Friday, May 30, 2014

Mineral Series of Fat Quarters - Hand (dye) Painted Textile

New 'Mineral Series' fat quarters are all ready! They will be showcased at the Sechelt Quilters Guild, Sat, May 31,  2014. Each one is individually painted so there is a wide variety of colours and designs. I am personally in love with the one below with the lime green accents.
June 1 and 2 they will be available for sale at Carola's Quilt Shop in Gibson, B.C.  I do commissioned work so if you see something you like on my blog or website Eileen's website feel free to contact me by email at 

'Mineral Series'
Hand (dye) Painted Cotton by me, Eileen Gidman

'Mineral Series'
Hand (dye) Painted Cotton by me, Eileen Gidman
This 'Turquoise and Honey Gold' fat quarter (below), from my Mineral Series is sold and the buyer is going to frame it under glass.  They do make nice art pieces but are also as easily cut and sewn into quilted pieces.
SOLD: 'Mineral Series'
Hand (dye) Painted Cotton by me, Eileen Gidman

'Mineral Series'
Hand (dye) Painted Cotton by me, Eileen Gidman

Monday, May 26, 2014

Trunk Show and Sale and Workshop In Gibsons BC and Sechelt BC

Pretty excited about an upcoming trip to the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia for a Trunk Show and Sale and then a 2 day workshop that I giving. As you can see from the photos, packing is taking place for all three events.

Soda Soaked Fabric Drying for Upcoming Painting with Dyes Workshop
by me, Eileen Gidman

Hand Painted Squares
by Eileen Gidman

Hand Painted Fat Quarters and Panels on Cotton Fabric
by Eileen Gidman

For the Trunk Show

Workshop Packing
Including 14 meters of Soda Soaked Cotton Fabric

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Coasters? Small Placemats? No these are Quilted Mug Rugs

Stitched from my Sketchbook Drawing

This Spring's Daffodils

Fish from this Winter's Course of Oriental Painting

Wild Grasses from my Sketchbook
 Personalized little quilted works of art. Making a mug rug for someone in particular allows me to go through my selection of hand painted fabrics and choose something meaningful. Then it is so much fun deciding what commercial fabrics to go put with the painted fabric piece. Next is deciding how to piece the fabrics together. The choices are endless but I find I am more attracted to the free form piecing methods. I am sure traditional piecing would be great too.

To start with I was making the binding from a 2 1/2" folded strip but have since changed to a 2 1/4" fold strip which is adequate when sewing the binding on completely by machine.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

This Winter's Watercolours

I can't tell you how satisfying it is to see your art work framed and then how relieving it is to have your art work safely delivered to where it is being displayed. The following  six watercolour paintings represent my winter's work for 'Your Art's Desire' gallery in Kaslo, BC.  Be sure to stop in this summer if you are in the Kaslo area. 

Kaslo Series: 'Campground Street'
Clothesline Series: 'Kaslo Campground'
Kaslo Series: 'Snowcaps and Blossoms'

'Gramma's Bedroom'
'Wren of the Forest'

'Bluebird Box'

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Newest Painting in the Clothesline Series

Clothesline Series: 'Kaslo Campground'
watercolour by Eileen Gidman
currently available at 'Your Arts Desire', Kaslo, BC
The promotion of energy conservation as well as renewable energy usage is important to me. My goal with this watercolour Clothesline Series, that I have been doing over several years, is to draw attention to the everyday ways of saving energy. Not only can we hang our clothes to dry whenever possible but there are many small ways of saving energy. Click here for some home energy savings tips from Fortis BC Fortis BC's energy saving tips. 
Not only can we dry our clothes whenever practical but we can turn off lights as we leaving rooms and when purchasing new appliances we can look to the energy savings ones. About 20% of our energy usage goes to heating water. That is food for thought isn't it. I know my fabric dyeing requires a hot water wash but the rest of my clothes washing can be done in cold water.
Last summer when in Kaslo, BC for the Langham Gallery opening of the Portrait Project (Link for the Portrait Project), it was fortunate we drove through the Kaslo campground as there was this perfectly lovely motorcycle camp set up. With the cozy look to the camp and the casual clothesline, I knew instantly I had the idea for my next clothesline series. The watercolour painting is available now at 'Your Arts Desire' gallery in Kaslo, BC or I can provided details if you email me at
Even though the other paintings in the series are sold you can click here to view them.  Clothesline Series in Watercolour

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Wildflower Series: Sketching to Printing on Fabric

The wildflowers are blooming! Since I told many people I planned on doing a wildflower series for reproduction onto fabric, there were no two ways about it, I had to get out there and get sketching this week.
Glacier Lilies or Yellow Avalanche Lily: Erythronium grandiflorum is one of the earliest flowers in the British Columbia Kootenays and thus is very important to Crestonites. Every year you will hear someone say, "The avalanche lilies are out". Here they grow on moist open slopes, often facing west it seems and at the edge of the forest.

Two other people joined me for sketching the glacier lilies. We basically sat in a ditch and I am sure the passersby thought "What the heck are those people doing?" We ignored them being so engrossed in what we were doing. D couldn't believe two hours had gone by before the sun shone on us and we were too warm to stay longer.
This is not my finished piece but I find it imperative to sketch or paint from life to really get to notice the finer details. I think I now have enough information to work up a piece in the studio. My plans are to work within an 8" square for later reproduction of the black and white sketch onto cloth.
Trillium: The flower grows on one stalk and is often white. In the deep forest where I have seen it grow, the white seems iridescent. I didn't have to leave my yard to sketch these three blooms as they grow beside a path I walk daily. For years there was only a single bloom and this year for the first time there were the three blooms! If you like sketching flowers, now is the time to get out on location. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Birds on Fabric: Tutorial for a Small Quilted Project

These two blue jays were sitting in my stack of hand painted fabrics I created for textile cards but in my craze for making mug rugs I raided that pile recently. The birds were painted with procion dyes onto light cotton fabric and are approximately 5 X 7" in size. For directions on painting with fibre reactive dyes, click here. To begin with I sandwiched some batting between the painted fabric and the backing fabric and free motion stitched some details on the birds.
The height of the mug rugs is 7" so I cut strips double that length with an  extra 2 inches to about 16". In hindsight, I should have added a bit more as you will see later. I sewed the long edges of the strips together until they were the width needed for adding beside the blue jays to make the 10 inches of the mug rug.

After pressing, I cut across the created fabric to create two equal halves, one for each quilted piece.  As a bit of added decoration, I cut a strip from the end (decorator strip) and turning it perpendicular, added it to the created fabrics as shown in the photos below. Here is where having the strips longer than 16" to start with would have allowed that narrow strip with the little bits of fabric to be a little wider for ease of working with it. 

Then I squared the strips up and added one to the edge of the already created fabric. On the second mug rug I inserted this newly created strip, made up of the bits of fabric, into the middle of the sewn strips. I did this by undoing one of the seams and adding it in. Which one do you like better? The one with the decorator strip amongst the other strips or the one with the decorator strip beside the blue jay?

Do you notice the use of 3 pieces of the olive green in each piece and that each of the three pieces is a little different in size? Three is a good number in design and difference in the sizes of the shapes is important too. In the bottom photo, it was unfortunate that the olive branch and small piece in the decorator strip connect, making it seem as one piece. I didn't think it was worth undoing the seams to move it but it is a little thing to think about next time.
In the ditch quilting was added and a binding completed the two mug rugs. They are lots of fun to do and I am finding them popular. Today, I just received my first commission to create a mug rug in some specific colours and I can't wait to get started. Have fun and send any pictures of the mug rugs you are making.