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my latest newsletter

It’s probably become obvious at this point that I am not using my blog as my primary tool for keeping in touch.  Facebook,Instagram and my newsletter are quicker and easier ways to keep everyone updated on what’s going on in my studio and what projects I’m working on.   If you haven’t already signed up for my newsletter you can do that here and you can find me here on Facebook and here on Instagram.

And speaking of my newsletter,I just sent my latest one out yesterday –click here to read it and catch up with all my news.

Here’s a few highlights…

I’ve opened a fine art america shop where  you’ll find many of my quilts and photographs available as prints,pillows,greeting cards and other items.  Click here to visit my fine art america shop.

To celebrate the opening of my shop I am offering 10% off all purchases for the month of July 2016!  Use the discount code RZTGNK and you’ll receive 10% off your order.
I  also re-opened anbook collaged stocked my Etsy shop with my books,a few kits and some small artworks.  Click here to visit my etsy shop.

To celebrate the opening of my Etsy shop I am offering 10% off all purchases for the month of July 2016!  Use the discount code july2016 and you’ll receive 10% off your order.
To celebrate the opening of my shop I am offering 10% off all purchases for the month of July 2016!  Use the discount code july2016 and you’ll receive 10% off your order.

want to dye your own fabric?

I get a lot of questions about the method that I use to dye my fabric so I decided to publish a booklet on the subject.promopages$12.00

click here to purchase from Amazon.com

Dyeing your own fabric is easy and fun!   My method for dyeing fabric is very easy and tends to produce a fabric with an unevenly colored surface which I prefer because it makes for a more interesting piece of fabric to work with.  In this 24 page booklet I show you my  method for dyeing solid fabric and  how to create tone on tone fabrics using Jaquard Color Magnet using several different methods for applying it including screenprinting,stamping and writing with a plastic
craft syringe.

click here to purchase from Amazon.com

Coloring books!

I’m so excited to announce the release of my new coloring books!   All of the designs in these books are images of quilts I have made.  The first step in my quilt making process begins with a sketch on paper so I thought it would be fun to convert images of the finished quilts back into line drawings and use them to create a series of coloring books.

buildingscover_web

 

Color it! buildings,neighborhoods &skylines

Available on amazon.com and amazon.co.uk.  Click here for ordering information and to look inside.

 

 

 

 

naturecover_web

 

Color it! nature &animals

Available on amazon.com and amazon.co.uk.  Click here for ordering information and to look inside.

 

If I were a tree

This is the kind of tree I’d like to be…

tree-webversion“if I were a tree”

40″x 40″

fused applique (using Mistyfuse),machine quilted on my BERNINA 750QE,purchased cotton batiks

It’s been a long time since I worked with fabrics that I didn’t dye myself but when I envisioned this quilt I knew right away I didn’t want to work in solids.  I wanted the flowers and the leaves to have some visual texture and so I did something very unusual for me –I went to my local quilt shop and bought fabric!  The flowers and leaves were cut and created using Sizzix dies,Sizzix Big Shot Pro and Sizzix Eclips2

tree3

I also did something different than I usually do for the quilting.  Instead of using colored thread to quilt all the flowers and leaves I used Superior Threads Monopoly thread.    I love this thread!  I have been using it in my bobbin but for this quilt I decided to use it in the top of the machine too and it performed beautifully.

 

Artistcellar blog hop and giveaway!

It’s blog hop giveaway time!  When Lisa asked me to be a part of the blog hop to celebrate the release of Artistcellar’s new Diamond Series stencil pack I said absolutely!  It’s been a while since I’ve worked with paint in my wet studio and this was the perfect excuse to break out the paintbrushes.

stencilpack

There are 4 very cool stencils in this pack and rather than just pick one to work with I chose to use all four.  Since fabric is my preferred substrate to work on I decided to use the stencils to alter a piece of fabric and then use it to make a pillow cover.  If you’re unfamiliar with stenciling on fabric I have a few tips for you…

Always press the fabric you want to use before stenciling.

stencil1

Any creases or wrinkles in the fabric will interfere with the stencil being able to lie flat on the surface which will make it difficult to get a clean crisp image.  To give myself some placement guidelines for the stencils I folded the fabric in half and then in half again and pressed it well to set the creases.  Then when I opened it up I used the crease lines to place the stencils.

stencil5Do you see those little blue pieces of tape in the corners of the stencils?

stencil4I always use a little piece of painters tape to make myself a little tab on the corner of the stencil.  This makes it a lot easier to pull the stencil off the fabric.  This way if I have any paint on my fingers I don’t inadvertently transfer it to the fabric.

Now it’s time to break out the paint!

stencil6I put a little bit of the paint I wanted to use on a paper plate.  I am using two colors of ProChemical and Dye paint:Sparkling Wine Pearlescent and Silver #2B and I use a foam brush to apply the paint through the stencil.  You do not need a lot of paint on the brush!  If you use too much paint  it will seep under the stencil and make a mess.

stencil7I’m also working on a lightly padded surface.  I put a piece of felt beneath the fabric that I am stenciling on.  Once the fabric was dry,I pressed it well and then turned it into a pillow cover:

pillow11

Okay now for the giveaway details…

Each blogger in the blog hop is giving away a set of the Diamond Series Stencils!  To be eligible just leave a comment on this post and I’ll pick the winner randomly on 12/9/15.

And here is the complete blog hop schedule:

11/30 –Lisa Cousineau/Artistcellar,artistcellar.com/blogs/news
12/1 –Wyanne Thompson,www.wyanne.com/blog
12/2 –Jane LaFazio,janeville.blogspot.com
12/3 –Sue Bleiweiss,suebleiweiss.com/blog/
12/5 –Jill K. Berry,jillberrydesign.com/blog/
12/6 –Effy Wild,effybird.com
12/7 –Felicia Borges,artistcellar.com/blogs/news

Have fun hopping!

 

 

 

 

Sail

sailwborder

“Sail”  36″x 40″

Hand dyed cotton,machine quilted

I am really enjoying creating new pieces using strips of my hand dyed fabrics rather than solid pieces.  I think the stripes add some nice visual interest and help keep the eye moving around the quilt.

a lesson in the value of contrast

Do not adjust your monitors,there’s nothing wrong with them.  You’re not seeing any color in this latest quilt because for the first time,I didn’t actually use any…

concretewborder“moon over the concrete jungle”

55″x 39″fusible raw edge applique,hand painted,machine quilted

I also didn’t dye the fabric for this quilt.  Well I did dye the black but the gray fabrics I used are by Cherrywood Fabrics.  They make the best grays.  Here’s a little closeup:

concrete_LR3

I learned a lot about contrast and value making this quilt.  Usually I work with so many bright colors I never think twice about contrast and value but I struggled a bit with this quilt.  I had gotten to this point with it:

concretewborderAnd I liked it but I knew it needed something.  My first instinct was to add a bright colored billboard to break up all the gray but that didn’t feel right so I called upon the wisdom of some very wise professional quilt artists whose opinion I trust and value and asked them what they thought and their advice was that it needed contrast.  Since I had already quilted the sky I headed into my dye studio and mixed up some paint and darkened the sky and then added the moon….

concretewborder

Much better!  The darkened sky really makes the buildings pop and I’m much happier with this piece now.

Whimsical Inspirations by Jamie Fingal

So I have a fondness for colored pencils…

coloringbook1

Whenever I walk into an art store the first aisle I head for is the one with the colored pencils. They are definitely my favorite go to medium when I want to add color to my sketchbook pages and so when I found out that Jamie was publishing a coloring book of her whimsical drawings I was first in line to place my order and said count me in for the blog hop to celebrate it’s release….

IMG_1227

When it arrived I flipped through all the of the pages and when I landed on this adorable page covered with dresses I decided it would be the first one I would add color to…

coloringbook3I left the book on the kitchen counter with my stack of colored pencils and every night while I was waiting for a pot to boil,or something to bake I’d sit for a few minutes and add a bit of color.   It’s a very relaxing way to spend a few moments during a hectic day and I’ve already started working on another page…

coloringbook2

Jamie’s book is filled with 12 original hand drawings on 8-1/2″x1 1″landscape paper with coil binding on the left and a cardboard backing.  It is printed on thicker paper so you can actually paint with watercolors,use water based felt tip markers,and colored pencils.   This week more of Jamie’s friends will be sharing what they have done with some of the other coloring pages:

Monday,August 3 –Lyric / Markers –Quilt Circles
http://lyrickinard.com/lyric-kinard-blog/
Tuesday,August 4 –Leslie / Watercolors or Markers –Coffee Cups
Wednesday,August 5 –Desiree / Ink Tense Pencils –Trailers http://myclothesline.blogspot.com
Thursday,August 6 –Deborah / watercolors –Houses
Friday,August 7 –Susan / watercolors –Flowers on Page 3
http://wwwbluemoonriver.blogspot.com/
Saturday,August 8 –Sue / colored pencils –Dresses 
http://www.suebleiweiss.com/blog/

 

To celebrate the release of her coloring book Jamie will be giving away 2 coloring books to two separate people.  Just leave a comment on any of the blogs in the hop,and two random numbers will be chosen,to two lucky winners living in the U.S. only.  Winners will be announced on August 10,2015 on Jamie’s blog.

Don’t want to gamble on being a winner?  Then  pop over to Jamie’s blog here and order your own coloring book!

A new online class

It’s been a  long time since I’ve offered any online classes but that changed as of today because registration for my online exploring the altered surface class opens today!
 

 

Click here to get all the details and to register for this class.

it takes a village

I have been working on this new quilt for weeks and I’m glad to finally have it finished…

village_web

“it takes a village”

48″x 47″hand dyed fabric,machine quilted

I took a different approach on this quilt than I have on my previous ones.  Instead of using a single piece of fabric for each building I used strips of hand dyed fabrics fused together by overlapping the edges to create a tone on tone effect and then cut the buildings from the resulting fabric.  I am pleased with the results!

A close up:

village3