Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Beautiful Work

I fell behind in my blog posts in December - lots going on including a trip to New York with my daughter. At our annual holiday party, we had so many beautiful things to share and so I thought ...why not, it's never too late to share.
Denny has made several of these beautiful bags for holding all kinds of things - the perfect size.
She color codes the different sections with zippers which is such a smart idea - pink for needles, beige for buttons etc...you get the idea.
Mary showed us her latest big piece inspired by her large Japanese fabric collection given to her by a friend. Mary doesn't love Japanese fabric but she does a beautiful job working with these very high energy fabrics.
Our wonderful girlfriend Val (this is her birthday picture) announced that this would be her last meeting with us. Due to health issues, Val is backing out...we're hoping it's only temporary. She has brought so much happiness and inspiration to our gatherings...it won't be the same without her. At our gift exchange, I was lucky enough to get Val's gift and can share with you all the wonderful things she made. We've always said she has magical hands. I often get to be next to her at a meeting and follow what she does, hoping my piece will turn out just a little like hers...but not gonna happen.
First thing in her bag of goodies, was this beautiful handmade book done with Eco prints. Val got us started with this technique, setting up the Eco pot etc. at one of our outdoor meetings at her house.
For these books, she uses a very heavy paper - Khadi paper great for eco printing. These are some of the inside papers in the book.
Val is so clever and innovative in her use of materials - here a doily is popping out as part of a page.
And some trim on the other side.
 The inside of the book is just as magical...
 I loved this book with the unusual closure...
 and beautiful hand painted papers she created.
 And another booklet, each one was more beautiful and interesting than the one before.
  The back and inside...
I love to take them out and keep them close to where I'm working so I can pick them up and soak in the magic. 
This was probably my favorite as she used tissue paper thin paper as a cover and some wonderful hand stitching on the binding. It's very delicate. Most of the inside papers are blank and can used for anything....thoughts, quotes, a small journal.

I was fascinated with the paper that Val used and did a search to see if I could track some down...first place - Dick Blick as they seem to have everything and ....success!
So of course I had to order some.
They are beautiful, luscious and a little bit fragile.
but hopefully, I'll find a way to use them. In the meantime, I'll just drool over them on my studio design wall.

And our super Fiber Junkies group...Love those gals!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Fiber Junkies - Pt 2

To continue our day, a few days later, our day was devoted to foiling...some of us had tried it before and some not... so it was fun for all.
We had loads of foil, fabric and adhesive so we were off and running.
 We had a beautiful selection of different color foils.
I had tried (and taught) foiling years ago and realized it worked beautifully with a silkscreen. At first I thought the adhesive was too thick and would clog up the screen but not so; it's important to get the screen cleaned quickly but we had a pan of water we put the screens in as we used them.
Here is the first foiling I did years ago in Jane Dunnewold's Complex Cloth week long workshop.
The technique involves using a special adhesive that you apply to the surface of a fabric with various tools - some of which included stencils, paint brushes, silkscreens etc...you get the idea. Above, foil adhesive was applied with paint brushes.
This is a stencil which worked very well. The adhesive is allowed to dry for at least an hour before applying the foil.
Another option instead of adhesive is a fusible web. Years ago, I was teaching foiling along with other surface design techniques - it was a venue I traveled to by plane. I packed everything in a suitcase and when I reached my destination, opened my suitcase to get ready for workshops, I realized they had confiscated my adhesive and left a "teeny, tiny note" telling me that they went through my suitcase...what to do?  One of my students suggested using fusible web which worked like a charm. It's not as spontaneous a look but still good. So for Fiber Junkies, I decided to do a sampler of different methods of foiling. Above I used Heat and Bond craft weight...results to follow.
Another clever way to foil is to sprinkle Bon Ash on fabric (and don't sneeze) and then lay foil on top. Unlike adhesive, there is no "drying" time,  it can be foiled right away.
Foiling is the opposite of what you might think. When I was first introduced to it, I thought the foil had to touch the fabric and ironed from the back.....but the foil faces up and you press on top of it; it releases itself from the cellophane and onto the fabric. It's an easy process with beautiful results. Here is Gen at the ironing board

and here are some of Gen's fabrics - so many beautiful fabrics came out of our day of playing. 
This was a silkscreened fabric done with discharge paste. I used the same screen and offset it just a tad and did some foiling with bronze colored foil. It was subtle but pretty.
Here is my sampler - left to right - Heat and Bond craft weight fusible, in the middle a silkscreen and to the right, Wonder Under fusible web sewing weight. All worked well but I loved the silkscreen for the detail you can get.
This is Bon Ash with copper colored foil...
and here is the stencil on left, brush strokes made with foil adhesive in middle, on right something foiled that I didn't let cool long enough. Technique says you should let your fabric cool down before you pull the foil paper off, something I neglected to do and a good lesson on what not to do.
A great day as always with wonderful friends. I am linked to Off the Wall Friday and Whoop Whoop Friday.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Fiber Junkies - Down the Rabbit Hole

Fiber Junkies had its first meeting of the New Year at my house last week....We planned to experiment with foiling but first we had a small but spectacular Show and Tell.

Kate and Denny have been making a quilt designed by Bonnie Hunter  - way above my piecing abilities...
Denny has been challenging herself to recycle quilts she no longer wants or uses. She came up with the idea to make large hot plates out of worn quilts. These are not only wonderful to look at but they are so functional and work well under large dishes - Clever Denny!
Mary's new piece is lovely, striking and so unique as is everything she does.
But we all literally had our socks knocked off when Denny pulled out her latest piece she's been working on for a long time - Down the Rabbit Hole. First of all, it's huge, loaded with color and a  feast for the eyes.
I tried to pick a favorite part (games I often play) but just too many came to mind.
I've always loved houses, especially the more whimsical ones so these tickled my fancy....
I really love the "running rabbits" - kind of reminds me of the ones in Watership Down, first thing I thought of when I saw them. After this wonderful display of talent it was off to the studio to play and get messy... more to follow.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

SAQA January 2018

The Mountain Art Quilters which is a satelite group of SAQA in the Asheville, NC area had its first meeting of the New Year this past week...everyone was enthused to get back into the creative swing of things. Some gals have been very busy and brought some lovely things to share.
 I love the combination of pink and black and the interesting birds...each one different.
Mary created this very big and lovely quilt using Japanese fabrics.
I like the way she used the brownish cranberry strips to highlight each square.
Julie has been busy making quilts out of African prints. She was concerned that this looked like a panel but not so and doesn't give that impression in person...it's very vibrant.
Julie loves to do hand stitching and this piece has some beautiful hand work on it.

Kathy has started a new series of quilts using photos of places around Asheville. She said she wandered around looking at landmarks etc. and nothing grabbed her and then she came upon this street with interesting texture in the buildings and a canopy of trees...On the left is the picture she used for inspiration.
Some lovely piecing in the background.

Mary Jane likes to work in sheers and brought this small piece that she wants to incorporate with some cotton/silk blended sheer. It was luscious and a picture would not do it justice.
Our little group is growing and each meeting seems to bring new people...this gal (so sorry...don't know her name yet) brought some wonderful pieces highly embellished with some very fun things.
Okay...so these little orange thing-eys are pipe cleaners and do they ever bring back memories...As kids, we used to cut them apart to create caterpillars...don't remember what we used them for but they were so soft and fun to pet.

And more on the trees...
This gal has so much fun with her pieces and fun for us to see also...everywhere you look is something clever.
So here is a lovely piece mounted on a stretched canvas that has been painted black. It's quite lovely in person.
Such a fun meeting and so inspiring...nice way to kick off the New Year.