I was scrolling through Instagram recently and noticed several people taking part in different time sensitive or daily challenges. Back in November 2020 I challenged myself, and anyone interested in joining me, to Needlevember. Each day in November I/we would share something we stitched. I enjoyed the stitching but having something to show every day felt like pressure rather than pleasure. I know challenges are more fun when more people share their pieces too, but I went solo.
I’ve enjoyed creating challenge projects for Visions Art Museum Stir Crazy member challenge, I especially like that there’s no time frame for getting any of them finished. A few other artists have created project too. The idea of these projects, during the pandemic, was to find and use materials and objects you may already have around the house. VAM asked me to come up with another project for May.
The May project is mixed media but doesn’t include stitching, though I do show how I made one simple white fabric flower; these same flowers I used in my Unmaking the Soul piece…
Here is the May Spring Wreaths project.
If you know anyone who may like to try a project like these Spring Wreaths, I hope you’ll share this post or the video. Thanks!
Visions Art Museum had a Call for Entries with the theme First Responders. This exhibit will be online only and I haven’t heard yet if my piece has been selected, I’m sharing it here.
I had many ideas but I got a late start so I went with the simplest one. It’s only about 15″ square, which was doable for me even though I’m rusty. The first image I shared on my previous post, it is fused without the vessel. If you follow me on Instagram you may already know what the surprise vessel is.
I had the idea of using a mask for the vase/vessel long before the main design. In making the vessel I discovered that a (too) hot iron would melt the mask more than I had anticipated. Thankfully, I had it sandwiched between parchment paper. I actually like the “aged” look it gave the mask. I removed one ear strap and used the other as the bottom edge and feet. I used embroidery floss with a close blanket stitch around it for a bit more interest.
I free motion quilted/thread played, echoing the flowers and greens, and wrote “Thank you First Responders.” The writing is subtle, I didn’t want it to be the first thing the viewer noticed. I quilted green in the center of the yellow flowers later.
I make tiny double layered binding with butted corners, it’s not fast but it is still my favorite way to finish any quilt. Knowing that my hand is not 100% yet I didn’t want to try to stitch through my usual painted fabric so I used a softer, thinner fabric (white muslin, I think) and painted two pieces.
Another favorite thing is to “break” the binding where the quilt design has an obvious break – in this quilt it is between the table top and the main design. I got the fabric wet and used an old vinyl shower curtain under it. I laid and smoothed the fabric out and then painted it; one to contrast with the main area piece and the other to mostly match the wood-look table top. Then I crunched the wet fabrics lengthwise to give some added interest.
I rush dried this pieces, which means I let them be for a short time and then heat set before rinsing them out with water to remove any paint, then squeezed as much moisture out and ironed them completely dry. They really lightened up.
The vessel was stitched on after the binding was finished.
I always add side binding first then leave a one inch hang over on the top and bottom binding edges, which gets trimmed down. The already cut fabric pieces I painted were almost too short, so in this photo I was just checking by laying them in place… Machine stitched the side bindings first. I love those clips, they hold the binding for the hand stitching with no more pin stabs!
I’m please with the finished piece which I’ve titled – Mask for Them. The exhibit should be online beginning May 3, 2021, with or without my piece I’m sure it will be a great exhibit. VAM has wonderful online shows, events, and activities.
Thanks to those of you who entered for a chance to win the Painted Tree fabric… Congratulations to Karen G, you are the winner! Please email your mailing information.
I hope you’ll stop by again for more fiber/mixed media art and a May giveaway.
This is a reminder that I’ll hold the random draw, then post the winner for my painted tree fabric in next weeks post.
I wasn’t sure how hand embroidering would go but thanks to my hoop stand I was able to finish the piece I wrote about here. I used three strands of black floss and as I stitched I remembered that although this fine cotton is a great surface to paint on, it’s not as much fun to hand embroider. But it was a good hand and thumb exercise and I think the background fabric has been redeemed!
Right now I’m working on a challenge piece that I’m only sharing a sneak peek of. It’s small with simple raw edge applique. Once again one of my drawer treasure fabrics has been given new life in a new little floral art quilt. The fabric was this tree trunk…
I think I painted it when I began working on this Photograph on Fiber series piece. Bark is one of those elements I love painting or at least attempting to paint. It seems to me many other fiber and mixed media artists are as intrigued with tree trunks and bark as I am.
I finally cut the trunk fabric up and I’ve used it for the table top in the small floral art quilt. I over painted it with a bit of yellow ochre and orange because the gray was too blah and that also pulled some of the flower colors in.
All hand painted or dyed fabrics, this wip will be free motion quilted, I’ll add some words, and a (surprising) vessel to hold the arrangement. There is a deadline so we’ll see if I actually get it finished in time.
I’m learning to use my hand and arm again but I had no idea it would be such a challenge. I’ve always said making art is my therapy but now it is literally my physical therapy!
I enjoyed painting this tree fabric but I wasn’t sure what I would do with it so I decided to give it away. The fabric is 100% cotton and measures approximately 17 3/4″ x 16 3/4″ and it’s been washed (no soap) and pressed dry.
If you are interested in a chance to win this painted tree fabric follow the rules below. If you know anyone you think may be interested in a chance to win this fabric, feel free to share this post and video.
Sweepstakes/giveaway begins April 14, 2021 and ends at 9pm (Pacific Time) April 26, 2021.
To enter: You must live in the US only (no international entries). One entry per person. Leave a comment that you would like to win the Painted Tree fabric and include your first and last name (or last initial).
On April 27, 2021 I’ll use a random drawer and announce the winner/s on my next blog post. Winner will email me their mailing information and I will mail the Painted Tree fabric ASAP. PLEASE NOTE – If I don’t hear from the winner within five days of drawing date, I will run another random draw. Good luck!
I’m happy to be out of my cast but recovery is going slowly with little arting going on. I have more drawer treasures to share, I only wish I could remember how I actually made many of the pieces I have rediscovered.
These are pieces that have been stamped using leaves and other objects. I need to move my wrist around some so after finding this old ivy print I embroidered a simple bird on a branch. It was a very quick and doable project for me right now but I may add more to it later.
This is a print I made ages ago using leaves from our Sienna Sunrise Nandina. It has one of my favorite leaves to use in art; they work great not just for stamping but for rubbings, and gel printing. There is what looks like a jellybean or small rock in the lower right area and I love that it has a shadow and dots on it that weren’t intentionally made. Sadly, I have no idea how I achieved that. The gold rectangles with thin ridges were stamped using a piece of composite decking board.
Below are two areas of a hand painted fabric with an underwater feel, I like it so much I can’t bring myself to do anything with. Stamped using a natural sponge, my recollection is that the turquoise color was stamped on wet fabric with a wet sponge and the sponge wasn’t as wet for the darker color.
This final piece is Fallen, one of my/our Photograph on Fiber series pieces. The leaf photo was taken by my son, who would say it’s nothing special, but it was fun to stamp, paint, and quilt the background fabric.
I’m trying to schedule my vaccination so I’m not sure what shape I’ll be in but I plan to announce a painted fabric giveaway next week.
In the past when I presented live lectures to quilt guilds, one of the talks was about making the quilt more our own. We often use one main fabric to help select the other fabrics in a quilt, this is a twist on that. During my recovery ironing is not happening so please excuse any wrinkles.
Here are some examples of commercial fabrics with easy additions.
Above is a pretty floral fabric and nice black on white. With the addition of a stamp the black/white becomes a coordinating fabric and there’s more to quilt around.
The stamp was made by cutting thin craft foam into leaf shapes and gluing them onto scraps of Lauan (Sometimes I use Masonite and even cut-up sturdy box cardboard for stamp base and handle). Then I scored down the center of the leaves for added interest. Next I placed the fabric on a slightly cushy surface. Using a makeup type sponge, I applied craft acrylic paint onto the leaves, then stamped the leaves onto the fabric.
Another floral fabric needed something more vibrant so I used my Sharpie Stained markers. So simple and fun. Notice on the right side, even the addition of just a few orange dots make this fabric more lively.
Sometimes the fabric combinations are unexpected.
Jacquard Textile Color in apple green and a paint brush made specifically for applying paint to fabric.
Here the gingham inspired the squares for the stamp which was made using a thick craft foam. The paint is Jacquard Textile Color in Fluorescent Yellow.
Another floral fabric and a three leaf stamp on gingham.
Below, this beautiful jewel tone design on black fabric has so much potential, both with coordinating and customizing. The blue coordinating fabric inspired this next stamp and I love the look on the polka-dot fabric.
The last and simplest idea… To softens the dark/jewel tone fabric I pulled in a cream floral and used craft acrylic paint and a new flat pencil eraser.
The orange dots added just enough kick of color to make the subtle fabric work better with the darker.
As I revisit these pieces it really gets my creative juices flowing. I hope these examples sparked some ideas in you.
I’m from a family of sky watchers. My parents lived just up the hill from where we live and my mom would often phone in the evenings, all she’d say was “sky alert!.” I would know that meant go upstairs and look out. My folks are gone but rarely do we miss a morning or evening of looking out and up. Here are a few of those skies…
That may be why I love painting sky fabric so much, that and wanting special skies for my landscapes quilts. I can’t make much art yet but I was able to paint a mini sky fabric and make the how-to video (see below).
Fabric Painting a Fluorescent Sky was so much fun and easy, requiring minimal supplies and materials.
One reason my giveaways came about was because I discovered many things I made that had been stashed way. This fabric is a piece I discovered in the dig.
I have no idea what I was thinking! The blue and the yellow look like one of my painted sky fabrics and I think I must have set the dry fabric down on a piece of plastic tarp that had small brown puddles on it. Then for some reason I did a rubbing with a black Neocolor ll wax pastel. Looking at it here it looks like a swarm of bees, LOL.
I hot iron, pressed it to remove as much pastel as possible and scrubbed it in hot water with a little laundry detergent, figuring I had nothing to lose. Then pressed it dry, the above photo is that result. Then I flipped it over to see the softer side.
The spots made me think of bananas, giraffes, and spotted orchids. We have an orchid blooming on our front porch right now so that became my inspiration.
I drew a very rough (aka not at all accurate) drawing and traced it onto the back/soft side of the fabric. I’m going to use a simple embroidery stitch and probably black floss as soon as I’m able.
This is, of course, the not yet able part. I get more x-rays later this week and trade this black one in for a new model.
Thanks to all who entered the hexagon patches giveaway, there were eleven entrants.
And the winner is – Jodi Chrisman. Please email your mailing information to me at fiberdesignsbyann@gmail and I’ll send the box ASAP.
I’m hoping to have some sort of a painted fabric giveaway/s next month. Please subscribe to get notifications.
In my continuing quest to find any art I may be able to do during my recovery I have discovered many limitations. While cutting out these small hexagons, first with scissors and then rotary cutter, I was pushing and moving in ways I shouldn’t have been. Oh, boy, did I suffer the following day. Lesson learned.
Anyway, this is what I made. Thanks to my funky embroidery hoop stand (made from a broken lamp, it has been a great stand and the price was right!), I was able to do a bit of embroidery on the (raw edge) hexagons to hold them. I would have liked to embroider around the all the edges but sadly I couldn’t. They’re far from perfect and fraying but I’m fine with that.
I used a glue stick to hold them in place, which didn’t work very well. I didn’t have applique glue and I knew I wouldn’t be able to embroider through fusible at this time.
I’ll be seeing if I can still paint fabric and let you know how that goes.
The giveaway… A box of colorful hexagon patches – at least 200. They are approximately 1.75 inches side to side, 2 inches point to point, and each side is 1 inch.
Entry and rules –
The Hexagon patches sweepstakes/giveaway begins Wednesday, March 10, 2021 and ends at 4pm (Pacific Time) on March 16, 2021.
To enter: You must live in the US only (no international entries). One entry per person. You must leave a comment on this blog post stating you’d like to win the Hexagon patches and include your first and last name (or last initial). Subscribe to my blog to get the notificationpost with the winner’s name.
On March 16, 2021 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 hexagon patches ASAP. If I don’t hear from the winner within five days of drawing date, I will run another random draw. Good luck!
There are House finches beginning to build a nest outside my studio, under our upstairs bedroom deck. We had a successful brood several years ago but the nest after it was raided by crows. Now we actually have a family of crow that visit us daily. Hoping for the best.
I am enjoying the bird songs closer to our windows and that has prompted me to post bird things, partly because my wing has been clipped, so to speak, so there’s not much stitching being done right now. Some of these may have been posted here in the past. This may be more for a laugh than inspirational but I figure we can always use a laugh.
I plan to try and re-paint some of the sky in Mirage because there is shadow through around some seam allowances, which I didn’t notice for the longest time. It’s on the list.
I think drawing birds is a challenge but I really like them in most any medium. Do you use birds in your art?