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...actually to be used as a base in my original idea. 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 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 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.  I am linked to Off the Wall Friday and Whoop Whoop Friday. Check out all the links I posted today...all are great!

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 borders, no sleeves and looks nice.
Til next time...
I am linked to Ninamarie Sayres Off the Wall Friday and Whoop Whoop Friday.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Recyling Workshop Samples

I often revisit my workshops, evaluate them and eliminate those that are not popular and haven't been used in a while. Years ago, I did a workshop on dimensional and off the edge applique. It was well received back then but I haven't been asked to teach it in a while;  I have all these nice samples I made for class and what to do with them?
 Since our PTA group started exhibiting at the Pisgah Inn, I've had some luck selling smaller pieces so these will fit the bill.

I went back and added some screened images of critters to give more interest...I'm not a lover of bugs but these are kind of cute....a bee and...
 a fuzzy caterpillar...
 This is another sample from the same workshop with leaves hanging off the edge...The petals are dimensional. I liked the look of the bugs and decided to use them on this piece also....A caterpillar

and a dragonfly...I used a background of microwave dyed fabric to give it some visual texture and movement which I prefer to solid colored backgrounds. Hope I have the opportunity to exhibit them at Pisgah Inn....if not this year then the following. The season closes the end of October;  the inn is located on the Blue Ridge Parkway and often not accessible because of weather...If you're in the area, it's a lovely and very picturesque place to have lunch (and some nice quilts to keep you company).
Til next time...
I am linked to Ninamarie Sayres Off the Wall Friday and Whoop Whoop Friday...Check them out....lots of fun to see what others are doing in their studio.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Make it Work! and (tu-tus)

In the words of the wonderful Tim Gunn from Project Runway (one of my favorite shows)...Make it I did!
 I was in Atlanta a couple of weeks ago helping my daughter set up her room in a new school....a much smaller space as EIP teachers do lots of one on ones working with children who need extra help to bring them up to their class level. Jill, my daughter is an organizer and wanted to go through every shelf, every bit of everything to see resources available to her and to clean out and re-group. She also felt after seeing so much on the shelves, it had the potential of being a distraction for young children.
After working at school the first day, we headed to a big chain store to buy inexpensive curtains....there was nothing to our liking.... I thought of sheets and lucky for us, they had the perfect ones...polyester/cotton, not great to sleep on but perfect for curtains. They needed some cutting and re-hemming but the size was there. I set up in the small room next to hers...luckily I had brought my machine to hem curtains I had made for another window.
 It wasn't ideal but I made it work. There was lots of ironing to do...5 very large panels and the tables were so low. My back was aching already and I hadn't even started....Jill's room is on the lower level right next to the cafeteria...No one was due back until the following week........
 hmmmmmm....looks like there might be some potential for ironing in here...
 I found this large work surface in the corner, covered it with the towel I use to cover my machine when traveling and voila! was wide, very long and perhaps the best ironing surface I ever used. I had all kinds of things with me, pins, scissors to cut threads, tape measure. I wonder what the kitchen workers thought if they came upon an overlooked piece of thread, pins or red binding.
 I finished all 5 panels...hard to see in the picture but they were a gray and white print; I used a red binding as a pop of color 6 inches up from the bottom....It was a tiring day but great fun and we both went home happy campers...
Now onto the party for my granddaughter...know this isn't about fabric/quilting but I just can't help myself.
 That same weekend was Audrey's 2nd birthday...she does love cupcakes (who doesn't?) but we have to spell the word in front of her...if she hears it, she wants one NOW!
 She also loves to dress up in her tu-tu and cowboy boots....and be a scary monster.
Terrible twos or not...I do love this age...there's nothing cuter!
Til next time...happy creating!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Fiber Junkies - Color Lifting

Hi everyone....Well, it's been a crazy couple of weeks and thanks for hanging in there with me.  I spent last week in Atlanta helping my daughter set up her new classroom in a new school. She was a 3rd grade teacher in the Decatur City School system but moved over to another position - that of an EIP teacher (early intervention) in the same system but a different school. After much organizing and cleaning out, she decided she needed curtains to cover the storage space but more on that later (you can guess who got to make them)...also that same weekend was my granddaughters 2nd birthday...You won't escape some pictures...but for now..down to business. Being so busy, I totally forgot about our wonderful Fiber Junkies meeting I always love to share.
  So a little late...but here goes. This month we explored color lifting through the use of several of which I had never tried. We used Soft Scrub, a bleach pen, discharge paste and decolourant. Denny was so clever; she made a silk screen out of a piece of fabric that was "Shibori-ed' (is there such a word?).  She screened discharge paste onto the fabric and "instant" Shibori.
We used some fun tools for applying the various discharge products. Mary cut away a foam brush which gave an interesting look to the fabric. On right, another foam brush purchased at a home improvement store in the paint department.
 Denny is a character....she always wipes her hands on her bottom......which proved to be embarrassing and also ruining lots of pants. Now she wears an apron front AND back and marks it with tape....
 I had never used the decolourant before which I liked but didn't love. It also comes in colors so as you're discharging, you're replacing the discharged area with another color. I personally didn't see the point of this as you could achieve the same thing by using paint through the stencil...pretty results though.

 Kate used pewter color decolourant to produce this pretty result....a little more subtle than straight decolourant or bleach.

Denny lined up the products she used in front of the fabric...a good way to see the results of each. The one on the right used 3 different products. It's a good test when you use the same fabric for each. 
 Mary got some interesting results with her foam brush and stencils.
 Val wore a heavy duty mask....It's important to be very careful when doing so many of these techniques...Good ventilation is a must and using Vals garage provided that.

 This is my version of Shibori using Denny's screen.

During lunch, we shared last months results from our deconstructive screenprinting...These are some of Kates (left) which I loved and we traded a couple of pieces.....(I got the better end of the deal). On the right is my finished piece, washed and ironed - just today, 2 weeks after the fact.

and a few more pieces...I like the one on the right the best and will do something with that....someday.....
One thing I've always done is to dye a large sample of fabric in both rayon and mercerized cotton when I buy a new dye color. It's a little bit of work but something I refer to over and over. I label it with the dye color and # and then discharge 3 lines to see how this particular color works with a particular product. It's amazing to me how they all discharge so differently. I used bleach, Soft Scrub and discharge paste (it says Thiox but it's discharge paste by Jacquard)
On another note, the last couple of days have been a fall day favorite time of year...enjoy the last days of summer and all the fun things you can do with fabric like rusting, ice dyeing, color lifting...all better done outside.
I am linked to Ninamarie Sayres Off the Wall Friday and Whoop Whoop Friday...Check them out...lots of fun to see what's happening in the quilt world!
Til next time ......

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Leaf I

I have quite a collection of fabric from our deconstructive screen printing playdays (with Fiber Junkies) ....I decided I needed to start using it.  
 Like many things, some pieces I love and some not so much...this one I really liked and have several versions of this that would work together.

I thought of using the 3 prints together as a long wall hanging but was just too busy. 
I then thought of treating each as a separate piece and featuring them together might be more effective...The print was made using leaves and the deconstructive screen printing technique. As busy as it was, I still thought it needed more layering;  I ran the print through my printer to get the imagery of tree branches on top. Also adding some writing and screen printing gave it more interest. 
 I tried different combinations of fabrics to finish the print
 and settled on this which was the best solution...a little softer to focus on the print.
 I always love the opportunity to use gauze (on right); I think this piece needed it to tone it down.
 I painted up some silk organza to use as a binding...
 which makes such a pretty edge.
I mounted it on a pre-stretched canvas which is one of my favorite ways to mount small pieces.... This is one of my Haiku pieces (Haiku written on back).....Years ago I was in LINT (Ladies in New Textiles) a wonderful fiber group consisting of 12 fiber artists. At one of the meetings, one of the gals had a bowl with pieces of paper - noun or verb on each. We were to pick 3 and then had 10 minutes to write a Haiku incorporating those 3 words.....You didn't have time to give it much thought...just do it...It was so much fun and it peaked my interest in writing them for my smaller pieces....This one is :

Trees in the shadows
embracing words in the wind
touch the leaves above

I am linked to Ninamarie Sayres off the Wall Friday and Whoop Whoop Friday. Please take time to check out these wonderful sites to see works of other fiber artists...It's great fun!