Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Inchies, Part 1: Starting from Scratch

Our church is going to try to raise some money next month by having a table at the Gambier Craft Sale. We hope to be selling the traditional Plum Puddings from days gone by, and to also offer some other crafts.
Jo and I are working on creating "Inchies" for pins, necklaces, and whatever else we can think of. Most of them will actually be about 1 by 1 1/2 inches. I also am interested in making some reusable gift tags by putting a vinyl pocket on the back side to insert "to/from" papers.

Neither of us have ever made an inchie, but here's how we started:

1) Fuse a variety of background fabrics onto whatever stiffener we had around the studio:

2) Lay down some garish see-through fabric, with some threads and yard underneath for good measure. Sprinkle with 007 and iron. Notice the iron is melting the garish fabric. Play with the time/temp so it sticks but doesn't melt:

3) Cut into easily manageable chunks:

We then plan to do some freemotion quilting. I think after that, we cut then sew around the edges and finish with baubles and doo-dads, then add the pins or cord or whatever.
Stay tuned to find out for sure!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Sling Bling

My friend, Jo, has a show opening on Thursday and she recently broke her arm. She asked if I would be interested in making an art quilt sling for her (I like to think of it as My First Commission!) Of course, I jumped at the chance. What an honor!!

Friday, she brought me the supplies: a sling, leftover orangey fabric from her vest she'll wear to the opening, and a variety of fabric from her previous work:

I began by making a sling fabric template of batting:

And then fusing fabric to the batting. At this stage, the piece is "Helen's Style":

But then I decided to make it an Homage to Jo and added her style on top. In my mind, Jo's signatures are faces, bits of thread, and tulle ("the pizza").
LEARNING: Attempting to freemotion quilt before you have backing on is miserable. Batting is very sticky stuff! And yet, I persisted. I told Jo to keep her arm moving so no one could look very carefully at my craftsmanship.
I then simply zig zagged the quilt top onto the sling, used some of the orange material as binding, and then added a little button bling (since it IS for an opening!)

Here's Jo trying it on with her vest, sans Artistic All Black Underlayer:

I hear she's dyed the ugly white strap a fetching rust, and has done a little painting touch-up on the sling.

I'm not going to be able to attend the opening on Thursday, but I am so delighted that I'll be there in spirit AND she'll have a physcial reminder on her arm that I wish I could be.

Thanks for giving me this delightful project, Jo!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

SpirARTuality 1

Yippee! This morning I hosted an amazing, fantastic, first monthly gathering of our women's SpirARTuality group.

Jo, Joanne, Deb, Susan, Chris and I got together in my back yard to paint fabric. Jo is the only one with any real experience in the subject, but I had plenty of supplies, and after taking a little longer than needed to set ourselves up, we jumped right in.

Chris spent her time on a wonderful representational piece I think would look great on her daughter's wall:

Deb spent most of her time in one colorway, but did a nice variety of pieces. Being a weaver, one of her stretches was to stay away from patterns. Her, she uses a pattern she later salted which added some neat variety to it:

I was prolific, as I always seem to be when given the chance to Just Do Art. A while ago, a pattern came to mine, 3 braids on one side and then circles on the other side. I used this in a variety of ways.
A few months ago, Jo taught me that you can use "any glue" to make a design and then paint over it and it's like quickie batik. I couldn't find any school glue during one naptime, so used wood glue instead (see 2 photos down at the bottom). After using it for 2 pieces, I looked more closely and saw that it is water resistant. So it may not wash out like Elmers.
Oh, well, this is all a learning process.

After the glue dried, I wetted the fabric and then threw some paint on it:

I then squnched it up as squeezed it until there was paint on all the fabric.
Here's my resultant fabrics. YUM!

The bottom 4 pieces in the picture below began being painted at the same time. I taped one to my cardboard, then the next right on top, next on top, and last on top. The one on the far left was my top painting. 95% of it was painted, I pulled it off and scrunched it and squeezed it and there it is. Then the next two pieces just screamed "let me be!" so I pulled them off without adding anything. The final piece was probably only 10% colored, so I had fun and used up the rest of my paint with flicking and daubing and then finally even rinsing in some green water.

And the piece at the top of the photo? My paint rag. ;)

As we were cleaning up, we reflected on a list of questions I created. (e-mail me if you'd like a copy). Everyone really enjoyed the morning. I think this group is going to thrive and grow.
Next month, Deb will be hosting us and leading some new art adventure.