Saturday, April 15, 2017

Road Trip!

Dana Thank You
Great road trip with a friend last week. Dana proposed driving to Amherst, Mass to see a quilt show. Obviously the right words to get me out of the studio! While Dana is not a quilter, the show featured two artists she knew well, a mother and daughter, both named Valerie. Valerie (the elder, at 92!) quilts while her daughter is a watercolor artist. Their show was hung in a space with lots of natural light and great seating. We spent hours talking about fabric, art and design techniques. The work was colorful and varied, with some lovely fabric landscapes. Valerie's story mirrors mine in another way--she grew up in Iran! Born in Russia, she emigrated to Tabriz then attended high school in Tehran, where she met and married an American serviceman, moving to the US in 1947! I moved to Iran in 1960, returning to the US in 1973. Small world. I wanted to make Dana a thank you card for suggesting the day's adventure and handling all the details. Knowing she spends lots of time at the beach, I pulled fabrics to create a beach scene, cut wavy lines for the ocean and sand dunes and layered them on batting. The sky was a real find--a piece of light blue with white flowers that were just abstract enough to suggest clouds and sun. A handful of shells and beads added a bit of focus. Hope she likes it! Below, two pieces from the show--love the similar color palette!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Tree Bits and Thread Paint

Teaching a new class in a couple of weeks! Titled "Tree Bits and Thread Paint" it will be at The Sewing Machine Exchange in Falmouth. I am encouraged by the interest in this class--we had to schedule a second session to accommodate participants! I know several people signed up with a friend, which is such a great way to go--the class is more fun when you have someone to share the experience.

The idea for this class grew out of a technique in my pattern, "Safe Harbor."
Safe Harbor © Pattern available at The Sewing Machine Exchange
When I taught the all-techniques class based on this pattern, several people wished we could have spent more time on the tree, so I designed this 5-hour session. I developed the tree bits and thread paint technique and have used it for several different applications including water and hair. We'll take a look at various applications during class.

Missed out on this round? Send Tyler a note and we will put you on the list to be emailed when we schedule the next one. Here's a sneak peak at the class project for "Tree Bits and Thread Paint".
Tree Two 2017 ©

Monday, February 13, 2017

Try Something New!

I downloaded a video by Esterita Austin called "Dynamic Fabric Art Portraits." I've linked to a short video preview. The technique was intriguing and I wanted to give it a try . . . sometime. Lucky for me, Art Quilts Maine members Jane and Pam issued a challenge in October to create a 12" x 14" portrait. Finished pieces were to be revealed in February. What a perfect opportunity to experiment with Esterita Austin's technique! Her portraits begin with a piece of hand dyed fabric.
Fabric used for Face
By means of judicious cutting, the entire face is constructed from that single piece of fabric. I was amazed at the way the features came together! Part two of her technique involves using tiny amounts of light and dark paint to add a few highlights and shadows. A thin line defines the eyes, a little white paint highlights the bridge of the nose, but there is minimal manipulation other than choosing how and where to cut the fabric. Speaking of which, my fabric looked rather ratty after I cut it all apart--you must be willing to sacrifice your piece of fabric to the portrait! Having created the face from one piece of fabric, I decided to use only one other piece to finish. I found this great, colorful elephant print in my stash and began cutting it apart into separate elements.

Fabric used for Frame
Jane gave us each a piece of red fabric to incorporate in our portraits, which I did though I defy you to find it! There are 6 or 8 pieces of the dark red fabric tucked in with the elephants and plants surrounding the face. This was really fun to do and I learned several tricks to use in future portraits, my current obsession! Here's my finished piece--still working on a name--any ideas?

Portrait 2017