Carol R. Eaton Designs

Carol R. Eaton Designs

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Dowel Art?

I cut a dowel this morning to hang a quilt. I had a small piece of dowel left over and rather than tossing it into the kindling box I brought it into the studio... but what to do with it?!

 I can make bubbles...
I could roll it...














What about using this old feather I found... what would happen?




Here is the finished piece that started out with silver bubbles...

This is the piece that started off with rolling the dowel...

This blog post feels like the ranting of imagination gone off the path!

Island Blue

When my hubby and I returned home from a trip to the Bahamas I kept thinking about the beautiful shades of blue I'd seen in the water and sky. I dyed about five different fabrics with the idea of strip piecing the top and off setting the blocks to create a feeling of movement. The overall look was a little boring so I scattered some large tropical flowers across the design.  Some beading and embroidery topped off the design.

"Island Blue" evokes many fond memories of time spent with my hubby on a warm
 beach with the sound of waves breaking and not a care in the world!


NEW - Confetti Dying!

Last weekend I went to the Connecticut Piecemaker's quilt show in Southbury, CT. There were many, many lovely quilts on display and I ran into some folks I haven't seen in quite some time. My girlfriend and I spent time pouring over the vendor tables talking to the proprietors and learning about the latest trends. We spent a long time chatting with Nancy Begin from Rainbow Dyes. In addition to her beautiful hand dyed fabrics Nancy developed a line of fabric using a "straw dyed" technique. Nancy teaches a workshop on how to straw dye and with her warm and open personality I'm sure her students are very pleased. Nancy was more than willing to explain her process and being ever curious we got into a detailed conversation about her methods. 

I asked Nancy if she would mind if I experimented with the technique. She said she developed her own style only after working through other people's ideas and encouraged me to give it a try. Of course over the next few days I became obsessed with the technique but my results were not the same as Nancy's. I immediately switched out the process of using a drinking straw to scatter the dye particles to using a strainer. I'm very careful to protect my lungs when using powdered dyes and a strainer seemed safer. I played around with the amount of mist used and combinations of dye powder. It's really a fun process but I have a long way to go before I'm super happy with the results.

I'd prefer to call the method "Confetti Dying" because of the way the dye explodes and migrates through the fabric. Here are my first attempts:


The mustard color is the spice Turmeric!


I will be back in the studio playing and creating soon...
I will provide more information as I fine tune the process and results!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

When is a Celery a Rose?

Ah... it feels good to have another piece from my design wall finished! I completed "Celery Rose" last night. In an earlier post I talked about making prints from the base of a celery stalk. The prints looked like a rose which lead to creating a pattern from the print and voila!

The borders are needle felted and deliberately left uneven to
compliment the movement in the design.

Here is the divine inspiration - behold the celery stalk!

 
What other vegetables do you think would make an interesting print?


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

More Dying and Painting on Fabric!

I know I said I wouldn't start any new projects until my design wall was cleared but a girls gotta let loose! Last weekend I couldn't resist experimenting with two controlled groups. One dye bath used ice cubes and one dye bath used the typical dye/water mixture - same colors. Although I enjoyed both results the ice cube dying causes the colors to intermingle in such an unusual way - almost like watercolors. I have to say it continues to be my favorite method! For the record I've almost cleared my design wall; there is one more piece to complete and then my conscience is clear!

Below are results from the ice cube dying! If you haven't tried it you
really need to give it a go...


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Power of the Purse Auction!

The United Way in Duluth, MN is hosting a charity event to raise money for their children's book program. They've collected donated purses from around the country with styles ranging from the fanciful and functional to chic designer clutches, children’s totes and more! Power of the Purse helps supports Imagination Library, a free monthly book program available to children ages 5 and under in Duluth, Proctor, Hermantown and up the North Shore. Each child receives a new, age-appropriate book sent to them at their home each month until their fifth birthday. The program is offered to families at no cost. The silent auction opens on May 3rd at 5:00 pm CMT. You can bid on line by visiting Power of the Purse.

Here is my donation #236. There are many beautiful choices posted... I encourage you to support this fantastic project!  


Click to Zoom Under the Sea Donated by: Carol R. Eaton Designs
Valued at: $50.00
Beautiful blue hand felted wool from a farm in Oregon. Created and designed by Carol R Eaton Designs.13.5"w x 9"h
Purse Number: 236 Visit Carol R. Eaton Designs Website

Monday, April 2, 2012

Completing Unfinsihed Pieces - My New Goal!

I have always been the type of artist to complete every project even if I've lost interest in the piece. I would allow myself to start a new piece but not jump in feet first until whatever I was working on was done... so how the heck did I end up with a design wall full of completed tops patiently waiting to be quilted?! I think it has something to do with my love of surface design and having so many ideas that need to be tried I abandoned my design wall! So my new goal is to clean up my design wall and resist dying, painting or embellishing fabric in any way until my studio is cleaned up!

Over the weekend I completed two small pieces;
 "Come Sit Down" and "Waiting for Babies".  

Come Sit Down


Come Sit Down combines many techniques. The base fabric is hand dyed silk gauze. The garden was created using the needle felting technique and is all wool. I embroidered garden details to create depth.


The chair and arbor are appliqued cotton and the border is made using the batik method and then discharged.

Waiting For Babies


This is actually a challenge piece from the Connecticut Fiber Arts Collective for our upcoming one year anniversary. Each member was given a brown paper bag and everyone contributed something to it (fondly called the brown bag challenge!). The last photo below shows the final bag contents. The finished piece needed to be 12" X 12" and we were allowed to add fabrics to the pile but had to incorporate what was supplied.  


 

I used the snippet technique as well as applique. The provided fabric was snipped into little pieces and arranged until I was satisfied with the design. The burlap was pulled apart and colored with Sharpie markers. The markers were fun and I also colored the buttons and tulle. The background fabric is hand painted and the bird coloring was created using the discharge method. The groups official unveiling is in May and I can't wait to see the unique way each artist approached the challenge!


Here is the original pile of fabrics and embellishments for the challenge!

Off to complete another piece....