Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Renga is a type of Japanese poetry in which one poet writes a line and then passes it to three other poets to add a line to complete a small poem. This is a simplified definition and you can read more about it here. Anyway, two of the fiber groups to which I belong decided to do a Surface Design Renga. It sounds so much more sophisticated that a Round Robin, doesn't it? In each group we were to start with a plain white fat quarter, 18" x 22" and do some sort of base surface design, remembering that there would be other layers added to it.  In the FANE group we were put into groups of 4 and will rotate our fabrics within that group.  In my other group, Scraps, we just put the fabrics in a bag and drew one out.  They will also have three more layers added to each piece.

Each person is to do some sort of surface design to the piece, such as stamping, painting, rubbing, stenciling, dyeing, etc.  But you may not add any stitching or fabric or fusing, or beading, or embellishment.

This is the piece that I got from Linda in the FANE group.  Linda was not at the previous meeting, in which the project was thoroughly explained and her computer was down, so she was unclear as to what to do.
For the top half of the fabric she used some Wonder Under that had been painted upon and then pressed to the fabric.  She painted the bottom half and fused (a big No-No) the reflections on the water.  It is a pretty scene, but not really what we were supposed to do.  Her piece is also quite stiff from all that paint, but that's OK.  Now my dilemma is what to do next.  I want to cover most of it with some sort of stenciling, I think, to get it from a scene to a surface design piece.

This is Barbara's piece that I drew from the Scrap's bag. This one has the opposite problem of Linda's.  Barbara did a very subtle tea dyed arashi shibori. It is quite lovely, but so delicate, that anything I put on it will surely obliterate her design.  I will try to be gentle, but I fear that by the third round very little, if any, of her design will show. If you click on the picture, you can see it a little better.

This is the piece that I handed in for the FANE group.  It has been parfait dyed with Procion MX dyes. I thought it would be a good base for what may follow.

This is what I gave to the Scraps group, another Procion Mx dyed fabric.  Carolyn drew my piece and is so afraid of ruining it.  Well, I think that is impossible.  I hope that when I get mine back it will be unrecognizable, with perhaps just a little of the color peeking though. 

There are journals that will travel with each piece and each person will tell about what they have done  and any restrictions, such as in Linda's, which cannot be ironed on directly because of the Wonder Under.  A teflon or parchment paper must be used on hers.  We are also to photograph each step. 

I think it's a fun project and we have a whole month for each step in each group, plenty of time to come up with some good ideas.  I bought three yummy new stencils at the quilt show that I am itching to try.  One rule in the FANE group is that we cannot do the same technique on each piece that we get.  Rats!  There goes my stencil idea for each one. 

I will post what I do each month and what my finished piece looks like, so stay tuned.


Linda Teddlie Minton said...

This looks like a lot of fun ... I may "steal" the Renga idea for my small group. I love your surface designed pieces that you contributed ... looking forward to seeing the outcome.

Vivien Zepf said...

I can understand how Carolyn feels. I have Cecelia's fabric and I know she really loved it as it was; I hope I don't disappoint!

Sarah said...

This sounds like a lot of fun. Looking forward to seeing what evolves!