Thursday, July 31, 2008

Paint drip on old wall by Cynthia Ann Morgan

My piece for Challenge 23 is called “Paint drip on old wall”, size is 10 x 14” and constructed using fused appliqué with hand dyed and commercial print cottons. It was inspired by the works of Clyfford Still an American abstract expressionist, like Mark Rothko, who did alot of color field work in the 40s and 50s.

Turkey In The Straw by Penny Irwin

8.5 " X 12"
I used the rhythm and repetition imposed by a grid in an attempt to lead the eye; hopefully to the small red rectangle. I also restricted the field to a neutral off white.
I kept thinking of a Japanese flag but was trying to be a bit more subtle.

Flight Line

This was interesting! My quilts are usually filled with many fabrics. This one has two!!! It WAS a challenge for me to work like this.

The quilt is 11" x 12 1/4". The background is a slightly mottled grey. The "things" on the flight path are from a very reflective liquid lamé which was attached with WonderUnder. As I turn my head to look at it from different angles, the colors change from gold, to blue, to green, and things in between. The quilting was done with a variegated (black to light grey) Sulky. It is not free-motion quilted---rather just a plain straight stitch.

I originally planned to have this turned a quarter but somehow didn't like the large item at the bottom. For me, the small one at the bottom seems to make the pattern come toward me, a rising up.

Comments are welcome.

Sally Field

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

In My Secret Garden

I have posted my more is focal... in the album as well as here. I used the darned quilt technique taught by Dena Crain. It is most certainly a perfect candidate for MORE is more...LOL.

There are fabric inserts, overlays of sheers, many different threads and braids, several decorative stitches, beads...etc, etc.

This was a really fun quilt for an equally fun challenge...thanks Brenda!

Comments welcomed (and appreciated :-))


Manipura I and II

I really loved Erin Wilson's quilts that were referenced in the challenge info (thanks, Brenda)... and as I started to sew, I found myself wanting to emulate her work... but I didn't. Her work is really stunning!
Both of my pieces were inspired by a leftover piece of Caryl Bryer Fallert's old fabric line, Glacier Bay (which is truly one of my fav places on the planet)... the hues of earthy tones were just amazing to stare at for awhile.
Manipura I: I tore random strips lengthwise and just sewed them back together... not a great idea, cuz the stitching doesn't really show but it helped shift the colorations a bit. The gold pieces were inserted into randomly cut slices and measure 1/4".
Manipura II: Fused applique on a solid background....Manipura is the 3rd chakra in energic healing (and show my yoga background). It's the solar plexus of the body, usually portrayed in gold/yellow and with the Sanskrit character for "ram," a seed sound in Sanskrit which is used in mantras and often refers to fire.The "ram" was freehand embroidered over the fused applique. The 10 lotus petals each represent a syllable in Sanskrit often used in chanting.
They measure about 15 x 20" each. Machine quilted with King Tut thread (gotta love it).
I have another one in my head, hope to get it done at the end of the week....thanks, Brenda, for a fun challenge. Comments, of course, are welcome!

Joanna Strohn's Southwestern Focus

25" x 28" - commercial cotton fabrics

I almost forgot about this month's challenge as my focus was on the quilting retreat I was going to be attending. Fortunately I remembered as I was about to dash out the door. I'd grabbed my stash of southwestern fabrics, planning to do other projects.

I had no idea what to do for this challenge. My inspiration came from June Davila and Elin Waterson's Art Quilt Workbook. I selected five fat quarters I thought would work well together, put the fabric with the horses on top of the pile, then began to slice and dice. Then came the fun of arranging them and pulling other fabrics to join the segments. I didn't finish anything at the retreat. Instead I stopped at the quilt shop on the way home to buy more fabric, including the great border fabric from Ricky Tims. I'd used black to join some of the segments. Decided it didn't work well so did some unsewing. I only had a little bit of the turquoise fabric but my roommate came to the rescue. She had her husband bring her southwestern fabrics and there was just enough for my needs. Serendipity!

The fun comes now in quilting this. I think I'll add some hand embroidery and maybe some beading or crystals for the gecko eyes.

I like this because it reflects a style I am evolving: pieces that draw a viewer in. The closer one gets to my work the more one sees in it. I think that's from having had eye problems and always wanting to look closely at art.

The best thing: I have four more pieces to complete! While similar, each is different and delightful.

Thanks so much for this wonderful challenge! As always, comments are most welcome.
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A Naughty Little Puppy

A Naughty Little Puppy

I must have gone through a dozen ideas for this challenge before I decided to do this entry. I liked the idea of one focal point, but struggled with the concept of a large background. After scanning through a multitude of pictures of our dog Ginger, this pitiful expression caught my attention and so was chosen for this piece. She is often a naughty little dog, even now that she is grown up, and is certainly the “alpha” of this household. At least she is somewhat repentant in this photo.
This composition was achieved by printing the photo onto fabric, then fusing it to the bright pink fabric, a striped border was added to set it all apart from the background. Thinking the quilting would look like naughty vibes coming from Ginger, concentric increasing diamonds were used. I’m calling this a work in progress, since it doesn’t seem to look finished to me. The resemblance to a place mat is much too strong. Any suggestions or comments are appreciated.

Monday, July 28, 2008

ren's challenge #23

This challenge came at an opportune moment: I wanted to experiment with some weaving and shading and was concerned that the result would be boring. Here is the thing. It fits into the "lack of focus" part of the challenge. I want to continue with the piece by adding a focal point, but it's not ready yet and won't be for a while, so I figured I would just post this version.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Challeng #23 Rhoda Forbes

I really enjoyed this challenge and certainly have other ideas swimming around in my head.
I was drawn to the Andy Warhol picture of Marilyn. So I choose to do a focal point with large background, like his.

Last winter I fooled around with the Tsukineko inks and did some fabric portraits. For this challenge I used the portrait of my grandaughter, dressed in old fashioned clothing. It was done with one color, and was a challenge too.
I framed her picture in black and appliqued it to the background. I did do some vertical quilting, which does not show up in the picture. I felt that the vertical lines well suited this type of art, rather than an all over quilting pattern.
Thanks for the challenge Brenda, I will be doing more of this.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Printer Blues

First piece - response from DH - is this an ugly fabric challenge

Second Piece - a little better - let's take it one more step.

Final Piece - The Printer Blues
After being asked if this was an ugly fabric challenge - I reworked the piece twice. I took all the bits and pieces of a quilt I am working on - then I covered it with a tulle and quilted the fabric. After that I picked a blue/green - fabric to make a grid - that didn't work so well - I then re-cut and used a black fabric to make a grid - a little better but not much - I then sliced all the color square into little four patches - tossed half of them and added more black. It reminded me of printer ink. The final size is 8 1/2 x 8 1/2. It is more is more - not creating any focal point. It is named Printer Blues.

Sunny Seattle

Mixed Emotions

12" x 15.5" I just used strips, and snippets of fabric as an artist would use his brush, a stroke here, a spatter there, big brush here, tiny one there . I don't see any focus area here, but maybe somebody else does?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Midnight Ride

I was playing in Photo Shop liquifying a wall hanging of a basket of flowers and to my surprise it looks like a person riding on an animal through the sky.

Moonlit Orca

I have had this piece of fabric for awhile, waiting for the right project. When I saw it in the store it brought to mind a moonlit sky and ocean. When I saw what this challenge was I knew I had to use this, and the Orca fit perfectly. It is a simple fused appliqué piece, I made the *splash* with a shiny, transparent fabric that resembles fish scales.
BTW, I have 4 more along the same idea with different subjects waiting to be finished. While looking for the Orca I just kept finding other things that would work!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Challenge 23 - Focal Emphasis

Challenge # 23 - Friday, July 25, 2008

Guest Hostess – Brenda Jennings

Theme or Technique – Less is More? Or More is More?

Design Concept –Focal emphasis
Choose one extreme or the other: a single focal point / design area isolated within a proportionally large background “canvas” (think “white space” in graphic design terms), or an overall design with NO focal point (think Jackson Pollack, Warhol’s soup cans, etc.). Your challenge is to create a visually interesting art quilt using one or the other extreme. If you tend to lean towards one end of the spectrum or the other, you may wish to challenge yourself to work at the opposite end of your comfort zone.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My Wonky Mountain Home

I finally finished challenge 22...altered block! I first quilted it in an interlocking 'rectangular' chain motif using holo-metallic thread. HATED pulled it all out! Quilted over with mono thread and liked it much better. I "built" my log cabin fussy cutting each piece from my hand dyes...thus a "log cabin-log cabin :-)

So...what do 'ya'll' think?


Friday, July 11, 2008

Perspective Block

This turned out to be a lot less impressive than I had hoped. When the challenge was announced, I had been spending some time in working with traditional type scrap blocks. So I was particularly interested in giving this a try. Since I sometimes do perspective quilts, I thought I would work with a block drawn in perspective.

I selected a block from Jinny Beyer's "Quilter's Book of Blocks and Borders" and drafted the block in perspective. I decided to work with a brown/neutral color palette since I had so recently been playing with so many colors in my scrap blocks. I worked out the lights darks and mediums and drew the block full size onto freezer paper, with all the pieces well labeled so I would not mix them up. Then I cut out the pieces and cut them out of their proper colors and used Misty Fuse to adhere them to a background, a spare piece of old hand dyed mauve fabric.

You can see the results in the photo. Despite the many steps that went into this, it really just looks as if I took a bad photo at an angle. My plan is to use this as a floor in one of my perspective quilts at some time, so I have not quilted it.

Plan B was to draft a block onto a sphere, but I will save that for another time. No matter the results, this was fun! Comments always welcome.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Nobody Says it Has to be Fair

The actual block has four names: Fair Play, Quarter Turn, The Pig Pen, and Wedding Ring. I almost didn't make this one -- couldn't think of a thing, but an article in an old QNM and Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Designs got me going. It is slashed, sewn, re-slashed and re-sewn to create the deviation from the original design.

Abstraction on 'Puss in the Corner'

A sketch of the abstracted block was drawn about a week ago. I didn't think at all about how it would have to be constructed. So when assembling it, the piece changed quite a bit. It doesn't have a name yet. Would anyone like to make a suggestion(s)? Also, comments are welcomed, as always!

For block comparison purposes "Puss in the Block" design image above is from:

Friday, July 04, 2008

Jacob's Ladder by Penny Irwin

9.5 " X 11.5"

The quilt block's perspective was skewed in an attempt to make the right side appear to recede. The actual colors are somewhat brighter than they appear in this scan. I used brighter, darker cuts of fabric on the left or "near" side of the block; paler cuts on the right or receding side. I used the "wrong" side of the tan, background fabric on the right.

The double frame is also stretched and skewed.
The vanishing point for both the block and frame was outside the design. I just made dots on the table top.


I put a Shoofly block on point, then stretched it into diamonds instead of squares. I cut out the shapes from hand-dyed fabrics, and fused them to another piece of hand-dyed fabric. Added leaves from a silk flower and embroidered them, added petals from a silk rose and embroidered and beaded them (completely covering up the beautiful diamond fabric beneath), quilted and bound and it's done. It measures about 8 1/2" X 13".
I've never fused shapes down to make a block before - I realize if I fused them onto black fabric it would look like stained glass - I might try this again. Anyway, this is colorful, too. Comments are very welcome!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Chocolate Raspberry Swirl

This was kind of fun - I had put together a bunch of fabric to do a wonky nine patch - but decided I couldn't finish it time since I was going to do a twin size quilt.

Rethinking - I decided on a wonky snail's tail. I made it out of pink and brown - cut it into a circle, inset it and added some borders. I quilted as a swirl and decided it needed a little pop. So I then proceeded to bead the snail's tail with pink beads for a little more emphasis on the swirl. Finished size 18 1/2 x 19 1/2.

In Sunny Seattle

Altered Shoo Fly

This is my pieced but not yet quilted entry to this month's challenge. This is the type of quilt I love to make - a one of a kind piece that shows its strong traditional roots. The problem is that these types of quilts have a hard time fitting in anywhere - they are too unusual for traditional yet too traditional to be called an art quilt.
I took special care to make the points sharp and the corners meet on this top and they behaved pretty well for me. So well, in fact, that I want to take my time quilting it so it can be entered into a show or two. I started with a very basic Shoo Fly block (called by at least a dozen other names, depending on where you're from). I drew it out in Adobe Illustrator and then reduced the components of the opposite corners by 50%. I then extended some of the lines to fill in the resulting empty spaces and then added extra squares here and there to balance. I made four identical 12" blocks which I sewed together and then added two rather tricky pieced borders to the resulting 24" square.
I would like to hear some feedback on any quilting ideas viewers might have - either hand or machine, and I would like to hear your opinion on whether you think this piece should hang square or on point.
Thanks for your help!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Fan-tasy Flight

Guess my roots are showing...........
A traditional quilter first, I sat down right away to do something
different with my favorite traditional block. Rather than
the 'traditional' square with curves, I did this one long and narrow
with straight lines., took out my protractor, measured off the degrees
and away I went. I did 4 blocks, put them together using a quarter
turn, insetting the center square rather than butting the inside edges
and working on the outside. That way the border was already there, just
part of the block. I used Fossil Fern fabric and some Laurel Birch
kats,quilted it with purple rayon thread and orange in the center portion, added the butterflies and voila!

I hoped the quilting design and the butterflies would add an 'art' flair to this otherwise very traditional piece. Did I succed?

As always, I look forward to your comments.

Altered Card Trick Block

Froggie does card tricks

I chose the block named “Card Trick” to alter, and just played with it for a while on my drafting program. I changed one of the edges to a curved piece, and then saw that it started looking like intersecting pipes. Going with that idea, I expanded on it a bit and came up with this design. Choosing really bold fabrics in bright colors was a new way for me to go, but it was a lot of fun. When the piece was all put together, the center looked boring… all lines drew your eye to the center, but nothing happened. That’s when Froggie decided to hop on the quilt, and as you can see he was chasing a dragon fly. It looks like another quilt for the grandkids playroom.
Comments are appreciated, even kind criticism.