Something I gotta try … and a confession

I’ve been studying Pat Langford’s Embroidery from Sketch to Stitch, Quilters’ Resource, Inc, 1996, ISBN 0-9629056-7-4

This lady is first and foremost an embroiderer, which I’m really not, although various little things are nudging me in that direction.

Sketching is obviously a huge part of what she does.  Maybe this will be the impetus that will get me sketching on a more regular basis instead of wringing my hands and being a sniveling wannabe.

I’m intrigued by the way she pushes the envelope, using puff paint on a baby blanket (although you would never know from looking at the finished work), and crayoning onto microfibre.

Specific things I want to try:

Polychromos coloured pencils on microfibre, ironed to heat set

Transfer dyeing with Crayola fabric crayons on paper, ironed onto the microfibre fabric.

Pentel crayons directly onto linen in several layers.  Langford actually covered the fabric in places.  Hmmm, thrift store hunt for old linen coming up maybe?   Too bad I no longer have the orange linen tablecloth that was in my wedding registry, that would have been so dramatic!

Langford has many platters, which are round or oval art quilts.  That’s a possible direction.

CONFESSION

After the busyness and frenzy of preparing for and being in the Artists In Motion @ The Empress show, I vowed to take things easy/take the summer off.  Of course THAT’S not gonna happen, but as I recuperated I challenged myself to write down all the different outstanding projects and tasks of every description that I have on my plate.  It’s four pages long, so I’m forcing myself to look at this list every day, cross things off it as and when possible, and not undertake any more new projects.

So in order to stay focused artistically, I’m starting a new page on the blog for things I want to try, so that I can have a handy reference.  Of course I have a sketchbook on the go too but this will be a good handy way to preserve links electronically.

Before the show I did find that restricting myself to working in a series was helpful.  I am continuing with that series in order to have more to show at the Moss Street Paint-In, where we will be exhibiting on Thurlow Street next to the Moss Street market.

 

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Alzheimer’s ~ Chance to do your part

Idea Tree was made over a year ago, mainly to teach myself beading in order to complete Geode.

Just 7 by 10 inches, it’s small enough for the Alzheimer’s Quilt auction.  So that’s where it’s gone, and is waiting to go into an auction!  Please pop over to their website where you can look at a better photo, plus pix of all the other little quilts others have made.

Check out the current auction for a chance to get in on this great way to own a piece of original fibre art AND do something about the ever-increasing tragedy of Alzheimer’s.

The auction runs every month, so quilters, take a look and see if you have something small to send.  If not, challenge yourself to make something!

And needless to say once Idea Tree is in the auction I’ll be posting again, in utterly shameless self promotion!

Shading

Today I was aiming for shaded effects and more control over the pen.  When it has thoroughly dried I might post a page from my sketchbook.  I really have to think hard about shading because my brain thinks more in terms of outlines, shapes of things, and of course quilting reinforces that.

I used way less ink on the pen at any one time and that is making it better.  But I find it scratchy and not flowing.  In contrast, here is a doodle I did on kraft paper the other night.  It’s about 12 by 14 inches so this is part of it, since the whole piece won’t fit on my scanner.  Will try more with brushes in Melly’s challenge I think!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last night while watching Bride and Prejudice, which was fine entertainment, I got around to beading my Dragonfly mola, using mostly hand made beads.

Of course as soon as I stitched on the wire beads I knew I needed black silamide, but since it’s a small piece I kept going to see how it would turn out.  Now I’ve been to Bead World so it will not take long to redo those three beads.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And no trip to Bead World would be complete without a) extra inspirational shopping

b) boasting about Geode, my large beaded art quilt, currently on display at Satin Moon!

Embellishment Baraka

ott0001On Monday we went to Fabricland with the goal of finding shirred cotton to make a prayer skirt for my DD.  After walking along a trail for what seemed like many miles (although it was a pleasant walk) we arrived at the store to find — no shirred cotton.  It seems there is none on the island.

They had some polyester that had a thick shirred band running through the centre of the fabric.  But when I asked the clerk how to use it she said “I don’t know, I’ve never known anyone actually do anything with it!”

However I did snap up some silk Dupioni for the wallhanging project, and these over-the-top embellishments were buy one, get two free.  The cool thing about them is that they have holes drilled into them so no need for other mysterious gadgets to attach them to a piece.

Which End is Up??

They do say that the mark of a good composition is one that works in any orientation, so perhaps I’ve achieved that for once.

While in the workshop with Susan McGregor at Satin Moon last week, I felt that the piece would be turned this way (second photo). That was how her sample piece was displayed and I was not aiming for a landscape effect, just wanted to learn the technique and play with the subtle batik colors.
At the end of the day, Susan and I were looking at my work and she suggested turning it sideways, (third and fourth photos).

At home I thought about it some more, and discussed with a family member, and we decided that the third photo was most suggestive of a landscape. Based on that, I laid a piece of fusible embroidery thread across the bottom of the piece and fused it on to use as a cutting guide.

This piece is still not finished because as mentioned earlier it’s to be embellished. While talking about the logistics of embellishment with fellow FAD members, people challenged me to hold it up in different orientations to rethink it, and I’m now leaning towards the last photo, with the curved edge at the top.

Who knows, perhaps in the course of embellishing some other epiphany will come? But I’m thinking to take that as the orientation for the embellishment.

In any case, this technique, which is topstitching the curves and matching the top thread to the fabric (in most cases) has many possibilities and I plan to play and experiment. Although my stash doesn’t contain that much batik, I’m thinking paisley prints, commercial marbled fabric like Moda, and some of my hand dyed fabric. So I look on this piece as the first of many ~ this is a great technique to have in the repertoire.

So far, so good — what next??

This is a scan of some silk cocoons I’ve had for a while. Now I actually have a wall hanging I might use them on, but does anyone have a clue as to what you actually DO with them?

I have looked online but have not seen anything with specific directions. The sites that sell them say things like “wonderful for embellishment” and leave it at that! Aaaaarrrrggh!

Appealing for your help here, folks!