Thursday, December 5, 2013

3-D Soft Sculpted Flowers, Mixed Media Style: Quilting Arts Magazine

I am so jazzed that I have been chosen to be a contributor to the new December/January 2014 Quilting Arts Magazine. Issue number 66 features my article, "3-D Soft Sculpted Flowers, Mixed Media Style" in which I show how I make poppies from a variety of media including cloth, lutradur, paints and inks. How fun?!!!! The flowers consist of 3 tiers of petals made from both cloth and painted lutradur. Patterns are included for making the petals and leaves for these blossoms. The center stamen is composed of beaded floral wire to create shine and an element of surprise. Raspberry Delight, a finished 3 dimensional piece was created specifically for this article and displays three large poppies in full bloom against a hand painted background. I love the way the red blooms contrast against the beautiful shades of complementary green hues thus bringing out their full potential.

 Combining cloth and lutradur with paints and inks provides interest, especially when textiles are heat distressed with a heat gun to impart texture. Alternating different colors on each side of both leaves and petals allows for more pronounced highlights and shading, therefore  adding depth. Machine stitching affords further definition to the veins on the petals and leaves. These delightful flowers were a joy to make and I hope that readers will enjoy the article and venture out into creating 3 dimensional flowers of their own. To order your copy of this article in the Quilting Arts Magazine, please visit . I also offer workshops creating an array of different flowers including Irises, Tiger Lilies, Calla Lilies and many more. I invite you to read more about it at . Thank you for stopping by. I wish you much happiness and success in your creative journey.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Inspirations in Fiber Art

Hello, I am finally emerging from the studio where I have been creating some 3 dimensional soft sculpted pieces for the new upcoming Inspirations in Fiber Art show. The exhibit features work by myself and my good friend, Kathy York. It will be on display from November 25th through January 12th 2014 at the Gallery at the J at the Dell Jewish Community Center located at 7300 Hart Ln in Austin, Texas. The Opening Reception will take place on December 12th from 7-8:30 p.m. and is open to anyone who would like to attend. Appetizers and wine will be served and there will be a flutist playing a lovely array of music. How fun!!!! In the meantime, thought I might give you a sneak peak of some of the pieces that were created especially for the show. The first piece,
El Tigre shown below is a pair of 3 dimensional soft sculpted Tiger Lilies set on an abstract background and placed on a painted burgundy canvas.

The second piece, above on the right is Fleur de Lis and is comprised of three soft sculpted 3 dimensional irises, again set on an abstract background with long, graceful but wild leaves flowing in all directions. I love the way these pieces combine both representational and abstract manners all in one by integrating the foliage with the backgrounds. So much fun! And last but not least, I have included Raspberry Delight, a piece that was created for an article in the December/January 2014 Quilting Arts magazine. I love the way these 3 dimensional soft sculpted red poppies contrast against the painted green background offering a garden like feel. I will be blogging again soon about the article but for now, here is a sneak peak at this lovely piece. I hope you have enjoyed stopping by and I wish you much success on your creative journey!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Embellishing with Foil at Make It University at IQF 2013

Good Morning. Heading out to Houston for the International Quilt Festival, today. I will be teaching Embellishing with Foil at Make It University on Thursday, October 31, 2013 from 10:30-11:30 a.m. and again on Saturday evening, November 2nd from 5:30-6:30 p.m. We will cover 4 different ways to embellish with foil including Misty Fuse, Jones Tones Foil Glue, BoNash and Foil Adhesive. So much fun and a great way to add glitz to your designs! If you have ever wanted to play and experiment with foil, come join me in the fun. I will also be participating in Open Studios sponsored by
Craftsy where I will be working on 3 Dimensional Flowers on Friday, November 1st from 10 a.m.-12p.m. If you are in the area, you will not want to miss it! Please stop by and say hello. Meeting folks at festival is always one of my highlights at Houston. I would love to see you! Until then, I will try to blog while I am at festival. Wishing you all a most happy day!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

3Dimensional Soft sculpted Flowers at Open Studios Sponsored by Craftsy at IQF

Hello, I have been busy in the studio preparing for Open Studios at the International Quilt Festival coming up in Houston this month. But I am finally back and ready for the show. Well at least, almost ready. I have created a mix of Tiger Lilies, Irises and Calla Lilies which all started out from white muslin that I painted in graduating tones to simulate flowers. Hard to believe they all started off white and grew from there! These are some of my all time favorites. Made from an assortment of materials, they have been

painted and soft sculpted, stamens have been added and they are awaiting stems and a background. This is always the most fun part, seeing it all come together. But wait, there is still one more surprise flower in the making. In fact, look for an upcoming article in the Quilting Arts magazine in the next December/January issue where I show how to make my 3 Dimensional lutradur, mixed media poppies. In the meantime, I will be demonstrating some of my techniques at Open Studios at the International Quilt Festival on Friday, November 1, 2014 from 10-12 p.m. in the Embellishing Studio located at the George Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas. Please stop by and say hello. I would love to see you. Wishing you much joy and success on your journey!

Friday, September 27, 2013

3 Dimensional Flowers and Evoking Music

Have I Told You Lately...
Another week in the studio and I am thrilled to have completed three more pieces from my 3 Dimensional Mixed Media Flower Series. The first piece, "Have I Told You Lately...." is set on a hand dyed background that has been discharged to give a light airy touch of foliage. The leaves are made of lutradur and are bobbin stitched with heavy metallic threads to impart the veins. The flower is painted lutradur and has been stitched to give the petals definition. A touch of beads for the stamens sets it off. The entire background was free motion quilted with a lacy foliage motif and set on a wisteria painted canvas measuring 8X10. I love the way the simplicity of this piece is captured.
Darlin, You Send Me

The second in the mini series is "Darlin, You Send Me" and measures 8X18. Here, I have opted to frame the piece in wood. Because the size was so unusual, I had to make the frames from scratch, sand and stain the wood and add a backing. I wanted to keep the dimensional aspects in tact so I decided to create this piece in a shadow box like manner. Fabric was adhered to the wood with Mistyfuse and the hand dyed, discharged piece was set on top. The leaves are composed of various materials, some stitched with heavy metallic threads to provide texture for the veins. The stem is composed of machine wrapped cording and the blooms have been painted and stitched. I love the way the rich background colors are set off against the deep chocolate fabric and wood.
Crimson and Clover
The third piece in this mini series, "Crimson and Clover was created in the same style and measures 8X16. You may notice that all of these pieces were named after songs. That is because while creating these pieces, these are the songs that popped into my head: Have I Told You Lately That I Love You by Van Morrison, "You Send Me" by Sam Cooke and Crimson and Clover by Tommy James and the Shondells. Funny, I know but it just seemed destined to be! I hope you enjoyed this post. Thank you for visiting. Please take a moment to check out other artists on Off the Wall Fridays at

Friday, September 20, 2013

Working In Series: The Tree of Life and The Giving Tree

Tree of Life
Hello, it is so good to be back again, blogging. I have been spending lots of time in the studio creating new pieces for an upcoming show. Great way to escape the heat outdoors for sure. My design wall is currently filled with three different series that I have been working on and I am having a great time moving from one series to another. Some of you may remember The Giving Tree that I created last year. The response to this piece was so wonderful that I have decided to create a mini series of art done in this vein. The Tree of Life is the second piece in the series and was made in a similar style but with a higher contrast that produces a brighter gem stone like quality. Here, the sky is much lighter in color and therefore allows the colors to come forward in a different way. Part of working in series demands that the pieces all have cohesiveness while still maintaining the integrity of each one. In other words, they are the same style yet each one has its own identity, so to speak.
The Giving tree
Tree of Life
I believe that I have accomplished this task through the second piece in the series. the third one still to come focusses on the tree up close and also has it's own unique voice and is set in a different format. I love the idea of playing with contrast, color and pattern to create new pieces. That being said, The Giving Tree was mounted on a black painted canvas while The Tree of Life was set on a gray colored canvas in order to tone the contrast down a bit. I love this new piece and am hoping it will be received well. Can't wait to bring the third one into play but for now, I am headed to the studio to breathe life into the second set of 3 dimensional flowers still awaiting final assembly. I have to say for me, I love working back and forth from one series to another. I think it allows me to keep a fresh eye on each one while bringing something unique to each individual piece. I hope you have enjoyed this blog post on working in series. Thank you for stopping by. Please leave a comment. I would love to hear your thoughts!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Mixed Media: Discharging

Good morning and welcome, September! Yesterday, I kicked off the day with some bleach discharging. Have to say, I love the effects and they are so immediately gratifying! Thought I would share some of the pieces that I worked on. The backgrounds are all hand dyed pieces that I have recently created. These pieces were made for samples in my upcoming Mixed Media Art Cloth at the Dougherty Art Center. The second round of classes is starting soon and things are heating up here in Austin. If you are looking for a sampler class of what can be done with cloth, this is a wonderful starting point. The goal of the Textile program is to provide an enriching and rewarding experience for each student working with textiles. The

studio is equipped with dyes, paint and tools to make your ideas a reality. Classes are limited to six so they ensure enough space to create and quality individual instruction. You will learn to dye and paint, while focusing on a variety of embellishment techniques including stamping, stenciling, fusing, foiling, beading and stitch work. No prior experience is necessary only a desire to have fun and create. Discharging is one of the many techniques that are taught.

If you are looking for a great way to beat the heat and create art, this is a great way to start. Even better, sign up for the Surface Design class and learn to dye and screenprint some fabulous cloth that can be incorporated into wearable art, accessories or wall art. Classes begin soon. Surface Design Basics will commence September 10 through October 15 and Mixed Media Art Cloth will begin November 5 through December 3rd. Please visit to sign up and reserve your spot. These would make fabulous gifts for the holiday. To see more creations, please visit me on facebook at . Come join the fun. Hope to see you there!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Out On A Limb at the JCC

Hello, thought I might let you know of a wonderful exhibit coming up. "Out on a Limb" will feature eighteen different artists all celebrating "The Tree as Art and Metaphor" at the Gallery at the J located in the Dell Jewish Community Center Campus. The Opening Reception will take place on August 28th from 7-8:30 p.m. This event is free and everyone is welcome to attend. If you cannot make it to the reception, the exhibit will run from August 26th through November 17th. All artwork will be for sale so if you are a nature lover, this event promises to be a fabulous show and one that you will not want to miss! I am so tickled that "The Giving Tree" has been selected for the postcard. Wow, what an honor! Can't wait to see the show in it's entirety! If you have a chance, please stop by. we would love to see you!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Fiber on the Edge

Welcome, I am so jazzed that the opening night for Fiber on the Edge is tonight, Tuesday, August 6th from 6-8 p.m. in the Julia C. Butridge Gallery located at the Dougherty Art Center (Austin, Texas)! The Austin Fiber Artists exhibit  was juried by Beverly Mangham and features over 30 artists along with a non juried membership wall. There is even a performing exhibit by my good friend, Rob Bartlett at the Opening Reception. How cool is that?! This event is free and open to the public. The show will be up through August

28th. I will have two pieces, Primavera and the Giving Tree. I got a sneak preview when I dropped off my artwork and I must say, this is one show you will not want to miss! There are so many wonderful pieces of fiber art from so many talented artists. Come see what is being done with fiber, today. You will be amazed! That being said, I am sad to say I will try to pop in for the reception but I am teaching my New Mixed Media Art Cloth class this evening at the Dougherty Art Center. If you get a chance, stop in and say hello! I would love to see you!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

My Creative Journey as an Art Quilter

Hello, welcome to the next stop on  the "How I Got Started Blog Tour" hosted by Cheryl Sleboda. I am Barb Forrister and I am an Art Quilter. My roots stem from very traditional quilting. My first quilt which I do not have a photograph of was a rail fence. This is my second quilt. It does not have a name because at the time, I did not know that you had to name quilts. I got my start from a friend who would bring her quilts  
for me to see from time to time. I soon found myself falling in love with the texture. I asked her if she would show me how to quilt but she declined saying that I should learn "the right way." And so, I took a class at the local shop where I was then living in Phoenix. I made three quilts in that class and fell in love with the age old art. Afterwards, I found myself totally hooked  on quilting and texture! I made so many quilts for so many members of my family. Later, when I moved to Colorado, I began learning applique and made the switch from pieced quilts to appliqued quilts. Soon after, I realized that I could make my own designs and patterns. That is when I came up with my first original art quilt, Esmerelda. What a revelation!
Little Boy Blue
I lived in Colorado for two very short years before we moved to Austin. Upon arriving, I heard of the illustrious International Quilt Festival and now I was actually in range of making that trip! How fun! The first year I was here, I went to the IQA show not knowing what to expect. Boy, was I in for a surprise!  I saw things way beyond my expectations and was so elated and ecstatic of what was being done in the field. I vowed then to one day have my work in that show and so I purchased some art supplies and came home to create Moroccan Play, different for me but still, so fun!

Morrocan Play
From there, I experienced a huge growth spurt and soon began to find my way, making nature inspired art quilts. My very first real intentional art quilt was Little Boy Blue. This piece was created in 2007 out of commercial and hand dyed fabrics, tyvek, dyed cheesecloth and fibers; inked and painted, heat distressed, machine appliquéd and quilted. Yep, by this time, I was totally inspired by learning to hand dye and heat distress fabrics, So cool!!!! And so,  was falling in love with texture all over again! Seven years later, I found myself returning to teaching, creating art, sharing my work in various venues, museums and galleries, judging art/quilt shows and having a wonderful time. I absolutely love the art of quilting and wouldn't change a minute of it! Today, I work primarily in both abstract and nature inspired themes, primarily focusing on texture and 3 dimensional aspects.  I am currently writing an article for Quilting Arts magazine regarding my 3 Dimensional flowers. Stay tuned for the December?January 2013 issue where I will be sharing some insight as to how I make my 3D flowers. For now, I am currently working on a teaser.
Thank you for visiting. I hope you have enjoyed the ride and will continue on the blog hop to Aug 5. Jackie White - . To see more of "How I Got Started Blog Tour," please visit
Aug 1. Cyndi Zacheis Souder -
Aug 2. Becky Glasby -
Aug 3. Cheryl Sleboda -
Aug 4. Barb Forrister -
Aug 5. Jackie White -
Aug 6. Tracy Mooney -
Aug 7. Lisa Chin -
Aug 8. Laura Krasinski -
Aug 9. Catherine Redford -
Aug 10. Sylvia Lewis -  

Monday, July 8, 2013

Sacred Threads 2013

Hello, I thought I might let you know of a very special show called Sacred Threads that runs July 10th through the 28th. Sacred Threads is an exhibition of quilts exploring themes of spirituality, joy, inspiration, peace/brotherhood, grief and healing. This biennial exhibition is a way for quilters to express their work as a connection to the sacred and/or as an expression of their spiritual journey. The objective is to create a dignified exhibition of artwork that touches on both spiritual and personal levels all those who view it.  I love this show as it is a wonderful way of connecting

 with artists and their spiritual journeys. I am graced to have two pieces in this show. The first piece, Emerald Treasures has and always will be an inspirational touchstone piece for me. After it was created, it left immediately for a show where it placed third. On it's way home, it was caught in a conveyor belt and the large turtle head was completely decapitated along with a large piece of her shell missing. I was completely devastated especially after having received notice that it had been accepted into IQF West Coast Wonders special exhibit. Not knowing what to do, it sat on my table for a couple of weeks. Finally, I knew I had to try and fix the piece in hopes that she might travel once again. I had no idea how to do this or if it could even be done. I repainted another head and attached it. Next, I began rebuilding her shell. Luckily, I still had beads and leftover materials that matched. There were holes that went through the entire quilt. I used Mistyfuse and fused fabric over these area. Finally, she seemed ready to travel and make her way to festival where she was featured in the program. You cannot imagine how tickled I was that she could be resurrected and shared with others, once again. Emerald Treasures has been an inspiration to me to never give up even when presented with adverse situations; hope prevails.
    The second piece, Welcome to My Garden is part of the Peace/Brotherhood Exhibit at Sacred Threads. Welcome to My Garden was designed to encourage fond memories of time spent in the garden. The leaves on the right bear the words, "welcome" and "garden" in languages including French, German, Italian, Swahili, Spanish, Norwegian and many more. It reaches out to people from all around the world through text and beckons visitors to enter the garden and gather inspirational phrases like they would flowers. Here, many things have been planted and cultivated ranging from flowers, vegetables, teas, herbs to dreams for the future. These seedlings brought to full fruition are captured by phrases found on the leaves of the plant to the left. They include messages about special times experienced with friends and family, secrets whispered, conversations held and intimate moments from long, long ago. It is so tranquil that it seems to invite the recollection of the last time I walked through the garden, hand in hand with my lover or shared a cup of tea with my best friend.

As the memories flashed before me, I soon found myself reaching back to my own childhood memories and the sensations I experienced when I first walked through grass and felt the blades between my toes or breathed the scent of a favorite and endearing flower. It is here, where I am reminded of the past. It is here where I have learned to dream. This piece has been inked, painted and texturized with fibers. If you are in the area, I encourage you to visit the show. It will be held at the Floris United Methodist Church located at 13600 Frying Pan Road, Herndon, VA 20171 (near Dulles Airport). Show hours are 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, Sunday 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm. Admission is $5 and there are quilts from almost 200 artists! Wow, what a show! This year, Sacred Threads is sponsored by Dee Brehm and . Quilts will be offered for sale and if you are not able to get to the show, you can order the CD at for only $7.95 including postage. Special thanks to Shirley Pignatelli and Lisa Ellis for putting this fabulous event together!  

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Walking In A Winter Wonderland

Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, lies the small, charmingly elegant town of Estes Park, Colorado. At night, the picturesque atmosphere conveys a magical feeling with its cool, crisp air, clear sky filled with an abundance of stars, trees heavily laden with freshly fallen snow and lights twinkling all about. Marked by beauty and an eerie silence, it imparts a deliciously peaceful and breathtaking moment, a point when time stands still. Having lived in northern Colorado, I have spent alot of time in Estes Park, Colorado, visiting family. Walking in a Winter Wonderland was inspired from a photograph taken on a cold winter night. When I first began painting several years

ago, I started this piece. It was rather large at about 45"X60." At the time, I was just beginning to transition from traditional quilting to art quilts. I really had no idea what I was doing but I was determined to jump in and experiment, nonetheless. Somewhere along the road, I gave up on this piece and it got stored away as a UFO (unfinished object). Fast forward to February of this year, I was under the gun with several deadlines. I pulled out this UFO and finished painting the snow and quilted it. In retrospect, the snow looks very different from what I might have done years ago. I can definitely see the change and maturation in my work. When I study it, there are so many things I would do differently today. Still, it is a lesson in learning priorities and maturing both personally and professionally. I am thrilled that this piece has been accepted into Tactile Architecture for IQF 2013. It has been a fun ride and I am most grateful for athe opportunities.

Friday, May 31, 2013


Hello, I am finally back again and beginning to blog. Sorry for the hiatus but I have been busy this month preparing for family events. This morning, I have just  
received word that Shangrila, my 3 dimensional triptych has been chosen for part of the In Full Bloom special exhibit at the International Quilt Festival that will make it's debut late October of this year in Houston, Texas. Wow, what an honor! I am so tickled to hear the news! This piece measures 85"X29" and is set on a hand painted background that has been silk screened and stencilled. The 3 dimensional flowers include wildflowers, calla lilies, poppies, irises, tiger lilies, tulips, lilacs and tea
roses. The center stalk of the calla lilies consist of beads set on a wire such that they stand up and add even more dimension to the flower. Large callas peek out from the 3 dimensional leaves that are created in a variety of ways while scrumptious yarns represent the stems. Nearby, bright red poppies add a cheerful inviting view. The scarlet poppies were stitched to add definition and assembled before appliqueing them onto the quilt. I love the way the saturated red is set on it's complementary background shades of green ranging from light to dark. Here the leaves are created with painted lutradur that has been stitched and embellished. 
The irises were considerably more involved and were soft sculpted to mimic that found in nature. The stems are composed of dyed batting and the stalk like leaves were individually created and attached such that they extend off the quilt and cross over one another creating more depth to the flowers.
I really enjoyed creating the irises and would like to revisit this idea in yellow, white and hybrid colors. I think they would make a quite stunning arrangement! I love the way the inner petals bend in towards the center while the outer petals gently roll and curl out towards the stems. These flowers extend about 3-4 inches off the surface. Yet another of my favorite flowers are the large tiger lilies that have been painted, stitched and soft sculpted to add more warmth to the overall piece. Here again, I would love to create more of these flowers varying the colors and creating a pleasing hybrid floral arrangement.  
Accompanying these flowers are yellow tulips to coordinate with the yellow calla lilies and draw the eye from one place to another. In fact, color has been deliberately placed such that it allows the eye to travel from one place to another. This triptych is currently hanging in my living room and while I am thrilled that it will travel, I must admit I will be sad to see it go. Guess I had better get started on planting another garden. It is summertime, after all and what better way to bring in the season than to begin planting seeds! If you are interested in taking a workshop to plant your own 3 dimensional garden, I invite you to check out . Next week, I will be posting a brand new never before seen quilt that has been accepted into Tactile Architecture. How fun! Thanks for stopping by. Wishing you all a happy and creative summer!