Thursday, August 29, 2013


Forgive the pins, as this is as far as I've gotten on this piece.  I was rebelling against what I call 'lollipop' flowers, so I made marshmallow ones instead!  Had fun with lots of recycled fabric prints, and playing with light against dark in this one.  Critique is welcomed. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Sowing Circles

While flying over Colorado I saw the irrigation circles and immediately knew I needed to make it into a quilt.  This one measures 22"x24".  It is machine appliqued and quilted - no fancy techniques.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Galactic Billiards

The first thing I did was make stratas in two colorways using 1 1/4" strips of hand dyed and batiks.  I then used my Olfa circle rotary and cut circles in different sizes.  I appliqued these onto a backing of velvet encrusted with glitter using satin stitch.    Next, I layered a deep purple-glitter tulle over all, stitched around the circles, then quilted the background in circles.

I actually had no idea where I was going with this when I started...just chose the colors and went for it.  My husband thinks it looks like billiards...thus "Galactic Billiards".
I have always loved working with circles, and have made many quilts based on circle themes.  I really had fun with this one!

It measures 18"x24"
Comments and critiques welcome and appreciated...Cherie

Running in Circles

Running in Circles or Spinning my Wheels is what I feel like I've been doing all summer trying to keep up with the yard work and weeds.

I tried a new technique (to me) by taping a thumbtack onto my sewing machine next to the needle.  Then when I put the quilt sandwich down the tack holds it in place, causing the stitches to form a perfect circle.  By moving the tack closer to the needle, or further away, the size of the circle changes.

Size is 12 inches square on a hand-dyed background.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Challenge #84: What Goes Around Comes Around

Host: Tobi Hoffman

Due: August 31, 2013

Theme:  Exploring the Circle

Design Element: Circles and arcs.  The circles can be part of the fabric patterns, actual full circles, and/or the quilting pattern.  Let them overlap as much as you want, or make concentric circles or offset concentric circles.  You can distort them or use ovals, particularly where perspective might show circles from the side.

Style: Aim for a pictorial or symbolic quilt rather than just a repetitive pattern containing circles as in traditional quilts.  Mandala patterns are acceptable, but try to get away from the traditional. 

The Circle, The Wheel of Fortune & The Rose Window

Circle Symbolism

Circle Symbols - What Do They Mean?

Mandala Symbolism:


And maybe not directly relevant, but fascinating (meaning, I couldn’t resist):
Mysterious Underwater ‘Crop Circles’ Discovered Off the Coast of Japan

Examples in art:
The Giving Circle, by Lorraine Landroche

Lucina Lighting the Way, by Mary Veneecke

My Dresden, by Anita Peluso

Art Made Entirely of Circles by Ben Heine

Megan Aroon Duncanson

And above all, have FUN with this!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Book cover for Bridges of Madison County.  I tweaked it a bit from the photo posted in Yahoo Groups.  I know my focal point is too centered.  Tried to offset that by adding the bright flowers on the left. Maybe cropping away some of the left side would also help. 
I have not participated for a long time.  Tobi gave me a push, so I'm back.  I DO love challenges, but you know how life gets in the way. 

Karol Kusmaul
Inverness, fL

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Fantasy Book Cover

Cone Flower
Framed 10" square
Because of my love of plants and gardening, I have many gardening books.  My frustration with all of them is that they try to cram too many photos or a photo of too many plants on the cover.  Because of this, I decided to create a book cover that I would like to see.  I also was so fond of my idea, I thought it might make a nice series.  However, because of the strictness of my design, everything had to be exact.  It was much easier on paper than fabric.  Paper doesn't stretch and move, sometimes with a mind of its' own.
Because my original photo was very busy with other flowers, it had to be painted over a LOT!   I used tiny, iridescent seed beads on the top of solid small seed beads.  Those glaring dots in the photo are reflections of light.  I stretched the center of the flower with the round handle of my scissors.  Then I beaded it and stuffed it.  After mounting on the foam core, the perimeter of the 'cone' didn't want to lay flat.  I stitched the edges down with clear poly.  Now it has the depth that I wanted.  I like a lot of depth and texture.  I first stitched the petals to one layer of poly batting and a thin backing.  After stitching all of the petal veins, I cut around the petals so there was no batting between.  Then I made the usual layer of top-batting-backing.  I re-stitched around the petals so that they would have dimension.  Then I quilted the rest of the piece.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Stranger in a Strange Land

Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein was one of my favorite books, it was absolutely the most influential book I've ever read. I read it when I was 15, about the time you start to think as yourself, and it taught me to think about fairness, love, acceptance, and most of all, truth. Do you remember the Fair Witness concept?
 Yes, its view of women is dated, but they were always treated with love. Then there's the whole question of the true identity of Valentine Michael Smith. I recommend a reading or rereading of it to everyone. Anyone younger than a Boomer should keep in mind it is historical science fiction.  It is also the first part of a trilogy and really more spiritual than science fiction.

I uploaded two images; the first is my book cover (I love this challenge!) and the second is the cover as experiment. I'm going to finish it in the manner of Susan Lenz, a tutorial of which is on her blog,

I look forward to your comments.  

Suzanne Thompson 

Friday, August 02, 2013

Lord of the Rings

16" x 13½"

It will come as no surprise to those who have seen my early entries that "The Lord of the Rings" is my favorite book so it was my immediate choice for this challenge!  My initial idea was to have just the hand reaching up to the ring strung on a chain, with the title and author, but my husband felt I needed to include the Eye of Sauron.  For that, I used Angelina fiber with some black strands to be the cat-like pupil of the eye.  I used two layers of dark blue organza to somewhat mute the background; both the eye and the hand are between the two layers.  One mistake was to stitch the chain and ring last, because when I was placing them, I found that the chain needed to go behind the eye, and that was a bit tricky!

And while I normally go with less regular shapes, that's not the way books are made, hence the rectangle!

I look forward to your comments.  Thanks for the fun challenge, Sharon.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Alice in Wonderland

A friend of mine was sketching for fun and when I saw this sketch I immidiately thought of  Alice in wonderland.  It is made with commercial and hand dyed fabric.  It is hard to see the quilting in the photo but it is there.  The "hole" is paper pieced and the tree is raw edge applique. The piece measures 7x17".It is fun to be back in a creative space. 
Thanks for the fun challenge.

Pat Havey