Thursday, December 24, 2015

Week in Review 2015 - 12/24

Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

Andy Warhol's Marilyn is simple, but so effective.
Each year it seems I strive to do a little less during the holidays. Most years I actually succeed with this plan. Honestly, what was I thinking in my 20's and 30's baking dozens upon dozens of cookies, writing out individual holiday greetings by hand to a mailing list of 100, making many gifts, shopping for many more and accommodating everyone else's need to get together for a gift exchange in a schedule more complex than air traffic at an international airport. Less is definitely more at this time of year.

I would love to identify this quilt and quilter. The image
was available on and listed as free to share, but
there was no artist listed or site referred to. Note the simple
palette coupled with strong vertical quilting lines.
Is less more in art? Sometimes, I think it is, at least for me. I am drawn to works with strong line, clear shapes and a bold, simple palette. Pier Mondrian, Alexander Calder and Andy Warhol come to mind. It appears that with the Modern Quilt Movement fiber art is heading in that direction as well. There is much less complex piecing and intricate quilting. Instead strong parallel or echoed quilting lines, fill graphic designs.

Will my work trend towards simplification  next year or become more complex? Perhaps a little of both.

The focus this week has been on developing quilting samples and solving technical problems  as I return to working on my beach series, with Sea Fever. One of the advantages of doing less is having more time to spend in my studio. Here is what I managed to accomplish this week:

1)   Deconstructed Sunrise #3 - Add sleeves and label - Still working on it.

2)  Work on Sea Fever - (Due March 15) - Done! 

I tried out several threads and quilting motifs to create ocean water and foam.

3) Free motion quilting practice. - Done!
This week's quilting motif is the one I plan on
using to simulate ocean water between waves.
Click on the image for a larger view.

See item #2

4) Post the number of days I have worked in my studio in 2015 108.5/126

5) Experiment with Tsukineko ink - Done!

This week I started painting on my PFD (prepared for dyeing fabric.) It is a Kona cotton with a 60 thread count. In the past I have prepared my own fabric for painting using a high quality muslin. What a difference the Kona cotton makes. I should have treated myself to this years ago. In this case, more is definitely more. 

The horizon line on this Tsukineko ink experiment
lead to my creating a scene by adding a layer of
white caps and clouds. I just might turn this into
a whole cloth quilt.
I am discovering that I like painting with  inks best. This week I thought I would I try placing a walnut size blob of aloe vera gel at the bottom of a yogurt container and mixing it with 5 - 10 drops of ink. The gel  thins the ink and allows it to glide smoothly over the fabric. However, it can be so thin that you loose the color. Therefore, I decided fill the remainder of the yogurt container with shaving cream. I added another 15 or so drops of ink. I do not mix or even blend this. Instead I dip my foam brush into the cream, down to the gel and paint with what ends up on the brush. The result for such a simple process is surprisingly sophisticated looking.

6) Perform a random act of kindness - Done!

I have committed to developing my surface design skills in 2016. So, the Tsukineko ink experiments will continue. I begin a brief virtual class with Elizabeth Barton on fabric dyeing the second week in January as a way to kick off this commitment. The logical progression is to use the fabric I create. I can't wait for next week when I will focus on the following:

This Tsukineko ink piece is one of the ones I created on
PFD fabric by dipping into a shaving cream and
aloe vera gel parfait. 
1)   Deconstructed Sunrise #3 - Add sleeves and label

2)  Work on Sea Fever - (Due March 15)

3) Free motion quilting practice.

4) Post the number of days I have worked in my studio in 2015

5) Experiment with Tsukineko ink

6) Perform a random act of kindness

I am now linking up to two blogs on Fridays. The first is Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays and the second is Free Motion Mavericks.


  1. You've definitely had a successful week.......I've always enjoyed the look of clean simple lines in quilts.....Amish quilts were my first passion. The ink painting is fabulous.....mixing it with shaving cream was new to me.....and I'll be encouraging our Fiber Junkies group to give it a try!

  2. You get some wonderful results! Isnt it such fun to experiment with inks, paints, dyes and well all manner of surface design? Often times I don't care if I "make" anything ...just llike to play ...not certain I can say I have a favourite medium....but those inks are great to work with

  3. I found what seems to be the original location for that quilt!

    To find it: 1. I pinned your image in pinterest 2. then I clicked to see the image on my site 3. When I went to the page I scrolled down a bit and saw Related Pins and there was the image with a link to the original poster! There is a way to search images right in google too, I've heard, but haven't done it that way.

    I just saw a page in SewCalGal that was having people do the whole cloth exercise we did in the LeahDay2012 challenge so was looking back at those posts with the linkies to show progress. We both worked on that - you probably did them all while I stopped midway I think. Was curious to see what people were doing now. Always impressed by your posts!

    Well, cheers!