Friday, January 16, 2015

Do You Have Favorite Fabrics You Are Hesitant To Use?

     Do you have a stash of special fabrics that are too precious to use for anything? When I went to Festival for my first and only time in 2012, I bought a few baggies of hand-dyed silks. Some were from saris and some were not. Some were very small pieces maybe 5 inches by 5 inches and others were almost fat quarter sized. Unlike my other fabrics, I held onto these for awhile and just took them out and admired them; afraid to use them up. Then, a call for entry came, and I got very, very inspired (like never before), and made a quilt using many of them. I had never used silk before and they were perfect for this quilt. Perhaps because it was very much different than all my other works and I wasn't adept at this style, the quilt didn't get chosen and my friends had somewhat subdued responses to it. But I had never had an experience of working like I did on this one.  I was obsessed with inspirations and revelations while I was working on it and got up in the middle of the night to work on it when I awoke with ideas. I literally worked on it hours and hours on end for three weeks. It was an amazing process for me because the work came from deep inside my psyche and I hope to have another like it someday.
     As for the quilt, it hangs in my studio. It is for sale on my website, but I'm not sure if I'll be happy or sad if it actually sells since it was such an emotional process to make it. I'm in the process of renaming it. I've never been happy with the name it presently has of Circle of Emotions
Circle of Emotions
     Also, it doesn't at all fit in with my other art so I don't know where in my head it came from. But there it is. Anyway, the reason I'm showing it again is because of all the precious hand-dyed silks I used on it.
     This week, I decided to make a prayer flag for my studio with my word of the year EXPLORE on it. And since it will hang on the door to my studio where I will see it every time I walk in, I decided to use very special fabrics. So I took out what's left of those silks and I used them to design a flag.
    Here's my design.
-The elements are pinned on the background silk. All are silk, too.
 -The circle thing is stamped on sheer silk and cut out. (It's a symbol I've developed.) 
-The wood stick is one I picked up on a beach when I was observing penguins in Argentina in November in 2014. 
-The key is from a photo I took of an actual key and then manipulated in ArtStudio on my iPad and then used the Waterlogue App on it and then printed it onto cotton muslin.
- The word Explore is printed on fabric but will be embroidered directly onto the silk.
 And of course, as it proceeds, I'll probably make changes as I go. I think the whole thing will be hand stitched. (A carry over from my online class with Jude Hill .) 
     Speaking of classes... I don't take many. I'm pretty picky about which ones I sign up for. I just signed up for one with a fabric artist I've long admired. Her name is Pat Pauly and she's teaching a wonderful class called Slash and Burn: Techniques for Improvisational Design in New Smyrna, Florida March 18 - March 21.  There is still room in the class but the deadline to sign up is Feb. 1. The accommodations are marvelous and beautiful in a natural setting. Here is the link to read about it and register if you are interested Focus on Fiber Florida Style
     So I do still hold on to my precious stash of fabrics and only use them for special things when my heart calls out. But when it does, out comes the scissors and I don't hesitate to cut them up and it feels so good to see them being used. I'm linking this to Off The Wall Friday where you can find other art quilt blogs. Please make comments on the artists' posts to let them know you stopped by. Thanks for visiting.


  1. oh the magical inspiration. If your silks provided that, then they did all they could for you!! I feel your inspiration from here Regina! I know that feeling. You've taught me a lesson, to happily hoard my specials as they will come in perfectly when the time is right. To use my specials happily when the time IS right. Thanks girl!
    LeeAnna at not afraid of color

    1. But don't hoard them too long. Take them out and look at them often and get inspired to use them for something special and then get out those scissors!

  2. Oh you should keep the special piece - it is special and so out of your usual style which can be good to try different things. I love your flag! I want to make one a month this year and love your idea of adding different "found objects" (of which I have many) thank you

    1. The flag is almost finished now. It has been such a joy to make. I'll post it next week. Something else took the place of the key.

  3. Anxious to see the outcome of your workshop....the retreat looks so tempting....

    1. Oh, do come to the retreat. I have many friends who go to it every year because they like it so much. I've never gone to the retreat, itself. I've just taken some of the classes. Great location, great energy, great learning experiences (for both the retreat and classes).

  4. I hoard my special pieces but have no problem using them when the mood takes me. I agree with LeeAnna; if your silks brought you so much inspiration they were well used. I love your flag, and the idea behind it too.

  5. I still have some of the silks left and wonder what the next inspiration for them will be. I also wonder who made them and what their past life was. Some of them have threads left in them from seams ripped out. The wonder of it all...


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