Thursday, January 31, 2013

Rainbow Owl

I saw a picture of a photoshopped rainbow owl and immediatly wanted to make it. This seemed like the perfect time to try it. The background is hand dyed fabric. The owl has knitted sweater parts, yarn, lace,and burned sheer organza . This was a fun challange - thank you. Oh, it measures 24x29"

Pat Havey

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Here is my piece for this challenge, and a quote from my Alaska Journal:
July 29 2000
"As we drove down the road we passed a huge hanging glacier; then just the
other side of the pass...Worthington Glacier! We were able to walk right up
to it and could have actually climbed on it, if it were safe. There were
great gaping ice caves beneath could see deep into the heart of the
glacier. The color inside was a deep lovely blue. The glacier was "ice
blue", excepting the leading edge, or 'face', which was black with rocks,
dirt and debris picked up on its slow, steady flow downhill."

The sky is hand  dyed cotton, with deconstructed poly batting overlay for extra clouds.  The mountain and glacier is several different sheers and two different colors of cellophane, one teal and the other aurora borealis, behind different sheers.  The 'dirt and rocks' are lace overlay.  The top edges of the ice is painted with a white shimmer fabric paint.  I used a soft mauve tulle over all allow quilting.

It is finished with facing and measures 19 1/2"x 22"

I am happy to have my 'Muse' back, and Loved this challenge Lisa!

I would love your comments and critiques...

Panther Chameleon

I started this Friday morning, as soon as the challenge was announced. Most of the time since then has been spent sewing on beads. The rest went together quickly. I plan to continue adding beads - you can never have too many beads!

The background is a commercial batik, and the chameleon is dupioni silk. The beads are all #11 delicas. The eye is a cotton bead from India, and the leaves are two-sided, with a wire to help create the 3-D effect. Using beads for texture is one of my favorite ways to embellish, and the wire I put in the leaves makes it possible to bend them for a realistic appearance.

I had so much fun doing this that I plan to make a larger version; this one is 11" x 12" .

I would really appreciate any comments. I LOVED this challenge!

Pod, Again

This is called "Pod, Again" because I find myself drawn to creating pods over and over. Pea pods lend themselves easily to texture. The pod itself is rough; I've used both sides of a heavy upholstery fabric here.The peas are also decorator fabric - a bit lighter this time - and I also used both sides. The circle quilting pattern gave the piece the tiny little boost it needed. Over all it measures 6" x 8", but will be matted to 4.5" x 6.5"

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Challenge 77: Touchy-Feely

Theme: Touchy-Feely
Host: Lisa Quintana
Due:  Feb. 2, 2013

I like to paint.   Many of my quilts have painted elements.  Not too long ago I looked at a quilt top I had finished and thought about the fact that if I had just been painting the piece, I would be done, but instead of painting an image, I prefer to quilt them now.  What is it that makes me want to create pieces of art in fiber?  I realized it was texture.   For a review of texture as a design element, look here:

In traditional oil painting, texture may be physical texture like the thick impasto that Van Gogh achieved with thick paint and knife strokes or imparting the sense of texture by realistically portraying objects (visual illusion) such as was done in the Dutch Masters, such as Vermeer, or by the incorporation of textured pieces like Rauschenberg.  Pattern imparts texture as well.

As quilters, we can impart texture to our works with a variety of techniques and of course, fabric itself brings out a tactile response….if it didn’t, we wouldn’t have to have signs asking people “please do not touch the quilts.”  In traditional quilting, we learned about line and texture by the prints we used; different sizes of prints on our fabrics make for more interest, as well as the physical texture that quilting imparts. 

Take a look at this stuffed and corded white work quilt:

Of course as art quilters, not only can we express texture with our quilting, but we can use threads, specialty yarns, embellishments such as beads and buttons…stones, found objects, and our choices in whatever textured fabric we wish to use.

So…get touchy feely!  Express texture either through tactile expression or a visual illusion. Try something you’ve never done before.  Incorporate layers of texture as only we fiber artists may do, with quilting and use of embellishment.  

For inspiration:

Vermeer.  I use him just as an example, I am sure you can pull up many other examples where the fabric in paintings look so realistic you want to touch it. 

I have always liked Willem Kalf’s work because he usually incorporates glassware,  fruit being peeled and oriental rugs which were used as table coverings at the time because they were so expensive.   He manages to portray the rugs so that you can feel it, just by looking at it.  Part of the interest for me is the fact that he combines so many different textures in his paintings.

Or for a little later period, look at Anne Vallayer-Coster’s work

Dimensional art work

Van Gogh’s sunflowers are probably the first thing which  pops to mind when you think of the three dimensional type of brush/knifework on paintings.

But, check out Albert Pinkham Ryder.   Pinkham Ryder was an American who used very thick paint, and overworked paints, sometimes using paints which dried at different speeds which caused his paintings to deteriorate or change over time.  Still, take a look at how he uses texture in his paintings to move the eye and provide contrast.

Of course Robert Rauschenberg incorporated a lot of texture, including an old quilt, in his famous “Bed.”

Go to the SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associations) website -  and watch the slideshow on the website.  The slideshow shows many works by Professional Art Members and Regional Representatives.  As you scroll through them, look at the different ways that texture comes into play.  Pay particular attention to pieces by Wendy Lugg, Chiaki Dosho, and Eileen Doughty.

For realism look at:

Kate Themel (in particular her still life pieces and her flowers which are in environment.

Denise Labadie’s stones are remarkable in imparting their texture, even though it’s fabric: 

One final note: have fun with this!

Trout Rising

 I know...this is a really bad thing to do...I think. Back a million years ago, in October 2010, the challenge was to use metallic stuff, and or unusual items in our quilts.  I started this...actually working on it during my chemo treatments and Just didn't finish it in time.  I swore I would get it done and I've been catching up on UFOs and I wanted to share this with you.

This is my piece "Trout Rising", showing a trout after it has jumped to catch a caddis fly for dinner.

I machine quilted it with sliver thread, then put layers of over-laid sheers, some with metallic flecks. I gathered the sheers manipulating them by hand.
The trout is painted cotton (painted with Lumiere fabric paints) the dots are washers I've stained with Adirondack Alcohol inks, with a black sequin and a black bead on top.
After assembling it, I then machine quilted once again using a funny bluey-silvery-greyey metallic thread.

Size is 15.5" x 12.5"

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Power of One

I have a hard time with these challenges...not thinking too much.   I did a lot of research into Auspicious numbers....and I knew my numerology number from a long time ago, although I haven't checked it recently...I'm pretty sure it was 1.

The number one doesn't really thrill me until I started thinking about the  power of one....then I thought back to my high school days when I sang in a quartet and one of the pieces we used to sing had a lineIt only takes a spark, to get a fire going.
And soon all those around, can warm up it it's glowing."  Of course, in my feeble 50 year old brain, I turned it into a candle...not a candle in the wind, but one lighting the darkness. 

So then I thought about how to show a candle burning in the darkness in a quilt...

So....I got a piece of cotton velveteen because I wanted the background to be deep and luscious  Using a bleach solution,  I discharged the area where I was going to have the flame because the light around the flame makes a kind of a glow.  I then layered some sheers over a white satin flame, and layered more sheers around the white satin candle  to try to show how candle stick changes color as you get farther away from the flame.  Because I was fusing it, it is a little too stark, the change should be a bit more gradual and get deeper as you get farther down the candlestick...I also intended to make some drips out of heat distressed Tyvek...but I couldn't find my heat gun.  

Then....I started wondering about doing it again trying several different types of materials to represent the candle and flame, only using discharged Kona cotton....So...I got sucked into this...and it wasn't until Tobi emailed me today that I realized....I had to get off my duff and post this one. 

I outline quilted the flame and the candlestick....and then put some more echo into the discharged part...but no more quilting as I didn't want to disrupt the smooth black of the velveteen.

I am afraid I constantly get sucked into these challenges and often don't post because I haven't finished them....Fast? Hmmmm....Friday? Definitely not!  However, I am working on finishing the pile of challenges I have partially done...I have to get over that and stop thinking...Anyone else have this problem???? 

Sunday, January 06, 2013

"Zero My!"

None of the numerology numbers that came up for me...'felt' right.  So, I got to thinking about how I like circles (with beginnings and endings that are seamless) and that you can easily cut out the center of a circle to get the number zero.  That is what this piece is about.  It is definitely out-of-the-box for me....not square, even, or finished with a binding, and not the normal batting and backing material (even though there is a sandwich).  Note the title too:  Zero My! (instead of Oh My!).  For as strange as this is, I like it.

Saturday, January 05, 2013


Three seems to be an ongoing number  recurring in my life.  Three husbands, three children, three homes and 13 grandchildren as well as three major job changes.  In my astrological numbers 3 is prevalent followed by 6 and 9 so I decided to use three for this piece.  The leaves are a commercial stencil overlaid with sparkle tulle and thread traced.  the background is hand dyed fabric.  It measures 15 x 27".  The sheer look of the leaves represents the amorphous. quality of life.  Thank you for a good challenge.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Three and Seven

14" x 19"

I could not settle on a single auspicious number, so I chose the month and day of my birthday, and made those the central elements.  The idea of special numbers seemed to relate to astrology, and I have had the starry constellation fabric hanging around for a number of years now, so I used that for the background.  The blue anemone fabric was a find from a store near Berkeley which I found last summer, and it matched the blue in the constellation names, so it became a kind of nebula surrounding the center.  I initially used a blue water kind of fabric for the center, but I liked the stark black better.  The blue specked fabric made a good transition.

One thing that I can't show here is that the stars in the background glow in the dark!

This was two days, start to finish, so finally I can post it before the end of the week!  I welcome your comments.

C'est moi

"C'est moi" is 10"w X 14"h.  The background is regular cotton quilted with pearl-colored thread, and all the applique and binding are batiks.  The primary colors associated with 6 and 7 are indigo and lavender and the secondary colors are orange/mustard, and magenta/pearl.  All the dots and letter "S" are turned-edge applique, while the yellow-orange highlights on the "S" were glued on with Roxanne Glue-Baste-It.  I tried to turn edge these last pieces but they are too small; they still frayed with fusible web and I didn't want to stitch them around the edges.  So I "painted" the pieces with Fray Check, cut them out when dry and glued them on.  In this way, I could keep the "S" puffed up completely when I quilted the pebbles in the background.  The "S" is for my first name, 6 and 7 dots are for the numbers I thought were my lucky numbers in my youth and twenties, respectively, and the total of 13 turned out to be my actual lucky number in later life and I found that my career changes (for the good) occured in 13-year cycles.  Interestingly, 6 and 7 are found in this challenge number as well.  Critiques and comments welcome.  Sandi Nehlsen-Cannarella

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Silhouettes of Indian Dancers

Auspicious numbers in the Indian culture end with one..11, 21, 51, 101, 501 etc.

The silhouettes emphasize the form and movement of the hands, feet, clothes and even the hair of the eleven dancers. Om is the text in the quilt.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013


After reading the numerology sites, I discovered my soul number is 1 and my personality number is 3.  This is auspicious because I have lived for nearly 40 years with a home address of 13.  So, this is my tribute to 13, done with paint sticks and a stencil.  The black thread quilting copies the swirls, although you probably can't see it.  Thanks for a fun challenge to start the new year- 2013!

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

7 Cranes

I have always heard that 7 is a lucky number.  I choose cranes to represent this number because in legend the crane symbolizes joy and happiness. Greek and Roman myths equate the dance of cranes as a love of joy and a celebration of life. The crane was also considered to be a bird of Apollo, the sun god, who heralded in Spring and light. Now with the days growing longer, who better to celebrate with than the cranes.  Size 9 x 11 inches.
A border was added to give this more color. The compass is to guide the cranes on their journey and to add a focal point.  The inner border includes the words "Are we there yet" to tell the story of their long journey north and south.  Comments welcome.