Heart Art Gone Awry

A couple weeks ago I was working on a new Heart MeAnndering video. When I finished stitching I wasn’t happy with one of the petals, so I ripped it out, fixed it and added some French knots. Then before editing I discovered that at some point during filming I must have left the camera on (went to fix dinner or something), thinking I had turned it off. So when I started stitching again I actually turned the camera off! Yes, there is a screen that shows if the camera is recording or not and yes, I have been accused, on more than one occasion, of not looking to make sure. Needless to say there’s no video.

If that wasn’t disheartening enough, when I went to press the very white background fabric I neglected to use protection and my not so clean iron left discolored marks!

After the fix and before the iron accident

Maybe I should have just given up there but no; I had that much into the darn thing, I just couldn’t. I mixed up some textile paint and painted the fabric surrounding the heart and of course while doing that I accidentally splattered paint ON THE HEART! So I had to add more splatters to make it look intentional, right? It’s still bugging me but I’ll give this heart to a loved one and she’ll probably frame it. As often happens when things go awry – lessons were learned along the way!

 

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I Don’t Do Hearts…

Well, I should say I didn’t do hearts! I’m not much of a heart person though I got married in February (38 years ago and not on Valentine’s Day) but I have a dear one who loves hearts and asked me to make her a small textile heart art piece for her newly renovated home.

Batik hearts on silk background (sorry it’s a little blurred)

So that got me creating hearts. Up in the Patterns and Supply Lists tab is a free printable hearts MeAnnder for you and/or someone you know to color in. I print mine on card stock because I like the smoothness under the markers I use. I think it could make a nice frame for a photograph, a sentiment or even a quilt label. Do you have other ideas?

And as always, if you color my MeAnnder hearts doodle in let me know by sending me a photo and with your permission, I’ll share it here on my blog.

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MeAnndering Cat Head

My daughter, Zoey, was kind enough to draw a cat head pattern for me so that I could MeAnnder (aka doodle) on paper. She works digitally and makes it look so easy! Up under the Patterns and Supply List tab I’ve added the cat head pattern uncolored; for those of you who like to doodle and another cat head that I MeAnndered, so it’s ready for you color! I used felt tip markers but crayons, color pencils, or paints could be used instead. If you and/or someone you know uses the patterns I’d love to see the finished masterpieces!

Coming soon I’ll be sharing a couple MeAnndered heart projects and another free pattern.

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Fabric and Gunpowder!

I really enjoy the blog …And Then We Set It On Fire… The contributors are individual fiber artists who work in and explore a multitude of surface design techniques and more; sometimes working together. I once had the pleasure of being a guest artist on FIRE!

One of their recent blog posts did more than catch my eye. My interest was really sparked when I read that Kelly Hendrickson and Wil Opio Oguta, the two artists posting on FIRE this month, had been exploring the use of GUNPOWDER on fabric!

I have tried many different techniques over the years, here are some…

shibori opening detail

Shibori pole wrapped straight, using Jacquard Textile Color paints

anns shibori painted

Shibori pole wrapped on diagonal using Jacquard Textile Color paints

 

tube shibori

Shibori rope wrapped using dye

stamping, dripping, splattering, flour resist, stencil made on the sewing machine; painted and stenciled onto fabric made on a plastic tarp, rubbings with wax pastels, painted cheesecloth, melted Lutradur, burnt silk, just painting, and lots and lots of hand painted sky and landscape fabric… but never gunpowder!

curving printing silk gelli drip stamped3 flour paste a4 flour resist 3 machine made stencil painted machine made stencil melt lutradur burn silk rubbing paint wax pastelsfabric painting rosesky fab assort

Kelly and Wil have publish an e-book the explores their gunpowder techniques (I just bought it!), I hope you will visit “…And Then We Set It On Fire…” and each of their websites – I think you’ll have a blast!

Thanks to Kelly and Wil for letting me share their gunpowder post!

 

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Fabric Flowers a New Video

I have been having a lot of fun creating flowers for small art quilts and greeting cards. They may not be “fine” art but they are easy and (the cards are) useful and the flowers require very little thinking! Here is my newest video – How to Make Simple White Fabric Flowers.

As you can see they do have a bit of color in the center. I hope you will watch and enjoy!

The flowers below are made using the same materials but a slightly different technique. I’ll be producing a “how-to make the cards” video in the near future. But coming soon are a couple MeAnndering videos. I’ll post them to my blog as soon as they a published.

pastel flower cardsunflower fin

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Wasting Time?

As I’ve said before, I thought it would be a good idea to leash train our cat and so I seem to be spending more time out on the kitchen deck. It’s going to be a sad day when she realizes we have winter.  When I’m not working on hand embroidery and other hand sewing while I’m out there, I use a pen and paper and I doodle (paper is fiber after all!). You may know it by other names but in the old days we just called it doodling. Here are a few of my doodles.

meanndering-5 meanndering-6 meanndering-3

At first I thought it was a terrible waste of time but then I started “doodling” using my sit-down quilting machine. I call it “MeAnndering” and here is my first MeAnndering video.

I’m going to be out there cat sitting anyway so I have decided it is okay to waste spend the time doodling on paper as a warm-up and practice for when I do sit down at the quilting machine. Either way, I have determined it is additive!

face-free-motion-warm-up1

 

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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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