Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Must. Stop. Screen Printing.

I don't know what it is about screen printing, but it seems that once I start I just can't stop.

I've been writing a little article involving screen printing for an upcoming edition of Quilting Arts. Perhaps the hardest part of writing an article, for me, is being satisfied with my samples and examples. Two things got me to stop (or at least slow down) the sample making this time: the deadline, and I ran out of screens to burn.

Here's a print that is not in the article:

Trust me when I say that this is much better in real life. The leaves are various metallic colors, as is the leopard moth. However, I really feel that the moth needs more oomph. Perhaps that can be added with an outline of the moth by either more screen printing or some quilting. The dots need something too. It's a work in progress and I do have plans for it.

In the meantime I started playing with the image in Photoshop. Here's what I've got so far.

I really get a kick out of both techniques - playing with paint and playing with pixels. What do you think?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

September Machine Quilting Unlimited

Thanks to *everyone* for all your lovely comments on yesterday's post! Wow! You really made my day.

After I finished the quilt in my last post I got busy writing an article. I love working with the folks at Machine Quilting Unlimited, so I jumped at the chance to write another article for them. You can check it out it out in the September issue. Here's a glimpse of part of it:

It's all about feathers - a variety of types, on a variety of types of quilts. Believe it or not, feathers are fun! Because of their organic shape they work on a wide variety of quilts, and I've used them fairly often in my work - the border of The Gathering is just full of them, and they're all over Under the Rainbow. Once you get the hang of them they are a pretty quick way to fill up an area and are graceful to boot. The September issue is also jam packed with lots of other great articles, including the cover story on Patt Blair, how to quilt large quilts on your home machine, a great article by Marcia DeCamp and much more.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Houston IQA

I'm so delighted that for the fourth year in a row I've been fortunate enough to receive "the call" from Houston. My newest quilt, which I must say I poured my heart and soul into, has won a cash award in the IQA World of Beauty (Houston quilt show). Here's a sneak peek:

It's a digital collage that I created in Photoshop using a number of my photographs and a painting. I printed it on five panels of silk using my Epson 2200 pigment ink printer, then seamed them to create the quilt top. It's very heavily free motion machine quilted using a variety of threads - rayon, silk, cotton, and maybe even a little polyester .

It's a red letter day, as my oldest son is officially a teenager today. I better run and make his cake!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Miss October!

I now have a copy of the Martingale 2011 Calendar of IQA Award Winning Quilts, and I'm proud to say that I am Miss October (well, actually Last Dance is).

I had so much fun making this little quilt, and I'm just delighted to be in the calendar again this year.

I happened to be at a Metrothreads meeting on Saturday, and someone made an interesting remark. They admired how I made the left wing look transparent, so that the leaf beneath it showed through. Truth by told, I didn't do that. When I took the original picture, which you can see here, the butterfly was resting on dried oak leaves. As I manipulated the photo, including increasing the saturation, the colors on the oak leaf and the butterfly wing became more similar, producing the illusion of transparency. You can see an explanation of how I created the central image here, and see what a difference upping the contrast made.

I was very lucky to be in the right time and place to catch this somewhat unusual moment - a butterfly resting on autumn leaves. Keep your eyes open, and maybe you'll catch a magical moment too.