Monday, August 29, 2011

Fun with Silk

I've been having a ton of fun working with steam set french

silk dyes, using some of the techniques graciously taught
to me by my friend Judith.
My Maven buddy Cheryl gave me a bag full of silk she discovered
at the Goodwill, so I've had lots of stuff to experiment with.
where would we be without our friends?

I loved this green one, so I decided it would look great as a diatom.
here it after sewing the heck out of it.
 Then I painted a piece of Reemay in a gentle gradation from white to grey lavender.
I cut most of it out & fused it to the pre quilted silk.
 voila- the scientific name includes arachno&discus  so I guess it's a spider wheel diatom :)

This was one of the first I made, and I made every mistake in the book on it.  plowed ahead anyway!  It bled severely in the steaming, so it ended up with quite a bit of paint on it.  It's inspired by pictures of the endoplasmic reticulum, which is a cell structure that allows certain substances to be transmitted thru it.  Besides it was kind of on a dare from Martha :D

here's a piece of it- the round piece is Reemay/silk the lines below it were quilted and then painted.  Which took a while.  Full view is on the website and facebook.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

the gift keeps giving

some of Sue's silk was made into 2 scarlet ibises.  Originally intended to be put in the same piece, they ended up featured separately.
The first was Limpopo (after the great green greasy Limpopo River in Kipling)

It ended up on the cover of Machine Quilting Unlimited, and was purchased by a family that actually lives near an ibis sanctuary in Trinidad (!)
I began the next project with the other ibis, a big piece of silk dupioni over painted with iridescent ink and Dye-Na-Flow, and a paper cut out the same size as the leaves I wanted to use.  I pinned them to the wall, and printed out a photo of it on plain paper.  Then I made a rough sketch right on the photo of the rest of the design with colored pencils.  I like this planning technique because the basic elements are there, to scale, and I can get an idea of how many new elements I need to make to complete the piece.
Welcome to the Jungle was the result.  It's won several awards, including Best Wall Quilt at AQS Knoxville, and Best of United States at the International Quilt Expo in Manchester NH.

So far, Sue's silk has inspired 5 very different works-and-maybe more to come- but the best gift of all is her friendship!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Gift

My dear friend Sue gave me a stunning piece of handwoven silk brought back from Thailand by her brother years ago.  I wanted to talk a bit about what an inspiration it has been, and the many ways one piece of fabric can be used.
the first project I did with it started with overpainting parts of it with iridescent inks-

then I drew a tree on it freehand with paintsticks-and stenciled leaves......

added a moon printed onto cloth and quilted it-

Blue Moon was the result, it's featured in 1001 Artisan Textiles and was sold to a collector in Rhode Island.
The next project was Push, which began with painting the silk with india ink and a bit of metallic gold.

It was overlain with non woven material and extensively thread painted.
Push was featured in Visions in Oceanside, CA and was sold from the show to a collector in Southern California.
Two more very different pieces tomorrow.