Category Archives: art quilt

It’s a Fabric Wrap

I have painted pole wrapped fabric, and dyed a wrapped rope, and I’ve never been disappointed with the results, there is always something good that can come from them.

A few things to keep in mind – Traditional pole wrapping, Arashi shibori, is not what I’m doing. I use paints and don’t follow the correct wrapping and stringing process, so I realize my results will not look like the real thing. Paint stays more on top, whereas dye bonds and soaks through the wrapped layers.

I recently used rainbow colors and instead of my usually 4″ ABS pipe, I used three PVC pipes taped together, making a triangle. Here are pictures of the process, the result, and some finished works.

This makes me think of the lower leaf filled branches of a tree. May have to try that all in greens sometime but turned it looks like fish. It’s like finding images in the clouds!

I usually put fabric under to catch the drips but this time I used several paper towels.

First paper towel caught the most, of course. This will be fun to use in collage.
Dye does give a richer, more even, and more beautiful result. Paint is just easier for me.

Have you made any pole wrapped fabric?

Next time I’ll share at least one other painting on fabric techniques. Thanks for stopping by.

Memory Lane Landscapes

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.

Private collection. I can’t remember the title and wasn’t keeping good enough records at the time.

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.

Same pattern, different place and time of day.

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.

Distant Clearing
Had to laugh – “…all of the fabrics available…” Nothing like the fabrics made today AND now I like mixing paint for my landscapes and more!

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!

This was just drawn after looking a many photos.

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.

Until next time, thanks for stopping by.

A Little Furry Fun

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.

Card
I made two of these quilts for my kid’s bed, Measha helped during the binding.
Card

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.

Art quilt top

We like dogs too…

Card
Very small art quilt by Ann

I hope you’ll stop by next week to see what artistic finds I’ll be giving away!

Starting Point

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 is an example of echoing the photo. Title: Leaf

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!

This is an example of extending out from the photograph. Title: Awaiting Occupation (Private collection)

Photograph of the very textural Rex Begonia.

Photograph by C.B. Scott

The commercial fabrics in Rex Begonia are the black border, the black and white swirls background, and dotted fabric which I added paint to.

Rex Begonia
Rex Begonia detail

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.

Original photograph Rose Window
Rose Window 1 wip

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).

Rose Window 1 detail

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.

Rose Window 2 wip
Rose Window 2 detail

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.

Rose Window 3

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.

Rose Window 3 detail

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.

Snow Bunny

First Responders and a Winner

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.

The quilt sandwiched and the vessel being auditioned in this quick shot with poor lighting.

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.

Wet binding fabrics.

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.

Dry and ready to be made into binding.

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.

Tree and Bark

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.

Coexistence (Private Collection)

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.

Feathered Friends

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.

An early art quilt, hand pieced, appliqued, and quilted. I had no idea what I was doing but it gave me the quilting bug, bad! The hummingbird is hand embroidered.
“Mirage” I have yet to get a good photo of this piece.

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.

Tentatively titled ‘The Watcher” I think I finally know how I want to quilt it…hopefully in my lifetime! The fence is painted fusible web and everything else is hand painted.
The goose photo was taken by my son, this is one of my favorite Photograph on Fiber series pieces, “Goose at Cuyamaca.”

I think drawing birds is a challenge but I really like them in most any medium. Do you use birds in your art?

Next post will be announcing another giveaway!

Hex of a Tool

Hexagons are another handwork project I really enjoy but I don’t make grandmother’s flower garden quilts, in fact, all I seem to do these days is make the hexagon pieces. In the future I’ll have another random drawing and the prize will be over 200 hexagons!

The other day I drew up a design and asked my son if he would make this little tool using his 3D printer. I know there are all kinds of hexagon papers and templates available for purchase but this was more fun and my son likes a challenge. He’s fine tuning the design now but here is a look at the original.

At the end of the video are some photos of a few quilts/patchworks I have made using hexagons. Have you made grandmother’s flower garden or other hexagon quilts or used fabric hexagons in a unique way?

For Sale and Giveaways

I hope this finds you safe and healthy. I’m very fortunate to be able to continue making and sharing artwork and art projects.

I’m looking forward to some new beginnings in the New Year and I’m starting now with a quilt for sale and a giveaway (see details below). If you haven’t already please subscribe to my blog so you’ll get email notifications for posts, future giveaways, and more.

This is Koi Patch an art quilt… and it’s for sale!

Koi Patch is a quilt I made in 2006, it measures 48″ x 43″ and is hand pieced, appliqued, and quilted (some minimal machine stitching). Made using commercial fabrics. It has a label and hanging sleeve. More detail images below. It is in “like new” condition, price $195 plus shipping, US only, no international sales. Payment accepted via PayPal. Please leave a comment or email me if interested in purchasing this quilt.

Sweepstakes – Giveaway… I’m giving away a set of four stitched fabric (one is painted paper) postcards that were created for my postcard class. Sweepstakes/giveaway begins Dec. 16, 2020 and ends Dec. 22, 2020.

To enter: You must live in the US only (no international entries), one entry per person. Leave a comment below that you would like to win the postcards and include your first and last name (or last initial). On Dec 23, 2020 I’ll use a random drawer and post the winner on my blog. Winner will email me their mailing information and I will mail the postcards ASAP. If I don’t hear from the winner within a week drawing date, I will run another random draw.

Stay tuned for future giveaways and thanks for stopping by!

Life Changes Plans

This seems to be the year for unplanned events. So I’m trying to roll with them.

My husband will be having a procedure for his health in a couple weeks. This is new to us, we have been very fortunate to not have any major health issue in the last thirty five years. So far the hardest part, because he can’t exercise, has been to keep him from over doing it. For a guy who is used to cycling between 40 and 90 miles about three days a week this is not easy.

It has also meant that I have been helping him more than usual on home projects, mostly to keep him from misbehaving. We have worked on many, many projects over our forty one years together but I’m feeling pretty much over it now!

Thankfully I have been in the studio a bit too.

Most recently I made an altered frame and painted a simple (faux) mat. The frame was being made to go onto a hand embroidery piece I made, but in the end it didn’t work with it. So I still have to make something for that embroidery piece sometime.

If you watch my videos, thank you very much and thank you for stopping by my blog too!

I finished the small art quilt that I wrote about in a previous post. I kept adding more quilting and then came beads, which I hadn’t planned on but am really happy with. I’m editing the video now and will post it as soon as it is finished. It will primarily be of the free-motion quilting.

Open Wreath