Call for Entries – Digital Alchemy – Juried Exhibition @ International Quilt Market Houston

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My Warhol hot lichen, on sale at Spoonflower, where I go by wordnerd411

Jane Dunnewold is the creative force behind this first ever exploration of how quilters are using digitally printed fabrics from print on demand companies such as Spoonflower.  Of course Spoonflower is the leading company in this groundbreaking field, and they are co-sponsoring the exhibition.  It will premiere at the 2015 International Quilt Market and Festival in Houston this fall.

Jane has put a link to the pdf of the call for entry here.

Details of size, etc. are all on the pdf.  Worth calling out:

Quilts must be made from at least 50% digitally printed fabric.  It is not a requirement that fabric be designed by the quiltmaker, but the designer must be credited.

The other pertinent rule is no online/social media sharing of work in progress until acceptance and rejection notices have been delivered.

Submissions open March 1 to April 5.

Spoonflower turns orders around fast so even if there’s nothing lurking in your stash of too beautiful to cut, you’ve got time to design and order your own fabric — trust me on this, it’s not hard — or just go shopping for other designers’ fabrics.

Since this is for a quilt show (as opposed to bed quilts) you don’t have to confine yourself to cotton.  Spoonflower can print designs onto silk, jersey and now even Minky (think pushing the envelope with soft fuzzy baby blankets in non traditional colours and designs).  Of course quilts have to be quilted and quilting on Minky might be a bit challenging, but interesting.

More Book Sharing

IMG_0505I found two welcome surprises when out walking yesterday:

  1. The neighborhood sharing bin has ebbed and flowed with assorted items but has never contained many books.  But things are changing!  A good selection of literature, and non fiction. interestingly the mysteries I had left are gone after sitting there for a while.  Definitely a step in the right direction and more genre fiction will be added as I read through my shelf.
  2. Dollarama finally has sketchbooks in again. These were in stock in the summer and then when I went back for more they were out of stock.  But right now there is a good supply in.  When I can pay $3 for a sketchbook with 80 sheets of 60-pound paper in the preferred 9 by 12 size, I’m SOOOO there.

I figure this means I can spend more money on other supplies from specialty stores.

What’s YOUR take on this debate about shopping from local stores versus discount places?  Are you firmly in one camp or the other, or like me split between the two?  I’d love to hear!

Quilt Design A Day

QDAD DESIGN001_cropCheck out the inspiration photo and palette at design seeds.

I watched Anne Sullivan’s webinar through the Modern Quilt Guild explaining the concept of Quilt Design a Day and took to heart her reassurance that one can participate without necessarily using a computer program to do it.  Although that is something I also do plan to look into!

This was done in two stages

  1. outline the pieces on quad ruled paper
  2. trace over onto sketchbook paper and colour

Starting a list of ‘missing colours’ to pick up either markers or perhaps watercolour pencils whenever I’m in an art supply store.  This palette also has a light cream that I don’t have anything close to, a very low volume colour.

The colouring was done with oil pastels.  The blues and gray reproduced well in the scan but the lilac around the gray in the centre portal is disappointing.

Making art every day

I subscribed to Lesley Riley’s 52 pick-up, which is a year of weekly creativity prompts to encourage more regular art and creativity.  Feeling accountable to a supportive group of other people is helping me to form better habits.

And every day I succeed in spending time creating, I get a star!

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In real life the stars look better than they do in the photo, which often happens with glitter and metallics.  They’re foiled, a technique I’ve had a lot of fun with for years.  You can get the foils and special glue from Jones Tones.

But, breaking news!  and not good, although definitely a first world problem, Dharma Trading, the go-to source for all things fibre arty, posted that the foil is being discontinued and they (Dharma) are looking for a replacement.  In the month since they posted, the more conventional colours have been snapped up but they still have purple, green and blue.

I fused the square fabric onto the Disco Dots to have a little more body to stand up to the writing and foiling and free motion quilted along the lines.

Improvised piece

Inspired by Rayna Gillman’s book Create your own free-form quilts: a stress-free journey to original design

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What’s great about this book is that the author is into surface design as well as quilting and so has suggestions for the questions that plague me:

  • What to do with the ugly commercial fabrics?
  • What to do with the muddy/unfortunate/bizarre results of dyeing and surface design experiments?
  • What to do with the amazing fabric that is just too lovely to cut?  Sometimes this comes from a store and sometimes it’s the result of good things happening in the dye tub

Our guild is blessed with an extensive library and resource centre, where I found this book.  After reading it several times I really REALLY  wanted to experiment with the method, but given the other projects I have on the go, I had an argument with myself.  I won and the left-brained disciplinarian lost (as usual).

This piece measures 10-1/2 by 26 inches and contains

  • ugly commercial fabric (the brown and green print)
  • less successful surface design (the navy horizontal strips)
  • amazing pink and green deconstructed screen printing (in the vertical strips that are woven through from top to bottom, towards the middle)

Lessons learned:

  • It’s good to just play from time to time without having a precise vision in mind
  • Letting go of all the design rules about coordinating colours and how to choose fabrics can be a big challenge
  • This method is very conducive to Working In A Series because there is just so much to explore.  There will be more of these!

In honour of having taken the process pledge, here are some process pix:

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This is the navy (see why it was a problem child?) with yellow print attached to two of the strips.

 

photo(67)Here’s the strata that ended up being sliced between the horizontal areas.  This shows much more clearly the beautiful pink and green deconstructed screen print.  The pale green fan print is one I’ve used in many different pieces, although I’m not really a fan of 30’s reproductions, which is what this looks like.  But I love being able to mix up such disparate fabrics as these, the green and black batik and the green and pink/purple/burgundy stripe at the top.

Process Pledge

This has been going for a while but trust me to stumble onto things long after they happen!

Anyway I figure since I’m already doing this I can safely take the pledge.  So what if I’m the 892nd person to leap on the bandwagon?

And I’m posting ROssie’s prompts as a reminder to myself and others:

  • Do you have any new sketches to show?
  • Is this design inspired by a past quilt or someone else’s quilt you saw (link, please)?
  • Does the color palette come from somewhere specific?
  • Are you trying to evoke a specific feeling?
  • Is this quilt intended for a specific person?  How did that inform your choices?
  • Are you following a pattern, emulating a block you saw somewhere, using a liberated process, or totally winging it?
  • What are you hating about this quilt at this stage?  What do you love?
  • Did you push yourself to try something new?
  • In working on the quilt, are you getting ideas about what you might want to try next?  What?  Did you sketch it?

Stay tuned for more about the other two workshops I took at the retreat and other fun things!

Silk Paper Workshop

At our Quilt Guild annual retreat this past weekend Laine Canivet taught a small group of us how to make silk paper from silk roving.

Here’s some yummy inspiration by Laine:

photo(23)A theatre purse with hand-made tassel and some purple beads.

Laine gave us a quick demo of the basic process

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and then we all worked on our first individual pieces.  The group was small enough that Laine was able to guide us along and make another sheet for herself.

The next project was making scrunchies.

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From the photo you might think these are hard to do but really they aren’t.

Again, there was wonderful synergy happening and lots of “What if?” thinking going on.  Laine was inspired to make a giant scrunchie just to see what would happen.  It’s huge and will make a dramatic artwork.

Here’s my own “what if?” piece.

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Laine mentioned that one can make vessels by covering a form with food wrap for ease of removal, then draping wet silk paper over it and letting it dry.  My first thought was “rats, no food wrap!”  Then I remembered I had packed several large trash bags to protect the work surface from the dye, and not all had been used.  A few quick snips and I had plastic sheeting to drape over a large upturnedphoto(30) yoghourt container.  The nice thing was the way the plastic draped made it possible to achieve wonderful fluting, whereas food wrap would cling to the mold and you’d end up with the less interesting shape of a yoghourt pot.

Here are a couple of views of the outside now that it’s finished drying

photo(29)  And here is the inside.  It’s shinier and that’s one thing I like about it.

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I also intentionally played with using both red and green roving, laying the two layers of the paper in opposite directions and colour placement in order to achieve some of the wonderful colours found in rhubarb and Swiss chard, where red and green fuse.  It’s one colour combination that has particularly fascinated me since I started dyeing fabrics.

This is a first experiment and for the next one will aim at a more  defined, less wispy edge.

 

What I liked about this workshop and process:

  • The chance to play around with messy, wet ingredients!
  • A fairly easy way to dye silk
  • The lustrous colours silk gives that no other textile can approach
  • Layering and transparency effects
  • All the other possibilities I have yet to try such as beads, stamping on silk paper, painting it, sewing it, etc.

Drawbacks:

  • Precisely because it’s wet and messy you need both space AND time to do it with no interruptions
  • Dry roving flies all over so you have to work in an enclosed space with no cross breezes, at least until you have added water and textile medium
  • Cost of the materials — imported from the U.S. and pricey to begin with.  We certainly appreciated Laine’s very fair kit fee and the leftover supplies in it so will be able to do more at home.  It’s silk, so will always be expensive.  I can see I need to sell some bowls so I can afford to keep going!