Friday, August 28, 2015

Bit by Bit

I’ve named this little piece “Bit by Bit.” It’s been a tough summer, and that’s how I’m trying to take things: bit by bit. This is a small needleturn project. The batik squares are done in needleturn applique on a piece of fabric I paint-dyed with metallic paints. It is quite shimmery. This piece measures about 10" x 27".

Here are some detail shots:

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

I’m teaching at Madeline Island School of Art in 2016!

The fabulous studio at MISA. (Photo courtesy of MISA.)
I am super excited to announce that I’m teaching at the Madeline Island School of Art (MISA) in Wisconsin October 3-7, 2016. MISA is one of the top five art and craft schools in the country, and is known for its large studios, world-renowned instructors, and wonderful accommodations.Madeline Island is in northern Wisconsin in the Chequamegon Bay – approximately 90 miles east of Duluth, Minnesota, along the southern shoreline of Lake Superior. Madeline is the largest of the 22 Apostle Islands. To get there, you take a car ferry in Bayfield, WI. There is also an airport shuttle from Duluth.
MISA’s campus on Madeline Island, WI. (Photo courtesy of MISA.)
I’ll be teaching Paint & Stitch: Create Original Work from Your Own Photos. If you’ve been wanting to learn about wholecloth painting and thread sketching, this is the workshop for you. In five days, you will get in-depth instruction in a spectacular setting. 

If you follow my work, you know that I work most of the time from photos like this one, taken in England of a Suffolk sheep:

… and then turn them into fiber art like this:

Or start with this photo I took of a Gerbera Daisy… 

and turn it into fiber art like this:

Intimidated? Please don’t be. My process involves working directly with the photo to trace lines, transfer them to fabric, and paint. When it comes down to it, it’s a lot like paint by numbers, except you do learn how to mix colors and blend them, and how to work with value to achieve depth. My students get fabulous results with this technique.

Here’s more information about my class:

Learn the basics of creating wholecloth painted and thread-sketched quilts based on your original photos. You will complete 2 or 3 projects, depending on size and complexity. Do not worry if you’ve never painted anything before… this may look complicated, but it isn’t once you learn a bit. Learn how to:

  • select the right photos for great results
  • choose paints and fabrics to use
  • trace key elements from your enlarged photo to produce a line drawing
  • use your line drawing as a pattern to create realistic images on fabric using acrylic textile paints
  • transfer the design to fabric
  • mix paints to get the right colors, shades and tints for your image
  • add detail, color and texture with thread to bring the piece alive
  • stabilize your piece to avoid draw-up
  • regulate your stitch for perfect tension
  • improve your control while stitching
The price for the five-day workshop is $670, plus a $40 materials fee (which includes paint, fabric, brushes) and lodging and meals.

Please contact me if you have questions. I’d love to see you in Wisconsin next October!
Student accommodations at MISA. (Photo courtesy of MISA.)

Friday, August 21, 2015

“Purple Anemone” done

I just finished quilting this piece I am calling “Purple Anemone.” It will be about 17" x 23" once it is faced. It is based on this photo I took in the spring of 2014 in the Duke University gardens:

Here’s how it started, with pieces of fabric – hand-dyeds and batiks – fused down, and chalk lines indicating the main stitching lines (the veins on the petals):


Note: The color differences in these photos are due to different lighting conditions. The main photo at the top was taken outside, and most of the other photos were taken inside, under an Ott light. 

I used Lite Steam-a-Seam II as my fusible, Heavy Weight Shaping Aid as my stabilizer, and Aurifil Cotton Mako 50-weight for thread sketching. In the flower center, I used acrylic textile paint for the tiny dots and details that were too small to do with fused fabric.

I estimate that I spent more than 30 hours working on this piece, most of it thread sketching. Here are all the threads I used:

Of course, Wicked has to have her photo taken with each quilt in progress, and this one was no different:

Friday, August 7, 2015

“Whimsical Inspirations” blog hop and giveaway

Have you noticed that beautiful coloring books for adults are all the rage these days? Seems like everyone is doing it this summer. It’s a great way to relax and be creative. My friend, Jamie Fingal, has a new coloring and painting book out. It’s called Whimsical Inspirations: A Coloring and Painting Book for the Artist Inside Everyone. 

Jamie drew her designs with a Sharpie Ultra Fine Point black pen.  There are 12 coloring pages, and all are printed on heavier paper, so you can use paints and markers. Just put a separate piece of paper behind the page you are coloring, so if there is anything that goes through the paper, the next page will be protected. It has a chip board back and a coil binding so it lies nice and flat while you work.   

You can color them in with colored pencils, crayons, markers, or watercolors. (I used water colors on my page at the top of this post.) There are houses, flowers, teacups, campers, dresses, and sewing- inspired designs. After that, you could frame them, or fold them in half to make a beautiful card for a friend.

Jamie self-published the book, and it is available on her blog (just look for the buy button on the right-hand side). U.S. residents only. $19.95, plus shipping and handling, via USPS.  California residents pay tax. 

To celebrate, Jamie’s having a blog hop, and she’s going to give away two copies of the coloring book (U.S. residents only, please). So for a chance to win, please visit all the blogs below and leave a comment by noon (Eastern Time) on August 10.

Sunday, August 2 - Jamie Fingal

Monday, August 3 - Lyric Kinard

Tuesday, August 4 - Leslie Tucker Jenison

Wednesday, August 5 - Desiree Habicht

Thursday, August 6 - Deborah Boschert

Friday, August 7 - Susan Brubaker Knapp

Saturday, August 8 - Sue Bleiweiss