Saturday, November 19, 2016

Some scraps and glue

I've been trying to finish up a piece that uses the technique of Sue Carlson.  You know, the one where she uses all types of fabrics and composes pictures of imaginary creatures.

It's basically a type of collage, except using fabric rather than paper.  Glue still comes in handy though.  Here is a close up of what I mean.

I'm once again working with complimentary colours and using a simple shape.  I would like to get this finished by the end of December so that I can use it as a sample piece when I describe the technique to my local fibre art group (QuArtz).

This is how far I have managed to get but there is still a way to go.

Till the next time, let the creative muse settle on your shoulder and whisper in your ear.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Playing modern

After a few attempts at making a quilt with a modern aesthetic, I've been playing some more.  I shared my first attempts with modern quilts here and here.  I've continued my exploration by joining a group that meets monthly at the local quilt shop.  Here is a table runner that I've finished, but now it needs to be quilted.
I contemplated quilting a different motif in each of the trapezoids and then feathers in the border.  Am I on the right track?

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Printing, printing, and more printing

I spent some time in a workshop recently with Catherine Nicolls.  I'd not worked with thickened dye and it was amazing what was produced in the workshop.  Thickened dye is simply concentrated dye added to sodium alginate thickener.  You can read more about it  here.   Dharma Trading also has a good description of sodium alginate thickener.  Here is just a sampling of some of my results.

This one was created using a variety of colours and brushing the dye on with an old credit card.  I like the layering effect that was created by the mixing of the colours.

 This one was also done with an old credit card, but rather than scraping on the two colours, the edge of the credit card was also used to get linear marks.  This is one of my favorites.

We were asked to choose a simple shape, and create a stamp from that shape.  A "2" seemed simple enough and then using two different colours I got "Two for One" or maybe "Double Trouble".

Carrying on with the simple shape, by arranging and mirroring the shape, I used it as a resist for a silk screen. It was surprising what came out of that experiment.  I'm going to explore this some more.

There were many other prints made, and I have yet come up with things to do with all of the samples. The one that was most surprising is the one created with what is referred to as a "breakdown screen".  In this instance thickened dye is applied to your silk screen.  When the thickened dye has dried, you "draw" clear thickened sodium alginate over the screen.  Each draw releases the thickened dye to create print after print, until there is very little left to print.  I had one piece of fabric left, corner was missing, and "went for it".  Here's the result.

One of my friends said it reminded them of licence plates.  Hmmm, what do you think?

Friday, November 4, 2016

Row by row Mystery

Our guild celebrated its 35th anniversary.  Part of the celebrations included a challenge and a mystery.  The mystery was a row quilt.  Each row was revealed at each monthly meeting until all 7 rows were presented.  The blocks used represented "Pearls of Wisdom";  appropriate for a 35th Anniversary don't you think?  I had been saving a particularly colourful fabric for just the right moment.  This seemed to be that moment.  Here's what I ended up with; Spicy Pearls

The pearls of wisdom were represented by these blocks:

  • Goose Tracks for "What's good for the goose is good for the gander"
  • Duck's Foot in the Mud for "Like water off a duck's back"
  • Hovering Hawks for "Watch like a hawk"
  • Lost Goslin for "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush"
  • Crows Nest for "Something to crow about"
  • Birds in the Air for "Birds of a feather flock together"
  • Hens and Chicks for "Don't count your chickens before they hatch"
Off to do some hand quilting on another UFO.  Till the next time, be happy and creative.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

It's been a while

My word!  It's been almost 6 months since the last time I posted here.  Truth be told, I was stuck in a creative rut; didn't know where to begin; so many UFOs, too many learned techniques, and far too many excuses not to go into the studio.  Well it's time to get a hold of myself and get going.  I'm kinda reminded of the story of the mouse that fell into a bucket of milk.  The mouse thought it would drown until it started to lap at the milk; little by little the milk disappeared, and the mouse crawled out of the bucket.  These last 6 months I've been "lapping at the milk" and it's finally time to climb out of the bucket.

I had posted about the beginnings of my work on Gypsy Wife by Jen Kingwell, which you can read here.  It's finally pieced and ready for sandwiching and quilting.  Here is what it looks like now.  Any ideas?

I chose to do the background striping as an exercise in transitioning from one hue to another.  I think it worked out well.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

First indigo attempt

I recently attended a play day with several of my creative friends.  The day was spent dipping fabric into an indigo vat, and a pot of boiling water with potassium permangenate.  I had prepared my fabric in various ways to create "resists".  Some were tightly stitched, some tightly wrapped with thread, and still others clamped.  I didn't think to take pictures prior to dyeing, but here are some of the results.
This one was pinched in the centre, threaded through a wooden "donut", and then loosely wrapped with string at two different intervals.
This one, dipped into the potassium permangenate, was folded into a triangle of several layers and clamped with wooden "petals".  Some of the wooden petals had previously been used in another dye vat, hence the hints of violet in the patterning.
 This piece was the easiest.  Folded accordion style lengthwise and then folded again crosswise, half of the piece was dipped into potassium permangenate, while the other half was dipped into indigo.
 Ahhh!  this one looked quite comical after prepping.  Pinching the fabric and wrapping the resulting "peak" very tightly with string is what created the circular pattern.  If you click the picture, you should be able to get a closer look and see the imprint of the string in the radial spokes of the circles.
This one was stitched in several rows of running stitch and tightly drawn together and tied off.  It looked like a flattened and squished furnace filter prior to dipping into the indigo.
I even managed to dye some thread.  I learned that if you want an even colouring, you can't twist the thread, but rather have it loosely held together.  Regardless, I liked the variegated look of the threads which will incorporate well when stitched into the fabric.

Overall, for a first attempt, I was thrilled with the results.  Now its off to the studio again to work on another project.

Till the next time, thanks for visiting.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Gypsy Wife coming along

I have been working along on a pattern call the Gypsy Wife by Jen Kingwell.   You can read an interview with Jen here.  I thought the pattern was relatively new but this pattern has been around for a while (since at least 2014) and there have been several quilt-alongs.  No matter...I've been enjoying the construction of the quilt and rather than use random scraps as depicted on the cover of the pattern book, I've been working with a blue and orange colour palette.
Quite a number of the fabrics are from my stash, but then there are some new ones added in for a bit of spice.  This is what I've managed thus far.
The quilt is sewn in sections and there are two more sections to go.  The last two sections (which are missing right now) will show more orange striping in the background and merge together in the middle of the top.  I'm hoping the transition from blue to orange in the background will be more noticeable when the top is complete.

Till the next time.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Filling the well

I'm sure that each of you out there have at one time or another run into a void of inspiration, or just plain silence from your muse.  That's when it's time to consider "filling the well" as I call it.

Until recently it seemed inspiration and creativity had taken a holiday.  No amount of fabric fondling, picture taking, magazine perusing was helping.   I couldn't stand it so decided to wander the internet to see if something out there would help.  I came across several suggestions relating to sketchbooks.  Ah yes, but where does one start and what should I put into a sketchbook.  This is where Dionne Swift's online class "Developing Sketchbooks" came to the rescue.  She told us it was time to play. area set up

Next, play with paint, stencils, sponges, charcoal, whatever.

There were more pages, but those are just a few that I'm sharing here.  Next using the theme of "circles" we were to mark our painted pages guessed it.....circles!  WHAT??!! mess up my colorful pages?  What the heck....just do it!!!!

 Say these aren't looking too bad.  What do you think?  Oh...that gives me an idea....(look out creativity rut, I've got my groove back!)

Let's see what Dirty Footprints Studio has to offer in their 21 Secrets.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Splendidly working on SSSA

Yup that's right!  I've joined in on the Splendid Sampler Sew Along hosted by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson.  You may have noticed the sidebar link.

Here are the ones I've completed so far.  All those tiny pieces have been challenging (blocks are 6 inches finished), but what a way to use up small bits.  As you can see, I'm sticking to a black, white and yellow colour palette.

I've completed blocks 10, 11 and 12 but they are not pictured.  Block 13 was just shown on Sunday and is in the construction stage.  I'll end up having quite a collection when this sew along ends in March 2017. You can check out the Facebook page here to see what others are doing.

Till the next time, may your creative ideas see fruition.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Leaves, leaves, and more leaves

Who knew that you could get the image of a leaf onto fabric without a lot of dye.  A while ago I attended a workshop at Sorrento Centre here in British Columbia lead by Catherine Nicolls.  Using a variety of inks, paints, stamps and pigma pens, we marked up our fabric and ended up with some wonderful renditions of leaves.  Here are some of my results.

I'm now charged with the task of turning the printed fabric into a "practical" item.  Homework for our next gathering this October.  Hmmm, gotta think on that.

We also experimented with eco-printing.  We used silk blend scarves, eucalyptus, amaranth, and maple leaves.  First we soaked the scarves in a mixture of water and vinegar (sorry can't remember the ratio), laid the scarves out and placed the leaves along one half of the length of the scarf.
 Then we folded the scarf in half lengthwise, rolled it round a skewer and added it to a pot along with an old railroad spike.  See...
Next some onion skins were added for good measure...

Water added and set to boil overnight.  We kept going out to see what was happening if anything.

After getting them out of the pot, this is what they looked like before unwrapping.

 And then it came time to unwrap.  Here is half of mine.  You can see that the portion of the scarf that was most exposed is darker and shows the resist of the wrapping tape.

Here is a closer look.

Thanks for stopping by and visiting.  I'm off to see if my creative muse will talk to me today.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Second week...

into 2016 and I figured it's about time I got back to my blog.  No excuses for not posting; got busy with life's challenges, then got lazy; that's it.  But that has changed.  I've been playing in my studio, at retreats, and at workshops.  Here's a rundown of some of the items that have resulted from that playing since my last post.

July last year saw me at Quilting in The Mountains at Sun Peaks Resort.  I had the opportunity to play around with triangles.
Of course it is now waiting to be quilted.  It's just big enough to be used as a coverlet for a baby carriage.

August saw me moving to a new home.  After setting up my studio, I came across some blocks that I had designed in a Soft Edge Piecing workshop.  I was able to use a wonderful Jinny Beyer border print.  They are only sitting on the design wall in the pictures below, but once sewn together and set on point in an alternate block setting they should make a stunning lap quilt, yes?


September brought the beginning of a new Guild year.  Vernon Silver Star Quilters have several subgroups, one of which is called quARTz.  We have fun experimenting and pushing the envelope of what we can do with textiles and fibre.  The group decided to have members volunteer to share which artist inspires them and is their favorite.  The rest of the group is then to produce a postcard or artist trading card in that artist's style.  So far we have been presented with Rufus Porter, Roy Henry Vickers, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and Robin Ledrew, a local artist.

Here is my interpretation of Vickers style
and Mackintosh's style
This is getting a bit long, so I'll continue this in another post.  Besides, I have to take some process pictures of what I'm working on currently so that I have something to show you.

Till the next time,