I really enjoy working creating visual art. Vintage buttons, tattered cloth, well-loved quilts are items I try to incorporate, whenever possible, into my projects; polyester stretch velvet would never have entered my mind. While participating in the Susan Lenz class in May, 2019, at Woodland Ridge Retreat I learned to appreciate its many possibilities. The small item I am sharing today was initiated during Susan’s class.
Soft and fuzzy are adjectives used to describe, among other things, texture. The name chosen for this fiber art piece, Soft and Fuzzy, was selected because of the various velvets used. All five layers were adhered together with a fusible webbing. Unlike several of my previous items, this one was not covered with a layer of mesh which left exposed the soft and fuzzy feeling of the velvet; hence the inspiration for the name.
Soft and Fuzzy measures 7 3/4” x 9 3/4”. Staying consistent with the other members of this series, this item was framed with a black cotton border. Except for the nine French knots all of the quilting was added with my sewing machine. Since the velvet fabrics were fused together I saw no need for stitching over their raw edges. Soft and Fuzzy, the seventh of fourteen polyester stretch velvet projects, makes a wonderful addition to my portfolio.
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.