Category Archives: fiber art

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
painted-leaf-on-fab-wip

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!

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?

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!

A Little Fiber Fun

I’m finally getting back into the swings of things now that my studio has been relocated (yes, again!), maybe for the last time. Being settled in (and the time of year) gave me an itch to make something different. It’s still fiber and fabric, just not in an art quilt sort of way. If you read my blog you know I love exploring ways to use Terial Magic spray stabilizer and though I have made cheesecloth ghosts for years, using Terial Magic was so much easier than using glue or other gel medium type products.

The following tutorial is for a Halloween Ghost Candy Bowl. It is a simple and depending on your weather (it’s been in the nineties here!) a quick project. The instructions and supplies may be found here.

If you are adventurous; stitching, spiders and webbing could embellish the bowl.

hallo-ghosties-bowl-1
hallo-ghosties-bowl-2
hallo-ghosties-bowl-3
hallo-ghosties-bowl-4
hallo-ghosties-bowl-5
hallo-ghosties-bowl-6
hallo-ghosties-bowl-7
hallo-ghosties-bowl-8
hallo-ghosties-bowl-11
hallo-ghosties-bowl-10

Fiber and Wood

I know technically wood is fiber but in this case it is second to the fabric fiber. Here is one of my mini art quilts, from the flora series, mounted on acrylic and displayed on a pieces of (old pallet) hardwood. The top is hand appliqued because at that time I didn’t realize just how short life is! It is pillowcase turned and free-motion machine quilted (see back quilted here).

tulip quilt plexi reclaimed wood
free style flower5

They are heavy so I have added 1/2″ stick-on (drawer) bumper “feet” to protect the surface they are set on and to keep them from sliding around.

flora wood base image

Do you have a less than traditional way you display small art quilts? I’m going to do more mounting on canvas too.

Something New and a Little Green

herbs july

I was gifted an herb planter set for Mother’s Day (from my Mister), and even though they were in a sunny window, it wasn’t going well until I placed them outside in the (filtered) sun. At first I thought – In jars without drain holes, bad idea but… Now they are very happy and I don’t feel like a plant killer! Hopefully the cilantro (the one I most wanted) won’t bolt.

herbs august 7

I’m not a watercolor on paper artist but because I made the mistake of leash training Kona, I seem to be spending more time out on the kitchen deck, so I decided to try my hand.

kona

I admire anyone who can paint Plein Air… I’m intimidated by it!

herbs watercolor
Painted on Watercolor Postcards stock (it’s tiny)

Back in the studio where I feel more confident… Here is a little detail of my most recent Photograph on Fiber series piece. It will be on display at the San Diego Quilt Show August 30 (evening Preview Party) through September 3, 2016. After the piece professionally photographed I’ll share it on the blog.

still moring detail
Hand painted whole cloth, stamped using hand made stamps, and machine quilted.

As I was writing this about twenty green parrots flew over… such a perfect ending!

Carving and Printing

I have had a small lino block for some time now but keep putting off carving it. There seems to be a bit of fear! In the meantime I have been carving Speedball Speedy Carve rubber and having a blast with it! Printing on silk organza, as well as hand painted and dyed cotton using textile paint. Then I used the textile paint on a Gelli Arts plate and I just love how the results don’t look much like the original print (clear and clean) but more like a fern. Have you used these product? How were your results?

curving printing silk gelli

Composition

I walk every morning and take quick shots with my phone. I’m happy when I catch a bit of nature in a neat composition. I spotted this face down, soft yellow flower and didn’t really see anything else at the time but after viewing the photo on the PC I noticed the texture of the walkway and the stress crack that has collected tiny bit of plants and dirt. All that texture sends me to a happy, inspired place!

flower down

And sometimes the inspiration is right in my own garden as with this Golden Dewdrop/Duranta erecta, flowing through our fence.

gloden dewdrops

I’m participating in the most recent Visions Art Museum Member Challenge and I can’t help but think that the cascading Duranta erecta inspired my composition. The theme is “Surface Design” which, to me, could mean so many things, unfortunately I didn’t have enough time to create a new fabric. Since I have been the fabric coiling queen lately I decided to make an art quilt using some of the coils… It is titled Fiber Flow and it will be on display at VAM from July 16 – October 2, 2016, along with many awesome art quilts and textile pieces.

fiber flow fin

Loving Leaves

If you were to look around my home you would see that I love leaves. I have leaves on curtains, knobs, light fixtures, vessels, and beautiful lacy copper leaves hanging on the wall. Using leaves as inspiration, here is one of my most recent designs and tutorials for a simple to make fabric Leaf Napkin Ring. For the printable pattern and instructions see the Patterns & Supply Lists tab here on my blog.

1 leaf napkin ring white
4 transfer pattern to freezer paper
5 press pattern to center line on fabric
6 fold and cut out
7 remove pattern and fold lengthwise
8 sewing casing
9 insert wire
10 open out smooth seam
11 slip on napkin and shape

Here are a couple variations. Place the seam up if using a color fabric and jazz another up with rhinestones! A straight blade rotary cutter may be used instead and free motion veins could be added too. Do you have any other ideas?

3 leaf napkin ring batik
2 leaf napkin ring rhinestoned

Stripping

I just figured out a new way to cut my quilling strips! In a few of my online lesson videos I have demonstrated how I cut strips using two rules and a rotary cutter. Yesterday, a couple days after my Mister said in passing “You need a paper cutter” (while acting out the motion of the old time ones with the big guillotine style handle – that give me nightmares!), it dawned on me; I own a rotary flat bed paper cutter. I figured out how to add a stopper and now I can cut my treated fabric strips a little faster and easier!

paper cutter strips

I’m working on some all white pieces (think bridal) right now but I’m sharing some color today. Making coils is one of my favorite things to do with my hand painted fabric and something simple to do when I have to sit still. This same technique may be used to make napkin rings, bracelets, and more.

rimmed glass flameless holder
multi color coil napkin ring

Someone asked why I coil fabric when I could just use paper and one of my answers is that because I cut the strips by hand they are imperfect and so each coil has a more textured surface than paper and I love that.

Sideswiped…

Well, I was moving along great, eating better and exercising more, getting the blood pressure and weight back in check, when I got totally sideswiped by shingles. It smacked me in the right side of my head and the swelling in my lip was so bad my husband accused me of getting Botox-ed. This nasty virus is not conducive to being creative but I want to be! I’m still on the mend but I’m so thankful for an awesome doctor and science-based medicine and that is all I will say about that!

cactus apple heart

My Mister and I were enjoying a walk at Lake Murray not too long ago when he noticed this single cactus apple and of course it being February it looked to me like a heart, (the two halves that come together to make one). We were married shortly after Valentine’s Day many moons ago and so that is when we celebrate love’s special day but it seems I always get heart shaped fiber art ideas around this time of year. Not being 100% has caused me to refocus; some ideas just don’t work out when one isn’t feel all there. But here is a little February fiber art anyhow. Have a lovely month!

coiled fabric hearts
Quilled coils from treated fabric