Portfolio of older work

Monday, June 27, 2011


Going Green with Panache
9 1/2 by 10 1/2 inches
Commercially dyed cotton with painted fusible
Machine Embroidered
Embellished with hand dyed pearl cotton, fugitive medium, and beads

I know you are supposed to face with a color that similar so it won't show but I thought a little peek of orange would just fit in with the orange on the top so here is the facing and the hanging sleeve.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Saturday Play Date

Not finished yet but embellishment progress on this piece.  Beth donated some orange beads for it.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Current Projects and Friday Favorites

I didn't get much browsing done this week.  My lunch breaks are now being taken up with exercise (I am dieting) and my evenings are full of sewing.  I have started a new quilt following principles I learned at Nancy's Barn.  I think I might enter it in a show so I can only show  you the pile of fabric I am using.
The fabric is mostly the 10 shades of fuschia  and the 5 shades of chartreuse I dyed in preparation for Nancy's workshop but didn't use there.

The second project is also leftovers from Nancy's.  Rather than throw away all my scraps from the quilts I made there I toted them all home.  Now I am using them to create some improvisational blocks that can hang separately or together.  Here is the first one in  progress.  The white fabric is from a dress shirt my husband just ruined. (Ruined as far as him getting to wear it but perfect for me to use!)  I might call this series "What does Nancy Crow's Scraps and My Husband's Shirt Have in Common."  LOL

Friday's Favorites
I am loving these tutorials posted by Lyric Kinard at The Sketchbook Challenge.  I think I will print them out to keep them in my sketchbook.  Usually tutorials are on a specific art technique but these are on art principles that art quilters need to know.  Love them!

Well, you know I  love tutorials in general and Amanda Jean has a very nice one on sewing circles.  She points out in the tutorial that her method is not the only method used for sewing cirles.  It isn't but it is a very good technique and I think the best one for beginners to use.  I started there but am  now comfortable with finger pinning as I ease the pieces together.  Anyway, I think the results from her efforts make a darling baby quilt.

And also working with circles, LuAnn Kessi shows us the screen printing that her friend, Virginia, is producing. Beautiful circles!

Clare Wasserman at Threads of Loveliness is trying a new technique near and dear to my heart--burning up fabric.  She is making postcards by covering transfoil with organza, quilting it heavily, and then burning the excess organza.  Here is a post with in-progress pictures and here is the finished product.

Last are some videos. Here is one from Muppin on thermochromic textile paint.  And another video on India Flint teaching a workshop in Belgium.  After watching it I went back to Goodwill to get the crockpot to use for dying.  And while I was at Youtube I found Arlee!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday Favorites by a Fiber Artist

I have decided I am a fiber artist.  I started calling myself that when I felt that "quilter" didn't quite fit the majority of what I do and I didn't have another term to use.  I fought that title for a long time because I wanted to work to earn it.  I wanted to be really, really, really good at art before I declared myself an artist.  Well, I have gotten better although I don't by any means think I have arrived but if I don't call myself an artist, what do I call myself?  If you want to hear more about when to call yourself an artist, here is a post by Elaine.   And here is another about being an artist by Lisa Call.

And while you are at Elaine's blog you might want to check out the pictures she took at The ArT QuILT ExPERiENCE and  Quilt Canada 2011.  I especially like the pictures of the student's quilts from Elaine's class. And I hoped you checked out Lisa' Structures.

 If you feel unsure of calling yourself an artist, then you probably aren't sure if what you produce is art. Well, here is a post by Lynn Krawczyk that discusses whether small works of art are Art with a capital A.  I am including this post because Denise used a previously dyed organza, gave it a coffee/tea bath and burnt holes in it.  Now that is my type of Art.  Isn't it beautiful?  Doesn't look all that big.

I too have felt that I have to work big in order for my work to be considered Art.  However, the last several SAQA events I have attended (or talked to others about) have said that large stuff is just not selling.  Gallery owners want smaller items that might actually sell whether than to waste their walls on a huge quilt that no one will buy.  So, if that is a consideration for you, don't listen to the "Go BIG or go Home" art bullies. Tell them to go and measure the size of the Mona Lisa (it is small) and get back to you.  And, did you check out Lisa' Structures and realize they are all 12" by 12"? 

Those of us who create beautiful fabric often ask ourselves (and others) "now what?"  Now that I have created this fabulous piece of fabric, what should/can I do with it?  Kathy Loomis has a wonderful example of what to do.  This is going on my list of things to try.

And you know how I love tutorials.  Here is one for the art lover--2 pt perspective.  I know. Try not to roll your eyes but artists need to know perspective.  For example, there are some very nice original works of art hanging in the Tutoring Center at wprl but despite the lovely composition, technique, and colors used what I see every time I look at them is the inaccurate perspectives on the buildings.  What a shame the pictures are ruined by it.  I hope the artist learns perspective because I do like the other qualities of her work.

Last is a great sale if you don't make  your own hand dyed fabric.  Vicki Welsh is celebrating 2 year Anniversary by offering 20% off her fabric.  Sale only lasts till Sunday.  

Since I am an artist, I am putting the time in my studio tomorrow and creating!  I hope you get to do the same!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Snapping Turtles and Japanese Maple eco-dyeing

Yep, that is a snapping turtle and she is laying her eggs.  I pass close to a lake on my way to work and in June, this is a common scene along that stretch of road.

And now on to surface design.  I was inspired by some of the eco-prints I showed you last week so I wanted to try some of my local flora.  I thought I would try some leaves from the Japanese maple tree. When I went out to collect them I found the tree loaded with red airplane seeds.  So I got some of them too.  Here are my results.  Isn't it great to get two colors from the same dye bath?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday Favorites on Monday

Last Friday I posted my Friday Favorites and they evaporated into thin air.  I don't know where they went but, darn, I had some good thoughts in there.  LOL  Anyway, because I am just that dedicated, here is my second rendition of last Friday's Favorites

Lisa Kerpoe posted a shortdiscussion on "Is it done Yet?"  My friend, Debra, and I have had that conversation many times. She has a tendency to throw everything including the kitchen sink on her quilts and then to remove till she thinks the piece is finished.  I do as Lisa does by adding one piece at a time and asking if it is done.  Either way works to find your balance of "finished."  I think I have gotten better over time and practice to know if a piece is really finished or if I am just done working on it.  Unfortunately the two rarely meant the same thing for me.  With experience I am starting to tell the difference more readily.

The second dilemma I have with "finished" is that I look at pieces that I "finished" early in my art quilt life.  Now I can see that they weren't really quite done yet.  A little more layering, or coloring, or quilting, or something would make all the difference to the quality of the piece.  Do I go back and fix them?  I debated and decided if the addition would make the piece show quality then maybe it is worth it.  Otherwise, it is fine to respect my growth, leave the immature piece alone to show my progress, and move on.  How do you handle that problem?

Karen S has a lovely tutorial on piping. She shows the piping on a little dress but there is no reason you could not use the same technique and put it on a quilt for some texture.  She certainly makes it appear effortless enough to try the technique.

Now for the rest of the Friday Favorites.  Some weeks it seems that everyone is posting on the same subject.  Like last week I found lots of things on hand stitching. This week I found lots of things on dyeing.  I am never sure when I see more posts on a particular subject if it is because I am interested in them so they pop out or if there is just some serendipity going on with bloggers.

Lotta Helleberg at "inleaf" has unveiled her eco bundles.  They are to die for. Great leaf prints! Even more exciting is that many are leaves that I recognize meaning, unlike Eucalyptus leaves, I could go in my back yard and find them for free.  While you are there (not in my backyard but on her blog), check out her avocado dip.   We had an avocado in our salad last week just so I could try the method.  I am new to her blog but have become a follower of hers now. 

From Lotta's blog I went to other interesting blogs on dyeing and eco-dyeing that I had not found before, like "wake robin."  (I do love when bloggers post their favorite sites to visit.  I have found some of my new favorite places by following those lists.)  I think it was also Lotta's blog that took me here to Cassandra Tondro's archives on eco-printing.  Her blog has moved on to other things but I love this link with all her eco-prints in one place.

I included this post  called branches and leaves not because it is eco dying but because I like the pictures she drew.  I thought I could start with a lovely eco print and add ink gel doodling along with other immigrant medium to produce some wonderful fabric like that.  I want to give that a try.  I LOVE it when I find ways of combining techniques to produce a finished art cloth like here. As I am experimenting with my immigrant medium, expect to see attempts of this combination soon.

Lynn Krawczyk tried a new dyeing method where she rips her cloth before dyeing rather than after. She claimes to be in love with the results.   Points to the benefit of experimentation, doesn't it?

Last for this week  I love this slide show on jello monoprinting.   Sit back, put your feet up, take a deep breath, and let your mind wander while you enjoy the pictures.


Sunday, June 5, 2011

FIVE Surface Design Round Robin

Here is my post showing Charlene's fabric from our surface design swap. Check it out.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Friday Favorites

It has been a great week for me.   After sorting and cleaning my studio (AKA living room) I found a whole new pile of creative energy to work with.  I finished my Jungle Doodle and my painted fused piece and my piece for the FIVE surface design swap.  Just wait till I show it to you tomorrow.  I am really  pleased!  But on to Friday's Favorites.

Friday Favorites
With nothing particular required of me in the way of a quilts, I have been moving back to what I enjoy doing which includes handwork.  This week I have found some new posts on handwork plus gone back to revisit some old posts on the subject.  

Kathy Loomis showed some pictures of handwork done on quilts displayed at quilt national.  Nice to know that I am not the only one still doing handwork.  I am especially interested in the quilts from national because the stitching is not all the intricate combination embroidery stitches but basic stitches repeated and repeated.

I have already shown you Penny Beren's holes before but she posted more (and more) and I love them too.  In fact, I am trying them this week.  Rosalita gave me one of her marbled pieces that she did not like.  I doodled a bit on it and am now adding stitches.  My plan is to add some of Penny's holes in it too.  And, once again, that is not a complicated stitch but a repetition of something quite simple.  It is the repetition that gives it the power.

Again, Embellisher from India shows a repetition of a simple stitch in her pashminas that I find interesting.  Seeing her work made me remember Kantha embroidery so I looked it up and came up with these two older posts on This and That.  The first shows 2 stitches and the second shows 4.  But do check out her tutorials while you are visiting her blog.  I especially liked the one on chemanthy.

Tomorrow I am off to play with fugitive medium with FIVE.  I am been experimenting --like in my Jungle Doodle--and am anxious to see the ides the others have.  For me the fugitive medium is an in-between technique to use after the initial dyeing of the fabric and before any stitching begins.  My plan is to get really good with fugitive medium so that I can lead a workshop on it at our Fall SAQA gathering.

Have a good week! 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

My Fugitive Jungle

I have been playing around with doodles for a while.  Here is the biggest and latest doodle.  The piece is a fat half of cotton and is destined as a prize on "And then they set it on fire."

First I started off with white cloth that I doodled with a black gel pen--nothing special--not meant for fabric. Whenever I would stop, I would iron it to try and heat set the ink.

Then I colored it in with water-soluble pencils.  I used them both dry and dipped into water.  Not too much water cause that would make the gel pen ink blur.  Kept ironing it too.

When I was done coloring it, I brushed it with print paste to bond the ink and pencil to the fabric. That made the colors and ink a bit more fuzzy.  When that had dried I gave it a coat of very diluted blue Setacolor to blend the colors and background.  When it was dry and with much trepidation I threw it into the washing machine.  VOILA!  The inks/colors stayed!!  You can not believe how excited I was over that!  Last step was to put a little smooch in spots to give a little shine.

First piece I have finished to this extent.  I need much more practice but I am pleased by the experiment.  Yep, tonight I expect a second piece will get started.