Saturday, August 20, 2016

Sunprinting with Fiber Junkies

We had a second meeting of Fiber Junkies this month as we had to miss July completely...we were shy 2 members but had Gen's daughter Carol with us. Carol loves to do what we do - making messes with fabric (has her mom's genes) and fits in with our group so perfectly. We decided to keep the meeting light and hope for sun as we decided to revisit sunprinting.
 We used Set a Color paints - transparent but I do know that any transparent paint will work. I've used Createx transparent with good results. The paint needs to be watered's suggested 2 parts water to 1 part paint. If they are not thinned enough, the printing can not take place as the paint is too dense to start with.

Most of us used cotton, but really anything that works with Set a Color should work fine. Paint was applied to the surface - on the left Mary is using wool as she works with wool so much.
 Clever Carol and Gen used several colors which made for a more interesting finished effect.

Gen also used an interesting piece of netting to lay on top. I didn't think it would do much as it was so thin, but it really worked well.
 Some really good things to use - a plastic holder for paper plates and a plastic rack for holding yards of lace.
 Things that were heavier and able to make a tight contact with the fabric gave the best results....above a mat for the sink - also great for deconstructive screen printing.

I had some gummy stick on window decals purchased after Valentines day and on right, fabric leaves.
The glittery fern worked well as it sat closely to the fabric surface.

 I didn't see the results of the above as we left before all things were uncovered....

The sequin waste worked of my favorites...along with the stencils.
 In my never-ending quest to do something with leaves, I did find some flat ones that seemed to hug the last, maybe I'll get some good leaf images.
 Here was some construction fencing....

AND NOW THE RESULTS....The paper plate holder and lace rack - great!...the sequin waste...really great. We all loved the way some parts not touching the fabric allowed for some spaces. My leaves (on right) failure and my cupid's hearts...semi okay

The fake glittery fern was kind of for the rest...will have to wait until next time to see the results. After these dry, they should be heat set with an iron (or whatever your paint recommends) then rinsed in a bucket of water.
Til next time....

Sunday, August 14, 2016


 The Fellowship exhibit opened yesterday at the main gallery of the Folk Art Center. The exhibit featured work of the members of the Southern Highland Craft Guild. Members chose others from the guild to work with to create an art piece, combining their skills and often very different from each other.
     There was a beautiful reception in the afternoon from 3 - 5. Artists, members of the guild and everyone present in the Folk Art Center at the time were invited to attend. Many of us brought "nibbles" and the table was glorious. We were able to get a picture of the piece that Barbara Swinea and I did together.

 Looks like we're twins...hmmmmm....did we plan that ??  ( - :
There were lots in attendance which made for great fun....The exhibit is quite amazing and if you're in the neighborhood of Asheville, NC...hope you'll drop by. It runs through Nov - more details under "exhibits" on my blog.
    What was so interesting (and wish I could have taken some pics) was the pair up of artists like a weaver and jewelry/welder artist. This piece could have been on the red carpet...seriously. The collar which was long and hung over a black woven floor length dress was over 10,000 rivets, so expertly done, it was completely drape- able. Another pairing was a batik artist and jewelry maker which featured a beautifully done piece of batik studded with beaded jewelry.
   Nikki Josheff who is the curator for all these exhibits does the most amazing job of highlighting each piece. She was looking forward to being at the opening but as Mother Nature would have her way, Nikki delivered her baby girl 6 weeks early. We missed her but know she was having her own spectacular celebration in the hospital. Thank you Nikki and a huge congratulations!
    So check out the dates and please stop by...know you'll enjoy every moment.

Friday, August 5, 2016

"Snap, Crackle, Poppy"

Over the years, I have worked with silk and even taught silk painting 101. One of my favorite techniques is using "crackle" as a background. Crackle is a thick paste like material applied to the surface, allowed to dry; the dried fabric is then scrunched by hand creating cracks and valleys in the surface. Silk paint which is watery thin, is then washed over the surface settling into the nooks and crannies. After the paint is dry and heat set from the wrong side, the crackle is removed. 
 If you're having a hard time finding crackle, the same effect can be achieved through the various flour pastes and potato dextrose paste - a little messier to use, but achieving the same effect.
 I decided to use the same color for the background as the images.

 Since the paint is so thin, it needs to be "contained" by using a resist in order to create a specific shape. I used a clear, water soluble resist to outline the shape, let it dry and fill in the area with silk paint. After the paint dries and is heat set, the resist can be easily removed by soaking in water for a short time.
 The paints are transparent allowing the background fabric to show through the flower petals. I like this look as it gives more dimension to the piece.
 I free motion quilted the background using a monofilament thread giving texture without additional color to the piece. The flowers were outlined with silver metallic thread (Sliver which is flat and shiny).  Since this is the only stitching on the piece, I thought stitching around each image twice would give a better effect.

 I had some extra painted fabric and decided to use it as a backing...
 The piece was wrapped around a pre stretched canvas; the hanger used was eye hooks with picture frame wire.
 I really like this way of hanging when using canvas.
And the name....Snap, Crackle, Poppy...which came to me my favorite cereal as a child was Rice Krispies and the 3 little guys on the box cover that say - "it will snap, crackle and pop" in your mouth - Am I aging myself...again!! I am linked to Off the Wall Friday, Whoop Whoop Friday and Free Motion Mavericks.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Winter Solitude

The Southern Highland Craft Guild has several exhibits each year in the main gallery at the Folk Art Center in Asheville, NC. At least one exhibit features the members of the Southern Highland Guild. This year, we were given the challenge of a collaboration of teams - with 2 or more members working on the same piece. My good friend and incredibly talented quilt artist - Barbara Swinea and I paired up for the challenge. We first listed our strengths, both being very different, which makes for a good marriage. Barbara is a piecer extraordinaire - I AM NOT....and I like appliqué and surface design. We clicked and were off and running.
 We thought it would be fun to make a triptych using 3 panels - each 8" x 24". We also decided on a fall theme with Barbara creating a pieced background and sky.
 The ground was beautifully pieced but the color did not good old Dye na Flow came to the rescue. I held my breathe as I applied this very watery, transparent "paint"....knowing once it was WAS DOWN and no turning back. I wasn't pleased at first, but then went back and added some gold....much better.
 Barbara also made the sky which was beautiful.....I especially loved the touch of pink.
 Some of the pieces, I would not have thought to use, but they worked so well together.
 Next came the trees and it was my turn. Barbara had perfect fabric from years ago....
 So you can see the finished tree on the left and the fabric from whence it came.
 I had to doctor it up a bit with Lumiere metallic textile paint, decorative thread and markers.
 I also outlined each tree to give them more definition....
 The branches were to have leaves on them but wound up looking better without. I added the background moutains out of painted silk organza. Their transparent quality gave them a sense of distance.
 This is taking on a very wintery look...not our first intent but one we both liked...
And the finished piece which became a winter scene and appropriately titled "Winter Solitude". The exhibit - "Fellowship" opens August 13 and runs through November 6. Please stop by and see it if you're in the area. There will be a lovely mix of mediums and think very exciting to see. I am linked to Off the Wall Friday and Whoop Whoop Friday.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

"Autumn on the Blue Ridge"

 I've been working on pieces for an upcoming show at the Focus Gallery at the Folk Art Center in Asheville. I developed this technique many years ago; it was well received and thought since the exhibit will be up during the fall, might be nice to bring it back with some changes.
I started with Stonehenge fabric to use as a background; I wanted more veining to give it a more "rock-like" appearance.  I marbled with metallic gold which was quite subtle but then went back and free motioned quilted around the lines and filled in with a paintstick.
I marbled on many different fabrics in the Stonehenge line but found I liked the navy the best as it was very dramatic and showed the leaves well. I also marbled in different sizes which would eventually be wrapped around frames my husband made. It's the same thing as a museum wrap only no canvas is used. I really like the canvas wrapped pieces you can buy, but their sizes are so specific and didn't always work for me. The above piece is a 10" x 17".

 Here is a detail of the piece right above it. I start with real leaves which are photocopied so I have a permanent record...they are transferred to a special paper and then to silk. I also wire them with a fine wire to give them more dimension and allows them to pop out from the background.
The fun thing about this technique is if you put the real leaf up against the silk one, you cannot tell them apart - pretty cool.....Being July I didn't have access to any fall leaves but have a notebook full of copies. The 2 above are an 8" square and a 6" x 10" on right.

This was my other favorite Stonehenge...a beige and grayish color. The marbling did well...I also did some silk screening on some which included old family recipes as I like the writing and you often find writing on rocks (well, maybe not a recipe...but artistic license here) The above pieces are 8 x 10.

 And a detail...
Fall leaves are the most popular but also wanted to do a few using other types of leaves - the Birch tree leaf transferred well and some ivy below. Both have some silk screening on them for additional interest. I have called this series - "Autumn on the Blue Ridge" as riding along the parkway in the fall is glorious with color.  

The backs are screened with pictures of trees I took along the Blue Ridge Parkway and made into screens. I'm still working furiously to get more done...also have a big piece in mind using a water wheel I photographed while at the John C. Campbell school last fall. I am linked to Off the Wall Friday, Free Motion Mavericks and Whoop Whoop Friday. Check out these great sites to see what other quilters are up to.