Sunday, 23 December 2012

Extraordinary Prints from Ordinary Objects - D

D is for Discharge!

I stencilled this fabric. (Not all fabrics discharge to white). 

Discharging Is the fancy name for removing colour form dyed fabrics. 
The regular household chlorine bleach works well on all cellulose fibres
(cotton, linen, rayon, bamboo etc), but will cause discolouring and deterioration 
in most other natural fabrics. Not all dyed fabrics are in fact dischargeable - 
it all depends on what kind of dyes have been used to dye the fabric originally. 
If you dye your own fabrics, any fibre reactive dyes will discharge beautifully. 

The variety of techniques you can use for discharging are almost endless. 
In fact a lot of the tools that you use for adding colour to cloth can also be used 
to remove colour!

Once the dark fabric has been discharged, you need to rinse and neutralize the 
bleach - in order to stop the bleach from eating holes into your fabric. 
The same goes for any tools you use - bleach is notorious for consuming brushes 
unless they have synthetic bristles.

On this fabric I used a brush to discharge the black.

Pole wrapped and discharged to a lovely rich brown.

I screen printed the discharge paste onto silk noile
using Rongalite (which works on silk) instead of bleach.
Colour Vie pigments do not discharge, but can be added
afterward for layering and added surface details.

For the black silk crepe de chine scarf I added
colour Vie pure pigment to the Rongalite
discharge paste, so that colour was added at the
same time as the black silk was discharged.
Dorothy Caldwell uses bleach discharge in her fabric pieces.
Detail showing Dorothy's stitching and patching.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Extraordinary Prints from Ordinary Objects - C

C is for Credit card!

The raised areas will dry flat and dark.

Credit cards a good for many things, like shopping,
but more importantly: PRINTING! 

Your old credit card or any bit of stiff plastic or card can be used.
1. Using pigments, paint your fabric in a pale colour
    Colour Vie is ideal (
2. While the first coat is still wet, paint over it with a darker hue.
3. Use the credit card to remove some of the top layer of colour.

I scraped off the top layer using an old credit card

Possibilities are endless
Here I used the bathmat technique, then the credit card
Student work

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Extraordinary Prints from Ordinary Objects - B!

B is for Bath-mat!

Second week of printing the alphabet - and B it is!

Scraped (top of mat) and dry brushed using the back of the mat

1. Take  your lowly dollar store bath mat - or a fancier one. 
One of my students once brought in her wedding gift bat mat - great pattern!
2. Using pigments (I favour Colour Vie), paint your fabric in a pale colour
3. While the fabric is still wet, paint over the first colour with a darker hue.
4. Slip the bath mat under the fabric
5. Using a scraper of some kind (I like dry wall smoothers), 
scrape off the top layer of pigment. 

The suction cups on the mat were put under the fabric and dry brushed
using metallic pigment
A different kind of mat, scraped

Metallic gold added to the  scraping

Student work

This technique and several others are described in  my Instructional Guides 
“Creating Textures” and “Creating Textures: Soft Textures”. 
Mention “Bath-mat” and receive a special price of $12 (+ shipping and tax) for both guides.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Extraordinary Prints from Ordinary Objects!

A is for Apple

This Fall I have been very excited to be teaching a bunch of workshops 
and meeting wonderful, creative people all over Ontario. 
Since I had to spend so much time out of town, this means that there are 
no workshops in the Colour Vie studio until some time after the New Year.
 (I will let you know as soon as I have the Spring 2013 Workshop dates available)

Meanwhile I decided to share some amazing prints and how they are produced 
with you. 
My intention is to publish a different print every week, 
so keep checking back to catch the latest fabric print news!

For some structure and to challenge myself I decided to “print the alphabet”
starting with A.

A is for Apple!

- Cut an apple in half
- Allow the halves to dry out cut side down on a paper towel for a few minutes
- Mix the pigment colour you want to print with
  (What can I say - I am partial to my Colour Vie pigments:)
- Make yourself a stamp pad from a piece of medium density foam
  (or apply pigment with a foam brush)
- Ink up the apple and print away!

On this piece I used pale green pigment and metallic gold pigments.
 I painted the fabric first, then printed with pewter and gold metallic pigment

Student work

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Fibre Content at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre

If you didn't make it to the Fibre Content Exhibition at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre, you can take a virtual tour PLUS watch interview snippets with some of the exhibitors on youtube. Just click on the following links:

With Tove Rees and Maggie Vanderweit in front of Maggie's exquisite quilt "Bedolina Threads".
And yes, it was a very rainy day.....
Photo by Bev White

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Fibre Content Exhibition

I am thrilled to be one of the fibre artists in the upcoming 
Fibre Content Exhibition at The Burlington Performing Arts Centre
in Burlington, Ontario  Oct. 27 and 28. 
For detailed information please visit
"Texture No. 18" - One of my small quilts in the exhibition

Monday, 10 September 2012

Textures of Manitoulan Island

First week of September on Manitoulan Island in Lake Huron.

Ancient cracks and textures in the rocks
Textures everywhere in the rocks - South shore of Manitoulan Island.

Sunday, 26 August 2012


What an amazing summer this has been!

The Beginning: Teaching at the CQA conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
What an inspiring conference!

My workshops were located at the new NSCAD portland campus with a fantastic view of the harbour.

View of Halifax harbour from the floor to ceiling windows in my workshops

After the conference I visited Laurie Swim in her studio/gallery in Lunenburg, attended a very tasty pot luck dinner and meeting at the Quilt Guild in Mahone Bay, and had great adventures with my friend Jane, who lives near Shelburne and LOVES colour.

Laurie Swim at her studio
Link to Laurie Swim:


Later in June I visited friends and relatives in Sweden, where I spent midsummer and got to once again experience the amazing Swedish white nights! 

Midsummer at Annica and Bjorn's house in Mortebo.

Anja celebrating Canada Day in Mortebo, Sweden.

The archipelago of St. Anna, Sweden
Niki de Saint Phalle sculptures in front of the Moderna Museet

My cousin Annica and I had a wonderful time on our trip to Prague in the Czech Republic.  

Annica had been there 30 years earlier and she really noticed the differences: the affluence, the brightly coloured buildings, not to mention the Bohemian Food and Beer, which we thoroughly enjoyed!

Prague Castle

Hidden archway at Prague Castle.
Prague: restored artwork on building.
After a lot of searching we found some traditional Czech indigo fabrics.

Back in Canada: I taught my Irresistible Resists workshop in Haliburton.

Student work

Took a workshop with Suzie Dwor, also in Haliburton. It was a nice change to be a student instead of teacher!

My desk in Suzie's workshop

With my Colour Vie pigments I took part in The Hastings Fibre Festival, where there were also displays of spinners, weavers, knitters and quilters as well as some very cute alpaccas. Kathryn Lipke Vigesaa organized an exhibition of Moolas: Art of the Kuna women. Her presentation was magnificent. 
Last week I visited Pam Woodward at her new place in Owen Sound, Ontario. And of course there was indigo dyeing happening in the garden!

Unveiling a stitch resisted table cloth in Pam's garden

And summer is not even over!

Friday, 25 May 2012

Irresistible Resists and Awesome Screen Prints on Fabric

Some pictures from my most recent workshops 
using Colour Vie.

Sylvia's screen print

More great screen prints
Painted pole wraps

Elizabeth applying soy wax

Pole wrap and soy wax resist

Flour Resist

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Photos from recent Colour Vie workshops

We have had some wonderful workshops in the Colour Vie studio. 
Take a look below at pictures from some of the workshops.

screen printing
 This coming week end, April 28 - 29, 2012, I will be teaching 

“Intensive Screen Printing on Fabric”
from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  here in the Colour Vie studio. 
(some spaces are still left) 

Beaded fabric
On May 5 and 6 Pam will repeat her fabulous 
"World of Indigo Workshop" 
(just give me a call at 416-532-7435 to sign up for 
some blue awesomeness).

On June 12 and 13 Pam will teach "Beaded Embellishment"
(some spots still available)

Irresistible Resist
And on June 12 I will teach the "Irresistible Resists" workshop
(we still have availability in this workshop)

Call 416-532-7435 for more information or
e-mail us at
Pictures from some of the Colour Vie workshops:

Pam Woodward teaching The World of Indigo

Indigo fabrics drying

Photographic Imagery on Fabric workshop
Images emerging - Gel Transfer
More gorgeous photographs transferred onto fabric