Posts Tagged ‘battings. samples’

Making Dots – Samples

Sunday, June 11th, 2017

During the last 2 years some of my works have had the added surface design element of painted dots. These were applied by hand, using a cut-off paintbrush, but it could easily have been a cut off green twig as used by various peoples who use dots as a signature element of their painted designs, including Aboriginal Australians.  However applied, no one has a lock hold on the use of dots, so I don’t feel there is a problem with my using them in this way around my own original design shapes.

Last time I was in the USA I was thrilled to find some plastic bottles with applicator tops that I really thought would revolutionise, ie streamline, my application of dots of paint on the designs in which I wanted to use them, and happily paid a few dollars for a set of 6.  As always when trying something new or different, I did a sample.  In the next photo, paint and cut-off brush are placed near the applicators containing thick and thin versions of gold paint, and the sample piece on which I used both paints.  The result on the 6″ square of black featuring pieced-in colours, and easily show that  (1) either I need a lot more practice using the applicator bottles, both thick and thin paints, or (2) I need to go back to using the sawn-off brush to apply paint such dots in future 🙂

In the past couple of weeks I have viewed s0me TextileArtist.org videos, with the following take-away points that I totally agree with.  To develop one’s vocabulary of textile art techniques, a would-be artist needs to focus on experimenting to discover possible variations, no matter how limited the range of  techniques or stitches that person knows.  Making samples to ‘see what happens’ is vitally important – this is one of my soapbox topics! 

The key person in  TextileArtist.org is Sue Stone, who studied with the legendary Constance Howard for several years, and that influence shows.  I feel it myself, as I count myself fortunate to have been in a 4-day workshop taught by this now deceased, legendary, British embroiderer, in the Outback Australian mining town of Mout Isa, where I lived at the time.  It was either 1979 or 1978, a long time ago.  How we came to get her to stop over for a few days on her round-Australia teaching tour, owes a lot to Ailsa Bray, the intrepid secretary of the local embroiderers’ group in that town at the time.  Having snagged the booking, Ailsa asked the tour organisers “When the flight arrives, how will we know which passenger she is?”  The answer, delivered with a slight chuckle was “She’ll be the only passenger with green hair.”…and so it proved to be!  Amazing for the times; but once we had been in her presence a few hours, we all forgot about the colour of her hair and found ourselves totally focused on all that his amazing woman could teach us.  Her influence stays with me still, absolutely.

Deconstructed Circles

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

Someone commenting on my latest work said last week wrote “deconstructed circles are popular now”, and she’s right, they are appearing in more art quilts, though I’ve been using them on and off for some time.  For someone who loves grids and works freehand the way I do, the deconstructed circle has great appeal as a design unit, as these two works in progress show: early stages in the construction of Maelstrom (2006)  left, and Anna’s Quilt (2008) right respectively.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What new work? you might be wondering.  True, it’s been a long time since I blogged, chiefly because I wasn’t creating (not even sewing hexagons) during a long illness late last year and the subsequent recovery period.  But recently I’ve found mental+physical energy coinciding, and have begun exploring ideas that have been on my mind a while.  I’ve keenly followed the the rise of  the Modern Quilt Movement with light clear colours plus greys and white that are so appealing to many that they are even beginning to populate traditional designs.  MQM’s website calls this overlap ‘modern traditionalism’, I just noticed.  A favourite Uruguayan artist, Mario Giacoya uses wonderful greens and yellows with small amounts of other light bright colours in his many rural landscapes.  A primary influence in my work is still landscape shapes, and earthy Australian colours, but I’m finding I’m wanting more ‘light’ and ‘bright’ in my work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although I’ve used the unit before, and am always happy with lines that don’t connect, I drew a diagram this time to emphasise that I’m thinking of some units having many lines of fabric in them, others few, one or possibly none, and I’m still mulling over that and will continue as the work proceeds.  This sample has more in common with Maelstrom above as the arcs are segments of colour.  My sample shows a complex set of them.  These were a bit tedious to make, but I’ve been thinking about this too and will rationalise and synthesise what I learned in this sample making stage:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When sample making I normally just go as far as I need to learn something.  But this one I finished and bound because I plan to hand it on as a gift, hence this documentation.  I still have to think about

  • hand v machine quilting ?
  • any role for glitter here ?
  • what about dots?
  • And what a shame I only bought about 20cm of this wonderful striped fabric …

The Bungle Bungles Series Continues

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

first seam of a new project

After all the fabric auditioning, consideration of scale of the units for this piece, there was a satisfying moment doing the first seam of a new project – all keen piecers of fabric know that feeling!    And, even though I was certain that the block/gold pin spot fabric will  be an important part of this particular quilt,  to test that theory I took the time to consider another option –

choices to be made

 

– and now think for this work I must make a choice.  It’s either the horizontal lines will all be black/gold spot, or the rock units will be striped with other rock unit fabric.   And while I’m considering that,  I’ll have a spot of lunch and a total change of activity, outside, as it’s a beautiful day.

 

I’ve just bought a new gold paint for the hand made dots I plan to put on the work I’m just finishing.  Samples are so important – so I tested it of course on a scrap of the background fabric – set with the iron, and it is really permanent.  I also bought a couple of cheap paint brushes and cut the ends off to use to make round dots….. and I especially like the fine ones on the RHS.    Fiddling with samples always suggests more than one idea, and I like the gold brush strokes against the black – there’s some real potential there….

gold paint sample

 

 

Holes, Continued

Sunday, March 2nd, 2014

As I’ve said before, they have been on my mind for years.

holes in leather 2006 samples

This couple of samples was cropped from a pic I took of several samples back in 2006.  Hand cut black leather and punched gold leather – I know I had some big plan for this but the constant use of a leather punch leads to tired hands and arms, and I dropped the plan.    A change of scale, though, and change of material… well there’s a lot of potential for both ideas.

hole and lace

And these sample snippets are from this afternoon’s experiments – grey nylon organza bonded onto the cream canvas – sure, the pic’s a bit dull but I know what it means.  Down in the LH side are some triangular shapes bonded on of course but then hand stitched in various ways with several threads including metallic.  I keep thinking of how people only repair precious objects, and ‘mending’ is a frequently used motif these days in mixed media and textile works – but I hope I can use ‘mending’ in a non cliché way – I’m working on it.

 

square with holes

I don’t think it’s just the bold contrast why I like this little sample- approx. 4cm x 4cm suede leather piece, with a smaller square cut and rotated – those holes are smallest done by the leather punch I have.  There’s no way I could do something  with masses of these squares of leather – oh for a laser cutter here!  But, perhaps another material … this idea has lingered in my mind since 2006, too.

 

The Glorious Straight Stitch

Sunday, September 15th, 2013

Sunburnt Textures Emb

Shown above is the title piece from my 1987 solo exhibition, ” Sunburnt Textures”,  and the detail is below.  Long before I started making quilts in 1989 I was using my favourite stitch, straight stitch in various forms in my fabric and thread art.  Other favourites include stemmed French knots, and stemmed Y-stitch.

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

Other examples are in the first gallery on my website, The Creative Stitch; pre-1988

 

Of course it is the running stitch that usually forms quilted textures but many other stitches can be used in lines or scattered/single form to function as quilting, although few contemporary quilt makers thoroughly explore these options.    I am currently doing some more explorations with the straight stitch:

straight stitch samples 1

I did have hope that this construction of the silver mylar between a metallic fabric and sheer nylon would somehow lie flatter with added stitchery – sadly it won’t, but that aside, there’s some exciting stuff stored in this little sample.  If I layered it with backing and batting it probably would then be flat, but I don’t want to do that so will have to  try something more, which might take a while to come to me.

Unusually for me, right now I have a piece in mind that already has a title, more or less, something like “Mostly about Red”  I am planning to use more of that shiny black chintz as the base,  bond mostly red shapes onto it, and straight stitching over the shapes like this.  I have some lovely florescent/neon threads that will really sing – like green which is of course opposite red on the colour wheel:

Sample - straight stitch over flat shapes

 

auditioning for red

Finally,  the red scraps and several uncut pieces  of red that made it through the auditioning process for the ‘red’ work.

From every pieced project, which I cut and sew freehand, ie template free, I save the offcuts  and segments of pieced fabrics in the large clear plastic bag you see on the chair behind the table.  The way I work, using many small pieces, I can often find great small pieces in the bag and use them – not because I’m miserly, there’s only a small amount of Scots blood in my veins – but it just makes sense to check out what I have in small bits first before cutting into the larger pieces, and there’s the thrill of a treasure hunt going through that digging deep process.

 

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