Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Salsify by Kathy Lichtendahl

Here is my second entry to FFFC. I am amazed at how many of us seem to have had the same initial idea of wind as the subject for the movement in our pieces. Especially since it is an invisible element in real life! The timing of this challenge was perfect for me as I just purchased an embellisher with some birthday money and really needed an excuse to try it out. The seed pods of the salsify plant are made from some of the hair off one of my llamas, attached to the background with the embellisher. The curving line of flying geese was a true challenge and I really need to work on coming up with a better method for including them in any future quilts. Any and all comments are welcome!

ren's Solar Wind

When the challenge was first announced, I saw this image in my mind's eye. And it's taken me days and days to execute it. The movement part was fairly easy to put down. The embellishments—which are not finished; nor is the piece itself—were to be things that I hadn't done before. I explored different stitches on my machine and then used a couching/beading foot to put the strings of beads down. And I did that using invisible thread. Whew! That stuff is really, really invisible, both the clear and the smoke. Now, I need to decide what, if anything, I want to do with the blues. And, of course, I need to finish the piece. I'm thinking of doing a pillowcase finish with fuseable web to secure all the threads on the back. Any suggestions are welcome.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Victorian in Ghent

I was excited about the challenge because I really enjoy working on architectural pieces. The challenge asked that we make a quilt based on architecture and that showed depth. I love Victorian Architecture and did a series of Victorian Turrets for my Journal Quilt Project of 2006. I had planned to continue making these but other things always seemed to get in the way. This was my chance to continue. My previous turrets have all been Journal Quilt Size (8.5" x 11") but this time I wanted to work larger.


I actually did not think it would take much longer to work a bit larger than to work small. I was very wrong about that. I found out that each piece when it is large takes on more significance to the outcome of the whole. This has lead to some trial and error and changes in my fabric choices. I feel that I have gained a lot by working on this challenge and am satisfied with what I have done. Learning something new, motivation to work on a topic of interest, that is reason enough to participate in challenges.

This quilt is made using my Upside Down Applique technique, some thread painting and an off-surface needle lace technique that combines both applique and free motion machine embroidery.

Source Photo

This quilt was completed in December 2007.

Floating Mermaid by Ann Morrell

I probably went "overboard" on using my embellishments but had lots of fun using my hand dyed yarns, my watercolor crayons, and my Embellisher. I was also able to use some of my fancy stitches on my sewing machine. (I used a lot of glitter.....which does cause a bad reflection in flash on camera....sorry about that.)

When I read the challenge, I instantly saw a mermaid taking a nap, wrapped in seaweed, as she is being rocked to sleep by two sea turtles. I tried to use the background fabric stitching to also show movement as well as the seaweed wrapped around the mermaid being pulled by the waves. I also tried to twist the mermaid's body to show the pull of the waves.

Square Dance for Fun and Friendship

This is a couple twirling during a square dance. It was all hand appliqued.


11 1/2 x 14
Thread painting
Watercolor crayons
Hand-dyed fabric
Commercial batiks
This work is of wind blowing through a willow tree, wheat and grasses. A lake appeared by accident when I was trying to make a horizon line. This piece is not in the vivid colors I usually work with because I had a disaster of a fabric dyeing day last week. The background fabric was supposed to be a rich yellow with some turquoise. Didn't happen so I decided to try the pale imitation on this piece. I had a wonderful time making this since I had no preconceived idea how it would turn out. I started with the wheat, then the tree and just kept on thread-painting until it seemed done. Thanks for looking at this work - as always, I appreciate your comments.

Challenge 14 - Down the Tube quilt

This was really a Challenge for me. I had big plans of showing a surfer racing down a wave, but plans sometimes don't work out so well. I took a photo of a wave and played with it on the computer. I made the photo sepia tones, then added the effects of contours and thought I had a really cool start to this challenge. When I started translating it all into a fabric composition, I lost the wave effect and tried to salvage the work I had done so far. I was hoping that the quilting would restore the wave look, but alas the composition is now called "Down the Tube" instead of "Catch a Wave". I tried to think of some embellishment that would enhance this quilt, and would welcome any suggestions you may have. I hate to think that I will have to cut this up and turn it all into postcards. Help!. Joni

Challenge #14 Brenda Jennings (9"x11.5")

I had several ideas for this challenge, but many of them seemed too overwhelming to get done in a week LOL. I finally chose to do a somewhat abstract version of seaweed moving in an underwater current.

The seaweed is fused applique. The embellishment is angelina which I tried to make as thin as possible (it is still a bit too heavy in a couple of spots). The whole thing is overlayed with a blue tulle and then machine quilted with Sulky rayon thread. I thought about adding some beading (for bubbles), but I want it to be more abstract than try to make it a realistic sea scene.

The hardest part was trying to get a good photograph without the angelina taking over the photo! On my third setup, I shot it with (natural) light from the side.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Challenge #14 - Rhoda

I have finished Challenge #14.
Well not totally, the binding is pinned in place in the picture.

At first I was going to do dancers. While having my morning coffee I noted a magpie trying to land on a tree...fierce winds have been blowing up here.

So, the magpie was the inspiration and wind is the movement.

I chose black and white fabric, because the magpie is black and white, and I have lots of this fabric which I don't seem to use. As I was working on the piece I was thinking of the fires in CA and the Santa Ana winds...decided to include some gold and red to symbolize the fires.

The tree is done with puff paint, I used raw edge appliqué for the bird, leaves etc. The quilting (the wing) was done with Sulky holoshimmer.

I look forward to your comments on my effort.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Witch Creek Fire

As the world knows, San Diego was blasted with Santa Ana winds and consequently fires raging out of control. Hundreds of thousands of us were evacuated from our homes...I was one of the lucky ones, able to return home in just two days, however many were not so lucky. Some of my friends lost everything to the flames. This little quilt is dedicated to them.

I tried to convey the awful fury of the windswept flames using various metalics, angelina, roving (including silk) and copper dust mica to replicate the flying embers. I used thread painting for the brush, bushes and grasses. The flames were stitched with holoshimmer gold, and the wavy lines in the smoke were hand stitched using a mohair yarn.

I padded and wrapped the mat using black nylon and will frame it.

As always, I welcome and appreciate any and all critiques and comments.


Friday, October 26, 2007

Challenge 14 ~ Movement

Challenge # 14 - Friday, 26 October 2007

Guest Hostess - Tobi Hoffman

Theme: Movement with embellishment

Movement in Stasis: Lights, Camera, Action!

While our artwork itself does not move, the eye does; this challenge is to create a piece that shouts out visually the sense of motion. This is not about actual moving parts, but a feeling that there is real motion in the piece.

It could be abstract, a design that pulls the eye from one part to another or leads it in a path around the piece, or it could be elements apparently caught in mid-motion.

Use any form of embellishment to help create and drive the sense of motion in the piece. This can be something you frequently use, or something entirely new to you, but it should be an important element in your piece.

Design Element - Movement.

Movement is an effect rather than an element but is also related to the elements/principles of line, rhythm, and repetition.

Discussion - The following is included for informational purposes only:

As I began work on this year's journal quilt, I wanted to create a sense of motion into the piece. I think I managed this, with a combination of general design, fabric selection and embellishment; more than this I will not say -- and since it is not supposed to be posted on-line until the Houston show, you can't see it until Nov. 1st!

Due - Saturday, Noon EST, 3 November 2007

One final requirement - HAVE FUN WITH THIS

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Challenge 13- My Dream House

Only about a month late with this one. I finally got my head together enough to get "My Dream House" mostly done. I still need to trim and bind it, and maybe add some beading? Not sure what else might happen, but here it is. I used a photo of an old house near where I live as inspiration. Definitely not what I live in now.

Now that it is this far, it could almost fit for the present challenge, but I do plan to do a new one for that.
Any critiques, ideas, etc. welcome.

Here is a detail shot. For a post on my blog showing more process photos, and the original inspiration photo, click here.

The past 2 months have been a "real" challenge for me, so having the FFFC gives me a reason to get off my butt, and do something productive.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


I'm not sure where I'm going with this piece -- it's far from finished, but the next challenge is soon upon us!

I love the idea of looking through something to see something perhaps unexpected, but not sure I've achieved even the idea of that. The current plan, subject to change at any moment, is to threadpaint cobweb patterns around the leaves, possibly mount the whole thing on a darker background, paint some shadows and veins on the leaves themselves, and maybe cut the whole piece to the shape of a cobweb to mount between pieces of found branches.

The barn is made of deck-stain paint chips, conveniently textured like wood; the cobweb is variegated metallic thread with silver beads glued at the "points;" the leaves are cotton fused with MistyFuse; the background is a combed cotton blend of some sort that I found in a remnant pile.

Please comment with gusto -- honest critique is the main reason I joined the group. Thanks!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Office

Since my original idea didn't work out, I started over and finally have finished with The Office, a view of the back of the black glass and pebbly concrete building where I work. Those windows were interesting to create - I used a navy blue lining fabric for an undertone of the reflected sky, and covered that, as well as the building reflection, with a black organza. It's all pieced, with no fusibles or raw edges anywhere. Yes, the sky really was that blue on the day I took my picture. I machine quilted the building and the glass panes. When I was done, I realized that the quilting on the back of my work was a mirror image of the front, like a line drawing of the same view. That's why there are 2 pictures of mine this month. Any comments would be appreciated.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Finally got my challenge done. I printed on fabric a photo that I took looking out a window in the fort in San Juan, Puerto Rico last fall. I fused the shapes of the wall and tower, grass and water, then free-motion quilted the whole thing. It measures only 6 1/2" x 10 1/2", because I wanted to be able to scan and then post it.
Comments and critiques are very welcome!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

I have added alot of shading to the house, darkened the shadow from the tree, and quilted some wispy clouds in the sky. I think it has added alot of dimension and perspective to the house. What do ya'll think?

Thursday, October 11, 2007


I started with Mill1 - had it on the design wall for a bit and realized that the buildings were really too small. Revised, cut down the sidewalk/road and made the buildings bigger, which then became Mill2. This one seems better proportioned. I was aiming for simplicity and starkness.
thanks for any comments.

Gothic Arches

I really enjoyed this challenge, because I felt right at home. I used to be an architectural designer before I retired, and it was a comfortable subject for me. The vaulted ceiling is of the Notre Dame Cathedral, and it was fun to put non traditional colors to liven up the subject matter. I made a template for each section of the quilt with freezer paper, and then fused the various sections to the background. All the pieces were satin stitched as a way of quilting, and black quilting lines added to the texture and sense of depth. I had to resort to penciling in a little bit of shading to get the look I wanted, but the whole process was enjoyable. I look forward to our next challenge. I have also enjoyed seeing the large variety of quilts on this topic. They all are wonderful! Any comments or critiques would be most welcome. Joni

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

My Alabama Home

This is something I've been thinking of doing for a long time. Thank you, Roberta, for the push.

This is my house - the one I've waited all my life to have.

For anyone who is geographically challenged (like I am) I used a map of Alabama as a pattern for the background.


I love the idea of portals. (Love Esterita's work) we often visit ruined castles, abbeys and churches. I have loads of photos, but I have had this one from a magazine up on my wall for ages, wanting to do something with it.

I used paper solvy to print my sketch and then thread painted over it. It is meant to dissolve easily. But I found it difficult to get rid of it under the dense stitching. When it dries, it dries white again. The work looked pretty good yesterday in time for the deadline! But the white bits bothered me. So, since I had stitched it onto tea-dyed linen, I thought I would use a teabag to put a bit more tea on, hoping to colour the white bits of paper.

Well, that was a mistake, as it turned everything VERY dark, and I lost any definition at all in the distance. So, this afternoon, I have reworked more threads into the background, and brought it back to where I can cope with it! The actual piece is a bit browner than this photo shows, and the whole thing blends better, but the photo does show the depth.

In order to create the depth, I tried using lighter threads in the background and darker in the foreground. Using principles suggested in the link to the essay. I also used stronger definition in the foreground...often using 3 or 4 threads in the needle to get the mixture of colours and strength of line.

thanks for any comments.

Pink House

This quilt might fall into a "cheater"...I started with a UFO. When we were on a cruise...while visiting Dominica.. I took a photo on a moving bus thru the window of the pink house. I found the pink leaves on another Island ..St Lucia..with the plan for a Architecture quilt. I enlarged the photo and printed 4 parts on 8 1/2x 11 fabric sheets and sewed the parts together. And added the pink borders...pressed and my steam iron dripped water spots on the printed into the UFO pile it went..... With the announcement of Architecure... a rescue plan came with crayons and shiva paint sticks and quilting with different colors of verigated threads. I'm late posting as I did not have my photo or my statement ready before we went out of town for a few days...

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Orange House, 25 1/2" x 18 1/2"

Architecture is not my thing! Nevertheless, here is my attempt. I pulled in what I learned years ago of perspective and vanishing points. I built the house with woven strips, sewing them down with satin stitching which got thinner with distance, and for the vertical stitching, going from black to dark gray to lighter grays.

My thought is that I have mixed up surrealistic elements with more natural ones, and it doesn't work as well as I would like.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Passageways by Linda Cline

12 x 12
fused cotton, paint

I had a couple of ideas for the challenge last week that I sketched out. They seemed like they would take more time than I had to do them in, so I sat on the floor against the front door yesterday and sketched the hallway. I made it simpler by just sketching the walls; eliminated the doors and all the stuff.

Scanned the sketch into the computer and then drew on top using straight lines. Added a vanishing point to check and fix the perspective.

I took some artistic license before I made the quilt and moved a wall slightly and rounded the tops of the doors. Took even more liberties with the colors. I thought I would make the whole quilt in warm neutrals. But lots of color snuck in before I was done. I used a piece of fabric that I had used as a paint rag for a lot of it, and I added more paint after the quilt was fused together. I didn’t think architecture was my thing, and didn’t think I was going to like it after I had made my sketch, but decided to go with it anyway. I kind of like how it turned out.

The House That Booke Built

This was the hardest challenge for me as yet! It litteraly took me the full week working all day every day to get it done.

The house is the home my mother in law was born in, and her father who was always just called "Booke" (last name) built the house in 1905. My husband and I went to see it in Utah a few years ago and took this picture. His Mom said it has hardly changed at all in all these years.

The house is fused raw edged applique. The large trees' trunk is painted with expanda paint, puffed with a hot gun then painted. The leaves are created with fabric "confetti" of cotton and organzas, then quilted down with very fine black tulle.

The bushes and orange tree are wool roving, stitched with perle cotton, or machine quilted. The cypress tree is rusched netting.

I hope I fulfilled the assignment of depth.

Comments and critiques are gratefully accepted as usual!


Friday, October 05, 2007

Challenge 13 - done!

Whew! I can't believe I made it. There were several times when I just wanted to give up and throw it in the trash. If "fast" is the operative word here, then I will have to learn to simplify.
I have always loved going downtown and walking among the skyscrapers. When you look to the sky, the shapes are amazing! I discovered this view standing at my own front door. I have so many trees around my house that this is one of the few places I can stand and actually see the sky.
I learned a lot here. One is that you don't need to recreate each and every piece. The other is the quality of the thread you are using is very important when doing a lot of weird piecing.
Karen Markley

Rhoda...challenge 1

Here is a close up of the house, fence etc.

Rhoda...challenge 1

Here is my attempt at the first challenge, and my first challenge.
The house is one similiar to what my husband was raised in.
The house is done on muslin, lot's of stitching and Shiva Oil Sticks.
This was fun.

Kathy Lichtendahl

Here is the image of my first quilt as part of the FFFC group. It is called "Inside Out" and it is a depiction of our back patio that stretches from the rear wall of our house to a natural sandstone cliff where we have planted a small flower garden. We use it as an extension of our living quarters for at least seven months of the year.
I had to squeeze the construction of this piece into the middle of a very busy week. There are certainly things I would do differently if I had more time!

Haunted House?

I love the architecture theme of this challenge, and what everyone has done with it. For some reason, I felt like piecing (not that there's anything wrong with that), so I decided to try to create some abstract "portal" blocks out of batiks, using value change to create the effect of depth.

I used a takeoff of a crazy log cabin block, and just started sewing blocks with no preconceived idea of what size they should be or anything. The first one came out giant sized (as you can see compared to the others). I then just kept making blocks until I got tired of them, and sliced them up until I could piece them together into this one piece. It is layered with peltex as batting so hopefully the weird shape will hold together, and machine quilted with King Tut.

I like the way it ended up looking sort of like a haunted house, but I don't think there is enough value contrast to create the depth effect. I would appreciate any feedback. Thanks for another great challenge.

Brenda Jennings

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Child's Town

The inspiration for this quilt was finding a drawing of a house thatI had made at age 5 -plus the final instruction for the challenge to have fun! I tried to make the houses, trees, hills and car have a childlike and spontaneous look. All parts of the quilt are fused and then machine quilted. I'm not sure how it works design wise, but I do think it shows depth in several ways. Let me know if gives you as much fun as I had creating it.
I tried unsuccessfully to add the drawing I made at age 5-the quilt was not an exact replica but I used the curtains at the windows, the colorful roof and the sun in the quilt.
Nancy Schlegel

Grant House

This is the house.

In my dreams..... this is a house in Portland, Ore. In Oct. 1977 [ this exact time of the year] my aunt and I visited Portland for some shopping. We arrived late Sunday afternoon, and decided to drive around and get a feel for the community. We drove past this house, I LOVED it, so stopped and took a picture. I have carried that picture around for 30yrs. When I saw the Challenge, my mind went immediately to that picture, here it is, with some added embellishments. I was trying real hard on depth, so I do look forward to your comments.

Size is 11.5 x 11.5

Happy Childhood Summer Home

The first image that popped into my head was the tent that my family camped in when I was a small child. Such good memories and when we weren't travelling, our parents let us pitch the tent in the backyard and my brother and I spent a good deal of the summer there. Architecture? Well, it was our summer home anyway. :)

The quilt is about 9" x 10-1/2", hand appliqueed, hand embroidered, hand quilted - and some of the embroidery was added after layering so it works as quilting as well. Lately, I've been feeling confined by my usual tedious approach so I tried to be very loose and free with this and it was a lot of fun.

Also, I read the recommended essay on depth and realized I always work with a light foreground working back to a dark background. It just seems to happen. So, this time, I tried to do the opposite. Dark foreground fading into the background. Not sure if I succeeded but it was fun. I think that I may do some more small pieces in the same free spirit. It was very liberating.

Stairs down to My Nightmares

I forgot the photo, sorry.
Anna Koziol

Stairs down to my Nightmare

I printed one of my photos to fabric then used fabric paint and 5 different shades of grey thread to provide extra details and depth.
The black fabric surrounding the stairs is fabric which i had previously discharge dyed. Grey fabric paint was used to provide interest.
Holographic threads in silver, black and red were used to add some lines for interest.
The quilt measures 12" x 12" and was bound with red cotton net.
Whilst i enjoyed the process i am unsure about the final result.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Seattle Sunrise

Sometimes you don't really read the challenge - you go forth - then you re-read the challenge and realized depth - oh well.

Architectural? So not my thing - but I had just witnessed a beautiful red sunrise and thought this would be perfect for the challenge. So a very not realistic city scape but fun to do. More beading than I would usually do for this challenge - I have blisters on my finger from the pearl cotton ridges on Mount Rainer. Overall it captures the beauty of a red sunrise. I call this Seattle Sunrise - measuring 8 x 18.

In Rainy Seattle

Treetop Fantasy

Here's my little quilt (about 14 x 14") for Challenge 13. It's made with hand dyed fabrics and a few touches of commercial prints (dots...I just love them) using fused raw edge applique and lots of quilting in a leaf pattern. I had a bit of trouble with the perspective, but I think this is passable.

It's a treehouse in case it's not obvious to anyone but me!

Comments/suggestions/greetings welcome.


City Scape - Debbie Krueger

City Scape
18" X 13"
Reverse Applique
Fused Applique

All right, folks! I need some input here. I was totally going to skip this challenge and make up some foolish excuse, but then I realize that that defeats my reason for joining the challenge in the first place.

So, this is far from finished, and we'll see how far I get by Saturday, but I'm wondering if others see what I'm going for....I'm a total city girl, so my "home" will always be in a city. I think I've got the general idea of a near building and far buildings, but am curious if others see it. And yes, the buildings are supposed to be off kilter--kind of like the quilter. :)

Thanks for any ideas you may have--though I might not be able to use them here, I'll certainly keep them in mind for future projects.

Debbie Krueger, Waukesha, WI

Roanoke Cottage

9" x 12"
Watercolor crayons
Pigma pen

I based this quilt on a picture of one of my favorite homes. The bushes and flowers were thread-painted on water soluble paper and tulle. The grass was added after I put together the quilt sandwich in an attempt to add depth. The leaves on the trees are snippets of fused fabric. I used watercolor crayons to add some shadows where the chimney steps back from the entryway. And then used a black pigma pen to draw bricks around the door and add detail to the birch tree. As always, I welcome any comments. Thanks for looking.

If These Walls Could Talk.... Ann Morrell

Here is my first challenge. I had lots of fun doing it. I used a technique that I had been wanting to do for awhile. I took two photos, merged them together, turn them into a painting, printed it out on cloth and then thread painted it. I also used my Embellisher and watercolor crayons.

I live in a small little beach community called Grayton Beach. I use to come here as a child, and was lucky enough to return after retiring and make my home here. Our community is made up of million dollar beach homes, and smaller beach cabins that have been here for years. My beach "shack" actually exists and has been here for over 87 years. It just got a new tin roof. It is not on the beach so I "picked it up" and moved it over to a sand dune over looking our beautiful beach to make my piece. Can you imagine the stories this house could tell if the walls could talk.

Here are the two photos that were merged for my piece.