Sunday, July 31, 2011


Fast Friday Fabric Challenge 59

The topic of this month challenge is "to create a piece of fiber art that demonstrates solitude in a representational abstract model." When I think of solitude my favorite place to be alone, is on a raft floating preferably in the ocean or any other body of water. The same solitude can be found in a swimming pool.. Close your eyes and imagine:)

Size 25" by 28" 100% cotton fabric, loosely spun hand dyed yarn

Saturday, July 30, 2011


13" X 13"

I enjoy working all sorts of puzzles so chose a Sudoku as my solitude. Fabrics are all fused, hand dyes.


When I read about this challenge, I had just returned from an Adirondack vacation. For me, solitude is peaceful, calm and comfortable. The "abstract" portion of this challenge was really hard for me. This piece is 25" x 15".


Here it is. I think I got the solitude o.k. but abstract on purpose is still something I struggle with.


Here's my piece for Challenge 59. When I want solitude, I either crawl into bed with a good book or go out into nature to look at birds, plants and whatever wildlife is around. The nature watching way is the best!

Friday, July 29, 2011

FINALLY! Solitude

The ultimate solitude seemed somehow appropriate to me. Seems its the only way solitude may be attained for some of us. I guess I am just in a bazaar mood or something. This piece is fused,satin stitched and quilted. What a blast!

Pat Havey

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Forest Light

Part of my personal challenge is to always use what's on hand for the FFC adventure!  These are the same colors I dyed for my St. Omer Labyrinth (American Quilter, May issue, and soon to be a pattern for AQ! -- end of shameless self promotion!).  I'm doing a mystery quilt with my guild and had enough leftover to use the same colors for that quilt as well.  And the scraps were just laying on the cutting table anyway, so why not?

I love walking in the forest and every once in a while, a solitary beam of sunshine will peak thru the canopy of trees.  It's always a magic moment!  As I read the challenge that was my very first thought!  So then how to depict it?  I just used the leftover 1" strips from the piped binding.  I wanted it subtle and abstract... and I'm happy with the results!

Click on the pic to enlarge and see the sunbeam quilting.  It's a little one... 6.5 x 17.5."  Thanks for a great challenge, Ann!  Comments, of course, are welcome!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Fallen Leaf

My inspiration, a fallen leaf. The wind blows and a leaf falls from the tree and into the water below. It stays there floating alone and in peaceful quietness.

The quilt is 14"X14". The leaf is real, found one day while at Laguna Beach, CA. It was a brown, dry, dead leaf. I painted it to look more like an Autumn Leaf, then coated it with a hardener. I chose the background fabric, because of the shadows from overhanging branches. There is another piece the shape of the leaf to act as a shadow underneath the leaf.


This is a lighthouse I took a photo of in Newfoundland. It is actually red and white, diagonally striped (like a giant barber pole). I used a black suede cloth and a fabric that looks like shiny leather for the stripes. The 'light' is a holographic fabric. The background is a piece I Mandala folded and dyed in a bucket with other fabrics Parfait style. The light 'rays' are stitched with holo-gold thread. All pieces are satin stitched in black.

This piece measures 29 1/2"x39 1/2"

Fun challenge Ann !


Your comments are appreciated as always

Monday, July 25, 2011

Lost in the Music

I haven't been able to participate in the last two or three challenges. When I saw this one come up Friday I felt that I just had to make time for this one.

The photograph of my granddaughter was taken in a low light setting and it looks as if she were outlined two or three times. I tried to capture the solitude of a performer on stage or an athlete getting ready to compete.

The size is 22"x27" and is not quilted, that will have to wait. I am writing more details on my blog tonight, I hope. Any comments would be appreciated. I hope I
captured the representational/abstract that I was aiming for.

I had quite a few people ask me to post this piece again when I finished the quilting. I decided to echo around the figure giving it the illusion of movement.

Closeup of "Lost in the Music".

Garden Shower

My personal solitude has always been triggered by water and beautiful gardens. This quilt is taken from a photograph of my garden bench where I spent many hours enjoying the sight and sound of a fountain, birds, and multiple types of hostas. I have used the photo for a full page in my scrapbook, which I had titled Serenity, clearly one of the positive aspects of the Solitude that Ann has offered as our challenge. The quilt is 10" x 7.5" and I have used fusible raw-edge appliqué to achieve a similar appearance as the photo. Although the photo was taken during a clear day, I have added rain by quilting with silver metallic thread. All of my life, I have been the most creative when it is raining, especially when there is lightning and thunder. Interestingly it almost rained today as I was working on this, so I just played one of my "Solitude Series" CD that was rain and thunder to accompany me. I will add scrapbook page and quilt detail. Comments welcome. Sandi

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Challenge 59 - Solitude

July 2011 Challenge 59 – Solitude Host: Ann Turley Due: July 30th noon ET

What comes to mind when you hear the word “solitude”? Do you think of the state of being alone, yet not really lonely? Solitude and loneliness are often thought of as being similar, yet there is a definite difference. Loneliness is accompanied by a sense of isolation and separation, and a feeling that something is missing. Solitude is a state of being alone without being lonely. It is a desirable state, one that can be used as a time of reflection and personal growth or enjoyment. A great example is reading, a very solitary activity. And for our own purposes here at Fast Friday, when we engage in the creative process of developing an idea, we work in happy solitude. I’ve included a link to an article from “Psychology Today” that I found to be useful in writing this month’s challenge:

Your challenge is to create a piece of fiber art that demonstrates solitude in a representational abstract manner.

Representational Abstraction portrays objects that have been "abstracted" (taken) from nature. Although what you see may not look realistic, it is close enough that you can at least, get an idea of what you are looking at. Picasso’s paintings of women immediately come to mind. Here is a link to one of his “Weeping Women”:

For comparison, “pure” abstraction bears no resemblance to reality – Jackson Pollock’s work for example:

For more on representational abstraction visit this website:

A few images that depict solitude: This is Kathy McNeil’s “Natural Wonders”, best of show at Road to California 2011. Jane E. Hamilton, part of a traveling exhibit called “Tactile Architecture”.

How will you take your idea for Solitude and portray it in representational abstraction?

The only requirements here are to have fun, and not over think this!

Ann Turley

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Reliquary Box or the Slow Friday Fabric Challenge

In 2009, the Miami Valley Art Quilt Network of greater Dayton hosted a challenge to design quilts based on Celtic works, particularly the Book of Kells. The Centerville/Washington library owns a facsimile copy of the Book of Kells and as a part of the celebration of the donation of the book, we did pieces either drawn from the Book of Kells or Celtic imagery.

At the time, I did quite a bit of research and found that the Book of Kells had been carried into battle, a monk carrying it, holding it high in a special box which had been made for it.

During the middle ages, boxes which held sacred artifacts, such as bits of the true cross, saint's bones, or sacred texts were kept in special boxes called reliquaries. I pictured some of on display at the Cloisters in New York on my blog,

When this challenge came up, I decided now was the time to give this concept of making a reliquary box to hold a fiber version of the Magnificat. How hard could it be? I was particularly interested as I wanted to make a fully three dimensional piece of work. (the first two pictures here are of enameled reliquaries of the type I was interested in.)

Monymusk Reliquary
I was particularly taken by the Monymusk Reliquary which you see here. Although fairly simple, I loved the shape. You can read more about the Monymusk reliquary here.

I have to say, that although my idea didn't work very well..I learned a lot. It did require me to do some thinking as to how to accomplish this and in some cases my way was the hard way.

You can see that my general shape is ok..but the "flappy" parts just below the handles are too small.

I created this by taking a piece of Peltex, laying a piece of batting over the top of it and then a piece of fabric. Since I didn't have the gold I wanted, I just took a piece of fabric I had and didn't like and used that. I quilted the general shapes, then painted the whole thing with Jaquard metallic paints.

On the two side panels, I painted the images, sort of icons, directly on the sides of the box. I then quilted around the rough shapes so that they would look a little like enameled images. Within the circles I glued pendants and buttons with the shanks cut off to look like the embossed bits on the Monymusk reliquary.

Each of the pieces were done free hand and individually. Life was made more interesting because my Bernina 440 decided that the upper tension was going to be TIGHT and even though I had it set at the lowest tension, it was still pulling the bobbin thread up to the top when I was doing satin stitching. Shredding the metallic thread was also an issue (shredding was happening in the upper tension discs).

The images of Mary are mine but I developed them from medieval examples. These were painted with Jaquard paints as well.

On the bottom edge, I used a piece of Tyvek which I had painted gold, stitched over, melted, then ironed it. I was trying to go for some of the wonderful work that Jan Beaney and others do which look like antiqued and distressed pieces. I love the richness and the texture.'s as lot harder to do than they make it sound...I'm going to have to play with this more to get the look I intended. I thought that the stitching would help guide the melting...NOT.

The ends (here you see the annunciation) were quilted first, then painted, then I painted the images on pieces of Cindy Walter's stabilized fabrics. I then quilted them over batting and then satin stitched them to the ends.

This one, I goofed on. My hands are so numb from the chemo that I couldn't feel that I was painting on the paper side, NOT the fabric side. I discovered this when I soaked the piece in order to remove the paper and started to remove the image. I quickly dried it off, cut the image into an oval, quilted it and stitched it on.

I then used a very wide zigzag stitch to connect all my bits and pieces together. I'm not sure I'd do it this way fact, I'm not sure I'd do this again. At least I tried it. The only other thing I was thinking about was rendering one of my niece's photos of Iona...only Iona is a Scottish Island, Not an Irish one. :(

Sorry guys...hopefully the next one will be done much more quickly than this one...believe me...I had NOOOOOOO idea.

Circle of Life

This is coming very, very late, but I feel better late than never and I got it in before the next challenge. Barely! This Thistle goes from new born bud to one that has lived out it's life, ergo "Cirlce of Life". The Thistle is Scotland's national flower. The noble plant is the namesake of Scotland's ancient order of chivalry known as "The Order of the Thistle". I thoroughly enjoyed doing this quilt and yes each petal was sewn down individually.

Sunday, July 03, 2011


I got so drawn in to the whole Celtic idea that I combined a few different symbols for my Five Fold Tree of Life. The Five Fold Symbol has many interpretations. " Druids hinted of an all-encompassing illumination when the five aspects of nature were balanced within human understanding"....the one I chose to present is Seasons: the Four being Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter, and the Fifth element is Transitioning (the center circle). I used a Tree of life 'transitioning' from season to season, the roots of the trees represented by the Celtic knot twined in the center.
I drew the full size pattern on parchment paper then layered my batting, white silk dupioni and pinned the pattern on top. I stitched all the trees with black thread, and the Celtic Knot with gold holo thread, and the circles with silver holo. It took me 8 hours, a pair of tweezers, and LOTS of patience to get all the paper out LOL.

I painted the trees using Dyna Flo and Inktense Pencils. The flowers and leaves are all made from various painted mixed media...Lutradur, paper fabric etc. Every flower and leaf was fussy cut and stitched on the trees one at a time. The knot is painted in gold metallic. Quilted with white silk thread.

25" x 25"

Thanks Pam for a great challenge!


As always, your comments and suggestions are appreciated

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Irish Words

Irish Words

This quilt is made up of Irish quotes, sayings and slang. The flower I found under Irish flowers ( sorry I do not have a name) the . It grows low to the ground and than the bloom pops up a bit like a crownf. The flower was fused on to the quilt and thread painted. I add a few beads and some dried foliage for effects. The Irish words were hand printed with a fabric marker. Machine quilting brought it together. Size is 24 inches by 24 inches.

I was apprehensive about the Irish theme in June. Being a free spirit I went into create mode. It was great fun looking everything up. There is is even a quote from Sandra Bullock and one from Gregory Peck. I totally enjoyed this challenge. I have never been to Ireland, however my Great Grandfather was born there.:)
SusanPI Ward
Quilting in Kentucky

Celtic Knot

Here is my piece for the Celtic Quilt challenge. It's about 14" x 14". I've always been fascinated by Celtic knots, so I was happy to have this chance to study one closely enough to replicate it. I'd thought I might be able to do this with bias tape, but soon learned that wasn't possible, so I cut out and fused the pieces to the background. The knot pattern was hard to see in the dark fabric, so I decided to quilt the outline in light lavender thread (Lots of starts and stops!). I've quilted in the ditch of the border, but I think I might try to do a small Celtic motif in each corner before I bind it. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to put this fun little piece together!


Celtic Leo

My quilt is not original like all the others posted before me. Instead, I had found this design in one of the Celtic Designs listed in the Dover Publications that caught my attention because my husband's birth sign is Leo. I have really made this for him as well as our challenge, since his birthday is coming up in August. I drew the images onto freezer paper and made templates for creating the dozens of applique pieces. My biggest struggle was deciding how to twist and weave all the pieces together. Once I had all that figured out, I realized that the only way to get the background quilted in detail was to quilt it first - no way was I going to quilt around all the small spaces. After appliqueing the lions and initials, I heard the quilt screaming for some color in the border. Using Ricky Tims' piped binding method, I tried a new one using two colors of piping rather than one. I think it works but I will let you decide. At least I did a lot more quilting in this one, not like my Art Deco piece. Thanking you in advance for any comments and suggestions. Sandi

Friday, July 01, 2011


18" X 18"

Since I have done several Celtic pieces, I went with the Irish portion of the challenge using Notan/Expanding the Square, a Japanese design concept using positive and negative space. Background fabric is snow dyed and the dark is commercial.

Thanks Pam for the fun challenge. Comments appreciated.


Celtic - Standing Stones

Standing Stones is 23" x 18".  This piece started out as a tie-dyed piece of fabric to which I added some acrylic paint.  Commercial fabrics were used for the stones and foreground.  While many people will think of Stonehenge, there are also standing stones in Ireland. The stones in Ireland are generally not in as good a shape as they have fallen over and some are partially buried.  This is how they may have looked once upon a time.

Talleulah Finds Her Pot of Gold

This challenge theme had me stymied until I met a few fellow FFFC'ers last weekend. Cherie Brown and Kathy Brannock threw out a few suggestions that caused the lightbulb to come on. I have been making projects over the past few months with the overall theme of "Talleulah Dreams". Talleulah is a bit of an odd bird, always wearing goggles and a cap just in case something exciting happens. She often has at least two friends nearby who are her support system, friends who would stick by her side no matter how odd Talleulah's dreams are. I have made many Talleulah quilts with several different adventures, so when the idea of a pot of gold was mentioned, I knew exactly where Talleulah fit in. My quilt is 18"x24", the egg is stabilized lame, the grass is attached so that it will wave in the breeze. Any and all comments, no matter how odd, are always welcome!