Wednesday, May 30, 2012

National Anthem Story Quilt

Here is a recent art quilt I created for a Flying Geese Quilters Guild challenge. The challenge was to create a quilt based on an event in American History. I chose the writing of our National Anthem. This pictorial quilt is based on the battle for Fort McHenry that occurred during the war of 1812. Francis Scott Key was being held on a British ship that was bombing the fort. He struggled throughout the night to see if the American flag was still flying over the fort. The Americans withstood the bombing and held the fort. Francis Scott Key later wrote a poem about this event, it was put to music, and ultimately became our National Anthem.

I received a second place award in the innovative landscape category and received the award for best theme interpretation for this quilt. It is on display at UCI in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Engineering Hall, room 2205.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Backdrop for photographing a quilt

Here is an art quilt that I recently completed for a black and white exhibit being put on by Quilts on the Wall. I have it hanging here, ready to be photographed. I have an area in my studio room where I can hang a black or a white fabric as a backdrop for a quilt. I then put a rod through the quilt sleeve and hang it in front of the drape. I used the black drape here because I knew the exhibit would be hung against black and wanted to see how it would look. I ended up painting my wooded rod black so it blended with the fabric before photographing this quilt.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Here is a close up of the birds claws on the branch in my Hearts All Aglow piece. I made these by doing an embroidery stitch called "boullions". I hope I spelled that correctly. I was just taught this stitch by my friend Denise. I love the way they look! It's great to learn new tricks!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Hearts All Aglow

Here is a little 12" X 12" piece I have made for my Serendipity art group exchange. Our theme this time around was "Hearts All Aglow" , which is what I have named this piece. I chose a pair of lovebirds on a branch with a sun behind them because I love birds and anytime I can find an excuse to use them in an art quilt I do!

I used some striped fabric that I was recently given from my friend Linda (thanks Linda!), and other fabric from my stash. The branch is made by braiding rick rack, and the plants on the bottom are fussy cut from a large print fabric.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

making pattern pieces

numbering pieces

A few posts back I mentioned that you have to enlarge your sketch to the finished size of your piece. Now I am going to describe the next steps that I take in creating a fiber art piece. Above you see the enlarged sketch for a black and white piece I have recently finished.  Using the full size enlargement I make pattern pieces from each part of the landscape. I first use a black sharpie to clearly delineate my landscape parts and then I number each one. Next I place freezer paper over the parts and trace them. The number is recorded on the freezer paper piece so I know where it goes after it is cut out. The upper photo shows some of the barrel cacti and road runner pattern pieces that I made for this art quilt.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Value Planning

value planning
 When I am planning an art quilt, I have to figure out what colors and values I want in my piece. Sometimes I do several thumbnail sketches and try out different colors using watercolor paints. Once I have the colors and values that I like, I use the thumbnail to select fabrics.

I have recently been working on a black and white piece, so instead of colors, I was planning to use different textures and black and white values to depict parts of my landscape. On the left is the value sketch that I prepared to give me a "roadmap" for where I wanted to go. I took this roadmap with me when I pulled out fabrics from my stash and when I went to the store to get more fabrics for this piece. It gave me a good idea of the percentage of black or white I wanted in each area. It was a bit more tricky than using color, but it worked!