Sunday, December 31, 2006

A Yellow Kind of Day

Based one of my daughters favorite books - My Many Colored Days - by Dr. Suess - first line - Some days are yellow.

I was going to do my piece on A Prayer to Owen Meany - my favorite book. I did a few sketches but didn't do it - so when this was finished with this piece I realized it was quite similar to the sketches I had done before. The radiating ball to suggest the spirit and the instrument of death - I guess I just needed a push on the colors.

The piece is composed entirely of scraps - the challenge was having enough value changes in yellow. Echo quilted then beaded for a little flair. Completed size 8 1/2 x 11

Thanks for the fun!
In Sunny Seattle


Infinity is based on the last line from Stephen King's book, The Stand: "And it always, at the end, came round to the same place again."

This is a stabilized 10 degree wedge ruler project using a striped commercial fabric, offset one step, and measures 26.5x41.5". It's actually 2 circles that connect and overlap. Yes, those are holes in the center of each circle. One binding is lime green and the other is a dark purple.

It hangs very straight, even though it's just pinned to my curtains right now. The holes in the center measure 3" diameter, and applying bias binding on that small sized inside curve wasn't fun. It's machine pieced, machine quilted in the ditch, with the binding turned by hand.

This is a very simplified version of a quilt by Nancy Ota that won a prize in Paducah last spring. Mine will be used as a sample for a class that I teach, although my son has already claimed it for later.

Any critiques or comments would be appreciated.

Marilyn Rose

The Time Traveler's Wife

The first line from this book is "Clare: It's hard being left behind". I read it cover-to-cover on a Panama Canal cruise with my mother in February 2003. I tried to create a mood of loneliness and abandonment, which is how Clare felt everytime her husband left her. She never knew when he would return, nor at what age she would see him. (If you haven't read this book that last statement probably made no sense!) Anyway, I like the feeling the quilt has, but it needs some help. The lower right corner looks empty. Does anyone have any thought son this?

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Goodnight, Moon

The book I chose was "Goodnight, Moon" by Margaret Wise Brown.
First line: "In the great green room there was a telephone..."
By Laura West Kong, size: 8 5/8" x 8 3/4", pieced and appliqued.

My mind was mush after the holiday rush so I chose something simple and fun. My inspiration was the stylish old telephone on the nightstand in the book, and the quilt project "Oak Leaves" in American Quilter, Winter 2006.

I changed the block from rectangle to square and replaced the leaf with the phone. Then I mixed up the squares to be random rather than in diagonal rows. I chose warm greens for the front because I thought they would contrast better with the black than cool greens. I wanted the fabric mostly to have good contrast, but with a little low contrast thrown in (the two darker value greens). In the book everything is all shadowy and moonlit. The lighter green star print is actually very similar to Clement Hurd's illustrations.

Everything is from my stash. I originally wanted to tilt the squares at an angle to add interest, but that was way too much math for my tired brain, so I offset the phone instead.

I tried out a variety of borders, but they all competed with the focal point so I opted for a fused black binding instead. I was also considering ways to include that fun curly telephone cord, but in the end chose to leave it off for simplicity's sake.

The quilting is done with my machine scallop stitch echoed around the phone. It is meant to be reminiscent of those curly telephone cords, as well as suggestive of a ringing phone. For the hanger I sewed a large jump ring to the back.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Miss Jane

This was fun. The first line of Agatha Christie's "The Mirror Crack'd" is "Miss Jane Marple was sitting by her window".

The blue line in the mirror is the crack. I had my husband sit so that I could take his picture to use as a guide. The size is 18-1/2" x 20-1/2". Miss Jane and the chair were hand appliqued. The mirror was machine embroidered.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Igraine of Tintagel

"Even in high summer, Tintagel was a haunted place; Igraine, Lady Duke of Gorlois, looked out over the sea from the headland."
Mysts of Avalon; Marion Bradley Zimmer
One of my all time series of books.
Fused and machine and hand applique. All fabrics were either dyed or painted (the dress) by me. Machine quilted.
I would appreciate your ideas, they're always so helpful.

There is a hole....

"There is a hole the size of a golf ball in the right side of Katherine Givin's black Bali bra." from Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral by Kris Radish. This is totally chick lit, but I love the way Radish speaks to the bonds of women in this and her other books.

The figure is hand-drawn and then fused as applique. I wanted the bra to be the focal point and the body to blend into the background. Variegated threads were used for the highlights of the body shadows. And yes, the arm is a cutout, edged with satin stitch.

I have a collection of female nudes that I've used to decorate my bathroom, this will fit right in with the new paint! The biggest challenge was finding a first line that piqued my interest!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Challenge # 4

Challenge # 4 - Friday, 22 December 2006

Theme - First or Last Line of Your Favorite Book

Design Element – Value/Contrast

--- Design and complete a small work using your interpretation of either the first line or the last line of one of your favorite books. The line itself (not the entire book) is the spark for your piece. What pops into your head when you read the line…can you express that in your piece?

---Value refers to the lightness or darkness of a color. Contrast of values is how the value looks compared to the surrounding values. Try to use strong contrast of values to direct the eye to where you want it to go.

Monday, December 04, 2006

November 2006 Challenge

The Clown

18½" x 13" x 5"

Since I regularly make pieces with an odd shape, I had to go more 3-dimentional for this challenge, hence this piece, stuffed so it is basically the front half of an oversized clown head.

The head started with a plastic bag stuffed with Polyfil, then muslin sewn to create a starting shape, and then white cloth with a pattern of white stars on it. The lips and nose are red satin, the hair a mix of purple and green curly fake fur. The little hat is from scraps of fleece, with a cockatiel feather that our bird provided. The ruff was actually added a bit after the deadline, but that was what made it feel complete.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Birch View

Now that I have finally figured out this blog thing, I can post an image! This round quilt started out to be a porthole with fish swimming around in it but as you can see, it wanted to be a forest scene instead. The background is contructed on a heavyweight fusible interfacing with random width blue strips - frayed edges and all. The strips are fused down and free-motion stitched with a few snips of tulle thrown in for good measure. It took a while to decide on fabric for the trees until I rememberd some neutral sky stuff I had. Turned sideways it was perfect! The stitched details added dimension to the trees. Novelty yarn made great falling leaves. More novelty yarn for the border. Finally, I hid beads and charms in the border. The diameter is 11" - the size of the pizza pan I used as a template.

Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


i made a little quilt with falling snowflakes last year and it popped into my mind when i read the challenge. i wanted the flakes to sway and twist in the wind. (note to self - don't use wired ribbon no matter how sparkling it is. it doesn't sway). i cut the flakes out of a piece of fabric i've had for several years and never knew what to do with. i backed them with white fabric and quilted them with sparkling thread, sewed them on to the ribbon and suppended them all from a dowel. then the fun began. the little suckers would not stay put. they all followed the bend in the ribbon. i finally had to pin the flakes to the backing to get them all to stay still enough for the photo. i wish i could have come up with a more elegant way to suspend them from the dowel. my original idea was to suspend them from an embroidery hoop, the thought being that the circle would add movement. (note to self - find embroidery hoop).

let it snow!

Friday night I chose sleep over finishing my challenge on time. Last night I chose the challenge over sleep.

My quilt was inspired by the digital photography of Kenneth Libbrecht, whose work appears on the 2006 U.S. holiday postage stamps. I used elements of real snowflakes combined with elements from my imagination to sketch a snowflake of my own that could be real, and most importantly, could be realistically made into a quilt.

I chose two batiks, one for the front and one for the back so I could see what it would look like in different fabrics. As a bonus, that made it reversible! The batiks are fused to Timtex interfacing for the batting, and I used gold metallic thread for the edging and quilting.

First I applied yarn around the outer edges and used a machine overlock stitch on top, which turned out rather decoratively like that loopy-edged kind of ribbon. Then I echo-quilted the snowflake before cutting out the center windows with an X-acto blade. Next I zig-zagged around the windows, and finally added the hot-fix gold brads on the front. All in all, a very quick project!

I used fishing line to hang the quilt. The front is photographed in front of a black piece of fabric and the back in front of a purple-painted wall. Currently it's hanging from my kitchen light fixture as part of my Christmas décor. I like the way it gently turns round and round with the air currents. (I would have taken a picture, but it wouldn't have the same effect unless I figured out the video capabilities on my digital camera so you could see it rotating.) I am quite pleased with the way it turned out. Maybe I'll make one snowflake each winter and eventually have quite a collection.

Sun Spots

The fabric is my own hand dyed from last summer. I started with a circle added spokes folded, twisted, and turned it to try to make some flowers and didn't like it that way so I laid it back down in a heap it didn't look too bad that way : ). We had an ice storm and lost power Thursday through Friday night I still didn't like it when the lights came on so yesterday morning I painted it with acrylic and gel meduium using a wine cork for the dark spots, I used the side of a wooden honey server to print the yellow marks ,and twisted up floral wire to stamp the green marks.

I quilted the heck out of it.I am still not crazy about it but I like it better now that it is painted. I may add some more spikes at a later date.

Not sure how I'll hang it but I can hang anything with my log walls without worry.

It measures about 3 feet by 3 feet.

Jacque Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Sargeant's Art Quilt

15 x 18
Pieced cotton on flannel (UFO)
Triple stretch stitch in gold (faux embroidery)
Traditional binding
Velcro closures

My inspiration for this quilt was the cold snap we were having in Tucson, Arizona. While others will surely call us wimps, when the temperatures get below freezing we FREEZE! (Considering I spent more than 30 years in cold country I'm happy to be a wimp today!)

I had a piece of UFO fabric created several years ago in a jacket class. After creating a panel, I decided I didn't like the project so left the class but kept the panel tucked away in the bottom of a stash closet.

I've been experimenting with using my machine's triple stretch stitch to represent a faux embroidery stitch. This is a technique described by J. Michelle Watts during a Tucson Quilters Guild lecture. This isn't quite free motion as I used a clear applique foot and marked design lines. It did give me needed practice in manipulating the fabric.

The result is an interesting art quilt coat for my Miniature Pinscher, Sargeant TopGun!

Additional photos and information is available here.

While I was creating this challenge there was a discussion on QuiltArt commenting that people wouldn't be willing to pay art quilt prices for dog quilts+.
3. I beg to differ. I posted a photo on my favorite MinPin list. Within hours I'd received several inquiries about purchasing coats and one person was interesting in marketing my coat. I declined all offers, but I do believe it's entirely possible to sell small dog coats/art quilts for $100 per square foot (or more). Perhaps something for retirement income!

Your comments are most appreciated.


I hope I got it finished in time. My source for this piece was a petroglyph - Kokopelli. I have used a variety of techniques. The base for each individual section is Fast2Fuse. I covered each piece, both back and front, with batik - a different colour for each layer. The base is a hexagon with each outer section stitched to the perimeter of the hexagon.

The outer section - 6 pieces - was covered with painted newspaper. I then stitched the word "petroglyph", which I did using the Pfaff 1475 which I programmed with the letters, all over each section. Once the stitching was complete I wet the painted newspaper and distressed it to make it rough. The outside edge has copper wire enclosed in satin stitch. The long ends have beads threaded into them.

The middle section - 3 pieces - was covered in a dark brown batik on top of which I added irridescent tissue paper which I free machine stitched in place. I couched some variegated ribbon on top and also applied some thicker threads in between the ribbon working upside down with the thicker thread in the bobbin. I couched some silk yarns around the edges using a zigzag stitch.

The inner section - 3 pieces - were covered in batik and then I applied painted Lutrador on top using free motion stitching and a variegated thread. I shaped copper wire into heart shapes and threaded some beads onto them and stitched them in place. I cut little rectangles of aluminium shim which I had painted with fabric paint mixed with Pearl-ex powders to which I added some Heat it up! embossing powder. I heated it with a heat gun. I stitched the copper using free motion stitching.

The centre of the piece is a kokopelli design which I took into Paintshop Pro and created the circular design. I printed off the design and traced it onto Romeo water soluble. I then free motion stitched the design using a glittery variegated thread in the needle with Bottom Line in the bobbin.

I haven't had time to think how I might hang this piece. Since it is fairly sturdy it shouldn't pose a problem but I would like something a little different to hang it with. Any suggestions?

Friday, December 01, 2006

The Shape of You, The Shape of Me

17 x 14, fused appliqué, free motion quilting, edge finished with free motion satin stitch.

The idea was inspired by "The Shape of Me and Other Stuff" by Dr. Seuss, and the title is a quote from the book. I traced photos of my family to create the composition for this quilt. I used Robbi Joy Eklow’s “Puzzle Quilt” technique to construct the quilt. The white areas are holes that have been cut out. Both the top and the back have been fused to the batting with wonder under. I think this helped with keeping the edges where they should be when I finished the edges, and it made it stiff enough that I won’t worry about it sagging. I will have to get a narrower bar for hanging than I usually use, so it won’t be visible behind the top border.

I like this quilt for the subject and the interesting way I have interpreted it, but haven’t been able to form any objective opinions. So let me pose some questions. What was your first impression? Did you recognize the subject at first glance, or did you do a double take when you saw the faces? Did you like it less before you realized the subject? I like it for the subject, but apart from the subject does the composition have any merit? Is the fragmenting of each face interesting or distracting? Any other comments or suggestions?

Challenge #3

Challenge #3 (approx 16"x24")
I started this one thinking I would make a bunch of individual circles, quilt them, and somehow tie them together (no design drawn up ahead which is a real challenge for me). I did that (bottom photo), and although I liked the openings between the circles, I didn't like the overall effect of the piece (looked too "rectangular" to me). So, I decided to create a backdrop for the piece. As usual, when I try to do something simple I make it complicated. Anyway, I created the backdrop by fusing onto 2 layers of pellon, quilted it with metallic thread, and then completed the edge with satin stitch. I then added the original piece to the backdrop piece, leaving some of the overlaying edges free. In retrospect, I wish I had left more edges free, or maybe hand stitched them so they wouldn't "smoosh" down so much, but anyone who knows me knows I avoid hand work like the plague. Middle photo: end result; first photo: detail. I have not put the hanging sleeve on yet, as I'm still not sure which way I like it best; originally I thought I would hang it vertically. This was a lot of fun, but I definitely have trouble with the "fast" part of the challenges.
Brenda Jennings

Green is Good

Green is Good
20" x 15"
Ecology in flag form.

I used a distorted rectangle shape for this piece resembling the American flag. Commerical and hand dyed cotton fabrics, curved piecing, fused applique, machine quilting with cotton thread, quilt edge is zigzag stitched twice around, a few glass beads added, then painted the back of the quilt with a glue/water solution and formed curves and let dry. I hung it using Command Strips (removable zelcro type picture hangers)

This was quick and fun. I'm not very political, so I was surprised this came out of me. I do care about the environment, recycling, global warming, etc. I guess that's what it's about!

I'm interested in your comments, suggestions, questions or just a hello!