Sunday, February 28, 2010

Challenge 42 - Sunset

This was fun. . I actually took a UFO from my stash of them. The sunset I had done was when I first starting playing around with backgrounds. I never finished it because it was kind of blah - I had pieced 2 1/2 inch strips. So I took all the stripes - put in a tuck at 3/8 inch on each seam. Then I staggered the seams. First I tried doing so quilting it at the same time but then just made of a jumbled mess. Then I did the tucks on just the fabric. I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to quilt this without losing the texture. I settled on just facing it with a batting and back. Then I thought I'd add some hand stitching but that didn't work - I tried some French knots on each of the tucks - so as for now I'm leaving it as is. I think next them - you know there will be a next time I'll quilt 1/8 inch from each tuck then flap the tucks.

Anyway - it wound up being kind of fun - plus I got to cross a UFO off my list. Final size is 13 inches by 31 inches.

In Sunny Seattle

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Challenge 42 - Landscape and Manipulated Fabric

Challenge # 42
Guest Hostess – Linda H. MacDonald of WY
Challenge Description: Create a piece emphasizing fabric manipulation in a landscape.
Nature Theme: Landscapes
This can be any interpretation of a landscape - coast, desert, mountains, plains, jungle, farmland, and even a cityscape. .
For cityscapes and abstractions one of my favorites is Ludmila Aristova: See her work published in Quilting Arts Magazine, August/Sept 2009, Issue 40 (page 30).
A few other landscape quilters found on Google are: , Eileen Doughty , Katherine Ferris Nicholson Denise Labadie’s work, is also on the cover of Machine Quilting Unlimited (July 2009)
Composition and Technique: Fabric Manipulation
Fabric manipulation is defined as using a technique that changes the look and feel of a piece of cloth with the assistance of a threaded needle. You can create puckers, folds, waves, puffs, projections, and openings with stitching by hand or machine to make a new surface on a flat piece of cloth.
Historic techniques include: gathers, pleats, tucks, smocking, cording, stuffing, and of course quilting. Use one, or a combination of techniques, to add texture to your landscape.
For a modern approach to shirring or smocking try the new shrinking threads or try the new Texture Magic by Superior Threads.
A great reference is The Art of Manipulating Fabric by Colette Wolff (1996). While I couldn’t locate Colette Wolff on a website, see the Shibori Girl site for information about the book.
Folded Fabric Elegance (2007) and Quilted Elegance (2009) by Rami Kim also have good ideas, but are geared more toward clothing. If you want to make dimensional flowers in your landscape, a good book is Cindy Zlotnik Oravecz’s Into The Garden (1995). Here is a free tutorial on ruching: from Rose Rushbrooke.
Additional Fabric Manipulation and Trapunto sites:
Textured fabric http://arleebarr.squarespace.comFabric origami
Some examples of fabric manipulation found on Flickr
Have fun manipulating your fabric!
Linda H. MacDonald

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Fractured Flamingos

I started this quilt with another quilt I was working full moon..I had the moon too big and not enough sky so when I cut out the center of my pink moon I then sewed the blue circle back into the pink little strip and began to slice this piece up out of my stash of flamingo fabric and cut and sewed more circles and strips of blue and flamingo fabrics....cut and sew...cut and sew...and here's my version of Fractured Flamingos!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Glorious Flight

This was a bit difficult to get my head round, but finally, after a busy week, I made a start. Half piecing some parts, half laying fabrics over one another. Then fusing sheer paperlike fabric over to change the value in some areas and to pull colours together in other areas. I used several layers of it in a variety of combinations to create the shape of a dragon wing. I was interested to see the previous dragonfly wing entry, as I had already embarked on a similar idea.
It is meant represent a dragon wing and the joys of flying high in the bright sunshine, catching thermals and doing aeronautic twists and turns.

I guess you probably knew I'd do something dragonish if you wanted a wing.

It was a real stretch for me. I am not sure I will ever attempt this style again, but I did learn from it. I think you would have to enjoy piecing if you were to become good at this. Piecing is generally something I avoid. LOL

One of the things I decided to do in finishing it off was to leave the blocks and squares that poked out of the edge as is, rather than trim everything up square. I think it works well. Especially with that style.

The size is approximately 19"h x 21"w.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Challenge #41: Seraph

I first chose blue, green and yellow, but the analogous look bored me, so I switched the yellow to red, giving me more zing. I obviously pushed the green to a broader spectrum from yellow-green to blue-green as well. So maybe I broke the RULES.

As part of the fracturing, I included prints, solids, textures, cottons, and silks. Don't know whether I understood what a fracture really is, but I grouped the shapes by hues so that there would be an overall fracture, too.

I wasn’t thrilled with making a bird, bug, plane, or even the wing of a building--and I never thought of wingnuts--so I chose to do an angel, then focused in on just a portion of a wing, part of my new attraction to getting up close (developed from our microbiology challenge). And since I haven't seen an angel, I gave myself license to play with how the wing might reflect many colors of light.

I fused the shapes and used mostly blanket stitch machine appliqué and free motion quilting. If I had longer, I might have quilted more, using lots of different threads and stitches. I quickly satin stitched the outer edges (Sue Benner style), but then cropped to the size it will be when or if I get around to finishing it with facings. Maybe I should crop off to eliminate all of the shaded pink, which represented the "shoulder" of the angel on the left.

I'm trying to transition from realistic to abstract images, so I consider this sort of transitional. It's fine with me if you don't know what you're looking at!

By the way, a seraph is an angelic being of the highest order, associated with light, ardor, and purity. Mentioned only in the Book of Isaiah, the seraphim were in human form with six wings each, and they revealed Isaiah’s call to ministry.  An angel-artist-coach is helping me figure out my goals, so this has some special meaning to me.

Comments, critique, or suggestions are always welcome.
Chris Smith in Sea Ranch, CA

Dream Catcher

Not sure this one meets any of the challenge requirements, but this is where my nuse led me. I started with a mono print that I hand made that looked "fractured" and was hoping to just use it as the background. My intention was to but a beautiful black swan in front of the reddish background. While visiting my sister in Arizona, the challenge was announced, so I think I was influenced by the native american culture because my entry turned out resembling a dream catcher. Give your imagination a BIG stretch and think of the feathers at the bottom as wings. I'm really grasping at straws here to make this piece fit this challenge. I did accomplish the having fun part, and have really enjoyed all the creative wonderful works others have made for this challenge. Thank you Jan, I promise to do a more conventional fractured piece in the near future, it is a wonderful approach to creating an interesting piece. Comments at this late date are dreamed of.

Challenge 41 "Viewpoint" by Madalene Axford Murphy

Was going to skip this challenge but I've had an idea for a long time of making a quilt looking through a dragonfly's wings and I got an idea, thanks to some fancy organza I bought, of how to make the wings and had to try it out. I fractured the field below the dragonfly, but I lost track of the color requirements for the challenge. My original colors were just three: red, green, and yellow, but as I was working I decided I had to add some blue for our farmpond that the dragonflies love.

I haven't worked a lot with transparencies, but used Carol Taylor's method of satin stitching the edges although I did not fuse it. I have also been using pearl cotton more and more in my work and didn't have time to use it for all the quilting but did add some.

Would love to hear what you think of it.

Fractured Butterfly

I worked on this a bit at a time as I had energy and time available from buying a new TV, recovering from vacation and helping hubby repair a slew of things that broke all at once around the house. It is only 9 x 12 inches and currently not bound, but quilted (finally).
I think I did manage to fit in almost all the requirements of the challenge, while still focusing on my design. My colors are orange, blue and green, which I used in different values and patterns of fabric. I considered brown to be a very dark orange! I used several different types of fabrics in the butterfly-velvet for the body, dupioni silk, decorator fabric, and cottons for the wings. The background is all quilting cottons. Everything is fused or glued down. The butterfly wings were cut according to a pattern, but the background pieces were just free cut and plunked down on top of fusible web. I did end up replacing a blue and a green piece in the medium area today before photographing the piece. I like the movement that the different fabrics in the sky give and the mosaic effect in the butterfly. I'm sure I learned a new technique from this challenge!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Primary Fractured Waco Biplane

Well...I finished it and that's about all I can say. Doing the fractured part was very difficult for me and I'm still not sure I got it right. Yellow, Red and Blue were the three colors I chose.

I originally tried sewing pieces of the blue fabrics together for the background, but that looked icky. I then laid out bits and pieces, tacked them down then trapped them under a layer of black tule. The glittery stuff is supposed to be the propeller and is one of the iridescent tissue lames. The piece measure 13 3/4" high x 17 1/2" wide.

The image is of a Waco biplane. Waco (rhymes with taco) aircraft were made here in Troy, OH and were famous for being used as trainers and making HUGE gliders for WWII and the Korean wars. I had a little difficulty as I did it from a photo I took of a tied-down Waco at the annual Waco Fly-in....and it had a cover
over the cockpit, so I had to engineer a pilot and the cockpit. By the way....Waco stands for Weaver Aircraft Company.

I'd really like some suggestions on what to do when you are doing the 1/8" stitch line in facing when you have a variety of colors. I picked the thread for the majority, but I don't like the blue on the yellow. Any other comments, suggestions etc. are greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Woven Bird

I had a tough time with this challenge; I just couldn't wrap my mind around all the variables. I have been wanting to try fabric weaving, though, so I went in that direction. I chose the colors blue, green, and orange.

I printed a photo of a bird I painted a while back onto fabric, then wove that with some hand-dyed orange fabric. I lightened/darkened various orange squares with fabric markers, and recolored the bird. I thread-painted the bird and zig-zag stitched the edges of the woven strips.

This piece is very small--6"x6"--since it will serve double-duty as my weekly 6x6 journal square:

Although I ended up liking the green "corner caps," I originally added them because I have a terrible time folding over fabric from the back to make a self-binding; I can never get the corners correct and always end up cutting too much fabric. If anyone has any tips on how to do that, I would appreciate it :-)

I'm not thrilled with the end result, but I did enjoy trying out the weaving technique and will do more of that.


#41 Fractured Cardinal

The cardinal at my birdfeeder was the inspiration for this. I fused some hand dyed and some batik and then did some tree branches in the quilting backgrouund which I thought looked kind of snowy. It is 9 1/2 by 11 inches. Elaine Koenig in snowy Nebraska.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Challenge 41 - Angel Banner

I needed a new sign for my booth for the art shows, so for this challenge I decided to fractured a label that I often use on my quilts. My colors were blue, purple and yellow. The banner is actually a crazy pieced fabric using whites/off-whites --- I needed some lighter area where my name will go. The whole thing is stitched to Timtex and it will be hung in my booth. It's approximately 8"x18". Looking at the picture on the screen, I realized the deep yellow piece in the lower right hand corner reads orange, not yellow. I may stitch something over that as it really sticks out. Thanks for your comments.