Sunday, August 30, 2015

Space Quilt for My Son

This summer I finished a new quilt for my son, whose old quilt made about 18 years ago,  was in tatters. I used techniques from Ricky Timm's book, Convergence Quilts, to make my pattern.  Earlier this week I picked it up from Virginia Roos, who did a beautiful  job of long arm machine
quilting on it. Be sure to click on the picture below to see the beautiful quilting Virginia did.


Above is the top made up of three fabrics for the center section which have been sliced up and reshuffled to create the pattern. Two borders were added to that.



The back is made up of Star Wars fabrics and leftover pieces from the front. 



Sunday, August 23, 2015

Paint and Dye

I've been very busy this week due to starting school again.  I have six classes of approximately 32 students each, so about a 190 students total.  I see 155 of them daily. But I found a little time to play today with some Dye na Flow paint and salt on Cotton.  The actual piece of cotton I painted is still drying.  Later this week, I'll rinse it out after I'm sure the paint is set and will show it here.

But in wiping up my mess today, I discovered some gorgeous paper towels I've been using over the last year or so,  that are wonderful. This might sound crazy, but I dry them after using in clean up and reuse again and again.  Here they are. They are two ply, which means I have two of each.  I think they'll be great in some kind of collage with stitching.  I just like their random quality and even how they dried into free forms pieces.







Sunday, August 16, 2015

Attaching an Art Quilt to a Stretched Canas

Well, I'm back to school already.  Thursday and Friday were spent in tech workshops learning all about Google docs, slides, building websites, etc as our school goes Google.  I was way in over my head in most of the classes.  There was so much information and the teachers had to move very quickly, so needless to say, many of us didn't get it all. I don't even use a laptop, so just learning to navigate without a mouse was a learning experience for me.  I guess I'm a dinosaur when it comes to tech. It's a good reminder to me about checking for comprehension in my students as I start a new year.

Our Cutting Edge Fiber Art Group is having a show in December at the San Luis Obispo Art Museum.  All the quilts for this show need to be 20" x  24" and mounted to a stretched canvas.  The theme for the show is "Off Kilter."  I have mixed feelings about working towards a theme or a challenge.  I mostly like to work on whatever technique or idea is inspiring  me at the moment.  But then again, a challenge can push you in a direction you weren't planning on exploring, which can be a learning experience.

Below is a picture of my entry.  I had a great time painting the canvas in multiple layers of surface design, using bubble wrap, stamps, paint, large brushes, etc. I wanted the canvas to extend the colors and patterns in the quilt.  The canvas shows a half inch above and one the sides of the quilt, with and inch of so below.  I used 8 pieces of velcro to attach the quilt to the canvas.  If you are wondering how it fits the "Off Kilter" theme, it is because there are 2 photos of the sunflower, one printed on transparent organza which has been flipped and stitched to the one printed on cotton, increasing the petals, leaves, shadows,  and hopefully interest.





Sunday, August 9, 2015

Beautiful Skies and Soy Wax Batik with Textile Paint

This last week's weather brought some incredibly beautiful skies that I want to share with you. It was like the sky was on fire.




Here are two of my soy wax batik samples from last week's class.


Interesting transparency of colors on this.  I painted all of it in yellows and oranges, 
added wax patterns, then painted it in blues and greens. 


I was using this to demonstrate while teaching, so my concentration could have been better. I find it difficult to talk and create at the same time and do both well.  Language is a left brain function, whereas painting is right brain. There has been a lot of research on this issue which I find to be true and fascinating.  I'm always reminding my middle school students to turn down the left brain and turn  up the right brain when they are creating.  They respond that they can 'multi-task.'  However, the latest research on multi-tasking shows neither task is done as well.  I'm sure there are exceptions regarding this as I find that I can cook and talk on the phone at the same time pretty well, as long as it's not a new,  complicated recipe.  But when it comes to designing and creating, I don't want distractions.
  How do you feel about that?  Let me know.





Sunday, August 2, 2015

Soy Wax Batik Class

Yesterday I taught a class on Soy Wax Batik to some members of the Almond Country Quilt Guild.  Nineteen people had signed up, but only 16 were actually able to make it, which turned out to be a more manageable number after all.  They made some wonderful pieces of art.  I think some of them were surprised to find out what they were capable of creating.  Here's some pictures of their work.




I think this piece was Lisa's, but it could also be Judilyn's. It's so exciting
 when you put a second color over the first waxing and see the design emerge. 


 Above is Lynne working on her project.  Her fabric
 had an overall print of circles to begin with.  
Wish I had a picture of her finished piece.  It was really great.

 This is Linda H.'s piece in process.  It also turned out to be very lovely. 
 Here's Dora working on hers.  Wonderful mark making and color choices.
 Here's Kathy putting on the final dark paint after crackling the wax.
 Here's Elizabeth's underwater scene.
 A lovely bubble piece hanging outside to dry. Not quite sure who's this was.
  I'm thinking it was Judilyn's.


Lovely swirls and other circular designs with great colors.
 Not quite sure who created this piece.

It was a very hot day and we did have some issues with drying the wax and the painted pieces outside. At home, I allow the wax to set up in my studio.  After applying a layer of paint, I hang it outside on a line to dry. The church hall, although very nice, did not have the facilities to accommodate these methods.  It seemed as though the wax was remelting due to the sun and some gals even had the misfortune of having their waxed designs disappear, which was very disappointing.  The melting temperature of soy wax is supposedly about 140 to 180 degrees so it was surprising that it re-melted in the 95 degree heat.  I think there was a negative reaction of the plastic between the fabric and foam core board that possibly caused it.  We worked around it as best as we could and students produced some wonderful pieces.

Thanks to Dora, Linda and Cyndi who arrived early to help set up tables, extension cords, paints, etc. I brought tons of stuff for this workshop, most of my studio, it seemed.  Thanks to everyone for their great positive attitudes as we worked out some weather related issued I had not experienced in doing soy wax batik previously.  Thanks for all the help in cleaning up at the end and repacking all my junk.  It was great fun!  Hope everyone brings their ironed out pieces to Monday's meeting.  Would love to get some pics of the finished masterpieces.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Calligraphy Conference

Just returned from attending a Calligraphy conference at Sonoma State University. It was the annual Passionate Pen Conference,  https://www.thepassionatepen.org It was the first time I attended one and could only afford to be there for two days but it was wonderful! I have always loved calligraphy and letter forms, and enjoy teaching my students a Calligraphy unit each year. I hadn't received any instruction in calligraphy since my college days, which were a long time ago. There have been a lot of  changes and new trends in calligraphy since then. Artists are doing a lot more painting and interesting backgrounds with the calligraphy. It was very enjoyable to create using different media.

I took a one day workshop from Nancy Culmone, who does beautiful calligraphy in color and more.  She creates one of a kind, exquisite books with painted backgrounds and calligraphy.  She was teaching a one day class, followed by a four day class.  Wish I could have stayed for the four day class as well. She is an experienced, talented, generous teaching artist.  She taught us how to transition from one color gouache paint to another using brushes to back load the color onto the pen nib.  It takes a lot of patience and practice and is very meditative once you start doing it.


Above are a couple of her finished pieces.


This is one of her practice pieces that we were trying to emulate. I don't have anything to show that I did in the class, because with it only being a day, it was all practice. Hoping to finish something presentable to show here in the upcoming weeks.

Now, back to getting all my supplies and samples ready for teaching a fun soy wax batik class to members of my guild this Saturday.  



Monday, July 20, 2015

Newest Ice Dyed T Shirt

We had incredible rain, thunderstorms and lightening Saturday night.  It sounded like the sky was cracking into pieces.  In Paso Robles we received almost three inches of much needed rain.  Unfortunately, some people had flooding of water and mud.  We didn't have electricity for awhile and no internet until late yesterday evening.

Here is a picture of my latest ice dyed shirt.  It is a j jill shirt which flairs out slightly.  It has a nice drape to it, but its shape looks a little odd in the picture.  I did a different kind of folding for this one that resulted in the mirror image design.



Above is a closeup.