Altered Book Landscape

If you have any interest in assemblage and mixed media art or just want to enjoy something a bit different from fabric and quilt making, I recommend Ina’s Art Room on YouTube. She makes wonderful works of art, usually using surprising elements (sometimes fabric). Ina also invites subscribers and visitors to participate in her 4 Core Challenges. I’ve participated in the past and it’s fun! Ina posts her videos on Fridays.

Ina’s January 2022 #4core challenge was to use a book as the substrate and include texture, metal, and give the piece a “winter vibe.” After the deadline she posts a video showing everyone’s finished projects. The January challenge video should be posted on her channel in early February.

I decided to participate again and here is my piece; a candle backdrop featuring a fabric landscape.

I have made the inside of the book the new “front.” The votive is covered in fabric coils and has a flameless tealight.
The cover is now the “back.”

I bought the used book at the local library. The original hardcover was red and had some globs of glue under the paper part of the cover… so I scraped and tried to cover it with snowflakes. I tried a few different things to add texture to the snowflakes but in the end just painted them with a pearl white acrylic paint.

Here are few photos of the process.

First painted gesso over the red book cover and then acrylic.
Added splatters for flying snow.

I had the painted sky fabric in my stash, the white/gray fabrics are commercial, and the foreground snow is thin white batting. The fence is cut-up (used) craft sticks (tongue depressor size) that I painted, and the wire is just coated wire. I added a few little frays of silk fabric for the grass. The “snow” on the fence and wire is sawdust (for texture) mixed with gesso and some acrylic paint.

It was fun to quickly stitch up a very simple, little fabric landscape for this project.

Auditioning before the fabrics were fuse and quilted.

The fluffy border is a beautiful soft yarn and I think it worked perfectly!

The things I love about Ina’s challenges – She encourages artists to really make it their own, she offers loads of ideas, and there’s no pressure (though there is a finish-by date). I enjoyed every minute of making this project… well, all but the waiting time for materials to dry!

Winner! Thank you to those of you who entered the appliqued miniature landscape top sweepstakes/giveaway. Congratulations to the winner – Deborah F (Please email your mailing information to me at fiberdesignsbyann@gmail.com).

2022 – Many unfinished pieces have been weighing on me for far too long, so I’m going to work on actually finishing as many pieces as I can this year. I hope you’ll come by to see what I’ve done, maybe get more ideas and be inspired. There will probably be a few giveaways along the way.

Stay safe and make art that makes you happy.

Mini Landscape Giveaway

Little announcement – I no longer have a shop or pieces for sale on my website. I’m thinking about life and business and trying to work things out. I still have a lot of art that I would happily sell but for now my website isn’t the place.

Some if not all of you know making and teaching miniature fabric landscapes was how my business really began. My landscapes were featured on Lap Quilting with Georgia Bonesteel, long ago. In many ways I have wandered far from miniature landscapes but they are still a passion for me. If we were in a different (safer) time I would happily teach mini landscapes again. I loved seeing how the students would make my pattern their own little scape just by the fabrics they selected. For example – the two below are the same pattern but have totally different look and feel.

I recently rediscovered this poppy foreground fabric landscape and thought it would make a nice giveaway item. See rules below. It is a top only ( 11 1/4″ x 9″) but could be finished as a quilt or faced and framed, maybe added to a tote bag or larger project.

It is an older piece and it must have had a border attached that I removed (no memory of that!), because there are stitching holes along the outside edge. These photos are from my phone and photoshopped, so that’s why they may look slightly distorted.

One reason I know it is older is because the sky isn’t as good as it should be. Also, I wasn’t using silk thread and I tied knots instead of back-stitching.

Landscape back…

Some fabric landscape making tips – Whenever possible press the landscape on the back/face down because the iron can leave shiny marks and I think, the edges of each piece just look better not hard pressed from the front. Also, check for shadow through as each piece is appliqued and BEFORE adding borders, binding, or facing.

To enter: You must live in the US only (no international entries). One entry per person. Sweepstakes/giveaway begins January 19, 2022 and ends at 9pm (Pacific Time) January 24, 2022.

Leave a comment/reply on this blog post that you would like to be entered for a chance to win the Miniature Landscape (top only) and include your first and last name (or last initial).

On January 25, 2022 I’ll use a random drawer and announce the winner on my next blog post.

Winner will email me their mailing information and I will mail the ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ Miniature Landscape (top only) ASAP. If I don’t hear from the winner within five days of drawing date, I will run another random draw. Good luck!

Working Small

Today I’m sharing four little pieces; you may have seen a couple if you follow me on Instagram. three may still be works in progress (wip). I have really enjoyed working on these tiny pieces. They are made from scraps of other projects and some on pieces of fabric I have had for ages but could never find a way to use until now.

This free motion palm tree on painted sky fabric was from my Needlevember a while back. Now it’s matted and framed.

Mixed media – Stained and painted cheesecloth, dyed silk, stamped dragonfly on silk organza, felt cups, grape wreath vine, and some embroidery.

Below is a piece of fabric I stamped, painted, and printed real and faux leaves, and I’ve have had it for years. Now I will be able to get more than one little piece from it. The one below (wip) has a paper clay leaves (rubbed painted) and beads are from gifted (for altered art) jewelry, silk, and embroidery floss stitching.

You may recognize the painted burlap in this last piece from a previous post and the metallic paper too. I’ve also added fabric coils held on by French knots, and more floss stitches, all on black cotton.

Besides Quilts

On my continued search through old photos I found several photos of projects that are quilt and fabric related. Again, I apologize for the photos, some of these are projects from twenty or more years ago… or long before the Internet as we now know it!

I didn’t worry about the projects being original back then, many were made before I had a fiber art business (or computer) and were only gifted to family. So I did use other designs and/or traditional patterns. If any of you have been crafting for ages, like me, you may remember making items like these. I know hot pads are an item being made by many traditional and beginner quilters these days still.

Raggedy Ann from a pattern.

The photo albums below were made over forty years ago. I’d forgotten I once knew how to crochet!

Machine satin stitched, appliqued sweatshirts – before I knew what applique was.
Table runner (hand quilted)
Little quilt name tags (These were for sale).
I made this to go on a gift tote bag. There may be a pattern but at the time I just made it up.
This was an original design quilt in a hoop (a gift for a principal).

While my kids were in elementary school the joke was that I should have my own parking space because I was there so much, as a volunteer. Every year I made some type of “thank you,” end of year quilt for both of my kid’s teachers. At that time being there offered me the opportunity to place items for sale in the faculty workroom. I made a lot of tiny quilt pins, many from fussy-cut commercial fabrics but the ones I share here were all hand painted originals on fabric. I really loved making these little pins (I may have shown some on my blog in the past).

For spring
Valentines Day
Commissioned hummingbirds

As I went through the photos I started to remember many more projects I made but never took a photos of. I’m so glad photographing projects is easier now.

I hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane with me, and if it has given you any crafty ideas, all the better!

Painting with Fabric

I have been scanning some old quilt related photos. “Old” as in before camera phones so we didn’t know how good (or not) the photo was until it was developed, so please keep that in mind as you look at these images.

I got into watercolor style quilts after meeting Gai Perry, the guest artist at our local quilt show. Oh my gosh, it was fantastic to see her quilts in person. I had a copy of her book – Impressionist Quilts by Gai Perry (Soft Cover Book 1995), but I think I gave it to a quilt guild. It is still available in a few places online.

I’ll admit that some of my pieces do stretch the technique a bit or are combined with other quilt/patchwork styles. I don’t have any of these pieces and didn’t keep good records. Some were finished and sold or given away and others were sold as tops only.

This was my favorite and I think the most successful.

I loved the challenge of finding fabrics that would “reach” to the next for a smooth transition.

Where the contrasts come together to create a hard line can make a good frame or shape.

For my parents – Mom liked teddy bears and dad accidentally collected pigs.

I took an easy road to finishing by using large triangles in the corners of this piece. I did finish this and my folks kept it on the back of their rocking (the grandbabies) chair. I don’t have a photo of it finished but I did hand quilt it; that was before I did machine quilting.

My tiniest watercolor sold at a guild auction and was won by one of my Continuing Ed teachers.

Cat on a Mat (top only). I have mixed feeling about this piece but it was fun to use all those cat fabrics.

With the piece below – the fabrics don’t “reach” into each other, so technically not a watercolor but still has a little bit of that feel. Made before I bought Gai’s book.

The next two photos are the same quilt but the first one shows that it is quilted (hand quilted). The upper area in part was inspired by Margaret Millers Block Bender style and the lower right area is watercolor. My thought was an abstract quilt of birds flying over the ocean. A lot of hours of play/work!

Below is not a watercolor quilt but a cathedral window that my late aunt made for one of her daughters. She came out for a visit and I gave her hundreds of squares of fabric (I think 4.5″) and this is just one of the quilts she made with some of them.

Now for the sweepstakes giveaway…

The winner of the 6.5 inch squares is Julie K.

and the winner of the hand painted fabric pieces is Cherie M.

Fabric winners please email your mailing information to me and I will send your fabric as soon as possible. If I don’t hear from you within five days I will draw again.

I’m wishing all of you a safe and happy New Year, with time to art around!

Five Techniques for Painting Fabric

I learned a lot while painting these fabrics so there are plenty of things I may do differently even though I really like the results. A couple of the techniques I will absolutely make again, probably for use behind embroidery work.

Here again are the painted fabrics in the giveaway and the video is below.

And here are the 6.5 inch squares (96 of them), also in the giveaway.

I hope you’ll share this post with anyone you know who may be interested in a chance to win either of these fabric bundles.

Reminder – The giveaway/sweepstakes ends on December 27, 2021, and I’ll post the two winner’s names on this blog December 29th, so if you’ve entered, please check to see if you are a fabric winner.

Here is my How-to video…

Happy Winter Solstice!

Thanks and Fabric Giveaways

I’m so happy that I have been able to share my artwork, thank you for supporting me and commenting. I’ve learned a lot from many of you too.

I received two surprises not too long ago, one was an email from the kind person who purchased one of my painted and stitched panel. Below is the project she made with it; prefect for this season. Thank you Lynda! I love seeing how others incorporate my art into theirs.

The other surprise was happy mail from Karen G, who sent me a large piece of her own eco dyed fabric. The background is more a taupe color than shown in the photo but the photo does show the wonderful texture she achieved. Thank you, Karen. I just don’t know how I’ll ever be able to cut into it! If you have a question for Lynda or Karen leave a comment and hopefully they will see it.

A couple days ago I painted fabric using some different objects and techniques, and though I did film the processes I haven’t had time to edit the video. I hope you can get an idea what the fabrics look like from this photo. The smallest piece is approximately 18″ x 12″ and the largest 19 1/2″ x 15″. The darker blue is 28″ x 8 1/2″.

I will be giving the newly painted fabric and 6 1/2″ squares of commercial fabrics away to two separate winners later this month. The winner’s names will be posted in the December 29 blog post. I hope to share the painted fabric video next blog post (but I’ll be getting my booster soon, so we will see).

The commercial squares will be six pieces of a rainbow of colors along with some black and whites. Here is a sampling… Pinks, reds, and greens.

Sweepstakes/giveaway begins Dec.15, 2021 and ends at 9pm (Pacific Time), Dec. 27, 2021.

To enter: You must live in the US only (no international entries). One entry per person. NOTE: (If applicable) If your name is drawn as the first winner it will be removed for the second drawing.

Leave a comment that you would like to win the painted fabric either/or the fabric squares and include your first and last name (or last initial).

After December 27th I’ll use a random drawer and announce the winners on my next blog post.

Winner/s will email me their mailing information and I will mail the fabric packages ASAP. If I don’t hear from the winner within five days of drawing date, I will run another random draw. Good luck!

There was a Crooked House Cat

The little House Cat quilt is finished or is it? The peanut gallery is having a problem with the fact that is isn’t straight, well, specifically that the hanging tabs are different lengths. What do you think?

My thought with this piece was that the cat was sitting on fleece pad/blanket (green fabric) and it’s not straight or perfect so when I added the border, I just went with the shape.

I do have ideas for how I could make the hanging tag appear even but I’m not sure I’ll go there…maybe after you tell me your thoughts.

I’m really happy with the hanger though. It’s made from my paper clay version of catnip leaves on the left, and on the right, part of a cat toy; I added more feathers, yarn, and a piece of reclaimed jewelry.

My kitty, Kona, donated two more eye brow hairs and I’m pleased with the face.

I’ve been accused of slacking on my labels, oh well, here’s this one (just fused on). As I mentioned in an earlier post – After ripping out her first eyes I knew where the label was going, and it did.

This piece is approximately 16″ wide (the hanging dowel) by approximately 17″ tall, and may be for sale.

The weather here has been cool with even a little rain today, which we really need. So the kitty “resort” hasn’t gone outside and even though there was sun yesterday, somebody wasn’t a bit happy about not being able to go “outside” into the resort!

I had a studio dog by my side (usually laying on my feet) for over eight years and she never demanded what this cat does, LOL!

Look for a fabric giveaway/sweepstakes announcement next post. Until then I hope you enjoy the season and stay safe.

Potato Patato and the Winner

Do you say poyn·seh·tee·uh or poin-sed-uh? Apparently either way is okay, depending on who you ask!

It would be an understatement to say I love flowers and have used them a few times in my artwork. Winter always makes me think of the poinsettia plant and so it’s probably no surprise that once again, I’ve made a poinsettia project.

Here are my new pieces; a notecard and tag, and the video showing how the card was made. I think it would be fun to use this idea for an art quilt too or to change it up with any other type of flower. Ideas, always more ideas.

If you watch the video, thanks, and I hope you enjoy it.

And The Winner of the Leaf decorated box with a surprise inside is – Sylvia Wallace! Congratulations, Sylvia, please email your mailing address to me at fiberdesignsbyann@gmail.com

I understand the end of the year can be a busy time but I’ll have one more sweepstakes/giveaway, and of course more art in December, so if you’re up to it I hope you’ll stop by again.

Stay safe and be good to yourself.

Changing Ways

I laugh when I think back to the days when I would only work on one project at a time, start to finish, and they were usually pretty big size (quilt) projects. Now I’m usually working on at least three projects at a time. Maybe it’s because I’m older and there are so many things I still want to try.

I was hoping to have this one finished but some days just don’t go as planned, I’m guessing you know what I’m talking about.

This is the mini landscape in a leaf that I designed a while ago. The sky and water are my hand painted fabric, the other pieces are commercial fabrics. Below are some of the process steps. As I worked on this I thought about how I would be so much more comfortable doing all of it by hand – the applique, even the quilting. I have always felt happier, more in control, doing hand applique and quilting. All of my early miniature landscape were made by hand, and ti’s the way I have taught mini fabric landscapes to students. But now that changes day to day and I’ve had to change my ways; raw edge fusing, machine quilting and sewing have allow me a better chance of getting projects done in my lifetime!

To begin – The little landscape pieces were positioned on Wonder Under, pressed and the leaf cut out. Usually I would remove the paper and then cut it out but in this case it was easier for me to cut it out with the backing paper still on the back.

I measured and cut freezer paper about the size of the finished quilt and pressed it onto the black background fabric. Next I positioned and held a cardstock leaf pattern on the freezer paper and drew around it, then I extended the landscape lines out from the edge of the leaf. I numbered them from furthest back to the most foreground piece.

I cut them apart and removed the pattern and freezer paper. Next I pressed/fused the leaf in place on the the background fabric. and ironed the freezer paper pieces in order, back in place (like a puzzle), leaving a little gap; a bit of trimming was required so there would be a gap. BTW – This could be the makings for “stained glass” style quilt too.

Then I used a Chaco liner and drew in the gaps. I drew quilting lines for the sky, and then wiped them away, and tried a few more times until I found a design I liked.

Here the leaf, sky, and landscape extension lines have all been quilted – blue thread for the sky and a gray for the landscape. I started to close quilt using color thread within the extension sections, out from the landscape elements and sky, but it was not a good day for that…

Early on I knew it wasn’t a good day for me to be quilting. But instead of quitting for the day like I should have, I ripped out colored thread quilting and grabbed black thread. I’m thinking about dry brush painting some of the outside edges of the black quilting. I’ll have to think on that after I finish all of the black quilting… we’ll see!

Reminder – Next post I’ll be announcing the Leaf Decorated Box winner.

As winter and the holiday seasons approach I hope you will be safe and find some time just for you.