Saturday, May 31, 2008


I have posted my finished quilt Cityscape - I took two little building quilts I had done - but wasn't really happy with and cut them up for Cityscape - finished size is 26 x12 1/2. It's not quite done - still needs binding. I put on some borders to square it up.

Actually I've been doing this for a few other quilts as well - taking something that wasn't working and making it more fun.

In Sunny Seattle

Oops! I Goofed!

The quilt that I began with was from another challenge. The challenge was to use Gerry Baptist's Heat of the Afternoon painting ( as a starting point. From there we were to use a small viewing window to take a small section and turn it into a quilt. When I finished my piece I hated it. I was ready to throw it in the garbage!

I pulled it from the bone file for this challenge. Took my rotary cutter and had great pleasure cutting it up! Then I decided to try weaving the pieces together. Wasn't happy with the result. Grabbed a piece of batik that had similar colors and weaved again. Better. Still not happy. Decided to play with some threads to secure some of the edges. Decided I like it better. Had a scrap of fabric that looked like a border. Yuk. Needed somthing more. I'd just taught a class on "Getting Comfy with Color" where I'd mentioned some colors, like yellow, make great accents. Added the yellow eyelash border.

Finished machine quilting the center and wentto even the borders when I realized I had done an incredibly horrible "oops". So bad there was no way to correct it. Remembered I had told a student to follow Tim Gunn's advice: Make It Work.

So I did.

Unless someone spends a lot of time fondling the quilt the oops may never be discovered. I may confess one of these days. It will definitely make a great teaching sample for my classes!

What do you think about this deconstruction and reconstruction? Finished size is 18 1/2" x 19".

-- Joanna Strohn

Friday, May 30, 2008

Challenge #21 Rhoda Forbes

Wheww, just under the wire. I've finished my challenge piece and must say this was so much fun! I used a small wallhanging that i wasn't at all pleased with and started slashing it. I then added some funky flowers in the right hand corner and a bit of writing 'Be still and feel the moment'. And isn't that what we all need to do these days, especially up north where our summer is so short.
Anyway, I must say I will bge deconstructing a few other pieces that are hanging around. I didn't put a lot of thought into this piece, just started cutting it up.
When it was done I thought of the business that interfers with my quiet time enjoying the flowers. Thank you Linda for the great challenge.
I look forward to critique from my peers.

Apple Peels

I started with a sweet little one-patch quilt top, slashed it and inserted green, red, and orange strips, then cut it in fourths, swapped out the northwest and southeast quarters, and then sewed it back together. Then I fused on some red spirals left over from the spiral rose quilt I'm working on (Ann Fahl's pattern) and called them apple peels, because of that one light square in the whole quilt. Machine quilted the background, and used red rayon thread in a zig-zag stitch on the spirals - oops, apple peels.
It sure looks different!

It was a challenging challenge!

The finished quilt measures about 15" x 19".

Critiques are most welcome.

Nine Path by Penny Irwin

8.5"X 11" Made from several abandoned 9patch blocks. I randomly cut them apart and selected a few to re-assemble on some black Kona.

Out of the nine patch - Into the Garden

What an interesting challenge this has been for me. I got a late start, but made up some time with this UFO I had made about two years ago. It was based on the 9-Patch Pizzazz book by Judy Sisneros, however my effort lacked the pizzazz (boring even). I was happy to take the rotary cutter to it.
I first cut it into strips, and rearranged them, but really started to hate the light fabric that was on the ends of each strip. I whacked that off and started to play with the strips as borders, added a center panel, and then some fused appliqué and the piece started to take shape. It is all quilted now and ready for some embellishment, and I would like some suggestions as to how to bring this piece to an increased level of interest. One can’t yet say it has pizzazz, however I do like it more than the original. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I’ll post again when it is complete.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

"Midnight on the Porch"

I took an old UFO, originally made for a black & white challenge. After slicing and shifting, I added some inset wedges and a bit of textured yarn. I think it worked - what do you guys think?

The top picture is the original. the middle is the new work, and the bottom is a close up.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Town House with a Country View

I started with a top I had made about 5/6 yrs ago in a class. I just never knew what to do with it, knew it needed something and I always thought in terms of applique. Just never got to it.
So I cut it up... I am afraid I did use a ruler. Then I just got started with 'things' that I have been fiddling with, like stencilled leaves [shiva sticks] and it went from there. I tried painting ... again with Shiva Sticks, but I didn't like the results, so cut it out and used that african animal fabric to cover the holes..from the back.
It is quilted, painted, appliqued and bound... held together by tabs.

Cynthia, if you see this, you may recognize my inspiration source...
the Dreaming in Color quilt by Linda Kemshall and just 10 pages before your Focus on Fungi.
I always look at your piece but somehow... nothing happens.......
I just love it and someday.....maybe the pieces will fall together.
BTW the book I am referring to is Quilting Masterclass....Inspirations and techniques from the experts........ by Katharine Guerrier.

So, I found it a challenge. fun and while I am surprised by the 'sameness as I put the pieces back together [it was not my intent], I do like the end result.

My Townhouse with a Country View.
Thank you Linda.....


Original piece, top photo. Reconstructed piece, bottom photo.

Well, I finally had a chance to get a challenge done this spring! I sliced, I diced, I twisted and turned. I'm still not totally enamored with the thing, but I think it's better than the original version. I like that there is more movement in the piece, and although I'm still not crazy about the couched yarns, I think they look better integrated in the after piece.

The original was already finished about a year ago; I think it was a companion to another challenge piece, so when I sliced and diced, I simply overlayed the quilted pieces and topstitched them together. I put a new layer of stabilizer and a new backing on the back; added a bit more quilting to hold it together, and covered the exposed edges with more couched yarn. The fabrics are overdyed vintage kimono silks which were originally fused. Construction-wise, I don't think this one will hold up real well, as the silks are already starting to fray, and I probably signed their death warrant with all the additional stitching.

This was a good exercise. I have done a little slicing before, but not to an already completed project. Thanks Linda.

Brenda Jennings

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

From traditional to pictorial

This original piece was constructed some years ago. It was actually always meant to be part of a pictorial quilt - it was supposed to be a "quilt within a quilt". It is a little hard to explain but the reality was that once finished I realized the scale was too small for what I was trying to do so I started over. I had put so much time into creating this little miniature that I couldn't throw it out even though, knowing it was to be part of a bigger picture, I had not put the attention to detail in it that would allow it to stand on its own. So it languished in the pile of "almost made it" quilts in the sewing room for the last 7 years or so. Then along came Linda with her deconstruction challenge and I decided it was finally time to do something with it. The lupins are blooming in the West right now and the colors were perfect so I chopped up the original and added some flowers. I am pleased with the results and happy that I now have a finished piece instead of an "also ran"! Let me know what you think!

ren's deconstruction

This is the ugly crazy block that I had lying around.

This is what I ended up with, after adding some horrible-to-work with satin-like stuff and one piece of delightful-to-work with pink silk.

I don't know...what do you think?

Flood Receding

This was interesting. It is the first time I've tried deconstructing. The original is a sample I made from a pattern by Ruth McDowell in "The Experts' Guide to Foundation Piecing". I wanted to see if I liked her method. This was just a little piece (10" x 7.5"). I knew I'd never do anything with it---not my own design. However, I AM working on a quilt using her method.

Flood Receding (8 3/8 6.5) is my deconstructed piece.


Finished Piece: Above
Sacrificed UFO Collage: Below

This challenge started with a UFO fabric collage. It has been deconstructed to smithereens and is kind of difficult to see in this month's challenge piece. The finished piece has ribbon, cording, and silk leaves in it. Also, it features strips from a fabric weave in contrasting colors. There was no plan in the design. One step just seemed to lead to another and voila! Comments are welcome!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Doorways by Cynthia Ann Morgan

Earlier this year, I made a piece based on the ruins of a Thai palace...and I ended up cropping a big section off one end. So that was my starting piece. I had a bunch of quilting samples and other pieces I had cropped off, which I used to build onto the piece. What do you think?

The Embedded Series

In 2005, I started a series of "embedded quilts." The starting point was 18" sq's of hand dyed fabric, on which were appliqued a variety of shapes in different sizes. After the first 6 were completed, I realized I just wanted to cut them up! Which, of course, I did.

The first one used 5 blocks of circles and 1 block of triangles and is, by far, my favorite. The second was 5 blocks of squares and 1 block of circles. The third (not pictured) was all circles and far less successful. All are heavily machine quilted.

This experiment became a class I teach locally, and in 2 sessions, most students have their tops constructed. The best one was all oranges and fushias (of course, from the accerlated student)! I'm hoping to have time to do a new piece for this challenge, but right now am on 2 deadlines and sewing my little heart out!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Going Around in Circles

I had to do this in three steps instead of two.

For step #1 I pulled out some two year old orphans, added blocksbetween them and made the top. It was predictible and boring but not too bad.

For step #2 I cut it up and added another fabric. I hated it. Myhusband, who is very supportive and likes most things that I do came into the room and said "That is the ugliest thing you've ever made". I had to agree. I was pretty discouraged for awhile. I auditioned some things that didn't work at all and then I remembered I had some iron-on bias tape.

So, for step #3 I added the tape, cut it into a circle and came up withsomething completely new. .Betty

Saturday, May 24, 2008


I had to create a new top as I had no UFO's to work from. When I finished assembling it I really liked it and had a very hard time making myself cut it apart, but I love the way it turned out. I think it really made the design. The "planets" are all sheers, raw edge fused. I just went for it with the rotary and cut whatever felt right and then stitched the pieces to the black background and around the circles to quilt it.

This was really fun. I just may try deconstructing again (and not be such a wimp about it...LOL).

Thanks for a great challenge Linda!

Comments welcomed :-) Cherie


Fortunately I had a small piece of scraps I'd put together a while ago as a practice piece for another quilt. Not the best colors, but it would work for this challenge. I found and added the red strips to make it even. Then I got in a hurry and cut it apart before I photographed it! So I laid it all back together again for a photo. The reason for my hurry... I am leaving for D.C. in a couple of days for a visit with my sister while she's working there.

I had purchased a circular Olfa cutter quite some time ago and wanted to use it so I cut 3 different circles from the piece and then sliced it up some more from those circle starting points. Then I laid it onto a black background and slid the pieces farther apart so the black would show through and rotated the circles. Next I satin stitched around the raw edges and quilted randomly in the black with a variegated rayon thread. I cut the edge irratically, too, and then satin-stitched around those.

Done and now I can pack for my D.C. trip.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Challenge #21 - Deconstruction

Challenge # 21 – Friday, May 23, 2008

Guest Hostess – Linda Cline

Theme or Technique – Deconstruction

Design Concept – Your Choice

--- Design and complete a small work by following the steps outlined below:
Part 1
· Complete a quilt top using piecing, appliqué, painting, or any other technique of your preference. Keep it simple and don’t agonize over it (you will be cutting it up and making it more abstract in a later step). Your quilt top may be representational, abstract, or traditional. Do not quilt your top yet. You may skip this step if you have a UFO you would like to resurrect and sacrifice for the challenge.
· Take a photo of your quilt top before you begin the next step. Do not post your photo until you have completed your quilt.
Part 2
· Consider the Principles of Design: Balance, Rhythm, Contrast, . . . Decided if there are weaknesses in your design that you would like to address as you proceed with step two.
· Now the fun part. You must be bold and fearless. Attack your quilt top with a rotary cutter or a pair of scissors. Cut it into slices, squares, or other shapes. Make your cuts straight or curved. Make as many pieces as you would like. You may carefully consider where you want each cut to be, but trust your intuition.
· Re-assemble the quilt using any technique you like.
o You could put it back in the same order but staggered a bit so that the lines of the original composition are broken.
o Or try re-arranging the order of the pieces to create a new composition.
o Try adding other pieces of fabric as you re-assemble the original pieces.
· Layer, quilt, and finish the quilt as you normally do.
· Take a photo of your finished quilt.
· Compare your finished quilt with your “before” photo. Which did you like better? Why? Post your “before” photo with your completed quilt.

Due - Saturday, Noon EST May 31, 2008

One final requirement - HAVE FUN WITH THIS!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Bouquet on silk.... colored

Colored pencils, paints, and more quilting all add up to a good time.
I was pleased wth the first piece but wasn't sure where to go from there. Various comments on the first picture had me thinking, and it was sosososoooo pale.
Color me... color me...... it seemed to say. The neat part was that I had thread-painted the whole piece, and then to go and color was childs play, really. And silk... well, you've heard me say this before..yummy when it comes to quilting. Try it!
Let me know what you think.

White Jeans Skirt


This skirt-from-a-charity-shop buy took a little longer than I thought. I always end up having to fancy things up somehow and thus always have WIP projects rather than finished items when it comes to clothes for me!
The skirt was made with my own toile (pattern that is drafted to your size). I cut it from the thigh area of the white jeans which were several sizes too large...and I'm not small. I also used some blue plaid quilting cottons. Some months ago my friend gave me about 6 !!! boxes of quilting cottons. I gave most to my friend Helen who makes cot quilts for a hospital. The ones I kept included these. By mixing and matching I was able to tie the look altogether.

I meant to use the top part with all the usual jeans accoutrements. However, after I chopped it at level of the top of the inner seam, I got it pinned and shaped to M'Lady, and then it sat there.
I meant to add some sort of fabric to the bottom in a somewhat similar way as this one. The problem was, though, that length is the wrong proportion for me to start adding to. Only the other day I thought of a plan to resolve that issue with the top of the jeans, so perhaps I will eventually get that done.
I have topstitched the seams with blue thread. the circles are caught down with x's created with my seing machine.

Test Pattern

When I showed this piece to my husband, he said it reminded him of a old-time tv test pattern that was shown prior to the start of the broadcasting day, hence the name. Although I didn't adhere strictly to this month's rules, this piece does consist of recycled and left over materials.

The background came from an old chambray sundress and was quilted from the backing side in spirals prior to adding the elements to the front. The compass point wedges came from the derriere of a now-too-small pair of my jeans. The other wedges are leftovers from another project, with the small center circle and binding cobbled from scraps of a coordinating print. The "piping" around the circle is a jacket zipper.
Finished size is 18x20" - it was supposed to be 20x20" but I had a cutting error and I think the new size is an improvement.

This is an extremely monochromatic piece, and it needs some help. Possibly beads. Any comments or suggestions for improvement would be greatly appreciated.

Marilyn Rose

Study in Blue Denim

17½ x 20"

It took a while to find denim to use, finally found that I had not, after all, thrown out those tattered blue jean shorts that I used to use for yoga, and then found a little pair of blue jeans, maybe toddler size 2! the different shades simply come from different parts, the deepest blue from the pocket.

Originally, I planned to sew the pieces together with the frayed edges showing, and pulled a lot of thread to create more fringes, but finally decided the other side looked better. I even used some of the threads I had pulled. I added a ribbon and lace, some of it emerging from rips in the denim, some thread painting with fancy stitches, and finally a handful of buttons. When I started mounting it on a foam core backing, it was calling for just a bit more, so I stuffed some batting and polyfil in and sewed it along the join lines to create a puffy look.

Saturday, May 03, 2008


I decided to try something different this time around, did this all last night, using some jean scraps, as you can see she is a quilter, has a tote bag full of UFOS, they are all quilted, just need the bindings :-), as she waits for the bus, she works on another quilt, when you look at the detail photos you will see that she also loves to do needlepoint. This was a lot of fun to make, I know she isn't perfect by any means, but for a first attempt I think she is pretty good!

detail of her recent quilt

her tote bag filled with quilts

the thread she is using now, along with another of her projects, a Home Sweet Home needlepoint in a hoop

Crazy About Blue Jeans

I snagged a pair of my daughters worn out jeans. I loved the texture and the worn spots. I made a crazy quilt background and top stitched with jeans thread to tie it together. I then rubber stamped it and added perle cotton stitches. The yo yo's are made from Talbots tie fabric and held down with miscellanous buttons. I finished it off with some star beads. Size is about 17x22 and is bound in tie silk.