Sunday, May 29, 2011

hand dyed fabric

Here are some hand dyes I purchased from Elaine Quehl at the Festival of Quilts show.   The photos don't begin to do them justice.   The colours are so vibrant and one of them looks like a Monet painting.  I am thinking of using it as background fabric for a 'friendship garden' quilt.  So far it's just an idea - more on that later.   I just love the shapes and shadows in these lovely fabrics.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

If Butterflies Were Fairies

Recently my online landscape quilting group had a challenge.  The theme was fantasy and I created this eerie forest scene complete with fairies and butterflies.  This piece began its life at a workshop on layering and translucency at Fibreworks in Kingston with Susan Strachan Johnston.  When I started out, it was going to be trees, beaches and a giant snail (don't ask) but that didn't work out.  Then I thought about the fantasy challenge and decided to keep the trees and the layering but turn it into an airy fairy forest - pardon the pun.   It was constructed by layering several colours of organza using gel medium over a stretched canvas.  The trees were done with transfer paints.  I frayed the edges of the organza and couched some gold threads across it all.  The fairies were embroidered and painted with watercolour crayons then I glued these lovely ready-made butterflies to it, added beads and presto, my first fantasy scene.  To my surprise, when we voted, my piece tied for second place.  I also just completed a mermaid piece which I call 'On the Rocks' or 'Sometimes You Just Need to Get Away'.  It's still under wraps for now.  Not sure where all this fantasy is coming from.  Maybe I need to get away too.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Taking Care of Business (And Whining About It)

The Festival of Quilts exhibition went well.   Both pieces of my work were exhibited and the Out of the Box booth looked fabulous!   Then suddenly with  spring came a flurry of paperwork.   I am having a solo exhibition in the summer of 2012 and needed to prepare information about the exhibit and complete my contract.   Then I finished up a couple of pieces, completed an application and photos and sent them out for jurying for an exhibition in Massachusetts.   I think I'll keep them under wraps for now but if they are rejected I will probably be posting them on my blog.   Next I need to complete an application for a fall show that I enter every year.  I'd like to send some work to a postcard exhibition that is coming up  but I don't know if I will have time.   Of course there were the ever present April tax papers to file.  At the same time I am having repair work done to my home, finishing up a work contract and planning a couple of trips - to the Gaspe in Quebec and to Cape Breton Nova Scotia.  And I am putting the finishing touches on a commissioned piece - which I will post as soon as it is finished.  But wait,  I see a light at the end of the tunnel.  So I'm taking a deep breath and starting to  plan my work for next year's exhibition.   I started by making a list of ideas for pieces which fit my theme and today I sketched two patterns.   I also want to finish my Quan Yin piece which I started last year then put on the shelf for awhile.   My theme is about the paths we take through life - literal and figurative- especially the ones that lead to joy and enlightenment.  I think that most of my work has an autobiographical component and/or mirrors my desire to tell a story so this theme is a joy to explore.

I purchased some great hand dyes and I'd like to share some photos but right now my server won't cooperate so I'll need to save them for the next post.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Prairie Sky Completed

My Prairie Sky piece is complete.  I posted a photo of this one as a work in progress a few weeks ago.  The sky is painted satin and I finished it pillowcase style without a binding - a first for me.  I am very happy with it.   Very appropriately, we are having a celebration of the Prairies in Ottawa right now with music, dance, theatre and art.    I have attended two events so far - a classical style choir called Camerata Nova, and an evening of prairie fiddlers.   Both were spectacular.   This week it is an evening of Women and Blues and Songs of a Prairie Girl which is a play about Joni Mitchell's life and music.

Also this weekend - May 6-8 - is the OVQG Show at the RA Centre in Ottawa.   Our Fiber Arts Group, Out of the Box, will have a booth at the show where we will be exhibiting the work of our members.  I submitted my 'Prairie Sky' piece and 'A Tree is Life'  for the exhibition.   Depending on available space, one or both will be exhibited.   I will be volunteering at the show on Saturday.    This means I get to see all the lovely quilts AND shop at the vendors' booths.    Fabric is like candy to a quilter so I need to be careful.   I am working on a new piece - a mermaid - and will be looking for some backing fabric......