Sunday, May 10, 2015

Colorful Fabric Collage

Hello, welcome to the Colorful Fabric Collage Blog Hop. This lovely 144 page book by Sue Bleiweiss features seven scrumptious chapters of awesome projects including design, dyeing, fusing, quilting, unusual embellishments and more. As I peruse through the book, I am just in awe of all the eye candy and wealth of information that Sue provides in this book. Wow!Congratulations, Sue! This book has been in the making for about a year at which time, nine artists were invited to create a piece for the Artist Spotlight sections throughout the publication. I am honored and tickled to be a part of it all along with Sue Bleiweiss, Jamie Fingal, Leslie Tucker Jenison, Terri Stegmiller, Deborah Boschert, Desiree Habicht, Kathy Sperino, Kathy York and Lyric Kinard. How cool is that?!!!! Below is my piece, Mystique, a 3 dimensional soft sculpted floral arrangement. Mystique Detail_BarbForrister Mystique by Barb Forrister_Full (2)
giveawaypack1[1]To order your copy, please visit Amazon or Interweave. Also in order to celebrate the release of this wonderful book, Sue and all the artists are doing a blog hop. And that is not all. Sue has graciously put together a mouth watering prize consisting of the book, Colorful Fabric Collage, Sketch Fuse Quilt along with a stack of Sue's beautiful hand dyed 10 inch squares, a 2 1/2 yd package of Mistyfuse and some Aurifil threads. Please note, that international winners will receive an e copy of the book and not the hard copy. To be eligible for this drawing, please leave a comment on this post and/or any other of the blog posts. You may enter on each blog post along the blog hop to increase your chances of winning. I am posting here but you may notice that to be eligible for this blog post, you must visit my website at Again, thank you so much for stopping by.

The schedule is as follows:
May 4: Sue Bleiweiss:
May 4: Jamie Fingal :
May 5: Leslie Tucker Jenison:
May 6: Terri Stegmiller :
May 7: Deborah Boschert :
May 8: Desiree Habicht :
May 9: Kathy Sperino :
May 10: Barb Forrister :
May 11 Kathy York :
May 12: Lyric Kinard :
On Monday, May 18th, the winner will be announced on Sue's blog. Thank you for stopping by and good luck to you all!

Friday, May 8, 2015

What's Up Buttercup

Hello, welcome back. This week, I have been frantically trying to reset my home and studio after a long month of creating and teaching. And I am thrilled that I have finally caught up with life; all except for blogging of course, so here goes! What's Up Buttercup was created for the In Full Bloom exhibit at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas. The background is a commercial fabric. The curly vine is composed of countless fiber etched leaves and bits of thread and fibers fused on top of a layer of Mistyfuse. The smalls violet flowers are created with ribbon and are appliqued to the vine. The very large leaves in the background are a mixture of both cotton and hand dyed batting. The large Calla Lilies are composed of two pieces of hand painted muslin that is layered together with Mistyfuse. I
really wanted to create 3 dimensional, life like flowers that could reach out and beckon to viewers so painting an blending was the key to achieving this goal. These blooms extend 2-3 inches from the background of the quilt. Their stamens are comprised of beads on floral wire to further add dimension. Leaves were made with individual sandwiched layers of cotton, batting and Mistyfuse that were fused and stitched in the shape of leaves, turned right side out and stitched with an array of contrasting threads including variegated, metallic and thicker heavier threads that were bobbin stitched to provide interest. The Calla Lilies and their leaves were both machine and hand appliqued to allow their 3 dimensional properties to come forward. The butterfly was hand painted and fused to the background. The entire quilt was machine quilted and the edges were finished with a facing. This piece was finished in a week's time however that does not include the making of the flowers and etched leaves that I had already made, months before. During times, when things are slow, I like to replenish my stock of both flowers and leaves so that when I need them, they are available. With that in mind, I need to work on rebuilding my stash once more! Ha! Thank you for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed this post. As I close, I am getting ready to do some hand dyeing and get ready for the big blog hop that features Sue Bleiweiss' new book, Colorful Fabric Collage, Sketch, Fuse Quilt. Please be sure and stop by to check out the buzz on this latest book and register to win a prize. I will also be posting about my newest and favorite to date quilt that I have just finished and all about my dye results from today's adventure. Wow! 2015 is turning out to be a great year! Wishing you all a most happy and creative week.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Dyeing to Dye and Fabric Painting Workshops for AAQG

Wow, it has been such a long time since I last posted. I truly hadn't realized it till now.  Last year, I took a hiatus or a sabbatical if you will but I am finally back and cooking with gas! Yay!!!! These last few months have been spent producing two quilts which I will post about later this week and also giving a lecture for the Crossroads to Texas Quilt Guild in Killeen, followed by a double workshop in Austin. This weekend was spent teaching both Dyeing to Dye and Fabric Painting workshops for the Austin Area Quilt Guild. On Friday evening, students gathered together to learn low immersion dyeing techniques including parfait and ice dyeing, omber gradients and marbling. Students learned to prepare dye solutions, process their dyed fabric and a number of low immersion techniques in a mere three hour period. With more than ten colors to play with, I think they were quite happy!

On Saturday, I met up with students once again to learn some Fabric Painting techniques. How fun! Students were taught sponge, omber, and sun painting using both transparent and opaque paints on light and dark colored fabrics. We also worked with stencils and discussed how to make stencils and a lot of the current stencil manufacturers as well as the use of thermo screens. Additionally, we made our own stamps using wood blocks and puffy foam.  Students were also introduced to other stamp making methods such as lino cutting and marshmallows, as well as vegetable stamping. Below are some of their lovely creations.

   As I write this, I am recovering on a Sunday afternoon. I am exhausted but in a good way. My students enjoyed their classes and walked away with some quality pieces and a working knowledge of dyes and paints. They are equipped with a new set of tools and techniques to add to their repertoire and many walked away with a new found confidence. And for that, I am tickled. I hope you have enjoyed reading this post. Please feel free to chime in. I love hearing from you! I also invite you to stop by tomorrow when I post about one of the new pieces that I have created.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

One Block, Six Designs, Modern Style

Modern Quilts_BarbForrister 004a Hocus Pocus_BarbForrister 001a
Hello, I have been busy in the studio gearing up for the second modern Quilt Con coming to Austin in February. This year, I have decided to create variations of the Bow Tie traditional block with a modern twist. Hocus Pocus (seen above) is the first in this series and incorporates octagons to create a colorful dimensional quilt. Here, I have decided to punk up the design by adding three colored squares in three of the white octagons. The remaining octagons have been quilted with black thread to provide interest and depth, a scary undertaking but I am so happy I did it! The half hexagonal edge pieces have been quilted in white and an additional white border was added to give the illusion of a floating grid like lattice. To create the quilting lines, I first photographed the entire quilt and printed it on a plain sheet of copier paper. I then overlapped it with a clear transparency sheet and began drawing the quilting lines with a Pigma marker. Below are some dBarb Forrister 007etailed views of Hocus Pocus. Barb Forrister 004

The second piece in this series is KodaChrome (seen below) and uses the same bow tie blocks but in a medallion style with playful colored piano keys on two edges while white borders making up the remaining two sides. I love the shift in design that is created by playing with these added borders in unexpected ways. How fun?!!! Again, I used the same technique as described above for determining the quilt lines.

BarbForrister 004 KodaChrome_BarbForrister 001a

Here, I opted to quilt the white areas in white while using fluorescent and very bright colorful threads for the colored areas. The entire quilt was bound with Moda Chartreuse binding as a finished edge. I think perhaps this is my favorite of the three. Below are a few detailed shots of KodaChrome.

BarbForrister 008 BarbForrister 011  

The third piece in the series is called Entropy and features bow tie traditional blocks with added negative space to provide interest and give it a more modern feel. I love the playful design that this quilt invokes and the way it appeals to the viewer's imagination. I am still in the process of working out the quilt lines for this piece but I am thinking of adding a tree behind the floating lattice just to shake things up. I like the idea of adding
organic elements to this piece.

BarbForrister 012 BarbForrister 001a

new 005Although, I have opted not to make the following quilts, I have decided to include these mock ups as additional inspiration for Bow Tie quilts. The first one on the left is another version of a medallion style quilt though done in a very different style than KodaChrome. The photo below on the left plays on two different concepts. Here, the octagons are created in bold colors while the background is filled in with lighter colors. The blocks are set in a directional manner where the bow tie arrows point up and to the right. I think this is an interesting take on both color and design. The final design on the lower right shows how the addition of a simple narrow strip of colored fabric changes the whole feel of the quilt, especially when you rotate directionality. Thank you for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed this post as much as I have enjoyed the design process itself. Please feel free to leave a comment. I love hearing from you! Wishing you a fabulous and creative journey!

BarbForrister 002 Quilt Con 2015 006  

Friday, October 31, 2014

Dinner at Eight Artists Rituals Exhibit Premieres at The International Quilt Festival in Houston 2014

I am so tickled that Groovin' on a Sunday Afternoon was chosen as one of the many inspiring quilts from Dinner at Eight Artists Gallery Reflections to be featured in the October/November Quilting Arts Issue 71. How cool is that?!!!! Wow, what an honor! The article displays seven of 33 artists work including Hollis Chatelain, Cynthia St. Charles, Terry Grant, Cindy Cooksey, Kristin La Flamme, Barb Forrister and Yvonne Porcella. I am humbled to be in such good company. This issue also features awesome thread sketching by Susan Brubaker Knapp. I love her work!
This year's theme for the new Dinner at Eight Artists exhibit is "Reflections. Consider the following: A mirror image, a response to a word, a memory, what glints back at us as we gaze upon the water, the throwing back by a body or surface of light, heat, or sound without absorbing it, what your reflections reveal about you. This year's show is the sixth exhibit and I am thrilled to be a part of it! Each piece measures 60X24 and was inspired by the theme, Reflections. Groovin on a Sunday Afternoon is a whole cloth painted quilt with added giraffes hand appliqued with Mistyfuse in a trapunto style to give dimension. The entire piece was machine quilted with both fluorescent and highlight threads by Superior. Edges were finished with an envelope edge. This piece was dedicated to my mother, Kathleen Worland who passed away November 16, 1999. I am so blessed that Groovin on a Sunday Afternoon was received so well. This one's for you, Mom! I will always love you!
Thank you for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed this post. The new Rituals exhibit by Dinner at Eight Artists was curated by Jamie Fingal and Leslie Tucker Jenison and is sponsored by Havel's Sewing. It will debut at the Houston International Quilt Market, October 25-27, 2014 and will continue on to the International Quilt Festival, October 30-November 2. If you are in the Houston area, I invite you to visit festival and check out the many amazing exhibits at the show. So much eye candy and shopping awaits you! Wishing you all a fabulous journey! 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Austin Fiber Artists 2014 Exhibit at the Austin Bergstom International Airport

As promised, I am still trying to catch up with news from last month. The Austin Fiber Artists were invited to exhibit at the Austin Bergstrom International Airport Special Exhibit from July 23-October 21, 2014. What a treat?!!!! I was one so tickled to be chosen as one of the exhibiting artists with Raspberry Delight. The exhibit was located on the other side of security at the airport and we were all given a special tour by Matt Coldwell, the Exhibit Coordinator, so that we might be able to see it before it came down. Matt was so gracious in giving us an extended tour of the airport exhibits. I never knew there were so many nooks and crannies there! So much eye candy! I'll have to be sure and check things out more carefully next time I am at the airport. Here are some photos of the Austin Fiber Artists Exhibit.

I hope you have enjoyed this post as much as I have enjoyed bringing it to you. Please be sure and visit on Friday when I will be delivering more exciting news about "Groovin on a Sunday Afternoon" that is opening at the Dinner at Eight Artists new "Rituals Exhibit" at the International Quilt Festival in Houston. Wishing you a fabulous fiesta!!!!

Monday, October 27, 2014

News from the Capital of Texas QuiltFest Fiesta 2014

Hello, it is so good to be blogging again and I am so behind! September was a busy month here in Austin. The Austin Area Quilt Guild held their Capital of Texas QuiltFest Fiesta on September 12-14 at the Palmer Event Center located at 900 Barton Springs. Wow, what an honor to have been accepted as part of the show and to bring home ribbons to boot! This year, Shangrila, my 3 dimensional tryptich placed second in Embellished quilts and also received an award for Best Creativity for Small Quilts. How awesome is that?!!!! Our group called the Austin Art Bee also received many awards for our group quilts. Little Bird created by Kathy York, Sherri Mc Cauley, Connie Hudson and Barb Forrister received an Honorable Mention. While Balancing Act, a group collaboration with Susan Storey Lewis, Kathy York, Leslie Tucker Jenison, Connie Hudson, Sherri Mc Cauley, Frances Holliday Alford and Barb Forrister placed Second and was awarded Best Creativity for Large Quilts.

Little Bird
Balancing Act

Additionally, I was so jazzed that Mod 7, a group collaboration with Sherri Mc Cauley, Martha Tshilas, Leslie Tucker Jenison, Kathy York, Connie Hudson, Frances Holliday Alford and Barb Forrister received a special Judges Choice award on it's first time out showing. How awesome is that?!!!! Wow, what an honor! As I mentioned earlier, September was a big month here in Austin. To try and catch up, I will be posting again on Wednesday with news from the Austin Bergstrom Airport. I hope you have enjoyed this post and I look forward to seeing you again, soon! Wishing you all a most creative week!
Mod 7

Thursday, September 25, 2014

3 Dimensional Soft Sculpted Blooms, Mixed Media Style in San Antonio, Texas

Wow, this month has been a busy one, full of fun and creativity. I have just returned from San Antonio where I presented at the Fiber Artists of San Antonio monthly meeting. Have to say, these folks are wonderful, so inviting, engaging and oh so very talented! The presentation was on my work and how it has evolved from traditional quilts to art quilts and 3 dimensional soft sculpture. The lecture was followed by lunch and subsequently a workshop on 3 dimensional soft sculpted flowers. How fun! Folks were encouraged to work in a variety of mixed media to create one of a kind blooms. Thought I would share some of the lovely pieces that were created. These flowers were made from a pattern that I published in an article, "3D Soft Sculpted Flowers, Mixed Media Style" that can be found in the Quilting Arts Magazine December/January 2014 issue.

I invite you to read more about it here . It was such a joy to watch these folks work and produce mixed media soft sculpted flowers in their own style. How fun?!!!! I hope you have enjoyed this post. I look forward to posting next week about the Capital of Texas 2014 Quilt Show, here in Austin. Wishing you all a most happy and creative day!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Fiddler on the Roof with Artwork by Artists

It is so good to be blogging again. Last night, I just attended the Opening Reception of Fiddler on the Roof starring the Trinity Street Players. What a fantastic show!!! For the first time here in Austin, this musical was performed in conjunction with visual artists providing the set designs for the production. How cool is that?!! I am so jazzed to be among some of the artists chosen for this special treat along with set designer, Ann Marie Gordon and artists  Clara Foster Newby, Lyle Adair, Hank Waddell, Melanie Lewis, Lydia Apelgren, Richard Ewen, and Tatiana Nikolova-Houston. I have four pieces in the show including Generation Y: Song of Hope, Contemplation, Amethyst Garden and El Tigre.

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of  Joseph Stein's, Fiddler on the Roof  which first debuted on Broadway in 1964 earning nine Tony Awards and  classic songs including “If I Were a Rich Man,” “Sunrise, Sunset,” and “Matchmaker” written by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick. This year's musical is directed by Adam Roberts, Austin Jewish Repertory Theater’s Artistic Director, and features a wonderful cast of actors, singers, dancers, and musicians. How fun!!!
Fiddler on the Roof focusses on Tevye and his daughters marrying outside the lines of traditions. It is a wonderful and heartfelt tale that reels you in and makes you feel their sorrow. Despite the tragedy of the story line, the musical also features comedy to lighten the mood and engage it's audience along with spectacular dancing, music and singing. The actors and cast have done a superb job in making their characters come alive in a way that reaches out to the audience. The show runs from August 2nd - August 31st. Thursdays & Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 2pm at the Trinity Street Theater, located at 901 Trinity Street in downtown Austin. At this point, the show has already been sold out. How awesome is that?!!! This is a free show but keep checking back because you never know if someone might have to let go of their tickets. You may find yourself the lucky recipient. For more information, please visit . Oh and did you get a look at the antique Singer sewing machine in the first photo? Just warms my heart to see textiles represented!!!! I hope you have enjoyed this post and I look forward to blogging again soon. There is so much on the horizon that I would like to share with you!  

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Dinner@8Artists, Reflections: Groovin' on a Sunday Afternoon

Hello, I am so jazzed to be blogging again. Best of all, I am so tickled to at last reveal my latest creation, Groovin' on a Sunday Afternoon that has been juried into Dinner @ 8 Artists new upcoming Reflections, exhibit. Wow, what an honor! This piece measures 24"X60" and was created on a painted background with trapuntoed giraffes that were appliqued and quilted on. I first began by creating the giraffe faces and necks by painting them on white muslin and then setting them on layers of batting to create dimension. They were hand basted to prepare them for applique. Next, I began painting the background. I really wanted to set them on a beautiful painted sunset but this was harder to do than I had thought. Having the sky range from various shades of rich blue, indigo and violet to the more warmer hues of red, orange and yellow was a challenge and took me a few days to just continue weaving from one color into the next to try and break up the sky.
Finally to ground them, I created a flowering bush among the grass. Here, I played with drawing the eye from the top of the sky back to the bottom. When the entire background was painted and heat set, I began hand appliqueing the giraffes to the main piece. At this point, I wanted stability so I placed the background on a layer of bamboo batting before attaching the giraffes. This was a real pain since the entire piece needed to be pin basted for this step, then hand appliqued. Once the giraffes were in place, I added the backing and repined the entire quilt to prepare it for quilting. The sky was quilted with the most fluorescent Highlight colors that Superior Thread has in their line of trilobal polyester thread. This was kind of scary since seeing each color on it's own was very overwhelming but set on this sunset background, the fluorescent pinks, oranges, yellows and reds really blended together and played well with each other and the background. Next, I began quilting the flowering bush in tiny circular almost meandering patterns to similate the flowers. The leaves were also quilted with varying shades and tints of green and brown to create visual appeal. Finally, I quilted the negative spaces within the bush and the remaining grass area. Whew! That was loads of thread!
Now, for the stars themselves, the giraffes were painted in various hues of browns, apricots, tans and cream colors. I really wanted to keep them as the main attraction and therefore they were quilted in slightly lighter and darker shades of the above mentioned colors. I also did not want to quilt them as heavily as the background because I worked so hard to give them dimension and yet, the weight still needed to be distributed evenly. What a quandary?! Finally, I decided to quilt them by studying the way their fur would lay and vary the space between lines of stitching so that their faces would have dimension. My friends who have seen this piece have commented that the fur looks like leather but it is simply paint and stitches that give the fur like illusion. I love the way their faces have dimension and I know that had this piece been created for judging, the quilt police probably would not have liked my decision to vary the space between stitch lines. Cest la vie! I am thrilled that this piece was juried into the new upcoming, Dinner @ 8 Artists, Reflections exhibit curated by Leslie Tucker Jenison and Jamie Fingal. It is an honor to be included amongst such wonderful artists. The exhibit will have 33 pieces by 33 different artists and is sponsored by Havel Sewing. For more information, I invite you to visit . Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed this blog post.