Monday, January 31, 2011

More Photos from Campbell Class

This piece is mine and has two layers of silk fabric that has been printed with different photos. The opaque bottom layer has a photo of a tree that I sketched while the top sheer silk has a photo printed of circles. They were Misty Fused together to get this results.

This piece is done the same way as the one above. The bottom photo is of birch trees with red leaves on the bottom piece. The top photo is of our neighbors gazebo from out back porch. The lighting for the top piece was ethereal.

In this piece Doris printed a photo of leaves on opaque silk and covered it with a hand dyed sheer.

Suzie printed this leaf photo on a piece of sepia hand dyed silk.

This is a really interesting piece made by Suzie. She had a really well photographed still life of a bowl with legs protruding from the opening. Yes legs, I believe they were little doll legs. At any rate the whole still life looked like marble. She then printed on sheer silk, a photo of berries on a twig, and overlaid the two.

Pam had an uncanny knack for selecting just the right piece of hand dyed fabric to print over. This small limb with a pine cone was printed on just such a fabric. Her birds on the beach that I posted last night was done the same way.

The next post will be about Nancy and I will show some of her work.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Week At J. C. Campbell Folk School

I just returned from spending a week at J. C. Campbell Folk School. I took a class in surface design taught by Nancy McKay. The class consisted of printing digital photos on silk and manipulating them in some form or another.

We started the class with Nancy showing us the different methods of dying silk. We did a little scrunching, painting, Shabori and marbleing.

I'm not going to really get into the methods that we used tonight but I want to show you some of the finished products from the class.

This is one of the pieces that I made. It consist of two photographs and is matted on mat board.

Pam printed the photo of birds on a piece of her hand dyed fabric.

This is another of Pam's pieces.

One of the techniques that we did was to print a photograph on fabric and then paint over the print with dyes. This was one of my pieces. The dyes have to be steams after they dry. This piece was not steamed long enough and the dyes faded when it was rinsed. While this piece was not successful I enjoyed this technique and will try this again

This piece was painted by Sarah.

Bob's painted piece.

Doris chose to paint sections of her flower and then layer it over one of her dyed fabrics.

This was one of my favorite pieces. It was painted by Sue, she converted the photograph to black and white and chose to paint just the jacket and pants of the figure along with the trees in the background.

Bob layered two photographs to get this piece.

One of the techniques we used was to tile our photographs and attach to mat board. This is my piece.

This piece belongs to Doris.

This was Bob's tiled piece.

I have many photos that I want to post and will talk more about the class. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Some Answers to Quilting Problem

In my last post I asked for help with a problem I was having while free motion quilting. I would be sewing along smoothly with no problem and all at once I would get this little loop on top of my fabric.

I asked for help on Art Digest as well as my blog. There are several helpful comments on the last post as well as the ones I am publishing here. I was asked several times what brand machine I have. (Janome 6600)

1-Change needle, even if it's new (it was)

2-Rethread top and bobbin (I did)

3-Make sure the machine is clean, lint free, etc. (I had just cleaned it)

4-Check machine for burrs. Check the hook and the needle plate. I'm taking my machine to be serviced next week and will have this checked.

5-Even though you think your machine is clean; there still may be specks (thread) and lint (batting or fabric) jammed in places that are not easily seen.

6-Tension may need adjusting, top and bottom.

7-A larger needle, (this was the largest suggestion I received)

8-Try a tiny bit of silicone fluid along the side of the top thread spool, be sparse with the fluid and don't get it mixed in the oil used for machine's innards.

Note: My machine, Janome 6600 directions book does not show a place or instructions for oiling. I do not have a Janome dealer near me, I purchased my machine at a show. I assumed the machine did not need oiling. That will be one question I ask when I take my machine in next week.

9-I also received questions why I used Bottom Line in the top since it is a bobbin thread. I have used it in the past when I wanted the thread to take a light presence in my quilting, and had no difficulty with the thread.

10-On the other hand my friend and accomplished machine quilter, Diana Pickens says, "I do not have much luck with Bottom Line as the top thread. My theory is the thread is so thin that the tension plates have trouble keeping constant tension".

11-Diana also suggested that I do some experimental testing. I'm not good at that, but then again Diana is a good quilter and I'm not. I am going to post her suggestions as I think they are helpful and good advice.

(Step-1) I think the loop you see is a skipped stitch, where the top thread is looped around the bobbin case, but the bobbin thread is not grabbing it. I suggest you put the good quilt aside while you work on test pieces. Grab a couple fabrics similar in weight to your good piece and baste them with the same batting. Keep everything else the same and see if the problem is repeated.
(Step 2) Rethread top Bottom Line, keep bobbin the same. See if problem repeats.
(Step 3) Next rethread you bobbin, and try again. If you have another bobbin already spun, put that in. Restitch to see if you still have loops. Sometime just reseating the bobbin case may make a difference. (this was suggested a few times as well)
(Step 4) Try a new needle, Try regular cotton thread. Very important, TAKE NOTES.

I have put the quilt aside that I was working on and am now quilting a different piece. So far I'm not having any troubles. I changed my needle to #80, I also changed threads. I like Mettler, or maybe my machine likes Mettler, but I find it works well for me.

After I finish the piece I'm working on now I will start working on the piece I was having trouble with. Hopefully with the knowledge I received from everyone, along with having my machine serviced, I will be able to do a better job.

Thanks so much for your support, quilters are so generous.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Problems with Quilting Stitch

I was free-motion quilting when I heard a little noise. After looking at my quilt I found this loop. You can see that the stitch is consistent and then the loop and then consistent again. (The thread did not break) Can't figure it out. I was using a new needle size 70, Bottom Line thread in the top with Artifil in the bobbin. Anyone have a suggestion?

After weeks of procrastinating, delaying, going into my studio and looking around and walking out again I finally started machine quilting on a piece that has been done for months. Quilting is by far the hardest part of my work. I have problems deciding the design that I'm going to do and I'm not comfortable with my ability to quilt it as I would like.

In general when I get started the design falls into place and works out well. The piece that I'm working on now has had me stumped for months because it is a new technique for me.

You will see that the large design is a blended photograph that I printed in banners and sewed into a large piece. In this photo I am over painting on parts that I want to recess into the background. I want to enhance the design, not cover it up, yet there are parts that I want to stand out.

Having the problem with the thread yesterday gave me another excuse not to work on the piece. I work in my studio everyday unless I am away from home so not wanting to go in there to work is a real new thing for me.

I'm hoping it's the weather, time of year and I get over this soon. I don't like it.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

My River Piece

I've had some people ask me which of the thirty-one pieces in the Everchanging River Exhibit is mine. I decided to post my piece "The Venice of France" and tell you a little about the piece and how I achieved the look.

In the 1980's our family lived in France. It was a wonderful experience that we would have never been able to share with our four kids had we not been sent there for my husbands work. We were able to travel throughout Europe because we lived in such close proximity.

Colmar, France is called The Venice of France. Canals run through the town instead of streets and lovely German inspired architecture line the canals. Flower boxes over-flowing with red geraniums cover the bridge railing. This is the scene I chose to depict my Everchanging River

After I decided on the fabrics for my sky, middle ground and river I sewed them together to make my canvas. I always start with a canvas and build my scene up from there. I chose to make the houses next, again building the house similar to putting a puzzle together. After I finished the houses I decided they were to bright so to tone them down a little I fused black tulle over the top. I was able to keep this transparent by using Misty Fuse. Misty Fuse is a very light web that is almost invisible when ironed down.

When I had that section put together to my satisfaction I ran it through my scanner. I then used the scanned image to print on organza that had been treated with Bubble Jet Set. After printing a mirror image and cutting around the house images I used this to make the reflection in the water.

I always tweak my pieces with paint in order to get detail and depth. This was done on the houses, rock walls and bridges.

Monday, January 10, 2011

South Carolina?

I broke a link in the last post and don't know how to fix it so I am just starting over. I know, I got a little carried away with these snow bunnies but I thought they were so cute.

Seed pods from mallow.

tree frog?

trees down by the lake.

A frozen pup.

South Carolina?

Our log home

We woke up this morning to a beautiful 6" of snow. Snow doesn't occur often in our area so unless we have to get out in it, most of us really enjoy seeing the beauty that comes with the snow.

I was suppose to be teaching this week in Carrollton, GA but the decision was made yesterday morning to reschedule the class. I was a little upset at first because I had everything ready to go. However, it was a wise decision.

I love to take photos of the snow but I have a touch of vertigo, another good reason for the class to be postponed. After lunch I could stand it no more. So I wrapped up from head to toe and braved the cold.

My son built this bottle tree for me several years ago.

Poor frozen camellias.

My inventive husband is using the leaf blower to rid our walk way of snow.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Caryl Bryer Fallert at Bryerpatch: A Wonderful Hostess

This is my last post about our trip to Bryerpatch Studio in Paducah, KY. Thirteen of the thirty-one artist who participated in the exhibit "The Everchanging River" drove to the opening of the exhibit. Several of us stayed at Bryerpatch Studio.

The second Saturday of the month, Paducah artist host open studio. Caryl decided that since many of the artist from the exhibit were staying with her that she would have a reception to meet the artist. Judy Schwender, curator of the exhibit was there and it was so nice to be able to talk to her after spending more than a year corresponding via email. It was such a pleasure to see Meredith Schroeder there as well.

Many of Caryl's Fiber Arts group came to meet us. How open and friendly everyone was. I have such a bad memory when it comes to people's names that I can't tell you who I met. However, there were several that I spend a lot of enjoyable time with talking about fiber art.

After everyone left we were invited to go to one of Caryl's friend's studio. I had a head ache and decided not to go. However, Caryl drove some of the other artist over to the studio. This was just another of the "beyond the call of duty" that Caryl did for us over the weekend.

I would love to take a class with Caryl and stay at Bryerpatch, maybe some day.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Caryl Bryer Fallert at Bryerpatch: A Wonderful Hostess

I am continuing the post I started yesterday about our visit to Paducah, KY and Bryerpatch.

This room is the dormitory room. Judy Rapelje, Bonnie Ouellette and myself stayed in this room. You might see that the room has a wall of bookshelves. They were filled with bolts of Caryl's beautiful fabrics.

The quilt on the wall was made by a group of Caryl's quilting friends and presented to her when she retired from United Air Lines.

This area is the gallery where Carly has her own work hanging. She has samples of each of her classes as well as pieces that she made to enter shows. I'm sure some of these pieces will look familiar.

And then there is Caryl's studio. What else can I say, "a picture is worth a thousand words".

This last photograph is a work in progress.

I hope you all understand that Caryl gave me permission to post these photographs. I would feel that it was an invasion of privacy to post without permission.

Tomorrow the photos from the reception.