Monday, October 26, 2015

Inspiration from photos

The group of friends that read and studied "The Artist's Way" with me earlier in 2015 are raring to go again with a new book and exercises aimed at stretching our inner quilt artists.  One of the first exercises is to look through some of our favorite pictures for inspiration.  Then we need to determine what it is the we like about the pictures.

I really like to hike and take photos, so I have a ton that I've taken over the last couple of years.  So many of them are in the Pacific Northwest forests, which are heavy with Douglas Fir trees, and have an under-story of vine maples, huckleberries, salmon berries, ferns and wild flowers.  I also have a lot of photos of amazing scenery.  What I think I'll start with for this exercise is pictures of the trees.  Here's a few that I've picked for inspiration.  I don't know if they will work or not, but at least I've got a starting point.

Olympic National Park

Multnomah to Waukena Falls hike, Oregon 

Oregon Columbia gorge

Cape Horn hike Washington

Angel's Falls hike Oregon

Columbia Gorge Oregon

Mt Adams Wilderness, Washington

Lewis and Clark Park, Washington

Monday, October 19, 2015

Hanging Devices for Art Shows

After I posted my blog about the hanging device for art shows, a good friend of mine shared her process, which is much better than the one I had previously shown.  The difference between hanging quilts in a "quilt show" vs. in an "art show" is that at quilt shows the quilts are hung up with rods, boards, or other hanging devices that slip through a 4" sleeve.  This type of hanging device is supported on either side of the quilt, and the hangers are adjusted to make the quilt hang level.

An art gallery uses picture hooks in the center of the artwork.  Since normal quilt sleeves don't have a gap in the middle, the quilt sleeves have to be modified to accept the picture hook.

My friend, who is a member of quite a few art quilt groups and has coordinated many of their shows, graciously gave me her drawing and showed me a sample of one that she had made.

I didn't care for the staples and picture wire all accross the back, so I modified the picture wire a little bit to only be in the center of the hanging device, left some space between the board and the wire, and twisted and taped it on the reverse side.  My friend had modified her hanger the same way.

I left 1-1/4" in the middle of the sleeves to allow for the hanging wire.

split sleeve with hanging device inserted

side view

top view showing wire

 I hope this helps you get ready for showings in an art gallery too.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Merging Thread colors in Art Quilts

I've made a few art quilts in my nest series that have ombre fabric.  I love the look of the colors fading into one another, and think this look is fantastic in clothes and hair too!  Its so in style, yet so timeless.  Well, maybe not the hair coloring.

What I wanted to show you in this post is how I use different color threads, and how I merge them together to get that ombre look in my quilting too.

The first picture shows how I match the thread up with the color of the fabric.  I have laid out rayon threads, and set them on top of the fabric, sometimes pulling a little bit of the thread to see if it matches close enough.  I started with about 6 colors, then narrowed it down to these four.

I started with the lightest thread and worked from the left hand side, leaving the edges of the quilting stitches somewhat curvy and covering most of the area that this lightest thread matched.  Here is a picture after the lightest yellow thread was quilted.

Then I used the next darkest yellow thread and quilted that part of the quilt in the same manner.  Here is the quilt after the second thread was used.

I next stitched with the next darkest thread.  Here is the picture showing the progress.

My final stitching was done with the darkest thread, which was the orange.  You can see in the picture how these colors have merged together, but also match the fabric, so that I was able to keep that ombre look and feel that I started with.

I hope this post helps you on your next quilt.

Here is the completed nest art quilt that used this quilted background.  I hope you like it!

Golden Fall by Joanne Adams Roth

Monday, October 5, 2015

Happy Halloween Nest Quilt

I have lately enjoyed stacking things in my art quilts.  What comes to my mind are the folk art farm animals standing on top of one another, which are often used as inspiration by artists.   I think that "Town Musicians of Bremen" by Brothers Grimm may have been the start of this stacking of animals.  Try to Google it and see what you find. 

For Halloween, I decided to make one of my mixed media series on nest quilts with a bird on top of a nest, which is on top of a jack-o-lantern.  This is my loose translation of the inspiration.

Halloween pattern with bird assembly

The bird was assembled on top of my pattern and shaded with colored pencil.  The pumpkin was also shaded and highlighted with colored pencil, then sprayed with Krylon workable fixative, which keeps the pencil from rubbing off.  Both of these pieces were fused and sewn to the background. 

Halloween quilt with jack-o-lantern and bird
Quilting followed with several weights and colors of thread.   The nest was made with yarn, stretch lace, dyed goat hair, Angelina fibers, ribbon, lace, seam binding, hand dyed fabric and string.  This combination of mixed media fibers were sandwiched between tulle, stitched and trimmed.    I hope you like the finished product!

Nest #11 - Halloween by Joanne Adams Roth