Thursday, May 22, 2014

“Lenten Rose”

“Lenten Rose”
by Susan Brubaker Knapp
copyright 2014
I am rather excited to share with you this piece that I made yesterday. It will be about 14 x 11" when it is faced (maybe smaller, as I am considering cropping it in). It started with this ink drawing in my sketchbook, which I did sometime last year:

I then water-colored the line drawing:

I blew up the black ink line drawing and traced it onto white fabric, using a Micron Pigma Pen, then painted it with ProChemical & Dye transparent textile paint:

And then I stitched with black thread: 


I do a lot of crosshatching in my sketches, and it was interesting, and more challenging, to do it in thread:

I had a lot of fun with this, and I rather like this more graphic, sketchy, loose style. It is not as realistic as most of my work, but it is fun. And certainly faster. I am looking forward to using more of my sketches in my textile art!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

“Gazing Globe”

“Gazing Globe”
copyright 2014 by Susan Brubaker Knapp
24" x 60"
I am excited and honored to announce that my piece “Gazing Globe” has been accepted into the “Reflections’ invitational exhibition of Dinner at Eight Artists. The 33-piece exhibition will premiere this fall at International Quilt Market and International Quilt Festival in Houston. 

Jamie Fingal and Leslie Tucker Jenison curate, teach, write and make art under the name “Dinner at Eight Artists.” I consider myself very fortunate to have had my work accepted in this exhibition, and in three of their previous exhibitions, “An Exquisite Moment” (2013), “Rituals” (2012), and “The Space Between” (2011).

Here is Leslie and Jamie’s description of the theme: “A mirror image. A response to a thought or word. A memory. What glints back at us as we gaze upon the water. The throwing back by a body or surface of light, heat, or sound without absorbing it.  What will your reflection reveal about you?”

My piece is based on a photo I took this winter of a gazing globe that sits in my garden. It was the day after a big snow, and in the bright sunshine, the globe glowed, and in some of its ripples, captured the warped reflections of the bare tree trunks and branches.  

I had fun doing some detailed quilting in the white background along the right side of the gazing globe:

Here are some other detail shots:

The piece is based on this slice of a photo I took in January 2014:

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Under the needle now


This is what I have under the needle of my Bernina right now. It is really just an experiment; I’m not at all sure where it will take me.

Sometime last year, I took a photograph of some dried, skeletal hydrangea blossoms in front of my collection of antique violet glass bottles. The colors were gorgeous with the light coming in the window through them, and the hydrangeas look like delicate lace. I manipulated the image in Photoshop, then had it printed on white cotton through Spoonflower

It is about 35" x 48". My plan is to thread sketch it, then add batting and backing fabric, and quilt the background (the blue and purple part) heavily so that the fragile hydrangeas stand out. I’ve never worked this way, so we shall see how it turns out! 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Second article on thread sketching is in June/July issue of Quilting Arts

The second article in my 2014 series on thread sketching is in the June/July 2014 issue of Quilting Arts magazine. It focuses on stitching wholecloth painted quilts. You can see what’s inside this issue and purchase the magazine at the Interweave store (digital downloads are available now here; the print magazine is available on pre-order now). This issue should be on newsstands May 27.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Slow stitching

Lately, I’ve had a hankering for handwork, a need to slow down and work with my needle in my hands, more often. Here are some of the projects I’ve been working on, in between my faster moving thread-sketched, fusible appliqued, and wholecloth-painted works. 

The first project has been in progress for about two years. I purchased this denim jacket for $3 at a local thrift shop, and have been embroidering it – with sewing implements including scissors, pin cushions, thread spools, and a tape measure – since then, mostly on long airplane trips, and in my hotel room in the evenings after I teach. I’m using solid and varigated perle cotton, and I just love how it sparkles with color. I mostly have the sleeves still to do.

Here’s a close-up shot showing how I outlined the designs, and surrounded it with “chicken scratch” stitches:

The next one is a needleturn applique project I’ve had in my head for years, but just started today. It is a simple wreath of leaves. I have the first three blocks pinned down and ready to stitch. I want this to be king-sized bed quilt; it will probably need at least 25 blocks! It will be another good “take-along” project. All the foundations will be shades of blue, but different blues, and the leaves are greens, blues, and purples. 

The third project has been in the works for at least three years! It started as a fat quarter of clamp-dyed Shibori that I dyed black, then embroidered with various threads and perle cotton and couched-down threads. Now I am free-motion machine quilting it with a varigated black-gray-white thread.

I often describe myself as a “multiple-personality disorder quilter,” because I love all types of quilting and stitching. I knit, needlepoint, cross stitch, embroider, hand quilt, hand applique, and free-motion thread sketch and quilt. Some of these techniques fill certain needs (hand work is perfect for concentration and relaxation, and can be done while I wait during soccer practices, piano lessons, and orthodontist appointments). Others, such as the machine work, fill my “need for speed,” I suppose. I enjoy the variety.