Sunday, May 28, 2017

Thread Drawing - Wading Bird

Today I just couldn't bring myself to toss a remnant of painter's drop cloth so I thought It might be a good pallet on which to practice some improvisational, free motion thread drawing.  Since the remnant was long and narrow, whatever I drew seemed to beg to be elongated.  What better than a long legged wading bird?  This is what emerged.
Here are a few close-ups to show the stitching.
Even though I used two layers of stabilizer under the canvas, the dense, free motion thread drawing tended to make fabric outside of the edges of the bird image become somewhat "rumpled".  To salvage the thread drawing, I cut around it and then zigzag stitched it onto another canvas remnant.  That did the trick.  Because canvas tends to fray terribly, I applied a thin layer of Weldbond glue around the edges and spread it thinly with a soft bristle paint brush.  The glue dries clear and is no problem to stitch through. 

And, once again, here is the finished bird.  I used a silver Sharpie pen to color in the bill.  When completed, I hemmed both the top and bottom edges and left the ends open so that those spaces would accept a small dowel rod.  In my stash of laces and pipings, etc., I found a length of braided cotton cording that seemed to work perfectly for hanging.
Always remember, never fear to experiment.  
Sometimes wonderful things happen.
© Linda Friedman 2017.  All rights reserved

Sunday, May 21, 2017

"Speaking Out" in "Threads of Resistance"

I'm totally thrilled today that my work, "Speaking Out" has been accepted into the "Threads of Resistance" exhibit that will travel the nation from July 15, 2017 through October 2018. it is "a juried exhibit of fiber Artists Circle protest the Trump Administrations actions and policies." Approximately 500 works were submitted in the Call for Entry so for my work to make the cut of 63 chose works, I am very honored.

The Artists Circle Alliance has posted photos of ALL the art works that were submitted. To view them, go to
"Speaking Out" (36" Wide x 24" Long)
Always remember, never fear to experiment.  
Sometimes wonderful things happen.
© Linda Friedman 2017.  All rights reserved

Sunday, May 14, 2017

How to Make Stamps with Latex Caulk

It seems that I never stop looking for new ways to create my own stamps for printing on fabric.  What follows is how I created stamps using latex caulking.  Here are a few that I made yesterday.
And here is how I made them.
I started with wood blocks that I cut from stock lumber.
 Then I pulled out a caulking gun and some caulking that was in the garage.
 I squeezed caulking material onto the blocks and spread it smoothly over the blocks with one of those mock-up credit cards that litter our mail almost weekly.  Once I had a smooth surface of caulking, I used a letter opener to scribe a pattern into the caulking material.
Once again, here is what the blocks looked like after I had scribed designs into them.  The edges of the scribed lines tended to pull up but I set the blocks aside to dry anyway.

Although the directions on the caulking material indicate that the product is paintable within 30 minutes, I let the blocks dry for a couple of hour just to make sure they were good and dry. 

I knew that the surface needed to be flat in order to achieve good prints from the blocks, so I laid parchment paper over them and rolled the surfaces flat with a brayer.

I had a swath of canvas lying around and decided to try out the stamps using Setacolor fabric paint.  Here are a couple of closeups of the result.

I like the somewhat uneven nature of each print that resulted from the slightly uneven surface of each stamp.  Unlike store bought stamps that always produce the same printed image, these stamps take on a character all their own with each and every printing.

Here is the entire long, narrow swath of canvas printed.
Always remember, never fear to experiment.  
Sometimes wonderful things happen.
© Linda Friedman 2017.  All rights reserved

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Center Gallery, Anaheim, CA - Expressions in Fiber Art Reception

I belong to Beyond the Edge Fiber Artists, a great group of creative fiber artists in Southern California.  Our works range from art quilts, large and small, to dimensional fiber art will be featured from May 1 through June 19, 2017,  at the Center Gallery in Anaheim, CA.  If you happen to be in the Anaheim area during that time period, I hope you will stop by to visit the gallery.

Here is a special invitation to the artists' reception for you.
There will be food, drinks, presentations and a chance to meet the artists.

 Here are a few pictures of what one of my studio worktables looks like as I gather the items that will travel to the show. in Anaheim.

Hope to see you at the reception.
Always remember, never fear to experiment.  
Sometimes wonderful things happen.
© Linda Friedman 2017.  All rights reserved

"Waiting for Dawn"

It all started with a
one-of-a-kind print from many moons ago
Print Made from Raised Impression on a Small Serving Plate
and some hand dyed fabric remnants
After doing some dying, printing and piecing, I had come to a stopping place with a piece I was working on and started to clean up after making a mess.  Just couldn't bring myself to toss the dyed remnants.  I had 8small,  orange tone triangles and a several feet of left over strips of mottled grey fabric.  As I opened the draw were I save workable remnants, the print of a small bird caught my eye.  It had been hiding in that drawer for at least a couple of years.

I tried several arrangements of the remnants and finally settled on a design that I liked and set about piecing it.  On my worktable lay some green fabric that I thought might pull out the muted green in the print.  Yep.  It worked so I pieced a border with it, backed it with batting and fabric and set about doing simple stitch in the ditch quilting.

I could have bound or faced the piece, but since it was 12.5" x 12.5" and I had a 12" square stretched canvas on hand, I put a boxed facing around it and stapled the facing to the back of the canvas.
Stapling the Facing to the Back of the Frame
To finished the piece I cut a mat board backing, glued it to the back, attached small D-rings and strung the piece with hanging wire.  Waalaa!  Another brain fluff was complete.
"Waiting for Dawn"
 I dearly love the creative moments which come about with no planning, just the joy of making something from nothing.
Always remember, never fear to experiment.  
Sometimes wonderful things happen.
© Linda Friedman 2017.  All rights reserved

Sunday, April 16, 2017

"Vetruvian Man" Awarded Prize Follow-Up

Today I received the most wonderful thank you note from the curator, Lisa Anderson, of the 7th Annual Art Scientific show that held by California State University, Fresno and was exhibited at the Sorensen Art Gallery in Fresno, California.

 Along with the note was a ribbon for my Vetruvian Man work and its being awarded a second place in the show, but, much to my elated surprise, there as also a check enclosed. 

Given the high volume of art that Lisa was handling, I am very touched by her personal and heartfelt words.  I am sharing this to show how all curators should respond to artists in their shows.

Award Ribbon, Personalized Note and Check
Once again, here is the work that was awarded the  prize.
"Body Map in Honor of DaVinci's Vetruvian Man"
Always remember, never fear to experiment.  
Sometimes wonderful things happen.
© Linda Friedman 2017.  All rights reserved

Thursday, April 13, 2017

"Vetruvian Man" Awarded Prize

30" x 50" "Body Map in Honor of DaVinci's Vetruvian Man"
Am very happy to learn today that my work which pays homage to DaVinci's Vetruvian Man has been awarded second prize in mixed media at the Sorensen Gallery in Fresno, California.  This work was juried into the 7th Annual Art Scientifique month long exhibit at the Sorensen Gallery in the heart of Fresno.  Yearly the Departments of Science and Mathematics at California State University, Fresno put out a national call for art entries which deal with some area of science and/or mathematics.  Because many of the submissions are from scientists and mathematicians, I have been exceptionally thrilled that my works have been accepted for two years in a row.

This was my work that was juried into the last years' 6th Annual Art Scientifique exhibit.
36" x 36" "Gray Matter Unveiled"
Always remember, never fear to experiment.  
Sometimes wonderful things happen.
© Linda Friedman 2017.  All rights reserved

Monday, April 10, 2017

From Drapery to Scarf - How To

A while back I had to shorten microfiber drapes that left me with several, 74" x 20" lengths of fabric that I could not bear to throw away.  They sat dormant in my fabric stash for several months until I recently had a brainstorm on how they might be used.

A Microfiber Remnant from Shortened Drapery

The softness of the fabric was a tactile delight that I thought might feel wonderful wrapped around the neck in a scarf.

After cutting two 7" strips from the microfiber fabric, I soaked the fabric in water and then wadded up each 7" wide length and wrapped a few rubber bands around each clump of fabric.

In a microwave safe Ziploc container I then mixed up a batch of a Rit Dye product made for synthetics* in hot water, submerged the fabrics into the dye mix and lightly laid the lid onto the container.

Rit Dye for Synthetics
I then placed it into the microwave oven and heated it on high for about 3 minutes and then let it soak for a while.  After washing out the dye, the original beige microfiber became a lovely, mottled orange.

Of course, enough never seems to be enough when playing with fabric and color, so I resurrected a stamp that I had made a long time ago.
Original Leaf Stamp
Because I did not want both fabrics stamped with the same color, I picked orange and dark blue Setacolor fabric paints to use as the stamp colors.  I let the fabric dry to the damp stage and then poured the paints on an old, plastic meat tray.

It was time to print the leaf shapes onto the fabric.
Setacolor Fabric Paints and Old Meat Tray
Fabric with Orange Stamped Image
Fabric with Blue Stamped Image
Throughout the entire process, the fabric did not fray but I chose to line at least the orange stamped fabric with a pleasing color satin that I found in my stash of fabrics.

Satin Fabrics
 I merely laid the stamped fabric face-to-face on a 7" satin strip, stitched around 3 sides, turn it right side out and hand stitched it closed.

This is almost like a vestment stole that clergy wear.  It lays flat as it cascades down the chest.  I have another color satin ready to line the blue stamped fabric, but I'm not sure if I am going to line this one.  Without lining, it will drape loosely and lend itself to a variety of scarf configurations.

* I purchased the Rit Dye from Michaels; however, is available from some fabric stores and on a variety of on-line sites. 
To me, brainstorms are the spice of life.
Always remember, never fear to experiment.  
Sometimes wonderful things happen.
© Linda Friedman 2017.  All rights reserved

Friday, March 10, 2017

"Textile Translations"

This work was created in response to the theme, "Put a Bird on It," for Beyond the Edge Fiber Artists, a group of which I am a member.   We were accepted, and presently have a group show, at the Rancho Buena Vista Adobe Art Gallery in Vista, California.
"Call to the Heart"

This work stems from a very deep love for my father and how much I miss him every day of my life.  My statement on the label reads:

 "I love you and I'll see you tomorrow", my father said as he kissed me goodbye. As we hugged, a crow called out from its perch atop a telephone wire. There was no tomorrow. An accident took my father's life. From that fateful day forward, when I see and hear a crow utter its call, I hear, "I love you and I'll see you tomorrow." Yes, Daddy. I'll see you tomorrow."

Having the good fortune to not only belong to Beyond the Edge Fiber Artists but to also have my work included in the Rancho Buena Vista Adobe Art Gallery is definitely the highlight of this month for me.

Next week I'll post more photos of the exhibit.

If you are in the vicinity of North County San Diego, hope you have a chance to drop into the show.
"Textile Translations"
 March 7 through April 3, 2017 at the Rancho Buena Vista Adobe Gallery (Rancho Buena Vista Adobe).  The Gallery is located at 640 Alta Vista Drive, Vista, California. Phone (760) 639-6164. The gallery is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday, from 10 am to 3 pm.
Always remember, never fear to experiment.  
Sometimes wonderful things happen.
© Linda Friedman 2017.  All rights reserved

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

A Dear Friend Returns

This post is a review of how my wonderful friend and I worked together to actualize a dream of making a quilted duvet cover with fabrics that she and her husband, Ken had collected over the decades of their marriage.  Ken, a master of many talents, created the design for the quilt top that was to be.
Helmi and Ken Flick
Last year this extra special friend, Helmi Flick, flew in from Texas to start construction of the duvet cover.

A little history of our friendship may be warranted here.  Back in the late 1980s and 90s Helmi and I worked together at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles.  I worked in Neurology and she worked in Neuropathology.  Childrens Hospital was an affiliate of the USC School of Medicine from which I had just come.  She was the very first person to come to my office to welcome me with open arms and her inimitable laughter to offer any help that I might need in acclimating to the ways of Childrens Hospital.  That was the moment which sparked a life long friendship with this lovely lady who I consider a sister of the heart.
Meeting Helmi at Lindberg Field 2016

Helmi and Me in 2016 when she visited

When Helmi and Ken visited a couple years before, they left a banker's box of their fabric collection with me.  When they departed, they promised that Helmi would be back to create a quilted duvet cover with the fabrics they had collected.

After they returned to Texas, Ken worked up a design for what they envisioned to be the duvet cover.  I venture to guess that their love of the ocean was inspiration for the design
Ken's Conceptual Schematic

A Few of the Wonderful Hand Dyed Cotton Fabrics
All the Fabrics Laid Out on the Work Table
Helmi envisioned the quilt being constructed from strip pieces of the fabrics so we got to work cutting strips.
The First Cut!!
Once the first cut was made we were off and running.
Stacks of Strips
We only had one week to get this done.  We needed to be able to work both together and separately.I had set up two work tables and two sewing machines so that we could work in a somewhat assembly line fashion. 
Helmi Sewing Strips Together
Each striped seam needed to be ironed open.
Ironing the First Strips
And the strips started coming together.
Linda Clipping Wayward Threads As the Top Started to Take Shape
The Top is Starting to Take on an Image of Water
The first section started to become a little wonky, so it needed to be blocked before we could continue with the next section.
Linda Blocking the First Section on a Design Board
The next section which represented the sun shining on water was roughly laid out.
Preliminary Layout of Fabrics to Represent Sun
Individual pieces were then sewn together end to end and then the long strips were sewn together..
The Top Starting to Come Together and Laid on on Work Table
To represent shimmers on the "water" we used a satin stitch that went from very narrow to wider to narrow again.
To have an idea of how many pieced strips were used, one only need look at the back.
Back of Strip Pieced Top
To preview our work, we laid the completed strip pieced top on my bed.
Previewing The Strip Piecing on My Bed
Because we did not have a work table wide enough to lay the top flat, we took to the floor.  We used a carpenter's plumb bob and rulers to square up the measurements according to the size that Ken had defined in his schematic drawing.

Using Plum Bob and Rullers on the Floor
Once that was complete, black borders were added.
Black Borders Added
Helmi and I became intimately familiar with the floor as we then laid out fabric to piece together for the  backing. 
Helmi Laying Out Backing Fabric and Batting and Taping to Floor
Once the backing was pieced together, batting and top were laid upon it.
Pieced Top Laid On Top of Batting and Backing Fabric
The top was then pinned to the batting and backing.
Linda Pinning Top to Batting and Backing
Once the pinning was complete, the quilt "sandwich" was lifted from the floor and taken to the sewing machine.
Lifting the Pinned Quilt Sandwich from the Floor
Finally, the quilting began.
Quilt "Sandwich" Rolled to Fit through the Throat of the Machine
Helmi put the pedal to the metal and quilted her little heart out, right up to the time that she needed to pack her suitcase for the trip home.

We did not finish the entire quilted duvet cover before the week came to an end when she needed to catch her plane back to Texas and to her loving husband, Ken, and their wonderful kitties.  We talked about how we could confer via Skype so that she could finish the quilted work at home in Texas..  Instead of moving forward via Skype, Helmi made plans to visit again this year to finish the quilt.

Next week Helmi will arrive, once again, at Lindberg Field in San Diego and we will spend the fikkiwubg (translate:-]  following) week working on attaching fabric for the drop to the floor, putting on a second backing which will accommodate the duvet and we should have finally completed this very fun project.  The icing on this cake will be spending time together with lots of hugs and wonderful laughter.  I am so blessed to have such a magnificent friend.
Always remember, never fear to experiment.  
Sometimes wonderful things happen.
© Linda Friedman 2017.  All rights reserved