Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Call for New Members

The Art Cloth Network call for new members January 15 – March 15th 2015.

Art Cloth - cloth transformed by adding or subtracting color, line, shape, texture, value, or fiber to create ao0Hf2IwQMS compelling surface and composition that reflects the hand of the artist.

Members of our group find that the opportunities for community, conversation, sharing of techniques, inspiration and resources have benefited our art and creativity. While some of us also make art quilts or mixed media work, the group is focused on art cloth and its specific surface design techniques and approaches that meet the definition above. This includes making lengths of art cloth, art cloth to be used in art quilts and/or wearable art that comprise a body of work that reflects your creative hand.


Send a request to jeanne@jeannesisson.com in order to receive detailed information and application instructions.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


Many fiber artists enjoy dyeing, printing and painting transparent fabrics such as organza.  When the piece is complete it is sometimes a challenge to finish the edges so they compliment the piece.  Try the following simple method:


1.      Steam-press the side and bottom edges over 1 inch to the wrong side of the piece.

(Photo 1)


2.  Sew a narrow satin stitch along each folded edge.  You will need to experiment a bit to determine the stitch width and length that provide a smooth finish

(Photo 2)

3.      Lay a small pair of sharp scissors against the stitching and carefully trim away the excess fabric as close to the stitching as possible.

(Photo 3)

4.      Press.  

(Photo 4)

5.      The top edge can be turned to the wrong side to form a rod pocket. A hand stitched hem will complete the piece


Hints: I like to use machine embroidery thread.  Select a color that either blends with the colors in your design or contrasts for extra pop.   


Barbara James

November, 2014


Sunday, October 26, 2014


This is my piece that was NOT juried into last year's challenge.  I am very fond of it and it just sold.    It's two layers of silk which were dyed together so they are the same pattern but because they are different weight and texture fabrics they took the dye completely differently color-wise.  I have embroidered to emphasize the white sparks and added a salting of foil to give it that added sparkle.

(from Deborah Weir     FiberFly@cox.net )


Monday, April 28, 2014

Latest art cloth work, not quite finished yet, but close.
Title as of now...
Beginning. 36 x 36", Silk broadcloth, hand dyed, discharged, screen printed, hand painted...
thinking about some
hand embroidery/beading...we'll see.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Amaryllis play

I have been playing with the photos I took of a blooming amaryllis. This one was solarized and I like what happens with the areas of the petals that are more transparent. It makes the ruffly red edges pop. There may be more amaryllis experiments in the next few days!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Water Colors exhibit hanging in progress

Today I spent 5 hours with photo intern, Amber Benson, hanging my Water Colors exhibit for 4th Friday. It went well but hanging 16 pieces is a LOT of work, hanging plus lighting plus labels, artist statements, postcards, email sign up list and other assorted materials needed to be dealt with as well. I think it looks good. Here are a few photos from the hanging. If you can come out to the Starline Gallery in Harvard, IL on Friday, January 24 from 6-9 pm it would be great to see you and I guarantee a good time!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Gallery space transformation

 This is the way the gallery space outside my studio looks today. Tomorrow I will be working with the 4th Friday interns to hang the 20+ pieces in my water reflection series for the featured artist show at 4th Friday at the Starline. I will post photos tomorrow of the transformed space.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

New postcard

Off to the printer! I just created a new postcard using Line Dance, Tree Ring pattern, var. 5 as the image. I think it works well as a postcard and I hope to have them in time for my solo show on January 24 but I may be just a little too late in ordering them. Life goes on.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Junichi Arai – A National Treasure

Linda Dawson here.

Junichi Arai was born in the early 1930s in Japan to a family of weavers of kimono fabrics.  Followed in his family’s tradition, he grew to love fibers and helped bring the ancient art of shibori into the modern age through the use of new and experimental materials which embraced metals as woof, warp or both. He has grown from dyeing with indigo and other natural substances on cotton, silk and other natural fibers to applying disperse dyes on poly based fibers woven with fine metal. Visit his latest exhibit in Japan through the wonders of the internet:  http://www.spoon-tamago.com/2013/03/25/arai-junichi-tradition-and-creation/ and the slide show here is great: http://www.operacity.jp/ag/exh148/e/gallery.html#7  The knowledge and skills he developed through years of study and artistic creation has earned him the designation of National Treasure and he is revered throughout Japan for his contributions to the arts.

I first became acquainted with the his works sometime in the 1990s. My friend, Mei-Ling St Leger, attended a Surface Design Association Conference in Kansas City where she attended a workshop he conducted.  She learned the technique of melt-off using lame’ fabrics. She taught me the basics and  I really fell in love with the process. The process I am using here to create my melt-off requires a lame’ fabric which is a combination of nylon and aluminum. Part of the aluminum is eaten off which leaves just the nylon in places. The cloth is then dyed with wash fast acid dye.  Here is a piece I created for The Red Show at the Hillsborough Community College Ybor City Art Gallery.

Pete with Name That Color_edited-3
This photo shows the piece hanging from the ceiling at the gallery. 
Melt-off red close-up

 This is a close up of the inner layer showing the melt-off. I use silver lame’ and over dyed with mixture of red and yellow wash fast acid dyes.

This picture is of a 6 yard piece I created for a show at the Art Center Manatee. This one was created from gold lame’ which was over dyed with chocolate wash fast dye.

 This is a close-up of the chocolate piece.

Spider Web Shibori Melt-Off12

Spider Web Shibori Melt-Off13

Here are two pictures showing the gold/chocolate piece during its creation.
The first one shows the piece wrapped and clamped ready to go into the stripping bath. The second shows the piece after it came from the  dye bath and before the wrapping and clamping were released.

And finally here is Mei-Ling with one of her pieces.
Mei-Ling 1
And these are her Chrysalis pieces.
I offer this technique to you today to add to your tool kit. It is a simple, but elegant, technique. You must use a lame’ that has aluminum for the metal which is usually woof and nylon for both woof and the warp. Since this is a shibori project you should manipulate the fabric in any of several shibori techniques. The fabric is then placed in a solution of water and soda ash (scant 1/3 C soda ash to 2 gallons of water) which has been brought to a simmer. Two things will happen. The nylon will become permanently pleated due to the heat and the alkali solution will eat (melt) off the aluminum. Simmer this for 8 to 10 minutes, but watch closely as the aluminum will suddenly be gone and the alkali solution can penetrate the resist. You will then be left with a piece of nylon. Remove the fabric and immediately rinse with tap water. I do this outside complete with Darth Vader mask to keep the fumes out of my house and away from my cat. And I have the hose ready to go immediately to stop the action of the soda ash and begin to cool the fabric. The fabric is now ready for an acid dye bath. You can either leave the resist in place, remove parts of it or remove it all before dyeing. ProChem has wonderful directions for the wash fast Acid dyes at this site: http://www.prochemical.com/directions/Acid%20Dyes%20PDF/WF%20-%20Immersion.pdf I usually use the white vinegar since it is so readily available. Please take GOOD HEALTH precautions and use rubber gloves, a good mask, preferable a Darth Vader type, and always rinse your fabrics with water between techniques to prevent the accidental mixture of a noxious gas.
Keep watching, as I am ready to start some experimentation with the melt-off technique and will be posting further results here later in the month.

Water Colors exhibit

Coming too soon is my solo exhibit at The Starline Gallery. I will be showing about 18 art quilts and art cloth pieces from my water reflection series. Some of these pieces have not been gathered together in quite some time. I just received Reflections, Venice, var. 2 back from its sojourn at the U. S. Embassy in Vientiane, Laos.  More information to come as the I get closer to the date. Now it's time to clean studio, make labels, finish poster, get work ready to hang and ......

Thursday, January 9, 2014


Hi everyone,
Apparently my last post decided to download a lot of my blog rather then just the address to get there. Though none of that showed up in the Preview. I apologize for any problems you might be having with download. This was not my intent!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

BarbaraSchneider-artist.blogspot.com start up for 2014

Hi all,
I have begun posting daily (she says hopefully) to my blog again. I decided that the daily practice of posting a photo is something I miss. It keeps me focused on looking around, it "encourages" me to work in Photoshop and learn more and keeps me in touch with others. And sometimes great ideas for art work grows out of these daily exercises.

So if you have time to follow along go visit:

I have put a link to Art Cloth Network blog on my blog as well.

Barbara Schneider

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Article for the Bernina WeAllSew.com website

Look at the Bernina WeAllSew.com website to see this article I wrote about the Leaf process.

Leaves, Leaves, Leaves

Here in the western NC mountains we’re blessed with amazing color every autumn as leaves change from green to all shades of red, orange, yellow, and, yes, a bit of brown, too. My little cottage in the woods is surrounded by huge oak and pine trees, but there are also maple, sourwood, and sweet gum. The dogwood tree outside my office window is a lovely shade of pink/red, and my neighbor’s maple trees provide a background of red and yellow.
The ground looks something like this:

 But these leaves aren’t real – they’re stitched! Barbara Schneider’s “Forest Floor,” along with other pieces in her Leaves series, features realistic leaves fashioned from fabric and thread. Here she describes her process for creating stitching and shaping her lovely leaves.

My Leaves series is an exploration and interpretation of these beautiful objects by enlarging and reshaping them. I collect leaves and look closely at their structure and shape. In particular, I like to collect them at the end of summer when they have begun to wither and fragment. Looking at them closely and then enlarging them allows me to see them as sculptural objects. I look at the play of light upon surfaces, and shaping the pieces introduces a new element – light and shadow interacting with the undulating surfaces.

“Leaf Fall” by Barbara Schneider:

I begin with real leaves that I collect at the end of summer when they begin to wither and twist and change color. The sample leaf shown later is a very large grapevine leaf that has begun to change color.

Scanning, printing, and assembling leaves

I start by scanning the original leaf on a flatbed scanner. Then I use a photo manipulation program (Photoshop Elements) to enhance and enlarge the leaf to prepare it for digital printing directly onto the fabric. I usually use a PFD (prepared for dyeing) cotton lawn fabric.

Printing onto the fabric
When I make a piece that is digitally printed I usually need to print it in sections and then reassemble it before moving on to the next step. I work with a 13″ x 19″ printer, but have found that as long as I stay within the width (13”) I can print pieces that are longer than the 19″ length. I prepare the fabric by ironing it to freezer paper, set up the print parameters on the computer, and then print the sections with a 1″ to 2″ overlap. I remove the backing paper and then fuse Wonder-Under to the back.


Fusing, free-motion stitching, and cutting
I use Wonder -Under or Mistyfuse to join the front, batting (I use just a small amount), and back together. The next step is to add detail and texture with free-motion stitching using a variety of threads to create the veins and whorls and other assorted marks that are on the original leaves. Sometimes I double up threads, sometimes I overstitch or use heavier threads – whatever best expresses the essence of the particular leaf.


Stitching the leaves
One of the things that it is fun to interpret is all the markings on the leaves. Free-motion stitching with the BERNINA 750 allows me to re-create these markings on my leaf pieces.
I stitch the leaves with a variety of threads – mostly I use rayon thread for the strength and the lovely colors. I often use two different color threads at the same time for the topstitching as it gives a more mottled feeling which seems right for the leaves. I often combine multicolor threads in varying colorways. For the bobbin thread I use a color that blends with the back leaf fabric color. I use a Titanium-coated Superior Topstitch Needle, size 100/16. I find a have very little thread breakage with this needle.
I look closely at my original leaf and try to create the same veins, whorls, and marks that I see in it. This might involve straight stitching, satin stitching, and free-motion stitching, as well as overlapped stitching to build up areas of texture. I change the threads for different areas and work my way around the leaf. I often go back three or four times to add more detail and to change coloration.
I try to imagine what the stitching will add to the surface – is it pattern, texture, or color? Whatever it is, I just try to let it flow through my brain and into my hands and then I just go with it!


What brings the leaves alive and what excites me about them is creating dimension and shaping them so that they catch the light. After all the steps above, I coat the entire front and back with a thinned-down white glue product (Aleene’s Fabric Stiffening and Draping Liquid). I lay the leaf out on a plastic sheet over my work table. While the leaf is damp and pliable I shape it, using a variety of supports such as small cans or plastic bottles, foam wedges, pins – whatever I need – to hold the leaf in the desired shape for as long as it takes to dry.

To learn more about this process
I have published a DVD – Three Dimensional Fiber Art: Shape and Texture, Light and Shadow with Quilting Arts Workshop / Interweave Press on this process and how to make other things as well.

“Leaf Fragment” by Barbara Schneider: