Friday, December 9, 2016

Eco print scarves

I have been so busy exploring new ways to eco print that I have been neglecting  blogging about the results ... here are some of the scarves that I have made in the past few months.

 This silk scarf has lovely shades of amethyst and pale greens and soft charcoal.

 This one has delicate shades of tan with a bit of peach along some of the edge and a broad shibori-like design dyed into one end.  The peach colour has come from adding madder to the dye pot.

 On the left and below ... The fall leaves have given bold prints in rich gold and green on this silk-wool blend scarf.  The leaves have a bit of an outline or shadow from iron.

These scarves are available in my Etsy shop (click on the icon on the right of your screen or go to

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Purple Carrots in the Dye Pot

Having seen some interesting results from people who have dyed fabric with purple carrots, I decided to give it a try myself this week.  These beautiful carrots are from Notch Hill Organic Farm and the ones that made it into our meals were very tasty.

I grated the carrots and put them in a cheesecloth bag (hoping to use the cheesecloth in some later project, too). They were simmered in a large pot and then I added a piece of linen and two pieces of silk.

Initially, the purple colour was totally gorgeous but it gradually became quite grey so I removed some of the dye to a second pot in order to experiment with additives.  I added some vinegar to the large pot and it went back to true purple. I added a bit of soda ash to the second pot and it went greenish-purple (I had put a piece of linen in that pot to check those results).  I removed the first piece of silk from the big pot just in case I was to lose that colour again, but left the remaining silk and linen in there to simmer for a couple of hours and then to soak in the cooling dye pot for more than 24 hours.

The photo shows the linen on the left (lovely pale lilac) ... habotai silk in the centre, also a pale lilac ... the crepe de chine silk is on the right and it has the most intense colour.  These photos look quite a lot greyer than they are in real life.  The linen in the secondary pot did not hold the colour once it was rinsed.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Buggy Tic Tac Toe

I had fun painting rocks earlier this summer and made this little quilted tic-tac-toe set to play with.

The very flat rocks came from a pebble beach we visited in Port Renfrew ... they are fingernail size and as flat as coins and were pure fun to paint.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Kathy Kinsella on Etsy is back from holidays

My Etsy shop has been in holiday mode for the past month as I had so many pieces in local sales ... but those are finished now and I have re-activated my shop today. 

Over the next week or so you will see new items arriving daily as I list some of the eco print scarves and table runners that I have made lately . . . I hope you will drop by (there is an Etsy button on the right side of your screen to go directly to my shop to see what is there today).

Here is a teaser with a couple of the scarves I have listed today.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Eco Prints and More at Artistry - August 13th

Saturday, August 13th
10am to 6pm
Blind Bay Hall
on Blind Bay Road in Blind Bay, BC
This Saturday I will be setting up shop at "Artistry" in Blind Bay.  This is a one-day show and sale by local artisans where you will find a variety of handmade goods and the artists who create them.  I have been busy making some new scarves as they are selling like the proverbial hotcakes this summer!  Here are a few of the silk scarves that I have been making this week. A few more silk-wool blend scarves are ready to be un-bundled tomorrow ... one of my favourite things to do!

Isn't this an awesome peony leaf

One end of this long scarf is dark, the other end is light

Monday, June 13, 2016

I've been published in Art Quilting Studio

Silk fusion is one of my favourite techniques to work with and in the Summer 2016 edition of Art Quilting Studios there is a three-page article on one of my pieces.  This is silk fibre that was dyed using kool-aid and then stitched to a background of black dupioni silk.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Eco Print T-Shirt Part III

The t-shirt has dried and been ironed and now it is time to leave it a little while longer before rinsing it for its final reveal ... but in the meantime, here are photos of the t-shirt
I am very pleased with the imprints achieved from the raspberry leaves and the purple Japanese maple. The smoke bush leaves were not as defined as usual, but they do add more to the overall imprint of the piece.

The background is a soft gold that will probably wash out a bit but I am delighted with this, my first attempt at eco printing on a finished garment.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Eco Print T-shirt - Part II

Continuing on with the eco print t-shirt story . . .

The bundle rested for four days after being simmered, until I couldn't stand the suspense any longer and I opened the bundle.

The following photos show the bundle as I was unwrapping it ... first with both imprints and leaves showing and then with the leaves and plastic removed.

I am really pleased with how this has turned out and I will post a photo of the full shirt once it has dried.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Eco Print T-shirt - Part I

I have been interested in trying to eco print on a finished garment . . . I see this as a challenge because of the finished seams and construction details (sleeves!) but also as a way of achieving a design on a specific part of the garment.

I purchased a plain inexpensive cotton t-shirt for this first attempt and I scoured it to remove impurities from the manufacturing process and then pre-mordanted it with alum and soda ash.

I chose leaves from which I could be sure of getting some imprint (raspberry, rose, Japanese maple and smoke bush) but I also added some unknown grasses along the lower edge.
In between the front and back of the shirt I inserted fabric that had been soaked in an iron-rich solution.

The shirt was rolled between layers of plastic onto a thick wooden branch and the outer edge was covered with plastic before being wrapped tightly. I then simmered the bundle in water with iron and onion skins for two hours.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

For the Birds

As people who work with fabric, we always have bits of thread and fabric hanging from our clothes and clinging to the furniture and carpets in our homes ... so I decided to take some of those bits and pieces and offer them to the birds!

This is the suet feeder that has kept our winter visitors well-fed during the colder months and it is usually put it away once the bears are roaming in the spring. This year I have filled it with thread waste and a few small trimmings from hand dyed fabric in hopes that some of the birds will use the bits for nest building.

I'll let you know if. Can get pictures of any of them taking say samples.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Flour Paste Resist - Day Three

Today we will see the final results of the flour resist painting technique . . . it is an exciting time as you remove the resist and see what changes have been made to the fabric.

First, soak your resist painted fabric in a bowl of warm water for about fifteen minutes. Next place a piece of the fabric on a plastic-covered surface and use an old credit card or plastic scraper to gently scrape the gooey gunk off the fabric.  Work slowly and enjoy revealing the new design on your fabric.

NOTE: Do not put the flour goo and water down your drains ... place it in the compost or garbage and throw the water onto the garden.

Once you have scraped off all of the flour paste resist, rinse the fabric lightly in warm water (remember the paint has not yet been heat set) and leave it to dry. Heat set the paint according to the instructions on the paint (for this paint I pressed the fabric between layers of parchment paper for the required time). The fabric can now be laundered to remove any residual flour and then it will be ready for you to use in your chosen project.
I love the veins of the black paint on the hand dyed fabric and the commercial batik.

The metallic yellow made gorgeous veins on the dark cobalt commercial fabric but I can see from the sample done on the purple dotted fabric that I would have liked more crackling on that piece ... that means I should have crumpled it a bit more or applied more paint to the surface. This technique is a bit more predictable than some, but there is always room for surprises along the way.

I hope you will try this out and add it to your fabric tool box!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Flour Paste Resist - Day Two

After the flour paste resist has dried overnight it is time to have fun scrunching the fabric!  You have control over how much crackle to have one the fabric, depending on how much you scrunch the fabric at this time. 

Lay the fabric on a plastic covered surface again and paint it with thinned textile paint.  I used Pebeo Setacolor paints in black and bright yellow for these fabrics.  I wanted a strong contrast to the colour of the fabric so I chose black to use on the turquoise hand dyed and the commercial batik and the yellow to use on the cobalt blue and purple dotted fabric.

Here are a couple of photos showing my fabric after it was painted. The edges of the fabric curled up when the flour paste resist was drying, but that didn't bother me ... I simply painted right into those curly edges.

Apply the paint with a broad brush ... and peek underneath to see how much is seeping through the cracks.  Be careful not to add too much paint (or have it too runny) or it might seep under the resist and you would lose the sharp crackle lines.

This photo shows the back side of the fabric with the paint seeping through.

Time to wait for this to dry before the next step!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Flour Paste Resists

It is always fun to create new samples for workshops and this week I am working on some samples of flour resist fabrics.  This is one of the techniques that I will be teaching at Sorrento Centre later in April.

The first step is to mix up the flour and water paste and apply it to the fabric. It will need to dry for a day (maybe more, if it is humid).

I will show you the next step in a day or two . . .

Monday, March 28, 2016

Upcoming workshop ... spaces still open

I will be teaching a fun five-day workshop at Sorrento Centre in April and there is still time to sign up . . . 
Painting Fabric Painting Quilts: Exploring Textile Paints on Fabric
Quilt Week 2016 – Sorrento Centre
Friday, April 22 to Thursday, April 28

This is a relaxing workshop in which you will explore a variety of  techniques for transforming fabric with textile paints and Derwent Inktense pencils and blocks. Textile paints can transform a finished quilt or be used to create unique painted fabric.  Use techniques including sun printing, monoprinting, salt, resists, shibori designs, textile paints and Shiva Paintstiks to kick your quilts up a notch. Create a painted tablerunner. Make unique coordinating fibre art beads. Explore eco printing on fabric with leaves we gather from the garden. This will be a relaxing experimental five-day workshop to discover aspects of painted surface design with me as I delight in unlocking the artist in you! No experience needed.  Come play with us!
Studio paints and supplies will be provided for a lab fee of $25. PFD (prepared for dyeing) fabric can be purchased from me at the workshop.

Check out Sorrento Centre's website for costs, which can be tailored to your needs ... from full accommodation and meals to simply the workshop as a day student.  

Painting Fabric Painting Quilts:
Exploring Textile Paints on Fabric
with Kathy Kinsella
Textile paints can transform a finished quilt or be used to create unique painted fabric. Explore the possibilities of a variety of textile media.
Use techniques including sun printing, monoprinting, salt, resists, shibori designs, textile paints and Shiva Paintstiks to kick your quilts up a notch. Create a painted tablerunner. Make unique coordinating fibre art beads. Explore eco printing on fabric with leaves we gather from the garden.
This will be a relaxing experimental five-day workshop to discover aspects of painted surface design with Kathy who delights in unlocking the artist in you! No experience needed. Come play with us!
Studio paints and supplies will be provided for a lab fee of $25.
- See more at:

Friday, March 18, 2016

Freshly painted fireplace

After mentioning in a previous post that I was going to paint our fireplace brick, I have had a few people asking if it is finished ... well, finally, it IS finished!

The original brick was that gold colour, popular in the seventies ... the colour never appealed to me but it took a lo-o-o-ong while before I could convince hubby that we could paint it.  Having had differing advice on what colour it should be, I went with my gut feeling which was to paint it the same colour as the trim in the house (Benjam Moore's Cloud White). Our great room faces north and, in spite of lots of huge windows, I wanted to lighten it up as much as I could.  Who knows if it will remain white but, for now, I love it and it provides a great backdrop for my circle of salmon art quilt! I also found a great deal on the small seagrass baskets that are nestled under the hearth ... a great place to store guitar tuners and picks as well as knitting projects or out of season mitts and hats.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Rusted Fish after tea-dyeing

My nice rusted fish has had a bit of a bath ... in tea ... and is now layerd and basted for quilting.

The whiteness of the fabric above the fish was just TOO white for me and dunking it briefly in tea has greyed the rusty colours a bit and has given the background a touch of lavender-grey. The lighter rusty areas around the fish image have become quite grey and looks like a shadow ... I quite like the effect!

Now to decide just how I am going to stitch it!  The fish is 24" x 12" so this will take a while to accomplish all the hand work that I am considering for it.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Rusted Fish

I have been pondering the idea of creating a rusted fish art quilt for some time and I leapt into it last night after removing everything from my living room fireplace in preparation for painting the brick.

The fish is one that I picked up at a market in Campbell River, BC, some years ago. It has been cut from rusty corrugated iron and it really appeals to me.

What I did was place the rusty fish on a piece of plastic then place the cotton fabric (already dampened with diluted vinegar) loosely on top. I made sure the fabric was making contact with the fish and then covered it with plastic to keep it damp and left it.  I thought it would take a week or two to get the image but today I discovered it was already very rusted  so I am now drying the fabric (while I make another imprint on the other end of the cotton) in preparation for the next step . . . and I'm not yet sure what that will be.  I'll let you know later!

PS ... I hope to remember to stay on-track with the fireplace painting, too!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Golden Wedding Heart

This is the third piece in my series of silk fusion hearts on felt ... mounted in a 10" square shadow-box frame.

I love the vibrancy of the silk heart that has just a touch of bright green in it ... set against the more antique-gold wool felt background.  I added a row of funky layered embroidery stitches.

Wouldn't this be the greatest gift for a 50th wedding anniversary???

Friday, February 5, 2016

Valentine's Day Hearts

These are the latest of my fibre art explorations . . . A silk fusion heart has been appliqued to a needle felted background and then mounted in a square shadow-box frame.

This piece is a beautifully textured purple heart on a lavender blue background that includes another piece of the raw silk felted into it. I used metallic silver stitching which gives the heart an even more dimensional look.

This second piece has a felted red background with some textured red/orange/purple textured wool yarn felted into it and then a line of purple beads drifting across the surface. I chose purple thread for the decorative stitching to pull in the other bits of purple violet in the felt.

The black shadow-box frames are 30" square with a 4-3/4" opening for the fibre art. There is glass to protect the fibre art from dust.

I am currently working on a third in this series . . . a gold heart that would be wonderful as a 50th wedding anniversary gift.  I hope to finish that one this weekend. The others are already listed in my Etsy shop.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Fibre Art Quilt ... Grape Leaves on Linen

This is a new art quilt created by painting natural linen with Shiva Paintstiks. I collected grape leaves from vines in my neighbourhood and used them to make stencils that I then arranged across the surface of the fabric.  I used a variety of greens and metallic copper paintstiks to get lots of colour variation in the leaves and then used some of the same colours to create subtle bunches of grapes.

The leaves are heavily stitched with free motion machine stitching and then I outlined the grapes and added tendrils to the vines.  The background quilting has been done in a columnar format, with some of them on an angle, and then the spaces around the leaves and grapes are filled with hand seed stitches.

The piece measures about 20" square and hangs from a sleeve on the back.  The edges are finished with a turned facing for a contemporary look.

This piece is in my Etsy shop now (click on the link on the right side of this screen).

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Fibre Art Accordion Journal Workshop - March 10 and 17

I will be teaching an Accordion Fibre Art Journal class at Thread and Paper in Salmon Arm on March 10 and 17, 2016 ... Come and enjoy two days of fibre art fun, creating samples that will be incorporated in this beautiful journal.

Techniques we will explore include creating a piece of unique fabric, fibre art beads, covered sticks and pipe cleaners, organza leaves, thread lace images, stamping fabric, beading and a variety of edge finishes.

To register call Thread and Paper at 250-832-3937 or drop by this Saturday (10am to noonish) to speak to me and to see the sample of the accordion journal.

Fibre art experience is not required, although you will want to be familiar with your sewing machine and be willing to play with fibre!