Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Quilting: Feeling Proud

Have you ever felt so proud you cried. Well that happened to me this week at my Quilting Groups' 'Show and Tell' and it wasn't only myself I was proud of, it was also fellow quilter, CK. A couple of years ago, CK got one of my dye painted cotton panels and this is what she created. She brought it to show me the day before the quilting meeting and I loved it but when she showed it in front of the group yesterday, I unexpectedly teared up. To see this collaboration between other quilters and myself was overwhelming. It totally is why I paint on fabric!
Quilter CK did such a great job offsetting the panel and surrounding it with the rich purples and framing sections with black. Wow! Thank you , thank you, thank you CK for creating this piece.

Some other purple quilts and quilt blocks that I recently photographed in my travels.
This was seen at a recent quilt show. The miniature version of the pattern made into a matching pillow slip is brilliant.

Diane is hand quilting this beauty. I thought it was neat how she was using a small frame to quilt section by section. In another post I am going to show another quilt Diane is making. Her explanation is so much like the way a painter would describe their painting that I am looking forward to sharing it.

Diane showed Estella how to create this block.

Hillary is using a yellow accent strip with the strip sets we sewed for a recent Kindling Chaos Quilt Class by Patty Bowers and Cheryl Coffman. To me, having the addition of yellow within the quilt seemed really important in the overall design of this scrappy style quilt. Wonderful Hilary!

Oh why didn't I label my photos from the 'Show and Tell' of my quilt group. If I recall correctly the blocks were created by different people. The generous purple sashing pulls this together so well.

Another quilt from my Quilting Group. The colours look well together and in thinking about colour theory I would describe it as a harmonious run of orange, yellow and green with and complementary colour accent of purple.

Jackie's quilt. It seemed like such a happy quilt that I am including it today in this post even though it only has a little purple. What girl wouldn't love this hanging on their wall or laying on their bed. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Painting Desert Bighorn Sheep

My impression of a memorable trip into the desert. I combined the colours of some rocks we saw in the desert into the painting of the rocky terrain the desert bighorn sheep was poised on. As you can see in a following photo, the mountain colours were more brown but when painting I was drawn to include those burnt oranges of the rocks that were scattered in the desert at one of our rest stops. Those colours really stuck in my mind.
 What an 'epic' trip a group of us had one day this winter when we travelled nine miles through the desert. We were fortunate enough to see 4 different groups of desert big horn sheep. I really can't imagine how these animals survive the heat of the desert in the summer. Click here for information about them. It says they can go for weeks without visiting a water source! I thought their legs looked thinner than the Rocky Mountain Bighorn sheep that I am more used to seeing but I didn't find any information on that.
We saw these rocks in the desert at one of our rest stops. They seemed to be polished by the elements. Click gemstones for some information about gemstones of Arizona or click on  Jasper gemstone photos 

Might these be Jasper or agates?
Bighorn Sheep Watching from a Ridge

A ewe and her lamb. How precious!!! We were at quite a distance and the lamb danced here and there, seemingly unconcerned between it's Mom's legs.
I encourage you to include your 'memorable impressions' into your art work.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Painting Flowers on Cotton Fabric

What a delight it was to paint these floral pieces for another quilter. She has her own talents which includes her tremendous skill of thread painting. Her portraits of people's favorite pets are exquisite. She will be showing our guild sometime how she accomplishes this and with her permission I will post about it.  

Lupines. This pieces is approximately 14 X 14"
Hand painted using fiber reactive Procion dyes which results in washable cotton suitable for quilting.
 The following smaller four floral blocks were painted using the colours in the Lupine floral. People often ask me about the black line I use. It is created using thickened black dye that is placed in a squeeze bottle with a nib which I use for drawing.
Daisy Family



Stargazer Lily
I wonder how this quilt top is going to be put together. Will there be pieced blocks in between? We will just have to wait and see.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Tutorial: What is Needed for Painting on Fabric with Dyes

A fat quarter newly out of the dye studio
Dyeing fabric with Procion Fibre reactive dyes requires a bit of measuring and mixing. Dharma Trading online company has what you need as well as information about direct dye painting. Click here for their site.
Click here for another one of my blog posts about painting with dye concentrates. here is another post about drawing on top of splashed dyes.
Measuring lemon yellow dye powder.

The products and mixtures that are needed for the direct application method of applying dyes. The green bottle in the upper left is mixed urea water and beside it is a print paste. The three packages on the back wall are sodium alginate powder for thickening the dyes, soda ash powder for presoaking fabric and urea pellets for mixing the dyes. The four dye powders I use are lemon yellow, fuchsia, turquoise, and better black. I use glass jars for mixing the dye concentrates and for storing them in the fridge (be sure to label well)
 The apple, pear and grapes were painted using dye concentrates. Please not I did not thickened the dyes for this application, preferring a loose look.

 Well you can't spend everyday in the dye studio or what would you ever have for inspiration?
My border collie on a walk in the desert.

Jeeping in the desert.

Jeeping in the desert when it didn't go so well???
Next post will include the winner of the draw with her hand painted fabrics and a newly completed commission of hand dye painted fabrics.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Watercolour and Textile Artist 2104 Review: Mug Rugs


Winner of 5 pieces of Hand Painted Fabric (from the Newsletter Draw) 

This morning my husband selected the winner of the 5 pieces of hand dyed fabrics from my newsletter draw and the winner is from Arizona. The pieces are the size I use for the 'mini quilts' or 'mug rugs' as shown below or are perfect for making textile cards. Click  here for samples. They can also be showcased in small purses, pillows or jackets. If you did not receive my newsletter recently and would like to for hints on textile art and painting as well as for chances to win things, send me an email at

 'Celtic Breeze'

"Thank you, thank you" to all who gave such excellent title suggestions for my newest 'Clothesline Series' watercolour painting. I am keeping all those titles ideas handy for future paintings in the series. Diane, your 'Celtic Breeze' title reminds us so much of our trip to the Maritimes where this clothesline was spotted. This watercolour series is dedicated to inspiring energy conservation in our day to day lives.

Clothesline Series: 'Celtic Breeze'
 7 1/2" x 10 1/2" (fits a 10 X 14" mat)


'Mini Quilts' / 'Mug Rugs' Review from 2014


Thursday, February 5, 2015

A Challenge for Your Quilt Group?

A Quilt Challenge for Your Group?

This was our Y Quilters' group challenge this year and as it was so successful, you might like to try it in your own quilt group or just for yourself.  
Challenge: Each participant was given one paint chip card with 4 coordinating colors on it and these were the colors to use in the quilted piece. The fabric could be solid or prints as long as the paint chip colors were there. The only other color that could be introduced is a polka dot print. (I noted that anyone who added the polka dotted color used the same coordinating colors from the paint chips. I guess that goes to show those designers who choose those paint colors at the paint store know what they are doing). The name of the block that you were to choose was to start with the same initial as your first name. The piece was to be 36 X 36" or smaller.
Here are the results from the Y Quilter's Group:

How perfectly the shades of blue come together to show off the pattern in J's piece.

The name of this piece was 'Pumpkin' for Pat
W's piece used coordinating mauves. Note that the mauve colors from the paint chips were toned (purple with white and grey added). Sorry if a few photos are blurry. I found quilter's talk with their hands!
I am not sure of the name of P's piece but she often sews with the selvage edges and that is what she did here. Now that is a lot of sewing.

N's was a disappearing 'Nine' Patch in soft pinks.

F stepped outside the box and choose her own paint chips from her daughter in law's recent renovation project. Now she has a perfect gift.

B's colors perfectly coordinate. Note that the paint chip designer chose lights, mediums, and darks for us which helped in showcasing the pattern.

J wasn't too pleased with her colors as she said she is attracted to bright colors but 'heh' this table runner is perfectly coordinated in neutrals and someone will love it.

Shades of brown: 2 medium dark prints, one tan and one off white placed with the toned blue are stunning.

H's block. Note this set of colors contained a complementary color scheme of blue and orange but because the orange was so toned it became a brown, setting off the blue perfectly without being too strong.

F found a lovely large polka dot in her color scheme. She told a great story of why she never has liked yellow, going back years to when her mother said 'yellow makes your skin sallow'. Finding this perfectly coordinating yellow at the local quilt store has changed her mind about the color yellow. Unfortunately this piece grew to over 36 X 36" so.....

F created a 'Cat Mat' for the challenge.

'Sun Bonnet Sue' was S's choice of block. Look at the many tints (yellow with white) and tones (yellow with grey) this piece has. The quilt 'Sue' is hanging stands free from the main piece being only attached at the top.

N's piece is a Nine Patch. What is it about the colors from this paint chip that evoke a feeling of nostalgia?

'Card Trick' was the name of this block but C renamed it 'C's Crazy Card Trick' because of all the challenges she had with it.

L liked the colors in her paint chip selection and they make a strong statement in this block with the light and dark (values).

J's block was 'Johnny Around the Corner' and it also grew a little bigger than 36" square. Lovely quilt. Again the designer that selected the paint chip colors paid attention to values and the use of neutrals. It transposes to quilting so well.

S choose to make a purse with her paint chip colors. She told the story of having to take a break a couple of times and go visit other quilters when the pattern's intrigue details resulted in the need for some unsewing. Who wouldn't want this purse with it's many pockets and dotted inside lining fabric. 

A. said this was a quilt as you go piece. I need to ask her more about creating those curves in this manner. A. was not attracted too her colors but if you squint your eyes, you can see the light (off white), medium (rose) and dark (print) so very distinctly. Again we have a piece that, too me, evokes nostalgia. Do you think it is the toned (greyed) colors that do this is or is it the color combination of rose and toned green?

Coordinating Paint Chip Colors and my piece started.

Completed 'Mug Rug' mini quilts.
That's it for this year's challenge except to hang them at the Quilt Show on March 3. The draw for the free hand painted fabrics is coming up on Feb 8. Through my newsletter are chances to win hand painted fabric and ideas for textile art. If you want to sign up (it is also easy to unsubscribe at any time), email me at