Sunday, November 7, 2010

2010 Gallery of Fiber Art

This year I've made some nice progressions in my technique. I learned how to dye and discharge fabrics, needlefelt, work with metal, bead and use wire, and generally add to my embellishments (you can never have too many of those).

As 2010 closes, this shows a compilation of almost all of my finished work this year.

Autumn in the Forest

Bountiful Apple Tree

Child's Farm Scene

Fort Niagara

Inspirational Daisy

Inspirational Daisy detail
Joyful Ribbon Tree

Bon Voyage

This original piece is in my living room. The experimentation here was the oak trunk which was thread painted, hand-dyed background fabric and the water - on which I used Texture Magic.It is mounted on an artist canvas. The quotation says "He took also of the seed of the land and planted it in a fruitful field; He placed it by a great waters and set it as a willow tree. I was an oak, now I am a willow...I can bend".

Wisdom of the Willow

The piece below was inspired by a watercolor painting I purchased of a real place in South Dakota. I loved the print so much I re-interpreted it in fabric.

Lanville, SD
You'll definitely recognize this one. It was on the cover of Quilting Arts April/May 2010 issue, made by Susan Brubaker Knapp. I handpainted it mostly with Lumiere paints. I used different stitches than Susan because I didn't want to completely copy HER work. Then I beaded the stalk part of the feather for some surface design. I bordered it in gold lame. In person it really stands out and shines!

Peacock Feather with Beads

This piece hangs in my doctors office; I made it as a gift for helping to save my life in the past 10 years. It is a completely original design: she wanted a tree and muted but bright colors. It is all applique and quilting. She loved it so much she had it archival glassed and framed because she got sick of people touching it all the time.

Rose Under a Tree
 The piece below hangs in another doctor's office; he too was instrumental in saving my life and getting me through my toughest times by being so very supportive. I gave it as a gift. It is a small piece, about 12" x 12" and was done using a stencil over hand-dyed fabric. I had to re-paint pretty much everything that was stenciled because it wasn't vivid enough. Thank god for my stash of Lumiere paints. I covered it in ecru tulle and then quilted straight lines as the sun's rays. Other embellishments include thick yarn around the clouds, gold leaf pen outlining and much beading. I did not want a border on this one, so I again serged the edges and then stitched a rainbow-colored silk ribbon around the edges. Since it's in his office I wanted to make it easy to hang, so instead of the usual sleeve, I reinforced the top back with a wooden dowel hand stitched in, and attached braided yarn. He loved it!

Tree of Life

The piece below is an original design. It is my interpretation of the Autunmal for a FAMM challenge. Of course it didn't win, but I like it anyhow. As you can see the left side is the tree in autumn with the fiery reds, gold/oranges, and rust colors. By the way that is the only time we see hummingbirds on their trek South, so I embroidered him on. The right side is the same maple tree in it's glory of full bloom and lots of green leaves, green grass, and flowers underneath. The pivotal part is the sun which is really a full moon in autumn and full yellow sun in summer. The leaves were outlined with a stencil from Cedar Canyon and painted many colors. The quilting is also different on the right than on the left. Right connotates the downward fall of leaves; left is echo stitching of existing elements. The tree was appliqued using my favorite wood cloth and enhanced a little with markers. Different kinds of beading are in use -- look at the detail pics and also a beaded string is just inside the black border.

Autumnal Equinox

Autumnal Equinox detail

Autumnal Equinox detail

This piece is handmade fabric from muslin, a paper napkin, tissue, and lots of watered down glue. I enhanced the colors by painting the background with citrine dye-na-flow, and Lumiere pinks (3 shades of pink) for the flowers, and micron pens for the stems. Then I beaded the center of each flower with a green bead. I quilted it of course. To finish, I serged the edges and sewed on 3 strands of satin strands, using microfiliment thread. I gave it to my hand surgeon who fixed my carpal tunnel on both hands this summer. Without her, I couldn't do any more art because I was on the edge of permanent nerve damage in both  hands. She is a miracle worker and she marveled at the piece. She hangs it in her office so she can look at it every day.

Cherry Blossoms

Here is a pic of the detail

I hand-dyed some cotton which turnout this funky color of gray/brown. It alone inspired me to create a series of "Vintage" art. Both pieces below are about 12"wide by 15" high. I used the cloth-glue-ephemera-glue-tissue-glue technique to make my own cloth. I put in vintage (copyright free) images, quotes, leaves, and some unique stamps that are hard to see. There are also leaf, coin, and key charms sewn on. One is quilted horizontally and one vertically.  I bonded this to stiff interfacing and used the same fabric on the back. I edged each wall hanging with vintage, multicolored ribbon. Oh almost forgot... I gilded and antiqued elements, used gold foil, and on the first one I had to enhance this stamp's (the lady's profile) look with markers, carefully placed paint, and what worked best was custom stitching. She's got a lovely face profile if you can see it. The "cat glasses" from the 40's and 50's are really cute...I thought they added a nice unexpected touch.
Vintage series

The piece below is very colorful, is it not? It's fun to look at and it was fun to make. I had previously learned how to make fabric ribbons over straws, but couldn't find the right place for them. I made the colorful cloth this summer, painting dye-na-flow in swatches and placing those kidz crazy bandz - in the princess package- on top.  It came out really well so I decided to make a piece for a little princess. I outlined the princess's crown, sceptor, ring, shoe, etc. with a gilded marker. I embroidered adjectives (in multiple colors) for a princess on wired organza and tacked them down. I didn't want to sew them all the way down, again trying for that 3-D look, so I put lightweight beads on the top and heavy ones on the bottom of each organza strip. Of course before the organza I quilted it in a meandering stitch; nothing distracting. The fabric beads were fun; I used all solid colored swatches from all my fabric dyeing and tied each one with "fun yarn" that was already rainbow colored. If I had a little girl, this would be in her room. Maybe I'll save it for a granddaughter. HAHAHAHA -- I'm too young for that, but you never know with 3 boys, 2 of which are in their mid-twenties.


detail of above

The posting my leaf montage below (and all the others these past few days) makes me realize that leaves and trees are a reoccurring theme in my work -- good to know. Maybe I should concentrate on those for a while in different techniques. BUT...I really love, love, love flowers. I have been a home gardener for 25 years and was even a paid landscape designer for a few of my friends, plus I belong to several garden clubs. I think I've been afraid that if I get into flowers, I won't be able to get out and everything will be too girly.

Okay enough pondering, here's how I made the leaf montage. I sun-dyed some PFD (prepared for dyeing) cotton with a couple of green dye-na-flow paints, using fabric leaf cut-outs on top. Then I put those same leaf cut-outs right near its lighter green counterpart. Then I just had fun making and using up any leaf pieces or ephemera from my stash. I painted, and glittered and just filled everything up w/leaves. This was before I began any beading or those would be on my piece too. I have a large leaf quilting stencil that I penciled on the back and used high loft poly batting. You can kind of tell that the quilting is in a leaf pattern. I bound it the regular quilter's way and added a strip of pretty, semi-sheer, green ribbon on the stitch line.

Leaf Montage

My aunt is/was an artist. That is, she was educated in fine arts and created many works of painting and drawing. It didn't last too long after she married in the late 1950's. She always figured she'd take it up once she retired from work, but now that she is in her 70's (and healthy, thank The Lord) she has no desire to be "Grandma Moses" doing plein air painting. Long story short she lives out West in AZ and was surprised when I tentatively told her I thought I was a fiber artist or something. I told her mostly about my landscape work. I told her to give me a cherished landscape photo and I'd make her something. She GAVE me her Janome MC11000 that she had gotten 5 years ago and never used! Whoa, what a generous gift.

This piece took me a good three months in the design and execution. Usually I can crank one out a week. It is definitely the most complex I've ever attempted because of the mountains in the background and especially the snow. First, here is the original photo she sent me. It is a picture of the Grand Canyon from Big Bear where they used to live:

Big Bear & Grand Canyon photo

And here is the landscape art piece that I was able to make:

Big Bear scenic vista of the Grand Canyon

detail of the tree -- the focus of the piece

When I sent it to her a couple of weeks ago she was thrilled and actually used the word "genius". Boy is it nice to get some feedback from artists. Please anyone who takes the time to see my work, any and all feedback is welcome!

From the Fun With Fiber blog page:


  1. What a treat to see your one-woman gallery show! You are having fun with your art, making some lovely gifts, and trying lots of techniques. I love the Rose Under a Tree and also the Tree of Life. The colors in the Grand Canyon scene are perfect. Thanks for sharing your work (I read your letter in the QA forum.)

  2. The best quilt by far for me was the Peacock Feather. I love the simple lines.Keep going with your experimentation. You will find your voice.

  3. Kim, I enjoyed seeing how you had expressed your creativity through fiber art when you had to leave your work. What a healing activity this can be! You must feel really encouraged for your aunt to give your her Janome! Good luck on the fireman-themed women's bathroom. I don't think you should limit your thinking to pictorial--something colorful and abstract could be very attractive and brighten up the area, too.