Cynthia St. Charles Store

Friday, May 30, 2014

Primary City Finished

31" x 45" 

Here it is in it's full and finished state.  I decided to go ahead and try making all the edges jagged.  I used my usual fused binding technique, but there were a lot of little corners to bind!  I think it took as long to bind this piece as it did to quilt it!  I figured I could always trim it into a nice straight rectangle if this approach failed. 

Now, about the title.  I have been using Primary City (for the primary color scheme).  I am not crazy about that title, so will have to mull the title.  Usually a good final title comes to me during the final stages of construction, but that has not happened yet with this piece.  Hopefully, I will come up with something by the time I am ready to add a label.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Quilting Finished!

OK, so here it is with the quilting finished, but I have not yet trimmed it.  Some of the people in WAV, my small art quilt group really liked the wonky edge on the left side and were encouraging me to keep it.  Decision time.....

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Quilting the Primary City

The quilting goes a lot quicker than I expected.  I had this one finished in half a day!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Thread Auditions for Primary City

Auditioning threads is always interesting.  I pull out a few feet and puddle the thread over the quilt to see how it looks.  Sometimes I am surprised by the results, but it is the best way I know of to make the difficult choice.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Preparing to Quilt Primary City

 After a bit of thought, I have decided to go forward with the quilting on this piece.  Originally, I thought I might zig zag the raw edges, but I have decided against that in favor of quilting each strip of the collage individually while also straight stitching along each raw edge. So, it begins with layering everything on my work table and pinning the layers together.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

More Red on the Primary City

At this point, I have added a few more small pieces cut from some red block prints, which give it a bit more sparkle.  I think I am about finished with the composition phase on this one.  Walking through the room in the dark - I noticed how the yellow areas really stand out and I wonder if I need to add a few small yellow highlights between the larger yellow areas........Or maybe those yellow areas are just too evenly spaced across the front....maybe it needs to be cropped on one side (but I hate to lose all that great cityscape and graffiti!

I am now contemplating the quilting.....maybe I will zig zag all the raw edges (which will be a lot of it!) and then add a grid where it needs more.    Not sure, about that.  I will procrastinate a bit, because I will have to switch out my sewing machines to set up for zig zagging, (the Juki, which is my main machine does only straight stitch, so I will have to switch to the Janome) in the built-in table and I hate doing that, so I will put it off while I think about it.   Both machines are the same size, or almost - so they both fit tightly into the depression in my quilting table.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Primary City, Continued

Now, the additions are getting to be pretty minor, but I think they add balance.  I felt like the big patches of the old quilt were a bit overpowering, so I have added smaller strips on top of them.  I think it is getting close.....

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Adding More to the Primary City

Here it is with a few additions.  I liked the yellow petroglyph printed parts and I wanted to repeat those a couple of other places.  I also liked the little bits of blue sky, so I added more of those.  I am really liking where this one is going, but I am not finished yet.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

First Look on the Design Wall

I got most of the surface covered with fabrics, working on a flat surface - it was difficult to make design decisions with it laying flat like that, so I fused it and put it up on the design wall.  I am so happy I decided to give this one another try!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Back to the Primary Collage City

I shared my early attempts with this piece back in February, when I printed a series of fabrics in primary colors and began trying to compose the collage on my work table.  Links to those posts are here:

This time, I am adding in a few other fabrics from my scrap drawer.  These prints were made for another project and were abandoned, but I think they will work with this piece, perhaps.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Returning to the Primary (Colored) City Collage

 I started this piece about 6 months ago by printing a lot of fabrics and adding fusible web to them for a collage construction.  The fabric strips have been shoved into a pile in my studio for all those months just waiting for me to return to the process.  My previous attempts did not come together well, but I had a sudden inspiration to try working with a foundation of black fabric.  (I think I was working on a foundation of batting, previously).  This created the visual negative space that allowed me to proceed.  I reasoned that if I had some empty black space - that was fine.  I would not have to add anything or feel obligated to fill up the entire surface.  So, I began by placing seven strips cut from a failed quilt.  These are already layered and quilted, creating a bit more dimension, but I am going to go with it.

Next, I pulled out my bag of leftover binding strips.  These already have fusible web attached to them and I can just sort through and pull out what I want.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Petroglyph Canyon Hike

 We brought our lunch and made a day of it.  This is such a lovely place to visit on a mild early spring day!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Petroglyph Canyon

 We have never seen any other people down in the canyon before, but this time we bumped into a couple that volunteers to oversee this area of BLM land.  They were able to tell us where to find a group of panels that we have not been able to find, previously.  I was thrilled!  

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Petroglyph Canyon Visit

Petroglyph Canyon is just an hour away in the Pryor Mountain foothills on BLM land.  The location is not marked in any way and the road is rough and hiking is involved.  From where we park, we have to hike about a mile or so to get to the petroglyphs.  We LOVE going here in the early spring!
 This high desert area is very warm compared to the nearby areas - it is like an entirely different climate compared to our home just an hour away.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Block Printed Layer on Postcards

 These three postcards were printed at the same time.  I usually just keep printing until I run out of paint.  I have found keeping a stack of "works in progress" and scrap paper (such as the inside wrappers from my chocolate bars) is a good practice - because then I have some "go to" papers for using up any paint I have leftover from another project.   Even so, sometimes I find myself scrambling for something to print on and I will overprint most anything.  This is how I come up with interesting papers to tear and add to my mixed media postcards.  Once these three postcards are dry, I will set them aside and at some point - I will return to them to add some doodles, maybe some screen printing or rubbing or scribbles, lines or dots.    These will go into my "works in progress" pile and I will keep adding to them until I feel they are finished.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Block Printing Postcards

 I apply paint to the printing block using a sponge brush of the appropriate size.  This dark green was mixed on the palette using yellow, blue, purple, and black paint.  The paint covered block is inverted onto the postcard and light pressure is applied by hand.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Junk Mail Art - Layer Three - Block Printing - Part 1

 Continuing on with a little demonstration of my process for turning junk mail into art postcards, I am preparing to add a block print to these two postcards.  Both began as a piece of junk mail, had gesso applied with a putty knife.  One was printed with bubble wrap and the other was painted with blue and yellow paint using a putty knife and also printed with circles.  Next, I plan to add a block print and am going to use the one below.  I've not yet used this printing block on any of my postcards.
This printing block was carved several years ago and sits in a box with about 75 others in my collection of hand carved printing blocks.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

More Bubble Wrap Printed Postcards

Here is the group of four postcards that have been gessoed, printed masking tape applied, and bubble wrap printed.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Bubble Wrap Printing

 I have been using this same sheet of bubble for a couple of months.  It has printed many colors and is starting to get a bit stiff, but I will not discard it until it is useless.  I put two colors of yellow acrylic onto my palette and used a foam brush to apply it to the bubble side of the bubble wrap.

Below, is the postcard I will be printing first.
I lay the painted bubble wrap paint side down onto my work surface and press firmly, making sure all the bubbles make contact with the paper underneath.
Here is one postcard printed with bubble wrap.  This one has three layers at this point.  Gesso,  printed masking tape, and bubble wrap printing.