Wednesday, October 30, 2013

this, that & the other.. or maybe just this...

I was fiddling around with the blog profile and blog title... I've changed the title 2 or 3 times.. originally I think it was Patchwork Girl Paints.. then Patchwork Girl Weaves Tapestries & Paints! Today I changed it to Patchwork Girl, Tapestry Weaver and Sometimes Painter. Maybe it should be Sunday painter since I don't dig the paints out very often. I'm more drawn to working with fibers.

I think I shall weave tonight. I was stuck on a section and have not woven in a few days, but I think that for now, I will skip that section and go back to the exercise another time. I pretty much have the hang of how to do the hatching technique, and this was an exercise in hatching and floating bars. I think the next technique is soumak. I'm looking forward to learning more soumak techniques. I only know the simplest form of it now, the form that is often used to space the warp or in the case of Rebecca Mezoff's tutorial for how to mount a tapestry, I used it in my latest tapestry for the fold of the hem.

I think I've got a couple more inches woven since the last photo, and will post another photo/group of photos later this week.

I was thinking about how I would weave more if I had more than one loom with a decent shedding system and then I thought.. hey, I could weave on the other side of the Crisp. The only possible problem would be moving the magic heddle bar & also I don't know if the other side of the loom is more or less the same as the side I'm working on. Another option would be to rotate the warp. I'll go look after I finish writing this blog entry. 

The other thing is that I'm not sure what i'd weave. I have a possible cartoon and I also would like to do some free-range weaving with some ideas in mind, without a cartoon. I used to do needlepoint in a very similar style that I'm doing on the sampler, various shapes, playing with color, mixing different colors in the needlepoint thread bundle.

I ALSO have another loom that just needs to be finished being built and it would also be nice to set up a stand for it that rotates similar to how the Crisp rotates. I can put the loom frame on my lap if I want to and work semi-horizontally.

Enough rambling for now! :) Tata for now, my pretties!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Sampler Progress: 3rd Week of October and a little painting...

Here's the latest group of photos.  The first one is the latest... I had to move the tapestry so that I could get to the warp without standing up, but before I did, I moved it up so the whole thing could be seen up to last night's work:

The Whole Thing So Far:

This is what it looks like now that I rolled the tapestry towards the back of the loom:

Earlier progression:


Although I have the hang of how to do interlocks, which I tried a couple of different ways, I need a LOT more practice to get them looking good.  Hatching was also a bit of a challenge, but I think part of the problem with it was the yarn color choices. The section with the white yarn came out the best because there was more contrast. I can see how using hatching with colors that don't contrast can be a valuable choice for certain effects... shading! Kathe discussed the differences between doing color progressions from top to bottom versus hatching... (see the dark to light blue block above the date card on the October 16th photo.. also the block with white and blue to blue to blue and red to red to red and white, next to the blue block..) those are different types of progressions than the hatching technique. Hatching works from side to side while the other types work from top to bottom/bottom to top..

Gary (my partner) seems minutely obsessed with the slits in the tapestry. The first time he saw the slits, he poked his finger through one of them and looked at me like "what on earth happened here??" and I told him that they're great for straight lines... today he asked if I'm going to sew them up. Heh. I told him that there are some times when an artist may not want to, but most of the time they are sewn up.  There are about 8-10 in this one; I'll sew some and leave some...

Bowie, TX Art Guild Meeting:

On October 10th, I went to the local art guild meeting. Judy Braddy, an art instructor from Wichita Falls came down to talk to us and show us how much fun acrylic paints are.  I already knew, and this was a chance to see that using artist's acrylic paints (which I have) are SOOO much better than the student paints. The student paints are more transparent and the pigment load is not as strong.

Here are a couple of photos from that demonstration:

Judy Brady explaining something to the group

My little flower painting... it's textured:

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Dovetails in Tapestry Weaving

It's possible that people familiar with tapestry weaving technique will understand the technical gibberish in this post. If those who are NOT familiar are able to follow all this, I'd love to know! If not, just enjoy the pictures...:)

My latest blocks of weaving are of the dovetail technique. This is where you alternate colors at each joining edge within the piece.  I had a little trouble with doing dovetails properly at first, but eventually I got the hang of it and opted not to take any of the problem areas out, I just kept weaving. This is a practice tapestry, after all... learn from mistakes and keep the mistakes in so maybe I can learn from them.

Once I got the hang of how to do the dovetailing, I was able to see which yarn needed to be woven where, it's not something I could easily explain. What I did notice is that sometimes you just weave plain because the warp at the edge was down and sometimes one color gets woven in ONE space over the neighboring color & another time the OTHER color will get woven over the next. I'll do a few more rows of dovetail before moving on to interlocks and will pay attention to one or two sections to follow what is happening.

You might notice that one of the sections wasn't straight: this was kind of intentional, as I wanted to try to even the blocks out. I didn't count properly. Another thing I noticed: I was supposed to put in 6 blocks for this and the last section, but somehow managed to mess up the math so I was doing 5. No biggie.. again: practice tapestry... I noticed it when I was starting to put in the 2nd group of 5 blocks. If it was for a specific design, I would have taken out the 5 and fixed it to be 6, but if it was for something specific, I probably would have had a cartoon behind it an not have made the mistake...

At first I had trouble doing the dovetails in the right order, then I got the hang of alternating colors so one color would be on top of the other at each edge. This was something I determined based on observation. I was having a little trouble keeping track because of the wefts travelling in different directions, so observation was the key here.

Weft travelling direction:
The mustard & pink yarns are travelling in the same direction, oops.  I'm still not clear why it is important for the  wefts to be travelling in opposite directions from their neighbor wefts: the over/under sequence works out either way, the only hassel is if the wefts are travelling in the same direction, it's a LITTLE bit harder to see what to do without looking underneath to see which warp gets which weft... or maybe it would be easier if they were all travelling in the same direction. This is something I still need to learn.

 Next up: interlocks... after that, I'll play with hatching, or maybe I'll move on so that I can learn more about soumak so that I can move on to the image I want to work on.  

I think the next time I warp the Crisp loom, I may set it up so that it doesn't use a continuous warp unless I have a reason for a rotating/full warp. It would be a bit of a waste if I wanted to cut something down when there's still a lot of room to weave... we'll see how that goes!

Sampler Progress: 1st Week of October

I'm liking the latest weather and it was even COLD last night: I pulled out a second blanket. Between that and Marshmallow sitting on my butt, I was warm.  Here is a photo of her sitting on Gary while he slept:

Isn't she pretty? We're pretty sure that Crookshanks is her father. Her momma is now spayed. I don't know if we'll be able to get Crookshanks neutered or not because he has gone feral. He has been seen, but has not come back into the house in several weeks, so who knows. He may have gotten spooked by something. :(

ANYWAY, I've been working on the tapestry sampler from Tapestry 101 by Kathe Todd-Hooker all week (and have been referring to my other books as well).  I took pictures every day, except the one day I took off. Here they are:




 The dates represent the morning I took them, the section shown was completed the night before, when photos wouldn't look so good...

More to come!

Wine Therapist Show paintings

We STILL have not made it over to the Wine Therapist in Dallas to see our paintings, but hopefully we'll be able to get over there on Gary's next day off, maybe, HOPEFULLY tomorrow if we get the tire replaced on the car early enough for it to be worth going.  Right now, we have the spare on the left front & we don't want to take that long a trip with a spare tire...

Here are our paintings:

This was Gary's first painting since he was a kid, pretty good, eh?  He has some others planned, alone the same basic theme.

When we get out there, I'll post more photos from the show...

I cropped my face out of the picture because I had a weird expression on it... if you don't like it, TOUGH! I like the profile photo of me, I haven't changed that much... I'm getting better, but my heart reallly is more with tapestry weaving. More of that in newer entries as I have several photos that I want to share from the last week's progress.