Archive for the ‘textiles’ Category

Visiting Some Textile Artists – TAFA!

The Textile and Fiber Art List is rapidly becoming the “go to” place online for glorious handmade textiles and fibers – from around the world! Feast you eyes on these members:

“I believe a work of art bears the stamp of individuality and the national bearing of its creator when it springs from inner self and is devoid of any pretensions. Being from India, a country with an extremely rich heritage of Art and Culture, I have always had a deep-rooted attachment to traditional art forms of India and owe some of my stylization to the captivating traditional patterns and the rich array of colors. Adapting to Western Styles and techniques, combining them with my lifelong fascination for ethnic arts around the world, have all been a melting pot for me to create a multicultural ‘canvas’. I got my BFA from the International University, Visva-Bharati at Shantiniketan in India founded by the poet, writer, painter, musician, educationist, philosopher, Nobel Laureate (Literature) Rabindranath Tagore. The education at this unique university, during my formative years as an artist, have had a profound influence on my life, mind and my creative abilities. In my everyday life, my escape, my retreat, is my creative power of Art. My work is indigenous to my inner self, and is a place of solitude, passion and contemplation for me. The final offering is the culmination of a series of wordless conversations between me and my artwork. The subject matter of my work is drawn from my own life experiences, trips, thoughts and surroundings. My art is like a journey for me through the passage of time honored techniques, traditions and influences in an endeavor to produce art for everyone to appreciate. I feel like my journey has just begun and I have a long way to go…” Boisali Biswas

“Botanical Colors is the online site for selling high quality, vibrant natural dyes and supplies. Natural dyes are the ancient textile colorants that were used by cultures all over the world before synthetic and petrochemical dyestuffs were developed in the mid-1800s. The colors are beautiful, rich and glowing and each color can be linked to a fascinating tale of discovery, ritual and use by different peoples throughout history. Every color in the natural dye palette has a story. Botanical Colors strives to offer the finest environmentally sound natural dyes for textiles, paper, wood and other natural materials. We have personally dyed thousands of pounds of fibers with natural dyes and continue to be excited and thrilled by the amazing beauty of these colorants. Every purchase of our natural dyes benefits a small producer or community and helps maintain a traditional way of life. Botanical Colors

“I am french, living in Marrakech since 2004 and I became an important wholesaler of carpets and rugs from Morocco ; I am specialized in the vintage berber rugs called boucherouite ( www.boucherouite.net) and the white carpets and wedding blankets ( BENI OUARAIN, AZILAL, HANDIRA ) ; I export all over the world to the trade and art galleries but also to private people.” Boucherouite Rag Rugs

“I’m an art quilter. My quilts are small to medium in size, perfect for interior decoration. I’m always interested in selling and exhibiting my works. I also have a few collections of bags, ornaments and textile jewelery. Yes, I’m open for commissions too.” Bozena Wojtaszek

Braid and Stitch

“Back in the 70′s, sewing was not really a lucrative venture then, and dress makers in Ghana really never made that much money which led me to focus more on schooling to become a Journalist. After moving to America I discovered that Art and creativity paid a lot here if you had the right market audience, but it actually took me a lot more years to follow my childhood dream. The current works on this website depict a lot of Africa. I love the vibrant colors of African fabrics and how they pop to the eye, most of my quilts tell a story, and a lot of my story’s represent my African heritage which I carry with me every where I go, I feel when a quilt does not tell a story no matter how simple it might be it really does not have value, since quilts of old were sentimental pieces. My quilts sing and dance a lot to the viewer, and have lots of character and dimension as well as a very unique look which are the differences my choices of fabric make. Beading and painting really accentuate my work. At Braid and Stitch we are open to make commissioned art quilts, specifically to fit a buyers description, dimensions and taste, no works are ever made the same in order to promote uniqueness in our work. In the near future there will be a wearable art line which will be in Ethnic vein.” Braid and Stitch

ENJOY!!

 

The Textile and Fiber Art List – More Goodies!

The Textile and Fiber Art List has been down for a while, with massive server problems. But now, it’s time for more eye candy to warm the rest of January!. Enjoy – be sure to visit these great artists!

“I am a professional artist passionate about making painted quilts. My painted quilts are a hybrid of the fine art techniques of painting and collage with the stitching techniques of quilting and embroidery. My painted quilts have been commissioned for hospitals, universities, corporate spaces and private homes throughout the United States. As a child I learned one true thing: making art made me happy. That is still true today. The solitary aspect of studio work is my daily meditation, and the problem solving that art making requires has kept me interested over the years. My aim is twofold; to create a beautiful work of art that will reconnect the viewer with the beauty of the natural world while referencing the tactile/textile memories to home, family, community and women’s work; the very essence of ‘quilt.'” Bernie Rowell

“I spent many years studying embroidery, textile art and calligraphy in the UK but it wasn’t until I came to the USA that I was enabled to really present my work to the public. Thankfully it was well received and this lead to me doing a lot of teaching throughout the USA and abroad. My inspiration comes from architecture, travel, colors, fabric literally anything that is out there can inspire me. My long term goal is to produce more work for exhibition. I am a mixed-media artist and have been widely published in many national and international magazines. I am the author of “Mixed Media Explorations”. I have made several appearances on PBS Television and have released several tutorial DVD’s.” Beryl Taylor

“I’ve made my living as an artist my entire life. After graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design with a major in ceramics, I founded a custom tile manufacturing business in Los Angeles. I ran it for 18 years, and sold it to move to New Mexico in 1994. Since my move to the high desert, I have gotten more involved in fiber art, and exhibit in shows nationally and internationally. I work with children in general art lessons on a regular basis, and also conduct workshops with adults. Spending nearly 20 years in the manufacturing business taught me to be inventive with the use of materials and processes. This is something that I continue to explore in my fiber work, combining many different woven and non woven materials to produce my visions. I have many sources of inspiration as well, from the colorful, rocky landscape in which I now live, to the fantastic and amazing world of scientific imagery. I am represented by Gallery 101 in Collinsville, Connecticut, USA.” Betty Busby

“My career has been centered around creativity. I have been a freelance copywriter in Houston for 35 years, but I have always drawn, sewn, and kept up a healthy craft addiction. With the recent downturn in all business comuunications, I have had time to concentrate on the visual part of my passion.I am drawn to natural subjects — plants, flowers, animals, insects — and my style has been described as modern and clean. Most recently I have been working with pen and ink drawings, due to an almost overwhelming addiction to screen printing. I absolutely love everything about the process — the smells, the textures, the mystique of it all. I do limited edition prints periodically, but the bulk of my time is spent creating what I call “domestic art.” Why can’t everything be beautiful? That is the question that originally led to the Beyond Her collection. As a lifelong artist and crafter, I found myself looking for high quality, everyday objects that were actually a pleasure to see and to use. I start with original art – watercolors in the early days, and now or pen-and-ink drawings – which I imprint onto various surfaces, primarily beautiful papers and heritage fabrics. Products include stationery and office products . . . napkins and dishtowels . . . pillows and mugs . . . tee shirts and scarves. The raw products are carefully chosen – I am always on the hunt for natural fabrics, good sizes, practical designs, great styling, sturdy construction, unique textures. We use small local shops for any outsourcing; most products are either imprinted or assembled by hand. The name? It comes from the passion that drives this small business. It truly is . . Beyond Her.”

“I am Dutch, but have been living in Brisbane, Australia with my family since March 2007. I started quilting in 2006, when I was expecting our third son. After a year of making quilts for my children I slowly moved into the ‘art quilt scene’. An online screen printing class in 2009 has heavily influenced my work, as has the fact that my oldest son joined a gymnastics club around the same time. My series of screen printed sports quilts is still not finished! My online shops are Blue Jacaranda, on Etsy and on MadeIt (Australian), where I sell my original designs hand printed on canvas, art cards and ACEOs. I also design and sell fabric on Spoonflower.” Blue Jacaranda

Enjoy these wonderful artists!

 

Even More from The Textile and Fiber Art List!

Oh, for an endless amount of money to spend on art! TAFA is like my own private store, and I WANT WANT WANT everything I see. Enjoy these new artists this week.

From Hana: “Weaving technology is the use of woolen thread on mesh canvas with the aid of a hook. The weaving in itself is accomplished in free flow on a direct path from the “picture in one’s mind” to the canvas, without a previously drawn sketch on paper or canvas. This type of work enables maximum spontaneity and allows for a free flow of mood and color within the framework of the subject on the one hand (desert landscape for example) but on the other hand, enables the carpet to evolve and “breathe” in the process of its creation. In addition to weaving wall carpets I also paint, mostly oil on canvas but I use other techniques as well. My paintings are strictly figurative and very different from my carpets. While the carpets essentially try to convey the mood of a landscape through the free and more abstract use of form and color the paintings are either portraits or still life scenes that emphasize the composition of the scene or the mood of the person in the portrait. The colors I use in the paintings are not as bright as those I use in the carpets and they have a more introvert and subdued nature.” Woolscapes

From Wil Opio Oguta :”Inspiration for the quilts I make comes from a variety of sources. It can be nature, an expression, a color or a material. For most of my quilts I use my own hand dyed fabric. My quilts can be very colorful or simply black and white. I work in a contemporary style, but have no objection at all to incorporating traditional blocks. Often I use raw edge appliqué, but don’t be surprised if I switch techniques for another quilt. I love working with fiber, but if the quilt wants/needs it, I add other materials to it. This can be bark, buttons, lutrador and paint. It all depends on what I feel is needed. For me, making art quilts is a way of expressing what I see, translating the world into fabric and fibers, emphasizing/focusing on what is important to me and to show you how I feel about it.” WilOpioOguta

From Kim Buchheit: “Kim is a designer and artist living and working in Grand Canyon National Park. Her love of felt is rooted in an affection for its understated beauty, a fondness for the old-world craft of felt-making, and the simple earth-and animal-friendly nature of the materials used in the process.” Wildly Woolly

From Wen Redmond: “I am quite passionate about my work. I continue to explore my chosen medium, fabric, to see what it can do, to stretch its perception as art medium. When I work, I encourage a collaborative process with spirit or my higher self, that mind-boggling principle of the universe. This process can also be called ‘flow’. When you are in this state of mind, the intuitive is tapped and the work can become more than the sum of it’s parts. I work out insights, inspirations, feelings and reactions to the outer world. Allowing time for these inspirations to percolate up from my unconscious is a vital part of my process. Each piece is wrought individually and is one of a kind. These include original photographs, artistically manipulated, printed on prepared fabrics and various textile substrates. The works can include painting, dying, stamping screen-printing, mono printing and other means of surface design. Among a variety of presentations, I created an innovative technique, Holographic Images, employing photographs on silk organza to create a unique 3-D effect. Layers peeled back reveal the source, the inspiration, and my mad desire to capture thoughts, dreams and the beauty of nature. ” Wen Redmond

From Salley Mavor: ” have had a life-long fascination with little things and needlework. Toward the end of art school, I rediscovered my childhood delight in sewing and creating miniature scenes. Leaving traditional illustration mediums behind, but still interested in narrative work, I taught myself stitching and fiber art techniques. For me, manipulating materials with my hands with a needle and thread was so much more satisfying than rendering with a pencil or brush. I found that I could communicate my ideas more clearly this way and that my hands would direct me in a compelling way. My early pieces were soft sculpture, and then turned flatter, with raised figures and objects on a fabric background. I came up with the term “fabric relief” in 1982 to better describe my evolving technique. My 3-dimentional pictures resemble miniature, shallow stage sets, with scenery, props and characters telling a story. I embroider, wrap, appliqué and paint different materials and found objects to create scenes in relief, with figures imposed on an embellished fabric background. My work is decorative and detailed, full of patterns from nature, all stitched by hand. For the past 20 years, I’ve been working in the field of illustration, making artwork which is then photographed and printed in children’s books. The original fabric relief pictures have a second life when they are mounted and framed under glass in shadow boxes, ready to display as individual pieces. ” Wee Folk Studio

Textile and Fiber Art List – Part 4 – More Eye Candy!

I am having so much fun looking through the profiles on The Textile and Fiber Art List. It is pretty amazing the collection of world-wide artists and the work everyone is doing. The wealth of talent is so worth spending time admiring the art.

“Independent textile artiste Ariane Mariane creates “fiber art to wear” in her French atelier near Paris. She makes outstanding and eco-friendly garments and accessories of high quality.
Each item is handmade mostly by nuno felting. Only the smoothest merino wool, finest fabrics (silk, linen, and cotton) and best fibers are employed.
Her joyful line of unique and one of a kind pieces are meant to dress unique, special and individual women – women for whom fashion is an art and a statement.” ArianeMariane

“I am a Canadian artist in Calgary, Alberta, working primarily with textiles. I’m curious, eccentric and just a little opinionated. Surrealist in thought, Fauvist at heart, eclectic, explorative and absurd, I use hand and machine techniques to illustrate idiosyncratic stories and integrate hand dyed and “found” fabrics in my work.I am learning to respectfully collect a history with stitch, incorporating meaningful text and a Slow Cloth philosophy, believing that personal expression is instinctual when you listen to yourself truthfully. I am fascinated by the workings of the human body, and the microscopic world, interpreting them in unconventional ways.” Arlee Barr

“I began to work with fibre in the 80’s (painted fabrics), and, when I was taught to crochet, toward the end of that decade. After a basic lesson in making chain looped crystal pouches, I taught myself,
thru learning other stitches, and made my first hat by accident. Friends and customers, at my weekly market stall of Hand Painted clothes, were soon requesting me to make them a similar hat. And so I became a Beaniologist be default……… I have since become a regular contributor at The Alice Springs Beanie Festival, in Central Australia every June, which is quite cold in our winter. Once a travelling nomad around this country, I am now making other fibre creations, more suitable to this sub-tropical region on the east coast of Australia, just south of Brisbane, Queensland. I would love to connect with folk in the Northern Hemisphere, where my thermal hats would be ideal. I am spending time needle felting landscapes onto evening stoles and other wearable or useable items. I am passionate about nature and live in a spectacular extinct volcanic caldera, where the views and weather inspire me to create.” ArtNomadix

“When I was 17 years old I discovered someone weaving on an inkle loom. Fascinated, I set out to learn this craft. The local library had a book which included plans for building a loom. My father helped me make one and off I went. Decades later, I am still weaving on inkle looms. Blogging gives me the opportunity to share my weaving adventures. Etsy is a great community of handcrafters and artists of all varieties and has been a wonderful outlet for selling my work and meeting other creative folks.” A Spinner Weaver

“In my past life I was an art quilter. Now I am a web and graphic designer that likes to be around other artists. I create unique, functional websites, custom designed and hand-built with clean XHTML, CSS and Flash. All my websites are fast-loading and search-engine friendly that impress visitors. Aside for web design I also specialize in graphic design for print creating company logo and identity packages, advertisements, book covers and layouts and brochures. I have had working experience in this field for four years. Visit my website to see my work.” Aynex Designs

Enjoy your perusing of all these talented folk!

 

TAFA – Textiles and Fibers, Oh My!

As we approach the holiday season, you owe it to yourself to check out the Textile and Fiber Art List – amazing, wonderful handmade items, perfect for gift giving. Most TAFA members have Etsy stores, and you can shop till you drop. You will be astonished at the collection of creativity here.

“I’m drawn to a few subjects in nature that I find perpetually intriguing by themselves and my voice is whispering a tribute to the incredible beauty in both the subtle and violent forces of nature, only touched by the hand of humans on rare occasions. I’m obsessively drawn to trees, rocks, all forms of water, and animals; I portray these subjects as if they were asking to me to reveal their messages to the world. My fiber pieces are dramatic portraits of Earth and I hope to draw the viewers into these scenes to share the exhilaration I feel and to cherish the wonders of the place we call home.” Angel Fire Designs

“I make contemporary art quilts that use color, fabric and the traditions of quiltmaking to create abstract landscapes of the prairies of the Midwest where I grew up, the hills of western Massachusetts where I now live and vistas of my imagination. Each quilt represents a different moment in time and space. Frequently I am exploring the concept of horizons–that place of the potential where the sky and the earth seem to meet. I am constantly pushing the designs of my quilts while maintaining a distinctive style and a simple technique.”  Ann Brauer

“After many years of teaching and advising students on campuses including Stanford and the Universities of Wisconsin and California, budget cuts left me without a classroom. Finally, I could focus full time on my inherent artistic interests – dyeing and weaving yarn.

Today I design and weave one-of-a-kind textiles using traditional looms, respecting and preserving an ancient form of art. I have four looms in my home studio and use only natural fibers: cotton, silk, tencel (fiber made from wood), bamboo and soy.

I have been teaching weaving at Women’s Wisdom Art, a program to help women heal through art, since early 2009. But, alas! the program is closing and going the way of many art programs these days. I had to find a home for the looms and did so at Craftology (http://craftologystore.com/class/weaving-beginner-intermediate/) where I will be able to continue teaching. My goal is to teach as many people as possible the joys of weaving!” Ann Robinson Textiles

“I have been working on several series for the past couple of years and have seen my work progress through the use of more than one medium in a piece. In many ways this has broadened my outlook and led me to new paths and different views. In the ‘Fossil Series’ I have combined textiles and encaustics which has offered me a whole new variety of textures and subtle form. To get the maximum benefit from this medium I use both the wax and the acrylic resin forms of encaustics. On the other hand, in the ‘Moon Shadow Series’ I have chosen a totally different approach. Here, I have combined needle felting and acrylics. The results are very different, but no less pleasing. It is exciting to be able to express myself in these two very different, mixed media approaches to art.” Anni Hunt

“My mother’s Slovenian culture was always an inspiration for me: embroidery, folk costume, woven carpets. After living with indigenous dot paintings I began to create narratives from buttons, which I call assemblies. Button work and woven tapestry are my two modes of self expression. In both, autonomy is important; colour, texture and luminosity are emphasised. During my 30 years of textile work I have been able to express my personal development, images of my family migration to Australia post World War Two, and most recently my consciousness of living on a planet with dwindling, threatened resources.” Anton Veentra Textiles

More next week! Take your time and explore. There is so much to see and learn about!

Amazing Visual Goodies from TAFA!

There is a really wonderful online gathering of artists involved in fiber – worldwide. It’s The Textile and Fiber Arts List – TAFA, for short. I am trying to get to know more of our 400-plus members, and I thought I would share what I’m learning with you, on a more regularly basis. There is such an amazing wealth of talent on this list, and I’m pleased to be a member. Please enjoy these profiles, and don’t hesitate to visit their websites and immerse yourselves in wonderful textile art.

“Always looking for something new and different. Doris Florig has now discovered the plant used for Indigo dye in the Caribbean and will now add this color to her next tapestry. She uses a combination of both natural and synethic dyes to get the exact color needed for each fiber work of art. She weaves day and night, none stop. Currently she is working on a 5′ x 5′ commission piece of the Wind River Range in Wyoming. At the same time she is preparing large body of work to be exhibited by the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative. She is accomplished creating both contemporary and traditional tapestries, fiber mobiles and sculptures. This summer she will be the guest artist at the National Wildlife Museum in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. She will be exhibiting her wildlife fiber sculptures and presenting and interactive demonstration. Doris loves to make connections through fiber art and would welcome your email comments and questions. ” 2dmagic

“We are predominently a textile, fibre, quilt, art school, plus other mediums like mixed media and altered books, etc. The aim of the school, is to not only share this beautiful region of Italy with students and tutors, but for you to participate in the unique Abruzzi culture.” Don’tcha just want to fly away? Abruzzo School of Creative Art.

“Affaires Nomades, is a textile brand that transcends cultures, stimulates dreams, and gives you a taste of the nomadic spirit. The inspiration of the “Fragments” collection comes from the nature, the space and the depth, which evokes a sense of travel in the daily life. I want a home that feels organic; it changes as the person who lives in it changes. ” Affaires Nomades

“Afghan Tribal Arts specializes in hand carved natural beads made from semi-precious stones (jade, carnelian, lapis lazuli, etc.). As stated above, we also carry textiles and other crafts, mostly vintage. We have worked hard at getting our Etsy shop stocked with samples of our inventory and will continue to grow the shop there. We also have a website which has examples of past products. As almost everything is one-of-a-kind, it’s a challenge to keep current inventory on the site. We have found that the Etsy shop is the best solution for this right now. I have a bead show route between Wisconsin and Florida and can have textiles on hand for those who are interested. But, as the travel and show costs increase, I would like to do less traveling. I am open to trunk shows and events so get in touch with me if you would like to set something up. Afghan Tribal Arts is basically a wholesale operation. We are selling our products on Etsy just above wholesale. We also have a gallery in South Carolina.” Afghan Tribal Arts

“I’ve been a textile artist for since I was 20. Quilting is my passion and I’ve taught internationally, written 2 books on landscape quilts and exhibited my quilts from Houston to Tokyo. My recent passion has been to develop a fair trade business importing textiles,beads,baskets and dolls from my homeland of South Africa. I’m focused on creating income for women in sewing and craft collectives. I love the work and being connected to Africa through this work.” African Threads

Crazy? Maybe Yes, Maybe No……

So.

Crossroads.

Had dinner last night with a really good friend to discover she had a rough week, nearly turned upside-down. And her former boss has medical problems (like being the 179th case of an artery problem since 1745). All of a sudden my depression didn’t seem that all important. And I left dinner feeling hugely better and came home to hit the machine for an hour, making good progress on a new small piece.

This was the culmination of about a week of wondering if my art quilt had made it into a fairly prestigious show. Antsy for the whole week, as I knew all the decisions had been made, and I was wondering why we hadn’t heard anything. I was trying to stay positive, as I believe if we send negative thoughts out into the universe, we will be repaid with negativity. Hard to do when I already was 0 for 2 in submitting work this year. I kept thinking “third time’s the charm.”

At 4 PM I had the email. Not good news. Very nice rejection letter – I’ve had loads of those over the years, especially in writing. The very first fiber show I entered I was accepted in, and I think had I been able to keep up creating work without having to worry about a teaching load, I would be in better shape as an artist, with many more shows on the resume. But that was not to be. I looked at the accepted list, and it seemed like it wasn’t the same-ole same-ole list of people who always make it into shows. That was encouraging, at least. Out of 128 entries, 20 were accepted.

Once I heard that, instead of feeling better, I think I got a little angry. Had I known that so few pieces were going to be accepted, I really don’t think I would have entered and saved the 40 bucks. The odds are definitely against you with those numbers.

The thing is, I do think this piece is exceptional. It’s unlike anything I’ve done so far, and it certainly met the theme – I felt it did. Your reaction to the stigma of mental illness. Have suffered from depression and needing drugs to help me through the last years of teaching, I know how the brain can react in stress situations. It’s nothing we can see, but it’s there. So I chose to look at mental illness from a single brain cell that is misfiring. I thought in the overall collection of pieces this would be one very organic “don’t forget the brain’s role in all this” statement.

And let’s face it, no one is working with marbled fabrics like I am. I think I was able to show with this piece that you can a textile that isn’t often used and manipulate it into a statement. It seems like “different” is what art quilt shows are looking for, and this piece was quilted to emphasize the message, not quilted just for the sake of showing off quilting skills (which is what one quilt show seemed like that I attended – and this January show wasn’t an “art quilt” show).

So now it’s a case of really thinking through what I want to focus on for the next couple of years, while I still have the vision (literally) to create pieces. While working toward a specific show and deadline works for me, especially when I have to really think through the creation of a piece from idea to finished product, maybe it isn’t where I need to be. Bottom line, I want our business to make some money. That means more online product and outlets. Smaller quilt pieces are selling in my Etsy store, so I need to create more of those (and three are right now in the works). And I want to continue to learn and take classes, which isn’t possible when I’m trying to meet a lot of deadlines. I want my work in galleries, and I want to be able to travel and do some teaching of marbling. I need to take the time and think through new possibilities.

Which means that karma and the universe may be showing me why the piece was rejected (and maybe not……).

Without further ado, here’s the quilt in its online debut. “Misfiring Synapses,” 17 x 21 inches, unpolished red satin, black satin, Superior Threads, batting, cotton backing.

PS – may just have lined up my first gallery……

Road 2 California – Part 1 – VENDORS!!!!!

Wow. Wow. Aisle upon aisle of vendors. Talk about hyperventilating……..so many things, so little time……so we make a plan. One row at a time, make a note of booths to come back to, after the rush of “I want” passes, and I still really do want that gadget. I like to collect cards of interesting things, so here are some goodies.

Little Windows – photo jewelry form resin. I like this better than what I saw at the gem show a year ago, with kind of yucky backings. These are much classier, and – for me – a good way to showcase some marbled fabric snippits.

Honey Run Quilters – not a lot really to the website, but they had some absolutely gorgeous cotton-silk colored fabrics that we were itching to marble. We’ll go back and visit them.

Kai Scissors – Jim was able to give me an exact recommendation for the scissors I needed – very small pointy ones for close clipping of threads – plus a very cool suggestion of using different fingers to get even closer to the fabric.

Stitch in Time – Thai textiles. Talk about drool – this stuff was amazing!!! And the trims……

Kasuri Dyeworks – oh my goodness, I could have fondled the silks there for hours. Each more gorgeous than the one I just looked at. They are working on getting a new website up and running, which will be wonderful. This was such beauty.

Dutch Quilter – Lennie Honcoop was working on a quilt as we stopped. She works with “hot ribbon.”  “Hot Ribbon Art is an iron-on, no sew, 1/8″ wide ribbon that can be used to finish the raw edges of appliqué. Imported from Japan, Hot Ribbon is gaining in popularity with quilters who like to finish off their projects quickly and have a dramatic look. Each package of Hot Ribbon contains 2 yards (four 18 inch strands).” (from the website). Plus, she uses  Copic markers to do shading on both the b=fabric and the ribbon. It was fascinating to watch this piece come together.

Superior Threads – by far my choice for thread – they really are “no ka oi.” (Hawaiian for “the best”) Got to talk to Mother Superior, Dr. Bob, Cindy Needham, Annie – all the people who have really changed how I quilt. I picked up their thread color cards, since I want to get more King Tut, and I really need to see the thread itself beyond a catalog picture. You can get these at their cost.

More next time!! Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter – see the button on the right – and enter to win free marbled fabric!!

Getting an Art Critique

  I am really fortunate to have a couple of good friends who can help me with a critique when I am working on a new piece. Sometimes the piece flows, and sometimes I’m blocked in making decisions and moving ahead. It is made more complicated by the fact that I am trying to use our marbled fabrics to create unique art pieces. In surfing the web on a regular basis, I don’t see anyone else doing what I’m attempting to do with marbled fabric in the art quilt movement.

There are a lot of things to consider in developing these pieces of fiber art. Are my sewing skills strong enough? Are my quilting skills advanced enough? Does the fabric speak to us? Can the design tell an interesting story? Can I work with the principles of design?

In looking at all these questions, there are two that I am the weakest in, and this is where my group of friends can really help. Quilting skills and design principles.

Momcat is my first voice. She is a digital artist in her own right, and a self-taught expert in Greek pottery, among all the other skills in being a Renaissance woman. Suzan is my overall digital partner and a superb, published quilter and designer in her own right. Karin is a water color artist with a very strong sense of color and overall design organization. Hubby is the marbler and can see things in the designs that the rest of us miss.

I am at a point in this new piece where I needed advice. Which way should the piece hang, for one – vertical or horizontal. Usually that’s one of the last questions for me, because by the time I’m done, the piece has usually told me what it wants. With this piece, I need to decide this now, as I will need to work on the shading with a light source from the “northwest,” which is how scientific illustration is done. I was leaning in one way, and my group confirmed that. They pointed out that I already had a lot of the “shadows” developing on their own from the new orientation.

The second was size and pattern. I am fine with all the quilting on half of the piece, but the other half seems naked of color and looks like it would require some serious thread work that wouldn’t necessarily add to the overall effect. I had been thinking about potentially cutting away half of the piece. We looked at that possibility, and once we folded back some of the fabric (which had never occurred to me), we knew it needed to be tall and narrow, not wide and thick.

Now, Momcat had sent me some of her photos of rocks and lichen that Dali had painted, and I LOVED the lichen. I was initially thinking of marbling some very small silk flowers and then attaching them with some thread painting. The group didn’t like that idea – felt they were not “tough” enough for the texture of lichen. Momcat disappeared, only to come back with a small vial of green stuff that she proceeded to spread on the one or two rocks that are already green. Perfect! Upon closer look – they are very fine chopped-up pieces of old money from the Denver Mint. Who knew? I guess now this is a “mixed media” piece…..We are also thinking about using some coconut Husk or actual moss from a pet store – need to think that through.

Next question: facing vs. binding vs. frame. How do I want to finish this? I don’t see a basic binding. We talked about fabric as an inner mat and as a frame. We looked at serging the edges – which I have done with pieces in the past, much to one gallery owner’s chagrin – “wasn’t finished properly” was her verdict. But I always let the piece tell me what it wants. I am thinking this piece is telling me it doesn’t want anything more to constrain it beyond a facing that wraps to the back.

The final discussion revolved around light, medium, and dark. I know if I were to take a picture of this and turn it to black and white, everything would pretty much be medium values. I know it needs more dark, so I need to think through how to do that with thread…..or moss…..or coconut husk…..or…….actual small stones…….

I left energized, ready to complete the piece. Amazing how being with a great group of like-minded visual people can  make a difference!

Work in Progress Wednesday

If you remember last week, I was about finished with my little autumn quilt/table runner. You can see the process here. I finished it this weekend, and today we marbled a piece for the winter piece. “Marbled Seasons” will shortly be available as a kit – all the seasons, or just one of them. I am writing the pattern now, and by the end of December should have all the quilts completed. They would also work as table runners. So here it is….

There are plenty of variations in this pattern. “Autumn Marbles” will have hand-marbled silk leaves in the kit, as well as directions for the “windy” free motion quilting. There is enough marbled fabric to add another set of log cabin blocks to make the quilt a little longer. The strips in this block all start out at one inch. the two different browns in this, as well as the backing, were from my stash, so you can “shop” at home for extra fabric.

I have started my next major art piece, from a piece of fabric we marbled over ten years ago. It’s time to do something with it. Here you see the marbled unpolished satin with its backing. I was auditioning threads.

The piece itself looks very flat and pretty uninteresting. It will be a challenge of my new skills to make this do what my mind wants.

This piece is a little over 18 inches by 54 inches. We did it when we still worked in the big tray. The additional years make it very difficult for us to work longer hours and do larger pieces of fabric. So I am hoarding those pieces I still have.

A closeup showing some very interesting veining within the piece. That needs to become a focus point.

I have started the basic “first level” quilting. All the stones are getting outlines. Already a lot more interest.  Those two upper right beige ovals have been taken out, requilted, and lay a whole lot flatter.  And, you won’t see more pictures until finished and entered……..

Top Ten Tuesday

 

Under the category of food art comes these really interesting images, found on the Cool Hunting site. Caren Alpert goes through a lot of prep to get these amazing photos. The one below is a pineapple leaf……

From Cool Hunting is a look at an eclectic furniture collection form a hotel in San Francisco. Some pretty cool stuff – but I’m not sure I’d sit in it!

Under the category of “Remember When” comes some “pre-internet” reminders……(are we really that old?)……..from The Best article Every Day. (This is in honor of Sheldon of BBT)…..


A very cool tutorial on making initials….color, glitter, easy instructions. From Lisa Engelbrecht.

If you are not a Twilight fan (don’t even get me started on lack of correct punctuation….) you will appreciate the poster from Mad Magazine…Breaking Wind, Fart 1. I don’t want to spoil it by putting it here……

From The Best Article Every Day comes a little bonus piece at the end….

I can’t find really good attribution, (I think chromestory.com), but I SO LOVE Explorer – kind of sums up what I, as a MAC person, think of IE.

And from The Best Article Every Day comes the “origin” of Angry Birds…..since I got hooked earlier this fall, I found this really funny….it’s the bonus piece at the end of protecting your Facebook account (which is also interesting….).

A new site discovered from Kathy NidaThat is Priceless. Art – with captions….how did I miss this all this time?

Admiring Herman Cain's "Thanks for not coming forward" Bouquet

And thanks to Kathy, again, for The Bitchy Stitcher. I LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. sarcasm. I am fairly fluent in the language, and I am always practicing in order to hone my skills. I practice often with my sarcasm twin Michelle.

And…another wonderful new blog, courtesy of Kathy – great rant on IQF!

Great week behind me, another great one to come! Life is AWESOME!


 

Wednesday Work in Progress

Yay! Three of the eight table runners are complete and at their new home, in time for the holiday festivities for which they were made. There are five smaller ones still to be done, but they should be finished by the beginning of June. I learned a lot doing these, and I have a few ideas for keeping them straighter during quilting when I get to the smaller ones. But that’s after a few more current projects.

I put the first one on the main table, and then we arranged the other two around them. The visual appeal of the three is really stunning – I was quite amazed. Betty, my second mom, cut them all out in the winter of 1991 when she was in Vermont. They have lain dormant in a box since then. I first attacked the project last fall and completed the first sample block in January. It’s only been since May that I have really worked on the project.

Now I have a deer quilt to finish for our bedroom, and then on to my first major art piece, with a deadline in mid-February. I am taking pics of the whole process, in preparation for writing an article about the process. I have a list on the wall of the studio with all the projects – unfinished and “to be made” – I want to work on. It did feel good to cross off the first three table runners today!

Each block is a white design, some original Hawaiian patterns and some that are unique designs by Betty. Once we started thinking about layout, we decided black and white would be very dramatic. Each block is done in color for the satin stitch. I wanted to have some subtle color to the overall effect.

Each block is attached to another with a small divider, which has been free-motion quilted. It helps to set off the design even further.

To stay in the spirit of Hawaiian applique, since the family was stationed in Hawaii for a number of years, I echo-quilted each block with two rounds of stitching. This accented the design, as well as anchored the runner together so nothing would slip and slide.

Another 20 blocks await!

Top Ten Tuesday – Eye Candy from Houston

Someday I’ll get to the Houston Festival again, but in the meantime, I can live vicariously through blogs! Here’s some great eye candy, plus a few other goodies….and Jack Nicholson……

From Frieda Anderson comes a look at some spectacular quilts from The International Quilt Festival in Houston.

Autumn Beauty by Barbara Shapel

Gloria Hansen– first place!!

Refracted Lily - Gloria Hansen

From the folks at C&T Publishing comes a wrap of market with some vendors that look so wonderful!

From Susan Brubaker Knapp comes another look at Houston Market.

A cool discovery on YouTube…I’m not one for music videos, but this reminds me of something the kids on Glee would have done. From Panic At The Disco comes “Ready to Go.”

From JPG Magazine comes pics from their latest – “Smokin'”. As usual, great stuff!!

Space Flower by Greg Byer

From Mad Magazine comes a very different offering – a look at a USO tour. From someone who ALWAYS watched Bob Hope, this article gives good insight to life overseas serving our country.

And also from Mad comes a send-up of the Family Circus….great cartoons by Bill Spleen…..

From The Best Article Every Day comes great ways to maintain your learning. As someone who will probably never stop taking classes, there’s some great stuff here to explore.

And now this….is really wrong – and oh so funny……suppose The Shining had been a romantic comedy…….someone with waaayyyy too much time on their hands……

On the Road Again….

Well, it has been at least 10 years since we did any kind of demonstration of marbling on fabric.  Full-time teaching and the need for two of us really limited our ability to get out and work with guilds. Thanks to a faithful reader (hi, Kay!!), we were booked to do a presentation to the Sunflower quilters guild on the northwest of Tucson. I was especially excited because….it’s a school day and I was doing this DURING THE DAY….love it!

We’ve been planning for this for a couple of weeks. At one point we figured it was going to be at least two trips to the car, but with careful packing, it was only one for the trip across town.

The only thing not on this stack is the crate of quilts and a green grocery bag with fabric. We pack really well.

Kay had samples of fat quarters to build interest for our demo, and the ladies were wonderful. Hubby and I work really well off each other, and his humor comes out. We spent two hours, showing the marbling process, letting people marble fabrics, and showing a progression of quilts. I’ve found, since we started marbling, that too often people say, “what will you use it for?” or “what will you do with it?” To answer those questions, I always pack lots of quilts (both art quilts and more traditional ones) so that folks can see so many uses for the fabrics. Plus, it’s always fun for us to see where we’ve come as artists….and we love hearing all the “oooo’s”!

The crate of quilts, many of which are not available on the website or in the blog, because they are process quilts.

We had a great set-up in the recreation room.

What I discovered with this layout is that as Dean demonstrated some of the patterns , I held up the fat quarter with the particular pattern on it, and that way people got a much better look at a larger example.

Having eye candy is always a great idea….

Works in progress.

Some really high-tech supplies – left-over hospital pans for the rinse process.

What next? Well, we are going to start contacting local guilds in Arizona for demos, as we have all the handouts and  such prepared. At lunch we decided on a plan for a sampler so we can begin offering marbling classes at quilt shops. And…I’m going to start contacting friends around the country to see if we can “book” a couple of demos during the summer travel months. I’ll get information up on the blog and website as I get it finalized. You can always email us for more information.

A great day was had by all!

Introducing….Holiday Gift Baskets!

Well, actually….they’re fabric bowls, but somehow “introducing fabric bowls” doesn’t have the same ring. So this has got all the goodies of a holiday basket, but it comes in a fabric bowl that you can use throughout the year, rather than trying to figure out what to do with another straw basket. Which I must admit I thought was waaayyyy better.

Here she is! This holiday treat starts with a hand-crafted fabric bowl, in a subdued color that makes the bowl perfect for year-round use. Then it’s filled with goodies from the marbling tray: a fat quarter (18 by 22 inches) of 100% hand-marbled cotton; 4 pieces of hand-marbled Offray ribbon, in assorted sizes and width, all 18 inches in length; a 10% off coupon for our Etsy store (fabrics and small art quilts and table runners); coupons from other artists with offers for their websites; a Smapler Package of eight 6 by 9 inch hand-marbled pieces; a selection of hand-marbled silk leaves and flowers, perfect for embellishments; a set of four Digital Marbling (TN) note cards; and…a small mystery gift.

I want the fabric bowls to be in a rather subdued set of colors, as I want them to 1) fit just about any decor, and 2) be useful all year round. A “red” bowl tends to limit use. The actual bowl in this package is a nice mellow green.

The “basket” comes wrapped in plastic and fits in a priority box, surrounded by shipping peanuts. You can have it sent to yourself, o4 let us know the address and we will ship it.


This is a $50 retail value, special available for the holidays for $35.00. Want one? Head to our Etsy store and buy the one there. We’ll add additional ones as they sell, so you can see exactly what you will be getting for colors and fabrics.

These have been really fun to put together, especially choosing fabrics for the bowls. And if you haven’t tried making these fabric bowls, they are incredibly soothing….wrapping fabric while you’re watching television, or in the car, or waiting in the doctor’s office…..There are a couple of good books available if your LQS doesn’t offer a class:

We are affiliates for Amazon, so if you order through our blog, we do receive a commission (keeping the FTC happy….).

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