Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Textile Artists from the UK

Lately I have been looking at the work of textile artists from all over the world. I sometimes loose track of time when doing this. However, it is time well spent especially if it triggers an idea. It's quite inspiring to see how these artists use colour, line, shape, value and texture to create a piece of textile art. My focus this time, is artists from the UK or who have ties to this country. Take a look!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Surface Design Association

I've just joined the Surface Design Association. This association has approximately 4000 current members. 'Surface Design encompasses the coloring, patterning, and  structuring of fiber and fabric. This involves creative exploration of processes such as dyeing, painting, printing, stitching, embellishing, quilting, weaving, knitting, felting, and papermaking.'
'The mission of Surface Design Association is to increase awareness, understanding, and appreciation of textiles in the art and design communities as well as the general public.'
The Gallery and Digital Image Library are very inspiring! Also check out the member websites. The site map provides a simple way to navigate around the site.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Embroidery Art

I received the latest posting from Mary Corbet's Needle 'n Thread about the embroidered portraits of artist Cayce Zavaglia. The portraits are truly fantastic and I know from experience a lot of work was involved! In a previous post, I displayed my stitched portrait of Theodora, which was stitched using one strand of silk thread on a silk background.

The following sites also have some interesting embroidery that I thought you might like to see.
Takashi Iwasaki - embroidery art
Male Master Embroiderers from Worksofhands
Chinese silk hand embroidery art from Suzhou China
Helen M. Stevens embroidery
Su Embroidery Studio

Saturday, August 21, 2010

China Town, Chicago

China Town, Chicago, is quite an interesting spot! It's easy to feel as though you have traveled all the way to China instead of just taking a subway ride downtown. There are lots of restaurants, variety and gift shops as well as Chinese markets selling everything. One of the things I found interesting were the ceramic tiles around the plaza.These could easily be turned into an interesting applique or stitching project. The last two photos were taken of a couple of ceramic motifs outside a shop.

Since I have started creating textile art, my observation skills have improved dramatically. Now when I look at something such as these ceramic tiles, I wonder how it can be used in a piece of art. For example, I look at texture, colour and line. Sometimes I will make a small sketch. Usually I take a digital photos of the things I find interesting and refer back to these. My camera is a constant companion.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Stained Glass

Here are some photos I took of an Art Nouveau Exhibit of stained glass at Navy Pier, Chicago. The stained glass was quite impressive.If you are in the area, it's worth a visit.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa

While in Ottawa this summer, I visited the Canadian Museum of Nature. One of the exhibits I found interesting was the Vale Earth Gallery. The rocks and minerals were exquisite. Here's some photos from that gallery. These have possibilities for some hand embroidery or felting. What do you think?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Quiltennium Dreams

photos by Judy Cooper
The Cabot Quilters' Guild challenged its members to make a special quilt to welcome in the year 2000. Yes, I'm going back a few years now! I was into quilting at that time so I decided to meet the challenge. For a few years while on summer vacation, I had collected fabrics with gold metallic in them so this project seemed the one to use them. They turned out well in my opinion. I used the pattern, Magic Tiles by Kathleen Bissett . It was made into a queen size quilt by adding two extra rows before putting on the outer border. The quilt was stippled all over with wine coloured thread. Quiltennium Dreams was exhibited at the Waterloo/Kitchener Quilt Festival, 2002 and at the Cabot Quilters' Guild Show.
Last New Years, my daughter was home for a visit and decided she wanted the quilt. So on our visit to Chicago in June, I brought it to her. It has a home at last!

Close up

Monday, August 16, 2010

Day on the Bay

Saturday I took a boat tour with family out on Trinity Bay. We left from Green's Harbour and went up the coast toward Dildo, South Dildo and Old Shop. Newfoundland has some very different names for communities! The weather was perfect - no wind for a change, sunny and warm. I took lots of pictures of the coastline which might eventually end up in some textile art. We were able to try our hand catching cod fish as it was the second last day of the Food Fishery in Newfoundland. My nephew caught 2 cod and brother-in-law caught one. I got a few nibbles but that was all. Of course we had those fish for supper!
photo by Judy Cooper
photo by Wade Cooper
photo by Judy Cooper
photo by Wade Cooper
photo by Wade Cooper

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Evening Purses

Photo by Leon Cooper
Back in April, I blogged about Tote Bags & Purses. A couple of years ago, I made a couple of evening purses for a wearable art exhibit. I designed several types. The base fabrics are all made with lots of decorative yarns, threads and glitzy fabrics. The five shown here have shoulder straps that are tucked inside the bag. They all have magnetic snap closures. All the purses have detachable art pins so that you can wear them on a jacket or sweater (if you so desire). I thought that the wearable art pin was a unique addition. After the show, I decided to make more of these for the Fine Art & Craft Fair here in St. John's. Some of these evening purses were also on exhibit in Korea last fall.
The black and red shoulder purse has a fold over flap with a magnetic snap. I made a series of different fold over flaps. Most of the shoulder straps are hand made as well. This particular purse is one that I kept for myself as it matches several of my outfits.

Now for the free patterns (not mine)! I came across a textile site by Linda Matthews with lots of free purse, tote & handbag patterns and tutorials. It's worth a look.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Free Stuff

Free Clip Art Project

I was checking out some blog posts for free patterns and found Michele Bilyeu's blog of Free Quilt and Quilt Block Patterns. She has links to over 2,500 free quilt patterns which have been updated for 2010. You will need a lot of free time to check out even a small section of this site.

StudioKat Designs is offering a new line of free designs as a way of introducing a new line of patterns.
Stitchin' Heaven has Free Pattern Links to check out.
Me and My Sister Designs have more choices for your next project.
Free Clip Art Project
The Golden Thimble has a list of 1515 links to free patterns! Scroll down the page to find the beginning of the list. This site will also keep you busy.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Forte Framing and Gallery

My daughter, Jill and her husband, Jude, have just started a new business in Chicago, Forte Framing and Gallery. It is located at 2301 W North Ave in the neighborhood of Wicker Park. We were there for the official opening on July 2nd. We wish them well in their new venture. Their web site is under construction but the title page with loco is in place here. While visiting there this summer, I was amazed at some of the older buildings in Chicago as many of them have very decorative fronts like the one their business occupies. This one is art deco style.The front entrance to the shop is right on the corner.

If you look real close at the third picture, you will see a small sample of my art work, which is on display there for the summer. One of the things they hope to do besides framing pictures, is to promote artists and their work. So if you are in the area, please stop by and have a look at their gallery.
Judy Cooper textile art on the left

Friday, August 6, 2010

Tea Cozy

Here's a photo of a tea cozy I made a couple of years ago for an exhibit at Devon House. The base fabric is cotton batik that looks like water. I did some stippling on the base with a variegated rayon thread before adding the yarns and fish. The underwater foliage is decorative yarns couched down by free motion machine stitching. The fish were machine embroidered and added to this perfectly functioning tea cozy. The inner part comes out for washing. This piece is part of a private collection (not mine)!

One of these days, I will make another one just for me.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tea Time

Tea! I've been trying some different teas this summer. When visiting Chicago in June, I got funny looks from a couple of waiters when I asked for a hot tea. I was asked if I wanted an ice tea instead as it was so hot outside. This posting is about tea related 'stuff' to make.

To start things off, I found a few nice patterns for a tea cosy. We All Sew has a simple one to make. You can also try this Insulated Tea Cozy or this Quilted one. Here's another quilted tea cozy with a placemat.
A very nice teapot pattern can be downloaded from Pink Penguin.

Going traveling, take your own special teas in this Tea Wallet from Christy Creations or this one from Tipnut.
Quilted Hot Pad  is located at Love To Sew and Amazing Designs has a Tea Pot Mat. Try your hand on some hand embroidery or free motion stitching for the center part of the mat.

Of course, you need to have your own teacup pincushion!
Pat Sloan's Mad Hatter's Tea Party Blocks (scroll down) is just perfect for when you have the ladies in for a cup.
Here's a paper pieced cup.
Debbie Mumm has a simple Tea for Six Wallhanging.
Don't forget the Crazy Quilt Teacup Wall Hanging mentioned a couple of posts ago!

For a bit of fun - if you want to eat your tea cup, have a look at these cupcakes! How to instructions are included.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Grand National Quilt Show: Off The Wall

The Grand National Quilt Show, Kitchner, Ontario is held each year in Spring. This year's theme was Off The Wall. I think you will agree when you view the entries, that it was a wonderful show.
The Grand Prize winner was Phillida Hargreaves, Kingston, Ontario, for The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
There were two Curator's Choice Awards. They went to Gordana Brelih, Toronto, Ontario for Give Me a Chance and to Jill Buckley, London, Ontario, for Graffiti.
The Award for Innovation went to Lily Lam, Westmount, Quebec, for Taiji - The Supreme Ultimate.
Honourable Mention went to Ilse Anysas-Salkauskas, Cochrane, Alberta, for A Phoenix for the Tar Sands.
Viewer's Choice Award was given to Hilary Rice for The Go Between. Hilary lives on the West Coast of Newfoundland.
Anna Hergert, Moose Jaw, Sk, received the Janome Award of Excellence for her piece Icebergs & Cool Breezes. Anna has visited Newfoundland on several occasions.
I was fortunate to take a class from both Hilary and Anna. Both ladies are very talented and have a wealth of knowledge to share.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Pin Tangle

For the last hour or so I have been looking at blogs listed in Pin Tangle. 'Pin Tangle tracks online resources, news and information which relate to contemporary and historical textiles, embroidery and crazy quilting, the fiber and book arts including studio and visual journals.' In this blog, Sharon Boggon has just finished listing quilting and stitching blogs by the letters of the alphabet. She plans to start over again very soon, updating the list and removing blogs no longer active. Her main website is In a Minute Ago. Among the many things you will find on this site is a dictionary of stitches for hand embroidery and needlework. If you are into crazy quilting, this site is one to view.

Try this free pattern, Crazy Quilt Teacup Wall Hanging, from Kreinik.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Christmas Row by Row - August Block - The End!

The Gingerbread Man (corner block) is available for the Christmas Row by Row quilt. This is the last block for this quilt. I hope you have had fun collecting the blocks! If you make this quilt or part of it, I'm sure the folks at Far Cat Patterns would appreciate a photo. I'd love to see one too!