Saturday, August 30, 2014

Wonderful Show and Tell

Our show and tell from our Fiber Junkies meeting was wonderful and inspiring as always. 
 Denny brought her most recent piece from her "healing series". It was incredibly moving.
 It was beautifully machine embroidered...
 and equally as beautiful on the back.
 Denny does a lot of writing on her pieces which is very appropriate to the theme of the piece.
 Val has been creating fabric to make into books; she does a lot of layering of techniques starting with dyeing, silk screening and deconstructive screen printing.
 Each one is more beautiful and we were all drooling over her wonderful talent.

Val had one of her pieces framed which I think raises it a notch.
 This is some silk screening over deconstructive screen printing.
What a great look.
Til next time....

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Ropes, Rollers and Riotous Fun

Another Fiber Junkies meeting and what can I say - another month of great fun together. There are only 6 of us but we manage to create up a storm and have lots of fun in the process. I've always enjoyed working in groups - the ideas and creative energy are always such a plus and I go home on such a high. 
 This month we were doing Shibori using paint. Never do we stay within the boundaries of our planned project; everyone brings other things to try and share. This month, Denny brought LOTS of new rollers she purchased and was anxious to try.
 There was a wonderful assortment of different patterns to use and after 3 trips to the car for just Denny's stuff, we were ready to dive in.

Here is one of the rollers we used - Mary's (on the left ) did a nice job of taking a not so great fabric and turning it into something wonderful.
 Mary brought fusible web for us to play with - painting on it and then fusing it onto fabric. Kates turned out really nice..
 as did Gens.
 We also wrapped fabric on wide PVC pipe secured in place with rubber bands or string.

and then painted the top edges using a fabric paint. It was a warm day and it didn't take long for paints to dry so results were revealed before we left.

We also had a rope that we used to wrap fabrics around giving it a different look when finished. We used rubber bands at both ends and one in the middle. The rest of the fabric was bunched together and the  tips of the fabric touched with paint.

 Some of the wonderful results - this was a piece that Val worked on - already dyed and color added.
 This was a piece done by Mary using a combination of techniques. Her starting fabric was not too pretty, but she turned it into something so interesting.
This was one of mine and perhaps my best one as far as clean lines. I have no idea what I'll do with it, but I'll have to let it stew for a while. Our show and tell was also wonderful...more on that to come.

Friday, August 22, 2014

6" Art

The Southern Highland Craft Guild is sponsoring a show this Sept which runs through January, 2015. The show -  "It IS a small world afterall" is in the main gallery at the Folk Art Center in Asheville, NC. This years theme is 6"art. It can be a 6" cube or smaller or 2 dimensional 6" or smaller - not a "hair" beyond that amount. It should be fun and interesting to see what people can do in the space of 6". I've thought of several things and was going to start yesterday when another idea hit me in the head, .Just like that!
Several years ago, I read an article in a quilt publication written by Wen Redmond - a favorite artist of mine. It was about a technique she does with layering and sheers, right up my alley so I thought I would give it a try. I had a 6" pre-stretched canvas ready to go. With this technique you cut an opening, place an image in back and a sheer one in front. Since the width of this canvas is 3/4", the images will be separated by that amount.  The first thing I did was to remove the staples on the wood part as I would be using a jigsaw to cut the wood away.
I marked  on the front how wide an opening I would need and using a exacto knife, I cut away the excess canvas.
I still had wood to deal with but now it's easier to get to.
Using a jigsaw, I cut out the back (with help from sweet hubby who is a woodworker and has lots of tools).
Wen uses the same image when she does this technique, one image is printed on opaque fabric and the second image on sheers. I like using 2 different images that might work together. I photographed this image and transferred it to fabric using an acrylic medium; this is "paper fabric" and very strong. The image is around 8 1/2' x 11" so I had to find a smaller area that would work.
I covered the frame with batting but it also served as an opening to slide around the background image to see which part to use. I wanted enough of the sky so I would have some blue color in the piece.
I had to find an overlay that would work with the background image. I printed out several on paper first to get a feel for size and then took my favorites and printed them on silk organza.  I couldn't decide whether to use the positive or negative but I had my family vote on their favorite - as luck would have it, we didn't come up with 3 different favorites, we all liked the same one - Hooray!
This image was more simple and didn't compete with the background image. We also like the "positive" image....
as opposed to the negative.
So now to assemble it which was trial and error for me. I did paint the inside edge black to cover the raw wood. The part of the image I chose to use, was attached to the back. I chose a blue print batik to attach to the organza layer and frame it out.
and the finished piece. I came up with the name "Intertwined". You can find out more about the show by going to the Southern Highland Craft Guilds website.  

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Quilts & Writing on Blackboards

 Our PTA group had a field trip for our meeting last week to downtown Asheville - always such a great place to spend an afternoon. First stop was an exhibit by the Asheville Modern Quilt Guild at Handmade in America. It is a lovely exhibit with a wide range of styles - some modern, some traditional.

The green white and black quilt is by Emily Coffey and quite striking. The quilt to the right was created by Amy Anderson...another lovely piece. 
This is the raffle quilt made by members of the group and one of my favorites.
 This next piece is by Connie Brown and my personal favorite. Connie is a well known bee-keeper in Asheville; this piece is so personal and represents Connie's love of bee-keeping
 The main part of town has several large blackboards ground to around 7' high and little bins with big pieces of colored chalk. It says Before I die...I want to...........

Make a cool....
 This one caught my eye - use up all my fabric and right underneath it someone wrote - I want to do what she's doing with an arrow pointing up.  Looks like some quilters were here.
I would love a day in my studio without interruption....sigh....
Til next time....

Friday, August 15, 2014

Working with Deconstructive Screened Fabric

We seem to do a lot of deconstructive screen printing in my Fiber Junkies group - one of our favorite techniques;  but on the other hand, the fabric can be difficult to work with. It's very busy .
 I've had this leaf print for a while...I remember making it while at John C Campbell Folk School; our classroom was next to a garden that had luscious plants and one with oversized leaves. We managed to control ourselves and try to share a few leaves amongst ourselves.  I love the print but don't have a clue what to do with it.
 I have an oversize printer which I haven't used for that purpose in a while and decided to get my notes out from Pat Minks weeklong workshop years ago. She show us how to do settings for an oversized print. This one was 11" x 14". I also thought a tree printed on top would work well with this oversized leaf. I pulled it up in photoshop elements, turned it into a black and white and lowered the opacity of the image so it would be semi transparent when printing. This allowed the tree to show though which I liked. It's still quilt busy but gives me some direction as to where I might go with this.
 I also tried another leaf with a tree image on top but the image did not work well and got lost in the leaf so this might have to go in my scrap pile.
 I had another set of smaller leaves done with the color "Nutmeg" which is so pretty but quite strong. This was only an 8 x 10" size so I used my C-88 printer which does a beautiful job on smaller things.
 I lowered the opacity of the image and it's a hit or miss how transparent it will be but I liked the amount. The image of the tree is still very present but you can see the leaves through it.
 This is a little bit closer detail. I did some stitching around the tree in black thread. I also stitched around the leaves with a monofilament thread - I wanted more texture but not more color.
It lent itself to being matted and I like the double mat with the thin strip of black against the orange. It's an easy way to finish a piece - no borders, no sleeves and looks nice.
Til next time...