Monday, February 1, 2016

Mystery Quilt

My second daughter is getting married!  It will be almost exactly a year after her elder sister was married; Lauren and Enghui were married on May 16, 2015 and Shelby and Nate will be married on May 15, 2016.  I thought this was very thoughtful of them to keep the dates simple for my failing memory!

I waited 6 months and a surprise Art Show Reception to reveal Laurens quilt, "I want to give you the world..."  

Neither of my daughters are on Face Book, so I have shown my progress through that medium.  However, they do follow blogs, so I will also wait until after the wedding presentation to reveal Shelby and Nate's quilt.  But I will give a little hint....

I saw a beautiful "Around the World" (funny name coincidence?) quilt on Pinterest.  The colors were sooooo Shelby; very autumn themed.  But I had put so much thought and hand painted all of the fabric in Lauren's quilt, that I decided to go another route.  Then I found this book at my library.  All I can say is that I am creating a quilt that is inspired by the ideas I saw in this book.  There will be 100 very personalized blocks especially for Shelby and Nate.  Stay tuned...

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Flying With Free Motion

Sometimes my best ideas come about when I'm in that lovely zone of being half asleep and half awake.  This morning I was hit with the idea of finally trying my hand at free motion quilting to embellish my lovely bird sketch from yesterday's post.

I had already purchased the darning foot needed so I found a YouTube demo video of free motion sewing for beginners.  Then I pulled out my handy dandy sewing machine manual and discovered that "Yes! My feed dogs could be lowered!"

Scraps of fabric handy, I began the process of testing my tension until I got it just about right.  After a few more rounds on the scrap fabric, I pulled out my bird and began to try my hand at free motion sewing.  It was a bit tricky at first, but as I began to feel how to smoothly move it under the needle, I relaxed.  It suddenly felt more natural.  I love the back as much as the front. This is what I came up with...

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Playing With Derwent's Inktense

Yesterday, at my Dragon Ladies Fiber Group, Lisa brought her Christmas present for us to play with.  These Derwent Inktense "pencils" are amazing.  Permanent watercolor-type pencils blend beautifully on cloth or paper but when dry, they are permanent.  The colors were remarkably strong, even when water was added.  

I tried my hand with these pencils by drawing a simple bird sketch and found them to be very easy to control, blend, and define my drawing.  I think they have many excellent qualities regardless of the medium used.  I plan to heat set my sketch on muslin to truly test for permanence.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Resist Two More!

I can't seem to resist...resist!  Here are my latest two blocks for a community quilt fundraiser.
I'm quite certain I'll soon be creating another quilt using this art medium...stay tuned!

Friday, January 1, 2016

I Want To Give You The World...

There is a reason that I haven't posted in 5 daughter's wedding quilt. Not that it took this long to create, but it was a surprise that culminated in the presentation during the reception of our Cake Eater's Show at Two Twelve Art Center in Saline, MI.  I couldn't take the chance of her happening on a post before the surprise was ready.  Thank you for your patience!

My last post chronicled my newest passion of glue resist fabric painting which I had learned only a few weeks previous.  I fell in love with this fun and free technique that gives the look of batik.  I was so inspired that I decided to create a world quilt for my world traveling daughter and her new husband.

They live in Singapore.  In fact, that is where she met Enghui.  They have been saving their pennies for the last three years so they could travel the world for a year.  Quite the honeymoon don't you think?

How was I going to create the world?  After all, I'm not God!  So I sized it down a bit.  First, I printed out a map of the world, and after deciding on the size of the quilt, I drew the map into 10 inch grid sections.

Then I pre-washed a good quality white muslin fabric and cut it into 10.5"square sections.  I then started drawing in the continents using Elmer's blue gel school glue. This was a technique I had just learned the previous month in my fiber arts guild.  These prayer flags were my first attempts...

This was used in the finished quilt as the tag.  it is a reproduction of their wedding invitation.

After letting the glue dry, the hand painting began.  

When all the continents were painted and detailed using salt to create texture, I heat set each square using my hand iron then soaked them in warm water for several hours to loosen the glue.  Finally, I tossed them into the washing machine to wash the rest out and iron dried them.

 Now I had to decide how to create the oceans that had no land touching them.  I considered solid or patterned fabrics but they just seemed too static for the free form of hand painting.  So I chose another new technique I had learned at a friend's home with another group of fiber friends called the Dragon Ladies.  This technique was called "Ice Dying".  I used Procion powder dyes sprinkled over mounds of ice piled onto pre-treated and crumpled muslin.

After heat setting these, I began piecing my world puzzle together on the top of my bed.  I began to get quite excited by the results!

I was able to stitch them together, create a backing piece, and prepare the binding in advance and have the top and backing to the long arm quilter the day before Lauren and Enghui arrived home.  Then secretly, I bound, attached the label/wedding invitation, and a hanging sleeve without their notice.  Then the hardest part began.  I had to wait for the artist reception to present this gift!

Here is a preview in the Saline Post featuring my quilt!

It was wonderful watching their reaction when they realized the quilt was for them!  Enghui was the first to notice.  "Why is our wedding invitation on this quilt" he asked.

Lauren examining the back of the quilt.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Art Doll... a forgotten draft

Back in November (2014) Two Twelve Art Center had a gourd challenge.  We all received small egg-shaped gourds to come up with a creative solution incorporating said gourd. I have been wanting to try my hand at an art doll, so the gourd became the head.  Her skirt is the sleeve of an old Christening gown. 

I call her "Bird Whisperer"

Monday, July 27, 2015

Glue Resist Fabric Painting and a New Batch of Prayer Flags

I've been wanting to create some more prayer flags since selling my first one.  Learning a new and fun technique - glue resist fabric painting- was just the inspiration I needed.

This guy is in the process of being embellished for an art quilt.

Glue resist is an easy process that takes no time at all.  I used Elmer's blue gel glue and drew my designs on pre-washed good quality muslin fabric. 

You can wait and let them dry for several hours or overnight or use a blow dryer to speed things up.

The fun begins by adding fabric paint.  I try to envision that it will be white wherever the glue is.

Have fun with patterns and dots.

After your designs are painted, press with a hot iron between two sheets of parchment paper.  This will set the paint into the fabric.

Then I generally soak the pieces in a bowl of water for a couple of hours as I tend to glue very thickly.  Afterward wash items in the washing machine and the glue will be gone.

You can see the bold white lines that the glue preserved.