Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Making Waves

This is Amber Waves, my latest quilted art cloth piece measuring 27x14 inches.

I started with a really great piece of heavy cotton fabric that had originally been a tablecloth.  Over the past few years it was dyed and printed and finally shiboried.  And it was sitting in my "green" stack awaiting further instructions.

Just a cool piece of fabric that will look smashing on the wall.

It took me close to three studio days to do the beading.  The power was out for an hour this morning so I beaded by candlelight for a while.

I'm not sure what's next although I do have another piece ready to quilt.  I'm waiting for a flash of inspiration...something's brewing creatively that has no form or details yet.

I'm hoping that a few really spring days will propel me out of my recent lethargy.  It looks like the rest of this week will be mostly sunny, although it's still pretty dreary today.

So now I'm going to watch last night's Castle online and rest my hands.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday Studio Scene

Today and for the foreseeable future, I'm sewing beads on a newly created quilted art cloth piece.  I really enjoy the Zen of sewing beads on a quilt.  It's definitely good meditation time...also an excellent opportunity to work out details of other pieces and projects.

It's hardly stopped raining for the past week ~ although it looks like there's sun in the forecast this week with temperatures gradually increasing into the mid-60s.  Wow, spring!  I'm ready for it!

What with the lousy weather, the economy, and who knows else, not enough people registered to take the Introduction to Shibori Workshop at Origin Design Lab in Eureka, this weekend.  Instead, though, I'll be teaching one or two people at a time in my studio, in the very near future.  A dear friend suggested this to me last year -- providing one-on-one individualized instruction in surface design techniques in my studio -- and it looks like the idea is coming to fruition.  It's so hard to get a group of people together these days, in my neck of the woods with a pretty limited market.  But teaching in my studio, on demand as it were, looks like it might be the way to go.

If you would be interested in learning any of the surface design techniques listed on the Workshops Page here on the blog, one-on-one with me in my studio, all tools and materials provided except fabric...if you'd like to visit usually-sunny Fortuna in beautiful Humboldt County and spend a weekend playing and experimenting with fabric, dyes, etc...definitely let me know!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Scarves Posted

I posted six handwoven scarves today on my Sales Blog -- and I'm donating 50 percent of the proceeds to animal rescue efforts in Japan.  Hope you'll participate in the sale/donation!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Moving Forward and Back

I took a walk this afternoon during a break in the rain, and had some interesting thoughts along the way...

I decided to call what I do Quilted Art Cloth instead of studio or art quilting.

Before I started quilting, and straddling my career as a weaver, I created art cloth. Art cloth has come to mean a length of fabric, most often silk of some sort, that has been surface designed numerous times to achieve a pattern-layered effect. Usually art cloth is large, as in a piece of yardage (3-5 yards), but not always.

My take on art cloth was to apply several layers of surface design to my own handwoven cloth usually woven with different silks for warp and weft...nearly always beginning with woven shibori, and overdyeing, over-shiboriing, discharging or printing additional layers.

Well, that idea never took off for me, but the surface design stuck and I started to make small quilts with the wonderful fabric samples I was creating.  In my book, it doesn't have to be big to be called art cloth.  I'm thinking that any fabric that I change the appearance of by any means possible is art cloth.  Handmade cloth that's artful.

My other idea while walking was to take several of those art cloth fabrics I created and turn them back into scarves -- which is where a few of them began -- so I can wear and enjoy them.  Wow, what a concept!  So that's what I've done, and now I have three new handwoven, shiboried silk scarves in my wardrobe.

And now I have another batch of handwoven scarves -- some of which I've never worn but have been holding on to -- that I am going let go of and make available through my Textile Sales Blog beginning this week.  I'll let you know when they've been posted.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Personal Best

Just finished yesterday, Six Degrees ~ 17x23.5 inches, two pieces of fabric -- cotton on the right, linen/rayon on the left -- discharged with bleach.  The circle side was soy wax batiked then discharged.  The painted circles (with white centers) were appliqued on.  Since there were large areas without any quilting, I hand quilted each spot through all layers before adding each bead.  I normally just bead onto the top surface because there's enough quilting to hold the piece together.

This piece is a personal best for me.  I'm just loving it.

With all the rain we had this week, we also had numerous rainbows in Fortuna.  One in particular that happened at the end of day as I was driving home on Wednesday, was SO brilliant that it looked like a color wheel in the sky.  I could hardly believe just how saturated the colors were.  A peak experience!  And speaking of rain, there's more in the forecast everyday for the next week.  Fortunately there are moments when it lets up and the sun breaks through.  But it's getting pretty soggy up here on the North Coast.  However, I am NOT complaining!  I'd still rather be here than anywhere else in the world.

Well, I've gotten a late start today and there's lots to do.  Hope you have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Just a Bit Dotty

Today is reveal day on Fiberactions' blog -- and this is my entry for the "impression" challenge...called Dot Matrix.

Fitting in with my direction of using wholecloth in more quilts, this is one piece of printed (hence, fabric that has impressions made on it) cotton.  It was printed with a textured roller, also with something underneath the fabric, and finally stamped.  And lightly beaded after quilting.  The border is raw silk that was also printed two or three times.

I'm not sure yet whether I'll frame this quilt or not -- although I've framed most of the other pieces in this collection of challenge quilts.  Not even sure whether I prefer it in vertical or horizontal orientation.  Time will tell.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Unity in Diversity

This piece is Unity in Diversity, completed just a while ago.  It measures 24" x 17" and features two favorite pieces of cloth.  The left piece started out as black raw silk that was nearly impossible to get the color out of as a shibori tied piece in a thiox bath...so after unwrapping it, I just plunged the fabric back into the thiox...it came out beige and kind of a dark indigo...after that dried, I painted thickened black dye on, then steamed.  The piece on the left is hand dyed muslin that was soy waxed and then discharged.

That diagonal fabric inspired some early photos of surface designed fabric, and two years ago I created this quilt -- Mojave Sunrise -- with one image transposed and printed on linen.
Here's a closeup of the circle side of my new quilt -- you can see here that I've sewn beads on this quilt as on all my recent pieces.  You can also see how this image itself could likely spawn further work, printed on fabric and eventually quilted.  That's how these things work for me.

And just for fun I did a bit of tinkering with the original image...and it's possible that I might do something else down the road with this as well!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Between the Raindrops

Not a heckuva lot of studio news, but I feel remiss in not writing for a week.  We've had on and off rain for a while and some dramatic skies.

What I have done is gather my notes and write the workshop materials for my shibori class later this month.  And I started in on a new series of art quilts but haven't gotten very far.  About 25% into the quilting on the first piece, I realized I didn't like the way it looked (there were two layers of batting -- one too many!) and I spent hours ripping out the stitches...which were microscopic because the batting was too thick.  Now the piece has been rebatted and basted and is ready for a new start.

Other than those things, not much else to show for last week.  I'll make up for that soon, I'm sure!