Monday, December 31, 2012


Cattails, 18" x 24"
Not being a believer in numerology or lucky numbers, I was a bit perplexed as to how to approach ths challenge. But after re-reading Susan's information, I was drawn by the number three as a representation of the Holy Trinity. My stash has a great tie-dye print that worked beautifully as the background. The cattails are made using velvet and ultrasuede.

Auspicious 4x4

This piece is 4”x4”, which was a challenge in itself doing something so small, but 4x4=16, and that just happens to be my birthday! Besides the four large crystals, there are 12 square sequins for a total of 16 embellishments. Also, in one of the links provided with this challenge, it says my personality number is 4, and while that’s not a good number to the Chinese, it works for me, so my personality is represented by the four large crystals that I tried to balance in the composition.

Happy new year to all! Hopefully 2013 hold auspicious numbers for everyone.

Robert Hartley

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Sweet Sleep

Sorry this is so late, but I think it also includes some of the requirements for Challenge 76, as well, since my Outer number is a 5, I've included a pentagon spiral. My Soul Number is a 7 and my primary color is purple. It was interesting reading about Soul Numbers and Outer Numbers, and amazing to me that my favorite number has always been 7 and my favortie color has always been purple. My next favorite color is blue, which is the primary color for 5. Anyway, I created this piece for Challenge 75, which was to indicate falling into a deep sleep. I made the spiral, which I learned to do from a class I took by Renae Merrill. I think the colors I used give the feeling of spiraling down into a deep sleep. I added the sheep entering from the side to indicate the start of sleep, where we're counting our sheep trying to "fall asleep". This piece is only 7" x 8" and took a few hours to draw out the design and paper piece each piece of the spiral. The purple cording I used is also spiraled, which reinforces of the idea of spiraling down into a deep sleep. Your comments are most welcome. 

Friday, December 28, 2012

One Yellow Square

One Yellow Square
10" x 10"
ready for framing

One Yellow Square
view to show depth and texture

I had a dream last night about creating a quilt with one square.  I thought it would be red, but I was not sure.  This dream puzzled me.  I wondered what the FFFC would be.  When I finally got my computer working, I got goose bumps when it was something to do with numbers. 

After reading all of the information, looking at all the sites, and finding out by my birthday, my number was 2 I was stymied.  I've been making charity quilts non-stop for a few weeks now.  I'm bored.  Don't get me wrong.  I enjoy knowing that they will be going for a good cause.  However, the sewing to a set pattern is wearing very thin.

This challenge came just in time to exercise a bit of creativity.  I had purchased some plain and non floral fabrics before Christmas.  Now they were all washed and ready to be used.  As I read the descriptions, the number 1 made the most sense to me = power, passion, determination on one view as well as "... developing your own will, individuality, decisiveness, and expressing your creativity,..." on another view.  Of course I could not get the dream out of my mind.  Above is the result.

PS.  Does anyone know where to buy good quality metal frames at a good price?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Challenge 76: Auspicious Numbers

Host: Susan Slesinger
Due Date:  Jan. 5, 2013

This month’s challenge will focus on auspicious numbers.  We survived December 21 2012 which was the “end” of the Mayan calendar and a number of people engaged in special activities to mark 12-12-12.  As we finish 2012, and enter 2013, it seems like the perfect time to play with auspicious numbers. 

In Renaissance art compositions were often arranged to create a triangle representing the number 3, the holy trinity.

In the Chinese tradition certain numbers such as five are considered auspicious, while others such as four are considered unlucky.

In Judaism there is a practice of numerology called gematria.  In Hebrew, numbers are written with combinations of letters, similar to Roman numerals

The best-known auspicious value is 18 which is equivalent to the value of the letters chet and yud which spells the word “Chai” which stands for life.  Jewish people often make donations in multiples of 18.                              (Invocation chuppah) (72 is four times 18)

The Quilt Group 12 by 12 used the number 12 as the basis for one of their challenges.

In Japanese culture 1,000 cranes is considered auspicious.  Here are several examples of quilts based on the 1,000 crane theme  (Scroll down to see 1000 crane quilt)

This quilter incorporated her lucky number 7 in a more subtle way.

If you want to take the concept of numerology further why not try the idea of using the primary and secondary colors which go with your auspicious number.

In addition to incorporating a number which is auspicious or lucky for you in your quilt, why not add to the challenge by incorporating some form of written text (alphabetic or numeric) into your quilt preferably using a method you have wanted to experiment with for a long time.

One last note: Have fun with this!

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Golden Spiral

26" x 17"

12/9/12 -- I just took a new photo of Golden Spiral with better lighting, which lets the spiral show up much better.

I had not intended such a literal depiction of the challenge theme here, it just happened that way!  When I described the challenge to my husband, he told me of a dream he had been waken out of with the sense of falling into a swirl of gold, and describing it to another friend, he remembered an old image of himself falling off a tall cliff and flying.  So both of these dreams became embodied in my piece.

The background uses the Fibonacci sequence in widths, going from bottom to top.  I used various tulle fabrics in these layers, dark green tulle doubled in the bottom, single in the second line, then the fabric that was under that by itself in the double-width, a lighter blue-green tulle over mottled green/white fabric, then a white tulle with a yellow swirl as the background behind the figure about to fall off the cliff.  The cliff itself has a layer of black mesh to tone down the rather bright gold on dark brown.  The spiral is a bright gold cord, which comes across as rather duller than it really is.

Thank you, Silvia, for this challenge!  I welcome any comments.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Moonlight and Coconut Palms

I know this is quite late, but better late than never, right? I tried a lot of techniques in this project, and although the physical properties of the piece are not perfect, I still feel that I learned a lot from it. I used a gauzy fabric for the water to give it sparkle. Unfortunately, I touched it with the iron and burned a hole in it after it was all sewed on, so to cover the burn hole, I added some rocks. This piece started out to be a day scene, and then I found this really cool moon fabric and decided the piece would now become a nighttime scene. I had already stitched on the dock and cabana, but I felt I was lacking something, so I added the coconut palms. I decided that this would be a great place to incorporate buttons, so I used 8 buttons. The piece looked a little unbalanced so I added the posts and the boat to even things out. I then used glittery paints and fabric crayons to add all the shading on the dock, the boat, the water, the sky and the rocks. I added the crystals to add a little more interest in the sky. Our Siouxland Samplers Quilt Guild is doing a challenge called "House it Going?" It has to have a structure in the quilt, so this piece will be used in that challenge, as well. The only thing I feel bad about are that my borders are not even, but I like the piece otherwise. The piece measures 14" x 13". Comments are welcome.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Falling leaf

When I am falling asleep and fall it is a gentle slow descent.  It feels like a leaf falling from a tree.  This tree is all thread painted.  The first border is hand dyed.

Pat Havey

Golden Swirl Cushion

Golden Swirl
I got the idea for the design while cleaning. My hanging chair had the cushion I made ~ 40 years ago. Then it blended with my colors; now it was an eye sore.  Because of my tedious construction method, I spent three days working on this before I attempted the cording.  Unfortunately, I did not check the fit before I added the cording.  This is the first time I have ever attempted cording.  It took me one lone evening.  As you can see, it is still not finished.  I'm adding it to my pile of UFO's so that I can return to my bed quilt project.  If each of us made just one bed quilt for Sandy victims, we could cover half of the families.  These are going to the folks who have lost everything.  I think they need a bed quilt a bit more than I need a cushion.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Nightly Hot Flash Rituals: Ignition to Afterglow!


The quilt was designed in Make the Cut Software. It was cut with my electronic cutter using both the positive and negative shapes for the quilt.

Had a lot of fun with the titles including A Hot Flash Slumber, Dreaming in Technicolor and Hot Flash Blastoff among many others about my chronic condition.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Golden Spiral

Golden Spiral or Fibonacci
This piece represents flying and falling in a storm such as Hurricane Sandy.  I was going for abstract, but I am a pictorial quilter by nature, and the NYC skyline found its way into the piece.

I began with a square and followed the Fibonacci directions to make it a rectangle, then made another square and rectangle in the upper right corner with red & orange thread.  The fabric was shibori painted in two directions, then dyed. The subdued colors represent the darkness of a storm. Free-motion quilting was practiced with variegated thread around all the horizontal storm lines which represent the wind. The vertical lines were enhanced with novelty threads and represent the rain pounding down.  The Golden Spiral is a wind gust, or could be a tornado brewing.  Hand-painted and dyed fabric  novelty threads, and netting. Finished size: 21" x 13".  Thank you Silvia for this fun learning experience.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Untitled Challenge 75 Response

Just finished!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Challenge 75: Falling in a Golden Swirl

Fast Friday Fabric Challenge #75, November 2012

Challenge Hostess: Silvia Dell'Aere
Title: Falling in a golden swirl
Due: Dec.1, 2012

“Do you know the terror of he who falls asleep? To the very toes he is terrified, because the ground gives way under him, and the dream begins.” -Friedrich Nietzsche-

How many times did you fall in your dreams? You can roughly fall and wake up jumping in your bed or you can glide in a low fall while falling asleep, you can fall for just few inches or you can take a long long flight... what about you? How do you fall in your dreams? And how deep are they?

Make me know through a quilt. Tell me not your dreams but how deep they are, show me the moment you fall asleep.

You can make an abstract or pictorial quilt, choose the style that best fits you, but experiment with the “golden ratio” rule to compose your quilt.

Golden Ratio Resources:

Wikipedia about Golden Ratio (very extensive):

Golden Ratio in photography (but useful for quilters too):
or tiny:

Examples of Golden Ratio in art:

Golden Ratio Quilts:

Searching with Google for “golden ratio quilt” or “golden mean quilt” or “fibonacci quilt” you will find lot of quilts that depicts the classic Golden Swirl, and a few quilts with a totally different subject that are composed using the Golden Ratio (in its swirl, rectangular or triangular representation or the Fibonacci series that generates it) as a way to divide the space and manage the number, position and dimension of the objects.

Quilts of this kind are:

“Yoyo1: Forward Pass” by Helen Remick

So... let’s get to work and have fun with this! :)

Friday, November 09, 2012

Challenge #74 Done!

"On the Hunt"
Finished this piece 12/27/12, but am posting based on an earlier date that will fall under Challenge 74 works.

This piece started as a UFO (the background part - that was created from a Japanese block pattern).  I had fun in creating the 'hunter' faces ~~ that are based on mask patterns from one of the fabrics.  This 'take' on the Mission Possible challenge theme is that these hunters are hunting some of the buttons that have decided to go into hiding (and are visibly invisible).

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Cityscape on the River

12" x 21"
This is really better as a touchy-feely kind of piece as the main fabric that I used is an Oriental flocked fabric that I picked up a couple years ago.  The buttons stand out much more in this photo because of the lighting than they ordinarily do -- except, perhaps, for the three red leaf buttons on the right side.  What seems to have happened is that the buildings themselves attracted the buttons to themselves!

I originally had all of the Oriental fabric in a single piece, but then cut it apart and interspersed some other red fabrics, and I sewed windows on one piece with gold thread.  And since the shapes did not conform to rectangles, the result is a rather abstract cityscape.  I was not certain about the selection of the batik piece for the water, but it forms quite a contrast to the buildings.

I welcome any critiques for this admittedly late posting.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Button Quilt

Button Pony - My button horse was fun to make, like a mosaic with buttons. He does not show up well in the photos. The baby  is highlighted with fabric paint; the tail and fur are made from scraps of braided trim. The buttons are from my collection! haha I am sure I am not the only one who collects buttons. Thank you for this fun challenge.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


I caught these Spotted Owl  button-snatchers with my night-vision goggles.  They are lining their nests with our buttons.  Don't they look guilty?  Is this an environmental concern?  The owls are pastel tones.  The piece is 12" x 14", commercial fabrics.  Thank you for your comments.  I hope you all have fun with this challenge.

Button Plant

I know who the button thief is in my house -- it's my female cairn terrier.  She chews the buttons off the laundry.  She's crafty and clever, so I keep checking Etsy thinking maybe she's putting together a line of button-embellished designer bones!  Otherwise, I'm not sure just where the buttons go.  Here are ones she didn't get.  I tried to stay in a limited palate tonally, both with the fabric and buttons.  I'm not sure there's enough contrast to make the leaves pop.  Thoughts?  Suggestions?

Button, button, who's got the button?
Robert Hartley

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Over 50,000,000 Missing Americans and Counting…


The Statue of Liberty represents Freedom and our right to choose.
We protect eagle eggs and destroy humans. 
The buttons are the zeros in the 50,000,000.

Castle in the Mist

I worked from a piece I had trialled in an abstracting exercise. Although it looks a little bit like a castle, it was in fact some chemical crystals in a close-up photo. I fused the sheers with Misty Fuse - worked really well. Sometimes when I look at the darker squares near the bottom, I think they are distracting, but I really wasn't aiming for reality, just a suggestion. The quilting over that area in grey-lavender rayon has helped to unify the blocks.

When I saw the button challenge, I imagined I would do a funky piece. But obviously the funky gene is recessive!

Julia in NZ

Monday, October 29, 2012

Buttonmania Strikes Again..

My hand is up, the buttons are all at my house
Small quilt, approx 15 inches tall, with hand-embroidered/quilted stitch holding the layers and the buttons on.  All the woven fabrics (thanks Jude) were grabbed from the scrap box as tones, not choices.. The size was set by the oddment of batting I found under the table.  The background fabric is Oakshott Fabrics Ischia and the binding is another Oakshott colour I can't name. All the buttons came from one of the 7 tins-worth I bought the other day, incidental to purchasing a sewing machine table for my little workroom at home.
Sewn in front of the fire to the accompaniment of a programme about wolves and buffaloes.
Finished on Saturday morning, but it's taken a day or two to get online to post here. Hooray!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Porpita Porpita -- Blue Button Jellyfish

photo of Blue Button Jellyfish from Google Images

This started out to be something very different. However, when I finished the background in different shades of blue-green, it looked like water, so, after some research, I decided to make a Blue Button Jellyfish. I used several types of silk, which I love to work with. 

I added several types of embellishments, including yarn with holographic dangles. Then, of course, I added the buttons, tiny ones which I have been saving for just the right occasion.

I would welcome any comments or suggestions.

Marilyn Foulke
Louisville, KY 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Challenge #74: Mission Possible

Host: Linda MacDonald

Due Date: Nov. 3, 2012 (although late postings are permitted and welcome)


This month we are joining the MISSION POSSIBLE Team.

To get in the mood , click here and play the music theme, while you read this message :

Good day FFFC member.

It has come to our attention that there is an evil Button-Snatcher on the loose. Men and women are
showing up for work with no buttons left on their clothes. There are no known pictures of the
button-snatching ring or its leaders. Our target is outside the reach of conventional law
enforcement, so it is up to the FFFC members to find out who or what is snatching our buttons, and
what they are doing with them.

Your mission, fellow quilter, should you decide to accept it, is to obtain evidence of the Button-
Snatchers and/or find out what they are doing with our buttons. As always, should you or any of
our FFFC Force be caught or de-buttoned, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your

The MISSION POSSIBLE scene is set. Who or What are the Button-Snatchers?
What are they doing with our buttons?

For this month’s challenge you will use at least five (5) buttons in your design. Any size or color
will do, and they do not have to be alike.

Our Design Element is Tones.
Design Elements If this link is too long, here is the

Here is an ad for thread, grouped by tones. I am not selling thread and don’t have any connection to the
advertiser, I just like the color groupings.

(Is this the creature stealing our buttons?)

Missing buttons
Where do our missing buttons go? Are they being recycled? Do our buttons become food for
some alien nation?

Are they decorating winter trees?

A Google search will bring up many images of “buttons on quilts” and “buttons in art”

A few examples: Jamie Fingal’s blog

The amazing art of Jane Perkins

This page will not self-destruct in ten seconds. Good luck, Quilter, and have fun with this!

Monday, October 08, 2012

Leaping Looper Fish

A planet covered with water must have lots of fish.  This is a Leaping Looper Fish.  Its side and top fins are loops of silk tubing.  The stone monolith is also a 3 dimensional loop.  What fun to imagine a new world of water!

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Cygnus Loopy Bird

Hi everyone! This is my first posting for the Fast Friday Fabric Challenges! I loved the theme and was inspired by Marilyn Foulke's Louis the Loopy bird from Louisville piece.

Loopiland is a large planet and has more than one species of fowl on it. I was able to capture a 'picture' of this bird-like creature called a Cygnus Loop-y Bird:

The Cygnus Loop-y Bird has a loopy crest and tail that are remarkably like tee-shirt strips! It's long beak can suck out food from deep underground. They are a flightless bird but can walk very fast until their five legs trip them up.

The 'picture' of this odd bird measures 4x6 inches in size and will be shipped off to Houston for further inspection. I hear it will be then donated to a worthy cause there, to raise money for "Friends for Life" a pet rescue organization.

Thank you for allowing me into the group! This was a lot of fun and I love how I will be able to help out a pet here on earth too!

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Melvin, the Spotted, Ridgebacked, Fuzzy Headed Pigasus!

As our space ship begins it's descent to planet Loopiland, I glanced out the window to see this wondrous creature waiting to welcome us! It seems that because Loopiland is mainly water, many of the mammals who live there have evolved to fly as a means of getting around.

The ridges on his back are made from felt, his hair is red and purple yarn which was fuzzed using a cat brush, his tail is a pipe cleaner and his wings are part of a pair of fairy wings I got in the costume section at Dollar Tree. I had a lot of fun creating Melvin. There was a companion piece to go with him planned but I ran out of

Loopiland Arch

Planet Loopiland's sea reflects its sky.  A monolith arch is also reflected in this stormy early morning scene.  One of the planet's two moons is setting as the sun rises.  Loopsters lurk below the surface.  I was going to add one poking up his head, but liked the scenic as it is.  This piece is 12" x 15" .  The arch is made from 3 layers and is my loop.  It is sewn to the background along  the bottom but just tacked on the top, so it had a 3D effect.
Comments welcome.

Friday, October 05, 2012


I am not sure if I followed the loop procedure correctly.  This  is created as  to represent a picture in a  picture album. To do this I uploaded 2 pics, one with album open and 1 with it closed. I used a photo  and transferred it to fabric  the back ground is upholstery fabric sample, this was free motion embroidery.  I wanted this to look a bit 3 D. The cover is made to look like a door ( door is cotton fabric, loops ribbon with felted balls to hook on.)  Around her neck Deb wears a necklace made out of an old garnet  ear ring.

I had fun with this challenge just doing my own thing. When an idea pops into my head I reach in pull it out and hope for the best. Comments will be appreciated.  I look forward to seeing what everyone has created.


Imagination What A Wonderful Thing

Lupus in Loopiland

14" x 16½"

When I mentioned the theme of this challenge to my husband, he suggested that a wolf, as a "loupine" be part of the picture, hence the grey fellow here.  I took the stone loops from Cay's story very literally, making them 3-dimensional infinity signs; the loops themselves  are not tacked down.

Because the blue/purple loops did not show up well on the watery background, I ironed on some thin fusible interfacing to add contrast.

The wolf was cut out of dark grey fusible interfacing and some eyelash yarn fused to it, with the eye added using fabric paint.  I also tried outlining him, and his tail, with black fabric paint, but it needs more.

Critiques are welcome.  A fun challenge, Cay!

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Yoga Recycled

Recycled items including zippers, pop can tabs, plastic keychain loop, loopy beads, ribbons, lock washers, bracelet

Monday, October 01, 2012

Wide Eyed Loopy-Finned Stickleback

I'm one of the new members this year and have been waiting excitedly for this first challenge.
I imagined our exploration of aquatic planet Loopiland in search of life. We identified and catalogued the indigenous flora and fauna...and I found the Wide Eyed Loopy-Finned Stickleback!

The challenge loops make up the side and lower fins, and since this piece is sculptural, there are fins on both sides for a total of ten loops! I'm considering adding something more to the tail to balance the numerous and exuberant back spines...thoughts?

I enjoyed making this bit of whimsy, and I hope it brings a smile to you, too!

Robert Hartley

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Day and Night Flip!


Originally, I posted the bottom panel as a standalone image, since I wasn't going to have time to do any creative work this past week due to work-related conferences.  After my return Friday, I completed  two additional panels that I consider valances.  One is for day and the other for night...on Planet Loopiland.  You can flip the panels easily to change one 'time of day' to the other.

My loop element is the hanging system for the panels.  The loops are intertwined.  There are 3 green loops for the day panel; 4 blue/purple loops for the night panel; and 2 larger blue/purple loops for the bottom panel.    

I took photos of this piece last night using a green fabric tube to cover the rod used.  But I think I may remove that fabric tube, because it seems to hold the eye from moving around the entire piece.

All comments welcome!   

Green Headed Loopster


Shortly after landing on Planet Loopiland, Spaceship FFFC was greeted by the Green Headed Loopster, the planet’s ambassador.

The Loopster’s “loops” are a different interpretation from the dimensional loops suggested by Cay’s examples. My loops are three layers (2 fabric and 1 fuzzy yarn) rouched and sewn into loops. His head is loops of yarn.

Thanks Cay for a fun challenge forcing us to think outside the box.
Pam Harris

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Louie, the Loopy Bird from Louisville

I haven't posted anything for a while, but this seemed like a lot of fun...

Louie's quilt is all in wool felt, but his loops are cotton. I added a few beads, too

I will probably do more with the background, and would really welcome any suggestions or comments.

Marilyn Foulke
Louisville, KY

Friday, September 28, 2012

Challenge 73: Planet Loopiland

Fast Friday Fabric Challenge for September 2012

Challenge Hostess:  Cay Denise MacKenzie
Title:  Blast Off to Planet Loopiland!

Spaceship FFFC has just landed on Planet Loopiland and you’re discovering just how loopy this new world is.  Readings indicate the entire planet is covered by water with the only hints of a molten planet interior ~~ the monolithic stone loop and plateau formations that water flows through and under, and that our spaceship sits upon.

You can use this short story as a take-off point or pursue your own direction for imagery.  The challenge, however, is to create a piece that incorporates at least two “loops” (three layer strips –with or without stabilizer) sewn into the piece as a design element(s).  Remember to have fun!

To help with idea generation, below are some links to get your creative imagination working where loops are concerned:

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Quiver of Cobras

This is my August challenge piece...A Quiver of Cobras.  I was so surprised to learn that a group of cobras was called a quiver...and voila (with a little help from internet imagery)!

I'll be hosting the September challenge -- coming up in days, and I hope you have fun with it!