It’s been a year since my last post. That amazes me.
The year has been full of changes in my creative life. I have tweaked and retweaked my branding. There are some major elements that I will never let go of. I want to be a positive force through design. Adding a bit of magic to people’s lives by creating things that make them happy, serene or uplift their day is something I will always aspire to.
My next posts will feature a project in which I will do a mini work of art everyday using one of my too many craft books. I look at them daily and know that I should be delving into those pages that I faithfully paid good money for yet they sit on the shelves tightly mushed together just waiting for some attention. Well, attention they will get, finally! I will use a different book each day.
Below is the chosen one. My first in the series of my Craft Book Challenge. Wish me luck!
It’s feels like so long ago since my last post. Ugh!
Anyway — the color study exercise is still fresh in my mind. It actually taught me more than just about how color relates to emotion. It taught me what shades and tones I didn’t really care for. It showed me how the differences within an individual color danced playfully with each other and how sometimes those variations did not play well together at all. Also, how textures read differently depending on the interplay of the shades. The mini monochromatic study was fun yet frustrating and tedious at times but well worth every minute.
The reason I force myself into various art exercises every so often is because little surprise lessons spring up every time.
I will be moving on to making some pieces from the serendipitous fabric I created by scrunching random paint splashes.
It’s a new year! I have a new company name! It is now eclectic cloth. I have been honing my art brand and it has graduated into a more fun design style. Textile collage displaying various themes from love and spirit to pure whimsy fits my all over the place way of creating much better than my previous scheme.
Procrastination will take a back seat this year. Well, that’s the intention anyway. I also intend to make posting on my little art journal blog a priority.
I am ending my posting hiatus by continuing my exploration into color and featuring some monochromatic studies in the form of various textile pieces.
This first piece is a study in white. White symbolizes purity and innocence and is considered a cool color due to it’s relation to snow and ice. There are many shades of white. Snow, pearl, cream, antique white just to name a few. Even beige is actually a shade of white. I have attempted to display some of the soft and beautiful versatility of white in the art quilt below.
I named the quilt wish in whitebecause it’s a big bowl of ice cream and I don’t eat much dairy anymore — I miss vanilla ice cream so much. It is 11 1/2″ x 13 1/2.”
The Universe is displayed in color. Vast stretches of vivid spectrums of lightness and darkness. Nature just flows in hues, shades and tints just waiting to be admired. I have always loved color. My boxes of crayola crayons and coloring books used to help soothe my tummy aches when I was little — they gave me immense joy.
While looking at my collection of fabric, I noticed a surprising trend. Beige. With all of my fascination with color I seem to have a thing for beige toned fabric. I think it’s because beige evokes a quiet calmness that I gravitate to. On the other side of that is my adoration for purple which has a magical and mysterious quality. Purple is my favorite color but I don’t wear it much and my fabric choices don’t reflect that. Artists are funny creatures.
All of this color introspection led to me to a decision. I am using up all of my paint and revamping my palettes. I will only buy certain colors and use particular palettes for various themes. My crayons, painsticks, inks, embossing powders and other surface design and marking tools will find their way into my work as they fulfill some sort of creative need.
I randomly plopped, spilled and then scrunched paint on mid-weight printed fabric, drill (a sort of canvassy type fabric) and canvas scraps. It was so much fun. I didn’t want to stop so I kept making more and more pieces. The result was some wildly seredipititous combinations that I will use for various projects.
This is the last series of quilts for the project. They are enclosed in a piece of lightly inked canvas. The image was printed on iron-on inkjet printable fabric. I didn’t need to but I stitched it down with some variegated thread.
I am so happy to have completed this self imposed creative assignment. I learned many things along the way and got to use some supplies that were just languishing in my studio.
I used fabric glue and attached eight of the mini quilts (including the cover which was the first quilt of the series) to a strip of canvas in order to create the first journal. I had to cut the quilt that I used for the cover to size and redo the edges with the zig zag stitch.
Golden Fluid Acrylic – ultramarine blue
Piece of foam sponge
Metallic thread – gold
Polyester thread – copper
Found objects – old keys, metal no.4
To create the sun printed quilt top, I spread the paint out on the muslin with the sponge, making sure the muslin was highly saturated. It was a nice sunny day so I put the fabric outside on the grass and placed the metal number and the keys on top. When it was fully dry I removed the objects and added the felt batting. I thread painted inside the little openings within the object’s shapes then hand stitched the stones onto the quilt. Added the cotton fabric backing.
Tip: Metallic thread is iffy when machine stitching. I used a metallic needle and the thread still broke intermittently. Stitching slowly helps.
15) “puffy pear”
Jaquard Textile Color – golden rod, olive green, sky blue
Beaded trim Polyester fiberfil batting Polyester thread – copper
Transfer Artist’s Paper
Royalty free image – pear
After randomly tying the rubber bands around the tightly squeezed muslin, I put the fabric in a plastic container and squeezed out paint on top of it, purposely leaving some white spaces. I squished it with gloved hands to work the paint in and left it to dry overnight. Somehow the green took over but the tie-dye effect was a success. The pear image was printed on Artist’s Transfer Paper, cut out and then ironed onto the quilt top. The fiberfil batting was put under the pear shape and I stitched an outline around it to create the trapunto effect. I then trimmed of the excess fiberfil and made the quilt sandwich. I free motion stitched around the pear to bring out the puffiness. The trim was added to the bottom.
Tips: Although many paints nowadays are non-toxic, if your hands are going to be dabbling in a lot of paint, as a precaution it may be best to wear gloves. Regarding, trapunto, it is best done using polyester batting. It creates more dimension than cotton batting.
These next three quilts have some fun embellishments.
I love the resin trapped pressed flowers on “preserved beauties.” Sequins are not something that I intend to use often but they give “wandering ginkgo” it’s brightness. The shisha mirrors add some dimensional whimsy to “goddess of thought.”
Tea bag paper
Gesso – white
Dynaflow – chartreuse, teal
Polyester thread – copper
Golden Gel Medium (Gloss)
Ice Resin trapped pressed flowers
Flex Shaft Drill
Found objects – foam comb, gridded foam pad, wood dowel (from a broken foam paint brush)
I painted the tea bag paper and sealed it with the gel medium to create the quilt top. The found objects were lightly dipped in the gesso and I painted on some abstract designs. Using the drill, holes were made in the resin to allow for stitching. I added the felt batting and hand stitched the flowers onto the quilt top. Added the cotton backing and assembled the quilt sandwich.
Tips: When working with Ice Resin, be sure not to stir it quickly. Too many bubbles will form. Also, take all safety precautions if using a Flex Shaft Drill. I use industrial grade leather gloves and protective eyewear.
The rubbing plate was taped down and I taped the muslin down over the top of it. I lightly but firmly rubbed the paintstik over the muslin. The area around the gingko design was painted yellow in order to bring out the leaf shapes. The floral stencil was held down over the canvas scrap and I put hot glue in the empty spaces of the stencil to create a resist. The stencil was removed and watercolor paint was spread around the hardened glue. Free motion stitching was added to outline the floral shape on the scrap. I cut around the stitching to create the motif. The quilt top was put on top of the batting and I hand stitched the motif, sequins and beads on. The backing was added.
Tip: When working with a glue resist and stencil, try to work quickly. The glue dried with the stencil on top and I wasn’t able to achieve a detailed resist because I had to tug at the stencil to remove it. Some pieces of hardened glue pulled away from the canvas therby allowing some of the paint to seep into areas that would have otherwise been covered up.
13) “goddess of thought”
Gesso – white
Staz-On Ink Pad – black
Foam make-up wedge
Polyester thread – purple
I stamped and stenciled the quilt top in a frivolous yet balanced kind of way then added the batting and hand stitched the shisha mirrors on it. The backing was added and the quilt sandwich was assembled.
Tip: Shisha mirrors scratch easily. Be careful to not let your fingernails scrape them.
Hand dyed cheesecloth
Fabric paper scraps
Foil sheet – rainbow stripes
Mod Podge Fabric Glue
Sharpie – dark green
Thread – variegated
The fabric paper quilt top was made by saturating muslin with diluted Elmer’s glue then topping it with strips of tissue paper and cheesecloth. I ripped and randomly placed both the paper and cheesecloth in a way that allowed some of the paper to show through. Unpatterned placement in art tends to add interest and texture. After it dried, I made the quilt sandwich and free-motion stitched for additional texture and color. The dress is canvas that was colored with foil using foil glue and a bone folder to rub it on. The dress was outlined with a dark green sharpie to give it some dimension. I manipulated fabric paper scraps I had in my scrap bag and made the pin and apron. Making the pleats in the apron and the gathers in the pin was not an easy feat. The paper tore but I didn’t mind at all. In fact, it turned out to be a happy accident because of the textured look it created. I’m into texture, wonky and messy. Can you tell? But I digress. The apron was machine stitched to the dress. The fabric paper pin and glass beads were hand stitched on. The last step was gluing the dress to the background using fabric glue.
Tip: Outlining an element or motif with a dark or contrasting color can really add dimension and interest. If you find your piece is looking flat or washed out, trying outlining.
6) “gold speckled heart“
Golden Fluid Acrylics – burnt sienna, phthalo green
Golden Gel Medium Coarse Molding Paste
Gold leaf flecks
Ornate heart stencil
Polyester thread – copper
After covering the Gelli plate with paint using a brayer, I placed the text stencil on top of it then carefully laid the muslin on top. The same was done for the heart and bands of color. I placed the heart stencil back over the initial heart print and stenciled on coarse molding paste that I mixed with gold leaf flecks using a palette knife. After everything dried, I made the quilt sandwich and free-motion quilted the heart.
Tip: Gold leaf flecks tend to float around a lot. They are beautiful but not all that easy to work with. Work slowly and deliberately with the medium.
The little girl who used to love her new box of crayons and coloring book resurfaced within me when I began this sampler. The markers took on a life on their own and I just began drawing shapes, filling up with muslin with color. I sprayed it with alcohol which causes the inks to bleed and merge into each other. The fumes were pretty strong. The smell eventually dissipated as it dried. The muslin was put on top of the felt batting and I added the embroidery. The jewels were glued on and the quilt was assembled.
Tips: Use gloves and protective eye glasses when working with alcohol. Also, work in a well ventilated space.
Quilt number 1, 3D applique quilt “do more“ was actually made before I decided to use a combination of three methods on one piece. I’m going to use it as the cover for the first of two art quilt journals. Here is a link with some background information on how this project metamorphosed.
Project art quilt samplers 2-4:
2) “enso love“
Warm n’ Natural low loft batting
Lumiere – pearl turquoise
Golden Fluid Acrylic – black
Open Circle Brushstroke wood block
Cotton fabric scraps
Cotton thread – black
Foam paint brush
Foam make-up wedge
The quilt top is painted batting stamped with a wood block dabbed with acrylic paint. Three little rectangle scrap appliques were unevenly placed to give a sense of movement. It’s actually only two layers, batting and backing so I’m not sure if it’s technically a quilt. I cheated a little there.
Tips: When using a wood block with a fast drying acrylic paint, push down firmly on the block but only hold it down for a few seconds so that it doesn’t get stuck to the surface. The paint should be cleaned off of the block as soon as possible using a mild soap and warm water.
3) “water lily moon“
Dynaflow – chartreuse, teal
Gesso – white
Modena Soft Air Dry Polymer Clay
Rubber moon face mold
Golden Polymer Medium (Gloss)
Cotton thread – variegated
Walnut Hollow Versa Tool
The quilt top is lutradur and was painted with a light wash of colors. Placed on top of a gesso filled collagraphy plate. After it dried, I put the Lutradur on a sheet of glass and cut out the triangular shapes around the lily using the Versa Tool. Placed it on top of the felt batting and free motion stitched along the faint lines of the design created with the plate. If I had used thicker cardboard, the glued down shapes would have produced a more prominent design and it would have been easier to trace with the stitching — or perhaps if I had added some rich color to the gesso, that may have made a difference as well.
The heat gun created the lacy holes in the Lutradur and the felt. I held it about 8-12 inches away from the fabric and kept it moving in a circular random type motion. I assembled the quilt before hand stitching the clay moon face on the top. In retrospect, I should have added the clay piece before adding the backing. All hand stitched embellishment work should be done before the quilt sandwich is assembled so that the stitches are hidden under the backing unless the preference is for the stitching to actually show.
Tips: When using any heat tool or any mediums, use proper ventilation and/or a mask as a safety precaution. Use all safety measures at all times. I don’t recommend using the heat tools that I used for this piece on cotton — it will just burn. Synthetic materials work best for me. About Modena Air Dry Polymer Clay — it is fantastic to work with! Just make sure there are no little dust particles around your work area. The clay seems to be attracted to dusties.
4) “alien pear“
Micron pen 01
Pearl Cotton embroidery floss #5 – red
Cotton thread – black
Polyester thread – red
I traced the pear design onto the fabric. Made little surrounding circles with the Devore to create holes so the black felt batting would show. Removed the Devore melted fabric with a wet toothbrush. Ironed the quilt top until it was dry. Placed the top over the batting and doodled on some accenting pen work. I added embellishments by stitching on some beadwork and embroidering a few x’s on the stem. The backing fabric was added.
Tips: Use a lightbox to trace a design onto the fabric if the fabric is not sheer enough to see through or if you would rather not draw on your own. I used the sun by placing the fabric up on the window and tracing for most of the pear. It was not easy. I might invest in a lightbox. Also, if using Devore, follow the directions to the letter.