Monday, March 30, 2015

Value and How to Create it

Value is an interesting design tool it can create drama and mood.
Dark values carry a sombre feel while light colours give a feeling of peacefulness. If you want to create a focal point, surround a light area with a dark one, it will create a frame that draws the eye like a magnet. Used in conjunction with texture, colour and line, interest can be heightened and intriguing images created. In his picture Temple Gardens, Paul Klee uses value to draw your eye around the painting.
Temple Gardens

A grey scale image makes this clear, as your eye dances around following the black shapes or the light ones.

In quilting, then, the key is finding enough pieces of fabric in your chosen colour to create the values you "need". 

Edinburgh Sunset
Edinburg Sunset, challenged my stash, and as I have 5 large boxes of fabric and odd pieces tucked here and there in drawers and on shelves because the boxes are too full, I just couldn't explain the need for more fat quarters when all that was needed was a tiny square or two. 

Fortunately I have a wonderful tin of Inktense pencils and a selection of textile paints. 

The pencils were used to darken the fabric for the windows. To use them just colour, then brush with a barely wet paint brush and iron once dry to set the pigment (protect your work surface with a piece of paper or plastic sheet). Then the fabric can be bonded using any bonding agent of your choice. The textile paint was used to create the orange red sky fabric,  foreground and windows on the dark house. A good range in value can be achieved by dilution of the paint with water (again protect your work surface), or more than one coat. Lightly sprinkling with salt while it's wet will create texture, if it is left to dry without moving. Again heat set the colour with an iron set for the fabric, in both cases I protect my iron with baking parchment. As both paint and pencils blend and mix with water, you only need a few colours to create a wide range. I would recommend this as an alternative to buying more fabric if small pieces are your passion and you enjoy a little colouring. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Techniques used for Dragonfly in Green

Nicole asked me to explain in more depth how I got my original image for my last piece, so here goes.

The original image came from a gelli block print on white cotton fabric. I printed the dragonfly on plain copy paper, cut around the edges and then placed it on the pre-dye/print pasted gelli block. I then took the end of a small paint brush and drew around the lines of the image. I peeled the paper away and transferred the image to the white cotton.

Dragonfly print - Amanda Sievers

Once dry, I ironed and scanned the fabric. I tend to do this with a lot of the fabric I produce so that I can then use the image multiple times to either print onto fabric using the printer or to manipulate on the computer and then print or use as an image transfer before cutting the original fabric.

After scanning, I manipulated this image on my computer using Paint Shop Pro 7. I did several manipulations until I was happy with this one.

For 'Dragonfly in Green', I used the 'ImageSplitter' application which you can find easily on the internet. I sized the image and then split the image into 6 x A4 sheets which I printed on my laser printer. I then transferred the image using Amsterdam Matte Medium onto white sheer polyester.

Once dry, you soak and then rub off the excess paper from the back, and voila, you have your image to quilt!
Dragonfly in Green - Amanda Sievers

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Edinburgh Sunset

 I chose buildings as my theme for the year and Through The Window for the series title  Buildings are endlessly fascinating with all their variations and yet they all have the same basic features, roofs, windows, walls etc. They have a multitude of different purposes and we decorate them with ingenuity to make them stand out or blend in. The one thing they all have in common is people. What goes on behind those windows,when we are inside do we learn, rest, dream or search for something new? What is going through the minds of the people on the outside, where are they hurrying to? Life is constantly fascinating.

For this challenge the image came from a view through a window in Edinburgh. I recently took a design class and wanted to use the lessons to take my art into a more informed place so value, colour, line, shape and figure / ground were considered. Cubism was the influence for the style, particularly the work of Oscar Bleumner. The colour scheme is a split complementary using yellow green and blue green with red orange and red purple. Unfortunately the dark green blue reads as blue against the other greens on screen something to do with the light possibly.

Materials used are, fabric paint and Intense crayons on commercial and hand dyed cottons, Bondaweb and a variety of threads. Raw edge appliqué with machine quilting is the method of construction. The quilt is not quite finished as a hand injury prevents the use of a cutting ruler, hand sewing and very controlled stitching. It will be bound with a 1/4 inch black binding once I can complete it. Completed quilt will be 15.5 x 24 inches.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Spring in the city

The name of my series is “City” and the theme of this challenge is “Green”.

I live in a very green city. There are a lot of trees and flowerbeds. I especially like spring in our city when the leaves and plants are so fresh and sunrays can get you everywhere.

So that was the starting point of my quilt: a lot of buildings, a lot of windows and a lot of green... and sunrays in the morning.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Dragonfly in Green

My theme for this year is dragonflies. I have always loved dragonflies, their gorgeous iridescent colours, their darting movements and their ability to land and be perfectly still for long periods. They are elegant and mysterious to me.

According to one website I went to, the dragonfly, in almost every part of the world symbolizes change and change in the perspective of self realization; and the kind of change that has its source in mental and emotional maturity and the understanding of the deeper meaning of life. These are things that I think we go through our entire lives, learning, developing and changing as we move through life. I also feel this is how my art is developing and therefore I feel the dragonfly is a good fit for my theme.

The green component after printing was more of a lime/yellow green which I feel possibly makes it look more yellow than green on screen. I used various green rayon thread to heavily quilt the piece which I hope has emphasized the green element.

Dragonfly in Green

Dragonfly in Green - Detail 1

Dragonfly in Green - Detail 2

Materials used: Polyester sheer, laser printed images, Madeira rayon thread, cotton batting.

Spring Challenge - Art Deco

Spring Challenge

Art Deco

The next challenge is to make a quilt influenced by Art Deco.

The term Art Deco refers to a style that spanned the boom of the roaring 1920s and the bust of the Depression-ridden 1930s. It affected all forms of design, from the fine and decorative arts to fashion, film, photography, transport and product design. The name Art Deco was taken from Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratives et Industrials Modernes held in Paris in 1925.

I have a book on Art Deco Textiles which mentions...
Techniques: Cubism, Fauvism, Expressionism, Futurism, Modernism, Pochoir
Artists: Picasso, Braque, Matisse, Derain, Dufy, Kokoschka, Kandinsky, Beckmann, Nolde, Boccioni, Severini, Balla, Paul Iribe, Seguy, Benedictus, George Barbier, Clarice Cliff

Some interesting information is available on the Victoria & Albert Museum website at V&A - Art Deco

There is a lot of inspiration to be found on the web, just google ‘art deco’ or any of the other key words I have mentioned and check out all the images. I have inserted a selection into this post.
 Cubism, Charles Braque
Textile designs by Eugene Seguy

Expressionism, Franz Marc

Fauvism, Andre Derain
Futurism Fortunato Depero


Clarice Cliff

Chrysler building New York
The Queen Mary