techniques and elements project

Art Quilts 5-7

The next three mini quilt samplers:

5) all dressed up

“all dressed up”
fabric manipulation, fabric paper, foiling

Canvas
Muslin
Hand dyed cheesecloth
Fabric paper scraps
Cotton fabric
Foil sheet – rainbow stripes
Foil glue
Felt batting
Tissue paper
Elmer’s glue
Mod Podge Fabric Glue
Sharpie – dark green
Glass beads
Thread – variegated
Bone folder

The fabric paper quilt top was made by saturating muslin with diluted Elmer’s glue then topping it with strips of tissue paper and cheesecloth. I ripped and randomly placed both the paper and cheesecloth in a way that allowed some of the paper to show through. Unpatterned placement in art tends to add interest and texture. After it dried, I made the quilt sandwich and free-motion stitched for additional texture and color. The dress is canvas that was colored with foil using foil glue and a bone folder to rub it on. The dress was outlined with a dark green sharpie to give it some dimension. I manipulated fabric paper scraps I had in my scrap bag and made the pin and apron. Making the pleats in the apron and the gathers in the pin was not an easy feat. The paper tore but I didn’t mind at all. In fact, it turned out to be a happy accident because of the textured look it created. I’m into texture, wonky and messy. Can you tell? But I digress. The apron was machine stitched to the dress. The fabric paper pin and glass beads were hand stitched on. The last step was gluing the dress to the background using fabric glue.

Tip:  Outlining an element or motif with a dark or contrasting color can really add dimension and interest. If you find your piece is looking flat or washed out, trying outlining.

6) gold speckled heart

“gold speckled heart”
gel medium, gel printing, gold leafing

Muslin
Felt batting
Golden Fluid Acrylics – burnt sienna, phthalo green
Golden Gel Medium Coarse Molding Paste
Gold leaf flecks
Ornate heart stencil
Text stencil
Gelli plate
Rubber brayer
Palette knife
Polyester thread – copper

After covering the Gelli plate with paint using a brayer, I placed the text stencil on top of it then carefully laid the muslin on top. The same was done for the heart and bands of color. I placed the heart stencil back over the initial heart print and stenciled on coarse molding paste that I mixed with gold leaf flecks using a palette knife. After everything dried, I made the quilt sandwich and free-motion quilted the heart.

Tip:  Gold leaf flecks tend to float around a lot. They are beautiful but not all that easy to work with. Work slowly and deliberately with the medium.

7) marked up

“marked up”
hand stitching/embroidery, jewels, markers

Muslin
Cotton fabric
Felt batting
Plastic jewels
Fabric glue
Pearl Cotton embroidery thread #5 – yellow, orange
Sharpie markers
Alcohol (spray bottle)
Cotton thread – variegated

The little girl who used to love her new box of crayons and coloring book resurfaced within me when I began this sampler. The markers took on a life on their own and I just began drawing shapes, filling up with muslin with color. I sprayed it with alcohol which causes the inks to bleed and merge into each other. The fumes were pretty strong. The smell eventually dissipated as it dried. The muslin was put on top of the felt batting and I added the embroidery. The jewels were glued on and the quilt was assembled.

Tips:  Use gloves and protective eye glasses when working with alcohol. Also, work in a well ventilated space.

techniques and elements project

Art Quilts 2-4

Quilt number 1, 3D applique quilt do more was actually made before I decided to use a combination of three methods on one piece. I’m going to use it as the cover for the first of two art quilt journals. Here is a link with some background information on how this project metamorphosed.

Project art quilt samplers 2-4:

2) enso love

“enso love”
applique, batting, block printing

Warm n’ Natural low loft batting
Lumiere – pearl turquoise
Golden Fluid Acrylic – black
Open Circle Brushstroke wood block
Cotton fabric scraps
Cotton thread – black
Foam paint brush
Foam make-up wedge

The quilt top is painted batting stamped with a wood block dabbed with acrylic paint. Three little rectangle scrap appliques were unevenly placed to give a sense of movement. It’s actually only two layers, batting and backing so I’m not sure if it’s technically a quilt. I cheated a little there.

Tips:  When using a wood block with a fast drying acrylic paint, push down firmly on the block but only hold it down for a few seconds so that it doesn’t get stuck to the surface. The paint should be cleaned off of the block as soon as possible using a mild soap and warm water.

3)water lily moon

“water lily moon”
burning, clay, collagraphy

Lutradur
Dynaflow – chartreuse, teal
Gesso – white
Felt batting
Modena Soft Air Dry Polymer Clay
Rubber moon face mold
Cardboard
Elmer’s glue
Golden Polymer Medium (Gloss)
Cotton thread – variegated
Heat gun
Walnut Hollow Versa Tool

The quilt top is lutradur and was painted with a light wash of colors. Placed on top of a gesso filled collagraphy plate. After it dried, I put the Lutradur on a sheet of glass and cut out the triangular shapes around the lily using the Versa Tool. Placed it on top of the felt batting and free motion stitched along the faint lines of the design created with the plate. If I had used thicker cardboard, the glued down shapes would have produced a more prominent design and it would have been easier to trace with the stitching — or perhaps if I had added some rich color to the gesso, that may have made a difference as well.

The heat gun created the lacy holes in the Lutradur and the felt. I held it about 8-12 inches away from the fabric and kept it moving in a circular random type motion. I assembled the quilt before hand stitching the clay moon face on the top. In retrospect, I should have added the clay piece before adding the backing. All hand stitched embellishment work should be done before the quilt sandwich is assembled so that the stitches are hidden under the backing unless the preference is for the stitching to actually show.

Tips:  When using any heat tool or any mediums, use proper ventilation and/or a mask as a safety precaution. Use all safety measures at all times. I don’t recommend using the heat tools that I used for this piece on cotton — it will just burn. Synthetic materials work best for me. About Modena Air Dry Polymer Clay — it is fantastic to work with! Just make sure there are no little dust particles around your work area. The clay seems to be attracted to dusties.

4)alien pear

“alien pear”
devore, drawing w/pen & ink, embellishments

Cotton fabric
Devore’
Micron pen 01
Felt batting
Pearl Cotton embroidery floss #5 – red
Glass beads
Cotton thread – black
Polyester thread – red

I traced the pear design onto the fabric. Made little surrounding circles with the Devore to create holes so the black felt batting would show. Removed the Devore melted fabric with a wet toothbrush. Ironed the quilt top until it was dry. Placed the top over the batting and doodled on some accenting pen work. I added embellishments by stitching on some beadwork and embroidering a few x’s on the stem. The backing fabric was added.

Tips:  Use a lightbox to trace a design onto the fabric if the fabric is not sheer enough to see through or if you would rather not draw on your own. I used the sun by placing the fabric up on the window and tracing for most of the pear. It was not easy. I might invest in a lightbox. Also, if using Devore, follow the directions to the letter.

techniques and elements project

Techniques and Elements Project

The project is finally complete. Time surely flies when life happens.

I made fourteen sample mini art quilts in addition to the initial 3D applique technique quilt.  Each one is 6″x 8″ and has three techniques and/or elements from the list except for the last one which has four. They are all bound with a zig zag stitch, have raw edges and a cotton fabric backing. Any applique work was also done with raw edges. Here a is link to how the project changed from it’s original intent.

I will post them in a series of three quilts at a time and include a list of the supplies I used, a summary of each piece, and some tips for anyone who might want to try a little mixed-media.

This exercise was so much fun but it was challenging at times. I learned a lot about what works for me and what doesn’t. For instance, I will probably never do fabric manipulation using fabric paper ever again. The paper was too stiff and difficult to work with. The results of spraying alcohol on fabric in order to create a marker bleeding effect was not worth the fumes. I also learned some new techniques that I absolutely love and will incorporate again and again in my pieces. Low loft batting looks amazing painted and sealing tea bag paper with polymer medium yields a cool leathery look.

Playing with unfamiliar materials is a great way to experiment and ease out of your comfort zone as an artist. Sometimes we can get bogged down in repetition using only the supplies we’re used to and get stuck in a creative rut.

Perhaps I would have never uncovered any of the useful lessons I learned had I stayed in my little artistic cove of fear — afraid to open my bottles and jars which were moving closer and closer to their expiration dates — standing there wondering about my mysterious unopened packages of colorful painting tools. I finally, bravely ventured out. One of the greatest things an artist can do.

A mish mash of some of the supplies I used.
A mish mash of some of the supplies I used.
thoughts

Reinvention

During the process of reinventing my ways of creating, I discovered fun again. Simply working from my heart rather than spending a lot of time researching color trends or focusing on impressionism because “it’s what sells,” has been so liberating. Making art should be freedom personified.

One of the reasons I love mixed-media is because it’s so forgiving. Anything and everything goes — I had forgotten that. Treating my supplies with a tentative preciousness. Keeping everything neat and sedate rather than just diving in, making mistakes and making an artistic mess, all the while learning and creating heartfelt pieces of art.

It’s a good thing mixed-media fiber art is not all about perfection. I’m the Jackson Pollock of stitching. But I like haphazard lines and raw edges. The handmade look carries with it an authenticity which I aspire to.

I haven’t posted for a while. Feels good to be writing again.

It’s the first day of Spring!

new seedsThis image is from Vintage Printables. They have a beautiful of selection of public domain pics. I photoshopped this one to give it the rainbow sun.