Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Art of Sharing (by artists)

Fabric Gift from Mia's Stash
Beyond the Edge Fiber Artists met yesterday to herald in the holiday season.  Being in the company of lively, creative, accomplished fiber artists is joy enough but when members share their bounty it is a time to jump up and down and clap. 

Mia Bloom brought a big bag of fabric from her stash to share and the picture above shows the great fabrics that I grabbed up as if there were no tomorrow.  Mia overdid her generosity by also gifting beautiful potted plants from her garden.
Beautiful Potted Plant from Mia Bloom
Teresa Shippy brought squeals of happiness out of everyone when she let each member choose Christmas socks, the continuation of a tradition that she started last year.  I picked a pair that I could wear year round.  They are so soft and warm--perfect for this time of year.
Christmas Socks from Teresa Shippy
Eileen Wintemute, our #1, superb hostest with the mostest, presented everyone with an 8"x8" stretched canvas.  There couldn't have been a more thoughtful, perfect gift for a gathering of artists.
Stretched Canvas Gift from Eileen Wintemute
And, EGAD!  jo p. griffith (and yes, all letters are lower case :-) presented everyone with a 2015 calendar that has a picture of one of her art works on it.  The poor girl!  We all descended upon her to sign our calendars.  Her work is so amazing that she is sure to become one of the greatest recognized artists of all time and we will have a signed work!!!
jo. p. griffith's Calendar Gift
And the pièce de résistance had to be Cynthia Caitlin's Ghirardelli chocolate bar!  Oye!  Be still my heart. 

The world stopped still with Cynthia Caitlin's gift of chocolate
It is such a great honor and pure fun to be a part of Beyond the Edge Fiber Artists.  Each of us, and collectively, are exhibiting widely, so I hope you will check out what this group is up to on its blog that our leader, Eileen Wintemute has created and maintains.  Eileen's leadership keeps this lively group on track and is taking our 's works into wonderful exhibiting venues.  Kudo's to Eileen.

Always remember, never fear to experiment.  
Sometimes wonderful things happen.
© Linda Friedman 2014.  All rights reserved

Monday, December 1, 2014

Owl - From Handmade Stamp to Thread Painting

I'm developing a 3D work that may (or may not) be selected for an exhibit in 2015, so I will not be able to show all the steps or the finished work until a decision is made whether it will be chosen to exhibit or not.  However, here is a little teaser with a few explanations of how I arrived at the elements so far.

The field of orange in the background was created by applying Rit dye with a dollop of hot water directly to 100% cotton fabric, scrunching it up a bit, putting it in a lightly covered microwave safe container, and then heating it for approximately 50 seconds.

The small leafy images that are printed onto the orange background were made from a stamp I created with polymer clay mounted on a wooden block.
 The larger leaf shapes are merely laid upon the fabric in the photo to audition them.  These were made by first coloring sheer curtain fabric with permanent markers and acrylic inks.  When the inks were dry, the fabric was inserted into an embroidery hoop with water soluble stabilizer and free motion embroidered on the sewing machine.
Inks Applied to Fabric and Then Inserted into Hoop
After an embroidered leaf shape was accomplished, the unit was removed from the hoop and run under warm water to dissolve the stabilizer and then laid aside to dry.  Once the unit was dry, a heated stencil cutter was used around the edge of the leaf shape to release it from the surrounding fabric.
Stencil Cutter
A Completed Leaf
My vision is to have an owl emerge from the suggestion of stylized arboreal foliage.  Once again I turned to my handmade, polymer clay stamps, and printed an owl shape onto 100% cotton fabric.
Owl Print from My Handmade Polymer Clay Stamp
I am using a combination of satin stitching and zigzag stitching on an angle to start thread painting the owl.
Beginning to Thread Pain the Owl
I must hold off with further steps until this work is either chosen or not chosen to be part of an exhibit in 2015, but I'll be having a lot of fun coaxing this owl out of the trees.  I'll be sure to post the finished product sometime in 2015.

Note:  All my sewing is done on a regular sewing machine.  A computerized embroidery machine might make all the stitches totally even, but there is something in me that really likes the element of serendipity when manipulating the stitches myself.

If you have never tried your hand at free motion machine embroidery, you might want to give it a go.  Grab some stabilizer (it doesn't have to be water soluble), lay a piece of fabric on it, insert it into a hoop and put the pedal to the metal.  You might be happily surprised at what you can produce.

Always remember, never fear to experiment.  
Sometimes wonderful things happen.
© Linda Friedman 2014.  All rights reserved.

Monday, November 17, 2014

A Tiny News Book

Cover with Little Booklet Pages Bound with Glue and Fabric
Have you ever had one of those mornings when you don't hit the floor running and just flip on the early morning news to wake you up as you sip that first go-juice cup of coffee?  That was my morning today.  The repetitive warning nature of the news items didn't do much to stimulate creativity but fortunately some left over cuttings of card stock, pens and Derwent Inktense pencils were close at hand.  Bonus! 

What emerged was a little booklet that documents the ho-hum start of my day and at least let color into it.
Page 2 - First Warning
Page 3 - Second Warning
Page 4 - Good News (finally!)
Page 5 - Third Warning? (It looked nice and warm to me!)
Page 6 - Fourth Warning - fire conditions
Page 7 - Fifth Warning - more fire condition warnings
Page 8 - 6th Warning - Driving off cliffs is dangerous
Page 9 - 7th Warning (Ebola will kill...OH NOOOO!)
Although the news never seems to be uplifting, I have often found that if I make make light of it, then the morning doomsday pall doesn't hang over the rest of the day.  Today's doodling parody was no exception.  It was a beautiful, productive day and perhaps the repetitive, droning, red flag warnings were of value after all.  So far, no wildfires have been reported in San Diego County and that is a blessing!

Tomorrow, yes, tomorrow I hope to post a fiber art topic.

Always remember, never fear to experiment.  
Sometimes wonderful things happen.
© Linda Friedman 2014.  All rights reserved.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Fantasy Insect Flight - Fiber Art Post Cards

It seems that it is almost impossible for me to discard anything that might be used.  After cutting a Soft Kut block to a size I needed for another project, a narrow rectangular piece was left over and I was moved to cut a vine shape into it.  That little block lay on my worktable for a few days.  I auditioned it on a scrap of fabric.  Hmmmm.  I liked it but what to do with it?

I had a few sticky back foam sheets that begged me to cut out a flying insect shape.  Ah, ha!  Serendipitously I happened to lay it near the little vine block and flying insect post cards were off to a flying start.

I drew around a 4"x6" post card five times to establish where to place the stamp prints and here is how the postcards developed. (Only 5 card shapes would fit onto the remnant of fabric or I would have stamped more.)

Vine and Insect Stamp

 Acrylic Paint Mixed and Fabric Medium Applied with Fabric Sponge
Repeat Images Stamped onto Hand Dyed Fabric
Fabric Layered onto Low Loft Cotton Batting and Stitched
Free Motion Quilting in Progress
Establishing Where to Cut the Image from the Fabric

Cutting the Post Card Image from the Fabric
Ironing Fusible Webbing to Post Card Back
Fusing the Front to the Back between Folded Teflon Sheet
Final Set of 5 Post Cards (after zig-zaging edges closed)
Always remember, never fear to experiment.  
Sometimes wonderful things happen.
© Linda Friedman 2014.  All rights reserved.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Bird in a Nest - Fabric Post Card

Snippets of thread and fabric always accumulate on the worktable next to my sewing machine.  They look like birds’ nests and tossing them seems to be such a waste of resources.  Instead of relegating them to the trash, I am now am working them into fabric post cards.  
 A little water soluble stabilizer, some free motion stitching, a bit of fusible webbing, a couple of Inktense "painted" birds on fabric, a printed postcard back, closure with zigzag stitching, and wa-la, we have birds in nests ready to be mailed.

Always remember, never fear to experiment.  
Sometimes wonderful things happen.
© Linda Friedman 2014.  All rights reserved.

Yay! "Homeward Flight" Sold at SAQA Auction
It was exciting to check in on the Studio Art Quilts 2014 Benefit Auction today to find that my donated quilt, "Homeward Flight" had sold to a private collection.  Yay!  It makes me feel so good to be able to contribute to this great organization that endlessly strives to promote quilts as art.

If you desire to add a fantastic quilted art work to your collection, be sure to visit the Studio Art Quilts exhibit in Houston if you attend the event or go to the Studio Art Quilts website to purchase a work.
Always remember, never fear to experiment.  
Sometimes wonderful things happen.
© Linda Friedman 2014.  All rights reserved.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Tribute to Red Circles, Birds and Friendship

I am so touched by Mia Bloom paying tribute to our friendship in her Collage #29 that I must write about this today.  There couldn't be a better way to describe who a person is than to illustrate that person's likes.  Mia certainly did this in her Collage #29.  She wrote that I love red circles and birds and then produced this wonderful collage.
Mia Bloom's "Collage #29"
My appreciation for a solitary red circle harkens back many decades to an evening when my mother and I attended an art exhibit at UCLA.  When we walked into the exhibit, we came face to face with a painting the size of a wall.  It was all white with the exception of a big red circle.  At that time neither my mother nor I could figure out why this was considered art.

Over the years I have learned how very important placement, balance (or lack of it),  and color are in a work of art.  Periodically a circle, sometimes a red circle, will appear in my own art and each time, I smile as I reflect upon that painting we saw many years ago.  I shared that story with Mia some time ago and she remembered it. 

Here is a stark example of my thinking about that same red circle.
"On the Edge"
Now, for the reference to birds...Somehow, birds keep popping up in my art.  Some are in flight, some are not, but but every so often they manage to creep into my work one way or another.  Just the other day I caught a glimpse of a loudly chirping little bird atop a telephone pole.  Because ledges and heights are not among my favorite places to be, I had a fleeting moment of compassion for the little feathered fellow.  Instantly, my mind acknowledged that birds can fly and I figured that if I, too, could fly, heights would not longer be threatening.  Perhaps I have a hidden desire to be able to fly.

All that being said, Mia Bloom tapped into the essence of the things that make me tick and for her to take the time to put her creative thoughts into action to recognize the Linda of Linda is an honor, indeed.  Thank you, Mia Bloom. 

I highly recommend that you check out Mia's collages on her blog.  She describes her 30 collages as a self imposed challenge to create a collage a day, in 30 minutes, for 30 days. 

Always remember, never fear to experiment.  
Sometimes wonderful things happen.
© Linda Friedman 2014.  All rights reserved.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Quilts in Mancuso Quilt Fest, Palm Springs, CA

It was great fun this morning to receive a flier from the Mancuso Quilt Fest and to find that two of my quilts will be in the show.  They will be in the Special Exhibits section.  "Autumn's Palette"will be with the "Appearances" exhibit from Quilts on the Wall.   "Between Heaven and Earth" is in the "Fiber Perceptions" exhibit with Beyond the Edge Fiber Artists.
"Between Heaven and Earth"
"Autumn's Palette"
 If you happen to be in the Southern California area between October 2nd and October 4th, be sure to take in Quiltfest.  It's sure to be a great show.
Always remember, never fear to experiment.  
Sometimes wonderful things happen.
 © Linda Friedman 2014.  All rights reserved.