Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Under the Sea

This was a real challenge since the sea is far removed from Nebraska. While cleaning house on Saturday I found a book on the sea I had forgotten I owned! It's at least 20 yrs. old. I found a picture of starfish that I copied and printed onto fabric. They weren't very bright so I used Prismacolor pencils wetted to brighten them. I then found some batik that had ocean like colors to put on a border. I thread painted the background of the rocks out onto the borders to tie it all together. I also printed out the seahorse and the purple coral in the lower right corner. I used the Prismacolor pencils on those, too. I did thread painted over the stars and added pink sea urchins. The purple plant/coral in the lower right was added with thread. My great mistake was trying to thread paint white lace coral coming in from the right. It got lost in the picture. So I redid it, leaving the old underneath by using Sulky Solvy and then just taking it down to give a dimensional appearance. The plants on the left were added to give more depth to the view and a place for the seahorse to hang onto. The edge finish is one from a Sue Benner class. As mentioned by someone else, this type of edge is hard to get to lay flat. I think it works for Sue since she has so much Wunder Under in her quilts making them stiffer. This quilt is 12" x 12".

Old Souls

Old Souls measures 12"x12". The background is a hand dyed by me fabric, overlaid with cottons and organzas to suggest reefs. I added various fibers and a lot of thread painting for corals and seaweeds and the tiniest seed beads I have ever seen on the white coral on the left. A real exercise in patience! I finished this part of the quilt using the 'escape hatch' method a la Melody Johnson. Next I made the turtles, individual parts fused to fusible fleece and thread painted. I actually made 3 pairs of turtles before I got the look I was after. (anyone need some turtles...LOL)

The last step was to assemble the turtles as I appliqued them in place using white silk satin stitch.

Thanks Pam for a really fun challenge!

All comments gratefully received :-)


Monday, March 29, 2010

Jelly Ballet

For this challange I decided to try the impossible task of duplicating jelly fish. It was quite a vhallange for sure! The background is hand painted silk. The fish are chiffon over hand dyed silk bodies with thread painted lower body on one fish and lace tenacles on the other one. The bodies are beaded with sequins for the bubbles. I wanted to show the sun rays in the water so I quilted those in. The background is quilted with more jelly fish. The tenacles are all thread painted with Superior Glitter thread. Thannk you for a great challange. All comments are more than welcome.

Pat Havey

Fun Fiber Fish

I've been busy getting ready for surgery tomorrow and the subsequent hospital stay (the important tasks, you know: preparing and packing hand-stitching work and my drawing supplies), so I won't be able to make a new piece for FFFC #43. I do have something on hand, though, that I'm submitting:

This is one of the first mixed-fiber, embellished pieces I ever made when I started working with fabric about 3 years ago. I had painted and quilted the background fabric as a way to practice both, and I hate the thought of wasting anything, so I started covering the fabric up. The piece is 9"h x 11"w.

The fish was stamped with paint onto fabric using a hand-carved stamp, stitched, then cut out as an appique and applied to the background. Beads were stitched over the fish and onto the background fabric as "bubbles."

The seawood is free-form cut fabric strips stitched down the center, and fun-fiber yarns are couched over the bottom area and through the top as seawood.

White coral (left) is made from beads stitched onto the background. Purple coral (right) is thread lace created by stitching on water-soluble stabilizer.

The jellyfish is loose strands of yarn with fabric stitched over the top to hold them down.

The edges are finished with zig-zag stitching; I think I could probably block this to get the bottom to lay straighter, but it just hangs in my craft room to make me happy.

I had done a silk painting and wasn't quite as pleased with it as I though I would be. So off to the fusing basket for the seaweed, shells and sand. Freemotion stitching covered the background and I "cheated" with fabric markers to enhance the fish. Now I'm happy!!!!!

Jane Stricker

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Challenge 43 - Under the Sea

This was a great challenge! I love it when I get pushed out of my comfort zone. Although I have done many fishy quilts, I have never tried the "pillowcase" finish. I was amazed at how easy it was, and at how well it turned out.

I fused the fish down, and then did machine embroidery for the scales and texture. I used yarn with sequins and some "hairy" yarn for seaweed. I also cut some wavy strips, and fused them down, but their tops are not attached.

The fish bubbles are holographic sequins, and his eye is a copper washer and a black bead.

I will probably add some more beads, and I'm trying to think of something I can add to the fish, too.

The shape is a trapezoid, and the top measures about 18", the bottom about 16", and the height is 11"

I had so much fun doing this!

Marilyn Foulke
Louisville, KY

Friday, March 26, 2010

Five Fancy Fish

I made this quilt in 2005. I made this to fit in the space above the window in our bathroom. I have since been commissioned to make more. You can see them on my website, here. This piece is 11” h x 42” w I used fun fabrics to make the fish with drawings of fish that I found on line and in coloring books. These are not fish that were cut from fishy fabric!!! Click on the quilt to see a larger photo. There is lots of beading and embellishment with fancy threads and stitching. Here is a detail shot.

I hope you all enjoy making an undersea scene as much as I did.

Challenge #43 - Under the Sea, Threadwork, & Edge Finish

FFFC Challenge #43 –Under the Sea
March 2010
Hostess: Pam Harris

It’s time to take a trip UNDER THE SEA.

Here’s your chance to explore the mysterious and fascinating under water world, real or imaginary and the vast variety of color, shape and texture it offers. Just about anything goes so have fun exploring.

Keoki and Yuko Stender: http://www.marinelifephotography.com/
Reinhard Dirscherl: http://www.ocean-photo.com/
David Hall: http://www.seaphotos.com/


Thread Work
Free Motion Embroidery/Thread Play
Nancy Prince: http://www.nancyprince.com/
Marilyn Nepper/Fiber Antics: http://www3.telus.net/mnepper/tutorial_thread_painting.html
Ellen Ann Eddy (Scrolldown to January 22, 2010) http://tinyurl.com/ygnblpq
Carol Taylor, Gallery/Coral Reefs: http://www.caroltaylorquilts.com/
Thread Trash
As defined by Connie Fahrion in the June/July 2008, Issue 33 page 45 of Quilting Arts Magazine: “It is that knotted, lumpy “stuff” you rip off of washed and dried fabric after it comes out of the dryer.”
Bobbin Drawing

Non-Traditional Edging: Finish your quilt with something other than the traditional binding. Here are a few suggestions:

Brenda Gael Smith/Serendipity: http://tinyurl.com/2clqht

Challenge is due April 3, noon Eastern Time Zone or whenever your schedule permits.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

High Water Mark

20½" x 16"

4/22/10 - Julia was right, it wasn't quite finished. Here it is with a bit of additional work done on it, mostly on the top portion.

This is actually for the February challenge, just finished now, so call it a Slow FFC. I didn't really like it much until almost the final step, but it wanted to be completed, and since I haven't done the last few challenges, I felt I had to put this one up.

I began first by using Tsukineko inks and a shaving cream marbling technique to make the uneven blue, brown and green sections, then used beads to hold an irregular bunching pattern for the waves, pebble beads for the beach, and a combination of seed beads and bugle beads for the land, and the beads got me involved in sorting them so I could get the colors I wanted. I took one strand of rather funky yarn to make the high water line, and then I began to like it. I added just a few strokes with a felt pen and green ink for the final palm tree.

This is the only piece I've done that has not had a single bit of machine sewing! I'd appreciate your comments -- and now I feel free to look at everyone else's work!

Moon Song

This was my challenge quilt for Challenge #38....I know...I just never got it posted because I was away and then ill. Enough excuses...I just wanted to share it. I really enjoyed this challenge. I used metallic hand-dyes and commercial fabrics. I used trapunto and reverse applique as well as regular applique. It has angelina fibers and hand beading. Thank you so much for creating these great challenges. My goal is to do one in the one week window...Donna from Sea Ranch

Cabernet Oak Hills

This is my landscape for Challenge #42. This was a real stretch for me. I am so happy that I got it done. (Its 14" X 16") With a little encouragement from my friends I even got my "manipulated" oak tree bumps included in the composition ( see detail close up). I used some hand-dyes and some commercial fabrics that were already folded. The foothills on the way to wine country are the most beautiful shade at sunset time. Its nice to be back.

Prevent Forest Fires

Today I posted my #42 FFFC...not too fast or on scheduel..I did make it all today..my photo does

not show the "real quilt".I could not pick up the black sparkled net "smoke" over the forest fire.

We went to Florida the day before this challenge was set...I had been snow dyeing black and red

acrylic paints for another project. I did not have time to finish the snow dye before we left home ...

so..I just poured off the melted snow and let the container sit in my laundry room.
I had crinkled up the fabric before dyeing and when I checked it when we got home the fabric was crinkled
and dyed black & red.
Perfect for manipulated fabric fire!!!With fabric glue and red metalic pieces I added
little strikes of fire... and sewed on some deer in the burned forest. The top blue skies and misty &
black trees. (My second thought was to make the sky bigger and put the fire into the blue and not
streight across)Too late!! Any way I quilted vertical lines and next added the sparkled black net for
smoke...hand stitched with embrodery thread. I cut the net bigger than the top and let it puff and
pleat as I sewed it on....I can't get the smoke to show on my photo.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Curacao Landscape

11” X 15.5”

I was on a dive trip to Curacao during the challenge period so thought it appropriate that my landscape be an underwater one. One of the more famous Curacao dive sites is Mushroom Forest and that is depicted in the back with the green manipulated fabric. The green and orange manipulated fabrics are class samples from Larkin Van Horn’s embellishment class. We pushed fabric through a mess screen with chopsticks and then ironed on fusible interfacing or adhesive. The brain coral (yellow) is ruching. The dimensional orange corals and stem of the fan were made in a hoop with water soluble stabilizer and thread. Fan is painted gauze and the purple tube sponges are painted batting. Thanks Linda for a fun project.

Comments are welcome and appreciated.

Pam Harris

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Flower Fields of Carlsbad

My landscape is the giant ranuncula flower fields of Carlsbad, Ca. It is 55 acres of glorious color every spring. I used this photo for inspiration (I don't know why the top two rows got cropped off the picture?). When I first decided to do this, my intentions were to do an abstract, loose interpretation, but the quilt had a mind of its own and I wound up doing a far more labor intense piece...

I painted the whole cloth base then heavily quilted it before adding any embellishments. I made more than 100 Victorian rusched flowers using a variety of silks, sheers, and even some suede cloth. They range in size from 1/2" to less than 1". Next I did hundreds of french knots, then beaded with many different types of beads and crystals. The final step was to make a second quilt sandwich using an extra loft batting and hand quilted the wavy divisions between the rows of flowers to create the dimension of the fields.

It measures 20 1/2"x 29"

This was a real challenge...

Comments most appreciated as always...thanks


Tuesday, March 09, 2010

I changed the blue stripe on the top to a differnet color and gave it a cirvy shape like the other borders so it wouldn't be s0 jarring. Let me know what you think
Pat Havey

Stormy Seas

I thought for sometime about landscape possibilities, but decided I hadn't enough time to do it justice.

So, today, I dug around in my texturised fabrics from the workshop I did some time back. This grey taffeta was a part of a piece that was not textured as much as I would like. So, I pulled up some sections from the fusible interfacing it was attached to. Then sat and manipulated it by hand, pinning waves in various ways.

Then I thought. What does it look like?
Stormy Seas.

So I found a fabric with a ship in my stash. I found it wanted a cluster of rocks at the top. and then it wanted a lighthouse. I decided to leave the organic shape of the piece and mounted it onto black linen. Then I sandwiched it and added the silver cord which I couched down for waves. I quilted it further with waves and clouds at the top! Satin stitch round the sides and Voila a seascape!

One of the quickest pieces I have made in sometime.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Lavender field

I did a sampler of different techniques. The mountains are Vikki Pignatelli's zigzag tube method, with a fold in the centre to give the two tones. The ploughed field is texture magic, which I hated - the stitch tension was all over the place and I don't like using plastic. The hedges are ruching, one in the centre, single layer, and one at the edge, doubled. The lavender field is chenille method. I don't think I will take this any further. Batting and quilting would only flatten out the textures.

Ice field at Twilight

Here is my small piece called Ice Field at Twilight. I recognize that twilight can occur any time of day in some places . The background is a hand painted whole cloth piece. I fused a pleated and folded piece of white cotton on top and then machine quilted it, adding accents of silver on the folds. I accented the colour in the sky a bit with with a peach-y cololured chalk pastel, and did a tiny bit of the same colour on the folds of the "ice". The mountain and shore are hand dyed cotton. Over all I'm pleased with it. It is about 13" by 18"

Pat F in Winnipeg
aka fndlmous

Sunday, March 07, 2010


Wildfire is a year old.   Made with Tissue-tex, glue and muslin.  The paper becomes wrinkly and lumpy when glued down to the muslin.  It is then dyed by painting on the various colors of dyes and allowed to dry.  I used the big piece as a background for the trees, showing the raging wild fire.

Carol tackett
Sea Ranch, California

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Snow in the Mountains

I don't know what to say about this except I think it needs something else but I don't know what. The snow and mountains are textured.

18-1/2" x 14"

In real life it is a nice rectangle -- my picture is wonky.

Tree - Approx 7" x 12"

Done. On time. This has been a fun challenge. Actually much of the fun doesn't show up on this piece. I got out some presser feet, tried pintucks, gathering, and pleating. It was great to explore these ways of manipulating fabric, but in the end, I did not use them.

Tree started with a gelatin monoprint. I added scrunched dark grey fabrics for rocks at the bottom - scrunched over fusible web. Then I reverse appliqued the moon under the tree. Appliqued the rock fabric and the moon using monofilament free motion zig-zag. Quilted with metallic thread.

Thanks so much for this challenge.

Any comments/criticisms are welcome.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Winter Corn Rows

Done but I'm not happy with the end product. I using piping to create the foreground corn rows and then just strips on the farther hill. There is a grayed hill on the right that I tried scrunching with warm Misty Fuse. I've done this effectively before but I didn't do well with it this time. I also didn't get the background strips at an angle like I'd wanted. I feel they're too vertical. I also added some stitching to attempt to show some dried clumps of grass peeking through the snow. All of this bleakness is what it's looked like here since Thanksgiving! It does have an uneven bottom since I decided it added to the effect of the corn rows. I haven't put a binding on it yet since I'm trying to decide whether or not to just just zigzag around a few times or to put on a narrow light grey border. It measures 10 1/2" x 15 1/2".

Saguaro sunrise

Saguaro Sunrise is my desert landscape for Challenge 42.  The saquaro cactus on the left is "bubble tucked" with folds crushed under over-the-tuck stitches. There is a hole in the cactus where an owl has made his home.  The barrel cactus in the foreground is stuffed and quilted separately, then attached.  The organ pipe cactus is ruched with two colors to provide shadow.  The horizon line is blurred with quilting and foiling to represent the rising heat waves so common in the desert.  This piece is 18 inches square.  Can you find the lizard?  I look forward to your comments.  Hope you all have as much fun with this challenge as I did.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

oragami sandscape

I decided to do a representative oragami type landscape. The different fabrics are sewn together then pleated. TheDunes /rocks are tucked in the pleats and stiched. The final measurments are 19x14 1/2. It was fun and easy and just right for this very busy month.
Pat Havey

The photograph hopefully will show the fabric manipulation in the form of gathering stitches in the sky and water. This piece is rather large at 4'x6'. I used paper, photo transfer, pleating and gathering along with one of my old earrings!
This piece is a reminder of our many sailing trips through the British Virgin Islands and incorporates my love of color. Sky, ground, beach and water are painted with acrylics. I incorporate many trim pieces on the cottage.
Jane Stricker

Monday, March 01, 2010

Max Patch

Here's a partially finished landscape, based on an altered photo of "Max Patch", a beautiful spot on the Appalachian Trail, where you have a 360 degree view of all the spectacular scenery around.

The fabrics are all dupioni silks, and were wonderful to work with. It is a practice piece for me to try different metallic threads and silk-finish threads for thread painting.

I am happy with some of the effects, but wish I could achieve more of a three-dimensional look, since it is mountains and valleys. Right now, it looks a little "flat" to me.

I love adding beads to my work, but I'm not sure if that would be appropriate here.

I would welcome any comments or suggestions. I have also posted the photo it was based on, and the little quilt will be a gift to the person who shared the photo with me. It measures about 12" x 16"

Marilyn Foulke
Louisville, KY