Monday, December 10, 2007

Ruby In The Emerald Forest

Ruby In The Emerald Forest is the first quilt (29.25" X 35") in Part II of my Nature Series where the main focus is negative space. Part I was a study on depth perception, consequently, the goal here is to contine with this depth perception while adding in another factor regarding negative space. Ruby consists of 50 pieces that are machine appliqued and embroidered. The tree that she rests on is made of various upholstery fabrics. For the leaves, I hand dyed some warm and natural batting and perle cotton, cut out each leaf and couched some yarn along the veins. The background is a piece of hand dyed cotton by Ellen Anne Eddy that I further embellished with Caran de Ache watersoluble pastel crayons and Shiva paintsticks to similate the water and shrubs in the foreground and middle ground. This piece is machine quilted with over 50 different colors of predominantly rayon thread with some metallic thread in the water. The tree trunk was constructed separately from the body of the quilt and acts like an envelope that encases the right side of the quilt. Edges are satin stitched. While I am happy with the overall results, I think that in order to fully gain an understanding of negative space, I will have to venture higher into the tree branches for the next quilt in my series. With regards to this study, I have to wonder if depth and negative space are one and the same thing for in order to have negative space, you have to have depth. And in order to achieve depth, you have to zoom out thus giving you this sense of void or negative space. I think that the two act in tandem to give dimension.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Little Rascals

Little Rascals measures 21"X27.5" and is the final third piece of part I Nature Series. The goal was to achieve depth in the knothole of a tree. In Little Boy Blue, I came close to achieving depth but shadows were not present to really carry out the theme, also the bark on the tree was not as realistic as I had hoped. Screech had bark that was more realistic but the depth was not there. Little Rascals started out with a layer of commercial cotton as a backdrop. Using strips of commercial, hand dyed and upholstery fabric cut on the bias, I began laying over color starting with light highlights (top right) and working clockwise to medium and then dark shades and back to medium (top left). Once the coloring was right, I began texturizing the bark with hand dyed cheesecloth in the same manner as described previously all the while blending to avoid any hard lines. Sheer crinkled fabrics. fibers and dyed tatting was added followed by dyed lutradur that had been zapped with a heat gun to build the surface up. Still, I felt the bottom left corner needed something to weigh it down both in color and texture so I added pipe cleaners that had been wrapped with dyed cheesecloth and couched them down on the surface, a wonderful trick I learned from Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn's Trees As A Theme. For the knothole, I used a commercial cotton that similated wood grain, a rust dyed black fabric for shading, black lacy tulle as well as brown tulle to impart depth in the hole. The raccoons' bodies were appliqued and machine embroidered to give the illusion of texture and depth. Next, I turned my focus on those Little Rascals. Working from a sketch, I enlarged and printed their faces on cotton and painted them with Tsukineko inks. Having come from a five day workshop with Hollis Chatellain, I was encouraged to try shading with her wonderful Living Colors thread line from Superior. On each of their faces, I used about 20 different thread colors to convey shadows and highlight in their fur. Eyes were painted with shiny black and specks of white for highlights. Their heads were layered with 2 layers of batting and backed with the same material as their bodies and strategically tacked down to allow them to "pop" out of their hole. Side edges were bound in a pillow case style binding while top and bottom edges were left rugged to carry on the texture of the tree bark. I think I finally achieved the depth I was looking for in this series and am moving on to part II of Nature Series where I will focus on negative space. I've already started on my sketch of Ruby, a beautiful red macaw perched on a branch where I can play with negative space in the tree branches. I'm thinking some Angelina fibers are definitely in the works!!!

Thursday, August 30, 2007


Screech was made from both commercial and hand dyed fabrics. Bark like texture consists of dyed batting that has been felted with yarns and dyed cheesecloth. Yarn has also been felted onto background fabric to create further grooves and texture in the tree trunk. The knothole is layered with tulle and fibers that were fused to wonder under to add shading. Painted with Derwent Inktense pencils. Inner circle closest to owl is made from the back of an upholstery fabric to impart a rough edge. The owl is made from dyed cheesecloth layered with snippets of fabric that have been fused and thread embroidered in a featherlike pattern. Machine quilted. The sides have a wrapped edge binding but the top and bottom are left with a rugged edge that is machine stitched and painted with Tsukineko Inks. Screech and Little Boy Blue can be seen at the Heritage Museum in Seymour, Missouri on Sep 8, 2007

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Little Boy Blue

Little Boy Blue
Just finished the first quilt in my tree series. I decided to name it Little Boy Blue. It is 18X24. My focus is on trees but trees by themselves can be a little boring to some, so I added a Bluebird for interest. I really enjoyed making this quilt. I tried to concentrate on texture and so for the bark, I took both commercial and hand dyed fabrics and fused them on a background. I painted some Tyvek with Shiva oil paintsticks, cut it in small pieces and applied heat to give a raised effect, then touched them up with brown Tsukineko ink. I also took a fat quarter and wet it and then tied it up in a ball and let it sit in the sun for a week, then dried it in the dryer to give it a crinkly effect. I cut it in smaller pieces and added some dyed string and fibers, topped it off with dyed cheesecloth and stitched the whole thing down. For the knothole, again I used hand dyed fabric, and played with trying to achieve depth by using Caran de Ache watersoluble pastel crayons and Derwent Inktense pencils. I worked from a sketch, which I blew up to get the pattern for the bird and layered blue cheesecloth over a blue piece of fabric, then added snippets to try and attain a feathery feel. In the end, I learned alot and am stimulated to try and create some more pieces similar to this one with different colored birds. I think the next one I do in this series will be a Screech Owl. Guess I better get sketching.
Posted by Barb Forrister at 5:06 PM

Sherryl said...
Very, very nice.
August 11, 2007 5:46 PM
Tina Marie Rey said...
This is a great piece! I love love love it! what amazing texture - bravo!
August 11, 2007 5:59 PM
Russty said...
The depth you achieved on the knot hole is amazing. I wanted to reach in and pet the bird. This is really beautiful! I can't wait to see the others in the series. Thank you so much for sharing this. :)
August 12, 2007 9:57 AM
Jeanne Turner McBrayer said...
This little quilt has amazing texture and is quite realistic. I would say the little bird is an indigo bunting, not a bluebird. I enjoyed looking at all the posts on your blog.
August 17, 2007 8:13 AM

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Friday, July 27, 2007

A Leap of Faith

A Leap of Faith was made in response to What's In A Name Challenge sponsored by Quilting Arts Magazine. While sadly it did not get published, it has received many offers from potential buyers. This is a close up view. It is machine pieced and appliqued, thread painted on solvy. Planet has a textural feel from both directly applied paint and cellophane that was colored with wax pastel crayons and subsequently ironed to a lacy like appearance. Embellished with Swarovski crystals to simulate stars.

Calm Before the Storm

Calm Before the Storm

Sky is handpainted with DecoArt SoSoft and Pebeo Pearlescent paint. Clouds are made of polyester fiberfill captured under blue tulle. Lower strata cloud layer is composed of painted batting and dryer lint that has been hand felted to a piece of acrylic felt. Bottom edge is irregular to further convey that stormy feeling. Sides and top edge are bound by matching raw edges of binding with front of quilt, sewing and turning inside out. Edges on back side of binding is slip stiched. I love the calm and tranquil feeling this piece imparts

Monday, July 2, 2007

"Fire" and "Marisol"

I have just finished "Fire" and "Marisol." They were both fun to work on. Fire was composed using lots of Angelina fibers and different cottons and sheer fabrics captured behind tulle. It was sent this morning to my SIL for a very late BD present. I am hoping it will find a good home.
"Marisol" the mermaid is machine pieced and hand appliqued. The beach she sits on is made of Angelina fibers, threads and yarns that were layered on clear plastic material and subsequently heat distressed with an iron. Seashells and flowers were added for interest. Her face was done with both colored pencils and ultra fine Sharpies. I have since tried to remember exactly what kind of plastic was used so I could duplicate it but to no avail. This has taught me to keep a notebook with samples handy so I can remember materials and techniques used for future reference.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Fertility Goddess

The Fertility Goddess finished!!! This is a double sided quilt that is machine pieced, appliqued and quilted. It is embellished with Tsukineko inks, acrylic and Lumiere paint, heavy metallic threads, beads and Swarovski crystals. She was an absolute joy to make!
Over Easter weekend, I found I could not close my plastic container full of scraps. It was too full so I decided to liberate some fabric from it and came up with my rendition of the fertility goddess. This piece is heavily quilted and I am currently in the process of inking and painting the back of the quilt. My plan is to further embellish front and back with thick metallic blue/green/purple threads and beads. I would like for people to be able to see the goddess on both sides of the quilt. I think it's a neat concept.

Dyeing Days

I love painting on fabric and have decided to try dyeing some pieces. I have used procion dyes and experimented with dyeing in plastic bags as well as low immersion techniques in flat pans. I also tried dyeing with shaving cream to get a marbeling affect. And while I was at it, I just had to try dyeing some tyvek, scrim and cheescloth. Here are some of my results.

Albuquerque Fiber Arts Fiesta

I finally decided to enter some of my work into shows to get some feedback. I just had three of my pieces juried into the Albuquerque Fiber Arts Fiesta. While it is not my first exhibition, it is the first time I have had my work juried into a show. I am so excited. Arthur's Quest was accepted into Pieced Innovative category. Scarlet Apasionado was accepted into Small Art Quilt category and Face of Serenity was accepted into Pictorial Art category. The show runs from May 24-26 2007