Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Tools of the Trade Tuesday: Machine Sewing Basics

A look at what we use, what we bring with us to QSDS and what we need for our creative life.

What do you really need right there by your sewing machine? Scissors, thread and bobbins. Probably pins unless you are a wild and confident machine piecer. Circles abound in our lives. Look down at your own work table and I’ll bet you see them. There are more than tools here. There is an interesting composition: it's the same shape repeating in clusters and varying sizes. Get back to sewing or stop and make a sketch, a reminder for the future when you need an idea. 

Where will we find you with your own machine this year, when QSDS begins? How about in class #17 or #24 with Cynthia Corbin, or the Independent Study #18, or Rosalie Dace’s guided classes, #5 or #11? Check them out here, but don't delay- classes are filling fast! 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Instructor Spotlight: Fran Skiles

 What is Fran Skiles doing here? More importantly, what does she plan to do with that cheesecloth that she just painted? Being a mixed media artist extraordinaire, she might print on it with other designs, layer it over or under something else and turn it into...art!   

At QSDS this year, Fran will be teaching “Fabric & Paper Collage, Printing and Painting.” Doesn’t that sound like a combination of techniques you’d love to try? How about having five whole days (June 1–5) to experiment? That's plenty of time to get up close and personal with gesso, gel medium, paints, papers and a sturdy base of cotton duck. Fran knows her way around a photocopy and she always knows what to do with some cheesecloth.  Check it out and see some images of Fran’s artwork here (scroll down to the end of Session 3).

Better yet, sign up for Fran's class! Don't delay, there's just two spots left! Sign up here. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tools of the Trade Tuesday: Cardboard Boxes

Artists are good at repurposing things. So why does noted shibori artist and teacher Sue Cavanaugh need a cardboard box? This is where she measures out her powdered dye, mixing it into a solution. The box acts as a portable hood,  keeping the fine powder from drifting all over the room. Then Sue and her students will be ready to add color to their carefully stitched and gathered shibori fabrics. And now you know that those coffee cup holders can be used for holding jars of dye. Just don’t stick your Starbuck’s cup in there too.
Check out Sue’s QSDS class here:

Do you like playing with dye? Check out these other classes too:
Kerr Grabowski's "One Screen, One Image, Many Variations" (click link and scroll down to find) and Sue Benner's "Expressive Dye Painting" (click and scroll down)

Monday, March 16, 2015

Tools of the Trade Tuesday

Welcome to our guest blogger, Diane Herbort, and the first edition of her weekly contribution: Tools of the Trade Tuesday!

We use so many tools in our creative work. Some may seem mundane or not beautiful, some might be a little bit mysterious. Some may be repurposed or recycled from their original jobs. Check back every Tuesday to see what I have here to share with you.

Let’s start with fabric—gorgeous hand dyed cottons, in every shade of the rainbow and then some.  I’ll bet you’ve taken a class on dyeing fabric or have done some on your own. Have you used it?? No? Well, what’s stopping you? Does it seem too beautiful to use? If you don’t get it out and use it, that beautiful fabric may moulder on your shelf for years and then finally end up in a yard sale someday. Get it out, fondle it, iron it and get ready to use it. Bring it to QSDS this spring and we’ll get you started.

If you like beading and hand embroidery, Lisa Binkley is teaching a weekend class focusing on learning to respond to the unique markings and colors of hand dyed or hand printed fabrics. Read more about it here.   (Scroll down to find the class.)

You could also bring your beautiful fabric to a design class. Rosalie Dace’s  “Be Here Now” will give you five days to play with your fabrics. Don’t have five days? Cynthia Corbin is teaching a weekend’s worth of in-the-cloth design, “ABCs of Composition.” 

So don’t just hoard the hand dyes, use them!  See you next Tuesday!