Monday, January 31, 2011

Chocolate Boxes

I set my chocolate boxes on the ironing board and traced around them and also the shadows.

Raw edge applique and machine quilted..
14-1/4" square

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Abstract 20"x23"

What a fun challenge this was! Trompe L'oeil is one of my very favorite forms of art.

I used a piece of fabric that I dyed last Tuesday and black chiffon for the shadows. The faux metal connectors are black ribbon with silver sharpie to suggest roundness.

Thank you Chris for a terrific challenge!

Comments and suggestions are appreciated...


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Challenge 53 - Trompe L'oeil

Guest Hostess: Chris Predd of LaPorte IN and Anna Maria Island, FL

Design Concept: Trompe L’oeil (pronounced "tromp loy")


The art technique of trompe l'oeil involves creation of art that gives the visual illusion that an item is three dimensional. Its literal meaning is to 'deceive the eye'. A full history of this technique can be found on wikipedia:œil and at the AskArt website


Art Examples:

Public artist, John Pugh does incredible wall art using this technique, which is also referred to as art that will "fool the eye". His art is so real that you feel like you could walk into the scene, or that the people are actually sitting there. Here's a link to see some of his work:

The Trompe l’Oeil Artists Society website has links to many artists who depict everyday objects by this technique. They appear so real that you believe you could lift them off the paper. Scroll down through the different artists there and link to their web sites to see some incredible work.

Here is a link for a mural artist that creates realistic imagery on walls:

3D Street art is amazing:

Here's a link to this technique done by drawing with pencil

Then there’s the tricking of the eye with things of wood that look like other things (like quilts)


Quilt Examples:

Esterita Austin is quilter whose work could fit into this definition

Joan Sowada is a master at this:

as is David Taylor

and Cynthia English,

Fiber art -

Susan Brittingham' perspective work is also very realistic:

Barbara McKie using photo imagery

More quilts:

The internet is full of other links on this technique, simply Google trompe l'oeil and you will find countless other visuals and discussions of this topic.


The Challenge: Create an art quilt using the trompe l'oeil technique, preferably depicting an everyday object or group of objects. The goal is to make it appear so realistic by paying attention to angles and shadows it creates in the position and location it is in. Depict it in its actual size or the correct proportions. Or, create a scene, structures, or landscape using the same technique. Obviously using realistic colors and textures is important in this challenge.

Have fun! Chris Predd

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Challenge #51 and #52

I decided to combine 51 and 52. I sort of kept the idea I had for 51 and changed the fabrics to be better suited for 52. There is no story behind it. No meaning to any of the squiggly shapes. Just what I felt like doing as I went along with no explanation as to why I did any of it, except that I do make a lot of things using the hexagon shape. If you click on the hexagon label on my blog, most of them should come up.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Challenge 52 River

When I first read this challenge, I knew I wanted to do something because I love so much of this kind of art.  I immediately went to my sheers but didn't have enough of the colors I needed and so let the holiday activities take precedence for a while but I kept coming back to the idea that nature was a theme for many of the color field artists. So I started looking for colors among my hand-dyed fabrics and playing with shapes until a piece emerged that also fit in with a current theme in my work:  connections in nature.  I think my edges are too hard to fit into the color field category, but I decided to post this anyway.  It's about 21" x 29".

It is not quilted or faced yet.  Yesterday I finally had to accept that something is seriously wrong with my sewing machine and it will have to be repaired so this would be ridiculously late if I waited for its return.

Any comments will be appreciated.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Challenge 52: "Border Crossings"

After a VERY long absence (sorry--I don't know what happened to me last year) I'm back in full force! I loved this challenge; it was very educational, made me really think, and inspired me to create something. I don't know how well I succeeded in meeting the goal of creating a "color field" piece, since I'm not sure I fully understand the concept, but I thoroughly enjoyed working on this wall quilt that I'm calling "Border Crossings."

I couldn't figure out how to make the blocks of color seem "blended," so I gave up on that and tried to sort of confuse the eye instead. I had to REALLY fight myself not to quilt this piece to death (my usual MO) because of the "flat texture" look of color fields. Since there's not a lot of quilting, some of the fabric looks a little "loose" (I'm not really sure how to describe it--you know that slight wrinkly effect you get between quilting lines?) so I'm going to starch and iron it as soon as I find my spray starch (long story).

Your comments are greatly appreciated! Michele

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Late and Still Uncertain!

This has been a great challenge, in an area I knew nothing about. There have been so many examples and so much to study about color fields and I still, like many others, don't feel I have a true understanding of color field. However, that also gives us the opportunity to interpret the challenge with our best guess!
I am so late and also so unfinished with this, but I'm hoping for a few helpful hints from you wonderful critique-ers. My leaves are semi-sheer and fused and I usually would just plop on some yarns and maybe some crystals, quilt the jeepers out of it and call it good! I think I want to aim at a little more sophistication this time, though. My first dilemna is that I can't even decide if I want it round or square!

I added a detail of the leaves, too, to show a little of the overlapping sheers and the little bit of sewing I have added already.

You have all done such inspiring work on this challenge...thanks for helping me to expand myself!

Fast Friday Fabric Challene 52

What If? Do you ever wonder - are there other worlds - what are all the
stars we gaze upon, that hang in the sky and seem to stare down on us?
I wonder do they know us, who we are,what we do?

"Other Worlds 2" started with the wrong side of an upholsters scrap. I
painted the fabric with a faux metal and patina glaze. Using fabric
paints and pigmented acrylic ink I followed my vision toward a portion
of the universe. ( strictly using my imagination) Free motion
embroidery with the help of some copper fibers ( which I was able to melt) completed my challenge 52. Comments would be appreciated.
This was an excellent challenge . Working with the color fields while
attempting to create an abstract with depth and reason. TY Betty great choice for the challenge:)

Susan Ward
Quilting in Kentucky

Sunset on Emerald Lake

I was out of town until last Sat. night (our due date) and had no internet for two weeks, so a very late start on this one.

I have attempted to achieve the feeling of broad brush strokes blending into one another using all sheers (again :-)). I layered two pieces of each sheer slightly shifted on each other to blur the, red, blue-green and dark green and the center strip is a sort of variegated metallic fabric with all the colors shifting with the light. The "batting" is off white organza and the backing is black chiffon (to deepen the colors).

There is no machine stitching and no fusible used. I layered all the pieces, basted in place, then quilted the pieces in place using matching metallic threads and a loosely, sort of organic, uneven running stitch to represent the individual fibers from a paint brush.

It was really hard to get a good picture due to the light reflecting on the ripples created by the stitching and the shiny materials. This one also looks great backlit.

The piece measures 25"x30"

This was a real thought provoking challenge and I hope I got it right. Thanks Betty for introducing us to a new (to me) concept. I think I will try to do more.

Any comments and especially your thoughts on what if any emotion experienced would be greatly appreciated...


Sunday, January 02, 2011

Challenge #52 Color Field

Color Field #1-1000

This was so named because it will cover me for any color field quilt from now ‘till #1000!!! Let’s just say that this is not my art love. Everything I read seemed to contradict the last thing read----so finally just made a stab at it without looking at what anyone else had done. It is not quilted—rectangles and “spear” were ironed on and then machine appliqued down. Also not finished.

It measures 6" x 11.5".

Happy New Year to all--Sally

I looked at the comments from members and decided to try to remedy the poor little thing. I'm not sure it was successful. I do like turning it 90°. The quilting does not add anything to the Color Field---but did give me a chance to try some new things. I got a wonderful new thread stand for Christmas and can now use some threads that were just impossible before. The satin stitch on the edges is truly terrible. Nothing I tried made it better. So---it will just have to be. The size is the same. Onward and upward! Sally

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Color Field Your Guess is as Good as Mine

When this challenge was posted, I thought I understood what the pieces were...and I started working on two pieces. However, when some of the FFFC'ers started saying that they were confused...I started looking a little further and decided that I wasn't doing it properly.

The definition I took was one put out in Art History Basics, stating that color field paintings were abstract, not based on nature, treat the canvas or paper as a "field" of vision without a central focus; emphasize the flatness of the surface, and reveal the artists emotional state of mine or his or her expression.

One of the things I found interesting is that it could be "amorphous or clearly geometric, but is about the tension created by overlapping and interacting areas of flat color."

This sort of bothered me....How can one show have the overlapping and softness without using brushwork? And that then became my challenge. How to translate this into quilting. Obviously, I couldn't piece as it would create the sharp edge.

That's when I hit upon using Angelina and foils. The coppery/gold area you see in the center "stripe" and the white-ish stripe are both areas which have been foiled, one with copper foil and the other with a opalescent one I think of as being gasoline on water. I then put pieces of Angelina down (the pink and the sort of reddish on the far left. The red is much redder in this light that it is in reality as I mixed a bright plum with "rusty nail."

The next problem was how to quilt it....If color field painting were all about flatness, then I didn't really want to have any texture, but quilting is ALL about texture. Even when we are quilting a piece and trying to make it flat, there is texture. So, I used a copper metallic thread and a pearl Sliver thread by Sulky for the quilting in the colored areas. The blue, I just quilted in long wavy lines in a blue rayon.

This is WAY out of the box for me as I don't usually do abstracts. I liked how the angelina and the foil gave the colors and soft edges similar to brushwork.

The piece measures 33 1/4" high x 19" wide. I don't have a name for it and would be happy to take suggestions as well as critiques.

Lisa Quintana aka Michigoose

Color Field

Setacolor was used to sunprint the fabric that the 3" squares were cut from. I used a variety of plants, wooden hoops, washers, needlepoint canvas, and plastic doilies. I tried many background colors, but when I auditioned this piece of orange, it began to sing.

I used Setacolor with a little pearlescent paint added on this gorgeous Haroati Silk. I love it the way it is and will probably keep it whole.
Both pieces are approximately 18" x 24" and neither have been quilted yet. Although one has very hard, straight edges and the other is soft and flowing, both are all about the interaction of color.
Fun challenge.

Challenge 52 - "Spinal Dance"

This is a quilt top I started in a workshop last spring. When this challenge was announced, I thought of a few ideas. I found this subject very hard to grasp.

This quilt is totally out of my realm. I rather like the begining rough, but felt it was too small. First I added paint to the workshop piece to try and 'square it up' for quilting. I still felt it was too small, so I added irregular borders. This looked to stark. So I painted and painted and painted some more.

Today I quilted. Not totally happy with the result. However, I am thrilled to have this finished. My first quilt of 2011.

Spinal Dance
18" x 29.5"

FFFC 52 "Endless Summer"

Okay, this group is really pushing my boundaries, but in a good way. I was going to use the holidays and travel as an excuse to not complete this challenge. The real reason being that abstract quilts are a new venue for me and understanding the colorfield concept was difficult for me. But hey, I am three for three for these challenges, so I forged ahead! A post a couple of days ago cleared the waters a little for me, so I went ahead and attempted a piece.

I have titled my adventure "Endless Summer" which is what I am wishing for in the subzero temperatures of Spokane, WA. I chose the colors of blue (for the sky), green (for the plants), and yellow (for the sun). I pulled out a piece of white silk and used my dyes to paint it, which is another first for me. Once the foundation was done, I struggled with what to add to it. I have been reading some posts about lutradur and it's transparency, so I decided to paint it with the same colors. After it was dry, I sliced it and diced it and then rearranged the pieces into a grid pattern. I think that if I had diluted my dyes more, the grid would have blended more into the background, but I didn't really consider this until everything was already put together. I then quilted it with vines and leaves, and yes, those are the sun's rays peeking out of the squares! I echo quilted around the grid and am thinking that I will add more rays on the outside of the grid. I believe that it loosely fits what I understand to be the colorfield style. It is okay if I didn't hit it on all levels, because I love my piece and it brightened my otherwise very cool day!


I began to be very worried that, once again, I would not have time to complete the challenge I hosted. But here we go. This photograph does not represent the actual colors very well. It was interesting to work through this process - the study, the planning, the reality check about what you can actually accomplish in a week - both more and less than I thought. After many iterations of oh so wonderful plans, I decided to work with some handdyes I created in October. There are actually six fabrics from a two color gradation from fuschia to yellow with the addition of the high contrast black. I like the decisions I made about the placement of colors. I fear that it is a boring piece even though it is what I was after and I actually like it - the simplicity, the colors, the contrast.

Any comments or suggestions for improvement are very welcome.

Challenge 52 "Undulating Colors", Pam Clark

After studying all the links, I remembered that I had some blocks that I had created in a class taught by Scott Murkins on strata quilting. I felt that these blocks met many of the requirements of Color Fields. I saw some samples that were divided into squares, and I felt this quilt needed that. I tried to arrange the blocks so that colors were grouped together to give a feeling that the colors are flowing across the piece and running off the edge. Not being an art major, I'm not sure if my piece qualifies as a typical Color Field quilt, but I certainly did learn about a new type of art that I had never studied before, and it broadened my horizons in quilting. Thank you, Betty, for the great challenge and I applaud all the quilters who have already submitted their beautiful works of art.

Series of Twos

9 X 14
Thank you, Betty, for introducing us to the technique and history of Color Fields. I enjoyed all your examples and those some of the members provided. This challenge has produced a great variety of quilts/techniques and I suspect a good learning experience for most, if not all of us. I’m not sure I met the challenge but I had a good time working with shapes and bright colors. Comments/Critiques are welcomed. Thanks, Pam

Four Spirits

I wasn't sure if I've have time to do a challlenge this month. Holidays, of course, plus work and the usual stuff. Then we had an 18" snowfall starting on Wednesday, which closed most of the town including my clinic for 2 days. Nice. Perfect snow dyeing weather! And my deck had 18" of fresh powder that was perfect for the project. I've only done ice dyeing before (using pellet ice), but the idea is the same. The first batch (yesterday) was fine, altho pale. So I mixed up fresh dye this morning and did another. This piece was fan folded, then folded in half. Instead of placing it on a draining screen (which I did yesterday), I just put 4 FQ's in a bin (some twisted, some scrunched, this one folded), and loaded the bin with snow and poured on the dye. I used fire red, cerulean blue, moss green and golden yellow, and had no idea what piece was under which part of the snow.
Then, of course, the hard part is waiting for the snow to melt! It was a pretty muddy mess when it was all melted, but I rinsed and washed and dried, and this is what appeared. I think it's color field!
I immediately saw 4 spirit figures (or dancers...). It's not quilted .... I might just put it on stretcher bars and hang it.
Comments of course, are welcome!
Wendy in very cold Flagstaff on New Year's Eve