Fabric Collage Work

I am often asked about my technique for thread painting. I thought I’d show you some pieces that I have already prepped at the start they are before thread painting. Later I will show you the finished pieces.

For me this process of creating a fabric collage that gives me contrasts and a color field to work on is the launching place for my creative fun in the thread painting process. From here I  do layer after layer of threads that blend and minx and give detail and texture to the work.

I do realize that for some people this collage process is an art worthy for display in itself. And I could stop stop now and put these under glass and frame them as is. But to me they are not complete without more of the work I love.

Create Beauty and Fill the World with LOVE!

Wynn

Gifts for life!

In late 2017 I was commissioned by a dear friend and art collector to create a series of thread paintings for her to gift her husband and friends based on photos from a vacation she had taken with her husband.

I was excited and challenged by the opportunity. Here are the works I created for her. Each was 5″ x 7″ and framed. I think they turned out wonderfully. She was very happy with them, and it reminds me what wonderful and personalized gifts the small pieces are.

 

 

Serenity - 2017
Serenity – 2017
Harvest Moon Takes a Bow
Harvest Moon Takes a Bow – 2017
Fire in the Sky
Fire in the Sky – 2017
Abundance - 2017
Abundance – 2017
A due Sole - 2017
A due Sol – 2017

A Myth and a stretch!

My friends at Goose Creek Studio in Bedford, VA are often challenging me to try new things and to create something out of my ordinary for their quarterly challenge shows. The Phoenix was  created for their Show MYTH coming up November through December. I was also moved by a friend to create a second piece. And so I have created a Thread painting/ Wall hanging based on the tale of Icarus.

I always loved to idea of Daedalus creating wings to fly. But only when I went back to research the original Greek myth did I learn all the darker arts of it.

Pasiphae was the daughter of Helios, the Sun, andPerse of Oceanid. Her origins were in the East,  she was given in marriage to King Minos in Crete.

Because of an argument with Poseidon, she was cursed with the lust for a white wild bull sent by him to torture her desires.  Daedalus was known as a gifted architect and  inventor, and she had him craft a mechanical cow statue in which she could be hidden in order to copulate with this wild bull. the result of this bestiality was said to be the Minotaur. He was a being half man and half bull. Know to be ferocious and man eating and  indestructible.

 

King Minos and Daedalus had great understanding as Daedalus had created the plan for the Minoan Palace of Knossos, one of the most important archaeological sites in Crete and Greece today. It was a magnificent architectural design and building, of 1,300 rooms, decorated with stunning frescoes and artifacts, saved until today. The sculpture of Ariadne in Knossos and many others in Elounda and Karia are also his.   But their relationships started deteriorating at some point; some blame him building the mechanical bull.

King Minos wanted a building suitable to imprison the mythical monster Minotaur, and according to the myth, he used to imprison his enemies in the labyrinth, making sure that they would be killed by the monster. He hired Daedalus to create the Labyrinth pattern and build it for him

Minos afterwards, since Daedalus was the only human alive that knew the labyrinth’s secrets, King Minos  imprisoned Daedalus and his son Icarus in a secluded and unapproachable tower.

The Flight Of Daedalus And Icarus

Icarus was the young son of Daedalus and Nafsicrate, one of King Minos’ servants. Daedalus was way too smart and inventive, thus, he started thinking how he and Icarus would escape the Tower He also knew that the shores of Crete were perfectly guarded, thus, they would not be able to escape by sea either. The only way left was the air.

Daedalus managed to create gigantic wings, using branches of osier and connected them with wax. He taught Icarus how to fly, but told him to keep away from the sun because the heat would make the wax melt, destroying the wings.

Daedalus and Icarus managed to escape the tower and flew to the sky, free.

Icarus’ Death

Although he was warned, Icarus was too young and too enthusiastic about flying. He got excited by the thrill of flying and carried away by the amazing feeling of freedom and started flying high to salute the sun.  His father Daedalus was trying in vain to make young Icarus to understand that his behavior was dangerous, and Icarus too late saw his wings melting and dissolving. Icarus fell into the sea and drowned. The Icarian Sea, where he fell, was named after him and there is also a nearby small island called Icaria.

The story of Icarus is often told today as a story of the penalty of hubris. In its modern usage, hubris denotes overconfident pride combined with arrogance. It would be easy in today’s political scene to tie this piece to the current world.  But I see the myth as having another more important lesson to overcome.

Many teachers and mothers used that tale to control. They convince their children not to risk, not to try to fly too high, to do too much. To be like Icarus is to reach higher than you are, to want more than you allotment or caste allows.

I think we have to look past that fear factor of THE FALL OF ICARUS and learn that to try is always to take flight. Nothing is achieved without risk. but what if you succeed???

And so I created The Fall of Icarus to remind us of the glory of that moment…

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Create Beauty and Fill the World with LOVE!

Wynn

The Phoenix Flies (it is finished!)

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The Phoenix Rises – 2019 

This was a piece I loved working on and I loved creating. I finally was able to complete it to my satisfaction. After all the quilting and thread painting. I added Swarovski crystals as starlight in the background.  I then added a backing and binding fo the same material I had used for the ashes.

I am very happy for the piece. i also am very happy that like the Phoenix, I too am slowly having a rebirth from the ashes of my lost relationship.  I will survive. And I will go on to create!

Create Beauty and fill the World with LOVE!

Wynn

History today…

The very first item I got to  work on when I opened Little Old Lady Quilting officially here in Bedford, was the most amazing hand embroidered quilt of a mother /daughter.

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There were 20 of these 17″ square hand stitched panels on a very light cotton. I knew I didn’t want to disturb the embroidery these two had done together.
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Such a loving work of Mother and Daughter deserves special treatment!
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I let the quilt dictate to me.  A very simple but somewhat close stipple allowed the embroidery to have an almost trapunto effect. A simple outlining of the edge of the floral medallion set it off even more. 
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The finished quilt was a great success and I was overjoyed to be able to do this very special piece for this mother daughter team.

 

On Fire. The Phoenix is closer to finished.

I had a great time quilting and thread painting Phoenix Rising wall hanging. I used a smokey dark thread for the background, and a golden thread for the phoenix herself. I used the threads to represent unseen flames and wisps of smoke in the background, and the create feather patterns on the phoenix.

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I quilted the flames using a variegated red/ orange/ yellow thread to pick up the colors of the flames and give unity to the shape. The thread looks dark on the light yellows, but light one the darker colors. It gave a sense of motion and wholeness to the fire the Phoenix is rising from. 
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You can see the amount of thread work here up close. The Phoenix’s beak, legs, and claws were all done rather solidly with a silken gold thread. The feathers, neck, body, and tail-feathers were done with a deep rich golden thread that tied the body together and gave the image of the bird being made of molten fire and gold.  
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My last step before I put the backing and binding and the hanging sleeve on this project is to hand stitch bright Swarovski crystal beads to the background to imitate stars twinkling in this eternity between her death and her rebirth. 

Create Beauty and fill the World with LOVE!

And Ready for the Real Fun to Begin!

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Here she is in all her preliminary glory! She is prepped and ready to load onto long arm machine (RUBY)  for me to start the fun process of thread painting. In my mind I am beginning to see her take life. I have two different shades of golden metallic thread that I will do her body and the Flames with.  I have a beautiful smoky thread that will be used for the ashes. Plus I see the background quilting done in a mixture of tiny metallic silver stars, and shining black flames and smoke.

Phoenix Rebirth

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One interesting thing to me about this process is that I am constantly redrawing or rethinking the layout and colors as I go. None of it is set in stone. I had a collection of Batik fabrics that i really wanted to use for something and this turned out to be it. But I was struggling for days a out the ORDER of colors and the natural progressions from cool to hot colors.  You can see the  pencil marks for colors in the layout. they were general ideas that change more and more towards the end of the process.
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As I started on the wings I realized that on my birds at home the feathers grew in layers with the longest feathers the furthest away from the body of the birds.  So here I needed to arrange the feeling of the feathers further away also being the largest and longest, though we are viewing them on the right side from underneath the wins so we song SEE that length. 
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Still playing with color and exploring the wing shapes. Here I was struggling with contrast and with depth perception as I worked on the left wing behind the Phoenix’  body and head. I really wanted the taila nd the tips of the wings to seem to STILL have the fire in them as the phoenix rises from the ashes of its old bday for another 500 years. 

Flight Patterns

Work continues on  Phoenix Rising. 

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Step 4: A piece like this really challenges my usual thought processes. I tend to work from top to bottom in most of  my works. i also try to work from far to near in perspectives, and also dark to lights. I mixed all that up as I prepped this piece.  I Start with the flames build up at the bottom of the image. With a piece this large, I know I have to skip all over the place constantly to make sure fabrics and colors go together and that I have a sense of unity.

 

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Step 4 Still: Completed the flames for now. I’ve begun adding colors to the Phoenix herself. I’m working in layers from the hardest, tightest parts of the body (the golden legs and Beak) outward to  the feathered wings.

 

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Ive started here to give the phoenix her personality and  to explore colors against each other. For instance, the play of the bright reds against the purples presents a very energized feel for her rebirth.

 

 

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Close-up of the fabrics and the play of color.

Create Beauty and fill the World with LOVE!

Wynn

Not another blog about quilting???!?!?!?!?

It is true. Here is one more crazy little old lady who wants to spend her days sewing, creating things, and then telling everyone about it. Forgive me! I can’t help it! I

I can’t help it! I have never been one to sit around idle and watch life pass me by. I also really enjoy being of service to others. The majority of quilters that I’ve known in my life really enjoy the making of a beautiful quilt top and finding the right material for a backing, but don’t really enjoy the hours it takes hand-quilting it,  or the struggle of trying to wrangle and wrestle it to machine quilt it on a domestic sewing machine.

Since I can best serve others by doing the quilting that so many people don’t really want to do… well there it is a new business is born! I love the artistic part of finding the right patterns to compliment the already existing beauty fo a quilt top. A long-arm machine can work several ways. It can work edge to edge following a pre-determined computer program, or it can be used like an artist uses a pen to draw a pattern on the surface of the quilt. I LOVE both ways.

And so, LITTLE OLD LADY QUILTING was born.

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