Tag Archives: layers

Layered Progress

Since this month’s master class theme was layers I’d best move fast to get Elizabeth’s comments on my blocked out piece published before the end of May. Below is what I sent in and the comments I received.

2 images of my blocked layer piece. The only difference is the background material. One is a blue/gray solid; the other is a pale blue/green mottled batik.  I placed my piece on clear plastic so I could try different backgrounds.

The organza painted up in more pastel colors than I normally work with, but I think the lightness works with the sheer effect. I’ve added pieces to the ones shown in my sketch, so the whole thing has become more ruffley. That may be the influence of all the tree peony blossoms I saw last week.

I rotated the piece so it looks like an opening flower. It can also work flipped 180 degrees to look like hanging fruit.

JMM May 2016 layers blocked 1

JMM May 2016 layers blocked 2
It looks really beautiful…you show the idea of layers and all the wonderful effects you can achieve with them so well… and I like the idea of the opening flower…
now as to the background…I think you get more of a glow with a lighter color..but you don’t need the  mottling…how about a very pale yellow?  solid…but very very light….see how the grey background in the lower picture is dulling some of the colors?  But the upper one has the distracting mottling?
Remember the background fabric will show through.  It would also be interesting  to try white.
and what an excellent idea to have the composition on clear plastic so you can try different background – I must remember that!!!  apart from getting the right background, I think everything else is perfect…and just what I hoped somebody would do!!!
There is one thing though…the organza will probably look best if it’s handstitched down along the edges with a tiny little hem-type stitch in one strand of something  very fine…so you can hold onto this illusion of lightness…… if you use fusing be awfully careful that no glue shows through….
I’d do a  few samples just to see what looks best.

I’m now sewing down the organza pieces with a machine button hole stitch, changing out the thread color to match. My composition has changed, as intimated in the following dialogue:

Husband: I opened the window in your sewing room Me: Oh, no! my organza isn’t attached. Husband: I thought the plastic was on top. Me: No, it wasn’t.



Filed under Art quilts, In Process

Sheer Layers, Sheer Fun

My May master class assignment is layers, which is right in my wheelhouse. You may recall my rhapsodies over my Empty Spools translucent fabric class. I haven’t worked with transparency since I finished The Big Bang. My first step will be to paint yards of silk organza.


Below is what I sent Elizabeth and her response:

For this assignment I went wild with tissue paper collage, but I did convert my photos to black and white. I plan to use painted silk organza for my piece. I’ve used it before for transparency work and find it works well fused or stitched.

 As to examples of painters and quilters that use layering effects, here are a few:

http://jssgallery.org/Paintings/Lady_Agnew.htm (look at the sleeves)

I’ve been collecting examples of transparency on a Pinterest board for some time.

I used a candle flame shape (seems to be a popular choice in this class) in three sizes, and did trace the shapes for part 3 of our assignment.  My sketch 1 layers the basic shapes over each other in a mirrored effect. Sketch 2 layers a full view with detail. I considered putting something in the center-ish opening, but decided to leave it alone for now. Sketch 3 combines two different sketches. In this one, I erased extraneous lines and shaded in what would be color overlays. I tried several crops, but decided to send the most inclusive version. I think it may be too busy unless I go really big.

I like the ideas and the shapes – great thought to use tissue paper to work out designs.  I find the one above just a little too symmetrical to be really interesting….though the surprise of the very transparent layer is rather nice…
However the one below is very good I think and it works well…there’s a nice flow of movement around the shape…
I do keep wondering if it should be rotated 90 degrees to the left as you have a lot of weight on the left hand side…
I do like the way the negative space reflects the positive shapes – good one!
also the little unexpected shapes as one works one’s way around…can’t see any adjustments, I’d make at this stage.


Nice sketch, symmetrical but not too much…lots of flow and opportunities for overlapping layers and shifts in hue and value..works very well in a square –
I like the way some of the leaves go right off the edge, but the circle always pulls us around…it should make up very well – don’t make it too small!!!  It will work as big as you can do!

As always, with the blocked out piece due on the 20th of the month, I don’t have time to get too elaborate. That means I will most likely make up sketch 2 and save sketch 3 for later.


Filed under Art quilts, In Process, Project Ideas

Kindergarten Deja Vu

I have fond childhood memories of cutting up sheets of colored paper with blunt end scissors to make shapes, then gluing them (and my fingers) to construction paper. For my latest master class assignment, layers, I’m revisiting those kindergarten skills.

I love transparent layers, so I’m deviating a bit from the assignment by cutting tissue paper into three sizes of a candle flame-like shape. Then I play. When I make an arrangement that appeals to me, I take a picture.

Here are my shapes ready for action.

cut tissue paperI warmed up with simple combinations, then got more baroque.



layers twins


For my class I’m de-saturating the colors so I can see if the values work, but those photos aren’t nearly as much fun. I’m also doing a pencil sketch that’s quite elaborate, but again it’s black and white.

My silk organza arrived from Dharma Trading, so I’ll start painting it once I pick my colors.


Filed under In Process, Techniques