Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Words of the Past--Mixed Media Fiber Art and Book Giveaway

The Words of the Past, Mixed Media Fiber Art, 12" x 24"
Made by Fannie Narte
Inspired by "Dress Shop Memories" by Janet Cooper

"Bravo," "Great Job," "I'm here for you," "You can do it," "I'm sorry," "Thank You" . . .

Do words make your heart dance?
Do words offer you hope and encouragement?


Janet's "Dress Shop Memories" inspired "The Words of the Past," my version of her project found on pages 96-97 in the recently released book, "Pretty Little Mini Quilts," edited by Ray Hemachandra and published by Lark Books.

While Janet's project "recreates the history of those women who worked every day making beautiful and useful things out of whole cloth," my art quilt celebrates the encouraging power of words.


Janet recommends that you draft your own pattern and create a template from paper. I folded a piece of paper in half and cut out the pattern for the bodice. The area of the skirt was divided into equal rectangles, and the fabric was cut from my stash of hand painted fabrics. The words were free-motion stitched with black thread. I crocheted some lace using ecru thread, which was designed specifically for this project.

The piece connecting the bodice and the skirt is a paper-pieced unit using black silk and my hand painted fabrics. The dress is mounted to a 12" x 24" painted stretched canvas.


Quilters, fiber artists, as well as mixed media artists will enjoy the freedom of designing their own dress and embellishing it using their favorite techniques. If you're the kind of person that needs a pattern, then this project may frighten you. However, fear can sometimes open the door to innovation and stretch the imagination. Some of us, who were born in 1876, made our own doll clothes out of pieces of fabric from our mother's stash.


While working on this project, my mind wandered aimlessly through the worn pages of "The Book of Fannie." From the smell of oil residue coming from my mother's treadle sewing machine while I played with my crudely-made Barbie doll dresses on the wooden floor to my "What-was-I-thinking?" homemade prom dress to my daughters' cute Easter dresses for their professional photos taken at "K-Mart," . . . yes, each smell, each humiliation, each loving memory informed my art making.


Isn't it great how one project can inspire different variations of a piece? The ideas dancing in my head could fill a dress shop . . . okay, maybe not, but I do have more ideas brewing.


How does Janet begin her day in her studio? What inspires her? Return tomorrow for an "Interview with Janet Cooper" and learn more about the designer of "Dress Shop Memories."


Would you like to make your own version of Janet's project?

You can win a copy of Pretty Little Mini Quilts by leaving your name on this post. Leave your thoughts about what your dress would look like. What are you working on?

The winner of this giveaway will be announced on Monday, April 19. Tell a friend.

Thanks for stopping by. See you tomorrow.

Have a creative day!


Lisa M Griffin said...

I do think that words offer hope and encouragement, which is why I am addicted to so many of the fascinating blogs I have "discovered". The combination of talent through pose, or sculpture, fiber art or canvas - it stimulates and inspires daily.
Thanks for sharing Fannie. ;)

Sherry said...

This is fabulous Fannie. Your words are always uplifting and encouraging. If I were to make a similar dress, I would use some nice linen and heirloom stitches on the Bernina. Give it an older look and feel which instantly stirs the memories from days gone by. Thanks for sharing. Hugs, Sherry

elle said...

I luv written text. I like your colours but somehow sepia, india ink, ivory lace, and a touch of white and gold would be the dress I'd make.

quiltcrazygal said...

My dress would have fabrics that remind me of my Grandmother and Mother...the women who gave me the inspiration to create. I would even include their pictures and a swatch or two of fabric from their collections. It would be embellished with little gems from my childhood. What a beautiful little dress it would be. Thank you for giving me the thought of creating such a wonderful project. I hope I am the lucky one to own this fabulous publication. Blessings to you Fannie! Jenna Louise

sophie said...

I love your dress-inspired piece. Thanks for prodding me to come and comment ... and having another look at it.

Vicki W said...

Your Words of the Past is lovely!

Janet said...

Your inspirational piece is beautiful! Thanks for letting me know about this.

I think if I did a piece inspired by the book it would be all about my mother. I have several pieces of her clothing and quite a few pieces of her embroidery that I could use. We had an interesting relationship! Not bad, just odd. Maybe I could work through some of that while creating the piece.

Fannie said...

Thank you for playing in my book giveaway. I appreciate your support.

I have one more book giveaway coming up soon. Hope to see you again.