Tuesday, February 13, 2018


Hi All,
I've been working on this fiber collage for almost a year - squeezing in a few hours every so often between paying jobs and doll deadlines. It's a large piece - done on a 24" x 24" stretched canvas.  (I don't know if I'll ever do something this big again!)

I call it "Turkish Delight":

I was inspired after looking at some wonderful folk art from Turkish artist. But, as I'm a "fiber person", I couldn't be satisfied with just paint!

Once all the fabric was stitched to the stretched canvas, I had to embellish it as well.

I started with some basic shapes -- just a large circle for the turban, a half oval for the face, and a neck. Even though the entire turban would be covered in fabric, I wanted to block out the basic colors first.

After adding detail to the face (acrylic paint) I had to plan out the layers of fabric, as most pieces overlap the piece next to it. I glued & stitched down rows of trim on the forehead and neck.

From there I added the panels of fabric to make the turban. To add more dimension, some of the panels are backed with felt, while some are backed with quilting batting. I wanted to show the roundness of the turban. 

Most of the trim is machine stitched to the fabric before adding it to the canvas.

I added eyelashes to the face by stitching down fringed cotton to the eyelids.

As you can see in the close-up shots, I added more trim, beads, stones, and appliques to the fabric. I even gave her some spectacular dangly rhinestone earrings. (The piece in the middle of the turban is part of an old choker someone gave me. )

Believe it our not, the only thing I bought for this project was the stretched canvas! Everything else came out of my stash. (I've been building my stash of fabric, beads, trim, and jewelry for 35+ years, so now my job is to USE IT! ---It ain't doing anyone any good sitting in boxes all over the house and garage.)

I wanted to finish it this month, so I can enter it in this year's Fiber Fiesta the local quilt, fiber, and craft guilds do every year here in Albuquerque.

Have fun!


Romona King said...

I love that kind of creative work. It loosens up the rut that can develop over time. I do things like this every so often just to refresh my brain cells. ;o)) It's stunning Arley, you will be absolutely successful with this piece.. wow....

Arley said...

So true Romona, so true!

Olivia Ragland said...

wow, Arley!! i like how its paint and cloth, its a nice idea.
The colors are amazing, its really wonderful. Good job!!! :D

Yvonne said...

This piece has truly caught my attention. I love working with fabric and paper/cardboard and your interpretation has inspired me further.