Portfolio of older work

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Screen Printing Play Date

Beth and I got together a couple of weeks back and  played with our silk screens.  I tried printing with thickened dye paste using torn newspaper as a mask.  On the first one I layered different colors using torn newspaper as a mask in each layer.  I was hoping for a variety of colors as they overlapped in different layers.  I started with light and moved to dark.  Here is the result with some detail shots.

This last detail shot show a resist by dried soda ash.  I had forgotten the material in a bucket of soda ash.  The soda ash dried leaving crystals.  I decided to print over the crystals to see what would happen.  Interesting resist, don't you think?

The second experiment started out like the first with torn newspaper acting as a mask.  For this one I started dark and then randomly scraped light dye paste using a credit card.  Well, actually it was an expired insurance card.  Beth was a little  nervous that I was using the current card.  Here are the results along with detail shots.

As you might be able to tell, I did put a rubber drawer liner under the fabric before I scraped the blue and orange to cause some texture.

I have to say I hate both of these pieces. Not that I would call them failures...yet.  I think they just need several more layers of something to have the interest I like in my surface design experiments.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Christmas Stars

I have been really slow at getting components made for my quilt but it is not because I am laying in bed eating bon bons.  Lately I have been making Christmas Stars.  They were used for ward members to choose a child to sponsor for Christmas.  The member gets to keep the star for their Christmas tree.  The stars are not nearly as embellished as Beth's felt decorations but I had a lot to  make.  Here are a couple of the stars.  Ignore the background--it is my thread bits covered design wall.

Monday, December 8, 2014

A few more

A few more pink and green components for my Flying F quilt.  I think it is time to start assembling my components to see what fits, what will go in a different quilt, and what is still needed.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Third Inspiration

First, one more piece for my quilt. Sorry to say that is all the stitching I have gotten done  lately.  I do like it but it is not much progress.

Second, I wanted to thank some friends who have helped to make the Dino Hats for the Maine Children's Home for Little Wanderers.  My good friend Beth offered to make 10 hats and she even mailed them to me when she was done!

Here is a picture of Shirlene, our Relief Society President as she made her first hat.  She has taken hat pieces home to make more.

And here are our two Sister Missionaries as they cut out hat pieces.  Ah, I remember the days when I was that young.

Last, and really the primary reason I am writing this post, is a third inspiration for my next quilt.  I found it on Marion's Art. 

Isn't it wonderful?  It is called Manhattan Sunset by  Barbel Lehrke.  Really that is all I know about it except that Marion took a picture of it at an art show.  I tried finding out more about Barbel but haven't been successful.  If you know more about her work, please share with me.  Anyway, I chose it because it uses components and a motif to create a focal point.  That is my goal for my new quilt.

So, lets talk about the quilt for a minute.

1.  Orange and blue is one of my favorite color combination.  It is almost always exciting.

2.  I love the light blue in the middle and lower left.  I have often been told you need something at that bottom left so your eye doesn't just slide off the art piece.  That light blue does it for me.  I  look at it and then look around the rest of the piece to see if that light shade is anywhere else in the piece. And it is but in small enough quantities that I didn't notice them at first.  That subtle motif in the left corner also helps to stop the eye.  So very clever!

3.  And check out the motif.  Not only does it vary in color and prominence, it also varies in its shape.  Those motifs are similar but not identical.  So far in my  piece I have stuck to the identical shape while varying the size and ratios.  I think I am gonna be a bit bolder now in my double F variations.

4.  I really love the very dark used in the quilt.  I wish I could get a better picture but I think it looks like black rather than a darker blue, don't you?

5.  I can recognize the surface design of the mottled red and blue dyed areas but I am unsure of the more complex red and black areas.  Pieced?  Commercial Fabric?  Surface technique of some type?  Can't tell for sure but I love them. They are a nice contrast to the neighboring open spaces.

6.  And the focal point?  I think it is those crazy very orange components surrounded by the dark complex areas surrounded by the more open areas.

Yep.  I like this quilt.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

A Second Inspiration

Before I show you a fabulous artwork I am using as a second inspiration, here are some more components for the new quilt.  I made the mistake of counting how many components I have sewn.  Including these seven, I now how 36.  I need at least 100 before I start to assemble. *** heavy sigh**** Oh well, it will take awhile but hopefully by then I will have several more artworks for inspiration when I start to assemble the components.

So, here is the second piece I am using as inspiration.  Could be a quilt, huh?  But it is a paper collage.

LANCE LETSCHER Showboat, 2008. 
Collage on board. 74” x 50.”
A large commissioned piece by Letscher is part of The Austonian art collection. Using discarded vintage ephemera such as found paper, book covers, old magazines and record covers, Lance Letscher creates collaged compositions of astounding intricacy and craftsmanship.  Here is what one critic said about the piece:

"His compositions, driven by a piecemeal aesthetic with a meticulously obsessive sensitivity to color and content, evoke both the expansiveness of the cosmos and the complex detail of microcellular life forms. Crafted with a rich and vibrant vocabulary eliciting discovery by his viewers, Letscher’s works engage us with their poetry and intricacy."

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  I don't have a MFA so here is my look at the design elements.

1.  Again I chose a piece that has a motif.  Do notice that while the rectangles change sizes and colors, their orientation is always in the same direction.

2. Again, the focal point is made primarily by the change in color to warm color vs the mostly cooler rest of the composition.  Again, the focal point is off center but still integrated into the entire composition.

3.  I think the color range is far more expansive that I am planning or that Heather included in her quilt.

4.  Heather had a value variation from top to bottom and I don't see that here but there is a lovely value variation from left to right.  It would have been really easy to just fade into dark on the edges but the bottom right has the value coming back up to a light again.  I like that. Makes the surface look like it ripples.

5.  I love, love, love the layering in this piece.  There is real visual depth with rectangles floating on an interesting background.

6.  The one thing that really strikes me here is my need to get closer to see more details.  At the first Maine Event I discovered that really good artwork needs to be interesting at three distances.  From across the room so you want to get closer.  From about 6 feet so you want to stop and look longer.  And lastly from as close as you can get to see the secret little details you can only see when you get close.  I am sure this piece has those little secrets and I want to get much closer to see them.  I absolutely want some little details you can only see up close in my quilt.

Yep, a real inspiration for me.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Dino Hats for Charity

My church is making dino hats for the Maine Children's Home for Little Wanderers.  It is a Maine based charity that serves families.  Its Christmas Program provided Christmas for over 1700 children in Maine last year.  One of the items all children receive for Christmas is a new hat and mittens.  We are hoping to make 50 of these dino hats to donate.  We took the pattern from here.  They are really easy to make and cost about $1 a piece in materials.  Here are some of the ladies cutting and sewing.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Inspiration For My Voice

Or a jumping off  point or whatever you want to call a couple of artists/art works I want to use to get my creative juices going.

I have already started my next quilt and have a few rules for it.

1.  Pink and Green are the primary colors.  Now you know that I am going to be using more than just pink and green but that is the starting place.

2.  Lots of tiny piecing.  I like to piece.
3.  Hand dyes and commercial prints.  I know, some people don't like the commercial prints but I like the excitement they bring. They do need to be cut small enough so that they read abstract or as a solid.

4.  A "Flying F" motif.  I developed it for a workshop with Nancy Crow and want to use it again.
5.  And, of course, abstract.  Always abstract.
Not too many rules but it is nice to know my rules before I go looking for inspiration to move me forward.

Special thanks here goes to Kathleen Loomis who has posted pictures of the Quilt=Art=Quilt Exhibit at the Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center.  The next art work/artist is in the show and I took the picture from Kathleen's blog.

Heather Pregger, Tuning Fork #11, 72 x 54"

 I love Heather's Tuning Fork series. 
Several design elements I want to make sure are in my new quilt!

1.   I have not seen one in person but doesn't it look like she uses some printed fabric, at least in the grays? 

2.  I like that the tuning forks are not all the same size. Is it fair to say that the majority of the red tuning forks are smaller than the majority of the  gray ones?  Or are the tuning forks just smaller as they enter the focus point, which is primarily red?  Now that I think about it I think that they are smaller offering more intricacy in the area she wants your eye to stay on longer.  

3.  I like the change of color from light in the top left and darker in the bottom right. 

4.  I love the focal point.  Red splashes are seen in other areas but the reds are primarily clustered together to form a focal point.  And the focal point is not in the center either vertically or horizontally.  

5.  I like that the tuning forks seem to be both right side up and upside down.  

6.  And of course, she is using a motif.

First inspirational artwork/artist chosen.  Check!  A couple more artworks/artists to go.

For now, a picture of some new components for my new quilt up on my design wall. (Boy, do I need to find my lint roller!)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Ten Free Textile Books!

Sounds great, doesn't it?  Just go here to register for your chance to win them.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Cogitations on Cogitations

Do you read Elizabeth Barton's blog, Art and Quilts, Cogitations Thereon?  I always look forward to a  post there because it is a free art lesson.  I especially liked her latest post, Original? Or Derivative? When is a Clone not a Clone?    Elizabeth said (though you need to read her whole article) that you can start with someone else's work as an inspiration but then you need to "go beyond,"  do something "unexpected,"  "going beyond the predictable," something the original artist would never even think of.

Somewhere else recently the topic of originality was covered.  I think it was on DesignMatters TV with Laura and Linda Kemshall.  Linda stated that it was fine to be inspired by someone else's art but to not limit your inspiration to one piece and one artist only.  The danger, like Elizabeth Barton said, is that you end up being derivative.  For Linda the key to being unique in your voice is to use a variety of inspiration to make one art piece of your own.  You know, this element from that, and this thing from that, etc and then put them together in a way that is all yours.

Beth Berman, who is always looking for creative inspiration, wrote a post on the Fire blog titled Priming the Creative Pump!  She refers to a new book she is working her way through.  I mention Beth because she lent me another book on creativity named, Steal Like an Artist: 10 things nobody told you about being creative.  Here is Austin Kleon, the author's take on being original vs a clone.

Wonderful posts, each and everyone.  I probably like them because I agree with them.  LOL So, my  next post will be some quilts that inspire me to create in my own voice.  And, if I am really lucky, a shot or two of more components of my latest quilt.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Starting a New Quilt

Just a few components up on my design wall.  Only several hundred more to make.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Making Progress on Nathan's Quilt

While Nick's quilt is still waiting to be layered and quilted, I have been making progress on Nathan's quilt.  All the needed blocks are made and sewn into strips.  I am now starting to sew the strips together to form the quilt body.

The first two rows are sewn and the third row is fitted into place ready to be marked, taken off the wall, cut to fit perfectly together, and then sewn.  The strips below are just up on the wall in no particular order.

As you can see in the detail shot, I chose not to square the blocks or strips.  I decided to float them on a background so I dyed fabric a desaturated blue--I did not want the color to be 'in front' of the brighter blocks.  I am using the background blue fabric as a border and to fill in when the strips of blocks don't quite meet, as in the above.  I don't want lots of the background showing in the body of the quilt.  This is probably the biggest section of background that will show.  I dyed enough fabric so that I can use it for the quilt back also.

Did you notice that mostly the strips are one block attached to one block and so on but occasionally I fitted two blocks side by side in the strip?

So far I am liking the quilt.  Gotta say, happiest I have felt in months.  Gotta spend more time creating!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Nathan's Quilt

Noelani's quilt has been received in Oklahoma. 

 Nick's quilt is waiting to be layered and quilted. 

 I have started making blocks for Nathan's Quilt.  His is the last one "due."   Here are the blocks up on the design wall.

I am using some of the fabric left over from Nick's quilt but adding a lot more commercial prints.  Here are some of my favorite (so far) squares.

The blocks are not connected to each other yet but I will be sewing them into strips and then sewing the strips together.  I won't be squaring the blocks before I sew them together or squaring the strips before they are sewn.  How boring would that be!!  I love the interest of wobbly lines.

Thursday, August 21, 2014


After watching this video by Jane Davies, I decided to make some postcards.  I particularly liked her comment that since  you would be working on large paper then cutting it into smaller postcard sizes, you didn't have to worry about design, balance, blah, blah, blah that you normally have to worry about.  Sounded very freeing!  And, besides, I needed some postcards.

I got five 12x 18 inch papers to this point then started thinking about how to finish them.

I decided I could build more of my cut-out phrases Haiku and paste them on each postcard.  These aren't cut out or quite finished yet but here is kinda what they will look like.

If you would like a postcard, send an email to quiltordye@ftml.net with your address and I'll mail you one.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Nick's quilt

Noelani's quilt is in the mail.  And I have finished the top of Nick's twin sized quilt.  The goal is to finish it before the Maine Event so I can take it to Show and Tell.

The primary colors are a deep purple and green.  The fabric is mostly hand dyed but there are snippets of commercial fabrics.  The green fabric came from the deconstructed play date I had with Beth. Here is the picture of the fabric again with a couple of close-ups.  It worked fabulously in the quilt.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Abandoned Theme for Whiteline Printing

Okay, the supplies are in the mail.  In the mean time I need to come up with an idea and start some drawings.  For some time I have wanted to take some pictures of an abandoned mill factory near by to create an art quilt series based on them.  I am now going to start the series by creating some whiteline prints.

I have taken some pictures today. Since the theme for the print exchange is "Just a Second" I thought I would focus on 2 windows for the print.  Here are some of my photos.

I love the broken panes in with the other panes.  I love being able to see the light through the windows on the other side of the building.  I love the curve at the top of the windows.  I prefer the photos that don't have the windows centered and which show some perspective.

What do you prefer?