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Thursday, 19 October 2017

Playing "Inktensely" Again

I've been playing with my Inktense Pencils again using them to make some fabric cards. Here's a little description of my method. I noticed that when I was drawing on flat fabric and added the fabric medium on top of the Inktense Pencils, the colour bled out of the design. I researched and found that if you use spray starch on the fabric first this doesn't happen. But I also used these pencils to make a fabric card some weeks ago and remember that I had stitched a design onto the fabric that had been sandwiched to a piece of felt and then a backing. The design was stitched before I started using the Inktense Pencils. In that instance, the pencil colour did not bleed when I used the fabric medium on it. I wondered if the stitching had something to do with controlling the bleed.

This time I used the same method as back then to make sure the result would be the same. I also made a second card using a piece of fabric that I had coated with spray starch to see if this made any difference.

The card made on regular fabric without spray starch was sandwiched and a design of apples on a branch was stitched on it.

Once the design was stitched, I coloured it with the pencils.

This is just coloured in with no fabric medium being used yet.

Then I painted fabric medium over the colours to blend them and darken them. There was no bleeding so I'm concluding that the layers and the stitching is controlling the bleeding.

The second card I made was with the starched fabric and I sandwiched it again before I drew the design onto it with the Inktense Pencils. Then I took it to the sewing machine and stitched over the design lines.

Then I used the pencils to colour the image.

Once the  design and the background were coloured I used the fabric medium to blend the colours a little.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Happy 150th Birthday, Canada

I entered one of my quilts into a quilt show which is called, "Happy 150th Birthday, Canada". The show is being held at Neilson Park Creative Centre and is being put on by the Etobicoke Quilters' Guild of which I am a member. This show runs from October 12 - 29th and is located in the main hall. There will be Viewers' Choice Ballots available for visitors to fill out and there will be 3 prizes for the first 3 Viewers' Choices.

To go to the upcoming exhibitions page of Neilson Park Creative Centre click below.

Also on my walk today, I noticed a few more fall colours, however, it is very slow in coming here in Toronto. The Sumac and the Creeping Jenny are the first to turn.

Below is a fabric card I made from one of my photos from last week. It is Creeping Jenny and it's colours are usually varied as it turns from green to red. The in between stages show off green, peach, orange, rose. I did this card with inktense pencils and fabric medium and am thinking of entering it into a Quilted Postcard Challenge being held by the Canadian Quilters' Association. The theme is: Inspired by Nature! It's a great theme for me.  The deadline for this challenge is May 1, 2018 and I can submit as many entries as I like. The postcards will be judged and eligible for prizes and then they will be displayed at Quilt Canada 2018 in Vancouver, BC in June and sold for $5.00 each.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Inspired by Fall

Last week I took a walk on a part of the nearby Bike Path that I rarely take. I took my camera along to snap some shots of the slowly emerging Fall colours. Here, in Toronto, the colours are barely showing. I was, however, able to take some photos that I may use in future art projects. I find the drying seed pods so interesting and the Creeping Jenny is starting to colour beautifully.  I love Fall.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Experimenting and Playing with Inktense

Studio Art Quilts Associates (SAQA) of which I am a member is doing seminars on Surface Design. The seminars are available online to members and include video interviews, articles, galleries, and resources for a variety of surface design methods.

Our first couple of weeks was on Dying and we got loads of information on dyes and methods that was really interesting.

This week was on Paint. Artists are using Acrylic paint, Watercolour paint, gouache, Inktense pencils, india ink. Since I have Inktense pencils, I decided to experiment with them. Inktense are not watercolour but are acrylic ink so when they dry they are somewhat permanent.

I started by wetting my fabric with water and then coloured into the water with the pencils. The water made them bleed a bit but because I was doing washes on the fabric, I didn't mind. I actually liked the look of the bleeding. Once I was done adding colour, I took a brush and brushed on a solution of water and fabric medium to help the colour adhere to the fabric better. This seemed to smooth and soften the colour and when it dried the colour seemed lighter than when I put it down. That is something to keep in mind if I am looking for stronger colour. I may have to go back into it with more colour later.

This is how the blue turned out after it dried and I
had heat set it with my iron.

Then I tried to draw an apple and a lily on dry fabric with the pencils and then went over it with the water and medium and was disappointed that the liquid bled outside the apple and lily and took the colours with it. I have since heard that if I use spray starch on the fabric first, this will stop the bleeding.

I still have some experimenting to to with these pencils because I like the way they look like watercolour and are delicate looking.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Another Rust Dying Experiment

My last experiment with rust dying was disappointing so I did a little research on it and decided to try it again.

In my last experiment I just used rusty objects laid on top of wet fabric. I kept the fabric wet but even after several weeks there was hardly any rust.

 My research told me I needed to wrap the rusty objects in the fabric and soak it in vinegar and salt which speeds up the rusting.
I used two different fabrics, both 100% cotton but one was a finer cotton weave and the other was muslin.
I checked on them after a few hours and I didn't see any rust coming through the fabric so I added some salt right on top of the fabric and left it overnight. In the morning I unwrapped the packages and found that it had worked somewhat better than the last experiment. In the finer weave cotton, I had put small items like nails and washers and small bits of metal. I don't know if it was because of the small items or the fabric that it didn't take a lot of the rust.

In the muslin I placed bigger items like a flattened tin can, a large round washer and larger hunks of metal. This one seemed to work much better and I'm pleased with the results.

I will continue experimenting because I love the red designs and the staining of the fabric that the rust gives.

The two examples above are the finer weave cotton and below is the muslin. I think I will try again with these same fabrics to see if I can fill the other areas with rust as well.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

All Creation Sings - Art Quilt Completed

I am pleased to post that my Art Quilt has finally been completed after many months of work and it has been delivered to its new owners.

When it was finally finished I tacked it up on my design board to look at it for a few days so it could tell me what it still needed. I had added quilting in such a way that it enhanced certain areas. For example, the quilting in the water was done do make it look like there is movement there. I also used some metallic threads to add a little sparkle and also added some crystal beads. I quilted the grasses so that they would have some depth and I added some twine to give it interest and a different texture. On the rocks I couched some yarn to give the look of cracks and mossy areas. I thought I had thought of everything, however, there was still something missing. It needed some living creatures so I added some birds. This seems like a little thing but it made a huge difference to the feeling of the piece.

Below is my method from beginning to end.

Original inspiration photo
Watercolour painting of photo
Tracing of watercolour painting to be enlarged and used
to plan the pattern.
Choosing fabric
Plotting pattern
Finshed quilt top before quilting and embellishments
All Creation Sings

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Sketchbook Tour

I have several sketchbooks that I use at once and one of them is about 3" X 5". It is tiny and small enough to carry in a pocket or in my purse. Having said that I do take it along when I go out but rarely sketch in it when I'm out.

Here's a little tour of some of the things I've sketched in it.

I have lots of cups and saucers but don't often use them so I thought I would sketch them along with other beverage containers.

There are also some pairs of shoes I thought were interesting to sketch.

Then I did some insects.

Of course, some flowers.

and some landscapes

I confess that sometimes I've given to one of my grandchildren in church to keep them quiet and occupied just looking at it. Hope you enjoyed this little tour.