Tag Archives: chicago quilt festival


Hopefully this will be a fairly quick post-have a few pics to lay down here but not too much time. I don’t expect to be posting too much in the next 10 days or so. Just too much to do. You might catch a glimpse or two on facebook or twitter if even that-so here goes!
sol's journey
you can hardly go wrong with a cute baby pic so here it is-Sol and his mommy visiting and playing on his silk quilt in the back yard. it’s been washed once-a quick hand wash and into the dryer for good measure. Soft and silky-I’m definitely gonna do this again-but one for me! Maybe lap size.
yellow base dye
base dyed 250 yards of ribbon on Saturday. started with the yellow
the idea is to not waste dye OR water – completely exhausting the dyebath so it can be reused in the next color(darker of course) here is the water after dyeing yellow-almost clear. I then went to ecru which exhausted completely then to pine green which exhausted to near clear-then to black. then it was time for new water. each time checking the ph and adding citric acid as needed as well as salt and abegal set.
400 yards of silk ribbon
-400 yards of ribbon waiting it’s turn for a bath

glimpse of the booth in Chicago- didn’t take many photos-too busy and wasn’t happy with the 1/2 booth layout-oh well-everyone else seemed to like it.
new-joggles class
jeeze- i really can’t remember if i already posted this or not-and where? FB? Flickr? even twittpic? who knows anymore? in any case, it’s a new class on Joggles starting August 13. Keeping up with some of this stuff is getting in the way of studio time.
-then there are a few quick pics i snapped at the end of the shibori workshop in Chicago and have been meaning to post-
chicago shibori workshop
working on some stitched pieces
chicago shibori workshop
up at the dye table- using the colorhue dyes
chicago shibori workshop

chicago shibori workshop
some results-learning what does and doesn’t work
chicago shibori workshop
more stitching
chicago shibori workshop

chicago shibori workshop
more results
chicago shibori workshop
ironing in the back of the class.
We had a great class and many were introduced to silk for the first time. The Colorhue dyes are really simple to use, non-toxic and need no mordanting or heat setting. Perfect for a workshop setting like this as well as the hobby home dyer. Yes, I said the word “hobby”. Sorry folks! I didn’t get pics of everything but there were some really smashing results! Don’t forget to sign up for this class in Houston this fall!

Gosh- so much more to tell- sorry if this is getting too lengthy- really must finish it up!
First- check out Anne Selby’s work. Absolutely stunning- great photo work too! AND she’s designed and will be marketing a wrapping machine for arashi work. No details yet but she showed it off at the ISS2008 apparently. I talked to her recently and she’s hoping to get to the SDA conference in Kansas end of May.
Anxious to see her version. I currently have two- one I built and one built by someone else. I may need another!

I also have made plans to visit the Ichiku Kubota Museum at Lake Kawaguchi while in Japan. If you recall, his exquisite kimono are on display in Ohio right now.
(I was going to provide the link but it seems as if their website has been removed or is having problems-here it is anyway-maybe it will come back..

That will have to do it for now-

refocusing my lens-toward Japan

Now that the Chicago show is over, I have 2 short weeks to prepare for the silk study tour to Japan. Several of us from the Silk Experience group were in attendance at Chicago and had a little time to visit prior to meeting again in Seattle where we will depart to Narita.
Just what is “The Silk Experience”?
It is a consortium of creative designers,teachers and authors interested in furthering the usage of silk. These fiber artists are eager to explore new processes and to produce and/or introduce products that are necessary to achieve the their discovered processes. Most of all, this group of talented artists wish to share their experiences with other fiber enthusiasts. Thus the title ‘Silk Experience’.
In conjunction with various classes built around utilizing silk as a medium for all kinds of art, craft, and fashion applications, we also network with the various silk related businesses that wish to promote the increasing use of the silk and the materials, tools and supplies that are needed for specific silk techniques and processes.

At the show we had the opportunity to meet and discuss some ideas for future projects and collaborations- more on that later!
Jude has been blogging lately on adding shibori to quilts as well as exposing her readers to a variety of shibori artists that have tweeked her interest.

Here is one who inspires me with her sculptural shibori shapes. I have my own collection of work along these lines that I am developing on the side and found some new products at the show that will help me solve some of the challenges I have come up against lately.

The blog will take on a distinctively Japanese flavor over the next month and a half as I prepare for the trip and blog as we travel, learn, and take in all sorts of information and sights which I will share here with anyone who wants to tag along. In a sense, I plan to take you all along with me so stay tuned and feel free to ask questions, offer suggestions, etc. as we add to our knowledge of silk, Japan, and the textile crafts of Japan.
One place I am hoping to visit is the Nara National Museum where the oldest piece of Japanese shibori is occasionally shown in the annual Shosoin exhibit which is held every autumn. I don’t know what this year’s exhibit will focus on but perhaps while I am there I will find out and post here. The Shosoin is a world heritage collection of over 9000 objects of which only a few select artifacts are chosen to be exhibited each year. Each item is only allowed to be exhibited once every 10 years and are never loaned outside the country.
I won’t have the opportunity to see this revered piece of shibori but I look forward to seeing many other wondrous objects.

The Chicago show held it’s own-even with people holding back a bit. I learned a lot about the midwest quilter and will be back next year with new and exciting things to entice them even further with the beauty and excitement of adding silk shibori to their work. Sometimes it takes just doing a show to figure out the customer a bit and learn how to best serve their needs. The shibori class went really well- was great fun and we had a room of really great students who brought such creativity to the class. I know it’s been a great class when they also teach ME a thing or two! I also demo’d at the Saturday nite Sampler which is a great event that brings 20 or so teachers into a ballroom for two hours ($10 entry fee) where you go from table to table and get a taste of what each teacher has to offer. That way you can get an idea of what classes you might want to sigh up for at a future festival. All teachers are paid for their presentations. So as you can see, between Preview nite, working the booth, teaching the shibori class, doing the sampler nite, packing up at the end- it’s been a busy week here. Just waiting for my flight and on to preparing for the next two weeks.
Sorry, no photos or eye candy today but just go to the links within for a taste of beauty-especailly the work of Yvonne Wakabayashi.

back to regularly scheduled shibori!

new colors
new ribbon colors-lilac, seafoam, lemon merangue, and apricot

Seems like spring got a hold of the dye studio over the weekend and this was the result. Lilacs and wisteria inspired purple, seafoam greens from a walk on the beach, lemon merangue (not completely new-just new-ish) from the lemon tree now in full production, and even though the apricots are green on the branches right now there is the promise of this peachy orange in the loaded branches now weighing down the tree outside. all of course now packed and ready for a trip to Chicago. Be sure to come by and say hello- Booth 1343!

Thanks to all who added their thoughts to my recent post on questioning the role of artists in our communities. It was a big question, I know. But there were lots of good thoughts and in the end I was able to figure out a few things for myself- which is all we can do anyway. Seems like continuing to question, to learn, to share what we figure out while artmaking is what fits best for me so with that said- shibori on!


someone recently asked me to define the term i most recently made up and used on my facebook status-

articrat- any person involved in art organizations in which action is obstructed by insistence on unnecessary procedures and red tape. generally these people tend to be rather “talkey” and enjoy sitting at round tables, writing on white boards, have lots of post it notes, 3×5 cards, and mount endless discussions on how to “fix” art and culture. almost exclusively, they are not working artists. in other words, they have some other way to pay their bills.

as you can tell, i need more studio time.

Getting ready for Chicago. shipping workshop and booth freight on Monday. No more flowermaking for a while but planning on dyeing and processing fabric and ribbon tomorrow. Phew! There’s also an article to be written, a new Canadian distributor- Running with Scissors – carrying the shibori ribbon and several other things on the list- how about this: soon you will find my silk shibori pocket squares here. Exactly! (by the way- they are also in Canada!)

so-gotta go!
ps- added a new post over on the other blog– take the Mind Style Estimator test there and see where you fall in terms of learning styles. I was a 7-8-7-8.

Shibori Workshop in Chicago

I will be teaching a shibori workshop at the upcoming Chicago Quilt Festival April 17, 9Am-12 Noon.
Details can be found here. I understand there are 10 spaces left (of 25) so if you think you might wait ’til you get there to sign up you might be disappointed. I also read in the business section today that Southwest Airlines has started a “fare war” so you might be able to get some tickets at a pretty good price. I picked up my ticket about a month ago on Delta for $180 RT right out of Long Beach!

I am now preparing for the show, packing materials for the workshop, making inventory for my booth. I will get the booth # posted soon- still have to order my electricity and so forth. This is the first time I have done the Chicago show and with all the costs involved I opted for the first time to get a 1/2 booth. We’ll see how that works out. I may regret it but will make the most of it. I’ll be featuring the ribbon and kits at this show with less focus on the scarves and wall pieces. I’m sharing a room (I think!) with someone although with whom I can’t seem to remember at the moment (mental note- call Maggie and ask!).

One new thing we will be doing is dyeing some ribbon using shibori techniques that don’t result in pleated ribbon (that has to be heat set) but do give some interesting yet fairly quick results. Here’s an example of what I am talking about:

or this:

This would make a lovely silk binding on a quilt.

I am planning some great fun for the workshop. We are going to do a little bit of everything-makiage, arashi, itajime, and some of what I like to call invented shibori. I’m a little limited as to what I can afford to haul out to Chicago in the way of materials as shipping costs prevent the shipping of large poles etc., but being the inventive sort I have a few other ideas. This being a quilt show, I will focus on things I think quilters are interested in creating for insertion into quilts.

Speaking of quilts, the journey quilt is coming along- or was at least. Until I decided I didn’t like the thread I was using for the shibori ribbon binding. So now I have to tear it all out and redo it with some silk thread. This is further complicated by the unfortunate fact that I managed to give myself some rather nice burns from steaming on the back of my right hand. The blistering has subsided and now I am just being careful to keep it clean and protected but it is definitely hampering progress a bit. CAUTION: Slow down!! Use the silicone glove that was sitting right there!! Sometimes I need a reminder, apparently.

I have a deadline coming up for an article and samples to be sent for an upcoming magazine issue (no details just yet!) and sent samples to a writer of a new book coming out about ribbon- supposed to be the latest “complete guide to ribbon”. Of course it wouldn’t be complete without shibori ribbon now would it?
I just acquired some silk shantung wired ribbon which I will be dyeing today for the upcoming workshop with Candace Kling. We’ll have to see how that goes- not sure how well it will dye.

Also making more plans for Japan. Found a great little ryokan in Nagoya and made a reservation. We’ll also be attending the Tokyo Hobby Show as guests of one of the exhibitors. That is sure to be an education! I am trying to figure out how to fit in an overnight trip to Mashiko to see the Higeta Indigo workshop. Thankfully, the Shinkansen may make this possible.
The Silk Study Tour will make a stop at the Nippon Silk Center in Gunma Prefecture where we will have the opportunity to participate in a day long workshop on natural dyeing with silk, katazome techniques, and kumihimo. WOW! Wonder if my head will explode on that day. On another day we will participate in an all day workshop with Japanese quilter Noriko Endo.

And lest you think I have to do everything by myself around here, Milo is always nearby ready to help and a real photography buff to boot. Here he is helping to arrange the silk for the shoot by getting completely underneath the pop-up white box I was using and lifting the whole thing up as I was shooting the pics.