A TECHNIQUE DRIVEN Blog dedicated to mastery of surface design techniques. First we dye, overdye, paint, stitch, resist, tie, fold, silk screen, stamp, thermofax, batik, bejewel, stretch, shrink, sprinkle, Smooch, fuse, slice, dice, AND then we set it on fire using a variety of heat tools.

Friday, October 30, 2015

To Art Quilting and Beyond - Week 4/Part 5

I can hardly believe it is over! I hope you all enjoyed this month as much as I did planning, making and posting it. Have to admit I did learn a few things about me and my art quilting. And especially about hand stitching and quilting. Somehow I think hand-stitching a binding will never seem like that much work again! Sounds like a piece of cake at the moment!

So here is the finale. The last act. The end....or is it? Perhaps it is the beginning of a new direction to enjoy from time to time. Something to stir the creative juices if they ever become stale.

After the final layout, I felt like it still needed something to give it a bit more interest. I have a HUGE piece of netting that has sparkly circles embedded into it. So I cut out circles to keep with one of the connecting themes and I think it really sets off some of the "snowflakes"  And I also have a piece of organza with blue shiny circles on it.  I cut out a few and put those on this piece as well.

Winter Garden

So here are all four seasons together.

So now you know that even when disaster strikes, power is out and zombies are roaming the land, there is art to be made! 

It's been a fun month for me! Thank you all for your kind, encouraging and insightful comments.

We had our first little bit of snow today so I'm really looking forward to Wil's Snow and Ice Dyeing coming up for November!!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

To Art Quilting and Beyond - Week 4/Part 4

Are you ready????

Grab your nearest security blankey or teddy bear.....

So many scary movies this week.  I don't watch them because I keep yelling at the TV screen "Don't split up you guys! Are you crazy?"  So I'm not allowed to watch them any more.

But for this particular art quilt project, I'm saying (not yelling thankfully) DO split up!! This is a slasher presentation after all. But I guarantee no blood or monsters. Not even zombies.

Yep...we're going to cut up quilts. I know some of you have done this before but it seemed appropriate for this week and Halloween stuff to hack and slash.

First off is "A Tale of Two Crooked Houses"  (that sounds scary right?)

But it isn't. The crooked house is actual a photo I took at a local nursery years ago. Unfortunately it is no longer there but at least I still have my photo! This little shed/house has found its way into a couple of other pieces of art in my studio. I've sketched it and used it in ATCs several times. And now YOU get to see it!

Here is the original photo. Is this not totally adorable???

This particular time it is the subject in a project on contrast.

I did one small quilt in color and one in black and white.


Then out came the rotary cutter and .....OH THE QUILT-ANITY!!!!

I cut them both up in the same shapes and then, in true Frankenstein fashion, sewed them back together!

To date I've only done the binding on the one and since moving have yet to come across the second one or I would have bound it for this presentation.  I did color binding on the top and bottom and b/w binding on the left and right sides. It is still one of my favorite projects results. It's a little cutie-patootie!

Next up is "A Tale of Two Friends - and a Shared Addiction"

Once upon a time long long ago, a van of art quilters was traveling across South Dakota after a retreat. After a night in the hotel, Starbucks was the first order of business for all of us....except one.  "I don't drink coffee" say she. But we did finally convince her to just have a small espresso. And that was the beginning of the end it seems. 

Wil and I have become more like family than just friends over the past 8 years since that retreat. And now she is just as addicted as the rest of us! Maybe even more. I don't even have my own expresso machine! LOL!!

Several years ago when she was visiting during the summer, we decided to share a coffee quilt. We got a Starbucks logo to print off onto fabric and put it onto some wonderfully coffee-looking rusted fabric. Then the slashing part. We cut it in half and we both kept one half of the quilt. It's been a while but since it fit into my Slasher Movie theme, I decided to finish it....finally.

Now to find fabric for the other half of the quilt. I decided since it is our quilt, I would use a leftover piece that Wil did for one of her quilts. The colors fit in with what I wanted to do.  I even kept on with the slasher theme and used leftover bits of batting for the right half.  Thankfully it is fusible batting so it stayed in place quite well.

The right half gets cut to fit in with the left half.

I zig-zagged the two halves together and covered the "seam" with a commercial fabric I had on hand. It has coffee beans on it.  (Wonder if hubby has figured out by now that his "Favorite Things" quilt might never happen????) Took this photo in a different location so the color is a bit different.

Here is the quilting pattern I used.

Attached to my half of the quilt was a packet of bits of fabric. Wil can confirm or deny but to the best of my memory, they were pieces we had made that summer when she was visiting.  They were to be used in this quilt when it got designed.  So I used them and added a few rusted bits (some of my favorite things) and some felt strips I had in my stash. I haven't done an actual binding like this in a while but for this piece I wanted to add the coffee beans again.  Here is the final quilt.

Shared Addiction

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

To Art Quilting and Beyond - Week 4/Part 3

Now the extra quilting has been done and I settled on how I wanted to make the tree.  And I even added another tree.

I am loving the way the snowy ground undulates and is not straight and even. It looks more like some of the fields up here in the upper midwest in the winter.

And of course, I HAD to have a purple tree! When I teach art to young kids, I tell them they can have purple trees if they want to because it is THEIR art! So I needed to practice what I teach! It is the purple leftover from the first piece, Summer Garden.

And now it has a title as well..."Winter Meadow"

Get ready for tomorrow. Perhaps it was inspired by all the ads for scary movies this week, or just a weird turn of mind. But does it matter....really???

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

To Art Quilting and Beyond - Week 4/Part 2

Now that there is finally a direction in which to head, everything seems to fall into place.

As I was playing around with the bits to put onto this piece, I felt in the first layout some of them didn't
show up very well...so I combined them with some other bits and I like what happened with that. A litle more depth and a little more texture.


The second layout looks a bit better. Getting there at least. I also added the bottle cap for some pop of color there as well. Plus, I knew the girls would get a kick out of it.

Tomorrow it starts to look like the vision.

Then on Thursday....another surprise.  It's a little scary I'll tell you that much! 

Monday, October 26, 2015

To Art Quilting and Beyond - Week 4/Part 1

As you might imagine...since I've now done Summer Garden, Autumn Migration and Spring Pond...the next piece has to be a Winter piece. Only makes sense, right?

As I noted on Friday, I did not have much fabric to work with but with the blue fabric the girls chose and the connecting fabric I had just enough to make it work! Believe me...I was sweating this one.

Because I have the pond with an upward arc I wanted to do this one with a downward arc. So that is how I began.

The blue fabric is the snowy blue sky of a winter evening. And the downward arc finished off the balance of the background. So I had a beginning.

And this is how it sat for almost 2 days. I looked at my bag of items and thought and thought of how to make it blend with the other three pieces. Finally I decided the connecting fabric looked like a valley of snow and that is the direction I settled on.

I started by stitching a tree on the right side but when I put it with the other 3 it looked very  different and like it didn't belong. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it!) I did not get a photo of that stitched tree. It did not turn out like I had wanted anyway.  The one thing that came out of this mishap was noticing that I definitely needed more stitching on the background. Which I did later on as you will see in the coming days,.

So I cut a paper template to use for the tree fabric I had found. I laid that on the background and played with some of the bits in the bag of items just to get an idea of what it could look like.

Here is the first layout.

This one took a little more "marinating" than I'm used to but once I got the vision it evolved fairly quickly.

This process was a bit different than how I usually work. Usually I have a fairly well formed idea of the final product. Granted, it often changes a bit along the way but it ends up near the original vision at least. On this one, I only knew I wanted it to be a winter theme AND that it had to go well with the other three pieces.

So, let's see where this one ends up now!  See you tomorrow

Friday, October 23, 2015

To Art Quilting and Beyond - Week 3/Part 5

Now to finish up the Spring Pond!

Played with all the bling and had so much fun with them. Yes, I know it is weird rain but hey....you never know right?

I stitched down the raindrops which are stitched into the connecting fabric. Then added some of the bling.

Also in the collection of stuff to use I found 4 porcupine quills!  Hadn't seen them earlier.  So I put them at the edge of the grasses like reeds or cattails.

And after all that....here is the final piece

Spring Pond

Only one more week and one more season....winter.

Here is the collection of stuff from my little darlings for the last piece. This one is going to be a real challenge...perhaps the most difficult so far. First thing I notice is that it is woefully short on fabric! I might have to troll my stash to add some to this pile for it to work. Ideas are already swirling around in my head. I'll start on Monday!  See you then!

(Thanks Wil for letting me know. One of the downsides of scheduling posts! )

Thursday, October 22, 2015

To Art Quilting and Beyond - Week 3/Part 4

OK so I told you it would be something a little spacey, right?

Well....here it is...


Or to be more specific - New uses for UFOs

We all have them. If you don't have any, please don't tell me!! It would be too painful...

I have many pieces languishing in a container hoping beyond hope to someday be an art quilt. Oh I DO have plans for them. Plans are not what I'm lacking. Time is what I'm lacking. Time to incorporate them into an art quilt as we usually think of them. How else could I give them a meaningful life other than hanging on the wall? What about another tactic? The first one was rather easy for me to "re-purpose"

Years ago I did a couple of pieces because I saw what a friend had done and I wanted to play for a bit. The challenge intrigued me. First I made a fabric interpretation of one of my favorite art pieces. I'm a HUGE fan of John Waterhouse so I chose one of his pieces titled "Destiny".  It is a painting of a woman sipping tea looking out a round window at ships in the harbor. I imagine her dreaming of places her destiny might take her.  Here is my rendition in fabric. Please keep in mind...this WAS years ago!!

Since winter is coming soon and I LOVE to curl up on the couch with a cup of tea in the afternoon and watch TV or write in my journal or do handwork AND since a dear friend gave me a VERY special teapot, I wanted to use this small piece to make a tea cozy!

First I found fabrics I wanted to use with it. The blue background is the main fabric and the red roses I wanted to use for the binding. I also chose a red floral for the inside. I quilted two pieces the size I would need in a simple meandering pattern.

I put the red binding on the UFO on three sides. I didn't do the bottom because it would be taken care of when I put the binding on the whole tea cozy. (The original piece is 9" X 9". I cut it down to 8" X 8" to be a better size for the tea cozy)

Then I measured it with the teapot and drew off the rounded corners. Hope you can see the marks.

Both quilted pieces were cut and the sews together (inside out/red sides out). I used the binding to cover the inside seams. I know it won't show but I wanted to be sure it didn't get messed up when it gets washed.

And finally I put the binding around the bottom of the tea cozy. (oh I almost forgot - I also put a small tab of the binding on the top of the cozy)

Here it is with my VERY special teapot and then over the teapot. I think it is a very appropriate and meaningful use for this particular UFO.


Just for fun I also made a coaster out of a leftover corner of one of the quilted pieces. Just zig-zagged the edges. This will be for the teapot to sit on.

Then just for fun I got out the other part of this experiment. The idea was to take the same fabrics and make an abstract piece out of them. OK...here it is....my first abstract.  Be kind.

I cut it down just a bit because I wanted to make an eyeglasses holder and it was just a smidge too long. This one also started out at 9" X 9". Then I cut curves on the top corners. Used some black fabric as a binding and voila! An eyeglasses holder like no one else has. And I get to carry my art around with me!

So next time you dig through all those UFOs...perhaps some could be given a different Destiny!

If you have done different things with your UFOs or if you have been inspired and have some ideas, please share them in the comments for this post!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

To Art Quilting and Beyond - Week 3/Part 3

Now for the pond part of the background on Spring Pond.

The fabric is a sunprint I did a while ago. I think it was what really inspired the pond part of this challenging collection.  While the silver tinsel inspired the rain.

When I chose it for the pond, I saw drops of rain landing on the still surface of the pond and ripples spreading out and crossing.  Here is what it looks like.

Now I'm really getting into hand stitching I guess...We took a short trip to see the grandkids today and I took this in the car and stitched some of the ripples. And yes....I even threaded my needle several times in the car!  THAT was a totally new experience. But one of the great things about hand work...it is usually portable!

I added some of the rusty metal and other bits from the collection of stuff for more ripple centers. I also used the blue/silver cording to give some grounding to the pond.

Now I place the raindrops where I wanted them.  Just need to stitch them down.

See them on Friday! Because tomorrow is another surprise.... a little spacey one.

Till tomorrow then!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

To Art Quilting and Beyond - Week 3/Part 2

Spring Pond begins.

The background fabrics are for the sunset sky, grasses surrounding the pond, sand/dirt at the edge of the pond...and the pond itself.

I started with the sky fabric. It is already pretty busy so I just stitched around the random patterns made on the fabric. Would love to tell you how I got this pattern but this fabric has been around a while and I have no idea how I did it. It is dyed is about all I can tell you.

Here is a close-up 

The next layer is for the grasses surrounding the pond. I stitched vertically but not straight on purpose. Wanted the lines to look like the various directions of the grasses.

For the sand/dirt at the edge of the pond, I used the connecting fabric and stitched it in wavy lines to give it some texture and movement. 

The next part of the background took a while to complete. I'll tell you all about it tomorrow! 

OK so this hand-stitching novice has a question...I remember from a hand quilting presentation I attended once...long time ago...that there is a way to "bury your knot".  I can't for the life of me figure it out again. Is it
difficult (if not impossible) because I'm working with embroidery floss rather than quilting thread?

Inquiring minds want to know!

Monday, October 19, 2015

To Art Quilting and Beyond - Week 3/Part 1

Week three already!

Ready for another week? With a surprise later on??

OK, first I want to post again the photo of the stuff my granddaughters picked out.

Since I have already done Summer and Autumn, with these colors it has to be Spring! The puzzler at first was the silver tinsel. I was thinking of how to make it into rain...spring rain. Plus I had to get the connecting fabric incorporated into the piece somewhere. After a bit of playing and inspiration that just appeared in my head when I woke up one morning....here is the initial layout of where I want to go with this batch of stuff.

The title will be "Spring Pond"  The concept of the rain (tinsel stitched into strips of the connecting fabric) and the drops of rain landing in the pond and creating ripples. I'll share more of the actual stitching and other bits as we go along.

So now to find my needle and get to work! I hope some of you are willing to give this a try. It is especially fun when you get someone else to pick out the stuff!