Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Up, Up and Away

Well, here we are going on our first trip to Ireland, on our own and driving on the "wrong" side of the road so it should be a little crazy. We are both very excited and look forward to seeing many beautiful places, meeting warm and friendly people and buying lots of fabric - mainly woolens which I love.
We are going to the southwest part of Ireland, the Ring of Kerry, Dingle Pennisula and the place where my grandfather and great grandfather were born.

Will have lots to share and hopefully many great pictures for future quilts.

Have a wonderful, creative 2 weeks...
See you in a while

PS The picture above is the Cliffs of Moher, one of the places we'll be going to.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Fiber Junkies Pt. 2

Well, we breaked for lunch which seems to get longer and longer, we always have so much to share. We usually do our show and tell at this point. 
Val brought some wonderful fabric she had screened on top of which had been deconstructed screen printed already.
She has a screen she made using the image from a plastic mesh.
 And how clever is this, Val did a drawing which she made into a screen - such a great look...
 and this lovely piece of deconstructive fabric with an screened edging on the side.
Back to work -  in the afternoon, we used unquilted fabric and a soft gel medium for attaching images to the surface.
Kate had some wonderful images; this is a waterfall, accidentally left sideways when I photographed it.
We used printed napkins, as well as old pictures or anything that struck our fancy.
We put them down with soft gel medium - some of us painted around them.
This is Dennys, she wanted to incorporate family photos in hers.
Kate had less glued on images so she could showcase her drawn image in the backdrop.
Gen is still working. Next month, we'll revisit our pieces and see where to go from there.
Til next time.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Fiber Junkies

Well, I'm a little late in reporting on our recent Fiber Junkies meeting last week, getting ready to go to Ireland and lots to do. This month, we explored painting on fabric that was already quilted. Denny, who saves everything, has lots of end pieces from completed quilts. 
The pieces were interesting to work with. We also had whole cloth quilted samples that Kate brought for us. She's constantly experimenting with quilting designs and these were her gorgeous discards.
After working with both styles - wholecloth and strips, I think I preferred the strips as each fabric added a different element to the background.
So how did we do it  ?....using rollers, brayers, sponge rollers and brushes, we applied paint to the surface. We used house paint - the many samples you buy at paint departments to test on a wall before using. I finally found a use for them. They seemed to work the best. The fabric needed to be sealed before applying more expensive paint on top that might get lost by seeping into the unsealed fabric. This paint worked like a charm. You can already see the wonderful transition.
Another thing we used was the samples from decorator books. So many of the fabrics are prequilted into lovely designs like the one above and below.
The paint highlights the design so well catching the tops of fabric and leaving the recessed stitched area untouched by paint - most effective.
Here are some of the samples, although in my excitement I failed to note which one belonged to who, all were fun and interesting.
Like I mentioned before, I really liked the multi fabric strips...
when done, such a great palette and also very busy.
This is one of my favorites although I don't know who it went home with. Now to figure out what to do on top, something simple - maybe a silkscreen or more details in paint - maybe in metallics.
This was an old piece of canvas I had painted and mucked up a bit - a while back. I just added a bit of circles to it and some blue paint. It's very busy but I like it and hope I can find a use for it.
Til next time...

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Shroom's in the Forest

I finished another Haiku piece made from scraps of leftover projects - lots of deconstructive screen printed fabric along with
silkscreened fabric done with a discharge paste using a cheesecloth image.
I also ran it through my inkjet printer as I thought it needed something else on top of the mushrooms. I liked branches from trees;  with a lower opacity set in photoshop, the image is not as strong which I wanted.  The right edge needed some interest so I screened some skeleton leaves on the fabric using a discharge paste. I thought it might be too strong and tried covering it with gauze but that didn't work. Flipping it over to the wrong side where the image was more faint was an afterthought but worked best.
Since this piece was going to be mounted, I didn't need a backing fabric, just batting and a sheer fabric I use called soil separater cloth found in home improvement stores. It's similar to a nonwoven interfacing but this cloth is used to line large pipes underground to prevent soil from migrating into them. There are so many ways to use it in a quilting studio.
After simple quilting, I needed to finish the edges and decided on a binding type edge but easier as I didn't turn the edge under on the back side - no need to and it also eliminated bulk.
I sewed the binding onto the edge on front, flipped it to the back and pinned it in place along the seam line.
I threaded my machine with a monofilament thread on top and stitched in the ditch along the seam line to hold the binding in place.  You can see how the binding looks at the right edge...
and how it looks on the back.

Next step was to attach the quilt to a black fabric which would be wrapped around a pre-stretched canvas board. I cropped this image but the black fabric extended out quite a bit so to make sure it was able to wrap around the board and onto the back. When the placement was right, I pinned a LOT all around the 4 edges and using a monofilament thread, stitched in the ditch  on all 4 seam lines where the binding was attached to the piece.
I prepared the canvas board which was 12" square x 3/4" deep by laying a piece of batting on top (after lightly spraying with 505) and bringing it around to the back. A few staples held it in place.
Here is the tricky part...Lay the prepared board on top of the black fabric with the quilt piece on the outside (facing the table). It needs to be lined up perfectly so the piece fits exactly on the board. I used 505 spray here also - lightly on the batting which will hold the black backing fabric in place. If you need to readjust, easy to do.
Using an electric or heavy duty stapler, staple one side in the center, then the other side, top and then bottom. Check the front to make sure it's even.
Go back and alternately staple one side, the other, top and bottom, constantly checking the quilt to make sure it's even.
I finished the back with another piece of black fabric, picture frame wire,  eye hooks and labels.
Shroom's in the Forest and the Haiku....
Dark and Foreboding
the forest bids us to come
wonder beholds us

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Project Handmade 2014

Last week, I had the fun of attending Project Handmade 2014 - a production of Local Cloth. Local Cloth members are small business owners who bring you original, locally handmade wearables along with functional and decorative home textiles. 
This show was lovely and interesting, but not what I would consider the typical fashion show. The garments were judged and much of the decision for "best garment" was  one that used many local and homegrown materials as well as many of the processes being done by the maker.
The models were not professional models although you would have thought as much -  they did such a beautiful job showing off the best aspects of the garments they were wearing. They walked incredibly slow, back and forth and to the center of the stage and then down into the audience - giving the viewers lots of time to view each ensemble. The above ensemble was a hand felted coat, hat and bag. It was very dramatic.

This coat was handwoven and had a very unique sleeve treatment. The dress on the right, although beautiful, didn't use as many local resources.
This same coat with a beautiful silk lining making it very dramatic.

Many of the sweaters were made from yarn spun by the artist and then knitted or woven into a garment. The garment on the left used a lot of nuno felting making it very light and airy.
This was the winning garment, incredibly simple but the sweater knitted from yarn made from sheered animals and spun into yarn. The skirt made from woven cloth created by the artist. Even the side leather panel inserts were tanned locally.
Linnie , one of the gals in our group had a great scarf which I asked her about. She said she bought this wonderful skein of textured yarn and then didn't have time to knit it into anything so created this "yarn scarf" - looked amazing and an A+ for such a clever idea.
After the show, we walked around the lobby, drank champagne and met some of the models in their creations.
Some of the artists set up booths to sell their beautiful pieces of wearable art. My favorite was the felted hat booth.

This lady on right beat me to the punch with this wonderful hat but it did look great on her. It was certainly an evening of inspiration, went home with my mind in a spin.

Friday, September 12, 2014

What to do with scraps

Oh...what to do with scraps. I had some deconstructive screen printed fabric that was going nowhere so I found some of the same color scraps and decided to put them together for a small piece.
 Often I use a screen of an old recipe that's been in the family. I like using family writings on my quilts; it allows me that wonderful connection to my past. However, after screening these words, I thought it was a bit strong by itself.

I have lots of sheers, both purchased in the curtain fabric section of fabric stores along with many I've painted myself.

This is a purchased one and one I find I use a lot.  It has a lot of patterning with a soft neutral background so it works well as an overlay for many fabrics.
I like this effect....you can see the writing underneath but it doesn't jump out at you.The sheer image is also soft and adds a nice something.

The top section was next (left) and thought it needed a little zing also. Using the same sheer, I found a different area and pattern for the top. Being the same fabric, they worked well together.
  Next I needed to trim off the left side and after previewing several color choices, decided on an olive green over the brown.
which worked well I thought.

 The last section was a purchased brown batik and that definitely lacked in personality. I had a silk screen of skeleton leaves in different sizes - perfect. I did a little color lifting using a discharge paste through the screen; thought it would be more subtle but thought it also needed a touch of black to give it just a little spark of life. Each leaf was outlined with rayon embroidery thread, done by machine.
And the finished piece - "Shadow of Leaves"