Sunday, May 15, 2011

Recycled fabric finds a new fate

 So a couple of weeks ago I saw a call to artists listing for a show soliciting fabric pieces employing recycled materials. Well! That's a subject near and dear to my heart. So I gathered some old shirts and bed linen fabrics (and a few accent fabrics to even things out) and started putting them together. As you can see, I have several shard-like pieces assembled here. I plan on integrating some written word as well.

Here I have sewn all of the shards together. I ended up with 5 of the shards with the word boxes rather than the 8 I started with along with some accent triangles.

To liven up the composition I made several horizontal cuts above and below the text boxes.

 Here's the final composition all sewn up and ironed down. Quite a bit more dynamic.
And then to further the fractured theme, I added some fusible bias tape in shades of black, purple, red and orange. I always keep some on hand for odds and ends (although it is hard to find in stores in colors besides black). Clover Mini 11-Yard Quick Bias, Black I have used it in straight lines here but it makes lovely curves too. You iron it down and it stays put well enough to be sewn down permanently.

Quilting is next!

Sunday, May 08, 2011

More wall patterns

 Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there! I got to spend a lot of fun time doing stuff I love today, thanks to my awesome kids. I started out the day working on the wall. Here is where I started this morning.....
And here I am up on that ladder dabbing on my gold paint. And, yup, you guessed it, I'm still in my pajamas.  What could be better than crafts in the morning in your pajamas? Nothing! That's what.

And here's how far I got. Just had to get a couple of repeats for the second level--cool, huh?

I also worked on my quilt top for the new small piece. I'll post tomorrow on that one. I think its almost done.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Say good-by to beige and boring!

My oh my what you can do when you take the day off! I worked straight through the day on a new quilt wall hanging for a particular show involving recycled materials, a subject near and dear to my heart. I'll post on that tomorrow. When I had that pretty much under control (pretty much finished the top), I tackled another project I've been contemplating for a while--a new wall treatment for a big beige wall. Woo-hoo!

Here's the stencil I unearthed that I had used in our previous house. You can see that I used gold last time and I plan on doing so again. I love iridescent gold because it so forgiving. Any variations in amount of paint, heavy or light, blend right in to make a shimmery effect. So you don't have to worry as much about being super neat or consistent. And, of course, I have a lot of gold accent pieces in my living room which play off of the wall and vice versa.

I ordered the stencil from an online source--I'd mention it but,  sorry!, I can't remember it, its been so long. But do a google search for all-over stencils like I did. You should come up with plenty of hits like I did. Turns out there's an enormous online stencil community. Who knew??

Here's the first couple of repeats. (well, one and a half, actually.)  I have plenty more to go, obviously. But I already love it. I am using a gold Shiva Paintstik Shiva Iridescent Professional Grade Paint Sticks set of 12 for the pigment. Another necessary item is stencil adhesive Sulky Temporary Spray Adhesive 3.6 Ounces KK2000; 2 Items/Order Painter's tape is also a must-have--just the regular blue stuff will do. ScotchBlue Painter's Tape Original Multi-Surface 2090, 1-inch x 60-yard, 4-Roll
I'll keep posting so you can see my progress. Its hard work and my arm and hands get tired from the dabbing so it will be a slow and steady kind of project.


Sunday, May 01, 2011

Planning for Humpty

 So I'm finally mapping out my Humpty Dumpty piece that I originally conceptualized way back in 2009. And, yes, I frequently do take that long to mull over a particular piece. Sometimes it just takes that long to come together. And I've learned that there's no sense in trying to rush the process. Best to work on other things until the larger piece coalesces.

Anyway, I always start out with a little thumbnail sketch or two to kind of work the major layout issues out. That, along with any notes and ideas I wish to record gets entered into my sketchbook. But once I'm past that stage and its time to actually get a full scale mock up complete with templates etc., its all about tracing paper. I absolutely could not survive without gobs of the stuff. Top Flight Tracing Paper Tablet, Transparent, Erasable Surface, White, 9 x 12 Inches, 40 Sheets (65301) I get everything traced out, cut it apart and then tape it down and shift and tweak until the composition is perfect. Tracing paper is very easy to draw on and erases well without falling apart. I have several pads in various dimensions and a big roll of it too. Love. the. stuff.

Here you can just make out Humpty on his wall.  Woods beyond the wall, and a garden on this side of the wall as well as a path looping out from the wrought iron gate next to Humpty. A big blue sky above and lots of puffy clouds completes the piece. The image dimension will be about 20 X 36".  At least thats the plan right now. Always room for alterations if something doesn't look quite right. Collages are forgiving that way. :)

 Here's Humpty's body. I drew out the egg separately and then traced each limb on a separate piece of tracing paper until they were all just right and then I had fun attaching his limbs appropriately. I wanted him to look rotund (of course) and very precariously wobbly. This is that sick moment that he knows he's going to fall but hasn't quite yet but knows its inevitable.
 I wasn't sure about facial expressions so I tried a couple of different ones out, also on a separate piece of tracing paper. Here's shocked and disbelieving. His mouth is just kind of hanging open.
And here's horror/fear. Mouth is in full scream mode.

I may have to sketch out a couple more. I'm still not quite sure which one I like the best. Right  now I'm leaning a little towards the first one (above).

I dunno. Have to sleep on it. I could also do the old mirror trick: when you're having trouble with a composition, look at it in a mirror; flaws and issues just jump out at you (and are thus fixable). I can't wait to get this all pinned down and start choosing fabrics. That's one of my favorite parts!

Here are a couple of commercial links as usual. Tracing paper, of course and my all-time favorite version of Mother Goose. The illustrations are charming and intricate--beautiful (something I always look for in a children's book that I am likely to read out of repeatedly).