Sunday, October 21, 2012

Postcards and Artist Trading Cards for IQF 2012

  I have been working on postcards and Artist Trading Cards for the upcoming International Quilt Festival in Houston. This year, I will be doing two Open Studio sessions on 3Dimensional Wildflowers The first session will be on Thursday, November 1st from 10-12 and the second one is scheduled for Friday, November 2nd from 12-2 p.m. I thought it might be nice to have some additional samples on hand and postcards seemed to work well for this purpose. This year's Open Studios is brought to you by Craftsy. For more information, please visit or . I have created 6 postcards and 10 Artist Trading Cards for this event. I have never participated in ATC's but I was encouraged to do so this year. The idea is that folks can come  by and pick up a small ATC if they leave one of their own creations. How cool is that? This is a wonderful way to acquire a small piece of art by some of your favorite artists. I know I will be on the lookout for some of mine! I hope people will like these, though I only made 10! Yet another fantastic way to acquire art at a very affordable price while you are at festival is to check out the Pet Project Postcard booth. I have also created a couple of abstract postcards for this wonderful cause. Postcards can represent pets, animals, landscapes or be created in an abstract style. These postcards will be sold for $20 each with the proceeds going to benefit Friends for Life, a no kill shelter. For more information on how you can get involved, please visit . 

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Gift of the Magi

The Gift of the Magi by Barb Forrister
This month has been crazy, busy but in a good way! Lots of wonderful shows going on in the area, new and upcoming workshops that I will be teaching and getting ready for the big International Quilt Festival in Houston. Still, I have managed to log in long hours in the studio working on art. One piece in particular, The Gift of the Magi was created for the Copper Shade Tree Gallery Art in Fiber 2013 show. The show was juried by Karey Bresenhan of Quilts, Inc. Wow, what an honor to be included! I am so tickled! Inspired from

a photograph, this bird pranced around and posed in all his glory for a good 20-30 minutes while I photographed him from all angles.  When I got home, I had a few hundred photos of him which I eventually narrowed down to one. I sketched and drew the photo and then blew it up such that it could be transferred to fabric. This piece measures 30.75" X 38.5." It is the third piece in my peacock series and I have decided to incorporate some metallic and mica paints to reflect the irridescence that is often seen in peacock feathers. The Gift of the Magi was created with acrylic paints including Setacolor opaque and transparent paints, Stewart Gill, Jacquard, DecoArt SoSoft, Sparkling Mica and Pigment Watercolor paints by US Art Lest and Twinkling Waters Shimmering Watercolor by LuminArt. I have also used watersoluble wax pastel crayons by Caron d' Ache and water soluble oil pastels by Portfolio. The Portfolio Series offered very bright, vivid colors however they were difficult to heat set. Next time, I will stick to the Caron d'Ache as they are easier to work with and their color stays put! This piece took 3 weeks to paint as each color had to be mixed and blended such that it presented an accurate and cohesive showing. Here the key was to blend the feathers in with the background as it changed from dark to light colors. With so many feathers, this is difficult to accomplish!
This piece was stitched with trilobal polyester threads from Superior in almost a hundred different thread colors such that the stitching can be seen but it still does not detract from the painting. Edges are finished with a facing. I am hoping to mount this piece on a painted deep navy canvas. I will have to build it myself, as this is not a standard size and I could not bring myself to cut it down for the sole purpose of fitting on a standard size canvas. Some things are just worth creating special frames for! I really enjoyed creating The Gift of the Magi and hope that it will find a good home. My daughters are lamenting the fact that they cannot keep it but with so many photos to choose from, I can always make more. To see more pictures, and the photo from which The Gift of the Magi was inspired, please visit 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Violet: Part 5 in the Victorian Lady Series

Remember the Victorian ladies, Ruby and Scarlet that I completed last December? There are nine ladies, all of which have been hand appliqued, embroidered with DMC and/or ribbon embroidery floss, hand beaded and embellished with trinkets, trims and lace. The first two pieces in the set, I did in fact, hand quilt as at the time, I felt the need to complete them all by hand. I really did have good intentions, however, while I greatly appreciate the beauty of hand quilting, it is just not for me! I am much more in tune with my machine as it hums along. And so for years, these pieces have been lingering in my closet waiting to be finished. The last time, my grandmother visited me, we pulled them out and she expressed that she would like to have them.   
I gave her the first two pieces that had been hand quilted right then and for Christmas, I gave her two more pieces, Ruby and Scarlet that I machine quilted. She was thrilled and I am happy they have found a new home! This month is her birthday and I have completed another Victorian lady for her collection. This one is named Violet. Are you sensing a theme with regards to their names and the colors of their dresses? Seems easier to remember their names that way. To be honest, I cannot recall the names of the first two, although, Pauline comes to mind. They may need to be renamed as well! I have still yet to have time to dig and search around the studio for the name of the artist who created these patterns. Perhaps after the holidays, I can find that out unless of course, someone here knows the answer. Violet was machine quilted with Superior trilobal polyester thread to bring out details in her dress. The background was broken up by machine quilting parallel flowing lines that radiate out towards the bottom. On top, it is broken up by stippling to add interest and break up the space. She is adorned with trim, lace, embroidery ribbon and floss, buttons and trinkets. I have just shipped her off to my Grandmother to join her new friends. I hope she is accepted well!

Monday, October 15, 2012

2012 Uptown Blanco Quilt Show

The Uptown Blanco Quilt Show is this weekend, Friday, October 12 - Sunday, October 14. The Opening Reception was held on Friday from 5-6:30 p.m. Sadly, I was unable to attend as I was held up in the studio completing a piece for a deadline the next day. Coming down to the wire, that meant the same piece needed to be delivered in person on Saturday. When I returned to Austin, yesterday, this lovely photo was posted on my facebook page by my dear friend, Kathy York. "Artist Garden," a group collaboration led by Connie Hudson with Kathy York, Sherri Mc Cauley, Annie Smith, Cindy Potter Henneke, Suzan Engler, Leslie Tucker Jenison, France Holliday Alford and Barb Forrister received a lovely blue first place ribbon. I absolutely love this piece! It  incorporates the beauty and style of each and every artist and it was a joy to create! So blessed to be a part of it all!  
"Songbird" placed second followed by  "Austin tatious" in third place. You can imagine my surprise! Never in my wildest dreams, did I ever think this would happen. I feel extremely blessed and fortunate to be a part of the Austin Art Bee and to work with such amazing women Each year, we work on group collaborations with every new piece bringing unique challenges and creativity to the forefront. Artist Garden was made in 2011 and came together so effortlessly, Always a good sign!  
This is "Austin tatious'" first time out in competition and I am so delighted that it was received well. Additionally, "Welcome to my Garden" was on the program cover, a treat for sure! This weekend has been so fantastic, I could not ask for any better. Blessed with art, opportunities and rain, I have been asked to teach at next year's show at the beautiful Uptown Blanco Quilt Show. I am so jazzed about this. It is a beautiful facility with a wonderful venue!