Thursday, March 26, 2020

Thread Painting--Positano, Italy

Several years ago, a friend of mine went to Italy and sent me some photos that she took while she was there.   I loved the photos and thought that someday I might try painting some of them.   As fate would have it, I found them the other day and decided to use one of them as the basis of a thread painting.   I had never done a thread painting, but I thought; "why not?"    Of course, I read a few articles on the process and most artists used silk fabric as the base and they were quite small, e.g., 3' x 6".   I didn't want anything that small so my picture ended up 10" x 7".  I also wanted to make out of cotton so I mixed art quilting with thread painting.  While it sounded good, it did present some issues.   First the thickness of the fabric quilt "sandwich" coupled with pieced layers made it difficult to free motion embroider.   I "muscled" through it but I do have to say it was frustrating at times.   In the future, I would paint or dye the cotton in areas and then free motion embroider.  This this would eliminate the seams and extra thickness.   The first photo below is the reference photo and the second is the edges photo. 

As you can see from the final project, I eliminated some of the elements in my project.   All that said; I do like the end product.   

Have you tried thread painting?   If so, let me know about your experience. 

Friday, March 20, 2020

A New Year and New Adventures in Textiles

For most of us, including me, the beginning of a new year is time for reflection and a time to set goals for the new year.  This year I want to explore new fiber and textile techniques and art forms.   I'm not sure where this journey will take me but I'm sure that I will enjoy the challenge and adventure.   I have to confess that before I retired I collected books, tools, fibers and fabric so that I would be ready to pursue my love of textile art.   So I have a lot of information at hand to explore new techniques.  One of the first techniques that I explored was to use my punch needle to create an art piece.   The first piece was small so that I could get the feel of it.   I plan to use this little sun face on a garment or bag of some kind.     The second piece combined punch needle and wool felt applique.   Although I thoroughly enjoyed this art form, I don't have a lot of wool felt and/or floss or thread for punch needle so my projects using this form will be limited.   Unless I manage to shrink my current stock of fabric; I won't have room to build up stock for this art form.   However, I won't say never.

Punch Needle Sun Face
Punch needle detail

Wool Felt and Punch Needle 

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Winter White Coat with Champagne Mink

Although I'm thinking SPRING these days, I wanted to share this coat that I made for the Holiday Art Fair.   The style of this coat is slightly retro but thoroughly modern.   It is about knee length and is cut fulll enough to put over a jacket or sweater.  It is fully lined and has welt pockets.  I repurposed a champagne mink stole to create the shoulder feature.  I prepare the fur by removing the lining and cutting any seams that prevent it from laying flat.   I then transfer my shoulder pattern on to the back of the fur piece.  I then reseam the fur so that it can lay on top of the coat.   I leave the coat side seams open until I have finished attaching the fur to the coat.  I use a zigzag stitch along the cut edge of the fur to attach it to the coat.  I  used a tapestry floral motif for the applique.    After I apply fusible interfacing to the back of the fabric to prevent excessive fraying, each motif is carefully cut out.   I then strategically arrange the motifs on top of the fur; pin in place and then free motion applique them to the coat.    This is quite a tedious process as the coat is very bulky and hard to manuever.  I also do some thread painting on the motif after they are applied to give it more interest and dimension.


Sunday, March 15, 2020

Never fear, I'm still here......but where has the time gone???

Wow, here it is March 2020 and I haven't posted since September 2019.    I'll try to catch up in the next couple of weeks.   As some of you already know, every year I have the opportunity to sell my creations at the Holiday Art Fair and Doll Show sponsored by the Indy Cloth Dollmakers Club.   So during September, October and November I'm busy completing my doll for competition and creating one-of-a-kind wearable art.  After the show, I take a little time off and then when the new year started I began a new journey of textile art that I'll share with you in the next few weeks.   I'll start to catch you up by showing you some of the wearable art pieces that I had at the show.

This is a Tibetan Panel Coat that is reversible.  Finding complementary fabrics for all the panels proved to be quite a challenge.  I couldn't find fabric that I liked for the shoulder contrast, so I created by own fabric by cutting out shapes and appliqueing them on the fabric.  I did some thread painting to enhance the appliques.   The reverse fabric is a beautiful kantha fabric but again I couldn't find another kantha fabric for the contrast trim so I created my own.   As you can see each side creates a completely different vibe.  The kantha side is rather soft and impressionistic while the other side has a more modern abstract feel.  When I was done I couldn't decide which side I liked the best.   I guess that's probably a "good thing".  I love two looks with one garment, don't you?

Kanth detail
Fabric created for shoulder detail

Monday, September 30, 2019

My Love Affair with Kantha Fabric

I have to admit, I think Kantha fabric is awesome.   For those who do not know about Kantha; here is a brief description.  In India, old saris, either cotton or silk are patch worked together and then they are layered one of another, usually only two layers.   These two layers are then hand stitched together to form one fabric.   Usually the stitches are long running stitches.   Kantha fabric is used for garments and home decor items. 

This past spring and summer I found 3 pieces of Kantha that I love and I have made 2 of them into garments.   The first was a red floral print on one side and solid red on the reverse side.   Often garments from Kantha fabric are made reversible.  This jacket is not reversible but I did use the reverse side for the collar and cuffs.   All the colors in this jacket make it extremely versatile.  I think it will even look great with blue jeans. 

I found the second piece and third pieces at Silk Road Textiles in Cincinnati.  I have finished another Kantha jacket in purple.  It is fully lined and has wonderful sleeve detail.  

The third piece is a luscious brown print that is yet to be made but I can't wait to get started.   More to come.... 

Monday, April 29, 2019

Unusual Lantern pants

I made this Marci Tilton skirt last year from Vogue pattern V9060 and loved the shape.   I thought that the shape would also look good as pants so this year I decided to give it a try.  I took my standard pants pattern to get the waist, hip and crotch depth and then free-handed the design from there.  I drew the shape on pattern and decided on how the pattern pieces would look then I created the pattern and test the pattern in muslin.  When I was satisfied with the fit and shape I cut it out of some striped fabric that I had in my stash.   I believe the fabric is a cotton/linen blend and has a texture like something we used to call "shagbark".    I really love the result, but now I have to design the perfect top to go with it.  Have some ideas so I'll work on them this week...stay tuned.  

Thursday, April 18, 2019

New Red and Black Winter Coat

I have a Lee Andersen coat that I love and I decided to use it as inspiration for another coat.   Finding fabrics that I could use proved to be quite a challenge.   I finally found a black nubby fleece and red and black sculpted fur at Fields in Kalamazoo.   I found a red and black fur online at Mood Fabrics.   Once I had all the fabrics, I set to work on a pattern.  I heavily modified a Burda Pattern so much that you wouldn't even recognize it but the sizing was what I needed most.  It is unlined so that it will be an intermediate weight coat for late fall and early winter.  I made mock flat felled seams  and serged seams so that the inside of the coat is neat in appearance.  

I found it very difficult to photograph the black and still be able to see the detail so I have included a couple of close up photos.  Enjoy.