Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Creative Bug Bit

Friday I went wild. Shopping spree at Hobby Lobby and Texas Art Supply. Why? Well, I've been inspired by so many fabulous quilt teachers that I decided it was time to try my hand at some of their techniques.

You may remember when Jamie Wallen was here this summer, we did a little painting on fabric with fabric dyes...I loved I bought every color marker made by Tsukineko (far right in my photo). He also said that Gel pens will work so I found a nice set of 52 colors to play with.

Naturally I had to get other supplies too, brushes, brush cleaner, Dover design books, a box of sidewalk chalk (much cheaper than school chalk for some reason - that yellow box under the books on the right has 100 pieces of chalk!)

Several years ago I hosted Sherry Rogers- Harrison
She could work wonders with a Sharpie! She developed a technique she calls Ink-lique and now uses different mediums to color her whole clothes after quilting. Classes with Sherry, Karen McTavish as well as Renae Haddadin helped me to learn how to mark a quilt with blue water soluble markers. I love using Renae's Amazing Rays to create raidating lines....more on this later...

Then there's Irena Bluhm who "quilts of a different color" are colored with simple colored pencils. I love her bright color choices. So I picked up some colored pencils and plan on giving her technique a try.

So with all this fabulous influence I figured it was about time that I try something new. Oh, and the acrylics? Those are to experiment a little on my own. Years ago I used to tole paint with acrylics as well as fabric paint on sweatshirts (remember those days?) Since Jake does a lot with acrylics (and I'm hoping to involve him) I thought I'd work with a medium he was familiar with and introduce him to Textile Medium.

On the right is an original work of art by Jake, it was my birthday present. My thoughts were to transfer this to fabric, quilt, and later paint. Here you can see where I've marked my fabric with blue water soluble marking pen. I actually did two, one for him to play with and one for me. I'm hoping we can work on this together next time he has a day off (and me too!) I have wild dreams of us combining our art, this may just be our fusion - time will tell!

Not one to waste fabric or a day off -- figured I'd best do several at one time, after all, if I'm going to try out different mediums I need different samples right?

This is one of Irena's designs. I laid the original under my fabric -- which by the way is PFD - prepared for dye-ing - only because I had it leftover from my workshops with Jamie, and because it's the only white fabric in the house (figured I'd best use white, not lime green or purple!)

Notice the ruler, this is a little square, only six inches. I decided that I could probably freehand the feathers if I had a few reference points, so that's what I did.

Here it is on the frame once I've finished the quilting. I'm not used to working this small, and I switched to non-regulated speed, which is also new to me. I kept telling myself not to have a death-grip on the handlebars that it's only practice!

This is after I put a wet wash cloth to the design, the blue pen is temporally removed. More on this later! I didn't make a few things as smooth as I'd like, but I went straight from tracing the outline to quilting. Something to be said for practicing on paper -- but there just wasn't enough hours in my day!

Even though these photos are grouped by design I want to clarify that I marked several designs on one piece of fabric, then loaded it on the frame with two layers of batting - Hobbs 80/20 on the bottom and Hobbs 'poofy poly' on the top -- I'm thinking it's the 6 oz poly, I had a roll of it to use for the workshops so it came in handy to be able to use for practice. By the way, this is the combo that Irena recommends, with the exception she likes the 8 oz poly for more loft. I've always used wool when I've done little wholecloths, but Irena says with her pencil technique that wool doesn't work right...since it's practice anyway I hated to use up my precious wool batting!

This next design is one of Sherry's. Notice how tiny the feathers!! And notice how yucky I drew the middle. Decided that I needed the fine line blue marker so switched for the detail work and was happier.

I realized once I got to the machine that the circles just weren't going to work as I drew them, there was no way I could freehand and all the circle rulers I had just didn't match up to the size of the design element. So I used what I had. 'DESIGN CHANGE'

Then that made all the feathers I drew in the wrong places so I used a little water and removed the blue lines figuring I could freehand the feathers anyway.

The circles are still wompy, but I had to remind myself that "it's practice" Oh, by the way. I had to work on another design while this one dried so I could finish quilting. When I came back to it there was this blue halo around the circle. This is why I mentioned that by wetting the area with a blue marker is only a temporary fix. The marker gets down into the batting and will rise back up. If you've ever used one to mark your quilting you know this. It might be days later, but there's these little blue specks...the only solution is to soak the quilt once all the quilting is done. And never NEVER use laundry detergent until it's had a good soak with clean water. Also if you set an iron to it you will have blue lines forever and ever amen. Just so ya know (grin)

Here's a photo after the area has been wet while on the frame (I'm impatient, gotta "see" how it turns out, can't wait for the soaking). There's lots of room for improvement on the quilting besides the wonky circle...but keep in mind it's only practice and it's a six inch design that I drew then quilted. Again something to be said for drawing on paper first.

Now here's a photo about an hour later. See how the blue is rising up again. As I type this the entire piece is in the washer on soak, I can only hope that this fabric will let go of the soluble pen - don't know if PDF has it's own set of rules or not. Guess we'll find out. That's why it's only practice!

I didn't get any photos of Jake's art on the frame...but you'll see them again as I test out the coloring techniques.

This last photo I'm not showing a close up of just's my hardest one and I'm hopeful that it will turn out when I try it again. Lots of little boo-boo's but it's my favorite design element and I really want to figure out the whole process and do it again...You can see I've used Renae's Amazing Rays to make a nice background fill...I messed up a tad with the rays too, partly because I let my tool slip and didn't catch the error and part of the design problem was I didn't have a true oval ruler to go around my design element. Lots of room for improvement but this one is practice and I'm sure I'll goof up the colors or something anyway (grin). That's how I learn best, by making mistakes. Already dreaming up color combos for this one! Just a little hint - it's a paisley design. I'm really getting into paisleys. I have always loved them and now I see so many fabrics in wonderful colors that are paisley prints. I think I'm going to have to start a paisley collection...oh...sorry, off topic!

Well, that's what I did this weekend, in between other stuff (grin). Once the blue lines have finished soaking out I'll lay out the quilt sandwich to dry. Maybe next week I can start the coloring process. Stay tuned!!


sdgodfrey said...

Beautiful work. I'm looking forward to seeing your "practice" progress.

Trudi said...

Wow! These are lovely just as thy are, I can't wait to see how they progress :o)

Susan Loftin said...

What fun! Your designs are lovely. I'm looking forward to seeing how Jake's design turns out.

GARI said...

Wow, aren't you the creative one. I don't see me doing whole cloth quilting, even on small projects, but I would really love coloring inside the quilting lines. Can hardly wait untiil you can show us your dried quilt and the coloring process. Good job!

Muddling Through said...

Well, Karen, you have enough goodies there to keep you busy for many a day. Isn't it funny how the to-do list just keeps getting longer and longer!