Friday, January 1, 2016

2015: The Year in Fabric

A year ago, I reviewed my progress in indigo dyeing and outlined five goals for 2015, three of which I thought I might possibly achieve.  In reality, I only got to one of them--the zinc-lime vat--plus just a bit of the second one, namely, a pole wrapping technique that was new to me.

But I managed a few other new adventures, pictured in this year's quilt and fabric collage.  Back at the end of May, I experimented for a weekend with bleach discharge dyeing with shibori techniques.  I'd like to do another round this spring or summer to build up my stash before making any quilts with these fun fabrics.  In the fall, the idea of small, boro-inspired quilts with matchstick quilting seemed to offer the perfect way to use some of the traditional Japanese cottons in my collection.  For the year as a whole, I finished one major quilt and two small ones: "Indigo Summer" is my pride and joy, plus I made a small lattice quilt for VMQG's special exhibit at the Vancouver Quilters Guild show back in October, and I completed my first boro-inspired quilt.  I'm afraid that my collage also includes four UFOs, not counting the green and purple shibori cottons that don't really count as a WIP yet, since I have yet to take a single stitch.

What are my quilting and dyeing goals for 2016?  Here are a few:

1) Of the UFOs pictured above, I am determined to finish the second boro quilt before too long, and to complete the bed quilt that I was working on in the summer.  I will also at least finish piecing my current WIP, the indigo medallion quilt in the bottom right corner.  Whether or not I actually manage to quilt all of it depends on how much hand-quilting I decide to do.

2) As mentioned above, more shibori bleach discharge dyeing!  I bought about four or five yards of solids earlier this year with that intent, so I'd better go through with it.

3) A fructose indigo vat--perhaps the most environmentally friendly indigo vat around, at least for the occasional dyer.  I've read that the fructose vat can be finicky, but if it doesn't work for me, I'll switch to a ferrous sulfate vat.

4) More itajime dyeing with Osnaburg cotton (for the loose weave), more pole-wrapping, more stitched shibori, and more tied shibori.  Really, I guess that just amounts to as much indigo shibori as I can mange this summer, and with as many different techniques as possible!

5) Maybe 2016 will be the year that I finally get to take a katazome workshop?  Eco-dyeing is also on my mind these days.

Here's to the New Year!