Sunday, March 31, 2013

Snail Flower

This was a quick piece...started and completed it tonight!

A few years ago, I created a quilt block design based on a pair of snails.  Tonight, I worked with that block in Photoshop flipping it vertically and horizontally a few times, and then printed the image on a cotton fabric sheet.  The snail part of the printed image was enhanced with free-motion thread work.

How does this relate to infinity?  It relates because the design could be continued to infinity and already travels beyond its border.

By the way, the top part of the finished piece reminds me of a flower which is how the piece got its name.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Detroit Skyline

A photo from a cruise on the Detroit River is in the center. I learned how to apply special effects to it  in a software program, Fabric Studio and printed it on fabric. It was hand quilted with silver thread

Here is a second version.This time I did not tile it prior to the special effects.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


My idea of infinity is the horizon line and the change of seasons. There are places in this world where the horizon is endless and it seems that one is on top of the world.

I used two pieces of kimono silk overdyed and printed, a piece of cotton ikat and a commercial sky fabric. The grid stitching is in a dark blue cotton thread; French knots in perle cotton are on the bottom left side suggesting a calendar.

This was a fun project and I'm impressed I got it done in the time frame alotted.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


My interpretation of infinity is outer space.  My inspiration was a photo by R. Jay GaBany. (permission granted)
"Unspeakable beauty and unimaginable bedlam can be found together in the Trifid Nebula, also known as M20.  The energetic processes of star formation create not only the colors but the chaos.  The red-glowing gas results from high-energy starlight striking interstellar hydrogen gas.  The dark dust filaments that lace it were created in the atmospheres of cool giant stars and in the debris from supernovae explosions.  Which bright young stars light up the blue reflection nebula is still being investigated.  The light we see today left perhaps 3000 years ago, although the exact distance remains unknown.  Light takes about 50 years to cross M20."

The quilt is several different layers of organzas, some of them jewel encrusted.  The nebula is constructed with hand dyed silk roving.  All is covered with tulle and then cut-out appliques of the jeweled organza in a different color are added and the stitching around them is the quilting.  Last I added more Swarovski crystals.

This is the 3rd quilt in a series of Nebulae I am working on.
The piece measures 19"x32"

Thanks Lisa for a wonderful challenge.
All comments and or critiques are welcome and appreciated.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Challenge 79: Infinity . . . . . . . . . ...

Theme: Infinity
Host: Lisa Albanese
Art Concept: Perspective
Due Date:  March 30, 2013

My favorite number is infinity.  It goes on and on, without end, a concept of continuation more than the mind can grasp.  What is the largest number you can conceive?  Whatever it is, you can always go further.  And mathematically, you can take that infinite number and multiply it by any other number (including by infinity!) – and infinity is still what it is.  M.C. Escher provides a visual concept of the art of infinity with his tessellations and perspective – and still, does he actually achieve infinity?

Create a quilt that tries to show infinite possibilities, possibly using perspective to do this.  It may be realistic or abstract, or anywhere in the infinite spaces between reality and abstraction.

M.C. Escher:

Definition of Perspective:

Fractal art (With the right software, you can generate a fractal image, enlarge any part of it, and get as much detail as you saw in the original – and then do it again, and again, and again . . .):
Art quilts:
And one more note: have fun with this!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Windy Windows

This quick quilt shows windows - looking in and looking out. The wavy quilting reminded me of wind. This "freeform" technique was inspired by Rayna Gillman's book.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Night Time Window

Size: 16½" x 14¼"

I finished this yesterday and took photos, but didn't post because I felt I really didn't have good enough lighting, but it's no better this morning with our heavy snow still coming down.

This is a rather three-dimensional piece, with the curtains coming out from the background and the little table is actually a little shelf of foam core.  I recently got that background fabric in a Sweet Treats collection, and even before this challenge came up, it said simply "wallpaper" to me!    I tea-dyed the curtains and tablecloth because they were too light for the contrast I wanted.  I made the bowl out of polymer clay and the flowers and leaves are separate pillow-like pieces.  The tablecloth is lace backed with fusible interfacing and edged with the same lace that edges the curtains.  The black sky seen through the windows is a glimmery black fabric, backed by a dark silver.  The last touch was a scattering of tiny foil stars that I came across in my stash, which I hadn't known that I had.

I'm not fully satisfied with the flowers, actually, and might look for miniature artificial flowers to replace them - let me know what you think!  Comments welcome.

The Window of My Heart

This is the first piece I have done since before my husband passed away last summer. 

My late husband and son are in the window.  I used a window with shutters because I no longer can see them in this world but they are very much a part of my heart. I have a series of window and door pictures from New Orleans.  Many of them are shuttered closed.  I picked this one because although it is shuttered, the shutters are open to see inside.  I used photoshop PS5 to merge the faces into the window.  I printed out the picture on cotton and cut it out.  The background is some fabric I painted last year and it seemed like a good background for a window.  I have quilted the piece but have not bound it because I plan to matt and frame it.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Tiny Door

The top photo is the full quilt front, the middle photo is a close up and the bottom photo is the back. The quilt measures 10" x 8 1/4". Having just lost my father-in-law, Frank, on February 19, I wanted to do a quilt in his memory. He was on the Greater Siouxland Alzheimer's Board, because his wife suffered with the disease for many years. She was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers at 58, and spent the last thirteen years of her life in a nursing home. Frank visited her every day. Before she entered the nursing home, he cared for her in their home until it was no longer safe. She got lost many times in trying to get home, hence the small door in the center of the quilt depicting the great difficulty Alzhiemers patients have in finding their way. The braided embroidery thread outlining the medium green triangle symbolizes the twists and turns life takes with this disease. The hanging tails of the braider thread signify how patients sometimes feel that their life is at loose ends. The beads in the lighter green section symbolize the fragmentation of life and thoughts. The lime green ribbon creating an inner border symbolizes the ring of support provided by Frank, and the sunshine that he tried to bring to her life. The ribbon has hundreds of little loops on the edges symbolizing the many trips to the nursing home, and the loving kindness he continued to show his wife throughout her long illness. The back of the quilt symbolizes the waning and waxing of memory. Sometimes the memory goes dim, and at other times it comes shining through. This quilt will be donated to the Greater Siouxland Alzheimer's Board along with several others made by members of our quilt guild to help raise money for Alzheimer's research. This was a great challenge. Comments and suggestions are welcome. 

Friday, March 01, 2013

"Lets Make A Deal!"

I fell in love with the theme of doors for this challenge.  It is my belief that our lives are a direct reflection of the choices which we make.  We do not know what doors will open and what doors will close as we walk down the path of our life.  However, the decision of the path we will take is usually left up to us.  The title references the old game show "Let"s Make A Deal!".
This photo of doors for sale was enhanced through the use of Photoshop Elements.  I printed it on Lutradur treated with Golden Digital Grounds.  The background is a monoprint which I did a couple of weeks ago using a Gelliplate.  I then freemotion quilted the foundation, adhered the photo to the quilted foundation, added a decorative ribbon behind the photo, and then added the black bias tape around the photo.  I raided some of my old costume jewelry to add the embellishment at the corners of the photo.  I will eventually be mounting it on canvas to complete it.  This is the first challenge which I have done in a while, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. 

Kayaking Boulder Bay

Just love this challenge - Gave me a chance to quilt my photo (last pic) that I took during one of my daily kayaking sojourns.  I not only love to kayak for the exercise, but the photos I can get right down on the water are just unbelievable.  I can get into areas so shallow that my husband and I cannot do with our boat.  Here in Big Bear Lake, there are many beautiful sights, several bays, lots of animal life, and the most beautiful Southern California days of sunshine.

I used two batiks, one for the water, one for the cement wall supporting the Big Bear Boulevard/Route 18 overpass where, as you can see, is a "portal" leading to another small part of Boulder Bay.  (I love to paddle through this into the small sanctuary of birds, dragonflies, ducks and boulders.)  Then I used dry brush technique with acrylic paints to create some of the details, followed with a few million yards of thread for more details.
                                                    detail one
                                                    detail two
                                          Inspiration photograph

Looking forward to your critiques.  Thank you for a wonderful challenge.

Window to the Creative Process


 Creativity is represented by a beaded lame sun.

 A Brainstorm (heated Tyvek/ actetate) results in lists, risks and making mistakes.

Mountains represent lots of resources, art inspirations and design principles.

New growth (plants and light bulb) represents new ideas.

Refining these ideas and using tools like stork scissors, rotary cutter, and the sewing machine result into making new quilts.

The fiberglass window screen has buttons for knobs.

The creative process is a rollercoaster ride that is enhanced by a relaxed state of mind.