Saturday, January 31, 2015

'Mini Quilts' for a Convention

This Week

Art Donation:

Last week I was asked to donate an art piece for a door prize at an upcoming convention. Since it would have to be mailed, I thought fabric 'mini quilts' would be best. Wanting to showcase the something of our area, I decided to depict the bird sanctuary where migrating birds rest and feed on their journey north and south. Of course the mountains and trees had to be a part of the picture because they are so prevalent in our valley.  
This textile art was created with my hand dye painted fabrics (left), free motion stitching and free form fabric piecing.


Patience and my point and shoot camera got me these bird photos this week.

Goldfinch getting bird seed from the finch feeder.

Mockingbird on a bike carrier.

Costa hummingbird. Could this become a new clothesline series watercolour painting?

I finished carving a winterwren in butternut wood recently and a friend lent me her wood burning tool to add in some details before mounting and finishing. Butternut wood is so rich in colour.

A guest this week showed us some of her Zentangles and in a short time had this cardinal created.

 Back to Basics at the Watercolour Painting Group:

We have a few new members at our art group and since one is interested in painting faces and figures we have decided to spend a few minutes sketching each time we meet.
Blind drawing, gesture drawing and studying facial proportions were good ways to start so last week I gave that lesson.

This week Linda gave us pointers in adding shading to portraits which was great.
Anyone walking in the art room is fair game and when asked, Dick agreed to sit for a 10 minute sketch.

Sketching from a family photo.

After the lesson, a  member adds shading to her previous piece.

Well that's it folks. Thank you to those of you that received my newsletter this week and either provided feedback to questions asked or signed up for the free draw of hand dye painted fabric. If any readers are not signed up for my newsletter and want to be, just send me an email

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Watercolour and Textile Artist 2014 in Review: Textile Cards.

Textile Cards in Review 2014

I am sharing a few of my favorite textile cards from 2014. I sell these textile cards locally at Creston Card and Stationery Click here for their website. If you are looking for a small but special gift of a unique card email me at I am always working on cards and can let you know what I have or create something specific for you. The cards are frameable and fit just inside a 5 X 7" mat.  Thanks for stopping by.



Thursday, January 22, 2015

Maritime Clothesline

 Watercolour Painting - Clothesline Series

My newest Clothesline Series painting started and completed. So far it doesn't have a name. Any thoughts?
You can click  here for information about why I painted this series for 'inspiring energy conservation'. 
The watercolour painting is started. It is based on a clothesline I spotted in Oct 2014, on a busy highway in Nova Scotia.

Completed watercolour painting 7 1/2" x 10 1/2" (fits a 10 X 14" mat)
If you are interested in purchasing this painting, you can contact me at

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Dye Painting: Lights, Mediums and Darks


10 Painted Fabric Pieces Ready for Quilters


Considering the value of colours is as important when creating fabric for quilting, as it is when painting a picture. Here is one approach.

I have laid in the lightest yellow. Remember when painting with dyes your colours will be slightly lighter when washed so put the colour down a little stronger than you want the finished piece to be. In the lightest yellow, I have also left so speckles of white (areas without dyes)
Next I put in the darkest shade of yellow. I put it towards a green. I might also have painted with a colour created from yellow and it's complement purple but in this instance I didn't want to chance greying the piece.
For contrast with the cool yellows, I decided to add a little warm yellow (Lemon Yellow Procion MX dye with a small amount of  Fuschia) to the flower.
The medium value of yellow was added to complete the flowers.

Now for the cactus itself. I mixed up three values of green. I find for mixing the darkest value, I have to add a lot more black than one would think.

Completed piece. After this step, the piece is placed onto a sheet of plastic. I allow it to dry a little before closing it up in plastic. Then the piece is cured at 70 degrees for 24 hours and then washed.

A similar process was used with the red blooms.

If you are interested in having a piece of fabric created for you, email me at These fabric pieces are easy to mail and make great reasonably priced gifts.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Creating with Strips of Fabric

When we all put our blocks together, we almost have a small quilt. As borders are mostly what I use, I am wondering how might I use this block in a border?
Keen quilters in their seats waiting to get started on the workshop using scrap strips.
We ended up with pairs from these two sets of sewn strips. Wow, how fun are these together. Pinwheels and alternating diamonds where the ideas we came up with, should you decide to put a solid colour with this block.
Another block put together involving an accent strip. How clever those these instructors are! Doesn't this look like a kaleidoscope image. I am sure I could use these as a border which should show the accent strip as a zigzag.
At times, the room was so noisy with machines running you couldn't have a conversation. Also one time, we all fell silent for a minute or so. It sounded eerie.
Next we are going to be experimenting with the scraps we have left over from cutting our blocks from the sets of sewn strips. I am sure I will be making some borders with those. Hopefully for my textile piece, 'Carol and Sue' from the previous post. Have you ever experimented with strips. What did you come up with?

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Translating a Charmed Life into Textile


 'Carol & Sue'
Kootenay living, for me has been a wonderful life and over the years I see people, particularly friends, doing things that reminded me of how fortunate we are to be living where we do. Things such seeing a friend's kitchen counters lined with jars of canned salsa, taking photos of friends as we are hiking through the mountains, watching the progression of wildflowers on spring walks, admiring vendor's wares at our local market,.....and the list goes on.
The series was envisioned in watercolour and although I won't discard that thought, the first of the series is done with thread sketching on textile. Why now? Some of the things that finally pushed me into starting the series were:
  • Sketching one of the artists at a weekly sketching session in the fall.
  • The interest of a student, from the Friday watercolour group, in drawing figures.
  • Looking through my sketch pad and adding the chicken to the watercolour sketch done several months earlier.  Choosing the chicken to reflect the model's love of her farm.
  • My friend wearing some beautifully flowered rubber boots to an art show we went to this fall. Loved those boots.
  • A fellow quilter sharing some very small print fabric with me two weeks ago after I exclaimed over it.
  • Recently thread sketching on some textile cards got me excited about creating in thread again.
  • A desire to create some larger textile pieces. 
The watercolour sketch upside down as I follow along as I thread sketch with my machine.

Watercolour sketch (left) that inspired the textile art. Oops, too much thread to the upper lip looks like a moustache and that chicken is a bit fat.

Chicken slimmed down.

Mouth fixed and background stitching added in white thread.
Do you have any ideas for a title for this series? These are my ideas so far: Kootenay Charms, Kootenay's Charm, A Kootenay Life, What a Life or The Kootenays' Charm.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Artisan Button Embellishments

These handmade artisan buttons have been niggling my creative thinking since I purchased them from 'Lavender Lampworks' in Nov of 2014. Click here for a post about the buttons. Below are two ideas I came up with.
Those of us who quilt and sew like to give and receive little gifts. At least I think so, don't you? So I've been designing card fronts for those lovely 'one of a kind' buttons to be attached to for gift giving. Do you have a favorite of the ones shown below: 1-4? I would love to hear about your choice in the comments or in an email  
Card front design #1 with a little colour added to the design

Card front design #2

Card front design #3
Card front design #4
More bird designs, I'm a thinking!
Then I thought I would try free motion stitching on white cotton. These are only small 4 X 6" size samples again for card fronts or to be used in textile art.

Textile Art # A

Textile Art #B

Textile Art #C

Textile Art #D
 Using coloured fabrics could take these pieces in so many directions. "Would raw edge pieces neutrals work as a background", I wonder?
Textile Art #E
What about adding some pieced work? Do you have some other ideas to share with me?

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Pink in Watercolour and Textile Art

Watercolour Painting Lesson: Two Coloured Background Wash
At our Friday painting group, I gave this lesson last week. Here are some directions if you would like to try it:
  • Wet the paper
  • When the shine is starting to go off of the paper, start at the top and add a very rich strip of your chosen colour. Add successively lighter strips of colour until about a third of the way down the paper. Keep your board slightly tilted to allow the colour to run down.
  • While the paper is still wet, turn your board 180 degrees and add a strip of another colour at the top. Continue as with the first colour. Allow the two colours to move close together in the middle of the paper.
  • When you are satisfied with the blending, lay flat and allow to dry completely.
  • Add a silhouette of your choice to the top of the background.  
  • On this sample piece, I lifted out a few highlights in the water at the end.
For the year end review, I had a look back at some art work in watercolour and in textile for 2014. Here are some PINK samples.
 Some work from the first online art course I have taken. If you have ever thought of taking one of Jane Lafazio's courses, I would recommend it.

Joan, added pieced squares to my hand painted hollyhock squares. I am still thrilled with this wall hanging.

 Click here for more information on painting with dyes on cotton fabric.

 For this watercolour technique I used pen and ink. It has a nostalgic look, don't you think? 
Fabric painting with a Gelli Plate.  Win was the instructor for this fun workshop I took this spring. Click here for several excellent mixed media tutorials
I had fun quilting on a 40 + year old Bernia sewing machine.