Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hazelnut Creme

Well, I finished one! This metals challenge has been fun, even though I didn't actually use metal. I had an empty coffee container on the counter that I had just emptied and thought it looked like a warm metal finish. I dug out the hand painted stash and found a couple that coordinated with the metal color.

After about an hour of playing around with the shapes, I settled on this arrangement. I had an old earring attached to the long rectangle on the left side but it broke during the final stitching. Seems like that was what happened to it's mate originally. There are a couple of paper fasteners along the bottom. They were the only other warm metals I could find for embellishment except for buttons which didn't seem to work. Still looking for the right thing but essentially finished.

Next time I try this I will try the soda can pieces instead of the coffee bag.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Fall is Golden

Simple but hard! I've never tried foiling before and had some difficulty with getting the foil to stick. I finally figured that part out after two days trying! The leaves are foiled and then the veins quilted with gold metallic thread. I used the gold metallic thread to couch the fall colored cording around the leaves to frame them. The small washers on the corners and center sides are really some little plastic things I picked up at Hobby Lobby a couple of years ago. The background is quilted over the lines that were on the fabric. The edge was a problem until I found some small white rick-rack which I then went over with a yellow Sharpie and it amazingly matched the fabric. And, I'm optimistic that we will have a nice, warm, lovely fall with lots of color.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Found Money

I've had this little idea for awhile.
"See a penny, pick it up
All the day you'll have good luck."
I've been collecting the coins I've picked up from the ground, and this was the time to use them.
The coins and the metallic thread are the metal, and the good luck is the optimistic element.
The tulle overlay on the fabric forms the cage for the coins, when stitched with the metallic thread. The text is printed on a piece of fabric ironed to Wonder Under. I find my printed does like that combination, better than freezer paper. As I'm usually cutting up an image and fusing it, that works for me. The quilt is about 11" square. It was fun, and I'm glad to be back after about a year!

L'Elegance in Nickel


Here it is with the 'gilding' done.      
I used Lumiere Metallic Bronze.
No comment from me at this point, I would like to see what you think.

Trying the torn pieces of paper in the actual fabric piece does not work...
there is really no where to put them, it looks messy..IMHO..

I thought I might try cutting some metal, like an aluminum can, but it was too sharp and that really isn't me anyway.

I had dyed a damask tablecloth a couple of weeks ago and I am making a jacket from it. I am at the quilting stage, and now this challenge comes along.

So, I took a piece of that damask... which by the way is dyed
'Nickel'... placed it on some batting, and used copper metallic to follow the design in the damask. I placed that on a gold metal grid fabric and stitched it
down. I had some grey/silver looking wrapping paper, I placed my piece on it,stitched it down, ragged the edges and used gesso to glue it to an 8x10
frame. I used hinges to add some other metallic interest.I have been wanting to
do something with a frame, so now I have.

The optimism is the fact that I believed I could put all this together and have it look good...and it does.

By the way, I used copper Sliver in the top and Invisafil in the bobbin. A 90 Metallic needle and I had no thread breakage.  Click on the photo to get a proper view of the metallic thread at work.

Thank you, Sandy for a great challenge!

I do look forward to your comments....

Friday, August 27, 2010

This is cheating to show an already finished project but we just decided to take advantage of some lovely sunny weather and go camping next week, then I'm visiting my sister the next weekend and in between making a birthday card for my niece. Maybe this will inspire some one on their quilt. This was made in 2004 and is only 8 x 11. It does have 3 layers with a piece of tin for the backing, some screening for the batting and stuff appliqued on top. Plus I used duct tape for the binding! I like to use metal also and have sewn copper onto quilts, and used the copper scrubbing stuff (that you can unravel and get a neat mesh) on quilts. Maybe I'll get something new in late. I'll enjoy seeing what others come up with.

Nancy Schlegel (off to packing-bad part of camping)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Challenge 48 - Metals

FFFC challenge #48 – August 2010 Host: Sandy Snowden

How exciting! A chance to get you to think outside the box!

Nature Theme: Metals

Colour Mood: Adventurous or Optimistic

Technique: Unusual materials/textures

Theme - Metals: Over the years there have been whole areas of the world settled because someone found Gold. Silver has been the affordable choice for jewellery and an alternative for coinage. Copper has its own appeal because of its colour and characteristics. Romans even made very treacherous journeys to Britain because of metals like Tin that could be mined there. And then there are all the other metals and compounds like platinum, nickel, bronze, pewter and so on.

Quilting doesn’t often include metal or metallic materials, but they can be used in very interesting ways. I have a student who loves “bling”. Some people dismiss bling on quilts as superfluous. But, if it fits the concept intended, it can work very well. If you are trying to depict something metallic, why not use something metallic to show that? If you want to depict glimmer or shine, then metallic texture can work well to give the results.

Mood: Adventurous or Optimistic - If you want an extra dimension to the challenge, try to create an adventurous or Optimistic mood to your piece. This is optional, but using metallics in a piece can often evoke those sort of moods.

Technique: Unusual materials/textures - Imagination is the key for this challenge. What if you used this or tried that?

I like the idea of working with unusual materials and textures. I have been using silk metallic tissue in some of my art garments lately. I love the shine which is controlled by the shot effect of the colour of the silk with the metal threads. I take these even further with metallic threads, sequins and metal beads. The latest one even has copper washers threaded on silver cord to make the fastenings!

I also like to see if something can be stitched into. Did you know the inside of tomato puree tubes are an interesting bronze colour? It is soft enough to stitch into. You can also stitch into the metal from drinks cans. Alternatively, if I am trying to introduce a texture that gives a historical precious look, metallic threads and paint effects help to produce the look. And then metal buttons might be just the thing for a royal or a military effect. Sometimes you need just a touch of metal, sometimes you want the bling to be “in your face”!

Metallic effects in Art

Illuminated Manuscripts - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illuminated_manuscript Gold and silver leaf - excellent accompaniment to the bright jewel like colours bringing the images to life in the candlelight glow. Also Google Images Illuminated Manuscripts

Excellent video about illuminated manuscripts: Brief History of Illuminated Manuscripts http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXlUloFBcUo

Byzantine Arthttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byzantine_art also Google Images Byzantine Art

Orthodox Icons - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Icon also Google images Russian Orthodox Icons

Klimpthttp://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/klimt/ Klimpt used touches of gold as well as overwhelming amounts in paintings such as Adele Bloch-Bauer I

Textile artists

Many cultures use metal embellishments or metal threads – Indian sari borders, Traditional Thai clothing, etc

Here are some links to western textile artists who said “What if?” and decided use metal or metallic materials and effects in their work.

Jamie Fingal – known for her “Heavy Metal” series http://www.jamiefingaldesigns.com/working-in-a-series.html http://jamiefingaldesigns.blogspot.com/search/label/Doc%20Marten%20Series

Jenny Bowker - http://www.jennybowker.com/quilts.htm look for Ittayer and the Friday Market in the City of the Dead”, “Abu Ali and the Gilded Chairs” and “You Can Make Anything on a Bernina - or Anywhere, or Anyone”

Meena Schaldenbrand - uses metals in various ways – I haven’t found a specific site with all her work, but if you put her name into a Google image search, you can find some interesting quilts. Look out for “Transparent Metal Star ‘Quilt’ ” which uses wire mesh; and her July Journal quilt 2003 which uses metal from drinks tins.

Alysn Midgelow-Marsden - Have a look at some of the photos on her flikr site. http://www.flickr.com/photos/alysnmidgelowmarsden/ Weaving, heating, rusting and so on. Her book “…this Lustr’ed cloth” is a fascinating glimpse into some very exciting out of the box things that can be done with metal and metal cloth.

Kathyanne White - does amazing stuff by using her printer to print onto drinks cans, metal flashing and much more! http://kathyanneart.blogspot.com/2010/04/creating-with-digitally-printed.html She has an online workshop called Digital Prints on Alternative Surfaces: Skins and Metal Mesh. Her website http://www.kathyannewhite.com/textiles.html

And then you have the various artists who use rusty metal to colour cloth.

Lois Jarvis - http://rust-tex.blogspot.com/ follow up some of the artists who participated in her recent challenge…especially Beth Wheeler

Regina Bensonhttp://www.reginabenson.com/installations.html Regina does a lot of bleach discharge, too, but if you mouse over the images, you can see the pieces with rust. She uses a soy wax resist to get more predictable results.

Other Books

Ann Parr – The Art of Stitching on Metal”

Jane Wild and Maggie Grey“Paper, Metal and Stitch”

Just remember, it is about imagination and thinking outside the box! And as we say in the UK…Have a Go!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Challenge 47 - Cherry Blossoms 1 and 2

I've posted my two Cherry Blossom quilts.

I've been working on deconstructed backgrounds. Basically I take lots of scraps sew them together - but them up - rearrange them resew then then repeat a few more times. This is a first to use monochromatic - then putting an imagine on top of it. The piece was a little too big so I sliced it in half - I had to make two quilts.

Cherry Blossom 1 - 8 x 14 - used my couched wool yarn for an abstracted tree. The cherry blossoms are sequins with beads. I also did some free motion quilting which is a little difficult since the seams are rather bulky. I embellished with sequins before quilting - next time I'd quilt first.

Cherry Blossom 2 - 12 x 18 - this I took the remaining piece diced three time - then famed each piece. The tree form I did in the quilting. The tree branches are quilted in gray thread, then echoed with turquoise. My initial thought was to have a single cheery blossom in the middle square - but it worked much better to be off the tip of the branch in the lower right hand corner. The cherry blossom is out of wool felt, embroidery thread and beads.

In Rainy Seattle

Challange 46 - Sandstone

I've posted my quilt Sandstone. I'm not happy with it - so therefore it waited a long time. At first it included a turquoise sky - but not so much to my liking - I think the unusually colors were what threw it for me. If I did it again - I'd make it more monochromatic in an unexpected way rather than rainbow - minus the blue. Final size about 28 x 9 inches. Still haven't decided if to bind or face.

In Rainy Seattle

Friday, August 20, 2010

Oak Hills

I really enjoyed this challenge and I am glad I finally got my piece posted. I found these trees on a camping trip last Spring. I loved the way the sun light filtered through them looking up through their leaves. I did some hand stitching on the barbed wire and used some netting to help cast the shadows. The piece is 11" by 13". Donna of Sea Ranch

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Challenge #42-- Seaweed: An Un-Still Life

This 32" x 36" piece with unbound edges, netting, hand-dyes, covered clothesline, pintucked, folded, and scrunched fabric was inspired by many walks on the beach and photographs of seaweed. So it's a sort of abstract landscape. It took me months to finish -- I was really inspired by the manipulated fabric idea, but then I just wanted to take my time with this and let it evolve. (I have a hard time with this thought: one hand-dyed fabric was too expensive to "just use for an exercise.") Not the spirit of the challenge, but I am very grateful for the inspiration and enjoyed this departure from my previous styles. It reminded me that I and my life are like seaweed: a rather chaotic mess that gets rearranged with every wave that comes my way, but just fine "as is," not something I need to untangle to make beautiful!

Chris Smith (Sea Ranch)

Monday, August 16, 2010

green s-leaves

I finally got into this sight so am posting my challenge piece for July. The tiny sleeves were a new challenge to me. It's all about scale isn't it. The tree is all done with yarn and torn pieces of silk to represent bark. It was a fun project! It measures 18x20" and is finished with a facing.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Chestnut Tree

Here is a textile artist's view of a chestnut tree! Well, I am always amazed by the bark, and have been wanting to depict it in fabric.
Here is a photo of the original tree. It was dark under the leaves and branches, but very light outside, so hard to photograph, but the colour of the piece I did is more like the colour of the tree...or at least the colour this textile artist has in her head of the tree!

The colour I wouldn't normally choose was the scarlet red that was part of the original fabric. I hadn't liked the result and overdyed in brown, but some portions were still a pale scarlet. You can see a photo of the back showing the original colour here.
The technique was using watercolour pencils to add the mossy green colour to the bark which gave it more depth.(The original fabric had no green at all.) I would do this again to take hand-dyed fabric just one step further.

Techniques I used that I have used before were corded channels and twin-needle cording with added machine stitch patterning and hand sewn herringbone stitch with brown raw silk thread.

I also chose to keep the not-quite-square shape to the sides which helps to keep the piece looking more organic overall.
this piece is around the same size as journal quilts.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Stormy Sky

Update August 27,2010... Here is the final version of my "Stormy Sky" piece. Thanks to all who gave comments before the quilting in the sky was finished! I went with the monofilament, but did have to do a bit of playing with things to get the needle holes to hide. I bound the edges with a black suede yarn, and it finished at 10"x10" square. To find our how I solved the "hole" problem, see the post on my Andrus Gardens Blog. I even finished another small piece yesterday, too!!

I am finally able to try to post this to the blog...
This is my first almost finished piece in a long time.... I was originally going to use the Black Walnut trees in my back yard as inspiration, with their crooked, graceful branches, but we ended up having a really stormy evening and a wonderful "show" in the sky. I took tons of photos, and decided I liked the way the trees in my garden made the silhouettes against the sky. At the moment, this is appx 10" square, with the branch and leaf details quilted in black thread on the appliqued silhouettes that I cut using a photo as a pattern. The really neat clouds (Mamatus, or Mamocumulous) were in such bright colors (oranges, etc. that I don't normally use), and there was even a bit of blue sky, too. The cloud part of the sky is done as a photo transfer from a transparency. Something I have played with a little, but not on such a big scale as this one (the new for me technique). It turned out better than I imagined, and I tried to "ruin" the sharp lower edge of the transfer so it would blend into the fabric.
The transfer was done over one of my hand dyed fabrics that had pale blue and golden yellow blotches on it. The fabric with the transfer added is above. I had hoped to use just that fabric for the background, but decided that the yellow was too vivid, and it needed the other dyed fabric piece with the blues, pinks, and more white, that I added some yellow to so it would blend better into the fabric the clouds were transferred to. Here is a link to a blog post I did showing the process I used for my transfer.
A detail shot showing the stitching done in black thread. I tried to bring the stitching into the sky like the smaller branches and leaves of the trees. I used a variegated thread in baby colors in the sky so far, but am not sure how to approach the cloud area. I am thinking of either using monofilament, or maybe a brassy copper metallic I have. None of my variegateds are the right colors... I don't think....
Another detail shot of a tree and bushes, showing the clouds really well. I think I want the clouds to stand out more than any stitching I do, but am looking for ideas. I may end up making a smaller piece to just play on.... or maybe just print the actual inspiration photo onto fabric and play with threads???
Here is the Photo I used for the transfer and pattern for the trees. The transfer made the clouds "backwards", but that's "artistic license" right?

Still a work in Progress, but the farthest I have gotten in a long time :)

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Challenge #47 - "A Walk In The Woods"

I was so fortunate to have taken a class last weekend at Long Beach IQF with Noriko Endo. She is amazing! The technique is confetti, layer upon layer of thinly sliced (mostly) solid fabrics, laid out to form a tree-filled landscape. She uses two layers of soft black tulle to hold everything down and to add depth. After the 2nd layer you are supposedly finished, but I placed the two large trees in the foreground without tulle. This makes the viewer fell more connected to the piece. Thread painting finishes off the quilt and adds a bit more realism. I welcome all comments.