Sunday, June 29, 2014

Aviary Therapy

I spent yesterday packing and mailing quilts,  and delivering a serious  commissioned quilt  to it's owner such that I needed some play time. I haven't been able to play for a few weeks so a small painted piece emerges below.  It was total pleasure to do something I felt like doing rather than had to. Bet you all understand.  He's small, but kind of cute.  I love working with transparent inks on fabric.

This was made even more fun through painting on the backside of a piece of Stonehenge fabric.  The   soft mottled beginnings help give this piece a loose feeling.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

How True This Is!

I'm going to assume this quote is accurate.
It certainly is brilliant!!!
Who knew Picasso was a philosopher too! 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Simple Quilting for Figures

Finishing up from previous posts on the progress of this piece...
Spiky hair was fun to paint and quilt.
Limited quilting works great on these figures. I like students to enjoy their painting...  not heavily thread them unless doing so enhances the overall image.
Here 'tis all done... faced, sleeve added.  Phil should be happy. He did well.
The method used for facing can be seen at click here to go to

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A Family Memory

First "project in Sedona" to complete is quilting this first time painting by a male friend from my church.  Phil attended my Painted Quilt Art Retreat  in May (see link at top left for info for 2015 retreat) , but does not quilt.  He's a wonderful servant to humanity so I am quilting this for him. This is a small  art quilt piece (about 17" x 21") of grandchildren playing together in shallow waters of June Lake, California.  Here we go...  I first secured central figures with monofilament...

ALOT of water to quilt. 
Phil had only one request.. please some sparkle in the water. I chose 2. One a subtle pale sea foam green/blue by Yenmet... and a multi color Sulky metallic line called SLIVER! ( it's flat) This is a challenge of sorts for me as I seldom like or use metallic threads but it does indeed work here. 
The Sulky "Sliver " used sparingly  adds the little bit of sparkle that Phil wanted. 
I get to take a break and relax so will finish tomorrow.  Happy vacation! 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Hideaway for Productivity

I am in beautiful Sedona... it makes me happy and gives me permission to take life!   I am staying in my jammies til afternoon if I want....  I do have my Bernina set up and will definitely be quilting some.  I have 2 smaller projects for others so you'll see something as this week progresses.

This is a postcard view I took from Chapel of The Holy Cross. 
and here... the Chapel... What a jewel!!!... funded and  basic design by a brilliant female and refined by the incomparable Frank Lloyd Wright.

The view from my creekside quarters.  I'm a happy girl. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Loving The Monochromatic

 The rest is all done with Tsukineko inks using Fantastix applicators. Getting the background in truly helps determine value shading on lighter areas.
Same is true with foreground darks.
I'm overall pretty happy with where we are here.  I can now begin thinking about the fabric inset plan.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Beginning a Commission

I am starting a piece of a handsome drum player.  I began with a monochromatic reference photo manipulated in photoshop by someone else. The black,grey,white scheme was impressive and so we are staying with that.  This will be created as a circular painting, later to be inset in another fabric.

This won't be a large piece (maybe 19"width) so the portrait work is fairly tiny. I used the brush tip of a  Fabrico marker, and a pentel Gel Roller for Fabric for early portrait details... I like the gel roller as much and maybe better than micron pigmas  for small work because in this case, I wanted dark black inking.
Now I'm starting to block in where drums will be( all black) and use my Tsukineko inks in grey to start giving contour to his face and shirt.  This is definitely a less is more game.
I'll be softening his hair a bit as I move on, but he is definitely starting to take shape.  I try to take my time on portraits... not hurry the finish too quickly. I like the surroundings blocked in for a good overall picture /view before I start tweaking here and there.
 More to come but I so enjoy doing portrait work.  Click on photo/s for enlarged view.

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Bottom Line

The lower edge of this pictorial piece called for some quilting symbolic of Native American culture while providing some visual structure on the  quilt's lower edge, I had already marked a plan in blue but as I prepared to quilt, it seemed a wee bit weak.. so I added a  purple marker zig zag echo outline at top and bottom. It felt more solid so I was ready to quilt.
The continuos line motifs were first.  The zig/zag up and down stitching would come second. 
Then... a micro stipple meander  filled in open space outside the motif.  Now to put heat on the Frixion markings and it's done but for the finish work.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Quilting The Buffalo Warrior

Quilting this Black and White pen and ink drawing for a friend is both a pleasure and challenge. The Buffalo warrior  ( partially seen) breaths out  life spirit as the pony warrior follows in concert with an Eagle spirit (not seen). As explained to me by the pen and ink painter, there is a significant ''Native American' message in the image translated by my friend.  I will show some elements of this project but as it isn't my own quilt, I am limiting exposure out of respect to the owner.
                                              (c) copywritten image

In addition to the piece just shown, I've been working on this a good while juggling both projects in each of my different work locations ( One in my mountain home, the other in my studio at the base of the mountain.)
The first question... threads... I used only 2 different threads as I wanted the drawing to keep center stage...   quilting's job was to help showcase the story already told.  Enhance... don't distract... is my goal!

 The plan:  One white 40 wt thread ( a hair warmer white than the base white fabric) would appear in open white areas.  The minor value change in this thread value will help the quilting visibility without saying " I'm another color!"  
One very fine clear  monofilament to quilt where needed, but NOT  really seen much.  This would predominately be in areas where pointillism (small dots)  were used.
You can see both uses here... the hair and face of the warrior on the left is all in monofilament... just  doing the job of securing the quilt sandwich where called for.  The warriors face echo and breath is quilted in the slightly off white thread. There rest of the bubble fill is the chest/body of a buffalo.
The chasing painted pony's body should not detract at all from the buffalo's body  so a simple micro stipple is there purposely to draw NO attention away.
The moon-like medallion area behind the pony warrior has first been marked (Erasable Frixion Pen)  with a Native American symbol that seemingly compliments symbols and forward movement of the overall drawing.  Marked in blue and stitched...

Iron heat to remove markings and show the result.   
I have more to do but you may have accurately concluded I am quilting from the inside (center) outward. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Dancing Hearts with Libby Lehman

The binding now done, sleeve on, label attached... Nothing more to do but celebrate.  I like this piece. It makes me happy. Just not sure how I'm going to part with this one.

This piece reflects Libby's spirit rather than her quilting style. Plain and simple.... it honors her fun-loving spirit and big heart!  I got a nice note from her caretakers last evening. Libby saw the photo of this piece and loved it and her family expressed thanks for reflecting her great spirit. Nothing could make me happier than knowing Libby liked this quilt.
Stay tuned... I'll be posting the details of the auction as soon as they are revealed.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Sign Me Up and Get Ready for the Finish

Signing my quilt translates to" I am done" so I love this process.  I will often place my signature in places they can be seen though not always evident without really looking for them. On this one... the signature is going in full view as this is part of a multiple artists collection honoring Libby Lehman.  I am using a 40 wt. thread.. quilted forward  in script then back tracked.   I can take advantage of the quilted in green curves as my guide otherwise I would normally mark an upper and lower guide line.
The last name is started but you can see how different and 'weak' only one direction of quilting looks.  I did back track and dot the eye before calling it done. 
 This is a thank you learning from Ruth McDowell.  

So the quilt is dampened and blocking flat . It will be another day before I can start the outright finish, but in the meantime, I have my sleeve ready, my  binding, and the back label that includes a photo of the finished quilt.