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!!!!

Monday, October 27, 2014

News from the Capital of Texas QuiltFest Fiesta 2014

Hello, it is so good to be blogging again and I am so behind! September was a busy month here in Austin. The Austin Area Quilt Guild held their Capital of Texas QuiltFest Fiesta on September 12-14 at the Palmer Event Center located at 900 Barton Springs. Wow, what an honor to have been accepted as part of the show and to bring home ribbons to boot! This year, Shangrila, my 3 dimensional tryptich placed second in Embellished quilts and also received an award for Best Creativity for Small Quilts. How awesome is that?!!!! Our group called the Austin Art Bee also received many awards for our group quilts. Little Bird created by Kathy York, Sherri Mc Cauley, Connie Hudson and Barb Forrister received an Honorable Mention. While Balancing Act, a group collaboration with Susan Storey Lewis, Kathy York, Leslie Tucker Jenison, Connie Hudson, Sherri Mc Cauley, Frances Holliday Alford and Barb Forrister placed Second and was awarded Best Creativity for Large Quilts.

Little Bird
Balancing Act

Additionally, I was so jazzed that Mod 7, a group collaboration with Sherri Mc Cauley, Martha Tshilas, Leslie Tucker Jenison, Kathy York, Connie Hudson, Frances Holliday Alford and Barb Forrister received a special Judges Choice award on it's first time out showing. How awesome is that?!!!! Wow, what an honor! As I mentioned earlier, September was a big month here in Austin. To try and catch up, I will be posting again on Wednesday with news from the Austin Bergstrom Airport. I hope you have enjoyed this post and I look forward to seeing you again, soon! Wishing you all a most creative week!
Mod 7

Thursday, September 25, 2014

3 Dimensional Soft Sculpted Blooms, Mixed Media Style in San Antonio, Texas

Wow, this month has been a busy one, full of fun and creativity. I have just returned from San Antonio where I presented at the Fiber Artists of San Antonio monthly meeting. Have to say, these folks are wonderful, so inviting, engaging and oh so very talented! The presentation was on my work and how it has evolved from traditional quilts to art quilts and 3 dimensional soft sculpture. The lecture was followed by lunch and subsequently a workshop on 3 dimensional soft sculpted flowers. How fun! Folks were encouraged to work in a variety of mixed media to create one of a kind blooms. Thought I would share some of the lovely pieces that were created. These flowers were made from a pattern that I published in an article, "3D Soft Sculpted Flowers, Mixed Media Style" that can be found in the Quilting Arts Magazine December/January 2014 issue.

I invite you to read more about it here . It was such a joy to watch these folks work and produce mixed media soft sculpted flowers in their own style. How fun?!!!! I hope you have enjoyed this post. I look forward to posting next week about the Capital of Texas 2014 Quilt Show, here in Austin. Wishing you all a most happy and creative day!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Fiddler on the Roof with Artwork by Artists

It is so good to be blogging again. Last night, I just attended the Opening Reception of Fiddler on the Roof starring the Trinity Street Players. What a fantastic show!!! For the first time here in Austin, this musical was performed in conjunction with visual artists providing the set designs for the production. How cool is that?!! I am so jazzed to be among some of the artists chosen for this special treat along with set designer, Ann Marie Gordon and artists  Clara Foster Newby, Lyle Adair, Hank Waddell, Melanie Lewis, Lydia Apelgren, Richard Ewen, and Tatiana Nikolova-Houston. I have four pieces in the show including Generation Y: Song of Hope, Contemplation, Amethyst Garden and El Tigre.

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of  Joseph Stein's, Fiddler on the Roof  which first debuted on Broadway in 1964 earning nine Tony Awards and  classic songs including “If I Were a Rich Man,” “Sunrise, Sunset,” and “Matchmaker” written by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick. This year's musical is directed by Adam Roberts, Austin Jewish Repertory Theater’s Artistic Director, and features a wonderful cast of actors, singers, dancers, and musicians. How fun!!!
Fiddler on the Roof focusses on Tevye and his daughters marrying outside the lines of traditions. It is a wonderful and heartfelt tale that reels you in and makes you feel their sorrow. Despite the tragedy of the story line, the musical also features comedy to lighten the mood and engage it's audience along with spectacular dancing, music and singing. The actors and cast have done a superb job in making their characters come alive in a way that reaches out to the audience. The show runs from August 2nd - August 31st. Thursdays & Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 2pm at the Trinity Street Theater, located at 901 Trinity Street in downtown Austin. At this point, the show has already been sold out. How awesome is that?!!! This is a free show but keep checking back because you never know if someone might have to let go of their tickets. You may find yourself the lucky recipient. For more information, please visit . Oh and did you get a look at the antique Singer sewing machine in the first photo? Just warms my heart to see textiles represented!!!! I hope you have enjoyed this post and I look forward to blogging again soon. There is so much on the horizon that I would like to share with you!  

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Dinner@8Artists, Reflections: Groovin' on a Sunday Afternoon

Hello, I am so jazzed to be blogging again. Best of all, I am so tickled to at last reveal my latest creation, Groovin' on a Sunday Afternoon that has been juried into Dinner @ 8 Artists new upcoming Reflections, exhibit. Wow, what an honor! This piece measures 24"X60" and was created on a painted background with trapuntoed giraffes that were appliqued and quilted on. I first began by creating the giraffe faces and necks by painting them on white muslin and then setting them on layers of batting to create dimension. They were hand basted to prepare them for applique. Next, I began painting the background. I really wanted to set them on a beautiful painted sunset but this was harder to do than I had thought. Having the sky range from various shades of rich blue, indigo and violet to the more warmer hues of red, orange and yellow was a challenge and took me a few days to just continue weaving from one color into the next to try and break up the sky.
Finally to ground them, I created a flowering bush among the grass. Here, I played with drawing the eye from the top of the sky back to the bottom. When the entire background was painted and heat set, I began hand appliqueing the giraffes to the main piece. At this point, I wanted stability so I placed the background on a layer of bamboo batting before attaching the giraffes. This was a real pain since the entire piece needed to be pin basted for this step, then hand appliqued. Once the giraffes were in place, I added the backing and repined the entire quilt to prepare it for quilting. The sky was quilted with the most fluorescent Highlight colors that Superior Thread has in their line of trilobal polyester thread. This was kind of scary since seeing each color on it's own was very overwhelming but set on this sunset background, the fluorescent pinks, oranges, yellows and reds really blended together and played well with each other and the background. Next, I began quilting the flowering bush in tiny circular almost meandering patterns to similate the flowers. The leaves were also quilted with varying shades and tints of green and brown to create visual appeal. Finally, I quilted the negative spaces within the bush and the remaining grass area. Whew! That was loads of thread!
Now, for the stars themselves, the giraffes were painted in various hues of browns, apricots, tans and cream colors. I really wanted to keep them as the main attraction and therefore they were quilted in slightly lighter and darker shades of the above mentioned colors. I also did not want to quilt them as heavily as the background because I worked so hard to give them dimension and yet, the weight still needed to be distributed evenly. What a quandary?! Finally, I decided to quilt them by studying the way their fur would lay and vary the space between lines of stitching so that their faces would have dimension. My friends who have seen this piece have commented that the fur looks like leather but it is simply paint and stitches that give the fur like illusion. I love the way their faces have dimension and I know that had this piece been created for judging, the quilt police probably would not have liked my decision to vary the space between stitch lines. Cest la vie! I am thrilled that this piece was juried into the new upcoming, Dinner @ 8 Artists, Reflections exhibit curated by Leslie Tucker Jenison and Jamie Fingal. It is an honor to be included amongst such wonderful artists. The exhibit will have 33 pieces by 33 different artists and is sponsored by Havel Sewing. For more information, I invite you to visit . Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed this blog post.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Fantabulous Mixed Media Cloth Course with Endless Possibilities Awaits You

Hello, I am finally back and blogging. I have been in the studio creating pieces for publication and invitational juried events and sadly have not been able to blog about them. Everything is so hush hush these days but I can tell you about the new Mixed Media Cloth class at the Dougherty Art Center that I will be teaching. It is a six week course that meets every Tuesday from April 15th through May 20th of this year. The class meets from 6-9 p.m. and covers a large variety of topics including dyeing, painting, monoprinting, foiling, beading, stitching, discharging, creating resists and much more. This is absolutely one of my favorite classes for sure! So many ideas, so many possibilities to be creative! The piece above is monoprinted with paint and overstamped. I love this piece and am thinking it would make a great jacket.
The second photo shows a monoprint with paint that has been overstamped with hand carved stamps and embellished with handmade beads. It is still a work in progress and I intend to further embellish it with yarns and fibers. It's final destiny will be a journal cover. How cool!!!! The third photo displays some embellishing with foil on a hand dyed, SHIVA paintstick piece. In one of the class sessions, we will work with foil, textiva and Angelina fibers, basically adding glitz to our work.
We cover a plethora of techniques for foiling and working with Angelina fibers to create unique pieces of cloth. And because the class is mixed media, we take time each class session to discuss the possibilities of layering one technique upon another to create sumptuous cloth. Here, the ideas are endless!
The designs can be enriched with stitching, trinkets, cloth and 3 dimensional paints to name a few as can be seen in the photo on the right. We will also learn how to make beautiful, one of a kind creations with Angelina fibers and Textiva to give your creations that little extra shine. These are great techniques for wall hangings and art work. The class also discusses design elements to give the students ideas for their individual projects. This is a small class setting of six people coming together to learn techniques and elements of design. Each student's creations are unique, one of a kind projects.
We also cover low immersion dyeing and how to remove color through discharge. This can be seen with the photo on the left. Here, the dye has been painted on and processed for discharging. I love this effect and I can truly say this is a favorite in the class for sure! So easy to do and once you learn, you can do it at home with very little mess. Speaking of mess, we get really messy with paints but that is the fun part! The photo below demonstrates how paint can be used to create designs. Here, we have a piece with painted peacock feathers that have been stitched and couched with fibers to create texture. Beads have been added for a little shine and 3 dimensional paints are used to provide further depth. The last two photos show how 3 dimensional soft sculpted elements can be added to painted and or dyed pieces to create an element of surprise. These pieces are just a sampling of what can be done in this class. And because it is limited to six students, you will receive quality one on one attention and most likely meet a new friend. Folks in here are just fabulous! Good company, fun and art are all awaiting you! Come join the fun and create breathtaking pieces this spring. For more information, please visit
But hurry, classes fill pretty quickly with only six to a class. Hope to see you there!!!!


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Grayscale Studies: Painting with Acrylics and Thread on Black and White

Hello, I am finally emerging after spending most of January in the studio. It feels so good to be blogging again. I have been doing a study on black and white using both representational and abstract art. I had intended to add touches of blue and chartreuse green but only minimally as accent colors. These pieces all started off from muslin or black Kona cotton. The first two pieces were done using stencils with acrylic textile paints. By changing placement of the stencils, I have created two similar but unique compositions. The stitching on the white is done with varying shades of gray with the background filled in with white thread. It's opposite set on a black background, shows the bottom leaves that quilted with very dark gray thread and ending up with lighter gray leaves at the top. Here, the background is filled in with black vertical quilting patterns. The two
contrasting pieces evoke quite a different feel to them. The white appears more calmer while the black one has a more bold like appearance. I love the way the contrasting thread on each of the pieces creates an airy like pattern. A similar study using representational stencil patterns on black and white are shown below. The quilting on each piece is quite different. On the black background, I quilted a triangular pattern for the filler background with black thread. I wanted to keep the design, bold and not detract from the composition. Using black thread accomplished this mission however, it seemed like it was a lot of work that the viewer never really sees. To change the outcome of the white piece, I opted to quilt the background in a zentangular pattern with dark gray thread so that the quilting could actually be seen from a distance. Two very different feelings for sure!
Next, I turned my attention to abstract designs. These studies are not quite as obvious as I had no stand alone abstract stencils. Here, I used  both stencils and stamps in combination with one another creating an array of abstract art. The first piece is a simple stencilled sphere with no embellishments. Simple straight horizontal lines act as a background filler. The second piece is stamped and stenciled allowing for lots of white negative space which gives it a lighter feel. An array of straight lines that representing different geometric shapes are quilted using both white and
gray thread in an unobtrusive manner. Both evoke a very modern feeling.
Yet another piece was created with stamps and stencils on a black background where most of the piece is filled with design by using white and varying shades of gray acrylic paint on stamps and stencils. The final piece was created using a Gelli Monoprinting Plate on a white background with black paint. I absolutely love to play with this fun tool. Where you see a lot of the bold white curvy lines, I have used mark making tools to remove the black paint and create design elements.
Another layer was added by stamping with gray acrylic paint and adding accents of blue and chartreuse green. Here the idea was to create some unusual abstract patterns. This has been an interesting study using black and white acrylic paint and thread. I always find that I learn so much when I work in grayscale. If you would like to read more about my earlier black and white studies, I invite you to visit Thank you for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed visiting and I wish you much happiness in your creative journey.