Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Merry X-mas 2006

These are fabric postcards that I made earlier this week. Unfortunately, the 3-D cardholder that was supposed to be my challenge entry has had a fatal mishap, & it is
beyond repair for the time frame of the challenge. I'm just glad the rotary cutter made contact with my work, & not my fingers. It was to be hung on the wall & ready to hold the tiny works of art I will be receiving from 2 challenge swaps that I am participating in for X-mas.
I hope you like the cards I made, I have more that I painted, stenciled, stamped, & glitzed, but they aren't dry yet. The ones in the photo are machine satin stitched, & echo quilted. My construction & edge finishing skills have greatly improved since my 1st donation of cards to FAFC, & I really enjoy making them. Here's wishing you all a very Happy Holiday Season, & thanks for the kindness you have shown to me on this new adventure of non-traditional works.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

No Bake Biscuits

This is a piece I've been thinking about for awhile . It is 18" x 16"
They are fabric biscuits attached to the green strips with beads.
To keep it hanging straight 1/4" dowels are sewn in the strips. The gold stars were added to give it a little pizzaz.

Poinsettia Wreath

This wreath is made of 8 fussy cut poinsettias which I quilted individually and zigzagged the edges..I then joined them in a circle and sewed them together where they overlapped. It is a 21" circle, it doesnt lay flat against the wall but bows out a bit, like an upside down bowl which adds shadows and "depth" to it. Hanging was easy, a little plastic ring at the top! I may still put gold beads in the middle areas and maybe some other Christmasy type embellishments and a bow for the bottom, but havent decided yet.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Swamp Constellation

I have posted my completed piece Swamp Constellation measuring about 11 by 12 inches.

I'm taking a design class and am working on lily pads this month so figured I'd go ahead and use them for this challenge as well.

Each lily pad is sewn together with batting - then quilted with a dark green thread. They are attached by beads to represent the rhizomes. The entire piece is hung by a chop stick.

Over all interesting challenge - I wouldn't have actually thought to go this way. I debated on adding additional rhizomes but decided to keep the piece as is. I also considered letting it sit for a few days to see if anything else was needed - but figured I'd call it done and move on. I will keep in mind some more unique quilt shapes.

Lisa - In Seattle

Saturday, November 25, 2006

La Mariposa

approx. 18"x21"

This is my favorite challenge yet! I had a great time with this little quilt from the initial sketch to the last stitch in the sleeve. The wings of the butterfly are 3 separate quiltlets, composed of backing, 4 layers of aluminum foil, batting, and top. the back wings are hand dyed cotton, the front wings are my hand dyed silk. The pieces were all completed, then stitched to the body, which is velvet with gold metallic lined with batting, then rolled around a core of aluminum foil twisted for extra strength. I then stitched it and wrapped a metal cording around it to create segments. The foil made it easy to shape and hold it's shape. The antennae are Swarovski crystals strung on wire.

It has a sleeve made from 2" wide ribbon across the middle of the wings, allowing the wings to remain mostly free of each other, and the foil keeps the wings upright with no sagging.
I would love any comments, suggestions, questions etc.

Cherie in Del Mar


Challenge # 3 - Friday, 24 Nov 06

Challenge Hostess – Gena Flatley

Theme - Maker’s Choice for color, fabric, and theme

Design Element – Non-traditional shape or odd-shaped quilt

Design and complete a small work that is a “non-traditional shape” or odd-shape quilt. The interpretations for this element are unlimited. The quilt might be round, oval or hexagonal, for example. It might be a rectangle that has out-jutting parts, or a square quilt that has the center cut out. Or a long snake of a piece, 6 inches x 6 feet, or a free-standing sculptural quilt. Or several separate quilts attached together some way. Another interpretation might be a quilt with a large 3-D shape attached to it (think pregnant belly protrusion, or Mick Jagger sticking his tongue out). The quilt might be many parts hung together with some type of scaffolding system.

Due - Saturday, Noon EST, 2 Dec 06.

One final requirement - HAVE FUN WITH THIS!

Friday, November 24, 2006


Better late than never apparently, here is my offering. It did take a lot longer than I expected and it has been a very difficult month, so I am just glad to have it done at all. The texture is in the scales. All the side scales are individual pieces fused to the wadding then held in place permanently by the quilting. The quilting I did on the longarm flicking the overlapping scales out of my way as I went. I loved doing the quilting because it went quickly and I could see the texture building as I went. The binding is also made of many single scales overlapping.

The first part I made was the tail. It's curve is entirely due to being cut on the bias and then stretched as I stuffed it. The stuffing was inherited and so very important to me. It was great when people visited and picked up the tail, they were all keen to see the rest of the beast. The time consuming part was the wings. Stitching turning and stuffing the bones took over 5 hours per wing. I hadn't appreciated how fiddly they were going to be. To give you an idea of scale the rectangular part is about A3, twice journal size.

My idea was to show how the brain fills in details you can no longer see. The rectangle is what you can really see, just up close scales, but you know there were teeth, claws, tail and wings in there somewhere. For me this is a very abstract piece, but as I had so much fun with it I bet I will try more abstract pieces in future. There are more pictures and words on my blog.


23½" x 20" Satin, polyester, cotton, Angelina fiber

This poem happens to be a favorite of mine, memorized long ago; I was thrilled to dive into this project!

I chose the phrase "vorpal sword", the weapon which the hero used to slay the Jabberwock. The sword itself is made from Angelina® fiber, and when my husband asked what the colorful swirling of dots around the sword was, my answer was the "vorpality" of the sword, hence the name of this piece.

I modeled the hand after my own, and finally found a use for the silver-swirled blue fabric as the cuff. Black satin frames the picture, with black tassels hanging from the corners, a bit of pewter Lumiere® paint emerging as a brillig touch for Jabberwock blood!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Mimsy Borogroves and Co.

I tried to give the idea that it was a child's drawing of the experience. It needed to be much bigger than 8 1/2 x 11 inches, so it is more like 20 x 16 1/2. I don't normally work that big.

The background was a hand-dyed piece from Val Bennett, that was green and yellow, the yellow having 3 mandelas. I quilted it first, which I seldom do. This piece was quilted in a sort of child's picture of yellow daisy-like flowers in the grass. This set the scene even though the forest covers it. Sort of like the bit of the story when Alice is small, so it is a bit like "honey I shrunk the kids".

I used strange yarns to make a scary forest. They were made by sandwiching between layers of water soluble. But the creatures are also mixed in. They are cut from a hand dyed piece that is sort of an art cloth from Marion Barnett. I saw the koala and the wombat shaped creatures(on the right) in the cloth, and so started looking for other shapes that could be the other creatures. So, they were layered in with the yarns as if they were peeking between the branches. I stitched vine patterns from my machine using several colours, to hold it all together. It took me 3 goes to wash out the soluble, and finally I put the piece in the drier to get the fluffy feel back to the yarn. The creatures all have raw edges.

I laid this forest piece down on the background pinned it in place and then set up the faces for the creatures. They were a bit too nice, but when I started trying to work out how to do the faces with semiprecious stone chips, they got rather scary. I could tell when they were just right, because they just made you say ROAR with a big feral grin! After I sewed the face features on, I did the binding, and sleeve, before I caught down the rest of the forest layer with beads. The reason I did this, was that I wanted the forest to sort of come out of the picture by overflowing the border. you can only really see the beads when it is close, as they catch the light, but they are similar colours to the background and some of the creatures, and thus serve to pull all the colours together.

So this all was quite a bit different to how I usually work...the quilting, the binding/sleeve bit, the size, and even using all those yarns. I think it is a bit fuzzy, but I think I managed to get the look and feel that I wanted. I haven't got a clue what I will do with it, but it has been an interesting experiment.


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Who Shall Slay The King?

18.5" x 21.5"

Techniques include trapunto, fusing, machine piecing, applique and quilting, pillowcase-style finish

I chose purple and black as base colors because I think of the poem as dark and as taking place in Medieval times which I equate to kings, castles, and royalty. The choice to depict a playing card comes partially from Alice in Wonderland and partially as a means to draw a king. I have made my king the Jabberwock himself. He carries a silver hatchet, (the blade is trapunto) as either to slay or be slain. Texture is incorporated by the use of glitter paint, chenille rick-rack, and felt. Each section was glue-tacked to the black and then machine appliqued using numerous decorative stitches. Even more stitches were added with green thread serving double duty as decor and quilting. Disclaimer: Any political associations derived by the reader assuming the ruler of our country is depicted as evil are purely coincidental and cannot be attributed to the artist. Thanks.

Tove Dance

10 x 11.5

I was trying to create the sort of evening/melancholy mood I get from the poem, using the images from the first two lines. When I thought about the use of various textures, the burlap for the tove holes seemed logical. Finding something "slithy" for the toves was more difficult. This is sort of an organza, with metal threads, folded over on itself to make it more opaque. It's not quite as shiny as the picture, more of a gray/green slithery look. I used fabric markers on the background fabric to give it a darker look.

The hard part of abstract for me is knowing how concrete to be in showing what I'm trying to represent. I have "gimlet" holes, corkscrew toves, long evening shadows and a column that's supposed to represent the sundial. Should any of these have been more/less realistic?

Will appreciate any and all comments.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Jubjub Bird in the Tumtum Tree

19 3/4"w x 17 1/2"l
Made from cottons (some with touch of copper or gold. Quilted with copper thread, black & copper thread, and invisible thread. Two beads for the eye.

I realize that this is NOT necesssarily abstract---but---the poetry had its way with me and told me what to do. I just couldn't help it. I love the sound of non-sensical verse. The piece seemed to just flow together. I wish the poetry could have helped me with the quilting---I thought I'd never finish. There must be a mile or more of thread there.


I learned my lesson on the first challenge and deliberately worked small this time (9 x 12, shrank down to 8 5/8 x 11 5/8 inches from all the quilting). When I began I had just finished "slaying" my DD's halloween costume, and this piece was meant to be in celebration of that accomplishment. I wanted it to be all happiness and light, ala Disney's version of Alice in Wonderland (just returned from a trip to Disneyland last week, so my head was full of bright, whimsical imagery).

As you can see, however, the fabrics I ended up choosing are anything but bright and cheery. I was rather surprised by how dark and menacing it came out. I don't usually work that way. I guess I've been more stressed out than I realized. I forgot the part about the textural element, and was relieved that my choices turned out to be very textural-looking patterns. That meant I didn't have to add anything more and could finish on time.

There is no special meaning to my images. I started with the dark curvy part at the bottom left. It is supposed to be a stylized sea. The orange and green parts are flowers and leaves in reference to the tree that was mentioned. Everything else in the poem I ignored, except the slaying part mentioned earlier.

Free-motion quilting finally clicked for me. When I pay attention to the rhythm of of the machine, kind of a tick-tock where the feed dogs would usually move the fabric forward, I move the fabric along with it. Fast or slow, this turns out right. The moment my mind starts wandering is when the stitching goes awry. I was very pleased with the jerky nature of the quilting around the appliques. It seemed to fit the mood of the piece, although would not go well in everything I do.

The binding is fused and machine stitched, 1/2 inch strips folded in half and ironed down to make approximately 1/4 inch binding. The mitering is cut. I did not sew or fold the miters.

I am anxious to hear any and all comments and critiques about the design, workmanship, what the imagery reminds you of, etc. I love to hear new viewpoints that I'd never thought of and you won't hurt my feelings in the least.

No matter how many times I tried to upload the detail image, I couldn't do it, so here is the Yahoo link to it:

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Beneath the Tumtum Tree

16" x 13"

The Tumtum tree is a pleasant place in or near the tulgey wood where you can rest a bit while you contemplate facing your fears. And so I have contrasted the Tumtum tree with the dark tulgey wood. I was going for a fairytale likeness when choosing my colors.

I was going to depict the Jabberwock with curvey bits of a serpent like creature with prairie point scales partially visible through the trees, but this wasn’t possible with a small scale. The prairie points stayed to allude to the Jabberwock, and I decided rick rack would compliment them on a smaller scale.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Jaws and Claws

This is my challenge 2 piece "Jaws and Claws" inspired by the lines in the Jabberwocky poem. It measures 15 x 12.5 inches. Techniques used were foundation paper piecing, bobbin work with Razzle Dazzle, sheer fabric overlay, heavy quilting to define certain areas, and couching yarn. The "binding" is also couched yarn. This was a stretch for me, interpreting a poem into abstract, but a good learning lesson. I made several other sketches that I might develop in the future. Feedback is welcome!
--Elizabeth in NM

Beware the Jabberwock!

My piece is 16" x 22". Nothing really tricky (unless you call using 30+different fabrics) tricky. Bleeding on the fabric was unintentional butit added to the mood.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Jibber Jabber

9" x 9"
The image is based on a jester's mask and refers to the playful use of words in the poem.
Penny Irwin

Brillig and Mimsy

This piece was based on my favorite words from the poem brillig , mimsy , slithy toves, and borogoves. I put some of each in there can you find them?

I painted the background with Shiva sticks and did not like it ... tooo flat so I started playing with thread. I also used angelina fibers, copperflakes, and acrylic paint.

measures 16 by 18

I had a blast!

Jacque Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

It's just my Imagination!

This is my first try at the FFF Challenge, Bloging as well!

When I heard what the Challenge was, My first thought was to draw a scary looking tree with a sundial, I love trees. I wasn't sure where to start. I left home, thought about it over the weekend and came up with how I thought I might react to reading the poem, while at home alone, in bed, on a cold and windy night, with the trees swaying in the wind, blowing against the window, casting shadows about the room. Now to put that into fabric! I have a very vivid imagination, that's why I don't read Steven King books.
I titled this: It's just my Imagination, It's just my Imagination, It's just my Imagination, long but it fits me!
I used cotton batting, with cotton fabric back and front. For the "eyes of flame", I used red "berries", from leftover Christmas Holly and appliquéd cotton fabric. The Teeth and Claws are made with freshwater pearls. The body is cotton, quilted and trapuntoed, and for the wings of the "shabby-looking bird", feathers. I collected the feathers while hiking in North Eastern Washington State, some years ago. I made the head and feet floating free from the body, it just seemed to fit the "curious looking creature" line, from my version of the Jabberwocky. The closet door is two pieces of cotton fabric, I used this pattern on the door because it gave me the feeling of the light dancing through the trees, pouring in the window. I made a mini green quilt, then stuffed it using poly fluff to appear as if someone was hinding under the covers, it needed something so I stuck a lock of my hair out the end of it. I made the book cover and pages of "Alice" using two different fabrics fused together, written on with a "Zig" pen and I stitched the binding with gold thread. The digital clock is embroidered on black cotton fabric and appliquéd on. Curtains over the star lit window, are made of tulle.

This is my version of the Jabberwocky, Taken from a Glossary of idiosyncratic words, made up by Lewis Carroll:

'Twas four o'clock, and the foul, supple, curious looking creature did spin like a gyroscope and made holes like a gimlet in the grass plot around the sundial:
all miserable and flimsy were the thin shabby-looking birds,
and the lost green pigs bellowed and whistled with a kind of sneeze in the middle.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the desperate bird living with perpetual passion, and shun the fuming furious swift moving creature who's neck bends and jaws snap!

"He took his deadly, extremely sharp sword in hand:
Long time the monstrous and fearsome foe he sought -
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
and stood awhile in thought.

And, as in the state of mind when voice is gruffest, manner goughlish,and temper huffish, he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came blowing in fitful gusts through the tangled and ugly wood,
and singing a fluttering and quivering sound as it came

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The deadly, extremely sharp sword went with a slightly stifled laugh -hurriedly!
He left it dead, and with its head
he went galloping triumphantly back.

"And has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my happily, optimistic smiling, boy!
O fair, fabulous, joyous day! Callooh! Callay!
He chuckled and snorted in his joy.

'Twas four o'clock, and the foul, supple, curious looking creature did spin like a gyroscope and made holes like a gimlet in the grass plot around the sundial:
all miserable and flimsy were the thin shabby-looking birds,
and the lost green pigs bellowed and whistled with a kind of sneeze in the middle.

Tulgey Wood 1

This is my little quilt (9"x 12") called Tulgey Wood l. I would be very interested in getting critiques on it. This year I have challenged myself to work small & show restraint in colour choices. This quilt was also done improvisationally, in about 3 hours, in a departure from my normal mode of working.I just started piling up sheers & fusing them to a background fabric. I added the 'eyes of flame' later in the process & am not at all sure about them. I went to my stash & these were the best eyes I could come up with, but I think it makes the shadowy figure of the Jabberwock look more like an Ewok! Too cute, not sinister enough. Given the chance to do it again I would also place the Jabberwock higher on the quilt (rumour has it the Jabberwock flies).I would also be interested in hearing comments from other people who work improvisationally. What bugged me about it, was that once I had figured out where I was going, the dye was cast & I couldn't go back & adjust things that I wasn't happy with. Do you think that this kind of dilemma tends to cause you to work in a series? Is a piece that is done in this quick and unplanned manner more likely to generate a series than one that is tightly thought out first? Anyway, I welcome any and all comments on this little quilt.  Nan Williams

Grasshoppers Beware

It was a dark and eerie night and the Jabberwocky was on the Prowl.

That was the feeling I was trying to portray.

Betty Donahue

Jabberwocky & the Lost Green Pigs

finished size: 9 X 13
raw-edge applique
angelina fibers
free-motion quilting

Attempting to interpret this poem in an abstract way was truly a challenge for me. I came up with a mental picture of a vicious tree with waving clawlike branches. I was surprised at how many of us incorporated an image of a tree gone bad. My tree was sliced in two places to show that it had been conquered by the vorpal sword (that shiny angelina sliver) and was losing its lifeblood. When I was almost done, I remembered that we were supposed to be showing texture - so my texture is a fuzzy length of red yarn and some green beads; the beads represent the lost green pigs that were mentioned in one of the translations of the poem. There is also lots of quilted texture with pointy shapes. I will appreciate any comments.



The Beast of Slithertongue

Beware the forest of growing I's
where even toadstools have found demise,
there roams "The Beast of Slithertongue"
who feeds on gems and gentle ones.

Beware the bog of no escape,
the claw of fears and moss thou drape,
the trees of bare and tugley wood,
of Jabberwock mis-understood.

finished size: 12 1/2 x 16
Trapunto,fusing,machine applique,free motion quilting,beads & gem, various yarns,& wire.

I would very much be open to suggestions/critque
on this, as I had to step back for a day after It took on a life of it's own.
Was definately a multi-learning experience for me.
On a lighter note...The trees are stuffed with a pillow that had exploded in my dryer, so I did use re-cycled elements. Just glad no animals were harmed in the process as the claw looks like the foot of a chicken! Santaria anyone? WINK!

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Has thou slain the Jabberwock?

My 15 x 15" quilt is fused applique using a variety of fabrics and fabric manipulation for texture, including gold lame for swords, hand pleated batik for a tree trunk and hand-dyed velvet free motion stitched onto tyvek & melted for some of the grass.

Comments/critique appreciated, please! A couple things I'm ambivalent about....the color scheme and/or the background may be too cheery. And the tree tops are cut off.