Monday, December 31, 2012


Cattails, 18" x 24"
Not being a believer in numerology or lucky numbers, I was a bit perplexed as to how to approach ths challenge. But after re-reading Susan's information, I was drawn by the number three as a representation of the Holy Trinity. My stash has a great tie-dye print that worked beautifully as the background. The cattails are made using velvet and ultrasuede.

Auspicious 4x4

This piece is 4”x4”, which was a challenge in itself doing something so small, but 4x4=16, and that just happens to be my birthday! Besides the four large crystals, there are 12 square sequins for a total of 16 embellishments. Also, in one of the links provided with this challenge, it says my personality number is 4, and while that’s not a good number to the Chinese, it works for me, so my personality is represented by the four large crystals that I tried to balance in the composition.

Happy new year to all! Hopefully 2013 hold auspicious numbers for everyone.

Robert Hartley

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Sweet Sleep

Sorry this is so late, but I think it also includes some of the requirements for Challenge 76, as well, since my Outer number is a 5, I've included a pentagon spiral. My Soul Number is a 7 and my primary color is purple. It was interesting reading about Soul Numbers and Outer Numbers, and amazing to me that my favorite number has always been 7 and my favortie color has always been purple. My next favorite color is blue, which is the primary color for 5. Anyway, I created this piece for Challenge 75, which was to indicate falling into a deep sleep. I made the spiral, which I learned to do from a class I took by Renae Merrill. I think the colors I used give the feeling of spiraling down into a deep sleep. I added the sheep entering from the side to indicate the start of sleep, where we're counting our sheep trying to "fall asleep". This piece is only 7" x 8" and took a few hours to draw out the design and paper piece each piece of the spiral. The purple cording I used is also spiraled, which reinforces of the idea of spiraling down into a deep sleep. Your comments are most welcome. 

Friday, December 28, 2012

One Yellow Square

One Yellow Square
10" x 10"
ready for framing

One Yellow Square
view to show depth and texture

I had a dream last night about creating a quilt with one square.  I thought it would be red, but I was not sure.  This dream puzzled me.  I wondered what the FFFC would be.  When I finally got my computer working, I got goose bumps when it was something to do with numbers. 

After reading all of the information, looking at all the sites, and finding out by my birthday, my number was 2 I was stymied.  I've been making charity quilts non-stop for a few weeks now.  I'm bored.  Don't get me wrong.  I enjoy knowing that they will be going for a good cause.  However, the sewing to a set pattern is wearing very thin.

This challenge came just in time to exercise a bit of creativity.  I had purchased some plain and non floral fabrics before Christmas.  Now they were all washed and ready to be used.  As I read the descriptions, the number 1 made the most sense to me = power, passion, determination on one view as well as "... developing your own will, individuality, decisiveness, and expressing your creativity,..." on another view.  Of course I could not get the dream out of my mind.  Above is the result.

PS.  Does anyone know where to buy good quality metal frames at a good price?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Challenge 76: Auspicious Numbers

Host: Susan Slesinger
Due Date:  Jan. 5, 2013

This month’s challenge will focus on auspicious numbers.  We survived December 21 2012 which was the “end” of the Mayan calendar and a number of people engaged in special activities to mark 12-12-12.  As we finish 2012, and enter 2013, it seems like the perfect time to play with auspicious numbers. 

In Renaissance art compositions were often arranged to create a triangle representing the number 3, the holy trinity.

In the Chinese tradition certain numbers such as five are considered auspicious, while others such as four are considered unlucky.

In Judaism there is a practice of numerology called gematria.  In Hebrew, numbers are written with combinations of letters, similar to Roman numerals

The best-known auspicious value is 18 which is equivalent to the value of the letters chet and yud which spells the word “Chai” which stands for life.  Jewish people often make donations in multiples of 18.                              (Invocation chuppah) (72 is four times 18)

The Quilt Group 12 by 12 used the number 12 as the basis for one of their challenges.

In Japanese culture 1,000 cranes is considered auspicious.  Here are several examples of quilts based on the 1,000 crane theme  (Scroll down to see 1000 crane quilt)

This quilter incorporated her lucky number 7 in a more subtle way.

If you want to take the concept of numerology further why not try the idea of using the primary and secondary colors which go with your auspicious number.

In addition to incorporating a number which is auspicious or lucky for you in your quilt, why not add to the challenge by incorporating some form of written text (alphabetic or numeric) into your quilt preferably using a method you have wanted to experiment with for a long time.

One last note: Have fun with this!

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Golden Spiral

26" x 17"

12/9/12 -- I just took a new photo of Golden Spiral with better lighting, which lets the spiral show up much better.

I had not intended such a literal depiction of the challenge theme here, it just happened that way!  When I described the challenge to my husband, he told me of a dream he had been waken out of with the sense of falling into a swirl of gold, and describing it to another friend, he remembered an old image of himself falling off a tall cliff and flying.  So both of these dreams became embodied in my piece.

The background uses the Fibonacci sequence in widths, going from bottom to top.  I used various tulle fabrics in these layers, dark green tulle doubled in the bottom, single in the second line, then the fabric that was under that by itself in the double-width, a lighter blue-green tulle over mottled green/white fabric, then a white tulle with a yellow swirl as the background behind the figure about to fall off the cliff.  The cliff itself has a layer of black mesh to tone down the rather bright gold on dark brown.  The spiral is a bright gold cord, which comes across as rather duller than it really is.

Thank you, Silvia, for this challenge!  I welcome any comments.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Moonlight and Coconut Palms

I know this is quite late, but better late than never, right? I tried a lot of techniques in this project, and although the physical properties of the piece are not perfect, I still feel that I learned a lot from it. I used a gauzy fabric for the water to give it sparkle. Unfortunately, I touched it with the iron and burned a hole in it after it was all sewed on, so to cover the burn hole, I added some rocks. This piece started out to be a day scene, and then I found this really cool moon fabric and decided the piece would now become a nighttime scene. I had already stitched on the dock and cabana, but I felt I was lacking something, so I added the coconut palms. I decided that this would be a great place to incorporate buttons, so I used 8 buttons. The piece looked a little unbalanced so I added the posts and the boat to even things out. I then used glittery paints and fabric crayons to add all the shading on the dock, the boat, the water, the sky and the rocks. I added the crystals to add a little more interest in the sky. Our Siouxland Samplers Quilt Guild is doing a challenge called "House it Going?" It has to have a structure in the quilt, so this piece will be used in that challenge, as well. The only thing I feel bad about are that my borders are not even, but I like the piece otherwise. The piece measures 14" x 13". Comments are welcome.