Saturday, October 30, 2010

Fast Friday Fabric Challenge

'In The Spotlight"
It has been a long, dry period for me as far as creating fiber art goes.  I finished a Fractured Piece in July for an exhibit at the Sisters Quilt Show, but have not gotten anything done since then.  To get myself jump started again, I joined an online group called Fast Friday Fabric Challenge.  Every month a new challenge is issued and participants are supposed to finish their piece within a week.  The challenge for me is to work quickly and intuitively and actually complete the project.  (Those who know me well, know that I am a great starter, but not such a good finisher.)

Closeup of flower

The first challenge, issued in September, was to create a piece in the chiaroscruo style, which means using clear-obscure or light-dark to create a strong conrast or unusual lighting, making the piece have a dramatic effect.  Over the last few months, I have been taking an online Digital Montage Class in order how to learn to use Photoshop Elements (PSE)  in my fabric art.  I used a picture of a Dahlia which I had taken while at Manitou Park earlier this fall and enhanced it in PSE.  I used a filter for different light effects, enhanced the color and printed it onto white fabric which had been treated with Digital Grounds (a printing aid made by Golden Products).  Using the Digital Grounds greatly increased the color saturation on the fabric.  I know this because I tried to skip the step of treating the fabric with the Digital Grounds and have several printed shots of the Dahlia in which the color looks faded out.  I call the piece
'In The Spotlight' and it measures 11.5" x 11.5".  I thread painted the Dahlia picture and then added it to the yellow background fabric.  I then quilted the entire piece and added the black and white border around the picture.  I am glad to have completed this piece, even if it took me the whole month!

The second challenge for FFFC was issued on October 23rd.  Participants had to write or find a haiku and then design a representational piece.  I wrote my own haiku:
"Autumn leaves changing hue,
  Dancing softly to the ground,
  Winter close behind."
I took a picture of the neighbors beautifully colored leaves,  played with it in PSE, and then added another layer of a tree branch which I made to look like a stamp over the top of the leaves.  I added the haiku text, layered it over the top of the first two layers and then merged them into one and printed the photo onto white fabric (again treated with Digital Grounds).  The leaves on the bottom of the piece are some which I collected on my morning walk.  They are fused between two layers of fusible web, layered on a black background with netting placed over the entire bottom piece.  The two pieces were then joined together, thread painted and quilted. 

These challenges have been fun and taken me out of my slump.  Thanks to the FFFC group for inviting me in!