Fiber Arts

Once in a Blue Moon…

My daughter and I traveled to Blowing Rock, NC last week to attend the three-day “Once in a Blue Moon Fiber Art Retreat” led by Susan Brubaker Knapp and Lyric Kinard.   Whole cloth painting, beading, seed embroidery, thread sketching – the two of us did it all, learned so much, created while letting the apprehensions fly away, and met new “fabulously friendly” people from NC, TN, VA, FL and even Phoenix, Arizona.  If you scroll down on the link above, you will find my daughter and myself working away at our thread sketching project.  She was just learning to operate the sewing machine’s many features and succeeded with excellent results and praise from all. The best day for me was the whole cloth painting lesson.  It took me all day, with a bit of time after dinner in the evening, to complete the two leaves, using one of Susan’s photographs as a model.

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Profab paints on fabric on left                Photograph by Susan Brubaker Knapp on right
Blending of the paints to achieve the colors was the most challenging, but now I have the confidence to give it another try…. perhaps with a poinsettia, given the season that is approaching.  We were not required to match the photograph’s colors and could focus on the color values in any hue , but I chose to duplicate the colors.  

Speaking of colors and paints, the bi-weekly email letter from Robert Genn arrived in my Inbox this morning.  I added a widget on the right side of this blog to quickly link out to his musings and those of his daughter.  I am a subscriber to his blog, on the recommendation of a friend, and I gain so much from reading it.  He gave some insightful comments about “colour” in his blog from December 1, 2006, which is referenced in today’s blog by his daughter.


Prior to attending the retreat, I was busy with home deco and boutique projects.  I completed a bed size throw for my son which is of a modern quality with masculine colors.  Our local community held a boutique, so I put together a dozen purses, sold some of them and sent the rest as gifts to friends who have hosted or entertained us on our travels.  Never a dull moment!  I’m excited about new projects that lie ahead so I can exercise the newly learned skills and will show some of them more regularly in the days ahead.

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Totes/Messenger Bags sold at BH Boutique      Totes sent to friends as gifts ~ Enjoy! 
Copyright© 2009 All images and text in all categories are copyright of Mary A. Ritter (aka M'Unique) and may not be reproduced without express permission. · Fiber Arts

Crazy for Hibiscus…

Maybe it’s because I find it easy to draw a hibiscus?  This week has been filled with that Hawaiian beauty, and I am not tired of it yet.  It started on Wednesday when I joined the “Fab Five” (my practicing art quilt group) for a day of exploration.  We were focused on stenciling, stamping and generally creating designs with all sorts of tools… even gelatin.  The most fun for me was the glue gun.  A piece of parchment paper served as a base and a hot glue gun (careful now!) created a hibiscus design that I could use as a stencil or stamp.  It is white when first completed… this one has been used to create a design and retains some of the paint.  It can be trimmed and is so easy to work with. Hope the  Off the Wall Friday group enjoys seeing this process below.

2013-2hibiscus-hot_glue_designAfter quickly applying some fuchia setacolor paint to a piece of muslin and letting it dry, I held the glue stencil securely on the fabric and dabbed paint around it.  The result has a batik quality.  I’m eager to try my hand at a few more of these.  Good times.

2013-2hibiscus-hot_glue_design2 A friend, neighbor, and excellent teacher also has some lessons that many of you might enjoy.  Lyric Kinard is teaching her Bead It Like You Mean It class right now.  Get on over to her blog and have some fun while you learn how to use beads on fabric.  Her instructions have provided me with hours of pleasure, both in class and from watching her DVDs.  Using some of  her methods, I will be adding some beads to my hibiscus.  She also creates thermofaxes, so I decided to see if I could use the glue stencil to create a couple of thermofax designs.  I put the glue stencil on the scanner and used my photo editing software to work with it.  Here are the results – a positive and negative thermofax.  Thermofaxes are created from black and white images placed on a thermofax printer.


I still have the hibiscus quilt on my design wall.  I worked on the leaves this week, and I hope to have all of the painting completed in only a few more sessions.  After drawing a pattern on freezer paper and pressing it in place on the quilt top, I applied two colors of green setacolor opaque paint.  There will still be a light green color that will trace the veins which are now bright pink- applied with a sponge.  Touches of the pink will peek through.  It is exciting to see it take shape…. still much to do.



Guess it’s been a productive week!  Hope to catch some more activity happening over at Off the Wall Friday!  Come along and check it out with me!