Monday, December 31, 2007

Polar Ice

This emerged as I gathered my 'icy' bits.... I had a totally different
idea in mind when I started. I absolutely hate the cold, always feel like I am at the North Pole even if it is just at freezing. I did the mental thing Tina suggested, I saw ice cubes, with those hairline fracture lines. So... with some felting on felt to batting I made a polar bear, used three 'icy', definitely cold, fabrics, did some machine quilting on the fabric, trying to make it look cold. Then I added some shiny wired ribbon over the Arctic water, quilted that for a watery texture. Next, the organza on the actual ice. Shards of ice around the outer edges, 'fur'... my parka actually finish the piece. [Tina, I borrowed this finish from you], sewed on my polar bear, called it Polar Ice and here we are. I wanted it to look as tho' the bear was encapsulated in an ice cube.
Size 9" x 8"
Comments are always welcome.

Fractured Fire

My challenge piece is 13" x 26". The red/yellow fabric is painted with watercolor dyes. I stitched with #8 perle cotton to add some more color and then dotted on some irridescent paint. I also found a gold Sharpie pen and added some marks here and there. This is my 4th in a series of quilts using this fractured technique. I will appreciate any comments.


I thought I would include organza to give a layered look, and used a stencil with blue and white acrylic fabric paint to add some texture to it. While I was at it, I added white paint to some bluish green cheesecloth.

I piece the background in gentle curves, layered the organza and cheesecloth over the top, and anchored everything down with some free-motion quilting.

I like the layered textures that I have ended up with, but something is missing. This could be a great background for something else, not sure what. And I'm not sure I have achieved "ice", doesn't seem solid enough.

Stepping Out Side the Box

I wanted to think outside the box on this challenge. So it took me several days to come up with a concept. For the Fire part I focused on red fire-y hot peppers, and for the Ice part I focused on frozen on the vine peppers that got caught in an ice storm. My husband didn't understand my piece and suggested that "I might want to stay in my box that I was trying to crawl out of. He was afraid that no one would get my piece. We laughed about it, and I thought about not sharing it all. But the more I looked at it ...I saw what I was trying to express warning you now...look at it for awhile before thinking..."What was she trying to do."

There are two layers to the piece....the back layer is the ice layer. It is done in icey blues, pretty clever hun? The top layer represent the fire layer....and it is done in bright reds. (Another clever move on my part, don't you think?)

I used my Shiva sticks and watercolor crayons to shadow areas on the piece. All stitching was done with free motion.
Ann Morrell


Icy Fire or Fiery Ice

16" diameter

Since I could not decide on either Fire or Ice, I combined them in a Yin/Yang mandala. The fire side is a gold satin, and the ice a metallic silver weave. I used Angelina fiber, cutting the pieces in curves for fire, angular for ice, and quilted the piece in a spiral. I added beads in the "tail" on each side, seed beads in warm colors for fire, silver bugle beads for ice, partly to help anchor the Angelina where the quilting left loose edges.

The binding is a flat black to make the whole design pop, a little over an inch wide, pulled over the edge of a circle of foam core.

didn't photograph well. I painted misty fuse with PearlEx paints, added some ultrafine glitter and fused it to a batik. Then I quilted with a metallic thread, and added a border of "cracked ice", which really is not green/gold, but holographic.

was a block waiting to be quilted. I left the edges unfinsihed, and let the battening stick out to symblize the ashes of the fallen trees.

Both blocks are 12.5 inches square.
Katherine McNeese

Sunday, December 30, 2007

From Fire Comes Life

With Tucson having our coldest nights of the winter (in the upper 20s .... brrrrrr!) I might have taken ice as the subject, but my thoughts went to fires ... the devastating fire we had on Mount Lemmon several years ago and the San Diego fires this fall. Fire consumes and then gives life.

One of my resolutions for 2007 was to get better at machine quilting (and I have the same resolution for 2008!). I've been working on some of the thread painting techniques taught by Ann Faul. The leaves were leftovers from a project for a class I'll be teaching in the new year. The background fabric suggested fire's intense heat.
Size is 9" x 19 3/4". Fabrics are batik. Thread painting and quilting were done with varigated King Tut threads by Superior Threads.
Comments most welcome!
-- Joanna Strohn in Tucson, Arizona

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Lava Flow by Joni Feddersen

What fun I had on this challenge! I closed my eyes and saw lava seeping out of a charred cracking earthy crust. You could smell the smoke and feel the heat. You can't see the fire, but it is eminent. This piece is 16.5 x 13 and is heavily quilted to attempt a flowing bubbly feeling. I almost burnt my hands on this one. Comments appreciated.

Icy in Nebraska

Fire and Ice is an interesting challenge and as much as I wanted to do something with fire it's hard to think along the heat line right now in Nebraska. I wish you could all look out my window to see the lovely white snow and gorgeous trees covered with frost from all the fog we've had. It's COLD, too, so ice was easy to come up with something. I decided to make a small postcard size quilt this round so that I can put it away and use it for a Christmas card next year. It simply shows the white and blue of all the snow with ice cicles hanging from the roof eaves.

Jan Johnson

Friday, December 28, 2007

Baby, It's Cold Outside

When I saw the rules last night I thought "This is impossible". When I woke up this morning I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

The trees are thread painted with beads for ice pellets. The snow is batting.

The man out for a walk was fused on and the sleet pelting the walker is the quilting done with silver thread.

It is 10-1/4" x 14-1/4".

Challenge 16: Fire or Ice

Guest Hostess - Tina Marie Rey   

Theme or Technique - You will use the following design concept to create one of two quilts (or two for those with extra time on their hands!)  Based on these two words - FIRE or ICE.

Design Concept - Your design concept is a very simple one, it is IMAGINATION.
You are to use your imagination to create a quilt that looks like fire or ice without actually looking like flames or ice cubes.  Sound confusing??? Well, I want you to get the feeling of what these words stir up in your head - fire is hot, what supplies do you have that look hot?  Like it could burn you... And Ice is so cold; also cold enough to burn but yet isn’t there a crisp beauty to it too? 

Here are some simple steps to help your imagination along to interpret a word into an abstract feeling.

1. Close your eyes. (Wait till you are finished reading the directions first)  Then see a fire in your head, or an ice cube or ice floating on the water - what do you see? Think of colors, shapes and lines.  How do you feel = what emotions does it evoke?

2. Get a piece of paper and write down all the words that you can think of that help describe the fire or ice.  Write down all the words that you can think of at all about your word.

3. Check out the following artwork to see what it brings out in you.

4. Just run into your sewing room and without thinking too much about how to assemble it (that is the last step in imagination) just think about what fabrics, embellishments and such fit into your vision of the word you have selected.

Now you can start putting it all together to create that vision you have IMAGINED in your head!

Due - Saturday, Noon EST, 5 January 2008

Discussion - The following is included for informational purposes only:

Many artists take a word and abstract it. They draw on a feeling they get from that word. I wanted to help you all use your imagination to think hard about how you think about the words we hear and the things we look at on a daily basis.   --- A little discussion on abstract art and interpretation.

Sample Artwork:

Lastly: I just wanted to explain why I chose to only give you a choice between two themes, fire or ice - because sometimes we just overcomplicated a simple thing.  You now only have a choice to make between two objects, and these two objects are the eternal opposite of each other. You will be drawn instantly to one image over the other.  They other reason I gave you only one of two choices is so that you can see how many different artists can approach the same word, and come up with many different pieces of art, but yet be a cohesive body of work as well.  Good luck and have fun!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

I contemplated what I would do for the perspective scale thing. I really like the different mindset for the Gimme piece of work posted previously. I took a recent visitor to the Museum in Reading, near us, where there is a Victorian copy of the Bayeaux Tapestry. At sometime in the past I had thought of using early medieval (anglo-saxon etc) art style in my work, as I am not confident about drawing people. I figured the style was so archaic, any mistakes in my stuff would just blend in!!
Anyway, I never did any of that at the time. But when I saw the tapestry, I realised the archaic style was actually a different way of depicting scale and perspective! For instance, the horses are bigger than the castles and churches. Men setting a building alight are as tall as the house.
When my visitor went, I got out my books with medieval history. I sketched Lady Sew-Forth by looking at a picture of a king being crowned. He had a church in his hands...that became a sewing machine. The sceptre became a rotary cutter, the crown was decorated with needles as big as the scissors also on it. The throne became a cutting table with drawers overflowing with fabric and thread, and so on. I had a lot of fun with it.
Then I realised it was similar colours to a cheater panel someone had given me years ago, knowing I like history. They are prints from the book of hours of Richard Duc de Barry. However, having seen a modern copy of the book of hours, these fabric panels really looked bad! Sooo, what I have done is cover the main print with a thin layer of this stuff like angel paper, which knocks the colour back a bit and pushes the people you can still see on either side, into the background. Then I used other pieces from parts of the cheater panel and placed them here and there to pull the whole thing together. Then I did free motion embroidery. I think using black for the Lady, and grey for the table helped to give a better perspective, too.
I will probably do a black binding, but I actually may make this into a cushion.
Sandy in the UK

Christine's Evening in Sherwood Forest

Finally I have my challenge done. It was done a few days ago but my scanner was on the blink. Somehow it fixed itself. This challenge really had me perplexed; I started 2 others before deciding to go with this one. I have to admit that this was an older JQ that I never finished. I couldn't figure out how to do the leaves so it has sat in a file since the summer. I got the idea after watching the "New Adventures of Robin Hood" on BBC America, I wanted to show the magic of Sherwood forest. I don't know if I got the challenge right but I am pleased with the overall result.
I am looking forward to your comments.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Lake Onalaska by Lisa Konkel

I didn't even get started on this one. I've been too busy trying to get Christmas gifts done. I have thought about it, though, and I immediately thought about a postcard I made last summer.
The card is done in watercolor crayons and pencils, with hand-sewn details. The tree leaves are black tulle fused with misty-fuse and caught with more hand stitching. It is bound with a sheer black ribbon.
I will still try to do this challenge properly, when I'm a bit more caught up with life.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Blue Door by Penny Irwin

Blue Door
8.5" X 11"
I chose to work with the landscape photo.
My pattern was drawn onto freezer paper. This was pieced together with the aid of a glue stick.
Different values define the areas in the photo. The door is meant to be the focal point and was given a larger scale than in the photo.
The blue and red "door" colors are repeated in a couple of the prints. Vertical lines are repeated in both print and quilting.

Garden Benches

I started with a photo that I took in Hamilton Gardens in New Zealand, where I was standing under a trellis structure built over an intersection of walkways. I planned to put that structure in last, and found that I could not get that effect because of the scale and point of view that I had established in the picture -- not to mention misinterpreting the design of the bricks in the intersection. So I have three posts of a structure, and trying to create the part that would connect to the fourth one, behind the viewer so to speak, just didn't work.

I added the shadows last, partly because I was also adding shading beneath the benches, and also shaded the farthest post and part of the trellis, and that at least created some dimensionality to the piece.
The benches are Etal, a kind of metallic paper, my first use of that, though I've had it around for a while. And next time, I'll just glue it on; it kept breaking the thread as I tried to sew it!

Afternoon Snack

(20 x 16)

When I began this quilt, I thought I might cut checks from fabric in perspective to match the photo. Then I spotted the perfect fabric that had checks on it already, and angled it similarly to the table cloth in the original photo and forgot all about perspective. When the top was nearly completed (before I started the quilting), I realized there was no perspective on the tablecloth. I am looking down at the top of the tablecloth, but sideways at the bowl. I left it that way, because I liked the overall composition, and the distorted perspective wasn’t bothering me. So I decided this was a case where “You are allowed to break the rules, after you have learned to do it right.” It bothers me a bit that I didn’t realize I was breaking the rules until it was nearly done. Your comments are welcome.

Welcome to the Neighborhood

I decided to sacrifice the process for the design. I hope I met the challenge. I used very simplistic shapes to portray the proportion and the scale as the house got farther away.

Karen Markley