Natural, man-made and found objects are a significant source of inspiration utilized with my dye painting. Every step of the process from starting with the white fabric, choosing the color and design, to completing the piecing and quilting, is done exclusively by me and truly represents my creative/artistic voice. It is a nice balance between hand and machine work, the meditative process of using my hands to combine materials and techniques to create the images.
In the studio/sewing room, the self-dyed fabrics are arranged roughly by color. Included are different types of fabrics (cottons, silks, and linens) making it easy to choose a palette. The fabrics are patterned with different surface design tools, processes and techniques including low water dyeing methods with fiber reactive dyes, painting, mono printing, screen-printing, shibori, using self-made and natural resists.
When dyeing fabric in my garage, I don't use set recipes. Mixing colors spontaneously, always hoping to get the anticipated color combination. The textures and markings are typically from resists used with thickened dyes. Happy accidents occur using up the dyes at the end of a morning session.
I will often make a paper mock-up of the composition, particularly if a piece has a specified size dimension. The color and arrangement of the fabrics is spontaneous and selected by audition and rejection. Large pieces of the interesting fabrics are used to show off the design. The sewing machine serves as a tool for free motion stitching adding yet another dimension. Lately I have been enhancing the machine quilting with big stitch embroidery in multiple colors of perle cotton.
The whole process of making art is fun, mixing the dyes, applying the color in multiple ways, waiting during the curing process, then washing it out to see what actually appears! More fun is the free form cutting and sewing of the pieces together to build the segments of the composition, then adding the quilting design with various kinds of threads for the final layer of texture.
My husband is incredibly supportive conceding more and more space in our home and garage to creative processes. The sewing room occupies the largest space in our house, the former living room. I dye and paint fabrics in the garage, and store quilts, fabrics and supplies everywhere. My husband helps me have more time for being creative by doing all the grocery shopping and often fixing dinner when I have a deadline, either real or self imposed!