Friday, April 23, 2010

Fiber Art Postcards for Wendy's Wish Foundation

The Stitchin' Post in Sisters Oregon not only organizes the most fun week of quilting activities I've ever attended, they also support Wendy's Wish Foundation, a Central Oregon non-profit that helps to make cancer screening and services available to those who cannot afford them. This year, I'm again participating in the Stitchin' Post's Wish Upon a Card Project by donating two fiber art postcards I made last month, both featuring fabrics I hand-stamped with Oshiwa blocks. On their way to Oregon are an elephant, with a funky, twisty and hairy fiber string trim, and a giraffe with a fancy fabric-lace frame. It was very fun to create these in support of such a good cause!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Oshiwa Tiles

Spring is definitely here, so I think it's time to post some photos of random colorful items to accompany the flowers starting to pop up in the gardens of Ottawa. To start, here you can see some Oshiwa tiles I've made using my blocks and model magic. The model magic is very easy to use and dries withut cracking or hardening, so you can make all kinds of fun items, paint them, and sew them to your fiber art. The Oshiwa blocks work very well to give texture to the model magic, and can be painted to resemble metal, or anything else. Definitely a fun technique to play with!
The art quilt above is Windhoek Sunset. At the bottom of the quilt you can see another example of an Oshiwa tile painted with gold fabric paint. It looks like metal, but it's very lightweight and is sewn to the quilt. Photo by Annaliese Moyer.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Snow Dyeing is Addictive!

I'm so sorry winter is over! I wish we could have more snow! Why? Snow dyeing. I took a class with Pat Hardie, and just loved it! Now I've snow dyed a bunch more fabrics, and am left lamenting the end of winter! I wonder if we can use the shavings from the ice rinks, or if the chemicals they use would cause problems? More on this later, if I can get a definitive answer...

In the meantime, here are some photos of the fabrics I dyed the first session. On the left is the whole piece, and a detail shot on the right.

I'll post photos of the fabric from the second dyeing orgy later. The detail that results from the snow is incredible---so beautiful it's hard to get a photo to do the fabric justice! Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Quilter's Affair in Sisters, Oregon will take place from July 5 to 9, 2010, and I'm thrilled to be part of it again this year! I'll be teaching two very fun fabric stamping workshops during the week: I bring a couple of seriously large boxes of hand-carved Oshiwa blocks from Namibia and teach students to use them to print with fabric paint, make rubbings with paintstiks, and emboss velvet with these exotic African carvings. With the variety of techniques we explore, students make their own fabrics for their art pieces or quilts, and we have a terrific time experimenting with color and texture along the way. I bring lots of different examples of my work showing how I've used my printed fabrics, and I give students handouts to remind them of the techniques we cover. It's an action-packed two days, and when we're done, the students have a beautiful collection of unique fabrics and a small piece already put together that they can finish and show off proudly! One of the best things about this class is that even though the students all work with the same variety of blocks and paints, no two fabrics or finished pieces are ever the same. Each student brings different fabrics to stamp on, combines colors in his or her own way, and builds a piece that reflects a unique vision. We work freely in a spirit of exploration, and no one gets too upset if paint drips, spatters or spreads---all these things happen now and again, and we treat it like an opportunity to get even more creative! This is so much fun for me as a teacher that I can hardly wait to get there and get started! I love teaching this class because no matter how many times I teach it, I always learn something new from the questions students have, from the "accidents" that happen, and from the inventiveness of these groups of artists working together.

If you haven't heard about the Quilter's Affair before, it's not just a week of classes with a wide variety of teachers, it's a phenomenon! Sisters is a small and charming town in Central Oregon that gets taken over by quilters during this week, and is positively flooded on Saturday when the town hosts the annual Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. There are so many quilters in town that they close off the main street and route traffic around the perimeter. There are quilts displayed all over town, in most of the shops, and on most of the buildings. Quilters come from miles around and from several foreign countries just to be part of the festive day. There are bigger quilt shows, but I don't know of any place that gives itself over so completely to a celebration of what we do! All this excitement is organized by the staff and dedicated volunteers working with The Stitchin' Post, a terrific place to spend hours (and dollars) looking at the gorgeous fabrics and all the other things we need to create. I don't mind repeating that I don't own stock in the shop, but I sure wouldn't mind if I did! You can see the details of the Quilter's Affair and the Quilt Show at the Stitchin' Post website