Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Exploding Star

With a very full calendar this month, I only had a short time to devote to FFFC. I love the challenge, and all those wonderful Nebula Photos, but when looking through my stash to start my entry, this fabric that I had hand dyed got my attention. It seemed to say exploding star to me. Using Angelina fibers, I made a slurry of various colors and created a 8 x 10 mesh of fibers. From that I cut some strips and sewed them to my background. Next I used some set-a-color pens and drew some of the wispy lines, then used embroidery to complete my design. The quilting is intended to accent the flow of the piece. I’m not sure it looks very “starry”, but I love the colors and the sparkle. I’m pleased with its general appearance, but wish I had more time to make it special…. Maybe later. Any comments or suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Challenge #37

Here's the Two Moon Junction piece I did for Challenge #37- Outer Spaces. Its also my first entry into this group. The piece is only 8 1/2 by 11 inches. It was fast if nothing else.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ganymede Trumps Jupiter

This is my first group challenge, and it was a blast! The piece is 18x20" (I can never remember--do you list height or width first?) and I think I'm going to call it "Ganymede Trumps Jupiter."

I ran across a NASA (copyright-free) photo of Ganymede, one of the moons of Jupiter, and was fascinated by its textures and colors (I'm sure it was color-enhanced), so I decided to replicate it by stitching painted Tyvek to fabric and shrink-melting it. It looked a little lonely on its own, so I found a picture of Jupiter and used hand-dyed fabric and acrylic paint to recreate it. I took some artistic license with this piece; Ganymede is MUCH larger, proportional to Jupiter, than it should be, but I like it that way. The photos are a little misleading; they show a sparkly (star-filled?) background because I used clear invisible thread for the quilting, but it's not nearly so obvious in the real piece.

This is the first art quilt I've created in a VERY long time, and I'm thrilled that the challenge pushed me toward creativity. This was exactly what I was looking for when I joined the group! Please feel free to offer critiques.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Black Hole

15 x 20
This has been a fun challenge producing great results! I chose to do a black hole, no particular one as I was working with colors I had on hand. Background fabric is commercial. For the different materials (black hole), I used Angelina Fibers and painted, twisted cheesecloth. Both materials/techniques are new to me. Embellishment is beads in the center of the black hole and some metallic thread quilting.

Thanks Cherie for a fun challenge and great websites for inspiration. Comments are welcome and appreciated.


Flamboyant Galaxy

Like Chris, I've had this piece and have been agonizing over next steps. It started as an abstract drawing which morphed into a small 8x11 piece and then I enlarged it to the current size - 45x36. In the pictures, Galaxy 3 has the black/white trim on two corners; Galaxy 2 has more black/white trim in the body; and in Galaxy 1 I also added some more moons in the lower right corner. I've looked at this piece for so long that it's become difficult for me to separate what works and what doesn't. So I'm posting it to this challenge. Thanks for you input!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Spiral Galaxy by Cynthia Ann Morgan

Cool challenge...lots of beautiful images from space to choose from. I chose a spiral galaxy called the Whirlpool Galaxy some 25 million light-years away. My different technique was discharge. I sprayed and brushed on diluted bleach to a piece of green hand dyed cotton, to get the general spiral effect...then I added highlights and shaping and some metallic thread quilting.
Update: I added a few minor elements - the photo on the left is the revised piece. Had some advice about some darker contrasts and some sparkly, so decided to do some subtle changes...which I like! Had a mishap with the foil glue and the foil looked like globs plopped onto top. Mother of invention...I found I could "reshape" the foil with quilting around it, plus it looks more integrated that way and less of the afterthought that it was.

Comments and greetings welcome!


Thanks to Cherie for an exciting challenge!

butterfly nebula

This was a great challange. Thank you Cherie. I loved all the great sites to
visit. I chose to recreate the Butterfly nebula from the Hubble site. I felt
this waS a good chance to try silk hankie. It seemed the perfect material for
this nebula. I also included angelina fibers. The planet is made from two
different brocades - one a poly stretch. The entire piece is covered with
charcoal gray tulle, then hand quilted and beaded. What a blast!
Pat Havey

Many Moons

I am having a very stupid day. I have done this post about four times and each time, I push one wrong button and it disappears into that outer space continuium we are attempting to show in this challenge.

This is hand painted with thickened dyes....first attempt. Fun and maybe again sometime.

Comments are very welcome.

Sea Ranch Carol

Starship Enterprise

Thank you Cheri for this fun challenge.  I used two new products for the first time, Lutradur, and Transfer Artist Paper (TAP).   I found free pics of the starship on-line and added the lettering USS Enterprise in Photoship, then printed to TAP, and heat transfered the image to Lutradur.  Next I took some blue fabric and discharged it with bleach to make the galaxy.  The starship was added to my galaxy, and netting and sequin-stars were added.  This piece is 11" x 12 1/4".  Linda Mac in WY

Sun Storm 12"x19"

For this piece I got brave and actually used my new Babylock Embellisher! I have had it since July and hadn't even plugged it in...haa

The sun is entirely created on the embellisher, and then zapped with heat to bubble and create 'holes' into lower levels of fabric. I don't even know how many different fabrics and fibers I felted together, maybe 20 or more, organza, chiffon, metallic lame, tulle, metallic studded net and was so much fun I didn't want to stop LOL.

The background/'flames' are done with silk hankie in several colors and white, chiffon, metallic etc , then thread painted and quilted with different metallics as well as monofiliment.

The sun is appliqued onto the background and a very deep burgundy metallic and fuzzy textured yarn is couched along the edge to create a sense of depth.

Your comments are as always welcome and appreciated :-)



This is my first post ever....! Joining Fast Friday has given me the creative freedom to challenge myself.

I used wool roving, painted tyvek, beads, and lots of free-motion, also my first ever!!!!

I need lots of help and practice, but for a first attempt I am thrilled!

Hope I did this posting correctly. Thank you for allowing me to participate. Jane Stricker

Friday, September 25, 2009

Challenge 37: Somewhere out There

This quilt is about 28 by 30 inches. All the background fabrics were painted or dyed on white fabric by me.
I "globbed" on different colors, sprayed a little water, then shaped the fabric into a ball and let it dry outside. I used three different pieces of fabric prepared in this way. After they were ironed, washed, and ironed again, I cut them into four inch squares. The white irregular area was partially in the fabric, but I extended it with white fabric paints. The circles I had painted on initially using a lid dipped into white paint to create open circles. Then I filled the circles in with metallic paints, hoping I created dimension in the circles as moving heavenly bodies of some sort. I quilted over the surface in lined star shapes using different variegated and metallic threads. I had no idea how this would end up when I started, but this is my preferred method of working. Just begin with some fabric and see where it takes you.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

FFFC Challenge #37

Hostess: Cherie Brown

Nature Theme: Outer Space
This can be any interpretation of space or from space you choose.
Here are some inspiring photos and artists renditions of stars, nebulae and planets, as well as astronauts and spaceships.
This is a fun interactive space site from Hubble:
The Hubble website:
Black hole:
Copyright free photos :
This is my favorite site :
Be sure to get permission to use any copyright images. I have had good response from all I have requested. Most are more than happy to grant permission.
Here’s some links to see Art based on outer space:

Techniques: Different materials and embellishments
The sky’s the limit (pardon the pun). Let your imagination roam and try different fabrics (sheers, velvets, suede cloth, and metallic. How about foiling, beading, crystals? Perhaps try some heat altered and painted Tyvek or Lutradur?
This is a great site with many different techniques:
Fun With Embellishments:
Have fun with this and play with some new materials and techniques.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Hi All. I am posting a work fitting challenge 36, transparency. I love to work with transparent silk organza. This piece experiments with a free layered collage. You can lift each layer to discover a new concept on each page. I'm not sure whether I will leave it as is or place it on stretcher bars- which will mean it will be fixed in place.
What do you think?

Conception    Transparent multi- layered collage. Dyed, painted, mono print, script, sewn. Silk organza and cotton .   15hx14w     

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Stained glass

This stained glass sits in my basement window and offers a lovely altered view of the outdoors. I used three layers of sheers - one for the jug, another for the glass in the stained glass window and another for the glass in the actual window (behind the stained glass). I sewed them all to water soluble stabilizer and later added the background. This was a lot of fun!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Blue Ridge Sunrise

As a brand new member, this is my first challenge. It's just 4x6, but it's my first experience using sheers, and I'm also just learning to quilt by machine. I was inspired by two things that have always fascinated me -- the delicate coloring of an early morning sky, and the magical Blue Ridge Mountains in NC, where my parents used to live. I used layers of organza to try to capture the look of the mountains. /Jill Williams

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Morning's Moon Set

This piece was my first attempt at using sheer fabrics. The photo underneath was taken as the moon was setting one wonderful morning. I was trying to capture the rosy-apricot still calm of the morning. I used organza overlay and silk transparent ribbon. There is some novelty yarn at the horizon line which provides some texture. The piece is 9" by 11". This was a good exercise for me to get over my "fear" of Sheer.....LOL. Your comments are most welcome. Clearly I need to do a better job of taking the photo straight...Donna

Saturday, September 05, 2009

drop in

I started this quilt for the July challange. Due to family problems I never had a chance to finish it. Yesterday I finally had a chance to think about it and it seemed to me to fit both July and August so I finished it and am entering it now.
I started with four layers of fabric and cut away layers for the right effect. I edge stitched all the pieces because they had no other way of staying in place. The leaf is cut from printed fabric and painted with Sheva stix. The leaf shadow is net. It is very unusual for me to work with blue anything. I have a lot of blue pieces in my stash but never seem to use them. This piece has blue faille, dark blue chiffon, silver lame andice blue chiffon. It was a great challange. Thank you! Pat Havey

Tern and Flags

I have chosen to work from a photograph from a recent vacation. The fish are under layers of chiffon that is quilted with both holographic thread and sliver thread.

"Bend Don't Break" (10"x16")

Skeleton leaves on a discharged homespun with stitch. I haven't done a quilt in months, so this was a good challenge for me. Went for a high horizon with somewhat transparent leaves. More dimensional in person!

Beach at Sunrise

(Renamed from Beach Sunset)
19 1/2" x 21"
Polyester, rayon, cotton,plastic mesh, Angelina fiber, Polyfil batting

I began by pulling out all my gauzier fabrics and a bag of plastic mesh from food packaging, and began laying everything on a yellow background until something clicked that it should be blue. It was all pretty delicate until I dug further and found the black and white fabric and tucked pieces of that in and around the scene. The water is the same fabric as the sky, but overlaid with blue plastic mesh and some wavy thread-painting.

I added Polyfil clouds and Angelina fiber for the sunset, and finally overlaid it all with a fine white gauze. I used clear thread for all the stitching; this was one piece where I didn't want to add any other color with the thread. I was planning for less sky to show, and hence have a higher horizon, but it seemed to want to expand upward with the clouds.

9/7/09 Update. I've got this mounted now, and used my Tsukineko ink technique to do some shading at the top and upper sides for a better sky. Comments welcome!

Challenge #36-Misty Valley by Elaine Koenig

I used some purple fabric from a scarf and misty fuse on cheese cloth. Layered the fabric to get darker colors and stitched edges. It needed "something" so tried foiling it and then added green "trees" with paint stick. zigzagged the birds. I had to put it on a white back in order to see it. Transparent fabrics have unique problems but I want to try this again and make a true transparent piece. I have a lot of ideas! Critiques are welcome. Elaine

I Hate Math

I had an idea for this challenge but couldn't act on it right away. When I ready Rosemary's descriptions of her work, especially the piece she says she hangs in her dining room window, I saw a kind of fabric window decoration. I worked very small to make it easier to finish. I started by painting organza with Tsukineiko inks. I then cut them out in rough trapezoid shape. I sewed them to another piece of organza over a piece of muslin as to not distort the ink colors. I then quilted in metallic for fun and just to outline the basic shape. Nothing fancy but an idea seen to fruition was very satisfying. Thanks Sandy for a great challenge.

Michele Sheets in NC

Friday, September 04, 2009


This is the first challenge I've met since joining last year. The stars were aligned, I've been working with sheers for a few weeks now! I painted the green for the wine bottle, found that white organza was too sheer for the glass so backed it with gray. Added burgundy for the wine between the two layers, using wonder under to keep the fraying down. Quilted the pieced batik backing before adding the sheers, then just edge stitched them down. The upper left corner seemed bare, so added a fussy cut "picture" with some brown for frame. Did a little stitching for highlights, and used fabric paint for shadows since I hadn't thought about how else to do them before the stitching was done! It was a fun exercise and I will continue to explore sheers. Thanks Sandy!!! And I hope to keep up from now on!

janice in Houston

Comments and suggestions appreciated!

Challenge 36 - Sea of Dreams by Cynthia Ann Morgan

Interesting and challenging challenge...I resisted and fretted, but when I settled down, I enjoyed it very much. I went with a simple design in order to focus on the concepts.
Working with sheers was a new experience...ravely, slippery but what a nice shimmer! I used the horizontal layers concept, also a new experience.
Hand dyed cottons for the background, moon and boats, with hand painted chiffon and organza for the layers and clouds and not too much quilting. Size is 19 x 23"
Lots of fun!
Comments and greetings welcome!

Snow Birds

This is not what I started out to do.
The photo is taken from our garage across the driveway to the house across the street. I only cropped it a little - it already had a high horizon. Printed it onto prepared 8 1/2" x 11" fabric. Then I copied bird photos onto a sheer gray fabric and a sheer woven white fabric. Added them to the empty snow area, quilted a little, outline stitched the pictures, and it's done.
I'm not totally satisfied with the piece itself, but I learned a lot from printing on sheer fabrics. I ironed the fabric to freezer paper, printed the photo, always with a misfeed first, then peeled off the freezer paper and backed the photo with misty fuse, ironed between two teflon sheets. Then fused those bird photos to the big snow/house photo. I'll definitely try this again, maybe with a better composition next time.

Real Ghost

This is my "Cheater" Quilt made for the Journal Pages.
They were not private investigators or apprentice ghost-hunters, to be sure...Simply two gentlemen interested in...
The Supernatural.... These words printed on silk using form cut.. edges burnt with a sodering iron..misty fused to the quilt. I sketched my ghost and ghost hunters on a small tablet while traveling. For my ghost I tried several methods...paint netting..and lightweight iron-on interfacing (Transparency)and I chose the interfacing. The ghost was ironed down and outlined with glue and foil.The ghost and ghost hunters were free-form cut with sissors..a raw edge finish for the ghost hunters. The quilt is my original design.

I wanted to finish a quilt for this last challenge and hope to do better in the next round.

Janice Simpson

A Troubled Spirit

It took a while for me to get rolling on this challenge, since I usually do abstract work which doesn’t go hand in hand with a horizon line. When I jumped in I didn’t have any particular direction, but started with a piece of fabric I had rusted. I added lines with a permanent black pen to create the center portion of the piece. Color and shading was then applied with Berol pencils. Sewing two pieces of fabric together to create the “horizon line” came next, and then the rusted fabric was trimmed and set upon the background. To add the transparency, sheer silk fabric was used. There are two layers, attempting to look like dripping paint that come down from the top and partially cover the “heart”. This part of a poem by Longfellow kind of speaks to me of what this piece is saying.

I see the lights of the village
Gleam through the rain and the mist,
nd a feeling of sadness comes o'er me,
That my soul cannot resist:

A feeling of sadness and longing,
That is not akin to pain,
And resembles sorrow only
As the mist resembles the rain.

From Longfellow’s Poem The Day is Done

Comments and suggestions are always welcome, let me know what this piece is saying to you. I cropped this from the original and feel it works a little better.

Challenge 36 - Rain Falls

Continuing on my theme for this year branching out - here is my piece Rain Falls. Measures 10 1/2 by 22.

I took an more abstract tree branches with wool yarn - with wool roving foliage - then tulle as rain. The wool roving and the tulle are for the transparency - the horizontal horizon worked perfectly with the trees. Looking back over this past year I noticed I tended to do portraits size rather than landscaped.

In Sunny Seattle

Thursday, September 03, 2009

One challenge split between two pieces from Sandra Wyman

Bit of a cheat this month: two journal quilts done as part of a UK Contemporary Quilt project.
The first (above) is the composition with the horizon in: called Not All Who Wander Are Lost it began with my taking the scenic route to CQ's Summer School, through a part of Northern England called the Forest of Bowland, when I came across this landscape of fields yellow with buttercups, green hedges, blue hills and blue sky. It's silk habotai overlaid in places with chiffon, all machine appliqued from the back (no fusing) and then stitched. I hand-dyed all the fabrics. Tolkein once lived in this area and used local place-names in his books.
The second piece, my August journal quilt, was finished this weeekend, and shows The Strid, a harmless-looking but lethally deep fissure in the River Wharfe in Yorkshire. Set in beautiful woods and one of my favourite places.
I started with hand-dyed silk charmeuse in pale sand-colour under the water; silk habotai in greens/browns; and rayon satin in a darker blue. Over this came multiple layers of hand-dyed silk organza - everything from vivid yellow-green through red-brown to deep violet on the rocks, which were then covered by a rust-brown piece; blues, golds and pale rust for the water, covered by plain white; and blues for the water at the top. Finally stitched with rayon threads - it needed shiny threads to glisten and throw back extra light.
I don't normally do landscape quilts so this is a new departure for me...

Addiction, A Trap, A Prison

This piece was made in transparency as I worked to come to grips with how an
addiction can overtake someone's life and they think no one knows....

I reworked the 'fabric' of a previous challenge, used Organza, fused and stitched the man shape to the back of the Organza and draped behind the figure a
coarse net which is what comes down to a point.
Technically there are 4 layers and you can see right through it.
Click on it to enlarge and you will see how some of the words to the poem are visible in the piece itself. [representational]
I used twine interlocked and twisting to portray the 'trap'.. the fabric bars..
the 'prison'.
It is intentionally sombre and simple.
Size: 24 x 60

This is the poem I intend to place at the top... as an epitaph:

Addiction, A Trap, A Prison
Torn and shattered,
Nothing in life mattered,
Not family, not friend,
Too many fences to mend.
Trapped! Imprisoned!... a life shattered.

A slave to my vice
I was not even nice,
I withdrew, I hid,
Not a response to anyone's bid.
Trapped! Imprisoned!... alone with my vice.

A family loved me, but I could not see.
I was alone, that is how it would be.
Nothing in life mattered,
It was torn and shattered.
Trapped! Imprisoned!... Just me....

Comments welcome.

This is not quite finished... I will do the sides of the organza, perhaps burning, and when I attach the poem, I am also thinking of a 'key transparency'..a symbolism, of course, indicating there IS a way out....
I sure appreciate the comments thus far.
I am awaiting your comments before ... closing the chapter'.
Thank you so much, so very much.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Challenge 36, Spirit Horses

Spirit Horses are galloping out of a stormy sky.
Three of the Spirit Horses are made from rainbow nylon, the center one is green netting, and the last is gold Angelina fiber. Manes and tails are novelty threads.

While I usually don't put a border on these small art quilts, I couldn't resist this rainbow batik that has been sitting in my stash for a couple of years. It just called out to go with the spirit horses. It reminds me of the Northern Lights. Your comments are always welcome.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


Believe it or not, this was inspired by my screen saver on my computer. Since I last posted, I had to get a new puter (not sure I like Vista, it likes to crash with my stick drives and camera)… I picked the Aurora Borealis for my screen saver and Saturday night I realized, hey, that could be the quilt for this month’s FFC.
I started on Sunday with blue and yellow fabric paint, sun-painting the background. I folded and dried, then added more paint and folded and dried…. the end result wasn’t quite what I wanted but the greens came out, so I added some metallic paints and then had a big blob of blue that I didn’t like …. so more paint and the landscape was born… sort of Northern Lights meets Devil’s Tower. But it was more blue… so I added the black and then started to see a reflection in the foreground, like the lights reflected in a mountain lake. The transparency is, of course, the blending of blues and yellows to make the greens, plus the metallic overlays….
I did see the Aurora as a child in Wisconsin. It was awe inspiring and sort of scary at the same time. When I journeyed to Alaska in 2006, we didn’t see the lights, but I wish we had. Maybe this is what they look like up there in the far north.
Now back to a major project…. this was fun and very organic. Comments and critiques, of course, are welcome!

Through the Fog

Not exactly as I'd hoped it would turn out but a lesson learned anyhow. I live an hour from the nearest town where I could purchase any sheer fabrics so made do with what I had. I 'attempted' to show a city at night with fog creeping up from the water but the building lights and stars showing through it all. The background is a mottled grey and black while the buildings are all black. For the fog and reflecting city lights on the sky I used Angelina Fiber for the transparent look.I started to sew beads onto the windows and got tired of doing them so I opted to try Aleene's fabric glue which seems to be working. Not something I'll enter into any show anyhow. I'd also call this a low horizon if I look at the water meeting the buildings otherwise a high horizon if one looks at the top of the buildings meeting the sky.
This piece is about 8" x 13". I scanned it into the computer rather than photo it so it's not showing the entire width.