Tuesday, November 30, 2010

In a galaxy far far away....

Took me awhile to settle on a shape, I have sketches using triangles, squares and diamonds. but finally chose circles.
Nothing fancy, just made a bunch of different size circles, found some of my wilder fabrics, with a couple of almost calmer ones thrown in and just kept arranging and rearranging until I  got it the way I wanted, then a bit of pressing to fuse it all down and Voila! A pretty cool galaxy has been born :-D
My favorite is the pink one with the black and white ring going THROUGH it..lol
Right now this is 17x23", it may stay this size because I think adding anything to the edges will take away from it. Have to stitch around everything and quilt it, but I have to get back to work on my grandson's Christmas gift, a skull and crossbones quilt, which isn't even HALF done yet, so finishing it will have to wait until after Christmas. But I did want to get a piece to this stage before the due date.

Looking Up

I visited three major cities this summer and all of them had high rise buildings. Needless to say, I spent a lot of time looking up. I used rectangles of all sizes to build my fantasy city.
I like this idea, but I think the quantity of yellow rectangles is distracting. The fabrics are different, but they read the same from a distance. The finished size is 14" x 19".
Fabric paint or paint sticks may be the answer.


22" x 18"

I started out this project by choosing a shape. While working at the Arts Center, in Clemson, last week I had time on my hands and started doodling with the idea in mind of coming up with a shape for this project.

Terry Jerrard-Diamond ,whom I took a class from recently, taught us to take paper and cut it into shapes and place them on a background until we came up with something pleasing. I cut out a lot of the same shapes brought it up to my great room and laid it out on my ottoman. I posted about this on my blog. http://marilynhwall.blogspot.com/

The next morning I took the shapes down to my studio and started working again. I tried my best to stay abstract but realism won out. What can I say.

I have not quilted this yet but don't see it happening until after the holidays. I two have been working from my stash, not intentionally but because I have soooo much fabric. I also have been working a lot in black and white with a touch of red. This was not intentional in this project but just seemed to happen. Comments are very welcome. Did you see anything on my blog post that had potential?

PS: the name came from my husband. When it saw it his comment was "looks like a poinsettia".

Monday, November 29, 2010

Not Quite Right!

I'm pretty sure this piece is far from the intent of this challenge, but it just wouldn't let me do it any differently! I really wanted to use triangle shapes, but only one would come out and play with me, so that's my title, Only One! It's about 18 X 20, and you can see that I am still mostly a quilter. No experiments with new fabrics or paint or burning anything...!

His Royal Highness

Here is the first design I thought of, now finished as well. He would not let me rest until he was ready to strut his stuff...LOL

The shapes are paisley's...even the body, head, and beak! Again I used only fabrics from my stash (I almost always do). There is only one cotton in the whole piece, the beak, and that is a metalic type cotton. I used velvets, devore, brocades, dupioni, lame's, sheers, you name it. I loved working on this one until I started quilting the background. My machine doesn't like the silk thread I used for some reason and kept breaking the bobbin thread every few paisleys. Frustrating! But I perservered, and I'm pleased with the outcome.

He measures 21"x28"

Thanks again Wendy for the fun challenge.

I appreciate all your comments


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Challenge 51 -One-shape

For this challenge I dyed the background fabric with bleeding tissue paper scraps.  Next a triangle pattern was marked for my teepees, and purple cording was couched on.  This cording is from a tie-dyed bundle previously used in an indigo dye batch..  The teepees are cut from used  "Color Catcher" sheets. I cut the foreground teepee larger for depth. 
Since my mind doesn't work with abstract well, this is likely as close to abstract as I will come.  I enjoy the abstracts done by others, but just can't seen to do it myself.  LindaMac


The quilt measures 39" x 19".

I have been messing around painting cheesecloth and decided to use it in this challenge. I started with a piece of light/neutral linen. I fused three bronzy silk squares to the linen. Then I layered painted cheesecloth which was cut into squares and quilted each down in a loose grid pattern. I wanted the effect of a mat over the whole thing with three holes cut out. I used reverse applique to achieve this effect. By using reverse applique I have no seams in the black area which I think makes the quilting look smoother and seamless. I used a pebble pattern to counterbalance the squares. The final step was to add a small flange (piping) inside the binding. I was not sure how much I liked the piece until I was done. It is very textural. Veronica Von Zwehl

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Four Leaves

What can I say? This is four leaves assembled in a rotary-style layout. Each leaf has been split vertically and diagonally for veins. The background is where I got a bit more creative. I first fused a small part of a very loosely knitted scarf to a piece of upholstery fabric, then placed the dissected leaves. Next, I fused some cheesecloth stretched taut over the leaves. After stitching around the leaves I cut the cheesecloth off of two of the leaves, then stitched in the details. It measures 9"x9".


This is a challenge dear to my heart...I have a long termed love affair with shapes...LOL

This is a 24 color colorwheel using all sheers (organzas, chiffons and tulles). I pulled the colors as close as I could using only my stash. The shape is eliptical. The pieces are fused and stitched using invisible thread to a background of crystaline organza, then the backing is chiffon. No batting! The background and backing are overlocked on the edges waiting for a rolled, handstitched hem...(ugh).

The piece measures 26"x26"

It is totaly sheer and looks wonderful with light shining through, accenting the interplay of the colors. It's dark now, so I will try to take a picture in front of the window after it is hemmed.

Thanks for this terrific challenge Wendy. It motivated me to do the all sheer colorplay I've been fantasizing about for some time :-) The funny thing is...I had another quilt all designed, the pieces drawn, fabrics pulled and Misty Fuse applied ready to cut and the first pieces applied. The whole time I was working on this, I was planning the colorwheel, so yesterday when I got up ready to work on it, it was the colorwheel that appeared! LOL

I plan to do the original one as well...maybe even on time?

It is hemmed and sleeve added. Here is a picture hanging in the window with light through it. I contemplated finishing in the round but couldn't figure a way to hang it so it's square. I auditioned beads, however they didn't add anything significant to the overall design, so I feel superfluous.

Thank you all for the wonderful comments, they mean alot to me!

Your comments are greatly appreciated as always :-)


Friday, November 26, 2010


I chose triangles for my shape. It is definitely geometric but not a common quilt square. I drew one triangle then just kept adding until I had a shape I liked. The fabrics are all metallics from my stash. The way the purple penetrates the copper center gives it its name. I pieced it then quilted on either side of the seams to accentuate the shape. I overcast the edges and added gold braid to finish it. A very different and fun challenge for me. Thank You

Pat Havey

One Shape - Rectangles

Since we're not celebrating Thanksgiving until Sunday I worked on my shapes challenge piece the past 2 days. I am on a whim where I will not buy any new fabric and for this challenge I decided to use only fabric pieces I already had fused. I keep almost every little scrap from previous projects. The problem with this is that it does limit me. I had some colored pieces out but did not have enough of what I wanted so I ended going entirely with black, grey, white, and red. I kept laying the pieces until I found them pleasing. There is not high contrast between the black and grey but the black and white check and red does add more contrast. To quilt it I used straight lines which resulted in rectangles being formed in varying sizes. Finished it's 9 1/2" x 14". It can be turned either horizontally or vertically but I personally prefer the horizontal lay.

I'd forgotten how much fun working with shapes is. I'd hoped to do a landscape with one shape but didn't have the fabric already fused. So I guess I can work that one up another time. Thanks for a great challenge!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Challenge 51 - One Shape

Challenge #51 November 2010/ due December 4

Guest Hostess: Wendy Wetzel, Flagstaff AZ

Theme or Technique: One Shape!

Design Concept: Theme and Repetition

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

(and for those of you outside the US,

Happy Last Thursday in November!)

I slept thru most of 10th grade geometry, so I learned it on the practical side as I started cutting up perfectly good fabric and sewing it back together! And shapes are still fascinating me all these years later. The interplay of angles and form …..

We have an infinite variety of shapes to play with for our quilts.

For this challenge, pick a simple shape and using only that shape,

make a quilt.

This is, of course, borrowed from traditional quilting which uses squares, triangles, rectangles, tumblers and a variety of other simple geometric shapes in classic patterns. Think about other shapes as well: circles, hexagons, pentagons, octagons, parallelograms, trapezoids, etc. Consider exaggerated shapes as opposed to blocks. Think about big shapes and little shapes, as well as horizontal and vertical. Think about layers and shadows….

Your quilt should be totally composed of that one shape… pieced, appliqu├ęd, collaged, fused, any technique will work, as long as you only show one shape! You can embellish, paint, foil, stitch….. but just use one shape. One.

Let’s move to more abstract quilts with this challenge. We’ve done lots of pictorial quilts in the past year…. This is a great chance to go beyond that mindset and stretch our wings!

Theme and Repetition: In art, a theme is the overall sense or message of a piece whether it be music, poetry or visual art. Repetition, then, is the repeating of that theme throughout the piece, often with shading or variation.

Consider Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. Did you immediately hear those opening four notes? They repeat throughout the piece with varying intensity and feeling throughout the body of the work. Spend a few minutes with this video from Fantasia: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMnlxYkZKaU

Did you notice how the theme of the butterfly and the triangular shapes repeated through the animation?

Here are some fun examples of repetition and theme in art:

Check the 3rd picture from the top, Ugo Rondinone's Clockwork for Oracles


(you can also google the artist and title for lots more images!)

A paper sculpture using just one shape:


I love the title of this one, Compulsive Repetition


Amazing subtleties, Rectangular Green Heart:


And one of my favorites, using a gorgeous curve:


Value and Contrast: Pay attention to all we’ve learned about value and contrast (and color theory) for this challenge. One shape can be boring if there isn’t contrast. Think about how colors play off of each other to add drama and “pop.”

On to art quilts:

In researching this topic, it was somewhat difficult to find good examples of single-shape quilts. There are certainly traditional quilts that fit this mold (Square in a Square, Thousand Triangles, Flying Geese, Grandmother’s Flower Garden, Tumbling Blocks, Stack and Whack, One Block Wonders….etc etc etc), and you can find scores of examples on line. But those aren’t the focus of this challenge…. Unless you can alter them in some new and interesting way!

Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr of Fun Quilts have some good examples on their gallery page http://www.funquilts.com/gallery/gallery1.html - their use of lines is especially effective.

Tessellations are sometimes traditional and sometimes art. You can find lots with a google search. Here are some fun examples:

http://www.mathematicalquilts.com – check out the gallery pages (not all are tessellations but lots are just fun to see)

http://nachograndmasquilts.blogspot.com/2010/02/transformation-tessellation-tuesday.html a nice tutorial on creating your own tessellation block from Raymond Houston.

Great use of triangles: Ricky Tims’ Flying Colors

http://www.rickytims.com/gallery/2/ (last one in the Gallery)

And one of mine (JQ Project), using diamonds


And finally a trip down memory lane with our own Fast Friday Blog

Brenda Jennings’ Haunted House


Roberta Raney’s Fractured Fire http://fastfridayquilts.blogspot.com/2007/12/fractured-fire.html

Wendy Wetzel’s World Windows


Carole Grant’s Beneath the Surface


Cherie Brown’s Lunar Eclipse


Look around you. Now, run with it!

Due - Saturday, Noon EST, December 4, 2010

One final requirement - HAVE FUN WITH THIS!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Haiku, Challenge #50

My Haiku was written by Maya Lyubenoua
Flight School
pushing the fledglings
out of the nest

Certainly late getting this done but Kathy it was lots
of fun.  The bird is machine embroidered, the green
leaves and tree branch are raw edge applique.
Jeanne Knudsen

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


First a little foreword: a week ago I went at a national quilters meeting, in a maritime city. Our national quilter association staged a quilt show in the convention center and I had a quilt shown there.
The sad thing was that the quilts were hung with nails. I was orrified but when I pointed out the fact the organizers replied to me that they were doing it right, that a famous quilter told them to do that, that nails were small and so on. No way for a new hanging method.

I asked for an opinion in the QuiltArt mailing list and someone told me "life is short and you have to decide whether to spend it fighting or making art!"
This made me think that I can also fighting making art, and so my quilt for challenge 50 was born.

The haiku is:
The grey sea sadly foams
Where the quilts are crucified
At ignorance walls
(hope the syllables count is correct)

And here is my quilt:

The photo is one of those I took on the beach during the meeting, printed on fabric and quilted, the "wall" is fused, the little quilt is a recycle, I made this little quilt to try a new technique months ago and then I left it unfinished. I've finished it with back and binding, I've sewed it to the other pieces then I've ripped it to insert the big nail. Finally came the bloody drops.

In this quilt I've tried 2 techniques new to me: I've attached the binding with blanket stitch (don't like it too much), and I've used satin stitch to close part of the quilt (but it came out wavy, any hint about that?).

Every coment and hint will be appreciated.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Challenge 50 - Ladybug Munch

I'm so late, I was rather stuck on the first part writing the Haiku.

Summer sunshine black
polka dots. Time to munch. Red
and green afternoon

The piece is somewhat based on another old one. I pieced the leave and used the quilting as the extra thread work. The light green is more box shaped. Then there are three red beads for lady bugs and three varied size black beads for aphids. The varied aphids are because when I think of polka dots they are different sized.

Fun challenge and a playful piece. Measures 10 x 17 inches.

In Sunny but freezing Seattle

Leaves Tumble Gold Appears

Leaves Tumble Gold Appears
Souls That Left Us behind. Rest
Lest I've Come To You

Attending a wool festival in Asheville, NC I noticed a tiny cemetery tucked within the Smokey Mountains. I had just a clue about the Challenge. My mind runs in different directions So my tentative plan was autumn, leaves, cemetery and an old poem "Dear Ancestor" one of the lines is "I wonder if you knew, someday I would come to visit you ". My inspiration was born.

My Size is small 9 1/2 by 12 inches. Materials used - cotton batik fabrics, shorn/dyed wool, threads pulled from upholstery fabrics. Method free motion embroidery and quilting, needle punch

Susan Ward
Fort Mitchell, KY

Grandma Rides Old Blaze

Grandma rides Old Blaze
New Mexico adventure
Many years ago.

Sunday, November 07, 2010


"The rat a tat tat
of the evening drum
Even the woodpecker
stops to listen."
This is haiku by Issa, a Japanese poet from over 200 years ago. As is often the case for me, I was able to combine two challenges; our Haiku challenge and the metal r rust challenge from my art quilt group. After a great lesson on rusting fabric I went home and wrapped some PFD around an old barrel hoop. While I didn't get the shibori-style markings I had hoped for, I did get some intriguing striations that reminded me of bark. That worked well because the Haiku I had selected was about a wood- pecker. What luck! Next step was to layer sections of rusted fabric over the bark-like area to add a little more depth. So as usual, I am way late, but wow, was this fun!
Ann In Walnut, CA

Friday, November 05, 2010

Challenge 50, Haiku - Wyoming winds

Wyoming winds blow
whether clear skies, rain or snow
Snow birds wave good-bye

I wasn't able to work on this last week, so did it this week (still within a one-week time-frame).  It is 18" x 22", commerical fabrics, the foreground fabric is overdyed; embroidery; hand needle-felting, and applique.

Great challenge Kathy.  Thank you.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Challenge #50 "Out My Office Window" by Pam Clark

This little quilt measures 8.5 inches by 11 inches. I embroidered the haiku on the back. It reads:

Outside, bare branches.

Inside, sunny windowsill,

Green, blooming houseplants.

To make the quilt, I took a picture looking out my office window, hence the title. I used the photo to attain the proportions. I bleached the lower portion of a blue batik to acheive a lighter area at the bottom. I used textile paints to add a little green color and then drew the stark, bare branches. I fussy cut the pots and the flowers and machine appliqued them onto the background. I machine-pieced the window frame and sill. I drew in (with a sharpie) the shadow of the plant on the right side of the photo. This was a fun challenge. I wrote several haiku before selecting the one above.