Archive for the ‘marbling’ Category

Deconstructing and Redesigning

Photograph by Stephen DeVol, Sedona, AZ

For over 13 years this piece has been known privately as “Ode to the Fire Goddess Pele” as a result of my time in Hawaii. It’s official title is Gaia 2: Beginnings. Our biggest problem has been that it was meant to hang on it’s own, but we were unable to figure out a simple – and not intrusive – hanging system. So for the last year, since we have been showing our work in Vermont, we’ve talked about mounting the piece – somehow. Here’s the story of the creation of the original piece.

That led to me deciding to completely redo the piece – ev.er.y.thing. It took two weeks of night time by the television to get all the machine quilting pulled out. In the 13 years since this was finished my machine quilting skills are SO much better. I will say that my original tension was so bad that in many places all I had to do was pull a thread and I had many many inches come right out.

My new plan is to requilt it, change the edging, mount it on a large piece of black fabric, quilt the black fabric, and then add a sleeve. I need to have all this accomplished by May, as I plan to enter it into the “Abstraction” show in Saranac Lake this summer.

Right now I have 12 strips still with serged edges. I found a FABULOUS piece of red and gold fabric in my stash, and (hoping I have enough) I will put the binding on over the serged edges. It looks really good so far.

A close-up of the original weaving with the serged edges.

A close-up of the back with all the hand-stitching to hold all the pieces tight and together (oy, did that take a while….)

Before and after – original stitching, and after the frog stitch….

More before and after….

The beginning of new free motion quilting….

A look at the new binding and how it will work with the weavings.

This piece will also have a new name: Revolution. More on that as I get further along in the quilt.

A New Video!!

We have decided to do our own videos and set up a YouTube channel with them. We want to show the creation of the various marbling patterns. The first video was more an overview of creating a design…and gave me a chance to play around with iMovie. The second one looks just at the very beginning pattern – the stone. Every piece of marbling starts with this pattern. I am using royalty-free music under Creative Commons. It’s fun, labor-intensive, and when you have weeks between videos you forget all the things you figured out before…like getting the music to play. Plus, this time I cut out pauses where hubby was getting paint, so I learned to delete frames and add a connector. Now it’s learning to use titles and such for additional information.

Here we go!

 

Samples of Marbled Fabrics

Cleaning out as part of getting into new ventures for the new year – resizing, sharpening, rephotographing fabrics – here are some sample fat quarters we have created over the years. We get tremendous joy out of creating – some look similar, but it seems like endless opportunities available to us to play with fabric and paint. Remember, we can customize for you! Let us know what you think….THESE ARE NOT FOR SALE – just pieces we have photos of from the past!

So many iterations of traditional patterns! All from toothpicks, Popsicle sticks, straight pins, t-pins, small hair pics – lots of balsa and a huge amount of time to make the combs and rakes. It’s the prep that takes so long before you can have hours of fun!!

 

Photography and Packaging…Oh, My!

Vermont Open Studios, 2016

When we did Vermont Open Studios last May with artist Mary Hill, one of the great things about sharing the space was all the time we had to talk about our various art and marketing attempts. Mary had some GREAT ideas for us concerning packaging. We continue to process everything we thought about, with some definite changes in what we are doing. Thanks to Rachel of The Textile and Fiber Art List, we have also been improving photography – both how we shoot items and how we present the finished product.

First, the photography. Our pictures have a “muddy” cast to them, and we are basically rephotographing everything we have. The place we are living now doesn’t allow for much flexibility for setting up good lighting. Hubby experimented with a lot of options – including moving to a rolled fabric presentation rather than each piece in a haphazard manner. Give an overall idea as opposed to every thing about each piece. In this manner we can still send the packages flat and save customers money (on international orders – domestic shipping is free). Some “before and after” ideas –

Getting the overall set-up of the product looking good –

Lighting and color still issues….but against the white background looking better. Also, we discovered that we needed to save pictures at a larger size in order to get more detail in the pictures. Next is better with a good cropping and some adjustments in Photoshop to correct the lighting.

Definitely getting there –

Uh-Huh…..

Definitely brighter –

Close-up shot for the Twitter picture, which I am slowly getting back to using…..

This is just for our Charm Pack 2 – ten pieces of hand-marbled pima cotton, assorted patterns and colors, 10 x 10 inches each. Slowly working on others. The pieces need to be appealing, hence all the work on presentation in the pictures. The mailing is easier than a rolled item, which costs more to ship and doesn’t give customers a good look at the fabrics.

This looks better in person when displaying for a show – but not for online sales.

Much more ahead for us as we continue adding new items…let me know your thoughts and how you solved packaging problems.

 

 

 

 

 

Art Year in Review – Part 5 – Other Shows in 2016

Our first solo show was wonderful. We were guest artist the month of August in the Essex Junction Library, a wonderful space in the community room. The fiber pieces hanging on the brick walls softened the room a great deal. Great reception for folks, hosted by our dear friends the Williamsons. Lots of good discussions, and I tried something new – a “completed” piece that I still am not happy with, and I asked for suggestions for re-doing/changing the piece- great ideas, and I will certainly do an interactive piece again for future shows.

April through June, Jericho Town Hall, “Double Exposure” – artwork and a piece of literature/quote that goes with it.

June through September, Unsworth Law Offices, a selection of fiber and digital work.

Phoenix Books with the Essex Art League, 2016, small works.

Old Red Mill Gallery with the Essex Art League, digital work, as well as ongoing fabric sales

October through April 2017, Maltex Building with Burlington City Arts – large works. These are large pieces, and many of them have not shown anywhere before, so it was exciting to visit them in their 6-month home. Third floor, so go visit!

Misfiring Synapses

Ocean’s Bounty

Endangered: Rainforest

Nature 1: Rock Garden

The Shallows

Black and White with a Hint

Jungle

Wetlands

Soaring

Art in 2016 – Part 3 Review – A Few Other Commissions

I was very involved this year in helping others create some wonderful fiber art. First up was a baby quilt for a teacher at a former school of mine. The teachers all created blocks based on children’s books, and then along with the baby quilt, gave the books to the new mom. It came out so cute!

Children’s Book Baby Quilt

You can see the machine quilting – “leaves” for the pages of books – the leave of a book……a lot of fun to quilt. Next time….stabilize the pieces before they are sewn into blocks….

How many books can you identify?

LOVE Patricia Pallaco!

Two more baby quilts scheduled for the new year….prolific bunch at Camels Hump Middle School!

A good friend made a “science fiction” quilt for her son – a gamer, doctoral student, and avid reader. It was SO MUCH fun helping in the process, from using spray basting, to zigzagging quotes, to creating the dragon (a “must-have in this quilt). It hangs from a curtain rod that is very “Lord of the Rings” in design. I was responsible for the machine quilting of dozens of galaxies within the quilt. The dragon has a lot of marbled fabric within it, and it works so well! Kathy did an amazing job. Teeth, flame, wings, and horns all crafted from marbled fabrics. Hubby Dave did the design for the pattern, Kathy did the contruction with vinyl and a few other fabrics.

The last heavy sewing/quilting happened when my friend Kathy wanted to recreate a marbled wall hanging of ours that one of her daughters loved. Sure…..to find she wanted it reversible…and a few other changes….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The story of the original piece is here.

I don’t have any finished pics at this point – just an in-progress. Oh, did I forget to mention she wanted one for each daughter? Different colors for reversible? Different quilting patterns? It really was a lot of fun, and it challenged me to revisit a reversible binding….but I made Kathy do all the hand-stitching……

A close-up of in-progress……

Can’t wait for pictures of both the blues and the greens!

The year started with this commission: The Arroyo –

Starting stitching

Embellinging

On the wall at Frog Hollow Gallery

…and we’re not done for the year!!

Art in 2016 – Part 2 Review – Small Works

A lot of smaller work was started, finished, and revised this year – part of the need to create more pieces, and part to experiment with new ideas. We also tried more framing (pretty successful) and mounting on canvas (very successful, and not that all expensive). The biggest issue seemed to be people didn’t know what to do with small wall hangings or table-toppers. By framing them we are leading our customers to see the piece on a wall, looking like artwork. This is also working well for galleries and stores with small spaces.

The “Chocolate Box” piece on the left was done some 18 years ago as part of a challenge on the QuiltArt list to create an 8 x 8 piece with the theme of “brown.” I pulled all kinds of browns from my stash, including some marbled fabrics, and then I zigzagged them together with the idea of creating a “Whitman’s Sampler.” I have always thought it looked very cute. I rediscovered it this summer, adding batting and backing, variegated thread in a more prominent zigzag, put on a binding, and mounted it on fabric. Lots of good feedback on the piece.

Another piece that saw framing was a small piece of marbled poly-satin that a friend (Suzan Drury of Saltwater Systems) added glitter to at least 10 years ago. Loved it, but it didn’t translate into something someone would want to buy – so on a whim I added batting and backing and then quilted it – thus “Pond 3” – a favorite topic. I learned to do sand dollars as part of a tutorial from Lori Kennedy (theinboxjaunt.com), so you will see clam shells, sea urchins, and sand dollars throughout the small piece. It looks quite striking. One thing I learned in the framing process was to move to lighter-colored frames to keep a piece from feeling constrained.

this year saw the debut of a new series – “Leftovers.” The idea for this came about when we would clean the marbling tray after a session. There were wonderful designs of leftover paint as we emptied the carrageenan. We started saving some small pieces to capture to designs – all of which are very organic and “earth strata.” Two pieces made their debut at Phoenix Books in Essex as part of a rotating display of work by the Essex Art League. There are LOTS more to come – all of which need me to stare at a piece for a while to determine how it wants to be stitched. They are all simply framed and look almost like photographs.

 

Leftovers 1: Sunrise

Before stitching on From Above:

Ultrasuede marbles wonderfully. Over the past couple of years we have been doing yards of this for Bead My Love to sell at the various bead and gem shows. We get to keep a few pieces for ourselves, and this year I finally attacked quilting one – with some interesting lessons….the fabric feels like suede, but it doesn’t translate to a puffiness when quilting (note to self: use extra batting for the next piece). Also, the various colors didn’t show well, which is why I went with Superior Threads New Brytes yellow – a thicker thread. this is a 12 x 12 piece of ultrasuede. Introducing “Partly Sunny, Chance of Storms.”

Partly Sunny, Chance of Storms

One more piece – we also started marbling flowers and leaves from the silk flower sections of the craft stores – another way to use up left-over paint in the marbling tray. Here’s “Autumn,” a collage of some marbled silk leaves. Covered canvas, 8 x 10 inches.

More next time as I continue to review the year. Comments welcome!

Making Progress…..

Just a Collection....

Just a Collection….

So I have finished reorganizing my Bridge folders for all the digital work and storage of all things art. About 6 hours total, but it feels good to have it done – serious loose end. Now I need to go through iPhoto and get some folders made to organize photos there – hopefully won’t take as long. Slowly setting up the to-do list for all things business.

Organized!

Organized! (Aren’t I just so good?!)

The fist item over the next 12 days is to get every piece ready for a major display for Burlington City Arts. We will have 10-12 of our medium and large pieces on display in the Maltex Building on Pine Street for six months. Quite a nice venue, and our first major exposure in a contemporary gallery in the state. Lots to do – Ocean’s Bounty needs some work with the connecting beads and Gaia 2 (Pele) will be making its debut also, and I need to get it on its new hanging system.

Gaia 2: Beginnings

Gaia 2: Beginnings

LOVE this piece and have since it was completed many years ago. Will post when I have the new hanging system….hopefully cholla wood and braiding to hang each of the points.

Ocean's Bounty

Ocean’s Bounty

Heavy piece with all the beading and layers and stones – but it will be good for it to see the light of a gallery.

(Wow – I just took less than two minutes to get those pictures from the digital folder – nice organization, Linda!)

Hubby is marbling a lot, as we have new ways of marketing our fabrics. We are selling marbled fabrics in the Red Mill in Jericho, which is “coming home” again – his family settled this area and now he’s helping to support the non-profit mill craft and art gallery.

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Four weeks today is knee surgery, with a three-six month recovery…I want to be back at the sewing machine within two weeks – too much to do!! I am finding guided meditations that will help prep for before and after surgery. My yoga practice is reviving itself as a way of strengthening the  knee and thigh muscles for surgery. I found an integrative medicine doctor through the medical center, and I LOVE her. Looking forward to working with her over the coming year.

On to attaching a piece to a covered canvas with fabric glue….will post when it’s finished and dry…..

Playing Catch-Up…..

HalloweenFinishA piece I started about 15 years ago and finally finished this summer – will be adding loops to the back to hang on our door for Halloween.  I still have plenty more to work on, and slowly,over the winter during knee recovery I plan to work on them – plus lots of new ones.

Speaking of new ones, in organizing Bridge yesterday (some 7000 photos and a lot of saved duplicates, I think I can make sense of some of the new process pictures. This first piece, Chocolate Box, was done YEARS ago, as part of an 8 x 8 challenge from the old QuiltArt list. I think the theme was “brown,” but who knows? Originally I just sewed pieces with a zigzag stitch – and then I realized I needed stabilizer on the back – like I said, a long time ago. This summer I came across it, added backing, re-quilted it in a variegated thread, and added a border. Still love the piece!

Chocolate Box

Chocolate Box

This piece was done for us years ago as part of a challenge to use marbled fabric in a traditional pattern. I made a sandwich, added waves to the bottom of each boat, and quilted semi-circles around the sails to represent the sun. If you made this for us, please let me know so I can credit you.

This next was also part of a challenge, and I use it as a sampler for using free motion quilting on a traditional block. One of the sections is plain, the others have a variety of patterns, some following the the pattern, and some walking around. I love how the marbled fabric quilts up.

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Pinwheel

I like to use my backs to show errors- and then in the blank area I added details about threads and needles.

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   So I continue with cleaning and organizing, and hubby is busy marbling every fabric we seem to have in the house. He’s having a ball!

“Storm Coming” – New Fiber Piece

Asian Fantasy

Asian Fantasy

I’m unearthing a lot of unfinished projects and pieces of fabrics that can be turned into small art quilts for Etsy, and I also came across a couple of digital pieces (like the above) that need reworking for an upcoming show. It is just amazing to me how productive I have been at getting new – and old – projects completed since we set up the new studio. Here’s pics of the new studio – taken right after we unpacked and stored, so things are cleaner than they are now after three weeks of solid work. Good north light, and lots of surface area.

Large marbling tray

Large marbling tray

Stored behind the door, along with mats and combs…..

Cutting table and storage

Cutting table and storage

This can be closed up for an air mattress on the floor for company.

Extra storage

Extra storage

Filled with fabrics and patterns and lots of other goodies….no longer used for clothes!

Bernina 1008 and sewing table

Bernina 1008 and sewing table

Sewing table for the last 15 years, lots of room to the left to support larger quilts….almost impossible to keep clean……

Additional sewing area

Additional sewing area

For the serger and decorative stitches on the Brother machine….

Storage cubbies

Storage cubbies

Happy as a clam, and now to the piece in progress….which is some leftover from another completed piece.

WIP – Storm A’Brewin’

Thread choices –

Thread choices - Storm A'Brewin '

Thread choices – Storm A’Brewin ‘

Didn’t use the blue – too much contrast, and not what I liked – ended up pulling out all the threads…one advantage of not checking the tension – easier to pull out.

Thread work

Thread work

 Finished project, available in Etsy. I needed to simplify the design – got caught up in following the patterns, so I ended up leaving the bottom corner free of stitching, so it looks like everything is approaching from the northwest.

Storm A'Brewin'

Storm A’Brewin’

Serged edges, mounted on wrapped canvas, 12 x 16 inches. Moving right along!!

Traditional Sampler Quilting Tutorial

About two years ago I asked for some volunteers to make traditional blocks using marbled fabrics, as I wanted to show what can be done with traditional quilts besides the art quilts I do. Now that I am improving my machine quilting skills, I turned one of the blocks into a new teaching sample for both quilting marbled fabrics as well as using marbled fabric in traditional quilts. First up is the back of the block – a list of all the threads and needle sizes used, as well as any (and all) tension issues, so they could be discussed (and I wouldn’t forget what I used where).

Back of traditional block

Back of traditional block

I quartered the block, and one section was left completely unquilted – because that is also an option. Here’s the front of the block:

Marbled quilting sample block

Marbled quilting sample block

Far left – unquilted. The yellow pieces have three different designs. I’m partial to the one with pebbles quilted throughout the piece. I used Bottom Line in the bottom, size 80 Superior needle, and Bottom line in the top.

Each marbled piece is done in a different free-form design. Lower center uses a Superior Thread Brytes, heavier, so I used a #90 Superior needle. Upper right used Bottom Line on the top and followed most of the curves in the pattern. Right marbled fabric used a variegated Superior Rainbows thread and only did a few of the wide curves. Different looks in all three. One of my favorite stitches is just following basic curves, and you can see that in this quilt:

Free motion quilting

Free motion quilting

For the white – BIG lesson was don’t use a distinct variegated thread unless your fmq stitches are VERY even. Spent three hours taking it all out. The white was patterned with circles and small crosses. For the bottom right I used yellow Bottom Line in the top for a hint of color and gridded the triangle,  using the fabric pattern as a guide. Upper left, also with white Bottom Line, I followed the circles in the white fabric pattern.  Right triangle I followed both patterns, also white Bottom Line, and found it too busy.

After the New Year, I want to experiment with more like this. Let me know if you have done something like this to determine different quilting ideas.

Gift Baskets AVailable Now! SOLD!

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SOLD!

We’ve been almost missing the holiday season this year, but we finally have enough of our lives together again to offer gift baskets of marbled goodies. The top is a basket from a year ago; the new pics will follow. These baskets contain:

  • a hand-wrapped fabric bowl, good for all kinds of uses around the house (and perfect for regifting!);
  • a fat quarter of marbled fabric;
  • two 8 x 8  swatches of marbled fabric for piecing or applique;
  • six 6 x 9 swatches  of marbled fabric for piecing or applique;
  • five pieces of hand-marbled satin/nylon ribbon in two lengths;
  • 4 note cards with digital marbled designs;
  • a coupon for a FREE table-runner pattern for the fat quarter or other material (sent to you as a PDF);
  • a coupon for 10% off any sampler package from the website;
  • two notions of our choice; and
  • hand-marbled leaves and flowers.

For your viewing pleasure –

Contents of the gift basket

Contents of the gift basket

The Stuffed Basket!

The Stuffed Basket!

So you want one……email me. Baskets are $50.00 – a $75.oo retail value, shipping is USPS Priority, $16.00. We can custom, but our time is short…..If you want to order one beside this one (they are all one-of-a-kind)- and want it by Christmas, December 10th is the LATEST!! Domestic orders only. OR….plan now for birthdays and Mother’s Day!

Monday Marketing – 2 weeks in a row!

Detail of the back of Gracie Mae's quilt

Detail of the back of Gracie Mae’s quilt

Ya, dis ist goot….been a productive week and today started off fabulously with coffee with another artist in fiber who LOVED out work and will pass on a bunch of connections to galleries within the New England area. Joining Surface Design Association, as they seem to be making inroads in getting fiber shown in NE. Plus a new quilt shop in town, so I have already been by to show a sample of free-motion quilting to see about teaching some classes. And….lots to do this week.

Also, and probably most important, the studio is about ready…well, we’ve already started doing work, even though there are still a lot of loose ends and things to get put away. I am almost through ironing the rest of my fabric stash, which is each of our moves has always been our wrapping. But this time, after so long….I was caressing each piece and apologizing for it being in the dark for so long. NO MORE MOVES! They will carry us out of here! Now for this week I need to start a list of fiber projects, with a couple of deadlines coming up this year. Then I can prioritize and get started.

Thanks to Shutterfly I’m been getting prints of our digital work for great prices, and A.C. Moore (our Ben Franklin’s and alternative to Michaels) for frames. Plus, it occurred to us as we were sorting through artwork that we can reuse some of the frames for work we no longer hang on our walls.

Also this past week, two digital marbling pieces hanging in a local bookstore as part of Essex Art League outreach, framing photos for solo show next August, and attended Williston Craft Fair – small but extremely well-attended, and folks were buying. We’re interested in partnering with someone next year and putting in our fabric bowls filled with marbling fabrics and sewing notions. to that end, Hancock Fabrics had a dynamite sale on sewing notions, so we did an order in preparation for next season. Hubby stocked the Etsy store again, so take a look.

A good week all around. Now for this week:

list of projects for sewing, etc.;

finish organizing studio;

check deadlines for quilts for birthdays (Whip, Gavin);

review fiber art calls from Feedly;

start on quilting commissioned baby quilt; and

update the Facebook page, as well as other online sites.

Good to go this week.

Yes, We’re Teaching Classes!

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We will be in Cottonwood, Arizona the end of October at Quilter’s Quarters – a really great quilt shop! We’re teaching two marbling classes – beginning and advanced, and two free motion quilting classes, also beginning and advanced. Contact Quilter’s Quarters for more information!

Beginning Marbling

4 hours, $50.00 class fee, supply fee $25.00

            (minimum 5 students, maximum 10)

            Learn the ancient art of marbling by creating cotton fabrics using traditional marbling patterns. You will learn 5 basic patterns (stone, freeform, chevron, nonpareil, bouquet) and create pieces of marbled cotton suitable for a small sampler. This class is an overview of the process, using existing supplies, with fabric that is already prepared for you.

Supply Fee: $25.00

1/3 yard pima cotton, 1yard Offray ribbon, carrageenan, alum, paints, combs, brushes,  drying racks, soda ash, pins, toothpicks

Student Needs to Supply:

cookie tray or roaster pan (at least 10 inches in width, and a half-inch in depth),

sheets of newspaper (no color) for drying fabric, notebook for notes and diagrams, ruler  and pencil, rags/paper towels, small plastic tub for carrying wet fabrics,   gloves

Wear old clothes!

 

Advanced Marbling

4 hours, $40.00  class fee, supply fee $25.00         

(minimum 5 students, maximum 10)

Learn the recipes needed for the carrageenan bath and pretreatments. Make the combs and rakes you will to marble any time you wish. Learn advanced marbling patterns (wave, clamshell, wing, feathers, cable, fountain, cascade) and experiment with paint and pattern on cotton and silk.

Supply Fee: $25.00

1/2 yard pima cotton, carrageenan, alum, 1/2 yard 10 mm silk, paints, combs, brushes, drying racks, soda ash, balsa wood, popsicle sticks, box cutter, awl

Student Needs to Supply:

cookie tray or roaster pan (at least 10 inches in width, and a half-inch in depth),

sheets of newspaper (no color) for drying fabric, notebook for notes and diagrams, ruler  and pencil, rags/paper towels, small plastic tub for carrying wet fabrics, gloves, masking tape (at least 1 inch wide, wider is better), Elmer’s glue, straight pins and/or t-pins (no glass heads), rubber bands

Wear old clothes!

 

Beginning Free Motion Quilting

4 hours, $40.00

Now what? Your quilt top is done…send it out or quilt it yourself? You can free-motion your own quilt top, no fancy domestic or long-arm machine needed! You CAN do it all yourself – it just takes some practice! From thread choice, basic supplies, setting up your machine, to learning basic FMQ patterns, you will learn the happy sounds of your machine as you practice five basic patterns on a fat-quarter sandwich: straight lines (without a ruler or sewing foot), various size stipples, pebbles, and a leaf/vine shape.

You supply:

sewing machine in working order, ability to lower feed dogs, instruction manual

free-motion (or darning) foot

#80 or 90 machine needles

a selection of threads, from “old and cheap” to “fancy and expensive”

low-loft cotton batting in fat quarter size

4 fat quarters, one for the top and one for the bottom of two quilt sandwiches (not  fancy fabrics, just for practice, and muslin is fine)

scissors

scrap paper and pencil or pen

marking tools (fabric marker or chalk)

optional: finished quilt top for design ideas

optional: a machine extension table

 

Moving Ahead with Your FMQ Skills – Creating a Whole Cloth Quilt

8 hours, $80.00 (1 hour break for lunch)

The sewing machine is working, and you’ve started stippling away on your quilt top, but you’re getting bored. Now is the time for new free motion quilting patterns. Yes – you can do feathers…and spirals…and gridded patterns…and leaves and grapes…and cathedral windows. Once you’ve practiced these now patterns, you will create a small whole cloth quilt, showcasing your skills. Experiment with bobbin work, and create a stencil of your own.

You supply:

sewing machine in working order, ability to lower feed dogs

free-motion (or darning) foot

#80 or 90 machine needles

a selection of threads, from “old and cheap” to “fancy and expensive”

low-loft cotton batting in fat quarter size

4 fat quarters, one for the top and one for the bottom of two quilt sandwiches (not fancy fabrics, just for practice, and muslin is fine)

scissors, mat, rotary cutter, and ruler

scrap paper and pencil or pen

marking tools

a “top” for your whole cloth quilt, at least FQ size, but larger if you desire; choose a fabric that can add texture to your design but not overwhelm it

batting and backing for your whole quilt

optional: a machine extension table

 

Out of Asia – Next Challenge from Art Quilts Around the World

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I belong to the online group Art Quilts Around the World, and we have just posted our last challenge, Out of Asia. My piece came out really well, and we pick it up from the framer tomorrow. It just had to be stretched and matted, and if it comes out like we think, it will be spectacular. Here’s the story behind “Ode to Hokusai: DragonFlight.”

This was an interesting challenge. I knew the fabric I wanted to use almost immediately the topic was announced. This was a piece of cotton lame’ that we marbled about 10 years ago. It read Asian to me as soon as I rinsed it out, and it went into the “save” pile for some time in the future for when I could figure out what to do with it. I have done a couple of pieces of cotton lame’, one  of which is on the website – green cotton lame’ called Rainforest. I wanted to do more, because of the properties of lame’, but is seems in the last ten years that formulas have changed, and there seem to be a lot more additives to the fabric. My last attempt at lame’ didn’t work well at all……

So this is the piece that sat on the design wall for six weeks.

 I knew I couldn’t cut it, even though it is slightly smaller on one side and larger on the other from our group sizes. I just couldn’t cut it………so I figured I would just quilt the lines to accent the wave, reminiscent of “The Great Wave” by Hokusai – one of those pieces of artwork I easily recognize every time I see it. It’s almost like I planned that wave, when the whole piece really was an experimentation with a different comb (literally, a small hair comb for teasing the hair).

So I started on the center section, figuring I wold just accent the lines of that wave. Normally I would have pulled out black silk thread, since I really just wanted texture, but the dark green (Silk Kimono by Superior) kept calling my name. It is so subtle, but what it did was soften the black in the design – which I liked. Who knew? And with the light on it – it’s perfect.

I loved it when it was done – so much of a great wave, you could almost match it up with the master! So I kept looking at it and pondering where I would go from there……how much more would get quilted?

Serendipity struck, in the form of hubby the other marbling artist…who took one look and said, “I thought you were doing a wave? This is an amazing dragon. ” From then on the dragon was the overall image I saw every time I looked at the piece, so I just had to listen and figure out the next steps.

There is some very light blue within the colors, so I chose a blue silk Kimono thread to accent the blue, sort of like glistening dragon wings (too much Anne McCaffrey and Pern….). Then I wanted to do more quilting in the background to accent the idea of flight, so I went with a pale orange silk Kimono, just for wind and/or wave ripples. I ripped out a few lines because it just seemed like too much. Finally I just said “done,” because it seemed to have everything it needed. It is at Michaels right now getting stretched on foam core and a 2-inch black mat, as it said “I want to be framed.”

Above all, I listen…..

You can see other fabulous pieces here.

Screen Shot 2013-06-08 at 4.44.53 PM

 

 

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