Posts Tagged ‘applique’

Making Art in Layers

Sunday, October 6th, 2013

 

Hi Peeps!

 

435 Swimming Upstream

 

So much of my art is done in layers. Sheer applique is layer after layer of color and texture. I create a layer of hand dye, then add a layer of stitching, add another layer of sheers, add a solid image and then add more stitching and sheers. I don’t so much design a quilt as I build one in layers.

 

So its a good thing to try those layers on a whole other platform. I’ve begun some while back to study Photoshop on Lynda.com, which is a software classroom web site. I don’t know  anyone knows Photoshop. But I’ve learned some tricks and it’s interesting it, too, works in layer.

 

I started with a great abbey hall and soften the image.

 

 

abby window

 

 

 

granville 3_0003_abby window

 

 

 

 

 

I added in two Granville drawings. Grandville was Jean Ignace Isidore Gérard  generally known by the pseudonym of J. J. Grandville, who did fabulous character drawings in the 1900s in France.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I put in a painted layer underneath to add color

 

granville 3_0001_Layer 1granville 3_0000_Layer 2granville 3_0002_Layer 3

 

 

 

And added white swirls for energy and pattern.

 

Then I slid the color panel to the right.

 

What did I learn?

 

What I’ve always known. All art is art is art. Playing with layers in one form is no different than playing with another form. And I learned I like white swirls, a lot!

 

 

granville 3So get out the paint, the computer, or the organza, or the very wierd lace. Layers make a rich tapestry to delight the eye. The building of patterns and textures make the rich and fabulous world in which we celebrate our art!

 

You’ll more information on Grandville granville 3aat http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Ignace_Isidore_G%C3%A9rard_Grandville

 

grandville bookDover has a great digital design source book on his work.

 

Lynda.com has classes on almost anything and everything. It’s a fabulous way to learn new software.

 

Go play hard at something new! It’s amazing what happens when you bring that skill back to your own art.

 

Ellen

 

 

Barking up the Right Tree: Making Tree Bark

Sunday, September 22nd, 2013

 

747 all time is spiral in a garden

There’s a reason to hug trees. The texture of tree bark is an incredible experience. Here’s a great way to recreate that texture using an applique technique and some simple machine couching.

applique scissorsI started with a special pair of scissors. Applique scissors have a special bend that makes it possible to cut straight to the edge of your stitching.  I free motion stitched two layers of brown hand dyed cotton. .I stitched my tree shapand stitched inside the  bark in chevrons. Then I cut into those chevrons  through the top layer through the channel. Then I clipped through the edges  up and down the stitching

 

 

tree bark stitched and cut

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

restitched slashing Once the top surface has been slashed, I go back with my darning foot and irregularly  fold back and stitch the edges to make them textural.restitched slashing 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once the bark is formed there are all kinds of chanels through the surface.

couching yarnscouching footI took all kind  of yummy heavy yarnd  and couched them in place using my couching foot.The couching foot has a special thread escape for larger yarns and cords.

 

 

 

 

couching

 

With the feed dogs up, couch the yarn through the chanels of raw bark. 

I love to use this trick when I’m working with wood or trees and I want something more than just brown hand dye.

Nifty Notions and Ginger both make applique scissors. Sadly I don’t know of someone who makes them for left handed people. 

 

 

747 all time is spiral in a garden detail672 Willow detail3

885 turtle in the lady slippers

Ann Arbor and then Thread Magic Summer School

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

Tomorrow I’m heading up for Ann Arbor the their Quilting Unlimited Festival, where I’ll be teaching this weekend. I’ve got my usual pile of  thread, books, kits, toys and quilts and I’m ready to go. I’ll be teaching the Stitch Mastery Book, Applique Master, Bobbin work Flowers and Button hole Binding. If you’re anywhere near, come and join us. You’ll find more information on their web site at http://www.gaaqg.com/qu2013/.

QU_2013_flyer898 Dragonfly in the Clearing

When I get back I’m going to start up Thread Magic Summer School Session. If you joined us last year, you know it’s an intense week of blog classes, this time on color theory outside the box.We’re going to talk about how and why color works the way it does. It’s kind of like class camp for grownups, where we focus on quilting, color, art, expression and fiber. The first lesson will start August 12. It’s free, it’s fun and it’s a great way to stretch your knowledge. 

Join me both places! This is going to be fun.

Ellen

A Box of Rocks: The Kiss Principle in Practice Made Better with a New Fusible

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

634 Wind over Water 2If you do nature quilts, at some point you’ll want to do rocks.  Rocks do a lot of a quilt. They give a hard edge to a quilt. They give weight to the bottom of the piece. They make an uneven edge that makes for a more natural work. Over the years I’ve embroidered rocks, painted rocks, crumpled fabric to make rocks, used dyed cheesecloth, organza and sheers. Rocks are a case of the kiss principle. They seem to be best if you keep it simple, Sweetie.

hand dyed fabricThe best rocks I’ve ever made have been simple hand dyed fabric. The shading and variation of hand dye is perfect. And it’s the perfect task when you have the brains left of a somewhat tired out ardvark. I can cut rocks when I’ve got no brains at all left.Of course if you stitch around a rock with a solid color it looks like it came from OZ. I use a soft edge applique technique, minimal zigzag stitching around the rock with monofilament nylon, for the best effect.

But, it does help to have a good way to apply them.

Lately we’ve had some problems with available fusibles. So a new product on the market is a special rare treat. I have several things I ask of my fusibles.

 

  • They need to be paper backed. I’m not accurate enough to cut an unbacked fusible and not make an unholy mess. They gush glue out the edges when you iron them.
  • They need to tack on. I hate ironing on anything twice. 
  • They need to fuse cleanly and thoroughly. No popping up like a jack in a box.

infuse

I was over the moon to hear about Inn Fuse, the new tacking fusible from Innovative Crafts. Even more so  after I tested it out. And there’s no better test for that than cutting a box of rocks. It exceeded my expectations. I was working with the 9″ x 12″  sheets.

First off, the film has no texture of it’s own. It’s a slick simple film. That means it doesn’t show through sheers as a texture. The film sticks thoroughly to the fabric before you iron it. It fuses cleanly and quite tightly. I’m thinking I have a brand new favorite fusible. And a good size box of rocks.

fabric rocks

I’ll be very excited to work more with this and will report on it. But I’m bringing it into class next week at the Ann Arbor Quilt in, and I am confident to bring it to students.

You’ll find Inn Fuse on their web site at Innovative Crafts. They’ve got a number of other stabilizer/batt products that are just that, innovative. You’ll also find it at most Bernina stores, and wholesale at Brewer Sewing. And in my studio where I intend to make a whole lot more than rocks.

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