Cynthia St. Charles Store

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Red Recipes and Happy New Year

Stepping back to take a look . . . . I am satisfied so far. . . . I know this all seems a bit odd, but I do feel like I am heading in the right direction on this piece.

No particular plans for New Years Eve for us.  Just a quiet evening at home and early to bed.  We are hosting an open house here on New Year's Day - the first day of 2014 will be shared with friends and neighbors.  Hope you all have a great New Year - see you in 2014!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Red Recipes

 Red circles and now red printed recipes.  Grandma's recipes are going to cover the surface in red ink!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Adding Circles

While working on the addition of some darker fabrics to the left and right, my eye fell on a stack of red circles cut from deconstructed screenprinted fabric.  I decided to audition these, too.  Ultimately, I decided to go with them.  This shows the piece after the additional fabrics as well as the red circles have been fused in place. 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Screen Print Auditions for the Green Collage

 OK, so before I do anything with printing ink - I need to make a plan.  Here are a couple of my ideas for this piece.  I can't resist playing a bit with imagery I used for a lot of my pieces last year - cottonwood trees, and the moon.  I still love the landscapes I did on fabric collages........  The one below shows the addition of a screen printed "mountain" strip I tried for my last piece.  The strip was put aside, but I still really like it and I feel like it will show up someplace eventually....
 I have also been wanting to work with the cell imagery I started using last summer when I made my Zinc piece.  So, these images find their way onto the design wall for evaluation, also.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Filling out the Collage

One of the first things I decide to do is add some darker shades of green to the edges so the lighter colors are just in the center rather than going all the way across in a horizontal/diagonal line.  Here are a few of my auditions before I settled on a plan for adding more fabric.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Bronze / Green Collage Challenge

 Earlier this month, I showed my process for finishing up a fabric collage I started two years ago.  I added layers of printing and overprinting, then quilted it to bring it to closure.  I have a number of these unfinished fabric collages laying around the studio and I would love to get them finished.  I have decided I will use them to try developing my skills with abstract imagery.  I have also decided to use printing / surface design and the printing will include handwritten screen prints of recipes written by my grandmothers.

Here is my next challenge.  It is a very muted  pale yellow - green to bronze collage of hand dyed cotton.  The size is about 34 x 50.  Below is a detail showing how I have stitched the raw edged fabric pieces together using a free motion zig zag stitch.  In doing this stitching, I have included the batting and backing fabrics so it is essentially already basted together in layers.  I don't have to worry about anything other than getting the printing imagery and quilting right.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

White Christmas

We are having a white Christmas here at our place this year!
I hope you all have a happy holiday!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Present to Myself!

My favorite local potter is Greg Jahn.  He lives right here in Billings and I have been collecting his work for about 10 years.  I started out going to his open studios in December with the idea I was buying Christmas gifts.  However, when it came down to it - I found I really could not part with them once I got them home.  At that point, I became a collector.  I continue to attend his open studio events and I always treat myself to some pottery.  Usually, I purchase some mugs because I drink tea every morning and it means a lot to me to have a wonderful mug to drink from each day.  I now have 28 mugs in my collection and I love using each one of them. 

I also collect his vases and bowls - oh - and teapots!

Merry Christmas to me!  A gift I can enjoy for many years to come.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Winter Reading

I did a little research and placed some book orders online, buying as many used books as I could, although some of these are new.  I get so frustrated with what is available in the local stores and it is overwhelming making choices.  These books all have really good reviews.  I have already read "The Goldfinch" and am looking forward to my next book!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

"Learning to Cook #1" Full view

Here is a full view of "Learning to Cook #2".  Trimmed and bound - it measures 29" wide by 53" high, vertical orientation.  

I am so happy with the way this turned out that I am going to use the same theme to tackle the rest of the unfinished fabric collages I have laying around the studio (there are four I can see right now).  I will use my grandmothers' recipes as the foundation printing as I build up the collage surface.  I plan to continue developing my skill with abstract imagery (a big challenge) through this process.

Here is what I started with:

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Quilting - Learning to Cook

 The quilting helps pull everything together, and I feel this is the best choice I could have made and am happy with the results. 
 While I've been floundering along with design choices, I have also been mulling various titles.  I think I am going to call this piece "Learning to Cook".  The title exemplifies the challenges I faced picking up this collage that was started two years ago and bringing it to closure.  It also relates to the screen printed recipes in my grandmother's handwriting, and even to the random messy screen printed lines. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Fused Additions

OK, so here we are with the collage pieces fused in place over the too-white horizontal strip of paper lamination.  Quilting is next.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Printing Collage Pieces

OK, well I have come back to the idea of collaging over the horizontal strip with fabrics that will blend with what is already there.  This means digging through the scrap drawer and printing those fabrics.  Here, I am printing the recipes with black.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Reworking the Black Strip

I don't really want this piece to be a landscape, so I trim the bottom edge in a jagged edge.  Does it work any better this way?

I think it does.....however....I am rethinking it.  Not sure if the black with just lettering is the right compliment to the background....Hmmmm......

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Audition the Printed Black Strip

 Here is the printed strip - auditioning a couple of different placements....
Hmmm.....this really transforms the piece into a landscape -which I find a bit inconsistent with the rest of the piece.

Monday, December 16, 2013

More Auditions and Some Printing

 Another idea......a black strip with random cutting would cover the white strip and will create the contrast I am considering.  It can't be just a solid black, though.  After some consideration, I have decided to print the recipes I used on the quilt body onto the black strip using metallic paints.

Grandma's recipes again.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Fixes for the Horizontal Strip

 Contemplating my design options - I consider adding something to create more contrast and I audition this strip of block printed black
And I also audition more scraps that might blend in with the rest of the collage.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Evaluating Markers

I colored in about half of the horizontal strip and put it back up on the design wall.
Now, I am starting to think I am just going to have to cover that strip with more collage like the rest of the quilt, so I have placed several pieces of printed fabric on the right side of the strip for comparison.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Coloring the Horizontal Strip

 One of my ideas for bringing out the horizontal strip is using some fabric pens to bring them out.  Below, I have fused a little scrap of paper lamination onto another scrap of hand dyed fabric to experiment with these metallic fabric pens. 
So, I jumped right in using the markers on the quilted paper lamination strip directly on the quilt. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Stepping Back to Evaluate the Quilting

 Hmmm......I am still on the fence with the horizontal piece of paper lamination.  It doesn't have enough contrast, nor does it blend in very well.  The quilting did not have the impact I hoped for.
Other than my indecision about the paper lamination, I find myself really liking this piece.  I like the movement, the messiness of the screen printed lines, but the overall uniformity.  I like the colors and the metallic screen printing.  I just don't really like the paper lamination as a horizontal element, but what to do?  It is heavily quilted and I am not one to rip out quilting stitches.  I just don't go there.  Ever.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Diving In with Quilting

 I was on the verge of ripping this horizontal strip of paper lamination off this piece, but I decided to take a risk and see if I could bring it out with heavy quilting. 

I spent a lot of time going over the edges multiple times with different colors and here is a quick snapshot of the piece on my sewing table. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Pausing to Evaluate

 I was bothered by the light area in the upper right corner and have fused some hand dyed raw silk in place, which I feel balances the color better.
I printed this area (upper right) again, so it blends better.  I am satisfied with this piece at this point - but will wait a few days before  proceeding with the quilting.  I will want to do something to emphasize that horizontal element.  I feel like some dark heavy stitching there will be important.  I am also thinking about adding more text in that area - perhaps I will write some things myself rather than doing more screen printing.  Going to let things gel for a while, though.  I am not really sure about the whitish horizontal element.  It sort of bothers me and I may end up just ripping it off before I do the quilting.  Stay tuned!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Fusing the Paper Lamination

 I settled on the placement of the paper lamination and fused it in place.  I am still bothered by the light area in the upper right corner (below).   I will deal with this next.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

My Progress with the Brown Collage

I feel like this arrangement of the paper laminate is more successful, but then I realize the recipes are all upside down, so I have to flip it (below).  That puts a large distracting light area in the upper right corner.  I try auditioning some darker sheer silk pieces over the light areas to balance things out.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Auditioning the Sheer

I am playing around with the paper laminate sheer that I have cut into wonky strips.  I don't have quite enough of them to make this orientation work for me, so I guess I will have to try something else.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Kinetic Energy in Screen Prints

 Above, the screen printing shown with only the copper and gold prints.  Below, I have added some silver and brown to fill in.
I really like the kinetic energy in this piece at this point.  Just what I need on a dreary fall day!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Thermofax Screen Printing the Collage

 Here is the collage now, with the text printed over the entire surface.  I am happy with this.
I've decided to use the Thermofax screen that was used for the paper lamination on the collage.
This screen was converted from a deconstructed screen print that I thought was interesting.
I chose to repeat the colors in the collage for my screen printing of the abstract lines that are now being printed over the top of the text.