Sunday, November 30, 2008

ren's Solar Flare

Solar Flare
21.5 inches high x 11.5 inches wide
velvet, cotton fabrics; cotton, silk threads; yellow colored pencil

I get lots of inspiration from this NASA website. Today's piece is a continuation of my solar series and, unlike the Solar Orbs from Challenge #26, which were supposed to be monochromatic but looked much more analogous, this one fulfills the monochromatic task much better, eh?

And value: hot white center of the flare, out to black-on-red velvet. I hope this is what the challenge meant us to do.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Challenge 27

Challenge # 27 – Friday, November 28, 2008

Guest Hostess – Linda Cline

Working in Series: Continue working with the theme that you have chosen, or you may decide to work with another theme. Whatever works for you is fine; as long as you are enjoying the journey.

Color Concept: Value
Pick any color scheme you want to work with; however, you must include at least one very dark color and one very light color. The very dark color can be black, or you may choose a color very close to black such as a very dark navy blue. For the light color, you may choose white, ivory, or a very light tint.

Concentrate on value and not on color. You might take a picture of your composition and convert it to grayscale to see if you are using value effectively.

Composition Concept: Close up or Far view
Choose to work with a very close view or a very far view of your subject. Think about zooming in or out with a camera.

Imagine design elements from your series close-up. You might enlarge the design elements, and let them be cropped by the edges of your composition. More attention might be paid to the details within the shapes that make up the composition. Try visually cropping completed quilts in the series to search for new design ideas.

Now imagine the same design elements far away. What kind of environment will they be in? Perhaps your design elements will be many and clustered or scattered across your composition. Perhaps from a distant view they will appear more as texture instead of individual shapes.

As an example, if your series is about trees, you could zoom in and create a quilt about a branch, leaves, or the texture of one leaf. Or you could zoom out and focus on the forest. If you zoom out far enough, the individual trees might disappear as their shapes merge and become the shape of a clump of trees seen from far away.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

dragon in progress

This is the dragon I am currently working on. I tried very hard to follow the set guides for this time...Perspective - which I don't think I did too badly with and Monochromatic, which I seem to have lost along the way. Several of the fabrics I started with didn't end up in the composition, and then I realised the dragon's features were lost and I wasn't sure just stitching would show them up. So I chose paints in the monochromatic scheme, but of course they were metallic blends. So the silvery turquoise one reads as silver when you paint it on green and the goldy green one reads gold.

The "shadow" was originally teal green (scraps from this skirt), but the dragon and the "shadow" were too similar in value. So, I painted it with olive bronze to darken it...but only the bronze shows! (I have used these before and only saw the other part of the colour!)

As you know, my dragons usually have a story. Well, I started out thinking this was a spring dragon, but when the "shadow" started looking like a lily pond, I realise it was a pond dragon! I think it still is, but it lives in the pond of the Princess of the ?, who has had special bronze lily pads made for the dragon to rest on. It is a very lucky dragon. (Or will be if I can get it right) I am still learning the rest of the story.

Anyway, I will continue to work on it and see if I find out what is missing. I am going to create more texture on the dragon body. I think I have managed to salvage the value, so I am giving up trying to get the monochromatic thing going again. Here is the photo with the colour desaturated, showing the values. Not wonderful, but alright.
I am not sure if I will keep working this right now, or hang it up in my studio till I see what it needs, if anything, before I stitch into it. I had decided these would be studies, but when I thought perspective, I found it hard not to do a whole dragon. Any advice will be gladly considered.

By the way, I went for those colours because I wanted to use the background. It is one I did with flour resist. It seemed very dragon - atmospheric. It is actually much bigger... I cropped the photo. I haven't decided how big it wants to be yet.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


10 x 13½

A close-up of a succulent which shows the plant in perspective was used as the basis for this piece. A combination of quilting and painting adds color and texture. My process is described in more detail in a few entries on my blog beginning October 31st. I like how this quilt came out, and will make more similar to this.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Orange Leaves #2

I liked my first quick version of the fall leaves enough to want to improve it. So one fabric leaf was removed and many more were added. The ones on top are just stitched at the top of the leaf so they hang freely. As I worked, I kept seeing snakes under the leaves though, so a trip to Walmart and a friendly grandmother helped me find a bag of small, rubbery, colorful snakes. These were attached by sewing right through them with invisible thread. So they do not conform to the monochromatic part of the challenge at this point!

I really like the idea of putting the leaves (which are composed of two layers of fabric with felt inbetween) on top of the felt backing. It is very easy to just cut an irregular border. I may add another layer of felt on the back to make it stiffer and hid the stitching.

The grey background is the floor porch-not part of the quilt.

Learned a lot, enjoyed it, and looking forward to Nov 28th.

Nancy Schlegel

Friday, November 07, 2008

Changes to Green Fence

Thank you all for your encouraging comments. Taking your suggestings to heart, I have made changes to my Green Fence quilt. I have cut the left edge to the fence line as several of you suggested, and it does look better this way. Also paintsticks were used to add interest and shading, and sashiko quilting is added in the foreground (as this is a Japanese garden in my garden series). FMQ was added to the background, though this doesn't show up well in the photo.

I really appreciate your comments as I learn a lot from them. I have not had any art training, but am having such fun with this! Linda Mac in Wyo

(Pre-changes photo added by Cynthia for comparison)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Just Passing Thru

After I started this quilt I didn't like what I was doing at all. So I did some revising. It isn't totally monochromatic I don't think. But, my sister told me it was. I am anxious to hear what you all think.

City Across the Bay

Comments welcome. It was fun and challenging.


Monday, November 03, 2008

Green Trees

Challenge #26, Perspective in monochromatic. Keeping with my theme of trees. I have mixed feelings about this piece. It was challenging (no pun intended) to complete this.

Judy Whitehead


16" X 20"
Black fabric discharged with Jacquard Discharge Paste
Painted with watercolor dyes
My piece doesn't exactly meet the challenge of being monochromatic. I had this idea of quilting a design on black fabric and then discharging different quilted areas so they would appear like old stone huts. Then I made a pathway leading past the huts and off into the distance. The top seemed too empty so I threw in a stylized sun. After discharging the various areas I painted them with yellow and yellow-orange watercolor dyes. This was a fun piece to make and I believe I will refine this technique and use it in the future.
Thanks for looking. Your comments are always welcome.

Just Under the Wire

I am a “newby” to the group as well as art quilts. I missed the first challenge due to traveling but hope to have the Seeds of Time completed in the next two weeks.

I was intimidated by the thought of a series so decided to do geometric shapes and then realized I have always wanted to do something with Time so will do both.

Just Under the Wire is my challenge 26 done in orange. All but the background fabrics are hand dyed and I played with some of the decorative stitches on my machine. My machine and I weren’t getting along as well as I would have liked but that too, is part of the learning curve. Piece is 11 x 15.

The title of this quilt may indicate when most of my challenges will be posted—Just Under the Wire as I tend to work better with deadlines looming.

Thanks for the invitation to join this great group with so many fantastic quilters.


Sunday, November 02, 2008


22 1/2" x 20 1/2"

I've had in mind to do a blue mostly monochrome piece for a while, but the last time, it came out green! And here, my original thought was to have a sunrise, but when my husband first responded by calling it a moonrise, and actually pulled out the piece that I used for the sky, it became that, complete with his suggested title!

The ocean and stream are a mid-blue satin, the moon and reflection are a pale blue. The rest is mostly cotton, the flower on the lower left is cut from a drapery remnant from our new curtains, and the deep blue pieces with the black flowers at the bottom are polyester. I used some Angelina fiber to add depth to the stream and tone down the moon's reflection.

I tried to achieve the perspective aspect by having the stream flowing off to the ocean be wider at the front and narrow off to the distance. The moon's reflection also helps to see the ocean surface. And the shape itself, narrower at the top, may also suggest distance.

11/17 I've just finished the edge today, so I replaced the photo.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Arched Window

My quilt is from a photo I took in Sept while visiting Fort McHenry in Baltimore. I enjoy taking photos of architecure and distorting the scale, proportion and perspective. The barred window was in the courtyard of the fort and I took several pictures until I was satisfied. My series is supposed to be circles, so by using the curved edges of the arch and the bars, you could say I did use circles. The shadows are achieved w/ pencil and oil pastel, the bricks are quilted as is the texture on the right wall. My quilt measures 17"x21". (The above-mentioned photo is in the Yahoo folder.)

Inspired by an episode of Project Runway (there they took photos of NYC at night as the basis for their garments). Foundation pieced with 279 pieces in the arc alone. Bobbin quilted with metallic threads.
I actually did this for a local show (and got juried in from a national field), Night Visions III, now at the Coconino Center for the Arts (Flagstaff AZ).
Difficult to photograph but it shows beautifully!
Comments of course, welcome!