Thursday, August 22, 2013

Nine Patch of Quakers

A tongue in cheek look at a nine patch with some very historically important Quakers. Although nothing similar to the traditional nine patch, it is nine different patches of nine different Quakers. The static square in a square contrasts to the movement in the background. The photos are printed on cotton fabric with durabrite ink which is guaranteed for at least 200 years if kept out of direct light. All photos are public domain.
Nine Patch of Quakers
17.75" square
Starting in the upper left, going clockwise, the Quakers are: Mildred Norman, known best as Peace Pilgrim who gave up all her belongings to walk and talk about the need for peace; Joan Baez who uses her music to campaign for Peace; Emily Greene Balch, who in 1946, shared the Noble Peace Prize [with John Mott] for her work with the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom; Lucretia Mott who was an abolitionist, women's rights activist and social reformer; Mary Anne Rawson who was an abolitionist; Elizabeth Cady Stanton who was a social activist, abolitionist,women's suffragist, and leading early figure in the women's rights movement; Susan B. Anthony who was an abolitionist, suffragist, and pioneer of feminism and civil rights; Laura Smith Haviland who was an abolitionist and social reformer; Jeannette Rankin was the first woman to serve in the United States Congress, helped pass the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote and a committed pacifist.

Nine Patch of Quakers detail
The women were first stitched with one layer of batting.  The faces/figures were cut out on the edges.  Then they were stitched to another layer of batting; double stitched around the figures.  Then they were attached to the background.  The black strips in between are heavily stitched to provide more lift to the individual women.
A REALLY BIG THANK YOU to all who responded to my blog post,
The responses gave me a lot to consider and re-think my background.  Hard to believe it has taken me this long to almost finish it.  I say almost because I am having more hand problems and can not sew on a hanging sleeve.

Still, it is now something which I am able to take pride in creating.  I used old linens, softer colors, commercial fabric [some over  painted with gold, some over painted with gray], my fringed selvages, and velvet.  I absolutely HATE trying to bind with velvet.  However, I absolutely LOVE the rich look.  I know, conflict of interest here.  One more thing to work out.
This is seventy number 64.
For more information on "seventy", please see the post below.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Printing on Fabric - Various Types

 I love fabric!  Especially the Interior Decorator fabrics.  Recently, I have discovered that a shop near me sells leftover cuts and sample fabrics.   The small books of fabric are free with the caveat that the whole book must go.  No picking and choosing any certain fabric from the book.  Some of the pieces are really small.  Those I am using for my name tags so that no two tags are exactly the same fabric.  The large pieces I use in my art quilts and some in charity quilts.  After cutting the fabric from the book OR removing the tag from the sample, everything goes into the wash by color, ie dark, medium and light.  Then, into the dryer.  What survives is what I use.
For a project I have in mind for my studio [still in process], I want to make a cover for the cupboard next to the sink.  I decided to pick some neutral fabrics so that I do not get tired of them.  Fiber content is mostly by guess except for the thin silk which came from my cousins dress or the raw silk which was my blouse.  Because this will be washed, I decided I better test my printing.   I used my Epson Workforce with genuine Epson Durabrite Ultra ink.  All fabrics were ironed on pieces of freezer paper from the grocery store.   ALL SURVIVED!  Some are so close to the edge, that they is no seam allowance.  I still left them in my 'test batch'.   I let them 'rest' for a day after printing.  It actually took me several days to print these up.   Then I ironed them all.  I used a gentle setting on my washing machine.  Even though some can't be used,  I am thrilled with the results.
Below I have grouped them loosely by type.
Thin Fabrics
From the top left going in a clock wise direction:  thin silk, unknown content [but can't take much heat], raw silk, 2 fabrics of unknown fiber content, white satin [very thin].  All would have benefited from a stabilizer backing before being ironed to the freezer paper.  All are going to be a challenge to use and keep the lettering straight.

Very Heavy Textured Fabric
These all are rather thick.  It took 7 tries to get the brown fabric, upper right to feed through the printer.  I am very happy with these because of the texture and the very interesting way it prints.

Heavy Fabric
All of the above fabrics seem to me to be a heavy cotton.  The only surface treatment is a small square of a slippery silver underneath the "because" and "that" in the Seneca quote.  I immediately noticed the lighter letters.  I plan on using it anyway because this will not just be one quote, but many many different sayings over the whole surface.  At least that is my present plan.
Surface Treated Fabrics
These fabrics appear to be cotton with a 'chintz' or other shiny surface treatment.  I was a little concerned that the ink might wash out.  However, as you see, it is marvelous.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Book Cover = Cone Flower

Fantasy Book Cover
10" x 10" framed
The Fast Friday Fabric Challenge was to create a book cover for one of our favorite books.   Because of my love of plants and gardening, I have many gardening books.  My frustration with all of them is that they try to cram too many photos or a photo of too many plants on the cover.
For example, one of my favorite books to use for plant identification has 3/4" photos on the edge and 1 1/4" photos on the front.  Only one of those little photos is 'legible'.  That photo is one single yellow flower on a black back ground.  The others have different colors, but all in the same tone.  No contrast.  Even with a magnifying glass, it is difficult to tell what plant they are showing. 
Because of this, I decided to create a book cover that I would like to see.  I also was so fond of my idea, I thought it might make a nice series.  However, because of the strictness of my design, everything had to be exact.  It was much easier on paper than fabric.  Paper doesn't stretch and move, sometimes with a mind of its' own.
Because my original photo was very busy with other flowers, it had to be painted over a LOT!  It still does not have enough contrast for me.  However, it is legible.
I am happy with this piece.  Not sure if I will make another in this series.  If I do it will be larger.  Working at this small size is too 'picky' for me.  I want to have a bit more leeway in framing. 
Beading Detail
I used tiny, iridescent seed beads on the top of solid small seed beads.  Those glaring dots in the photo are reflections of light.  I stretched the center of the flower with the round handle of my scissors.  Then I beaded it and stuffed it.  After mounting on the foam core, the perimeter of the 'cone' didn't want to lay flat.  I stitched the edges down with clear poly.  Now it has the depth that I wanted.  I like a lot of depth and texture.  I first stitched the petals to one layer of poly batting and a thin backing.  After stitching all of the petal veins, I cut around the petals so there was no batting between.  Then I made the usual layer of top-batting-backing.  I re-stitched around the petals so that they would have dimension.  Then I quilted the rest of the piece.
This is seventy number 63.
For more information on "seventy", please see the post below.