Monday, July 15, 2013

Making a Commercial Fabric Work for You

I have been painting on commercial fabric and making it my own for use in quilts and art quilts for some years.  When I recently found a great commercial decorator fabric (Fig. 1) to make pillows for my family room sofa, I knew I would be altering this fabric and adding to my painted fabric repertoire.  The fabric said 1950's to me but I wanted some bright yellow and a little black in it (to go with yellow leather chairs also in the family room).  I got out the paint and made it my own (Fig. 2).  And, the finished pillows look good on both the sofa and chairs (Fig. 3 & 4).

               Decorator Fabric  (Fig. 1)

                           Finished Pillow 18"x18"  (Fig. 2)
On Sofa in Family Room  (Fig. 3)
                                      On Yellow Chair  (Fig. 4)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

To Cut or Not to Cut? That is Always the Question

Two of my fellow FiberVoices art quilt group sisters, Linda and Nancy, and I spent a week at the beach cabin.  We decided to paint, stamp, stencil, screen and otherwise mark fabric - colors on white, black on white and white on black.  When we were finished, we divided each work between us (Fig.1).  The question after we created the fabric was what to do with it.  In the end, however, cutting it and using it is the "name of the game".

I decided to make a fantasy pot of flowers wall-hanging for my 8 year old granddaughter, Elizabeth, using the black on white fabric as a background and other fabrics I painted that week for flowers.  The white on black fabric was used for the pot and some of the leaves.  The two commercial fabrics in the work are the brown/white circle flowers and the dark green fabric used for floral greenery.  All other greenery, flowers, etc., were painted designs on white fabric.  You can see from the Work-In-Progress photo (Fig. 2) that the background was too graphic, busy, and not very interesting.  I used a Gesso wash to dull it down and loved the contrasting results (Fig. 3).  The background seems settled, serene and inviting with the foreground bright, fanciful and full of life. 

                      Beach Retreat Work 2013     (Fig.1)
                                  Work in Progress      (Fig. 2)
       Flowers for Elizabeth 2013    16-3/4" x 25-3/4"  
                                                                    (Fig. 3)