Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Harvest Moon

The full moon this Sunday, October 4, will be the Harvest Moon ~ the full moon that occurs annually, closest to the autumnal equinox. And in her honor, here is weekly quilt #40.09, Harvest Moon.

Harvest Moon is all cotton, and the fabrics were deconstructed or glue screened, and stamped. I created the piece in its entirety on Monday. More of these weekly exercises have become keepers, this one included. Guess that means I'm happy with my work! It's been close to a year since I started quilting, and yes, I am loving it!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Deconstructed Rubbings

Last Monday at the end of my DSP session, I printed off a screen that I had prepared by rubbing Caran d'ache watercolor crayons over a plate I'd made with caulk on cardboard. I did this process a few weeks ago as well, and wanted to have another go at it -- this time, though, I used a more liquid acrylic medium and thinned that down with 50% water.

I like the way the print looks, but once again, I just don't care for the stiffness of the fabric with the acrylic medium on it. So I'll likely abandon this process as something to do again in future.

That's what I've been thinking, anyway, but seeing the photo above, maybe I'll do it a third time with 75% water to 25% acrylic medium. It doesn't take much acrylic to make the color permanent...so perhaps it's just a matter of getting that ratio correct so that I can live with the finished fabric.

This is going to be a busy week for me. I'll be in Eureka every day including Saturday for the rest of the week, three full afternoons at work, two shows to hang on Thursday, dancing lesson on Friday evening, and Arts Alive! reception on Saturday. So today I finished my weekly quilt and I'll post it tomorrow.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Another Keeper

I love this quilt! Indian Summer (#39.09). The background fabric is one of my very first painted/printed fabrics, that I've been saving for the perfect use. This was it! The dark leaves are from my paintstik-on-shibori exercise of a few weeks ago, cut out, fused and quilted. The other leaves were stamped or stenciled with Lumiere.

I finished Lake View completely today, and it's now hanging in the bedroom above my gorgeous antique quarter-sawn oak sideboard, Isabel. She's the only valuable piece of furniture I own ~ I bought her for my birthday in 1994 from an antique store in Berkeley. She originated from an old home in Alameda, circa 1920 or so. Isabel makes a wonderful dresser cum linen cabinet, her current use(s).

Lazybones here just got off her bum and took this photo!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Just For Pleasure

I just finished this little piece, Lake View, which will hang in our bedroom. It just needs hanging loops to put a dowel through. I began the piece a couple months ago, the fabrics sat on my design wall for a long time, I pieced some sections together then cut them up and tried rearranging them...but didn't like that, so I sewed the pieces back together and then I liked it!

It's been a joy to make something purely for pleasure, something I rarely do for myself. I guess all the art I make is for myself, really, but it's rare that I have a personal use for something in mind from the get go.

The biggest hardware store in Eureka devotes a section of their garden shop to local artisans during the holidays, and I met with the coordinator today about having my textile postcards and small quilts available ~ which they will be!

Thursday next week I'll be installing two shows in downtown Eureka -- one at the Humboldt Carpet Showroom for October, and one at the North Coast Knittery for October and November. I'm excited about my art having a lot of local exposure over the next few months!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Monday's Print Storm

Back to deconstructed screen printing again! Yesterday I printed screens I prepared last week, and these are the best pieces. The first screen was made by applying thickened dye to the screen with a syringe. The image below is a manipulated photo of the screen prior to printing off.

I did something different this time, in prepping the screens ~ most teachers of the DSP process instruct us to mix pasted dye powder into prepared print paste (urea and metaphos water softener in water with sodium alginate added to thicken), and as I hadn't really done it this way before, I tried it this time. Previously, I had simply added the alginate to already-mixed dyestock, let it sit overnight to thicken without lumps, and then used that for screen preparation.

After making pre-print paste the recommended way, I found I didn't like it nearly as much as my original home-grown method. Here's why: the urea (a humectant, meaning it holds moisture) made the paste nearly impossible to dry -- even with a hairdryer. And even after the dye was "dry" on the screen, it was kind of rubbery. So it never dried through and through. Consequently, many of the dye areas peeled off the screen after a few prints were made, rather than deconstructing little by little. The final print paste basically lifted the dye off the screen and deposited chunks on the fabric.

This purple piece began with two different shibori baths, then I discharged it with dishwaster gel, then printed it yesterday.

I love these little squares -- I use this pattern quite a bit. The foundation fabric was LWI dyed.

Here's one where I painted thinned thickened dye (is that an oxymoron?) right on the screen.

The pattern for this piece was made by pulling dye over a screen that was laying on top of some of that kinky cut paper strips stuff used for packaging. This fabric had also been LWI dyed.

This piece never actually made it to the deconstructed print phase -- after prepping a screen with a dishmat, I turned the mat over onto a previously dyed fabric and monoprinted it.

Tomorrow I'll post photos of a small landscape quilt I made for our home, that I completed today.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Early Fall In Paradise

I love the weather we've been having -- breezy, warm yet crisp, wonderful light. My favorite time of year!

Here's the weekly quilt -- also this month's quilt...September Song (#38.09). Conceived and executed in total today, with glue screen and deconstructed screen prints and pieces of a digital image, on cotton, linen and raw silk.

I thoroughly enjoyed every part of making this quilt, especially the just-going-with-it part and the satisfaction I feel with the finished piece.

I'm starting a new part-time job tomorrow, doing the books for the Sequoia Humane Society in Eureka. I'm particularly excited about taking my nonprofit organization skills into the animal welfare arena, something I've been wanting to do for many years. You just never know where or when those "miracles" are going to show up!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Changing Colors?

You might think my color preference had changed from autumn tones to indigo hues. But this is just a passing fancy. I think...

This week's quilt, Nightfall (#37.09), utilizes yet more of my "black" shiboried muslin, embellished with Lumiere, glass beads and moonstones. This piece feels particularly Japanese to me.

I like how quilting the shibori lines creates a corduroy-like fabric with wonderful ridges my fingers enjoy running over.

Speaking of nightfall, if you've not read Nelson DeMille's "Nightfall," it is highly recommended -- as are all his other books. If you are inspired, now, to read it, when you get to the very end, remember the day on which I made this recommendation. I guarantee you'll forget until you get there. Enough said.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

City Shibori

Ever since I began putting this shibori quilt together -- and this was the first designed of the now three I've completed -- the title Urban Ikat has been bumping around in my head. The top is strips of three batches of cotton shiboried with three different Procion black dyes. The backing is one large piece of shiboried cotton. Finished size is 35 x 19.5 inches.

Although I'm using pieces of these shiboried cottons on other smaller quilts, I'm not sure whether I'll do another entire large piece. Too early to tell, but I'm moving onto other things in the near future.

Today, though, more postcards. Still needing to post the recently completed ones to Etsy...have been fine tuning my image taking of late.

I'm getting a bit of a late start this morning...think I may need to run into town to see my chiropractor first!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Today In The Studio...

...I finished this week's quilt, Stormy Sea (#36.09), in addition to completing a bunch of quilted postcards. I'm getting quite a little collection of personal pieces -- keepers -- along with the ones I plan to sell.

Stormy Sea started out as two halves of one LWI dyed fabric that I applied Shiva Paintstix to over rubbing plates. The water and binding are some of the recent black shiboried muslin.

This weekend I'm planning to finish a large shibori quilt -- the first one I planned, although the last one to be quilted. Maybe next week I'll get back to the deconstructed screen printing I've been meaning to do for weeks now.

Meanwhile, I hope this weekend turns out to be as beautiful as it's been here the last few days. Have a good one yourselves!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Four More

I finished four more postcards this morning, before leaving for town to get my hair cut. These photos of four up aren't as good as the individual images are -- although I'll have to reshoot the other three tomorrow because I was in a rush and they turned out blurry. Think I forgot to set the macro! Also, each piece is actually 6 x 4 inches although the perspective of the shot makes 'em look out of shape.

First thing tomorrow I'll get my weekly quilt done. It's been ready to quilt since late last week. But I'm really into this postcard thing! By the weekend I hope to have a dozen or more listed at Etsy. Will post a link then!

Today was another beautiful day in paradise, early fall and I'm loving it!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Goods

Finally something to show for my work this week! The first four completed postcards. Now that I've got my process down, they'll go more quickly from here on out.

I looked all over town the other day for a rubber stamp that said "Post Card," but couldn't find anything here (of course!). No matter, I like what I came up with better! I printed wording on fabric and zigzagged it on the backs with transparent thread. Worked like a charm and adds even more handmade appeal.

We've had absolutely beautiful weather today, right from the get go...sunshine, breeze, warm temps. The sun really lifts my spirits, so I've had a wonderful day. Hope you have too!