I remember when I got rid of all of my embroidery paraphernalia; when I became a quilter! Before then, for years, I embroidered everything. Then a few years ago I discovered mark making with thread, more specifically, floss. So, off I went to buy all of those embroidery tools and materials, again. But now I approach embroidery differently, not so much flowery, cutesy stuff but more as another layer and bit of interest to add to mixed media works of art. Having said that, this is what I did this week while resting with the flu. It is on a piece of my hand painted pole wrapped cotton (faux Shibori).
Even if the subject is no longer my cup of tea, it was fun to draw and stitching it was really good for my motor skills which have been feeling clumsy lately.
Last month while listening to a podcast at While She Naps with Abby Glassenberg, I learned that Abby would be giving her listeners an opportunity “to recommend great stuff you’re enjoying right now.” Listeners could record a message on the While She Naps website (technology – so cool!) and on Dec. 4th the podcast aired. To my surprise I was one of the people selected for inclusion in the podcast. I talked about Barb Owen, owner of How To Get Creative, who is someone I find inspirational and encouraging. Barb is a multi-talented artist and author who produces fun projects video on YouTube and offers special membership classes on her website.
Abby was joined by guest co-host, Stacey Trock, and the entire podcast was filled with great ideas from suggested reading, tools and notions, websites, blogs… I could go on but instead I’ll encourage you to check While She Naps out for yourself.
During the podcast Abby drew three names to receive prizes and I was one of them! My prize arrive a couple days ago and as you can see by the photo, the prize was a” Welcome pack” from Spoonflower. I have used Spoonflower for fabric printing in the past and I’m looking forward to again (included in the prize – Spoondollar credits).
It was so nice to be able to contribute to Abby’s Community Episode podcast and exciting to have won a prize on top of that! Abby’s entire website is a great resource for anyone interested in sewing, quilting, and so more more.
I was almost a Halloween baby having been born the day before and have always enjoyed the end of October. When our kids were little I loved making their costumes and painting their faces. My daughter is an artist and draws original cards for most special occasions around here and they usually feature a cat. The design on this little art quilt was from a birthday card she gave me a few years ago, which I enlarged, traced onto fabric, painted, layered with batik, batting and felt, then quilted. It was fun to make… I may even quilt it some more!
This tiny pumpkin is my fiber art contribution to the Halloween/Autumn festivities this year. I will be making a short video on just how I made it and later share some other projects it could be added to (Here it is on a greeting card with free-motion stitching).
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!
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!
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!)
I love to see how some artists combine photography and fiber. Today I’m posting the fabulous work of two artists who approach and combine those two mediums very differently.
Gunnel Svensson takes wonderful photographs and has them printed on fabric. She then stitches them and adds fabric and fiber embellishments. I’m fascinated by her tiny mark making hand stitches.
Photographer and artist Melissa Zexter actually stitches directly on her photographs. This method not only adds a textural element to her works, but causes the viewer to stop and examine the layers more closely.
I’ll end with a couple of my own pieces from my Photograph on Fiber series. I thank both Gunnel Svensson and Melissa Zexter for so graciously allowing me to share just a bit of their wonderful artwork. I hope you will visit each of their websites; there is much more inspiration to be found there!
This is the garden quilt I’ve been working on. It was ready for blocking, so I decided to make this short video explaining how I did it. Now I’m adding the borders and a bit more thread work then I’ll block it again… talk about that in a future video.
Normally I block a quilt, trim it to the edge of the quilt top, and add the binding, but as you will hear in the video this quilt will have borders added after the first blocking. Do you block your quilts?
Here is the quilt up on the design wall, with the side borders sewn and the top and bottom borders pinned. Notice the seam where the sky and green meet, that may end up having leaves over it. I had to do some creative piecing of the borders and I’m not sure yet how I will address it but I think I’ll probably quilt vertically in and near the joined seams. I need to add bird legs and feet too, I may do that with hand embroidery. We will see.
I finally discovered a set up for my sewing machine pedal, that is comfortable to me and wanted to share it in case it would help any of you. I know there are no-slip pads (I have one) and other ways to set the sewing machine pedal, like wearing heeled shoes or turning the pedal around but none of these worked for me and after hours of machine quilting I would have a very sore knee, even the next day.
Finally I placed a piece of 1” thick packing foam up against the back end of the pedal, extending it past the length of my foot (it’s kind of a cross between Styrofoam & foam rubber, it has a little give but mostly firm support). I can move my foot up and down on it and my entire foot is supported on the foam and pedal. I can quilt (and sew) for hours now and there is no strain on my leg or knee.
The box is only there because my patchwork of carpets overlaps in that area but it too keeps the pedal in place. I do keep my other foot slightly elevated which helps keep my back and hips straight.
Disclaimer – Though this has worked for me, I give no guarantee that it will for anyone else.