Thursday, September 13, 2012

Layered Nature-scapes

I've been working on a sample for a new workshop I'll be teaching at Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival in February. I've always loved working with layers - especially when it includes sheers so I thought this might make into a fun workshop.  I wanted an easy theme and one where the organza would lend itself  to an overlay.   A foggy night along with a spooky old tree kinda came to mind.  I started with the moon and my stash of fabric which might lend itself to a moon. This wonderful batik below just didn't do it. 
 I found an old piece of painted canvas - a 7oz single weave which is very light weight and one I've used often in quilts. It was already painted but had possibilities.
 By adding some additional paint, think I turned it into a pretty cool moon.
 Next I painted the background using Dye-na-Flow paints along with painting the organza.  The nice thing about these paints - they are the consistency of water, go on beautifully adding no stiffness to the fabric.  An added plus - + - they also work on any fabric - synthetic or natural.
 When I paint organza, or any sheer, I like to scrunch it up so the paint will fall into nooks and crannies and valleys, leaving dark lines and light areas. I think it gives more texture to the piece and it's just  fun to watch happen. You have to let it dry completely before moving or you'll lose all the wonderful darks and lights.
 So here is the background fabric layered with the organza and the moon on top.
 I wanted a tree silhouette on top but my largest and most favorite screen was too small.  All my screens are screened on clear plastic (see the shiny plastic below). This is so I can preview a screen first to see how it will work before committing to fabric.
 I knew I needed to make a larger screen.  I have a Thermofax but it has limitations size wise and often I have to divide the screen into parts to get the size I need. I started with clear plastic - laid over the background and moon.
 Using my original clear image of this screen below....
 I laid it on my overhead project to enlarge it. By flipping it over, since it's transparent, I could get the mirror image. On another note, this overhead projector hasn't been used in 20 years - a very long ago Christmas present which is now back in my studio.  I didn't know if it would work or the bulb would be any good but I held my breath, turned it on and there it was - good as new!
 So I was able to make another larger image, by flipping and enlarging.  I usually wouldn't go to this much trouble for one screen, but I do love trees and know I'll use this over and over.
 I had to make this screen in 3 parts on my Thermofax below.
 My intent was to screen on the first layer - opaque fabric, do some quilting and then lay the sheer layer on top.  I wanted to screen on that also to create a feeling of depth;  the organza will tone down the first layer considerably making it appear as though it's at a distance.  A lesson I learned very quickly, when silk screening on a sheer fabric - the fabric can hold only so much paint. It needs something underneath to absorb the excess or it will smear. Ask me how I know this.  So now when I screen on sheer fabric, I lay a piece of muslin or other "unwanted" fabric underneath to absorb the excess paint (below) HINT some of these "absorbing cloths" make into the best things!
 And the finished piece....This is representative of what we'll be doing. Students will be creating a small piece, first painting the opaque layer, then the sheer layer of silk organza and creating imagery for layering.  Quilting with metallic threads on both layers will add a lot to the finished look.
Think it will be lots of fun.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful! I loved watching how the piece progressed. Thanks for sharing your process.