Sunday, March 27, 2011

Lil Blue Boo/Dharma Trading Design Challenge


When I heard about the Lil Blue Boo/Dharma Trading Design Challenge, I thought it would be a great opportunity to use a particular fat quarter of fabric that was calling to me.  This bag is made from a piece I snow-dyed last year and later screen printed as a sample for an online class with Quilt University
I knew I wanted to make a purse, and was inspired partly by Amy Butler's birdie sling and some bags I saw in a store, as well as a set of leather handles I had recently purchased.  I started by  putting a coating of clear gel medium on the fabric to give it a bit of protection and then machine quilted the fat quarter with a layer of cotton batting.  I chose 2 coordinating batiks for the bands and lining.  The bag is constructed by folding the fat quarter in half, shaping the sides, adding pleats on the top edges, narrow and wide bands at the top, and stitching to shape the bottom. The lining has 1 large pocket and 2 smaller ones. The facing of the wider band covers the seams on the interior.  The leather handles were purchased in a quilt shop and come from Cindy's Button Company.  I thought that they and the batik lining fit well with the character of the screen print.  Finished dimensions are 11" tall, 13" wide and 3" deep.

I didn't have a set plan when I started this project and had been putting it off, but once I began, I got in the zone and finished in 1 day.  It was fun to do - thanks Lil Blue Boo and Dharma Trading for the challenge!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

African Suns

This is a recently finished piece - different from anything I've done before and original (except for stencils & thermofax screens used).  It began as an experiment with discharge and those pieces became the foundation for additional layers of surface design that include stenciling, paint sticks, screen printing, sun printing, decorative machine stitching and ricing.  It is machine quilted and backed with burlap which also becomes the "frame".   It was fun to see this piece evolve.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Online Book Studies

Liz Kettle and Ruth Chandler, co-authors of Fabric Embellishing: The Basics and Beyond, and Threads: The Basics and Beyond, are running free online book studies to go with their books.  (Threads is co-authored by Liz and Debbie Bates.)  You can read more about the book studies at Textile Evolution - look for the announcement on the right, Threads - The Book Study.  I've had the embellishment book for a while, and recently purchased the threads book after hearing a lecture by Liz at a local shop, Artistic Artifacts.  What a great opportunity to practice the techniques in the books!  I'm really just getting started, have worked on the assignments for week 1 of embellishments but not yet started on threads.  For both books, we are making sample pages that will be compiled into a technique sampler.  Here are the pages I've done for fabric weaving and a thread lace insert - both are just the basic pages and need additional embellishments to be complete.  I'll post the finished pages when I get there!


Monday, March 7, 2011

New Blogger

This is my first blog and first entry!  I've started this blog to share my adventures in .... as the title says, thread, fiber, fabric and paint.  I'm a quilter who has evolved from making traditional quilts to exploring surface design and art quilts.  I have fallen in love with thermofax screen printing, but also enjoy dyeing, gelatin printing, discharge, stenciling, paint stiks, rubber stamping, embellishments and trying other new techniques.  More than anything, I simply enjoy "making things" and can get lost in the process, but do usually see things through to the finished product.  (Not that I don't have my share of UFOs!)  Here's a photo of a recently finished project that was a "bag challenge".  A group of us exchanged bags of fabric, thread, and fiber and had to use 5 of the items in a small fat-quarter size quilt.  I created my piece primarily with screen printing; most of the screens were made from photos I took.  It is machine quilted and embellished with eyelash fiber.  This is "Nature Walk".