Sunday, July 20, 2014

Vintage Linen

When I spotted this piece of vintage linen at a yard sale yesterday, I just HAD to have it! (the moth is's wing span is 19.5 inches)

perhaps this was a dresser scarf?

Upon seeing it, I was immediately reminded of this doodle I drew a few years ago

After making my purchase, I sat in the car, grabbed my tools and the early beginnings of a whole cloth design started to is the rough idea, it will be revised many times before I am through

Don't exactly know where this will lead, but I am inspired to play!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Lazy Summer

I can't believe I have let a month go by without posting.....even though I have engaged in creative endeavours, it would appear that I have become quite lax about documenting and photographing much of it. Below are a few things I have been up to.

Did you know that it is possible to "felt" stones?  I came across some felted stones while visiting a small gallery and was immediately fascinated. They look so soft but then you pick them up and are surprised by the weight. I knew I had to dig out my wool roving and give it a try.  A quick check on the Internet led to all sorts of tutorials. These were fun to do, and of course, I was compelled to add a few stitches as well. 

A friend asked if I would consider painting a milk can. I said sure, why not.....well.... painting a big rounded metal object was certainly an interesting challenge. My first (and likely last) attempt  LOL!

The can arrived a little dented but a brilliant red colour
The owner is quite happy with the end result

And what would a lovely, bright, sunshiny summer be without a bit of sun-printing. I used lots of tiny pins to hold the fern leaves down, which helped with getting fairly clear images

leaves on top of paint soaked cotton.....just add SUNSHINE!

The resulting print

Thursday, June 19, 2014

It simply can not be "forced"

Something I am learning, is, that for me, drawing can not be forced.

By that, I mean to say that I can not schedule time to draw as I might when it comes to sewing. I can sew day or night, for hours at a time, I don't even have to think about it.
But putting pencil to paper seems to require more from me, I am not certain I can even explain it, but I need to be "in the mood" and even then, my subject matter has to be something that I find interesting.

Every now and then I find myself in the mood to draw, have my sketch book and pencils ready  but little in the way of inspiration near by.

This happened recently, when I found myself with the urge to draw, the only thing close at hand was this large weed. I believe it is called Nightshade.
Even though it is a weed and likely not what one might consider to be pretty subject matter, I thought it had many very interesting elements and found my pencil moving quickly to try to capture them

I then recalled that some time ago, I had "doodled" this weed......I needed to flip through my pile of old sketch books to find it

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Red Trillium

I ran into a small problem as I worked on this piece. From the sketch I had done previously, I began inking and painting this red trillium.

I always like my work to be as neat and tidy as possible, so I generally tape the borders of my painting to give a nice clean edge. The problem?.....because I had not doubled checked the measured area when I added my name, I found that the mat I had chosen, completely hid my signature.

In the past, I have been pretty lax about signing and dating my work, I am trying to break that habit, I really did like this mat combo, so I simply signed one likely would have known without peeking under the mat.

This was being "gifted" so I did not have a lot of time to come up with a different solution.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Back to Basics

I finished my colour mixing is quite intriguing to watch how the colours blend and transform.  In creating this chart, I mixed only 2 colours at a time. Every colour on my palette is represented here, I can easily see how each reacts when mixed with each and every other one on my current pallet.

I now have a reference that will help me tremendously the next time I paint.  I can quickly see what colour "blend" will help get me headed in the right direction.

When I sketch, I often work from my photos, but yesterday was a lovely day to sit outside and work from real life. My white Trillium are at the "turning pink" stage, with the edges becoming very ruffled.  I plucked a bloom and began sketching.
Something I have a bad habit of doing, is sketching very then becomes rather difficult to  capture details.

 I tried again, this time with my one and only red Trillium,

working toward making much better use of the page

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Learning by Doing

I am a hands on kind of person, definitely the "learn by doing" sort.  I find this to be the best learning method for me personally. It allows me to experiment, explore and discover for myself what works, and what doesn't. I like to dive right in.
I decided to try a doing a self portrait and while it is not quite right, I DID learn several things that I will be able to use in future projects

When I began quilting, I came to it with a good skill set (as a dressmaker/designer, my sewing skills and eye for detail were well honed) but as for my newest interest?......well I think that I may need to spend some time learning a few basics.
I thought it might be a good idea to create a colour mixing chart....not only to help with learning colour mixing, but also to know what  can be achieved with the actual colours I have on my palette.  I can find lots of info on colour mixing but I need to know how the supplies I have on hand will perform.

By creating the chart, I can get a feel for mixing colours and will then have a great reference as I move forward.

btw.....I have decided that I will not start a new/different blog, I will continue to keep it all here, I simply made a slight change to my banner, thanks everyone for your input  :-)

Friday, April 25, 2014

It looked okay......but.....

As I indicated in my previous post, I have turned my interest to learning Pen & Ink and Watercolour techniques.
So.....what about this title? Well, I will explain.....and show you. I wanted to try using a masking fluid to block out my main image so that I could easily create an interesting background. I had this bottle of masking fluid (Frisket) has been sitting on my shelf for a very long looked okay,  but evidently, it was not.

I first inked my subject, then brushed a layer of masking fluid across the areas I wanted to be left without paint.  The fluid went on nice and even.....acted exactly as I expected.

It was only after I painted the background that I discovered that I had a problem.

Instead of coming off easily, the Frisket was extremely difficult to remove, the more I tried, the "gooey-er" it became and if that wasn't bad enough, it was also lifting the ink.  ah ....but I had already spent a good deal of time on this, so, I was not giving up just yet.

I found the solution was to use my hair dryer, by warming that (now blackened) goo, I finally got it all off. 

BUT now my inked image had lost much of its ink and was being lost under the watercolour, so I went over it with fresh ink afterward. 

 You know the saying......Learn by your mistakes?  Okay, so, lesson learned, I later found out that apparently masking fluid only has a shelf life of about 1 year..... my bottle was nearly a decade old.

while I was at the art supply store (purchasing a new bottle of masking fluid), I decided to treat myself to some tubes of watercolour as well as a fresh new palette.

I placed colour in each of the wells of my new palette and then created a guide for myself. This guide will act as a quick reference for the not only the colour, but also the name and number for each....( I think I will include the brand and maybe date purchased as well)

In this detail photo, you can see that the concentrated dry paint in the wells look substantially different from the actual colour they produce.

I am currently trying to decide if I should start a new blog dedicated to my newest interest, or simply continue posting here.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Different Direction

This post is not about quilting.....but rather about, not quilting.  Lately I have not had any desire to make anything with textiles, it seems that I have perhaps become a bit bored. I am not currently working on any pieces, I have no plans to enter any challenges or competitions....I simply seemed to have lost interest.

So, I have decided to learn something new. I have always been able to draw (sort of) but never explored much beyond plain pencil or a black marker.  I am intrigued by drawings where the medium is Pen & Ink with watercolour, I love the illustrative nature of it. I enrolled in this excellent online class through Craftsy, purchased a dip pen, nibs, black waterproof ink, proper paper, a pan of watercolour cakes and dove in.

I debated sharing my early work, but what the heck.....I am well aware that there are problems with each of them...BUT..... at the same time, I do believe that there is something successful happening with each piece as well......I realize that I am still rather heavy handed with the watercolour washes and really, REALLY need to work on that....practice....practice....practice

I am working from my own photos and thoroughly enjoying the process, here is a look at what I have done so far.

ink only
after the addition of watercolour

ink drawing

after the washes were added

forgot to scan the ink only version of this before adding the washes


the finished drawing/painting

Monday, March 10, 2014

Whole Cloth Quilt

A few months ago, I showed this quilt as I was in the process of designing and creating it. Below is the finished, painted, whole cloth piece.

you can revisit that post to see how it evolved here

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Last article for CQA

In May of 2011, I eagerly took on the role of "Artist in Residence" for the Canadian Quilters' Association. I has been a terrific experience, but, as the saying goes.....all good things must come to an end. I have decided to move on.

Rather than another pattern/project or design, I wanted to have my last article reflect what I thought my role truly encourage and perhaps inspire others to experiment, play, create, learn and most importantly, enjoy the process.

The Spring issue containing my final article is out. In it, I talk about building one's own "technique" library. I began by drawing simple outline of a feather, gave examples of how one might modify it to meet the needs of the technique they plan to use and then showed examples of ways that one simple image could be used in many, many different ways

simple outline
modified for applique

modified for stencil and several other techniques

Here is a look of some of what I created using that one image (each technique used, is listed below the photo

 discharge paste & a stencil

hand applique

liberated style piecing

stencil & dye sticks

white batting on top of cotton, layered under tulle and stitched

raw edge fused applique

outline stitched with black thread, paint added to create the colour


sunprinted and trapunto

wool applique

dryer sheet cut and fused with stitching for detail

by doing this exercise, I now have a reference, I have notes about what I liked, disliked or might want to do differently next time. It gave me the opportunity to play with a variety of quilting ideas and the next time I have the impulse to try something new....I can just grab my feather image and get to work.

Copyright Jill Buckley