Sunday, November 30, 2014

Quilting a 'mini' Father Christmas

I had such fun teaching in Houston this year....   With a smaller class on Monday preceding the Festival, I was able to demonstrate painting a mini version of what students were doing full sized.  It took only a small amount of time once home to finish this demo version so I did that and today have quilted it much the same way I did my large version.  The  dark background was quilted with Superior So Fine #436 as it closely matches the Tsukineko #93  blue bayou color ink used. ..
An overlapping curved veil fill pattern extended throughout the  dark background .

Quilting of his coat, beard,  and goodie sack  was a 100 wt poly ( Invisafil)  A flexible teardrop fill on the coat, a sort of fire flame pattern for the coat fur.
A bit of darker "So Fine" thread meander at the base of his coat and an echoed white thread snow drift pattern at the very bottom and the cold blue snow area on either side of Father Christmas. 
Boy oh Boy... this was a lot faster quilting effort than the bigger version.
Now to finish the border.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Linen Quilt Is Done

A 60" by 60" quilt  of antique linen over antique gold drapery fabric.. WHY NOT?!
I've been running so hard so long, I managed to injure my knee so I had to stop,  sit down and finish something.  So I did!
The linen is about 36" square  ( this image shot with the quilt across the back of my  mountain home couch so it's not looking square here... but is!)  The  underneath background fabric shows off the cut outs pretty nicely.
Sure wish I could find a stencil for this feathered border.  

The background had a built in pattern that made quilting it easy! The fabric provided direction. 
BINDING was a different story.   This flexible looser weave, and  lengthy bits of thread work  brought some challenges. 
FIRST, I found  I could NOT press an edge into the doubled over binding strip. Too soft a fabric. 

SECOND...   that meant I needed to stitch together the raw edges of strip to be used for binding.An overlap/ zig zag  would be best of all as the cut edges start to fray pretty quickly.  Not doing that triggers  fabric 'slips' and you'll likely miss catching the bottom ( unseen) edge in the machine stitch when adding the binding to the quilt.   You KNOW how I learned that  was needed... ofcourse the hard way!

Once the binding was on and turned to the back, I found the looser weave in the fabric left the binding with an irregular, somewhat lumpy look.  The answer.... a straight stitch just off the binding seam. 
I probably wouldn't like this on a bed quilt, but this piece is not that but a wall or table top piece so it seems just fine. 

Time to pick off loose threads. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Houston Int'l Art Favorites

I had a busy year....nothing of mine in this show but for the auction piece for Libby Lehman Medical Fund. By the way.... the group earned over $72,000. for Libbys family for her continuing medical bills.
I had about 30 mins to tour quilts... here are but a few...

 Now... for some spectacular quilts.... click on any photo for enlarged images.

An Art Abstract 1st Place Winner "Hurricane"  from The Netherlands

From Empty Spools this spring.... Jan Reed....   click on photo to see detail.... '''those eyes''''
Congratulations Jan!!!! 
Always a favorite... Hollis Chatelain
1st Place Painted Surface....  

Sooo many people ( self included) happy to see this exquisite David Taylor piece win a $5000. award. Yeah David!

Revolution #9

Fruit Salad

 I could feel the cold ice beneath this wolf.  Brrrrr!!!
and finally Best Of Show!

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Face of Father Christmas

In but a few hours I am on the road to Auburn, Ca for a lecture and  tuesday class with Foothill Quilters.  Our one day class is full, and much fun to have. To maximize productivity, we will start class with an already fabric painted face of Father Christmas. I've painted 20 over the last few days so we'll be ready to work on his coat and surroundings.  Here, I'll post a progression of one painted face so students can review the process if they would like. The size of his actual face is about an inch and 1/2 wide so these are really up close  photos of a wee small face.

As always, I begin with a black and white line drawing underneath fabric I can see thru.  While i NEVER place inks on my piece as I work, I have here for photo reference only.  Tsukineko Ink 95 is applied to face area.
Once the face ink is bone dry, we can add add'l features.  With Fabrico marker 152, using the very fine tip of the brush tip end, a partial outline of the eye socket, edge of nose, and nostrils.
The round tip end of Fabrico Baby Blue marker adds the iris.
Very dry brush #52 ink begins to give contour to his face.

Very dry brush #33 ink provides rose pink cheeks. Don't fear.. these cheeks won't stay this pink!
Poppy red Fabrico Marker 114 adds lips
Before I add any more detail, I need to be 100% certain every area is dry so my work is either heat set with an iron... or I need use my heat dryer that throws out a hot bullet of air.   Careful not to scorch the fabric.

Now I can use Fabrico marker 182 to add pupils to the eyes
..and Fabrico marker 155 (truffle) to darken only the upper eye lid.
Again with all ink dried... I can add # 80 white highlights to the eyes, and the lower lip
and finally...dry brush #80  highlights to rosie cheeks and tip of his nose.
Now we are ready for the in-class fun.