Continuing in my series of polyester stretch velvet art is the addition of this little gem. Named Retro Vibes because of its jazzy appearance this 7 3/4” x 9 3/4” art piece is the third item in line.
Compared to Around and Around and Mint Shake this project involved very little melting. I primarily used an iron and a fusible product to meld the velvet sections together. To mimic the silver sequins, seen on the soft blue fabric, I added circular white buttons as well as silver beads. Three purple beads and a matching colored Perle Cotton thread were incorporated to echo the purple polyester stretch velvet. Also integrated was mint green Perle Cotton thread to bring more focus to the like colored stretch velvet. Rounding out the doodads is a very fine layering of fused sparkly threads. The last stage of this project was to add borders, quilting, etc.
Retro Vibes is a wonderful addition to my polyester stretch velvet experiment. Keep watching for the fourth member in this series.
Not too long ago I announced a change in my business. The shift in direction took my focus away from longarm quilting and steered it instead toward the marketing of my art. With more pieces in my inventory than I have room to display it seemed only natural to reduce my wares through sales.
Before I could make my first transaction I needed to research the available options both online and through local vendors. After treading through the maze I decided to initially direct my attention to the businesses around me. The business I chose is Raven’s Wish in Janesville, Wisconsin. Raven’s Wish is a locally owned gallery offering items for sale from 75 regional and national artists.
To become a registered artist Raven’s Wish requires a completed application as well as a review of the proposed works of art. In preparation for my visit I first scoped out their establishment to get a feel for the environment, then picked up an application. Even though I had the document in hand I still wanted to ponder all of the steps and ramifications a mutual sales relationship could/would entail.
I’ve been actively engaged in the creation of fiber art for a very long time. Until now all of the items have been assembled using a typical quilt sandwich (a quilt top, a filler/batting, and backing). Since I am dipping my toe into the retail world I thought it would be a great time to stretch my wings and offer a few other items.
Newest to my repertoire is the practice of meditative hand stitching and the creation of greeting cards. Meditative hand stitching involves the slow process of mindfully applying stitches to fragments of cloth. These items can vary in size as well as detail. My practice of participating in this form of stitchery produced towering stacks of finished pieces. Being emotionally attached to each and every one meant the thought of parting with them difficult to fathom.
My meditative hand stitchery (mhs) projects were not created with a quilt sandwich in mind. They consist of a base fabric, typically a 5” x 5” square of wool, along with additional fabric scraps and perhaps an embellishment or two. To secure the items together I apply a variety of stitches using several weights of Perle Cotton and Valdani threads. The lack of batting and a backing fabric mean the small items are flimsy in nature. In order to be able to market them to the public I began a search for suitable foundations.
After completing my research I decided to utilize 8” x 10” white artist canvases. I chose 8” x 10” because decorative frames are readily available for that size. I also chose them because they provide a sturdy area to stitch on and a great surface to adhere my previously created items. This is a sample of one of my completed MHS projects.
Let’s talk about greeting cards. Being an avid fiber artist I have an enormous inventory of leftover scraps. Those scraps were the inspiration for my cards. With a desire to pepper my pursuit of art with projects less involved I decided to try my hand at greeting cards. Using eco friendly card stock for the base I began sorting and organizing my scraps into pleasing combinations then stitched them directly to the paper with my sewing machine. Below is a sample.
I found the entire creative process invigorating. In less than a day I was able to make 24 cards. Each of my cards is accompanied by an envelope. The duo is protected inside a protective cellophane bag.
I’ve spent this entire time blabbing about my decision and my new direction in art but nothing in reference to whether I was successful at enticing Raven’s Wish to market my products. Guess what! I’m not going to reveal that answer today. Let’s save that discussion for a future visit.
Mint Shake, Art Piece # 97 is the second of fourteen items I produced while attending the May, 2019 Susan Lenz class at Woodland Ridge Retreat. All of the items were small in nature and thus the reason for my productivity.
Art Piece # 97, just as with my first Susan Lenz product, utilized polyester stretch velvet and heat. The heat helped to both fuse and melt prescribed areas.
To embellish my art piece I added free-motion quilting along with numerous hand-applied stitches; their addition helped to add interest and pizazz. Using Susan’s methods to create art was very different from any other I had ever attempted, let alone imagined. While I am happy to add this masterpiece to my portfolio, the process of heating polyester stretch velvet to alter the appearance of the fibers will not be added to my regular repertoire.
The four outer edges of Mint Shake have been surrounded with a black border. Artistically applied rows of stitching were used to give the solid black fabric flair. The raw edges of the black border have been secured with facings. Art Piece # 97: Mint Shake measures 7 3/4” x 9 3/4”. This item is for sale.art,
Interested in the origin of Mint Shake’s name? Elements within my art pieces often provide the inspiration. In this case the mint green velvet was the catalyst.
May, 2019 I participated in a class taught by Susan Lenz at Woodland Ridge. The subject of the class was the manipulation of polyester stretch velvet using heat. The impact of the heat created unusual transformations.
One of the items I created during the class is a piece I call Around and Around.
Trying new techniques can bring about surprising outcomes; often times with less than desirable results. This particular project initially fell into that crevice. With the added bead embellishments and hand stitching I was able to evolve my first project into something much more interesting.
To complete my first polyester stretch velvet experiment I surrounded it with a border of black cotton fabric as well as a geometric themed stitch pattern. Rather than adding the typical binding used on most quilts I chose to secure the raw edges with facings. Around and Around, Art Piece # 96 measures 7 3/4” x 9 3/4”.
This special addition to my portfolio is among thirteen other specimens. The other members of the grouping will be introduced to you soon.
I’m honored to have shared this time with you! With warm wishes for a pleasant and fruitful day I say farewell for now.
Have you ever named an art project and then realized that you have already assigned the name to something else? Well, I have! Twice! The art piece I am showing you today, Cobblestones is the name I gave to Cobblestones, AP # 80.
Both pieces were designed with the same photo in mind.
While they both had the same inspiration their outcomes are totally different.
I am a spreadsheet person. By that I mean that I like to use spreadsheets to organize my life because they are much more reliable than scraps of paper. Of course their reliability hinges upon actually using the app.
After experiencing hurdles in maintaining a reliable list of my art pieces I decided to design a spreadsheet. The spreadsheet would be readily available because I could access it on all of my electronic devices—I almost always have one at my side. I was so proud of myself once the data was entered. While very few things are perfect I had high expectations that this would eliminate duplicate names.
In order for the spreadsheet to reach foolproof status one has to utilize it. Sometimes I’m lazy and resort back to pen and paper. In this instance that is exactly what happened. I was not aware of my dilemma until I sat down to bring my spreadsheet up to date. When I did, I had to make a decision—should I allow them both to maintain the same name or should I change one of them. In the end I chose to change one of the names ever so slightly. Today’s piece was given the modified name, Cobblestones II.
With the explanation for this project’s name revealed let’s take a look at the construction and design. I created my art piece while attending Pam Beal’s class Minimalist Design, Maximum Impact. Cobblestones II, as mentioned earlier, was inspired by a photo I took while attending QSDS.
Unlike it’s very colorful predasessor this art quilt was constructed using only three colors—a soft shade of blue, navy blue and bordeaux. Looking at the photo you will see that the cobblestones were fashioned from navy blue. The process of cutting and stitching the fabric back together created a woven texture or three dimensional appearance. I rather like that look. A border of soft blue was added to surround the cobblestones. Wrapping around all four sides is the bordeaux. The bordeaux creates a large negative space. This negative space creates a generous place for your eye to rest.
To finish my piece I added hand stitching using color coordinated threads. In the upper most bordeaux section I added three simple X’s. In the bottom area I echoed or replicated the cobblestones by stitching a grid pattern.
Cobblestones II has a very striking yet minimalist appearance. I think Pam Beal would be very pleased. Cobblestones II measures 14 1/2 x 8”.