Friday, August 31, 2012

Stacking the Deck

Two novelty decks of cards were used for this quilt. One deck had Saddam Hussein, his sons and other Iraqi players and the other deck had members of the Bush Administration. Playing with the cards made me revisit "Shock and Awe” and other the Iraqi War Games.

A Coven of Coffee

Finding a picture of a coffee cup made of beans made me think of a coven of coffee.  It is all raw edge applique , shadowed with shiva paint sticks and touched up with puffy paint.  The cauldron is beaded lace.  It measures 29 x33".


Just after I read the challenge I found, in my grandma home, this old chalk drawing made by my mom:

I can remember it being framed and hung in my room when I was a child, so it has a meaning to me, and since the desgn seemed to fit with the challenge I've decided to convert it in a quilt.

And then I've named it "catseye" because you can't name a group of cats ... every single cat is sure to be the center of the world :)

I've fused the blue and yellow confetti and the cats using commercial cotton, the threada are poly and rayon..
It's 15x9 inches and I think I'll frame it :)

The only doubt I have is about the blue/yellow part of the catseye... I wonder if it could benefit by a dark satin-stitch to enhance the blue/yellow edge. But I'm afraid that this could visually darken the right half of the work lowering the calue contrast with the purple cat.

what would you suggest?

Thank you!

A Plethora of Grapes

I went through many ideas before coming up with this one.  My piece is done on canvas and is approximately 16"X 20".  The grapes are made from a combination of fabric, deli paper and watercolor crayons and then stitched.  The big leaf on the upper left side is made from a paper bag and the leaf in the lower right hand corner from deli paper.  The small little stems are painted with acrylic paint and water color pencil.  Since I want to hang this as an art piece I backed my piece with felt to frame it, instead of using stretcher bars as was my original plan.
Thanks Ann for the great challenge!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Pick Up of Sticks

15 1/2" x 15 1/2"
I hope everyone has at least given this challenge a try. I had a lot of fun coming up with this concept, then creating my own quilt, and abstract representation of a collection of sticks. Each block measures 5" square and is constructed from decorator fabrics. I've added a few hand-stitched details in a few intersections. The black outer border is actually a large piece of felt which serves double duty as the batting. At the moment my quilt is only two layers so doesn't technically fit the definition of a quilt, but if I fused on a backing, then it would. All comments are welcome.
Ann Turley

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Ziggurat of Zigzags

Ziggurat: A rectangular tiered building/temple or terraced mound erected by the ancient Assyrians and Babylonians.

I had a lot of fun using my "artistic license" making up groups of objects, like a rounder of rings; a cyclone of circles; a triad of triangles etc.  Can you tell I'm into 'shapes'?

The ziggurat is all velvets and brocades, and the shrine on the top is the Palomar Observatory dome.  The sky is a sparkle satin with overlays of jeweled organzas.  The mountains are hand dyed silk and the grass is taffeta.  I built the tree trunk on timtex, painted with puff paints, then expanded with a heat gun.  The leaves/branches are a netted lace fabric.
I tried some new to me quilting designs...they took forever! LOL
It measures 29"x31"

This was a really fun challenge Ann, thanks for the 'nudge' out of the box.

Comments and suggestions appreciated

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Challenge 72 Fill in the Blanks!

CHALLENGE #72, “FILL IN THE BLANKS”         Due: Sept 1 noon EST

Host:  Ann Turley

A pod of whales. A deck of cards. A stack of pancakes. We’ve all heard these terms to describe a specific group of animals or items. But we creative types surely can think of much more inventive and creative descriptors.

The San Diego Zoo has a long list here: 

James Lipton, of The Actors Studio fame, has written a book on this very theme, entitled “An Exaltation of Larks”. You can read a review that includes a few of his terms on Amazon: .

The obvious art principle we want to explore is repetition, defined here. “Repeating visual elements such as line, color, shape, texture, value or image tends to unify the total effect of a work of art as well as create rhythm. Repetition can take the form of an exact duplication (pattern), a near duplication, or duplication with variety.”

This website: covers the basics on the principles of art. While all of them are pertinent, be sure to read the small section on Repetition.

A few images that illustrate Repetition:

Andy Warhol was a master when it came to repetition: (Scroll to the bottom for links to his artwork.)

Your challenge is multi-layered. You could select one of the many descriptors found at these two sources, or you can invent one of your own. Or you could borrow one of the few I have found – a royalty of chess pieces, a flirt of butterflies, a dearth of politicians. Illustrate your selection in an innovative manner. Have fun!

Ann Turley

Friday, August 17, 2012

Challenge 71

Ranuncula Patch in Hundertwasser's Garden

Flaxen Fete
The first piece was finished before Challenge #71 but seemed so apropos to the theme.  So, I did another one that was similar in style, but completely different in background and quilting.



I took a phote of this purple coneflower near Flathead Lake, Montana.  A few hours later the challenge was posted, so it seemed appropriate that this would be the flower for my challenge.  I have always been a fan of Georgia O'Keefe and thought maybe I could pull off something in her style, but I am dissapointed with the result.  This flower just doesn't seem to be the right type as so many of hers are much more sensuous up close. The closer I got to the flower, the smaller the quilt became, and I didn't see any improvement in the overall design.  But, that's what this exercise is all about; some are better than others.  I pre-quilted the background, stabilized the petals and then shaded them with water pastels.  I used two shades of pearl cotton for the stamens. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Blue Horned Violet

9" x 9"

My Mom's favorite color was blue. My dear friend Deborah also likes blue a lot. Thinking of both of them as I debated how to respond to the latest FFF challenge of a flower in the mode of a painter. I chose to do a Horned Violet ala Georgia O'Keeffe. I also remember when I transplanted a LOT of these violets around a large bush in our back yard. They grew and thrived; maybe too much. However, Mom loved them. Precious memories.

Since I lost my Mom on July 20, I've been struggling with a LOT of emotions. This challenge and the thread painting [which was boring], has helped me cope. Deborah's birthday is August 16. Hope she likes this little 'painting'. If she doesn't she can choose from something else that I will be creating in the small category. I will be creating many more small items for a one person show next year.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Cactus Flower

I already entered my psychedelic garden piece but went ahead and finished the cactus flower anyway.  It is painted with colored pencils, overlaid with sheer petals and has a very ethereal look in person.  It is hard to get the transparency look on film.  It was taken from a cactus in my garden with the shadows just right to give it the wonderful colors.

Pat Havey

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Special Delivery

Florals aren't really my favorite subject, but that's the point of a challenge, right? So I dove in and used abstract art as my genre. The vase fabric was in my stash, and after twisting and turning it, I found that it had the highlights printed into it that I thought I would have to add with stitching. The background is an older Wyland undersea print that had all the right lines for echo quilting. This was a fun piece, and I really am thinking of doing another! Size is 18"x24", maybe a bit less.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Psychedelic Garden

This is my Psychedelic garden.  I would say it is op-art genre.  The flowers are folded and stitched the leaves are raw edge applique.  The edge is finished with eyelash yarn.  It measures 14" x 16".

Pat Havey

Sunflowers Outdoors

15 1/2" x 11 1/2"

It was the flowers of Emil Nolde that got me started, using Tsukineko inks and painting directly on a piece of muslin, and then thread-painted over that.  However, it all seemed too diffuse and unsatisfying, so I went on from there with beads, and did heavier beading than I have ever done before.  The beads in the centers of the flowers were simply glued in en mass which gives a more nubbly texture.  As a shortcut, I used Shrinky-Dinks for the leaves, which came out nice and bright.  As a final touch, I painted with a clear glitter paint in strokes away from the flowers.

I find that I like the flowers but not the rest of the "canvas" here.  Suggestions and critiques are welcome (including a better title!).

Sunday, August 05, 2012


This piece "impressionistic", sort of a blend of Monet, Gauguin, and VanGogh?  It is a collage type 'painting using nothing but paper-towel mop-up  pieces from my dye sessions.  The pieces are as tiny as less than 1/8th inch and up, all torn and glued onto a muslin backing that was fused to fleece batting.  After all the pieces were in place, I finished with a Matte Medium. 

I am posting two views of my (unfinished) piece. My Art Critic (read hubby) wants me to leave it with ragged edges showing.  My question to you is ...would it look better, more finished, trimmed ?

Also, any suggestions for quilting?  There is so much tiny detail in the piece, I worry that quilting could interfere...advice?  This technique quilts easily, but I'd hate to ruin it.
It measures 18"x28"
Your opinions and advice would be most gratefully received

Fun in the Kitchen with Flowers

I combined two challenges for this floral themed FFFC challenge. The Fiberart Traders had a challenge to have Fun in the Kitchen and swap postcards with our results.
 A cookie cutter was used as a stencil for the 3 large flowers, spritzed Colorhue dyes on 55%cotton/45% silk fabric, turmeric center.
Floral toothpicks as resist for the smaller floral postcard on 55%cotton/45% silk fabric ..spritzed with Colorhue dyes , turmeric center
 I love the plastic doily texture underneath in the floral toothpick not sure it shows in the picture.

Friday, August 03, 2012


This was just the challenge I needed to take a break and create something just for fun :)

I've chosen the style of one of my favourite artistic movement: Futurism.
( )
Flowers are not futurist theme so I've used them trying to add to the composition a sense of speed and using letters that floats free.

Technique: This is a white wholecloth I painted with paintstiks using the technique of masks. Then I've added freehand machine quilting.

Thanks for your comments :)

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Sheer Whimsy

12.5 X 12.5
No style used to my knowledge. I have never used sheers so wanted to experiment. I was pleased with the transparency effect as I added layers. Originally, I had an iridescent center but then wished I had used orange so colored the center with paint sticks.

Thank you Cynthia for stepping in to give us a fun, summer challenge.

Comments/Suggestions welcome and appreciated.

Pam Harris