Rebel, Rebel Sunday, Sep 18 2011 

Have any of you heard of Jamie Fingal? She has a cool DVD and concept called “rebel quilting.” She lays simple shapes on a blank piece of fabric, fuses them on in a pleasing arrangement and then quilts the heck out of it. I would strongly urge you to try out her DVD (available from Interweave) if you want to get the creative juices flowing.

Here’s my first take on the concept.

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Seeing the forest for the trees Sunday, Mar 27 2011 

This applique piece was fun to create. The foliage is hand dyed or 25 year-old scraps (yes, I hoard scraps). The trunks are all scraps that have been collected in the last 10 years, the background is a hand dyed piece, and the land is more hand dyed fabric.

Everything was fused on with Mistyfuse and then free-form quilted.

Gold and green Wednesday, Mar 23 2011 

This piece started out as a gold and turquoise dye job that I loved, but I never knew what to do with it. I found the TAP transfer (created by Leslie Riley) of the sparrow played on the colors of the fabric, so I used it on a cream background. I added some additional cream patches, quilted everything with this great gold and green thread and mounted it on a canvas that was painted burnt sienna with copper accents.

Fiber art, I’m back. Tuesday, Mar 8 2011 

I return to a place I was more than six months ago. At that point, I lay the start of the piece (the green with red patches) aside, unsure what to do with it. I walked away from it and walked away from this blog, but I am back. I have added an Asian-inspired border and attached the entire piece to a canvas. I am so pleased with the final product. The taupes of the Asian print play off the gold paint on the green fabric. It all blends together into a wonderfully coherent whole.

Seeing Red Saturday, Aug 21 2010 

This week, I hosted Mixed Media Monday’s challenge. The theme is “seeing red.” Now, I don’t use a lot of red in my work. I tend toward cooler colors. I started by sewing together a number of red fabrics. I was going to use that as my background, when I suddenly realized that a piece of green cloth I had been embellishing might be the perfect backdrop for my red.

I think the rectangles of red drive the piece and show off the red in a way that an all-red collage would not. The background is a hand-dyed green fabric, stamped with Lumiere paint and highlighted with some of my new Derwent Inktensive pencils.  The entire piece was free-motion quilted, and then purple and gold fabric beads were added to  the red strip-pieced rectangles.

A little birdie told me Sunday, Aug 15 2010 

Mixed Media Monday’s challenge this week was “embellish it.” I had just gotten Jane Davila’s “Surface Design Essentials,” and I decided to use the book in meeting the challenge.

The piece below starts with fabric that was originally “embellished” by being used to clean brushes and wipe down a table after I created another piece of cloth. Once that was bordered with brown, I stenciled on a bird and some dragonflies and then used Derwent Inktense pencils (which are really great to use!) to enhance the blue. I free-motion quilted the piece and then added gold buttons and some brass brads to play off the gold in the fabric and bronze tone of the dragonflies.

Re-use at its finest Sunday, Jun 27 2010 

Today I finished a quilted wall hanging. The focal fabric was actually the cloth I used to clean up brushes and pots (and even the table) after I silk-painted (see last entry). Now, I’m not going to say that I didn’t move the fabric around to get the color combinations just right, but it was still–technically–a rag. (Please note: This worked because I painted the silk with Dye na Flo, which works with both silk and cotton.)

I love it when I can recycle AND make beautiful art.

The focal fabric is bordered by a hand-dyed burgundy fabric. The quilting was done using a nice variegated thread. The piece is 17×30 inches.

Wall painting made from the waste of another piece.

Humming along with hummingbirds Sunday, Jun 13 2010 

I have now made three versions of this wall hanging, at the behest of people who want to own one. 🙂

This version is 15×21 inches. The background is hand-dyed muslin. I added a stencil of tulips along the bottom. The hummingbird is another stencil. I free-motion quilted the background. I don’t know what you would call my style. I think doodle-quilting might be the best description.

I used the same red fabric as used in the mid-border to create charms that frame tiny hummingbirds. I am very pleased with the piece!

Personal symbols Wednesday, May 26 2010 

This week, for Mixed Media Monday,  I invited artists to think about the myths and symbols they often use in their work. They were asked to create a piece using some of those symbols/myths and explain why the symbols speak to them.

My piece, Take Flight, uses the image of a bird and text. After thinking about my own imagery, I realized that birds and text both speak to me.

Birds/flight suggest freedom, spiritual paths, and creativity to me. They symbolize my desire to rise above my doubts, to create things that are beautiful, for my spirit to soar with joy, to escape the bonds of my self-imposed limitations.

Text, both readable and as a visual element, remind me of my efforts to make sense and give meaning to my life and to my art. While I sometimes use actual words (see “Joy” in this piece), I also like to use text with no intention of understanding the words. This helps remind me that sometimes, the words are not as important as the image.

The background of “Take Flight” is free-motion quilted. The bird is transferred over the top of words–written and printed–that I had printed onto fabric for another piece.  I added faux typewriter keys that spell “joy” on the right, and a line of moons fall below the bird.

Merging fabric and paper Tuesday, May 11 2010 

It is a common practice among art quilters/fiber collage artists to incorporate paper into their work. It’s something that always worried me because it seemed so likely that the paper would tear when stitched.

I decided to face my fears and create just such a collage.

The sparrow image is transferred onto fabric using TAP transfer paper. The gold paper is homemade and includes a layer of tissue paper and many washes of both regular acrylic and irridescent paints. Both of these were stitched onto a hand-dyed fabric that I had free-motion quilted.

Finally, to try something new, I stiched the quilt onto a canvas that I painted with gold and copper-toned paints.

All-in-all, I’m quite pleased with the results.

Detail of the free motion quilting

Detail of free motion quilting.

The stitching on the paper was finished with beads.

At the top, you can see where I stitched the quilt to the canvas.

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