Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Ponderosa

A local group I belong to, Montana Bricolage Artists, are putting together a show at Montana Art and Gallery in Missoula MT for the months of June and July, 2011.  The show is called "A Trunk Show" and will be featuring our versions of trees of numerous species in their various stages and seasons of life.  Each piece will range in size between 10" and 18" wide and between 5' and 6' long.  Some will be hung from the ceiling in groupings so that viewers can walk through them as if in a forest.  Others will hang on walls, hopefully from hooks so that there will be shadows behind each tree.
The Ponderosa is my first tree piece for this show.  I will be working on two others. 
FYI - The word "bricolage" means "construction or creation from a diverse range of things".  It is pronounced with a long e sound for the "i".
The techniques I used for this piece include painted and heated Tyvek hand sewn to strips of crushed brown and black velvet that had been cut using a wood burning tool.  Other embellishments were added such as wool roving and dyed cheesecloth plus moss.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Montana Grizzly

Using several photographs as references, this bear was painted onto prepared for dyeing fabric using Tsukineko inks and Fabrico markers. It was then cut out, appliqued to the background and heavily thread-painted with rayon threads. The background was created by discharging black cotton with bleach in a random pattern with a spray bottle. The more solid areas of bleached fabric were painted with a flour/water paste and allowed to dry for a day. This was then scrunched to crackle it and painted with black Setacolor fabric paint. After the paint had dried, the flour paste was washed off and more textural interest added with black Misty Fuse.

A photograph and brief article about this piece will be published in the May, 2011 issue of Machine Quilting Unlimited.

Winter Wonderland

A class at Quilt University taught by Linda Schmidt was called Winter Wonderland. This piece was my class project.

Everything is hand-painted using prepared for dyeing fabric. It was made and constructed in sections. White puff paint was used for the snow except for the branches of the large tree, which is Lutradur that was heated with an embossing tool.

This piece has been sold.


I made this piece for my daughter, who loves sunflowers. The blue background is pieced and everything else is appliqued onto it. Sheers were used on some petals for shading and the smaller leaves at the base of the flower are sheers. I added wool roving in the center of the flower for texture and then beaded for additional interest. As with most of my pieces, this was originally drawn on paper and labeled as to colors and values. I used this drawing as my master and traced each piece to be appliqued. I used a turned-edge method of applique with invisible thread and a small zigzag stitch.

After the Storm

This quilt was constructed using one of Louisa Smith's templates. The template has four curved sides, so it gave me a lot of practice sewing curved seams. It was on my design wall for about 2 years until I finally decided that I would need to finish it in order to use my wall for something else. I added the paint for the mountains and the foreground has threadwork pine trees free motion stitched onto rinse away stabilizer. I added white paint and tiny clear beads on some branches to represent early-season snowfall. I really like the irregular edge that using the templates produced.

Monet Revisited

I participated in a class through Quilt University called Artists Revisited. The old master's work that I selected to do for the class project was Monet's The Magpie.

This piece is all applique work. The sky, building, trees and snow are commercial fabrics that I further embellished with Setacolor fabric paint. The snowy branches are Lutradur that has been heated with an embossing gun, making lacy holes. The shadow of the foreground snow was also made from Lutradur that had been painted first, then heated and cut into shapes of the shadow.

This piece has been sold.

Home Away From Home

Everything in this piece is hand-painted and then appliqued together using invisible thread and a small zigzag stitch. I used Setacolor fabric paints and Tsukineko inks. It is constructed in many segments. The main trees were made individually by painting onto prepared for dyeing fabric and then embellishing with white puff paint, cut out and appliqued to the body of the piece. All of the snow in the foreground is painted with puff paint.

I used various photographs of our cabin on Rock Creek, Montana, as references.

Erosion: Plight of Big Pine

There was an article in our local paper about a ponderosa pine tree that is over 200 years old. It lives on Fish Creek, Montana, and the bank it sits on is being badly eroded.

The tree in this piece is constructed of various couched yarns and painted, heated banner fabric. It curves out from the body of the piece with added cording stuffed underneath. The roots were made with various thicknesses of cording, wrapped with light-weight wire and various yarns, then tacked down to the body of the piece. The water is hand-painted and embellished with slivers of burned silver sheers. The background is a batik that I enhanced with painting and appliqued trees. Texture Magic was used to add interest to the leafy look around the tree base.

Come Hither

My intent for this piece was to use the beautiful piece of patterned silk as a background as I did not want to cut it up. The silk has Alphonse Mucha-style ladies on it so I wanted to attempt a dimensional figure. The background behind the girl is silk that I hand painted using Color Hue silk dyes. Her body was painted onto prepared for dyeing fabric using my regular watercolor paints (for lack of anything better at the time), cut out and fused onto the painted silk. Her dress is silk velvet that I painted using Color Hue silk dyes. Her hair is dyed silk, cut into tiny strips, twisted and curled as I tacked them down. The trim around the edge is ruched silk ribbon.

Since it was the first "portrait"-type thing that I had painted onto fabric, I was fairly pleased with the results. Feet are so hard to do as well as hands. The next time, if there is one, I will use a finer weave of prepared for dyeing fabric. This one was too coarse and the paint collected on the little nubs of fabric. And, yes, it did bleed but I was using just a tiny bit of paint on a very small brush.

I felt that she had a "come hither" look to her eyes....

Monday, March 28, 2011

Welcome to my Website

Using photographs that I took of spiderwebs, I designed this quilt in order to do open threadwork using rinse away stabilizer for the web and the "greenery". The rocks are various fabrics that have been textured with painted fusible web. There is a black beaded spider lurking in the web.

Snail Trail

I participated in a workshop with Barbara Olson, Billings MT, on sewing spirals using circular graph paper. I wanted to expand upon this concept with a nature theme I've been using as a series for about a year now. So the idea of the spiral shell of a snail inspired me to create this piece using several snail photographs as references and designing the spiral on circular graph paper. The fabric for the shell was first strip-pieced and then cut into wedge-shaped pieces and sewn. The solid spiral is appliqued down to the strip-pieced spiral. The background "grasses" are various fabrics, some covered with sheers and scrunched before being quilted. The shadow under the snail was created with paint and then overlaid with black tulle.