Making Funny Hats

Our family always has a post-Thanksgiving art day each year. We pick a crafty/arty project and spend the entire day making it up. Some of previous projects have been Temari Balls (Japanese thread-wrapped balls), collages, jewelry, and other types of artwork.

This year my niece, Wendy Olson, found a blog that had a pattern for hats for babies and children made from repurposed t-shirts. The creator is named Cheri (last name unknown), and the link to her pattern is:
On her blog, you can see the other projects she has made. She is so creative, and her designs are such fun. Like Wendy and me, she is the mother of two boys.

So my sister, Judy Olson, and Wendy (her oldest daughter) spent the day making these little hats for our various children/grandchildren. I also have a grandson and a granddaughter, so I made them each a hat. I am including several photos of the hats for your enjoyment. Each one is unique and easy to make. We made 6 hats in one afternoon, including drafting the pattern. I did spend a half a day ahead of time dyeing some of the t-shirts in shades of green, so we would have good supply of this color. I hope you enjoy seeing them.

Mixed Media Madness Continues

Here is another idea for working in mixed media and collage.  I have been making some “new” papers from repurposed tissue/wrapping papers and paint to use in my mixed media work.  I start with a piece of wonder under, which is a two-sided iron-on adhesive from Pellon.  The wonder under gives the papers some body to them, so they are not so delicate.  I place different tissue/wrapping papers onto the wonder under and iron them down, covering the entire surface.  I then layer on additional papers and add paints, using stamps, stencils, and silk screens.  Once all your layers are done, I remove the paper backing on the wonder under, and I can either iron down the paper on my work or I can use mat medium to adhere them down.  I have been making the papers in different color ways to build up my stash of certain colored paper for my mixed media collages.  I would love to know what other ways you have made “new” papers for your collage work.





New Work – Mixed Media Madness!

For the last year or so, I have been working on a new series that combines techniques and mediums that I have been using for a while.  These pieces start out as quilts made with fabric, felt, paper, and threads.  The next stages include multiple layers of paint, fabric, and/or papers.  I am also going to experiment with tyvek on some new work.  I mount these finished pieces on stretched gallery wrapped canvases.  They don’t require any additional frames or glass.  I am very excited about this work.

This particular piece is called “Scission”, and it started from a portion of another watercolor painting that didn’t work out.  There were parts of that painting that I thought had some merit, so I used these pieces as the starting point and added fabric that I had manipulated, paint, and more paper.  My initial plan was a cruciform design.  I hope you like it.

Dyeing Fabric and Papers

I am interested in building up my stash of hand-dyed fabrics for my mixed media collages and art quilts. As part of this process, I decided that creating hand-dyed papers would also be a great idea. I cut up large sheets of mulberry papers along with other hand-made and store-bought papers into smaller pieces. I then dip these papers into my fabric dye-baths. I lay them out to dry on an old towel. The different colored papers absorb the dye in different ways, creating more variety in the colors. I drip some other dye-bath colors onto the sheets to add interest in the papers. This photo is a sample of some of the colors drying with two dye-baths that have fabric in them.

Demo – Preparing to Paint on Mixed Media

Here’s part 2 of the Olive Hyde Art Guild (OHAG) workshop video.  I had given the participants a very small supply list to bring, and they came ready to work.  By this point in time, everyone had selected their fabrics and had ironed them in place.  They were deciding whether to do embroidery or painting or more collage on their pieces.  This section of the video covers the preparation for painting on the fabric.

Demo – Backing and Mounting Quilt

Here’s part 3 of the Olive Hyde Art Guild (OHAG) workshop video.  I was totally impressed that some of the participants were able to get to this point in their pieces.  The variety of work was amazing, and it was thrilling to see the creativity in this group.  This section of the video covers the finishing step of backing the quilt and/or mounting the quilt on a gallery wrapped canvas.  Enjoy!

Demo – Stitching and Embroidery

Occasionally, I will do a demonstration for art organizations of my various techniques.  The Olive Hyde Art Guild (OHAG) asked that if I could do a demo with a hands-on related activity in conjunction with the 44th Annual Textile Show at the Olive Hyde Gallery.  They gave me two hours to accomplish this request.  So I began thinking about what to do for the group.  I thought about having a slide show and even put one together.  Then I thought I would do a demo of a background and a foreground for a floral piece.  Then I thought we would get to the hands-on activity.  I added up the time estimates for each part of the two hours and realized that there just wasn’t enough time to do everything.



Then I saw the list of attendees and knew that this would be a high-energy group, ready to jump into the fabric.  I abandoned my previous ideas and decided to focus just on the hands-on activity.  The assignment was to make a small (8” x 10”) landscape quilt, using fabric, paper, and all the embellishments and paint you might want to use.  There were 28 participants, many of whom are friends and fellow artists.  We had a blast playing with different fabrics.

My husband, Dean, took some videos of part of my instructions, which we broke into 3 different videos that I would like to share.  This video covers the stitching and embroidery step in the process.  Hope you like it.