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.