Thursday, January 31, 2008

Not Myself This Week

Since I am sick this week with bronchitis I thought I would just go with it..If you notice, my head feels huge, my ears feel like they are stuffed with cotton, my eyes are heavy lidded with large bags from lack of sleep due to coughing, my nose is huge and red cause of all the nose blowing, my lips are dry and chapped because of having to breath through my mouth so much, you can catch a glimpse of the fire that is in my throat through my open mouth, let's not forget the scraggly hair :-), and last but not least I am feeling ragged and a bit green around the edges!
I used my favorite technique which is fused appliqué.


This was another one that I thought would be impossible but when I got started it was a lot of fun.
My favorite technique, oh golly, it is probably embellishing and hand embroidery was my first love.
I blanket stitched around her face and the heart and used chain and outline stitches for the lettering. The hair was floss wound around a knitting needle and covered with starch and allowed to dry over night.

The eyes are wiggle eyes and the glasses are doll glasses with the stems taken off.
It is 12" x 13-3/4"

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Today's Version of Myself

Self portrait. Well, once I made one that I liked a lot. I used an image of an MRI of my brain, and lettered on it "My friend laughed when I told her the doctor said I have a perfectly normal brain." Surrounded the brain matter with a crazy quilt.

Unfortunately, the image I chose showed the right and left sides, and from a distance, at the meeting where all the self portraits were displayed, I heard someone say "Oh, look. That person sat on a copy machine!" Well, it did sorta look like that, so then I covered the brain with my favorite cute childhood picture. (You never know what's under all those quilts)
For this challenge, I used my favorite recent picture of myself which I posterized in Adobe Photoship Elements 5. Printed it, framed it, surrounded it with crazy quilting, using fabrics which represent some of the things I like, such as turtles, music, and forget-me-not fabric from a cruise to Alaska. Still have a perfectly normal brain, but sometimes crazy is more fun. I also noticed the photo looked a little washed-out, and I certainly am good at fading into the background unless I'm in a particularly confident mood.

So, for what it's worth, and using some of the favorite techniques, it was fun to make

Emerging Art Quilter by Joni Feddersen

This challenge has been the most difficult yet for me…it got personal. How does one represent themselves ? I struggled with this until I remembered the last rule in this challenge – have fun! I took a deep breath and jumped in by playing with a photo of myself, digitally altering it. I grabbed some fun feathers that were begging to be used and framed my face with them, and the fun began. Using fused appliqué and some playful embroidery stitches this quilt emerged (and me with it) bringing me further out of the box of traditional quilting and into the world of art exploration. This challenge turned from a fearful thing to a delightful exercise. The quilt is 10x12.
Comments are appreciated.

Me, Myself, and I by Ann Morrell

These postcards were not made this week... I made them about a year ago for a postcard swap. I used thread painting and colored pencils. This week I have been working on a Pamela Allen's "Think Like an Artist" online class.... I am working on a piece that could be considered an image of myself as "I would like to be thought of as being." It is called the Hand of the Artist. It is done in Ms. Allen's cut out chunks of fabric to represent shapes and things, you glue down these chunks, and then you hand sew the areas down with embroidery thread. The final stage is to quilt the background on sewing machine and then add further embellishments. The hand sewing is new to me...and I have found even with very sore fingers I love the details that can be achieved with the floss. I have found that the frayed edges of the cut out pieces add a softness to the piece that fused down fabric just can't do. I have been sewing on the piece now for three days on and off. My goal is to post the finish hand sewn piece on my blog by Thursday night as we get Lesson 3 on Friday morning. I invite you to visit my blog, either Thursday night or Friday morning to view my "double-duty" piece...which will serve two challenges...Fast Friday and Pamela Allen's Lesson 2 Assignment.

For those who don't visit blogs:

Close up of stitching:

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

IN THE ZONE my personal nirvana

In viewing pictures posted so far I see that almost all are abstract. I'm afraid I am hopelessly literal and representational...LOL.

Although I was really nervous about the concept of a self portrait in the beginning, this was a super fun quilt to make! Thanks for the challenge (and the push) Carole!

I began with a rough pencil sketch, had it blown up, and went from there.

Favorite techniques used...freeform cutting and fusing; beading; using ALL kinds of fabrics etc. and just generally letting go and playing. Thus "In The Zone" my own personal nirvana!

This quilt is considerably larger than my past challenges at 21" by 29". I haven't finished the edges yet. Any suggestions?

As always, comments and critiques welcome!...Cherie

Just who am I ?

I've dreaded the idea of a self portrait; I'd rather remain invisible.
Here is my attempt at a self portrait...tongue in cheek; but not really.
I am such a novice at this; still have lots of techniques to try and master.
My favourite technique then is trying to make a quilt from my own hand-dyed fabrics..i can make the colors as wild as I like. Even though i wear black i love color.
Also incorporated Upside Down Applique which i am currently learning from Susan Brittingham.
Comments and critiques welcome.
Anna K.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Leaf Lady

I took a design class for three years and focused on quilts with leaves - so I was referred to as the "She who quilts leaves."

Anyway - it really doesn't look like me - I used two of my favorite techniques - the curved piecing of the bark - and fused leaves - I fuse the leaves then cut out the veins - I like this method for pop value - but in order to keep the leaves in place I have to quilt really close together - usually lines or a grid. After that I had to add eye lashes - and a little bling to the hair. I guess adding bling is another thing I do often. The best place in the to buy sequins is Final measurement 12x14

This project was way outside my box - actually I've always looked at the portrait quilts but never wanted to do one - so thanks for pushing me. It was tempting to skip this one but my personal goal is do do everyone one of these challenges.

In Cold Sunny Seattle

Sunday, January 27, 2008

#17 - Finding Balance

Image updated and hopefully improved!

This challenge had 2 parts... (1) a self portrait, and (2) using our favorite techniques. The self portrait is an inner portrait... finding and maintaining balance is something I am consciously and constantly aware of... whether in yoga class or at home or at work or whereever. The pose ("Tree" or Vrksasana) is one of those most challenging in my yoga practice, seeking balance is one of my life challenges as well. It affects everything we do!

Favorite technique? To work and play intuitively. I started with black Kona, discharged it with Soft Scrub over a freezer paper mask. I tried to make it look like a tree! Then using my needle punch attachment, I started adding a variety of fibers (noticing how unbalanced my fiber stash is... hard to find greens and browns!), including yarns (twisted and untwisted like roving) and angelina. Quilted with variegated rayon (tree) and Aurifil wool (in the black). Click on the image to see the bigger version and better detail... hard to photograph!

Thanks, Carole, for a great challenge!

Challenge #17 - Self Portrait - by Cynthia Ann Morgan

My 9 x 9" piece is titled "She Has Everything She Needs".  It's a take off on Picasso's Woman with Guitar.  Constructed with fused applique with zig zag around the applique, some thread painting for the woman's outline, and heavy background quilting.  Fast and fun!  I even fused the binding on.
Comments welcome!

Self Portrait

You are probably wondering where in the world this self-portrait came from, after looking at the image!
Honestly, it really did begin with a simplified abstract of facial elements. A photo of how it started is above also. That original panel was cut in quarters and reassembled, and then cut in slices and reassembled. After that, I fused pieces of fabric to it, heavily stitched it and embellished the piece with ribbon and buttons.
I know this self-portrait is truly odd, and has no relationship to the ones that can be seen on the Quilting Arts website. In fact, I participated in that challenge and created something that looks very person-like. But the directions for this challenge were that if we had done that to try something I did and it is pretty bizarre, if I do say so myself!
No need to comment...I'm not pleased with the piece.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Challenge 17 - Self Portrait

Challenge #17 - Friday Jan 25 2008
Hostess - Carole Grant

Theme - Self Portrait - This can be the real you, your alter ego, how others see you, you in your profession, however you want to present yourself to us (including abstract or symbolic concepts of yourself!).

Design Concept – Any of the design principles and elements you wish to use along with - A favorite technique, thread painting and/or embellishments. 
The Favorite Technique will form part of the description on your email when you post your quilt, with: why it is my favorite technique; why it works for me; how I make it work for me.
Due - Saturday, Noon EST, February 2, 2008

Monday, January 14, 2008

Challenge 16 - Repost

This includes both Ice and Fire images:

Simple Pleasures

Something a little different :-) It seemed that every idea I had was done so I played the little word association game. And came up with fire=hot=cool=ice cream and then I got ice=cold=heat=hot chocolate...yes you guessed it, chocolate is my addiction! Anyways, I put the cocoa on the cold side with the binding being the warm color to show that it warms up cold days a little , quilted that side swirly for cold winds. The ice cream was opposite, on hot fabric, bordered with cold, to show it cools it down, that side is quilted to suggest the wavy lines you see in the distance on hot days. Hope you like my little quilt!

Update: Tribal Fires 25.5"x51.5"

I finally finished quilting and binding my piece. I free-motion quilted with various cotton threads including some variegated. I kept the quilting fairly low-key, but there is a bit more texture than shows up in the photos (too gloomy here today to shoot without the flash). I added black piping (not sure if that is the correct term as there is no cording in it) and bound with the same orange batik as the background. I am pretty happy with the way it turned out, and I think I might actually continue with the motif (could I actually be thinking of working in a series?!?)


Sunday, January 13, 2008

Seeing Red

Seeing Red measures 17 x 24, & was constructed using the Bargello "tube method". It is quilted & edged, but I need help on further embellishments, & also admit that the picture isn't the greatest either. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Frost by Lisa Konkel

I finally finished my Ice quilt.  I layered MistyFuse on white felt and then added swirls of organza and sheers.  I dropped bits of Angelina on top and covered it with another sheet of MistyFuse.  I quilted in waves using iridescent thread.

I made stars from two pieces of organza fused together.  I cut these and then gently ironed the creases so they would be three dimensional.  They pop out of the front of the quilt a little.  I beaded them on the spines and then beaded them to the quilt.  I added beads in a couple of the swirls to give it more interest and motion.  

I freehand cut the edges with a rotary cutter and then couched a yarn to the edges.  I'm not really happy with the edges.  The ribbon didn't show up very well and the curves are sort of irregular.  

Thanks for the great challenge, Tina.

Challenge #16 "Frosty Window"

I finally got myself back into my studio, and ended up finishing 2 pieces. they are both similar, using slightly different materials. I used "Ice" as my inspiration, mainly because I think of blue when I think ice, and think of red when I think fire. I like blue much better than red, so Ice won.

I used a fabric painted deep shimmery blue with sunprints of tiny star confetti and sea salt patterning that I thought looked like snow falling at night when I painted it. I had 2 pieces of a commercial print in white and pale blue with silver metallic enhanced leaves. I cut out the fabric to form the edges of frost on a window. I also added some shredded Mylar that I had for more shimmery frost. Snowflakes were cut out from Organza backed with Wonder Under, then fused to the quilt. Quilting in silver metallic thread, and beading in the snowflakes and between the flakes and quilting were also added. I wanted this to represent a very cold snowstorm as seen through a frosty window. It is 16"x20" in size.

This is a detail shot showing the beading on one of the snowflakes, and scattered between the quilting lines. It also shows the fabric used to give the look of the frost around the edges of the window.

In the middle of beading the first piece, I ended up playing with cutting snowflakes out of dryer sheets. I had painted the dryer sheets with pearlescent and sparkle paints. I then decided to make a second, smaller piece by playing with ripping more dryer sheets up to use for the more delicate frost. I also used the silvery leaf fabric from the first piece. I did lots of stitching with silver metallic thread over the dryer sheets, and outer border fabric, along with the quilting on the snowflakes and the swirl and snowflake quilting used to fill the open blue spaces. I decided to leave this one without the beading. This one is 11"x14" in size.

I have many process photos showing details how these were made on my blog.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

#16 Fire - just finished

The word 'dance' came up for me when trying to describe words related to fire in the mind-mapping exercise. The white strips are the dance footsteps and the blue in the middle represents a 'whirl' done by a couple.

The background is pieced and fused and has some painted tyvek triangles. The background was covered with orange organza and the 'steps' and 'whirl' pieces fused to this layer and then the entire piece stitched.

Footnote: The colors (white and blue) used for the dance steps and whirl pieces were chosen because part of a flame contains those colors (e.g. just above the wick on a candle).

1-12-08 Postscript: Last night while looking at the piece from about 6' away, I had the weirdest experience. I saw it in 3D (especially from the dance steps inward)! I wasn't looking at the piece cross-eyed or with a stare, just looking at it in a regular way. Has that ever happened to anyone else with one of your pieces?

Some say the world will end in fire,

"Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
to say that for destruction ice
Is also great
and would suffice" -- Robert Frost

I wanted to do a combo piece but also wanted to follow the rules. I think a companion piece would be similar - perhaps more prismatic than flowing.

Randomly pieced blocks, fused with free form cut shapes. I tried bonding powder to no avail, so I covered the whole thing with red tulle and quilted with gold thread.

The part I liked the best was that I used no templates. I formulated the idea in my head and ran with it. I am loosening up a lot.

Karen Markley

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Sun Fire

After several ideas, I decided to go with the big ball of fire in the sky. I had just the right hand dyed fabric from Val Bennet at Farne Designs. then I found the blue with black spots - acetate satin . The border is the back side of pieces of rayon I had used for lining in a jacket! I liked it as it was a bit more reflective than matt cotton, but also not as shiny as normal lining fabric.

I used a silver pen to draw stars on the satin, and it became space. The space piece was not square, but when I laid it out, I decided to leave it wonky. for me this helps to keep the infinity of sapce, rather than put in in a box. especially where it sort of goes off into the distance on the top right corner.

The border is also a bit angled at the top. I wanted to give the sun enough space round it, and it also visually balances the angle of the space fabric.

I used holographic thread to quilt orbit like patterns in space...some more obvious than others. I realised I needed quilting in the border behind the sun, but in reality, that should still be sun, if it weren't cropped. I was trying to work it out, and asked my son. (He used to be my best person for advice, but as he has got older, can't be bothered!) this time he stopped long enough to look and say to quilt it in rays, and since I had used silver for the orbit, I should use gold for the sun. Perfect!!
I experimented with using a stiff fabric for the batting, and now I wished I hadn't, but it will do. In the photo, I still have to finish the edges. I think I will satin stitch with black rayon, as that will help to keep space from having to fit in a frame.

Sandy in the UK

Challenge 16 - Tribal Fires

When the challenge initially came out I didn't know what I wanted to do, so I started working on another project that was basically a sketch I had drawn up a while ago.

Well, as luck would have it, I started cutting out firey looking batiks anyway, and "Tribal Fires" was the result. It reminds me of the cartoon smoke signals rising from the fires. This one is obviously not quilted yet and, like some of my earlier challenges, ended up pretty large, will probably finish about 25"x50'. I will post a pic of the finished quilt when done (hopefully soon!).

Batiks, fused and machine appliqued. I would welcome any comments and/or suggestions on quilting. Thanks!

Brenda Jennings

Challenge 16 - Fire Star by Cynthia Ann Morgan

I thought of fire and this fiery sun popped into my head. Piece is 18 x18" and constructed with my hand dyed fabrics using fused, zig zag stitched applique, trapunto and heavy quilting in the background. I loved this was fun and stimulating!

Comments and greetings welcome!


Update: Fire and Ice

Update: OK, done! In 11 days.... thanks to a huge snow storm that's had me house bound since Saturday (over 18" in town, almost 60" on the mountain!) and pretty much shut down the whole town for over 24 hrs.
Thank you all for your comments about the borders and quilting. The darker border is really one of the reds (it didn't really photograph well) and the grey has a lot of blue undertones. Traditionally bound with a piped binding. Click on the pix to see that in greater detail. This was taken before it was blocked, it really is straight! And I like it! It will be entered in the Arizona Quilters Guild show for March, but BOS is unlikely... remember this is where Sharon Schamber and Gina Perkes call home! Sheesh... so much for the little people!
Original post: I kind of went overboard on this one. As I read the challenge, the mundane ideas came first.... at least, mundane for me, and uninspiring. The next morning, as I was (really, I was) on a massage table with strong fingers digging into my shoulders, I saw the quilt. Complete. I love it when that happens.
I started with 10" strips of reds and greys, then cut them into a tumbler shape. Piecing those into long strips (narrow edge to wide edge, etc), I then cut the blocks and put it all together. OK, I admit, this pix is just the top, but I couldn't start quilting tonight since I didn't have a big enough piece of batting! So its off to the LQS in the AM for batting... and then as the storm moves in tomorrow, I'll be merrily quilting. The blocks will be quilted with shapes that are similar to the blocks, the border will probably mimic the back, a pleasant random design.... at least that's the plan so far. The binding will mimic the color scheme of the border.... Finished size is about 47 x 56". I really did go overboard. And I'll post a new pix when it's done.And as for the title, I'm still searching... I'm thinking of finding the Sanskrit words for hot and cold, fire and ice, something like that...
I'm really glad I'm not the only one who decided to do Fire AND Ice... I've never been one to really follow directions. The bonus is that I'll be entering this in our state show for March.... I really didn't have anything else I wanted to enter this year! Comments, of course, are always welcome!

Friday, January 04, 2008

'Fire and Ice'

I didn't know if I'd meet the deadline, but I made it.
Here is my interpretation of Fire and Ice.
I used tinsel and angelina on the 'iceberg', lots of metallic threads. Unfortunately the copper thread on the fire doesn't show up well in the photos.
This is a more abstract piece different from my norm. I had fun working with it and look forward to your comments.
I stretched it on a wooden frame and am pleased with my first attempt using a frame.
Now I must spend some time and peruse all the entries in this challenge.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Fire and Ice

guess I'm not so original in the name - Fire and Ice.

So I took this challenge and really wanted to do a piece that incorporated both - my first thought was the yin yang symbol, my second was a tree one side fire the other ice. I found this polyester red scrap that I immediately started to piece. I had planned to make it wider but I decided the fire just the right width - then I made the ice in a gray with metallic gray thread - I decided to cut it in half and placed on horizontal stripes and the other vertical. My husband said it didn't feel like ice - to then I beaded the white stripes. Over all nothing like my original ideas I just let the scraps talk to me.

Final measurement 12x13.

In Cold Rainy Seattle

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

ren's fire

I am working on a series called "Love Torn:" with different subtitles after the colon. This unfinished piece fits well, I think, into the Fire part of this challenge. Its subtitle is Anger, which I associate with fire. When I was working on the ice piece, this was hanging on my design wall, waiting for finishing threads. I kept looking at it as the contrast that it is to the ice and thought that I would post it, too. I hope to finish it soon, although it is quite an emotional piece for me, so we'll see....

ren's 32 degrees Fahrenheit

When the challenge came out, the wind was blowing, a few rays of sun shone, and icicles were forming. It was 32 degrees Fahrenheit. And so this piece emerged.

I pulled out the couching foot again to attached the long strands of beads. What you can't see here is that the bottom portions of the beaded lines are loose, dangling, dropping their icicle droplets into the pools they make.


The blue fabric called to me for the background. I have been toying with the idea of using cotton cosmetic puffs as batting for quilted pins, so it ocurred to me that I could use them as snow. The snow blocks in the igloo are fused to black, and the whole igloo fused to the blue fabric. Then I added a lot of cotton snow for the ground. There may not be any ice in this quilt, but it sure looks cold to me!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Frosted Window Pane

After trying "fire" with my Lava Flow quilt, I decided that I should give "Ice" a try. I found some hand dyed fabric in my stash that looked a little like frost, and so I started with that as my background. I added whispy white yarn in swirly movements to make up the frost. To add a little more interest I found these hand crocheted snow flakes among my old Christmas ornaments... made by a dear old aunt - they seemed perfect so I stitched them on to my composition. It turned out to be a frosty window pane, simple but nice. It was alot of fun to do both aspects of this challenge, and was a very enjoyable experience. I also learned a little bit more about how to just let go and get on with putting the idea into reality.

Crystal Lattice

My inspiration for "ice" was a geode sliced in half. The crystals in the center of these rocks have always looked like sparkling ice to I beaded 3 medallions with varied sizes of crystals and glass beads in the centers, surrounded by the beaded "agate" that comprises the body of the rock. I placed these on a manipulated icy fabric landscape of satins, velvets, moires etc.

I really enjoyed doing this one...especially the beading! All comments invited...Cherie

Fiery Depths

I enjoyed this challenge a lot! I find that usually I try to do too much detail and don't finish the project. This time I decided to go for it and to try to do something simpler. I chose the topic of "fire" and found this wonderful hand-dyed fabric. I chose the section that to me reflected the colours one sees when staring into the depths of the fire in the fireplace, or out in the open, at a camp site. This is the first time I have tried anything whole cloth and I like the final result. I quilted the bottom area to resemble the burning coals and the top part to represent the flames leaping up. I used a variegated rayon thread (red, yellow, orange and green) for the quilting. I finished the edge with a narrow facing and added some beads at the bottom to reflect the light.

Challenge #16 - by Cay Denise "Ice-berg"

The background is turquoise silk and white cotton with a grey sheer overlay. The sheer over the sky area has been cut away except for the area inside the clouds.

The 'berg' is made of vinyl stuffed with white sheer and other-colored sheer ribbon snippets, then stitched down.
Wavy stipple stitching has been done in the water area, and echo quilting is used in the sky area. The raw edges have been sewn together rather that putting on a binding that I would ordinarily do. It helped in my finish time (less than one day from start to finish)!


Apologies for the poor quality of the photo.
I chose to do fire; it was above 100 degrees today, and this heat reminds me of bushfires.
I used my hand-dyed silks and cottons. Free motion quilting with lots of metallic thread.
If I had more time I would make the tree more I am time poor this week, this version will have to do.
Any comments welcome,