have to do a lot of stitching and binding in the coming days.

In the ongoing studio makeover/clean-up, I finally made washi paper inserts to cover the glass doors on my wall-mounted cabinets and protect my fabric from light:

I think I bought the paper six or eight months ago.  Nothing works like procrastination!  The inserts are not fancy: cardboard covered with white paper and then washi, all put together with tape.  Only one of the inserts was large enough to stay in the window without extra support, so I had to put masking tape in the corners of the other two:

Not the most professional finish ever, but at least it's functional.

Finally, the sockeye salmon run has begun, and DH and I are making salmon caviar!  Here's the batch from yesterday evening:

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced and The Needle and Thread Network.  May you prosper in all of your creative endeavors!


  1. Those are really neat. I love seeing the different effects. All are beautiful.

  2. Those dyed fabrics are stunning! You really have a talent for the designs!

  3. That willow tesuji is spectacular, Jessica! I think it would be a striking wallhanging just as it is. There's something really mesmerizing about P's bomaki piece too, and I like K's tesuji as well. I think I have a decided preference! Great photos once again. :D

  4. Nice to see you spreading the indigo love! Your ori nui piece turned out really well - great definition!

    What do you do with the salmon caviar, apart from sushi?

  5. Thanks! It's hard not to share the vat once in a while, despite the temptation to monopolize it!

    Salmon caviar is delicious on top of deviled eggs, poached eggs, endive (with a little cream cheese), a cracker (with a little cream cheese or goat cheese), and blini/crepes (with a little sour cream). I'm sure it's fantastic with other things as well, but these are the ways we usually eat it. In fact, I'm planning crepes for breakfast tomorrow!