Friday, August 30, 2013

New Quilt Unveiled

I sewed on two yarns for an edge to the monk, rock, sun/moon quilt late last night. I think I have some things that need touched up. I may need to outline the flag with a darker thread, I may need to change the shape of the shadow of the rock cairn (I don't like the shape now), and my physicist husband says the shadow of the monk is at the wrong angle (but I like the way it looks now).  Plus I need a name for the quilt. But here is a photo of how it is now. As you see, I cut off the left side of the quilt, added some mountains, added embroidery, blended areas of the sky, added fabric to the bottom, and other things that I presently am forgetting.
Can you help me name this quilt?
For my next post, I'll show a photo of it all fixed up and links to the past posts showing all the steps of making it. I'm linking this to Off The Wall Friday where you can see other art quilt blogs. Please comment on their posts so that they know you visited.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Adding Fabrics to The Monk, The Rocks, And The Sun/Moon

     Now that I've chosen a design for my monk/rock cairn quilt using Photoshop Elements, I've moved on to cutting out the monk and rocks from fabrics. I used a commercial piece of fabric for the monk and I've started to hand embroider on it. I used some of the monoprinted fabric I made for the rocks. For the sun/moon, I painted white cotton fabric with a combination of Jacquard Textile, Neopaque, and Dye-na-flow paints as well as some regular acrylic paints.

     I won't show you my final chosen design yet. I've changed it since you last saw it.  But here are some close-up photos as it is now.

Partially completed monk

I've machine-stitched across the sky area some and I've hand- embroidered some. I haven't decided how much stitching to add to the rocks so they are still just pinned on.
Rock cairn with flag
I don't know why I'm so attracted to the monk theme lately, but it is really speaking to me. The problem is that there is a call for artists I'm interested in and I want to make a quilt for it that involves a bicycle and a beach. But if I keep with my body of work and this spiritual theme do I put a monk on the bike? Balancing a rock cairn in his hand? (I think not.) I'll figure something out for that entry.

I'm linking this to Off The Wall Friday where you can find Art Quilt blogs. Please make comments on their posts to let them know you visited.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Answer to the Thermofax Pattern Mystery

Here's the answer to what the pattern was in this photo from my last post:
Mystery thermofax print pattern
Sea fan
I found this sea fan on a beach after a bad storm. I took a close-up photo of part of it and played around with it in Photoshop Elements and then sent it off to have it made into a thermofax screen. I think I can get a lot of use out of this pattern as a background element in my art quilts. I actually was inspired to get this pattern by the texture on a cantaloupe. I painted a cantaloupe with black paint and rolled it around on fabric with the intention of scanning it in and using that to get a thermofax screen, but it didn't work out well enough. And the paint seeped into the fruit and I had to throw away the cantaloupe, too.

By the way, I just updated my Etsy shopFiberArtsByRegina  with new photos. My regular art quilts are for sale on my website, but I have smaller items I made for sale in my Etsy shop. I'm just now starting to promote it.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Two Art Quilts at Once?

     Even though I'm still working on my rock, monk, sun, quilt, SAQA has an exhibit coming up with a deadline in February that I want to enter. I thought I should get things together for this new quilt while I still work on the monk quilt, too.
     I have an idea brewing that involves a background using a pattern I developed a while ago from a can of black beans. Yes, black beans. I had a thermofax screen made from the pattern and several other screens made from other patterns I played around with in Photoshop Elements. (There are several good places where you can order custom made screens:   and  I had never done any printing with the screens before so I was hesitant to do it. But after watching some YouTube videos Thermofax printing Part 1   and  Thermofax printing Part 2   and Creating Repeat Prints   and How to Wash a Thermofax Screen   and reading some articles in Quilting Arts Magazines, I determined this was the best way to get the results I wanted.
     In the videos listed above, Lynn Krawczyk shows to put the paint on the screen and use a sponge brush (cut off) and then just rub the brush around on the screen to spread the paint. I liked that idea and it worked well for all my screens except for one of them. Here are the patterns that the method gave good results. I used a combination of colors of regular acrylic paints and a little Jacquard Lumiere Paint, also.
Three prints on a torn piece of a t-shirt

Anyone guess what this is a pattern of?

I'll post the answer tomorrow.

I tried doing repeats. Could start a trend of "Put A Monk On It!"

But, for the black beans, the pattern was too detailed and the sponge brush method lost all the details. I experimented with different paint thicknesses, but to no avail. So then what I did was go to the old fashioned method of printing for this particular screen. I spooned the paint along the top of the duct tape and used a credit card to spread the paint down the screen. And it gave a perfect print with all the details.
Black beans and rice anyone?

So now that I know I can print it. I'm going to order the paint I need and plan out my new quilt and get back to work on my monk, rock, and sun quilt.

I'm linking this to Off The Wall Friday where you can see other art quilt blogs. Please make comments on their posts to let them know you visited.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Adding More Texture and Blending to the Background

     I went to my monthly studio meeting with my art group, ArtsEtc. This meeting was an exercise in texture rubbings. I decided to take my background for the art quilt I've been working on and try to unite the panels more by using the Shiva paintstiks in two ways.
     The first way, was to take the paints and mix the colors on an old plastic plate to get a pale blue and then load a stencil brush with the paint. Then I brushed the paint onto the edges of the whitest panel to have it blend into the bluer panels around it more. The orangish panel was a little too orangish for me for this quilt and I had plans to sew a white sheer fabric on top to tone it down. Instead, I brushed white/gray paintstiks on top. I think it helped.
     The second way, was to make texture rubbings that would overflow the edges of the panels to help blend the panels together more. The problem with this was that the background was already a quilt and the thickness prevented pattern from the texture plates from rubbing through. But there is always a way...
     So here is what the solution was: (I put plastic onto the table surface to keep it clean.)
1.) I took the paintstiks and rubbed them right onto the brass trivet. I used various colors together.
Half of trivet is rubbed with paintstiks of various colors

2.) I placed the trivet paint-side down on the quilt where I wanted the pattern to be.
Trivet placed paint-side down

3.) I carefully, flipped the quilt over and rubbed from the back side of the quilt.
Rubbing with my hand
You can also rub with a hard edge like a ruler

4.) In this panel edge, I felt I wanted more unity. I thought there was too much of a difference between the two panels. (You can see some places in the top of the photo and the bottom where I already did this procedure.)
Needs something here

5.) So I took several colors of paintstiks and rubbed them directly onto this plastic rubbing plate.
Thick with paints

6.) And I place the painted part of this plate paint side down where I wanted the pattern onto the quilt. I flipped the quilt over and I rubbed from the back side of the quilt.
Rubbing the texture from the back

7.) Here you can see the same section with its new pattern uniting the panels better.
With pattern overflowing the edge

So it's not too late to add texture rubbings to quilts after quilting. You just have to do it from the back. If you want a really well defined rubbing, then use a hard edge like a ruler to do the rubbing. If you want a more diffuse rubbing, then use your hand to do the rubbing. But do have the texture plate really thick with paint.             TIP: Practice the technique on a small scrap quilt first.

I'm linking this to Off The Wall Friday Where you can visit other artist's art quilt blogs. Please make comments on their posts to let them know you were there.