Monday, April 27, 2009

Another Great Work of Art

When my YD (Youngest Daughter) and her friends were here a few week-ends back, I showed one of her friends how to needle felt. She took to it like a duck to water as you can see from this picture.
Needle-felted Landscape by Emily Marshal 3/29/09
When they were about to leave I found this piece in my studio. I brought it to her and said she had forgotten it. She said she had left it as a gift for me because I had shared so much with her that week-end. I am glad my YD has this very thoughtful and generous friend in her life.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Someone Else's Adventures in Rust Dyeing

Some one who took my rust dyeing class at the Rosemont show email this today:

Took the plunge yesterday with my accumulated rust stuff. Found a cast iron skillet at the thrift store, and a big chunk of rusty metal on the side of the road. My friend says it's "sculpture" in itself.
Dug through my bin of misc. fabric (all stuff that's not quilting cotton) and found lots of diverse stuff. Layered it in the skillet with iron oxide filings, old square nails, and the rusty sculpture. Added salt with each layer. Covered it with a plastic bag and put it on my deck. Peeked frequently throughout the day and again today. So exciting!
Today I took everything out and inspected it, refolded and re-layered. Interesting effects already.
Mistakes made:- Should have washed the skillet. Whatever the last owner fried in it is now floating in the water. Eeoooo!
- Need to find a better way to distribute the filings. Sprinkling it from the container and from my hand is not giving me the effect I want. Some areas gray and crusty. When I re-layered the concoction, those are the areas I rubbed around, picked off and tried to redistribute. Maybe a salt shaker from the dollar store.
Good things:- Love the marks the nails are making.- Love the soft effect of the sculpture. BTW I wrapped a braided cord around it. We'll see.
Now if I could just find that bag of rust chips I found last month at the base of a fallen-down mailbox. Yes, rust is everywhere!

The picture of the day is of someone who took the class last year and the piece she made in the class.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Make It University

Here is a picture of me taken while I was teaching my MIU class. We had a fun time using a real leaf to make a stamp and then using the veins of the leaf as a rubbing plate for Shiva Paintstiks. This group of friends claimed they bought the bunny ears so they could find each other in the crowds. Pearsonally, I think they harbor secret desires to become real Playboy Bunnies.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Rust-Tex Booth at International Quilt Festival-Chicago

Here is what the Rust-Tex booth looked like before International Quilt Fest-Chicago opened. I had a corner booth and it worked out better than I expected.
The lights in the convention center gave the same strange coloring to the pictures of my booth as last year. Next year, I will have to figure out how to take pictures at the correct setting for these lights.

The next two photos show what the inside of the booth looked like. I took one photo up each aisle of the booth.DH and I spent 5.5 hours setting up on Wednesday. On Thursday I spent another 4.5 hours moving around all the stuff he had put on hooks. I call it fine tuning. He calls it a waste of time. That is why I do it alone. To take it all down and get it packed into the van for the return trip, took 1:44 minutes. Here are my happy booth workers are still standing and smiling after breaking down the booth. I was still standing but I was shaking. The hard boiled eggs that are part of my "show food" diet, froze in the hotel room refrigerator. So I didn't have a protein hit before packing up the show. Before I drove back to Madison, Nurse Peggy, had me eat a whole rack of ribs and a cup of Earl Gray tea.
Thanks to all my crew for taking such good care of me and helping me with crucial decisions like what not to take back to the van and when I should eat.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Ready to Go...almost

To get all my stuff from Madison, WI to the International Quilt Festival in Rosemont, IL, I rented a van. Can you guess from this picture which one is the van and which one is our Subaru Outback wagon? If you guessed the van is on the left you are correct! The picture below shows a fraction of the stuff I needed to take with me.
We managed to fit it all in and the van is not even half full. My assistant asked how I manage to get all that stuff into the Subaru. I told her I don't always have to take so much stuff. But with teaching rust dyeing, presenting at two samplers, teaching a class for Make It U and what I will need for the Open Studio, I just felt I needed a bigger transportation vehicle. And I was right!

Here is what the dinning room looked like after we moved everything to the van.
I have not seen that part of the carpet in WEEKS!!!!
Be sure to stop by and say hi at booth #1638. I am looking forward to meeting you, my dear reader.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

International Quilt Festival-Chicago

The title of today's blog post is the actual name of what is locally called the Rosemont Show. I refer to it as Quilt Fest so I don't get it mixed up with Quilt Expo, which is the other big show I do.
Here is a picture of how my house looks today as I am getting ready for the show.
Being located in the Make-It-University (MIU) area I was asked to teach a class for them. It will be on Thursday night at 5:30, cost $10. It is the very first class offered by MIU and within 30 minutes of the show opening, so I don't think there will be a lottery for it. Sign up for my class called, Real Leaf Fabric. Here is the description: Using real leaves, students will make a stamp and capture the true essence of a leaf on fabric.
Descriptions of other MIU classes can be found here:

I am also having an Open Studio on Thursday night from 7-9. Stop by and watch me make fish cards using rust dyed fabric.
My booth number is 1638. Stop by and identify yourself as a Rust-Tex.Blogspot.Com reader for a free gift.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Kingdom of Rust

Someone alerted me to a new song by the Doves called, "Kingdom of Rust". If you have 4:19 to spare and would like to watch the official video of it click on the link below:

What do you think should I add the music to this blog?

Got the taxes in the mail this morning. I don't allow myself to start rust dyeing until I finish my taxes. It doesn't seem to be much of an incentive as you can see by today's date. The other signal that I should begin rust dyeing is when the snowdrops are in bloom.
I think it might be prudent for me to wait until after International Quilt Fest is over...sigh...but soon

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Collage Packs

For many years I have been buying things with the idea of making collage packs to sell. I will be in the Make It University area of the International Quilt Festival in Chicago. It is a multi-media area sponsored by Quilting Arts magazine and Cloth Paper and Scissors magazine. I thought it would be a great place to see if my product would sell. I made 5 different packs. The one below is the Foreign Language Pack. The label says that the pages were selected for their graphic quality.

I tried to put the items in the pack so you could clearly see what you are getting. Be sure to look at both sides.
I love the clear cellophane bags they are packaged in.
Here is the front of the Fun and Games Pack...

...and here is the back.

I won't be selling these through the store at Rust-Tex.Com only when I vend at shows.

What an incentive to get yourself to Chicago next week-end!!!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Call for Entries

A display of juried international entries dedicated to promoting using rust dyed fabrics in contemporary quilts. Jurors will select works that represent a variety of techniques using rust dyed fabric and fibers, good design, and excellent craftsmanship.

The Rust-Tex Collection, will premier at Spring International Quilt Festival in Chicago April 16-18, 2010. It will also be displayed at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, England August 20-23, 2010. Other venues to be announced as arranged.

Deadline for arrival of entry materials: January 10, 2010

Notification to all entrants by email: February 10, 2010

Quilt Delivery Deadline: March 1, 2010

Exhibit Opens at Spring International Quilt Festival: April 16, 2010

If your quilt is juried into the show:
Your entry must be available until March 1, 2011
A hanging sleeve (2” for small pieces less than 12” wide, 4” for all other sizes)
A fabric label containing the quilter’s name, address, phone #, and title of the quilt must be placed on the quilt’s back.
An appraisal is recommended for your entry as proof of its value

Definition of quilt for this show: Three layers of textiles stitched together.

Size: Quilts can be up to 45 inches wide and 60 inches high.

Entry Fee: $25 for up to two works submitted by check, credit card or Paypal.

Entry by digital image only:
Two views required, full and detail
Image should be sized to 1200 pixel tall.
Please label the digital file with your last name, first initial, name of piece, full or detail
Example: Doe-J-Rusty-Full
Register online, attach to email or send on a CD.
Be sure your image is a clearly focused JPG.
Digital image should be cropped to show binding, but minimal background. CDs will not be returned.

Shipping: The artist is responsible for all costs relating to shipping and insurance of work while in transit to The Rust-Tex Collection. The Rust-Tex collection will pay for the cost of return shipping.

Insurance: The Rust-Tex Collection will cover the cost of insurance for all pieces while they are part of The Rust-Tex Collection.

The Rust-Tex Collection reserves the right to disqualify any work that varies from the digital images submitted.

Deb Menz has been involved in fibers for the last 30 years. Color has always been the focus and fascination of her work. She wrote the books, “Color in Spinning” and “Color Works”. She has been traveling and teaching extensively across the country for 20 of those 30 years. Since she scaled down her teaching schedule, she has been able to participate in many group and invitational shows. Her work can be found in corporate and private collections.

Mary Jo Scandin began her career as an art teacher. She later devoted her time to creating and exhibiting her own artwork. For nineteen years, she operated Serendipity, a studio/gallery in Door County, WI. In 2002, she sold her gallery and moved to Madison. She continues to teach surface design classes each summer at Sievers School of Fiber Art in WI. She maintains a studio in Madison and currently exhibits her work at several WI galleries.

Lois Jarvis made her first quilt 38 years ago. Since completing college she has pursued a career in fiber art. In 2003 she began rust dyeing fabric. In 2006 she started selling them under the name, “Rust-Tex” and promoting the use of rust dyed fabrics. Currently she is combining her love of working with rust dyed fabric, found objects, traditional quilting techniques, computer technology and the sewing machine to create one of a kind fiber pieces.

To enter online or download entry form click:

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Another Question about Rust Dyeing

Via email I received a question about using a natural dye bath on silk after rust dyeing. Here is my answer:
Most natural dye recipes are for cotton and recommend boiling the fabric for an hour. Those high temperatures will kill the sheen of the silk. In my humble opinion, that luster is what silk is all about.
Here is the "cool dyeing method" from the book, "Wild Color" by Jenny Dean.
1. Extract the dye from its source
(for those of you who have the Rust-Tex Instructional CD follow the instructions for "Make Sumac Juice" )
2. Cool it to room temperature
3. Add the silk
(If you make sure there is enough water in your dye bath to cover the silk without it being scrunched up you will get and even color over your entire piece. If you want to add interest to your piece crumple it up, tie dye it, clamp it or use low water dyeing techniques.)
4. Leave it for 24 hours
5. If after 24 hours it is not dark enough you can leave it longer, up to several days.
(Be sure to remove it before the natural dye bath gets moldy. Ask me how I know!!!)
Iron is a mordant and will make your colors darker in any area that are dyed with it.
No picture today...sigh...