Tag Archives: Fiber Goodness

Reinspired!

Class Sampler

I was afraid that an 8 hours beading class would be WAY to long. and on some level it was. By the end I was making lots of mistakes. But on the other hand the time flew by quickly and we learned a TON. The techniques for beading with Robin had the goal of making a little sampler. we were given a 3″x3″ piece of fabric, basted to (acid-free) paper! this was new to me but a technique she stands by and it did work well. Gave the fabric a little stiffness while working, but not too stiff. Plus as you punch it with a needle over and over, it becomes supple.

There were only 7 people in the class. The lady next to me came from Spokane and is a crazy quilter. Her work is wonderful and she is not a newbie to beading. We did have a couple VERY new beaders but the rest of us were experienced enough. Robin is a strict but patient teacher. “both eyes on me” meant you better be watching and not trying to sneak in a few stitches. 🙂 But her directions are so clear and her drawings make something difficult to understand very easy to create. I love her drawings! There wasn’t much talking among the students. We were very focused. Beading take a lot of concentration. It is not a chatty type craft. You could hear our pins drop.

The conference provided each work station with an Ott light, which I now realize is a necessary item! The room was well lit, but freezing. Which can make it harder to bead!

We started with the basic stitches. seed stitch, then lazy stitch and it’s many vaiations, then a couching stitch and finally back stitch. I have done all of these. out of common sense and just figuring things out on my own. but the variations were mostly all new to me. All of them I have seen in RObin’s work and after we learned each one we were challenged to start identifying them in her work. For each stitch she brought around her work to show examples and variations. It was lovely to see all her work in person! Pictures online are interesting, becasue they can be in such high definition that you see them in more detail than you can in real life. but you can’t really see the texture unless you see them live.

We also learned edge stiches and dangling stitches. ALL of the work that we did is in her book that I already had. BUT it was opportunity to ASK questions while working through the stitches. and clear up some of the things that weren’t working for me as well as try ones I hadn’t been brave enough to explore yet. Learning the edge stitch and seeing her work in person to really examine HOW they were finished was the best part. It is where I have really been stuck with my own work so far. and now I have the solutions! I am excited to finish up my bead journal pieces from this year and move on to some new ones! So I have officially joined up again for Janurary. (Robin did sell us all on joining!)

She also talked about her process which helped me too. At first I used the printed fabric and beaded ON the pattern, following it like a paint by number. I love those pieces but I did move on to more solid colors and became more improvasational. As I gain more confidence I continue to get less literal. She talked about what she does when she gets stuck and how she starts out pieces. All this was very helpful.

It was a long but wonderful class and I am so glad I took it.

I  had quit on several months of my Beaded Journal Project pieces, leaving them semi-finished. I had not been able to figure out ways to make the backs look good, I had run out of steam and ideas on the beading on some of them and just called them finished. and I still have one month that has been sewn but not beaded yet.

BUT after this class I have been totally re inspired. I learned so many new techniques. and all the variations of them. I have been beading almost non-stop since I got back. After finishing the sampler, I revisited some of my journal pages that I had previously thought was done. I have been working on some wonderful additions to my December page. I feel like I see the fabric in a whole new way. Getting unstuck is just a bugel bead pathway away.

Also seeing her work in person turned on the light bulb for how to finish my own and ways to display them to really show them off. Now I just need to get some book board and foam core to get them done. I was also excited to share my work with Robin (which she seemed to enjoy!)

I got another one of her books (I own 3 now) and I highly recommend them!

So I signed up for another year of the beaded journal project. I plan to take on a smaller size this time! but thinking about going 3-D and making them dolls.

Purple Sunset


purple sunset WIP 0214, originally uploaded by Charger’s Mommy.

Happy Valentine’s Day…

Not a big holiday for me, but I am on Mid-winter break as well so celebrating with some art time, finally!

This is the first lesson from a joggles class I am taking.
Art Quilt Explorations with Jane LaFazio

My friend Diane was posting her work from the class and I was so impressed I decided to take the class too. This will be my first time taking an online class from Joggles, so I plan to post a lot of comments and progress throughout. I am currently waiting for my forum account to be approved so I can post there.

I decided instead of a traditional grass and dirt colored landscape, that I wanted to do a sunset style color theme. Mostly because I wanted to use purple!  So after grabbing a bunch of fabrics from my stash, I went on flickr to look for some purple sunset pictures for inspiration.

Here are a few that I found:

Then I went back to my ironed pile to place them in a fashion that looked good to me. Next I did some satin stitching and fancy styles to hold the layers together. Now I am going to go add trim and beads and embroidery floss.

I have several other projects on board for this 5 day ‘weekend’ mostly for EBSQ shows. So expect to see a lot from me in the coming days.

I still need to get a February page started for the beaded journal project. I am thinking of making a duplicate of this but in my alter shape… we shall see!

First Art of the Year

I started with this photo taken a couple of years ago.

DSC06138

Then I played with some filters in photoshop…
sidewayscutout    sidewayscutoutfindedges

Then I layered some sheer white fabric over some printed white, along with some other sheer colored fabrics in places. I began the free-motion sewing to thread paint the lines.

img023

This is what I have so far and I am not totally happy with it yet, so I will continue to play with it until I feel like it is done. Then add a border and backing.

It will also include my focus word of the year, which is ~drumroll please~

Vibrancy!

But for now, my doggie is upset that I have been in the studio for so long, so I must tend to him.

HAppy New Year!

The Start of October’s BJP page

The beginning of October’s Beaded Journal Project page. This has pieces from 5 different fabrics pieced together and using some cool decorative stitches on my machine. I like the eyelash type stitch that I did on the edge of the glow-in-the-dark eye fabric, which will also be the backing for this one. (Click to see a larger view, or make it a favorite at Flickr.) This is also my art for the day for ArtSoMoFo. I need to post my other work from this month so far as well. Now to select some beads and begin that phase.

Beaded Journal Project September 2008

Sept2008

So this is the first of my 12 alter/door style journal pages. I am still up in the air as to how I am going to finish/back them. If I will do the sculptural approach in which case I will need to do more work on this one.

So I am a teacher, a middle school art teacher. September always means fresh starts, new kids, new lessons. I like endings, but more I like fresh starts. that is why September is one of my favorite months EVER. perhaps this was wired into me at an early age, since we moved every 2-3 years and I had to start over, make new friends. I always thought I would reinvent myself and start over. becoming the me that for some reason I had not been in the place before. We always moved in the summer with September being that moment of the fresh beginning…

This piece is 11″W x 8″H at the peaks. It is made from a ‘novelty’ fabric (one with the teachers, combined with a separate one of the flowers and edged with a third of the measuringtape. I included the tape because I have been working hard and lost 13 pounds over the summer. Plus it looks like a school type thing.

The ‘crazy’ art teacher has red hair (like me) and I added a fuzzy yarn to give it dimension. She also wears funky shoes, apron and glasses…like me too now (the glasses are new)

Sept2008DT

Now to go figure out October’s page….

PS I would LOVE to hear feedback, as I am pretty much new to the beading thing…

What If?

CQR_sept, originally uploaded by Charger’s Mommy.

Crazy Quilts Revisited a new challenge started by Jude Hill at Spirit Cloth asks us to as “What if?”

So my first What if? Crazy Quilt piece came from:
What if I pieced together fabrics that are really different in texture? This has fun fur, Corduroy, silk, linen, taffeta, felt, and tulle combined. Then I asked, What if I made pockets in the tulle and sewed in beads? Only one pocket is filled so far, because this is still a work in progress. Finally I decided, What if I added a cut out window in the middle? Which is a new technique for me.

SO I will start by saying I don’t like it. It is all scraps so I haven’t lost anything by trying. It was hard to sew through the layers since I started with the thickest stuff towards the middle and used felt as a backing. I am not sure if this block will go any further. Or I might have to ask, What if I kept working on something I didn’t like and finished it anyways?

BJP prototype

BJP_prototype with pages side by side and open, originally uploaded by Charger’s Mommy. Check out my flickr for more views of this project.

This is what I whipped up today to be my prototype for my bead journal project. I was having a hard time trying to explain what I wanted to do. Plus I thought I better make one to see if it really worked the way I wanted it to.

So These are some fabric and paper collages that have been sewn and embellished with ribbons and beads. They are cut in an alter book type shape. They have a layer of cardstock on the inside for support. They have 2 old paint brushes that slide into the back to support the book so it can stand. (will have to come up with a slightly better way to get them into the pages, as I just cut a hole in the fabic and shoved them in. the Ribbons are sewn to the back in such a way as to allow the different ‘chapters’ to be tied to each other. Another set of ribbons hold the front doors closed. in the final pages these will be little metal bead clasp things I found that have the letter S on them.

Since these are prototypes the edges are unfinished. and the outsides are fairly plain.

These are made from scraps in my studio.

In other news… my favorite online fabric store is now selling fabric for my favorite TV show.

Jesus Christ Pose

Jesus Christ Pose, originally uploaded by Charger’s Mommy.

Media:  fabric collage
Dimensions:
  22″x22″
Date of Work:
  07/2008

This is created for the EBSQ Annual Ripped Show 2008. I have been doing a lot of mandala-like art recently, so I was drawn to Tina’s “Dali and the Eye of God” piece. I translated it into fabric applique. It is quilted and embellished with lace, ribbon and a variety of fabrics including silk, cotton, and rayon. I named it after a soundgarden song that kept going though my head whenever I would work on it. Starting August 1st you can vote for your favorites at EBSQ

christlikeposeWIP
Here is a little Work in Progress Step-by-step snapshot. I still need to finish a bit of quilting and make the hanging tabs…but my machine decided to go AWOL on me, so I will be running it into the shop tomorrow.

This piece did double challenge duty. In addition to being for the EBSQ ripped show it is one of my 5 mandalas for Jen’s July Challenge. This one will be for the Aether/void/spirit/heavens catagory, since it is spirtual in nature.

Summer Reading

Open Book, originally uploaded by smellyknee.

I spend a good part of any day reading books. I read books while eating, while sitting in the sun in my garden and even while watching TV. Summer is my favorite time to really get out and read. I love my local library! So lately, I have been reading a lot and thought you might like to know what!

Recently I picked up a bunch of art quilting books to get me more inspired to MAKE ART! Turns out I accidentally grabbed two from the same author. I was enjoying her quilts and thought, “wow, these two artists really have similar styles.” then I looked at the authors, duh! Same one 6 years apart. Ruth B. McDowell I have been pouring over her Art & inspirations” and “Fabric journey : an inside look at the quilts of Ruth B. McDowell I am now very interested in seeing some of her piecing pattern books. She has a very complex way of piece quilting that looks amazing!

I also re-found a book that I looked at over a year ago,”Collaborative quilting” Authors Morgan and Marston have worked together on many quilts, but I love this book for the ideas on “liberated” versions of traditional quilting blocks.

Since I am interested in teaching about fiber arts in my classes next year, I picked up a book about Faith Ringgold, “Dancing at the Louvre : Faith Ringgold’s French collection and other story quilts” Her quilting style is very unique and definitely about story telling. Something I would like to include more of in my own work.

365 day 2: Art Lives Here Doll

My final fabric books (this time around) are two on textures. My favorite part about using fabric is the physical and visual textures that you can create. But my quilts have been so flat lately I wanted some tips on adding more.  “Stitched textile collage : innovative designs for textured surfaces by Toumi and “Fantasy fabrics” by McCaffery both offer a number of ideas. I was not very impressed with Fantasy Fabrics actually. This book was all about capturing different materials behind sheer organza and tulle. Something I did on a doll in a class at ArtFiberFest. I did like the technique, but I don’t think there needs to be a book exclusively written to the idea. And although the style of images in Stitched Textile Collage were not for me, I did like the techniques and textures.

In addition to the fiber art books I am also reading some fiction. I tend to read either Young Adult fiction (so I can recommend things to my students and stay in touch with them) I am really into the Fantasy/sci-fi series about some kid travellers my MacHale. I just finished The rivers of Zadaa. I look forward to finishing the series.

Now with all these books that I am mostly reading simultaneously… I need some BOOKMARKS! In my Google Reader today I found the coolest How-to for a picture bookmark. SO I guess I am set to find the perfect photo to accompany my daily reading.

 

Experiment #4-B Reverse Applique’

Experiment #4-B Reverse Applique

I have done a lot of ‘reverse applique’ in the past 4 years, so this is not a new technique. The book shows a different way to do it than I have been doing in my work. I really should have tried their suggested method. I layer a bunch of fabrics, sew my design and then cut away the top layers that I don’t want and allow the lower layers to show. In this piece the top most fabric is the bright print, with yellows below it and then green below that. The green is actually under the batting. I like the additional depth that this allows. The book shows cutting the holes in the top fabric first, then sewing on the behind fabrics.

I actually really like this one… again all scraps and talk about bright! So many of these fabrics are from a bag of stuff I got from my mom, that she got from storage that was originally from my GREAT Aunt Minnie. So they are from the 40’s-70’s I imagine.

So far, I am having a great time with this challenge and the resulting fabric journal is going to be very cool!