Thursday, 28 February 2013

Encore - Broken Dishes

Phew - I don't think I've ever been so close to a deadline - it's 11.38 pm here in the UK! Yesterday evening I stencilled the dish on to my background fabric and couldn't get to my machine to piece then cut apart this quilt until late this evening.And even now I see that in my haste I've transposed a couple of the pieces!

My encore is linked to my Fine Living piece. The sentiment that that piece brought to the fore has niggled at me and continues to wander around in my mind. Then I thought of the quilt block 'broken Dished' and thought of the broken lives of the clay miners and others who work in desperate conditions so that we can have our 'Home Comforts'.

The piece was created in the same way as Fine Living:

The quilt was then cut apart and put back together again to create a broken dish!


There is a little bit of cheating with this piece.  It is an encore to a piece that has not been made and is   still an idea in my head!  I did a course with Rayna Gilman and we sewed lots of little pieces together in her style.  I then framed it in purple and after looking at it for a few years decided to quilt it up.  That was when I had my aha moment and so I cut the piece into 16 squares, then cut out the largest circle I could manage.  The circles, will of course, be the main event - on a white background with somewhat similar quilting.  This was a fun exercise.  Thanks Michele.

Encore Leonard Cohen!

Encore Leonard Cohen!
Around the time that this topic was selected, I was privileged to have been given a ticket to see one of my favorite performers of all time – Leonard Cohen.  It was his performance at the Bell centre in Montreal – part of his ‘Old ideas’ international tour.
For me, sitting in the eight row at the Bell centre, seeing him so close, feeling his pulse, seeing every wrinkle in his face as he smiled, spoke, sang, read his poetry and more was so overwhelming.
Why Leonard Cohen as my piece for the theme of ‘Encore’?
Leonard Cohen had retired and was forced to return to the stage as he had been swindled of much of his money. The first encore.
The duration of the concert was three hours – including many encores.
The fabric that I used, was given to me, many years ago, as 10 yards of white, prequilted fabric.  I have tried so hard to give it away.  I have also tried dying it and doing many techniques on it but with limited success.  I used a previously dyed piece for this piece and it seemed to work quite well. A kind of second life for this seemingly unusable fabric.
I printed him twice onto the fabric – an encore of his image.
Born into the Jewish faith he has dabbled in other cultures and belief systems.  He is now visiting his Judaism encore.
I would watch him encore et encore.
Techniques: I used a piece of previously dyed, quilted fabric over which I used textile paints to get the color and mood that I wanted.  Using techniques of image transfer I transferred all the images onto the background.  I then took the photo of Leonard Cohen from the cover of the souvenir program and transferred it onto fabric and then glued it onto felt.
I thoroughly enjoyed making this piece!

Encore ..... Next Step 

This piece gave me a chance to finally return to my streetlife series with a bit more colour and whimsy. I have been enjoying the work of a UK collage artist Mike Bernard.  His depictions of markets and hillside villages are painted loosely with transparent overlapping blocks of colour . A wide variety a perspective from above and below and excellent compositions often have a blury rainy day look that manages to keep an interesting balance of abstract and representation that I like very much. The Next Step could also be another Steps piece  about the excitement and anticipation of starting down a new path.


A much anticipated encore for me is the fanning done by a peacock. This piece is done on silk fabric, thread painted with Madeira threads and embellished with a crystal in the eye and a touch of feathers.

Encore: Boathouses

Boathouses #1
I've used the theme of "Encore" to rework an earlier theme, the one that I proposed, Structures. My first take on the topic was to make a patchwork of copper squares and washers, hand-stitched to black cotton. It weighed a ton!

Now that I am so preoccupied by my Cityscapes theme, I'm looking at Structures in another way. This piece is inspired by a photo of boathouses, taken a short walk from Dianne's cottage. I love how crooked their lines are: they have so much character. I used low-immersion dyeing for the sky and arashi dyeing for the water, with more solid hand-dyes for the walls and roofs.

This piece is already earning its living as a class sample for a course I am teaching in March. I hope it will be the first of a series.


I'm afraid I left myself with very little time for this challenge, but had already decided to repeat an earlier piece that I had really liked, 'Reflections'.  All did not go well!  I wanted to use this 'tiling' technique to show off my favourite bit of snow dyed fabric, but when I came to sew the pieces together the fabric, a wonderful cotton/silk mix, moved and stretched and would not behave.  I choose a black and white fabric for the strips, thinking they would disappear into the background, but instead they seem to dominate!  I'v been wondering about adding some more quilting, but that would cover the delicate patterns in the fabric, and I could not bring myself to do it.  So here it is, an encore that has not lived up to the main performance.  I will live with it, and learn from my mistakes.
On going through all the pieces we have done so far I homed in on the one I did on "Seeing Red".  This was not one of my favourites as I felt I did not quite interpret what I wanted to at the time.  Therefore, I took the Baobab Tree and decided to bring it centre forward!  I constructed the background and then finished it completely except for the binding.  I then cut out a 12"square of brown paper and drew the tree onto the paper and scrumpled it up until it was very soft and pliable.  Thereafter I sprayed it with adhesive glue and played with threads, string and pieces of mulberry tree bark until I was happy with the texture.  When it was dry, I painted it with acrylic paints and when the paint was dry painted it with gel medium, when this was dry (quite a waiting process especially when you are raring to go onto the next stage) I cut the tree out and again spray glued the back and placed it onto my finished background and stitched it in place, as well as stitching the little little twigs at the end of the branches.  I also used oil paint stick to take away the slightly flat look it had.  I absolutely love these trees as they stand in majestic splendour like sentinals in the bushveld - they are so prehistoric looking and absolutely enormous, and really speak to me of the African Bushveld.


My piece this time is something different - like an encore given at the end of a concert.  It is a new idea that I am excited about.  I want to make a series of them - my mind is running away with the possibilities.
The strips are quilted and satin stitch edged individually, then woven together.  The idea of the knots came in the shower - where all my mad ideas seem to hit me.  The fabrics are hand dyes.

This is actually a trial run for something bigger that I am keen to complete for the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, UK, this August.  Trouble is I have so many ideas I need to sit down and decided which one to use - they can't all be used together!

For once I was finished before time and on top of that I really enjoyed doing this.



I have always wanted to play around with my Zebra pics. Although this is a new piece all together and not another version/interpretation from a previous challenge it is a repeat subject matter but new technique from my personal challenge (see blog).  The personal challenge was a painted freezer paper template.  This is my favourite technique ..... transfer photo image and thread painting.  The stripes on the left are painted freezer paper template. I thread painted the image first ,cut out the zebra and then fused and stitched it to the Bali background fabric.  One of my favourites of my challenges.

 Announcing the first round of our new challenge:

It's not black -

 it's ............


Enjoy this wonderful, rich, color.  It is great alone, looks wonderful  with its analogous colors or with it's complement. I love it with pistachio (chartreuse).
Enjoy creating your masterpiece with this exciting color. Remember we have a new format - A4/US letter size; vertical or horizontal.  Looking forward to seeing the results at the end of May!

Encore: Reflections of an Art Quilter

As we pass the anniversary of completing 3 years and 12 deadlines in our 12 By The Dozen art group, I reflect on my growth and development. Although I have been a quilter for many years, I was ready to take the "leap" into fiber art. I am fortunate to be a member of this amazing group of talented artists from around the globe that have inspired me, taught me and encouraged me to explore this wonderful medium.

My piece is based on our "Reflections" theme as I reflect on my personal growth and achievements in the past 3 years. This is a melding of three of my grade school pictures from 1st through 3rd grade (ages 6-8). It was in those years that I felt encouraged to play, experiment and learn by beloved teachers...and now, so many decades later, I have similar feeling in my beginning years of art quilting.

I scanned my old photos into my computer and then manipulated the images in my Roxio Photo program. I used a monochromatic color scheme to better unite the images and blue was my favorite color as a child.

I look forward to our next phase of themes and feel as if I have "graduated" grade school and am prepared for the next level of learning, playing and creating!

Spotted Gum - A Structures Encore

Inspired by the gorgeous book called Bark by Cedric Pollet, this is my second "bark" piece. The entire book cries out to be recreated in fabric, it is that spectacular. The book was a gift from my friend Debby who knew that it would be right up my alley. The Spotted Gum tree grows on the east coast of Australia. This piece is made mostly of batiks and my hand dyes, and is raw edge appliqued and machine quilted.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Phase Two

OK, as a result of the poll and thank you for expressing your preferences - I know it was hard for those who weren't fussed one way or the other:

  • The size with be A4/US letter size and the format will be open for everyone to choose and may vary from time to time.  This means they can be landscape and/or portrait.

  • The theme will be just one colour chosen independently each time by the member whose turn it is and it doesn't matter what percentage of that colour is in your piece.

This means you are free to choose whether you add your own parametres and extras or not.

Michele, will you please draw a name out of the hat - all names go back in again - and announce who it is so that the person can then choose their colour and announce it on Thursday.

It would be a good idea if you can be fairly specific with the actual colour and give a sample when it's your turn.  Maybe find a picture to copy into the post or scan something to indicate whether it is chartreuse or mint green or eau de Nile you are talking about for example.

Roll on Thursday!


Thursday, 21 February 2013

Video of sewing related items

Although nothing to do with this group and our challenges, I think it will be enjoyed by everyone who sews.



Tuesday, 19 February 2013

My taster for Encore

OK.  Here's a little taster of what I'm working with...  It's a trial for an idea I have for a bigger project. 

9 days to go.

Have you all voted for your preferences for the next phase?  I will close the poll in two days time so we can draw a name for the first challenge.  Exciting times.


Sunday, 10 February 2013

Arashi piece

I'm also taking an on-line course with Liz Barton, and Week 3 had us arashi dyeing. Every week we are expected to explore a technique by producing the hand-dyes, researching how other artists have used them, and then making an 18" x 24" piece. Quite demanding! I have posted some of my efforts on my blog.

That is how I found myself so far out of my comfort zone, using highly-patterned and highly-coloured hand-dyes. Originally I thought I would do a still life of spring flowers in pots, but then I realized that hacking up the fabric into small bits would not do justice to the beautiful markings on the cloth. Hence the simple, geometric design. It was quilted with parallel, diagonal lines.

I think I will call it "Swimming Upstream". I hope that this class will make a stronger swimmer out of me.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Fences and Sunflowers

I have just finished a photocollage piece this week using some  pictures taken in fields and farmyards between Ottawa and Hudson. It has yet to be mounted onto canvas as it is an odd size(14X29) so I will have one made. I have started the Inspired to Design course with Elizabeth Barton and have lots of drawing homework these days but will try to fit a few projects in between.Week 1 of four has just ended today.Whew! Look forward to seeing the reveal in a few weeks!

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Memory Stone 26" x 29" - Minerals Exhibition in Toronto

I was invited by Sandra Reford to create a piece inspired by a mineral for the Minerals Exhibition featured at the Prospector and Developer Association of Canada (PDAC) convention, , at the Toronto Convention Centre from March 3 to 6, 2013. The exhibition will then move to Europe and be shown in Italy, France and perhaps England. This piece is inspired by a stone called Beryl Goshenite, also known as Memory Stone. The timeline was very short; I was able to show it at our evening guild meeting on Tuesday before mailing it off on Wednesday. So here it is. I was not able to mount it on canvas as I usually do since the pieces will be travelling, so it is "naked". But I am pleased with how it came out. I had never really looked at minerals as art inspiration before. They are truly beautiful.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

St Lawrence River

Our guild has issued a challenge, and the blue fabric, for us to make a 13" square depicting somewhere on the river. We went skiing last year at le Massif and the view from the top is spectacular - you get the sense that you are going to ski right into the river.  So this is my little piece  - nothing to do with Encore, just showing off!.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Thought I would give you a taster of my "Encore" piece - yes there is a roll of brown paper included in this (Phil did you ever think this would be me a few years back)!!  I have been having so much fun with this piece which I actualy finished today.