Category Archives: My Art

Quick Stitching

I have two living aunts, one lives near by and recently celebrated her 94th birthday. The other lives in Indiana and celebrated her 101st birthday this month! My mom was their baby sister. I remember years ago when my older aunt and I were talking quilting (she made many things including quilts), she couldn’t believe that out here (South Western  USA) we would piece our quilt backs. I told her sometime the backs looked as good or better than the fronts. Apparently, back there, they would only use a seamless piece of fabric for their quilt backs and it wasn’t just because of hand quilting through the seams.

I would assume thanks to quilts being more recognized as art, that the pieced backs are fully accepted even back there now. If you are from another part of the US or world, are you familiar with pieced backs ever being unacceptable. I’m guessing economics played a role as those with less would have likely use whatever they had, and would have indeed piece the back of their quilts.

In celebration of her birthday I stitched up a quick little card and I know it will make her smile. I won’t tell her this one doesn’t even have a back! It has a thin layer of cotton batting on Timtex, with a quick satin stitched edge and then I used artists gel medium to attach it to the card stock. Quilted in about one minute because I was on my way out the door; next time I would go slower but as far as cards go, it was a quickie and fun. I like the results and I would make more.

I think my little fabric beads, each sewn on with a French knot and two colors of floss, are perfect for fabric poinsettia flowers!

poinsettia-card

Fabric Challenge and Swap

I was happy to learn that the fabric I submitted for the Quilting Art Fabric Challenge/Swap was published in their Dec 2016/Jan2017 magazine. They didn’t publish all of the submissions but I was impression by the variety and would love to be able to ask many of the artists how exactly they achieved their results.

quilting-arts-mag
forest-rays
Ann’s fabric

The way the challenge worked was for readers to create a fat quarter of fabric with original surface designs, submit it, and then they would receive a fat quarter made by another entrant. For more information see that QA link above.

I was so excited when I received a fat quarter created by Susan Price. Susan along with her business partner, Elizabeth, create original and custom Thermofax screens and sell their designs on Etsy at – PGFiber2art

s-price-fab-full
s-price-fab-detail
s-price-fab-back

Susan explained that the fabric I received was snow dyed, pole-wrapped (Shibori) and then thermofax screen printed using her original photo called Birds on a Branch. I think it is beautiful! Thank you, Susan.

A short time after I received Susan’s fabric I received a “thank you” email from Pat Robertson, who was the recipient of my challenge fabric. As I looked through the magazine again, I discovered that the fabric Pat submitted was also published so I asked Pat to send me photos of her fabric. Pat was kind enough to also send photos of her process too. The steps are – Pre-treated fabric, snow pile, dye applied, processing, fabric accepting the dye, rinse, and beautiful results! Thank you, Pat.

1-pretreated-fabric-p-robertson 2-snow-on-the-fabric-p-robertson 3-dye-placed-p-robertson 4-begining-to-melt-p-robertson 5-end-of-melting-p-robertson 6-rinsing-p-robertson 7-finished-fabric-p-robertson So you can see what wonderful results may come from playing with (and working) surface designs. I hope you will give it a try and if you do please share your results!

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?

Finding Surface Designs

I lifted the lid off a cast iron pan after allowing it to cool for cleaning and discovered this…

cast-iron-pan-art
cast-iron-pan-art-detail

At first I thought – Oh, that’s cool, in a rusty, creepy sort of way, and then I looked again and thought, it looks familiar. I remembered coming across an old painting while I was organizing the new studio space… I’m not sure if you can tell from these photos but the texture and some of the shapes look much the same!

watercolor-run-painting

The watercolor was done on paper and the technique was more – just let the paint flow (pour) than actually brush painting. I’m not sure how the tiny dots were made but I really like the textured appearance. After it dried I rotated it 180° and it made me think of coral below the sea. Cast iron, paper… next, get out the fabric and textile paints!

Fiber Feathers

osprey-fly-by-feathers-image-2

After watching many visitors to the San Diego Quilt Show Sales Booth walk up close to figure out what the “feathers” on my Osprey Fly By art quilt were made of, I decided to make a video showing just how easy it is to make them.

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.

Fabric is Just a Different Animal

There is just something about working on and with fabric that I love. As I have mentioned before – generally painting on fabric is more challenging than on paper, especially when trying to achieve a watercolor effect. Paint doesn’t move much, if at all, when placed on dry fabric. Even wet on wet has limited movement when the surface is fabric, and there is no “lifting” the paint once it is down. I like all of the challenges and exploring ways to produce pleasing fabric and art despite them. And sometimes it seems that the planets align and there’s a surprising outcome. That was the case with my elephants and they (along with a nice photo) became a Photograph on Fiber series piece.

elephants
Textile paint poured & tilted  on fabric. The elephants just happened!
the elephants detail
The dimensional leaves are painted and cut Lutradur
elephants photo fiber
Elephant photograph taken by D & A Guild while traveling in Africa

Pieces from my Photographs on Fiber series will be on Special Exhibit at the 2016 San Diego Quilt Show . I teach a 15 lesson course at Curious.com/fiberdesignsbyann on how to make a framed version Photograph on Fiber pieces.

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

Special Exhibit!

I’m happy to say that pieces from my Photograph on Fiber series will be one of the Special Exhibits at the 2016 San Diego Quilt Show. That link has all the information about the show.

If you don’t already know, these pieces began as a collaboration with my son whose photograph of a lone leaf inspired my fiber art. I figured out a way to incorporate the actual photograph and my fiber art quilt into one work of art. Some of the more recent pieces have been inspired by and include the work of other photographers (Always used with permission) and in one case* the photo was taken by me (*Gathering Evidence).

Trail

The original construction which included, in part; adhering the photograph to the acrylic sheet and drilling the holes, got to be too much for me. More recently I have had the photographs mounted to the acrylic and holes drilled professionally (a company I would highly recommend – ArtisanHD)

Sunset

Working on this series has allowed me to paint and stitch fabric & fiber and stretch as an artist and designer and of course, exhibit my artwork. I developed an easier version and teach that as a course online at Curious.com , where you’ll find more of my lessons, as well as lessons and courses on just about anything you may be curious about.

So if you are in the San Diego, California area August 31 – Sept 3, 2016, treat yourself to a colorful few days of quilts, fiber art, classes, and much more! I’m Chairperson for the Quilt Sales booth so stop by and say “Hi” and be wowed by the wonderful quilts.

Quilting Away,
A

Making Fabric, sort of…

I have been playing with a few fabric design ideas; some are hand painted, others are completely designed on the computer and I have scanned/photographed my hand painted fabric and altered them using software filters. I’m also collaborating with a talented artist (more about that later) and having pieces printed by Spoonflower.

orc sports sample blue

Speaking of Spoonflower – fellow blogger and artist Joanna Mack, The Snarky Quilter has written a couple blog posts about her experience after ordering fabric pieces from Spoonflower. You may want to hop over and read what she has to say. I appreciate SQ doing the research on a few other companies as well, and sharing her thoughts and results.

For the following pieces I used water thinned acrylic paint and an acrylic sheet (aka Plexiglass or Perspex) and created poured “paintings” that I photographed with the intention of having printed on fabric or using as inspiration for hand painted pieces.

plexi paint 1
plexi paint 2
plexi paint 4
plexi paint 3

Below are three designs I’m submitting for consideration to the Andover Fabrics and SAQA Golden Hour fabric line project. Whether any of my designs are selected or not I’m looking forward to seeing other entries. Have you combined fabric, paint, and computer software to design your own fabric?

Breeze
Created on the computer
Cloud Dance
My hand painted fabric after being altered with a filter
Dapple
Hand painted fabric