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.
I usually put fabric under to catch the drips but this time I used several paper towels.
Have you made any pole wrapped fabric?
Next time I’ll share at least one other painting on fabric techniques. Thanks for stopping by.
I remember telling my son I wanted to use his photographs in my art quilts but I didn’t mean printed on fabric; I meant the actually photograph. I know I’m not alone in wanting to use photographs in combination with fabric and fibers. In today’s post I share a few from other artists and I thank them for granting me permission to share their work here.
If there is a quilt maker in a family there’s a pretty good chance at least one memory quilt has been made that includes special photographs celebrating a person, a day, or an event.
Fellow quiltmaker Ruth O’Neil shared her bookshelf quilt top. It has a photograph printed on fabric of her brother along side her niece’s daughters and books with titles (all but one) from a her niece’s favorite author. The plant near the top has 3 dimensional leaves.
Ruth made the quilt below after a safari trip. I think the pattern and fabrics work really well with the photographs.
Ruth also shared this quilt. Her daughter gifted her fabric printed with these photographs and the blue batik. Ruth and her fur baby obviously are fans of this guy!
Susan Lenz is a prolific artist of unique work. Many of Susan’s pieces include vintage photographs or her own, some she digitally alters before they are printed on paper or fabric. To the printed photos she will add stitches and embellishments… sometimes framing them because Susan is also a professional framer. Susan always posts excellent stories and explanations about her artwork and her travels, if you haven’t already, I suggest checking out her website and blog, where the below images can be seen in greater detail.
Joanna Mack aka The Snarky Quilter takes photographs that often capture textures, shadows, and light. She sometimes uses filters in photoshop software to alter her photos. Always learning as much as she can, Joanna explores and produces projects using a variety of techniques and methods.
I wish I could say that we collaborated but this piece is entirely hers. Joanna won a small, painted fabric landscape in one of my blog post giveaways. She started with a photograph she’d taken of a rusty textured (outdoor fireplace) barrel, altered it in Photoshop, had it printed on fabric, and later cut it into strips.
She cut the landscape fabric too and stitched it to her barrel pieces and then, as she writes on her blog; “I quilted it to resemble chain link fencing covered with the stems of weeds. The edges are finished with paint and yarn.”
I appreciate that Joanna has had some of her photographs printed on different types of fabric and shares her thoughts about each one on her blog. To read more about “A Cell With A View” and see her other projects and be inspired, visit her blog.
Petra Heidrich is a textile and mixed media artist in Germany. She embellishes vintage photographs, postcards, and sometimes paper, using thread and floss. Petra’s embroidery layer draws me in, andthen I look past it and notice the photograph. I think the embroidery stitches and photographs play and work very well together.
On her website, Petra writes – “I like to refer to embroidery as “painting with thread.”
I recently rediscovered a box of postcards I’d gotten years ago from my parent’s estate. In the box I found a postcard that just called to be made into a photograph on fiber piece. I contacted the photographer, Bill Banaszewski, to ask for permission. So that he’d have some idea of what I had planned I attached two images from my Photograph on Fiber series. Not only did he give me permission to use his photograph but he also wrote that his wife is a quilter!
In my original Photograph on Fiber series pieces I mounted the photo under/onto plexiglass, I don’t use it anymore, otherwise the process is essentially the same. My landscape is mounted onto a acid-free board for hanging and for this piece I slightly edited a scanned and printed copy of the postcard’s back to use as the label.
Bill has been photographing New York’s Finger Lakes for years. To see his photographs and learn more go to Finger Lakes Images.
The photograph, in this piece a postcard, is mounted about 3/4″ (not quite 2 cm) above the art quilt.
I hope the pieces in this post have inspired you as much as they have me.
I’m looking forward to sharing the photograph and fiber/fabric pieces, that other artists have given me permission to share, in an upcoming blog post. For now I’ll give you a little look in to the piece I’m working on for that blog post. I’m not going to show it with the photograph until the piece is finished.
After a good bit of time examining the photograph that will be a part of this piece I decided the direction I’d take my design.
I started by painting a sky using Jacquard Textile Colors (JTC).
I painted a woodsy hillside using JTC and used NeoColor ll wax pastels for the lower half. I pulled off some silk threads from a piece of raw silk fabric to audition where I might add tree trunks. If this had been a collage without stitching I would have glued those silk threads using gel medium. I really liked how they looked.
A rough layout…
I embroidered knots. First I pulled threads from a piece of dupioni silk fabric because I wanted the simmer, shine, and the threads were thicker than the actually silk spools I have. Unfortunately, the knots weren’t looking good so I switched to regular floss. In the end, in the big picture, it isn’t really going to matter.
More painting – this time a plastic edge tapped in JTC and pulled horizontally across the NeoColor area. After that I brushed a blue paint wash over that area to darken it. When it was dry it was still a bit light for what I was going for. At this point I have myself convinced that quilting it will make it right.
I used the same sharp edge, (it was just a piece of plastic advertising that was a bit thinner than a credit card), to make the trunks. I was going to just quilt the trunks but was playing with the paint and couldn’t help myself. I think I will still quilt them or maybe not!
I always learn something when making any Photograph on Fiber piece, sometimes many things. They’re always a challenge but a fun one. We will see where this one takes me and what I learn.
A Reminder – Next post, June 16, I will announce the winners of the painted fabric.
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 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!
Photograph of the very textural Rex Begonia.
The commercial fabrics in Rex Begonia are the black border, the black and white swirls background, and dotted fabric which I added paint to.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
I was scrolling through Instagram recently and noticed several people taking part in different time sensitive or daily challenges. Back in November 2020 I challenged myself, and anyone interested in joining me, to Needlevember. Each day in November I/we would share something we stitched. I enjoyed the stitching but having something to show every day felt like pressure rather than pleasure. I know challenges are more fun when more people share their pieces too, but I went solo.
I’ve enjoyed creating challenge projects for Visions Art Museum Stir Crazy member challenge, I especially like that there’s no time frame for getting any of them finished. A few other artists have created project too. The idea of these projects, during the pandemic, was to find and use materials and objects you may already have around the house. VAM asked me to come up with another project for May.
The May project is mixed media but doesn’t include stitching, though I do show how I made one simple white fabric flower; these same flowers I used in my Unmaking the Soul piece…
Here is the May Spring Wreaths project.
If you know anyone who may like to try a project like these Spring Wreaths, I hope you’ll share this post or the video. Thanks!
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.
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.
I’m happy to be out of my cast but recovery is going slowly with little arting going on. I have more drawer treasures to share, I only wish I could remember how I actually made many of the pieces I have rediscovered.
These are pieces that have been stamped using leaves and other objects. I need to move my wrist around some so after finding this old ivy print I embroidered a simple bird on a branch. It was a very quick and doable project for me right now but I may add more to it later.
This is a print I made ages ago using leaves from our Sienna Sunrise Nandina. It has one of my favorite leaves to use in art; they work great not just for stamping but for rubbings, and gel printing. There is what looks like a jellybean or small rock in the lower right area and I love that it has a shadow and dots on it that weren’t intentionally made. Sadly, I have no idea how I achieved that. The gold rectangles with thin ridges were stamped using a piece of composite decking board.
Below are two areas of a hand painted fabric with an underwater feel, I like it so much I can’t bring myself to do anything with. Stamped using a natural sponge, my recollection is that the turquoise color was stamped on wet fabric with a wet sponge and the sponge wasn’t as wet for the darker color.
This final piece is Fallen, one of my/our Photograph on Fiber series pieces. The leaf photo was taken by my son, who would say it’s nothing special, but it was fun to stamp, paint, and quilt the background fabric.
I’m trying to schedule my vaccination so I’m not sure what shape I’ll be in but I plan to announce a painted fabric giveaway next week.
In the past when I presented live lectures to quilt guilds, one of the talks was about making the quilt more our own. We often use one main fabric to help select the other fabrics in a quilt, this is a twist on that. During my recovery ironing is not happening so please excuse any wrinkles.
Here are some examples of commercial fabrics with easy additions.
Above is a pretty floral fabric and nice black on white. With the addition of a stamp the black/white becomes a coordinating fabric and there’s more to quilt around.
The stamp was made by cutting thin craft foam into leaf shapes and gluing them onto scraps of Lauan (Sometimes I use Masonite and even cut-up sturdy box cardboard for stamp base and handle). Then I scored down the center of the leaves for added interest. Next I placed the fabric on a slightly cushy surface. Using a makeup type sponge, I applied craft acrylic paint onto the leaves, then stamped the leaves onto the fabric.
Another floral fabric needed something more vibrant so I used my Sharpie Stained markers. So simple and fun. Notice on the right side, even the addition of just a few orange dots make this fabric more lively.
Sometimes the fabric combinations are unexpected.
Jacquard Textile Color in apple green and a paint brush made specifically for applying paint to fabric.
Here the gingham inspired the squares for the stamp which was made using a thick craft foam. The paint is Jacquard Textile Color in Fluorescent Yellow.
Another floral fabric and a three leaf stamp on gingham.
Below, this beautiful jewel tone design on black fabric has so much potential, both with coordinating and customizing. The blue coordinating fabric inspired this next stamp and I love the look on the polka-dot fabric.
The last and simplest idea… To softens the dark/jewel tone fabric I pulled in a cream floral and used craft acrylic paint and a new flat pencil eraser.
The orange dots added just enough kick of color to make the subtle fabric work better with the darker.
As I revisit these pieces it really gets my creative juices flowing. I hope these examples sparked some ideas in you.
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).
Fabric Painting a Fluorescent Sky was so much fun and easy, requiring minimal supplies and materials.
Now that I have discovered typing single handed (for me) is slower that slow, I’m going to make this as short as possible. The fabric pieces I’m sharing here were done with one hand, I do believe with two functioning hands I would have gotten better results. Some times it’s just more about having fun!
As usual, the pieces may look different on each of our screens and in person. In keeping with my previous posts I made three additional Neocolor wax pastel exploration pieces. The purple piece is created the same way the gray wrinkled piece was. See the captions for some of what I did for each piece. Photos on the right are the dry and pressed flat pieces.
For the above – I colored plexi with blue wax pastel and then orange cross-hatch, laid wet fabric on top, gently smoothed, and left flat to dry. I was going for a plaid look but my daughter says it looks like reflections in the water – I agree and really like this finish.
For the landscape i drew a simple landscape on plexi and laid wet fabric on top, smoothing with my hand until all pastel met with the fabric. Pulled the bottom of the fabric to make some ripples and pulled some down from the top for clouds.
If you color any fabric with Neocolor II wax pastels, I’d love to hear/read about and see your artwork.