Freeform Peyote Beading: Design and Creation of Original Art Jewelry
Published September 2010
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Journal Quilts - 2003
These works were part of the traveling exhibit A Page from My Journal. The requirements were simple: create one page-sized (8 1/2 x 11) quilt per month for nine months. I gave myself two days to finish each journal quilt - with a maximum working time of 12 hours from concept, to design, creation and final finish work.
I've sprained my left hand and can't do much free motion work or machine sewing. I'm right handed, but it takes two hands. So I'll draw instead. What to draw? I want a theme for my journal quilts, to help tie them all together. Casting about, I spent some time admiring the primroses blooming in my garden. Flowers, in January! So that will be my theme - what's in my garden. I've drawn the primroses in hot crayon, and will add some machine outlining when I'm able.
Ghost Leaves. Holly leaves are most unfriendly, with sharp points like needles, but I love the way they decay to skeletons. I painted some of the actual leaves with acrylics and used them to stamp on the fabric, then stitched additional "ghosts" onto the fabric. I then stitched leaves on water-soluble fabric, trying to capture their ephemeral nature. The background fabrics are my own hand dyeds.
Daffodil. While the primroses are a cheery smile in January, the daffodils shout "Spring is here!" in March. I planted over 100 bulbs last fall and I think they've all come up. The daffodil was painted on white muslin using tsukineko inks and fabric markers, then raw edge appliquéd to my pieced background. I also padded certain areas of the daffodil to try and give it more dimension. I've decided raw edge appliqué is not my favorite technique - the edge was rougher than I wanted.
Tulips and Calendula. I'd originally planned to focus on the tulips this month, but the calendula kept sneaking into the background of my reference photos, and eventually they stole the show. They are my favorite part of this piece. I decided to experiment with fabric collage using fusible web, but more fusible showed than I wanted, so I added hand stitching, which also increased the texture. So I finished the piece off by attaching it to the background with more hand stitching.
Rhodies. I have a rhododendron tree right outside my studio window. It is in full, glorious bloom. The blooms are lace and stained glass, silhouetted against the dark green leaves and blue sky. My cloth rhodies are drawn in fabric marker & watercolor, and built up using layers of tulle and stitch. The background quilting features leaf clusters with buds or spent blooms.
Poppies. My yard is blanketed in red poppies! Just looking at their nodding heads makes me smile. I wanted this piece to be reminiscent of a botanical print, but done in fabrics. To capture the complexity of the flower heads I used ribbon work, ink and free motion embroidery on water-soluble stabilizer. The leaves were also created on the stabilizer, and the stems are machine wrapped cords. I love the dimensionality of this piece.
My Favorite Weeds. Postcards from my yard. Most of my planted flowers have faded - the summer has been hot for Seattle , and dry. But these volunteers keep blooming, cheering me on. I drew these from life, sitting out in my yard, and tinted them with watercolor pencils. The little drawings reminded me of postcards, so I made a "scrapbook page" for them. What's this say about me - handwriting is neater with the machine than with a pen!?
Dry and Brown. That's my yard this month. Its so dry, I'm afraid the neighbors might declare it a fire hazard. In truth, I do have flowers blooming - the red geraniums are loving this weather, and I even have a hollyhock valiantly blooming. But they can't seem to shake my feeling of brown. So we'll paint some tyvek and hit it with a heat gun, stitch it some more and hit it again. Lots of stitching. Then top it all off with machine wrapped cords - the dried grasses of late summer.
Autumn. A little rain and things are starting to green back up again, while the trees have begun their change. The west facing side of my maples have turned bright crimson, while the branches on the east are still bright green. The air is cooler. I celebrate the season's change and pray for more rain.