Wednesday, June 18, 2014

"Paper Birch and Swallowtails"

Leaves were the next step in my project. I decided to make them with a photo on fabric instead of the Lutrador. So I grabbed a branch off of my birch tree and put it into the scanner. I printed it with the computer, larger than life size onto fabric pretreated with Bubble Jet Set. I fused it with a Bali batik and stitched the veins first then the edges, with green rayon thread. There was very little detail in the leaves, plain and simple, the stems how ever were difficult. I started by zig zaging a fine wire onto the leaf backs and the stems, awful, they looked ragged and unfinished. So I ended up wrapping the stems with a 3/8" cut strip of bias batik. It made it a little bit heavier than I would have liked but the color is good.
I worked on the birch bark to get it into a tube shape, after stitching it, I quilted over the seam to blend it together. I found a half inch piece of PVC and a dowel that would fit into it, and a piece of finished board for a base. Wrapping the PVC tightly with a cotton batting, I got the diameter I wanted and stitched the edge to make a roll. Stuffing it into the bark tube was a trial in patience. Whew, pulling and tugging!! I screwed the dowel to the base, and the PVC with the bark tube slides on nicely.
I worked on the butterflies next, I printed them on treated fabric, and fused them to a pale yellow backing. Thread painting all the black detail was next, I used rayon thread, and it was difficult stitching black on black. When I turned it over, you could see areas I missed, but couldn't see it from the front. Since the back of the butterflies would be seen, I used Pigma pen to black in the area on the back. Tiny details of orange dots, turquoise dots and yellow crescents were added, and a gray body. The yellow of the photographs was left plain with no thread.
The finished butterfly, I trimmed it and added fray check along the edges. The wings will be free, it will be applied only on the body.

Two views, lit by side lighting. It is so awesome, the pictures don't do it justice.

Two views with natural lighting, still not the best, I think the focus is off. I still have to finish stitching on the butterflies, and put a top on it. I need to take a pic of a cut tree with the growth rings on it. I thought I had one in my photo files, but no luck. I will link this with Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Friday" click on the badge in the right hand column to see what other wonderful, creative, talented textile people are doing.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Birch Tree & Swallowtail

The inspiration for my next project comes from another of my photographs. The birch bark will make some wonderful texture to stitch, and I can make it into a 3-d tree section. I'm going to make it tubular, so it stands, with a branch of leaves and several swallowtail butterflies.
I will use my own pic of the swallowtail also, it was sucking moisture from the mud, I have since found out, that the males do this to get minerals from the mud to create pheromones for mating.
I enlarged the bark to 2 x 2 pages in the posterize setting in Windows print wizard, it will make about a 5" diameter tree trunk. It is all fused together with a muslin backing with Wonder Under for stability, for when I do all the stitching. I am using rayon thread, it is not so "natural," but I like the shimmer it creates, and it will highlight the texture. One side of the tree is slightly green, I used a dull gray green thread, and on the other, I used black first and stitched over it with a charcoal. On second thought, I probably should have threaded BOTH spools thru the machine and stitched them together for the effect I wanted. Oh well, next time. I am adding bits of small detail with a pearl white thread, to give it a lift, as it was getting too dull. On the dark slashes on the tree bark I used a gray cotton "Halloween Netting" that I dyed to green, it has knots at all the intersections and LOTS of texture. I keep looking for more every year, to dye other colors, but can't find it again. Last year I did find a black cotton netting with larger holes, and no knots, but it worked beautifully on the knot holes. I cut a few paper butterflies to check them out and pinned in place.
DETAIL PHOTOSI am going to print the butterflies on fabric, and I'm deciding how much of them to thread paint. Also deciding if I want to make leaves free hand out of Lutrador or print them on fabric and thread paint them. 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.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

And the Winner Is...

And the Winner Is... Bonnie! Yea! For the Frog draw string bag.
And the Winner is... Dottie! Yea! for the teal wall hanging. I'll get this off in the mail to Santa Cruz.

Thank you all for looking at my blog over the years. The 20,000 page view went by quickly this week. I started my blog in August 2009, to just share some of the art quilting that I am doing. It quickly became a record of my work and a "How To" of all the different techniques that I've tried. I love to try new stuff, materials, techniques, styles, and themes. But the best feeling is when I have a challenge or a new idea, and all these studies come together to create something of my own. Knowing when to use folding for texture, or my hand dyed cheese cloth. Knowing when to use Shiva Oil pastels, or Tskinecko inks, or acrylics. Then all my training and playing around gels into something interesting. Thank you for watching my artistic growth, on my blog, I hope you learned something as well. My most viewed blog page is still "How to Thread Paint a Dragonfly" click here it receives 5-8 views a week. Next up is "Birch Trees" click here It is a combination of Gelli Prints with a stencil and snippets of fabric. Creating dimension & texture with muslin and tissue paper, is the next most popular, clcik here it is a technique I learned on the blog "And Then we Set it on Fire" click here a wonderful technique oriented blog that I have gotten a lot of info from. So as I move forward, I am looking forward to the next 20,000 visitors, to meet all you wonderful people in blog land, and to sharing my art. Please leave comments, I like to know what you think of my work. Thank you! AMY