Monday, July 18, 2016

Shaped by Fiber III

I have a few fiber art pieces in an exhibit running the months of July and August. The exhibit is called "Shaped by Fiber III" and it is put on by Beyond the Edge Fiber Artists. You can see it at the Cerritos Library, in Cerritos, California - 18025 Bloomfield Avenue, Cerritos, CA (562-916-1350). It is a wonderful display of three dimensional fiber art pieces. I hope you have a chance to see it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Flying Geese in the Background

Linda Friedman asked if the geese in the background were made from transparent fabric, and they were not. I used a blue fabric that I had painted fabric, and then custom painted it to be close to the background fabric. Thanks for asking Linda!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Gaggle of Geese - Some Details

I wanted to share a few more things on this piece:

There are seven geese flying across the top of the quilt. I cut out each piece and painted them individually to blend with the background they are near. I wanted them to be a subtle addition, and not detract from the Gaggle walking. Here they are pinned in place.

Close up showing variation in color of the geese:

A section of Flying Geese units were inserted here just below one of the flying geese. I thought that looked cool!

Grounding the Geese:

A put a section of "land" under the feet of the geese so that it didn't look like they were floating on air. It also looked a little like a shadow.

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

A "Clean" Raw Edge Pieced Background

Gaggle of Geese

I wanted to give a little information about how I made the background for this piece. Originally I planned to use a brown and tan background, but when I made a background with those colors, the geese did not stand out from it sufficiently, in my opinion. 

Here you see what I mean:

The goose just did not "pop" from those colors.

So,  I needed to figure out something different. I pulled fabrics out from my stash. I saw that blues looked very good next to the geese and started to throw the blue fabrics on the floor in a haphazard manner. Well that unplanned layout of blues looked really good, so I took a quick photo of it and used that as my design guideline.

I cut out the various rectangles of blues and laid them out. For the most part, I did not want to worry about turning edges under, so once I got them where I wanted them and pinned them down to a background fabric.

After positioning and pinning, I straight stitched them in place using my machine. I stitched close to the edge of the rectangles to do this. 

I did not want to have a lot of fraying on the edges, so after the sewing was done I carefully clipped the edges of each rectangle, and then used a brush to lightly apply a watered down solution of thread end glue to just the edge of the fabric.


This is the glue. I had an almost empty bottle of it and added a little water, shook it vigorously, and got a slightly tacky solution. I used an old small sparse brush to apply it. I dragged the brush along the edge of the fabric piece only, in the direction that made the threads lay down.  I was careful to avoid getting any of this solution on the top of the rectangle to avoid a "shiny" area of dried glue. This worked well to eliminate frays, and I would use it again. 

And that is my tip for doing a clean, raw edge pieced background. Thanks for visiting my blog!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

A few more details on the making of the geese...

Linda Friedman asked some questions in a comment about some of techniques I used to make the geese. I thought it would be good to give that information in a post, so here it is:

I did not use patterns or paper templates to cut out the individual smaller fabric pieces that I used to make the collaged geese. I laid the paper diagram of the goose showing my value areas on a light table, and then laid the fabric on the paper diagram.  I used a marker to mark the outline of the shape I wanted to cut out on the fabric. I could easily see through the fabric with the light table, and this saved me the time and effort of cutting out a bunch of freezer paper pieces.

After marking on the fabrics, I used a small rotary cutter to cut out the shape. Some fabrics were just cut free form with my small rotary cutter. I like a small rotary cutter for jobs like this because I can make turns easily. I also avoid using scissors if I can because it’s easier on my tendonitis plagued wrist.

The fabrics were all fused on the back. I cut out all the collage fabrics for a goose, got them in place on the brown background fabric, and then fused them down once I was satisfied with placement.

I used a machine appliqué raw edge technique for the geese fabrics. After the pieces were fused to the brown fabric, I stitched them to the brown background fabric using my sewing machine. After the collage pieces were stitched to the brown background, the entire goose was stitched to the sandwiched background, batt and backing. I used a curving free motion machine quilting design within the geese to secure them to the quilt.

Thank you for the questions, and visiting my blog!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Making a Gaggle of Geese!

Today's post is about the method I used to make the geese in my "Gaggle of Geese" art quilt. This piece was made for a Flying Geese Quilters Guild challenge - "All Creatures Great and Small".

detail of "Gaggle of Geese"

I used a fabric collage technique for the geese, with a little blending between the fabrics using colored pencil.

Fabric collage requires the use of several fabrics to depict value changes and create interest in a subject. My first step was to create piles of light, medium and dark valued fabrics for the geese.

dark valued fabrics, mostly

light valued fabrics

The challenge had a couple of required fabrics that were tan and brownish, and those drove the colors that I made the geese.

challenge fabrics
These fabrics have tan, brown and blues. 

Each goose had it's own paper “pattern” that depicted the shape of the goose and the major value areas on the goose, ie: light, medium and dark shapes within the goose. 

Each goose also had its own solid brown fabric shape for a background. Here is the brown fabric with the geese patterns on it. Each brown goose shape was cut out. I used brown because it blended with the goose colors well. If the collage fabrics didn't cover every last bit, the brown showing through would be fine.

The collage pieces were placed on the brown background in a trial and error fashion until I got the look I was after. Here are some pictures of the geese showing the fabrics used in them:

My favorite goose is the one on the right. I think the expression on the face is great, and the blending with the colored pencil added a lot on this one. Thanks for visiting my blog!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Gaggle of Geese Design

My inspiration for this piece was a photograph on the cover of a local magazine that I saw in Smithers, British Columbia several years ago. I was on a fishing trip and the cover picture showed several geese walking across a road. I loved that image and always wanted to do my take on it.

I wanted to use my own geese images and drawings for the piece, so I pulled out photos I have taken of geese, and public domain images of geese I found on the Internet, and started to make several sketches of geese in different postures. They are not hard to draw, in fact, I see them as similar to a bowling pin. These are a couple of my sketched geese:

The next step was positioning them. I wanted it to look like they were in a group walking together, with some of them a little smaller than the others because they were further away.  I took my sketches and made copies of them at different size reductions. That way I had a variety of geese sizes to try out at different positions.

I tried several different arrangements of the geese to come up with one that suited what I had in mind. I then worked on a setting for the geese.  This was my drawing for the original idea I had, which was geese walking across a farmer's field. That did not pan out, and I'll talk about that in a future post.

Nevertheless, the layout of the geese in this sketch was what I ultimately used in my design.

I think my next post will be on the process I used to make the geese. Thank you for visiting my blog!