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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Now for Something Completely Different

Here's the second piece that I made for the Line Dance show. This one is titled The Green Flash and was inspired by the natural phenomenon that can be observed just at the sun sets over tropical waters. I have watched for it in various parts of the world but have never been lucky enough to actually see it happen.

This quilt was made using a technique that is a little different for me since I usually use raw edge applique, with pre-printed fabric, to build a scene. Over time I have been learning to create my own fabric using thickened fabric dye (Procion brand). By thickening the dye it can be painted on just as paint onto a canvas. It can also be used through a silk screen to create an image with a crisper edge. Once the dye is applied, it can also be taken away using a discharge paste. This is similar to what bleach would do but it is a different chemical action. I used both techniques in this piece.

This next image is a close-up of the some of the stitching detail. No matter whether I am using purchased fabric, or fabric I produced myself, I rarely skimp on the stitching. It is my favorite part of the whole process. Although free-motion stitching is the most useful, you can see some use of programmed stitches from my sewing machine to form the textures of the coral.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Green Tomato Summer?

Well, it's been a weird August in my part of Oregon. First, we had a string of blazing, record-setting hot days. Now, we're having cool, cloudy mornings. I don't think I will get more than a handful of ripe tomatoes off my plants at this rate. Good thing the framer's markets are in full swing.

Here is an art quilt I made in early spring when I was anticipating the fresh tastes of summer. I call it Fresh Vegetables. It was made for a show titled Line Dance which required each piece to have a lime green line running through it. It is constructed using my most common method: raw edge applique. I will have more on this in future posts. I had fun picking out a wide variety of printed fabrics to make each vegetable have a unique personality.

Here is a detail of how I stitched some of the roots. The stitching is always fun for me because that is when the detail really gets added. I do this using free-motion stitching using either straight or zig zag stitches.

Here's another detail shot showing how the carrot tops were put in, again using free-motion stitching. Who says you can't have your vegetables and eat them too? I'll be able to enjoy these even in the cold of winter.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Brand New Blogger

Today is the day I started my blog. I am looking forward to sharing my passion in life - creating art from fabric. Sometimes I use commercially printed fabrics, and sometimes I create my own using dye or paint or both. The best part of any piece, though, is when I add texture with the stitching. I love the time spent sitting with my sewing machine, filling the empty palette with thread colors. I often liken it to a zen experience. Time melts away and the process of creating is all that surrounds me. Often I pick music that complements the mood of the piece I'm working on. It seems that nothing can bring me back to the present short of the fading light of the day.

So, come along with me and see what will emerge from my studio over time. I will also post pictures of previous work. Let's have fun!