In The Bag-My Stuff

I Love Making Bags!

M_bag_side 2A_300

Rising to the occasion…there is nothing like an occasion (form of deadline) to get me going!

MMy grand daughter Madeleine is turning 14 soon, wow that is hard to believe! What a sweetie she is. One of her birthday gift requests is a cosmetics bag. Okay! That is an excellent motivator for me.

The first thing that came to mind is to make one that is functional, practical, washable, cute and a good size and shape. My “go to” fabric: bleached denim was the best to use.

I always stumble when it comes to selecting the “perfect” lining; not only which colors, also prints vs. solids. I have collected various fabrics that I consider to be good lining; none the less, I spend way to much time pondering which ones to use; this time was no different. Finally I just picked one and decided to start and see how things develope. This lining is hand dyed silk that has a a texture. I pieced together two pieces and I liked the way the various colors looked when stitched. I used bamboo batting to give the bag stability…not too stiff and not to soft.

After the quilting was done I then had to select the binding fabric. This is also challenging for me. I selected a batik with multi-rainbow colors (reluctantly) because the background was “dirty”; however, in the end this combo was perfect. The “dirty” tone made the rainbow colors connect to the “tan” underlying tones of the bleached denim.

I used this tutorial and followed the directions.  This particular method has a hand stitched zipper. She gives a link for another tutorial that is similar with a machine stitched zipper which is not in English; however, I used a translation. I stitched the zipper by machine because I think (know) this bag will gets lots of use and I want it to hold up.

I think this is an excellent bag design. I have been looking for various methods for lining in a zipper bag. This one is good because the lining is not separate and the seams are finished.

This is a good tutorial; however, as with any tutorial….it can appear easy…until you actually try to follow it. I think the directions are well written and the pictures are clear; however, I did struggle with getting the zipper aligned around the outside properly. Even though I measured and marked the space on the sides the zipper did not end up aligned evenly. But, I did finagle it somehow; that is the only way I can describe it. You just have to have it in your hands and holding the zipper to realize what the pictures are trying to explain.

In addition, the zipper I used has heavy teeth which are wider than standard zipper teeth and require 1/4″ width space. This space came into play and I had figure out how to allow for it.

The pattern can be made as a small change purse and up. I drew two 10″ circles to make the pattern thinking this size would be good for a young girl to hold small size goodies . Now that I have made it, I think the bag is versatile. It would be excellent to make a larger one to use for various purposes such as: Jewelry and other things you might want to keep together. When I travel, I put my jewelry into little individual bags and then in a larger zipper bag that can fit into a safe.

I have referenced to “bleached” denim in several of my blog posts; also referred to as “discharging”.  I plan to explain this process in a future post. It is a simple process using household bleach to remove color from fabric. The fabric is also treated afterwards to remove all of the bleach and halt the action. 

I selected several pieces of bleached black denim to use. The light areas beacon for special features. I started the free motion quilting to see what would develop. I wanted too make the lining fabric “visually connect” to the denim and I hoped the quilting would do this. I chose thread (40 wt) with rainbow colors for the top and solid color (fuchsia) for the bobbin. At first the colors jumped out more than I wanted but I proceeded.

As I was quilting I was thinking about my grand daughter…she is a sweet heart, so I added a heart. I thought about what she might put inside the bag. I stitched flowers to keep it simple and then followed some of the lines that developed from the bleaching process. In one open area I stitched “MY STUFF”. And below that: MMM, her initials. Since I had not made this bag before I did not think about where these details would end up…and, unfortunately the initials ended up on the bottom, and one of the M’s doesn’t show.

M_bag_lining

Lining, in progress.

M_bag_exterior_300

Exterior, in progress.

The most fun…..

Painting the Denim

This is where the painting came in. I decided to fill in the open areas of the quilting motifs with acrylic paint. This was fun and, this made the bag come to life!

Exterior, side 1, before paint

Exterior, side 1, before paint

Exterior, side 1, after paint application

Exterior, side 1, after paint application

Exterior, side 2, after paint application

Exterior, side 2, after paint application

Interior, Lining, after construction

Interior, Lining, after construction

I am very happy with the end result!

The finished size is: 5.5″ high x 9.5″ wide; the bag sits flat the bottom is 4″ wide. The bamboo batting made the bag just firm enough.

I do plan to make some more bags like this and perfect my installation of the zipper.

Future plans include: Instead of fabric..why not up-cycle “failed” quilted projects? Making this bag prompted me to remember a box full of “failed” quilted projects which garnered several good candidates for painting. These will become bags! The quilting is already done. Extra bonus: Paint the lining!

Yes!!

Stay tuned for more bags.  😆

 

 

 

Motifs-Find Inspiration From Fabric Designs

Motifs

Inspiration from Fabric Designs

I find inspirations everywhere. Keeping a record of them is very helpful like photos, sketching and clippings. I have gravitated away from using fabrics with prints and yet I still include bits and savor some of them as inspirations.

One of my favorite methods is to work spontaneously….with a plan. That is the key…spontaneity is fun (for me) but I have learned to prepare my approach and have a loose plan and/or goal in mind.

motif_stencil_results 1

Composition 1

I like to stitch scraps together as in this case:

This time my plan was to work with contrast such as: warm/cool, glowing/dull, light/dark.

This proved to be a lot to keep in mind, but I did my best.

I came up with several compositions that I liked. Some ended up with open spaces that were begging for details such as composition 1. I did include a print that has a large block style design (right side). I decided to extract a portion of the design as a stencil motif to fill the spaces and repeat the motif; repetition unifies.

First I drew the design onto freezer paper and cut out the openings.motif_stencil 1

Next, I pressed it to the chosen spot. The slick side of the freezer paper sticks slightly when heated with an iron.

motif_stencil_attach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The paint is applied with a stencil brush which has stiff bristles cut flat and blunt. The paint is actually tapped into the openings.

Watch this video demonstration:

Freezer Paper Stencil Paint Application from Deborah Babin on Vimeo.

motif_stencil_paint_application

 

motif_stencil_results 1

 

 

 

 

 

The stencil design has helped to balance the composition and now I will continue with free motion stitching. I like leaving open spaces for these opportunities and allow the composition to evolve. There are more spaces to ponder….this one is not complete; none the less I am pleased with it so far.

Making and painting stencils is fun and easy to do. You can learn more about developing your art with original methods in my online course:

MIXING UP MEDIA on the ACADEMY OF QUILTING.

The next session begins April 1st. You can sign up now!

Check it out here

 

 

 

FIBER ART CONNECTION-Blog Hop-You Can Be a Winner!

FIBER ART CONNECTION


 

Here’s how… Go to Desiree Habicht’s blog TODAY she is the first blog on the blog hop. Then proceed to the next blog tomorrow and so on until you have visited all eight blogs. Yes…EIGHT

There are EIGHT artists presenting a week long course during a three month session. Each artist is unique and worth a visit. You will learn a lot just doing this!

Pay attention to the rules so you will have the most chances to win! The lucky person will be chosen on March 15th.

Be sure to do the blog hop, write your comments to be eligible to win BEFORE March 15th!!

Read about the FIBER ART CONNECTION presentation. A fantastic three month session that is about to start March 15th.

fac blog hop 600Enter: Win the BIG basket of goodies by doing these steps:
1. Leaving a comment on the blogs
2. Sign up for the session
3. Comment on a Face Book post about this event.
4. Re post on facebook
Read all of the details on the blogs.
You can sign up for the first session NOW.

Visit each blog post on the specific date as listed below.

If you miss one…not to worry! Just visit them all ON or AFTER the date given. Be sure to leave a comment on the blog.

Blog Hop List and Blog Post Date

3/1     Desiree Habicht

3/2    Candy Glendening

3/3     Liz Kettle

3/4     Roxane Lessa

3/7     Ruth Chandler

3/8     Cecile Whatman

3/9     Deborah Babin

3/10   Rayna Gillman

FIBER ART CONNECTION-BLOG HOP-You can win a fantastic prize!

Zen Wreath-Mini

Zen Wreath-Mini

I am delighted to be one of the eight artists teaching during the first session of FIBER ART CONNECTION. I am teaching the week of May 3rd.  Title: ZEN WREATH

I do hope you sign up…this will be a spectacular unique event! Where else can you meet a learn with eight fiber artists? AND…you will have access to this FOREVER!! yes, it is true. You can always access the content.

In the meantime…you can learn about all eight artists by visiting their blogs. Join in our blog hop…

We all donated art supplies and now have a wonderful basket full of goodies for some lucky person to win!! All you have to do is visit the blogs on the dates below (or after) up to March 15th.

Here is how it works: Enter to win by doing any of these things:

  1. Register for the class
  2. Leave a comment on this blog post answering this question “What attracts you to fiber art/artists?” 
  3. Share a link to this blog post on social media and then leave another comment here telling me you did so
  4. Sign up for the Fiber Art Connection mailing list, you can do that here
Art supplies donated by all 8 artists...lot's of good stuff!

Art supplies donated by all 8 artists…lot’s of good stuff!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The basket includes 6 spools of variegated thread from 6 different thread companies, a piece of hand dyed fabric in a tonal rainbow color palette, pre-quilted 9″ block for coloring, 6 Inktense colored pencils, 2 quilt magazines, quilters flat tape measure, bag of six Valdani hand-dyed threads, gold eye chenille needles, hand dyed fabrics trim and lace, 10 fat quarters of assorted fabrics,  4 sheets of Tyvek, 2 coloured light weight Lutradur and 75 grams of Tussah Silk Top or Roving, artists transfer paper, 5 pieces of different colors of organza, 9 pieces of acid free tissue paper, silk organza, linen, embroidery thread, a package of beads and a spool of perks cotton thread.

Meet Deborah Babin

deb 300

1) What draws you to the fiber arts? Why do you work the way you do?

I have always loved sewing and working with my hands. It feels natural to me. I majored in fine arts and was a painter for many years. I had a chance meeting with some people who were well on their way making fiber art in the 90’s. This changed my course of direction and I have been making fiber art ever since. I work the way I do because…I consider myself to be a “purist”. I believe in preservation; that the art I make is important enough to last for many years. That it is made with integrity; that I can be proud of and hope it is cherished by others and kept safe. I believe in making original art.

2) Tell us about your studio! Where in the world is it? Is it clean or messy? Is it hidden away or out in the open?

Video-Take a tour of my studio

Welcome! This is where I hang out most of the time. The tables are from IKEA. The storage bins are ELFA.

 

I am very fortunate! I live in a beautiful area of Washington State, across the Puget Sound from Seattle. Our home has three floors. The main living area is on the second floor and my studio is the entire third floor; 1000 sq. feet; with windows on all sides. I work somewhat messy…meaning, what I am using at the time is all out and left out until I am done. I do clean up in between projects. I work clean though; I don’t like to have dirty hands. I tend to clean up haphazardly though…then I have trouble finding stuff.

3) What’s your favorite color and why?

Turquoise/Aqua-I LOVE the color of the tropics! Turquoise is nature and never will be a trendy color.

4) What’s your least favorite thing to do when you’re working a piece?

One, to have to stop! I get annoyed when I am interrupted because I usually lose my train of thought. Two, I don’t like to stop and spend time tying knots. I do this when I am machine quilting. Again, this means I have to stop; but tying knots is important. And, honestly, it is good to stop and take breaks as this refreshes my eyes.

5) If you could fly where would you go?

I would fly to a place where turquoise water is seen to infinity! The tropical breezes would feel fantastic so I think I would fly right into the water and swim.

 

6) Tell us about the class you’re teaching in The Fiber Art Connection. What do you hope your students will learn from this?

ZW-flower_fr knots

I will present a new way to think about using unique products and found objects to make art with. The history behind this procurement is: I once lived in a rural area. There were few basic stores and the closest larger town was 1 hour away. Internet access was on dial up, ugh! Thus, often I found myself looking at what supplies I had on hand and experimented with those. This lead to excellent discoveries. One such item is interfacing. I use it as a painting surface and more. I will share my discoveries in this course. I also hope to inspire people to love the beauty of simplicity. For example, the beauty of hand sewing, hand quilting and taking the time to sit down and embrace ZEN.

7) Where else can we find you on the internet?

My second blog www.zencloth.com

This blog reflects my love of hand stitching. I consider it a pleasure and gift to myself to sit down…be still….and hand stitch. To get lost in the experience. To become “one” with the cloth. To be totally tranquil. This is quality time that I cherish.

Face Book

Face Book Page-Deborah Babin

Face Book Profile-Debbie Babin Send me a friend request!

Logo on website jpegTAFA Textile And Fiber Art List-Deborah Babin

Now, answer the question:

What attracts you to fiber art/artists?

Add your answer in a comment below. I hope you win!!

 

Originality-Make Original Art

Originality-Make original art

In this day and age access to the internet offers unlimited resources for our inspiration; however, this can unfortunately increase our temptation to copy. Pinterest is an excellent resource and some people think what they see there is fair game. Copying is a violation that goes unnoticed by many. I too like to search for inspiration on Pinterest and I stress the word INSPIRATION (only) for I only aim to make original art. In fact, you can follow me on PINTEREST.

I have several blog posts planned for the next two weeks that are all about making your art original. I will offer some simple ways to elevate and/or sustain the art you make to original status with simple and economical methods.

Topics: Making your own stamps and stencils

Always ask yourself: How Can I Strive to Make Original Art?

It is fine to use inspirational references fairly literally to begin with; this is acceptable for learning and experimenting. During this phase (hopefully) you will begin to see that it is actually impossible to truly copy another persons work. Which is a good thing! I encourage you to see as this (as it is gradually) revealed to you AND to embrace what you see. Notice, what is happening that you can embrace rather than reject and move into a new direction. This is where we have two choices…1. become discouraged because the realization makes us feel inadequate or 2. become motivated to pursue and discover our underlying abilities.

Can you relate to this experience?

I love discoveries! AND, I love a challenge. That is where I learn the most and find the most satisfaction.

STAMPS

The next few posts will be about STAMPS-AND-STENCILES; how to make and use them to acheive originality.

Yes, there isn’t much excitement about stamps in general. There are zillions of stamps manufactured…and, they are expensive! Let’s refer to them as: artful impressions instead. I like to make my own stamps, save money and us them to develop original qualities for my art.

MM_L2_sketchbook_pageI like to draw all sorts of things. Often times I draw freely without intention.
I enjoy drawing continuous line drawings because I relate to these readily as they can translate into quilting motifs. And, drawing continuously allows my thoughts to flow.

Do you like to draw or doodle?

Here is an example of my doodling. The vertical lines with linked circles were my favorite so I decided to make a stamp as well as a stencil from it.

 

This stamp was carved from a product called: Easy Carve available from Speed Ball. It is like an eraser that comes in various sizes and carves like hot knife in butter; use the Speed Ball carving set to carve this product.

easy carve_key hole

Key hole design-Carving in progress using the carving tool.

EASY CARVE TOOLS

Speed Ball Easy Carve Material and carving tools

2015-01-30 10.23.51

Top: My linked circles stamp carved with the Speed Ball easy carve product and tools. Bottom: The stamp impression with black ink pad.

By the way….this stamp is available ALREADY MADE in my ETSY shop for $22 plus shipping.

While in the shop….take a look at my art for sale.

Note: The stamp is a custom order. Allow 2 weeks + shipping time.

Who doesn’t mind saving money?? Once you start thinking about “things” you have and see around the house and yard and elsewhere…you start to realize there are numerous common things that can make an interesting MARK.

Making marks is what it is all about.

Make YOUR mark! Now that is original.

Economical Alternatives:

I get great satisfaction from resourcing found objects. Here are a few examples:

IMG_0694

The small stamps on the top produce fine lines from the edges. These have been cut off the sides of the Styrofoam tray where the edge curves at bit with two to three layers glued together. The bottom stamp is one layer with dots that were made by melting the Styrofoam with a stencil cutter.

 

Note: Always work safely…wear a mask when melting Styrofoam or work out doors.

 

caut out foam stampSticky back foam sheets-These are found in craft stores in the kid stuff. They are thin foam sheets with a sticky back that is covered with paper. Simply draw a design with a ball point pen, cut it out, peel off the backing paper and stick it onto a support; in this case I used Styrofoam. I cut it out with an X-acto knife. You will end up with two stamps: Positive and Negative

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0241

Handmade Stamps: Key hole design From the Left: 1. Stamp impression from Easy Carve 2. Easy Carve Stamp 3. Stamp Impression from Foam Sheet 4. Foam sheet stamp

My next post: Stamps continued

The posts about stamps and stencils are extracted from my online course: MIXING UP MEDIA on the ACADEMY OF QUILTING. Read the details and consider signing up soon as this course is scheduled to start April 1st.

Please take a moment and sign up for my newsletter too! See the form on the left side panel.

Also, leave a comment! Have you made your own stamps? What kinds of found things did you use?

I love to hear from people. Thank You.

 

 

 

Fiber Art Connection-Sign Up February 15th

Guess what???  You are invited to a new fiber art adventure; a completely new learning community.

I’m really excited to share this news with you! AND I am delighted to reveal that I will be one of the eight artists offering a full week of instruction in May. This is an exclusive, private online art community that you can participate in right from your home.

Who We Are

The Fiber Art Connection
A learning community for the underground fiber artist ready to bring their art into the light

 

 

Here is the roster of teachers for the first session:

  • Desiree Habicht
  • Roxane Lessa
  • Candy Glendening
  • Liz Kettle
  • Rayna Gillman
  • Cecile Whatman
  • Deborah Babin
  • Ruth Chandler

Wow!  I’m so excited to be included in this fabulous group of artists/teachers!   A different teacher every week. We are also going to have a blog hop with prizes in the very near future too, so you clan learn more about these ladies.

Read the schedule of topics here

Each teacher will offer one week of instruction. I am scheduled for Week 8, May 3rd.

The content will remain accessible to you indefinitely. This is a huge plus! This way you may access the courses any time in the future.

Just some of the skills you will learn:

  • How to apply mixed media to different surfaces
  • Applique techniques
  • Painting on fabric
  • Thread painting and sketching
  • Acrylic ink on fabric
  • Collages
  • Lettering
  • and more. 

 Zen_wreath 600 WM

 Week 8– Join Fiber artist, Deborah Babin as she leads you into the layered world of painted fabrics in her class, Zen Wreath-Mixed Media. Learn how to paint interfacings, silk organza and even tissue paper to create mysterious layers that produce spectacular results. Color washes and Deborah’s layering techniques will help you bring a new depth and dimension into your own art quilts. You will be creating this beautiful little floral wreath quilt that you can add to and make your own!       

Please click here to find out more and to register:
The first session begins March 15th…reserve your spot!

 


 

 

Textile Artist (dot) org After Three years: Ten Most Popular Guides of All Time

TextileArtist.org

I discovered this fantastic blog right in the beginning. I have subscribed to it ever since. The wealth of knowledge is outstanding!logo1_shadow

TextileArtist.org is a place for textile artists and art enthusiasts to be inspired, learn from the best, promote their work and communicate with like-minded creatives.

We are now in our fourth year and, as always, we aim to be a hub of information and inspiration for you everyday. During 2016 our goal is to grow and develop our range of articles; we can achieve this by listening to you and responding to your needs. Your thoughts, comments and fears inspire us to write articles that hopefully enable you to combat the challenges of being an artist.

This is the third in our Best of TextileArtist.org series, in which we take a retrospective look at some of our most successful and inspirational content over the past three years.

Every week we receive hundreds of e-mails from you, our fast growing international community of textile artists, expressing your ideas, challenges, beliefs and concerns.  Getting you started on new adventures is very close to our hearts, so here we take a look back at the ten most popular guides of all time.

I encourage you to check it out.

…And Then We Set It On Fire

I am now an author on this fantastic blog! I will be posting for the month of Feb. Check out today’s post.

Title: Originality-Make Original Art

This week’s Focus: Make original stamps

  • How to make them
  • How to find inspiration for stamp designs
  • How to use them
  • Some of my results

Source: …And Then We Set It On Fire

 

The Fiber Art Connection

 

The Fiber Art Connection
The Place to Explore Fiber Art and Connect with the BEST!

Read more information about the FIBER ART CONNECTION on their website here

Announcement:

I am delighted to announce that I will be one of the artists offering a week of online study for the next session.
Fiber Art Connection is a new venue. Check this out!
  • Are you ready for a truly unique online learning experience?
  • Are you craving that connection with other like-minded creative fiber artists from all over the world?
  • Are you passionate about your Art and does it feed your soul?

The Fiber Art Connection provides a creative meeting and learning environment for artists at all skill levels who want to connect and learn from some of the top Fiber Artists in our industry. We are all so excited you are here!    This will be a true interactive adventure!! 

The registration opens Feb. 15th. The actual session begins March 15. My week is scheduled for May 3rd.
I will be offering lessons on how to use unique mixed media techniques to create a composition similar to this one:
Zen_wreath 600 WM This is a simple design of a wreath with a bird in the center sitting on a branch. There are 4 flowers and 4 buds on the wreath as well.  The base is natural tone linen which is covered with a layer of painted silk organza.
There will be a pattern offered; however, I always encourage originality. Thus, the techniques may be used to make any composition you desire.
Techniques include:
  1. Fabric/Paper-How to make it
  2. Paint Tissue Paper and Silk Organza-How to paint it and utilize it.
  3. Basic embroidery stitches-as embellishments
  4. Running stitch-As quilting for the surface
wreath detail 400 WM

 

Registration is starting on February 15th!

In The Fiber Art Connection, gives you full access to 8 top fiber artists  (classes valued at over$1,000) and webinars(valued at $100 each) not to mention the live calls– this is the perfect way for you to connect with different artists each session. Learn different techniques, become an important part of our Online Fiber Art Community as you take your Art to the next level.

VISIT FIBER ART CONNECTION

Big Board-New Cover

I have an ironing board called the BIG BOARD. It is just that, a big piece of 1/2″ ply wood size: 22″ x 60″. I have had it for about 10 years. The original cover was in desperate need of replacement. I had one with a grid marks which did come in handy. But, I could not find a new one to fit it. Instead I searched for and bought cotton duck on Amazon. What nice fabric! And, great price: $4.46 yard. It is woven so fine that it is like satin (almost). It would be excellent for stretched canvas to paint on.

Find it here:

60″ 10 oz Cotton Duck Unprimed

I think I will buy some more. It would be perfect to paint interesting effects on and make bags with.

big board base_275My big board ironing board sits upon a little wooden cart that I bought at IKEA. It is handy too. It has two drawers and two wheels and two shelves. I can move it around as needed.

I decided to leave the old cover on which had foam padding.

 

 

 

 

big board canvas attached_275The board is placed upside down on the canvas. You can see that there are some boards underneath fitted to the size of the table top that hold it in place.  I used 3/8″ staples to attach the canvas. The best way to do this is to start in the middle of each side. Staple 3 times at the center of one long side and then the opposite side. Repeat on the short sides. Continue to work out to the ends equally.

 

 

 

big board done 2_275The top is finished and ready to use.

 

 

 

 

 

 

big board done 1_275Big board with a nice new cover.