Monday, November 30, 2009

Challenge 39, Grass

"Grass" is 9 1/2" x 11".
This piece shows my favorite grasses, Blue grama and Indian ricegrass, with their natural growth patterns, and various views of the florets and seeds, as well as a microscopic view of the grass remains in the soil (opal phytoliths).

The white PFD fabric was colored by laying strips of red, yellow, and green bleeding tissue paper down and rolling the fabric up and wetting it. I left it wet overnight to absorb the colors.

The images were photo transferred and then quilted.  Touches of ink (instead of paint, as I had the right color) were applied here and there for emphasis.  A close up of the microscopic view will be posted to the Yahoo site.

The opal phytolith images were taken through a microscope at 100 power (part of my Master’s thesis many years ago).  I am glad to make use of that research again after all these years.  I will add additional quilting in the background later (after the Christmas rush).  I always look forward to your comments and critique.  Linda Mac in WY

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Challenge 39 - Micro Leaf

Here is my Micro Leaf. Finished size is 10.5 x 17.

I used acrylic paints - red and green - red and green mixed make lovely shades of brown. I painted the skeleton. As always - the acrylic paints loose their vibrancy - it had to be saved with the quilting - I had done a similar quilt like this with small circles - then I bead the circles - this time I changed the scale of the circles. I used yellow, red, maroon, two shades of green and brown threads. After is was quilted - I didn't feel the quilt needed an additional beading.

In Cool and Sunny Seattle

Cloned Embryonic Stem Cells

I'm going to do some "recycling" this month and use a piece I made last year for another challenge.

My Monday Night group was challenged to do something with circles, and after a few false tries, I decided on Cloned Embryonic Stem Cells.

It was my first experience using Angelina, and that was fun. I also put in hundreds of strands of yellow silk thread, and finished it with a few pearl beads.

I know virtually nothing about microbiology, but I worked from photographs and used my imagination.

Many years ago, I saw a show of photographs by Roman Vishniac, at the Jewish Museum in New York. The images are amazing, and some are what I call "quilts waiting to happen."

Marilyn Foulke
Louisville, KY

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Beneath the Surface

A real lesson here, never photograph white against white or cream......

Here is my challenge piece for this month. At first I thought 'yikes'!! Then, as I did some research, I thought it could be interesting. I had a piece of fabric paper that didn't have a focal point that I could find,satisfactorily...but it did have some good texture elements that could work with this theme, so I started to play. My paper fabric has inclusions under the paper, then stitching and paint. After it dried I added more paint. Cut some into squares leaving a large piece on which I could add and define the microbes. I added some painted dryer sheets, embellishments and free motion threadwork. Then I hand-stitched [quilted] the piece using hand dyed thread [received from Laura Wasilowski].
Because it is all on a pastel theme, I hope my 'microbial' findings are definitive enough. I had a great day doing this yesterday and finished it this morning.
I have also posted a 'closer look'.  [I am having trouble getting the color correct on the large piece, I can't figure out why it is so pink when it is white!]
I look forward to your comments....
thank you in advance.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Challenge 39 - Microbiology

FFFC-39 November 2009
Theme - Microbiology
Composition and technique - Exaggerated Scale and Paint effects
Hostess: Joni Feddersen

Let’s get up close and personal in this challenge, and I mean REALLY up close – like under the microscope. When we study things at a really enlarged scale and move in for a detailed look, we see beauty in a whole new way. Textures and patterns become visible that at first glance are missed when viewed from a distance. Items under the microscope are teaming with life and have an organic feel and colors can be incredible. This can be a very liberating and satisfying experience.

For this month’s challenge technique, let’s try to get some of those paints and dyes (that you have been wanting to try) out of the drawers and onto your fabric. You can do it!

We are fortunate to have many accomplished quilt and other artists who have already done this. Take a look at the links provided below and get inspired.

Under the Microscope – photos

Micro inspired Art:

Examples in Quilts:

Paint Effects

Remember to have fun! Due on December 5th (or whenever!)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Logan: Queen of My Animal Kingdom

New to this, I don't know if I should write something different here than I e-mailed to the list. I find it so hard to look at the albums without comments . . . or vice versa.

I did this 10" x 12" study over a few days. I went for a realistic portrait of my little 6-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel's head--something fun and fast to do for a first challenge in this rather intimidating group. I began with trapunto: two extra layers of Warm & Natural under the nose, and one extra layer under the white muzzle area and the eyes. However, I was using Wonder Under instead of appliqué (to be FAST), which made the trapunto somewhat less effective. After layering the pieces and doing some quilting, I did something new for me--I painted on the top with Jacquard Textile Paints to add some highlights, give some fur texture, and to put metallic turquoise sparkle highlights in the eyes. Once quilted, I edged the piece with satin stitching. I'm glad to have participated, learned a few things, and now have gotten my feet wet!

Some issues this raised for me (besides how I'd rather be less trite and realistic), are: whether trapunto ever works well with fusing; whether the muzzle comes forward with a few contour lines of quilting, but not so many as to flatten that whole area; and what I could add to make the black of the eyeballs shinier. Also, I wonder whether working with a photograph distorts the outcome compared to what the eye and brain might register when looking directly at the subject. For example, the photograph I worked from was not head on, so the left and right sides of her face weren't as symmetrical as they are "live," and in the finished piece, perhaps the viewer gets the impression this is a straight-on view of a very lopsided face. Also, some of the areas that appear tan are actually white fur with shadows that reflected in the photo as tan (below her mouth and her neck), and I don't think that's apparent in my finished piece. Photographing without getting edge distortion is another issue (this really is perfectly rectangular). Finally, I think this might be improved if I cropped an inch off the left, leaving a more rectangular format and leaving the left eye, etc., more to the viewer to complete.

I invite your critiques and suggestions.

Thank you!

P. S. I was sorely tempted to just post a photo of my Jellies quilt -- it fits the theme and has depth created with a little perspective, value gradations of the dark "water fabric," and layers with embellishments including beading, couching, and fuzzy yarn. And I feel pretty good about it because it was juried into Images in Lowell, Mass. However, that's not the point, right? I want to try to do FAST CHALLENGES.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Juvenile Sandhill Crane

I have just joined this group, and want to show my juvenile sandhill crane, based on a photo a friend sent me from Florida...
Here is the photo, outlined to help make my pattern.
I have been doing fused "feathered friends" for several years now. It is a great project for fabric play, and a wonderful way to use scraps in a creative way.
Every feather is applied individually, and they are only attached at the base, so the feathers fluff out and add dimension to the piece.
I loved the way this bird was just striding along, and it seemed like he needed a pair of flip-flops. It is Florida, after all.
The fishin' pole is a piece of bamboo, tucked under his wing.
The piece is about 14" x 21"
I am really happy to be in this group. I love challenges, and really enjoy seeing what everyone else creates.
Marilyn Foulke

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Moonlight on the Goldfish Pond

I joined this group hoping that I would teach myself just to jump right in and quickly do a small project. I'm afraid this one took me a while longer because I had to figure out how to accomplish it....and I had so many ideas, it was very hard to pick just one.

Quite some time ago, I was a Chinese watercolor painting showing the moon reflecting on a goldfish pond. When I lived in Connecticut, I saw the moon reflected perfectly on our swimming pool. I thought I'd try to recreate this in a small quilt, using the shots I took of my goldfish prior to May 13 of this year.

At first, I thought I'd use the metallic lame sheer, the one which reflects irridescent. That didn't really work very well, so I tried a number of things and finally chose the sheet form of Angelina (the name for this product escapes me at the moment). I discovered that if I did it completely round, it really didn't give the feeling, so I added some Angelina fibers sticking out around it.

I originally was going to use a piece of blue organza over the top to darken it to make it look like night on the water. However, the organza and other dress sheers were too opaque. I finally settled on two layers of navy tulle. That alone seemed a little flat, so I ripped up pieces of sparkle illusion in a turquoise color and layered these underneath.

The water plants are made from eyelash yarn. The goldfish are fused and painted with Dyna-flo paints and their fins are a silk organza which I stitched over.

One of the fun things about this piece is that I realized that it can be viewed from any direction, so I am going to put hanging pockets on all sides.

I can't decide how I'm going to bind this. I usually like to use a traditional binding. I have only done one facing, and I wasn't pleased how it looked on the back of the quilt. Any suggestions or discussion of which would be better (faced, bound, or even satin stitched) is especially welcome. The measurement of this piece is 18 3/4" H x 13 5/8".

Thanks! Lisa Broberg Quintana

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Elephants and Lions...Do You See A Zebra?

Elephants and Lions...Do You see a Zebra?I did reverse applique on the beige Lions and the grey Elephants...and cut the scraps into 2 1/2 inch squares sewed blocks 5x5 squares and cut the squares into circles...also cut circles in background using Cheryl Philips Cut Around tool sewing the patch circles into the background.

I finished the top on hang up was what to bind with and how should I quilt this...I put it altogether and did my old stand by serpentine stitches vertical and horizontal...(use this a lot).We then went out of town for a few days and I finished the binding in the car....

Taking a Little Trip

Taking A Little Trip....How did the bears get to the lower Peninsula of Michigan...Animal Kingdom...I do have a finished quilt that falls into the #38 FFFC. I have posted it in our photo's section. "Taking A Little Trip"(55 1/2x 47 1/2). This quilt shows about 40 ways for the Bear to cross from upperMi to lower Mi. (the yellow brick road (across the Big Mac Bridge), motor cycles, trucks, sail boats and swimming are just a few of the ways for the bear to get to lower Mi) For those of you not familiar with Michigan...I live in the Upper Peninsula and the Mackinaw Bridge connects us to lower Mi. One day the DNR on a radio show talked about the UP bears crossing to lower Mi... well creative minds of my Art group decided we needed to have a challenge showing how the bears crossed over to lower MIchigan.These quilts have been in MCQA (my guild show), Marquette Public Library,andMichigan Quilt Network show this Sept. I've not been good at FFFC deadlines I will try hard to make this one!! Janice

Monday, November 09, 2009

# 38. Blue Bird of Happiness by Candy Farmer

This is my 'Bluebird of Happiness" for Challenge 38. Materials: 100% Cotton background fabric, screen print with dye paste and over dyed with fabric paint. Fused silk accents. Bird printed on blue polyester chiffon and hand stitched to background. Simple hand quilting and embroidery with silk thread and seed bead eye. Machine overcast edging. 4"x6" postcard. Your comments are welcome.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Cow Girls at Sunflower Branch

Besides dragons, I have always had a lot of cows in my life, especially having raised several from calves and milking by hand during my teen years. So, when the challenge said animals, I thought I would do a few funny cows.My original idea just had the cow girls in poses, but then all the sudden I remembered a piece by Kathy York, and the girls decided to hang out at the Sunflower Branch.

I used variegated thread with a free machined zigzag applique technique. I think it works well for this piece because it is more cartoon like. I am not sure about the zigzag for other things. Surprisingly enough, it actually is less noticeable...if you look at the ladies and also the stem, even though there are some bright colours going on, the full view shows that the thread actually blends into the background more. I think that this piece might have actually wanted a solid applique stitch, though. It might have helped to give it a more comical feel like cartoons.
The quilting is an all over sunflower connected by vines with leaves. I did the trapunto part of the challenge behind the girls and the sunflower.
I think if I did this type of thing again, I would have more contrast between the cows and the background so they would stand out more.

Monday, November 02, 2009

How's a Girl to Choose?

This was a fun challenge. Sorry the batteries were all gone and didn't get pics until today. Quilting will be done this week sometime. Didn't want to be too late again this month. The second photo shows the 3-D leaves that will be attached after quilting. They are now quilted onto fleece backing and really add some great dimension.

Started thinking about which animal print to use and wound up dipicting these tigers, each with different patterns. Hand dyed background and leaves. Commerical prints. Fused. Will post the finished quilt later.

Comments and critiques welcome and appreciated.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Bubba, the big headed dawg

Bubba is a pure bred Old English Sheepdog. His mom is one of my dearest friends, and we've all watched over the past year as our 10 year old buddy has started to slow down and we know that his time with us is finite. He has survived lymphoma, a rambunctious younger brother, Travis, and a household that also includes some feline cousins.
Bubba's eyes have always intrigued me, so I've tried to capture his wistful face.
The layers are fused applique, Fabrico marker, fabric paint, and stitching.... and this will be his mom's Christmas present this year....
Comments of course, are welcome!