Thursday, December 29, 2011

I Hit the Jackpot!

My kids got me great gifts for Christmas. Among them were three books I had wanted for quite some time. The first is Alisa Burke's "Sew Wild." 
I sat down and read this book in one sitting. It is a great book about creating with stitch and mixed media. If you are interested in creating your own personalized cloth, this book is for you. It covers stamping, painting, writing, spraying, stitching, doodling, drawing, screen printing, monoprinting, stenciling, masking, creating a pattern with glue resist, and discharging. It also includes a section with projects and a bonus DVD which shows demos of the techniques in the book. I love it.

My other two books cover eco/natural dyeing. The first is India Flint's "Eco Colour." I have spent a lot of time reading blogs about dyeing with natural plants. Nearly everyone refers to India Flint when they speak of botanical dyes. I have been wanting to experiment with this technique, because I love the unique colors and patterns that can be achieved with natural dyes. Now this is one beautiful book. The photos and explanations are fabulous. I can't wait to delve into it further and actually try some natural dyeing.

The third book is Sasha Duerr's "The Handbook of Natural Plant Dyes." 
This book covers the basics of plant dyeing and includes sections on cooking with color, gathering and growing your own color, and a natural dye color chart. I am really enjoying this book.

And, speaking of books, now is a good time to mention another book I REALLY, REALLY love...Rayna Gillman's "Create Your Own Free-Form Quilts." 
I read this book from cover to cover when I received it. When I first read about it, I knew I would love it and pre-ordered it. (I have another of her books, "Create Your Own Hand-Printed Cloth." You should check that book out too.) ...anyway... I'm SO excited to announce that Rayna will be a guest blogger on "And Then We Set It On Fire" for January. A copy of Rayna's book was just given away on that blog. We will be working on "Reinventing UFOs with Strips and Bits" from Page 66 of her new book (in case you want to follow along). Even if you don't want to actually reinvent one of your own UFOs, I think you'll find the posts interesting. I already have one UFO in mind and am sure I'll find many more to "play" with as I do the project along with the other artists on that blog. If you have "orphan" blocks and/or UFOs you aren't happy with (or will never finish), come play with us. Just click on the link in this post or click on the "And Then We Set It On Fire" icon on the top right-hand side of this page.

If you have these books, let me know what you think of them. If you don't, do they look like something you might like to check out?


Rayna said...

Thanks for your kind words about my book, Beth -- I will be posting a tutorial on the group blog sometime in mid-January. Meantime, I can't wait to see what you do with your UFOs - hope you'll post pix!

Have fun with the natural dyeing book, too!

Sandy said...

'HOORAY' for you, Beth! Not only you were thrilled, but your children were certainly happy they could please you. With your talent, you will do works of wonder. Books, DVD's, and blogs are my friends in creativity and learning. Enjoy your workand play time.
Sandy (Mt. Washington, Ky.)

Heart Share said...

Hi. I was glad to come across your blog. I loved reading your presentation of your gift books. I want to explore the ones I am not familiar with. I am a arts explorer and work in different mediums. I fell for botanical dye and immediately began exploring it as playfully and systematically as I could so that I could incorporate it into my fiber workshops as a chemical free print/dye process. I am still amazed at the amount of fragrance held within the leaves. The leaves from the black cherry, really put out a fragrance of cherry!

I have incorporated the designs into my upcycle clothing and fabrics. In February, I will hang an exhibit in Bloomington, Indiana titled "Recent Works, Skins and Stones". The skins and stone pieces are eco-print and dye. If you are in town, please stop in City Hall - Showers Building 401 N. Morton St.

Patricia - Patricia's Wellness Arts Cafe & Quilter's Comfort Teas

Quilter Beth said...

Thanks for the nice comment. I'm hoping I get to see your exhibit in Bloomington. I'm about an hour and a half away; but I went to IU, and I'm familiar with the town. If you would send more detailed info about the show (dates, times, description, number of items on display, website, contact info, etc.), I'd be happy to include it in my "Upcoming Quilting/Fiber Arts Events" section on my blog.

quilterscomfort said...

Hi Beth, thanks. Following is the release from the City of Bloomington -
BEAD to Exhibit the Work of Painter Patricia Coleman

BLOOMINGTON, IN - During the month of February, the City of Bloomington Entertainment and Arts District (BEAD) will showcase pieces created by local artist Patricia Coleman in the Atrium of City Hall.

The work will feature abstract acrylic paintings and botanical print and dye fiber art pieces. Coleman utilizes a variety of techniques and mediums and has exhibited her art since 1972. She also recently opened Patricia's Wellness Arts Café and Quilter's Comfort Teas at 725 W. Kirkwood Avenue in the Arts Row area of BEAD.

Coleman is a member of 5 Women Poets, the Bloomington Storytellers Guild, the Bloomington Writers Guild and the Arts Alliance of Bloomington. She is also the founder and President of the Green Dove Network and its many projects including Local Food Bloomington, a directory of locally owned food resources.

A reception for the exhibit will be held Friday, Feb. 10 from 5p.m.-7p.m. in the Atrium at City Hall, 401 N. Morton St. The exhibit will be on display February 1-28. Exhibition hours are 8:00am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday, as well as additional evening and weekend hours when City Hall is open for meetings. The City of Bloomington is committed to providing opportunities for area artists to exhibit artwork in the City Hall Atrium.

For more information about Coleman's work or the "Wellness Arts Café" email, quilterscomfort, or visit Hart Rock Gallery at For more information on the exhibition program contact Miah Michaelsen, the City's Assistant Economic Development Director for the Arts, at or .