Portfolio of older work

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Tonight is my last drawing class.  Class finishes at 9:15 and then I go home and pack.  Tomorrow I am catching a plane for Ohio and Nancy Crow's Barn.   I have already mailed 50 yards of fabric and other supplies to the Barn but I have more I need to pack in my suitcase tonight. In fact, shall we play that fun traveling game?

Aunt Molly packed her suitcase and in her suitcase she packed an:
Apron for dyeing fabric
Black Dye
Camera (to digitally record my work)
Design wall (portable)
Extension cord (Heavy Duty)
Flower head pins
...are you getting the picture? 

I hope to have room for some clothes and maybe my hugging pillow to sleep with but I make no  promises.

No Friday Favorites this week or next since I will be preparing for, traveling to, and deep to my knees in the workshop. When I get a chance I will post pictures!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday Favorites

This is the third time I have started this post.  Blogspot doesn't seem to like it very well.  We'll see if I make it this time!

First, remember last week when I decided I was not playing enough?  Well, Margaret agrees that playing is important.  So, before I talk about my favorites for the week, let me tell you a bit about my play for the last week.

I tried out Katie's direction for making a fabric stash string.  Below is a picture of two small balls of string that I made.  It is easy to make and I was surprised at how little ugly fabric it took to make a loooong string.  I had kinda hoped it would use up my stash of ugly fabric faster. 
After making some more I plan to use the string to play in Chapter 4 "Continuous Lengths" of Janet Edmonds's book Three-Dimensional Embroidery.  I am really looking forward to that.  Maybe I will make something that looks like Penny's bowl of beads or Karen's.  I even have fabric beads waiting to grace the right bowl.

When I first started making the string I thought I would couch with it.  I bought a new book from Interweave Press on Couching.  I will probably do that in the future but the current string won't go well with the current couching experiment as seen below.  This started out as a failed monoprint.  Now with the addition of some stitching and some couching it might actually turn into something.  It is not finished but has some hope now.
And I probably have not done anything to this painted fusible piece since I showed it to you last but it was lost for over a week and I am thrilled it is found again.  While I was waiting for it to turn up, I watched Linda and Laura Kemshall's Design Matters TV.  I watched the episode on painting fusible.  Was nice to know I did it correctly.  My year's subscription to the show is my dear husband's birthday present to me.

Friday Favorites
Jill at The Quilt Rat shows off her discharged moth with a new crazy quilt technique she learned from Bev White.  Remember Jill's post where she showed us how to make that discharged moth?  I had forgotten it so I was glad to see the moth again.  Beth, Rosalita, Kathy, how about we play like this next time we get together?

Arlee at Albedo---Chronicles of Concupiscientia Oculorum shares a mini embroidery tutorial on making a raised buttonhole stitch.  Haven't tried it yet but I think it will look lovely with my hand dyed pearl cotton on my heart of steel series.  I included this posting by Deb at More Whiffs, Glimmers, and Left Oeuvres because of its relatedness to embroidery.  Deb says that she can do fancy stitches but rarely does anymore.  I find that the same in my work.  I want the embroidery to add to the quilt but not take it over.  I think her little crosses would fit the bill. And I think that Deepa's knotted chain stitch variation might find its way into my work too.  The more open variation feels too fancy and frou frou but I like the elongated stitch variation a lot!

Sherrilynn Wood at Daintytime has started a tutorial on making a crazy type quilt she calls a Mini Keepsake. She has several tutorials for it but my favorites so far are the one on piecing curves and the one on fitting together the pieces like a puzzle.  Those tend to be the hardest part of improvisational piecing for me.

Okay, my play for this coming week has been inspired.  I hope yours has too!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Melanie Testa in a post named "Research and Personal Development" tells about finding a dead bird, fetching it back to her studio, soaking the flesh from the bones, and saving the skeleton in a ring box.  She did not seem to find that strange at all.  And she didn't mind telling her vast readership that she did that.  I am thrilled.

For years I have collected  bones.  I would never go out and kill anything nor would I treat their remains disrespectfully.  But I do love the bone structures.  A couple of years ago I brought home a fresh road-killed porcupine. I just let it sit at the edge of the woods and let nature take it's course.  Now  I have quills that I have made jewelry with and hope to incorporate into an art quilt.  I have the skull.  From the teeth I know it was an older animal and that porcupines are not carnivores.  I also see the huge sinus area and know that porcupines must have a great sense of smell.  I can identify the shoulder blades, pelvis bones, vertebrae, ribs, and tiny little foot bones.  How marvelous they all are.

This week I came across a fresh road-killed raccoon that has come to reside at my house.  My new dead pet.  I had to carefully stake him out.  The porcupine was not a problem.  No scavengers wanted to wrestle with the quills.  The raccoon, however, would get drug off into the woods for someone's dinner leaving me no bones.  So he is staked out waiting for nature to occur.  I will check it regularly to check its progress and to see what types of insects are currently active.  Overtime the flesh will decay and be returned to the earth in one form or another but the bones will remain. They will tell stories about the life and death of the raccoon.

Yep, me and Melanie.  We see the beauty in bones.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday Favorites

Are you tired to my talking about Wen's workshop yet? This time I am writing about what I learned from her studio.  Her studio was very eye opening to me.  It was full of lots of different types of art that she had made--big things, fabric things, hanging things, paper things, fabric and paper things, framed things, and more stuff.  It was full of stuff for sale for $20 and stuff for sale for a LOT more.  Now I know that Wen has just had pieces accepted into a lot of juried venues.  She makes great fabric pieces.  But clearly she did not sit back and wait for that perfect idea to come around to execute. She was playing and experimenting and finishing tons and TONS of stuff.

I find that sometimes my head gets warped (not wrapped) around the idea that I should be making Art  (capital A) all the time.  I don't want to waste my time making art (little a).  Wen's studio really showed to me that there is a fine line between the two and you produce Art when you are practicing and experimenting and finishing art.  Without the art, there is no Art.  So this week, in my Friday Favorites I have look at creative works of Art/art that others are producing and applauding them.

Friday Favorites

Arlee ecoprinted some paper that could be used in some lov-er-ly art quilts.  I have resisted using paper in my art quilts for some time but, lets face it, 1) a good quality paper is mostly rag or fabric anyway, 2) art quilts are meant to be hung on the wall and not to be washed so what does it matter, and 3) it is my hang up and I need to get over it.

Katie is making fabric stash string.  She uses it to make 3-D objects but it would also be very effective couched on the front of an art quilt.  The making of it seems to be very meditative which would make it a good activity when I want to be productive but my brain does not want to have to think anymore.

Nat is combining shibori with ecodyeing--it makes a great combination. And Laura is combining shibori with parfait dyeing.  Both are successful attempts and both postings give you some how-to's so that you could try the attempt.  Connie Rose is also getting some exciting results with her dyeing.

Patty the quilt lady is having fun making improv quilts without a pattern.  She has four tutorials posted (one and two and three and four) that show you her process. I had enough information at the first two tutorials but beginners will want to watch all 4.  This is a new blog for me and I have become one of her followers now.  Eva is fiddling with the tiniest of scraps and  having fun  ( and hereand here)with an improv quilt, although her style is much more hand work and smaller pieces so it takes time.

Well, that was some of my inspiration to be creative this week.  I hope that you find yours!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Digging into Digital Printing with Wen Redmond

Saturday FIVE went to NH for a workshop with Wen Redmond.   It was a private workshop that Beth negotiated with Wen and was held in her studio at an old mill.  You enter in the green door.
 And then you go up the winding staircase to the third floor.  Her studio has a primo space because it is right by the bathroom and the windows look out over the river.  Beauty and Practicality all wrapped up in one location.
The workshop itself was experimental.  That means we got to play with lots of different types of paper, fabric, and precoats for digital printing.  We came home with lots of samples of what we had learned.  I am only going to show you the fabric ones because that is what I am the most interested in.

 We were told to bring pictures on a flash drive already pre-sized to 4x6 inches or 5x7 inches.  I chose several but as you can see, I printed mostly the picture I took of an Osage Orange grove in Columbus OH. The first two are both fabric collages.  The one of the left is linen/silk organza/linen fabrics with an orange something in the middle of the organza.  The one of the right is a collage of all see through fabrics coated with different types of Inkaid.  Because of the fagility of the fabric, we collaged the fabric onto a sheet of plastic before we coated it with the Inkaid.  After the Inkaid dried, we ran them through the printer to print the picture.  Nothing special was done to the printer in order to print. I really like the picture and really like it printed on the fabric.  I want to do a third one with more orange in the middle and make them a threesome.

 These two pictures are 5x7.  The one on the left is a picture I took at Popham Beach.  It is printed on black fabric that was coated with a white Inkaid.  I could have covered the fabric more completely for a less abstract picture but I like this effect.  The picture on the right (recognize the trees?) is a piece of white fabric that I pre-painted, let dry, coated with Inkaid and then printed.  When the painting is done with an idea of what is to be printed I think the effect would be very powerful.

This last picture is printed on a canvas fabric that comes already prepared for printing.  The white diagonal lines are from a white crayon scribbled on the fabric for a resist.  Again, when used with intent, I think the technique has possibilities.  I did not  bring the photo printed on a piece of fabric treated with molding paste to give it some texture, coated with Inkaid and then printed but, as you can imagine, it has texture.  Cool.

A workshop well worth going to.  I expect to experiment more with the techniques and to incorporate some of them in future projects.  However, if you go to Wen's studio, don't make the mistake I made.  I looked at some of her work.  This piece came home with me.  I am going to float it on a piece of black mat board, frame it, and hang it in my studio for inspiration.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Line Upon Line

Started a new quilt over the weekend.  The fabric is plain white with fusible squares (fusible painted with ink last play date) fused and overfused to the surface. I am adding a layer of quilting using pearl cotton I have dyed.  I then plan to add a layer of silk organza with pictures/words printed on it using techniques I learned from Wen Redmond's workshop.  I will do more quilting on top of that.  Obviously hand quilting as you can see the needle and thread hanging down.

The working title is Line Upon Line.  I thought of that since the squares all have lines of ink of them.  I am not sure of the orientation yet. That may change as I work on it.  But I do love the colors. Those came from the new acrylic inks I am experimenting with.

Friday, April 8, 2011

This week's fun and Friday Favorites

This was the week I was supposed to have fun.  I got started last Saturday but then didn't get a chance to go back and finish.  Saturday was a meeting of the FIVE.  Well, it was supposed to be a meeting of the FIVE.  Kathy was snowed in; Rosalita (featured here) wanted to spend time with her husband; Charlene had to work; Beth (featured here) and I met and played with painting fusible and foiling.  Beth says that we are no longer foil virgins.  Anyway, I got started on a couple of good projects but then nothing.  Beth turned her projects into 3 finished quilts.  ***Heavy Sigh***  I have got to give up sleeping. 

Here are my beginnings:

 This one is just squares of the ink-painted fusible fused to white fabric in a random pattern.

This one will be an ocean scene.  It uses fabric I parfait dyed, painted fusible from Beth, and then silver foil.  It still needs alot!

Friday Favorites:
This week it seemed that I saw posts that reminded me of my friends.   Laura, this post on Inktense Pencils is for you!  Enjoy! 

Beth S., this post is for you!  Jane Dunnewold has become an urban guerilla tagging her neighborhood with her art.  And speaking of Jane, my friend Beth S. is doing an independent study with Jane as her mentor.  WOW!!!  You might stop by Beth's blog and wish her good luck as she undertakes the task of finding her unique voice.

Surface Design Stuff.
I posted over at "And then we set it on Fire" a Surface Design Round Robin I am organizing. We need more players so please hop over and take a look.  Also, we have someone in the Netherland who wants to play in a European Round Robin.  Any one interested?

And here is some great inspiration for surface design!  Connie Rose posted some fabulous pictures of her playing around with surface design.  Judi Hurwitt took another approach to surface design that I found really interesting.  Laura, an Iron Queen at the Chicago School of Fusing, shares her bias towards fusing.  And here is some finished fabric I fell in love with and which you could purchase from Spoonflower.  Which, of course, any of us could do with our own designs at Spoonflower.

Tomorrow I am off for more fun with a workshop with Wen Redmond down in NH.  Goody! 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Final Assignment for Drawing Class

Our final assignment in class is to draw 3-5 pictures that show an elapse of time.  The instructor showed us pictures that other classes have drawn for this assignment.  Some were like little storyboards.  Some went the route of generation and drew pictures of family members or of their houses.

 Because of what I have learned from presentation on Elizabeth Barton  I am going to work in a series with different lighting and shadows showing the elapse of time. So, Lake Messalonskee is not far from my house and I pass a wonderful view of it every morning and night.  I have long wanted to do something with that view and here is my chance. 

Here are two pictures that I have taken today.  The first was at 8 am and the second was at 10 am.  Look at the difference in the shadows and the reflection in the lake.  I'll take more pictures later today.  I think this may turn into a great project!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Friday Favorites

I have decided that I am just not playing enough.  I am dyeing for my quilt class with Nancy Crow and drawing for my homework in my drawing class but just playing around?  Not so much.  I have been inspired this week by the fun others are having. They are not producing the next great art quilt that will ensure world peace, end world hunger, or make the artist rich and famous (yea, right). What they are doing is stretching their creativity muscles in short studies and smaller projects which will ultimately better prepare them for that future stupendous art quilt.  Okay, you have heard it here first. This week I will make some small simple project just for fun.  I have the perfect project in mind.   Results will be shown next Friday.

 Friday Favorites

Vicki and Estelle had fun with a variety of transfer techniques and was nice enough to show us their experiments. Vicky followed up with her next post to tell you how TAP washed.  I agree with Vicki;  no "special" clothing gets pampered at my house.

Laura c-w over at the Sketchbook Challenge is an artist after my own heart.  Here she draws thawing ice using pencil, water-soluable pencil, and ink.  Looks like a project out of the Drawn to Stitch book.  Fits right in with my drawing class.

Also at the Sketchbook Challenge, Kelli is getting practical with her sketches and provides a tutorial for turning them into an Ipod or phone cover.  This is the post that really made me think about all the fabric I am dyeing and pictures I am drawing and then putting them all away.  Time to make something FUN out of them!

Take at look at what the Quilt Rat is doing with de-clourant.  I have never thought to use it this way!  And she is using a brand she got at the grocery store.  The grocery store!  Not something she had to send away and wait for and pay postage on. Like, how cool is that!

Jane LaFazio at Janeville is having fun with freezer paper stencils and paint sticks.  I agree with Jane that she is not done with the little quilt yet--it still needs something--but I have every confidence that Jane will discover what is needed.  At any rate, you can check out her tutorial on freezer paper stencils while you want for her quilt to "ripen."

And Jackie, at art4moi, is having fun with lino prints and Shibori.  In fact, several of the blogs I follow are featuring shibori because they are all taking an online class. All of them are raving about the class.  And let me tell you, their "homework" is fun just to look at.  I am sorry I am missing it.

Arlee is thinking spring with some of her eco-prints.  Her dyeing is such an inspiration to me. And then, add what she does with the fabric, and I am truly humbled.

I have been looking around on-line to make sure that I have not missed any art quilt blogs that I really, really, really need to see.   And I came across this post on an unfamiliar blog about removing rust if your fabric has rusted too much.  This blog is one of many by author/artist K  Baxter Packwood.  She has written some books on eco-dyeing that I want to take a look at.

Remember last week when I linked you to a tutorial on facings for quilt binding?  I like this tutorial better--Judy Coats Perez miters the back corners for a even more professional look. And as Miss V says, "when you are selling your art quilt, you are selling every inch of it."  Or, the back counts too. Don't forget to follow the links to the other spring tutorials.  (I had wondered at the supposedly spontaneous eruption of tutorials last week.  Now I understand.)

Okay, tomorrow is a play date with the FIVE.  It is a bring-your-own-project day.  I am taking a drawing I made for my drawing class and following some of Elizabeth Barton's rules to turn it into a small art quilt.  If I don't burn it (just kidding....maybe) I will show you my progress next week.