Monday, March 31, 2008

"Spring Reflections"

For this months challenge, we were to use recycled materials. I have chosen an old pair of jeans with a hole in the knee, scrap fabric from a shirt I made last year, plastic orange grid from an orange sack, foil wrappers from chocolate eggs, a couple of unused pieced rectangle I had laying about, some blue tulle, and a bit of gold fusible foil. I wasn’t sure how I would combine these items, so just started laying them about until I liked what I saw. The colors remind me of green hills, orange poppies, and reflections in a blue pond.

My husband suggested that the bright green pieced rectangle seemed out of place. I added turquoise squares on top of it to relate it to the lower pieced square.

I am deciding whether I should put a binding or a facing.

Update April 3, 2008: I have decided to bind the quilt with blue chambray, and I have updated the photo.

There is a Hole in the Ozone

There is a Hole in the Ozone

This challenge was a lot of fun for me, I had been saving a container made from corn just waiting for some way to use it for the “Go Green” challenge that Quilting Arts is having. This was the push I needed to get started. I spent Thursday night in the kitchen with the fan running burning away on this poor piece of plastic having too much fun! When I had finished with this I went of a quest for materials digging through my husbands shop trash can. I came up with several products we are using on our screen porch project. So here is a little diagram of what was used where.

The Sandpaper was really fun to paint, and I loved the texture of it, however it was difficult to use from a practical point of view. The quilt is the required 5”x5” for the “Go Green” challenge, which for me is way out of my comfort zone to work that small. I learned a lot on this challenge – thank you Wendy!
PS: I took the photo of the quilt off this posting as not to disqualify it for the Go Green Challenge. It can be seen by our members on the group site. Thanks Cynthia for the instruction.

Cosmic Whirlpool

I don't often do abstract but this challenge seemed to call for it. The fabrics are all leftovers from various clothing projects and include velvets, rayon, polyester blends and even some cotton. The wire ribbon is off my Christmas present from my SIL. The beads and sequins are from my "loose stuff" jar and the driftwood is ancient juniper from my yard. The large silver starfish is a souvenir from my one trip to IQF in Houston in 2004.
The entire piece without the sticky out parts is about 24" in diameter.

ren's rags

The finishing here still to be done includes some quilting and beading and figuring out a hanging device, but this is pretty much it. The overlay is silk organza with embroidery and beading from a silk dress that I had picked up at a church sale somewhere. The base is many of the labels that I had taken off the many men's ties that I have taken apart for their silk and wool.

I was keeping the labels in a little bowl, knowing that I would do something with them one day. And then this challenge came up and I immediately pulled out the bowl. I spent an entire day laying out the labels onto fusible batting, then ironed them down. I need to quilt and embroider over the organza to hold the labels in place for the long run.

I call this piece She and He in 1950. It is 14 inches high by 10 inches wide, so far. The hanging device might make it longer.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


This one was fun! I started off with the background, which is a poorly done machine quilting sample piece, made out of scrap fabric to begin with. Except I decided to use the former back side (with all the eyelashing and bad tension) as the front - the other side looks much more normal. I turned the sides to the new back and stitched them in place for binding, trimmed the length and added leftover binding from a previous quilt to the top and bottom. I took thread snips from the wastebasket next to my machine and couched them in place around a previously stitched circle. Then I added all of the fabric covered buttons from the box given to me by a friend of my mother. The facial features are scraps from the floor, covered with a blue veggie net and zigzagged in place. And in place of hair, I added a tiara created from scrunched up aluminum foil and stitched down.

Finished size is 8.5x11". Everything in it was here in my sewing room.

It may not look exactly like me, but I certainly feel like this some days. If you think of anything else that it needs, let me know. It makes me smile!!

Marilyn Rose


OK, I can't wait any longer... y'all have done such a great job of taking this challenge and making it work! I'm amazed at the ingenuity and variety of materials in these quilts! The biggest danger of this challenge is that none of us will ever throw anything away, ever again! One quilters trash is another's treasure!

Part of this challenge was generated when I started looking at the mesh bags fruit and veggies come in. Now what can I use that for? I tried using them as an overlay, but they were just not dense enough to make an impression, but I still kept about 10 of them on my design wall. One day I was absentmindedly twisting one around my finger and then I got it.

The cattails are twisted veggie bags, ends sewn together and soft sculpted, then hand sewn. The stems are needlepunched yarn, and hand dyed fabric (background and leaves, piping and binding) was leftover from another project. And the medallion is from a wind chime that died on my deck during our hard windy winter. I added some bronze paint for patina.

Comments, of course, are welcome!

Making Tracks

I just happened to have some Easter egg foil laying on my table, and as I had experimented with it before, thought I might try some more. I dug into my stash of chocolate foils, and started to play. The inner layer was sew-in interfacing. I also found a piece left from the previous experiments, so that got added to the layout. The 2 chicks seemed to want to go into the picture, so they did. I decided to lay a piece of bridal tulle on top, (left from some work for a wedding). In previous experiments, I sewed directly on the foil, but when using machine patterns, the foot made train tracks. the tulle knocked the shine back a bit, and when I stitched it, helped it from getting the extra marks.

The piece from before already had some stitching on it, so when I started stitching round the shapes, I decided to go with at least one of the patterns; a more complicated feather stitch. It was serendipity since they look like little bird footprints! So, I carried on with this throughout.

I sewed round all the shapes, but the birds. Then I cut a piece from a silvery coloured plastic shop bag for the backing. I went round the birds, and then more of the shapes, and then decided to go for broke and try some quilting. I also edged it with a sort of satin stitch, but it didn't work as well as on fabric.

Along the way, I decided it had to be called "Making Tracks"!

Loose Threads

Those tangled loose threads when the fabric comes out of the dryer are so pretty...just had to use them somehow!

This piece is postcard sized...5 x 8" and uses the wads of thread, bits of ribbon and trim and machine "lace" and quilted down with metallic thread to create a colorful mess!


Saturday, March 29, 2008

Lost in Flight

this MADE me realize I keep far too much 'stuff...junk'...

Spring is here, with little flowers trying to bloom, lots of birds... some to stay, some in transit. The right side of the piece is to depict the startled flock that takes to the air, the others are smaller.... higher up...and more right. In their haste, feathers fall, I pick them they are. The orange and the yellow are from the same species [by the shape], and the blue from the Stellar Jay. A small bit of 'fluff' lies in the grass below. The flowers are made from those plastic rings that keep a pack of cd's from moving about, I cut them in half and stitched them down on a small piece of silk. The grass in the front is painted dryer sheet, and on the left... right in the corner is a piece of that plastic found as a divider in the sushi take-out tray. By the way those 'birds' on the right were going to be 'inchies' but I couldn't be bothered. Too fiddley.

I should add that the background is Dupioni silk. I love to quilt on it and have to confess I did all the quilting first.... except on the right side.

Everything is something that would have been/should have been thrown out or left on the ground if I wasn't such a packrat!!

Comments welcome and appreciated.

Window Wonder

This piece is "painted" using recycled clean-up paper towels from my fabric painting sessions.

I have included a picture of the picture in progress, along with the 'pallet'. I tore the shapes freehand and placed them on the painting, lightly glueing the very edges as I went along.

The pieces blend into each other seamlessly and look like all one piece...amazingly fun!

This was so interesting and fun to do, I will absolutely do this technique again!

Comments welcomed (and appreciated!) as always...Cherie

I actually completed several recycled collages this last week for Fiber Art for a Cause and I think they meet the criteria for this challenge.

The one posted is What Flower Is This - it started with a scrap of fabric as the background and I frayed the edges. Then I added satin, torn paper pieces, netting, plastic curtain rounds, and embroidery thread --- all stuff I had laying around. Lately I've enjoyed incorporating paper into my quilts - there's such a great selection of papers that the scrapbookers use.

It's 7x9 mounted on an 8x10 mat.
Kathy Angel Lee

Friday, March 28, 2008

Inside the Box

OK - so I finished my piece Inside the Box.

I took an empty paper towel roll and cut it into pieces about 3/4 inches wide. I then wrapped each piece with yarn. I used only scraps and pieced the background. The back is using strips from large quilts that I cut off after quilting - and the polka dotted fabric is leftovers from a recent quilt. After quilting it I sewed each circle to the quilt. The binding was precut and left over from another quilt.

So probably not enough recycled material. Therefore I name it - Inside the Box. Finished size 15x18. I did not buy a single new item for this.

In Snowy Seattle - snow in March!

Galveston 2005

I started with the seagull feathers I picked up on the beach in Galveston when we went to IQA in 2005. I used a photo I took there, printed on fabric fused to wonder-under (which worked beautifully!) and extended the sand and the sky with pieces of color catchers from my washing machine that matched. Then I added light blue tulle fused with misty fuse in several triangular layers over the body and the border, and did a little quilting and a little machine embroidery. My favorite is the feather stitch used on the real feathers. Maybe you had to be there.

Size is 10 1/2" x 14 1/2"

Reuse, Recycle, Redo

This challenge was right up my alley! It took 5 minutes to grab the piece of rusty metal that's been sitting on my sewing table, dig up the rock from the depths of a drawer, find the orange onion bag, cut up a tyvek mailing bag, and find the quilt sandwhich that I never used for the previous challenge. It took more time to paint the quilt top bright blue, from a bottle of acrylic paint left over from a commission, then paint the tyvek with copper paint (brand new-whoops). The medallion on top of the rusty metal came off my last tiara, the metal rings came from the junk covering my husband's woodworking bench, and the gold "stars" had held pieces of chocolate candy that I got at Christmas. Who says chocolate isn't a good thing! The last item, the nail, I picked up from the slush on the road on my walk today and added it in when I got home.

I had used apiece of rusty metal on my 2007 Journal Quilt and vaguely remember spraying it with something like polyurethane. Everything on the quilt is stitched down with Nimo thread-and there was no way I could figure out how to recycle or reuse some thread! If I was really keeping this quilt, I would adhere things more securely but for just taking a photo, I did it quick and dirty. I did not finish the edges either.

I find the challenge in using embellishments like this is to not just dump them on the quilt but to arrange them in a design that is interesting, not overdone, and connected.

Thanks for the challenge Wendy!

Nancy Schlegel in cold, snowy Albany NY-how about our next challenge being about spring!

Fantasy World

I decided to come out of my reality box for this one. Maybe I should
crawl back in.
This is what I used:
Pre-fused pieces ironed onto an upholstery sample that was given to me.
Clouds are batting and the grass is painted batting. The batting was
cut off the edges of a previous quilt.
The skulpy buttons I made years ago and the crocheted flowers are the
strings from fair ribbons.
Leaves are from silk ribbon flowers that I bought at a tag sale years
ago and the stems are yarn made from left over fleece.
The green flowers are painted bubble wrap.
Backing is also an upholstery sample.
I used left over bindings used on other projects.
It is 17" x 13"

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Challenge 19: Recycle

Challenge # 19 - Friday, March 28, 2008

Guest Hostess – Wendy Wetzel, Flagstaff AZ

Theme or Technique - “Something From Nothing”

Recycled or Environmental Art Quilts

Design Concept:

Our local art center hosts an annual competition and show called “Recycled,” which features artist interpretations of ingenious ways to use materials that would have found their way to landfills and recycling centers. Over time, artists in this show have also highlighted environmental issues including air and water quality, global warming, and the preservation of wetlands and greenbelts. This challenge was inspired by those efforts.

Core concepts:

1. Integrate at least one found object into the piece (you can use more, or make the whole piece from recycled stuff). This can be ANYTHING! An item found in nature, a treasure you saved from the trash, a soon-to-be-discarded item of clothing. Look around you and use your imagination.

2. Think WAY outside the box in terms of materials. Paper, foam, plastic, etc etc etc!

3. Don’t buy anything new for this challenge. Recycle a prior FFC (or any other quilt ) that doesn’t ring your chimes or dive into your stash for fabric, materials, and/or embellishments.

4. The quilt design (subject, image, or pattern) and techniques are the maker’s choice. Abstract or realistic, the challenge is to integrate materials not originally intended for textile art and/or those destined for landfills. Let your found objects inspire you!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

You Could Be A Multi-Millionaire

I found my spam when I signed up for Publishers Clearing House Sweep-stakes!! Everyday a new e-mail...Millions waiting for me.

The first page I designed using letters and graphic's from Print shop's Art gallery. ..The second page also from the gallery..I just added the words Don't enter contests on line....Spam...Spam...Spam. I had these pages printed and ready for the FFFC and we went out of town again....

So here it is late but done with-in the weeks time limit. I finished off my Spam with Batiks.

I'm printing out the words on the second part as they are so small but a perfect connection to my spam.....

I was planning to send you a rabbits foot for good luck, but the Animal Rights people said no way! So I decided to send a horse shoe, but all I could locate was a cow! Then I decided to send a 4-leaf clover but I just couldn't find one! Finally, I settled on a penny I've carried it around since childhood but then I needed it for sales tax....

So if your hoping to receive a token of good fortune from me, all I can say is...

Don't enter contests on line...Spam...Spam...Spam

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Won't Forget Last Night

Somehow the thought of a magical evening brings to mind fireworks - and not the 4th of July kind.

My fireworks are all fused - my sewing machine did not like that, plus all of the quilting with metallic thread nearly sent me over the edge. My last thought was to bead heavily in sparkly beads, but decided to call it done and move on.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Comical Little Stick

Better late than never - so I finished my spam quilt - using the phrase - She'll laugh at your little stick.

So basically I pieced a bunch of colorful comical sticks for your amusement.

I must admit it was really hard not to find "clean" spam.

Final size - 9 1/2 x 13 1/2

In Sunny Seattle

Black Hole

This piece was based on a SPAM subject line that said
" Black Hole" I fused misty fuse to black batik and then started chopping hand-dyed colored fabrics and letting them fall randomly in a circular pattern. I then chopped black fabric up after fluffing and straightening a bit . I fused the fabrics to the background. I started quilting in the center and moved in a spiral outwards

This is the detail of Black hole.

It measures
23 x 32.

1 Day Trial?

I didn't have much Spam that brought word pictures to mind. However, I had the idea to use the whole concept of receiving Spam. Then I got one suggesting a 1 day trial of a CD. I am sure many would agree, Spam is more than a one day trial! I used junk mail to cut words which would be similar to those in Spam (similar annoyance!) One piece of junk mail happened to have the computer. I over painted the screen, and placed some of the images from the junk mail onto it instead. I also printed out "only 1 day trial!" in a starburst shape. Then to allude to the dangers of the Spam, I also printed "Mwahahaha!" in a thought bubble which goes off stage, so to speak.

For the background, I used letters on my sewing machine to sew the word Spam onto paper. (The paper was actually a photo copy of vintage adverts from a 1939 newspaper with similar claims to Spam and junk mail, but after the treatment, they didn't show up.) After stitching, the piece was soaked in coffee, and then most of the paper rubbed off. The result helps to beging building up the layers.

When I had laid out the bits of paper, I fused a thin layer of sheer papery stuff over everything which held it all in place. Then I stitched a few more of the words "Spam" to bring more colour and to tie the whole together.

It is not a master piece, but it has been an interesting excercise.

Sandy in the UK

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Self Portrait ... got milk #17

I just figured out how to get back on the blog... found my password.

Here is last months challenge. I made her lips to big ... whited them out... can you tell?

Just so you know I don't look this blue... my hair usually looks this good though !

: )

The extra 2" will make a difference

Better late than never! This was a fun challenge!!!! Being a Mac person, I rarely have spam with a subject line. My dh did have one---and this was it. I think I horrified him when I told him that I was going to make a quilt with that subject. When it was done, he had a real laugh. This is very simple--but it meets the challenge. Sally

Monday, March 03, 2008

February 74 Percent Off

I was intrigued by the spam titles that keep appearing - February 74 % off, February 78% off, February 81 % off. No idea off what! I kept picturing February itself losing all those percentages, thus my silly little quilt.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Mood Watch by Cay Denise

The spam I chose was all about watches, luxury timepieces, replica Rolexes, etc. On the day the challenge began, there was also a spam from someone using the alias of Moody. So, it has all come together as 'Mood Watch'. There are 12 moods listed in all: Balanced, Elegant, Flirtatious, Sexy, Loved, Curious, Creative, Timid, Fearful, Frumpy, Generous, and Happy. There is an eye wheel on the back of the piece that can be twirled to get the different pairs of eyes to focus on various words. This was definitely a creative challenge idea!