Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Step By Step Birdie

Breaking a painting down to steps makes it not so ominous. So thats the plan here.  A contour drawing is laid beneath fabric to be painted. This fabric is #3940 Stonhenge. It's a light value mottled fabric which adds a bit of texture/interest.  The challenge?... seeing the drawing beneath.... It's there though and a light box could help if needed.... just be aware that a light box makes all your marks ( even dark ones) appear lighter than true value.
First... a simple marker sketch to get a feel for the area to be painted
adding some interesting abstract area at the bottom 
some sketched in color in the negative space...  
I'm not concerned about the blotching here as this area will be densely quilted.
Using a black Fabrico marker... I sketched in selected areas of black outline...
added yellow to the breast area... then starting the blue wings.  

The same blue that filled the wings was used to lay a soft transparency atop the upper yellow breast and ofcourse created a green tint to add a bit of interest. 
'Have now added black fill on the bird and once dry a bit of white on the face. Then, a  soft yellow here and there in the background. Almost done! 
A hint of lavendar added in the upper area.. Finishing up supportive borders and ready to quilt. 
Sometimes as they say... Less is More....   The interesting mottled background called for less painting than on a pure white surface.  

Monday, October 20, 2014

A Robin for Houston

Whenever I'm scheduled to do an extended demo ( I'll be in Open Studio next Friday morning at Houston International )... I warm up in advance doing a small a painting..  this being a new piece of a sweet robin in the snow. I had yards of this exquisite sateen used in the border. There is not much more gorgeous than quilted sateen.  This piece is fairly small ( 14.5" square)  and  because of the overall small size... you will see I was able to somewhat disproportionately quilt.
Simple wave lines in upper background.  The bird merely needed to be secured to the double layer of batting designed to give a bit of stability to the overall piece.
Tiny bubble circles in darker snow bank areas
What to do with the border was a challenge til I decided a real feather-like  fill would work. Easy and pretty quick.
Hope to see you in Houston this next week AND please take a look at the Libby Lehman auction addressed in the previous post.  

Monday, October 13, 2014

PREVIEW LIBBY COLLECTION going up for auction

It's almost here and we are all excited.  (Auction begins OCT 22nd) 
Many thanks up front to Clara Lawrence for the idea and coordination of so many artists participation and contributions. YOU can own a piece by one of your favorite artists.

               click here to preview a UTube upload of the
                        Inspired By Libby Collection 
                     that will go on the block for bidding
                                 Oct 22 - Nov 5th .
   Quilts will be exhibited at Houston International later this month. Please stop by the exhibit... and bid when bidding opens on Oct 22nd.    The bidding will take place at benefitbidding.com accessible directly or  linked via http://www.inspiredbylibby.com 

  I am one of many international artists having contributed to the Inspired By Libby Lehman collection for a fundraising auction. All monies from this auction will go to Libby's rising medical fund. Each  30" x 30" art quilt in the auction has been inspired by either Libby's spirit (including this one below/my contribution) or inspired by one of her own beautiful quilts. I can't tell you how much fun it was to design a one of a kind piece so playful as that is how I view Libby.

She is getting better... talking... standing, some walking.  Good chance we will see her at the exhibition in Houston.  She has viewed and caressed all these quilts... and repeated " I am overwhelmed" several times. Please take a look at the entire collection shown as a preview on Utube link above   ( see "click here" near the top of this post.)

click on photo below for an enlarged view.

Monday, September 29, 2014

OCT 11 QUILTING in Orange Ca

The Filling Station 

Join Patt Blair in this one day class and leave with confidence and quilting motif samples to use in your work at home. Learn to free motion quilt three types of of motifs: ones that stabilize, harmonize and even move your eyes on quilt tops. You will create a sampler of each type which can serve as your quick reference library.

A handbook with 24 easy quiltable samples will be available for ideas too.  Please join us... you'll be glad you did. 
Call to sign up... Orange Quilt Bee
628 E Katella Orange, Ca
714 639-3245
10 am to 4pm

Return to your sewing room with confidence!! YES.. IT's true!!! Patt ;-)

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Roylco Insect Plates

With my okay and much appreciation to them, Roylco posted on their blog some directions and examples of my rubbing plate art on fabric. 

Click Here  to go to their site with examples I gave them.  These plates are pretty cool. I think there are about 16 of them. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Here Comes Santa Claus

Actually here comes Father Christmas! 2 classes this fall ( one Houston, one a guild) will offer students a chance to create their own story upon the winter coat of Father Christmas.  Here's my sample of the finished quilt, but students get to put whatever they want  on their coat and in his bag.   The one you see here, I created for my British friend, thus their flag.   Should be fun.
To do this class in one day, I deliver students the full sized piece of see thru white pfd(prepared for dying)  fabric with the face ready to go.  There's just no time to teach portraits in this class.   I'm prepainting faces so thought I'd show you the steps in one painting.    I begin with the laser print black and white line drawing under fabric.

First things first... I filled the skin tone area in with Tsukineko no. 95 (Tuscan Beige)  all purpose craft ink.
Since I used this pale ink near full strength...it's wet, and thus I need dry/heat set it before moving on. One could  go to the ironing board and iron on dry cotton setting ( cover with tissue or paper if you do)  but I use a heat embossing dryer so I don't have to move the fabric. The heat tool throws out a small circle of real heat ( careful... too close and you could scorch). A hair dryer would work too.   Move the dryer quickly and often and again not too close to fabric. I will use this several times as I progress through this piece but will only show here. When to use?... If the ink on fabric is wet... and you are about to put something like another ink atop it.. get it dry underneath lest your goal is to allow 2 to mix.
Using a light Fabrico marker ( no 152) Sand to lightly outline eyes, nostrils. again... get it dry before next step. ( I will darken eye perimeters later. ) 

Add some baby blues
I'll use the same image to explain 2 separate steps. 
I used a red Fabrico( 114 Poppy)  to add lips, a brown Fabrico (use either Truffle 155 or Chocolate 154)  to darken upper lids, and a small black pigma to add the eye pupil
 I used a very dry brush Tsukineko ink no, 52 (sand) to add a soft contour to his face, eye, nose   and very dry brush 15 (Cherry Pink) for his rosie cheeks 
A black Fabrico marker( no 182)  to darken inside the mouth 

And lastly either white (no 80) ink or a simple acrylic to add a highlight on the lower lip and soften any edges you think in need ... eg the right side of his lip above was too strong. 

This should be a fun class... Starting to prep supplies for  October 27 class at Houston Int'l.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Flight Of Fancy

As with the previous post, I had another media mixer class 'top' that called for quilting. On this piece, I  had used a yellow background fabric atop which I had attached  ( using matte medium) tissues   and handmade papers. I then  had added stencil elements and even scribble pencil  orangeish color ( w/ Prismacolor ) around some elements
I generally begin by stitch outlining to secure element edges.
Then begin at the central area to add filler quilting. I am not a feather quilter queen(yet)  but did figure out how to use unstructured feathers to cover open space.  
I then work my way around the piece adding filler stitching where I think it's helpful.
Even some stitching within outlined tissue elements (upside down because the first photo of it above is also )

Lots of fun. I learned how to feather a bit and hopefully will improve in that area. 

Click on photos for enlarged views