Friday, August 29, 2008

Abstracted Garden Challenge

This month’s Fast Friday Challenge – create an abstract based on a photo of a garden. I’m getting started a bit late, as the guidelines for this month were announced last Friday, but I suppose now is as good a time to start as any.

I have wanted to create another piece based on this photo. Is it too much of a stretch to call this a water garden on a grander scale? Anyway, I've decided to use this photo again.

The original quilt I made from this photo is blogged about here: A Bag of Stuff, Sérusier, & a Thought for a New Quilt.

A year after I made the original Grab Bag Quilt, I made this whole cloth painted silk piece. I’ve never quite decided how I feel about this one. It ended up a bit more surreal or other-worldly than I had originally intended.

So now I will make a third attempt at abstraction with this photo. Now I need to go cut some fabric and see if I can make it look as good as the image in my mind.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Final Rusting Results

I am happy with how these turned out.

I may pull out the smaller piece again at some other time to add another layer of design and color, but for now I am done with rusting.

Now I need to find something to wrap the rusting stake in, so I can store it safely in my work area for the next time I get the urge to add rust to fabric.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

More What I Expected

My second attempt at rusting was more successful. I peeked yesterday and saw definite rusting on the fabric, and then left it another day to be sure I was getting good results. Today I soaked the fabric in salt water and washed it. I like the textured look that resulted.

I wrapped it once more to fill in some of the empty spots. So now I am back to waiting until Thursday, and then I will peek again. These photos are the wet fabric. I expect the finished fabric will appear a bit lighter in color.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Where’s the Rust?

Yesterday I peeked under the plastic at the fabric I started rusting. The string tying the fabric to the stake had turned orange, so I guessed the rust had done it’s job. But when I undid everything, there were hardly any marks on the fabric. Not even worth a photo.

The stake originally had some kind of black paint or other coating on it. Perhaps it hadn’t weathered off enough. Or maybe I scrunched the fabric up too much so that not enough of it was in contact with the rust.

So today I scraped off some of the remaining coating from the stake and rewrapped the fabric around the stake with a bit less scrunching. I will give it a few days this time before I peek.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Rusting Fabric

Rusting fabric seems to be very popular right now among fiber artists. I hadn’t given it much thought until this morning when I found a forgotten iron stake rusting in the flower bed. It was the perfect opportunity to try rusting my own fabric.

I selected a few pieces of fabric, tied them around the pole, soaked the tied fabric in vinegar, and wrapped it in plastic. Halfway through the process, I did a bit of internet searching to find out if I was doing it right. Kimberly Baxter Packwood has a great how-to and Q & A pages on rusting on her website. She recommends letting the fabric sit 24 hours before neutralizing the fabric. I wonder if I want to let mine set a bit longer since my metal wasn’t very rusty when I started. However, I don’t want to wait so long that the fabric rots away either.
Reading Kimberly’s Q & A page, I learned that rusted fabric is not archival. The rust will bond with the fibers and continue to rust indefinitely. How long does it take rust to actually eat a hole in fabric? Perhaps I need to be careful how I use rusted fabric in my quilted art pieces. I suppose it depends on how rusted a piece of fabric is, and whether a few holes will matter artistically and structurally.

I will show the fabrics again after I have untied and washed them.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Completed Sea Glass Quilts

Sea Glass I & II
9 x 12½
I was concerned that the dense quilting in the white areas would make the “glass” part of the quilt pucker. A heavy interfacing behind the batting seems to have worked well to prevent this.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Swimsuits & Thread

August is NOT a good month to buy a swimsuit. Spent most of yesterday shopping with my daughter to find a swimsuit in the right size that she likes (which isn’t an easy job at the end of summer with them all picked through.) Why did her bathing suit get a hole in it one day before swim lessons were over? But that’s okay, we might do some more swimming this summer, and it should fit next summer too. Now I’m tempted to go see if I can find a new suit for myself since the prices are so good.

I decided on white thread for the Sea Glass quilts, and then couldn’t do any quilting when I realized I was out of white thread. After I finally got out shopping and came home with white thread, I changed my mind and outlined each piece loosely with variegated light blue which I already had.

I’ve only quilted through the top and backing so far, so I could decide whether I want to bind it or do a pillow case finish. After I add the backing, I will do some more quilting with white on the background.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Sea Glass in Progress

Sea glass I and II are arranged and fused onto white fabric. I need to decide what to do about quilting. My original thought was to outline the shapes loosely with dark thread. My thoughts now are that dark thread could overpower the softer colors. The first on especially needs something to add interest, but I am afraid of adding too much.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Sea Glass & More Community Quilts

I’ve got lots more fabric leftover from the bag of fabric that was given to me. I had enough flannel scraps leftover for a tiny quilt. Our guild donates small quilts to hospitals for preemie babies.
I have also started piecing together some of the Christmas fabrics which were in the bag. Christmas quilts often get chosen first by kids even when it’s not Christmas.

This months Fast Friday Fabric Challenge is to make a quilt with the concept of “less is more” by having a relatively small focal point surrounded by lots of negative space. Or by working with the “more is more” concept by having an overall pattern with no prominent focal point.

I like to pick up sea glass when I go walking out to the small rocky beach at the end of a marsh trail in San Leandro. I had in my mind to do a “less is more” quilt with a few shapes inspired by my small beach glass collection. I cut a few more than I needed, so I would have some choices when I was arranging the pieces, and then got carried away a bit. I may decide to make a quilt for each of the options available this month.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Grab Bag CD

I have been enjoying looking at all of the wonderful quilts on the 2008 Grab Bag CD which just came in the mail yesterday.

Here is the quilt that I made for Lyn Wolf Jackson:
and a bowl from the scraps:

And the quilt made for me by Janice Simpson:

These are two of the 59 quilts that are included with detail photos and artist statements on the CD. Instructions for ordering CDs can be found here: