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Falling in Colors

Several months ago I accepted an invitation to produce a themed piece based on working outside usual methods. This exhibit would be shown at several Mancuso shows around the US.

I decided to work with silk (not my usual fabric) and to dye it using a variation of ice-snow dyeing. The dye powder was mixed with play sand and put in shaker containers–Parmesan cheese containers worked great. The fabric was first soaked in a washing soda/water mixture, then spread out on the ground and sprinkled with the dye/sand. The sand had enough moisture in it to bind the dye powder and not let it fly around as dust–and then it would strike as it fell on the wet fabric.

My dear friends and I did yards and yards of fabric like this at one of our retreats—and because there was a washing machine and dryer in the cabin–the fabric was washed and dried before we returned home.

I cut off a length of this fabric to use as my base for this piece.


The yellow blotches you see there are printed leaves collected from the sugar gum trees in front of the George R Brown Convention Center in Houston where the annual International Quilt Festival is held. The smaller leaves were maple leaves from my farm.

I then used those leaves as patterns to cut out leaves from felt and silk–they were surprisingly flexible even after using them as printing stamps.—and I used an old printer’s bottle ink mixed with fabric medium to print.


I quilted the background first before putting these leaves down–lots of straight lines in various angles.

The piece was then trimmed, bound, sleeve and label applied—and shipped off to join the others in the exhibit.

It was a fun piece to make–fun to experiement, fun to try something new in a small enough piece to not worry about waste but not so large as to make it laborious.

Here is the final piece:;Falling%20Colors%202017-M.jpg

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