Thursday, May 31, 2007

Trusting your first instinct

Here's an early work in progress photo on the banner. I should have trusted my first instinct and the first design I came up with...

After placing the flames in two different ways, I came back to this one. One had the flames as a tree, one had them in a large spiral with the colors all mixed. I also realized that fusing them directly to the batting wasn't going to work (what to do with all the little areas showing through), so I am fusing them on black Kona cotton.

The Luther Seal has been printed out on white cotton and my plans are to paint it, or color it with oil pastels. Still working out the details of printing the images of the church's wood carvings on silk organza.

Problem - I counted about 135 flames, and I only need 125.
Ten flames must go. And I must go to bed now...

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Emmanuel at 125

"Be ablaze with enthusiasm. Let us be an alive, burning offering before the altar of God." hildegard of bingen, 12th c.

I have been commissioned to create an art quilt banner for our congregation's 125th anniversary that will be celebrated on July 22nd. I am so excited! The size will be about 30x45 inches.

These are most of the cottons that I had dyed earlier in the week, some solids (check out that grape one), some 2-color pieces, and some discharged cloth that there aren't any photos off yet. I've started to cut out 125 "flames" that will be fused on top of my batting, and the quilt will also include Luther's Seal (probably the focal point). Our church has so many beautiful wood carvings that I wanted to do some rubbings on, but most are too 3-dimensional. I'm now going to photograph some of them, and see what they look like printed out on silk organza.

The stained glass image of Christ is from the brochure that our church had put together this year. Most of the photography is by Steve Pitkin (Gee's Bend photographer) and his staff. I'm hoping to have him photograph the banner when it is completed.

I'll keep you updated on the process ~

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Discharging Tutorial

Here's the supplies: Cleanser with bleach (my product of choice), any brand should work; a cup with some water in it; containers and plastic forks for mixing; foam brush ~

To make a thin solution, mix 1 cup of cleanser with 5-6 Tbsp. of water. It will be thin, similiar to thin pancake batter. I've used this wallpaper paste brush for heavy applications of the discharge solution ~

This is how I create an "eclipse" on cloth: take different sizes of plastic lids and place them randomly on your cotton. Slowly pour some thin solution to cover the lid. Take a fork or spoon and push the solution off the sides of the lid ~
(the fabric is black cotton sateen from Jo-Ann's)

When the cleanser is almost dry, carefully remove the lids from the fabric. This is what it will look like with all the eclipses ~

I left the cleanser/discharge solution on for about an hour. Here's the finished piece after rinsing, soaking in water and anti-chlor, washout and dry ~

To make a thick paste for stamping, mix 1 cup of cleanser with 4 Tbsp. of water. It will be very thick, but not dry ~

Using a foam brush, apply the cleanser/discharge paste to your stamp, a little at a time. If you get wayward "glops" on it, you can wipe off the excess around the edges before you stamp on your cloth. Using your fingers, smooth it out to about 1/8" thick ~

Apply to the fabric using firm pressure. Keep it in place for 5 or so minutes. When you lift the stamp, the paste remaining on the stamp will be solid, and slightly dry. If you wish to use it again right away, lightly spritz the paste on the stamp with water, making sure it doesn't drip ~

*the color of the cloth in this photo is not correct*

Here are 2 finished pieces - hand dyed cotton lawn and sateen ~

By using this method of discharging, you get an added bonus: if friends stop by, they'll assume you've been cleaning because of the aroma of the bleach and the fragrance added to the cleanser - it's such a fresh scent - now if they only came up with either a lavender or lime scented one...I can dream, can't I? the end.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

My Dharma Order from the UPS Guy...

came early (9:30am. instead of 5 pm.), so I was able to take advantage of having more hours today to dye some cotton. I made up 16 colors of Procion, dyed 16 fat quarter pieces, and added 2 colors each to 6 other pieces.

I'm sure glad I cleaned out all the containers and spoons yesterday...

I'll post some photos when they're all washed out and ironed up pretty...and tell you what they're for ~

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Adventures in Discharging - We have a winner - Gerrie got it!!!

Black cotton sateen ~ potato masher dipped in my special discharge potion and applied to the cloth ~ splatters, too, because of the wayward drips ~ This turned out so well, I'm thinking, "just quilt it."

The first person to guess what my secret is will receive something special in the mail! C'mon, give it a try!

Gerrie Congdon
guessed correctly, and she gets to choose a Wrist Pin Cushion- congratulations, Gerrie...

Friday, May 18, 2007

Painted and Embossed Hardware

I wanted to show a couple of the other pieces that I made for possible inclusion in the article. Even though they weren't chosen, it did give me the opportunity to explore my technique further and to use other metal pieces...

The "Creative Insomnia" journal ~ can you guess what her body is made from? It started out as a silver-plated pie server that was broken. Her head is part of an earring. The moon is a large charm.

I'm sure many of you know all too well why I gave it this title ~

I created this special bead box by taking a metal tin and first had to scratch off most of the picture that was on the lid, using an x-acto knife. I then painted the lid with forest green glass paint (described in my Cloth, Paper, Scissors article) and added the embossing. I adhered some silk around the edges of the tin, and some cotton around the edges of the lid. Embellished with a large washer, beads, copper wire and fibers. Added some "legs" to the bottom with fiber-wrapped ceramic beads ~

detail of the bead box lid ~

Four new pincushions

I've been anxiously waiting to post these - just had to wait for Blogger...

Julaine's Gallery of Artful Adventures

Staff Retreat 2007

If you haven't been to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
in Springfield, Illinois, it is great experience! Abe waited a long time for this -
Here's a photo of Jeff and I with the family...

"Well behaved women rarely make history" - fascinating exhibit - the quote was not Mary's...

The whole group being a a bit silly with miniature fly swatters (don't ask)...

Monday, May 07, 2007


What a blast!!! The Creative and Performing Arts Academy at Auburn High School where my son was dancing yesterday afternoon - here he is (between the 2 girls), the class is doing their version of "All That Jazz"... side story behind all this: Jason's dance teacher is the same one he had back in kindergarden and first grade - below are some photos of the after party -

Jason and dad

Jason and mom

Jason and the girls

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Page 22

What an honor! My article "Painted and Embossed Hardware" is in the current issue of this great magazine. Check it out...

Thanks again to Pokey and staff ~

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

I've been tagged

The rules

Start with 7 random facts/habits about yourself ~
People who are tagged have to write their 7 things on their blog ~
Then choose another 7 people to get tagged and list their names ~
Don't forget to leave them a comment to tell them they
have been tagged and to read your blog ~

1) I hate mornings
2) I'm addicted to iced mocha (my homemade, of course)
3) I was named after my dad's first girlfriend.
4) I'll eat just about anything if it's served with or is made with cream cheese
5) I'm fat (think Willendorf)
6) I play guitar, and hammered dulcimer
7) I can bend my index finger all the way back to the top of my hand

Here's who I'm tagging:

Paper Doll Post
Prater Poste
Fibra Artysta - Mixed Media Fiber Art
::More Whiffs, Glimmers & Left Oeuvres::
Musings of a textile itinerant
Digital Gran

looking forward to finding out those interesting things about you all!!!