But is it ART…or is it MY art?

New blog is UP!!!

Oh what a cute little piece of vintage commercial fabric. I could see this design reworked with appliqued yo-yos and embroidery.I could use any commercial fabric of my choosing for the background, or I could use some of my hand dyed fabric for a more artsy look.  But then the questions arise. Is it my art quilt, a copy or an inspirational derivation?

What if I did nothing to the fabric except put a binding on it and some beads. Does that make it art? And if it makes it art, is it MY art?

If I want to submit it to an art show or a quilt show, can I honestly do that and call it MY ART or MY QUILT?

Recently I’ve had this very issue come up. When I asked what makes a commercial fabric that is simply bound and beaded art, I was told it is the artist’s hand that changed it, otherwise it is just fabric.  Ummmm…maybe ….

My response was that it is the artist who transforms any medium into art. But I don’t see binding and/or beading a commercial fabric enough to transform it into art….and especially not art that you can honestly present as your own work. You aren’t the designer of anything except the binding.  If you are beading the design it isn’t much more than paint by number.

I think this discussion goes far beyond a fiber artist using commercial fabrics for their art. Pamela Allen is a master at using commercial fabric and making art and there are many more.  With the ability to purchase  unique fabric from the designer who sells it on sites like Spoonflower, the chance of something being claimed as the fiber artist’s own art and design increases. I think it is dishonest and I wonder what you all think about it?

I know I’m outspoken and not afraid to enter into a spirited discussion about all things fiber and I hope you will let me know your views on this.  I’m linking to Off The Wall Friday this week.

Calypso ATCs in the works

This month’s color prompt for Arts in the Cards is Calypso.  I love when a color  like this comes up and makes us scratch our artistic brain for something to represent it.  It just happens that Benjamin Moore  has a calypso blue in their paint chips. 

AND it was a surprise to me that I had hand dyed cheese cloth and hand dyed cotton thread in just that color. 

After stitching the cheesecloth and scraps of ikat fabric I showed you last time onto some burnt sienna fabric, I machine quilted it in a wave pattern. Then I cut it apart into artist trading card sizes.  I’ll use stitches from my favorite book to embellish these. I have some additional hand dyed cotton thread in greens and some wooden beads that may find their way onto these too.

This is the left overs from the cards. Who knows where this might end up?  Check out all the other quilters on Off The Wall Friday . I would love to hear from you. If you would like to join our group of trading card artists, let me know! We have room for 2 more artists.

Upcycling Sari top

My granddaughter Priyanka has an American Girl doll who’s name is Nora. Since this grandma knows a thing or two about stitching I received a wish list for clothes for Nora. Priyanka’s mother is Indian and their large extended community frequently has formal functions they attend. Poor Nora only has western clothing so I thought it was time that she have her own eastern style clothing so she can attend weddings and functions with Ms. P.
The perfect thing to make Nora’s clothing for these affairs is  an upcycled sari top. 

The one I chose is a highly embellished silk piece. I love the burgundy edge that goes into gray and then white.

I had to carefully remove darts and seams so that I didn’t cut into any of the threads of the embellishments.

These are the pieces after gently washing them in tepid water and baby shampoo. The next thing is to cut the pieces from my patterns and fit them on a china doll I have that is the same measurements as Nora.  I’ll post the results in a few days.

And to make this quilt related, there is no way the leftovers from this piece will go into the trash. They are bound to be included in an art quilt in the future. I am linking to Off the Wall Friday where other interesting things from other bloggers can be seen. Check it out!

Series Class Update

I did some watercolor sketches to block out color after I did the sketches. I don’t do well planning a piece with sketches, sketch books, etc. I tend to get really bogged down with it and less spontaneous.  I am much better flying by the seat of my pants. I need to SEE that it is going to work and build up steam.

I started putting cloth to the design this morning, so I am showing you the start. It has quite a ways to go.  I have a design wall, but I am using a portable piece I can move close to the cutting table. I covered a large piece of foam core with flannel and I put it on my easel. Works great!

 For this piece, rather than do a lot of surface design for a stucco wall, I found this piece of hand dyed in my stash that looks like rusty corrugated metal. Works for me!

Shading and shadows have to be added, I haven’t put the honeysuckle on it yet so this is just a very simple start.  The honey suckle will be the focal point. And it looks nothing like the pieces I sketched out, lol.

I’m working fast and furious since I only have this week. For the first time I am going to Houston Festival and we leave next Saturday! Check out Nina Marie’s Off The Wall Friday

Off the Wall Fridays Work in Progress

 This started life as an Amish style wall quilt made with left over corners from pillows I used to make and sell. That was too long ago to think about.  Somewhere over the years as it lived in a closet it ended up in the laundry and came out crinkled and wrinkled in the way of 100% cotton quilts.. 

A couple of years ago I decided to use it as a practice piece for discharging and adding color back…yuck, it was a hot mess….then I started adding free motion quilting even though it was already hand quilted.  When my friend Liz H. came last week to play for the day I pulled this piece out of storage and began covering it with white acrylic paint to add emphasis to the crinkles and quilted lines. Suddenly I started liking where it was going.   

I’ve been adding color back into the piece with fabric paints, oil pastels and who knows what will strike my fancy.There is a lot left to do but I think this deserves to be completed in its new life.  I get in a zone when I paint so this might get finished sooner rather than later. 

 If you would like to see more quilt art WIPs, check out Nina-Marie’s blog .  This is her first link party and you all are invited to join the fun.