Wednesday, 29 August 2012

What I Did On My Summer Vacation...

There's time to enter my Back in Action giveaway, if you haven't had a chance yet. I'm still responding to comments, but I'm loving the colour combinations you guys are sharing so far. Yum!


While I was away, I had the opportunity to take a class with Heather Lair at the Sunbury Shores Nature and Arts Centre (gem of a place with great kids programs too!) in St. Andrew's. She was running a five-day course, but with family commitments, I couldn't attend all of it. She graciously allowed me to come for the first two days.

Let me tell you, those two days were AWESOME! I learned so much from her. There were three students in the class so we got a lot of individual attention. The first day, Heather showed us her work, which was displayed downstairs in the gallery. I had looked at her work on her website and was blown away, but it's even more gorgeous in person. Afterwards, Heather showed us how to paint fabric with acrylic/watercolour/fabric paints. Fun! Then she showed us different ways of using that fabric. More fun!

I started three pieces in her class. Yep, three more to add to the WIP list. :D

I'm tempted to call this first one Heathia because I learned it from Heather, who was inspired by the work of Sonia Delaunay. Think they'd mind? This was mostly done using fabric that I painted on the first day of the workshop. I used a marine blue fabric paint and burnt umber watercolour paint for the lighter brown/tan. Key lesson here for me was that precision painting on fabric doesn't matter -- if the fabric is wet, then paint will go where it wants to. It was quite interesting to see how the fabric came out once it was dry.

See that rust fabric? I rust dyed that! I found this cool rusted metal piece one afternoon while beachcombing with the boys so I did what any sane person would do. I brought it home and laid wet fabric on it for five days (I'm told that you can speed up the process to 24 hours if you soak the fabric in vinegar first, but I didn't have any). Then I soaked the fabric in salt water, which is supposed to stop the rusting process. Smitten!

For the design stage, we looked at some of Sonia Delaunay's art and how she used and deconstructed basic shapes in her work. She tended to use much brighter and bolder colours than I did, but this is what was working for me. I have to say that playing with the design and moving the pieces around with Heather was one of the highlights of the weekend for me.

It may not look like much yet in the photo, but I've since layered it on a piece of muslin, batting and backing, and started quilting it. The quilting will add another design layer, completely different from the painted, fused shapes. I'm excited to see this piece take shape and I'll probably have this finished for next week's TGIFF! when I host.

The second project is another technique that Heather taught us for using the hand painted fabric. This first layer was laid out in about 10 minutes, mostly so I would remember what to do when I got home. There will be layers of quilting and painting added to this so it will change quite a bit.

This next project was, again, started quickly so that I would remember what to do once I got home. Can you guess what it might become? This is the beginning of a torn-strip appliqué landscape, a technique that Heather shared with us and that I absolutely adore. Check out Heather's site to see what a finished landscape looks like. I can see me making a lot of these and I have some ideas for using this technique in other ways. 

If you are reading this, Heather, thanks so much for a great class. It was energizing to spend that time with you, Judy and Mary (my classmates), both in the class and during our lunch breaks.

Speaking of Judy, I scored some fabulous wool roving in a variety of yummy colours to play with from Judy, who raises Alpacas, sheep and goats near Saint John. How cool is that? She cards and dyes the wool herself too in beautiful colours. Should I get into wool felting, I know exactly who I'll be calling for more. Thanks Judy!

So that's some of what I did quilting-wise on my vacation. I also worked on my Stained Glass Lillies, but I'll give an update on that project another day.

For those participating in this month's doozy of a Colour My World White Challenge, the linky party will go up on Friday. Guess I better get my butt in gear!

Even though this isn't my usual WIP Wednesday-style post, it is about some WIPs so I'll link up to WIP Wednesday at The Needle and Thread Network and to W.i.P. Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Right Click to Save Image

See you on the quilt side,


  1. wow...some fun stuff...always nice to try something new!

  2. You sure had a great summer vacation! Love your fabric painting!

  3. Learning combined with quilting and art, can't be beat! I am thinking of getting back to experimenting after a summer of numbing 3 1/2 inch squares!

  4. What an exciting and inspiring summer you have had. M-R This is ALL very exciting and I can't wait to see and hear more. I'm off to check out the link. Thanks!

  5. I've taken a one-day class with Heather Lair in Winnipeg -- we made art postcards and small purses from wool suits. very fun.

  6. you certainly took in a lot in those 2 days....great job!

  7. Ohhh this is cool!! I've just starting doing my own dyeing and surface design here and there and I can see why you're excited!

  8. Thanks for visiting mail is slow lately; so answering my comments this way...sorry.

  9. What a great summer vacation you had... sounds like you were very inspired! I love all of your WIPs and can't wait to see the final products!
    I will probably be late with my challenge this month. Lack of inspiration, and motivation are my excuses. I just realized yesterday that the color for September is my favorite though so that lit a fire... Hoping to finish August on the weekend so I can start September!!

  10. Your head must be full of exiting possibilities.....a summer well spent.


Yay Comments! Thank you for taking the time to post a comment. I usually reply to comments via e-mail. If you are a no-reply blogger, please leave me your e-mail address so I can get back to you. Unfortunately, I've had to disallow Anonymous posts due to spam -- sorry! Cheers!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...