Monday, April 27, 2009

Art Card Production

Here I am still professing art card production and this is where it all takes place. I didn't think these little gems would take this long to make! One-of-a-kind items are time intensive because there isn't a 'formula' to follow, no time saving assembly or even a beginning plan. Even more challenging yet intensely satisfying is that I am breaking new ground working in such a small size on a daily basis. I realized yesterday that this is the art quilt journaling I was aiming for - just more intense than the one per week goal I had originally planned. I'm convinced the continuum of daily journaling is really the way to go for condensed, progressive studies.

Weather was favorable this afternoon so I snapped some photos of my last 10 days of work. Below are nine of the 24 drink sleeves I made out of upholstery fabric. Initially I designed them to insulate hands from hot drinks (coffee to go), but since these are lined with cotton fabric I thought they would also absorb condensation from cold drinks, so they are multi-functional. I machine satin stitched most of the edgings but tried a scalloped edge on a few of them.
Here are the latest Art Cards. I have 7 more to make before this project is finished. I have thoroughly enjoyed making them but I must resume working on the last half of my art pieces for the show.

Now, here is the tidbit I'll share about getting sidetracked making art card backgrounds. The past three years I have saved the fused fabric trimmings from any fused applique projects I'd worked on during that time. I rationalized that this would eventually come in handy at some time in the future. I had a large lightweight cotton fabric already fused that someone had passed on to me. (I'm known for being a pack rat), so I laid it on my large ironing table with the fused side up. Next I started placing miscellaneous scraps of fused fabrics I'd saved onto this base fabric (fused sides together). My only goal was to spread the colors and shapes across the piece to keep the overall effect fairly balanced visually. I started in the corners for no particular reason. I laid out a small section, then ironed it down, progressing randomly across the surface until the entire backing was covered.I had an excessive amount of red left over so I made this 12" square. The wavy line was the bottom edge trim left over from my Electric Bread-fast Quilt. The need for higher contrast and focus led me to cut circles from one of the remaining scraps of fused fabric. This is the same fabric on my Two of a Kind art card above. I may finish this art piece with a small black border.With the last large piece of fused fabric as a foundation, I dug into my ribbons and laid them randomly on a diagonal pattern. The wavy fabric trimmings are from the Tranquility Quilt I sold in a show last year. Ribbon is an 'iffy' material when it comes to ironing, therefore some shrinkage and waffling occurred with some strips but I just consider it added texture. I'll have to meditate on this one before I finish it off.

This no sew piecing project is very similar to crazy quilting - without thread piecing. In essence, I have created new fabric that can be a stand alone quilt/art piece or used as fabric to make a fiber bowl, stretch over canvas, make place mats, book covers or whatever else you'd do with stiff fabric. It can be sandwiched like a quilt and machine stitched for texture or just machine stitched as is. I suspect the fused fabric will gum up my sewing machine needle a bit so I will have to use Sewers Aid to lubricate the needle and clean the needle often but it is necessary to secure the ironed on pieces permanently. I haven't decided what I will do with these 'new fabrics' as yet. Most everything I produce gets used in one form or another at some point in time. Thats the fun of studio play - it doesn't require a purpose to enjoy the process and its really quite addictive once you get started.

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