Saturday, March 29, 2014

Geometric Design Fun

At our March Fyber Cafe meeting, we had fun doing a design exercise with geometric shapes. I stole this from another group's blog, Kathy Schmidt at Quirks Ltd. in the UK click here & scroll down to Nov 22. We each started with Six 5" squares of bright fabric, with fusible ironed on the back, such as Steam-a-Seam or Wonder Under. Then the two squares with the darkest value we cut once, to use in the background, the remaining squares we cut into other smaller geometric shapes, about 4-6 pieces from each square. We cut rectangles, strips, squares, lot of circles, crescents, snakes, many different triangles, stars, eggs, etc... I provided a yard of black solid cotton, to use as a background, and we placed the larger pieces first, then the smaller cut shapes. We started just throwing them on, but had to stop and put more thought into the placement.
We were allowed to place pieces on top, underneath others, overlap, and all over the black fabric, you could move previously placed pieces, we played a long time. Every so often we moved two steps to the left, so you worked on a different section. At the end we each removed two pieces! The idea was to consider design options, balance, value, line, repetition, shape, and color. After everything was in place, we stood back and gave it a good critical look, a few things were tweaked. We wanted a little more of the black/negative space to show. Paper was placed on top and it was rolled up, to take home and iron all the pieces in place.
As I ironed it, I fussed a little, mostly on how they overlapped and to even out the black space. After ironing, it was cut up into 16 sections approximately 8" x 10" some of them cut straight, and some wonky. Each artist will receive a piece to play with, cut up, repiece, add or subtract, extend, cover over, alter, or embellish. Just to have fun playing with color and design.
It will be very interesting to see what everyone does with their piece. There were thirteen who participated, if you were not there at the last meeting, email Amy for one of the extra sections.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

February Meeting 2014

Old Business The Bandon Art Retreat is set for June 23-25, Mon-Wed, I need a verbal commitment at the March meeting, and payment at the April meeting. We will spend relaxing days, sewing, painting, embellishing, working on our projects, field trips, beach walks and lunch out on the town. A fun time to share our friendship and creativity. Also maybe a studio tour of Landreth's in Coos Bay? Sylvia has invited us back to the Elkton Festival in June, to paint Festival Flags with the kids, we had a great time last year, please volunteer to help, contact Sylvia. The Umpqua Valley Quilt Show is in April, please bring your finished "Weather Report" with sleeve and label, no dowel, to the April meeting, we need volunteers to hang and organize the show. Also we will display one other art piece per member, your choice, with a member profile, please participate, so we have a good display. New Business For the March meeting, please, bring Six 5" squares of BRIGHT fabric, prints, stripes, solids, etc... with iron on fusible on the back, Wonder Under or Steam a Seam type. Also bring your scissors! Amy has a fun design exercise/game for us. Jana announced there is going to be a BIG Quilt, Stitch and Knit Show at the Portland Expo Center on August 14-16, with lots of workshops. Check the web for more info or call Jana.

Show & Tell Corienne stitched and washed her fiber fabric from last months meeting, each side is different, she used a bit of shimmery organza fabrics, and silk ribbons in hers. She definitely likes the "underside" better.
Corienne, Sylvia and Cynde took a dye class at the Eugene Textile Center, to use "Color Hue" dyes. She did not bring her swatch book, but they worked mostly on silks, made color charts, mixed shades, and learned a lot. The dyes need no mordant, are very concentrated, a few drops in water, and add the silk. Nancy has been busy with taking photos of events she has been involved in, a Project Literacy Book Challenge, and a Valentines for Vets at the Roseburg VA hospital.
Dorie made a name tag from her fiber fabric, after stitching and washing, she couched her name in gold metallic cord, used iron on vinyl as a backing, and a silk organza ribbon as a binding, bow and neck cord. After hearing Pat's idea of a box, she might make one with her leftovers.
Pat W. got adventurous and added moss and lichen to her fiber fabric, she went out side and collected it, then stitched it onto the fibers. It adds a very interesting organic textural quality to the fibers. She plans on making a basket or box from her fibers, we discussed a cardboard form, glue stiffener or heavy interfacing. It will be fun to see what she comes up with. Tricia's fibers have a lacy quality, she used a lot fewer fibers than the rest of us, and plans on backing it with a fabric that will show through the lace holes. She also used bits of organza and fabric snips to make hers unique.
Jana has been spinning up a storm, participating in an international challenge with a group called "Ravelry" to spin through watching the Olympics. "Unseasonably Warm" is Jana's "Weather Report" challenge. She has thread painted a crow and fall leaves with lots of texture. She really enjoys this technique and is getting much better at her free motion stitching. The echo quilting around the sun, give it a radiant look, and the hot yellow background fabric gives it HEAT!
"Tempest in a Teapot" is Peggy's wonderful creation, two ladies at a tea table with a stormy sky, and a tornado in their teapot. She has painted a dramatic sky with watercolors, and the tornado has tiny hand painted details. Lace, ribbon, beads and other embellishments decorate the ladies clothing, the edge of the lace doily tablecloth has a loose flowing ruffle. Peggy loves to decorate the ladies, and this is part of a series she has done, with vintage women. She would like to do one with the Eiffel Tower and Paris in the background. We discussed the Value contrast on the tablecloth, and how to tone it down a little bit, with shadows for the tea service, or tea dyeing the fabric, or a vase of flowers on the table, she feels it is too bright in relation to the subdued colors of the rest of the piece.
"Thunder and Lightening" is Kay's bold, dramatic, 3-D art work. She has used 4 separate pieces of Pellon heavy duty interfacing, to create two Mobias strips and a double strip sphere. It is covered in black and gray fabric, with gold and silver lightening, in threads and paint. It is embellished with pieces of a black sweater, and black pipe cleaners to help hold the shape. Mounted on a block covered with a white/black print, it is intriguing from many angles. We discussed how it would look, mounted to a wall, rather than flat on a table.
Fibers from a mystery artist, were embellished with bits of batik fabric, giving it focal points of interest, sorry my notes did not say who made this.
Sherry brought a skirt to share with us, where she used an assortment of fibers, laid down under a layer of Solvy, then stitched to secure. It was a creative way to use a similar fun fibers technique. More lacy than our mats of fiber, it highlighted some beautiful ribbons and trims. Discussion Instead of a demo this month we had decided to critique our "Weather Report" pieces. We only had four here at the meeting, but we counted 12 finished pieces. We started with asking each artist about their theme, how they interpreted it, and if they thought they had succeeded. We discussed what they liked about the piece, what they learned doing it, and if there was anything they wished they had done better. Then we gave suggestions on how that particular area could be improved. We mostly discussed design balance and composition, and techniques used. I thought it was a very useful, more detailed discussion of each piece. Secondly, Sherry wanted to discuss working in a series, she had a new book by Elizabeth Barton on the topic. She wanted to know if anyone was interested in working through some of the exercises with her. We discussed how we each had a theme or two in our work, that tied some of it together.