Portfolio of older work

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holiday and Friday Favorites.

Before I forget, Happy Whatever Holiday that you celebrate.   For me it is Christmas celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. I don't have a handmade nativity quilt but I wanted to show a nativity scene here.  First I tried clip art but it just didn't have the warmth I wanted. So I considered stealing a picture of a nativity quilt (is it stealing if you give credit?) but was concerned about the ethics of "stealing" a nativity scene.  Hmmm... didn't sound good. So, here is my compromise.  The nativity quilt I fell in love with was made by a very gifted artist (not me) at King Mountain Treasures and is for sale here.   Go have a look for yourself.

On to Friday Favorites.
 Elizabeth Barton at "Art and Quilts, Cogitations Thereon" wrote an article on Dealing with Leftovers.  The first half of the article was the part that was most interesting to me.    Elizabeth gives a really good argument why making and keeping art journals is important.  I have not kept an art journal before.  You know that I have signed up for a drawing class and am batting around the idea of joining the sketchbook challenge all with the intent of increasing my artistic skills.  Elizabeth makes a lovely quilt based on a collage she had made years earlier.  Yep, I have got to start playing around more with drawing and sketching and journals and collages so that I can design better quilts.  Elizabeth has sold me.  I think that I am headed into a good direction for me.

I have yet to win a Fist Full of Thread from Laura at Artfabrik but I will be entering again this coming Tuesday.  Those threads of hers are delicious.  I might have to break down and buy some if I don't win.

Dotti at "Pieceful Musings"  gives a lovely tutorial on using Soft Scrub and freezer paper to discharge with a stencil.  She even tells you how to correct boo-boos and where to buy the chlorine neutralizer--it is a new one that I have not heard about using before.  "This is used to treat water for fish tanks and can be purchased in any store that sells pet supplies...I found mine at the grocery store."  Thanks, Dotti!

If you are a hand stitcher, or would like to be, have you discovered Pin Tangle yet?  If not, this post gives an overview of what Sharon has been doing this last year and will be doing in the coming year.  She also has tons and tons of free downloads of stitches.  One of the classes she is offering is on art journals--notice the glint in my eye.  Here is the descriptor "Studio Journals a Designers Workhorse is offered on February 15th. This online class covers the process of using a Studio journal to create designs suitable for textiles such as contemporary embroidery, or quilting. You do not have to know how to draw. This workshop covers the process of how to keep a studio journal, how to develop an idea further, and how to turn it into a design suitable for a project in fiber."  Oh, yeah!  I will be deep into my drawing class but I hope to have time to pick up this workshop since this sounds like my goal.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Heart of Steel

3 Quilts this weekend

 I worked on quilts in 3 different categories this last weekend.

I finished my first quilt that uses rusty steel as the batting or innards.  It is 12" by 10" by 1.5".  I really like it and it fits the current SAQA definition of a quilt.  Encouraged by Beth's example I have submitted it as entry for  Volusia Wrapped in Fiber.  It is a last minute thing.  I am not holding my breath on this entry.

Then I finally started my quilt for Interpret This!  I debated and debated how to interpret this last picture in the challenge. Truth be told, I am tired of trying to produce a quality work of art each month based on a picture that has no meaning for me.  Not that I haven't grown tremendously this last year because of the challenge.  I am just ready to move on to other things.  But finally, as I was taking a nap on Saturday, I decided how I was going to finish in a way that I am excited about.  I immediately got up and got started cutting and sewing.

Last quilt category for the weekend.  I was asked on Sunday if I had a quilt I could donate to a family I don't know as a Christmas present.  My first response was, "Are you INSANE?!"  But I was at church and feeling the spirit of the the Lord at this Christmas season and I remembered a quilt that I did have that could be given.  So, with a wish of joy to the family, the quilt is being delivered today.  It will serve the function for which it was made.  I had the opportunity to use the talent/skill that I enjoy to serve someone in need.  How wonderful that someone thought to ask me.

Friday, December 17, 2010

I got IN!

Yep, that is Nancy Crow's barn and that is where I am going to be in May! 
I got the last slot open in the class I wanted!  

Friday Favorites

Have I told you that I have signed up for a beginning drawing class at my university?  The class starts on January 10 and meets twice per week through the end of April.  The grade is based on your portfolio of drawings.  I am not a great drawer and never have been so I have my trepidations but I want to get better.  I decided to be brave and give it a try.

Along that line, I have just discovered the Sketchbook Challenge.  I don't know that I will formally join the challenge but following it will certainly give me another incentive to work, work, work on my drawing skills.  A second benefit to me is the group of artists who are participating in the Challenge.  My goal with the drawing lessons is to be able to translate my lines into fiber art.  The university class is strictly paper.  However, many of the artists participating in the sketchbook challenge are fiber artists and make the translation in their own work.  It will be lov-er-ly to have their helpful tips and hints.

Here is another WIP at Janeville.  I love her stuff. Don't get tired of looking at it.  She also has a mini-tutorial on how to use your drawings in collage or quilts.   And then there are these 3-D leaves  at Loose Ends that I love too.  Don't bother with the video--doesn't really show you how to do anything.  Jane and Geni are both in the Sketchbook Challenge. And Laura at Periwinkle Art Quilts put me onto this fiber artist.  Laura thought I would love her work.  Oh yes, I do love Kirsten Chursinoff's work.  Another person I can use for inspiration! Here is a peek into her process.

Malka Dubrawski is all over the internet these days advertising her new book, Fresh Quilting.  I love the contemporary quilts but am not really interested in repeating someone else's design. However, here Malka shows off a quilt that has hand embroidery in it.  NOW she is really talking my language!  LOL

If you are just waiting for snow so you can snow dye, you need to check out "Art ADD works for me." 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Play Date and Blue Roses

Last Saturday we got together for a play date and to celebrate Beth's and Rosalita's birthday. I'm not telling any secrets but Rosalita said she is turning 39 again. The play for the day was silk screen and collages. For my attempts I wanted to try using watercolor crayons with the silk screen. So, first I watched Jane Dunnewold's DVD and then I gave it a try.

Here is my first attempt. I drew directly on the screen with the crayons. I am currently infatuated with blue roses --I'll show you the reason why later--so I drew blue roses. I screened the image using a print paste so there is no color except the crayon. I printed onto 6 ft long length of fabric I had dyed with some blue and green dye earlier. So, the blue and green in the background is from the previous dye. The crayons left only the distinct markes I had made. I probably printed 6 or so times before the marks were too faded.

This is my second attempt with watercolor crayons and silk screen. This time I used two new thermofax screens I had made from a photo of a pomegranate cut in half and a photo of the rind and some loose seeds for the second screen. I colored the screens using the water color crayons and then screened them using a metalic gold print paste. The results were a wonderful mix of the colors and each print was colored slightly different. I printed onto the fabric I had eco-dyed with mums at one of our last play dates. I overlapped the images so that it would be more of an allover pattern rather than a print of pomegranates.

In the afternoon we tried to make fabric and paper collages following the directions we found on Wen Redmond's blog. She also has these instructions for collage. Unfortunately it was a while since we had read the article so we did our best. Here is my attempt. I think it is a good beginning and just needs several more layers of stuff.

Okay, on to blue roses. I am going to make a piece named Blue Roses from this silk dress I found at Goodwill.  I am not sure yet how I am going to turn them into a quilt yet. I think I will also include the eco-dyed and silk screen rose material and the bureau scarf I have already started embroidering with my hand dyed pearl cotton. I am open to suggestions.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday Favorites

This week I have been finding so many wonderful art quilts that I want to make when I grow up;  I decided to focus mostly on them for my Friday Favorites.  Oh, my friends, how you inspire me!

Jane at Janeville has finished her last piece called Thistles and Rosehips for a nostalgia series.  Look at the layering of fabrics, the use of hand stitching without that taking control of the piece, the uneven edge, the inclusion of machine stitching with purpose, the more detail you see when you get closer.  Yes!  (think of When Harry Met Sally)  Yes! that is what I want my mature work to include.

Check out Beth's moccasins  which are her entry into Volusia:Wrapped in Fiber. Aren't they inspired?!?  I love that they have a message.  Again there is the handwork but  handwork is not the only technique used. They have found objects included on them, applique, painting, and stamping. They would warm my heart as well as my feet.

Quilts from Deb at More Whiffs, Glimmers, & Left Oeuvres could be included in my list of favorites most any day of the week but here with Taken by The Night she spells out a little of her process in putting together her little bits of this and that and turning it into something magical. I need to develop that patience to let things start to speak to me before I start to stitch them in place.

Arlee is another one of my favorite artists and this is why.  Again, see the layering of fabrics, the use of both hand and machine stitching, the playing of the stitching with the rust images without being an echo or over powering them.  Yep.  Good art.

Okay, there are a couple of technique blogs I want to mention here. First is Terry Jarrard-Dimond who gives a mini lesson on value in quilts. Then Gloria Hansen who photographs, photoshops, prints, then burns her images (a woman after my own heart!). And last Jude Hill who produces such magical slow cloth finally gives some short videos showing her process.  YEAH!

If you are interested in following my technique driven blog, And Then We Set It On Fire, now is a good time to sign up as a follower.  Laura has announced we will be playing with Shibori for the month of January.  Time to gather your supplies so you can play with us!


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Pillowcases for Charity

Wednesday night  I, along with many others, helped two youth groups make pillowcases for chronically ill children.  Most of the youth had never touched a sewing machine before.  I hope they had fun and feel good about the service they provided!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Early Christmas--Nancy Crow

Merry Christmas to me! 
My husband sent off my registration to Nancy Crow's workshop.  There is only one spot left so I hope I make it in.  Once I learn whether I made it in (assuming I do) then my anxiety can switch to whether I qualify as "advanced" as the class is described and on preparing "a short (5 minutes maximum) articulate presentation about their work and be ready to discuss and explain their goals."  YIKES!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Tie Dye Onesies

I asked and asked my daughter what to get for her son for Christmas.  Finally she suggested that I dye him some onesies.  What a marvelous idea!!  Here are my first two.

Friday, December 3, 2010

My new Folded Ruling Pen and Friday Favorites

There on the left is my folded ruling pen.  I didn't make it.  I bought it from John Neal Bookseller.  I wanted one after seeing Melanie Testa's blog.  She is making lines every single day with her ruling pen. She even has multiple videos about how to use it.  I need to improve my drawing so I thought having a ruling pen would inspire me to work on drawing skills.  Here is a first attempt (blobs and all).  It is an italigo print I made last year with lines added with the ruling pen.  Once I get a good grasp of the pen, I will start working on fabric.

Friday Favorites
Catherine Bainbridge has an interesting blog.  This post is called cloth doodling and shows how to reverse applique using doodle lines on cloth.  Best explanation I have seen for directions on reverse applique.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Isn't it beautiful?  It is a hand dyed chiffon scarf that arrived in my mailbox yesterday from Flowerpot, Tasmania, Australia.  I was the 505th-ish visitor to Textile Artist, Sue Domene'ys blog, Quilts to Dye For.  Guess what I am wearing today!  Thank you, Sue!