Thursday, March 28, 2013

Quilting Collaboration: Patty Bowers and Eileen Gidman

Patty Bower's Prickly Pear Wallhanging

When Patty Bower's showed me this wallhanging she is working on with one of my fabric paintings, tears came to my eyes. I was a registered nurse for 20 years and really loved working as a team. Often an artist works in isolation, so this collaboration of Patty's work and my work, absolutely delights me. This is also a collaboration across countries as Patty lives in Oregon and Arizona and I am from British Columbia.
Working creatively with someone can bring out things you would never think of on your own. Thank you Patty.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Bullocks Oriole in Watercolour

Bullocks Oriole - Watercolour
One of the most colourful birds I've seen in the Creston Valley is the Bullock's oriole which I have spotted, in the past, on the dikes near Duck Lake. A challenge for me in painting birds is finding non copyrighted reference photos. Fortunately my quilting friend, Patty and her husband are birders and they have some great bird photos they were willing to share. Patty places oranges outside for the birds to feed on and obviously they enjoy them.
This bird is only a portion of a larger painting. Well actually, there are five smaller paintings making up one larger painting--a new style for me. The colours are interdependent and as you will see in following posts. I primarily painted with a yellow, orange, and  red, harmonious colour scheme with a little complementary blue for liveliness. Watch for the rest of the painting in further posts.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Tomatoes on Textile

Dye Painted Fabric: 'Ripening Tomatoes'
This painting honors the home grown tomato which, in my opinion, has the richest tomato flavor. Yum! We wait anxiously for the first tomatoes of the season, secretly wishing to be the first gardeners, in our area, with ripe tomatoes!
Unlike a lot of my fabric pieces, this piece was dyed in one session. I sketched the plant onto white cotton fabric with a thickened black dye, squeezed from a bottle with a metal nib. The nibs come in various thicknesses from . Find them under the resists tab. They are called resist applicators.
After letting the black dye dry slightly, remember moisture is needed for the curing process, I painted the tomatoes in light green, yellow, orange and red orange. The leaves were painted in 3 green hues. After those colours had dried slightly I added a second layer to bring extra vibrancy to the colours. The piece was batched/cured between two layers of plastic overnight and rinsed the next day.
This is a large, 16 X 20", piece and it will be displayed April 15 - May 10, 2013 at Key City Theatre, in Cranbrook, B.C. The Kootenay Summer Show features Win Dinn with mixed media, Laura Leeder with watercolour, Jim Lawrence with photography and myself, Eileen Gidman with textile painting.  More information on the opening to follow.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Rat Race Quilts

Two of my fellow quilters from my 'winter group' made the following lovely quilts using the same French Braid pattern: 'Rat Race' from Jane Hardy Miller's book. They were kind enough to let me photograph their quilts and the following interpretation regarding colour is entirely my own.  I understand the 'Rat Race' pattern asked for three shades (light, medium, dark) of two colours to make the zigzag braids.
Audrey's Quilt from 'Rat Race' pattern

Audrey's Quilt
Audrey chose to use the patterned border fabric as the dark of both colour sets. When this quilt was hanging at a recent quilt show, what really stood out was the lightest blue zigzag. It definitely was the lightest hue throughout the whole quilt and it made the quilt sing. Many visitors commented on it's beauty. Note, this light colour was not contained in the patterned fabric but was a tint (has the addition of white) of the blue within the patterned fabric. A great example of going beyond matching the focus fabric colours.

Fayetta's quilt using the same pattern

Fayetta's Quilt

The green and red quilt is restful to look at. It contains not only shades and tints of red and green, but the colours are toned (colours with the addition of black and white). There is no pure colour. I would say this has a calming effect. I would love to sleep under this quilt.
The intertwining chains composed of the darkest shade of red and  of green stand out as a feature. It resulted in a wonderful knotted effect. Note that the light pink zigzag stands out as a secondary focus. Doesn't it appear to be far behind the darks and the midtones of the quilt, creating great depth.
Thank you both for sharing your works of art!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Blue Grapes

Hand Dye Painted Fabric 8" square
Companion Fabric
How fun is that companion fabric. Deciding how many of each coloured dots to paint was interesting as I wanted the overall fabric to look right and also considered what it would look like cut into pieces. Do you think solid coloured fabrics would be a good choice to sew with this companion fabric?
The grapes and leaves were painted in harmonious greens and blues with a small amount of the orange to add zing.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Clothesline Series - 'Floral Towels'

Watercolour - Clothesline Series: 'Floral Towels'
The Clothesline Series in watercolour is dear to me as it is associated with my promotion of energy conservation. In the past, clotheslines were banned in places as they were thought of as unsightly. Clothes hanging on lines can be beautiful and it is certainly a beautiful thought to be saving energy.
Everywhere I go, my eye is drawn to clothes blowing in the breeze. This picture was inspired by looking out of the bedroom window of a lakeside house where I was staying. The white building and clothesline reel were highlighted in the sunlight filtering through the coniferous forest. After asking my hosts, I quickly hung my guest towels on the line and captured several photos.
Below is a link to a painting from my Clothesline Series being presented at a FortisBC energy conservation awards ceremony.
This week at our YQuilters' show, I displayed my portrait piece with the 'Works in Progress'.
Portrait Project nearing Completion
Free-motion stitching on Hand dye painted Cotton


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Blue Hibiscus

My friend's husband makes the nicest seam rippers with hand turned handles made on a lathe. I have one, and let me tell you, I make good use of it. I have a couple of quilting friends that would like one too so I was thinking....... my friend F, grows exotic looking blue hibiscus. What if I painted two 6 1/2" cotton squares with blue hibiscus? Note the start of one below, which is painted with thickened dye but not yet rinsed.  Could there be a trade in the future?
Dye painted Hibiscus on cotton fabric

Friday, March 1, 2013

ABCD Quilting - Kim Schrader Fauth

Kim Schrader Fauth gave an enlightening workshop she developed called the ABCD Quilting technique. The technique involves cutting same sized squares of varying values (we used three fabrics), sewing them together, cutting them apart, laying them together in a certain way and resewing them. You end up with 32 ABCD blocks in a very short time.
The different blocks can be laid out in a wide varied of ways so each person's piece is unique. I love that. Additional blocks can be added to make larger or rectangular pieces. The technique works well for borders which I can  hardly wait to try with my painted fabric pieces. Below are just a few photos from our day together.
Check out Kim's website at

S's completed quilt top

One of B's layouts

P tried hers with some florals

C is trying a block approach

A's colour choice is stunning

B let me try her squares with one of my painted fabric pieces as a border