Tuesday, November 30, 2010

3D Foliage using Misty Fuse

I have had some requests to describe how I make my 3D Foliage using Misty Fuse. The leaves on the left show a wide range of techniques however they all have one thing in common. They all involve the assemblage of materials in layers to make your own cloth. And better yet, most of it is made from scrap materials which in my mind is truly a way of upcycling and "going green." I love this idea! The first thing I do is to gather scrap fabrics and thread snippets from other projects that I have previously sewn. I begin by layering the scraps of fabric with Misty Fuse and thread snippets. I also like to include even smaller pieces of cut up scrap material, yarn, fibers and even a little Angelina fiber for sparkle. The materials are fused together between two sheets of parchment paper or Goddess sheets.  
The fibers all adhere to the bottom layer of fabric and become one. The difference between using parchment paper and Goddess sheets is that the parchment paper leaves a matt like background whereas the Goddess sheets impart a shiny appearance. Both are wonderful! The choice of which pressing sheet to use is a personal preference. I personally like to integrate the two together and create both matt and shiny backgrounds as I feel this creates interest. Once the cloth is layered and fused, I lay it down on a piece of timtex or peltex and fuse both together again, with Misty Fuse. The next step is to flip it over and fuse a backing for the underside of the leaf. At this point, you have a piece of peltex that is sandwiched between your assembled cloth and a backing and are now ready to take it to the sewing machine to begin stitching. I free motion stitch the leaves however you can prestencil leaves before stitching. Once the leaf shape is stitched, the veins are set in. Individual leaves are cut out and I use either ink or paint to touch up the edges. This method can be applied to whole cloth and used for a variety of different projects such as wearable art and other projects. Here the ideas are endless.
A Few of My Favorite Things From Attached Inc and Havel's Sewing: Mistyfuse, Transdoodle, Goddess Sheets and Scissors
This piece is

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Moon Shadow: Part 3 of Naturescape Gray Scale Series

Moon Shadow is Part 3 of my Naturescape Gray Scale Series. It measures 11X14 and is mounted on a stretched canvas. Part 1: Dark Shadow and Part 2: White Lightning focus more on landscapes whereas this piece concentrates on bringing nature up close and increasing scale. Another difference between this piece and the first two in the series is that Moon Shadow was created with an added emphasis on texture. This piece began by gathering and sorting every piece of white to black fabric that I had in my stash including all those wonderful pieces of velvet and upholstery fabrics. Yes, it is true that I did not stay entirely true to grayscale but instead opted for a hint of yellow in the eyes and in other parts of the fur. I think perhaps this added interest. When I first began designing this piece, I did not know if this grey wolf would present itself as feminine or masculine in nature. Once the eyes were in place, she let me know she was a she wolf. It was at that moment that she really started to come alive. The  background is a commercial fabric. The wolf was composed of various hand dyed, commercial and upholstery fibers layered with extra batting to give added dimension and shape.  My purpose was to really focus on texture and making her coat feel as though it was really indeed fur. This is one of the most tactile pieces I have made so far and I am really happy with the way she came to life. Silvery skeleton leaves were added to make her appear as though she is peering out from a nearby bush. She is named Moon Shadow for two reasons. Her setting is amongst the stars and the moonlight highlights her whitish gray coat. Also, I just love the play on words when I refer to my black and white series in terms of tints and shadows for their names. I am thinking that perhaps I should continue on with one more piece in this series featuring a jet black wolf upon a snow setting. I think that could be quite fun! Just wondering if I actually have the fibers make that piece!!!! In any case, I am really enjoying the idea of bringing nature up close by increasing scale.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Dinner At Eight Artists Meet at Houston IQF 2010

Wow, just getting back from Houston International Quilt Festival and beginning to blog. This year's exhibits were amazing.  I loved the SAQA Sightlines and Creative Force show. Such wonderful artists! Another fantastic show was Beneath The Surface curated by Jamie Fingal and Leslie Tucker Jenison. The exhibit consisted of 37 Dinner At Eight Artists and featured a very strong and diverse body of art. I was unable to make the debut in Long Beach and really was looking forward to seeing the travelling show come to Houston. No photography was allowed in this exhibit but the security guard made an exception to allow me to have my photograph taken in front of my Treasured Waters piece. I really wish I could have photographed the entire exhibit. It was so well done. Kudos to Jamie and Leslie and the folks at IQF.  On Friday night, the artists met for dinner to discuss the inspirations for

for their artwork and interpretations of the theme, Beneath The Surface. One theme, so many amazing and different interpretations, each with such powerful stories behind them. Having heard these stories, it was not surprising that this was such a fantastic presentation! What a fabulous group of women! I am truly blessed to be a part of this group. Had a wonderful time visiting with each and every one of the artists that were able to make the journey to Houston. Center left photo shows Linda Minton, Leslie Tucker Jenison and Judy Coates Perez. Below, here I am with Frances Holliday Alford. Good food, good wine and great conversation.  And as Rachel says, "Here's to Great Women. May We Raise Them. May We Know Them. May We Be Them." Dinner At Eight Artists present included Jamie Fingal, Leslie Tucker Jenison, Deborah Borschert, Jane Lafazio, Linda Minton, Rachel Parris, Judy Coates Perez, Frances Holliday Alford, Sarah Ann Smith and Barb Forrister. What a fantastic evening! 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Studio Art Quilts Associates Inc. Portfolio 17: The Art Quilt Sourcebook

I am thrilled to announce the release of  Studio Art Quilts Associates Inc. Portfolio 17: The Art Quilt Sourcebook. It is hot off the press and this is the first year it is being offered in both digital and hard copy format. This publication showcases work from professional SAQA quilt artists all around the world. This year, my piece, Generation Y: Song of Hope has been honored as People's Choice at The Wesley Art Gallery and received second place at the Austin Area Quilt Guild Changing Gears Show. Kind of funny, since it emulates today's world. To read more, please visit http://freespiritartstudio.blogspot.com/search/label/Generation%20Y%3A%20%20Song%20of%20Hope . This piece can also be found in the Studio Art Quilts Associates Inc. Portfolio 17: The Art Quilt Sourcebook here  http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/saqa/portfolio17/#/75/OnePage . To see a digital copy of this catalog, please visit http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/saqa/portfolio17/#/1/OnePage or to order a hard copy, please visit the SAQA store or better yet, stop by Houston International Quilt Festival SAQA booth to pick up your copy in person. This is a wonderful publication that comes out annually. Many thanks to Lisa Chipetine and Cheryl Dineen Ferrin for bringing this wonderful publication to fruition!