Sunday, February 24, 2013

Portraits Project: Reflective Light in Pink Stitching

Adding reflected light with Pink Stitching
Free-motion Stitching in my Studio
I've started adding stitching to this hand (dye) painted piece for the Textile Self-Portrait Show, at the Langham Gallery, in Kaslo, B.C. this summer. As I didn't want the hanging to be too puffy, I used flannelet as the batting. The details are being added with free motion stitching which I am doing on my trusty mechanical Bernia sewing machine. Did you see the pink reflection onto the stump wood done in stitching?
For the portrait show I wanted to show myself on one of the beautiful hikes of the Kootenays. This piece as well as showing me as a hiker, is very much about this bright pink kerchief as it is a complementary colour to all the yellow green used in this piece. The blues and other greens in the rest of the textile painting are also on the same side of the colour wheel as the yellow green. Therefore, I am introducing small amounts of pink elsewhere in the piece as accents.
The details are not all decided yet but currently I am looking for some black/grey, sparkly tulle for the granite rocks of the foreground. I am open to suggestions especially about the border.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Painting Poppy Pods with Dyes

Eight 6 1/2" squares sketched with black dye

The same squares painted with thickened dye
Here I am experimenting with an image I see throughout my garden year after year. Over 20 years ago, my friend Diane, from Edmonton, AB gave me some seeds for some poppies that reseed themselves year after year. Although they move themselves around in the garden, I am careful to always leave a few to go to seed each fall.
For these textile squares, I first drew in the poppies with thickened black dye that I apply using a small bottle with a nib. After allowing it to dry a bit, I painted four sets of the 6 1/2" squares in coordinating colours. I am particularly pleased with set 3 where I used the reverse colouring for the poppy pods.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Quilting Group Challenge: Traditional Piecing

Number 3 post of this challenge: Our quilt group was given one fat quarter of challenge fabric based on the colour of our birthstone. This is what members created with tradtional piecing.
S's Pinwheels.

Blue's surround the birthstone challenge fabric.

A of running out of the blue challenge fabric resulted in the addition of adding some blues which made the piece even that much more attractive.

J's narrow sashing was eye catching.
H loves mauve. Great colors.

E's oriental lantern.

J's contained a stitched flower for her sister's birthday.

C always creates wonderful pieces after taking workshops such as with this lovely piece.

W saw this pattern only last month and has recreated it with her own flare.

M added birthstone fabrics for others in her family.

S's paper pieced tiny log cabin squares.
S managed to creat 2 wall hangings.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Quilt Group Challenge Projects: Pictorial Pieces

Post number 2 with more pictures from the Y. Quilters Group Challenge.
Here are the pictoral quilted pieces comprised of squares and wall hangings from our Quilt Groups Challenge. We were all given a fat quarter of our birthstone color.
When a member asked S if the bow was shiny, she said yes and remember not to iron over it!

J, is making a whole set of these international doll squares.

N said she was inspired with her embellishments by a guest speaker we had - Sandy

Feb is S's birthday month so she made her own cake.

F tried many different techniques, including adding wire for a 3 dimensional butterfly. There's even a frog in that pond.

B made a birthday card for her two daughters. The dresses have beading embellishments

F read a poem about her piece.

This one is mine and I surrounded one of my hand (dye) painted textile art pieces with dimensional flying geese. Free motion stitching, thread painting and beading embellished the piece.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Quilt Group: Challenge Projects

Lots of anticipation was building at our weekly quilting group meetings over the last few weeks as the due date for our quilt groups' challenge grew near. We laughed to see only half the members' hands were raised a couple of weeks ago when our president asked us if we had the project completed. From the many projects shown today, some members work best under pressure.
The challenge was presented to us by our president, one year ago, when she gave each participating member a fat square of fabric in the colour of our birthstone. We were to create any quilted piece we wanted, with some of this fabric to be included in it.
The projects ranged from traditional quilts, to wearable art, to pictorial depictions. So fun to see each person's personality in their work. In this post I will include photos of the wearable art we saw today and I will include the other quilt member's creations in following posts. Thanks group member's for allowing me to photograph your work. Your quilted pieces are inspirational for me and now they can be for others too.
This jacket fit C perfectly.
Wow, beauuutiful.

B made 2 projects but she said  "the first one was ugly". Of course we wanted to see it. At least we got to see this lovely jacket.
J is giving this jacket to our club to sell. Very generous J.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Western Tanager

Watercolour: 'Western Tanager with Orange'
11 X 15" $235.
Thanks Patty for sharing your bird photos! Even though my friend Patty lives in Oregon and I live in the Kootenays of British Columbia, many of the same birds frequent both our areas. Usually, I see the western tanager in  coniferous forests but one time in some cottonwood trees, near some wetlands, I watched as a tanager bothered a bald eagle until it finally moved on. I can only think it was near it's nest. Quite something to see such a small bird swooping in on the large eagle.
I chose a harmonious colour scheme with red, orange and yellow. The background was originally totally grey with a purplish hue. I had thought it would be a good complement to the yellow however, it was too much looking loud and garish. I toned the background down with two light coats of transparent yellow. I knew I was risking the background becoming muddy placing one complement over the other but what made it easier to try was I tested it using a sheet of paintable acetate.
You can find this wet media film by Dura-lar at Dick Blick's Art Store I tried a yellow glaze as well as trying a warmer grey glaze. The yellow was definitely the right choice therefore I was more confident to do the actual glazing on my painting.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Painting with Dyes in the Studio

Long Strip Being Painted for Textile Cards
I got panicked about spring coming and thought I better take some time off dyeing pieces for Quilt Canada (Penticton, BC in May) to work on some textile cards. These are popular with tourists and locals looking for a little something special in a card. They are available at Creston Card and Stationery as well as on my website
After curing and rinsing, this strip will be cut into 6 1/2 X 4" pieces, ironed onto heavy interfacing, details in stitching may be added and then they will be glued to a card front. They are frameable or may be removed from the card to include sewn projects.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Learning from Students

'Field of Daisies'
Dye Painting 6 1/2" Square

Square for Re-dyeing

'Free Daisies'
Companion 6 1/2" Square
Did I ever learn something this week about dyeing! One of my student's Eleanor kept painting over and over her piece in class. Last month she sent me photos of the completed pieces. They were rich in colour. Normally one layer of thickened dye is painted, the piece is cured in plastic and then rinsed. Darks are the most challenging to get to maintain their original colour after rinsing. Heat and moisture are important, however sometimes I would have to re-soda soak fabrics that had washed out too light and then re-paint another layer.
I began experimenting. Question: Would there be enough activator (soda ash) after the first initial painting to repaint a second layer and have it activate? Note in the top photo, I painted two layers prior to rinsing and in the second photo I did not. Therefore, the answer is yes there is enough activator to allow the dye to adhere to the fabric in the second layer of painting.
Although it is time consuming to paint another layer of the darks before rinsing the fabric the first time, I think it will be worth it. I will keep experimenting and let you know. Thanks Eleanor and all my other students who have taught me so much!