Sunday, January 08, 2017

Module Two, Chapter Seven, Seminole Piecing Combined

Module Two, Chapter Seven, Seminole Piecing samples

Here are two Seminole piecing samples.  This was two different piecing patterns.  For sample two, I thought about piecing the strips straight together.  it would create a great pattern.  Instead I pieced it with a strip of black between and had the seam on the right side of the sample.  In the alligator pattern, you can see black intentions to delineate the pattern.

Module Two, Chapter Seven, Fabric log cabin

The log cabin pattern was one of my go-to patterns to make for gifts about 20 years ago!  This is a completely different color scheme as well as purpose.  It really does have some interesting possibility.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Module Two, Chapter Seven, Pineapple Quilt

This is another quilt that I made years ago.  It is called a pineapple quilt which is a variation of a log cabin quilt.  Traditional log cabin quilts are probably one of the easiest and fastest quilt to make and is a great way to learn strip piecing.  This pineapple quilt was done using paper foundation method.

Module Two, Chapter Seven Bargello

This is an old quilt that I finished years ago.  It is a good example of strip piecing such as in this chapter.  The black and white version does resemble reptile markings.

Module Two, Chapter Seven, Paper samples

Module Two, Chapter Seven, Paper one

Here are some paper samples for paper piecing.  I am originally from Florida where many of the  Seminole Indians reside.  Many years ago, I did some Seminole piecing.  First this chapter, I refered to an old book, Basic Seminole Patchwork.
Sample one is a traditional log cabin example.

Module two, chapter six, Monoprinting on fabric 2

I decided to also try a few on black fabric with golden's zinc white with Golden's GAC 900 fabric medium.  I used an old credit card and a sponge brush to create these.  On the top right and bottom right, I covered the whole piece of glass with paint and scraped out areas for negative painting.  The piece on the bottom left was my clean up cloth.

Friday, January 06, 2017

Module Two, Chapter six, Monoprinting on Fabric

These are my samples for monoprinting.  Several in the middle row were done as ghost prints (second print) from the paper monoprinting samples.  I used golden acrylic paint with GAC for fabric.

Module Two, Chapter six: Shibori Samples

These are my twelve shibori samples.  I really like them for the most part.  One main problem was that the black turned out to a middle to dark grey-green instead of black.  I have dyed a lot in the past, but I have never done it in the winter.  I usually do it outside in the sun and here in the Southeastern U.S.  it is always warm in the summer.  I usually dye it and then cover it with saran wrap and leave it outside for several hours.  Last weekend while do these, it was very cold and I left them outside in the garage overnight.  Despite using extra black dye as well as buying fresh dye to use, it didn't quite darken enough.  If we have a warm spell, I might try and do some more.  I think this will get me started on the next few chapters.

Module Two, Chapter Six, Shibori - roped and tied

These are my shibori pieces ready to dye.  I did several standard tie dye method with many rubber bands to make an over circular pattern as well a folded square with a bulldog clip.  I also just scrunched a piece and tied it up with rubber bands.  I also folded a piece of fabric in a square and rubber banded it and then folded another in a triangle and rubber banded the tips.
I also tried several using the tritik shibori method.  I accordion folded fabric and hand stitched it ever half inch to an inch and created pleated materials.  I also accordion folded another piece of fabric and then machine stitched down the center.  I also tried to machine stitch a pattern to see what that would do.
I tried to arashi shibori methods.  I did now on a fat pvc pipe and used rubber bands to scrunch the fabric together.  I also used a dowel and rubber bands.

Module Two, chapter six, store fabric

This is my collection of store bought fabric.  I had all but a few already in my fabric stash, but was able to pick up a few fat quarters on sale.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Module two, Chapter five, paper monoprints

Monoprinting was fun. You can see some of the ghost prints turned out line too.  After the first pull, I spread the glass with water for the second pull.  You can see on the bottom, second from the left the difference to the original immediately to the left.  On some of them I decided to use fabric for the second pull.  I will include those in the examples for the next class.  I used printing ink for silk screening and Golden's Carbon Black fluid acrylic paint.   I also thought that I needed a few that would be darker so using a black paper, used golden's Zinc white to print.  I wanted to make sure that I had  a full array of tones.

Module Two, Chapter Five, Bleached paper

Lesson one:  bleach loses its strength over time.   I started with one bottle and NOTHING happened.  I then found a second bottle in another closet and only got a ghost of a pattern.  This is the one in the upper left side and bottom right side.  I went to the store and bought a new small bottle of bleach.  Once again, i used cut up cardboard.  On the one, bottom row, second from the right and top row far left, I used the end of a gift wrap tube cut.  it curled in and created a great pattern.

Module Two, Chap Five, Papers One

These were done on printer paper.  Most were done using a cardboard box that I cut up in different shapes.  I tried to use the drawings that I did to "interpret" the animal patterns.  What I began to notice is that with each set, the designs got more stylized.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Module Two, Chapter 4, Alligator Pattern

With the alligator, I found lots of interesting different types of patterns.  His tail was very interesting and I used it for both the hand drawn pattern as well as artistic filtered patterns.  I also thought that on his neck was some interesting patterns.

Module Two, Chapter 4, Zebra print

I started this (top left) on my ipad using procreate.  I then moved it into photoshop to play with the different filters.  I think this has a lot of potential.

Module two, Chapter 4, Snow Owl

I thought that the feather pattern of the snow owl created a very interesting effect.  I also thought it would have some interesting possibilities for painting on fabric.  I did two computer manipulated patterns too.

Module Two, Chapter 4, Jaguar print

I am trying to relearn photoshop. When I was in art school we had to learn it but that was soooo long ago that the new version seems completely new (and improved).  I thought that I would really enjoy making new patterns on the computer, but I found that I much preferred doing it by hand with pen/brush and ink.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Module Two, Chapter Three, Animal Skins, Part 3

A and B were the original stitch layer (see previous post).
A.1)  Went over scallop stitch with uniformly formed zigzag stitch to create a linear pattern.
B.1)  Went over the gathering stitch with the triple straight stitch;  it didn't add a lot of interest but could for another pattern perhaps.

Module Two, Chapter Three, Animal Skins, Part 2

As this was still a general experimental exercise, I used the base and created different variations.

A)  working with the honeycomb base, I added some additional rows to create a darker tone and then a connecting line.
A.1 and A.2)  Crisscrossed the line to create possible snake skin pattern
B, B.1, and B.2)  Running Stitch base with Stitch #6 over it; not very interesting, but I did do a few more rows under it.
C)  Stitch #6, then dropped the feed dogs,  whip stitch
C.1) Stitch #6, then dropped the feed dogs, heavier whip stitch, and freeform zigzag in one row, connected
C.2)  Stitch #6, then dropped the feed dogs,  whip stitch, connected freeform zigzag to create spots in center; played with denser, and then gradually lighter stitching toward the right.

Module Two, Chapter Three, part Seven, animal skin patterns A

- I really wanted to use a hoop to insure that I could control the large piece of fabric and stabilizer, but it accommodate the length, I had to use the X-large hoop; I quickly learned that it was hard to control the stitches as I was almost a foot and a half away from machine when I reached the end of the row and I still couldn't turn the piece easily and therefore had to use "reverse" on the machine.  It was hard to stitch a straight line.  (HINT:  use a water soluable marker to to create line guides)  Also, in the future, don't use hoop but a instead a good stabilizer, either felt, washaway, or thicker paper.

A)  Scallop, only changed width at end
B) Gathering stitch #7, changed stitch length and went over a few areas to create tone.
C)  Honeycomb stitch; wasn't great at keepingit straight, I decided to accentuate the shift.
D)  Running Stitch; I didn't change the stitch length until the last two passes; reverse stitched rows were completely different look.

Module Two, Chapter Three, Part 6, Cable

I had a few hiccups when I started doing my cable stitches!  In the past, I have done lots of bobbin work (especially with Ricky Tims sparkly thread) so was frustrated with the mistakes.  After I "got it", I remembered how much I love this effect.

A)  Straight stitch with Pearl cotton #5 hand wound in bobbin;  It came out great, except I had stabilizer on the bottom which is where the cabling appeared.
B)  Gathering stitch but stitch length increased, no stabilizer; bobbin tension is off slightly, but I like it; would like it better with stabilizer to control puckering.
C)   Bottom part:  tried repeating A, but the machine "ate" it!  Came back later and used a thin but long zigzag stitch.  I really like it even though the bobbin tension is too loose, but I take it as a happy accident.
D)  This one was just for fun.  I had to drop the feed dogs for a few minutes at least!  It would be a very easy way to build tonal variation like this.  I also wanted to see what it would look like when repetitively going over the lines and seeing the buildup.

Module Two, Chapter Three, Part five, Whip Stitch

I adjusted the bobbin holder one half turns to the left

A) ZigZag, black thread in bobbin, white on top; I began by trying to adjust the tension.  After awhile, I really wanted to drop the feed dogs to create more stitches at a faster rate, easier.  
B) ZigZag with Straight stitch, black thread in bobbin, white on top; very interesting pattern.
C)  Honeycomb Stitch 13, black on top and bobbin;  I tried to ceate variation throughout.  The zigzag looking area in the middle happened when I dropped the feed dogs and hand pushed the fabric.
D)  ZigZag, Black thread top and bobbin; created mainly changing the stitch width and changing the length on only a few.

With the white thread on top, it creates great stitch texture, while having black on top and bobbin, creates great spidery effect

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Module Two, Chapter Three, Part Four

13)  50wt Aurafil cotton thread and stabilizer, this is the same as sample #10, but not on the diagonal; #18 scallop stitch an changing length.
14) Running Stitch

Module Two, Chapter 3, Part 3

9)  50wt Aurafil cotton thread and stabilizer, Pearl stitch #25,  I used mirror image on some lines and reversed occasionally;  I really thought it was missing something so added some straight stitches.
10) 50wt Aurafil cotton thread and stabilizer, Scallop  stitch #18, width and length changed; Realization:  I don't like it on the diagonal as a way to create tonal change.
11)  same as above but straight stitch
12)  No stabilizer but two layers of cotton, Honeycomb stitch, changing length as I went, repeated over some layers to create darker tone.

Module two, Chapter three, part 2

5)  Quilting thread w stabilizer, Universal Stitch #6 and varying stitch length and width; realization:  changing stitch width and not length covers more faster.
6)  Quilting thread with stabilizer, Honeycomb stith #13; Note: would make great reptile skin.
7)  Sulky nylon thread with stabilizer; Gathering stitch #7
8)  Sulky nylon thread with stabilizer; Universal stitch #6,  changing only stitch length during the row; Very interesting, but hard to do on my Bernina 1090; might be easier on my newer more computerized machine.

Module Two, Chapter three, part one

In chapter three, tonal effects with machine stitching was explored.  I haven't stitched with my feed dogs up and a real presser foot for a while!  It took some practice and I learned/relearned a lot.

1.  Stitched with quilting thread with a zigzag stitch, stabilizer used, varied distance between stitches, highest width and length settings
2. Stitched with quilting thread with a zigzag stitch, stabilizer used, varied stitch width, tried doing it with reverse stitch setting instead of flipping it every time.
3.  Stitched with quilting thread with a zigzag stitch, stabilizer used,varied stitch length only, didn't want to overlap as much, wanted to let stitch line density to create the tonal change.
4.  Stitched with quilting thread and stabilizer using a running stitch #3, varying width and length, it is a wavy stitch.  Realization:  It is frustrating sewing with my feed dogs and not having complete control of my sewing.  It is something I need to practice to make myself more comfortable!

Module Two, Chapter two, part three

I hope to add a few more blackwork pieces when my hand heals.
1 idea:  circular like a jaguar pattern with thick thread at center (maybe three), breaking up the pattern as it moves away from center and going to lighter weight threads.

Module Two, Chapter two, part two

D)  Here I used the honeycomb pattern on Aida 14 count.  To create the tonal variation I used different weight of threads.  I started with #5 pearl cotton, switched to #8, then #12, then a single strand of floss.
E)  On C above, I didn't think there was enough of a tonal variation so I went back with two strands of  cotton floss at the top.

I just had hand surgery so although I enjoyed doing them, it was tough creating them.  I hope to circle back and try some more either working blackwork into the piece or doing additional samples.

Module two, chapter two part one

A)  This was hard for me.  I have only worked on canvas twice in my life.  I also haven't done cross stitch in decades.  I do have to admit that the repetition was relaxing, but then I would make mistakes.  It wasn't until half way through that I remembered how to do half stitches to keep filled uniformly at the sides!  I really didn't want to allow myself to do half stitches, as then I would have just stared doing straight stitches at a diagonal instead of sticking to a true crossstitch.  I would have much rathered doing it more freeform because I feel much more comfortable with it, but it I do appreciate working out of my comfort zone.

       Speaking of comfort zone, I have never done blackwork before!  I had to buy the RSN Essential Stitch Guide to Blackwork.  I actually enjoyed doing it.  There was something very calming about it.  I have to admit.  I was pretty bad at following the pattern and went from my gut several times in all of the black work pieces.

B)  done with 14 count Aida and #12 pearl cotton from DMC

C)Harlequin pattern on 14 count Aida #12 pearl cotton from DMC.  I started with a more squared stitch but then started over with a more elongated stitch.

Mod Two, chapter one, part three

k)  Base is black acrylic paint applied with hog bristle brush, white acrylic paint added with finger.  maybe machine stitch black and then come in with hand stitching on top
l)  Black acrylic paint with dry brush efffect, molotow pen was applied on top
m)  sumi ink base then white  acrylic paint was applied with side of a foam brush
n)  sumi ink base with  white acrylic paint applied with finger (spider web stitch?, buttonhole in circle)

Mod Two, chapter one, part two

f) Black acrylic paint applied with hard edge of hog bristle brush, dotted and pressed.  Lots of fun to create with hand stitching with different lengths and weight of stitches
g)  Black acrylic paint with hard hog bristle brush with slightly wet
h)  Molotow White Acrylic pen on black paper.  long stitches or long couched threads of different weight for more interest
i)  White conte crayon with black paper.  hand stitched with french knots with different weight threads or detached thick stitches.
j)  Snipped DMC floss thread glued to black paper.

Mod Two, chapter one

Chapter One of Module Two is about studying tone.  The exercises are to learn about creating a gray scale using different methods and mediums.
a)  Faber Castell 1.5 bullet nib black pen and squiggly lines.  This would be easy to translate to machine stitch.  Hand stitch could be with couched lines
b)  Cut black paper.  Easy in hand stitch maybe a sorbello stitch or just a group of straight or crossstiches. Also easy with machine stitch
c)  White pan pastel on black paper (black pan pastel added to top to create a better black).  Not as easy with stitch unless you do very tiny stitches, but easy with dyes or paints.
d) Black sumi paint base with white zinc acrylic paint applied with brush pushed and squished.
e)Black sumi ink applied with side of foam brush; create in stitch with machine stitch changing stitch width or by hand with bullion stitch perhaps.
f)  Black sumi ink base with zinc white acrylic paint added with side of foam brush.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Module one, Cost

After completing the first module, now I can see where I can improve this for the future.  Instead of just putting the cost, I am going to start calculating a unit cost which is a better method for finding a true cost of a piece.  For example,I might buy several spools of thread but it would be great to simate how much is being used to cover a four in square heavily versus medium coverage.

Most of the work in process was kept in my sketchbook.  I even attached most of my working samples in there too.  Some of my design sheets, composition sheets, and more developed samples were stored in an acid free, archival quality presentation book. This way, if I need to refer back to module one, I can easily reference this work as well as my notes.
While working, my papers were kept in a plastic storage pin.  My fabrics were kept in another plastic storage pin.  Paints were kept in plastic storage bins by type of medium (acrylic high flow, watercolor, brush, all kept seperate) so they could be quickly accessed but also stored when it was time to move on.
I have two sewing machines which are always kept out and available.  One is kept covered with a cloth to keep the dust away when not needed.
All of my dry dyes and chemicals are also kept in a large plastic storage bin that shuts.
Machine threads are kept in plastic cases specifically made for thread storage.  They are organized my weight of thread and metallics.

Module one, Time

This was my time  record.  In future modules, I am planning on trying a different method.  Instead of trying to work out what each chapter took, I am going to start keeping records per sample and see if I learn more about estimating how long something will take, which I think is more of the purpose of the exercise.  This doesn't tell me what each process takes, so it doesn't really add to my abilities going forward.  However, just this realization is a real improvement.

Module one, Health and Safety conerns

I printed out the above safety instructions years ago.  When I would teach dying, I always gave students a link to the print out as well as having a hard copy with me.  With this course I reviewed the information.  One I no longer found the information quickly n dharma trading website (my source for dyes), but Pro Chem has it and it is Great!  I have also now saved it to my cloud account so it is easier to reference when I need it.

Cutting and using rotary cutter. Be mindful when walking with sharp objects- in the middle of the design process my mind is in the clouds and I am not paying attention to where I am walking!  Seems simple, but a real issue with me!

When using a rotary cutter, always lock the blade before putting it down.  Also, don't lay it down on the cutting board but have a container to hold this type of tools, off the cutting area where it can be covered up quickly.

Using dyes, follow precautions listed on link above.  Dyes are safe if you follow basic instructions.
1.  Wear a mask when mixing dyes in powder form
2.  Mix powder into liquid ti minimizes letting powder become air born.
3.  I mix my dyes into concentrate with just the dye and water, I then store these in an extra refrigerator. I wouldn't do this if I had small children.  These are also in a set of containers that are different from any I use for food.  They are then placed in a larger plastic show box which is placed in the refrigerator. Both the individual bottles and the shoe box all having warning labels  in large black letters.

Burning fabric
1.  Using a heat gun - Do it outside and still wear a mask!  The fumes will make you and family members sick if they inhales it.  Also always have some water available; it doesn't have to be a hose, but a bucket of water.  If you like to push things just to see what happens eventually something will catch fire!  Always try to hold the piece with tongs or tweezers (sometimes I have used a stick), try and work on a glass or metal surface which can't catch fire.
2.  Test small piece first.  Polyester is my favorite to use as Kunin felt melts beautifully, but I have thought a piece was synthetic but it wasn't and it caught fire!  Unless you are 100percent sure, be careful.
Remember the heat gun nozzle gets very hot, be careful where you but it down.

Using the soldering iron
1. Use the same precautions as the heat gun.

Try and use a large box as a spray booth.  Take a large box and cut out one of the la get sides and part of the top.  It is just a great thing to have ready for when you need it.  It isn't a salfety concern as much as a clean up thing.  I also cover the bottom with a piece od n newsprint.  It can be stored and used for future projects.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Working on module one in my art room

Module One, Chapter 13, Elly Sienkiewicz

I choose to write about Elly Sienkiewicz.  Through her series of books on Baltimore Album quilting, I learned most of what I know about both regular applique and cutwork applique.  I have completed 21 blocks from her books.  I also appreciate that she incorporates hand stitching on the blocks as they did in Baltimore.  She studied American quiltmaking, specifically the type made in Baltimore in the 1840’s.  In her first book, Spoken Without a Word, she not only teaches hand applique but she also talks about the symbolism of the images.

Elly learned to quilt from her relatives in West Virginia.  She attended Wellesley College and the University of Pennsylvania and then become a teacher.  While staying home with her children, she not only began to teach quilt making but started a mail-order quilt supply business.  She took a break from teaching to become a tour guide of historic Washington, D.C.  It has from this period, that she really began researching and writing about this historical type of handwork.

She is the other of twenty-three books on applique and has received the Silver Star

Award for significant influence on the contemporary quilt world.  She has lectured at the Smithsonian Institute as well as the Rockefeller Museum.  Her work has been shown at numerous shows as well as at Glen Echo-The National Art Park, The Textile Museum, The Decatur House, The Art Barn in Rock Creek National Par, and The Decorators Showcase in Chevy Chase, Maryland. 

Module One, Chapter 11, Composition Worksheet

For this composition worksheet, I focused on one basic shape and showed the stages of design as I played with it until I came to two designs that I developed all the way to embroidery samples that I liked.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Module One, Chapter 13, Kandinsky

Vasily Kandinsky is one of my favorite artists.  This isn’t just because of his revolutionary creativity but more because he did not focus on art until late in life and still had such a lasting influence on artists decades later.  He was born in 1866 in Moscow and studied law and economics.  It was not until he was thirty and visited Paris that he was so inspired that he quit law to become an artist.  He moved to  Munich, a center for experimental art.  Another thing that is very interesting about Kandinsky, and many artists of that time, was their involvement in more organized art movements, from Phalanx, to Neue Kunstler Vereingigung (New Artist Association), which also included Franz Marc.  It was during this period that Kandinsky began exploring nonobjective painting and become the “father of abstract painting”.  In 1911, Kandinsky, Marc, and several other artists formed Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Riders).  

Also in 1911, Kandinsky wrote a book called Concerning the Spiritual in Art.  He was studying the “dematerialization” of the object in art and felt that art should represent the spiritual rather than the material and mirrored the music of the time.  He began naming his paintings “composition”, Improvisation” and such.

With the beginning of World War one, Kandinsky moved back to Russia and did not return to Germany until 1921 when he joined the faculty at Bauhaus.  It was during this period that his work moved to more geometric abstraction.  He also wrote a textbook, Point and Line to Plane. His work of this period lines, and curving shapes with defined edges, as in Composition VIII (below).

Composition VIII, 1923 -  Wassily Kandinsky
Kandinsky moved to Paris in 1933, where is work is influenced by other artists such as Miro and Arp and the Surrealists.  Kandinsky died in 1944.  I love learning about Kandinsky and his artist path.  Although his Blue Rider period is my favorite, I love the way he continued to grow 
and change with the times.  He didn’t try to “say” something in his art, but to make the viewer feel. 

Module one, Chapter 13, Herta Puls

Herta Puls

Born in Germany in. 19. , Herta Puls originally studied radiography and was a medical technician.  She move to England in 1939 where she was introduced to embroidery by Constance Howard.  She went on to study both embroidery and textile design as a part time student.  She moved to London with her husband and was able to continue her study by passing the Advanced Certificate in embroidery with distinction from the City and Guilds through the London College of Fashion.  She was a member of the world famous 62 Z Group.  Herta has since passed.
The above is an image from her book.

Herta is best known for her research into the cutwork appliqué of the Kuna Indians, specifically molas..  She began this research in 1969 in the British Museum and the ethnographic museums of Gothenburg and Hamburg.  She also made over eight trips to the San Blas islands off the coast of Panama to study this unique application of cutwork and embroidery.

When first examining a mola, the viewer is struck with the beautiful use of vibrant colors.  After closer study the complexity of the layers of fabric used to create these pieces can be admired. Herta was not just interested in the techniques which was unique to this area but also in discovering the source of the imagery used.  She researched the designs and documented the stages from religious symbols to environmental themes to story-telling.

This is from her book.  It is one of her drawings and then her cutwork design inspired from the drawing.

Module One, chapter 12, Resolved piece

This is my resolved sample for module one on Growth and Disintegration.  I think it speaks to the theme while still using several techniques from the module. The burnt Kunin felt is disintegrating, but at different rates.  The star is morphing from simple to complex.  Placing the foreground directly on the fabric created too stark a contrast so an additional layer of thread work was used to strengthen the them of disintegration.
The piece fits with the theme not just through the techniques used, but also with the idea of growth and disintegration. It has been a very trying time in the U.S. this week with the election.  While working on this piece, I was able to focus on the cycle of things.  Although this is a low period, soon it will shift to a period of hope and growth.

If I were to make it again, I would probably make it larger.  Also, I would not have used four elements,  in the original design, small petals were floating in the background.  As I was putting the resolved piece together, it looked too busy with them.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Module One, chapter Twelve, paper color

Here I am playing with the transparency of the papers to create more saturated color or neutralize the colors.

Module One, Chapter Twelve, paper compositions, set two

In example four above, I switched to a dark background that is broken into a light area too.

Example five above, is simplified.

Example six above switches One shape to a more disintegrated shape.

I think my favorite is example four.