Sunday, August 17, 2014

Splashed Dots: A New Design in Textile

This past week was full of textile art and turkeys. Yes I did say turkeys.
Cherry Quilted Mat by me, Eileen Gidman
new at Creston Card and Stationery for Art Walk
The beautiful cherry mug is by Pridham Studios. Click here for their site.
Off to a new it's new home in Calgary.

Eileen Gidman's Art Walk Display
at Creston Card and Stationery
See it at it's new location in the store (right in front as you walk in)!

14 new Textile Cards: dyed, stitched and ready for sale at Creston Card and Stationery.
 What do you think of my newest design? I am thinking of a whole range of splashed colours with whimsically stitched flowers.

My newest design. Splashed dots with whimsical stitched flowers.

Each card in the series will be it's own unique piece of art work that is suitable to give as a gift card or for framing.

My favorite.

Here is what else is happening in my world this week. These two turkeys have been diligently raising these chicks all summer. It's hard to believe they are nearly the size of chickens now.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Fish in Textile

How do you tackle a commissioned piece? The following is a description for creating a commissioned 'mini quilt' / 'beer mug rug'.

Things that are relevant for this commission:
1) include a trout as the free motion stitched image
2) the person it is being given to likes blues, greens and orange
3) this art piece is to be a reminder of his summer fishing on Kootenay lake

I found it helpful to first practice sketching several different fish profiles on paper. Having knowledge of the shape you are sewing really does help in avoiding stitches where you don't want them.

Textile Art by Eileen Gidman
'Autumn Waters of Kootenay Lake'

Sew and flip method: After sewing the first strip onto the textile art, turning and pressing, I am marking a line that I want the next strip to abut to. This keeps the strips perpendicular.

Be CAREFUL when trimming off the excess fabric to not clip into the backing fabric.

My friend Lorraine just made this thread catcher for me and I can not believe how MUCH TIME IT SAVES in not having to bend down each time searching for the trash bin on the floor. Thank you Lorraine+++.

The first three strips are sewn on and I know I want the last two strips in the end position so I am auditioning fabrics for in between. Trying two different blues here.

Remember the darks. This darker strip makes the printed strip stand out more.

Although I already selected what I thought would be the binding fabric before starting, so I could put a center strip of the same fabric down between the fish picture and the pieced strips, I still decided to try different fabrics to make sure the choice was right.

I narrowed the binding strip down to two choices. The complement of the this blue binding strip is the golden colour. There is a lot of the golden colour in this piece so I think the blue would be a good choice of binding.

My original choice with it's complementary red-orange. This also looks good with a bit more attention being drawn to the red. What cinches my choice is the pattern of the binding piece. It adds extra textural interest and it looks professional as it matches the center strip. Even though I go with my original choice, it doesn't hurt to have a second look.

A 2 1/4" full width strip of binding material is folded in half and pressed. Yes I know some people don't press here but I find it easier on these smaller quilted projects.

Sewing the binding onto the perimeter, mitering the corners and stopping where I started sewing on the binding.

The 'mini quilt' is folded in half, wrong sides together and the ends of the binding are joined. Hint: Sew really close but avoid catching any fabric between the binding.

Turn the binding to the back and pin in place from the front. I leave pinning the corners until the end. Miter them at the back and pin in place for top stitching.

Top stitch with coordinating thread.

OOPS, I forgot to include the label. A little 'unsewing' to do.

'Cool Waters of Kootenay Lake'
Textile Art by Eileen Gidman
Another choice for the commissioned 'mug rug'.

This sample was glued to a 8 1/2" X 11" folded piece of cardstock to create a card. I use a good quality glue stick otherwise the paper can buckle.
 If you have any additional hints about how you tackle a textile art commission feel free to leave a comment or a photo link. Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Watercolour Tutorial: Berries

Do you know the blog '...And Then We Set It On Fire'? You've got to love that title. I am honored to have two photos of my fabric shown on today's post. Click here  to see samples of depicting texture on fabric.
Watercolour Painting: Arrow Creek Saskatoon Berries
by Eileen Gidman
Today I thought I would go into a little more detail with my second attempt at painting Saskatoon berries this year. This session, painted in the studio, was a little more controlled than when I painted the Saskatoon berries on location which you can look at here .

On a walk with my Border Collie, I collected one sprig of Saskatoon berries. Later in the studio I sketched it onto 140 lb cold press, Arches watercolor paper using a light F pencil. I turned the branch twice more and created a composition across the page. When I was satisfied with the sketch, using a pigma .05 black pen I went over the graphite lines with different pressures to create a variety of lines for interest.
A few light washes of colour.
Using a colour tool, I selected the colour scheme for the painting: a string of harmonious colours from blue-purple to a purple-red with a complementary chartreuse.
The background was washed in with a graduated wash going from light on the bottom to darker at the top using  a variety of purples. After that was dry, details were added to the background using a light purple mix applied with a round brush.
Additional layers were added in the background including painting around some leaf shapes (negative painting). To draw your eye through the painting, the colour of certain berries were deepened. Am I satisfied? Another watercolourist once said to me, "It is good to exaggerate your center of interest" so for the next berry picture, I would like to try enlarging the berries.
Just for fun, I have included two photos of textile pieces I have done. One uses the same colour scheme as I did with the saskatoons, and the other just the reverse with the harmonious string of colours in green and the complementary one colour in the purple.
Hand dye painted textile by Eileen Gidman

Hand dye painted textile by Eileen Gidman

Thursday, August 7, 2014

A Newly Painted Wall for Patty's Wall Hanging

A project that is carefully thought out and takes time to create can be worth waiting for. Several years ago I asked Patty if she would like to design and create a quilted piece using a piece of my hand (dye) painted fabric. Thankfully she agreed.
Patty had it on her design wall for sometime thinking about what she wanted to create. After some consultation with another talented quilter Cheryl, Patty came up with a design which she used to complete this wall hanging. But the story doesn't end there. Soon after, Patty moved and while she was painting her new home, she painted a wall to accommodate this extraordinary wall hanging. I am so thankful she sent me this photo which I was sure others would like to see. 
If you would like to enter into this type of project with me, send me an email at I would love to hear from you!
'Prickly Pear Cactus' Wall Hanging completed by Patty Bowers
including hand dye painted fabric by myself, Eileen Gidman
Patty Bowers with partially completed wall hanging

Close up of partially completed wall hanging

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Art Walk 2014

Mike Poznikoff of Creston Card and Stationery in front of his store.
This is my venue for Art Walk 2014 in Creston, BC for July and Aug. Thank you Mike for supporting the local artists!  Greeting cards by local artists are also available at the store.

'Grapes': Textile Art; painted by Eileen Gidman
Sample of my art work available at Creston Card and Stationery for Art Walk July & Aug 2014

Display panel for Art Walk. It is located right beside the checkout counter. My art work includes watercolour paintings, artisan pillows, mug rugs and hand painted fabric squares for framing or sewing. If you are in Creston in Aug come and check it out.

Need a present? Like something unique and locally made? These one of a kind textile art 'mug rugs' have been popular this summer. Women and men alike seem to appreciate them. Customers have told me they use them not only for a coffee cup but also a wine glass, reading glasses, cell phones and TV remotes. They are washable and keep in mind, they are easily mailed. Available at Creston Card and Stationery, this month only for $25.
Watercolour Paintings by Eileen Gidman. These are featuring birds and botanicals.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Stitching onto Splashed Dots

Stitching onto dye painted fabric. Note these samples came from the created fabric that was shown in the last post.
Here is what I did with one of the 'splashed' piece of fabric I created. In case you try this dye technique yourself after splattering on dots of dye from a paint brush, I added some brush strokes of dye to the bottom. But most importantly I think, I enlarged some of the dots with brush strokes to create a compositional flow to each piece. This will be edged with a black stitched border for a textile card.

This is my first time adding only one piece of fabric to the painted fabric rather than piecing it. I love the modern look of the black and white fabric. Here is the 'mini quilt' alias 'mug rug' with a turquoise border.

Here is another 'Blueberry' mug rug with a black print border.

This 'Blueberry' mug rug is off to it's new home. Note the pieced quilt as you go side piece.
 Which style of 'Blueberry' mug rug do you like best?

I was thrilled to see one of the 'light house' panels I created for Quilt Canada 2012, (Halifax) being sewn and hand quilted into an amazing wall hanging by Lesley from Cape Breton Island. Check it out at 'The Cuddle Quilters' blog here . Wonderful Lesley!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Painting with Dye Concentrates

If you work with dyes, you know to keep your dye concentrates in the fridge. I have read that they start to lose their strength after about 5 weeks and as mine were in the fridge even a bit over that, I knew I needed to use them up. I had some fabric already pre soda soaked. I didn't have any sodium alginate thickener or urea water made up so thought I would simply paint with the dye concentrates.  The fabric was divided into 4 so they were manageable at about 30 X 36 inches. As I use 4 1/2" X 6 1/2" motifs for my textile cards and also for making mug rugs, I marked off 7" and loosely painted within those strips. Sometimes I thought  the sky could be water so the blue in one strip would overlap into the next set.
Red! I was trying to make a red background around white flowers (lower left). This really didn't work as the red dye bled too much into the petals. Working with thin dyes is a challenge but I am keen to keep trying.
Painting cotton lawn fabric with dyes. This fabric will be cut into pieces for use in textile cards and quilted mug rugs.

Those spattered dots are going to be fun to work with.

The fruit is on in full swing here in the Creston valley so I tried some berry and fruit motifs: blueberries, cherries, apples, pears, apricots, grapes and plums. With each piece of fruit I tried to leave a highlight and darken one side. This lead to a lot of bleeding but I was anxious to see if I could later add enough details in black thread so that the viewer would be able to identify the fruit.
Blueberries and Cherries in strips. Painted with thin dyes.

Stay tuned to see how the fabric rinsed out and what I am doing with it. Just so you know I was pleased with the results. Remember without the sodium alginate thickener, the colours are more vibrant.