Sunday, February 28, 2016

"Stitch Dialectic" - Come one, come all!

If you live in the Southern California area, this is a don't want to miss event.  Hope to see many of you at the reception on Sunday, April 10, 2016.
I'm totally stoked to have 2 of my quilts juried into this event.  They are...
"Dancing Iris"
"Midday Repast"
Always remember, never fear to experiment.  
Sometimes wonderful things happen.
© Linda Friedman 2016.  All rights reserved

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Extended Sewing Space from Insulation Board

Setting the Table for Helmi
A very dear friend, Helmi Flick, will soon be flying in from Texas to visit for a week of hard core designing, cutting, piecing, quilting and overall  FUN.  I found a great article about this lovely, talented, creative lady here.

Fortunately, my studio is spacious enough to accommodate both of us "working" at the same time, but until now I've only had a sewing space set up for me.  Also my cutting mats had definitely seen better days and were wrecking havoc with my rotary cutting blades.  I was totally thrilled to find 36" x 48" cutting mats from a rather local vendor of a wide variety of cutting mats.  This Etsy shop owner, Theresa Torres, is the very best to work with.  I ordered four 36" x 48" mats one day and two days later the mats were at my doorstep.  Ya' gotta love such great customer service.

I set about clearing the two worktables and immediately placed my new mats.  Then I whipped out a second sewing machine and set it on the table that I was going to call "Helmi's Table".  Since we are going to be working on a LARGE quilted project, Helmi is going to need an extension for the machine I have set up for her

I use 2" insulation board for a variety of things and have couple of small pieces that are left over from previous projects.  I used one of these to make the extension.
2" Insulation Board
Here is the way I played McGuyver to make the extension materialize.

I measured the arm of the sewing machine

I cut opening in insulation board to accommodate sewing machine arm

I placed and glued cut blocks of insulation board for risers near opening
I cut and glued more insulation board blocks for additional supporting risers
Front view of installed extension

Back view of installed extension
One long view of the extension

Another long view of the extension and new cutting mats
Always remember, never fear to experiment.  
Sometimes wonderful things happen.
© Linda Friedman 2016.  All rights reserved

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Fashioning Thread into a Large Rigid Bowl

It's my theory that anyone who works with needle and thread also has a goldmine of clipped threads that too often make their way to the trash.  I collect my threads in a paper lunch bag that is taped to the edge of my sewing table. 

In the past I've made scarves from stitched thread, yarn cuttings and water soluble stabilizer but recently I had a lot of clippings and wanted to work them into a large, dimensional work and thought that a bowl might be a good starting place.

Here is how I made this large, 21" diameter bowl.

I first sorted threads according to colors and how I wanted them to appear on the bowl.  I also had a lot of white left over threads that I wanted for the center of the bowl but they do not appear in this picture.

Here is the stabilizer I used as well as some of the threads I used to stitch the bowl.

Next I cut two large square layers of water soluble stabilizer and placed the threads in circular layers onto the stabilizer.    I then cut 2 more layers of water soluble stabilizer and placed these layers atop the threads.  I used 4 layers of stabilizer because I did not want to use an embroidery hoop on this large a project.

After placing the threads between the stabilizer, I pinned all layers together.
Here I have separated the layers to show how the threads are layered.
Once all layers were pinned, the layers looked like this.
I started free motion stitching with overlapping, free form circles over the green thread clippings.

NOTE:  All stitching needs to be overlapped so that the form does not fall apart when the water soluble stabilizer is rinsed out.

Here is what the basis of the bowl looks like when much of the circular areas have been stitched.
The center was the last to be free motion stitched.

Once the center was stitched, I drew long, spiky leaf shapes radiating from the middle of the circular form.  I then started filling in the shapes with a close, free motion, zigzag stitch.  The next picture shows the beginning.  After all dark green shapes were filled in with stitches, I mirror stitched lime green next to the dark green stitching.

I did not have a bowl large over which to form the thread stitching but upon scouring the studio my eye fell upon a stained glass lamp shade that was just the perfect mold shape.  I took it off the lamp base, covered it in plastic wrap from the kitchen, sprayed it with Pam so that the sticky, wet thread unit would not gum up the lamp shade or stick to the plastic wrap.  Unfortunately, my hands were also sticky and wet and I did not want to pick up the camera to take a picture of that leg of the process.

Here is the completed stitching after the stabilizer was partially rinsed out.
NOTE:  I only rinsed out enough stabilizer to reveal the layered threads and the stitching.  Because I did not rinse out all the stabilizer, it remained quite sticky when wet and that was essential to the stitched unit holding a bowl shape.

Surprisingly, the thread stitched form dried within a few hours and this is what it looked like.
Although the form was quite rigid, I wanted to assure that it would not collapse or distort over time, so I painted mat gel medium over the entire surface and let that dry.  To make the form even more permanent and easy to clean in the future, I painted fast drying, clear polyurethane over the entire form. 

WaaLaa!  A thread bowl was created.
This was intended to be a "what if" experiment but when the bowl emerged as I had envisioned it, I think I'm hooked on the process.  Perhaps I will think about the possibility of using Angelina fibers in my next 3-D thread experiment.  Ahh, the possibilities!
Always remember, never fear to experiment.  
Sometimes wonderful things happen.
© Linda Friedman 2016.  All rights reserved

Monday, February 22, 2016

Water, Bird and Fish in Fiber Art

Life is Full of Surprises

It was great fun to see these three of my works in the Shaped by Fiber II exhibit at the Mission Viejo Library as the lead in to the great video that Laura and Luke Bisagna created.

3 of My Works in the Beyond the Edge Fiber Artists Exhibit
Always remember, never fear to experiment.  
Sometimes wonderful things happen.
© Linda Friedman 2016.  All rights reserved

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Shaped by Fiber II

It has been a great honor to have several of my dimensional fiber art works on exhibit with the Beyond the Edge Fiber Artists at the Mission Viejo Library in Southern California for the month of February, 2016.   My excitement overflowed when I saw that three of my included works were shown first in a tremendous video that Laura and Luke Bisagna created. 

To view the video click on this LINK.

If you happen to be in the Orange County area, you might want to stop in at the Mission Viejo Library at 100 Civic Center, Mission Viejo, CA 92691.  The exhibit will be shown until February 2016.
Always remember, never fear to experiment.  
Sometimes wonderful things happen.
© Linda Friedman 2016.  All rights reserved

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

3-D Transformation of Felt with Wire #2

After completing the first felt leaf with covered picture wire*, I started looking through cabinets in my studio and found  more felt.
Sculptural Manipulation #1

(* Instructions on making a sculptural felt piece, check out my blog post on January 24th, 2016.)

Below are representations of the second leaf, both as it lays flat and then how it might be sculptured.

Completed leaf laying flat
Sculptural Manipulation #1

Sculptural Manipulation #2
The felt I used was craft quality and orange in color--a color that I have never seen so raw in nature.  In order to make the leaf more lifelike, I diluted green acrylic craft paint with water and painted it over both sides of the leaf.

When I construct future leaves, I believe I may also stitch over wire in the vein areas in addition to the edge and main "stem" so that the form can be sculpturally manipulated further.
Always remember, never fear to experiment.  
Sometimes wonderful things happen.
© Linda Friedman 2016.  All rights reserved