Friday, July 31, 2009

Look Up!

The canyons of the Southwest have long served as inspiration for my quilts. One morning, I woke up wondering what it would look like if I was at the bottom of the slot canyons watching the sun rise or set. I quick grabbed a post it on the bedside table and sketched this .... The sun rises at the bottom and is sending light over the canyon walls and the diffused light brings out the colors in the rocks.

Easy to find the rock colors in my stash of batiks, but what to do about the blue? So last Sunday, before the monsoons rolled in, I was out on the deck sun painting the blue so I could get the right variegation for the sky. I'm very happy with how that came out. There are some sparkles in there too!

My intention was to have all 16 points come together in the center (which is why I asked Rhoda about hers!), so I foundation pieced this, but no matter what I did (4 attempts and lots of frayed PFD later), I gave up and cut out the center, machine appliqueing the circle to a narrow margin (and oh I forgot to take out the freezer paper circle, so its a little crunchy there) and shifting the focal point even more. Happy accident? I'm not sure yet.

Very simple straight line quilting with monofilament to accentuate the lines It will be bound (but not til Sunday cuz I teach tomorrow).... a piped binding with a light inner piping and darker outer binding.

Comments of course are welcome. And thanks to you all for some great quilts! Y'all really pulled out the stops for this one!

Hawaiian Kaleidoscope by Cynthia Ann Morgan

Here's my piece for the Radial Symmetry challenge. I started with 2 Hawaiian applique blocks that I did ages ago before I lost interest in hand applique. I "deconstructed" them by inserting strips, slicing up, and adding fused applique parts. Then quilted it to death. Usually I plan out my design, but this one...not at all. So that spontaneity was very much fun! The result reminds me of looking into a Kaleidoscope. Comments and greetings welcome!

PS...this is what one of the blocks looked like before deconstruction ----->

Fan on the Grass

This is not finished due to several complications (none of them quilty). I believe it follows the radial symmetry rule, the color range suggested, and also stays with my theme of vegetation. The fan has been appliqued to the background. It needs to be sandwiched and quilted. It will be done sometime!!

Pink Coreopsis

I seem to have a new series - flowers - going now. This is taken from a photo that I took of a pink coreopsis growing in our garden. I used a machine reverse applique technique from Carol Miller's class at QuiltNebraska last weekend. I layered the green, the pink, batting, and a back, and drew the flower on the green fabric. Then I sewed on the drawn lines and cut out the flower shapes, leaving a raw-edge applique. Both the pink and the blue-green are hand-dyed fabrics. I added thread-painting and quilting, and beads for the center. Then I couched a double strand of fuzzy yard around the edges. The size is 11" x 11".

I like the technique - I'm not sure this was the best subject for it. As always, all critiques are appreciated.
One day later - I "uncentered" the flower, and I didn't have a bee, but I added a ladybug. Hope that makes it better.

Rose - 16" x 16"

This is as far as I can get before this weeks challenge is due tomorrow. I have really enjoyed working on this. This work is based on a photo I took about a month ago. I converted the picture to black and white, enlarged it to 16", printed on to paper, traced the outline of the rose and surrounding leaves with pencil on to white PFD fabric, stitched the outline in black thread, painted the color on using Fabrico pens. (I seem to have a fascination with trying different methods of applying color over the past month.) The composition is radial, but not too symmetric. The quilting that remains to be done will be more lines of black outline.

I like the imperfection of the color application in this piece. Actually, I always like the imperfection in the hand application of color to fabric. However, am wondering if others perceive it as careless or somehow insufficient. Would appreciate honest feedback so that I can either stand tall around my few perfectionist friends or decide to put more effort into getting closer to perfect.

Thanks so much for any feedback.

Betty Warner

La Mer/ Beyond the Sea

“La Mer/Beyond the Sea”

This quilt was inspired by Judy Dale’s Book Curves in Motion. Rather than make a round piece, I extended the wedges to form a square, so each wedge is a little different. Freezer paper templates were made for each element in the wedge, and then pieces were cut and fused to a background fabric. After all the wedges were joined, I top stitched the design, and then quilted the piece. Then the piece was trimmed to square up the edges. It reminds me of the ocean and the restless waves and Frank Sinatra’s song “La Mer” keeps flowing through my head. I might try this again where I mirror the design on every other wedge to make a kaleidoscope. Thank you Wendy for a terrific challenge. Comments are appreciated.

Hi-I'm a new member and I don't know if I'm doing this posting properly. I was Definitely challenged by this first try since I decided to try a lot of techniques I have not used much. The underlying photo is from a nature photography course--messing with the lens with slow setting (it's a flower). Then I printed on cotton and on organza and stamped a gold spiral in between the layers. I think this got lost. I used bobbin work for some of the free motion and also played with my new free motion couching foot. I look forward to any feedback. I'm not crazy about it, but I did learn some things. Thanks for the challenge!
Denny Webster

Snow in Del Mar

My challenge #35, Snow in Del Mar, is in the yahoo album and on the blog.
I cut the snowflakes out of sheer crystaline, metalic netting, holographic , and sparkle cotton. The small flakes are beaded. The background is a metalic knit.
My colors of nature are deep midnight blue and white.
This was a really fun one...thanks Wendy!
Comments as always are appreciated :-)

Tidepools and Kelp Beds/ and ...........

This is another piece I had started for this challenge. Me and 'radials' don't get along very well, so this is as close as I can get without having to hang on to my chair.
My 'grapes' are ripening quickly in this hot 'sun', and the roses are showing new 'green' growth... the colors of my summer. To me it looks like hummingbird wings, or spinning wine glasses...
Anyway, Wendy, thank you for pushing the envelope with me!

This is a beach scene, lowest tide and a hot summer day....the kind of day when
the atmosphere delineates the earth from the sky.... These are the most incredible days on the ocean's coast , but few and
far between, because... literally, after a day like this the fog starts to roll
I think I went in this direction, thinking more 'summer'... and the 'radial' being the intensely hot burning sun.

Several techniques and media are used here.... I started with a white silk, spray painted, torn into lengths, woven together,then layered with a white scrim,silk throwsters waste, silk tops [cultivated mulberry silk], hand-dyed scrim for the logs ,hand-dyed yarn for the kelp, the sun is angelina fibre, crystal organza islands in the distance and there is a tulle overlay. Hand stitches, machine stitches and quilting add details. Done on batting only then positioned onto a quilt sandwich and stitched down using a blanket stitch all round.

It is probably not quite what Wendy had in mind.. but nonetheless I look forward to your comments.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Succulent VII & VIII

I got two 5 x 7 pieces out of this project instead of the one I was planning. I am looking for a good source for pre-cut double mats for framing.

Radial symmetry wasn't a stretch for me since my current series is succulents, and most of my current subject matter seems to have radial symmetry already.

I have shied away from succulents with lots of tiny leaves until now. But his round succulent seemed perfect for this month's challenge. I approached this one a bit differently. I started with an underpainting which I new would contrast well with the final image. And then I didn't do my usual heavy quilting inside each leaf, but just outline stitched each.

I have in progress photos of this piece on my blog

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Snail Steps

I have been so busy this summer that I just knew I wouldn't have time to participate in the challenges for a few months. Then this challenge was posted and the very first night I dreamt about the quilt I wanted to make. I love traditional quilt blocks and "Snail's Trail" has always been one of my favorites. I decided to take the old classic and give it some modern curves with the result above which I am calling "Snail Steps". I enjoyed making this piece so much and love the way the colors flow. I really think I will have to spend some time in the studio working on my hand dyes so I can do a bed sized quilt using this pattern. The finished piece is 16" x 16".

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Song of Circles

19 3/4" diameter

I decided to create elements with more-or-less radial symmetry instead of an entirely symmetrical piece. With each fabric, I cut either six identical pieces, as far as the pattern went, or three pairs of identical pieces, and for the darkest piece, just three pieces, matching the patterns for each. I realize this is not, strictly speaking, symmetry, as a mirror reflection would show up differences. The background was made in six segments not specifically matched for pattern, but rather for the effect of a radial pattern, going from the center to the edges.

Update: I fully agreed with the comments that more contrast was needed, and added some tint around the edges of my circles, a bit of red around the top and left and green around the lower piece. I've sort of invented a technique, spraying the piece with water and then applying dilute Tsukineko ink with a paint brush. Finally, I added buttons to center of three of the pieces. (Getting a photo with the same color values was another matter, I did the best I could!)

I'm open to suggestions for a better name for this piece, as well as any comments, of course.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


Looks like I'm the first but we're leaving for a few days so I needed to work quickly.

I used orange and yellow fabrics with some decorative stitching, Angelina fiber, and then radiating swirls done with machine quilting to depict the universe forming and radiating out from an intense core depicted by a swirled button. Any colors chosen would be colors from nature in one form or another so that part was simple. The radiating design is off-center but the swirls can draw the viewer into the picture or take one's eyes outward from the core.

This is postcard size so it could be constructed quickly and so I can use it in the future for an exchange.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Challenge #35 - Radial Symmetry & Colors of Nature

Challenge # 35 - Friday, July 24, 2009

Guest Hostess: Wendy Wetzel, Flagstaff AZ (quilts shown here are by Wendy Wetzel)

Theme or Technique: Colors in Nature
Look around you, that’s a lot of color!

Design Concept: Radial Symmetry

Symmetry reflects a sense of order and balance. It is the balanced distribution of shapes on an axis or extended to or from a reference point. Our physical bodies are relatively symmetrical, but not necessary identical. One half is (more or less) similar to the other. Most leaves demonstrate symmetry from a central vein.

Radial symmetry is the property of having similar parts regularly arranged around a central axis.

Consider a simple daisy with its central core of bright yellow, surrounded by white petals reaching out from the center. The microscopic images of snowflakes also reflect radial symmetry. Kaleidoscopic images are other examples of radial symmetry.

In quilting, there are many ways to express radial symmetry: Traditional patterns such as Trip Around the World, Lone Star, Hawaiian Appliqué, Kaleidoscope, Lone Star, Lemoyne Star, Ohio Star, and Bear Paw, and even Stack-n-Whack demonstrate this concept. And there are many, many more.

Radial symmetry draws the viewer’s eye to center or focal point.

For this challenge, consider the concepts of radial symmetry using the colors of nature (that=s a wide range to work with!). You may want to express these concepts with a perfectly symmetrical piece or crop the image to show just a portion of the image and imply the concept.

Discussion - The following is included for informational purposes only:

The basics of radial symmetry in art

A great discussion about radial images in photography


Symmetry and Radial Symmetry in Photography:
Christopher Gruver’s Fine Art Botanical Photography

Symmetry in Natural Art:
Andy Goldsworthy’s Sticks Framing a Lake

Kenneth Libbrecht
His story on CBS Sunday Morning:

Radial Symmetry in Architecture:
The Rose Window of Norte Dame Cathedral in Paris

Just google “mandala” for thousands of examples
Here’s a couple:

Fractal Art:

Radial Symmetry in Quilting:
Paula Nadelstern’s Kaleidoscopic Quilts
Ricky Tims’ Fire Dragon Rhapsody
Cathy Miller’s La Rotella Di Colore
(Under Quilting and toward the bottom of the page)
Norah McMeeking’s Bella Bella Quilts
Katie Pasquini

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Chair With a View

Been a while since I posted one of my pieces to the blog, just haven't been getting them done in time. Even this one is late, but at least the new challenge isn't out yet. For my colors I choose red, blue and yellow. The blue in the image isn't as bright as it is in real life, but I didn't want to play with the photo so.... The texture is the buttons I used for the "painting". I had fun picking them out and sewing them down. No particular order except I did want to try and balance the colors and sizes a bit. I have discovered it takes a lot of buttons to cover even a small area, and it weighs a lot. Still I used pearl cotton to sew them on with and with the frame fabric and the background fabric I have an additional 2 layers of fabric for a base so it should be ok. My theme for this quilt is structures, and I consider the chair in this quilt as my structure, I know pushing it a bit, but it is my theme and my quilt so Size is 9.5 x 13 inches so smaller then I have been working but not quite journal quilt size.

Kathy Walker

Friday, July 10, 2009

Pumpkin Patch

20" x 17"

The pumpkin fabric was the spark for this piece, conveniently printed in orange and green, as also the two leaf prints, but adding purple seemed a bit forced at first. I had the light patterned fabric for the background, and dark purple for the tree trunk, but it took a trip to Jo-Ann's to find the right textured purple fat quarter which I cut and put on top. The vegetable "rising" out of the green leafy patch is an artichoke, which I had cut out but was not going to use, but somehow it fell into place.

This challenge seems to have broken the creative log jam that has kept me from the last three -- it feels good to be back in gear!

Since I was away when this challenge was posted and only got the e-mail a week late, I regard this as technically a Fast Friday piece completed within the time frame!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

After the Rain

My guild had a fabric painting class last weekend. How convenient! One of our exercises (of many) was using triad colors (fushia, yellow, turquoise) and creating a sun scene. It was very interesting to see how everyone interpreted this challenge.
I was actually fairly pleased with the result and realized that this would meet the challenge for this month. Texture is created with some fast machine quilting. It is unbound at this time... that will come later. I'm thinking it will just be faced and turned. Size is 15 x 20".
Thanks, Cythnia, for a fun challenge (and the timing was perfect!).....
Comments of course, are welcome!

Colors of My Garden

18” x 20”

This uses the triad colors yellow-green, blue-violet, and red-orange. The four blocks in the center are paper pieced using my own design. There are 11 pieces of fabric in each block and the only one repeated is the blotchy violet in the center.

The quilting is not heavy. I wanted the designs to speak for themselves. The center is quilted with a vine and the outside is quilted around the flowers.

It is not completed. I had back surgery a little more than three weeks ago and have had all the sitting at the machine I can do for today. I will keep at the border quilting and then face the quilt.

I have enjoyed working on this. It is a happy quilt for me. I love the colors. I had thought they would be difficult to work with---but as I kept pulling out more fabrics I found that it wasn’t.

Thank you for this challenge!

Friday, July 03, 2009

Firewolf - Companion to the Dragon Lords

I started out trying to do orange, green and purple. But when I found this teal and magenta fabric, it turned to red-violet/blue-green/with a variety of the oranges.

Also, I saw the dragon in the fabric, but found out it wanted to be a wolf instead.
As I was working, I realised that it was a Firewolf. They are companions to the Dragon Lords, whose senses are not as keen when they are in their human form. They rely on their bonded Firewolf to sense those things they can not. The Firewolf is very nearly as dangerous as the Dragon, and sometimes are mistaken for juvenile dragons if encountered in the forest. (Well, you don't stay long to look when you catch a glimpse of one.)

I enjoyed thread painting the texture of the Firewolf's fur. I quilted the surrounding areas with flames. His ears are only attached at the base.

Of course the quilting shrunk the size. So, I attached the teal hairy thread and a multicoloured cord round the sides - made using some of the same threads as for the thread painting . (The cord was left from some made for my Dragoness Bernina Ensemble, as it happens!) The piece still is not quite 6x12, but near enough.

untitled Ch #34 Rhoda

I choose the triadic color scheme red/yellow/blue and various hues of those colors. Continuing with my Women theme, I have a woman dancing, although I don't have a title. Her dress looks like bird feathers and I have swans in the window...any suggestions for a title would be welcomed.
I've used shiva for the swans in the window, and a lot of thread painting. She is quite textured from the thread painting and quilting, but it doesn't show on the picture. The cutouts in the top of the dress, I believe add some texture and she has a string of think I met the textural part of this challenge.
I look forward to your critique.

Thanks for the great challenge Cynthia.
I have a new Mega Quilter and tried it out on this project, fun!


(No Inuksuk this time) I scanned a real Gerbera daisy, and printed it on fabric in two different sizes. The flowers and leaves and stems are fused, then free-motion embroidered. The daisy centers are also beaded. I didn't use any new techniques, but I really enjoyed making this.

Colors are yellow-orange, red-violet, and blue-green. Size 11 1/2" x 13"

Thursday, July 02, 2009

"Untitled" by Linda Cline

This began as a succulent quilt which was rejected and tossed aside as a reject a few months ago.

I cut it into rough squares a couple months ago, with the intention of completing the Fast Friday Challenge which was supposed to be based on grids with an accent color. I picked out the fabric for the accent color, but then couldn't satisfy myself with the final arrangement, and it got set aside again.

My rejected project was already the right colors (purple and green with an orange accent), so I got it out again. I sewed the squares together at random, quilted, and then used orange and white paints to bring out the texture and add some dimension. Then I cut it apart again, and inserted orange veins.

This was a fun experiment. The current plan is to cut this into trading card size pieces to trade at a swap planned at the next art quilt meeting. In progress photos can be seen on my blog

Update July 4, 2009:
I've finished my Artist Trading Cards for next weekend. I like these work better as smaller pieces than I did as the one large piece it was a couple of days ago.

Red Beet

The triad I have chosen is red, blue and yellow. My original series hasn't been doing it for me so I switched to a broader topic - "Can I Eat It?" The texture is in the free motion stitching and on the satin-stitched border. The background is a pale yellow while the statin stitching is a combination of two shades of blue and a varigated red.

Ch 34 - Devil's Tower

For Challenge 34 I chose Devil's Tower as it has a lot of texture. The tri-colors are yellow-orange, red-violet, and a touch of blue-green (vegetation). My husband's family homesteaded near this landmark many years ago, but my scene is even before that time, when there were still buffalo roaming. For texture in the buffalo I used trapunto, and needle-felting, as well as the quilting. This was a fun challenge. Thanks, LindaMac

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Two Crows by Cynthia Ann Morgan

Two Crows 16 x 21"
I used a triad of colors in tints and shades for a subtler look than pure tint with red-violet tint, blackened red-violet and blackened yellow-orange. My texture is the color variations and quilting lines in the tree branch as well as the dense background quilting. I used trapunto on the branch, birds and the moon to add some depth.
Comments and greetings welcome!

Seaweed in 3/4 Time by Pat Havey

My entry for challenge #34 is 18x22 and is named Seaweed in 3/4 time. I Have used Velvet, brocade, silk, organza sheers as overlays, metallic cord, ribbon braid and beads for quilting the background. There are so many different textures that they all photograph differently therefor the colors are not very true in the picture. My triad is orange purple and green.

Rusted Love

I used stamping,stenciling, foiling, embroidery stitches and free motion quilting to create texture on this piece of green rusted fabric. I believe the green, rust and small bit of mauve equal the triadic color scheme of this challenge.
It is only a small piece 7.25 x 7.00 but it is all I had time for.
Your comments are appreciated.


11” X 12”

My triad color scheme is purple, orange and green. For texture, I used scraps of fabric and painted gauze for the background and bound the quilt in yarn. Unfortunately, I was over zealous in my quilting so the pieces aren’t as dimensional as I would have liked nor the yarn as interesting. I would have preferred a more textured or multicolored yarn but I have a rule for all the FFFC projects that I can only use materials already in the house.

The flowers are commercial decorative flowers and I used a variety of buttons and one silk yo-yo for the centers.

My series is shapes.

Comments are welcome and appreciated.

Thank you,