Monday, March 12, 2018

Nakoma Warrior Princess

Nakoma, Warrior Princess is a whole cloth painted quilt measuring 22"X 23" and was completed on March 12, 2018. She was inspired from curiosity of my own roots. While I have always thought that I was predominantly German and Spanish, a recent DNA test from my maternal aunt revealed that we also had a considerable amount of Central American Indian as well. Born and raised in New Mexico, I had only memories of the Hispanic culture in  my family. This newfound knowledge made me wonder about the native american side thereby prompting me to create a commemorative piece of my long lost roots. Nakoma was based on a photo taken on a visit to the Ohkayawingeh tribe in Northern New Mexico during the celebration of the Feast of John the Baptist, their local patron saint. The original photo has been included at the bottom of this post for reference. I have taken several creative liberties in that I wanted
her to have her own face and personality. When I first began sketching her, this little face emerged that would not be denied. I also opted to change her clothing style giving her a white leather shawl and a velvet turquoise top with a velvet red pleated skirt. In truth, the photo only served as a model. If this little girl was going to be born, she would have her own voice and identity. Once the sketch was completed, it was transferred onto fabric and painted with acrylic textile paints. Nakoma meaning Little Warrior was quilted with Glide thread on my new JUKI TL-2000Qi  sewing machine. What a joy!!! This machine is a no frills, straight stitch and free motion only, industrialized quilting machine. I absolutely loved working on it. The background was quilted in a triangular pattern to symbolize a geometric native american style. As you can see, the two really are quite different and for that, I am truly happy! Thank you for stopping by. It is so good to be blogging again. For now, it's back to the studio for more fun. Who knows what will find its way into my next piece! Wishing you a happy and creative day!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Gypsy, A Study on Color and Balance

Wow, it has been a couple of years since I last posted on my blog. Despite having taken a hiatus from my artwork, I have created a couple of pieces. Gypsy is my latest creation that I am pleased to share with you. This piece represents my return to the studio after a long period of thoughtful inner reflection. The white horse often seen as a spirit animal symbolizes balance and spiritual awareness within oneself much like the proverbial yin/yang, the wild, playful, adventurous side vs the tame, responsible and loyal side of ourselves. My goal was to portray this concept on cloth by illustrating how the use of color can be balanced to attain a neutral white color. This piece began by using a white piece of cotton and an assorted palette of both paint and thread in various hues of pink and blue. For this study, I decided to illustrate how balance can be achieved by using color that tugs from pink to blue in order to create highlights and shadows that read as an overall neutral white. A very bright light pink  was used as the brightest highlight on her left (right facing) eye and cheekbone. Duller shades of pinks were used for less intense highlights whereas the converse is true with regards to blue and its corresponding shadows.
Again, the idea was to neutralize pinks and blues to achieve a white color, a rather difficult task when starting off on an already white piece of cotton! This was a daunting idea that I really was not sure would work. The question remained: Would the horse read as a crazy, wild looking pink and blue horse or would the colors neutralize one another so as to appear white? I must admit that I have never worked in this palette before and I was rather nervous about the  outcome. The background was painted black to further increase the contrast. What a fun and interesting study?! I really learned so much from experimenting with both thread and paint to illustrate this idea. I really feel that the use of pink and blue were quite effective at displaying balance and neutralizing color to portray the white horse. I also believe that this technique lends a somewhat surreal aspect to her as well. I am inspired to try other pieces that utilize colors to neutralize each other and see where that leads me. I hope you enjoyed reading about my experiment in color and balance. Please feel free to chime in and let me know your thoughts. Does Gypsy appear pink and blue or does she read as white? Do you agree about the surrealistic aspect this technique seems to impart? I hope to hear an array of thoughts on the matter and enter into a creative discussion.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

International Quilt Festival World of Beauty and What's for Dinner

Welcome back! It's Day 4 of my blogging about the International Quilt Festival in Houston and I am jazzed to review some of the quilts at festival, this year. With so little time to checkout the quilts, I made my way to Innovative Applique in the World of Beauty judged show where I was blessed to have "Parrotise" accepted. This is one of my favorite pieces that I have created and it was so fun to see it in Houston. I have never entered anything into Innovative Applique and it was a pleasure to see how so many artists were using so many creative ideas to express themselves. What a treat?!!!! I have to say, I DID come up with the idea for my next quilt while at the show and I am itching to get started on it!!! Next, I meandered to the Group Quilts Division of the judged show where Mod 7 was being displayed. Mod 7 was named for it's modern look and the seven artists, Sherri Mc Cauley, Martha Tsihlas, Leslie Tucker Jenison,  Kathy York, Frances Holliday Alford, Connie Hudson and myself who collaborated to create it.

Above left is a photo of Mod 7 and to the right is the title and description along with all the techniques that were used to create this piece. I absolutely love the bold graphics using mainly black and white with subtle touches of cobalt blue and chartreuse. I am so blessed to work with such fabulous artists!!! Finally, with only a few minutes to spare before my next class, I made my way to the "What's for Dinner" special exhibit. Wow, I love this exhibit and how each artist interprets their vision of food and fiber. There were so many creative pieces there and just looking at them was so much fun!!! This year, they also opted to have centerpieces and items for the table. My 3 dimensional fiber art flowers and vase were set along with a fabulous Alphabet Soup by Frances Holliday Alford.

I love this!!! I do hope they repeat this special exhibit again. I have so many ideas for next year!!! I hope you have enjoyed this blog post and tour of the show floor at festival. Please join me tomorrow as I have a surprise in store. Wishing you all a most tantalizing Tuesday, my friends!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Dinners with Dinner at Eight Artists and Fiber on a Whim

Welcome back to Day 3 of blogging about my experiences at the International Quilt Festival in Houston. Today, I would like to focus on a very special Dinner at Eight Artists, exhibit, “Affinity” curated by Leslie Tucker Jenison and Jamie Fingal. This is always a very special show at festival and this year is perhaps my most favorite of all! Forty artists each created a 40X40 piece for the exhibit. My piece, “That’s Amore” is shown above. The show debuted at IQF for market and festival and it was met with great enthusiasm! Later we all gathered together on Friday evening to celebrate with a wonderful dinner at 8:00, naturally. After dinner, we discussed next year’s theme and played a game of spoons. I really have to practice more for this!

The photo above left are my good friends, Rachel Parris and Frances Holliday Alford doing a fabulous job of holding their own in the spoon game. I envy them! And you may notice the new “Affinity” book at the table which we all had copies of and circulated around for each other to sign. The photo above, right captures the lovely and fun spirited Susan Fletcher King and Linda Teddlie Minton. And I did not manage to get a photo of Pokey Bolton, our honored guest but she was there along with fellow honored guest, Lisa Ellis. So much talent under one roof, for sure and a good time was had by all!  I am so blessed to be  part of this fabulous group of women.
And speaking of amazing women, the next evening, I was also blessed to dine out with Kristin Rodriguez and Jan Girod of Fiber on a Whim. They always know the best places to eat in Houston and Saturday night was no exception. We ate a wonderfully, delectable meal at Mannie’s. Because Kristin and I both LOVE hot and spicy food, Mexican Gulf seafood with an Asian influence, was on the menu for Saturday night. Wow, what a treat?!!! I hope you have enjoyed this blog post and that you will join me tomorrow when I continue my tour on the show floor to explore more exhibits and quilts. Wishing you a fabulous Monday, my friends!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Window Shopping at Houston International Quilt Festival

Welcome, I know I said I would blog about both the quilt festival show and the goodies I procured while at festival but I thought today would be better suited for some afternoon window shopping. As promised, here are some of the photos of goodies I managed to find while in Houston. Earlier this year, when I judged the quilt show in Kerrville, I came upon this thread that I absolutely LOVE!!!! It's called Glide and it has a beautiful sheen to it but best of all, it sews like butter!!!! There's about 47 spools of thread here and it is a good start to my collection. Eye candy for sure! I am so jazzed about this find! I also was introduced to Bunny Paper, a new product from Attached Inc. by Iris Karp that works so well with their Mistyfuse. Bunny Paper is amazing! You iron your Mistyfuse to the back of your fabric. Procure the design you would like to transfer onto your computer and print it out on Bunny Paper. When you iron the Bunny Paper onto the Mistyfuse (back side) of your fabric, it transfers the design. How cool is that?!!!! I will be playing with this and doing a blog post on it soon so feel free to check back for more information. And I just had to pick up some lovely hand dyed cotton and linen fabric from my good friends, Kristin Rodriguez and Jan Girod of Fiber on a Whim. Their hand dyed products are so wonderful to work with and have such beautiful sheen! The fabric all the way on the right just kept calling my name every time I walked by so I finally relented and purchased it! And a girl has to have a stiletto!

I also found some goodies for creating my 3Dimensional flowers, some cording, gorgeous hand dyed velvet ribbon, hand dyed silk cocoons and crocheted beads. They are scrumptious and I can't wait to play with them! Then to sooth, my mixed media side, I had to purchase lots of stencils, paint, Tsukineko ink, silk screens, blue foam moldable stamps, tiny daubers for fine dots, combs for gelatin monoprinting and best of all, two fabulous sets of paint brushes. These brushes are like gold! There are five brushes in each Aqualon Wisp set. Two years ago, when I was last in Houston, I came upon my first Aqualon brush set and they are to die for! There are four brush sets in all: the fan set which allows you to create shapes reminiscent of clams and fans, the filbert set which lends itself to painting feathers, the flat set which allows for easy panting of checkerboard surfaces and basket cross hatching, and finally, the angular set which is wonderful for painting trees and foliage. My mouth just waters when I think about playing with these! With so many goodies, it's hard to decide what to play with first!!! Though, I have to tell you, I am leaning towards the paints and brushes!
I hope you have enjoyed these product reviews and that you will check back with me tomorrow when I blog about the show at Houston International Quilt Festival. Wishing you a fabulous Sunday, my friends!

Friday, November 6, 2015

International Quilt Festival Workshops at Fiber on a Whim

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I am back from Houston International Quilt Festival and am just now getting a chance to start blogging. Wow, what a ride?!!!! I arrived on Thursday in time to teach Artful Coloring, a one hour workshop for Fiber on a Whim on the festival floor. I love that booth! And I absolutely loved seeing the look on my students' faces as they created two pieces of painted art, one on black and one on white fabric using acrylic textile paints, gelatin printing, stamping and stenciling. We all got messy but had a blast! This class was repeated again on Saturday. In between painting classes, I taught 3 Dimensional Fiber Art Flowers and was blessed to have two of my peeps from Austin sit in my class, Beth Kennedy and Lois Moran. They are awesome artists! Each student created their own unique 3 D flower and were able to walk away with a finished flower lapel pin. How cool is that?!!! Blogpost 1 Blogpost 2           I had a blast teaching at Houston this year and got to connect with so many friends and make new friends as well. Love that! Tomorrow, I will post about the show and goodies that I managed to find while there. I hope you enjoyed this post and I look forward to sharing more of my experiences at festival with you. Wishing you a fabulous and creative day!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

That's Amore

Hello, I am so jazzed to finally get a chance to blog about "That's Amore."  This piece was created for the upcoming Dinner @ 8 Artists exhibit, Affinity that was curated by Jamie Fingal and Leslie Tucker Jenison. The show is sponsored by Havel Sewing
and will premiere at the International Quilt Market (Oct 24-26) and Festival (Oct 28-Nov 1) in Houston, Texas. The exhibit is comprised of 40 artists who will each contribute a 40X40 quilt. How cool is that?!!! That's Amore began as a white piece of muslin and took about four weeks to complete. I first sketched the bird and blew it up to size in order to transfer it to the white muslin. Usually, I begin by painting the bird first but this time around, I opted to do the background ahead of time in a gray color.

 I then proceeded to paint the bird using some new paintbrushes that I had purchased on my last trip to Houston. I have to say that these new brushes are so cool! I learned so much when creating this piece. When the bird was completed, I decided that I no longer liked the gray background and so I began adding foliage to add interest and to try and cover the background. Still, I did not want to detract from the parrot. I then began quilting the bird and proceeded to quilt the foliage as well. Next, I got this hair brained idea that I should try and change the background color from gray to a muted green and so in the middle of quilting, I took out my paints and began sponge painting the background. Crazy, I know but it seems to somehow have worked. That's Amore was inspired bya true story of love in the Arenal Mountains of Costa Rica. Years ago, a woman from Brazil came to Costa Rica with her husband bearing a pair of fully grown blue and yellow macaw parrots, one male and one female. She allowed the parrots to roam freely around the area and one day, a tourist threw a rock at the male and killed him. Estephania, the female, was not there to witness the tragic event and the male was buried. Macaws mate for life and Estephania to this day continues to fly around the Arenal Volcano mountains in search for her lost mate, all the while hoping to reunite with her lover. Because she is the only blue macaw in the wild as the rest of the parrots that are native to the region are scarlet macaws, the likelihood that she will find another mate is very low. And such is the woeful tale of That's Amore, sad but true. Because I did not have a photo of a blue macaw, I opted to use a photo that I took of some macaws at the Dallas Zoo while I was there earlier this spring. Soon I will be going to the Arenal Volcano mountains where I hope to get a glimpse of Estephania who still resides in the forest. In the meantime, I hope you have enjoyed this story and this post. I would like to thank you for stopping by invite you to check back next week when I post about my next piece, Parrotise.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

A Bit of Culture from The Land of Enchantment

Hello, I have just returned from a trip to my native homeland in New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment. While there, I was blessed to tag along with my dear godfather and his lovely girlfriend who happens to be a member of the Ohkay Owingeh tribe. We gathered together to celebrate the Feast of John the Baptist on June 24th. Wow, what a treat! The tribe is a Pueblo Indian tribe which speaks Tewa and is located in the small town of Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo near Espanola where I learned that in fact thei pueblo was the first capitol of New Mexico prior to Santa Fe. We arrived at the pueblo on Tuesday afternoon in time to do the mile walk/run race. I was told the significance of this event was to commemorate the time when the Indians would run from pueblo to pueblo to communicate news during the pueblo revolt. Under the oppression of the Spaniards, their legs were cut off to keep them from running and so to honor their ancestors, they keep the tradition alive as a reminder that while the Spaniards might cut their legs off, they could not break their spirit or keep them from running.

Following the race is the start of the dances, specifically, the Buffalo Dances consisting of three dancers, two men and a woman who emulate the Black Buffalo in the summer and the White Buffalo during the winter season. Above are photos of the Black Buffalo dance while below are photos showing the White Buffalo Dance.
These dancers dance seemingly, tirelessly throughout the festival alternating costumes from summer to winter and back again. But wow, aren't they beautiful?!!! And of course, I had to capture a few other dancers as well to further reflect the beauty of the tribe and its traditions.
As I mentioned earlier, this celebration is in honor of the Feast of Saint John the Baptist. and so to commemorate their patron saint of their local San Juan Bautista Church, (the oldest Catholic congregation in the United States), the newly appointed Archbishop John C Wester was there to preside over the occasion. On Wednesday morning at 7 am., the congregation met outside the church to begin the walking procession to the Rio Grande River where the Archbishop would bless the river and all of the people. Below are a few photos of the procession.
Following the blessing at the river, we returned to the church where the Archbishop said mass in honor of St. John the Baptist. This was his first visit to any of the Eight Northern Indian Pueblos and was a treat for sure. The Ohkay Owingeh tribe welcomed him with open arms and the women of the tribe presented him with the most beautiful chasuble made of white buckskin with fringe. It was adorned by numerous seed beads that were meticulously sewn  to reflect the native American style. I must say this was the most gorgeous chasuble I have ever seen and was truly a labor of love. This tribe is well known for its pottery and weaving and their most kind and welcoming ways. They welcomed me with open arms and gave me a glimpse of their beautiful culture and for that, I am most blessed. I am hoping that one day, I might be able to create a piece of artwork from all the inspiration and love that I received. I also hope you have enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed being a part of it.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Colorful Fabric Collage

Hello, welcome to the Colorful Fabric Collage Blog Hop. This lovely 144 page book by Sue Bleiweiss features seven scrumptious chapters of awesome projects including design, dyeing, fusing, quilting, unusual embellishments and more. As I peruse through the book, I am just in awe of all the eye candy and wealth of information that Sue provides in this book. Wow!Congratulations, Sue! This book has been in the making for about a year at which time, nine artists were invited to create a piece for the Artist Spotlight sections throughout the publication. I am honored and tickled to be a part of it all along with Sue Bleiweiss, Jamie Fingal, Leslie Tucker Jenison, Terri Stegmiller, Deborah Boschert, Desiree Habicht, Kathy Sperino, Kathy York and Lyric Kinard. How cool is that?!!!! Below is my piece, Mystique, a 3 dimensional soft sculpted floral arrangement. Mystique Detail_BarbForrister Mystique by Barb Forrister_Full (2)
giveawaypack1[1]To order your copy, please visit Amazon or Interweave. Also in order to celebrate the release of this wonderful book, Sue and all the artists are doing a blog hop. And that is not all. Sue has graciously put together a mouth watering prize consisting of the book, Colorful Fabric Collage, Sketch Fuse Quilt along with a stack of Sue's beautiful hand dyed 10 inch squares, a 2 1/2 yd package of Mistyfuse and some Aurifil threads. Please note, that international winners will receive an e copy of the book and not the hard copy. To be eligible for this drawing, please leave a comment on this post and/or any other of the blog posts. You may enter on each blog post along the blog hop to increase your chances of winning. I am posting here but you may notice that to be eligible for this blog post, you must visit my website at Again, thank you so much for stopping by.

The schedule is as follows:
May 4: Sue Bleiweiss:
May 4: Jamie Fingal :
May 5: Leslie Tucker Jenison:
May 6: Terri Stegmiller :
May 7: Deborah Boschert :
May 8: Desiree Habicht :
May 9: Kathy Sperino :
May 10: Barb Forrister :
May 11 Kathy York :
May 12: Lyric Kinard :
On Monday, May 18th, the winner will be announced on Sue's blog. Thank you for stopping by and good luck to you all!

Friday, May 8, 2015

What's Up Buttercup

Hello, welcome back. This week, I have been frantically trying to reset my home and studio after a long month of creating and teaching. And I am thrilled that I have finally caught up with life; all except for blogging of course, so here goes! What's Up Buttercup was created for the In Full Bloom exhibit at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas. The background is a commercial fabric. The curly vine is composed of countless fiber etched leaves and bits of thread and fibers fused on top of a layer of Mistyfuse. The smalls violet flowers are created with ribbon and are appliqued to the vine. The very large leaves in the background are a mixture of both cotton and hand dyed batting. The large Calla Lilies are composed of two pieces of hand painted muslin that is layered together with Mistyfuse. I
really wanted to create 3 dimensional, life like flowers that could reach out and beckon to viewers so painting an blending was the key to achieving this goal. These blooms extend 2-3 inches from the background of the quilt. Their stamens are comprised of beads on floral wire to further add dimension. Leaves were made with individual sandwiched layers of cotton, batting and Mistyfuse that were fused and stitched in the shape of leaves, turned right side out and stitched with an array of contrasting threads including variegated, metallic and thicker heavier threads that were bobbin stitched to provide interest. The Calla Lilies and their leaves were both machine and hand appliqued to allow their 3 dimensional properties to come forward. The butterfly was hand painted and fused to the background. The entire quilt was machine quilted and the edges were finished with a facing. This piece was finished in a week's time however that does not include the making of the flowers and etched leaves that I had already made, months before. During times, when things are slow, I like to replenish my stock of both flowers and leaves so that when I need them, they are available. With that in mind, I need to work on rebuilding my stash once more! Ha! Thank you for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed this post. As I close, I am getting ready to do some hand dyeing and get ready for the big blog hop that features Sue Bleiweiss' new book, Colorful Fabric Collage, Sketch, Fuse Quilt. Please be sure and stop by to check out the buzz on this latest book and register to win a prize. I will also be posting about my newest and favorite to date quilt that I have just finished and all about my dye results from today's adventure. Wow! 2015 is turning out to be a great year! Wishing you all a most happy and creative week.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Dyeing to Dye and Fabric Painting Workshops for AAQG

Wow, it has been such a long time since I last posted. I truly hadn't realized it till now.  Last year, I took a hiatus or a sabbatical if you will but I am finally back and cooking with gas! Yay!!!! These last few months have been spent producing two quilts which I will post about later this week and also giving a lecture for the Crossroads to Texas Quilt Guild in Killeen, followed by a double workshop in Austin. This weekend was spent teaching both Dyeing to Dye and Fabric Painting workshops for the Austin Area Quilt Guild. On Friday evening, students gathered together to learn low immersion dyeing techniques including parfait and ice dyeing, omber gradients and marbling. Students learned to prepare dye solutions, process their dyed fabric and a number of low immersion techniques in a mere three hour period. With more than ten colors to play with, I think they were quite happy!

On Saturday, I met up with students once again to learn some Fabric Painting techniques. How fun! Students were taught sponge, omber, and sun painting using both transparent and opaque paints on light and dark colored fabrics. We also worked with stencils and discussed how to make stencils and a lot of the current stencil manufacturers as well as the use of thermo screens. Additionally, we made our own stamps using wood blocks and puffy foam.  Students were also introduced to other stamp making methods such as lino cutting and marshmallows, as well as vegetable stamping. Below are some of their lovely creations.

   As I write this, I am recovering on a Sunday afternoon. I am exhausted but in a good way. My students enjoyed their classes and walked away with some quality pieces and a working knowledge of dyes and paints. They are equipped with a new set of tools and techniques to add to their repertoire and many walked away with a new found confidence. And for that, I am tickled. I hope you have enjoyed reading this post. Please feel free to chime in. I love hearing from you! I also invite you to stop by tomorrow when I post about one of the new pieces that I have created.