Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Green Ireland

To me, as I recall my trip to Ireland I remember green, green, green, rain, rain, rain and celtic ruins. So I chose a green background with a celtic knot butterfly and triskel designs on the border as quilting. This is a small quilt l8x20". Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

Pat Havey

Celtic Knot

Last week, our guild hosted Cathy Miller "The Singing Quilter" for a concert and a class. Cathy and I have been friends for years... she and husband John Bunge stay with me when they are in the southwest.

We did her Mock Mola class, a very slick way of doing raw edge reverse applique. So I grabbed a piece of my hand dyes and off I went. After much rumination about what design to use (I had 5 lined up), and after reading our challenge, I decided on the celtic knot. I learned a lot and I think I would use a zig zag stitch to do the initial design and make the lines more stable... but overall, it was a great class and we had a blast with all of the possibilities!
And it's reversible! The colors didnt show as well on this shot, but you get the idea! Comments of course are welcome, and thanks, Pam, for a fun challenge that refreshed my love of celtic knots!

Monday, June 27, 2011


I decided to make an Irish Quilting Fairy Godmother.
She is paper pieced. I got the pattern from www.paperpanache.com She has free mystery pattens frequently and this month it was create your own quilting godmother. She had six sets of words and we have to pick one from each set. There is no way of knowing what she looks like until it is sewn.
It was machine quilted and the celtic design in the border was part of the quilting.

15-1/4" x 18-1/2"

Friday, June 24, 2011

Big Blue Stem

Very late, but completed.  :)  When I looked at Andy Goldsworthy's works, one of the things which struck me is that while he used natural items, he usually had a focal point which was maybe related to a natural color, but kicked up several notches.  Gold boulders, outsized natural elements, REALLY red leaves, REALLY green leaves...

So, I decided to do a native prairie grass I grow in my yard which is called "Big Bluestem"  (Andropogon gerardii) and make it really blue.  I assure you, mine is a blue colored stem..but this is more blue than in nature!. 

I think I hit the rhythm requirement pretty well, both in the seed heads and in the leaves.  the other requirement was "to create an exciting background".  For this, I painted the background cloth ins shades of green.  I took some deli papers I bought and wanted to try and painted them with a thin coat of Quinacridone / Nickel Azo Gold mixed with Hansa yellow and transparent yellow oxide.   I tore the pieces into strips once they were dry and attached them to the fabric using Matte medium.  I felt that the back ground should probably have been lighter as once the yarns were added for the seed heads, I didn't think that they contrasted enough with the back ground.  You can see an OK shot of it just on the background on Maria Elkin's blog here.

In order to brighten it and make it pop, I added the orangy-gold border.  I then took some King Tut variagated thread and did a wiggly line first one direction and then another over the background to give it more interest and hopefully lighten it a bit.

I then quilted the border in triangles which were quilted in first one direction, then the opposite.  Overall, the piece is equally quilted.  I'm not really pleased with the wavy border...but then I didn't have time to block it either...The background is backed with Decor Bond which makes it lay nice and flat and is great for stabilizing the yarns I couched down as well as the thread painting I did on the stems and leaves of the plant.  I don't like, however, how it doesn't seem possible to get any loft in the piece once you use the Decor bond.   I would have liked to have had the plants stand out a bit more from the background.  As I did the threadwork before I quilted and only outlined quilted those parts, it should have stood out a little...(I used warm and natural for a batting).

My blurry vision and lack of feeling in my hands made the execution of this piece much more lengthy as well as difficult.  I had to rip out the quilting along the border a couple of times...the fact that my Bernina is having tension issues didn't help.  Off it goes to the shop (AGAIN!) I can't figure out how even when the upper tension is set at "0" it is still tight enough to pop the bobbin thread up. My picutres aren't the sharpest in the world either because again of my vision.  Profuse apologies!

I had intended to enter this in the Marianist Environmental Education Center's show in Dayton which is closing this weekend, but I finished one of my entries, just not this one in time.  So, I took it down to the Dayton Visual Art Center member's show (Dayton, OH), today...at least it is going somewhere!

This was one of those times when I said to myself "Boy, life would sure be easier if you'd stick to painting....you'd be done by now and you'd have more of a choice to lighten the background!!!."  Sigh.  I do like the texture though!

Finished size:  20 1/4" h x 24" wide.

As always, comments/suggestions / thoughts are greatly appreciated.

Challenge 58 - Celtic Quilts

Fast Friday Fabric Challenge #58 – Celtic Quilts Host Pam Clark

Top o’ the mornin’ to all of you. Put your Irish thinking caps on and choose any subject matter, but put an Irish spin on it. You can go with Celtic designs or Irish chains or create an Irish scene. You can finish your project off with a Celtic chain border, or use a Celtic design as the focal point, or you could include the Irish chain pattern as part of your quilt. Regretfully, I’m going to be late finishing my own challenge, since I will be out of town from June 18 – 27th and my sister from Portland will be spending the week of June 28-July 2 with me. I hope you all have fun with this topic. I know it’s not the month of March and St. Patrick’s day, but I’m an Irish descendent, and I know that there are lots of Irish symbols that can be integrated into your quilts somehow. Irish art and folklore offers a lot of springboards for ideas. If you Google Irish quilts or Irish art or Celtic Quilts, you will get lots of hits. Below are several links that might give you ideas. May the’ luck o’ the Irish’ be with you in this challenge.






http://www.flickr.com/photos/7665648@N04/4270396918/ (This is a picture of Jaynette Huff’s “Mantle” using Celtic designs around the fire place and in the borders.


This quilt uses Celtic designs as space filler in the corners.


This quilt uses an Irish chain motif across the bottom as a space filler.


This quilt also uses Celtic designs as space fillers around the flower arrangement.


Irish chain quilt









http://www.doverpublications.com/zb/samples/991113/art72.htm (look at the different samples)

http://seeinside.doverpublications.com/dover/0486991091 (vector motifs)


Celtic Alphabets


The link above is excellent. It lets you go page by page through several pages of Celtic designs.













(Be sure to page all the way down. There are numerous examples of Celtic designs.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Louise Page

I am about a week late, but I have completed the latest challenge for the Fast Friday Fabric Challenge group. This month the task was to create a piece in the Art Deco/Art Noveau style. I was excited about doing this as I had purchased some books from Dover dealing with this subject matter. I had perused them many times, but had not gotten around to using the designs for a project. That coupled with the fact that I am determined to use up some of my fabric stash, led me to creating a slightly Asian style Art Deco work.

I began by drawing my own Art Deco pattern after looking at some of the shapes used in that style of art. I then ironed fusible web to the back of the butterfly batik panel and cut out a circle shape. Then I drew the cutting lines on the piece and cut it into sections. I kept some of the sections and discarded the others. I cut out a black circle a couple of inches larger than the batik circle, layed the batik sections on the circle and fused them. I added a few of the discarded sections in order to create more interest in the piece. After this, I stitched the sections down, added some quilting around the flowers and leaves, and then quilted the black background. I used a varigated King Tut thread by Superior to stitch a decorative motif around each section to lift them of the background more. I finished the outside of the circle with the same thread, but a different motif. I then added piping around the edge to finish it off. I am disappointed because the circle is not perfect, but am not willing to pull the piping off at this point.

This is the first quilted piece which I have sewn on my Janome 7700, and must say that I am very impressed by this machine and the free motion quilting capability which it has. I loved my Viking Designer 1, but this machine is light years ahead of it in this area. A lot of improvements have been made in the last nine years (I bought the Designer 1 in 2002) and I am just beginning to experience some of the strides which have been made. What a blessing this machine is going to be!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I named it 'DONE'

I started this little piece last spring. Then I had a series of medical interruptions. It was started for a Fast Friday Fabric Challenge titled, Art Deco. I think my original design hit the mark. All I intended to do was stitch in the ditch so the design popped. 
Pieced Design

However, I could NOT get the tension adjusted on my machine. The more I stitched, the more out of whack it got. I had lost a LOT of my incentive for finishing this. Yet, it was something practical I really wanted to finish.
After marking a bunch of circles flowing across the design, I stitched those several times around using white thread until I felt they stood out enough to make the design show. It was rather subtle. Next, I picked out a thread color that is in my wall. Then I really stitched it within an inch of its' life. Now the real FUN began. I took out my buttons. No real whites, so I used these small off white ones. I really wanted gray and purple. I had bought a set of purple buttons and also some tiny gray ones. I needed something that would POP. Like any good Artist, I looked in my closet for buttons that would work for this quilt. I absolutely love the steel gray ones. I rarely wore the wool jacket. Now I have more wool for wool stash. I found a few more purple ones on a sweater I never wear. That will be re-purposed later.
Completed Design

I laid my buttons out on my design; then I fiddled for hours. I held them in place with the yellow headed pins. I liked the accent, so decided to use white embroidery floss on all of the buttons. I actually only had to take off one button that didn't work out. That amazed me. This is my first time using buttons as a design element. Attaching them took 2 days because I had to pull the large needle through with pliers. The tiny gray ones required a small needle, so I just went through several times.

Finished Design in Situ

Am I hooked on buttons? Not sure. I think each quilt will have to speak to me and tell me what to do, just as this one did.

Challenge 57, Pam Clark

While researching Art Deco, I came across a stained glass window that I used as my inspiration for this quilt. The black, lavender, green and gold fabric I found in my stash had an Art Deco feel to it and I used it for my color scheme. I learned a lot about Art Deco from doing this challenge. Thank for inspiring us to research different art styles. I used both piecing and appliqué in this piece. It measures 13 x 19"

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Art Deco No. 1 Bird

Thank you for this wonderful challenge. What a thrill to have this exciting subject for my very first one. Art Deco architectural design is represented with the bird cage. For the machine age, metal, and vertical design, I did a silver bird cage. Glitz and glam of that opulent period are emphasized with glitter in the bird's outline and cage base. I used sunburst rays for quilting and kept to clean, brilliant colors of the period. At first I thought of doing a cityscape or theater facade but our Blue and Gold Macaw kept calling "Mama" for me to let her out of her cage to sit with me while I worked. Voila! - the Ah-ha moment. So I drew an Art Deco parrot like Bo Jangles and appliqued her to the background. I managed the cage-building with quilling paper strips painted silver with a Krylon silver leafing pen, and the base with spray paint overlayed with glitter. I outline Bo with matching glitter glues, then glued on the cage strips. Then I used Art Deco numerals to add the challenge year and number for an address for No. 1 Bird. 21"x25" All critiques, comments and suggestions are very welcome. Sandi

Art Deco Triangle

19" x 19"

I have been looking lately how to use some bits and pieces of fancy cords and lace, and they seemed to fit in well for this purpose. This piece used up all of that loopy white edging inside the triangle and most of the red, blue and gold cord. The rosettes are the same red fabric inside the triangle along with some lace. At the corners, I unraveled the last four inches of the cord and trimmed them.

The outer pieces of cord I added because my husband thought that the triangle looked just a bit suggestive!

This was fun to put together, but I'm just not sure how much I like it!

Comments are welcome, along with suggestions for a title.

Deco Batik

Since in these days I'm playing with flour paste resist batik, I've decided to do an Art Deco batik piece. :)
It still needs quilting, but I'd love to hear from you what do you think about colors and composition.
I'm trying to improve my color use and composition skills so every hint and comment will be really appreciate :)
With this piece I wanted to give a sort of "flowing" feeling, from up to bottom.

It is small, just 23"x7"

Thank you.

Art Deco WILD Alaska Red Salmon

18” X 31”
The Copper River Red Salmon are considered the world’s best eating salmon. They spawn on the glacier fed Copper River which is one of the swiftest and most rugged rivers in Alaska. Because it is so swift, the returning salmon must store extra fat and oils in order to survive the trip to their spawning grounds.
Quilt is all machine stitched hand dyed and commercial fabrics. Most comments/suggestions I have received the past few years have been I don't quilt enough. This time I listened as the there is very little that is not quilted.
I spent quite a bit of time exploring the web for Art Deco ideas before deciding to celebrate the return of the Alaska Red Salmon. Thank you Carol for hosting yet another inspiring challenge producing a nice variety of great quilts.
Comments and Suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Abstract Art Deco

Well, I did not think I was going to make it in time to post to the challenge. I didn't start this until Wednesday, because I really couldn't think of what to do. I did not want to submit an incomplete quilt. I looked online to see what could inspire me, but nothing did, so I threw in a little of this and a little of that and came up with my Abstract Art Deco Quilt. It measures 14" X 16" and I used only fabrics I already had in my stash. The fabrics were mainly Fairy Frost. It was my husband's idea to do the black and white border to look like an old film reel and I think it really added to the quilt. All comments and critiques welcome.

Hey Baby!! Ya Wanna Dance?

I don't know the different art styles so I hope I got this almost right based on what I've read. At least I got it finished on time. That hasn't happened too often lately.

The background was machine pieced and quilted and the people were hand appliqued.

It is 21" x 18"

Challenge 57 DECOration

This was a really fun challenge for me.  I have always loved the Art Deco style, so the hardest part was selecting a single subject.   I recently did an art quilt featuring an Art Deco building, so for this one I decided to focus more on ornament than architecture. One photo that kept catching my attention was this one of the Chrysler Building elevator doors. I selected a complementary color scheme of orange and blue, which seemed to evoke the posters and graphics of that era.

Once again my ideas exceeded my skills.  I quickly had to give up on the curved piecing for the background and fall back on fusing, but as it turned out most of the background seams were covered anyway.  After creating the two-tone background I added decoration using fountain, waterfall and zigzag motifs.   As usual, I still need to add quilting, but I wanted to be on time.  It is 10 " x 17"

Since it's so relevant to the challenge, I hope it's okay to also share my previous Art Deco quilt, "Beacon in the Darkness" which I made for a show here in my  hometown -the theme was local buildings created by the WPA. (A depression era building program). 

I look forward to any and all comments and suggestions.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Challenge 57

I was so excited to see the topic for this challenge. I love art deco and its cousin art nouveau. Thanks so much! I was determined to get something done this time, though!.

My project is not finished, but if I wait, I will have missed another deadline! The leaves and stems are simply fused to a background but the stems are "Mucha-like." I think I want to add some glitz embellishment to it, even if that may not fit the deco mode.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

The Chrysler Building

For this challenge I wanted to do a take on one of the iconic pieces of architecture from the Art Deco era. The Chrysler building is one of my favorites; I love its style and lines. When I googled it, I found a wonderful photo with a forced perspective and used that as my inspiration. In my stash I found an older chunk of fabric depicting the nighttime New York skyline. Perfect! And while I do realize that this is far from perfect, I think it is OK for this challenge. All comments are welcome.

"Retro Postcards and Dancing Poppy"

Since I wasn't happy with angular poppies, I made art deco postcards to answer this challenge.

My piece this week seemed to be art nouveau. It is 12" X 12". To accomplish the poppy cutout, I put my photograph into PS Elements and used the "stamp" effect (under dropdown filter: sketch), changed the texture using "conte crayon"(in the same drop down), printed out a black and white image to use as a pattern. The visual color compliments seemed to work best for the seed head, stylized leaves and lines. I heavily quilted all the background areas to make the poppy dimensional. Organza ribbon was fused as edging.

The best part of Fast Friday is the art education in each challenge. Thank you for another great one. Comments appreciated.

Miami 1920

Posted by PicasaMiami 1920
This is really a fun challenge. My quilt started with an Art Deco, marble candy dish. I used the figurine who sits on a marble stool as my model. I incorporated the image onto my background with an imaginary hotel sign. On the background I use oil based paint sticks, a yellow highlighted marker, embroidery and metallic threads, thread painting, stifle free motion quilting, as well as some hand stitching. To bring the piece together I framed the quilt with some trim from my stash. The letters HOTEL actually glitters with the help of a very shiny thread.

Thank you for such a great topic.


It is all fused applique using silks, velvets, brocade and metallic lame's on black velvet. They are all satin stitched down using metallic threads. I couched the antique gold metallic around the outside of the whole design.
It measures 22"x23".

I LOVE Art Deco!! Thank you Carol for this fun challenge :-)

All comments / suggestions are gratefully accepted. I 'listen' to what you all have to say, and often use your advice.