Portfolio of older work

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Scumptious Surface Design Number 1

The assignment this week was to develop a design.  I don't want to use a suggested motif or a motif at all.  So, I used a picture I took of seaweed on rocks in a tidal pool. 

 Using Photoshop I made it black and white, posterized the edges, cropped a section I particularly liked, rotated it, and increased the contrast.  Here is the design I will be using for my first project. I will use black linen for the negative space and the scrumptious design will be in white and grey threads.

Friday, July 29, 2011

More about fabric beads

 Here are my dried fabric beads after I slid them off the straws.  Won't they look great when I sew them on my Nancy Crow Barn Blocks?  Carol Esch asked me how to make the fabric beads.  Sorry, it is so easy that I didn't think to give any explanation. 

Okay, first Supplies: You only need:
  • small scraps of fabric, 
  • white glue mixed 50-50 with water, 
  • a paint brush to apply the glue, and 
  • a round shape like a knitting needle or straw to wrap the fabric around.
Second, here are the complicated steps:
  1. Take a small scrap of fabric.
  2. Paint the scrap with the glue/water.
  3. Wrap the fabric around the shape, overlapping the ends.
  4. Take a smaller scrap to repeat the process on top of the first fabric scrap.
  5. Repeat till you like the look.
  6. Let the bead dry on the shape.
  7. Optional is to decorate the beads with paint, glitter, ink, oil, whatever.
  8. Slide beads off the shape 
  9. Optional is to coat the finished bead with a protective coat of something to give it a shine.
  10. Sew them on whatever.  Beads should only be used on items that will not be washed.
Easy Peasy!  You can cut the fabric or rip it.  You can use wider or narrower scraps.  You can combine lots of colors or make them all one color.  HAVE FUN!

Friday Favs

Wednesday I received the first lesson in Sumptuous Surface Design from Sharon B.  I had enrolled in the Yahoo class group a couple of weeks before and had been following the discussions.  Most had been on crazy quilt embroidery and I was getting more and more concerned.  I was not interested in just learning a bunch of crazy stitches.  Reading the lesson was a very pleasant surprise.  It was not only NOT a bunch of crazy stitches it was actually an art lesson!  She wrote about the 3 basic steps in design--concept, form, and content.  I have taken college art classes that did not do near as good of a job in presenting design process!  This is going to be an exciting class!!

So my Friday Favorites this week starts with embroidery, moves into art lessons, and then finishes with some tutorials.

Arlee Barr shares several looks at her Raggedy Black Heart.  I was just gonna give you the general address so you could cruise through the several posts with pictures but she has posted several pages on top of them. So, I will give you the first one and you can use her handy little arrow to see the others.  The nice thing about the multiple posts is that Arlee talks a bit about her process in working on the piece.

I will warn you right up front that The Silly BooDilly is working with handmade paper and not fabric but I really like the weaving she has done on the paper.  If you don't want to look at paper, don't check out her site.  But I think the technique could be used on fabric equally effectively. 

Art Lessons:
Judy Martin and her quilting group has been working on Mended World for close to 2 years now and it is finally almost finished.  It clearly has deserved the time spent on it.  Very quietly powerful.  Anyway, she gives a short design lesson as she evaluates the piece.

Novembergrass is one of my newer finds.  All of her postings are worth looking at if you are interested in incorporating stitch in your design.  I put her under art lessons because she talks about a focal point in this post.   As I struggle to balance my foreground and background so that I have a focal point plus other interesting things to look at in the design, I appreciate her thinking about a focal point.

 Nina Marie, another relatively new find for me, has just completed a class with Jane Dunnewold and passes along what she has learned about dyeing fabric in two post.  ONE and TWO  Everyone has their own techniques and I might have ignored her post if she hadn't told me that it was based on Jane's workshop.  And, you know, I learned a thing or two.

I hope  you keep learning new things too!  Makes life much  more interesting, doesn't it?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

More Nancy Crow's Barn Scraps

My mother pinched every penny twice and had no shame about it.  It was how she was able to raise 5 children on a very limited budget and still quietly put a little money in the bank every week for her retirement.  So when Nancy Crow said that I was "worth it" when I told her I hated to waste fabric, it just didn't sit well.  Instead of  throwing away all my fabric scraps, I packed them away in my suitcase and shipped them home.  And I am having the most fun with them.  I am still putting together the larger scraps into blocks like this new one.
And now I have started working on the smaller scraps.
Turning them into fabric beads to use in embellishing some of the  blocks.  These are drying on the straws I am using to shape the beads.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday and NO Favorites

I am sure there are wonderful blog posts out there that I have missed this week.  I will have to try and see them next week. This week I have been too busy to spend much time looking.  Have I told you that I am dieting?  Perhaps not.  It is embarrassing to admit that I need to lose weight.  But I do and I have been.  I have now lost 11 lbs with still too much more to admit to lose. Anyway, this is related to no Friday Favorites because 1) I have been cooking diet food, 2) I have been exercising, and 3) with all my new found energy,  I have been sewing. Those three mean I have less time for perusing the world wide quilting web.  Please be sure to let me know if I miss something really important.

What have I been sewing you ask?  I am so glad you asked.  Here are some pictures of my Nancy Crow Barn scraps.  Here are some blocks.

 And here are some blocks sewn together waiting to get quilted and embellished.

(Ignore my toes)

And here are some pictures of my 6  brocade napkins that I first screen printed with weeds and then tried to eco print.  Didn't turn out as well as I wanted but I will try again.
 I do like the coloring on this one.  I think it got the red from the Japanese Maple.

And here are some pictures of my marbled fabric (well, actually this particular one is from Rosalita) with some embroidery on it. Still lots to do with it before it is finished. Penny Berens has inspired me to create holes.
Can you tell that the stitching is very 3-D?  And the yellow is holes in the fabric showing the cutting board behind.  I will fill them with stuff.  Not ready to do that yet.

And here is a picture of my stitched flower inspired by these photos.  It is not finished yet either but coming along nicely.

See why I didn't have time to browse this week?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Sumptuous Surface Embroidery

I did tell you, didn't I, that I had signed up for Sharon's Sumptuous Surface Embroidery online workshop?  It doesn't start for another week or so but the Yahoo Group is already up and my classmates are saying hello.  They are from Australia, Tasmania, New South Wales, UK, Germany, Canada, Singapore, and all over the United States from Maine to Austin TX.  Won't this be a great group!!  You'll be seeing more of my handwork in the next couple of months (I hope!)

Friday Favorites

It has happened again.  Blogger has eaten my finished Friday Favorites.  At least this time I think I know what happened. 

Each week I begin my Friday Favorites on the Friday before they are posted.  During the week as I read the great blogs, I copy and paste the URL's  in the draft  post. Then on Wednesday and Thursday I start to write  my post.  That is what I did this afternoon.  Blog all written and scheduled to be posted early Friday morning! Yep, right up until I found another open window with the  draft post in it.  When I closed the draft, it erased the scheduled finished post.  OUCH!!

So, here is my list of favorites but no write-up this week.  Sorry--too disgusted to rewrite.



Saturday, July 9, 2011

Friday Favorites

 Lately I have been having trouble with switching from cruising to writing.  Lots of good things to see and read and learn!  Here are my favorites (in no particular order) from this week.

Friday Favorites
I got my e-zine from Lynn Krawczyk delivered in my inbox this week.  She has 10 tips for developing your personal design process.  Her thoughts about how to make "something from nothing" are worth a read.

This one is a two-fer.  Jane La Fazio shares a tutorial for using your drawing skills to create a prayer flag.   Jane Davies is also making prayer flags using a resist and water technique and she links you to her tutorial on the method.  Prayer Flags are weekend activity so I will show you the results when I am finished but expect to see my attempts at these two methods.

Elaine Quehl is preparing to teach a class on thread sketching.  Even if you can't attend the class, the samples she shows you are exciting to look at.  She shows a range of things to do within the technique.

Terry Jarrard-Dimond interviews Sandra Palmer Ciolino. I am including this post because I know Sandy and can pass along my recommendation. She was at the table next to mine this last spring at Nancy Crow's Barn.  She is a really nice person and her quilting is fabulous.  Sandy is teaching a 3-day workshop this fall at the Barn and if I could I would be attending!

Terry at And Sew It Goes talks about the difference between Photoshop and Illustrator.  I have used both programs and found Illustrator really hard to learn.  But I was using it on a Mac and was also trying to figure out that system.  I am aware of the capabilities of Illustrator and I think I will check out how much the program cost for a pc.

Lisa Kerpoe shows some pieces on which she has used multiple resist methods.  I am blown away.  I have such a mind set of" one layer and done" that I need constant reminders like hers to keep my mind open to experimentation.  I really love the depth given by multiple layers.

Veronica at Fiber Antics shows how to turn a turn a vase of flowers into an interesting design using a view finder.  It is a technique she learned in a design workshop

Okay I included this because I liked the quilt but Jacquie at Tallgrass Prairie Studio also links you to a blog hop if you are interested. And more eye candy can be found at Kathy Loomis's review of the QSDS alumi show. And MORE eye candy at Arlee Barr's blog. Her stuff is 3-D and that is exciting!

I am now off to my wet studio (kitchen) to work on the prayer flags.  Pictures when I am done!


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Quilts out of military uniforms

This is such a wonderful idea! I wonder why someone didn't think of it sooner? Perhaps as we sit safely in our homes, we could remember that we are wrapped in safety through the work of our military.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Friday Favorites

I have had a great week.  I hope that you have too!  Got lots of little projects done and a larger project moved along.  I have one little project in progress that I can show. 

It is a reverse applique piece that I have then rolled with gesso and did some painting and stamping.  I saw the technique on one of those quilting shows recently.  I am kinda liking it so far.  This is my third attempt to turn the Goodwill silk dress with blue roses into an art quilt.  So far it is the most successful attempt

Friday Favorites
First, lets talk about tutorials.
Here is one from the Sketchbook Challenge on painting with watercolors.  The thing I really liked about it is the steps it shows.  My tendency is to try and get a finished picture all at once.  Those intermediate steps of letting the layer dry before applying another layer really  makes a difference whether you are working on paper or cloth.  And talking about layers, Judy heard an artist say he knows when his art is finished--it has 7 layers.  That is a lot of waiting and patience.

Does it count as tutorial if it is YouTube?  This is one on making a necklace out of a t-shirt.  My first reaction was...well....I.... lets not go there. But the necklace is kinda cute.  Maybe you will like it.

Strictly speaking this is not a tutorial but Nina-Marie has multiple posts showing her progress with a cross series.  I think there is enough information there to consider it a tutorial.  And don't you love the progress she is making?!

Second, lets look at pretty pictures and get motivated.
 Jane shows pictures from a class she is teaching at a National Park.  The results were enough of a motivator (and the umpteenth time I have read Jane talk about her watercolor pens) that  I have now bought some and will see how well they work as immigrant medium on fabric.  Here is the link it you are interested in where to buy them.

Pictures of flowers steeping to become dyes and the colors they produce.

 Now lets' see some interesting techniques to add to our ever-lengthening list of things to try.
 Kim is working with paper and fabric.

The Ramblin' Girl is playing with photoshop.

The Quilt Rat is working on thread stitching--something I definitely need to practice.  Here she shows a beginning and then the project a little further along.

Penny is doing more of her uncomplicated  hand work.  I really like her work.  It is not that the stitching is so magnificent when you look at each little stitch.  It is the quantity and overall effect that takes my breath away.

I was debating whether to put this in tutorials or techniques but decided here.  Jane is showing us a new (at least to me) product, liquid watercolors, and her results with it.

Last, lets end with a discussion about what is art.
First, Lynn asks your opinion about whether art has to have a purpose other than to be pretty.  Well, and these days that isn't even a requirement.  Her second question has more interest for me.  If no one ever saw your art, would you keep creating.  Now there is a question.  Let me see, if I have spent tons of money on supplies and all my free time creating art quilts and then I basically put them in a pile in the spare bedroom after I finished them, would I continue to do so?  Well, I have for a couple of years now so I guess the answer is yes.  LOL

The second discussion on art is from Jane Dunnewold and is the text from the lecture she gave at the SDA in Minneapolis.  It is quite long since it is from a lecture but is worth the read. She ends with this statement "Decide between you what matters, and then go out into the world and pursue it with joyful abandon."  
Basically that is my answer to Lynn about would I continue my art.  Yep, and with joyful abandon and no excuses.