Monday, September 15, 2014

Moon Shadows - Transfer Image to Background

As I showed in my last post, the design for "Moon Shadows" is shown below. This design is sketched to scale since I know it needs to be accurate when I enlarge it.

Moon Shadows Design

My desired finished size is 3 feet by 4 feet, portrait orientation. I took my “to-scale” drawing to Fed-Ex Office and used their large format printer to make the full size drawing. I have a projector, but I find it easier and more accurate to just go to Fed-Ex. They charge about $0.75 per square foot printed. For the time it saves me, and more accurate representation, the cost is well worth it. I say more accurate representation because sometimes the image lines are blurry using a projector and the sizes of features change a bit. Plus I don’t have to wait until dark to get it done, like I do with my projector. Here is the full size enlargement:

enlarged design

Once I have my full size print, I transfer the image to the black background fabric. I had planned to use a heavier black fabric that had a lot of texture to it, but I found that I couldn't see through it with the light pad, so I switched to this black cotton.

black fabric

I pinned the fabric to the print in a few places and then laid it over the light pad. I used a chalk pencil to draw the image onto the black fabric.  Here you see me drawing it to the fabric and the enlargement under the fabric. 

tracing the image

Here is the image drawn on the fabric.

image transferred

I'm ready for the next step, which is couching yarn. That will be my next post...

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Desert Sunset Series - Art Quilt

I recently gave a talk at a local fiber art group and pulled out all my art quilts to prepare for it. While doing this, I noticed that the name I gave the quilt shown below is "Desert Sunset I". Well I made this quilt about 3 or 4 years ago and so far there is no Desert Sunset II! So I think its high time I got on that.

Desert Sunset I

I made this quilt by first thread painting the design, and then using oil paint sticks on the stitched images on the black fabric. That is the technique I plan to use for the next in this series. 

I printed photographs I took in a recent trip to the Scottsdale area. I was on a golf course and loved the look of the desert homes, cacti, rolling hills, rabbits, etc. These are many of my photos, plus one from a copy right free site on the Internet of an owl.

My first thoughts were to make something with desert home structures on a hillside with cacti and rabbits. I traced the homes and rabbits and started arranging the traced images. I couldn't come up with something that really appealed to me, however. It needed something more.

On one of my trips to this area there were large owls perched in trees,  I thought they looked very cool.  I love birds, so I decided I wanted to include an owl on a tree branch.

Well, a tree branch requires a tree. So back to the drawing board. I pulled out photos of trees and came across some dead tree shapes I had taken from a trip to Bryce Canyon. I started to work on a sketch using those trees as inspiration, and came up with a tree shape I really liked. But, with the tree and owl, there just wasn't room for all the elements, so many of my starting ideas were dropped. They will have to wait for another in the series, I guess. Ultimately, this is what I came up with for my design:

There are no desert homes, but I do have a tree, bunnys, an owl, hills, a moon, clouds, rocks, and some desert plants. I am happy with this, even though it is far afield from what I originally had in mind. Next step is to enlarge the image to my finished size.

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Shades of Passion - SAQA Fiber Art Exhibit

I am pleased to have two of my art quilts in the upcoming Southern California SAQA member show, "Shades of Passion".  I will have two of my city-scapes in this show, "A Slice of the OC" and "It was a Cold and Stormy Night".

This exhibit runs October 2 -31.  There is an artist's reception on Friday, October 10, from 5 to 8 pm. This postcard lists the members whose work is in the show. Last years show was beautiful and I expect the same for this year. The show location information is listed below the postcard. I hope to see you there.

Poway Center for the Performing Arts
15498 Espola Road
Poway, CA 92064

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Textures Fiber Arts Exhibit - October 3rd through November 2nd - Mark Your Calendar!

I am very pleased to be a part of the fiber art group - "Textures". This is a Temecula based group and they have a fiber art exhibit each year that starts the same weekend as the outdoor quilt show. The fiber art exhibit continues for about a month. It is held in a charming building with an art gallery called "The Gallery at the Merc". It is located in the Old Town area of Temecula.

Textures has thirteen artists and they each have two pieces in the show. These pieces have never been seen before so its all fresh art work!!! It should be a wonderful show. I will post about my two pieces after the show starts.

There is an artist's reception on Friday, October 3rd, from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm.  I hope you can attend the reception and definitely see the exhibit! I've included information below on the exhibit and a link to the Textures website.

Textures – Fiber Arts

Contemporary Fiber Art Exhibit in a Gallery Setting

October 3, 2014 through November 2, 2014

Artist’s Reception

Friday, October 3rd, 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Gallery at the Merc
42051 Main Street, Temecula, Ca. 92590
Gallery hours are subject to change. Call 866-653-8696 for information and times.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Free Motion Quilting Tool - Super Slider

Recently I showed you my quilting machine, so I thought I would add to that by highlighting another tool that helps make the free motion quilting experience easier,  a "Super Slider".

A Super Slider is a mat the you place under the needle plate area of your machine. The mat is made of Teflon, I think, and it allows your fabric to smoothly slide over the surface. It has a hole where the needle enters the bobbin case area. I rinse it under water once or twice a year to remove dust and thread bits. I don't use soap, just water. I dry it and place it back down. It's good as new each time.

I also place a layer of clear plastic over the entire sewing machine area where the fabric slides. I use a thicker plastic, similar to the weight of a clear shower curtain. In fact, you could use a clear shower curtain for this. I cut a hole/circle where the needle goes, and place the Super Slider over the plastic. I also rub the plastic with waxed paper to reduce friction even more. Every little bit helps to prevent hang ups when you’re stitching. Instead of waxed paper you could spray a product like Glide on a cloth and rub it on the plastic. Whatever you prefer. Slippery is good!

In this photo you can see that I secure the plastic to the table top with a PVC clamp. The clamp is part of a PVC rectangular quilt frame used for hand quilting. The photo below shows the in-tact frame and the clamp section.

Here you see the clamp section on the front of the table. 

This clamp helps the fabric move smoothly across the edge and holds the plastic in place too. In the corners I use a couple of clothes pins to secure the plastic.It's a simple, inexpensive set up that works well.

Hopefully you are getting some ideas from these tips. Thanks for visiting my blog!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Another Indispensible Tool - Pressing Sheets

With the increasing use of fusibles to make art quilts, someone had to come up with a way to prevent your iron and ironing board cover from becoming "gunky" (technical term). Fortunately, iron pressing sheets came on the market and have saved many an iron and cover from this horrible fate! 

My Pressing Sheets

Above you see a photo of my two pressing sheets. These sheets are used to prevent adhesives or sticky stuff from adhering to the iron bottom or ironing board cover. By adhesives I mean anything from fusibles to glue to Bo Nash powder to paint.  If you don’t want it on the iron or board, place a pressing sheet in between. 

You can place your fabric with adhesive on the sheet, fold the sheet over the fabric and iron. It’s a nice little sandwich and nothing sticky gets on the iron or board. You may want to get two of these, like I have, to allow for a large bit of fabric to be ironed. Each sheet is about 11" x 17", which is adequate for most of my needs. 


All the pressing sheets I have seen are slightly opaque, so you can see through them to view the positioning of the fabric. I also use them to press sheers that may melt if given direct heat from the iron.  I keep mine at the ironing board area at all times so they are handy to pull out.

To clean adhesive from them just wipe them with a damp cloth. So far I haven't had paint stick to them, but I haven't tested that to a great extent. I can't promise it won't stick or stain. 

Parchment paper can be used as an alternate to pressing sheets. I keep a roll of parchment paper the length of my ironing board in my sewing area so I can completely cover the board for really messy jobs. 

Parchment roll

I hope you find this information helpful. Thanks for visiting my blog!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Putting a Small Quilt to Good Use - Machine Cover

I have a few wall hanging sized quilts that I don't hang up because they don't go with my decor. They just hang in the closet and wait to see the light of day. I love to find a way to take something I am not using and fill a need with it. So, my need was a cover for my Handi-Quilter HQ Sweet Sixteen Machine.

This machine needs to be covered in two directions: One direction is the harp to the needle end, and the other is the back of the machine where the thread spools stand. They align perpendicular to each other, so instead of doing something in one piece, I decided to make two separate covers for each of these sections.

I had an "I Spy" quilt in the closet, not being used for anything at all, and cut it in two pieces to go over these two machine sections.  I used my serger to sew the edges together and finish cut edges. The front cover is the lower section shown in the photo below.

HQ Sweet Sixteen Cover

 It is open on two sides and sewn closed on two sides. I put a magnet in the open corner to help hold the cover in place. The corner with the magnet is the one where the edge angles up. You can see in the photo below how I folded the edges up to secure the magnets and fit better over the machine.

The back cover is the upper one in the photo above. It is closed on three sides and open on one side. I cut a square shape out of  the bottom to allow it to go over the end of the machine better.

It was a fast project and I've been happy with it since I made it.

Don't be afraid to cut up a quilt that isn't being used and re-purpose it. They are much more happy being out in the world than locked up in a stuffy old closet!

Thanks for visiting my blog!