Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Window Study 1

Window Study 1
10" x 10"

The edge is gold lame. It is very difficult to photograph because of the sheen. If I made it more yellow, as it really is, all the other colors would be distorted. My final choice of fabrics was limited to what I call "lush". Those are fabrics like satin, velvet, textural upholstery, recycled ties, etc.

Photo Inspiration and Tracing

I originally did 7 panels. Hated one; into the circular file. I made each one individually as a separate little piece. When I finished, I re-arranged the panels because I like them better this way.

Color Evaluation

Color Inspiration was from a photo of fireworks over a body of water. Because I did not have rights to this photo, I'm just showing my color study. Obviously LOTS of bright colors.

Left Overs

My process was to get out my scraps and pick out those I thought might work. This is the pile of pieces that I picked out of my bags. I do think I should do something with this HUGE pile of bits and pieces. Found fabric scraps I had forgotten about. Lots of memories in this pile.

Monday, February 27, 2012


I took the lines from a piece of tin cieling tile. I used a hand dyed cotton and embellished with rickrack and yarn adding buttons for the dots on the centers

Pat Havey

Design decisions

As I was going through these steps, I had a couple stumbling blocks, aka design questions & decisions, I thought I'd share with you in case they are meaningful to your process.
  • . Do I need to include all the lines from my line inspiration?
Absolutely not! I will chose the lines that look interesting to me and ignore the rest.

  • . Do I need to make my piece realistic and look like my line inspiration and have my colors placed in logical or realistic form?
Absolutely not! You can if you choose to do that, but I guarantee more fun if you mix it up. And you'll get out of the color mindset that the sky is blue.  And if you use a texture like tree bark or wrinkles for your line inspriation, you'll get a unique abstract piece when you put color to it!

  • . Do I need to stick to my lines or colors exactly from my inspiration?
Absolutely not! They are for inspiration, a starting point. If I think purple looks better in my piece than the blue-violet I selected from my inspiration piece, then I will use purple. Same for the lines, If I don't like it I'll move the line, eliminate it or change it. Do what the piece needs rather than stick strictly to the exercise.  You can add, substract, change as needed,
  • Do I need light/medium/dark and pure hue/tint/tone/shade of each color in the color scheme?
No, but if you get as much variety in value and intensity in the various color families as your stash allows...the piece will be much more interesting!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Western Landscape

I too did what Cynthia told us-don't overthink and better done than perfect. It also helped that my sewing machine is broken, it was a lousy day Friday and Saturday, and my husband was busy yelling at the tax program on the computer. I walked by the calendar after reading the challenge and took the Feb photo from that to do my line drawing. Then I picked up the first picture book I found in the living room and found a photo of Seville with colors I liked. Figuring out tones and shades and tints took some experimentation and I'm still not sure if I got colors in all three. What is brown? From Cynthia's color samples, it could be a shade of orange or a tone of red. White was in the color photo, so I wanted to use it as a zinger but am ambivalent about it being too dominant. Anyway, the fabrics are fused onto muslin and will await finishing until my machine visits the repair shop on Tuesday.

Photos in order are: line drawing photo, color choice photo, colors choosen, and finished quilt.

After reading comments and looking at this quilt, I added more "mountains" and changed the white zingers to light yellow. The sky was quilted in an allover pattern. The mountains were quilted in straight lines with curvy lines added in mettalic gold thread for the dark mountain. I think the additional fabrics and shapes help give more interest to the piece and I now give it about a B+. This is a technique that I hope will lead to more abstract pieces than this one turned out to be. I enjoyed the challenge Cynthia.


Thank you Cynthia for an interesting challenge. At first I wanted to moan and pull my hair, but your statement about not over-thinking it and just doing it struck home. I found an image in a travel mag that had great lines, then went to a color design book I've had for many years and use frequently. My palette was yellow, blue, purple and blue-green. Though I'm not sure I've hit all the values and done them in the correct proportions, I am happy with the outcome. The quilt is 5"x7".
Ann In Fallbrook, CA

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Challenge 66- Line and Color

Fast Friday Fabric Challenge #66                                       Due:   March 3rd              
Elements of Color and Line                                                        Host:  Cynthia Morgan
Challenge:  Use the element of Line and the 3 elements of Color (Hue, Value, Intensity) in a design study piece.  You will need 2 inspiration sources:  one for line, another for color
·         Line:  the basic element that refers to the continuous movement of a point along a surface, there are curved, horizontal, vertical, diagonal, zigzag, wavy, parallel, dash, and dotted lines. The edges of shapes and forms also create lines.
·         Hue:  the name of the color, also known as the color family.  There are 12 colors/hues/color families on the color wheel :  red, red-orange, orange, yellow-orange, yellow, yellow-green, green, blue-green, blue, blue-violet, violet (purple), and red-violet
·         Value:  the relative darkness or lightness of a color: light, medium, dark and everything in between
·         Intensity (or Saturation):  the relative brightness or dullness of a color: tints, tones, shades and pure hues
         Tints – white added to pure hue   Tones – grayed hues    Shades – blackened hues
         For more on Intensity see here:  http://resources.quiltwoman.com/blockmo.html

Tints with white added to pure hue
Shades with black added to pure hue

Tones with gray added to pure hue
Challenge Instructions:

Step 1:  Design with Lines.  Find an image with appealing lines (architectural, nature, textures).  Trace the lines.  Use a viewfinder/paper window to select an interesting portion of the traced lines. Trace the selection and enlarge if needed

Step 2:  Color Study. Find an image/source with an appealing color scheme (photos, art, magazines, fabric, nature, etc).  Identify the color families.  Add a zinger color if needed.  Make color chart with colored pencils, crayons, watercolor, fabric swatches or paper from magazines.  Arrange colors from light to dark.  Evaluate to make sure you have some of all of the values and intensities – light/medium/dark/pure hue/tint/tone and shade.  Add colors as needed to get the variety of values and intensities.  Decide on the proportions of colors to use.  Avoid equal amounts of colors.  Zinger amount should be no more than 10%

Step 3:  Make your small art quilt using the line design with the colors, values and intensities from the color study. 

Remember this important rule:  better done than perfect!    Don’t agonize about which image or color scheme to use, just choose one.   Make a small piece and/or use quick fusing techniques if you don’t have much time.  This is a design study and exercise meant for experimenting with line and color.  Don’t worry about how it will come out, just play with the line and color, don’t try to make a masterpiece or even a good piece…just do it!

·         Look at some of these texture websites for line images – the wood grains are especially interesting  http://www.cgtextures.com/    http://www.texturewarehouse.com/gallery/ www.mayang.com/textures
·         Look at some of these websites for possible color schemes  http://decoratinggallery.bhg.com/   http://www.colourlovers.com/trends http://www.nationalgeographic.com/  http://www.gettyimages.com/CreativeImages                                                                                                
·         Look at some of these design websites for  understanding the element of Line http://www.slideshare.net/ebrosnan/the-element-of-line http://char.txa.cornell.edu/language/element/element.htm
·         This challenge is based on the Design Process exercise found in Jean Wells’ book, Intuitive Color & Design – page 68.  Here’s a trailer for the book   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GtHr6_qHg0    You don’t need to buy the book to do this challenge…all the info you need is above, but it’s a great book for design and also construction techniques and edge finishing.

Here’s my step by step example of this exercise :

Line Inspiration (Back cover of book)

Tracing of some of the lines

Color Inspiration (a piece of fabric)

Identification of Colors, Values & Intensities   

Decision on proportions of each color family

The quilt


Monday, February 13, 2012


"Swinging" is from a childhood memory of a tree-house my brothers built in the back yard. We were having our home re-roofed, and the roofers put tar-paper on the tree-house roof and porch. The little girl is sitting on the tree-house porch, patiently waiting for her turn on the swing.

The background fabric is hand dyed, and then woven to represent how blurred the sky and ground get when you have been spinning on the hanging tire. The tree is commercial batik, and the tree house and children are from commercial fabrics. The leaves are more hand dyes. Size 16" x 21".

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Fat Cat and Mousey

Fat Cat and Mousey
32.75" x39.5"

Fat Cat, close up face and tail

Fat Cat holding Mousey, close up

This challenge was so much fun for me.  I really got into the idea of creating as a child.  At the same time, I was creating for a child.  Once I got the idea, I just dove in.  Piecing was not dependent of fabric grain or exactitude.  It was just all FUN! 

The horror came when I turned the quilt over and saw a mess from quilting on the back.  I glued all of the stitching down.  Thus, what started out as a comfort quilt for a child became a wall quilt that will hopefully be wanted by a hospital for the children's wing.

I am really having a hard time writing this because I am very depressed after my guilds non reaction to this quilt.  I was hoping for an 'atta girl' or two, but that was not forthcoming.  Usually I am very 'high' after a guild meeting.  Not tonight.  Not sure I will show them anymore quilts that I am so emotionally attached to.  It is all a journey; I learn as I go.  This group has given me such inspiration and wonderful learning experiences, it is one of the BEST parts of my quilting journey.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Remembered ... Not Forgotten

When I was a little girl, both my mother and my grandmother had the most beautiful beds of Oriental poppies. When they were in bloom, my grandmother always told me that whenever we saw a poppy, it should cause us to remember our Veterans. Also, as a little girl, I helped distribute poppies for the American Legion Auxiliary to raise funds for Veterans and their families. I used to love to draw flowers, but mostly it was just doodling across the paper. This poppy quilt is rather like that only it's drawing with fabric markers and then thread painting to add depth and interest. Since I am a member of American Legion Auxiliary and our theme here in Iowa is "Remembered--not forgotten," I decided to add that to this quilt, as well. It was a fun challenge and always fun to reminisce about my mother and grandmother's love for flowers, and in particular poppies. I know they're not botanically correct, but I think you still get the idea that they are poppies.

The Slide

22" x 24"

Thinking way back, I remembered an incident when I was maybe 4 years old. My mother worked at a private school and I went to a pre-school program there. I was waiting for her out by myself in the playground, and climbed to the top of the big kids slide - and then was afraid to go down! Mom found me sitting up at the top, higher than she could reach, and had to get help to coax me down. So I drew the slide with exaggerated perspective, to indicate how big it seemed at the time.

The material for the slide is a linen with gold threads woven in, which gives it a nice sheen. I find I remember nothing else about that playground, but there are always weeds that grow close around the edges of things, so I added a bit of greenery to put a bit of color in the piece.

This was a fun challenge for me. I welcome any comments. (My husband will say I should have put myself as a tiny figure at the top, but it feels complete to me!)

Sunday, February 05, 2012


For this challenge, I tried to evoke memories of fun childhood days. Siblings, uses paint, metallic thread, and an old photo to try to capture a relaxed summer day. Brother and sister with a day full of possibities.

Warhol Bentleys

Having just worked on an auction quilt for my daughter's kindergarten class this seemed somewhat timely.  Granted, I did not look look at my memories but took one of my daughter's favorite icons.  Bentley is her once white now grey bunny, he appears in many of her drawings and paints, he's either features as himself or snowmen or replicated in a rainbow of colors. 

I had my six year old daughter draw just his head then I replicated it on 12 different colors.  For some reason I thought this challenge had the KISS, keep it simple stupid, so that's is exactly what I did.  The added bonus by being a Bentley quilt, she allowed me to work on it without interruption.  Finished size 15 x 20 inches.

In Sunny Seattle

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Face in the clouds

I decided that I needed to crop this to get rid of too much that was getting in the way of the face. I think this helps a bit.

I spent a lot of time thinking about this challenge and thinking I didn't have time to get it done. Last night I decided that I would see if I could get one my ideas to work in PhotoShop Elements.

One of my most vivid memories of my childhood was laying in the yard under a tree and looking for faces in the clouds.

I have quite a large stash of sky photos so I looked in that folder and decided on the photo above.

I loved the light that was shining behind the cloud, it just glowed.

The next photo I looked for was a face that really spoke to me. This is a photo I took of my granddaughter, Ellington. It was Christmas and she had gotten this Lite-Brite as a gift. She decided that she wanted to make a self-portrait. We turned the lights off so that she had a side light. I thought this turned out beautifully. I've always loved the way her eyes look in this photo.

I dropped-out the background and most of her hair. After I placed the face in the sky photo I decided it needed a bit more adjusting so I dropped out a bit more of the left side of her face.

In PSE you can move the image around, so I auditioned the face until I found just the right placement. I printed the results on an 11 x 14 piece of cotton sateen. Quilting will have to come later.

All comments are welcome

Garden Play

Growing up, I remember helping my mom with the gardens. She always started lots of flowers from seed and we had a huge veggie garden too... There is even photographic evidence of my love of flowers starting early with a photo of me with a little rose bud that I had popped off one of Mom's bushes in one hand, and a "bouquet" of weeds in the other when I was about 3, so of course flowers are the main part of my piece.
"Garden Play"- 10.5"x13.5"

I had been cutting a lot of flowers, leaves and butterflies from my large stash of Wonder Under backed fabrics using a new die cutter when the theme was announced for this challenge. I took some simple flower shapes and fused up a bunch of random compound flowers, which were perfect for this piece. I normally try to use flowers that are "botanically correct" (thanks to the degree in Horticulture), but since I was doing this as from a child's view of flower gardens, I just wanted to use lots of color and flowers that were a bit more child-like.

I began with a background of painted fabric with a border, and fused some roughly cut fabric for the grass and stems. Then I added lots of my fused flowers and leaves, and quilted everything using clear thread. A sparkly pink ladybug and a couple dragonflies were also added (reminds me of my mom telling of my presenting her with a wasp that I had caught at the age of 3....). I topped all that off with some single hole plastic button-like flowers. I also added pearl beads as centers to the plastic flowers and some of the fabric flowers.

Keeping with my child-like theme, I decided to glue the bugs and beads onto the quilt with a strong glue instead of stitching them on by hand... The photo to the left is a detail shot showing the abundance of flowers a bit closer.

Make a Wish

Quickly done. Simple fused applique, minimal thread work, cheesecloth "seeds' and glue on a fabulous fabric by Elaine Quehl. Measures 10 1/4" X 9 1/2 "

The best childhood memories are outdoors.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Rangoli, India’s Connect the Dots Folk Art

Rangoli designs can be made from dry flour, colored rice, sand or even flower petals, and it is thought to bring good luck. The designs are created on the floor by the front door, in courtyards, around stainless steel food plates or disposable banana leaf food plates during Hindu festivals and weddings. Dots are first made using the thumb and index finger in rows and then the dots are connected and filled in to create the designs. The number of dots in each row and the number of rows are specified in Rangoli pattern books. This design is a typical one for Diwali, the Festival of Lights.
The dots were made with french knots and the line designs are in chain stitch hand embroidery. Beads, sequins, shisha mirror embellishments