Posts Tagged ‘lines’

Following A Trail – aka Making Samples

Saturday, July 22nd, 2017

Earlier this week I had a studio visit from local textile artist Lilian Madfes, and while she was here I gave her a demo/lesson in the basics of freehand patchwork piecing   Next week I will go to her studio for her demo of the basics of silk painting, at which she is a master in a very creative way.  When I had given her plenty to use to explore the technique if she wishes to, I talked about the dome-like shapes I often use in my designs and showed her how I do one.  Sewing it up therefore made it a sample – and my readers know I’m keen on samples for trying out any new ideas and materials!

That first one is on the RH end of this pic.  I liked it, so made more, and love where this is apparently going.

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.

Insights Into A Gridaholic’s Creative Process

Friday, June 9th, 2017

I think most of us have the impression a grid is made up of squares, but other general words come to mind including network, lattice, matrix, reticulation. It all depends on how you’re using the concept, but I suspect the most common one has been used to make maps and charts which for centuries have been drawn out on some grid scheme, though not always rectangular. Long a student of geography, I understand the different ways a mapmaker can present known locations of geographical information in a system that relates everything on some system of reference. These different systems are called projections, chosen for the usefulness of their final result to the task in hand.  You can check them out right here – and some will amaze.

I confess it, I am a gridaholic who usually thinks in rows of squares, but occasionally breaks out into triangles 🙂

I like the order contained in rows of repeated patterns, although within each of my repeat units there are always variations that make each unit unique compared with all the others around it.  This is of course, anathema to makers of  traditional quilts.  Take these nine patch block patterns for example. Though creatively used with other elements and sometimes in a minor way, each Nine Patch unit is made with precision and accuracy to result in exact repetition of every block.   It was this lovely strict order which drew me initially but briefly to traditional quiltmaking.  I love traditional designs overall, but have left them to others since the Flying Geese wall hanging I made in c.1989.  I am one of many art quilters whose work has evolved from influences of traditional quilt making.

Especially when I’m thinking of new work that I want to include some kind of patterning within repeat units, I take a printout sheet like this one, get my pencil and start  doodling.  I have this grid on file and can print off a few whenever I want.  A bit OCD I guess, instead of just freehand drawing the lines as I do in my sketchbook pages; but somehow it helps me focus my attention onto ‘fillings’.  They are just patterns, and could be hand marks, stitch marks, seams, whatever, but things do grow out of my putting them down.  It is about a year since I put pencil to this paper, and now certain things stand out, giving me more to think about.

These and some other mark patterns from another sheet, made it onto mylar backed nylon applied to leather in the small sample piece I made and donated to the SAQA anniversary trunk show collection   and, pleased with that, I made a 120cm x 90cm size wall quilt.

7″ x 10″ Sample piece submitted to Anniversary Trunk collection, SAQA, 2016.

 

Deconstructed Circles For SAQA’s 2017 Online Auction

Friday, April 7th, 2017

The annual online auction to benefit SAQA, Studio Art Quilt Associates, comes up again, opening on September 15th and continuing through October 8th.  I’ll be reminding you closer to the time, of course.  For further information and updates including some of the works already received, go to SAQA’s website  Right now several hundred SAQA members including yours truly are preparing their 12″ x 12″ donations, and over the last few days I have almost finished mine – shown here with quilting in progress:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excess fabric and batting will be trimmed off once the quilting is completed – and yes, I do darn in the ends as I go!  I may do a fine black binding, but will audition other coloured fabrics anyway, just in case one of them adds a bit more zing.  This is the third in a deconstructed circles theme that has emerged in the last few weeks, and I’m pondering a more meaningful title for what is clearly becoming a series – as ‘Deconstructed Circle #3’ is a bit unexciting.  I’ve started a list, with entries such as ‘Whirlwind’, ‘Cyclone’ and ‘Tornado’ under consideration.

 

 

‘Maelstrom’ 2009  was my first deconstructed circle design, to which I have turned again, and maybe it is now the first of a series of that name; meaning the one I’m nearly finished would be #4, but maybe I’ll come up with something else.

 

Scraps and Deconstructed Circles

Sunday, April 2nd, 2017

I’m still here and still working with the glorious coloured scrap collection I featured in my two previous posts:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contrary to my usual experience I am noticing that the volume of them on the table is actually decreasing. I and fellow users of small pieces of saved fabric have always believed that scraps have a secret reproductive life, as the pile or bag never seems to get smaller.  This time it is, because I am sticking to the chosen palette, and not augmenting it by further random scrap bag diving as I go.

I’m now using a black background for a 12″sample-sized piece which will probably be for SAQA’s annual online auction later in the year. If I can finish the remaining two blocks, assemble and quilt the piece without further procrastination, I might even be ready later today to paint the dots around some edges as I plan. For many months, since before last year’s illness, I’ve had some some new plastic bottles with nozzle tips to use painting dots as I did on some of the works in the recent Kimberley series, for which I used a sawn-off paint brush –

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I need to press on!

 

 

 

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