Quick Stitching

I have two living aunts, one lives near by and recently celebrated her 94th birthday. The other lives in Indiana and celebrated her 101st birthday this month! My mom was their baby sister. I remember years ago when my older aunt and I were talking quilting (she made many things including quilts), she couldn’t believe that out here (South Western  USA) we would piece our quilt backs. I told her sometime the backs looked as good or better than the fronts. Apparently, back there, they would only use a seamless piece of fabric for their quilt backs and it wasn’t just because of hand quilting through the seams.

I would assume thanks to quilts being more recognized as art, that the pieced backs are fully accepted even back there now. If you are from another part of the US or world, are you familiar with pieced backs ever being unacceptable. I’m guessing economics played a role as those with less would have likely use whatever they had, and would have indeed piece the back of their quilts.

In celebration of her birthday I stitched up a quick little card and I know it will make her smile. I won’t tell her this one doesn’t even have a back! It has a thin layer of cotton batting on Timtex, with a quick satin stitched edge and then I used artists gel medium to attach it to the card stock. Quilted in about one minute because I was on my way out the door; next time I would go slower but as far as cards go, it was a quickie and fun. I like the results and I would make more.

I think my little fabric beads, each sewn on with a French knot and two colors of floss, are perfect for fabric poinsettia flowers!

poinsettia-card

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Fabric Challenge and Swap

I was happy to learn that the fabric I submitted for the Quilting Art Fabric Challenge/Swap was published in their Dec 2016/Jan2017 magazine. They didn’t publish all of the submissions but I was impression by the variety and would love to be able to ask many of the artists how exactly they achieved their results.

quilting-arts-mag

forest-rays

Ann’s fabric

The way the challenge worked was for readers to create a fat quarter of fabric with original surface designs, submit it, and then they would receive a fat quarter made by another entrant. For more information see that QA link above.

I was so excited when I received a fat quarter created by Susan Price. Susan along with her business partner, Elizabeth, create original and custom Thermofax screens and sell their designs on Etsy at – PGFiber2art

s-price-fab-full s-price-fab-detail s-price-fab-back

Susan explained that the fabric I received was snow dyed, pole-wrapped (Shibori) and then thermofax screen printed using her original photo called Birds on a Branch. I think it is beautiful! Thank you, Susan.

A short time after I received Susan’s fabric I received a “thank you” email from Pat Robertson, who was the recipient of my challenge fabric. As I looked through the magazine again, I discovered that the fabric Pat submitted was also published so I asked Pat to send me photos of her fabric. Pat was kind enough to also send photos of her process too. The steps are – Pre-treated fabric, snow pile, dye applied, processing, fabric accepting the dye, rinse, and beautiful results! Thank you, Pat.

1-pretreated-fabric-p-robertson 2-snow-on-the-fabric-p-robertson 3-dye-placed-p-robertson 4-begining-to-melt-p-robertson 5-end-of-melting-p-robertson 6-rinsing-p-robertson 7-finished-fabric-p-robertson So you can see what wonderful results may come from playing with (and working) surface designs. I hope you will give it a try and if you do please share your results!

 

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When the Wind Blows

We have had some Santa Ana winds recently, which are always scary because we are so prone to wildfires. Our Redbud tree has been wind stripped of most of her leaves. I walked out the other day and on the patio next to the tree saw this circle of leaves and asked my husband if he wanted me to put them in the greens recycle can and he said “I don’t know what circle of leaves you are talking about.” He thought I made it, I thought he made it, we knew our adult kids hadn’t made it, and so it has been determined that the wind made it…that or there are some leaf elves hiding out in our garden!

leaf-circle

I’m not a trained painter but enjoy trying my hand at it on fabric, which I believe is even more challenging than painting on paper. I see a lot that is not “correct” about this leaf but the shadow area, at least, will go under my quilting machine needle and hopefully I’ll be happier about it then. One thing I know but too often forget – Painting a drying leaf, in little bits of time, over a few days is not a good idea. Drying leaves change!painted-leaf-on-fab-wip

I think I work better in the abstract… it is more forgiving (or is it that I’m more accepting?!) and I find it much more relaxing. The below leaf was painted using Neo-Color II Wax Pastels and water and will have more quilting around it. Both of these leaves were painted on a scrap from my A Clear Necessity quilt (which is scheduled to be exhibited at the New England Quilt Museum in 2017).

watercolor-abstract-leaf

I don’t know why it is but I just have a thing for leaves! How about you?

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Stitching Flowers

Homemade cards have been something my family has made for years. We buy cards too but handmade cards have a special place in our hearts. I celebrated another birthday at the end of October (hopefully that explains the subject matter of the first card here) which was designed & made by my digital artist daughter. It is one in a series of cat cards she has been making for many, many years now. Later I’ll share her Thanksgiving card (it’s much cuter!). I should have scanned the card instead of using my phone…

cat-card-creature-black-lagoon-2016 When birthdays happen it usually means I get to make “thank you” notes, so here are a couple I quickly stitched up.

meanndering-dragons-tail

I call this MeAnndering (get it?)

silk-flower-card

I love stitching on silk but card stock, not so much!

 

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Finding Surface Designs

I lifted the lid off a cast iron pan after allowing it to cool for cleaning and discovered this…

cast-iron-pan-artAt first I thought – Oh, that’s cool, in a rusty, creepy sort of way, and then I looked again and cast-iron-pan-art-detailthought, it looks familiar. I remembered coming across an old painting while I was organizing the new studio space… I’m not sure if you can tell from these photos but the texture and some of the shapes look much the same!

watercolor-run-paintingThe watercolor was done on paper and the technique was more – just let the paint flow (pour) than actually brush painting. I’m not sure how the tiny dots were made but I really like the textured appearance. After it dried I rotated it 180° and it made me think of coral below the sea. Cast iron, paper… next, get out the fabric and textile paints!

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A Little Fiber Fun

I’m finally getting back into the swings of things now that my studio has been relocated (yes, again!), maybe for the last time. Being settled in (and the time of year) gave me an itch to make something different. It’s still fiber and fabric, just not in an art quilt sort of way. If you read my blog you know I love exploring ways to use Terial Magic spray stabilizer and though I have made cheesecloth ghosts for years, using Terial Magic was so much easier than using glue or other gel medium type products.

The following tutorial is for a Halloween Ghost Candy Bowl. It is a simple and depending on your weather (it’s been in the nineties here!) a quick project. The instructions and supplies may be found here.

If you are adventurous; stitching, spiders and webbing could embellish the bowl.

hallo-ghosties-bowl-1

hallo-ghosties-bowl-2hallo-ghosties-bowl-3  hallo-ghosties-bowl-4 hallo-ghosties-bowl-5 hallo-ghosties-bowl-6 hallo-ghosties-bowl-7 hallo-ghosties-bowl-8 hallo-ghosties-bowl-11 hallo-ghosties-bowl-10

 

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A Good Kind of Exhaustion

If you have ever helped put on a major event you’ll understand how one feels joy and exhaustion at the same time. Joy that so many visitors and participants come together to experience quilt making and fiber art, and exhaustion for being part of, in this case, an all volunteer organization in an almost 55,000 square foot room! Thanks to the quilt makers who entered their quilts for display, without whom there wouldn’t be a show.

The 35th Annual San Diego Quilt Show was the event and I was fortunate to be asked once again to display my Photograph of Fiber series. I’ll share photos of my exhibit and more quilts in future posts. I was also the chairperson for the Quilt Sales booth where we offered quilts: old and new, tops and blocks, along with other quilt or fiber related creations.

2016 sdqs quilt sales booth west 2016 sdqs quilt sales booth east

Being a bit of a control freak, I set the booth up by myself (with some help from my Mister). Plenty of people offered to help but nooooo! So I’m still feeling tired but very pleased with the booth. Many visitors purchased quilts for themselves or gifts for someone they love.

I’m amazed that some of our members are fifteen plus years older than I and they worked their butts off, had fun and stayed positive… I think there may have been a lot of coffee involved! I also discovered that being on the receiving end of hundreds of kind comments can be exhausting too!

It was a beautiful show and the volunteers who helped to make it happen are awesome and should be proud. I’m looking forward to next year when San Diego and postcards will be the theme. So if you are reading this and participated in the 2016 show (especially in the Quilt Sales booth)… Thank you and I hope to see you next year!

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Fiber and Wood

I know technically wood is fiber but in this case it is second to the fabric fiber. Here is one of my mini art quilts, from the flora series, mounted on acrylic and displayed on a pieces of (old pallet) hardwood. The top is hand appliqued because at that time I didn’t realize just how short life is! It is pillowcase turned and free-motion machine quilted (see back quilted here).

tulip quilt plexi reclaimed woodfree style flower5They are heavy so I have added 1/2″ stick-on (drawer) bumper “feet” to protect the surface they are set on and to keep them from sliding around.

flora wood base image

Do you have a less than traditional way you display small art quilts? I’m going to do more mounting on canvas too.

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Something New and a Little Green

I was gifted an herb planter set for Mother’s Day (from my Mister), and even though they were in a sunny window, it wasn’t going well until I placed them outside in the (filtered) sun. At first I thought – In jars without drain holes, bad idea but…herbs july Now they are very happy and I don’t feel like a plant killer! Hopefully the cilantro (the one I most wanted) won’t bolt.

herbs august 7I’m not a watercolor on paper artist but because I made the mistake of leash training Kona, I seem to be spending more time out on the kitchen deck, so I decided to try my hand.

kona

I admire anyone who can paint Plein Air… I’m intimidated by it!

herbs watercolor

Painted on Watercolor Postcards stock (it’s tiny)

Back in the studio where I feel more confident… Here is a little detail of my most recent Photograph on Fiber series piece. It will be on display at the San Diego Quilt Show August 30 (evening Preview Party) through September 3, 2016. After the piece professionally photographed I’ll share it on the blog.

still moring detail

Hand painted whole cloth, stamped using hand made stamps, and machine quilted.

As I was writing this about twenty green parrots flew over… such a perfect ending!

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Carving and Printing

I have had a small lino block for some time now but keep putting off carving it. There seems to be a bit of fear! In the meantime I have been carving Speedball Speedy Carve rubber and having a blast with it! Printing on silk organza, as well as hand painted and dyed cotton using textile paint. Then I used the textile paint on a Gelli Arts plate and I just love how the results don’t look much like the original print (clear and clean) but more like a fern. Have you used these product? How were your results?

curving printing silk gelli

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