Monday, 7 July 2014

Extraordinary Prints from Ordinary Objects - N

N is for Netting

On my printing passage through the Alphabet I have got to the
letter N - for Netting!

There are so many different kinds of netting that you can repurpose:
onion bags, the protective netting you get on your duty free bottles, 
no-slip carpet underlay, the plastic netting on top of mandarin orange 
boxes - even lace (plastic or fabric) - the list goes on and on!
Here are a few examples of what you can do:

The fabric was painted using Colour Vie pigments
then stencilled with metallic Colour Vie pigment, using the plastic
netting from the top of a mandarin orange box.

Painted with Colour Vie pigments. Carpet underlay was placed
underneath the painted fabric. The excess pigment was
scraped off while still wet.
I put plastic netting under the fabric and scraped off the excess,
so that the netting appeared like a rubbing . After the pigment had
dried, I placed a different plastic netting on top of the fabric,
and painted through that netting using a brush.
Colour Vie pigments can be thinned! Just add a pinch of salt to your
Base/pigment/Resfix mixture and the thickener breaks down to
become liquid. Now you can use the pigment for spraying
(or dyeing). Here I sprayed through a plastic mesh.
A lace curtain was placed under the cotton fabric,
which was painted and then scraped while wet.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Cool July Workshops

Hot Summer Workshop News

I invite you to come to beautiful Haliburton, Ontario July 14 - 18 to spend 5 exciting 
days with me while learning to design, print and create your own Memory Quilts!

A memory quilt is a unique and beautiful way to commemorate a family event, 
history, trip, celebration, other occasion. You will explore three different techniques 
for reproducing your favourite photos onto fabric in an inspirational and 
encouraging environment. I will show you how to print photos from the computer 
as well as the hands-on gel medium method for generating photographic fabrics. 

For your truly unique Memory Quilt you will learn how to mix your personal 
colour palette using environmentally friendly Colour Vie fabric pigments, as well as 
make stencils, stamps and a variety of textures. The photos and the printed 
cloths produced in class will be used to design anything from a quilt top or 
cushion cover to wall pieces. Just imagine the opportunity for creating 
personal statements on fabrics that you can use in your Memory Quilts 
and other textile projects!
No machine sewing is necessary in this class. $322.53

Please register directly with the college: 
TFN: 1-866-353-6464 ext. 3

"Dancing Dreams", collage transfers with lace by Gunnel Hag

"Ryvita Dreams Pillow", transfers by Gunnel Hag

"My Great Aunt Johanna", photo print by Gunnel Hag
(She was a weaver in Norrkoping, Sweden, who
emigrated to America in the 1800's and, like so many
emigrants, was lost to her family at home after only
a few years).

"Family - Tribe", photo, paint and screen print
by Gunnel Hag

Student with photo print

The following Saturday (July 19) I will teach “Irresistible Resists” - a one day 
workshop, where you will create gorgeous fabrics with exquisite colour 
and complexity. using soya wax and fabric pigments. 
Also at Haliburton Summer School of the Arts. Truly irresistible! $102.25
Please register directly with the college: 
TFN: 1-866-353-6464 ext. 3

Soya Wax resist with Colour Vie pigments

Student overpainting the soy wax resist using Colour Vie pigments

Monday, 23 June 2014

Whirlwind 11

My quilt "Whirlwind 11" won 3rd prize for Original Design in a 
Nonrepresentational Wallquilt at the National Juried Show 2014 
at Quilt Canada. I am very excited. 
Just to get accepted into this show is a great honour!

"Whirlwind 11" is a whole cloth quilt 50" x 50".
I painted the cotton fabric with Colour Vie pigments in layers
 using yellow, green and blue. While the pigments were still wet
on the fabric, I manipulated them with various ordinary
implements. In this piece I used a potato masher, a spool
of thread and a pastry mixer. After it was dry and heat set,
I added on the border, which I had also painted, using
 a pastry mixer for patterning.

"Whirlwind 11" close up
:Whirlwind 11" was beautifully machine quilted by Tracey Lawko,
who also won a prize for her own piece in the National Juried Show

 at Quilt Canada 2014.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014


It's been a wonderful Spring with great workshops in my studio.

I would like to share a few pictures from the workshops with you.
Irresistible Resist workshop.
Carrole used a fork and tjanting to apply the soy wax to the fabric

Irresistible Resist workshop.
Using sequin waste to stamp the soy wax - plus some nice splatters.
Painted with Colour Vie pigments

Photographic Images on Fabric workshop.
Gord printed his amazing photo collages on fabric.

The World of Indigo workshop with Pam Woodward.
Clamping before dipping in the indigo vat.

The World of Indigo workshop.
Pam helps to reveal a clamped indigo fabric.

Guerilla Screen Printing on Fabric.
Irene's magnificent moose print.

Guerilla Screen Printing workshop.
Maria's polar bear printed on Belgian linen.

Add and Subtract - Discharge Made Easy workshop.
Veronica stencilling using bleach discharge thickened with alginate.

Add and Subtract - Discharge Made Easy workshop.
Carrole's gorgeous pole wrap bleach discharge

Add and Subtract - Discharge Made Easy workshop.
Clamped and poled wrapped bleach discharged fabrics
blowing in the wind.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Extraordinary Prints from Ordinary Objects - M

M is for Marbling!

Marbling the traditional way can be a tad intimidating. 
However, there are some very simple shortcuts for the less
patient (like me). Below are instructions for super easy 
marbling - using shaving cream. AND it smells nice and fresh!

Cotton marbled using the shaving cream method.

You will need:
1. a pan (I use tinfoil roasting pans, but any
container large enough to hold your fabric will do).
2. a can of shaving cream
3. Fabric pigments - Colour Vie pigments mixed with a small 
amount of Base and Resfix works a treat!
4. a plastic ruler or scraper
5. white cotton (or other) fabric cut to size to fit in the pan
6. Plastic or newspaper to protect your working area.

Another cotton fabric marbled with shaving cream.

And this is what you do:
1. Fill the pan with shaving cream almost to the top
2. Use a plastic ruler or other implement to smooth 
the top of the shaving cream until it is flat.
3. Place drops of fabric pigment on top of the shaving cream.
4. Use a comb, nail or chop stick to create a pattern.
5. Carefully place the fabric on top of the shaving cream.
6. Gently pat the fabric down so the whole fabric surface 
comes into contact with the shaving cream. 
7. Lift up the fabric and place it on a flat surface covered 
with plastic or newspaper.
8. Use the plastic ruler or drywall smoother to scrape off 
the excess shaving cream.
9. Let dry, heat set and rinse off any remaining shaving cream.
10. The shaving cream can be used many times over. Just
add more shaving cream and pigments as needed.

Placing blobs of pigment on top of the shaving cream

Combing the top of the shaving cream to create a pattern.
A bit like cake decorating.
Placing the fabric on top of the patterned shaving
cream and gently pushing the fabric down so that
the pigment transfers onto the fabric.
Using a plastic drywall smoother (or ruler) to scrape off
excess shaving cream.

Pigment has been combed up then down in rows
on this fabri
c. Yep, like cake decorating!

The shaving cream can be used over and over. Just smooth it down,
add more pigment as needed and comb new patterns.
This piece is the second print from the shaving cream pan used
for the print above this one - with a circular combing added.

What an inspiration!
A gorgeous Turkish marbled paper.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Exhibitions and Workshops galore

Awesome Textile Exhibitions in South Central Ontario!

If you happen to be in and around the Toronto area, there are a few
fibre exhibitions not to be missed. 

Connections Fibre Artists opened at the Wellington County Museum
between Fergus and Elora on Friday. Until June 7, 2014. 
The exhibition is called "Celebrate the Seven" - a tribute to the Group of Seven. 

My quilts inspired by the Group of Seven

The inspiration for the majority of my work comes from my 
experience with nature and its forces. During many summers 
of camping and canoeing around Georgian Bay, Lake Huron, 
Ontario, I have enjoyed the beauty of the Canadian landscape 
in all kinds of weather. In these works of art I have chosen 
to zoom in and look closely at the leaves and pine needles 
that are but a small part of the wonderful designs that nature 
offers up for our sensory enjoyment. 

"Forest Floor No. 1",  Quilt, 26" x 42".
Painted and manipulated using Colour Vie pigments.
I screen printed the pine needle.
I created a series of small works of art (6" x 6")
that I call "Hidden Treasures No's 1 to 5"
The fabric is painted and screen printed and
the leaf in the black rectangle is printed using
and actual leaf.
"Granite Saddle, Georgian Bay",
by Sharron Deacon Begg

"Ghost Canoe" by Jackie Venus

If you're in Peterborough, Ontario, be sure to take in
Dorothy Caldwell's exhibition "Silent Ice/Deep Patience"
at the Art Gallery of Peterborough.

Dorothy Caldwell at the Art Gallery of Peterborough
Screen print discharge, stitching

Dorothy Caldwell at the Art Gallery of Peterborough until June 1.

This spring we have had some fabulous workshops in 
the Colour Vie Studio. AND more coming up!

On April 26 - 27 I will be teaching a super fun introductory workshop:

For information about the workshop and how to register, please
visit and click on Workshops.

Guerilla Screen Printing

AND on May 10 I will be teaching:
“ADD AND SUBTRACT - Discharging Made Easy” 
Learn to use household bleach in combination with pigments 
to create exciting one-of-a-kind fabrics. 

For information about the workshop and how to register, please
visit and click on Workshops.

Discharged fabrics drying.