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.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Creating Art with Friends

Here we are, three friends, up in the hay field sketching and painting saskatoons,  a barn and ocean spray sprigs. The day was hot so we were limited time wise by the shade. I find that little bit of pressure keeps you working quickly without time for over working a piece. 

A wide variety of colours in the Saskatoon berries. Really gorgeous.
Sketching and Watercolour Painting on Location

There is something loose and free about this painting. Perhaps I will add more in the studio or perhaps keep it as a practice piece.

This is not about creating art with friends but about hiking and enjoying nature's art with friends. Lovely, lovely bear grass. Yes some of the tops had been eaten off by bears!

Getting higher from where we started at the lake. Mountain lakes are one of my favorite things. Someone was even swimming in it that day. Brrr!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Donating Art for Local Fundraisers

Hand (dye) painted textile art (left) by Eileen Gidman
Fifth Annual 'Pink Tea' fundraiser in the Creston Valley
Yesterday was the decadent 'Pink Tea' here in Creston, BC. We have had smoke hanging in our Kootenay valley from fires all around us even though they are quite far away. As I was driving to the tea there were a few drops of rain splattering onto the windshield. I didn't know whether to wish for it to keep raining or stop until after the tea.
Well there were only a few drops of rain, but what we did have seemed to clear the air a bit and yet the smoke haze kept the temperature from being too hot. All in all it was perfect. Debbie Graham is the mastermind behind the annual Pink Tea. This year the fund raising was for our local maternity unit. Something I've noticed in the three years I have attended this tea is the increasing amount of people helping. People come from afar just to volunteer for this worthwhile event.
Every year Laura Leeder, a watercolour artist is involved in providing a painting or print for the tea. Check out her blog to see the gorgeous 'Chintz Teapot' in her painting for this year. 
It felt wonderful to be able to donate to the door prize this year with a one of my hand painted textiles. Thank you Debbie for hosting this delectable affair. One person really can make a difference.

Everywhere there were colourful flowers in interesting displays.

One of the door prizes included one of my textile art pieces.

Another door prize included Win Dinn's 'Colour Me Up' Mandela colouring book.
It is also available here:
Debbie Graham (right) and some of the other Pink Tea ladies.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Three Quilters take a Challenge

This is so exciting to show this post! Three quilters, myself included, were given a similar 5 X 7" piece of my hand dyed fabric and were challenged to create something with it. This was in February and now, here they are all completed!

Betty designed and created this wall hanging using pieced squares and strip borders. Take a look at the free motion stitching that extends right into the white background. Too exciting! What a great use of a small piece of hand painted fabric. I don't know if you had these fabrics in your stash Betty but are they ever great.

Joan created this piece with a theme in mind: 'Spring in the Desert'. For the background she used a muslin with speckles in it to emulate the desert sand. Note that the lines of the off white background are not quilting lines but rather narrow pieced strips!!! The texture of this and the different direction of the lines reminds us of the desert landscape.
Only Joan could make a 5 X 7 piece of fabric go so far into 5 triangles. These yellow and light green triangles depict the first greenery coming up in the desert after the hot summer and the dry winter.

This is my piece which I made into a 'mug rug'. Surprise, surprise as I can't seem to stop making lately. I free motion stitched the daffodils after ironing the hand painted 5 X 7" piece onto  interfacing. A narrow golden strip was added like the golden colour in the flower centers. The rest of the piece is from a green variegated fabric that I wish I had more of as it has been so versatile.

There you have it, three textile artists with their own interpretations using a similar piece of hand painted fabric.  What fun this was to see the great variety of quilted pieces that were created. I love it!
If you have a group of quilters you want to try this with, let me know and I can provide you with the hand painted fabric using colours of your choice. You can email me at

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Adding a label to Quilted Works of Art

Adding labels to my hand painted quilted pieces this week seemed like such an accomplishment. I would recommend it for your own original quilted pieces. This allows people to know at a glance who created the work. The type of fabric was really important for printing on. I used a smooth cotton with a high thread count and wrote on it with a permanent pigma pen. The labels were heat set with an iron for 15 seconds. I would suggest writing before cutting it to size,  then pressing in the edges and folding in half length wise for insertion under the binding.
I am labeled!
Quilting a mug rug (small placemat for cup and a treat).
Adding the warm hues from the apple in pieced strips.
Poppy Orange completed. Some free motion details were added in black thread to the hand painted poppy fabric.

'The Red Fox', mug rug, art piece or whatever else you would like to use a little quilted piece of art for.
July 12, 2014 what is called a 'super' moon occurred.
The 'super' moon rising over the Skimmerhorn mountains in Creston, BC last night, July 12, 2014.
The Skimmerhorn Mountains (in autumn) just so you have an idea how tall and vertical those mountains are and why it took so long for the moon to rise over them.
Waiting for the 'super' moon to rise in a pagoda on the edge of a lovely Japanese styled garden. We waited and waited and waited, while people would call out throughout the evening, "The moon is coming up, it's getting lighter on the top of the mountain." Well at 11:20 the 'super' moon final rose over the Skimmerhorn Mountains. My photo does not due it justice but I can tell you it was well worth the wait.

Thursday, July 10, 2014



Do we even know where our influences come from for our art work? I think this intense sky last week imprinted on my memory because today when I was selecting some of my hand painted fabrics, I found myself drawn to working with warm colours, particularly orange.
Auditioning orange printed fabrics with the poppy fabric. Below is the process I go through in choosing colours to accompany my hand painted fabrics. You may have your own way of choosing fabrics which allows for everyone's unique style in quilting.
A variety of orange prints seems appropriate but there are is not much contrast between them.
What if a white print were introduced? No I think it detracts from the painting.
What about a triad of the secondary colours: orange, green and purple? If there was purple in the painting, I think this would be a yes but without it in the painting, the purple looks out of place.
Auditioning greens
The brightest green wins. I liked the dark green too but with the oranges to the darker tones, the piece may become too dark for what I was trying to achieve. I may move the oranges a bit but I like the colour combination.

Since I've have the those coloured strips out, I thought to try them with some other painted pieces. I think this would work.
Adding a red to the oranges does not do much as the value of the red strip is the same as the two darker oranges on the right.

No this won't work together.

The free motion stitched fox is not complete but he looks good with the oranges, I think.
What would the addition of a complementary blue strip do? I think it draws more attention to the blue sky in the painting and is  a good contrast to all the red orange. The strip perhaps would look a bit better narrower so that the amount of blue in the strip and the painting are not equal.
 What process do you use in choosing coloured fabrics for your projects? Although I didn't need to use it today, I can highly recommend Joen Wolfrom's 3 in 1 Color Tool.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Two Textile Commissions To Their New Homes

If you think this is a 'mug rug', you would be wrong!
Check out the last picture of this post to see what one lady commissioned.

Quilted 7 X 9" mat. One option for the commissioned piece.

Red! I must paint more reds is what I learnt from doing the following commission. That is such valuable information. Thank you. The new owner wrote: "I am blown away by these and cannot wait to frame them.. Thank you so much...Wow you did a perfect job. I love them".  That was lovely to hear!
Commission of three pieces of textile art: 'Red Art'. They will be framed and hung together.
New material ready for thread sketching and then making into??? What am I going to do with that orange, blue and brown piece (upper middle)? I'd be happy to hear some ideas.

This afternoon I pressed these 4 1/2" X 6 1/2" pieces of hand painted textiles onto interfacing in preparation for free motion stitching.

The buyer chose this piece for her commissioned 'Glasses Mat' (somewhere to rest glasses at night). The teal colour was chosen to match summer curtains. For contrast the golden yellow and red add warmth and interest. I'm glad she liked the red free motion stitching on the poppies.

We are enjoying lovely summer weather where I live and this is what is blooming in our yard right now. Yes cactus can grow in Canada!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Cloth, Paper, Water: 3 Friends, 3 Mediums

If you are in Creston, BC July or August 2014, be sure to check out the 'Cloth, Paper, Water' art show at the library for Art Walk.  I am pleased to be showing with two other artists Laura Leeder and Win Dinn. You can also check out Laura's work here  and Win's work here 

Win Dinn, Val van der Poel, Laura Leeder hanging the work.
There usually is a bit of nervousness as you hang an art show, as least there is for me. Each artist busily works away, alone, in their studio painting for months and then the day of 'true' comes when you have to,  get to, share your creations with the world.  

Thank you Val van der Poel, organizer for the art shows at the Creston Valley Library. Thank you Val for coming out to help us hang the art show for Art Walk. Val is currently showing at the Creston Chamber of Commerce and you can see her work here.
My (Eileen Gidman) textile paintings on the left and Win Dinn's mixed media paintings on the right.
My (Eileen Gidman) 'Rhododendron' textile painting on the left and Laura Leeder's water colour paintings on the right.
Laura Leeder, Win Dinn and me, Eileen Gidman
'Tomatoes on Textile' by Eileen Gidman on the left
Mixed Media by Win Dinn in the middle
Water colour by Laura Leeder on the right
This is what you will see as you enter the library. Art show hanging challenges: not only is that wall orange, it is also curved! I am also in another venue in Creston, but that will be for another post.

It is always relieving to have the art show hanging behind you so you feel like you can take the time to do something else sometimes. I had the pleasure of hiking in a new place, 'Parker Pass' on the weekend. Yes, we were so high that there were patches of snow still and because of that the alpine flowers are just coming out! If anyone knows that name of that flower, could you put a comment or send me an email at Thanks.
Note the four shades of blue in those distant mountains
Alpine Flower