Tuesday, 25 March 2014

March Meeting

For the March meeting, two guest members give demonstrations. Meg Kenny gave a demo on making impressionist quilts, while Loretta O'Brien gave a demo on making log cabin blocks.

Here's Meg Kenny giving her demo on how to make impressionist quilts. 
Meg in the middle of her demo

Meg giving her demo

Our shop at the March meeting was Fabric Matters from Dublin. Here's Wendy in her shop.

Loretta gave a demo on how to make log cabin blocks.

Liz Stanley watching Loretta put together a log cabin block

Show and Tell at the March Meeting

Small quilted items by Marie Fahy.
Quilt by Marella Moloney. This quilt was made by Marella and students at Villiers School in Limerick who had done a great job in making the blocks. 

Another quilt by Marella - fabulous colours.

Baby quilt made by Suzanne Pass, one of our new members who is sewing up a storm!

Quilt by Gillian Sheehan: Forty Shades of Green

Cushion made by Caroline Brouder

Quilt made by Caroline Brouder for her grandson

Hexagon bag made by Claire Lynch

Cecilia showing a log cabin bag made by Ellen McNamara

Cecilia and Loretta holding up Paula Rafferty's log cabin quilt 

Paula Rafferty with her colourful log cabin quilt top

Loretta showing Liz Stanley's log cabin bag. 

Meg Kenny modelling a bag which she has made. 

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Fabric Dyeing Workshop

Last September, when I joined the Irish Patchwork Society, the Mid-Western branch announced they would be running a fabric dyeing workshop, given by art teacher Paula Rafferty. As well as those from the Mid-Western branch, Mogs McDonnell from the Western branch joined us on the day. It was tons of fun! We had to wear old clothes, bring an apron and a plastic bucket with scraps. Paula provided the materials and instructions and a homemade lunch.

On arrival, we were greeted with freshly baked scones, had homemade soup with fresh bread for lunch and some of the ladies brought fruit and yoghurt and almond cake for dessert. The theme of the day was how do we get Paula to run another workshop so we can come back for second helpings?
In addition to the food, we did learn quite a bit! The dyes we used were Procion fabric dyes. They work with plant based fabrics like cotton really well and react with the fibres in the material to develop colour inside the fibres rather than just on the surface. This is supposed to give the best light fastness and wash fastness. To use with protein based fabrics like Silk you need to use an acid like vinegar. We did a test and not a good result on silk without the acid. We worked with cotton throughout the day.

Paula had the fabric pre-soaked in Soda Ash which acts as a fixative and the powdered dyes were mixed up for us in 3 colours. We had a yellow, red and blue base of primary colours from which to mix other colours. We had a warm and cool yellow (golden & lemon), blue (ultramarine & turquoise) and a magenta colour to work with. We worked in groups of two with some using the cool colours and some using the warm colours.

The dye mix was measured and poured into plastic bags (we had variations of yellow/red, blue/red etc. to make all the rainbow colours.). The pre-soaked fabric was put in the bag and squeezed in the bag to absorb the dye. Everybody enjoyed this bit! We had 2 pieces of fabric for every colour and Paula gave us a recipe booklet and how to instructions for mixing the colours to take away for later. 

After lunch, we learned all about Batik making and wax resistance methods. Paula showed us some of her teaching samples and projects and explained the process of consecutive dyeing using wax to mask off the areas not to be dyed at each and every stage. Her samples were brilliant for demonstrating working from light to dark and building up the wax base as you go along.

 Then of course we had to have a try! We used brushes dipped in the hot wax to make big marks and blobs and used Tjanting tools which have a wooden handle with a metal nib to give fine lines and better control for detailed work.

Paula explained in addition to these tools, stamps in all sorts of detail and sizes can be used to add a wax pattern to the fabric before dyeing. The wax itself can be scrunched to make it crack in places and allow dye to settle in wiggly lines and fun patterns.

Finally, we got to use up the last of the dye with our scraps by just experimenting on the fabric in plastic containers. Milk cartons were perfect for this.

We got all sorts of wonderful colours and patterns just by playing! On Sunday, the not so fun part to finish the process at home, was the rinsing - it takes a bit of time!

Still look at all those lovely vibrant colours. I'm planning a mini-quilt of the colour wheel out of mine as soon as it is all rinsed, dried and ironed. That'll be a while yet! 

If you want to try for yourself the dyes are available online in Ireland at Cork Art Supplies and in the US at Dharma Trading. It was a really fun day and Paula looked after us so well. Thank you Paula and thank you ladies for a great workshop!

Ruth Bourke

Monday, 3 March 2014

"I am a Quilter" Southern Branch Exhibition

The IPS Southern Branch are holding an exhibition of work from 6th March 2014 to the 27th March 2014 at the Bishopstown Library in Cork.

The Library is located in the grounds of the Wilton Shopping Centre Cork and parking is easily available.

On behalf of the Branch I would like to invite you or any of your members to the Opening on Thursday 6th March 2014 at 6.30pm  

 Opening hours: Monday to Saturday: 10am to 5.30pm. Late opening: Thursdays till 8pm.