Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Fiber mosaic pt. 2

OK, got the image uploaded.  I wonder why we have to go through an intervening step now instead of having the option of doing it in one step from a hard drive...  Will stop complaining now!  I am sure I will get used to it, and if I get over my bad attitude, I think I'll recognize the benefits that are already peeking around the corner.

The last part of the mosaic was more exacting than what I did previously, so it took a lot longer to fill up less space with the little, precisely-trimmed, fused pieces.

I am playing with my brand new Bamboo tablet deciding on thread details.  I don't think what I plan to do can be legally called thread "painting," but will see what evolves.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Fiber mosaic

In between running back and forth from the house to studio beneath the thundering sky, pouring rain, and avoiding falling hail, I added a lot of little fiber pieces to my quilt mosaic.  Here you can see that the lines on the paper are clearly visible through the woven interfacing I used as backing and stabilizer.

I was almost afraid to start on this project, sure I would make a mistake, and then I remembered what I used to tell my students when I taught them how to use polymer clay -- "THERE ARE NO MISTAKES!"  So I took myself out of frozen-in-fear mode, kept reminding myself of my own advice, and plunged ahead.  Below is what I accomplished yesterday.  I will be making some changes, but I'm okay with it so far.  Actually, it's much better than I expected, and I am thrilled!  It's the first time I've tried anything like a fiber mosaic.

My goal today was to finish the background.  When I stepped back, I didn't like some of what I had applied, and was pleased to find it wasn't too difficult to pull individual pieces off the interfacing.  I do not have before and after pictures.
I still had some energy left at the end of applying the background, so I started on Mom, napping on the ground.
I'm thinking that instead of giving her dark socks, maybe I should just extend the pant legs down to the shoes.  Her shirt turned out a little stripey, but who's to know I didn't plan it that way?  I think I will also take out the bunch of grass above her arm, and make her arm color lighter.

All that's left is Dad and the chair -- and then, I think, thread painting to add detail and hold down the pieces.  I've never done thread painting either.  All this experimentation almost hurts!

A side note:  While industriously chopping little bits of fuse-backed fabric, I ran over the tip of my finger with the rotary cutter.  A gush of blood ran from my finger while I looked stupidly at the little disk of skin sitting on my cutting mat.  Have you ever tried to apply a bandaid to wound where the blood is coming so fast the bandaid won't stick?  It's a tough job, and on top of that, I was trying to stick the cut off piece back on my finger.  I needed another hand to help me, but eventually got it done, after one round when, on closely looking at the whorls on the cut-off tip, realized I needed to rotate it.

About ten years ago I cut off the tip of my finger (these types of incidents happen when you are constantly thinking of what comes NEXT instead of being focused on what you're doing NOW) -- I forget the context, but it wasn't quilting -- stuck the bit of skin back on, put on a really neat bandaid I had just purchased, and three days later when I took the bandaid off, the skin was fully attached back on my finger!  Those bandaids were so miraculous every time I used them that I went to get some more just last week.  They apparently are not sold any more.  Too bad.  They were so good - but very expensive.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Projects in the works

Architectural photos, and I consider the Waterwheel in that category, translate well into textile art.  I am currently working on another piece from a photo of a Curved Staircase.  My challenge to myself is to branch out in my color choices, since I've noticed I lean towards greens, reds, and blues, and even in my black and white projects, I always have a touch of red.  My first branching out was the waterwheel -- turquoise and orange, and the staircase is mainly monochromatic yellow-green, with a touch of the complementary red-violet.  It is pieced and fused and needs finishing touches; I don't know what yet.  Photos soon.

Another project, in paper form so far, is inspired by this door photo, one I took in the Napa Valley near Bothe Park last year. 

At first I was leaning toward making it surreal with bright colors, but when I looked at the result on my computer, there again were my favorite greens, reds, and blues.  So now I'm thinking I might steer away from saturated colors and experiment with a range of browns and tans, not exactly like the photo, but more realistic than my rainbow ideas.

I don't know!  I don't know what I'm doing!  I'm lost and confused!  But I'm having fun pretending to be an artist, and that's what counts.

Another project in the works is from the photo of my Venerable Ancestors Napping, posted last August in my Mrs. Noodles blog.

The first step was to again use Quilt Assistant to translate the photo into lines.

 Pages printed and taped together.

Enhanced with a sharpie.

This one will be 24x24, and I'm going to try fiber mosaics.  Lots of little fabric pieces. Like the Pizza Factory, it'll be something like, I'll "toss em, they're awesome!"  Well, one can hope.  Again, this is all new stuff to me.  But since I've always told my students, you can't make a mistake in art, I will plunge ahead, and if I don't like it, I can doctor it, or laminate it and make it into something to wipe my feet on.  Oh no!  Can't do that!  That's Mom and Dad on there, after all...

I'm thinking I will attach this paper pattern under my translucent stabilizer, and the lines will show through so that I can work directly on top of the stabilizer without having to redraw lines on the stabilizer.  Those who have done this before probably wouldn't be as iffy about this as I am.

On another front, a friend wants to donate some quilt tops to the charities I work with, where we make quilts for homeless families and for children in the oncology ward at the hospital.  I am thrilled, because her quilts are so bright and cheery and are perfect for our projects.  I can't wait to show the ladies our new bonanza, as soon as they arrive.

What direction am I heading in my Altered Fabric life?  Maybe teaching, I think, once I get a little more experience and confidence.  All I need to do is advertise a project to teach, and see if anyone shows up.  Now I'm trying to figure out what project they'd like to do.  Members of the Guilty Quilty Girls Quilting Guild and Stitch & Itch Friendship Garden Club have a special "in" for participating in any upcoming classes.