Sunday, January 30, 2011

Stirring It Up

I've been feeling stuck lately so decided to play around with a few new things.

Beryl Taylor had an article in Quilting Arts Dec./Jan. 2011 on machine reverse applique. I thought it would be fun to try using busy black-and-white patterns as my foreground.

You make a set of them:
Then cut them in quarters and rearrange them to make wonky circles:

I think they'd make fun long banners.

I first saw Ro Bruhn play with these here. I love what she did with all the hand embellishment on top and thought I'd do that. But Beryl's directions call for these to be 4" squares, which end up with some pretty tiny, but very thick, little bits. I think I'll try it again with at least a 6" square before I work with hand embellishment on top. This is the sort of project I love because it gets me thinking of all sorts of variations to try next.

The other thing I have been absolutely loving is working through the exercises in Steven Aimone's "Expressive Drawing" book. I first wrote about that here.

Right now I'm doing an exercise where you draw with black paint and then go back in and "erase" with white paint. You work as large as possible, fast and loose. It's fabulously freeing!

And I'm starting another Pamela Allen online workshop this week, so I'm hoping I'll have inspiration coming from all sides.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Gift

I had such a wonderful surprise when my art group presented me with a giant bin full of their fabric scraps this week! I delighted in each and every one of them--the good, the bad and the ugly--they will all find a place somewhere. I spread them out on my floor and admired each in detail and let the possibilities flow.

Usually when I haven't worked for a while (Like Now!), I get back into things by playing in a mixed media journal. This time I decided to play with all those new fabric scraps and try a little pocket folder I saw in the Jan./ Feb. issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors. Heidi Sekovski and Karin Winter describe how they make a Folder Journal out of a standard manilla file folder. It reminded me of the very fun journal for Mexico I made in Mary Ann Moss's online Remains of the Day class. You can see that one here.

The Folder Journal is made by sewing paper and fabric onto a manilla folder, then folding and stitching little pockets in it for your journal papers. Here's mine, without any journaling paper in the pockets:

The Front:
The Back:
The In-Between:
It was fun to dig through my new bin of scraps and see what would work. I made a lot of mistakes with this one and found that I would revise their directions next time. If you decide to try one, I recommend adding all the fabric and embellishments that you want before you fold it into the journal shape. Once that's done, you can't get into areas to stitch stuff on. I have enough scraps now, that I just might try another one.