Thursday, May 31, 2007

Never Say Never!

9" x 12"
Bleach Gel Discharged Batik
Machine Quilting with Varigated Thread
Backing is two pieces of black felt

Just before this challenge was issued I was reading Lesley Riley's book Quilted Memories. She covers a number of techniques including subtracting color with bleach. I read and mentally thought "Nah, not for me."

Then came the challenge. I read about black being a mixture of colors. The result can be "surprising" according to Leslie. So when I was at my LQS and saw a black batik that looked solid except for some barely discernable brown I decided to buy some yardage. Still hadn't decided what to to but when I saw "Bab-O Gel with Bleach" at the dollar store I figured, "why not?"

Leslie said the bleaching process would take 2-8 minutes. Per her instructions, I clipped about an inch square to test. No results. Hm. I experimented further and put a length in a cookie pan. Covered with gel. It took about two hours, but the result was a lovely tan batik.

I decided my piece would be a process piece. One of my goals for this year is to really learn to do machine quilting. Earlier this month I took a class from Robbi Joy Elkow where she recommended practicing on two pieces of felt. I grabbed a couple pieces of felt, tore off a section of fabric, used small squares of fusible to secure the fabric to the felt, threaded some varigated thread, and started quilting.

The result is a process piece that was a great learning experience. I still have more of the untreated batik (if I photographed it all you would see if black) and some of the treated fabric. I'll look for more Bab-O as well. For a buck a bottle it's a pretty good deal!

Comments are most welcome!

-- Joanna Strohn in Tucson
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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Canyon Strata

I started with a half yard of PFD white and added sun paints, full strength, in bold random stripes. The next color was the one I grabbed out of the bucket. Then I repeatedly sprayed with water to let the colors bleed, and covered it with tulle while it dried (not much of an effect). The strips were cut on the perpendicular and offset to sew back together. Finally the quilting was random, shapes that reminded me of the strata of rock at the Grand Canyon (which is almost in my back yard!). I'm not sure I really like this piece. I think I could have done more planning with the quilting, but I do like the bargello appearance (without all the fussy little pieces!). Self faced binding, and photographed on a black background. Comments, of course, are welcome! Thanks!

"A Study in Stripes"

I chose a 1" wide black and white stripe to work with for my original fabric. I wanted to explore the variations of pattern rather than color for this one. Some of the patterns I started with a plan, others I just started sewing stuff together. 100% cotton fabric, machine pieced and quilted in the ditch. The binding is scraps and off-cuts, some on the bias, some not. Various sizes and styles of buttons.
Finished size 17x19, red bandana print fabric backing.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Coyote Hills Marsh

Whole cloth quilt, painted, 13 x 8.5

Inspired by the work of Deidre Adams, I decided to make a whole cloth quilt, quilt first, and then paint with acrylic paints.

Updated 5/30/2007 to answer questions:

I used the photo as a guide to put texture where I thought the grasses might go. All of the quilting and painting was done unmarked.

I used ordinary acrylic paints. I thought from looking at Deidre's quilts that slightly diluted paint would settle where the stitching was, but it didn't work like I expected. If the paint was diluted or if the quilt was damp, the paint tended to distribute itself evenly regardless of stitching. I got the textured look with darker seams by letting the quilt dry completely and then painting over it with lighter brighter colors, a fairly dry bush, and undiluted paint.

An article was done about Deidre Adams and her quilts in the Winter 2006 issue of Quilting Arts. She works very abstractly, and her quilts are full of wonderful texture. Some of her quilting includes crosshatching and overlapping spirals which I have not used before, so I have tried these in this quilt.

Wild-haired Party Girls at Sunset

I started with this piece of tie dyed fabric. I saw shadowy figures in the pattern, so I played that up by painting dresses on the figures and a sunset sky with thickened dye. Then I quilted around the figures and the sun.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Aurora Luna

This was a potato dextrin resist dye painted fabric . I did pin tuck pleats to raise and accentuate the flowing lines. I also did two double rows of pintucking around the moon, then used four layers of batting to stuff the moon so it would pop. After I quilted it, I painted the white of the moon with Pearlex and applied dozens of swarovski crystals in varied colors and sizes for a starry, irridescent sky.

I took the detail picture from the side to try to show the texture of the tucks and the puff of the moon. I wish the sparkle of the holographic thread and crystals would show is really quite effective in person.

I haven't yet finished the edges as I'm debating whether to face it or frame it. Opinions?

As always, I welcome critiques and ideas...Cherie

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Second Chance

Julie--You must have been reading my mind. I liquified pictures of some wall hangings months ago and every time I ran across them I thought "I have to do something with these". This challenge gave me the incentive to do more than just think about it.

I printed my liquified basket four times, sewed them together, stippled, doodled, and thread painted.

My fabric is very boring. I wanted something light to do my printing on. I tried a print and it was awful.

Betty Donahue

Challenge 9

I used a fabric with two different colors in the warp and weft. I thought they would be red and blue, but they turned out to be a bright iridescent orange, and a flat dull reddish-purple. I wove some strips and beaded the intersections, and I fringed two rectanges, using the thread pulled from each as embellishment. I quilted it with YLI thread color Madras, using a fairly flully poly batting which emphasises the hills and valleys for more color changes as you look at it from differnt angles. It was such a fun challenge!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Challenge 9

Challenge # 9 - Friday, 24 May 2007

Challenge Hostess – Julie Everett

Theme - One Fabric

The challenge of this project is you are only permitted to use one fabric to create your quilt! What you do with that fabric is up to you.

Discharge black fabric with bleach
Dye PFD fabric
Overdye an old fabric from your stash
Melt crayons to add color and design
Draw with colored pencils
Paint images
Thread paint
Cover it with beads

You may use a different fabric for the backing if needed, but your binding must still be made of the one fabric.

Here are some links to get you started:





As always, please have your quilts completed and posted with in the week and of course, have fun!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Challenge 8

Sailing through the City

My son was in the hospital for 2 weeks so I missed the deadline but wanted to finish this and share it anyways. May not have met the challenge exactly, this may be a bit more of an abstract? But I like it! I was just going to keep it with the curvy edges but then the urge hit to be a bit more playful and the 2 borders were born , I think they add a lot to the overall effect.
Comments are welcome..

Monday, May 14, 2007


Size ~ 12 1/2" tall x 10 1/2" wide
Quilt Artist ~ Julie Everett

Inspiration Photograph ~ The Cloisters of Lacock Abbey

Photographer ~ Mark (Please click his name to be taken to his blog full of beautiful photography.)

Comments Welcome!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Challenge #8

I really enjoyed this challenge as I caused me to step outside my comfort zone. The picture I used for its design elements was an advertisement for travel to Disneyworld. It was the candlestick and clock from Beauty and the Beast. The color is a bit off in this scan, so imagine the long hook on the left and the short curve on the right as being bright yellow. My binding is a very intense green. (I am limited in my ability to edit photos - darn this new Vista operating system; my peripherals won't work properly with it!)
I am stumped for a name - any suggestions?
Ann In Walnut, CA

One Zen Moment

16" x 17 1/2"

Cotton and cotton batik fabric
Fused and quilted; echo quilting
Beads/beading around center bead

I'm fortunate to have Ann Johnston's book. I refreshed my memory of some of the design principles she covers before taking book and some favorite photos to the Girls Night Out at the local quilt store where I teach.

I didn't like my efforts with the first two photos I tried. Success quickly came when I starting sketching from the photo of my 1893 Singer treadle. The drawer decorations reminded me of windows.

There's nothing like having an entire quilt store as "stash"! I had been thinking solids but when I saw the batik with the multi-colored squares, I fell in love with it. Then I spotted the turquoise batik. The black has subtle circles on it.

My original concept was to use beads to highlight the colors on the turquoise fabric. However, when I saw the turquoise donut it seemed perfect. I am studying Larkin Van Horn's Beading on Fabric book so decided to try the cabachon capture technique (something new to me). I experimented with bleeding the turquise fabric through the binding and like the effect. I did not feel any additional beading was needed after adding the center stones.

I like the simplicity of this piece. Like much of my work there is more to see the more closely one gets to the piece. It has a complex peacefulness; thus the title.
My inspiration photo, sketch and close-ups are here:
That folder also includes the final version of my "Everybody has blue days (and your cat may hallucinate)" challenge quilt.

Comments are most welcome!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

World Windows

Better late than never.... between work and a solo show last week, it was today before I even got back to this!
My inspiration pictures were all of buildings and as I sketched, I realized that everything that caught my eye was a window. One of my favorite images was a sunset over Anchorage AK, taken last fall. The sun seemed to reflect a myriad of colors on the window panes of the Alaskan city. I layered handdyes, and overlaid them with couched silk fiber. I plan to wash this a few times to get the raw edges to fray.

Chihuly Glass


Well, late again, but here is my challenge piece.

When Cynthia posted the challenge, I immediately knew which picture I wanted to use: this shot of a Chihuly glass installation at the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus. I have been meaning to use this as an inspiration for a quilt because I love the way the shapes and colors all intertwine.

The sketching exercise was good, particularly the shading, because I did end up using one of the last ones I did, instead of what I would have chosen if I had just jumped in and started the quilt intuitively. I got a bit bogged down on the quilt itself, because as I started looking for fabrics I started reorganizing my batik drawers, and then I started cutting rectangles out for a "quick" scrap quilt for later....anyhoo, then I thought I was going to add big wide borders, and I cut them out, and then I decided I didn't want them, so now I will have to come up with another project for the big wide borders!

This was another great challenge. Thanks Cynthia!

Friday, May 04, 2007


9½ x 7, raw edge fused appliqué.

This challenge was hard for me. It was difficult to get away from trying to draw exactly what I saw instead of concentrating on just the shapes. And most of my drawings seemed very contrived. What finally worked for me was concentrating on drawing shadows and negative shapes, and rotating the drawing paper occasionally. I’m still not sure I like my final quilt. It still seems contrived, and doesn’t seem to have much meaning. The quilting in the blue tie-dye fabric seems out of character to the rest of the quilt.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Black and White of It

My "photo" was a postcard from Berlin. After sketching lines and shapes and shading with grays, black and white, I really liked the looks of it that way and had never made a black and white quilt here it is! It measures 14"x20"

I have 3 other sketches of other subjects that I will also make into small quilts when I have the time. This was really alot of fun, and I would love critiques as usual