Monday, June 16, 2014

Mixed Media Explorations

Over the past few weeks, I have been playing with mixed media.  Mixed |Media techniques have always been a part of my work as an art quilter, but now I am able to view the whole thing as a continuum, from pure textile work such as hand embroidery, through quilt making onto painting fabric, adding embellishments and working into doing exactly the same things on paper, board, and canvas, slowly progressing to the point of using pure paint.  I have been very surprised to find that artists who have begun their journey at the other end of the continuum as just as fascinated with the mixed media techniques as we fibre people.

Being sure that I was entering the field of mixed media as a neophyte, my first step--of course--was to sign up for a class.  While waiting for class day, I ended up in a discussion, with a group of painters, about--of all things--artists trading cards (ATC's).  This lead to the realization that I probably have more experience than most of them with mixed media techniques.  Then came class day where the techniques were much closer to painting than fibre, along the continuum.  But I still knew enough to feel quite comfortable amongst the group of painters.

This has been a major epiphany for me.  I really don't need to feel like a poor relation when I associate with other artists.  I have something to contribute!

The end result is that I have been asked to lead a "Play Day" in Mixed Media Techniques.  Several of the people who have signed up for this are artists whose work I have admired for years.  Boy!  I better get my act together in a hurry!!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Back to normal--sort of.....

In April, when I was working on FMQ'g,  two problems came up with my Horizon 7700.  First of all, somehow (??), the Titanium needle hit my open-toed free motion foot and bent it right out of shape,  bent but didn't break the needle as well.  Scared the heck out of me and , not taking any chances, I took the machine into the shop.  Talking to the fellow, I mentioned another problem I had been having with a "grating" noise after the machine gets warmed up.  Checking it out, he determined that a spring, which controls the bar that maintains the position of the bobbin holder, was missing.  This very tiny spring was nowhere to be found, which meant there was no part number, and it took a while for  him to determine that there wasn't one available in North America.  Finally, after almost two months, the part came in and I got my machine back on Wednesday.

 I had some prep. work to do before I could set it up and check the FMQ'g, which I started to do this morning.  Discovered that in all the fuss about the missing spring, we hadn't arranged to replace the badly bent FMQ'g foot.  When I called about it, I was told that the open-toed foot is not a normal part, and only available as part of the machine purchase package, but they would have to try to order one from the factory, but couldn't guarantee that they would be able to get one. ( ?Another two months for a maybe??)  Checking somewhere, she found that it is sold only as part of a four piece FMQ'g package, priced at $62.00+tax.

Now, I have been FMQ'g for many, many years.  I taught myself on a very old flat-deck Kenmore.  Always, I have coveted the open-toed FMQ'g foot, but it has never been available, to me, until I received one as part of the package when I bought the 7700.  For thread painting and the very detailed whole-cloth FMQ'g I do, I consider it essential. I bought the damn thing.  Thank Goodness for plastic money.