Portfolio of older work

Thursday, May 27, 2010

May Reveal on Interpret This!

Here is my May Reveal for Interpret This!  For more details about the techniques used I will refer you to the posting at Interpret This!    Here I want to leave the forum open for more of a critique on the piece.

Here are some of my thoughts.
  1. I like the dimensionality of the piece. This is not a flat quilt.
  2. I like the shape.  I was concerned about the diamond type shape but the fact that the piece is not flat softens the shape for me and lets it work.
  3. I love the subtle colors of the silk fabric which were achieved through dyeing repeatedly and then accented with shiva paint sticks.
  4. I like the driftwood hanger but  I am not sure the blue really works on the driftwood.  It is a bit jarring for me.  Perhaps a different color would work better.
I am also really pleased with with my progress through the monthly Interpret This! challenge. Through this deadline my art has become a daily activity.  My growth as a fiber artist has been really  accelerated over what I would do left to my own devices.  You know what I mean, the daily press of life often pushes our dreams and goals to "if-I-have-time-at-the-end-of-the-day" status.  Here are some areas that I think I have grown in.
  1. The direction I am going in my creativity.  I am moving out of my box of quilts as something to keep you warm and into quilts as part of a multi-medium approach to art.
  2. The increase of surface design techniques I can use (sometimes  successfully LOL).  I still have a ways to go to master dyeing and shrinking but I am becoming more competent about what works and does not. 
  3. My seeing the quilt as a complete package--hanger, surface, quilting, embellishment, etc.  The entire presentation is important and needs to be considered.
Feel free to leave me comments, good or ..  uh.....areas to grow in.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Are you like me and every time you hear the word "shrinkage" you think of the famous Seinfeld episode?  Okay, this is not that type of shrinkage.  I borrowed a wonderful book (not a clue the name but I'll let your know tomorrow) that shows how to make wonderful art quilts by using wool battting to create distortions in the fabric.  The idea is that the batting shrinks more with little quilting and shrinks less with dense quilting. So, by using both types of quilting then shrinking the batting, you get a distorted (hopefully in an interesting way) art quilt.

I wanted to use this technique in my May art quilt (based on this picture) so the first step was to get a wool batting that would shrink.  That was a bit difficult to find.  Everyone boasts that their wool batting has been designed not to shrink.  Finally I found Cedarview Farms where they promise "minimal shrinkage when washed according to directions."  So, I called them up and asked if I didn't follow directions and actually went out of my way to abuse the wool by washing and drying as hot as possible, what could I expect?  Shrinkage!  Wooooo Hooooo!  I ordered a couple of small batts.

Before tackling my wonderful three shades of pink Shibori hand dyed silk, I tried the method on  a piece of cotton hand dyed fabric.  Here is the result.

Can you tell how exquisite this piece is?  I haven't decided how to finish it off but I definitely will.  I love the texture.  I am very excited and will definitely be using this technique for my May quilt.  For that picture, you will have to wait till my reveal on May 27.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Another New ATC

Here is my new ATC.  I got it from Micki.  Don't you love it?  And I am finally getting better at taking pictures so the colors in the picture are close to what I can see. She also gifted me with the lace and beads, buttons, and bobbles.  Wasn't that nice?

I have more exciting news!  Beth and Rosalita have invited me to come and play with them!  We are getting together in June to spend a day with thermofax.  I am so excited!

This is my 100th blog and I guess there is no better way to commemorate it than to thank all of you for your comments and encouragement.  I really feel that my art has leaped ahead by eons by the things I have learned and the connections I have made from blogland. ***gushing a bit here***  Thank you!  For years I have wanted to make the leap from quilter to textile artist and I think I am finding a path now with your help!

Monday, May 17, 2010

New ATCs

Anni agreed to trade ATCs with me but did not like pink or red so I made a new series of 8 cards from the silk I had batiked for my Mermaid in March.  This series I call Seaweed.
 I am not as in love with these as with the ones from my Shanghai Takeout series but I do like them.  One has already found a home and another will be going to Anni this afternoon.

I tried to take a closer picture of one of the ATCs so you could see the dimensionality of it but you still can't tell very well.  The  multicolored swirl on the left is a fabric bead I had made for Dinner in Shanghai and then did not like it on the plate--looked too much like a hair ball.  Here I cut it in half and put it on the card and I love it there.  The bead is silk ravelings, beads, fabric scraps, and tulle with stitches through it enough to make it hold together.  I think this one is my favorite and will go out to Anni.

I also want to show you some of my favorite ATCs that I have received in trades.
 This one is from Deborah Purdy. She has a wonderful tutorial on her blog for making ATCs.  When she traded with me she also included a little molded face like on her ATC and a bunch of gorgeous paper beads.
This one was the first ATC I received.  It is from Kate North and is from her Ocean's 8 series.  Bless Kate from answering all my questions about how to make ATCs.
Isn't he cute!?  The shine at the bottom is because I did not remove him from the plastic cover (shame on me!)  He is an appliqueed Plover from Gina Deen.  She cut him from a handkerchief she found and then stitched around him to give him a little dimension.
 The last one I am going to show is from a group swap that Veronica holds monthly.  The theme for this one was "From the garage."  This is a photo printed fabric with some glitter added to the tire tracks.  It was made by Elizabeth Armstrong.

And now I have found a use for my hand made fabric vessel!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My Little Book

Remember when I showed you  the book my friend made using my hand dyed fabric?  In payment she was going to make me a little book of my very own!  Here is my very own little book!

It is all flowers!

Notice the dime so you can realize the size of my little book.

And it is double-sided so you can open it from either end to enjoy the flowers.

Don't forget to go to Interpret This! and get a preview of my May quilt.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Links to some of my inspiration for the week

I thought I would give some links  that I have given me some inspiration this week.

Judi Hewett at Approachable Art showed off another of her flour paste resist fabrics.  This one is very nice!  Judi does a great job of telling you the technique, the steps, and the problems she encounters.  You might want to check out the spectacular piece from last week too.  She  hopes it will gain her entry into a juried show.  I am just waiting for a space so that I can try the technique. Right now the only place big enough is my bed and I don't know where I would sleep for two days while it dried.

Shiborigirl does a good job talking about indigo.  It is a technique I want to try in the future but I think I am still very much of an accidental dyer.  I think I need much more experience under my belt before trying that.

Beth at Sew Sew Art has hooked me up with a Youtube link to pool dyeing.   She and her friend, Rosalita from Stoney Ridge Fiber Art, are getting together this week for a play date trying the method out.  I sure wish I could go!  Beth has found a new place for her website.  It has a couple of good tutorials on it for making your own stamps.

And last, and please don't think this is a paid commercial, I love getting my Quilting Daily email.  Sometimes it is just an ad to buy their magazines but often it has really good tips. Today's article was "Fabric Painting Tips from a Pro."  It briefly talked about the techniques used by Judy Coates Perez.  The Quilting Daily email is free. Check it out!

Well, there have been more but my lunch break is over.  Go explore!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Abby's quilt

Remember the quilt I was making for my granddaughter's 6th birthday?  Here is the picture she drew for me.  Sorry, it seems to be a bit fuzzy but it is striped cat.

And here is the quilt that I made for her.  I named him Mr. (T)Abby Cat.  It is hanging in a somewhat narrow space so I had to take the picture at an angle.  The quilt is a rectangle rather than this odd shape.
The quilt is about 45" by 60" and was made in a very simple two-step process.  I put the top, batting, and bottom together and stitched straight lines along the pattern lines of the back fabric.  Then I machine appliqued the cat on the top.  The cat had been made with a back fabric that doesn't show, batting, and lots of raw edged strips of fabric.  I chose to leave all the edges of the cat raw so that they would ravel when washed (more fur for the kitty).  The strips were sewn into place using all those fancy stitches on my machine that I almost never use and lots of different colors of thread.  I used a polyester batting that I had left over from something else.  I generally prefer cotton batting because it is more drapeable but I thought Abby would prefer the puffiness of the polyester.

As soon as I find a kitty sized box, he will be sent to live with Abby.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Erosion Bundle Unbound

One last view of my Erosion Bundle.  It was supposed to come down on April 15th but I took it down on May 1.  I figure it is okay since it was also late going up.  In another couple of weeks you won't be able to see my bottle fence either.
Here is a picture of the bundle still wrapped in the purple yarn.  Remember the fabric was green and after I bundled it, I poured some blue dye over it, and then hung it outside.
Here is the fabric all unbundled and laying on the ground.  Really it is no worse for the time spent outside.  No fading in the sun or damaged areas. But the dye and the bindings did leave a wonderful pattern.  I have ideas about what I can do with this.

Little Treasure for Mother's Day

Mother's Day is coming up so I have been thinking about what to do for my mother.  Not that she needs anything but it is nice to be remembered, isn't it?  So, I went through my files of free downloads from Quilting Arts and found one called Little Treasures from the ebook "5 small quilting projects."  It is a small fabric box.  At first I thought I would fill it with chocolate kisses but then I found a pattern for chiffon and tulle flowers from the Whipup Newsletter.  Now I think I will fill my little box with a corsage for Mother's Day.

Here is my little treasure for my mother.  The picture is far more yellow than the box is.  What appears almost brown here is a lovely purple in real life.  Both the inside and outside fabrics are my hand dyed fabrics.  Anyway, the box is really easy to make and does look impressive!