Monday, December 29, 2014

Leaves, Leaves, and More Leaves

Christmas is over and the kids are gone.  I've been sick with a cold since the Friday before Christmas.  Must be from all those students sneezing and coughing, you think? Since it wasn't going away I  went to the doc in the box the Friday after Christmas to get something for my cough so I can al least get some sleep at night.  So I've been taking it easy, drinking lots of tea.

I love leaves.  I have been picking up all kinds of leaves for years.  When I can, I take them home and press them between book pages weighting them down until they are nice and flat.  And the ones I can't take home I photograph.

Here's a gorgeous coleus we saw on the way home after dropping off one of my sons at the airport yesterday.

The colors are so amazing as are the values and their repetition.

Here's one I may have shown before followed by a photo-shopped version of it as well.  It is a photo of one of my sunflowers about ready to bloom.

I think this one would make a great block print.

I will 'leave' you with that and wish you a Happy, healthy New Year!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Ethnic Ceramic Masks

How exciting to find out my blog has received over 10,000 views!! It's been challenging to keep it going week to week, even with posting weekly.  At the same time it keeps me creating and is my journal in many ways.  Thank you to all of you who have visited.  I hope you will continue to keep checking it out.  I'll try to keep it interesting.

Been busy with all things Christmas this last week, so today am going to show you some of the great ethnic ceramic masks my students have created over the last month.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Over Dyeing Ice Dyed Fabrics and Scarf

I had some time earlier in the week to add a little black to two pieces of ice dyed fabric and one scarf.  Here is fabric number 1 prior to dyeing.

Next I accordion folded the fabric, rolled it up, put it in a container and drizzled dye on top of the folded edges.

Below is the finished fabric.

I couldn't find a picture of this fabric prior to last week's overdyeing, but it was similar to the one above.  Below is a picture of how I swirled and crunched up the fabric into a plastic box. Then I drizzled dye on top and very strategically.

Here is the finished piece.

And last, but not least, a silk scarf that needed a little more black.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Sunday Sunrise Snapshot

School and life in general has been keeping me way too busy lately.  Haven't had a chance to work on my art fabric very much.  Been crocheting gift scarves, shopping, baking, grading papers, blah, blah, blah.  This last week we've had such beautiful views of the sunrise from our home.  The colors change so quickly, that I need to grab my camera and run out in my jammies to capture the beauty.  So this week I'll leave you with a picture of one to enjoy.

Thursday, November 27, 2014


On andthenwesetitonfire blog here ,Beth has been showing a monoprinting technique based on a video by Laura Kemshall.  I gave it a try and here's a couple of mine. It was a lot of fun.  I got too much 'noise' on mine, especially on the first one, which I did on one of those white acrylic cutting boards but I still like how they turned out.  I did both of them on multi colored fabrics.

This one has the tracing paper on top which shows the design I used for the one below.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Beginning New Quilt with Ice Dyed Fabrics

Over the last couple of weeks I've been contemplating a new art quilt.  It's so hard for me to cut up  some of my hand dyed fabrics because they are abstract paintings just left alone, but I just got over that idea and cut the two below into rectangles.


I rearranged them, sewed them back together and got this. The textures resemble rock surfaces to me.  I like the play of light and dark in this arrangement.

I have a couple ideas I'm playing around with for the next step in this quilt's evolution.  Some skinny line insertions perhaps or reverse applique. Still cogitating on this one.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Ocean Themed Quilt

Finally finished and shipped off the quilt to my nephew and his wife, both named Lauren.  It was a belated wedding present. Thanks to Virginia Roos who did a great job of quilting it.  It measures 91 by 87.  It was hard to get a good picture of  it due to its size.

I used the fabrics that didn't work for the front for the back.  

Monday, November 10, 2014

Beautiful Sunrise and Fiber Art Bowls

Here is a picture of the sunrise  from my back window a few days ago.  We are very lucky to have such inspirational sunrises and sunsets from our home.

At our Cutting Edge meeting Saturday, one of our members shared the beautiful fiber bowl she made in a class taught by Hilde Morin of Portland, Oregon.  You can view more of Hilde Morin's work here and below.

Below is a closeup.  It is made on canvas with fused pieces of fabric to create the design.

Some years ago, I played around with making small fiber bowls as Christmas gifts.  Mine aren't as beautiful and artistic as Ms. Morin's, but I enjoyed making them and am looking forward to having some time to play around with making more.

Below is the bottom of the bowl.  I used Timtex inside and fused fabric to it.

Last Thursday another teacher and I took an additional 50 sixth graders to Hearst Castle for an art lesson taught by Anne Laddon of Studios on the Park.  What a great opportunity for our students at such an incredible place.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

What's Happening on My Design Wall

This last weekend, I went through my ever increasing stack of hand-dyed fabrics to figure out what  to do with them.  Some of the shibori and ice dyed  fabrics have such intense areas of pattern that to cut them up seems a shame.  Yet, I don't think they are all candidates for whole cloth quilts either.  A few of them might be.  So I threw these up onto my design wall to see how they would work with each other and did a few sketches.  The marbled fabrics are a little tricky to integrate well with other fabrics.  So I was looking at patterns and colors that played well with each other.  All of the ones below are hand-dyes except for the one with the gorgeous black background with green and orange patterns third from the right end. I picked that one up at PIQF at the Ananse Village booth.  They always have such wonderful batiks from Africa.

The small strip of black and white patterned fabric on the right is also commercial.  Black and white seems to always work well with lots of brights.

Sometimes I think I should just try to sell all my dyed fabrics, but I like them too much and it's a lot of work marketing yourself online, for which I don't have time or interst.  Looking forward to having some time to figure this all out.  

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop and New Shibori and Tie-dyed Baseball Caps, Part Deux

Judy Sail, whose blog I have been following regularly for years,  kindly invited me to participate in the "Around the World Blog Hop."  She does some wonderful dyeing, crocheting, scarves, etc.  Check out her blog here .

Many fiber artists are participating in this blog hop through answering 4 basic questions about their art.  So here we go:

1.  What am I working on?   This past weekend I played around with  doing some more over-dyeing using shibori techniques.  This was a piece that I previously clamped and dyed, using accordion folding with large metal washers and small tiles.  I refolded it in one direction, then another , put rubber bands around it and squeezed black dye into the folded edges.  I'm liking the complex layers of pattern and design.

Below is a closeup.

Below is an overdyed pink and orange ice dyed print, on which I used a shibori technique
 called capping.  

And recently, I've started tie-dyeing a few hats, just because.

Here's the results from Sunday's experiment, which didn't turn out as well as I hoped it would, 
but it's ok. I either needed to stitch a more simplified leaf or do 2 to 3 rows of stitching around the maple leaf, so the shape would show up better.

2.   How does my work differ from others of its genre? I have been fortunate enough to take workshops from a lot of great teachers, Jeanette de Nicolas Meyer, Caryl Bryer Fallert, Rosalie Dace, Melody Johnson, Sandy Cummings and am currently taking an online class through Craftsy from Jane Dunnewold.  I love learning new techniques but do not want my finished work to resemble theirs.  I try to allow the fabric to dictate the direction of the design and that's where the focus is, like in this quilt. Although this quilt has mark making which I've learned in a variety of classes, it is combined with lots of free-hand embroidery which I've enjoyed doing since I was 16.

3.  Why do I write/create what I do?  Because I have to.  It is what makes me tick and keeps me sane.  With teaching art full time in a middle school, I really have to make a conscious effort to carve out time for my own creating.  I'm trying to find two to three hours every weekend, and trying to hang in there until summer, when I'll have more time to truly experiment. 

4.  How does my writing/creating process work?  This will be my 116th post.  I started my blog shortly after getting an article on Itajime Shibori published in Quilting Arts (December/January 2012/13).  I'm a teacher at heart and like to share with others my experiments since I have learned so much from visiting other artists' websites.  Hopefully what I do will inspire someone else to play around with creating fabrics.  Blogging is also a great way to keep an art journal and chronicle my work for myself.  Someone whose blog has inspired me is Linda McLaughlin, so I am inviting her to join in the blog hop.  I've been especially enjoying looking at her fabulous hand-stitching in her weekly leaf series. Her blog is "Notes from Studio B"  and you can check out her lovely work here .

Monday, October 27, 2014

Shibori and Tie Dye Baseball Caps

I developed an insatiable interest in all things Shibori while pursuing my Masters degree a fews ago.  This past month on the "And then we started it on Fire" blogsite  (See link in my list of blogs to the right), different artists have been presenting information and experiments on stitched shibori.  I had a couple of hours yesterday, in between grading papers, cleaning, an all the other 'stuff'  one has to get done, to play around with stitching a leaf shape,


then adding small washers, etc. to the inside of the shape as I was gathering it up.

 I pulled up the stitching very tightly and soaked it in soda ash for 15 minutes.  Next I squirted dyes onto it. The fabric was a commercial varigated orange to begin with.  Stay tuned for the rinse out, coming later today after work.

I recently tie dyed a hat.  A friend of mine reallylike it and asked me to make a couple for herself and husband.  Before rinsing out:

Check back later to see how these turned out.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Pacific International Quilt Festival 2014

Yesterday I made my annual pilgrimage to Santa Clara for the Pacific International Quilt Show with a couple of good friends.  It was fabulous as always.  Here are a few of my favorite quilts.  Hope you enjoy them too.

Flowers of the Arab Spring by Susan Shie - Below is a detail.  This was a very moving quilt about the sad state of women in the Middle East who dare to speak their minds and demand rights.

Blockade by Martina Hilgert Vervoot

This piece had wonderful texture and lines.  I need to experiment more with 
 with those insertions of skinny lines. I took a great workshop from Rosalie Dace, as did this artist, where I first learned how to create those. 
Below are detail photos.

I like how the quilting stitch goes from a narrow line to the oval satin stitch.

End of the Spin by Melissa Sobotka.  
This quilt shows the ends of spools of yarn used for weaving the weft.

The closeup shows the great job Melissa did with raw edge fusing of the fabrics. 
 It won an award for best use of color.

My friend Isolde entered a quilt into PIQF for the first time, a beautiful one of Ulm Cathedral