Archive for the ‘Art Quilts’ Category

Update on 6″ x 6″ Fiber Art Piece

June 22, 2009

I haven’t felt much like posting to my blog as I injured my knee and it’s been a long, painful recovery.  The sofa and I bonded, I’ve seen everything on television that remotely interests me, and have read a prodigious amount of books.  Physical therapy started 2 weeks ago, and while I still can’t manage stairs, I’m walking much better, and have hopes of totally eliminating my limp by the end of summer.

My goal is for the end of summer, as foot surgery is scheduled for next Tuesday – same leg as the injured knee – and that’s going to be bit of a set-back.  I’m going to be quite a sight sporting a big honking hinged black knee brace, and a black protective boot for my foot.  As I’ve told the doctor, I’ll be color co-ordinated.  😉

That’s enough of health updates.  Now it’s time for a fiber art update.  Some of you might remember I created a 6″ x 6″ piece of fiber art for the Rochester Contemporary Art Center.  Well, someone purchased it!!!  Yippee!!!  The Art Center will benefit from the sale of the piece, and a perfect stranger liked something I created.  That satisifies the philanthropist in me, and nutures my artist’s ego. 

The url to see the piece – along with a bright red SOLD sticker – is   Please take the time to look through a lot of the other pieces.  You just might find something you’d like to purchase to help support the art programs in my wonderful city of Rochester, NY. 



Leaf It To Me and Thoughts on Creating Art

April 22, 2009

I’m behind in posting to my blog as I’ve been busy creating.  It’s a good thing I took lots of pictures, because some of the pieces are no longer in my studio.

Here is the first one I made:


This is a 6″ x 6″ piece made for the Rochester Contemporary Art Center in Rochester, NY.  There will be an exhibit of original works of art to raise money to support the center, and to help with the costs of running the excellent programs offered to the community.  It will be open from June 6 – July 12, 2009, and each piece of art will sell for a mere $20.  This is the last year for the show, and my first time contributing a piece.  Hopefully, someone will like it and purchase it.

Some of you might recognize the background.  This was one of the blocks I made when I was experimenting with slicing, dicing, and fusing fabric this past February.  I didn’t have a clue what I would do with this piece, and I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to make for the show.   I had 2 days to complete the piece, and was blessed by a sudden burst of inspiration. 

A section of the block was cut away, and I had a couple of embroidered leaves left over from a project I made in the 90’s.  Yes, I save everything.  It took a long time to machine embroider those leaves on tulle, then to trim around the edges.  I had made oodles of them for the original project and these were the very last leaves.  The threads I used worked perfectly with the colors on the block.  Voila, Leaf It To Me was born.

This small project reinforced the idea of creating something everyday.  It’s important to work in your studio even if you don’t have a specific project in mind.  Trying new techniques – building a supply of embellishments – dyeing fabric, threads or yarn.  It might all seem to be random “busy” work at times.  But I’ve discovered practically everything I make eventually turns out to be just perfect for a totally unexpected project. 

I truly believe our subconcious guides us along the artistic path.  Connections are being made on a level I can’t explain.   This piece was created intuitively and quickly – for me.   I normally agonize over colors, placement, balance, etc…  It was the first time everything came together for me – in fabric, and in my mind.  I finally got it.

Create something every day.  You might not know why you are making something, but if you feel the need to try something new, if you need to have your sewing machine humming, or to embroider by hand, carve a stamp, screen print some fabric, etc – do it.  You don’t need to justify your actions.  Simply enjoy the process.  It will all come together someday, sometime, somehow. 


Slicing and Dicing and Fusing – # 2

February 18, 2009

Another quilt block today using the slicing, dicing and fusing technique and one that I really don’t like.


I was attempting to create depth by using light colored fabrics for the background. Lights are supposed to recede in a design, and the vertical strips were also cool – blues, aquas and violets. I think they were a bit too bright for the background fabric and come forward more than I wanted.

Using a warm based color for the horizontal strips, should make them the most prominent part of the block, but it’s just not working for me. Keep tuned though, because I plan on using this as the base for the first quilt in Jane Davila’s and Elin Waterson’s Art Quilt Workbook.


Slicing and Dicing and Fusing Today

February 15, 2009

I had an absolute blast today trying a slice and dice quilt technique that appealed to me.  I’m the orderly type, and most of my attempts at slice and dice have been too random for my design sensiblity.  Curves are fine, in fact curves are good, so are diagonal lines, but I simply don’t possess the courage to wield my rotary cutter with abandon – yet. 

Today’s technique came from an old book I own – Embellishments  Adding Glamour to Garments by Linda Fry Kenzle – page 75.  I just so happened to have a box of 3″ fabric squares, and randomly selected 16 of them to make a quilt square.Then the fun starts by slicing into the patchwork square to add varying widths of fabric strips.  I stuck to adding one color – black and did not bother measuring them.  The first cutting added some vertical strips:


The second and third cuttings added some horizontal strips:

And the last black strip was fused in place:

This last strip was painted with a new-to-me product – Perfect Pearls Metallics by Ranger  JoAnns, Etc sells them, but they do not carry the Perfect Fabric Medium.  Golden GAC 900 Fabric Painting Medium to the rescue.   The metallics are a powder and you add a little to the medium to custom make your paint.

The package says it works best on dark paper or fabric and that info is spot on.  Being inquisitive, I had to test it for myself, and painted a piece of muslin, and a piece of black cotton fabric.  No contest – the paint shows up much better on the black cotton fabric.  The muslin looks washed out and you lose a lot of the glitz.  It’d be great for a dreamscape, but I wanted my fabric to sparkle and the Perfect Bronze really stands out on the black fabric.

The fusing idea was mine, and if you really wanted to, you could fuse all the strips, instead of cutting then sewing, cutting then sewing, etc…   I usually sew along the edges of anything I fuse, so it pretty much well would take just as much time to fuse and sew the edges down, as slicing and dicing.  Plus, I do think the 2 techniques create different visual effects.  The sliced and diced strips are integrated into the background, while the fused strip seems to float across the top.   It’s all a matter of perspective, but one I am looking forward to exploring.


Painted Bondaweb Swap Completed

February 9, 2009

The painted bondaweb pieces arrived from the DyeHard Swap last week.  What a great mail day!!!

Betty started with a piece of hand dyed fabric, then fused the Dye-na-Flo painted WonderUnder to the fabric.  Next, she added a delicate leaf.  I really like this piece and am very happy that it wasn’t made into a postcard.  Now it can be included in a future art quilt.   Thank-you, Betty:

Gena sent a fabulous postcard using Steam-A-Seam Lite.  She layered color after color on this piece, did some free motion quilting, and then added yet another layer of color.  All I can say is WOW: 


Kathy sent a lovely piece of fabric using painted WonderUnder.  Her colors are soft and restful, and remind me of water on a perfect summer day.  The couched threads compliment the background fabric perfectly and announce to one and all – it’s time for a beach party!!!

Marijke also started with a piece of hand dyed fabric, then fused black painted Bondaweb to the fabric.  She highlighted areas wtih gold foil.  This is a dramatic postcard, with an organic feel to it:



Sharing small art pieces with fellow artists means a lot to me.  We learn new techniques, make new friends, and I have been enriched by this experience.  Thank-you very much ladies for this opportunity.  I love each and every piece.


Last Fabric Piece for Painted Fusible Swap

January 18, 2009

Yippee, I was able to reach my camera today to take a picture of the last painted fusible piece for the Dye Hard Painted Fusible Swap.  This one is my favorite:

I didn’t do a lot with the piece itself, but love the way the paint moved on this piece of Wonder Under.   I used lots of metallics and pearlescent shades from the Golden paint line, and the dark green was a Jacquard paint. 

It was left unembellished because I wanted the recipient to be able to easily see and feel the 3 different approaches to this piece.  I cut the painted fusible diagonally, leaving the paper on the bottom left and removing it from the upper right.  I had to soak that piece to remove the paper, as I did for the other piece painted on the Wonder Under.  Next I patted it dry, then used a sewing machine zig-zag line to connect the two pieces of painted fusible to a white fabric background. 

You can’t tell from the photograph but there is a big difference in touch.  The bottom left – with the paper – is stiffer than the section on the upper right and is more dimensional. 

The middle section – on either side of the zig-zag, is flat – even on the paper side.  I did not think the iron would flatten the paper backed fusible as much as it did.  It looks no different from the side where the paper was removed, but is stiffer because of the paper backing. 

The upper right section is flat and soft and this piece of Wonder Under fused beauifully to the fabric.  I gently rubbed it and it doesn’t flake at all.  I plan on making some  test pieces to see if this will go through the washing machine and dryer – on cool dry – because I’d love to use fabric made with this painted fusible in a wearable art garment.  And the section with the paper behind it would be fabulous in an art quilt for rocks, pathways, anything that would be enhanced by a pebbly texture.

I am so glad I participated in this swap from the Dye Hard Yahoo group.  I learned a lot and I can’t wait to see what the other members have done with their painted fusible pieces. 


4th Painted Fusible Postcard Completed

January 8, 2009

Yet another painted fusible was used for this 4th postcard.  This was the light blue and yellow Fine Fuse piece, and I thought it would be interesting to see how it would look with different colored background fabrics:


The bottom layer is a dark green paisley print fabric.  I used some simple stitches from my Jem Platinum 720 Janome sewing machine to embellish it.  Sulky 12 wt cotton variegated thread was used – stitch # 7 between the green and white fabric – then stitch 11 was sewn under it so there would be little thread lines go into the green.

The medium background fabric color is white and I used some Mettler 30 wt white cotton thread so whoever receives this card will know that the background fabric is white.  My Pfaff sewing machine has some candlewicking designs and I used the zig-zag one for some vertical interest. 

The top layer has blue background fabric so I used blue YLI’s Jeans Stitch thread to emphasis the blue fabric.  All I did was loop it around and fuse it in place.  Then I sewed around all the edges with invisible nylon thread, like I did for the first fusible postcards. 

This swap has gotten me excited about going into my sewing studio again.  I was bogged down in another project – a block quilt.  Now it’s a pretty block quilt that is a twist on a traditional applique quilt.  I’ll like it when it’s finished, and it does use lots of different fabric prints, so it has some variety to it.  The thing is, I’ve discovered I like a lot of variety.   Anything goes with this painted fusible swap, and that fits my personality much better. 

I’ll finish the traditional quilt because that’s also part of me – I’m a finisher – and I do want the quilt for my home, but it will be a long time before I start another traditional quilt.  It’s way more fun to participate in swaps, learn new techniques and then use them to enhance my fiber art.


Fabric Postcard for Dye Hard Swap

December 23, 2008

My oh my, I knew it snowed a lot last weekend, but listening to the weather forecast last night I learned we received 20.5″ of the fluffy, white variety.  That’s a lot of snow – even if it was fluffy.  It’s no wonder the second fabric postcard made for the January 2009 Dye Hard painted bondaweb swap is a snow scene:

This was so much fun to make.  After auditioning several sky fabrics, a painted blue fabric I made a couple of years ago, worked the best behind the navy painted Fine Fuse.  A big silver star was place in the center, then some smaller silver metallic stars were scattered across the card.   I wanted this to really shine so added some silver rhinestones also to create a lovely night sky.

The snow was made out of cotton quilt batting and stitched in place with nylon thread.    I folded a 1/4″ seam around the edges, then folded that over again with some cardstock for a backing.  The fabric was kept it in place by using paper clips, and nylon thread was used in the bobbin case and needle for a nearly invisible sewing line. 

It wasn’t quite right though.  The snow was too flat.  It took a couple of days before I got a light bulb moment.  Jones Tones White Iris paint to the rescue.  It has lots of glitter in it and I applied it with a Q-tip – dabbing a bit here, a bit there.  Now both the snow and the sky sparkle.  Perfect!!!


Northeast Quilts Unlimited Show

October 23, 2008

I haven’t blogged much lately, but I do have some big news to share with everyone.   One of my art quilts is currently at the Arts Center in Old Forge, NY. I’m so psyched.  This is the second show for 2008, and I never thought my fiber art would go in this direction.

Yes, “Cellular One – Hamster”  is included in the member’s exhibition of the Rochester Area Fiber Artists.  There is also an exhibit from Studio Art Quilts Associates, and the Mohawk Valley Embroiderer’s Guild of America.  To top it all off, there is a you tube video at: 

so those of you who can’t travel to the exhibit, can see some of the highlights.

The show is open from October 11 – November 9, 2008 and you can also read about it at  Highlight the exhibition tag, then select the link to the Northeast Quilts Unlimited.


Sunrise Sewing Session

August 21, 2008

Not much sewing has been going on lately.  Our garden is in full production mode and I’ve been spending a lot of time in the kitchen blanching and freezing veggies, and making my very own specialty – cherry tomato and zucchini marinara.  It might sound weird, but it’s the best recipe I ever made up in my life. 

All my basil is dried and stored away, and before the sweet red peppers are ready to be roasted and peeled, and a few pan fulls baked with meat and rice stuffing, I got in a bit of sewing this morning.  Now everybody who knows me, knows I am not a morning person.  Heck, I never make an appointment before 1pm – if possible.  But, I was experiencing some heavy duty sewing machine withdrawal and found myself selecting fabrics at 6 am to make a couple of blocks based on the recent AQS article Double Fun by Linda Hungerford. 

It’s a fun technique, and I pretty much well followed the instructions – step by step.  I do think the fabric strips should be cut 13″ long though.  I also didn’t cut away the fabric behind the circle on one of the pieces.  The reason?  I did cut it away from the first circle and when I cut through the circle for the first curve, then sewed the strips together, the fabric puckered a bit.  Everything is on the bias, and I liked having the background fabric behind the circle to stabilize the circle piece.  It does make for heavier seams to sew through, but my sewing machine sewed through them just fine.

Overall, I’m pleased with the concept, but don’t like the grey/black striped fabric.  That’s what I get for selecting fabric before the sun comes up.  The red didn’t photograph well, but trust me, it’s really red – not orangey red either. 

Since I wasn’t crazy about the striped fabric, I played around with it in my paint program and came up with something that I like a lot better.  Here’s a photo of the original with the digital.  It’s a subtle change, but I like it much better than the stripe.

Linda gives instructions for making transition blocks so you can piece a quilt, but I’m not going to make them.  Instead, I’ll use these two blocks for machine quilting practice pieces.  I’ll probably paint over the grey striped fabric I don’t like, or put something sheer over it, maybe even applique another fabric over the top.  I haven’t decided yet, but it felt very good to hear my sewing machine humming along, the iron pinging as it kept itself hot, and watch the sun rise – a rare sight for this night owl.