I am SO excited to share with you the first of two new workshops that will debut with the Charlotte (NC) Quilters Guild next week! The first workshop, From Photo to Flower Collage, can be a one or two-day workshop. This time, it will be two-days (click here for more information, there are just a couple spots left). The second workshop, ThreadColoring the Flower (click here) is booked this time as a one-day class.
I designed these workshops so that a guild can book what will work for their guild: a single day or a two-day workshop for either of the two. With a little added content, the workshop can be expanded to a full five days allowing students to really work in depth, with one-on-one assistance, to create their own collaged and thread-colored art quilt. I’ll post in detail about the ThreadColoring workshop in two days.
The students learn how to see value (light and dark) and how to translate the imagery in a photo into their own working pattern. I provide two photos, the day lily (taken by the roadside near my home) and the water lily (taken by me at the Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay Harbor) for the Day 1 class project, which will finish about 9 x 12 inches:
When I created the class sample, I wanted to do one in fabrics students can get, such as the batiks in the example above. However, I also wanted to try the image using only hand-dyes. This next sample is just that. I used one of my thermofax screens, Squiggles (available here at Fiber on a Whim) and textile paint to create the green on green background on my own hand-dyed fabric.
And no, I don’t know which one I like most!
Here is the water lily, made from both commercial batiks and my own hand-dyes:
The second day in this workshop, students will bring their own photos (or use my second photo), select one, and create their own larger art quilt. I’m so excited to be able to teach my collage process and help folks learn to see and create their own artwork by understanding some of the basic elements and principles of design with strong composition, lighting, and fabric selection.
Here is the result of several days of frustration. A few days ago, I finished piecing the skinny lines.
Then, I made the decision to piece it all together and then quilt rather than qulting each piece and then putting it together. You piecers out there probably know that when you take a piece of fabric and start slashing and inserting lines, you get a very wonky thing when you are done. Some of the pieces were way off in shape and size and I had to add some fabric and lines and do some fudging to get them to work. I am working on the bias in some of the pieces, too. So now, it is ready to be quilted into submission. I need to go get some thread, first.
I am also working on the next Printed Fabric Bee piece which is due in a couple of days. The theme is Mola. Here is what I used to make thermofax screens.
Reveal will be in a couple of days.
Wednesday, we were able to pick up our ceramic objects that had been glazed and fired. Love my zombie foot and hand!
I got a bit carried away with the metallic wash on the plate, but all in all, I am happy with my first attempt at something like this. Those are delicious black currant macarons on the plate, a gift from my friend who makes these in many flavors and colors.
And this is the reason that I am moving and feeling like a slug right now. POLLEN!! I have a mean sinus headache and vertigo, my seasonal malady.
|Some of these had dried out over the past week, others were fresh-dipped|
|On the left - to go into the kiln; on the right, what came out|
|Sampling different colours of metallic organza|
|The blue is glass from a few melted beads|
It's a funny thing, what our passions turn out to be. I know most people don't get as excited about fabric and pattern, and most of all the combination of those two things, the way I do. There are other things that do it for them. Science. Politics. Music. Or...
It is an appetite. That is the best way I can describe it. My eyes crave pattern like my tongue craves certain flavors and textures. And the act of visually "consuming" a particularly rich and diverse selection of textile pattern and color is as satisfying as a wonderful meal.
Last week Paula Benjaminson brought some of her collection of African textiles to show at our SAQA meeting. If you have an appetite for such things it was a feast.
The "crackle" lines in this batiked piece made me crazy in love with it...
Mud. This pattern, color, warm loveliness was created with mud.
Then she brought out her collection of African printing blocks. My heart raced.
I could look at that lizard up there all day.
It was a good day.
Today I have been getting work ready for a show. Labeling, writing up an inventory sheet, rolling, wrapping, packaging, wondering what, if anything, people will like. I never know. Sorting through inventory, I came upon this little piece, made 5 years ago, along with a group of similar pieces.
It was my favorite of the bunch, yet the only one that never sold. So today I carried it back from the studio and hung it next to the closet door just after you walk into the house. Looks like it was meant to be there all along.
It must have been meant for me. I suppose that's why no one else wanted it, though last year at my open studio a woman, who was not buying anything, picked it up, waggled it under my nose and said, " this is the best one..."
I am doing it. I am piecing these skinny lines. I went round and round with input from EB about what fabric to use for the background of this. I just couldn’t make myself comfortable with the commercial fabric. Just not me. EB felt the gray had-dye had too much texture which would fight with the lines. So, after STASH meeting on Thursday, I stopped at the studio and picked up some PFD cotton and ecru and a black procion dye. I carefully mixed dye and tried to get as even a coverage as I could in large plastic bags in my utility room.
The ecru was the winner. The gray which I tried with diluted black was too lavender. I have been able to complete 4 pieces of the puzzle. I sometimes have to unsew and try again, expecially where I have the crossed lines. EB has suggested that I quilt each piece separately and then put them together. I think that is a great idea. This will end up being 24 by 42 so that I can enter it in the High Fiber Diet neutral show, which has specific sizes.
Last Wednesday was our local SAQA meeting. We had a presentation by Paula Benjaminson, a SAQA member who spent many years in Africa. She showed some of her fabrics and quilts made from African fabrics. I loved this dress.
Here is lovely piece of mudcloth.
And this printed fabric.
I have been busy with meetings and other things. My knee is getting better.
Oh, the best news is that Jayme got her first choice for her pediatric residency – Stanford Children’s hospital. This means they will stay in the Bay area. Mark can keep his job, but they will move out of San Francisco and closer to Palo Alto so that Jayme will not have as much of a commute.
Paige’s 3rd birthday party is coming up. She had a party this past week-end. We had to miss it, but her other Grandma sent me some photos. Here she is chomping on a cupcake!
Everything Must Go
|"Black structure" from the "Sepia" series|
|The trial piece ready to be gathered, and some other bits for dipping|
|A flat (gathered) piece is drying too|
|Rolled from paper clay, with snippets of metallic fabric incorporated|
|1870, renovated 1970|
|1980s, memories of 1940|
|On second glance - it's a heron, not a crane...|
|I love making long stitch lines|
|using negative space to suggest shape|
|Iron Spine 2 © Natalya Aikens 2015|