Friday, June 6, 2008

Fiber Art Alliance

Last month I joined a wonderful & talented group of fiber artists in NC. Collectively they call themselves the Fiber Art Alliance Group ( but separately the names that they are known by may be quite well known to you. I must say I am in awe of the talent, vision and focus all of these women have. The small sampling of work that I have seen in the meetings is nothing less than breath taking.
The speaker this month was Judy Simmons ( Her topic was Ink jet Printing on Fabric.

What an awesome teacher she is! If you ever have the opportunity to go to a lecture or a workshop with this talented lady, please do so.

She was so organized and the material was so concise and understandable. And the samples that she brought! Wow! They were all organized in notebooks with the type of fabric, backing info, all the necessary info to reproduce the results right there at your fingertips.

I have asked Judy if she would mind if I posted pics on this blog and she has kindly allowed me to do so. Have a look at the quilt with the roses on it. It is named "Memory Collage I- Japanese Beetles". There is a cute story that goes along with it that I believe is on the back of the quilt. We all need to take a clue from Judy here and be sure to document all those precious memories and the details about our art. Imagine how you would feel if you had a piece of art work or a quilt from your ancestors that had all those details on them. That would be priceless.

Look closely at the beautiful background fabric.

It is all hand dyed by Judy. She told me that the background was dyed in the microwave. It was then dyed again in a different color. Also areas are over dyed and then fused to the background. She has several overlays of photos, old recipes (handwritten) on muslin and organza. She used various painting techniques, sponging included along with metallic Jacquard paint as well. All combined it tuned in to a fabulous piece of background fabric.

When I first saw it and heard the story, what came to mind was that the quilt actually looked like what a fading memory would appear in your mind. Does that make sense? Anyway, it's beautiful and has so much dimension. If you look closely at the above photo you will see the Beetles eating away at the leaves of her Grandmother's roses...those petals are sure to be next...
The next quilts is one where Judy was encouraging us to use non copyrighted images for our fiber her fingerprints to be exact! This was for a challenge , involving glass I believe but she used her fingerprints for some of the images here. Isn't that the most creative thing you've heard of?
Speaking of creative, look back up at Judy's shirt. She not only made the shirt, she colored the fabric! I can't remember all the techniques but discharging and dyeing were two of them. It is so beautiful and looked to be so cool and comfortable as well.
She is teaching a workshop in August that I hope to attend. You can check out the details at the Asheville Quilt Guild web site. (http://www.http// Go to the Workshop page and scroll down to August. Here is the description from the newsletter sent to me by a dear friend.
Fabric To Dye For
Students will learn the basics of low water immersion
dyeing and microwave dyeing. Using Procion MX
fiber reactive dyes and low water immersion techniques,
students will create beautiful yardage to use in
quilts and wearables. Students will also experiment
with microwave dyeing, which creates a pale mottled
fabric wonderful for backgrounds. Both techniques
are fun and easy and students will go home with beautiful
fabrics (10-15 yards) to add to their stash. Many
visuals for inspiration and many handouts given. Supply
fee ($20) includes dyes, activator, urea and synthrapol
– payable to instructor. WEAR OLD
CLOTHES. Cost: $35.
Now, for non members, it's an additional $15. But what a deal! To borrow a catch phrase from the younger generation...I am so on that list!

Now, I've included some "candid" shots of the crowd...some names are included.
This is my buddy Patsy Thompson, with the blue shirt on. Perhaps you've heard of her or seen her awesome machine quilting? You should go to her web site and check it out. (

There's Mary Stori and Gen Grundy oohing and aahing over the notebooks of Judy's samples.

If I have time later, I'll add more. I'm so behind in things now that I probably won't though...

Have an awesome day!

No comments: