I’m looking forward to sharing the photograph and fiber/fabric pieces, that other artists have given me permission to share, in an upcoming blog post. For now I’ll give you a little look in to the piece I’m working on for that blog post. I’m not going to show it with the photograph until the piece is finished.
After a good bit of time examining the photograph that will be a part of this piece I decided the direction I’d take my design.
I started by painting a sky using Jacquard Textile Colors (JTC).
I painted a woodsy hillside using JTC and used NeoColor ll wax pastels for the lower half. I pulled off some silk threads from a piece of raw silk fabric to audition where I might add tree trunks. If this had been a collage without stitching I would have glued those silk threads using gel medium. I really liked how they looked.
A rough layout…
I embroidered knots. First I pulled threads from a piece of dupioni silk fabric because I wanted the simmer, shine, and the threads were thicker than the actually silk spools I have. Unfortunately, the knots weren’t looking good so I switched to regular floss. In the end, in the big picture, it isn’t really going to matter.
More painting – this time a plastic edge tapped in JTC and pulled horizontally across the NeoColor area. After that I brushed a blue paint wash over that area to darken it. When it was dry it was still a bit light for what I was going for. At this point I have myself convinced that quilting it will make it right.
I used the same sharp edge, (it was just a piece of plastic advertising that was a bit thinner than a credit card), to make the trunks. I was going to just quilt the trunks but was playing with the paint and couldn’t help myself. I think I will still quilt them or maybe not!
I always learn something when making any Photograph on Fiber piece, sometimes many things. They’re always a challenge but a fun one. We will see where this one takes me and what I learn.
A Reminder – Next post, June 16, I will announce the winners of the painted fabric.
More fun findings… While going through my studio file cabinet I discovered photos and pieces from my miniature landscape class and earlier. The photos were from long ago, before digital photos, I sure wish I had better photos some of these pieces. I’m so happy for digital now!
I can see now every little thing that I would do differently in these pieces.
I like how this piece has a little waterfall step down. You may be able to tell that I used the back side of the fabric in that area of the water. Now I would add little rocks on the drop edge and foamy, splashy water around them. The border inset was a small floral fabric with the perfect colors. I like how the border turned out.
These are from my early class demonstrations showing how one simple line pattern could look very different just by the use of different fabrics. The students always proved me right and I loved seeing what they came up with.
I found magazines too. Those two works are the same pattern that I used in my very first miniature landscape, which was published in Miniature Quilts Magazine in 1997. Do you remember that magazine? I guess it went out of business years ago.
When he wasn’t working in jets and helicopters (for 37 years), my late dad was a woodworker, an artist, and a frame maker. He always supported me in my art. I remember struggling with the shore/water line in the piece below. He watched as I tried several pieces. These days I would just paint the perfect fabric. When I finally found a fabric that worked for me, he was as excited as I was, so I gifted the quilt to him AND…
… no surprise, he framed it. I never recommend putting quilts under glass unless the glass is spaced away from the fabric. This may have had glare-free glass, I can’t remember (and can’t tell from this shot). I don’t remember him asking how it should be treated, he just framed away.
The last thing I’ll share from the file cabinet dig was a manila folder containing this cut out landscape laying on a piece of felt. The plan would have been for a very narrow seam allowances tucked under, and I would hand applique them. I’m sure I was using it to demonstrate shadow and light and line and distance. As much as I like it I would change things now… For one thing, the light wall in the center distance would have narrower and closer together lines, tilting lower on the right. That would help push the wall back farther and add better direction. I do love the contrast BUT the foreground land and water should be darker still. Paint would do it!
I’m beginning to think that opening that file cabinet was like opening Pandora’s box!
Reminder: June 14 is the deadline to enter for a chance to win a piece of hand painted fabric. Thanks to those of you commented to enter.
Also, I’m working on a piece for my upcoming Photos in Fiber/mixed media Art blog post (TBD) and have some wonderful pieces, made by others, to share.
As I continue to clear out drawers and cupboards I’d like to thank everyone for stopping by, for commenting to enter the giveaways, and for helping me re-home some of my artistic pieces.
I used to have a large paint/wet area in my studio, but my Mister decided to park the car in there and I decided to move my studio into the house… My move may have had something to do with the purple paint splatters on our white car, but I’ll never tell!
The fabric pieces in this May-June sweepstakes/giveaway were painted on my large homemade stretcher frame (about 43″ x 19″). Here is a link for the smaller frame that I use more now a days. Below is a old video of the larger frame in action.
These fabrics are not up to my picky standards but they still have great potential. They could be used as is, over painted, stamped, stenciled, stitched, cut up, or ? Let me know in the comments your ideas, and to enter this giveaway comment with which fabric you’d like a chance to win. See all rules below and please remember leave a reply/comment here for all to see.
Note that the actual fabric color/value/intensity may appear different than the photos shown here. The photos are of each piece folded in half, so they’re twice as wide. The usable piece is approximately 42″ x 18″. The sky/sea pieces are painted on 100% Pima type cotton and Fallen is on a fabric closer to regular quilters cotton.
Sweepstakes/giveaway begins May 26, 2021, and ends at 4pm (Pacific Time) June 14, 2021.
To enter: You must live in the US only (no international entries). One entry per person. NOTE: If your name is drawn for one piece of fabric, it will be removed for any other piece of fabric.
Leave a comment that you would like to win a particular piece of fabric or any one of them, include your first and last name (or last initial). If you’re not subscribed to my blog, you may want to as that may be the only way you’ll find out if you’ve won.
On June 15, 2021 I’ll use a random drawer and announce the winners on my next blog post. Winners will email me their mailing information and I will mail the fabrics ASAP. If I don’t hear from the winner within five days of drawing date, I will run another random draw. Good luck!
I’ll start by letting you know that I’ll be announcing another giveaway next week. May got away from me!
Long ago I asked my daughter created cards that I would sell at our local quilt show. She helped me work the show for years when I was the registrar, and when I held other positions for that show.
We had a Blue Point Siamese kitty around that time and her name was Measha (loud “e”), she was with us for almost 18 years.
She was leash trained and very smart… as you can see. Why walk when you can ride.
She inspired some of my daughter’s cards and my some of my quilts.
This was a small art quilt top, hand painted with commercial fabric sash and border. I wish I had a better photo but it was ages ago and it sold. I never found out if/how it was finished. I call it Mouse on Swiss with a Siamese Chaser.
We like dogs too…
I hope you’ll stop by next week to see what artistic finds I’ll be giving away!
There’s always a starting point and in quilt making it often begins with a main fabric. When I was working on my Photograph on Fiber series, rather than start with a main fabric and grab other fabrics to coordinate with it, my starting point was an actual photograph. I would decide if I’d be echoing the photo or extending the background out from it. I’d think about fabrics and how I could paint, stitch, and maybe add applique as well.
This series is comprised of photographs that have been applied to plexiglass and mounted on spacers 3/4″ above the fabric/fiber background and through a board, then wired for hanging.
Most of the photographs were taken by son who thought I was nuts when I told him I wanted to use his actual photographs (not printed on fabric) in my fiber art. I had to make a tiny prototype for him to “get” it. And then he really got it!
Photograph of the very textural Rex Begonia.
The commercial fabrics in Rex Begonia are the black border, the black and white swirls background, and dotted fabric which I added paint to.
Many of the pieces were exhibited in a number of venues, including a solo show at VAM in 2013. I was asked over and over about the process and so decided to developed a way to make a Photograph on Fiber piece without the plexiglass; a much more doable project and one that I could teach. The photo is still above the fabric/fiber but, in this much easier process, the piece is placed in a frame, (sort of a shallow shadow box but not as deep), and the photo is mounted but doesn’t touch the glass.
This photo, taken by my cousin, was the starting point for the three (wip) pieces below. Notice that there are actually more options than only echoing and extending, all to showcase the photo.
Two commercial fabrics and painted cheesecloth leaves make this the easiest and quickest design. the photo is actually about 3/4″ above the red fabric. The detail below shows the finished quilting, which also held the leaves on (they are squished from being in storage).
The piece below was a wip when photographed, using fabric where the frame would be. All of the fabrics are commercial, the roses and leaves have been “clever cut” (think fussy cut). Again, very easy, just more time consuming. I stitched the thorns using free motion quilting. I didn’t quilt the rose heads but looking at it now I think they need it.
The final piece has roses and leaves that are made from eco-felt (sheets), the cut pieces have been burned around the edges. The stems are made from a grape vine wreath (soaked, straightened, dried, and stitched on). Nothing touches the glass. It also has commercial (Stonehenge by Northcott) fabrics that I’ve quilted.
The detail photo was taken using my phone and the piece is behind glass, it’s not very good but it shows a bit of the dimension and some of the burnt edges.
The Photograph on Fiber series photographs were applied to the plexi by me, using a special double sided film and a hand turn, cold roller laminator. After about nineteen pieces it got to be too stressful for me so I paid a professional company to apply the photographs, which of course, added to the cost/price. From inception to finish each piece involved many, many hours, and though I loved making them, (the plexiglass) Photograph on Fiber series had to come to an end. I’m very pleased that a few pieces are in private collections and some of the remaining pieces are for sale. Most of the pieces may be seen on my website under the Photograph on Fiber tab.
My son still send photos that make me want to keep going and making them definitely pushed me as an artist, but there is no more wall space in my home, and storing them a way seems a crime. Maybe some day I’ll teach the framed version of Photographs on Fiber class live.
Have you used your photographs in your art/memory quilts or mixed media projects? If you have and would be willing, I’d love to share some of your photographs and fiber/fabric art, here on my blog. Just send me an email with a photo/s of the piece/s and a bit about them. If you have a blog or website be sure to include it so I can link to it. Please note the photos used in your art must be yours or used with permission.
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.