An Art Quilt: My Process

I’ve been working on a small art quilt. I dyed this raw silk awhile back and have been wanting to make something with it.

Here is my process on deciding on the final design. I love this piece of green and eggplant fabric. I just couldn’t seem to figure out how to free motion quilt it so thought I’d set it aside and see what came up.


I decided I needed to add some circles. So the fun begins. This first circles were way too heavy.


Covering up the background wasn’t working for me so I cut out the large circle and added another one and several small circles.

artquiltlayout3But that seemed way too busy. Let’s move them around. Nope, don’t like this one.

artquiltlayout4Maybe they need to be place differently. Looks like a bullseye and way too busy.

artquiltlayout5Let’s go back to the top corner and use less circles. Now this is too plain – not enough action for me.

artquiltlayout6So I added the other circle and this design, I felt, was getting closer. However, almost too much green.

artquiltlayout7I decided I needed to bring out the white. Yes, this is the one I liked. Now to free motion sew it.

artquiltlayout8Here is it free motioned and all ready to be bound and hung.

artquiltlayoutfinalTaking pictures of the process really helped me to decide where I wanted to go with this. I’d look at the layout and like it. Then after seeing the picture I found I really didn’t like it. I’ve got several more pieces of this dyed fabric I want to play with.

Yesterday I started cleaning and rearranging the studio. I’ve been getting a bit overwhelmed with all of this stuff. I look around and realize that I have plenty of room, but I really need to organize it better.

Hope you have a creative week. I’ll be here organizing, purging, and cleaning.



Posted in art, art quilts, Colorhue, dyeing, Free Motion, Sewing, silk | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Review: Jacquard Marbling Kit

In 2013 I had so much fun marbling. It really became an obsession. I even taught a local three-session class on it to lure the local art girls into marble mania. If you are interested in my past marbling adventures, check out these posts.

Yesterday I decided to return to marbling. Here are some of my pieces from that session.


This time I am marbling using the Jacquard Marbling Kit.

Jacquard Marbling KitThis kit comes with everything you need to marble except fabric or paper and the marbling pan. It also comes with directions and troubleshooting tips.

As I talked about before in previous marbling posts, this is not a process that you decide to do in the morning. There is some prep.

For the fabric prep, dissolve 4 tablespoons of Alum in one gallon of warm water.


Add fabric and let it soak for  20-30 minutes. I decided to marble some previously ice dyed pieces and some plain white fabric.

fabricsoakinginalum After soaking, hang the fabric to dry. Iron and it is all ready to be marbled.

To prepare the thickened water or “size”, add 2 tablespoons of the the carrageenan slowly to a gallon of warm water. The best way to do this is with a blender. Adding a cup or two of water and a little carrageenan. Then dump that into a container and add more water and carrageenan until all of the carrageenan has been added. It needs to be completely dissolved.

makingthesizeNow wait until it clears. They recommend 12 hours. After mine was completely dissolved, I put it in a gallon water jug and stored it in the dye studio refrigerator for the next day’s session. The next morning I took it out of the refrigerator, poured into my marbling pan and let it sit for several hours so that it could come to room temperature. This is an important point – the marbling size and the paint need to be at room temperature. If there are any bubbles on the size, drag a piece of newspaper over the surface toward you.

Now it’s time to play. Here is my studio set up to marble.

marblingsetupThe small plastic container in the front is for me to test the paints on the size.  I took a little bit of the size and put it in the container and then added each color to see how it spread. They all worked great so it was time to get started.


Next comes the fun part – creating the pattern on the size. If you’d like to see me creating a pattern on the size, check out my video at the end of this post.

addingpainttosize Once you like your pattern, lower the fabric on top of it, lift it off, and set aside on newspaper or newsprint.

marblingwetpiecesOnce done marbling, lightly rinse off each piece and hang them to dry.

rinsingoffsizeAfter 24 hours, iron. In the past when I’ve ironed on the right side, it messed up the pattern. Because of that I recommend ironing on the wrong side of the fabric. Jacquard recommends not washing the fabric for several days and then hand wash cold or on a gentle cycle in the washing machine.

As for the used size, if it’s not too “dirty” with paint, you can save it and use it for another session. However, it doesn’t keep long even in the refrigerator. Mine was pretty dirty so I poured it down the drain with running hot water.

Here are some of my favorite pieces:

marblingjuly1 marblingjuly2 marblingjuly3 marblingjuly4 marblingjuly5This last piece I took the picture vertically because of the design. It looks like a flower to me! The second and last pieces were previously ice dyed with Jacquard Antique Gold.

So here are my thoughts about the Jacquard Marbling Kit:

  • These paints are so much easier to use than the acrylic paints. There is no mixing required. They spread great right out of the bottle.
  • The paint can be added to the size right out of the bottle due to the great little tip on the end.
  • Very little paint dropped to the bottom of the marbling pan.
  • All of the colors were pretty vibrant on the fabric especially the purple and yellow. A couple of pieces looked faded, but that was due to not adding enough paint.
  • Great directions are included in the kit.
  • In my past marbling sessions. my favorite pieces have been those that are marbled over previously dyed fabric. In this session, I liked my pieces that were previously dyed, but I also loved the ones that I added a lot of paint so there was very little white showing. For those pieces that I didn’t like or looked faded due to lack of enough paint, I can definitely over marble them as I have done in the past.

I did not use the synthetic gall that’s included in the kit. It helps to make the paints spread which I didn’t feel I needed. If you want one color to dominate you can add it to a little of the paint.

If you are interested in marbling, I highly recommend this kit. In the past it was fun to experiment with acrylic paints, but I found my results with these marbling paints far superior. And the fact I didn’t have to work with getting the paint the right consistency saved a lot of frustration and paint. I love my results!

Marbling is really a neat process. It’s so magical to add the paint to the size creating beautiful designs.  To give you an idea of how the process looks, here is a little video from this session.

See other Off the Wall Friday inspiration.  That’s all for today. Thanks again for dropping by.

Disclaimer: I received this product from Jacquard. The opinions expressed here are 100% my own. I was under no obligation to offer a positive review and received no monetary compensation.



Posted in craft product reviews, crafts, marbling, surface design, tutorials | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Sunday Roundup: July 17

It’s time for a Sunday Roundup.

I’ve been harvesting blueberries every other morning. I get out there early before the heat sets in. This year’s harvest has not been as productive as in the past although we will end up with four gallon bags for the freezer. That doesn’t include eating blueberries every morning in our muesli. Here’s my harvest from yesterday.


A big storm came in last week and blew down several large branches from one of our Bradford Pears. We were lucky they missed the garage and the truck! Other people weren’t so lucky.

I hauled off the 4th load to the dump yesterday. We still have at least another load.

I’ve been working on a new local class called Painted Zippered Bags. I’ll be offering it at Scattered Art in Newburgh, Indiana on August 6. It was fun to get back into paint!


Last week I taught a tie dye class for the kid’s summer camp at Gilda’s Club in Evansville Indiana. I fixed way too much dye for the class, but wanted to be sure we had enough.

dyesforgildasI brought the 25 shirts home to batch and wash. It was a beautiful day so they batched in the sun.

batchinginsunHere are the finished pile of shirts before I took them back to Gilda’s. They were all beautiful! The kids all seem to have fun and I had lots of helpers.

tiedyedshirtsI’ll be back at Gilda’s next month teaching Wind Wishes, a class where we’ll be painting inspirational flags.


Blackberries have gone wild, so I made us a cobbler. Yum!


I was also on WEHT Local Lifestyles talking about drawing and using mandalas in art. The four minutes sure went fast! You can see the interview here.

I used to kayak a lot. I was so excited last summer when I found out that my friend Connie also loved to kayak. We went out once and then the summer was over. This year I decided that I wanted to make sure I’d get out on the water more than that. I posted on Facebook asking if any FB friends might like to kayak with us. We received a good response and had our first group paddle a couple weeks ago. Our next adventure will be tomorrow.  That’s me on the right with the yellow vest. Rae, Thank you for the picture.


Dave and I also got our bicycles tuned up and took our first spin in many years in the nearby school parking lot. We hope to be spending some time on them in the coming weeks.

As far as Puddin, she’s doing her usual thing – sleeping and being cute!


Well, that’s it for today.  What’s going on in your world?

As always, thanks for dropping  by.



Posted in dyeing, gardening, Sunday Roundup, teaching, tie dyeing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Updating Icy Delights Class

It has been so much fun to see all of the beautiful fabric and clothing my Icy Delights students are creating. Several have even sold some of their beauties including Marie who sold one of her purses for $150! Makes my heart happy!

When I started designing the class I decided I wanted to show how colors split. If you have never ice dyed, the color chip in the catalog is not always how it looks when it’s ice dyed. By showing how a lot of the dyes split, I could save students from purchasing some that they might not want for their projects. They also could discover those that they love. Through my experimenting I’ve come up with a couple of my new favorite colors.

In my update I’ve included some of Jacquard fiber reactive dyes that they sent me to test. Their dyes have been added to my master list of color splits which now includes 45 different colors! Aren’t these beauties?

Icy Delight Jacquard Dyes

Jacquard dyes ice dyed

I also added some patterns including a video on how to fold and clamp each piece. I like to test with one color, or in this case one color combo, to see the results all in the same colors.

Icy Delights PatternsMy favorite of these are the following two, although I really love all of them. I love how the blue peeks out on the second piece.

Icy Delights pattern Icy Delights pattern

I also added some more color combos. Isn’t this one beautiful?

Icy Delights Combo

I also added this video about using spice shakers to add dye to the ice. Here it is if you’d like to see it.

Shortly after opening the class in May I added a downloadable dye calculator. Students were having trouble with the math and this calculator made it so much easier to figure out how much dye to use to get my results.

With the class we have a Facebook Group where lots of great sharing is going on. Students don’t have to join the group, but it’s really been fun and we’ve all learned so much from each other there.

If you’d like to join in on the fun, check out Icy Delights at If you have any questions about the class, feel free to email me at lheines at wowway dot com.

So much more has been going on too here besides ice dyeing, but I’ll leave that for next time. Hope you have a colorful weekend and as always thanks for dropping by.


Posted in dyeing, fiber reactive dyes, ice dyeing, online classes, surface design, tutorial, Videos | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Clothesline Bowls

Judy “Tie Dye” Sall, a fellow artist and wonderful fabric dyer, encouraged me to make these clothesline bowls several years ago. Check out her blog here.

I bought the clothesline and a book,  but just didn’t get around to until I signed up for Alisa Burke’s class. She calls them rope bowls.

allbowlsI decided to use my old Elna since it has really served me well lately. The hardest part is getting started.



First I added mandalas I cut out of my mandala fabric with Golden Gel Medium. I would have used Mod Podge but couldn’t get the jar open! I wanted to see how paint would work on the clothesline and it did okay as you see on the bowl on the left. My purple bowl really needs a couple more coats to look good.

mandalabowlsThen I covered the clothesline with fabric in just the bottom. Adding the fabric takes much more time.


Here it is again showing Dave’s first tomatoes.


For the blue bowl I dyed the clothesline before I sewed it. This is some of Dave’s garlic.

XiangarlicinbluebowlDave really liked using them to show his small harvests. I’ve promised him some larger ones.

I have really enjoyed making these. I like the dyed clothesline bowl best. I don’t really like painting them because it changes the whole feel of the bowl. Alisa draws on hers, but that didn’t work for me. It was great getting back to sewing and feeling good about it. Also, nice to check off one of those things I’ve been wanting to create for a long time.

Hope your summer is moving along nicely. If the weather cooperates, I’ll be out in my kayak tomorrow! Keep cool and have a colorful day!


Posted in art, clothesline bowls, crafts, dyeing | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Playing with Dyed Silk

I taught a couple more Easy and Fun Silk Scarf Dyeing classes this month. In these classes students practice on a piece of silk before they actually dye their scarves. In the past I’ve suggested making cards with those scraps. For these classes I had finished cards to show and the supplies needed for them to make their own cards.


Here is how I made those cards. The fabric needs to be stiffened. I used Terial Magic fabric spray. After soaking the fabric, I let it dry for about 10 minutes (I blotted the fabric with a towel to hurry the process) and then ironed it. The stiffened silk was attached to the card with Stitch Witchery. That’s it.

I also made an ornament using those dyed silk scraps. I started with a paper mache ornament blank and Golden Regular Gel Medium.

silkscrapornament1After spreading the gel medium on the ornament, I added cut some silk pieces.


Then I covered the silk pieces with the gel medium.

silkscrapornament3After the ornament dried I brushed on Jacquard True Gold Lumiere. After it dried, this is what the finished ornament looks like.


Here are some pictures from those classes this month. So much fun! And so easy! I’m always amazed at all of the beautiful results.

I’ll be teaching another Easy and Fun Silk Scarf Dyeing class on Saturday, November 5 at Scattered Art. This class will give us an opportunity to make some holiday presents.

Meanwhile, I’ve been working on another class where we’ll be painting these cute zip bags.


It sure is hot here. I’ve been getting up and out early in the morning putting in a couple hours on weeding and mulching before the major heat. With all of the stuff Dave has to do in the garden I volunteered to clean out and mulch his Butterfly Garden. So I’ve been working on this project for a couple weeks and today it’s finished except for a few new plants Dave will be adding. Over the years he has added some beautiful plants, and it’s a wonderful area for the butterflies and bees. And the birds love the birdbath. Now to move on to some of “my” areas that I’ve postponed. If you look at the photo in the top right of the picture you can see the asparagus ferns!


butterflygarden2It’s amazing how many hours are in the day when you get up at 5:30!

Yesterday I worked on something I’ve wanted to make for years – coiled bowls. These are just the first ones that I’ll be painting.  I can’t believe how good I felt to finally sit down and do this! I’ll be making bigger ones next time and also adding fabric.

ropecoilbowlsThat’s all for today. I’d love to hear from you if there is something you’d like to create, but just haven’t taken the time to do it.

Posted in art, Colorhue, dyeing, fabric, silk, teaching, tutorials | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Ice Dyed Parfait Revisited

In 2012  I tried the ice dyed parfait technique and even though I liked my results, they were way too dark and I felt I was a bit out of control. A couple years later I tried it again only this time I didn’t use ice.

Back then I pretty much guessed at the amount of dye color I needed. Now that I’ve refined the ice dyeing technique with my dye calculator, I’m able to get, I believe, much better results when using ice. I thought it was time to try the ice parfait dyeing again.


I first marked all of the pieces by number so I know where they were in the parfait. The bottom one is #1. I scrunched up this first piece of fabric and put it in the bottom of my dye container.


Next came the ice.

iceparfait2The the dye.

iceparfait3I like to spray any dry dye sitting on the ice cubes. This is important to help keep down the amount of speckles on the next piece of fabric placed in the container.

iceparfait4Now to add the next piece.

iceparfait5After my fifth layer it was time to wait. Here is how the finished parfait looks like.


Usually I would wait 24 hours, but because it was so hot and I am testing out my batching times, I only allowed it to batch for 6 hours in the 81 degree garage.

Here is how it looked at 6 hours.

parfaitend5As I peeled off the fabric, there were still a lot of ice cubes.

parfaitend3 parfaitend4


And the last one or #1 still had lots of cubes.


Here are the results from bottom to top with the dye color used:

#1 – New Black

icparfait1#2 – Orchid

icparfait2#3 – Pewter

icparfait3#4 – Mermaid’s Dream

icparfait4#5 – New Black


I’m always amazed at the results I get from ice dyeing and this session was no exception. I really love these pieces. Because I cut back on the dye and the batch time, the bottom two pieces aren’t as dark.  Oh, I do want to try another ice dyed parfait soon.

Just a reminder that my Icy Delights online class is still open for registration. Since I opened the class in May, I’ve added my dye calculator to help calculate the color amount needed,  and to get more consistent results. I also have added a new video about batching in the sun. For info on my class go to There’s a promo video that will let you know what’s included. The classroom is open for questions and all students are welcome to join our Facebook group. There has been a lot of great sharing in that space. We’d love for you to join us.

Thanks for dropping by.

Posted in dyeing, fiber reactive dyes, ice dyeing, surface design | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Harvesting Lavender 2016

This year has turned out to be a great year for our lavender. I thought I’d take you through the process of harvesting and then show how we have used our lavenders in the past.

Here are the plants before the harvest. Grosso lavender, which I’ve cut off in the back of this picture, is not quite ready to harvest.


I started with Melissa, the lavender with white buds, in the front. The only thing difficult about harvesting lavender is that the bees are all over it, buzzing around me as I cut. I keep telling them that I planted it for them, and now it was time for me to take it in! So far no bee  stings!

I tried to get a picture of them all flying around, but all I could get was one bumble bee.


Then I cut the lavender.

melissaharvestOnce harvested I take it inside.

2016lavenderharvest1I mark and cut holes in the bag before I bundle the lavender.

lavenderbagging1Once bundled, the lavender goes in the bags.

lavenderbagging2I used to hang this in the garage but now that I’ve converted the back area to my dye studio, it’s going to the basement to hang and dry. Once it’s dry which will take several weeks, I’ll strip the stems and put each of the variety of buds into their own plastic bags for storage.



Now what do we do with this lavender? Melissa is a great culinary lavender. Dave uses it to flavor his iced tea.  Another favorite is the Lavender shortbread cookies. Here is the recipe.

Lavender Shortbread Cookies

Lavender Shortbread Cookies

Melissa would be great for lavender sugar, but I made it with Royal Velvet. See the recipe here. This sugar can be put in all kinds of baked goods.

Lavender Sugar

Lavender Sugar

Dave made a simple syrup with lavender which we used in tea and poured over fruit. See his recipe here.

Lavender Syrup

Lavender Syrup


Lavender is also good for bug spray since the bugs really like me when I’m out in the yard. Here is the recipe for my bug off spray.

Ingredients for Bug Off Spray

Ingredients for Bug Off Spray

Lavender bath bags are nice gifts.

Lavender Bath Bags

Lavender Bath Bags

And of course, adding lavender to our soaps. Recipe here.

Lavender Basic Bar

Lavender Basic Bar

However, if you don’t want to go to the trouble of drying it in bags and bud denuding, you can make a lovely wreath of the fresh stems. Directions for this wreath are here.


Or just put them in a vase to enjoy.

lavenderharvest3I really love lavender and so glad we can grow it here.

That’s it for today. I have some fun ice dyeing to show you next time. Hope you are having a wonderful Father’s Day and a colorful weekend.

Posted in crafts, gardening, Lavender, preserving, tutorials | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Review: Jacquard Solarfast

June is a great time to sun print. In 2014 I was in charge of the June blog posts on the Fire blog. For that month I chose sun printing and asked three other artists to join me in blogging about various ways to sun print. One of them included Jacquard Solarfast, a product I had never used. The June posts start here.



I had wanted to try this type of sun printing, but just never got around to it. Then the good people at Jacquard sent me a Solarfast kit back in September to play with. I waited until now to try it to make sure there was plenty of sun. Here is the kit.


Let’s get started.

I pour the dye directly on the fabric, but wanted you to see how they look straight out of the bottle. As you can see, it’s hard to tell colors. This is orange and blue. They will appear clear when you spread them on the fabric.


Lay out your fabric on foam core or a piece of cardboard. This will help you transport the fabric to the sun.


Pour Solarfast in the middle of your fabric.

solorfast3Using a sponge brush, spread it over the fabric.

solorfast4You don’t want the fabric to be real wet, so take a paper towel and blot it until the fabric is just damp.


For this next step,  add what you want to print. For this first example I am using photo negatives that I printed out of my inkjet printer. Jacquard has a great Solar Fast negative generator. The steps are simple:

  1. Upload your picture
  2. Change it to black and white
  3. Change to negative
  4. Use the sliders to increase the contrast and brightness if necessary.
  5. Print out on ink jet transparencies or the Solarfast film. You can also download the negative image to your computer for printing later.

The Solarfast kit came with film. However, in my experimenting I quickly used it up. I ended up using my inkjet transparencies and they worked fine.

I decided on this picture from our Hawaii trip.

IMG_0664After printing out the negative and letting it dry, I placed it on top of the fabric. Be sure the transparency is ink side up.

solarfast6Cover with glass and then set it out in the sun.

solarfast7Now to wait. I gave it around 15 minutes. Jacquard had a chart for estimated sun exposure times for the various colors.

Bring the fabric in and remove the glass and negative. Don’t do that in the sun.

Then wash in hot water and dry and you have your Solarfast print.


I had to try this several times until I realized my negatives were not opaque enough. One of the suggestions from Jacquard is to print two negatives and stack them. That worked great. Save the negatives to reuse.

Here is another picture – one of my favorite irises.


You will notice the colors are a bit different. I thinned them with water and mixed them.


But you don’t have to just use negatives.  I love to use our ferns in sun printing. These ferns I preserved two years ago and they still work great. See my tutorial on preserving botanicals here.

Follow the same procedure above, but instead of the negative, place the ferns or other masks over the fabric and cover with glass.


Again bring the fabric out of the sun before removing the glass and the ferns.

solarfastfern4The finished piece


I also love using this fabric as a stencil and for sun printing.


and the finished piece.


Lastly, I used one of my thermofax screens. For this I put the thermofax screen over the dry fabric and used a foam brush to add the Solarfast dye.




Then I just set the fabric out in the sun without the glass and watched it turn colors before my eyes. Pretty neat.


The dye isn’t real thick, but worked fine with my screen.


This is fun stuff. I just used this on pieces of fabric. However, this works great on t-shirts. I could also see these images on tote bags or small canvas zip purses.

Here are my tips:

  • Blot the fabric so it’s just damp.
  • Be sure negatives are opaque. If not, double them or run the transparency through the printer twice.
  • Let the transparency dry before covering with glass.
  • Place the negative ink side up.
  • If you don’t want such bright colors, thin them with water. I thinned them 1 to 1.
  • You can also draw on the transparency and sun print your art work. I was going to draw a mandala but ran out of dye!
  • Jacquard has lots of information online. Be sure and read it before proceeding.

I thought that my colors were limited by the three that were in this sample kit. However, the more I worked with them I realized that they blend well. Watering them down also gave them a softer look that I really liked especially on the iris prints.

This is just another option for sun printing. This works great for the other printing I did, but if you want to sun print your photos, this is the way to go.

Disclaimer: I received this product from Jacquard. The opinions expressed here are 100% my own. I was under no obligation to offer a positive review and received no monetary compensation.




Posted in craft product reviews, sun printing, surface design, tutorials | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Eco Printing With Jacqueline

It’s funny how I swore at the beginning of the year that I would not be dragged into another art form. But then I got an email from Jacqueline Sullivan about her Eco Print Retreat “Exploring Nature’s Patterns” and my resolution for the year was broken!

The retreat took place at the Transfiguration Spirituality Center in Cincinnati. This is a quiet oasis in this bustling city. Here is the beautiful labyrinth on grounds.

labryinth1 Of course I had to walk it.

I spent the beginning of the retreat picking plant leaves and flowers to print with.


Saturday morning Jacqueline took us through the whole process.

prepforeco2prepforeco1prepforeco3So we got started and placed our bundles in the turkey roasters.


Here is my first bundle that had been cooking in the onion pot for 2 1/2 hours. That’s deli paper hanging out the sides.

ecounveiling1And here is a reveal of one of the pages. This is False Indigo or Baptisia. These were my favorite leaves.

ecounveiling2And now to remove the leaves.


Here are a few of those first prints.


And here are some of my favorite prints. These are on deli paper.

ecodelipaperThese are on a variety of different papers.

ecoprintsWe also made a journal. Here is my favorite piece of paper and the journal.



Then we worked on silk. I didn’t get a lot of marking on this one. I’ll be over dyeing this piece.

ecootherscarfThis one did work out although I would have liked it darker. I should have kept it in the pot longer.

ecoscarfIt was so much fun to get away and to learn something new. I recommend, if you have a chance, taking a class from Jacqueline Sullivan. She’s a great teacher. Also, Glenda Miles was great with correspondence and all of the before retreat info and also taking care of us during the event. She’s a great event planner and artist. Check out her website on her company and upcoming art classes.

As I said, it was so much fun to learn something new and to meet and spend time with other artists. Now to get back to my art. Looking forward to my Easy and Fun Silk Scarf Dyeing classes this weekend. If you’re local, you still have time to register for the Friday evening class. Contact Dolly at 812.490.0074.

Posted in art, art get together, eco printing | Tagged , | 6 Comments