Saturday, April 28, 2012

Fiber Junkies - Painting Fabric

Our Fiber Junkies group met this past week; the weather was on our side for painting outside.  We decided after exploring paints last month, to use up some of these paints on our "not so pretty" fabrics. We met at Val's house where she had tables all ready for us - with new covers too! We spent the month before looking for the perfect spray bottles, scouring our collection and visiting the dollar store.
 Who Knew?..  that it would turn out to be the butter spray bottle. We have lots of them and now a new incentive to save them. They make a very fine spray - no globbing which was happening with the others.
 This was one of the fabrics - not so bad but a bit bright.
 but with a little paint - a whole new treasure.
 I brought a lot of sheers which I like to paint and then run through the printer.
 This piece of lace really did nicely.
 This was a white sheer with leaves. The paint took everywhere but the leaves - an interesting effect.
 This was my favorite - an old brown linen tablecloth that kate brought. It really came to life when painted, especially with metallics.
 Mary, Kate (and myself who stopped to take the picture) did some larger pieces on the driveway.
 which resulted in some pretty fabric and a new meaning to the words -  "Driveway Art" which Val (from experience) assured us will come off.
 This is one of the cloths covering the tables; they were as nice as our fabrics.
 During lunch and always time to share our latest, this is one sample of the many that Mary brought from Chad Alice Hagen's workshop on resists and felting.
 Val has been working with her deconstructive screened fabric from a previous meeting, a very difficult fabric to work with as it has so much energy.  She has stitched, screened and painted on top to create something wonderful.
 And to save the best for last - someone usually brings dessert. Not that we need it, but it's sure a highlight.  Mary made the very best chocolate mousse that was TO DIE FOR!
A great meeting, new fabrics to play with and lots of inspiration.
On another note, I leave for John C Campbell tomorrow to teach a weeklong workshop, til then - have a great week!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Black and White finished!

Today I was determined to finish my black and white piece. I've really had some great fun working on this piece but at times missed working with color. I left lots of room all around - wiggle room as I planned to stretch it over a pre-stretched canvas.  At first I was using ribbons to mark the 24" x 30" size and to see where I should turn each side under. The ribbons weren't working as I could still see beyond the ribbon and visually, couldn't get a good feel for where to end it. I thought of using black strips of fabric that could be moved in and out from the edge.
 They worked great and I'm saving them for another project.  By having them so wide, they block out what's beyond the edge, making it easier to see the boundaries of the piece. I then put a line of large basting stitches around the edge (where the black fabric strips meets the white).  When you stretch a piece, the front faces down and you're pulling the fabric towards the back. It's hard to see what you're doing and know where you want that edge to fold over, having some stitching is a great help.
 So it's done and ready to be framed. I'm thinking a black shadowbox type of frame. It really needs that black edge around it.
So it's not completely done but my part is....HOORAY!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Driving on Fumes

I've been working feverishly on my black and white piece for the SHCG exhibition this September.  I have a busy next few months and I knew I had to get going on this now.  The fabric my friend Mary gave me has worked so beautifully, all the value ranges in black and white.  I'm finding the lightest one is the one I use most.  The whites you see are all tone on tones. 
 This one particular pointillist fabric (the lightest one) has become something of a valued commodity. I've been hoarding bits and pieces.
 This is something I don't usually do, I'm a "thrower-outer" and a "cleaner-upper" but every thread of this fabric is like gold to me. You can see the tiniest bits and pieces I'm saving and savoring! I feel as though I'm "driving on fumes" trying to make use of every little bit of fabric.
 I realized after much hair pulling that I wasn't going to have enough of the lightest fabric, the one I needed most. What to do?  I had an India ink pen supposedly good for making silk screens as the ink will burn out the image on a Thermofax so I decided to give it a try.  I made a series of tiny very tiny dots with this pen.
 And SUCCESS, I have a screen I can hopefully duplicate or come close to the fabric I need which is a white background and very tiny randomly placed dots.
 The tiny little scrap below on the right is my favorite fabric lying on top of the one I duplicated. It works pretty good and hopefully from a distance, no one will ever be the wiser!
 My piece is near completion as far as putting the fabrics down. I still have to quilt and frame it so there's still some work to be done but it feels good to get this far. I'm using a canvas - 24 x 30 that's been pre-stretched as a base.
 So looks like another full day in the studio finishing this.
Have a great weekend, I'm so chomping at the bit to be outside in this pretty weather

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Busy Day for PTA

Last Thursday our PTA group met at the home of Janice Maddox to work on a few community projects, also to socialize, share our latest and enjoy a day packed full of playing and fun. We shared some of our latest projects before getting down to business. Barbara Swinea is probably the best piecer I know; her attention to detail and precision gives her such beautiful results.  I love this piece - it's so well done.
 Another signature of Barbaras is the many backgrounds she creates using like fabrics with subtle differences so they seem to melt together - detail below.
 This was a challenge piece that Kate W made. I love the placement of the flowers for so much dimension.
 Gen and her "socks" - Gen is multi-talented and can do just about anything. One of my favorite things is her knitting.  I can't knit (well I've knitted a scarf with size 17 needles and you knit til you run out of the yarn)  SO, this is impressive. I don't know if I could bring myself to wear them, think I might have to have them framed.
 Kate W marbled this beautiful piece of fabric and made it into a whole cloth wall hanging.  She free motion quilted it following the marbling lines - wonderful to see in person.
 Connie created this next piece with just a touch of Rick Rack. I personally love Rick Rack, brings me back in time and Connie features it often in her work.
 After lunch, it was down to business. Mary B had gotten these blocks in a block of the month kind of thing, never used them and thought they might make a nice community quilt.  They were really quite cute, traditional but needed to little TLC, so we ironed, trimmed and started playing.
 Working in Janice's studio is the most fun. It's huge, as is her fabric collection (on the left).  She was telling us that this addition to the house was originally supposed to be an office for her husband.  She asked if he would mind if she could bring her sewing machine down here and as the saying goes - The rest is history.
 This is the second part to her studio, the relaxing and thinking area.
 We're still trying to decide on a border but think it looks quite nice.  Connie brought a bag of yo-yos to use in the intersection of the blocks.
 We also put together a "Quilt of Valor" from a kit the Asheville Quilt Guild is providing.
So lots going on and amazing how much a group can get done in one afternoon.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Liebster Award

"Liebster is a German word meaning dearest, beloved or favorite.  The Liebster Award is given by bloggers to other bloggers - intended to showcase exceptional blogs.  The Liebster Award is recognition from a peer, for which I feel very honored. My thank you goes to my long time friend and fantastic fiber artist - Vita Marie Lovett. Vita recreates old doors with rusty door knobs and latches, lace curtains in the window, flowers growing up the side all done with paint and her amazing threadpainting. The first time I saw one of her doors, I thought I would get splinters if I touched it - that realistic - that good!. Her attention to detail is like no other, you've just got to check it out for yourself.
     One of the rules that come with the award is to select five exceptional blogs to be given the next Liebster Award.  My choices for the Liebster Award for their creative blogs are the following and I must say,  I love every one of these blogs for different reasons. So please check them out - the color, the creativity - the talent is inspiring.  
     First is my friend Marilyn Wall from South Carolina who does beautiful nature quilts but most recently has turned her attention to photo transfers after taking a workshop from Pat Mink.  She's doing some incredible things with layering and printing.   
Anita Heady from Athens,  Georgia is a wonderful art quilter and dyes all her own fabric.  This passion has turned into a business for Anita where she vends at many quilt shows. The most exciting news is that Anita is opening a shop, studio and classroom area in Athens, where she can do her work, sell her fabric and conduct workshops.  It's due to open very soon and I wish her all the best.
Julie Bagamary does beautiful art quilts with spiritual verses on every one.  They are moving and colorful.  Julie teaches many of these wonderful quilting techniques around Asheville like her fabric basket seen below.  Julie also has an Etsy shop where 50% of her proceeds benefits missions.
Robyn Joseph has recently opened the Nice Threads Fiber Gallery in Asheville, a feast for the eyes and fiber lover. Her shop/gallery houses art, sells supplies and holds workshop, demos and is just a lovely place to hang out. Always on hand is someone to help and guide you with projects, ideas and move you forward.
Last is my online friend Marylou Haynes whose blog I discovered by chance and fell in love with it. She is a mixed media artist, a photographer, a maker of altered books. When you open her blog, the imagery will pull you in.  Marylou also offers tutorials on her blog, something I love and appreciate and lots of "give-aways", something else I love.  Below is a sampling of her work.
5 blogs for you to explore all so different and unique from each other, sure to entertain, delight, educate and inspire you. Till next time...

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Charlotte Quilt Guild

I had a great time teaching and doing a lecture at the Charlotte Quilt Guild last week, located in Charlotte, NC.  What a beautiful city. My goal was to go in a little early so I could "unwind" and oh yes, visit their Pottery Barn at a mall close by - I did both (-:  !
   Their evening meeting was packed full - so many nice ladies and such talent as revealed in their wonderful show and tell.  One of my favorite things was their "Flash".  Mind you, I had no idea what to expect when they said "time for the Flash" hmmmmm.......Many stood up all around the room, held up a quilt and counted off...1...2...3...I forget the final number but it was indicative of the amount of community quilts made that month.  I thought that was incredibly clever.  Unfortunately, it happened so fast, I didn't get a single picture, but the quilts were wonderful!
     Next day, the workshop was held in the same building on the 10th floor - What a view! This guild has the good fortune to have the use of the facilities in a condominium for retired people; it is one beautiful place. 
 The skyline of the city was breathtaking.
 And another beautiful view...
The classroom was a huge living room with windows all around - so much natural light, it was glorious for working!
 The workshop I taught was my "Dimensional and Off the Edge Applique".  Students had a choice of several patterns to use to create these fun techniques.
 They were a wonderful group with really good skills and just so much fun!
 I gathered them up to take a picture, they did a great job!
Thank you ladies for such a great day!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Black and White Exhibit

The Southern Highland Craft Guild is hosting an exhibit at the main gallery of the Folk Art Center in Asheville, NC.  It will run from Sept 8 2012 thru January 6, 2013.  Members of the guild have been invited to exhibit a black and white piece - any medium.  I think it's going to be a great show. My son draws incredibly well, he also loves working in pen and ink.  I'm using his drawing (which he happily agreed to) as inspiration and I'm recreating it in fabric - so different than working with pens where you have such a great range of shading. It's been a challenge but also great fun.  His drawing below is called "The Flute Player". 
 I started by using soil separator cloth from Home Depot to trace the drawing.  Soil separator cloth is one of my favorite tools, very sheer and non woven.  You can paint it, run it through the printer and use it to make patterns. It costs about 11 cents a running foot and runs 36" wide - a versatile bargain.

 The tracing came out pretty good and will work well as a pattern.
 My son uses dots to shade his drawings and I immediately thought of the very popular pointillist fabric that was so popular years ago.  I didn't have any but my good friend Mary did and gave me every bit she had - think I owe her big time.  I had so much to work with - everything that was made in blacks and whites and in between.  I was off and running.
 So here's the start on my piece.
 I used a pigma pen to create more dots in some of the areas.
 It's coming together as I hoped.
I'm running out of some of the very light dots on white fabric and will have to find a solution - will keep you posted.