Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Bits and Pieces for Art-o-Mat

Nikki Wheeler Blowing in the Wind art o mat I've been busy creating a new series for Art-O-Mat call "Bits and Pieces." I sewed together the little pieces that I trimmed from my larger quilts and postcards. This little pieces, title "Blowing in the Wind" was born when I realized Contrary Sunflower wasn't standing up straight--of course, after I had sewed on the yarn trim. Out came the rotary cutter and I was left with some long strips edged with eyelash yarn. These came together for some fun mini quilts.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Seeing Sunflowers

Nikki Wheeler Field of Sunflowers Poulsbo, WA
Here are two new quilts I made with a sunflower theme. They are made in a similar mannor, but have very different looks.
I enjoy the realistic bright sunny sunflower faces in Field of Sunflowers. They make me happy shining on my wall, especially during this rather dreary summer we are having in the Pacific Northwest. When I was laying out the petals my 4 year old daughter kept telling me I was doing it wrong -- they should only be yellow, not have bits of color poking through. Little did she know what was to come next.
Nikki Wheeler Contrary Sunflower Poulsbo, WAI wanted to try using the compliments to the colors typically seen in nature. I named the piece "Contrary Sunflower" since the colors are so contrary to one's expectations. My husband says the colors remind him of my great-grandmother. I think they look sweet like a lollypop.
To make the quilts, I first quilted the fabric and then painted the backgrounds. I appliqued fabric paper for the petals and leaves. The enters are yarn felted onto circles of wool felt with the needle felting machine. I used ribbon for the stems. Finally, I finished the edges by couching yarn around the edge. I having a lot of fun experimenting with combining fabric, paper and anything else that seems to fit.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Making of Leaves

I used the sunshine yesterday as an excuse to make some fabric paper and paint fabric. Being able to dry things outside always makes life easier around here. I needed more green fabric paper for my QuiltArt Flower Power challenge quilt. I, for once, thought to take pictures of the process to demonstrate here. I first learned about this technique in Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine and Beryl Taylor's book Mixed Media Explorations.
I first started with white muslin. I coated it with watered down white glue and added scrapbook paper. I thought the clocks would add a fun background layer.
I then added more glue and tissue paper.
Then came the paint. I used several colors of green and teal. I watered down the paint quite a bit so that it would flow across the tissue paper. I work on a piece of plexiglass so that I can tilt the paper, causing the paint to run. The final product is always a surprise.
Here's a little teaser of the leaves that I created.

A Backwards Approach to Quilting

I finished two quilts using the materials I prepared last week. I'm really enjoying this new approach to quilting. First I quilted the fabric. Then I hand painted the pieces. I then cut them up and pieced them together using a zigzag stich. I also included fabric paper that I made in coordinating colors. I love the texture and bright colors in these works. They are also very interesting hanging in a window. The back lighting shows off the pieces of torn scrapbook paper in the fabric paper.
I am working on a title for the square quilt. I made it for the Breaking Traditions Art Quilt Exhibit at the American Sewing Expo. The theme is "Connections." I used the paper and fabric and bright colors to express that although we tend to focus on people's differences, we are all connected in a patchwork and made one family. This is an expansion on small quilt I previously posted. Now I just need a good title and to mail it off. This will be the first quilt that I have exhibited at a major venue. My first public veiwing will be at our county fair that is coming up in a couple of weeks.
This other quilt also needs a name. I made if from small bits of the quilted fabric and fabric paper randomly sewn together. This photo is of it hanging in the window with the sun shining through. I placed it in a frame I had around the house and I love the way it looks -- very professional. Now I am just waiting for my husband to hang it in our bedroom over the computer. I'm sure the bright colors are going to be necessary once the rainy season begins again. Some day I am going to have to start selling my work or get a bigger house because we are running out of wall space.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Makings of an Art Quilt

I have the raw materials prepared to cut up and put together. I prequilted several pieces of fabric and then painted them with fabric paints. I also made fabric paper in cordinating colors. I'm anxious to get to work sewing them together, but I ran out of gold thread. I'll just have to wait until I can escape from home alone to do a little shopping. (Sorry, I have a cold and I'm not feeling ver talkative today.)

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Keepsakes for My Kids

I made inchie collages for each of my kids as a way to celebrate and remember each of them at this stage in their lives. I had fun picking out colors, buttons and charms that reminded me of each of them. I was a little limited by the supplies that I had on hand. I would really like to hunt for special little things as we are out and about. I can always make more as they grow. My oldest daught is Isabelle Grace. She loves dinosaurs, catching buterflies and dragonflies, and prefers to swim like a fish under the water. My second daughter is Annaliese Faith. She is a princess who is into fairies, flowers and collecting bugs also. She loves anything pink, purple or pretty. My third daughter is Rosaliegh Hope. Her favorite color is Green. She also like to collects butterflies, but she isn't as good at catching them. She often pretends she is a dog or cat, even to point of wanting to build a dog house and sleep outside. Our youngest is Emitt Isaac. He loves cars, tractors, rocks, building things, and giving big, sloppy kisses. His middle name means Laughter so I added the word laugh a couple times. The kids love looking at them and discovering the things I have added. Someday I will let them hang in thier rooms, but for now I have them in the hallway art gallery so I can keep a better eye on them.