Stitching to Dye in Quilt Art

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Stitching to Dye in Quilt Art, Colour, Texture and Distortion by C. June Barnes

I discovered this book in our guild library. The author is an award winning quilt artist and teacher from the UK. This is evident in this book due to the illustrations, the clear exercise instructions and the variety of inspirational ideas. I could easily start at the beginning and work through the book both learning as I go and being inspired to make the exercises my own.
Ms Barnes begins with details on how to use the book.  When reading it I am reminded that my own learning experiences are most successful when starting a new technique if it is explained clearly,  in a step-by-step way. Once I have the basics I can proceed to exploring and developing my own concepts. This book provides that solid foundation for me and a beginner could start and be successful. Someone with experience can gain knowledge to take their experimentation up a notch,

The book includes information about equipment and materials (a caution here the reader will need to familiarize her/him self with UK terms for some materials). Fabric, thread and stitch are addressed. In my previous blog you will see an art deco piece that uses her granite stitch.

The next topic is Dyeing using recipes for Procion fibre-reactive MX dyes. Mixing colour and colourways suggestions are included. Then the text moves on to the main premise of the book which is stitching to dye. In other words first you create your top, then you dye it. The eight exercises in this section are intended leave the quilter with some samples rather than projects. To that end it is important to document what you are doing right from the start. Otherwise you can’t repeat your technique. This section is followed by a gallery for inspiration.

Then June moves onto Shrinkage. She uses wool for this, stitching, dyeing and ways to manipulate the texture. There are eight exercises in this section as well. Shrinkage is achieved through stitching and materials added,  The types of wool used will shrink differently and washing aggressively in hot water can accelerate the process. The author uses the Procion dyes but also suggests experimenting with acid dyes.  The exercises include incorporating materials and objects that will not shrink to create many different textural effects. The Shrinkage section is also followed by a gallery for inspiration.

Finishing, including embellishment presentation and troubleshooting conclude this informative book.  I am looking forward to some warm summer days to try some of these exercises.





About Elinor Burwash Designs

I am a fibre artist, teach quilting and am a quilt judge.
This entry was posted in creativity, Design, Quilts, Textiles and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Stitching to Dye in Quilt Art

  1. C. June Barnes says:

    Thank you so much for such a wonderful review! Sadly out of print but I do still have a stash under a bed!

  2. Elinor Burwash Designs says:

    Thanks Helene and Anna. Elinor

  3. Helene says:

    This is one of my favourites too! This is the book that first really got me interested in exploring abstraction. Elinor, you and I seem to gravitate towards the same literature. Hah! DO play with it this summer. You’ll truly enjoy the process.

  4. annahergert says:

    Thanks for the review – it is one of my favourite books! Definitely worth picking up!

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