Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Roots --jdemilo

Roots    11" square
Hand dyed and discharged cotton fabric,
Linoleum print, Embellishment with thread, yarn, and beads
Hung on driftwood

I wasn't sure I was going to finish this in time for the reveal this morning.  I wasn't sure that I wanted to finish it at all.  But then late last night, magic happened and I am pleased with the result. 

This started out as a white piece of fabric about 14" square.  I knew from the beginning that this would be a smaller piece since I was going to incorporate what I have learned in my linoleum carving/printing class.  My linoleum block is a 12" square so the finished piece could only be that big.    

 First, I translated the picture into a design that could be carved into the lino.  I wanted there to be different textures in each layer.  I debated the both about the texture to carve for the earth and finally decided on little tunnels that could have be left by animals or plant roots.

The next step was to dye some fabric with different colors in each layer.  One of the ladies in my art quilt group told us about a new method of dyeing she had just tried.  She wetted the fabric with soda ash, hung it and then squirted the dye onto the fabric.  So that is what I did.  I hung two lengths of fabric on the clothes line, did some rough measurements from the lino for where the layers should fall, and started squirting dye.

The next step was to print the dyed fabric.  I printed several so that I could take the best print to quilt.  I also printed some on white fabric in case I decided to try and dye the fabric after printing. Now the fun began. I layered the fabric with batting and started some thread play to color and quilting.  Each layer has its own color of thread and quilting filler to emphasize the texture in that layer.  Next was adding hand embroidery and beading.  I also discharged some of the dye in the rock level to give highlights to the rocks.  When I got done with the embellishing, the piece looked like this:

I finished it by putting a facing on it.  It is one of the binding techniques in the free download I linked to in my April tease.  

Here is a close up of some of the roots.


  1. Wonderful! I love this interpretation. All of the elements are there, but they're so you ... who else would've thought pink other than you?

    We're about ready to hit the road for another of driving. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the reactions and Kim's reveal.

  2. This little gem is fantastic. Loved your process of dying and lino cut printing. The quilting enhanced everything and I love how your rocks merge into the other layer.

    Choosing the hot pink color for the middle layer
    and making it more interesting with the tunnels was the right choice to make this pop.

    The beads in the roots add another dimension and capping it off with the driftwood hanger was the perfect ending.

    I am not sure where you thought you were going wrong but it sure was a success in the end!

  3. Good use of that medium. Discharging the stone areas was a really effective touch.

  4. Wonderful process and I really like how you approached each layer. Lovely work!

  5. You may have inspired me to try linocutting- this is a piece to be proud of!

  6. wow! I love your choice of colors. Inspiring and so very you!!

  7. So lovely. The colors are amazing and so is your technique. "Little Gem" is right!


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