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.
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.
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.
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.
I think drawing birds is a challenge but I really like them in most any medium. Do you use birds in your art?
I think all the rain has really caused Spring to SPRING around here. I’m finding all kinds of things to photograph on my walks… nature that has or will spark a work of art.
Early yesterday I fished a tiny pale aqua colored bird’s egg shell out of our waterfall and set it on a near by rock that was almost the same color. The image below is fabric I painted to mimic a stone that contained Map Lichen. I enjoy trying to replicate rock and stone texture on fabric.
Then later on our walk we came upon a beautiful garden with gorgeous roses, all splattered with morning dew drops. The quilt, I’ve shared before, is Gifts from her Garden.
Then today on our walk there was this, ivy climbing up a tree. I wish I could have gotten closer or had a camera rather than my phone. The contrast in color and texture really struck me. It reminded me so much of my photograph on fiber piece – “Coexistence”. I’m happy and fortunate to be able to take walks and find inspiration, I know I write about it a lot!
The Mister and I recently took a road trip to visit family in Reno, Nevada. We have driven through heavy falling snow a couple times in the past; this was much more enjoyable. We were traveling after a storm, the hwy had been mostly plowed and was only a little icy. There was very little traffic and sky was gorgeous. These photos were taken using my cell phone, through the window while moving pretty fast, please excuse any blur.
The smooth white land, sprinkled with black cows, horses, and odd old structures was spectacular. I must have said “It’s beautiful” one hundred times! It’s a nice place to visit but I don’t think I could live there. If you do, you are most certainly hardier than I!
At the side of the road the plow left a cut wall that, to me, looked like a slab of marble… miles and miles of marble!
Even though snow isn’t usually a part of my life, snowy scenes have found their way into some of my art quilts (with much artistic liberty ;<))
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.
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.
I admire anyone who can paint Plein Air… I’m intimidated by it!
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.
As I was writing this about twenty green parrots flew over… such a perfect ending!
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.