I found some old photos of a few vests I made, taken before I owned a digital camera; the photos aren’t the best but I thought I would share them anyway. It was when I was going through my Seminole period! One was just an experiment in curvy piecing, though I’m pretty sure I hand appliqued it together!
All of the vests are made from a basic commercial pattern (sorry can’t remember which company; it is was ages ago) but the front and backs designs are my originals. They included lots of tiny Seminole work, a pieced cockatoo (sort of), some raised and folded pleats held down by a few hand embroidery stitches. Some were included in the fashion exhibit at a local quilt show, some were gifted, I sold and even wore a couple. They were a learning experience…I learned I may never want to make another vest!
I have been have fun in the studio creating a this new piece. Soon I will be offering the online step by step lessons for creating this pretty poinsettia wall hanging (painting, stitching, and more) . I’ll teach how to make the flower center fabric beads too. The techniques could be used to make any flower or most any design…. For any season!
I’m happy to say I haven’t been artistically “stuck” in a while, in fact I wish there were more hours in the day or fewer ideas in my head! The other day I was thinking about ways to get unstuck and decided to see how fast I could produce fabric backgrounds just using areas around our garden. So my son handled the camera and videoed me for fifteen minutes as I traveled from one place to the next. I came up with five rubbings that I look forward to using in future pieces.
It was a hot day and I was using Neo-Color 2 wax pastels so I had to be quick (they melt). I did have a plan before I went outside but I didn’t anticipate the breeze and heat.The fact that my son had to go to work had me moving faster too! I went from flagstone to patio to the shed siding and then to the fence boards and a mosaic…
These first layers can be a great way to get the creative juices flowing again. Have you ever been “stuck” artistically? What have you done to get unstuck?
If you haven’t free-motion quilted or thread painted but wanted to, I encourage you to just jump in! I have had to get over a lot of hang ups because I came from the “hand quilting, perfect stitches, and needle turn applique” mindset. Working Playing with my Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen machine and thread has been some of the most fun I have had in my fiber art career. But this can be done on a home sewing machine too!
I’m so fortunate that I get to do this and call it “work!” I’m about to quilt the sky on this commissioned piece, after yards and yards of thread and many hours of free-motion quilting the flowers and foliage. Here are a couple detail photos… The sky and most of the flower fabric were painted by me and the butterfly (and birds which don’t show in these photos) will be a lesson I hope to be giving on Curious.com/fiberdesignsbyann in the future.
I re-purposed several bookcases when I moved my studio back into my home. Bookcases are great because they are narrow and so don’t take up a lot of floor space (mine even have doors) but most standard storage boxes either don’t fit or don’t use the shelf space fully. My solution was to design and construct boxes to fit the way I wanted to use the space. The boxes are good for storing fat quarters but most any size yardage can be folded to fit. They can be stacked two high and they have little windows so I can quickly see what color is in each box. They can be easily pull out when I want to go on a serious fabric search.
These boxes fit a minimum 22″ wide shelf. I have them in a 33″ wide bookcase so I have room along the side of the boxes for a few other items. I’m planning to make some more boxes to fit in a 16″ x 11″ bookcase which is filled (and a mess) with landscape and painted sky fabric. They could be made just about any size, though, I would not go bigger than the one in my lessons (viewable on Curious.com and – YouTube) because foam board and hot glue are only so strong and fabric can get heavy!
If this helps you better organize your fabric I would love to hear about it… and remember these boxes could be used to hold other items too.
I’m mailing off used rotary cutter blades for replacement today and I’m sewing the binding on to “Shore Rocks.” Because the binding is hand painted it is a bit stiffer than commercial fabric so I pulled out the quilt binding clips I bought ages ago. I haven’t used them much but for this piece they will be a great help – my hands aren’t as nimble as they used to be, I’m sure some of you can relate. I’m reminded of how glad I am to have the fantastic tools we have now. They make creating art so much more fun and certainly easier. It is awesome when the tools and gadgets are designed by the people who actually use them and they seem to continue to improve them. Sometimes I can’t imagine how people come up with the ideas for some of the products or how our grandmas did without them! Then I think – The “mothers of invention” wereour grandmothers (and grandfathers too)! What is the best or most curious quilt gadget you have bought or seen?
I have been spending a little time volunteering at Awesome Camp, a summer day camp near my home. For the past two weeks the kids have learned about fiber art and how it relates to themselves and the world. Today they made sun print bandanas and they rocked it! The more I look at these pieces of fiber art the more I see! The kids are between five and twelve years old. Here are their results…