Monday, November 28, 2011

Words of Wisdom

I was never big on reading instructions and still I am not a fan.

That is why my studio smells of something toxic!  I was making photo transfers using my photos of Toronto.

I ironed a photo transfer that did not need to be ironed and instead I burnt it.

For this type of transfer, you need only to remove the paper backing.

I got rid of the iron-on sheets because I did not like the rubbery texture they gave when transfered onto cloth.

So now I have a head ache-got to get out of here and get some fresh air!

I should have read the 'words of wisdom', as my father-in-law always advised.

I used one of my photographs for the photo transfer below.

detail, Bougainvilla di Rossano, 2008

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Painting Wednesday

This week I decided to paint paper instead of fabric.

It will be a base for a collage project.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Collage Class at Toronto School of Art

The collage class is going well. Funny how I got more confident when fabric was introduced to the mix!

I finally produced something that I like.

paper, photo transfers, painted and hand-dyed fabric,
machine stitched, 14" x 21", 35.5cm x 53cm.

Next week is our last class. Each student will have a piece exhibited at the school's open house- December 15, 16, 17 from 12 to 5pm, 410 Adelaide Street West, Toronto, 3rd floor. Everyone is welcome.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Gladstone Hotel

The Gladstone on Queen Street in Toronto is an art hotel. I was there last week to see Amanda McCavour's installation in their cafe. (my pictures are not as nice as the real thing-go see it if you can)

I love her thread work.

I hope she can participate in the France exhibit that I am curating of Canadian quilts and textile art in September 2012.

Friday, November 18, 2011


The collage class at Toronto School of Art is getting me to think more about paper. I thought I would go back to using Tyvek. It is a kind of "paper".

I haven't worked with it for a while.

I use to paint it and melt it.

"Birth", 2006, 4" x 6", tyvek, organza, gauze,
thread, commercial fabric

"Birth" detail

Lawyers use envelopes made of Tyvek to send important documents. It is very resistant to water and tearing which makes it good for painting and stitching.

Before I started working today, I was a little upset about something that had happened to me earlier but after painting I feel so much better. The powers of creating!

(a comment from someone: Tyvek is a brand of flashspun high-density polyethylene fibers, a synthetic material; the name is a registered trademark of DuPont. The material is very strong.)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Final Results

The results of my dying experiment were disappointing.

The fabric was a kind of red-purple colour before I rinsed it. Now the cloth looks dirty with a hint of pink.

There are a few interesting line designs that transfered onto the fabric pieces.

Maybe I can do something with those.

The string changed colour. It is subtle but I can use it to couch with.

Did I not leave my fabric packets sitting long enough? Was it the wrong vegetable? 

I like to "GO BIG OR GO HOME" so I won't be repeating that procedure anytime soon!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Dying- part two

Steps I followed:

We'll see what happens.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I always use what I have and repurpose things. I know that is part of my upbringing. My italian grandparents always had "inventive" ways to re-use things. Consciously, or not, they avoided making garbage.

Today's "garbage" was used to dye fabric.

beet leaves and peel

I made a roast with vegetables for dinner. The beets turned my fingers red.

I wonder what the leaves will do for my fabric!

I'll be posting the results later.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Short Cuts

I taught a quilt-as-you-go technique class last Saturday. It's a short-cut method of making a quilt. The piecing and quilting are done at the same time. I have created this by putting together a few techniques that are already out there that, in my opinion, have a 'problem'. There is no stress doing it my way! Like many of my classes, this one is open ended and there is lots of room for the student's expression. The class was also about using what you have. No buying new fabric for this!!

Our class

It was great to see some new faces and some "old" students too.

Two students setting up their machines in my new teaching space
in the west end of the city.

It is really energizing for me to see every person in the class enthusiastic about their sewing experience.

I love teaching.

And now for something completely different and unrelated to textile...the Canadian fall colours.

High Park, Toronto

High Park, Toronto

Wychwood Park, Toronto

Friday, November 4, 2011

Wednesday was Painting Day

I'm off to the basement...

I start off with white.

I add my pigment.

I mix and stir.

I wet my fabric.

I paint with a brush.

I paint on dry fabric.

I paint with a spoon.

I like the texture on the wet fabric.

I added salt on some pieces. It does funny things to the kind of paint I use and adds texture.

 I wait till it dries before I heat set the colour.

My pieces of fabric are small because I use what I have and that's what I had this time (artist's statement). I will sew them together and create the size I need. Because I make up a small amount of paint at a time I can get a slight variation of colour in each batch. I think that looks interesting when the pieces are sewn together.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I am a Textile Artist

I make quilts (blankets) out of cottons and I make textile art (to hang on your wall) out of painted and dyed fabric, plastic and paper.

What is wrong with doing both?

One of my daughters says I will not be taken seriously as an artist if I make blankets!

I AM a serious artist.

a friend and I (right) discharge dying with bleach
speaking about my art at Quiltitalia's National Conference
 Rimini, Italy, November 2009
detail installation, Toronto Public Library
Spadina Branch, 2010
detail La Poesie d'un Plume
exhibited MoA Gallery, Verona,

detail, 'reuse reduce recycle'
international juried show, 13th Carrefour Europeen
du Patchwork, France


I love making quilts.

One of my daughters and I cuddling under her grad quilt.
All her friends signed it!

Quilting has given me an opportunity to teach and travel in Europe. I love doing that. People enjoy my classes. I had 90 people signed up for my class last year at Quiltitalia's National Conference in Cervia, Italy. Seeing what is going on in Europe regarding textile art has enriched and inspired me as an artist.

Why can't I do both?

Working on one means less time for the other- I understand that.

The time management skills I have honed as a mother of 4 are coming in handy!

me, the 4 children and the dog, 1993