Saturday, July 26, 2014

Patio Art and Making Beauty

I often work at finding beauty in something that others might pass by, but I know that with a little work and ingenuity its possible to give an object new life.
The cloths on my print tables need to be replaced every 3-4 months, they get stained from printing and dyeing and I love the ghost images and colour that are left on these cloths. This one came off the table a couple days ago and I painted some magenta/purple dye over it to partially cover the white areas.

I had a PLAN! I screen printed some images over the top. I didnt want the crow to be too dominant so I used a transparent paint. And I wanted some flowers in there so the coneflowers are an ochre colour. The images aren't too strong but I knew once I cut into it they would show up more.....
I had hoped to get two large pictures out of the fabric but settled for a large and a small so I could get the best areas of the fabric. I stapled the fabric to canvas frames and then sprayed an acrylic varnish over them....stinky stuff!
And GUESS where I hung them? Outside, on my deck! I figured if we put art on the walls inside the house, why not put art on the outside? DH gets a little twitchy putting nails into walls so I did it while he was at work......
A couple things I learned.....the pictures are light so in a strong wind like we had last night, they blow off the wall. Going to fix that! Also, these are not precious, so if they fade or get stained, I'll make new ones....What art did you make this week?

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Dream Collection

A while ago I sent one of my pieces to the Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) for their 2014 Benefit Auction. all the quilts had to measure 12 " x 12", but otherwise subject matter and technique was pretty wide open.
My quilt is called Flywheel and uses soy wax resist with fibre reactive dyes and  heavy thread stitching. It was a trial piece for my larger Wild Thing.
One of the ways SAQA promotes the auction is to ask members to make a Dream Collection of six pieces with a common theme, such as seasons, cities, people and such. I was thrilled to see my piece included in such as collection and you can see it here:  Its called Running in Circles!

The bidding for the auction starts on September 15th.
Here's How You Can Participate in the 2014 Online Benefit Auction
The Auction is run in three sections for 6 days each, with a special section accompanying the International Quilt Festival in Houston.
  • On the first day of each section's auction, the price for each piece in that section is $750.
  • Each day thereafter, the price is reduced according to the chart below.
  • Pieces not reaching the reserve price of $75 will be sold in the SAQA Store through November 2014 or if unsold will be returned to the artist.
Check out further details here:

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Australia and more......

I'm excited to be planning a teaching trip to the "Land Down Under" next year! I've been invited to teacher at three fibre events as part of a tour that will include New South Wales and Tasmania as well as some personal time to explore some parts of Australia I've been yearning to see!

I'll be teaching my "Soy Wax Resists" workshop twice near Melbourne, first for Fibre Arts Gippsland on 28th March - 2 April 2015. there will be four other international tutors from Canada, the US and Germany. Then, I'll be in Ballarat for April 6th-11th, 2015. While I'm there I'll be teaching an extended Soy Wax Resists workshop. Can you tell, I'm beyond excited! I've never been south of the Equator so its absolutely thrilling for me!
Have you thought about traveling further afield to take a workshop? Why not join me? Here's the link to check it all out:

Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Bridge Between Equals - New Work

For the second time, I've had a piece accepted into the Sooke Fine Arts Show and I'm excited to see it hanging in the show. This wall hanging is about how we make connections between each other and my thoughts about the ideas and interactions that keep us united. I like the term "A Bridge Between Equals" because it means that we are all on a level field with no one above or below us. I like working with a white/grey/black scheme and the red is a great colour for contrast. I hope to see you there:
The fabric began as white and I dye painted it:

          I then applied soy wax to preserve certain areas and overdyed a pale/medium grey:
I printed over top with several ideas of text with some Thermofax screens:
My piecing technique tends to be rather organic and shapes evolve, being added and subtracted as I work through the entire quilt.
I'm never absolutely certain how it will be until the last stitches are taken:

My quilting stitches are very different from the traditional, but I took a lot of time and tested many variations before I decided on a satin stitch variation...................

The Printed Fabric Bee - The Winner IS:

Drum Roll, please! I'm pleased to announce the winner for the Industrial theme is Gabriele DiTota! She said "Venice" in her comments and my husband chose that as the winner......
It just so happens that we'll be there next October! Hey, Gabriele, do you live in Venice? I could deliver the squares in person!
Be sure to email or Facebook message me with your address!
Thanks everyone, I hope you have a great summer, it sounds like you all have wonderful plans for your creative energies....

Here's a peek at some of the fabrics I've received so far:

Enjoy, Susan!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Summer, Summer, Summer!

I was looking up songs about summer this past weekend and if you are part of my generation (and I think most of you are) then these will sound familiar:

"Surfin' Safari," The Beach Boys

"Summertime Blues," Eddie Cochran

"A Summer Song," Chad & Jeremy

"Surfer Girl," The Beach Boys

"School's Out," Alice Cooper

"Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days Of Summer," Nat King Cole

"California Girls," The Beach Boys

"Under The Boardwalk," The Drifters

"Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini, Bryan Hyland

Do those tunes get your toes tapping and fingers snapping? Well, you can listen to them and more here at this website:

What are your plans for the summer? Are you vacationing or staying close to the air conditioner? My daughter and grand daughter are staying with us for most of the summer, in fact next week she'll be on her own with her grandpa and me.....oh my! She's only 2 1/2, so a little young to teach how to quilt! But I found a quilt for her bed that she loves:  

When I have a few minutes to call my own, I'll be working in the studio on a quilt to enter into some shows this fall. I also have the script planned out for two new online workshops.... you'll hear more about those later. Plus, there's my vegetable garden; its been an ongoing battle with the deer, so I bought a "water cannon", a motion sensor/water sprinkler to scare them out of my veggies! I've had to replant the beets twice!

I know the summer will just fly past, I hope you have time for "fun in the sun!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Printed Fabric Bee - June

Hey, everyone! What a perfect way to start summer, with a giveaway! If you've been following my blog or the Printed Fabric Bee, then you know that part of the celebration of creative talent is giving a 6" square away to one lucky person who leaves a comment on my blog here or my Facebook page here:
I chose the theme of Industrial, so it was about old buildings, rust, decay and more...I made a Pinterest Board for inspiration. You can see the images here:
I'll be announcing the winner on July 10th! Leave a comment telling us what kinds of creative ideas you'll be working on this summer!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

An Easy Colour Study to Try

Is this how you feel about colour? Does it challenge you beyond endurance? Keep in mind that the more we work on something, it more skilled we become. This is true for truck driving as well as our art!
Last week, I taught a class on Design Explorations that focused on some of the Elements of Design and my students loved this exercise involving magazine photos and coloured papers. You can also do this with pictures in magazines.

Find a picture you like and tear it out. The find all the colours in the picture by cutting small pieces of those colours or painting them and glueing down beside the mail picture. This exercise is about looking and seeing how many possible colours there are in just one simple photo.

Another exercise is is to cut out pictures of one colour and glue them down in place. This will teach you about some of the possible values, tints and shades of that colour.

Now, how about trying some of your own?

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Space Maps, Pick Up Sticks........New Thermofax Designs

I have a blast thinking of names for some of my Thermofax designs and I've just added a few more. check out these and more at my "Industrial" page:

 Power Grid
City Map
You can go and order them in three different sizes:

Or how about some new Nature Designs:

 Wood Grain

These are great, aren't they? Remember Here is where to order them:
Did you know that I also create custom orders for you? Provide me with a design and choose the size, its that easy! Or I can create something special that I'll love. Just send me an email HERE

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

You're Going to Love It......Resist to Stitch

Its not about disliking or being resistant! Its all about creating resist on fabric. You're going to love it, I promise! A special 3 session online workshop developed just for you. Lots of colour, lots of pattern and lots of exciting new designs to make YOUR fabric so perfectly unique!

In  Lesson One we will explore pole wrapping and Shibori and I have lots of great ideas for easy, simple techniques for you!

In Lesson Two, we'll work with both wax and glue resists for  dyes and diluted paints and play with flour resists as well! You will learn lots of ways to create interesting textures onto fabric!

And in Lesson Three we will focus on a unique and creative way to use stitching to create a resist before dye painting. It's not exactly what you might think....

Would you like to learn more? Then check out the sign up page here: Read over the Supply List (click on the Green Button)
I also include:
  •  an opportunity to discuss, comment and ask questions with fellow students and the teacher (that's me) on the workshop page.  
  • There's a photo sharing site thats designed just for you to see what others are creating. 
  • Plus you'll have a chance to download all the videos to watch at your convenience....forever! How cool is that??
All of this for a VERY resonable cost! Remember, just go to:
And Register for Resist to Stitch. Hurry! The workshop opens June 19th for a limited number of students, just like you!