Monday, 30 September 2013

Giant in the Forest

Approx: 24" x 36"

I had the most lovely visit from a group from the Friends of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.  A most appreciative audience!

In this piece a miniature world is revealed in the texture of tree bark, when viewed up close. Here we are looking up into the canopy of a forest of giants in Cathedral Grove, Vancouver Island.

The piece is hand dyed, textured, fused, free-motion stitched and painted.

Here is a close-up:

Saturday, 28 September 2013

That Storm III

approx: 24" wide x 30" long

 I started with a piece from a storm at sea quilt top that I had deemed inferior.   I must have thrown this old quilt top away at least 6 times.  I keep retrieving it at the last minute.  I prepared several sections out of the top by painting them with gesso and white acrylic paint to tone it down and stiffen the fabric. Then I overpainted with coloured acrylics and so they sat. Then we had THAT STORM in March 2011 and I knew what I would do with them. Meanwhile I received a phone call from the bus depot saying there was a large/heavy tote box waiting for me; prepaid. Inside was a treasure trove of upholstery fabrics courtesy of my brother. And so the tree was born out of pieces of upholstery fabric. I fused them onto the background and then free-motion zigzagged around the edges.  Next I added some irridescent fabric paint/oil stick to highlight the glistening branches. The piece is double batted, and the quilting is done in ‘isobars’ to accentuate the force of the wind.  The resulting textile is quite stiff and heavy, but can still be rolled.  I have done three versions of this stormy tree in different sizes and colours.

And here is a close up:

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Forest Filter III

Size:  Approx 21 1/2 x 21"

I had a lovely studio visit today with spouses of Woodlot Association of BC members.  A great occasion to unveil my latest forest pieces.  The background fabric is procion dyed, then silkscreened and overpainted with thickened dyes.  Distant trees are cut from polyester sheer.  Middle distance trees are fused/machine appliqued.  The piece is double batted with cotton, but the tree trunks have an extra layer.  The branches and mosses are thread sculpted.  Oil sticks are used for highlights and sunlight.

Here is a close up of the texture on one of the trunks.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Walk a Mile in His Shoes II

Size:  approx 20 3/4" x 21 1/2"

The title and theme for this piece came from a journal quilt that I did of the same name.  Imagine those tired out old hiking boots, or work boots and their owner that have seen better days!   This piece is more in depth, larger, and of finer quality than the first version.  Some of the materials and techniques that were used include:  procion dyeing for the background fabrics, wheat paste resist, rust dyeing for the boots, Tsukineko inks, deconstructive silk screening, bleach discharging, encrusting for the tree trunks, thread painting for the boots and branches, sheer fabrics for the background trees, foiling for the lettering, cheese cloth for the lichens, trapunto, free motion quilting, and oil stick paint.

Here is a close up of the boot and background, and branches:

Wednesday, 4 September 2013


Size: 12 ¾” x 14 ¼”

I'm pleased with this little piece.  Despite taking all summer to stew over, it really didn't take that much time.  The hardest part was coming up with an idea for the quilting design.  Decided against trees for this one!
I’ve been exploring some new techniques this summer using combinations of paint and burnings, and journal quilts are a perfect way for me to document my trials. This isn’t the first time I’ve tried this technique, but I’m working out some bugs… I normally do my journal quilts at 12 x 12, but this one I forgot to cut down before quilting and I couldn’t bring myself to cut it afterwards. I would have ended up cutting off some of the leaves that I really liked.

I started with the scrap pile that sits behind my sewing machine, and sorted out some greens and blues. After piecing them together in a random fashion I wasn’t too pleased with the results. The range of hues and values was just too large, and made no design sense at all. So I toned the whole piece with some acrylic lime green, leaving fabric colours showing through the paint.

After drying I layered on a piece of sheer polyester in a burgundy colour. This was stitched down using a burgundy cotton thread in a free motion design of stylised hydrangea blossoms and leaves. The background I filled in with pebbles.

Next I took the heat gun to the piece and burned away the highlights of the sheer, leaving the fabric showing through.

Sometimes I’ve painted again overtop of the burning, but I will leave this one alone. I’m pleased with the layered effect and I like the seam line ‘Intersections’ showing through.

Next I would like to try using different colours of sheers and threads on the top layer for new effects. We’ll see! I would also like to piece the background like crazy roses, and then stitch roses on top.

Here is a close up: