Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Monday, June 27, 2011
“The Soul’s Reflections in Fiber”
Art Quilts by Wendy Butler Berns
“I love fabric. I love color. I love to stitch. Quilting is an art form that allows me to combine these passions. My quilts tell stories of people, places and journeys that are important to me. The visions, feelings and messages for these stories energetically dart about inside me. By creating with fabric and thread, quiltmaking offers me the spontaneous freedom to express and direct this internal energy and vision into original, tangible and textural images I can share with others.”
Wendy Butler Berns
textile artist, teacher, lecturer
“Me and My Shadow-Out on a Limb”
51” X 65 ½”
“Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go”
This image of my shadow out on a limb jumped out at me as I imagined where I have been with my quilting and where I am headed. The streamers of log cabins and flying geese represent my tradition- with- a-twist beginnings. Now, I am reaching for the sky surrounded by my new adventures with collaged threads, wonderful textured wool roving, Texture Magic, new machine quilting stitches and many more future unknown journeys. Part of my “Out on a Limb” exhibition series.
“Olbrich’s Blooming Midnight Garden”
22” x 36”
While visiting Olbrich Gardens on a rainy day with moisture glistening from
the flowers, I imagined the garden with larger than life flowers
shimmering under the glow of the midnight moon.
Quilted fabric collage
Completed November, 2010
“Olbrich as Art” Invitational 2011
52 ½” X 63 ½”
Go on working freely and furiously and you will make progress.”
My Quilt Designs – stretching to new heights. Stretching my design skills is what I challenged myself to do with this piece. I took a single butterfly wing drawing I created and tessellated it to see what would happen. The design has an abstract feel, but by using recognizable colors of the Monarch butterfly, one can get a sense of the real thing. Part of my “Out on a Limb” exhibition series.
Wendy Butler Berns
textile artist, teacher, lecturer
N6536 Shorewood Hills Road
Lake Mills, WI 53551
You can view Wend'y’s workshops and gallery- http://www.wendybutlerberns.com/
Vidcast of "Out on a Limb Exhibition" http://www.bonniemccaffery.com/vidcasts/057.html
Friday, June 24, 2011
Prairie Grass 32” x 75”
artist hand dyed silk/cotton and cotton fabric.
Close up of quilting.
It is a shame the color is a bit washed out. They are more “luminous” in person.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
I am working on machine quilting a triptych. I am quilting the last panel. It isn’t difficult quilting but I am really bored with it. I am currently listening to Laurie King’s The Language of Bees and it keeps my behind in the chair to work on this.
These are all the tails from working today.
I am also getting ready for the fall classes and shows. I realized Laura and I are vending at two shows this fall, plus all our teaching engagements, so for a change I am trying to be prepared ahead of time. I will be spending 10 days in August with the DGC and I need to get all the fabric dyed for these events. Here are yesterdays kits lined up and waiting to go into their bags.
On the right are kits for Autumn Mums 1 1/4 yards of blackened rainbow fabric plus 1/4 yard Frieda green and 5 1/8 yards of flower colors.
Next to that are 1/2 yards of red to lime green for Field Poppies.
On the right are 1/4 yards of Grass greens for all kinds of patterns and finally 1/2 yards of turquoise, 1/4 yard of blues and 1/4 yards of yellows for Daffodils. I keep busy don’t you think?
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Monday, June 20, 2011
The kids, Zac and Amelia, asked me to make signs to welcome and direct people at their reception. The reception was held at the Sarasota Botanical Gardens. It was a really nice way to make me feel involved in the process since I don’t live close and am the mother of the groom.
I decided I would use the color scheme they used for the wedding and I also used the idea for the Gingo leaves on the sign from their invitations.
The first thing I did was rummage through my fabrics and come up with colors that I liked. Then I sketched a quick design and emailed it to Amelia to make sure it was ok with her. Sorry I don’t have the sketch.
I wanted to make the signs big enough to read and also big enough to cut out the letters without to much trouble, but not so big they were hard to deal with. 20” x 24” seemed like a good size.
1.I cut out the background fabric larger than what I wanted it to be finished so about 22” x 26”. Then I fused the dark green cotton and the light green silk for the letters and the gingo leaves.
2.I fused the light green silk fabric with wonderunder fusible web #805. Once this had cooled I removed the release paper and placed it on top of the blown up drawings of the gingo leaves.
3.Using an extra fine sharpie marker I traced around the shapes and transferred them to the back of the fused light green silk.
4.I transferred the design by placing the marker side of the release paper against the fused side of the silk and pressed with a hot dry iron. The marker will "print" on the fusible web and leave a line to cut around. I removed the release paper cut out on the line or just inside it of the gingo leaves.
5.I fused them to the background fabric. I made my quilt into a sandwich at this point because I wanted to quilt around the leaves before I added on the letters. I stitched in the ditch around the outline of the leaves and added in veining lines by using 30# dark green rayon thread.
6.Next I printed up on the computer the letters. I choose Arial Black as the font, because it is a nice block letter, and blew the letters up to about 3” tall for the welcome sign and 2” tall for the cocktails; more letters. Printed them out and used them to trace around for the words on the signs.
7.I fused the dark green cotton and let the fabric cool then removed the release paper from fabric. I placed the release paper from wonderunder fusible web #805 over the printed letters from the computer and traced around them with an extra fine sharpie marker. I transferred the letters the same way by pressing with a hot dry iron the marker side of the release paper against the fused side of the fabric. The marker lines transfer to the back of the fused fabric and I could easily cut them out of the green fabric.
8.I fused these to the bottom third of my background fabric.
I cut out a long 1/2" wide strip for the arrow and a triangle for the arrow head and fused these under the letters for the Cocktails and Sunset sign.
I machine quilted stitch in the ditch around all the letters and arrow on the cocktail sign in dark green 30# rayon thread and then I stippled the whole background fabric in a finer silk thread.
9.I squared up the signs and added a fused binding.
10.I found green foam core board at the craft store and cut them to the exact size of the sign and used tacky velcro dots to stick the signs to the foam core.
We borrowed easels to prop up the signs at the reception so they could be positioned in just the right spot to welcome people as they arrived and then direct them to the area for cocktails and to view the sunset on the water.
Now the kids have the signs hanging in their home. The welcome sign by the front door and the cocktail sign by the patio door.
I was so pleased they asked.
They also asked the “mothers” to make them a quilt that everyone could sign at the reception. I designed the quilt and dyed the fabric and Linda, Amelia’s mom pieced it together. It is of pine trees.
I still have to quilt it. I hope to give it to them for their first year anniversary. Maybe.
Friday, June 17, 2011
These fabrics have been hanging on one of design walls for awhile. I LOVE these fabrics, but I really can’t stand to cut them. I haven’t figured out yet how I can use them.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
I really enjoy my garden. Especially this time of year when each new month brings me a joy of color and design.
Right now my poppies are blooming. Every year the cycle of life renews itself and brings me happiness and bliss.
The poppies in my garden have inspired many of my quilts.
60” x 70” a winner in 2005 in Paducah. The flowers in this quilt are made with my hand dyed silk.
Petite Poppies one of my first patterns. 16” x 20”
Field Poppies one of newest and easiest patterns.
I tell you, you just can’t beat red and green together. One of my favorite color combinations!
Monday, June 13, 2011
This Artist Monday I would like to introduce you to a friend of mine who is doing really interesting work.
Judy Zoelzer Levin specializes in quilted items made from nontraditional quilting fabrics such as wool, silk, and lamé. Although these fabrics are challenging to work with, Judy finds the play of light on the quilts fascinating and rewarding. Besides the quilts that Judy makes she also has a line of fun and exciting bags. You can view all her work on her website listed below.
"True Beauty?". The quilt was inspired by a round robin challenge held by the Milwaukee Art Quilters. Participants brought a common object in a paper bag, placed it in the center of the room and then chose different bag. My bag contained a kewpie doll. I am currently working on a series of quilts with female imagery and female issues. The kewpie led me to think about "What is beauty"? Images of kewpies were Photoshoped in orchids, roses and tulips and printed on fabric. They were then surrounded by the names of beauty products.
Artistic Web Works Web Design & Development
Friday, June 10, 2011
This Year's Vintage - 17" x 17"
My design wall was designed and constructed by my husband, Jim. It measures 90" tall by 70" wide. It is composed of four sheets of "pink panther" insulation
that are glued to a pvc structure allowing for the use of both sides. The board is secured by being mounted on a stainless steel structure fabricated in my husband's shop that ensures it is at a very stable 90 degree angle to the floor when I am working on it. And the best thing is it is on wheels!
I made a felt pillow case that covers the whole board. Grey on one side and black on the other. Great for photography.
Pulled away from the wall.
Showing the grey site with a quilt in progress
Up against the wall. I can view the wall from 20 plus feet away.
That allows for really seeing how a composition is working.
A picture of the wheels. This wall is mobile and stable all in one.
I love it!
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
I have just returned from teaching at the NC quilt symposium and had a fabulous time. I am however very frogging sounding as I lost my voice. A summer cold is a real bummer, but at least I can lay out in the sun and get a little vitamin D to help me heal. It was 95 degrees here in Chicago land yesterday!!
Following are the June specials on my website. I hope you will visit and find something to help inspire your sewing this summer.
With every $20 order in June I will include free my Duluth Trees pattern with your order.
I have three new patterns on the website - Field Poppies, Sister Trees and Star Lilies. Each is more delicious than the next. Please take a look and try one of these easy fused projects.
My fabric specials this month are Blue Sunset and Prairie Winter. This month they will be $20 each a yard .
New Silk Fabric and 4mm Silk Ribbon
I am excited to announce that I have added two new items to the website. I am now offering 1/2 yards of silk charmeuse fabric 36" x 20" and 4mm silk ribbon in 10 yard lengths. The silk charmeuse is dyed in the same colors that are listed on my fabric page, but the colors are scattered randomly all over the silk. The silk ribbon is dyed in the same gradation manner as the cotton gradation on my fabric page.
I fuse the silk and use it all the time in my fused quilt projects. It is easy to fuse and adds wonderful luminosity to your work. The ribbon is perfect for embellishments and crazy quilting. I have used it in bobbin work as well. I know you will find a fun way to incorporate it into your designs.
My Schedule for the rest of 2011
June 8-12 Beach Cities Quilters Guild, Mission Viejo, CA
July 2-5 Sisters Outdoor Quilt show, Sisters OR
August 4-13 family trip
August 16-17 Kalamoze MI
September 8-10 Quilt Expo - 3 Machine Quilting classes and featured speaker
September 12-13 Calico Cutters, West Chester PA
September 13 Brandywine Valley Quilters - lecture
October 8-10 Springfield Quilt Guild, Springfield IL
November 1-6 IQA Festival of Quilts Houston -booth and teaching
November 17 Pride of the Prairie Quilt Guild- Plainfield IL
Tell a friend
I hope you will take a moment and share my newsletter with one of your quilting friends. As always, appreciate your business.
Keep creating wonderful work.
Monday, June 6, 2011
Denise Havlan is an art quilter and teacher from Plainfield Il. She has been quilting for 21 years. Trained in the fine arts Denise brings her drawing and painting skills to all her art quilts. Predominately a figurative artist she will dabble in landscapes and nature scenes. Her work can be viewed at most national quilt shows throughout the year and on her website.
I have known Denise for many years. We are both members of a local group “PAQA” and met there, but we see each other through out the year at other quilt related functions.
Denise’s quilt - Shannon's Bantam won the Fairfield Master Award for Contemporary Artistry.
2009 winner at International Quilt Festival's World of Beauty Show.
The original drawings for this quilt were begun the summer of 2006. The final work was completed in the summer of 2009. My granddaughter, Shannon is 10 years old in the finished quilt.
Denise is an inspiration to us all.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
I have been working on a prairie piece. It is three large panels that are about 26” x 32” each. I have made smaller versions of this quilt and wanted to change the quilting designs I used on them. On these larger pieces I wanted a more controlled look to the quilted grass.
Small quilt “Blowing in the Wind” 12” x 8”
While I was working on outline quilting all of the grass pieces in the first panel of the three pieces, I had an ah ha moment. I decided to create”templates” of grass fabric that I could quilt around but would be removed when I was done quilting. I knew I didn’t want to use just a drawn line and I knew I didn’t want to use paper as the paper won’t curve the way I wanted it to. It dawned on me I could just spray a piece of fabric with the product 505 spray adhesive and then cut out my 1/2” strip of “grass” template on the bias and position it on my quilt top where I wanted it, then outline quilt around it. Once I quilted around it I removed the bias cut strip and repositioned it somewhere else on the quilt top. It worked like a charm. I can reuse the pieces over and over again because the spray sticks repeatedly to different areas. It doesn’t leave a residue behind and it is easy to use.
This is the first panel quilted.
I’m now working on the second panel, the pins are only there to keep the fabric from shifting.
I think you can use this idea even with a larger template design. I’m going to try it out and let you know.
I dye alittle every day.
This is what I do every morning before I start my dye. I dye between 9-30 yards of fabric, for my workshops and patterns and sales.
This is how it looks each morning as I work.
That is rainbow gradation on the racks.