Saturday, December 27, 2008

Building Confidence

As mentioned a few weeks back, I've been working in The Art Quilt Workbook by Jane Davila & Elin Waterston. Finally, I finished the first assignment -- not without some changes to the instructions, chiefly that I am not conforming to the suggested 9 x 12 inch format. I just don't want to! Anyhow, my theme for the series is shibori discharged fabrics and here's my first piece...

Shibori discharge quiltI'm really happy with this piece. All the fabric is hand discharged, except the backing/border, which is handwoven Guatamalan fabric. I spent a few afternoons this week teaching myself how to free-motion quilt, and I used that technique throughout this little quilt. I've discovered that free-motion quilting on discharged fabric is very cool!

The next assignment is to design a quilt using digital imagery of some sort -- either an image printed on fabric, or inspiration from an image translated onto fabric. Last night I printed a few recent images on fabric, using my new and very-well-loved Canon Pixma MP530 AIO printer. Digital images on fabric should really be done with pigment inks (rather than dye-based inks like my printer uses), so I'll treat the printed image with a fixative that will render the colors to withstand UV light. I have a few pieces of fabric downstairs drying, that I treated this morning with one of the Golden Gel media, that should do the same thing as the fixative. When that fabric is dry, I'll print it. I'm really delighted that the color images I'm getting with my Canon are so spectacular.

I'll probably lose a few friends, here, but I intensely dislike Epson, despite the fact that so many artists use Epson printers in their work. With my Canon, there's no need to tinker with the color settings -- what I see on my computer screen is exactly what came out of the printer on fabric. The Epson I had and recently junked had to be messed with 'til the cows come home to get the colors right. And that was the least of its problems. Anyway, that's another story.

I'm having a very enjoyable time with my new daily rituals/practices. I recently started doing sketchbook collages every day, first thing in the morning. And I recently got back into morning meditation -- something I did regularly for a couple of years before letting it go a few months back. Something else I'm planning on is a practice of making weekly quilts, inspired by artist Jeanne Williamson.

I really like the idea of making a lot of art, just doing it for the practice. I feel like I've already got next year's chops on!

7 comments:

katherinesands said...

This is a lovely piece...did you use bleach or discharge paste? If you did use bleach, where did you get the black fabric? I am hoarding some that discharges to the whites and grays, but it is hard, if not impossible to find out there anymore. Good luck on the quilting. I too like to use the patterning that is there on hand made cloth for my quilting design. It think it looks the best.

Elin said...

Awesome! I look forward to the next assignment...

Rayna said...

Cool!

Purple Missus said...

You should be happy too, its turned out really well.
Just going over to Amazon to order that book - sounds good :)
You've also just convinced me that I ought to start on some daily rituals too, otherwise I just seem to flounder around and never get anywhere.

Bonnie said...

I, too, have a Canon Pixma MP 500 AIO printer which I also love. I spent months researching before I decided against the advice of everyone. I have never tried printing on fabric though. I will be curious to see how it works out. You are such a trail blazer.

Carole said...

That is a great piece!!
I have the book... set it aside until I have 'time', hmmm.. you have really inspired me.
I just did some bleach discharge, I love the results, I think I like the surprise.
Please advise us when you do the next one.

Brighde said...

Yum! Thanks also for the comments about your printer preference. I'm beginning to think about getting a computer at home, primarily so I can use printed images in my work......I'll be looking seriously at the Canon over the Epson.

Kay Allen