Update on Paper Shredding Fabric Design

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This is what I’ve got so far in my ambitious diaspora project. The size is roughly 58″x58″. The concentration camp image is almost done; above that is the Lincoln memorial image, you can see it in pencil barely, and I’m going to start filling that in today. I’m auditioning text for the other spaces, not sure where that will all go yet. Also, the conquistidor shape, a rubbing from my recent visit to Santa Fe, will factor in somehow, as will the national weather service hurricane symbol, which you can see to the left.

Here’s a close up:

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And here is the stack of color photocopies (I’ve spent close to $100 on these) which I’ll be ripping up and fitting into the piece, somehow. I recently shared with one of the women in my bi-weekly art quilt group that I was spending my time shredding paper in my art studio; she asked me if I felt like a hamster. Not a lot of fabric is designed by ripping up paper and taping it together! Next time I’ll post a photo of the paper debris on the floor. It’s impressive. But, not until the Lincoln memorial design element is complete.

Screen Printing Saguaros

I need some fabric for the border of my quilt; I spent the weekend screen printing, and while I wanted the fabric dark, I started out light with a dark pink. Above, the first run of saguaros. Below, two silk screens with saguaros cut out of contact paper stuck; the screens are the same size, but the arrangement of the saguaros is different on each one.

I then did a run of blue, then gray over the pink:

This is how the fabric looked after the first run of gray, it’s the vertical piece on the right:

I thought it wasn’t dark enough, and printed another run of saguaros with what I thought was a darker gray, but it didn’t make too much difference; here’s both vertical pieces auditioning on either side of the quilt top, along with some fabric strips auditioning for window frames for the 6 windows:

I think I’m OK with the vertical border fabric as it is. Which is another way of saying I’m done screen printing out in the heat on my patio. The next step is to put it all together, and then I have to decide what colors to use to frame the windows; here’s a few strips I’m trying out. My sister had the great idea to alternate the colors and widths of the fabric strips for the windows.

Lots to do. More soon, when I can tear myself away from obsessive/compulsive fabric auditioning and sewing. It seems I just can’t stop trying out yet more colors and patterns to see what will work best. This is where having lots of fabric may be my doom.

And yet more baby steps…

This week I managed to get some garden and art related chores done after work.  It’s fall here in Arizona and temps next week will be in the 80s!!! Time to start the winter garden. I turned over my raised beds and added some potting soil…

Here are my nicely turned over beds; these are home to parnsip, carrot, beet, kale and lettuce; the wire on top is to discourage the local stray cats from confusing my garden with a litter box.

Then later in the week I tackled the dreadful art-quilt-framing issue. Here are my cedar stretcher bars on the back side of the desert marigold piece….

And here’s the piece pulled over the stretcher bars and stapled to the back. I know, it doesn’t look straight, but it is; just a bad camera angle:

Late this afternoon, I measured the stretched piece and cut some poplar molding I have to make a frame; I then used my new mitre-trimmer to make the neatest 45-degree angle cuts:

Unfortunately, my very amateur woodworking skills have got me again, and this frame is going to be just about a quarter-inch too small all around:

So I’m going to have to get a more accurate ruler for measuring; at least it’s reasuring to see that the mitre-trimmer makes a huge difference in cutting wood for frames, check out this very smooth fit below! And that’s not even glued yet.

If I can just get the measurements just right I’ll be fine. Maybe when I do this again, I need to make the stretcher bars and frame at the same time, before I stretch the quilt. It seems that with the quilted fabric stapled over the piece, if I make the frame just 1/4 bigger all around, that frame should then  neatly fit around stretched quilt art.

That’s my plan at least!

Desert Marigold: the 4th of 5

Feeling better. It’ll be a while before I complain about having my usual aches and pains, after this past weekend when I could barely walk! I mean, I’m used to being achy AND having some mobility. So I can at least walk around and complain at the same time!

This is the sketch for the 4th of 5 collage pieces I’m working on, all featuring desert plants/flowers; this piece is going to be 19″x23″. The sketch will be filled in with ripped up photocopies of photos I took of desert marigolds in my yard this past spring. The photos that inspired the basic shapes of the flowers, and which are the basis for the collage, are also shown in the photograph above.

I’ll start ripping tomorrow!

Penstemon Project

This photo of a Parry’s Penstemon in my backyard earlier this year is one of several I’m using for my new project, the third in a series of silk-paper lamination art quilts.

I traced some of the flower-shapes onto transparency plastic and used my trusty overhead projector to enlarge the design, so I could trace onto paper:

You can’t really see the traced design that well as it’s in pencil, but this is what it looks like on the dining room table, the transparency plastic is on the lower right-hand side:

Now I’m filling in the design with ripped up bits of photocopies of the photos of the Parry’s Penstemon, I think it’s looking OK so far:


More later. Back to ripping up paper and gluing it down. Too hot to do anything outside so might as well!

All Bound Up

Some of you may remember this: my mitre saw, and my plan last spring to build stretcher bars and frames for some of my small art quilts:

Well….I was almost able to do it. I need more time (and patience) to learn how to do some basic woodworking. Not exactly impossible….but not practical now. So the other day I dyed some black/gray fabric for the quilt binding, and officially finished this 19″ x 22 1/2″ piece, called A Poppy Dance. I should point out that silk coated in acrylic gel medium is highly reflective, so there’s a bit of shine here from the camera flash:

Likewise, this same-sized art quilt, Prickly Pear Pieces, was treated the same way with a tidy binding; if I hadn’t decided to do so,  this too would sit around waiting for my remedial woodworking skills to miraculously improve beyond what I remember from High School Shop class. And I don’t remember much, except building an ashtray  (that dates me!):

I brought both to my parent’s restaurant yesterday, where they’ll be put on the wall: I hope they sell!