Thursday, April 3, 2014

Itajime Shibori

Our fiber art group had a playday several months ago and created fabric using Itajime Shibori, which is using clamps for resist dyeing fabric.  One of our members hosted the activity in her large garage and we used plastic clips of various sizes for the "clamps".  We folded the fabric in a way that usually produced a sunburst, tie-dye sort of pattern when it was unfolded, something I'm not really fond of and find hard to use in my pieces.   But it was definitely a fun time and we were glad our friend allowed us to use all her dye and make a mess in her garage!  At the end of the session we had to take our piece home and let them sit for 24 hours before we could reveal the results.  What agony!  But the thing I love most about any type of shibori dyeing is the reveal.  Always fun to see what you get and to find something unexpectedly wonderful--as it usually is! 

So the challenge was to use my resulting fabric in an art quilt successfully (in my mind anyways!) without having it look like it came from the 60's.  I decided the best way to do that would be to cut it up in some way.  I chose to slice and add strips of fabric, slice again, add, slice, add...  Then I put borders on it and quilted it.  Here is the finished piece:

The design reminds me of Frank Lloyd Wright and I think it would go nicely in a home of that style.  The fabric in the inner border is a commercial print that was in my stash.  I was looking for something to put around the center section after I finished it and this piece seemed just perfect.  I like the drama of the dark maroon fabric with the dyed shibori piece and think that it is what makes the piece appealing to my eyes.  I don't really care for the greyed tones of my dyed fabric and the dark maroon fabric and the print border fabric both bring some brightness to the piece.

I have another piece of the shibori dyed fabric which has a very strange color combination in it and it will be harder to use.  There are parts of it that are pretty good though so it may be used only in pieces instead of the whole piece as I did for the one above.  Or I could over dye it and maybe some of the unnatural bright green that is in it will get toned down.  Haven't quite decided and have moved on now, but someday I'll get back to it or find it, or parts of it, useful for something I am working on.  You never know!

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