Portfolio of older work

Monday, November 29, 2010

Friday Favorites

I took a Thanksgiving vacation from the internet so my Friday blog is several days late.  I have a long list of things for which I am thankful but here let me say that I am thankful for the many new friends  I have made through blogging and through coming out of the "art quilter's" closet.

Friday Favorites' Links

Cheryl shows us how to do sticker resist and LED lights on quilts.  I like Cheryl's Technique of the week blogs.  I am glad she is one of the artist who will play on "And then we set it on Fire"

The Quilt Rat posted a second blog on TAP.  Okay, so maybe I will need to try it. But believe me, my doodles never turn out as good as hers!

Tallgrass Prairie Studio is participating in a raffle to raise funds for World Vision.  She and many other modern quilters have formed Modern Relief and have donated 19 quilts to be raffled.  For the price of $10 you can feed a child AND have a chance to win one of the gorgeous quilts.    You just need to go to the link above and click on the pay now button at the bottom of the post. Now that is a thanks giving effort!

Arlee shows us how to build a tree by throwing stuff (not the same technical term she used) into dissoluble layers, stitching it, then washing out the  dissoluble stuff.  Pretty cool. Follow this link then click her arrows to the next two posts for steps "4,5,6, looking like sticks" and "7,8,9, looking mighty fine"

I hope your Thanksgiving was as warm and renewing as mine was!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Detail pictures from the Center of the Universe.

Beth asked for some detail shots of the Center of the Universe so here they are:

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Center of the Universe

"Not selected" (as in rejected) for No Holds Barred

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Okay, I did not make a folded pen today but I did finish my ATCs for the month. The theme was "Lines and Grids" and I have the book "Drawn to Stitch: Line, drawing, and mark-making in textile art" by Gwen Hedley.  Hmm....lines and lines.  Sounds like a good match and my chance to crack the book.  I chose to try the lines on pages 96-97.  Those lines were made by stitching on an old brown envelope, wetting the paper, and gently removing most of the paper.

So, first I cut off the side of a brown paper bag and layered it with some cheap polyester organza, one of which was metalic. Then I stitched it  silly using both straight and zig zag stitches. The above picture is at the beginning of the stitching it silly process and the one below is afterwards.

Next I wetted it and crumpled it.  Then picked off most of the brown paper. 

Next I  ironed it and used my heating tool to burn holes in the polyester.  The red is the ironing board cover.
Then I fused it to my beautiful hand dyed black cotton and cut into the ATCs.  Sorry I did not take a picture of it before I cut it up.  I really loved it.

To finish them, I added a parade of straight lines made out of my hand dyed embroidery thread.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Favorites

Well, (deep subject) it looks like I did not make it into the No Holds Barred show.  This was my first attempt to get into a show that didn't have to take my entry.  It is disappointing but I am philosophical.  I submitted one piece and a proposal for second piece.  The first piece I love.  I made it for myself and now that SAQA has passed on it, I will hang it in my office.  Nothing lost there!  The second piece involved some welding that I would have been complicated to do right now.  So, now I will complete that piece this summer when I have more time and the outside weather is more agreeable.  Nothing lost there.  Life will go on. On to Friday Favorites.

You know how much I love bloggers who do all my testing for me. This week I found several.

Lynn at Fibra Artsyta tested the washability of Simply Screen textile paints and she loves them. I am still buying one of this and one of another type of paints so I am happy to have her evaluation and to see if my local art supply store has this economical brand.

And then I came across Terry Jarrard-Dimond experiments with Soft Scrub as a discharge agent.  I had never even thought of it as containing bleach.  I think I will have to add it to my repertory. Terry actually spent the next week on Soft Scrub again. These posts are week #1 and #2 of her 2009 commitment to experiment weekly.  I have started going through her old posts and have found some other "Ah HA!" posts to remember. Even more interesting, I learned how she approached her weekly experiment.  I think I will use a similar approach when I start my monthly experiments for "And then we set it on Fire"

Sue at Quilts to Dye For Blog painted some silk with Setacolor and then  Genesis and compares the effect of both types of paint. I have not heard of Genesis before, have you? Big difference in the results of the two.

Melanie Testa at Every Single Day  has committed to drawing lines every single day.  Most, if not all, of her work is on paper but I see no reason why my lines could not be drawn on fabric.  Melanie also uses a ruling or folding pen that she made.  I want to make one for myself.  It sounds like it would have a lovely mark.  I have no plans for Saturday and a November ATC exchange with a  theme of lines so perhaps I'll make my pen, draw some lines on fabric, and turn them into ATCs all on Saturday.

Enjoy your week!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Hand dyed embroidery thread and another Goodwill Find

Here are 5 of the about 12 bundles (what is the right word??) of yarn I dyed in my dark gradations.  It is lovely.  I am already using several of them in my quilt for Interpret This!

This is an ice cube tray found at Goodwill that is going to be used to make soy wax blocks for rubbings.  Won't that be fun!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites are late this week because I was so busy having fun dyeing with friends!  No apologies.

Wen Redmond, who is one of the SAQA Coordinator for my region, has  posted this awesome article on making collages.  I want to try this technique with the Five.    It ties in nicely with Jill's post below.

The Quilt Rat posted a great review of TAP.  Doesn't seem like a product that I need to go out and immediately buy. That so totally works for me since I have already spent my quilt/art budget for the month.  My budget always seems to be spent by the 3rd or 4th day of the month. Then by the 15th of the month I am starting to eat into my grocery shopping budget to buy those things that just can't wait till the next month's shopping spree.  Dear Hubby will be happy not to have to eat bread and water at the end of this month (for a change).

I'll give you the link to Dark Gradation again.   I posted my dark gradation results yesterday and later today or tomorrow I will show you some of the embroidery thread I dyed at the same time.  It is luscious. 
The link to dark gradation led  me to the Lazy Dyer.  The lazy dyer tells you all the shortcuts that she takes in dyeing and that do not seem to make a difference. They were a good read.  I have tried several different recipes for how much of this and how much of that to add.  I am starting to develop my own preferences now. Wooo Hooo!  maybe there is hope for me to become more than an accidental dyer.

I know that I have loved other stuff this week.  It seems like I have learned a lot this week. But let me end with a quote from Margaret's blog that I love.  
"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass....it's about learning to dance 
in the rain"  ~ Anonymous

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Dark Gradation

Beth found a great blog on dark gradations so that is what we did on our Five playdate Thursday.  Here are my results in fabric.  I also dyed some embroidery floss but it is still rinsing.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


These two are experiments using a clear and a mustard decolorant, Beth's thermofax screen, and I think it was Rosalita's fabric.  I really liked the decolorant and it didn't smell at all.  I have some on order for more playing.  Beth designed the screen herself and I adore it. And sorry, Rosalita, but the fabric is mine now!  LOL

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Five Playdate

Three of the FIVE got together this weekend and  played with a faux batik method using soy wax and textile paints.  Beth has a tutorial for the technique on her blog.  She is in love with the technique and I must say, with see-through fabric, I adore it too, but love is a bit more restrained when it comes to heavier weight fabrics.

Let me show  you first the see-through piece.  Isn't it fabulous? And believe me, it is even  better in person.

The other batiks are a bit muddy  looking to me.  Perhaps it is because I started out with a light blue dupioni silk.  Perhaps I am just not comfortable with my mark yet.  Margaret said it took her  a while to get comfortable with the marks she made--kinda like gettting used to the sound of your voice on a recorder or the picture someone takes of  you.  And perhaps I just need more skill at mixing marks and colors.  Anyway, here are the pictures. 

This one is of the back of the fabric.  I did not take a picture of the front.  Every paint I used in the 4 layes was a metallic.  The front is so reflective it just hurts my eyes.  Lesson learned--one layer of metallic is glittery (good) but all layers of metallic is reflective (bad).

 This one has only  one layer of metalllic paint and I like the sheen much better.  The marks...well that is another story.  The blue squiggles you see are the original color of the fabric  perserved by soy wax.

 In this fabric there is a huge difference between the front and the back--we were using paints rather than dyes.  I folded the fabric so you could see the difference.  I didn't do that for the fabric above because the paints were more watered down so the front and the back are much more similar.  Another lesson learned.  I don't think there is necessarily a right and wrong on this lesson--it would all depend on the effect you wanted.  Another lesson I learned with this is that working with that orginial blue by staying in the same color family works better than trying to make it turn green or purple like I did in the previous pieces.

 These last two pictures are just details of the front and the back.  I  like this fabric. The marks on it are less distinct and blend better for me.  I like that.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Friday Favorites

This week has been busy with preparing my  new blog that is technique driven.  We have 9 artists who are willing to take the lead in experimenting with different techniques and to report back.  I have the banner and the logo ready to go (you can see the logo on this blog).  Another week or so and I will be ready to unfurl the banner, show off the blog, and see if anyone wants to follow it.

Haven't heard anything from the No Holds Barred jury yet but it is very early.  I did go on the SAQA site and print off the directions for 3 or 4 more SAQA shows that I might consider entering.  I did run across one blog post that said she had entered quilts for 7 years before she got accepted.  I hope it does not take me that long.

On to Friday Favorites!

I love improvisational piecing.  I do it between pieces that require attention and fussing and  detail work and annoy me to death.  It feels like taking off a way too tight corset.  I thought I had invented it because I was doing it at home in a vacuum.  Now that I am more in the art quilting world I see all these other folks doing it too.  Maybe I should have copy-righted the idea years ago when I first thought of it. (LOL)  Anyway, Malka Dubrawsky gives 10 tips for improvisational piecing that I thought were really good.  The link takes you to the tips in Quilting Arts but Malka has just published her book that gives lots more techniques that she uses in improvisational quilting.  I have not seen the book so I can't comment on it but the title is Fresh Quilting: Fearless Colors, Design, and Inspiration.

Speaking of copy-righting my improvisational piecing idea, Kathleen Loomis at Art with a Needle wrote an interesting article on sharing quilts and quilting techniques.  You know, this is not the first time I have blogged about Kathleen.  I like what she says.  I also like that she states it is her opinion and leaves room for others to have opinions that do not agree with hers.  I find her posts generally raise questions that I may not have thought of but should consider as I make my way in the art world. What kind of artist do I want to be?

I have tried to ignore Arlee with all her ecodyeing blogs.  Yea, it looks interesting but I don't wanna go in that direction. Then I made the mistake of dying that fabric I showed you earlier in the week--the one with the rose leaves and the other one with the mums.  Remember?  Okay, now I am hooked.  What was I thinking?  Now I want to strip the woods and yard and see what I get from dyeing with the material.  Anyway, Arlee shares with us some more of her experiments with really good directions.  Don't look unless you don't mind another addiction. ***sigh***

I found a new blog this week.  It is Simply Robin.  She has a great tutorial on flat fold fabric dyeing.  The process sounds really interesting but it takes a day of hot sun.  That is not a problem in Maui where she lives.   I live in Maine and it is November.  A day of hot weather is probably 7 months away.  I will get to snow dye long before I get to try this method.  But I do want to try it on the 1 or 2 days of summer we get per year!

And, last but not least, my fellow 5 artist has posted a tutorial on soy wax dyeing.  Yes, she makes it sound so simple and the pictures she has posted of the results are so beautiful that I clearly need to go home and heat up my electric skillet.  I think that is what we are doing this coming Saturday for our play date.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Dyeing Silk with ties

 At our last play group we dyed silk using men's ties.  We followed the directions in the latest Quilt Arts magazine.  It worked.  It worked amazingly well.  You can even see the seam up the back of the ties printed on the fabric.  I can't image what I would do with this technique but if I can figure out a use, I know how to do it!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Metallic Class revisited

I didn't think it felt finished so when it did not sell at the craft show, I played with it some more. 
NOW it feels finished.

Monday, November 1, 2010

"And Then We Set It On Fire"

I think that will be the name of a new blog dedicated to mastering different surface design techniques. That is the motto that Rosalita and Beth have for their play dates.  In other words, anything goes in their experiments for surface design.  First they dye, overdye, paint, stitch, glue resist, paint again, flour resist, dye again, silk screen, stamp, thermafax, bejewel, stretch, shrink, sprinkle, Smooch, and fuse, then they set it on fire using a variety of heat tools.  Magnificent!

Here is the format I have in mind for 10-12 creative folks who like to play:

1.  Every month there will be a technique we will all try together and report our results.

2.  We'll take turns choosing the technique for the month.  If it is my month to choose then I will give as much direction as possible or tell you where the directions can be found.

3.  Participants may follow the directions given or, if they have their own preferred method of the technique, they may use it and explain their method.

4.  Participants will post 2-3 times per month showing their process. Posts don't have to be long and can be scheduled in advance.

5. Finished products are not required but would be nice occasionally to show what can be done with that gorgeous fabric just made.  Posts can also include failures, mistakes, and comments like "I will never do this

6.  Followers will be encouraged to try the techniques and send us links to their results.

Beginning date is projected to be Jan 2011.

Scratch-a-Print and Roses

Remember the fabric I printed with rose leaves?  The prints themselves were very faint and the color of the fabric itself was a very light delicate mottled yellow-green.  I have now used Scratch-a-Print to add some metallic gold and metallic sea green rose leaves to the fabric.  The result is very light and delicate.  Not my type of fabric at all.  And I really like it!

This was my first time to use the Scratch-a-Print product.  I bought it a couple of months ago and just hadn't had the time to play.

Here are the good things about it: 
  1. Easy to make the lines
  2. I made maybe 50 prints and it held up well.  In fact, I washed it out and have stored it away for another try later. 
Here are the iffy things about it: 
  1. I had difficulty getting a full print every time given the way you have to sponge the screen; 
  2. The screen was smaller than expected but certainly not smaller than the thermofax screens I have;
  3. The lines on the screen opened wider with use so the first prints and the last prints are decidedly different if you are really checking them out.  I don't think a casual observer would notice. However, it certainly is an indication that the screen should not be considered a permanent screen like thermofax screens are.
  4. Since the frame for the screen was posterboard type stuff, I covered it with duct tape to make it more washable and durable.  Don't know if that was necessary or not but seemed like a good idea.
Here are the things I really disliked about it:
  1. The screen bubbled up with use.  I think that made it really difficult to get a perfect print.  However that would not keep me from using the product again.
One last picture of the fabric.