Tag Archives: art quilts

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

Looking Up

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).

RunnerScape
The Power of Sun, Wind, and Water
Sunlit Canyon

Fabric Painting a Fluorescent Sky was so much fun and easy, requiring minimal supplies and materials.

Have you painted sky fabric to use in your art?

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!

Now That Was Surprising!

Last post I was writing about lizards copulating in the garden. Today as Kona and I were hanging out on the deck she became very alert at some noise coming from the side yard ivy. I heard it but couldn’t figure it out until I spotted it running past the shed… An iguana, at least two feet long! It was thirsty (it is pretty warm here today) and found the waterfall very quickly, ate some of the Evening Primrose (hope it’s not poisonous!) and some romaine I gave it, posed on the top of the waterfall and then moved down and perched on top of my garden bench under the tree (sorry, bad photo). Then he moved up into the tree, they are really fast! No one here was brave enough to catch it and what the heck would be have done with it if we had! There are dogs in the two yards that abut ours near that tree so we are hoping it doesn’t head that way. A couple hours later it was no longer in the tree. I just hope it doesn’t surprise me next time I’m out there!

Last post I also showed a bit of a quilt I have been working on. I had a pinched nerve so was slowed down for a couple days but I finally got it quilted (wool batting, lots of quilting) and blocked. Here is a photo of the back. Next I’ll paint the front and then post a photo (with an explanation), unless it is terrible in which case you may never see it!

A Good Kind of Exhaustion

If you have ever helped put on a major event you’ll understand how one feels joy and exhaustion at the same time. Joy that so many visitors and participants come together to experience quilt making and fiber art, and exhaustion for being part of, in this case, an all volunteer organization in an almost 55,000 square foot room! Thanks to the quilt makers who entered their quilts for display, without whom there wouldn’t be a show.

The 35th Annual San Diego Quilt Show was the event and I was fortunate to be asked once again to display my Photograph of Fiber series. I’ll share photos of my exhibit and more quilts in future posts. I was also the chairperson for the Quilt Sales booth where we offered quilts: old and new, tops and blocks, along with other quilt or fiber related creations.

2016 sdqs quilt sales booth west
2016 sdqs quilt sales booth east

Being a bit of a control freak, I set the booth up by myself (with some help from my Mister). Plenty of people offered to help but nooooo! So I’m still feeling tired but very pleased with the booth. Many visitors purchased quilts for themselves or gifts for someone they love.

I’m amazed that some of our members are fifteen plus years older than I and they worked their butts off, had fun and stayed positive… I think there may have been a lot of coffee involved! I also discovered that being on the receiving end of hundreds of kind comments can be exhausting too!

It was a beautiful show and the volunteers who helped to make it happen are awesome and should be proud. I’m looking forward to next year when San Diego and postcards will be the theme. So if you are reading this and participated in the 2016 show (especially in the Quilt Sales booth)… Thank you and I hope to see you next year!

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.

Fire season and Water is Life

We were hit with a heat wave this week but there seems to be a break today, unfortunately several fires have broken out around the state and county. Knowing how these fire can spread and the damage they cause, especially with the winds we have been experiencing, is always frightening. I live in an area that has remained unscathed by fire but I have friends and family who have lost homes (and pets) in past fires. I’m thankful to the firefighters for what they do every day and admire the strength of those who rebuild and move forward.

On a happier note – Recently I received a Machine Quilting Unlimited magazine in the mail and noticed a banner at the top of the cover that read “Water is Life – Exhibit at the United Nations. A few of the quilts from the Quilt for Change – Water is Life exhibit are featured, including my a triptych Clear Necessity.

So, I’m trying to be careful and not waste too much water while I paint more fabric…forest rays painted fabric1 june 2016 acrylic on fabric june 2016

The left piece was started by painting textile paint wet on wet, then slightly folding and left in the sun to achieve a sun print (the “rays”). After it dried I did a rubbing on a homemade foam leaf stamp using wax pastels and then sprayed the entire piece with water to soften the design. Center piece was tilt painted (Online lesson at Curious.com) and the piece on the right was made by laying a piece of fabric onto a plexiglass sheet that had acrylic paint pooled and dripped on it. Though the acrylic paint ended up thin enough to stitch on (video coming soon, I hope) Next time I will use textile paint so that the hand will remain softer.

If you paint fabric I would love to see your designs. I’m always surprised and usually please when paint meets fabric!

Triptych to Switzerland

This is “A Clear Necessity”, my entry to Quilt for Change – “Water is Life: Clean Water and Its Impact on the Lives of Women and Girls around the World.”  I’m excited to tell you that it has been selected to be part of the Quilt Challenge Exhibit which is scheduled to open at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland in March 2016. Once again my art is traveling more than I ever will… but I’m okay with that!

a clear necessity
All but the cheesecloth are my hand painted fabrics.
a clear necessity detail

The earth fabric was made with a flour resist and then wax pastel over that. The bean is made from the drop cloth cotton fabric that I always place under my (painted) pole wrapped (arashi) pieces to catch the drips (often creating wonderful and surprising fabric!)

Flower Power

We walked on Coronado Island this morning. There were beautiful and colorful gardens and flowers everywhere. I love flowers even though Kona (aka the cat) will inevitably chew on any that arrive in our home, they still brighten my day.

flowers
From my sister

When I lecture I often talk about how there really is something for everyone in quilting and fiber art and I use these three fused flower pieces to demonstrate that in a small way…

basic flower solid fabrics
Solid fabrics
flower solid fabric pastel
Solid fabrics with wax pastel detailing
flower embroidered
Printed fabric hand embroidered detail

So whether you are a solid fabric kind of person or one who likes colorful prints and embellishments, I hope you enjoy every minute of your creative life and share it with someone else… I’ll bet you’ll brighten their day too.

Quilts, Respect, and the Art Quilt part 2

I received wonderful responses from the art quilters I contacted with the three questions I posed in my last blog post. There is a great variety of styles between them and their answers are informative and thought provoking. I want to thank each artist for taking the time to reply and for allowing me to share their art quilts. If you aren’t familiar with their art I hope you will hop over to their websites.

Here are the three questions and their answers.

  1. Have you ever submitted an art quilt (for the wall) to a venue that was featuring a variety of art work mediums?
  2. If you answered “yes,” did you (or they) categorize your piece as an Art Quilt or something else, such as Fiber Art, Mixed Media, Textile, etc.?
  3. If you answered “no” to question 1, would you consider submitting an art quilt in to a venue featuring art in a variety of mediums?

Joanna Mack (aka The Snarky Quilter) (Ohio)

  1. My work has never been submitted to or shown in any exhibit other than one for quilts. I think this is a function of one’s networks. I’m a lady of a certain age with no contacts in the local art scene.

  2. Even if I called my quilts fiber art I don’t think they’d be considered art by the art world as my observation is that around here works in fiber are considered craft.”

ripples_in_still_water_joanna_mack
Ripples in Still Water by Joanna Mack

Joe Cunningham (California)

  1. Yes

  2. I don’t think I have had it categorized like that. They just ask for the medium or media, and I say, “Cotton fabric, wool batting.” Or something similar. In other words I have only had my work treated as art in a mixed media show.

circular logic joe cunningham
Circular Logic by Joe Cunningham

Nelda McComb (California)

  1.  I have only once submitted work  at a venue that featured a variety of art.  I was the only art quilt artist and it was very successful for me as I sold 9 pieces.  There were all mediums: photo, ceramics glass, jewelry and a variety of fine art mediums.

  2.  They categorized my work as “art quilt”..Altho, I don’t think they really knew what it was all about until I set up and they saw my work in person.

  3.  I would consider entering into a conventional show that exhibited multi medias.

Balboa Park, circa 1930 by Nelda McComb
Balboa Park, circa 1930 by Nelda McComb

Betty Busby (New Mexico)

  1. I show in all media fine art shows all the time.

  2. Mostly categorized as mixed media.

Tributary by Betty Busby
Tributary by Betty Busby

Kelly Hendrickson (Minnesota)

  1. Yes I have. In fact, I found that my particular art work was MORE readily accepted in a venue with various mediums than they were in actual “quilt shows” or exhibitions.

  2. It all depended on the venue really. But I believe most often they were accepted as either Mixed Media or Textile Art.

  3. OK…I didn’t answer no but I just wanted to add my 2 cents worth on this topic. I would highly recommend entering art quilts in shows/exhibitions designed for all types of mediums…not just quilt shows. We are making strides in being accepted as a valid “art” form in the non-quilting world. Each time one of us gets accepted there, it validates our genre. And I’m happy to see that we are also beginning to be accepted as a valid part of the quilt world. That took some time as well!

The Sapling by Kelly Hendrickson
The Sapling by Kelly Hendrickson

Kathy Nida (California)

  1. I do this all the time! I honestly think my work plays better in the art world than in the quilt world. I am also a member of a women’s art group where one other woman works in fabric, but most of them are painters with a few sculptors.

  2. They don’t categorize it as anything but art. Most of the art shows just put the name of the piece, the name of the artist, and occasionally a statement or a price. There’s no listing of materials and technique.

Love (not) by Kathy Nida
Love (not) by Kathy Nida

Carol Ann Waugh (Colorado)

  1. I stopped entering “quilt” shows when I started mounting my fiber onto wooden panels.  That was about 6 years ago so all the shows and exhibits I do are in art galleries.  When I submit to a juried show, it is always an open show of all media and usually, I am one of 2-3 artists working in fiber.  The rest would be painters, sculptors, photographers, etc.

  2. Usually, an artist categorizes their own work so you submit a work as 2-D or 3-D and if they have a space for a “medium”, I submit as “fiber”.

Wildfire by Carol Ann Waugh
Wildfire by Carol Ann Waugh

Wil Opio Oguta (The Netherlands)

  1. Yes I have submitted art quilts for mixed venues – both in real life as well as online.

  2. Most of the time I call my work Fiber Art, but when I submit to a mixed show I always call it Fiber Art.

Cotton by Wil Opio Oguta
Cotton by Wil Opio Oguta

Shyamala Rao (Kuwait)

  1. Yes I have. I have displayed my work in International Quilt Festival in Houston and in The Festival Of Quilts Birmingham and several other venues.

  2. Yes. I (they) did categorize it as an Art Quilt. Sometimes if there was a subcategory of art quilt like art pictorial, I have chosen it, if my quilt was based on a photograph or a replica of an existing architecture.

Mahabat Maqbara by Shyamala Rao
Mahabat Maqbara by Shyamala Rao

I hope you have enjoyed the artists’ contributions as much as I have. We can learn from each other and pass on what we learn, and I think that by continuing to make, show, teach, and sell art quilts, eventually they will gain the respect (and representation) in the art world that we know they deserve.