Painted Art Quilt (progress post)

I have finally made some progress on my art quilt. You might remember the unbleached muslin panel I painted from this post. I added some layers of pigment to deepen some of the tones since then, cut it into three pieces (a scary prospect at the time), and I’ve finally assembled the quilt top!   (Click on the image if you’d like to see it more closely.)

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It is fairly small right now at 9 1/2″ x 12″, and I’ve added some hand quilting, but I haven’t bound it off yet. Not sure if I should add another border to it?     ***EDIT:   I’ve now removed the sculpture due to early feedback!***  The small white sculpture between the first two panes was made out of Sculpey (polymer clay) and fired, but not yet painted. I’m also thinking of possibly making small seagull beads from Sculpey and adding them to the top.   And might add a funky beaded fringe to the bottom.  Not sure if I’ll stop there or not!   The border fabric is a primarily dark green and blue batik fabric – not black, as it may first appear.   Here is the fabric next to an ivory piece, so that you can see the colors a bit better:

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I’d love to get your thoughts on this. As always, constructive criticism is helpful and most welcome. I would really like to open an online shop before Christmas and sell this kind of thing. I’ve wanted to do it for years, and just starting to feel the urge to really DO it. If you think it needs something added (or subtracted), please do let me know! Thank you so much!   Happy glorious almost Autumn weekend to all!   Peace.

Draw a Bird Day reminder: Friday, May 8!

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Thanks to A-Wing and A-Way letting so many of us know about Draw A Bird Day on April 8, many of us had fun drawing or painting birds on April 8.  Some drew a bird for the first time, and found it be lots of fun!  However, many people weren’t aware of the holiday until it was too late.  So, some of us decided it might be fun to make this a monthly event!   I also want to thank Squirrel Writer for helping to spread the word!

For my friends who may not be comfortable with drawing:  Do not let this sideline you, if you are interested in participating!  Anything goes:  Photographs, stories or poems about a bird, a little sculpture, a nature collage, you are only limited by your imagination.  I think what we’re trying to do here is open the cage door and let the birdies fly.  That’s us!  We all have wings, and sometimes we need to give ourselves permission to open them.  Let the spirit move you as it will.

Friday, May 8 is a week from today, and I hope we can all make WordPress fly to celebrate our wing-ed friends.

Fiber Art Start!

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I watched a DVD yesterday entitled “Collage Fast & Furious” with Julie Fei-Fan Balzer. You can find it here. I was led to this by the amazing and inspiring work of a blogger friend here that just blew me away.   Isn’t it gorgeous? I wanted to collage immediately. And collage has always intimidated me in the past. So, I did what I always do: I combed the electronic card catalogs of both local library systems and requested everything that looked good. And then I went on to make something totally unrelated. Isn’t that the way things go sometimes?

The desire to do a series of small art quilts on freedom (and the inability to draw a seagull) are what started me on this journey in the fall of 2014.  The bird above is one of the first things I made, staying up late one night and working with some old Sculpey I’d had for years.  I kept playing with it, trying to make a bird, any bird.  And finally came up with that one, and a few other small polymer clay pieces I really like, but haven’t done much with in terms of bringing anything to completion.  So now, I have!  I’ve finally incorporated some polymer clay into a piece of fiber art.

If anyone’s curious about my process, I broke a few rules.  I didn’t bake the Sculpey before painting.  I don’t like the fumes (yeah, even when I use a toaster oven outside), and as careful as I am, the pieces, or some part of them, often scorches.  So I tossed that idea out and decided to paint him as he is and sew him right onto the fabric!  It worked great, let’s hope it holds, lol.   At this point, I’m just playing with combining fabric and other mediums, and so it’s all good.   It’s all a learning experience.

I used some metallic paint to paint him (after sewing him in, thought I’d leave him white at first….made it a bit more difficult hehe), ran my brush along the rickrack to liven it up some, and then added some dollar store gold eyeshadow all over for a little glimmer.  (Much cheaper than Pearlex, I learned a ton from The Frugal Crafter.  You can check her out here on WordPress at this link.)

Other than that, it’s really just a tiny quilt.  It’s about 2″ high by 1.5″ wide, and has a thin cotton batting and a plain cotton fabric for the backing: a typical quilt sandwich.    When I was finished hand sewing it with some cool Sulky quilting thread I had in my stash, I simply trimmed it with pinking shears and dropped a seed bead in the bird’s eye to give it a finished look.

I’ll be making a few others tomorrow, and looking forward to it.  I think it might be fun to make a bunch of them and attach them to a new art quilt project.  I’ve often dreamed of having a beach house at the best place in the world.  What I’d really like to do is be one of the artists at this cool coop in Kill Devil Hills!  Maybe when I retire.  Every time I visit that place, I roam and roam…..and I feel like I’m home.  I never wanna leave.    Actually, I feel like I’m home every time I go to North Carolina, period.  But especially at the beach.   I believe you can write things down and make them happen, so I’m putting that out there.  😀    Who knows, it just might come true.  I can dream, can’t I?

I hope you all are having a creative weekend, and finding time to do a few things that feed your soul.    See you with more arty goodness tomorrow.  Peace.