Archive for the ‘Fusing’ Category

Visions Online Spring Exhibit

Thursday, April 4th, 2019

I’m delighted to share that my Lilies of the Valley quilt has been juried in to the Visions Art Museum online exhibit “Spring.”

Lilies of the Valley, 36 x 36 inches. As always, there is dense quilting to bring the quilt to life. This work is has been juried into the SAQA Connecting Our Natural Worlds exhibit, and is available for sale. However, the quilt cannot be delivered to the purchaser until the end of the SAQA exhibit in 2022.

I love the delicate fluted cups of the tiny flowers near our front porch, the shades of green as the leaves curve around the delicate stalks. And later in autumn the flowers become vibrant red and orange berries to add little glints of surprising color to the fading landscape.

Sarah Ann Smith's Lilies of the Valley art quilt features small white flowers against a field of green
Detail, Lilies of the Valley

The quilt uses my own hand-dyed fabrics extensively along with commercial batiks and cotton sateen.
I encourage you to visit the online exhibit and enjoy!

Little changes help: Rose Hip

Wednesday, January 16th, 2019
Not quite done yet, but improved and much closer to done and basting

Better. I finally got a little time in the studio (and the hammering on the roof is more muffled down there–we are having a new, metal roof put on–who knew they could do that in Maine in January?). I had thought the Rosehip top was done when I left it on Sunday evening but, I’m learning I need to let things set a spell, after I looked at it with fresh eyes realized it needed some help. I made a small rose hip quilt (below), and when I saw it next to the big one, I realized the large one looked a bit dead.

My Cherrywood “Vincent” challenge quilt just returned home. Just beneath it, on the left, is the 12″ version. See how cheerful those leaves are? The large one was crying out for some life.
I thought I was going to have to dye more fabric as what I had was either too dark OR too light. Then I looked in my stash and found some fabric Lisa Walton of Australia gave me about ten years (!!!!) ago. I had used a bit of it in a quilt that won my only (so far) ribbon at International Quilt Festival, Houston, but otherwise it was safe. So today I pulled out my Rugosa Rose leaf texture thermofax screen, the paints, and Lisa’s fabric. PERFECT!
I also needed to extend the bottom of the quilt–it will end up square, but I decided it needed more breathing room on the bottom and the stem at the top will just be shorter. Since it is the foreground, a larger motif was suitable. The original colors were plum and caramel…too bright and wrong! So I used ProSilk textile paints to fix.
If you’ve ever wondered what to do with a cutting mat that has vastly exceeded its life expectancy, it makes a good surface for painting!

Becoming a rose hip

Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

Off and on for the past couple of weeks I have been dyeing fabric, drawing or photoshopping images to make thermofax screens, and finally working on collaging the background for the rose hip, the large (36″ square) version. To those of you have landed here from my new newsletter, thank you! To those of you who don’t know about my new newsletter, please go here to the home page and sign up! I will write about mid-month and will never share your info!

When I last checked in with you, I was just getting to this stage–finishing the rose hip on a flat surface.
The next step was dyeing some greens. Kinda looks like pond scum, eh?

While I was at it, I used up the leftover dye for some autumn-y leaf colors for a future project.
Some of the fabrics turned out great–alas, most of these didn’t work for this piece. AND I got smart…I am now adding tags with the pure dyes used in each piece so I have a clue if I ever want to make them again.

Next, working on thermofax screens. This is the photo of a chicken at the Common Ground Fair last September–as soon as I saw the strong light and dark I thought “Thermofax screen!”
And here it is after photoshopping. It made a fabulous fabric, very dark tone on tone, that I’ve used in the background. Alas, I forgot tot akee pics before I cut it up!
I also wanted to make a texture similar to Rugosa rose leaves, so this is my initial sketch, which became a screen.
I tend to work in batches, so while I was making those screens, I made several others. That one on the right, the feathers, is about 20 inches long! The snow is for another future quilt.

These are the transparent paints I mixed, with a little black, to use for the rugosa texture on the rose leaves.
Here’s one of the leaves…..
And the two large leaves, in place. The long one on the left is about 18 inches long. Alas, after looking at it this morning, I have decided those two leaves are too dark and have to go. Back to the dye pots once this post and my newsletter are done! I’ll use the fabric for something else eventually.
LOVED the batik but knew ordering it that it was too high contrast for my process. A little Dye-Na-Flow and ProSilk textile paints fixed that easily: overpaint in green!
And where I am now. I want the quilt to be dramatic, but it feels to dark overall. The smaller version has brighter green leaves and I’ve decided I need to dye something that is midway between the medium-light hand-dyes on my shelf and the dark green used here. Or use some fabric Lisa Walton gave me years ago…I think her bits of green are just right, especially once I add some texture.

So that’s about it for now….thanks for surfing in, share the post, and let others know about the newsletter. I’d love to ramp up my teaching again, and the best way to do that is by showing my work and getting the word out there. Now, off to make cookies for the guys roofing the house in freezing weather, then down to the studio.

Sarah on The Quilt Show!

Friday, January 4th, 2019

Yep, 2019 is shaping up to be a great year because I’ll be able to tick off a Bucket List item: in early April I’ll tape an episode of The Quilt Show with Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson! Here’s a preview I taped with Ricky while I was teaching at International Quilt Festival 2018 in Houston last November. I’m so psyched–gosh they made my work look SO GOOD!

Interview with Ricky Tims about my upcoming visit to TheQuiltShow.com . I’ll tape the episode in April and it will air later in 2019, I’m guessing towards late summer or fall (August to November for those not in the northern hemisphere). If you’d like to get my monthly newsletter, sign up on my home page, here.

 We haven’t finalized the topics yet so can’t share what it will be, but it’s bound to be something along the lines of art quilts, painting, fusing and/or quilting. I know I can’t fit in everything, but I hope to inspire you and maybe even generate some teaching jobs. If your group or show is interested, please contact me using the contact page on my website. And if you’d like to follow this blog, please click on one of the options to subscribe in the sidebar to the left.

And OMG: SEE YOU ON THE QUILT SHOW! Yep, I’m shouting in delight!  Thank you Ricky, Alex, Justin and John–can’t wait, and some quilty friends will be there for taping too…SQUEEEE!

International Quilt Festival #2: Collage the Garden, Wednesday and Preview night

Thursday, November 22nd, 2018

First off, Happy US Thanksgiving to one all around the world–this was written ahead and scheduled to post because (a) not everyone is in the US and (b) sometimes we need some R&R from the feasting and festivities!

My second full day at International Quilt Festival 2018 I got to teach one of my “Quilting the Garden” workshops, Collage the Garden.  Along with Thread-Coloring the Garden, the two classes can be combined into a two-to-five day workshop–any guilds or retreats out there interested????   My students were, of course, brilliant!    They had a choice of either the tiger lily or water lily in the class–I love when students take my patterns and projects and completely make them their own.   Like yesterday’s post, I’ll have TONS of pictures including some from Preview night on the show floor. Taught students how to pattern, how to use my favorite Mistyfuse, how to get the fabric to do some of the work for you!

These are the two class samples…you can see how well the students did!  One had a *very* hard time letting go from the traditional quilty-applique “thou must do it thus and so exactly” but she finally threw caution to the winds and did a great job–so proud of her!

and here you can see the actual student work:

Way to go!

Learning how to pattern

fabulous fabric choice….let the fabric do a bunch of the work for you. The placements of the darks is spot on.

and the water lily–love how she went deeper darker in the center with reference photo right there to guide her choices

students hard at play!

an ochre/yellow version

Flower nearly complete

And auditioning a background

Another great fabric choice, and love how the trees fabric changes once cut up and placed into the background

WOW!

The students were wonderful—LOVED having a FULL Class…the collective energy helped everyone!

Then there was preview night…drum roll:  gotta love that little red dot indicating my Autumn on Blueberry Lane sold…AND it was hanging next to my dear friend Deborah Boschert’s ladders and trees quilt, which ALSO sold!

Mine on left, Deborah Boshert’s ladders on right…and both sold!

Love it when I spot someone looking closely at my work, this time it is the Pink Oyster Mushrooms quilt

And part of the Power of Women exhibit….my Lilies of the valley is on the bottom tier on the right side. LOVED this particular part of the exhibit!

I’ll be back with more on Festival 2018 in the coming days!