Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Creating a New Background

     I took the fabrics I had monoprinted and I cut them up and put them up on my design wall to create a background for my next art quilt. It was going to be a background for a rock cairn quilt and was going to be the first in a series of rock cairn quilts. But as it sits on the wall and I look at it and I look back at my prayer flag quilt with the monk on it, it seems that this background is asking for a monk to be put on it. Time will tell which way it goes.
     So anyway, here are some photos of close-ups of some of the parts of the backgrounds. They will look much better once they are sewed down and quilted and I will probably use some sheers to help blend them together, also. You can visit the Prayer Flag Quilt post on my earlier blog post to see how I use these monoprinted backgrounds on my quilts. I'm linking this to http://ninamariesayre.blogspot.com/ so that you can visit several wonderful blogs about art quilts and make comments on their posts.
One part of the background

Another part of the background

Some strips with color contrast added on top
Some color contrast added

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Fun with Paint

While waiting for the background fabrics to fully cure, I've been busy with side projects. I have four window boxes under our windows in the front of the house, and, over the years have grown various plants in them. We live on a heavily wooded lot in central Florida so they don't get much sun. I want some bright color there and the only flowers that have been successful in the boxes have been impatients. But even those the last few years have been challenging to keep alive. The eaves over the house prevent rain water from getting to them so I have to go out and regularly water them and I get eaten alive by mosquitoes when I do it. This year, I had the idea to forget about putting plants in them and here is my solution for color in them.
painted with acrylics and sprayed with glossy topcoat.
This is a sculpture that is near the front door. I put a painted bird with her to provide unity... I'm learning about the elements of art.

these plants are self-sufficient
With all those acrylic paints to clean up, I used a white transparent cloth of some sort I had laying around. I don't know what type it was. I just wiped up the brushes, sprayed it with water, wiped up the plastic dish I used as a palette. I squished up the cloth and wet it more and spread the paint all over it to clean everything up so that I didn't have any paint to put down the drain. Here is the wipe cloth when I was done.
I knew the cloth had possibilities for an art quilt/s. But instead, I cut it into three long lengths and sewed them together with an embroidery stitch on my machine and then machine couched a fancy yarn along the edges and made a scarf out of it.
I love wipe-rags!

Friday, June 14, 2013

New Background fabrics

I made a new gelatin plate for monoprinting two days ago and printed up some fabrics yesterday. Here is a great link from Linda Germain on how to make a plate.How to make a gelatin plate Linda has several YouTube videos and tutorials on her website and regularly blogs with tips on how to print. She prints on paper, though.
You can use any kind of paint or ink. I used regular acrylic paints since I had a supply from a painting class and want to use them before they dry out. To get my colors, I mixed ceruleuan blue, ultramarine blue, a little cadmium yellow light, and a lot of titanium white. I added an equal amount of fabric painting medium so that it would play well with fabric (although I don't think that is necessary).
I spread the paint with the brayer onto the gelatin plate and then pressed a toilet paper roll here and there onto the plate to get oval shapes and then laid down a piece of cotton muslin and pressed it down evenly and lifted it up. I sprayed water onto to the plate and used a clean piece of cloth to wipe up the extra paint and got a nice pattern on that cloth, too. I repeated several prints with various patterns for about 10 cloths.
Then, to get gray, I added a little cadmium light to the blue mixture and some more fabric medium and some more white.  Here are two of the prints.
with stripes
I'm linking this post to Off The Wall Friday Be sure to visit to see all the wonderful art quilters and make comments on their posts.

with ovals

After the paint dried, I used Shiva Paintstiks, which are oil paints.  I found out that you can use the oil paints on top of acrylics without a problem, but you cannot use acrylics or other water-based paints on top of oils. Anyway, what I did was to put texture plates under the fabrics and then rub the sticks on top to get patterns and layers of patterns. I pressed the oil sticks first onto a plastic plate and mixed the colors with a palette knife to get colors I wanted and loaded stencil brushes with the paint and then rubbed the brushes across the fabric that was on top of the texture plates. (One of the texture plates was actually a brass trivet that I bought at a thrift shop.)
Here are the same two fabrics from above after I was done adding textures. I hope to use these for my next art quilt background.
with textures

with textures

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

New and Improved

I had made a quilt some time ago that I liked, but as it sat, I realized that it had a design flaw in the lower right corner. Some on-line artists helped suggest some changes and they were so correct. I hung the quilt on my design wall and worked on it little by little and made and redid the changes until I got them the way I liked them and here is the before and after. The quilt is called "Spread Peace". The text says "Peace on Earth" in many different languages. The idea is that the monk is putting up the prayers and the flags get shredded by the wind and weather and then the prayers get taken up to the gods. Sorry the new photo isn't as crisp as the old one. I forgot to reset my camera to the best setting. I'm getting some good bulbs via the mail and will build two nice stands for them and then will redo all my photos for all my quilts and put them onto my website then.
(I made a prayer flag last week with the words "Recover, Thrive, Soar" and sewed some symbols onto it and hung it in my back yard for the friends and acquaintances I know who are ill.) I'm linking this post to a wonderful blog with posts from all sorts of interesting art quilters. Please visit it and make comments on their posts. http://ninamariesayre.blogspot.com/
old version

Spread Peace(final version)