Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Hunter and the Hunted

This was a really fun challenge for me. I have taken several classes on free-motion embroidery and decided it was time to try it. The wolf is entirely done free-motion, I did layer fabric behind the threads, that was to tell me where the color change or the eyes/nose etc. were. Once the wolf was done, what do you do with him? So put him on a green background and added a tree which gave the wolf a "home". The quilting is all done free motion as well. I truly had fun on this !
Love to hear your critiques, thanks, Jeanne


This piece utilized several techniques that included freezer paper stencil on a silk screen for the shadow moose (Lyric Kinard's class). The front moose was transformed using Beth Wheelers difusement maps tutorial and digitally printed, I used trupunto to bring it forward more. The background is paint sticks on a hand painted background and the thread work added.
Sweet Schnauzer
16" x 20"
fused, thread-painted, FMQ

This challenge came along about the same time that I had a commission to do a pet portrait of this special little dog. He was a much loved pet who died this past summer and two friends decided his owners needed a portrait. So I combined the Fast Friday Challenge and the commission. I finished the portrait including the quilting and a black border but failed to take a picture - something I rarely forget. So I'm posting the little fellow before the piece was finished. This photo was one of many I took to audition backgrounds - this was the winner! His owners loved the quilt as a remembrance of their precious little dog.

Your comments are always welcome. Thanks.

Sewing Caddy - Front

This had to do double duty. I found out about HIA's challenge at the same time as the FFFC and it was due today so I combined them.

Their rules were: Use their embroidery design and make a sewing caddy.

I used a picture of my cats watching the squirrels to make my design and then I thread painted it. The eye was reverse applique and for the dimension I used three layers of batting under her hips and hand appliqued it onto the background..

Sorry for the wonky setting! I took this photo in the Dora canal and changed the color with photo editing software. The thin aqua border around the photos is chiffon and the background fabric I bought on the same day I took the picture by coincidence. The large aqua border is chiffon overlaid over ugly free fabric picked up at a guild meeting.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Windblown Dinner

Windblown Dinner
Gail Myrhorodsky

I finished just over the limit this time! Hope you like my little hungry bird who came to dinner. The flowers and bird are direct FM embroidery. Vines and leaves are quilted and painted. It actually started as a much larger piece about 36" square. I cropped it down to about 14"h by about 12" w. Background fabrics are some of my hand-dyes. Hope you like it.

Just Passing Through

My entry to challenge 38 is titled "Just Passing Through". Some quilts insist on being made - this was one of those for me. For those who don't have the time or inclination for the "why", the details are these: 22" wide x 18" high; trapunto-ed bear totem (creating reverse trapunto for the somewhat subtle bear footprints on the right); reverse applique in the arrow. Things I would do differently - I would limit the Seminole border to one pattern instead of four and I would be more careful about keeping the pieces symmetrical.
For those who want to know the story behind the quilt...
My husband and I jog every morning. Since I run twice as far as he does, we start out together and then go our separate ways. For me, that hour each morning is my most valuable design time and I have created at least 90% of my quilts to the rhythm of the run. Last Friday my thoughts were on the FFFC posted that morning by Cynthia. I kept considering possible designs and rejecting them - nothing seemed to be speaking to me. About three miles into my run I looked up and saw my husband headed my way and I knew something must be going on. When he reached me he started lecturing me about daydreaming and not paying attention to my surroundings. Indignantly I demanded to know why he thought that was the case. Instead of answering he pointed to the ground by my feet. There in the sand, as clear as could be, were two perfect, fresh sets of grizzly bear prints heading back in the direction from which I had come. It was obviously a mama and near grown cub and they had gone through Thursday night sometime. We followed the prints back about a half mile to our barbed wire fence and there we could see where they had gone through. There were big clumps of grizzly fur caught in the barbs. Following the tracks back the opposite direction we found that the two had passed pretty close to our house during the night but thankfully, unlike last year, this time they had not hurt any of our animals. I decided I was meant to do a bear totem quilt. I talked to the folks at Game and Fish to see if I could add a few strands of grizzly bear fur to the piece but, as I suspected, since they have recently been re-listed as an endangered species, even picking the fur off the fence would be illegal!

"Tiny Giraffe" (10" x 13")

This is based on a graphite drawing I did for drawing class. The image was converted to sepia tones and printed on fabric. I will be putting this in a pillow top, so the edges are not yet finished. I love animals, so this was a great challenge. Those who know me will be surprised that I didn't do a cat!

The Lion King

Off to a slow start, the Lion King is still a work in progress. I had planned to do tiger cubs based on a Japanese wood block print purchased in Yokohama some 30+ years ago, but alas I could not find it. During the attic search I did find this somewhat ancient batik that was purchased about the same time in the middle east. This proud lion seemed rather regal, thus the name of this entry. I wanted to frame the batik in a nontraditional way and so cut some “wonky” borders, added a little animal textures and a few wispy things to create a little more interest and this is the end result. I still need to do more quilting on the “border” and have binding to add, but wanted to post this in a timely manner. I really enjoyed working with the sharply contrasting colors and the African feel to this piece. Thank you Cynthia for this challenge. Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

African Sunset Ch#38

Wow, I finished before the deadline.
This piece was a lot of cutting. First I place a piece of my hand dyed fabric, then a piece of black fabric. Sewed on the paper side of the stabalizer and then cut it out. A lot like Sue B's upside down applique.
It measures 21x24".
It was a fun challenge. I do have quite a bit of depth in the piece, although hard to see in the picture. I think it needs some eyelashes on the left side :)
Thanks for the wonderful challenge Cynthia.
Now I'm off to view the other work, which I haven't looked at yet.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fried Chicken

When I started this quilt I had intended to make a phoenix rising from the ashes. My husband said "too expected - why not a burned chicken" - therefor "Fried Chicken. The chicken is made of several layers of fabric starting with an upholstery velour topped with net stuffing to shape the leg and thigh. The top layers are organza - manipulated and burned. The wing is loose on three sides and made of purple embossed sheer. The quilt is machine pieced and machine quilted. Now that I see this on screen I realize it needs a lot more quilting which I will do when I once again have more than 5 min. Soon I hope. All critiques and criticisms are welcome. I love to have all the input I can get.
I have now added more quilting and cropped the bottom of the quilt. I think this is an improvement. What do you think?

Pat Havey

After The Storm

This piece started with a picture I took of a baby bird after it spent the day, with its parents' very vocal encouragement, learning to fly across the back yard. It finally managed to make it to the top of the fence, and I was able to snap a great pic.

I photoshopped the picture to create a rainbow set of birds, then printed it onto fabric. I used trapunto to make the birds puffier and gave them some texture with thread painting, then sandwiched and quilted the piece and touched up the eyes and beaks with paint.

This is a small project (10" x 12") and was intended to be a quick project, but it took longer than I thought--that's ok, though, since I had fun with it!

Rainbow Fish School

I think I have improved this. I used some color pencils to do some highlighting on some of the fish, particularly the larger fish in the center area. I tried doing some stitching, but that was not effective. Let me know what you think.

Here is my piece with a detail. It is silk with screenprinted fish, using Lumiere metallic paints. It was then overdyed with Colorhue dyes. The fabric was laid over bubble wrap to give the bubble texture. I have just started experimenting with these dyes. They strike very quickly and require no chemicals or special batching. Once they are dry, they are done. They can be used on linen and wool, also.

I wish I had made a new screen with more detail as the fish are sort of blending into the water, but I guess that is what they do!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Birds of a Feather

Challenge 38 Wen Redmond

I chose to do a Holographic Images, a Multi-level Surface Design/Mixed Media. Original image digitally printed twice for holographic 3-D effects. The piece is mounted. I invented this method of digital fiber and it was published in Quilting Arts magazine in 2007.

I went for very subtle effects. There is a tiny fern on bottom right. Fabrics are hand dyed, sun printed, painted, and surface designed in a variety of ways to enhance finished photograph.

Heron on the Creek

I just uploaded two photos. One is a photo of my creek at sunset, the inspiration for my challenge piece, Heron. Using the tiling option on the printer, I printed a digital photo of a heron near my pier. I added abstract curved lines to the image. The grasses and curved lines are reverse applique with an underlayer of batting for relief. Trapunto technique was used on the heron. Layers of fused scraps were added for the grasses. Ribbon was couched on two of the curved lines. Light strokes of oil pastel were used to complete the highlights. I would welcome any comments as this is my second attempt. Its great to explore new technique with these challenges, however, I need to know am I going in the right direction.

The Tri-lingual Parrot of Puerto Vallarta

I changed the quilt a little bit - edging the bird with a narrow black zig-zag, and adding two more red flowers. I think it looks better. Thanks for the suggestions!

At a resort in Puerto Vallarta, I kept hearing the words "hola!" and "hello!" coming from a clump of bushes. Following the sounds, we discovered a cage holding 2 beautiful parrots. They not only spoke Parrot, but they also spoke Spanish and English!

Here is a picture I took and printed on fabric. Then I printed the words on a sheer fabric, and fused all the pieces together to make an 11" x 13 " quilt.

After it was all done, I noticed the part of the challenge that mentioned "subtle dimension." So, I didn't follow the rules.

I always look forward to your comments.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Just Passin' Through

Just Passin' Through

Bernice Maddux

I just dropped by to say hello,
Now if you love me, let me go.
Thanks for the food and company,
But there's another place I need to be.

Don't grieve because I fly away,
I'll be back another day
To rest awhile and sing for you,
And maybe enjoy a meal or two.

Promise me you won't be sad,
But treasure the little time we had,
Our two worlds met for a brief hello,
Now if you love me, let me go.

This little bird is my first attempt at actual felting on my embellisher. I used both wool and silk roving (silk hankie). I don't know if it comes across in the picture, but it is very dimensional.

The 'sunlit' leaves are a glitter encrusted velvet. The rest of the leaves are two layers of fabric fused to either side of heavy duty aluminum foil, stitched, then cut out and stitched to the quilt only part way along the center vein...thus shapeable.
I plan to add a border (or two), so the edges are not finished yet.
As of now it measures 8x 10 1/2.

I loved this challenge Cynthia! Hope this meets the criteria.Thanks for all you do for this group :-)
The borders are now measures 11 1/2x 14

Challenge 38: "Pals"

I usually don't do literal interpretations, so this was a challenge for me. I made this whimsical turtle piece using a metal turtle I had as a template......the turtles are machine trapunto as I learned fromthe video. Grasses and rocks were fused on last. Lots of free motion quilting. I didn't finished the edges since I plan to use this for a pillow front......the theme for a new grandson's room is turtles so this may be a fun addition. All comments welcome......thanks!

Sunday, October 25, 2009


9.5” X 14”

I only had today to work on this challenge so needed something small and more simplistic. Enjoyed the challenge of the reverse appliqué and definitely need more practice with my satin stitching. I was getting the “hang of it” by the time I finished!!

I used a cropped photo of a zebra, sized it and printed out. This is a mirror image of the original.

I will hang it 90 degrees clockwise but this view is more realistic for a zebra.

Thanks Cynthia for the challenge and comments are welcome and appreciated.


The Mouse and the Radish by Cynthia Ann Morgan

My animal is a mouse hanging out with a radish...based on a vintage Japanese woodcut. The mouse and radish have trapunto and some of the leaves are reverse appliqued. Size is 10 x 11"

Comments welcome!


Chickadee Antics

I love chickadees and if you all remember I posted a single bird last winter. After doing that my guild asked if I'd teach a class on how to do the bird and get some realism to their work. I'd not done this before but finally agreed to it. Last summer I began to make this piece to use as an example of the difference paint and thread painting could make to a subject (photo #3). I had both birds completed but only one painted (the upper right bird in photo #3)) to show the difference paint made. I needed to finish this quilt anyhow so I got it out yesterday, finished painting the lower left bird, thread painted both birds, quilted it all, and now it's ready to share. I've also included photos (#2) of the winter chickadee I did last winter for this group and then the summer chickadee (#1) I did these two to show the participants the difference background color would make. Sorry I didn't get the photos placed in the right order. I hope numbering helps differentiate. The first two are about 11" x 16" and the double chickadee pair just completed is about 18" x 24".

I do so enjoy animals anyhow that I hope to get another new animal quilt started and completed yet for this month's challenge.

Psalm 124: 6,7

22" by 8"
Commercial Cotton
Machine Quilted
Dimensional  Wings
10 hours to complete

I'm not a big animal person.  As a child I didn't read animal stories like everyone else.  I've had the same cat for 20 years.  I don't melt when I see puppies.  In that light, this month's theme was a real challenge.  After reading it early Friday morning, I thought on it all day at school.  When I got home, I took out my inspirational books and saw a picture of these neat Art Deco love birds.  Using the picture as a base, I added lines, edited lines and came up with a really complicated design that would make a cool quilt.  That said, this is Fast Friday Challenge and I didn't have that kind of time to invest.

So this is the edited version.  I quilted the blue base.  Then I started on the bird working with a pellon foundation.  At this point it started to take on a life of its own.  I wanted to challenge myself to only work with commercial prints.  To complete the dimension element of the challenge, I double fused the wings to a blue base fabric.  Then each wing is cut out individually and radomly.  They are tacked down to the bird just on one end and can be bent up for a ripple effect.  The bird was then rough edged appliqued to the background - making the body of the bird puff up.  I did not stuff the bird but it does look all puffy since I added a ton of thread work around the edge.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


9" x 12" Satin

Update 11/5: I decided 1) to rip the binding off and redo it, 2) following Cynthia's suggestion to add a bit more quilting on the large black stripes, and 3) outline the background leaves in ink. This photo seems to show them better than the original did.
As soon as I saw "Animal Kingdom," I wanted to do a zebra! I'm not sure why, wished I had some zebra stripe fabric, but no such. And reverse applique was something I had read about, but really didn't understand, until yesterday, so this is my first use of that technique.

My original thought was to have the background half-white, half-black, but making the wide uneven stripes like a zebra coat seemed more effective. I quickly realized the need to simplify the stripe pattern, as thinner stripes would be nearly impossible to cut away. And as usual, my husband had a final suggestion, the dot of red fabric paint for the eye.

And since the white satin was fairly thin, I added some of the black and white grassy fabric that I used last month just behind it for a subtle background.

I am planning to donate this as a Priority Quilt to the Alzheimers Quilt Initiative, hence the rectangle and the size. All comments welcome!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Challenge 38 - Sluggish

So my piece for Challenge 38 is Sluggish. I'm not sure if a slug technically falls into the Animal Kingdom but I'm sticking with it.

The background is pieced with my hand dyed fabrics - it is suppose to be a mossy pathway - the slug has three layers of batting and a cotton ball for his head. The slug is actual size. He is beaded followed by a beautiful beaded slug slim. The finished size is 15 inches by 13 inches.

In Rainy Seattle - where the Slugs are munching in the garden.

Updated 10/28
Ok so taking some advice regarding the composition of the slug - I added an green leaf for lunch - changed the orientation of the quilt. Please let me know what you think now.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

FFFC Challenge #38:

Animals, from man to mouse and everything in between, are the inspiration for our Challenge this month. Anything goes….Abstract, realistic, stylized, whimsical, traditional, contemporary or anything else.

Nature Theme: Animals
Quilt Art examples:

Realistic Art examples:
Contemporary/Abstract Art examples:

Picasso’s Bull series - a study on moving from a realistic image to an abstract image
Traditional ethnic:
As an alternative to including an animal image in your piece: think about using the colors, texture and patterns in animal skins
Or use those wonderful animal print fabrics from your stash!

Have fun…can’t wait to see what you all come up with! For the “fast” FFFC artists, it’s due Saturday, October 31 noon Eastern time. For the “non-so-fast” FFFC artists, it’s whenever you can!


Challenge 37-Nebula

Challenge 37-Space has been designed in my head for weeks. Finally got time to get the work done and photos taken.

Hubble's photos have long been inspiration for me as a friend from high school was on the original Hubble design team, not to mention the fact that I'm a "Trekky" from way back.

My embellisher seemed the perfect tool to accomplish the task of building my own Nebula right in my studio. Quilting with metallic thread was new to me. Critiques welcomed.

Blast Off

Challenge 37 finally fully finished. I spent days looking at marvelous photos from the Hubble Telescope. However, as much as I was in awe of the photos, nothing spoke to me. Finally I hit upon this theme = going into outer space.
I wanted to use dyes, but my past experience had been just applying the dyes on a piece of cloth laying on a table. It didn't work as I had envisioned. Lots of flow across the table; very little control. Therefore, my first step was to make an adjustable frame on which to secure my fabric. I recycled wood from some old shelf frames I had used when I lived in apartments and moved a lot. I used a textile maker in gray as I only wanted a little bit to show threw the 'dust from the blast off'. Then I applied dyes. It took several layers of dye to get what I wanted. Then I began with the paints. I ironed between layers to preserve what I had already done. Previously, I had skipped this step. Not happy when the colors moved. I learned from that mistake. Although my quilting is far from perfect, it is the best I've done so far. Horay! I'm improving.

Blast Off 17" x 37 1\2"

Detail 1 darkened to show the quilting.

Detail 2 darkened to show the quilting.

Meet Me In 2287: 60,000 years

Outer Space ...I posted Malacandra(Mars quilt description from CL Lewis bookPerelandra)an already finished quilt & fit the theme. My plan was to finish anew FFFC...well it's almost finished after a few distractions....I thought Iwould have it finished before the new FFFC #38 came out... very soon..The nameis "Did You See This?" or "Meet You in 2287" (60,000Years). The name aloneshould get some interest going!!The idea for this FFFC came from an e-mail telling me to watch the sky's for the month of August. On August 27th Mars will be close to the Moon and we could see it ...well we had a cloudy night. Well I did see this very bright "Star" Mars next to the Moon during August evenings. This will not happen again for 60,000 years...I printed the words from my computer onto fabric and next cut the large circles..the Moon and Mars...the Earth much smaller(only 34,649,589 miles from Mars) has a sketch of the United States..these were attached to the background fabric with an iron-on and various fringed yarn. The MilkyWay across the quilt is angelina fibers attached with Misty Fuse.A few silver stars attached with beads and quilted stars with silver metalic thread.I wrapped the front fabric to the back for the edge finish...edges not too streight...OK for the universe!!!

posted by Designs by Janice Simpson at 8:03 AM 0 comments

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Astronomical Event

I have GOT to be the last to finish! Please take a look at my really fast entry (about 4 hours) – Astronomical Event. I decided to let one of my very first hand-dyed fabrics do the work. After quilting with several colors of metallic threads in a firey starburst design, I layered some holographic shredded cellophane under some sparkly dark gold tulle and again stitched over it with gold metallic threads. Then I melted this addition to give it a more lacey-spacey effect, floating through space. Comments welcome, even though this isn’t my best work….I got the urge to do this challenge and just sat down and did it. Hope to be a bit more timely next time!

Gail Myrhorodsky

Deep Space - WIP

Here is Deep Space. It is not finished. I am struggling with this. It is okay, but not wonderful. I used sequined and beaded fabric for the background which was not a Good Idea. When I finally got the bits under the planets and sun removed, they went flat and lost life. But I couldn't fuse them to the beads and sequins, nor could I just stitch them bumpily on there. I have put a facing on, although it needs stitching down in back. Because I already spent ages taking beads off the front, I didn't take them out of the SA when I stitched the facing on, and even through I was careful...I broke 3 needles!

So I am coming for advice.
I know how I want to quilt the sun, but any advice on how to quilt the planets?
Any advice on how to get it to be alive and not flat looking?
Shall I put it in the cupboard with the other space one from sometime back and hope I like it better in a year or so? LOL

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Planet Wihet by Vivien Zepf

This is my first challenge with the group and I've been looking forward to participating. Unfortunately, yesterday was my first day in the studio for weeks, so I tasked myself to create something in a day. It's not the most marvelous piece ever, but I'm glad I did it. It was a good way to reacquaint myself with my sewing machine and supplies.

The planet is made from a piece of fabric from my stash that I had painted. I rubbed paint sticks over some sequin waste and raised paper to create the "glow" around the planet. I used a sheer (my first time!) to create the wisps around the planet and colored on them after quilting so that they had more contrast. For lack of a better idea, I free-motioned meander quilted the background; a mistake, I think, but I couldn't think of anything else to do. (It also looks wretched because I used some batting I had lying about that got all puffy and icky as I used it. ) I used metallic silver thread to augment the glow, along with some purple rayon thread. The finished piece is 14 x 16 1/2.

Thanks for looking and for your critique.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Celestial Black Hole

New techniques that I used:
  • painting over acrylic paints with a transparent black Setacolor. The acrylic acted as a resist so only the unpainted areas took the black paint. I love this way of working.
  • adding Golden's mica chips in gel medium for some celestial glitz.
This also has a lot of foiling, which is not a new technique for me.

Here is a detail

I have another one painted, but it is not stitched as yet.

OK, I am ready for the next challenge.