Saturday, November 29, 2008

Tyvek ATC with Faux Chinese Coin

On my last NYC art shopping spree I found some fake Chinese coins in a bead shop. I wanted to get some tiny coins, but it turned out the tiny ones, about half the size of a penny, are more expensive than the larger coins. Apparently it is more difficult to manufacture the little ones because of the wee details.

I had no idea what to do with them, so I stitched them to a couple of ATCs (artist trading cards, 2.5" x 3/5".) They are a surprise for a couple arty friends who have not yet experienced the joy of ATCs.

The ATCs are made of leftover pieces of distressed tyvek that I used for my last batch of art-o-mat blocks.

Frostbitten Flower

This is my November journal quilt. I have been doing 8" x 8" mini quilts for the past couple of years, ever since I first discovered the art quilting world. I try out new techniques or document what is going on in my life. I chose the size because I was sick of working rectangularly, and it also fits nicely in my scanner.

Earlier in the fall I saw a beautiful frostbitten flower on Cate Prato's blog. She is an editor at Quilting Arts and Cloth Paper Scissors, and also the author of Mixed Media Self Portraits (the new book that I was fortunate enough to be asked to contribute to.) I admired it and Cate surprised me by sending me the jpeg.

This was printed on the cheap transfer sheets that you use to iron designs on to t-shirts. I hand and machine quilted it ... after playing with it in photoshop ... applying a filter and punching up the contrast.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Tyvek: Not Just for Mailing

My second batch of tyvek blocks for Art-O-Mat is ready to ship. Who would think that those practically indestructable tyvek FedEx and USPS envelopes could be recycled into art? I love making these little blocks, as well as tyvek beads and art quilts with them.

I added coffee-dyed waxed masa (rice paper that used to be used by textile designers...which they don't seem to manufacture any more) to simulate leather, and dimensional metallic fabric paint dotted on to simulate metal studs.

If you want to know more 'how-to's, go to and put my name in the search box and you will get step by step instructions. Or, you can go to the tutorial on tyvek, which is very good.

These photos are the box of 50 ready to ship and an individual block from my last batch.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Mini Quilt Art-O-Mat Blocks: Ready to Ship!

I just finished 50 mini quilts that are mounted on tiny wooden blocks for Art-O-Mat, also known as Artists in Cellophane. I did 50 Mystery Women and 50 Tyvek Abstraction and they are just about sold out. It is such a great program: they take vintage cigarette machines (cool, right?) and retool them to dispense affordable art.

So, 50 of my Mystery Women are enroute to Winston Salem NC to Art-O-Mat headquarters. I am just finishing up 50 more of the tyvek blocks, and trying out a few new designs...possibly some abstract self portraits.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Wow. I just checked the Alzheimer's Quilt Initiative, and I sold 2 more postcards. "Kids of Color" and "Golden Rainbow Spiral." I'll have to get busy and make some more postcards! Four out of five have been sold. I just boxed up 50 Mystery Women blocks for Art O Mat since they are nearly sold out of my first batch. And I am waiting anxiously to see what happens with my SAQA 12"x12" quilt of Broken Chakra Girl. Their auction started yesterday. My piece didn't sell yet, but one of my art friends, Sherryl, sold hers the first day...a gorgeous ginko. Mazel tov, Sherryl!

Don't Throw Away the Scraps

Similar to collage, and maybe a little like making handmade paper is the technique of making 'scrappy' fabric. I pile leftover fibers on clear, water-soluble stabilizer, making a 'sandwich' of it all with a layer of stabilizer on top. I then stitch it all over, covering every half inch with either a zig zag or another decorative, strong stitch. It can be used for all kinds of quilty/crafty projects. My favorite thing is to use it cover blank journals, and then I use some fiber with my handmade tyvek beads for a page marker. And with the leftover scrappy I played around and made some medallions, backing them with timetex and edging with seed beeds.