Wednesday, April 27, 2011

All In a Day's Work

Despite getting a late start on Tuesday, I managed to start and finish this quilt -- all except the sleeve and label.

I'm calling this piece Plum Crazy, it measures 26x13 inches, and is a single piece of deconstructed screen printed linen.  Actually, the four center sections are that same screen, while the borders were printed with a glue gel screen design.  Still just one piece of fabric.

I've had designs on quilting this piece since printing it nearly two years ago.  That finally happened.  When I began yesterday, although the piece had been basted a month or more ago, I was feeling iffy about it.  But I'm glad to say I'm very happy with it.

You may be able to see on the closeup shot that there are 3-cut seed beads scattered throughout.  The slight out-of-focus aspect is because I had originally printed the fabric a year earlier with a different screen.  That print appears beige-gray in the background.

I've made a number of new collages in the last week, and feeling good about what's happening here.  There's so much out there in the way of inspiration -- other artists' work, blogs, books, etc. -- and my goal here, as with my quilted art cloth, is to have my work be different than others'. 

I realize we all borrow from each other...but I still don't like seeing people's work in whatever medium that looks so much like someone else's work that you think it IS that other person's work when you first see it...or work coming out of a class taught by a well-known artist, that all looks remarkably like that artist's work.

Anyway, more shall be revealed!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Beading Frenzy

This is my latest piece, finished late this afternoon.  It's called The Moon and A Thousand Stars, it's 11x14 inches and slightly trapezoidal, although by virtue of different length tabs, it hangs straight.

The discharged piece was an outtake ~ I almost tossed it but realized it would make a very cool small quilt virtually just how it was.  It was originally commercial black fabric with white dots on it.  The "moons" are batiked circles that I cut off a piece of fabric that I recently batiked and discharged.  The background of that piece turned out ugly but the circles rocked.

And then of course I beaded every dot in the black areas.  Another two days of intense beading.  The French binding, tabs and backing are black commercial fabric with teeny tiny gold dots.

I'll be posting this at Etsy in the next day or two.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Change Afoot

This photo is NOT from this weekend...we've had yet another rainy weekend in paradise here on the North Coast.

I spent all day yesterday and this morning working on my latest Fiberactions challenge quilt, themed "embellish."  The quilt itself is finished, and it turned out better than I'd hoped so it remains to be seen how much embellishment it will actually get.  The reveal date is May 15.

My collage practice is shifting.  I feel that what I've been doing has gotten pretty repetitive for the most part so I'll be moving in a new direction with it.  If you follow Collage Journey, the next month's collages will be in the same vein as my previous work, as I just recently photographed the last completed month's worth.  But I've already started doing different things which I'll have on the blog beginning mid-next month.

Other things have shifted as well.  After watching a lot of movies and TV programs on DVD since late last year, I decided to let it go, except for the occasional good film.  I've been spending more time reading, working in the studio in the evenings, or just hanging out with BeeGee, enjoying life in the present moment.  I'm already feeling more peaceful and serene as a consequence.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Chemical Soup

These are the best from Monday's discharge pots.  Most fabrics were processed in thiox, a few in bleach/water solution.  They're all cotton and/or linen with the exception of the handwoven piece right below.

This handwoven piece was black cotton warp and black Tencel weft, and I'd woven it in a network draft.  If you look hard you can see circles in the weave ~ they were much more noticeable before discharging, with the light playing differently off the two fibers.  It looks African to me now.  It's 30x15", just perfect for a wall piece without necessarily being quilted.

The range of resulting colors from the different black dyes fascinate me, and I love the palette.  The three at the top left were bleached.

I neglected to mention in yesterday's post that I listed six new fabric bundles for sale on my Sales Blog over the weekend.  Hope you like them!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Honorable Mentions

I had the pleasure on Sunday of being featured on Rayela's Fiber Focus blog.  Rachel Biel spearheaded TAFA, of which I am a member, and she has organized a TAFA Market in Paducah April 27-30.  I've sent in six quilts that will be available for sale.  See those pieces here.  If you plan to be in Paducah for the AQS Show, don't miss the TAFA Market in downtown Paducah on Market House Square.

Fiber artist and pal Bonnie Samuel also gave me an honorable mention yesterday on her FB Page, also much appreciated.

Thirty-five recent quilts of mine are featured during April and May at Curley's Grill in Fortuna.  If you plan to be on the North Coast in the next couple of months, please do stop by to see my work.  The food is wonderful, too!

Over the weekend I launched a new line of products at Zazzle, featuring images of surface designed fabric.  I've listed several items already and will be adding more soon.

I'll be back in a day or so. 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Ode to Spring...

...if spring would only arrive on the North Coast!  The weather lately is certainly nothing to write home about, except perhaps that it's been unseasonably cold.  Whatever "seasonably" means, since there is no "normal" anymore.

Anyway, I just finished this little 13x21" piece, Spring Fever, hoping mightily that it helps usher in bona fide spring weather. 

I also listed six new fabric packs this morning, available for sale on my Sales Blog -- check 'em out!

I've been perplexed lately about what to do with my Etsy Shop.  I haven't listed any new work in eons because I've sold so few finished pieces there.  If you go to my shop and look at the number of sales I've made since I launched it early in 2008, you might think my work was flying out the door, so to speak.  The reality is that 95% of my sales there have been spinning fibers and weaving yarns, which I'm not selling any longer.

I'm just keeping the question open in the back of my mind and I'll see what solutions pop up in the near future.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

More Glitz & Glam

More printing yesterday.

This first piece is raw silk -- it started out as a mauve garment I got at the thrift store and cut into pieces.  It was dyed and/or discharged a couple times.  Yesterday I printed off a screen with a masking tape design on it. 
This is an old linen napkin or piece of tablecloth that I dye printed with turquoise and orange, a couple years ago.  Hit it yesterday with teal, orange and rust paint.

Small scrap of one of my favorite deconstructed screen prints, now embellished with metallic.

Commercial black raw silk from Dharma, which I've found nearly impossible to discharge.  The navy dots and stripes in the background were from a discharge attempt earlier this year.  I used the same patterns yesterday -- dots on stripes and stripes on dots -- with paint.

A scrap of dyed cotton.  I'd already printed this with something else, which is now on the back, but didn't like it.  So I printed the other side yesterday.  That's one of the benefits of using paint -- if you don't like the results, turn the fabric over and have another go.

Another scrap, the edge of something I dyed eons ago...and now usable.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Metallic Monday

What fun I had yesterday finishing off small fabric pieces with metallic paint.  Just about any fabric can be made to look really wonderful with a little glitz -- even some of the dogs!
All of these fabrics -- some fat quarters, most smaller -- had previously been low-water dyed, rusted, discharged, shiboried, deconstructed screen printed or jar dyed; most have several layers.

Now they're finished and I love them -- meaning I'll use them somehow, somewhere.

And I'm doing more today!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Discharge Sunday

I suppose it was Mars entering Aries yesterday, but I had a burst of energy like I haven't had in a long time.  So I went with it.  Doing more discharging had been on my weekend to-do list for a few weeks and I did it yesterday.

My goal was a stack of already-dyed fabrics awaiting their next treatment.  Everytime I dye or otherwise do a first layer of surface design on fabric, I end up with several pieces just begging for more work.  Sometimes more work helps, sometimes not.  I'm getting more selective about which ones will get 2nd, 3rd and maybe 4th layers, because sometimes the original piece is just plain ugly and I've learned that ugly fabric in usually just creates ugly fabric out, after all is said and done.

I also work with small pieces of fabric quite often, maybe a half fat quarter or smaller, a piece leftover from some other project.  It's a good way to experiment, also a great way to recycle my own fabric.

The pieces you see here were either soy wax batiked first and then painted with thiox discharge paste, or just discharged with the paste, no wax involved.

The reddish piece is raw silk that was shiboried in a black bath -- black fiber reactive dyes will often turn red on silk -- then waxed and discharged yesterday.

The piece just above was discharged once before, then finished off yesterday.  If I remember correctly, the whiter areas in the design were created with bleach gel on the first go round.  That stuff has never worked for me, not well enough anyway to bother with it any more.

This piece is linen.  I waxed and discharged it yesterday, not enough color released, so I used the same pattern again with discharge paste alone.

The last piece is a fat quarter that was an early dye color experiment...then I shiboried the circles on it and still didn't like yesterday I used it under the other pieces I waxed, then discharged and finished it.

Sunday was gorgeous weatherwise.  We had partial sun this morning, but now it's clouding up again.  There's a chance of rain in the forecast for the rest of the week.  I am SO ready for spring...