Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Learning To Draw

Watercolor Zinnia

I was reading my email this morning and found a post from Lee Anna Paylor. She included a link to her  blog where she talked about drawing and watercolor. She mentioned that these are new techniques for her. I am at the same spot she is. 
I felt like I wanted to add another dimension to my fiber art with hand drawing along with the digital images. I am taking drawing lessons and just completed my first project, a charcoal drawing. I'm so impatient to be doing what I want that I went out and bought a few supplies. I had some time this weekend so I sat and drew the zinnia above.
I used watercolor pencils just as Lee Anna did. It was mostly an experiment since I've never had training with this medium. There's a lot wrong with it but there's a lot I like about it too. I used a zinnia image from an old calendar for my study.

Here is a link to Lee Anna's blog if you'd like to see and read about what she's doing.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Stretched Canvas Finish Technique


This piece has a two-fold purpose for its being. First, it was created as a themed piece for my small art group, Fiber Explorations, here in Baton Rouge. We meet once a month and choose a theme for a small piece to show the next month. This project's theme was music. I chose Adele's song Rolling In The Deep to interpret and this is the result. 
I layered a National Geographic image that I had applied Citrisolve to, an old Atchafalaya Basin map, and my photo in Elements 10. I had previously scanned the citrisolve image and the basin map into my computer.
I quilted the resulting image and layered it onto a piece of paper fabric I made with bits of paper, parts of the basin map that I printed, just scraps and secured with gel medium. I painted it and coated it with gel medium, then I stamped it. I meant to stitch into it but forgot!
I stitched the quilt to the paper fabric and then stitched that to a piece of silk charmuse I found in my stash that I had colored with alcohol inks.
This brings us to the second reason for this piece. I have been experimenting with wrapping my work on a stretched canvas. You can see the first attempt in the previous blog. I really like the way they look. I'm hoping to sell these in the Sans Souci Gallery in Lafayette, La. (click on link under favorite links). I've just been juried in.
I'm very pleased with the look of the gallery wrap and the way the piece itself turned out.

Here's a detail shot---


Saturday, August 3, 2013

American Lotus II, Seed Pod

New Work

American Lotus ll, Seed Pod
12" x 12"

This image was photographed at a friend's pond. It is the seed pod that develops after it blooms; a really incredible plant with big blossoms and pads. I printed this image on an old Printed Treasures sheet and was disappointed that the color was way off; blue green instead of yellow green. I couldn't throw it away but reprinted the image with  EQ Printables and got a very good result. I finished the piece and then decided to use the rejected print anyway. The blue background was a leftover piece of hand dyed fabric from another project. It really complimented the photo. The darker area below the photo is part of a tree trunk that I made with strips of fabric and was part of the other project.

I stamped the quilt and quilted it before sewing it to the background. I also stamped the background with acrylic paint before I sewed the quilt to it.

I wrapped the batik background fabric around a gallery wrapped canvas, something I've never done before. I think I like the effect. I like this piece better than the one with the reprinted image, glad I didn't throw it away.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Quilter's Quarter Marker

Someone on the Quilt Designer's Yahoo Group asked how to know where the quarter inch mark is when sewing binding on. We're supposed to stitch up to 1/4" from the edge, flip the binding and turn 90 degrees to sew along the next edge. I felt compelled to share my favorite tool. It makes marking that quarter inch spot so easy.

Below is the Quilter's Quarter Marker. The dotted lines designate 1/4" except for the curved lines. Each corner and the bottom center have a hole in the marker at the 1/4" line. A mechanical pencil fits quite well into this hole.

The image below shows how the tool is used, placed on the binding ready to be marked at the bottom center, hole #E. Here is a link to purchase with a tutorial- (please copy and paste).
  I've had mine for years and for awhile they were hard to find. I'm happy to see they are still available. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Sentinel/ Sacred Threads

The Sentinel

I'm so thrilled, I just got news that  The Sentinel was juried into Sacred Threads, an art quilt exhibit. This will be my third time participating in this show. All of the work must have a spiritual theme. 

The Sentinel is an allegorical piece, the cypress symbolic of a guardian angel. I love cypress trees they are so enduring, living more than 1000 years and virtually indestructible. They don't even rot under water! 

I had very mixed feelings about this piece as I was making it since it is different than what I usually do. I didn't like it much at all but kept going. I've gotten very positive feed back since it's been finished and now like it very much.

The center background is an original abstract digital image, borders are acrylic paint on fabric, stamped, and monoprinted. The tree trunk is raw edged strips free motion quilted, the canopy is polyester and silk organza. Some of the organza is colored with alcohol inks. I heavily free motion quilted the branches over the organza to give them definition using 5 or 6 different green threads. My son, who is my best critique source suggested I use some black thread in the branches as well. It made all the difference! I also used some of my dyed fabrics.

Here is a link the the Sacred Threads website with all the details of the show. I hope you'll be able to see the exhibit; based on the artists that are showing work, it should be outstanding.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Summer Harvest-construction tips

SUMMER HARVEST--pattern cover shot, pattern # 14 from MO and MIKE.

This is the finished piece, it measures 11 1/4"w x 13"h.

This shows how the various pieces fit together. The freezer paper has not been removed at this stage. You can see the margins along the outer and inner edges. The open area in the center is where the photo goes.  The edges of the freezer paper should butt up to their neighbors.

Notice that the outer edges are not square. It is more important that the individual pieces fit together at this stage.

The piece has been quilted and is ready to be trimmed. Using the photo as a guide, the edges should be straight and parallel and the corners square. I have taken this screen shot in Photoshop Elements to show how this process looks. The working size is generous to allow for a nice background size. The sample background size is 2 1/2".

The piece was finished with a facing. There is a tutorial on the blog in the archives from Sept. 2011.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Sense Of Place

A Sense Of Place
17 3/4" w x 30 1/2"h
full view

This piece was created for the Brush With Burden exhibit that will take place at the Burden Center which is a 400 acre garden here in Baton Rouge. The exhibit is a juried show open to all media. I was very happy to see that they accepted fiber art in their art exhibit. I will know in Feb. if I'm accepted. The theme of the work should be something inspired by the landscape, flora and fauna of the garden. I shot this photo on an earlier visit to the garden. The lily, as well as some of the elements in the lower portion of the quilt, are original digital images printed on cotton or silk organza.

This glorious water lily was growing in an old, cast iron sugar kettle on the grounds; such a contrast between the two elements. FYI--years ago sugar producers here in Louisiana boiled sugar cane juice in very large cast iron, bowl shaped kettles to cook down the juice to make sugar. Some of the kettles have survived and are being used as water features in the garden. You can see a partial image of what they look like in the lower portion, right side of my quilt.

I am inspired by the delicate beauty of the lily, in full bloom, in a place that seemed very challenging and unforgiving. It is making the best of what it was given; something I need to be reminded of from time to time. Hence the name, A Sense Of Place.

detail view

I thread painted the lily itself, which I thoroughly enjoyed doing. Thirty-three separate colors of thread were used to complete the project. The patchwork squares and some digital images printed on silk organza were left from a previous water lily project. Some screen printing was added also.

I'm finding it harder to photograph my work here in Baton Rouge. The light in S. Florida was always good, here not always and not nearly as bright. I had some difficulty getting the true color of the lily when I shot the quilt. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Life Music

I became completely fascinated with the mahogany seed pod depicted above. I found the pod in my yard in Homestead, Fl. last spring. The function and complexity of the design was incredible. The pods are about the size of a goose egg and contain, I'm guessing, about 50-75 seeds. The seeds are perfectly layered in the pod. Each one has a "wing" to catch the wind in order to travel and germinate in a new home. The pod has a very hard, thick shell about 3/8" thick that bursts open to expose the seeds. Divine Design!

I created this triptic to showcase this tropical seed. Each piece is depicted in a different scale, both images in each piece are original, digitally edited in Adobe Elements and printed on cotton fabric. They were then set on a background of rusted fabric. After a critique session with Brett Barker, I added the musical notes in blue thread and the small grids at the top portion of the images.

This is the top piece of the triptic. The seeds are visible in the light yellow, carefully layered one on another. The notes are visible in the lower area.

In the center piece, the musical notes I added with Elements are visible below the pod. The quilting continues the musical theme.

This is the lower and largest piece of the three. Again quilted musical notes in the lower part of the piece. Click on any image for a closer view.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Contemporary Fiber Artist of Louisiana Exhibit

"A Trace of Sulfur"

The Contemporary Fiber Artists of Louisiana are putting together an exhibit and, as the title hints, each piece must have a bit of yellow in it. I'm posting two of the entries, hopefully this will whet your appetite to see more. I know there are many art quilters in the area of S.W. La. and E. Texas so I hope you'll be able to drop by and see our work. Here are the details--

"A Trace of Sulfur"
The Henning House
923 S. Ruth St.
Sulphur, La.
337 527 0357
Opening Reception Oct. 19, 2012  6-8PM
Through Nov.15, 2012

Acer Rubrum

Wendy Starn
cotton, painted, sunprinted, stitched by the artist; embellished with silk/bamboo fusion leaves; branch from red swamp maple tree.
photo courtesy of John Hartgerink


Judy Momenzadeh
Clockwise from center, Alice Fay Cole Smith, Judy Kay Cole Jensen and Judy Ann Alleman Momenzadeh.
Photo by WD Cole, 1951, printed on Lutradur and watercolor paper, machine and free motion quilted. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Photo A Day, May 15


May 15, theme for today is "love". As I was scrolling through my photos I came across this one, love apples. The French began calling the tomato love apple in the 16th century. I couldn't resist using this photo, taken at Fresh Market in Miami. The vegetables and fruit there were gorgeous. These happen to be heirloom tomatoes. 

A Photo A Day, May 14


Grass is the theme for May 14. There are, I'm sure, hundred's of varieties of grasses, not sure what this is other than it is an ornamental grass. I liked this photo because of the movement and texture.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Photo A Day, May 13


Today's them is "Mom". I chose this photo, no I didn't take it, because I love the vintage quality of it.  This is my Grandmother taken as a young girl.

A Photo A Day, May 13

A Photo A Day, May 12

Be My Valentine

Something that makes me happy, that is the theme for May 12. This tulip was part of a bouquet my husband gave me for Valentines Day. That makes me happy! But even better is that I can use the bouquet to take some great photos and then edit them in Photoshop Elements. It's a "twofer".

A Photo A Day, May 11

Blue Plate Special

"My Kitchen" is the theme for May 11. I bought these beautiful eggplant at the farmer's market and was given the yellow vegetable. I was told it is a cucumber by the man who grew it.  I thought they were all so beautiful, they deserved to be in a photo. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Photo A Day, May 10

"My Favorite Word"

Faith is my favorite word, although it was hard to chose just one! This is a photo I took of the altar cross in my church which has since been torn down. I'm so thankful I took this photo. Of course, I had to edit it in Photoshop and add the text.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A Photo A Day, May 9

" My Daily Ritual"

I have tea every morning; no, not as fancy as this. I enjoy it but I wish I could have coffee instead. That's another story for another day.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Photo A Day, May 8

"My Favorite Smell"

This is a photo of the line of oaks at Oak Alley Plantation on the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Live oaks have a very earthy, distinctive smell or fragrance. It is very apparent when walking among them. I never associated this smell with the trees until recently in my life, something I took for granted and never paid attention to. To me, it is the smell, aroma, fragrance of home. It is the smell of my roots.

Monday, May 7, 2012

A Photo A Day, May 7

"Who Inspires Me?"

This composite is my two grandchildren, Ava, doing her nerd imitation, and Jack, playing in the pool. They inspire me so much, they work hard, play hard and accomplish great things for kids their age. I'm very proud of them and know they will accomplish great things in the future. I really have to step up and keep up!  

Sunday, May 6, 2012

A Photo A Day, May 6


Today's theme is "you", a photo of yourself. I hate having my picture taken so I took a photo of my reflection in my sliding glass door and played with it in Photoshop Elements. I couldn't help jazzing it up a little bit, maybe it's my alter ego!