Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Stenciled Flowers

My Assistant for this adventure, Lily, supervising from the height of my ironing board.
The Setup - wanting to paint floral stencils on my hand dyed fabric. I went thru my hand dyes and picked out a couple of pieces, mostly blue sky, I wanted something more adventurous, so I picked this multicolor grid fabric. It was made with rug hook grid under muslin, and gone over with dye paste on a foam roller brush. I thought I could pick up the colors in the flowers, and it looked kind of like a lattice in the garden. I laid out my assortment of stencils, mostly made with exposed X-ray plastic, choosing the florals and some large leafy filler pieces.
I used cheap acrylic paints, and did NOT do a typical dry brush stencil technique, I had to cover the background, so I applied the paint fairly thick. Highlighting with yellow, and putting a darker green on the underside of the leaves. Bright colors for the flowers, matched the colors in the background fabric. Working left to right, (I learned the wrong way, working on top of wet paint) and one stencil at a time, snugging them up close and overlapping a bit too.
Have a tin of water handy for the cleanup, don't leave the paint to dry on the stencils. I soak them all as I work, and clean them when done. Use a container that doesn't leak, another hard learned lesson!
Progress on the first round of painting. I will add more foliage in the front to fill in and add weight, more color flowers, fuchsia on the left, and highlight the blue bells, they disappear. I'll also add more pink and purple daisies. Finishing with dragonflies, stitching with rayon threads will bring it all to life. I'll add my favorite glass bead ladybugs, and some shimmery spiderwebs too. My only question is how to stitch the grid background? Any ideas? I've been working on this in stolen moments, painting one stencil at a time as I find 5 minutes to get in my studio. I need the sit down time to regroup, after helping my hubby with Dr. appointments, meals, making the office into a bedroom, etc... The progress is heartening, and having something to post on Nina-Marie's Off the Wall Friday, is a good incentive. Click on the badge to the right to see other wonderful textile artists.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Valentines Day 2014

I spent the day keeping my honey company in the VA Hospital, he is on his 2nd round of pneumonia. They have been pumping him with various types of antibiotics, for days now. He is ready to escape and have real food. I haven't been doing any hand sewing while I am there, probably should take something, and haven't done anything at home. The best part of the day was sharing a piece of Red Velvet cake on his lunch tray. We also had a visit by about 2 dozen Grange members, from Southern Oregon, who brought cards, treats and a duffel bag with goodies. The bag included gloves, socks and a BEAUTIFUL HAND CROCHET AFGHAN!! What a treasure for Valentines Day! I have made, over the years, probably 100 Baby Quilts for our local hospital, women's shelter, and the Children's Hospital in Portland. Also larger quilts for returning Veterans, Camp Millennium(kids cancer) and other projects. It was such a surprise to be on the receiving end of this generosity of spirit. It sure cheered me up, and I NEEDED IT! I went out to the lobby and shared some hugs and thank yous, with a bunch of them. Quilters have always been wonderfully sharing with their time and skills, I Thank all of you who participate in these programs with your local guild or national projects, keep up the good work! Heartfully AMY. Also the Cancer Center has a whole basket full of hand knit hats, volunteerism lives on in America.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Oregon Gardens Quilt Show 2014

"Curiously Enchanting" was one of the wonderfully embellished quilts at the Oregon Gardens Quilt Show. Six of us from the Fyber Cafe group, went up to Silverton, East of Salem, to see the show. Click here for the Gardens It was a fun adventure, see the Fyber cafe blog for more details and photos click here for Fyber Cafe It was a great mid-winter adventure, the weather was beautiful, the company interesting and creative, and the show had a large variety to meet everyone's taste in quilting. 20 vendors enticed us into their lairs, to purchase MORE fabric, as if we really needed more. Walking around the gardens, lunch in Salem, shopping at Greenbaum's Quilted Forrest, and the art shop next door, wore us out. It was a full eventful day.
The Tiger is done with Tskinecko inks, the Pedal Power is part of a fabric challenge, and the hands remind me of my Leonardo da Vinci art quilt. Just a few of the wonderful quilts we saw that day.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Rubber Stamp Carving

While attending a quilt show East of Salem, our group stopped at the art store next to Greenbaum's Quilted Forrest. Tricia and I got a few carving blocks to make stamps out of. The material is called "Moo Blocks" a gray carving material, about 3/8" thick. Dick Blic Art Supply has it online. It is so thick and sturdy, I am able to carve on both sides, as it seems expensive to me. I was inspired by Deborah Wolff at
Red Orange Wolff her blog has lots of wonderful stamps she has carved, and how she has used them to make cards and stuff.
The carved backside of the same blocks. I use a simple set of carving tools, the fine liner "V" to outline my design, then the larger deeper "V" to make it more distinct, then the flat sided gouge to cleanup the bottom areas of the background. I used ink stamp pads for the samples, but when printing on fabric I will use a foam brush with acrylic paints. I will also use them to impress into the paint on Gelli plate mono prints.
Also while in Salem, I picked up a small Borden & Riley artists sketchbook. It is ATC sized, 2.5" x 3.5" and it was perfect to print all my carved rubber block stamps into. I think I will paint and mixed media the cover.

I am linking this to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Friday" click on the badge in the right hand column to see other wonderful textile artists!

Fiber Art Fabric

At our January meeting of the Fyber Cafe, textile group, we played with lots and lots of fibers. All colors & types of yarn, thread, trim, & ribbon. See more details here of all the fun we had.
I made layers of teal, purple, light pink, with some sparkle threads and metallics onto a base of disolvable film (like Solvy.) I even used a blue sequin strand, that proved difficult to stitch through, so I stitched around it. After building up enough fibers, you cover the whole mess with more film and pin everything in place with straight pins or safety pins.
Stitching the fiber sandwich all together is the next step. Use a large grid to start, and stabilize the mess, then free motion stitch to create a net effect, to interlock it all and make it into an art fabric.
I used several different colors of rayon thread to free motion quilt, I flipped the sandwich over to get different colors on both sides. I think I made my layers of fibers too thick, some of the other artists' were a lot lacier. It was difficult to decide when to stop, a few laps around the outside helped tie in stray threads, and create an edge.
A closeup photo of the stitching. I have not dissolved the the film yet, I have not decided if I want to use it as a fabric, or drape it over a bowl to make a shaped object. If shaping, only dissolve the film partway, and let it help glue the fibers in shape. You can also brush on diluted white glue to give it an extra firm hold. So stay tuned to see what I make with it.