Monthly Archives: May 2020

Two for May

Despite the attention I’ve been lavishing on collage and Gelli printing I managed to get two small quilts completed, to my surprise. As usual, I chose to complete the low hanging fruit (i.e., the easiest to quilt) first. The two tops that remain to be quilted are much more challenging; one because of its size, the other because I haven’t the faintest notion what to do with it.

First I dealt with “Ovals All Over,” my modern table runner. Most of the quilting runs the length of the piece, with horizontal stitching where the striped bits create the effect of a weave.

As I quilted it, I listened to a Textile Talk about the modern quilt movement. It was a video, but I don’t know how anyone can sew and watch something else at the same time. Anyway, one question asked was, what’s the difference between an art quilt and a modern quilt. The answer seemed to be that you can wash modern quilts as they’re functional, though the responder acknowledged that many quilts shown at QuiltCon are made to be exhibited, not slept under. My view is there’s a group of quilts that are both, like the overlap in the Venn diagram below.

Since “Ovals All Over” is washable and functional, I suppose it’s a modern quilt.

However, the label for “Mind The Gaps” isn’t so clear cut. It meets the washable criterion and is an improv quilt, but isn’t very functional unless you want to use it as a cat door flap. Let’s call it an art quilt. It’s quilted with diagonal lines in a variegated thread, and is edged with single fold binding.

I don’t usually show the back of quilts, but I’ll make an exception here as I used a novelty ruler fabric I haven’t been able to find a place for.

Neither of these quilts is designed to be exhibited, but they gave me a chance to work with fabrics I enjoy. After all, if I didn’t enjoy it why on earth would I cut up perfectly good fabric and then sew it back together?

I’m linking to Off The Wall Fridays.


Filed under Art quilts, Completed Projects, Modern Quilting

Spring Green

Green has finally returned to northeast Ohio, and my eyes can’t get enough of it.

A mixed media piece I’m working on uses a lot of what I thought was spring green. It turns out that my crayon memories are false, as what Crayola calls spring green doesn’t jibe with what I recall. However, Target offers children’s comforter sets in what I remember as spring green. Maybe my memory of the spring green crayon is faulty as it came only in the 64 color crayon box. That size box rarely came my way.

My piece, which I named “Fiddleheads,” features painted interfacing in two weights, woven strips of magazine pages, bits of painted mulberry paper, fussy cut bits from a large piece of cloth colored with thickened dye and then stenciled, and silk organza. It’s backed with canvas and held together with fusible and glue right now. I plan to stitch it together with both machine and hand work. At present it measures about 18 inches square.

I like using paper with fabric, though my opinion may change after sewing on paper. I’m a bit nervous about the thin magazine strips as once they’re sewn they can’t be unsewn.

I’m linking to Off The Wall Fridays.


Filed under In Process

Vertigo, Not Whiplash

Earlier I mentioned pieces that I kept pulling off my design wall to make room for work that was flowing more easily and I actually had a plan for. I estimate “Vertigo” was on and off the design wall at least four times, which is the whiplash part of my post’s title. The name itself comes from a viewer’s  initial reaction.

In this post I talked about photos I had printed on fabric. As is usually the case, I didn’t want to cut up my printed fabric so it languished in the closet. What better time than a pandemic to force oneself to stop viewing that fabric as too precious to use. I worked on the mirror fabric for a bit, but got truly stuck. I’ll save that one for another time. Then, I took my rotary cutter to the footbridge fabric. It began like this.

I guess all those straight lines made me think of curves, because that’s what I turned it into.

I added fabric from my mark making class and solid organic cottons, which are lovely to work with. Finally I got the curve I wanted and cut the sides to be mirror images. The middle took a bit more time as I auditioned fabrics.

While I like the notion of extending the built environment theme, there’s not enough contrast between the building and bridge images.

I’ve been trying to find a use for that pink/gray damask for years, but this isn’t it. Just too wishy-washy.

The color of the hand dyed fabric (a gift) I eventually chose evokes rust and the pattern is bold enough to contrast with the black and white. However, it needed something to keep the image from resembling the Eye of Sauron. At first the gray and white strip went straight down the middle, but on the advice of a perceptive friend I gave it a curve.

After all the angst of fabric choices construction was surprisingly easy. Big curves are much easier to sew than 4 inch ones. “Vertigo” now waits its turn in the quilting queue.

I’m linking to Off The Wall Fridays.


Filed under Art quilts, In Process

Not So Scientific Experiments

As everyone knows, you need a good stockpile of cool bits to create collages. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it as I kluge fiber and paper together to build up my stockpile.

First, I unearthed diluted Setacolor paint left over from last summer’s sun printing, and applied it to canvas and curtain liner scraps that I had painted first with india ink. The curtain liner material is synthetic and doesn’t take paint or ink well. In addition, because the paint was diluted with water, an effect called haloing happened as the more watery part of the paint wicked out.  I know this is considered a defect, but I like it.

Next, I applied gesso (swapped ink for it with an arty friend) over stencils to add another layer to painted curtain liner and colored tissue paper.

Then came experiments with wool felt scraps a quilting friend gave me. I trimmed small scraps into squares and rectangles, sandwiched them between pieces of Solvy, and stitched them heavily. Here’s what was left once I dissolved the Solvy in water. I put a layer of silk organza strips over the felt in my second experiment below.

Because some of the felt scraps were backed with fusible, I created a mixed media piece on canvas using painted tissue paper, strips from a magazine, silk and synthetic fabric, and felt bits. Everything is held down with fusible and machine stitching.

My voracious appetite for craft videos brought me to toilet paper rolls as brushes. Cheap fabric paint and a rough muslin mop up cloth resulted in this. It may be a good candidate for embroidery to make a pillow cover.

I made some complete collages as well. I want to use up a supply of blank cards left from my days of printing off greeting cards. Again, fusible is my glue. I’m still trying to learn how to use glue and not wrinkle the paper.

“COVID19” is my largest collage to date. It evolved from an earlier collage to which I added acrylic paint. I cut that version up and used parts with other papers and cheesecloth. You can see the progression below.

I may still make changes in the last version, especially in the lower right corner.

Other experiments on my let’s try it list include learning to use gouache paints (Dick Blick strikes again,) monoprinting on paper and silk with a gelli plate, and playing with the Posca pens that should arrive soon. If you’ve you been experimenting outside your wheelhouse during our lock down I’d love to hear about it.

I’m linking to Off The Wall Fridays.



Filed under In Process, Techniques

Online Fiber Exhibits

The cancellation of art exhibits affects fiber shows as well. Here are a few you can enjoy online.


FIBER 2020

Brent Wadden: Second Life. Woven paintings:

Mary Ann Tipple “Annie Hall Meets Aunt Kitty”

Best of Ohio Crafts Show:


Filed under Exhibits