Archive for the ‘Other Fiber Art’ Category

Tweetie and Old Lace

Finally, we’ve arrived at Day 30.  Tweetie and Old Lace is another piece that started out as a screen print, then got embellished. Tweetie went with me on vacation, and received a lot of stitching and attention during the long hours in the car. This is one of the small “gems” that I’ll frame and sell for under $100.

Martha Ressler

Tweetie and Old Lace

Art Quilt

7 x 5″

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purple tweetie and flowers lo res

Tweetie is another product of my screen printing class which I am taking at GoggleWorks Center for the Arts in Reading, PA. Purple Tweetie is printed on a book page, and augmented by gel printed fabrics, which are also embroidered. There is a lot going on in this small piece.

Martha Ressler

Purple Tweetie with Flowers

Art Quilt

7 x 5″

cat and swirls 7 x 5 lo res

Another cat from my screen printing venture– a class at GoggleWorks Center for the Arts taught by Abby Ryder.  The additional stamping and embroidery give her some extra character and interest.

Martha Ressler

Cat and Swirls

Art Quilt

7 x 5″

Franklin Street Games lo res

This tiny art quilt, just 2 x 8″ will actually be a mural.

Artist Michael L Miller of West Reading is organizing a project called West Reading Museum of Temporary Art and Personal Histories. He gathered the stories of 120 residents, from past to present, and matched the stories with 120 artists who will create the tiny works of art to be installed, each on a brick, around town.

The story I was assigned was a man remembering his boyhood on a street of row houses. As he passed by, friendly neighbors relaxed on their front porches. He played tag with his friends and remembered shooting marbles on the grass.

I tried to abstract the row houses, overlaid by the circles and colorful marbles inside and outside them.

Martha Ressler

Franklin Street Games

Art Quilt

2 x 8″

Just as I head off to Italy (today!) for vacation #2, I finished my first piece based on our trip to South Africa last month.

I made the linoleum blocks based on my quick sketches in the back of the open “safari-mobile” in which we traversed the bushvelt, on the lookout for the “Big 5.” This is a term widely used in Africa.  It’s origin was in hunting.  The “Big 5” were the hardest and most dangerous animals to hunt: Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Rhino and Cape Buffalo. Now their images grace the South African currency (with Nelson Mandela on the obverse.) And seeing them is a benchmark of success for your photo safari.

We didn’t get to see a Leopard.  They are the one animal which has the ability to cross in and out of the huge, fenced reserve.  Nor the Cape Buffalo.  It is nocturnal, and our brief 3 day visit did not include night time drives.

The Rhino here is a White Rhinoceros. They feed on grass, and their heads are always down.  The Black Rhino feeds on leaves of trees, and their heads are up.  They are more dangerous, as they can charge any time for virtually no reason.  Both are endangered. They are killed for their horn which is mistakenly said to have aphrodisiac powers.

This little piece will be a donation to the “Spotlight” Auction which is an annual tradition at the SAQA (Studio Art Quilts Associates) conference. This year it is in Lincoln, NE, and I will be attending.

my-first-safari-6-x-8

I’ve been asked to teach a class on hand embroidery.  Although I started embroidery at my grandmother’s knee at about age 8, I am no expert. So, I must learn. Thank goodness for Pinterest.

First I needed to straighten out my own collection of embroidery floss. I didn’t take a “before” picture, but, just think: “spaghetti.” I have a collection of 6 strand “regular” embroidery floss and #5 Pearl cotton (the non-divisible kind). I recently added a #8 Pearl Cotton to my collection, which is finer, and useful sometimes.

With the 6 strand floss, it’s OK to keep it wound in the two paper bands it comes in, as long as you carefully find the correct end to pull out. If you have the wrong end, it will tangle right away. So – let that go, and find the other end.  If you do have the right end, a length will pull out easily.

With the #5 Pearl, I can find no other solution that re-winding it right away onto cardboard bobbins. (unless it is the kind that comes in sort of a ball.  You can leave it wound on that ball.)

You can buy the bobbins (they’re cheap), or you can make your own out of pressed cardboard (the kind cereal boxes are made of.)

cards

The cardboard bobbins are also useful to organize and keep neat your 2-strands or 3-strands of the 6 strand floss that you have separated, but not used yet.

OK, so now my thread is organized.

box-1 box-2

I’ve been using embroidery as a surface decoration in my art quilts for some time.

steel-valley-16-5x13-small

But here is a piece I’m working on now that is all about embroidery.

hummingbirds

I also will make a sampler piece with about 6 basic stitches.  And borrow heavily from Pinterest to give my students ideas: feminist or subversive sayings, “Zenbroidery” using a pen and ink abstract drawing as basis, botanicals – there are a lot of ways to go with this.

I’ll post more in the future as this develops.

Any ideas you may have are welcome!

I’m supposed to be packing up my art quilts for the Mt. Gretna Art fair this weekend.

But I can’t stop myself. I’ve been making needle felted brooches for a few days to take and sell, and I keep saying to myself: “Just one more!”

I bought a Needle Punch Accessory Kit for my Bernina sewing machine, and I love it!  I’ve done needle felting for years, with a little five-needle hand punch.  But using the speed of the sewing machine is a game changer.

I have a good supply of vintage silk sari strips, which shimmer in these little compositions.  A friend gave me some wonderfully smooth wool suit samples.  The blacks and grays make great backgrounds for the vibrant colors.  Plus I have plenty of wool yarn, and many colors of felt pieces. I drawn upon my bead supply for the final touches.

I even forgot that my 11 year old art student was coming today. So — I explained the process to her, and soon she was needle felting a nice little landscape. She looked so grown up sitting at that machine! She took to it like a duck to water.