Friday, March 25, 2016

Mary, Matilda and Me - the Fans!

I wanted this art quilt to have an old fashioned feel to it, and one of the ways I tried to get that feeling was by using fans to frame the focal point. I consider fans an old fashioned adornment and quilt pattern, and it seemed to go with the theme well. I used some vintage dark blue silk fabric, and leftover light blue painted fabric from Grandma's dress for the fans.

My first fans were made in a pieced manner, just like I learned to do when I first started to make quilts. Each vane was cut out of the light and dark blue fabric and sewn together. Then the fan blades were sewn to the bottom triangular shape of the fan.   I made a lot of them that way and thought I had plenty.

pieced fans

But then I started to lay them on the top and realized I really needed more than I had. I do not really enjoy piecing and dreaded the idea of having to make more of them!!! So I cheated, sort of. I appliqued the light blue fan blades on to a large fan shape of the dark blue fabric. They don't look exactly alike, but this is not a fan quilt, it's an art quilt. Cheating is allowed!

appliqued fans

I used a satin stitch to sew the fans down to the top.

I added a ribbon to the fans for flair and contrasting color and used machine quilting to further enhance them.

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Pelican on Pier Juried in to Made in California Exhibit

"Pelican on Pier"

I’m thrilled that my “Pelican on Pier” piece was juried into the City of Brea’s 31st Annual Made in California show. The show will run from April 9th through June 17th. The gallery is located at 1 Civic Center Circle in Brea, CA. Phone 714-990-7731. Their website is

Other information about the exhibit is shown on the postcards, below.

There is an artist's reception on Saturday, April 9th, from 7 to 9 pm. I'm going to be there and it would be great to see you if you can make it. 

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Mary, Matilda and Me - Face, Arms and Hands

"Mary Matilda and Me" top

I thought I'd do a post today about how I did the human skin in this art quilt. I've seen some people use purchased fabrics for skin very successfully, but I've never tried that. Whenever I've had to do skin, I've painted it on white Kona fabric using Tsukeniko Inks. I blend the inks with Aloe Vera Gel to give me control over where it goes.

Tsukeniko Inks all have a number, which is what I know them by. These are the inks I like to use for Caucasian skin tones.

The yellows, browns and red tones (53, 90, 92) are for the main skin areas, and the blues (19, 62) are for shadow areas.  I create a few different intensities and values of each.

I start by doing a line drawing on the Kona fabric of the face or hand. I use a Frixion ink pen so that the line will go away once ironed.

Then I put in lighter values of the mixed colors.

I work my way up to the darker values and blues. I try to "sneak up on the darks", as one of my painting instructors used to say. That means I try to be careful not to use darks too early in the process.

This is how the faces, arms and hands ended up on this art quilt.

Grandma lecturing one last time
Mom listening intently

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Saturday, March 5, 2016

Wedding Day Dresses

Top - prior to quilting

To make this fiber art piece I used my standard technique of doing a small scale drawing, enlarging it to full size and then using the full size drawing to make pattern templates.  I made templates for the two dresses from the full size drawing. I wanted to use vintage fabrics as much as I could, so I pulled out my stash of inherited fabrics.

I had a nice piece of lace that was very suitable for the bride’s dress.  I had plenty of it too, so I could make the skirt wide and put some folds in it to give a feeling of fullness. I under-laid the lace with a solid white fabric from the bodice down. That is how the actual bridal gown was made. The arms and upper torso were sheer lace.

I modified a vintage piece of  pale blue-green fabric to create the “Mother of the Bride” dress. This blue green fabric was inherited from my Mother’s stash, and it was a solid.  I decided I wanted a little bit more variation in that fabric, and I was looking for something that would read like a blue-green print fabric.  To accomplish this I pulled out a roll of lace and cut about 4-30 inch lengths of it. I then sewed these to each other lengthwise. This approximately 30” x 20” section of lace became my stamping template for the fabric. I over-laid the lace section on the blue green fabric and then stamped on it with fabric paint.  The paint went through the holes in the lace pattern and created a variable surface design. I thought it looked much better than the solid and I was happy with the result.

I know I could have purchased a fabric instead, but I wanted to use my inherited fabrics for this and thought it was worth the effort.  Here are some photos of the process and results.

lace template on fabric, painting in progress
A section of fabric after painting

dress on background fabric

close up of dress