Monday, November 29, 2010

Process and Progress

I have been working on the coral piece, and managed to make a little progress before the holiday weekend.

coral piece november 29 one

I had beaded the corals or anemones in the foreground (I am not sure which, I guess I could just say “sea life”) earlier this fall when I was giving some one on one instruction to a friend.  The ones in the back are embellished with Kreinik braid which I couched as well as used in the bobbin. 

coral piece november 29 four

You can see the detail of the gold braid in this picture.

coral piece november 29 three

coral piece november 29 two

And you may have noticed that I decided to put the yellow angel fish lower in the composition.

coral piece november 29 five

I tried making another angel fish for the upper left corner of the image.

coral piece november 29 seven

But he’s a little too pale for the rest of the piece.

coral piece november 29 eight

I used some of my friend Diane Eyerman’s hand-dyed fabric for the blue stripes, and couched the outlines with Kreinik #16 braid.

coral piece november 29 nine

You can see how well the sparkling braid complements the blue stripes.  I guess this little fellow will end up getting his own quilt after I’ve finished this one :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Puttin’ on the Glitz

I have been in the studio having amazing fun with the box of Kreinik threads that arrived last month.  After my first foray into trying the copper on my shoe quilt, I decided to start jazzing up the coral piece I had found in my UFO pile earlier this fall.

octopus and quilting

Here you can see a detail of the quilting I did using the Fashion Twist thread in color “Heather”.   The variegated metallic finish of this thread pops out with highlights and really adds sparkle to the piece.  It also sewed very well.

octopus and quilting too

Here’s another detail, showing the octopus and coral.  I used Fine Twist iris in “Golden Brown” to highlight the lines on the octopus’ tentacles as well as to circle quilt on the coral.  I currently am sewing the suckers with Fine Twist Iris “Yellow”.

octopus and quilting three

Detail of how I am planning on attaching the finished octopus to the bottom of the quilt.  First I have to finish quilting the tentacles and then edge beading the whole applique.  There is a thin layer of batting and the backing fabric is some of my hand-dyed twill, for even more stability.

quilting with gold thread

Here you can see the circle quilting in the Kreinik Silver Gimp Thread in “Gold”.  I initially quilted both corals with Madeira thread in a shade of orange, and I really like how going over the quilting with the metallic thread added depth to the piece.

quilting with golden brown thread

Circle quilting in “Golden” Brown” and you can see how plain the background was before quilting.

angel fish closeup

And what is a coral reef without some fish?  This applique was drawn onto a sheet of heavy duty (50 weight) Pellon interfacing, then sewn to the yellow fabric before being machine embroidered with Sulky and Kreinik threads.

clown fish in process

Here is what an applique looks like in process.  You can see the bobbin threads outlining the form and showing me where to stitch.  This is on my hand-dyed fabric and supplemented with silk dupioni.


Here you can see how fine the metallic works, even in a free motion zigzag stitch

coral fish too

The finished clown fish, pinned in place.  I am not sure where the fish will end up yet, as I still have to make a few more. 

coral in process two

I also realized both fish are facing in the same direction, so the next fish will be facing the other way. 

coral in process

The piece so far, on the design wall.  You can see some other work in process behind it, as well as the piece I did for the Lark book “The Artful Storybook” .  Sometimes it would be nice to have a larger design wall, but sometimes it is really cool to see the layers of quilts on the wall taking shape.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Christmas in a Box

I have loved Kreinik threads for years, using them as outlines on my smaller animal pieces and recommending them in classes to use with beads on embroidered pieces.  Recently I was approached by a representative for the company and asked if I was interested in playing with some of their product.  Of course I jumped at the opportunity and said yes. :)

Last week this wonderful goody box of threads arrived at my door:

kreinik box one

You can see several spools of the newer thread designed for machine embroidery as well as samples of the embroidery braids and blending filaments.kreinik box two

And a color card of everything that is available.  I am also excited to try those iron on threads you can see in the middle there.  I can see using them to outline forms like I did with the bias tape on Safe Harbor.

kreinik box three

They included some smaller samples of their trims, including some colors in the facets and chenille thread.  I can see using them to make some Christmas ornaments or cards, and maybe another elephant or two.  Won’t they make a gorgeous blanket on them?

kreinik four

I noticed a little bundle of what appeared to be threads inside each cone of the machine thread.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that they were the net thread bras.  How convenient!

Too Coy one

Then, because I already had a piece in process, I decided to give it a try on this piece.  “Too Coy”, based on the painting I did for the Shoe Show at Ten Women Gallery. 

Too Coy detail one

I used the ZTCO Fine Twist Copper thread to grid quilt.  Here you can see how sparkly it is.  I was really pleased with how well the thread worked with my Pfaff 2054.  I made sure to put in a new Metallica needle size 80, and adjusted the tension to 1.5.  I set the stitch length to 3.0 to maximize the glimmer of the thread line and sewed.  Smooth as buttah! 

Next up, freemotion quilting with the metallized gimp thread and the fashion twist thread.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Imaginary Pie

I was reading today’s post over at Havi’s blog when she mentioned eating imaginary pie.  Which reminded me of the pie art I’ve made over the past year or so.

pie shopping page august 2009

It started so innocently, as an illustration to a grocery list.

mom mom's kitchen

Then progressed to a collaged homage to my Mom Mom’s kitchen and her mad cooking skilz.

Pie in the Sky

Then who wouldn’t like a little pie from the sky?

Pie Time

Just Dessert

And finally, even the cake is starting to look like the pie :)

Where’s my imaginary fork?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Sketchbook Project, Week Two

I have been playing with my sketchbook in my copious spare time, which is why there are only a few new images to show you:

sketchbook project july one

I began colorizing the image from a submarine.  These are the Derwent Inktense line of colored pencils.


sketchbook project july two

Detail of the coloring.  I love how these pencils layer.

sketchbook project july three

A submersible necklace of the imagination.

sketchbook project july four

Detail.  Wouldn’t it be cool to really have beads like these?

sketchbook project july five

Then I went a little steampunk, with submarines which resembled fish.  The angler fish makes me giggle.

sketchbook project july six

This one was done without a base pencil drawing.  I love the looseness of the sketched line.

sketchbook project august one

Today I decided to go with a dirigible for a change.  A banana dirigible. 

sketchbook project august two

I still managed to work in my happy fish and octopus motif.  Hey, even a banana dirigible needs a sponsor!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Summer in the Studio

Some days it’s good to just go upstairs, turn on the A/C and crank the tunes.  Today was one of those days.  On the turntable: The B52’s, Billy Idol and Aerosmith.

On the art table:

flower girl

“Flower Girl” 4” x 4”, reclaimed cereal box, color photocopy of family photo, silk  flower and shell button.  I had painted the canvas last week, today I put the elements together.

While that dried (I attached the pieces using Golden Heavy Gel medium), I took this:

cow in process

Added this:

cow in process two

And this:

cow in process three

The bird is from ArtChix Studios, while the circles are punched out from copies of my beaded moon piece.

I also played with another reclaimed cardboard house

bird house four

The basic house shape waiting for embellishment.

bird house three

The found textile I used to embellish the bottom half of the house.

bird house one

Auditioning another bird (also from ArtChix Studios).

bird house two

The bingo piece I chose to put in the gable.

The house is currently drying in the studio, while the cow awaits the decoration on her dress.  I haven’t yet decided whether to go with more collage images or to paint or stamp shapes using Lumiere paints.  We’ll see what inspiration hits tomorrow.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Sketchbook Project

Several of my friends at Facebook are participating in The Sketchbook Project.  I was intrigued, so I checked it out.  For $25, you get your choice of Moleskine cahiers in red, natural or black, and you can choose from among several themes, including the option of letting the organizers choose a theme for you.  The books are sent back to The Brooklyn Art Library and will be touring the country next year.

I went with the theme “Dirigibles and Submersibles”, which felt like it could inspire some steampunk and fantasy creations.  Once the book arrived, I let it sit for a few days while I pondered how to begin.

Finally, I picked up the book and began to draw:

sketchbook project inside front cover

Pilot pen over a pencil drawing. 

sketchbook project spread one

The paper was thin, so I ended up gluing pages together.  This page was collaged with pages from an old AAA guidebook, listing stations from Michigan.  After I applied a thin wash of Golden Quinacridone Burnt Orange acrylic, I stamped the spread with a hand carved stamp.  Once that all dried, I drew in the submarine and waves with india ink.  Details are filled in with gouache and paint pen.

sketchbook project spread one detail

Here you can see some of the detail of the listings. 

The third image, so far:

sketchbook project spread two View from inside the sub.  Pilot pen over pencil drawing.  I plan on going back into both this and the inside front cover and coloring them in.

Future ideas include the view from inside a dirigible, and dirigibles and subs made in different shapes.  (I’m thinking a banana dirigible would be really cool).   Then, who knows?  Right now, I’m having fun, and it’s a nice break from my other work.  The rules do say that artists can diverge from the theme of their book, but I am enjoying the parameters at the moment and intrigued by possibly doing something similar on my own once this book is full.  The possibilities are endless.