Cynthia St. Charles Store

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Block Printing Light in the Forest

My vision for this piece is very clear. I want to create the impression of a forest with light streaming in through the trunks, branches, and leaves. To create perspective, I begin with smaller sized trunks in the distance.

Switching to a different, larger block, I move to the lower front and print those trunks and a few branches.
Next, I start adding leaves. I am finding the coloring kind of challenging.
I want the leaves to show up against the vivid colors of the background fabrics.
This means I need to use muted colors for the printing - trying to create
subtle contrast.

Here it is fully printed below.

I have to admit, at this point, I am not overjoyed with the results.
I actually liked it better before the printing.
Hopefully I can improve it with quilting and embellishments.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Printing Blocks for Light in the Forest

I sorted through my printing blocks and pulled out these (above) for leaves.
The ones below are for the trunks and branches and grass.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Free Motion Zig Zag Stitch

I used a free motion zig zag stitch to put the edges of these pieces together.

I used a couple of different color threads.

I really like the effect of the free motion zig zag on the fabric collage.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Something New - A Light in the Forest

Continuing with the collaged / block printed series - I am doing this one a bit differently.
I rolled out Mistyfuse to cover my Teflon ironing table. It overlaps in the middle but that's OK.
Then I start laying out the fabric pieces.
I already know this one is going to be a forest with light streaming in
through the tree trunks and branches, so I start with yellow.

Here it is all fused, with batting fused to the back of it.
I really like it. Next, I will stitch around the edges of each piece of fabric
with the free motion zig zag stitch.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Auditioning Block Printing

Last week I showed my progress on a new piece that I has been collaged, fused, zig zagged, and screen printed with a landscape scene. I had the original intent to add my usual block printing.
However, I am really liking the way it looks now.
Before I ruin this piece, I feel I should do a trial run with the printing.
To do this, I fused a small piece using up the last of the naturally dyed scraps of raw silk and cotton from the larger piece.

Then, I covered that piece with the type of block printing I thought I would use.
I was slightly disadvantaged in this process, however - because I was out of the gold Jacquard Lumiere paint I would like for this piece. Instead, I used copper (all I had - more colors on order, but I am impatient). The copper is too dark, I think.

Putting the printed piece right up next to the screen printing - it doesn't look bad.....

Or - I tried leaving a bit of a space between the screen printing and the block printing (below).

Often, posting images up on my blog helps me with my decision making. Not so today.
I do not love the block printing with the screen printing so much. However, I think that may be partly due to the fact that the paint color is a bit too bold. I would be going for something much more subtle here - just a shadow of printing.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Mail Art Project - Week Sixty Six

"Orange Bars"

Hand dyed cotton, machine quilted, fused.

This week's quote:
"Inanimate objects can be classified into three major categories;
those that don't work,
those that break down,
and those that get lost."
-Russell Baker-

Sunday, December 25, 2011

What Next?

Merry Christmas!
This piece hangs on the design wall while I celebrate the holiday with my family.
I must admit I am sort of stuck on this one.
In my original plan - the next step would be block printing in the sky above the screenprint and in the foreground below the screenprint.
However, I really like the look of the collaged natural fabrics in the foreground.
I am concerned that block printing could overpower the piece - and obscure the interesting natural fabrics! Hmmm.

I'll eat some Christmas cookies while I mull that over.
I hope you are having a wonderful holiday!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Painting the Watercolor Crayons

To make the watercolor crayon colors more vivid, I painted the area with water.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Free Motion Zig Zag

My technique for getting everything attached is to stitch around the edges with a free motion zig zag stitch. This creates a nice texture that I really like.

Fun texture!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Yellowstone Valley Fused

Here it is all fused and hanging on my design wall. Notice the difference between the top part (where the fabric pieces are attached to the fusible batting) and the bottom (where I added fusible web the the back of the fabric before placing it). Next, I will do the free motion zig zag stitch to hold all these collaged pieces together.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Fusing the Upper Yellowstone Panorama

I decided to work this piece in the collage technique I used for Stone Wall and Hot Flash.
I added Mistyfuse to the back of a group of hand dyed blues and built up the sky. This piece measures about 36" wide.

After I finished with the sky, I realized it needed a foreground. Going through my stash, I found my pile of naturally dyed fabrics really represent the color of mature grass very well, so I selected several of these for fusing (below)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Yellowstone Valley Vista Screenprint

I came across this screen print while I was cleaning up my work table. I had originally printed it over a year ago, and had put it aside. This screen is adapted from a very old book of mountain valley sketches that belonged to my paternal grandmother. It is a handmade booklet 28" wide x 10" tall (bound on the left). On the cover - in hand printed letters it says,"Maps from Hayden Survey Gallatin, Madison and Yellowstone, Vol 2 1872"

I traced a map / sketch of the Yellowstone Valley, enlarged it, and created a series of Thermofax screens that could be printed side by side to create a panoramic view of the Upper Yellowstone Valley.
This valley - also known as Paradise Valley is very special to me. I lived in this valley for 10 years, and built a log home there (1979-1989).

I printed it onto a blue hand dyed cotton and colored in the print
with watercolor crayons, but had not finished it.
I think I will try to do something with this piece now - rather than putting it away in a drawer.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Mail Art Project - Week Sixty Five

"Peace Angel"
Screenprinted, fused, watercolor crayons, block printed fused binding.

Today's quote:
"The reason angels can fly is because they take themselves lightly."
-G.K. Chesterton-

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Angel Postcard Process

My Christmas Postcard this year features a screen printed angel.
I made this Thermofax screen from a pencil sketch I made last year.
I printed her on white fabric with black ink.

Then, I used watercolor crayons to color the angels. I have two boxes of watercolor crayons. I like the Caran d'Ache Neocolor II Watersoluble Wax Pastels (which are slightly more intense and also a bit more expensive) than the Staedtler Karat Aquarell Watercolor Crayons. I use both, though because they have different colors in the boxes I have.

I decided I would mount the angels on a commercial print for the background.

I applied fusible web to the back of the angel printed fabric, then I painted with water to make the color more vivid.

After the angels are dry, I will cut them along the black lines so I can fuse them to the background fabric.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Malibu Sunset Finalist

Here is what I settled on.
Next, I plan to add some digital prints of sunset photos I have taken.
I will probably need to adjust the color before printing the images on fabric.

Friday, December 16, 2011

More Auditions for Malibu Sunset

More digging through my stash to audition complimentary fabrics for this piece.

No decisions yet.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Malibu Sunset

Ok, so I did a little more digging and this is what I have pinned to the design wall now.
I like this combination. The title has already been decided - Malibu Sunset - at least it can be the working title. I love it when a title pops into my head early in the process. That's when I know things are working - it represents something to me and informs my process.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Raw silk companion for Olive

I was digging through a drawer, looking for something with a little bit of olive green in it.
I pulled out this hand dyed and overdyed raw silk that was probably done about 8 years ago (give or take). This, I like with the olive green deconstructed screen printed fabric.

I think there is enough visual interest here, that I will probably not need to do any additional printing to make this work. What do you think?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Auditioning Companions for Olive

This is not my usual approach to designing quilts, but I am determined to use this olive green deconstructed screen print. I just started digging through my drawers for something to go with it. Here are a few of the things I put up on the design wall.

The pink is a hand dyed raw silk, screen printed. The black is discharged with bleach, and there is block printed fabric here, as well.

None of these choices really do anything for me.