Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Rusting Fabric; Lost Quilt; Fiber Art Group

Here are some pictures of the fabric stamps I created (discussed in previous post) and the pieces I used them in. One of the quilts is completed and the other I am in the process of quilting. I used various paints including Lumiere, PRObrite textile paints, and inexpensive acrylic paint. The stamps are made from foam sheets cut up and attached to plexiglass, and art erasers that are carved. I understand that the erasers are available in larger sizes and I plan to look for some of those. This size was quite small and limited the complexity of the stamp design. Both stamps worked well though and were very easy to create. The foam sheets are really easy to draw a design on, cut it out, and then use E6000 adhesive to glue it to the piece of plexiglass. A clean, fun, easy project to use to create your own piece of fabric unique to you, and then use that fabric to create an absolutely original fiber art piece!

A week ago my sister was visiting for a couple of days and my mom encouraged us to do some fabric rusting. Some pieces came out and some didn't but I think there is definitely some usable fabric. Here's a picture of a piece of Osnaburg that we wrapped around a rusty tow chain and left for 24 hours in a black plastic garbage bag on the deck. The smaller piece is handmade Thai silk and I believe I wrapped it around some steel wool and metal shavings. Both of these pieces are definitely good additions to my stash.

Last picture. Here is a very rough beginning for a piece. I wanted to start with a black background for this one. Here I have chosen numerous fabrics to go together and arranged them somewhat. I had recently purchased the two strands of beads and they will definitely be a part of this piece as I love how they look. It is difficult to show people a piece at this stage as no one has the vision of what it can become like I do. Doesn't look like much at this point, right? Don't worry---it's going to be great. I can tell! Watch for progress on this piece…

On Monday, I got together with a small group of fiber artists and shared some art, some techniques, some ideas, and some enthusiasm. It was nice to talk with other women who are as interested and intrigued by all things fiber art as I am. We all have different ways of working and certainly the pieces we produce are all different (original!), but still we all have an enthusiasm for learning more and finding out about what others are doing and maybe picking and choosing the things that might work for us. The group includes artists doing realistic pictorial, abstract, multimedia, and mixed technique work, but mostly with a base of quilted fiber. There also all stages or levels of knowledge about working with fiber within this group---some are rather new to it and others have years of experience to share. But each person has a fine grasp on art in whatever form they produce it, and everyone in the group creates work that inspires me and gives me an even greater appreciation of the range of possibilities in this realm of fiber art.

I recently wrote about the small quilt (12"x12") that I shipped off to the Studio Art Quilt Associates online auction and posted a picture of it. Unfortunately, the piece never arrived at the SAQA destination and appears to be lost in the mail, or possibly stolen out of the mail. I have been in touch with the Executive Director of SAQA and she is keeping an eye out for it in case it does happen to show up by some small miracle, but I'm not very optimistic about that possibility. It was nice to find out that it was her husband who purchased my piece from the auction last year for his new office, and that she enjoys the piece when she sees it hanging there. It is always a morale booster to find out that someone (particularly someone who isn't your friend or relative!) really enjoys your work and believes it to be art worthy of hanging on their wall. And if they still enjoy it a year down the road, that is even more encouraging! I was really looking forward to contributing to the organization in this way again this year and am disappointed that my work will not be posted with all the other wonderful pieces that are on the website, but I guess I'll have to deal with it! Please do visit the site at and view the online auction pieces that are posted there. There are many truly wonderful works. The auction begins in September.

The dry, hot weather here has created a truly ravenous and destructive population of grasshoppers that are eating their way through my gardens. A few of my perennials are stripped bare and will likely die, and the vegetable garden in the backyard has been cleared of any green beans, most cucumbers, and most of the winter squash plants that were coming along nicely. Hardly motivates me to go pull the weeds that are ever increasing in those gardens! The last few days has brought some thunder showers but the moisture has not seemed to effect the grasshopper population. Every time you walk outside they are popping and bouncing around all over the place. And I have a six year old who thinks they are really cool and has collected and regularly feeds at least a dozen of them in a little terrarium in his room!

Boy is the summer going fast! Soon our County Fair will be here signaling the end of the summer. My son will start First Grade and I'll spend more time in my studio and less outdoors. It's a transition I look forward to with mixed emotions. I love the quiet, uninterrupted time in the studio, but time spent with my son is precious and fleeting. I think he has grown half a foot since this Spring and none of his pants fit (thank goodness for shorts in the summer!). Tomorrow we are going bowling with a friend and her grandson and I'm going to cherish the outing. Watching the two well-behaved and charming young men (6 and 7 yrs old) is fun and makes me smile. They are so enthusiastic about everything. Give me some of that!!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Making Fabric Stamps

I am currently working on two pieces for my next textile arts class. The project this month involves creating and using stamps on fabric. The kit included a fabric marker to be used with the stamps, but I didn't think it worked real well with the stamps, so I used mostly paint for my pieces. One kind of stamp we made was by drawing a design on and then carving it out on a small rectangular eraser. The other was using craft foam (foamie sheets) by drawing out a design, cutting it out, and adhering it to a small square of Plexiglas using E6000 craft adhesive.

I used fabric paint (Lumiere, plain old craft acrylic, and PRObrite textile paints) to stamp onto some fabric and then used those as feature fabrics in my pieces. One piece I have quilted using a lot of the pattern of one of the stamps as a quilting design. Then I added some beads and it's done. The second piece is made with some very bright fabrics and bold prints. I have just started quilting it and so far I like how it is going. It is a really good one for using some of my beautiful threads. I'm using black in the bobbin which shows up vividly on the lime green backing. So far I have used mostly YLI threads, both solid and variegated, and they stitch beautifully.

One of my pieces has been accepted into a juried show of small fiber art pieces sponsored by Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) called "Fibrations". The show juror was Katie Pasquini Masopust who is a very well-known art quilter. The quilt is "In A Heartbeat", which is a piece that has pinweaving on it, and it will be traveling with this exhibit from this September through July, 2010. The venues include the Yellowstone Quilt Fest in Cody, WY, The Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum in Golden, CO, and two large quilt shows in New Jersey and Virginia. There are 48 quilts in the show with some very exciting artists on the list so I believe it will be a good show. It is exciting to have been accepted into the first SAQA show I have attempted to enter.

My sister is visiting this weekend (actually visiting my parents who live nearby), and my sister, my mom and I are planning to do some fabric rusting tomorrow. I have gathered up some rusty nails, washers, etc. and some potentially rustable fabrics and I'm ready to give it a try. My mom has done this process before and used some of the fabrics in some really great art pieces, so I'm anxious to see what we can come up with. My sister works full time and doesn't get into her workroom as much as she'd like, but I'm sure she'll be able to use these fabrics in her work, whether that is the clothing she makes or a great art quilt. She makes a lot of neat pieces of clothing and I think she can use the rusted fabric with the kind of fabrics she likes to use, and do something beautiful with it. She's always picking up great silks, rayons, wools, etc. either online or wherever, so her stash (or "fabric collection" in the current lingo!), is full of texture and rich color. She's made me some jackets and tops that are the most sophisticated items in my closet and really fun to wear--which I do whenever I get the chance!

I just finished reading a Nicholas Sparks novel, "The Rescue", and really enjoyed it. If you like well written romantic stories (I had a good cry!), these are for you. He's written lots of books and I guess he's very well known---I'm not one who keeps up with the New York Times best sellers so what do I know! A friend passed a bunch of them on to me that she needed to get rid of so I thank her!

Thanks for visiting! Come back again!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Show is over---and life goes on...

Our quilt show is over and it was a great success. It was a beautiful display with a good variety of quality workmanship. I was fortunate enough to get three ribbons and many, many compliments on my work. I was most proud of the first place ribbon in the Art Quilts category. There many beautiful quilts submitted so I was honored to get that ribbon. It was on the piece that I had made for the Beaded Pony bead contest earlier this spring. I didn't sell anything, but I made a couple of contacts that might lead somewhere eventually. It was definitely a worthwhile activity and I enjoyed participating in it.

Here is a picture of the monochromatic quilt I created for the guild's Challenge, and for which I won 2nd place. It is approximately 10"x14".

"Imagine What's Beyond..." - $90.00
The leaves were done by sandwiching Timtex heavyweight stabilizer between fabric and stitching the leaf shapes and veins, then adding beading to some. I used a green marker to eliminate the white Timtex that showed on the edges after they were cut out. The center arched "window" I cut out after I had heavily quilted and satin stitched around the shape to make sure it was well stabilized. Then I sewed the bias strips that form the lattice to the back and added a piece of very light green organza behind it. I strung a mixture of beads in with the dangling leaves so they all kind of sway when you move the piece (or if the wind is blowing as it was when we took this picture!). I was very happy with how the piece turned out. I have had one inquiry as to whether or not it is for sale (of course it is!), but haven't heard back as to whether they want it or not. Let me know if you are interested...!

I just sent in my contribution to the SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) silent auction which is a 12"x12" piece. Here is a picture of it along with a picture of the piece I submitted last year (which sold at the tail end of the auction).

You can see all of the donated auction pieces (all 12x12) at The reverse auction begins on September 10th with all pieces starting at $750.00 and going down eventually to $75.00 at the end of the auction. My piece will not be posted out there until after they take a picture of it on July 8 so look for it shortly after that. There are many wonderful quilts and some done by some very famous quilters so be sure to take a look!

Stuffed Turkey Thigh/Legs

Disclaimer: This is a cooking post not an art post!  But I will say that there is an art to boning, stuffing and baking this recipe--and it ...