Wednesday, August 24, 2011

One Word Wednesday


Monday, August 22, 2011

Blue Glue-Who Knew!

I'm getting ready for my trip to the APWQ show in Tacoma next weekend and putting the finishing touches on my lecture "Surface Design - and other Fun Stuff! The lecture is on Friday @ 2pm, so stop by if you get a chance!
I'm also presenting at the Saturday Sampler showing how to use regular blue glue as a resist for batik. Believe me, it works!! Here's a piece I just finished, I also added some gold metallic foil but it doesn't show so well in the picture. I used Dye-Na-Flow paints, diluted about 50/50 with water and three layers of screenprint/painting, letting each one dry in between.
I've also added the Palm Frond as a Thermofax screen to purchase in my shop:

Friday, August 19, 2011

Another Colour Study

Here'a another colour study I did, this time with knotted fringe. I was surprised with the touch of blue/turquoise in the art, it works well becasue the blue is complementary to orange.
Note also the range in value, light through to very dark. Do you have a wide range of value in your quilts?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Colour Study-Lily

Here's another colour study of a lovely lily. Take a moment and look at the values shown in the picture, from a very dark green that's almost a black right through to the lightest, pale pink.

Now, if I remove the colour and make the picture just black and white, you can clearly see how wide the value range is. Remember that value is only light through to dark when it is compared with another value. To say something is a medium value has no meaning until it is compared to with a lighter or darker value.

You can see what a difference removing the colour can be when you study colour. Remember when everyone was using the "piece of red acetate to look at their quilts, the colour red was not magical, you could do it with any colour, the exercise was simply to get the quilters to look at value. Now with digital cameras its much easier to look at pictures on the computer and remove the colour in order to see the "value" of the quilt!Try it with some of your quilts.

Here's the colour study I did of the lily picture:
Tomorrow, some more ideas about colour.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Who is ROY G BIV and why does he need to be on my quilt??

Without ROY you would have a white or black quilt, that's why!

ROY G BIV is an acronym for:
Red OrangeYellow Green Blue Indigo and Violet

For many quilters, colour can be the most challenging decisions in making a quilt. We have chosen the blocks, know what size we want, and are ready to hit the quilt shop, but where do we begin?
Take heart..... and look around you. You wear clothes that work well together, you decorate your home and enjoy what you have? Trust your instincts and use these easy tips:

• Pick a colour and use a bit of its complement. Choose blue and add a touch of yellow, purple with some orange. Don't like orange? Then move towards a peach, rust or salmon.

• Pick up some samples or booklets at your local paint store. See how colours are grouped together. Cut up the samples and rearrange them, try different groupings. Talk about what you like and dislike.

• Try a colour study. Find a picture you like and make a study of ALL the colours you can identify in the picture. See if you can determine the relative quantities of each. Here's an example:

Here's another example:

I've tried to put the colours in approximate proportion to one another and found there was more brown/taupe/grey than I had seen in the picture.
Here another study I made from the same photograph, but this time I played with the colour proportions. I reduced the quantity of pinks and greatly increased the greens. I used papers that I had painted.

Tomorrow I'll do a colour study of one of my art quilts and we can look at colour, and value....another critical element of design.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

To Wash or Not to Wash!

That is the question! If there's any way to create a controversy amongst quilters, its to ask if they pre-wash their fabrics before cutting and sewing.....the battle begins!

For years I would not let a fabric enter my studio until it had been thoroughly dunked and scrubbed in the machine! Now, I'm a little more fussy about whether the package hits the laundry beforehand.
I use a lot more of my dyed and printed fabrics in quilts and those have already had several processes including a thorough washing before I put them in my stash.
I use batiks too, and the better quality batiks have already been washed during the dyeing process.
But I've also had a couple of scary experiences with not prewashing some lovely red fabrics....
So, dear reader, I will leave the decision up to you..........I think there's pros and cons for prewashing or not, but if in doubt, do it.

Totally Awesome Tip!
Even if you decide to wait until the quilt is made, I recommend Orvus soap, it a neutral, synthetic
concentrate pure soap shampoo originally developed for washing livestock, It contains no phosphates, is biodegradable, no scents or perfumes, little or no suds. Its great for all fabrics including any that need gentle hand washing and for those with allergies. Look for it at a place that carries horse and livestock supplies or it can be ordered here:

Books on Sunday

I just received the "Create with Transfer Artist Paper" by Lesley Riley and read through it with a cup of hot chocolate this morning. I had taken a class with Lesley at Quilt Market last spring and was thrilled with her information and expertise on this topic.
The book has probably all the information there is to know about TAP and walks the reader through several different projects. I can see application possibilities for TAP and I'm planning on using it in my Fonts and Fabric class at Quilt Festival in Houston this fall.
I'd definitely rate this book at a buy for artist interested in mixed media and adding another level of knowledge to their skill set.

Here`s a sample of some pieces I made in Lesley`s class. Have fun with your TAP.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

One Word Wednesday


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Technique Tuesday

Fusing Fundamentals

Fusible web is a man-made fiber that will melt when heated. When placed between two pieces of fabric, the melting action of the web causes it to fuse the fabrics together. The fused fabric is stable, easy to cut and resists distortion on bias edges.
Did you know?

° Fusible web comes in a range of types, almost all of them attached to a release paper on one or both sides which stays attached until you remove it after the ironing process.

° Fusible web comes in a range of sizes; generally you can buy 12", 18" or 24" widths that are cut from a roll. If you decide to make many projects it might be a good idea to buy a whole roll.

° I recommend that you keep your fusible web rolled rather than folded so it will not separate from the release paper. Large pieces can be rolled on an empty tube or bolt insert. Your local quilt shop may have a bolt insert that they would be happy to give you.

° Many fusibles are sold with a plastic instruction sheet wrapped around them. Keep this with your fusible to remind you of the brand and type since fusing instructions may vary for different products. Some fusible web will deteriorate with age, so don't use web that is several years old and do keep the web away from direct sunlight.

° Remember that longer isn't necessarily better. Read and follow the manufacturers directions for fusing time, different products will vary in the amount of time needed for a good bond. Leaving the iron on longer can damage the fabrics and may make the appliqué fall off. Make some test swatches and keep notes on the settings for your iron and the optimal time for fusing.
  •  Always, always use an applique pressing sheet or baking parchment with your fusible web!
Susan's favourite fusible!
I prefer a lightweight web that has release paper on both sides. This means the web will not stick to the pattern when you trace it and ensures the fusible does not separate from the release paper until you want it to. I use and recommend Steam A Seam2 Lite for almost all my fusing projects!
Totally Awesome Tip!
Is the bottom of your iron an aweful gunk-site? Lay an old folded towel down and place a damp Magic Eraser on top. Heat the iron and then run the iron over the Magic Eraser several times. Gunk will disappear like Magic!
I`ve also heard that fabric dryer sheets will do the same thing!

Got a tip to share..... Let us know about it!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Exhibition Opening

On Saturday I was at the opening reception for the Current Threads II, the second show for the Vancouver Island Surface Design Association.
This year we tried a show of small work within the framework of the larger show. We are trying to reach the collector who has a smaller pocketbook and is interested in purchasing at a lower pricepoint. The "smalls" were framed in the same size and type of frame and all priced at $195.00. They were displayed together to provide a cohesive look. By opening night several pieces had sold,  and hopefully through the course of the show, sales will continue.

Here we are in front of the "smalls"

The 'smalls' set up before opening.

My bright shining face in front of my piece entitled "Remote Viewing".

Friday, August 5, 2011

New Thermofax Screens

I've just added two new designs to my Thermofax Screens page, I had fun with the bubble wrap as you can imagine!
Check these out at Fabric Imagery

New Work

At the exhibition in Ladysmith our Surface Design group has a smaller exhibition entitled Undercurrents, a grouping of 10" x 10" work in matching frames. These pieces are all for sale for $195.00 which makes them a wonderful price for any collector.
My submissions are entitled Stitch and Space #1, #2 and #3 and are hand dyed, printed, stamped and stitched. I hope you'll be able to come to the show!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

One Word Wednesday


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Design Notes-Latest news!

Read all about the exciting news in my latest issue of Design Notes:

Monday, August 1, 2011

Upcoming Exhibition-Current Threads II

I'd be thrilled if you came to see the newest exhibition of the Vancouver Island Surface Design Association (VISDA) that opens on August 1st at the Ladysmith Waterfront Art Gallery.
There will be work from 17 members with an opening reception next Saturday, August 6th, 5-8pm. Its always an exciting event! 
For directions and hours click here:

I just finished my piece Remote Viewing, dyed and screen printed, machine pieced and hand quilted.