Tuesday, May 19, 2015

She Started It!......

My sister Anne and I decided to collaborate on a project for North Carolina Quilt Symposium 2015. We decided to start a project and then "switch" and then finish each others project. We had both taken almost identical pictures of the most amazing Southern Magnolia at NCQS 2014 and decided to use those as our subject matter. I blew up my photo to 11x17".

Then I made a black and white copy of the photo

and then I traced the picture out with tracing paper so I can put the white cotton fabric over it and trace in onto the fabric.

After I did that, I painted the flower and leaves in.
Just as I got Kathie Started It finished, I got Anne's in the mail.
Anne had opted to do an applique of the flower and sent me the pieces beautifully basted on a red back ground.
I like the red and it was a great contrast for the white petals however, I could see red coming through the white so I decided to play around with some dyes and dyed new fabric to use.
Then I ironed the pieces into place and added leaves.
 I started to shadow in some of the areas with my Derwent  Inktense pencils. If you get a chance to but these, get them! They blend like water color pencils however once they are heat set, they are permanent.
Then it came time to applique the flower to the background and thread sketch the details into the petals and the leaves.
Once I got that petals taken I had to quilt the piece before I tackled the flower center. I didn't want to take a chance on crushing the center in ANY of the finishing process.
The center was the biggest challenge. As you can see from the pictures above it's quite a large part of the flower and it's anything but flat.
I found some white ribbon and cut it into 1" pieces.
I then laid out a light brown ribbon, taped it down and added a small line of glue,
 then laid the pieces of ribbon on the glue and waited for it to dry. When it was dry, I ran it through my sewing machine to secure them tightly.
I did the same thing with some pipe cleaners
Then I laid them on the center and stitched them down, row by row until I had the right layout.
and Viola, I had my center, and I added prisma colors I matched at the art store to get as much contrast as I could.
 and then, using Gel Medium to sculpt the center into place. This step took much longer than I anticipated. I learned to use straws cut down, bobby pins and tape to help keep the curl.
and adding some hot fix crystals I was able to safely say I was finished and sent Anne Started It off to NCQS 2015.
We'll find out 5/28/15 how it does.


Monday, December 1, 2014

Prayer Scarves

Hello Everyone!
I am completely amazed at how the flies. (Especially if you don't give a deadline) I have learned a new process and am using a new product that I REALLY like to create a new line. Prayer Scarves.
I copy down a Psalm down or other prayer, over paint it with Jaquaard  Permanent Resist, and then dye it with, (what else) Procian Fiber Reactive dyes.I first got this idea when I got an order from a Hospice i Colorado…I finally got a chance to put it into action two weeks ago.
I don't have the pictures, however here are the steps:
1) soak scarves in your soda ash solution
2) air dry
3) Iron
4) Iron on to freezer paper
Here is where the fun starts;
using a pencil or iron off pen, mark up lines and write in the text

Then, using the resist, paint in the words.

Get it all paint out. (FYI, if you photograph, use the white side of the bag you are recycling, ask me how I know)
Starting adding your color. Personally, I like to start with a yellow or Gold.
then you add the blue and the red and any other colors you want. (I prefer primary colors to blend to create new colors)
I'm sorry, I didn't rotate the picture however you get the idea. I sent this to my sister and she LOVED it.
This is a Psalm I did and sent to my sister in-law. This was a first time using the resist..use the brush, I used a bottle with this and the resist is to heavy. (Sorry Kelly)
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone. May we find Peace on this Earth, we so need it!!
Give thanks for all!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Learning to Photograph Fiber

My Friend Leslie Fesperman, Artist owner of Simply Woven got together to watch a webnair to learn how to photograph our scarves. We learned a few things, 1) to turn off all flash and 2, to re-adjust your monitors colors.
So we made some adjustments to our cameras and we played with backgrounds.
Mum pattern color 3456 on white
Mum pattern color 3456 on black
Leslie's Scarf on white

Leslie's scarf on Gray

I don't have too many photographs of scarves , however here is a shot of Leslie's studio; Leslie has eight looms, three for personal use, 5 for teaching.

and Leslie has lot's of Chickens…..

All different kinds of Chickens……

Some with very elegant feather do's

Leslie has very friendly Chicken's! He is a beauty isn't he!
She is a great beauty as well!

Leslie also has alpaca's (3) of them.

Leslie and I did a photo exercise as suggested by the webnair. Pick a color and photograph it for a specific time period and then list all the photo's together so you can see how colors contrast against other colors. I chose red. We decided to take photographs during lunch at the locally famous Merritt's in Chapel Hill.
Leslie had the famous BLT (which looked like there was a 1/2 pound of bacon on it..YUM!) I got the best burger I've had in forever. (Major YUM!)
The red that jumped out at me was the Red Sox fan…but once I took his photo, (after I asked) others "red" jumped out at me. below is my study of the color red.

 I enjoyed doing this, and I look forward to trying it again with maybe..purple?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Felted Flowers

I hate to sound like I'm stating the obvious, however what a cold nasty winter we are having!
Since it's been too cold to play with Nuno Felting in the garage, I decided to study up on my You tube Library and learn how to make felted Flowers.

All you need to get started is:
  • a small piece of tulle
  • a small piece of bubble wrap
  • lukewarm soapy water
  • plastic grocery bag (ha finally a decent use)
  • wool roving

Pull out small pieces of roving and try to get the sizes as uniform as you can….get at least 6 layers. Then, get your fingers wet and twist one of the ends.

Petals laid out
Arrange the petals on the bubble wrap.

Then with contrasting roving, add different colors to create more detail.

Then add some leaves. Same twisted ends as the flower petals.
Adding details
Add leaves
Once you get everything laid out the way you hope it's going to turn out. (Remember that natural fibers have a life of their own!)

Cover the wool with your piece of tulle

Using your plastic grocery bag dipped in the soapy water, gently wet down the wool. It's not necessary to drench it. You don't want puddles.

After the wool is wet, g-e-n-t-l-e-y pull off the tulle and if any wool comes up, c-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y smooth the wool back where you think it belongs.

Roll the bubble wrap over the roving, trying to take care that the bubble wrap is over the wool before you start to roll. If you roll and the wool over-laps on it's self it will distort the petal.

This is how your flower should look when it's all rolled up,
You then roll it 30 times. You don't' have to smoosh down on it very hard, just some gentle rolls back and forth as you count to 30.
After the 30 rolls, c-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y unroll you flower. you can start to see the design. Make any necessary adjustments on the petals or leaves.
Then turn the bubble wrap the the next side and roll up and roll again.
you want to do this on each side to balance the rolling and pressure.

After all the rolling (120 times!) your flower is ready for the second half. Also, you can freely go ahead and make any adjustments to the layout of your flower.
Now, on to the stamen!
Pull off a length of green roving (or whatever color you want to use)
Cut about 7-8 cotton embroidry thread about 3 inches long
Lay the embroidery thread over the roving as shown above

carefully knot the roving so that the threads and roving look like above.

dampen the stamen with your soapy water, just enough that it holds together.

With a small pair of sharp scissors, cut a small hole in the center of your flower.
the hole doesn't have to be very big. Too big and you'll have some extra work on your hands.

Gently pull the end of your stamen through the hole, on the right side of the flower. Work the stamen through until you can feel the knot at the base of the hole.
Fold your flower like above
Start rolling the knotted stamen into the flower. Keep the pressure light at first but gradually add more pressure.
If you have to, roll the flower base and stamen in your bubble wrap and massage the fibers
When it starts to felt together, take more of your green roving and wrap it around the base and stamen

Roll on as much of the green roving and also roll the rest of your stem.
By the time you think your fingers are going to fall of, your flower should look like this. See the green has encompassed the flower base and look rather natural.
At this point, to make sure the felting process is done, I put a Tablespoon of White Vinegar into a bowl and pour almost boiling water into it and toss in my flower. The vinegar will neutralize the soap and the  steaming hot water will "shrink" the fibers into each eachother.
After 5 minutes, you can remove your flower and squeeze out any water. A rinse with cold water will get rid of any vinegar smell.
Fold your flower into a "bud" state (not tight) and let it dry.
and Viola!
You'll have a felted flower to impress your friends or to enhance your wardrobe.