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 http://www.barbforrister.com/blog/. Again, thank you so much for stopping by.

The schedule is as follows:
May 4: Sue Bleiweiss: http://www.suebleiweiss.com/blog/
May 4: Jamie Fingal :http://www.jamiefingaldesigns.com/
May 5: Leslie Tucker Jenison: http://leslietuckerjenison.blogspot.com/
May 6: Terri Stegmiller : http://stegart.blogspot.com/
May 7: Deborah Boschert : http://deborahsjournal.blogspot.com/
May 8: Desiree Habicht : http://myclothesline.blogspot.com/
May 9: Kathy Sperino : http://finishinglinesbyksperino.blogspot.com/
May 10: Barb Forrister : http://www.barbforrister.com/blog/
May 11 Kathy York : http://www.aquamoonartquilts.blogspot.com/
May 12: Lyric Kinard : http://lyrickinard.com/lyric-kinard-blog/
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.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

One Block, Six Designs, Modern Style

Modern Quilts_BarbForrister 004a Hocus Pocus_BarbForrister 001a
Hello, I have been busy in the studio gearing up for the second modern Quilt Con coming to Austin in February. This year, I have decided to create variations of the Bow Tie traditional block with a modern twist. Hocus Pocus (seen above) is the first in this series and incorporates octagons to create a colorful dimensional quilt. Here, I have decided to punk up the design by adding three colored squares in three of the white octagons. The remaining octagons have been quilted with black thread to provide interest and depth, a scary undertaking but I am so happy I did it! The half hexagonal edge pieces have been quilted in white and an additional white border was added to give the illusion of a floating grid like lattice. To create the quilting lines, I first photographed the entire quilt and printed it on a plain sheet of copier paper. I then overlapped it with a clear transparency sheet and began drawing the quilting lines with a Pigma marker. Below are some dBarb Forrister 007etailed views of Hocus Pocus. Barb Forrister 004

The second piece in this series is KodaChrome (seen below) and uses the same bow tie blocks but in a medallion style with playful colored piano keys on two edges while white borders making up the remaining two sides. I love the shift in design that is created by playing with these added borders in unexpected ways. How fun?!!! Again, I used the same technique as described above for determining the quilt lines.

BarbForrister 004 KodaChrome_BarbForrister 001a

Here, I opted to quilt the white areas in white while using fluorescent and very bright colorful threads for the colored areas. The entire quilt was bound with Moda Chartreuse binding as a finished edge. I think perhaps this is my favorite of the three. Below are a few detailed shots of KodaChrome.

BarbForrister 008 BarbForrister 011  

The third piece in the series is called Entropy and features bow tie traditional blocks with added negative space to provide interest and give it a more modern feel. I love the playful design that this quilt invokes and the way it appeals to the viewer's imagination. I am still in the process of working out the quilt lines for this piece but I am thinking of adding a tree behind the floating lattice just to shake things up. I like the idea of adding
organic elements to this piece.

BarbForrister 012 BarbForrister 001a

new 005Although, I have opted not to make the following quilts, I have decided to include these mock ups as additional inspiration for Bow Tie quilts. The first one on the left is another version of a medallion style quilt though done in a very different style than KodaChrome. The photo below on the left plays on two different concepts. Here, the octagons are created in bold colors while the background is filled in with lighter colors. The blocks are set in a directional manner where the bow tie arrows point up and to the right. I think this is an interesting take on both color and design. The final design on the lower right shows how the addition of a simple narrow strip of colored fabric changes the whole feel of the quilt, especially when you rotate directionality. Thank you for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed this post as much as I have enjoyed the design process itself. Please feel free to leave a comment. I love hearing from you! Wishing you a fabulous and creative journey!

BarbForrister 002 Quilt Con 2015 006  

Friday, October 31, 2014

Dinner at Eight Artists Rituals Exhibit Premieres at The International Quilt Festival in Houston 2014

I am so tickled that Groovin' on a Sunday Afternoon was chosen as one of the many inspiring quilts from Dinner at Eight Artists Gallery Reflections to be featured in the October/November Quilting Arts Issue 71. How cool is that?!!!! Wow, what an honor! The article displays seven of 33 artists work including Hollis Chatelain, Cynthia St. Charles, Terry Grant, Cindy Cooksey, Kristin La Flamme, Barb Forrister and Yvonne Porcella. I am humbled to be in such good company. This issue also features awesome thread sketching by Susan Brubaker Knapp. I love her work!
This year's theme for the new Dinner at Eight Artists exhibit is "Reflections. Consider the following: A mirror image, a response to a word, a memory, what glints back at us as we gaze upon the water, the throwing back by a body or surface of light, heat, or sound without absorbing it, what your reflections reveal about you. This year's show is the sixth exhibit and I am thrilled to be a part of it! Each piece measures 60X24 and was inspired by the theme, Reflections. Groovin on a Sunday Afternoon is a whole cloth painted quilt with added giraffes hand appliqued with Mistyfuse in a trapunto style to give dimension. The entire piece was machine quilted with both fluorescent and highlight threads by Superior. Edges were finished with an envelope edge. This piece was dedicated to my mother, Kathleen Worland who passed away November 16, 1999. I am so blessed that Groovin on a Sunday Afternoon was received so well. This one's for you, Mom! I will always love you!
Thank you for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed this post. The new Rituals exhibit by Dinner at Eight Artists was curated by Jamie Fingal and Leslie Tucker Jenison and is sponsored by Havel's Sewing. It will debut at the Houston International Quilt Market, October 25-27, 2014 and will continue on to the International Quilt Festival, October 30-November 2. If you are in the Houston area, I invite you to visit festival and check out the many amazing exhibits at the show. So much eye candy and shopping awaits you! Wishing you all a fabulous journey! 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Austin Fiber Artists 2014 Exhibit at the Austin Bergstom International Airport

As promised, I am still trying to catch up with news from last month. The Austin Fiber Artists were invited to exhibit at the Austin Bergstrom International Airport Special Exhibit from July 23-October 21, 2014. What a treat?!!!! I was one so tickled to be chosen as one of the exhibiting artists with Raspberry Delight. The exhibit was located on the other side of security at the airport and we were all given a special tour by Matt Coldwell, the Exhibit Coordinator, so that we might be able to see it before it came down. Matt was so gracious in giving us an extended tour of the airport exhibits. I never knew there were so many nooks and crannies there! So much eye candy! I'll have to be sure and check things out more carefully next time I am at the airport. Here are some photos of the Austin Fiber Artists Exhibit.

I hope you have enjoyed this post as much as I have enjoyed bringing it to you. Please be sure and visit on Friday when I will be delivering more exciting news about "Groovin on a Sunday Afternoon" that is opening at the Dinner at Eight Artists new "Rituals Exhibit" at the International Quilt Festival in Houston. Wishing you a fabulous fiesta!!!!