Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Cart of Geraniums

A Cart of Geraniums for Sharon

8 x 10 mat      5 x 7 thread painted

It's been a long time since I've been able to complete a challenge for FFFC.

The minute I read the challenge I knew that if there was any way possible to get something done I would.

I love to take photographs of windows and doors.  This photo taken in France, has both.  It also has geraniums, which I love.

I printed the photo on fabric and then thread painted various sections of the piece.

I have a friend who is going through a lot at the moment.  I am going to send it to her in hopes that it will brighten her day.

Fast Fused French Door

I started this yesterday, and although I love the fabrics,  I am a little disappointed at how it turned out.  

I based the quilt (9" x 12") on a photograph I took about 10 years ago in France.  I think the photo was a little off kilter, and I had problems with perspective on the quilt.  However,  the Stonehenge fabrics turned out to be perfect for the weathered stone on the building.

I also like the complementary colors of the door and door frame, and I think the door provides the "contrast" that was part of the challenge.

I consider this a learning experience, and I would welcome any suggestions.

Marilyn Foulke
Louisville, KY

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Window of Imagination

I improvised this window from somewhere in my imagination. More accurate details would have been caught with a reference photograph, but I wanted to use the challenge theme to let the window open a door to imagination. I went for a painterly, impressionistic approach, so it’s not meant to be exact. In fact, the lines are hardly straight and things are rather askew, but I’m generally satisfied with the results.

Glass and reflections are so tricky to replicate. That’s where a reference photo would have helped. I think there should somehow be more life and light radiating from inside the window, but I’m not sure how to go about that.
I chose the yellow border thinking it would accentuate the window frame, but seeing it finished I’m now questioning that choice and considering changing the yellow border with a paint finish or other approach. Feedback is welcomed.
The piece is 11”x13.5”

Robert Hartley


I had so much fun with this one!  The background is hand painted and treated with salt.  The leaves are either  hand dyes, or two layer sheers fused together and cut with a stencil tool.  The flowers are three different polyester sheers fused together and then freehand cut out using the stencil tool.  (I love this technique!)  They are attached in the centers only, using french knots.
The trees and tree house are decorator fabrics and thread work.  The Robin is printed from a photo and then enhanced with colored pencils and stitching.
The quilt measures 12"x12"

Great challenge, Susan!  I loved it!
Comments and critiques greatly appreciated...Cherie

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Whoohoo...response to Challenge #78 completed!

Portal of the Nobles
(Inspiration Photo)

Thank you for this most enjoyable challenge, Susan!

My first step was to go through oodles of travel photos to find doors and doorways until I found this inspiration photo (a door in Scotland).  Then I made templates for certain elements and auditioned lots of fabrics (especially background fabrics) to see how contrast could be achieved in the piece.

The background I chose is a lovely sheet of fiber paper (overlaid on a piece of white cotton fabric) that I found at a local art store recently.  It sewed through beautifully!

As always, comments welcome!

Good Locks Make Honest Men

What a coincidence!  I'm just finishing postcards for an exchange with doors as the theme.  My door is an old, deserted farmhouse door that has been bolted against intruders.  I used ink that I put on my finger and rubbed into the fabric.  Then I cut the fabric into narrow strips to resemble boards.  The door has real screen in it.  I quilted around each shape to make sure they all held despite using fusible.

I've titled it "Good Locks Make Honest Men" or at least they try to...

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Cottage Door

Cottage Door, 4" x 6"
When the FFF Challenge came out, I was excited.  I had taken about 1,000 photos in Carmel between Christmas 2011 and New Years Day 2012.  I was so disappointed that the wedding photos were so awful, I had just stuck the album away on my computer.  Now, I had an excuse to examine it. 
Friday evening I went through lots of building, door and window photos. Finally, I found this little turquoise door which held me enchanted.  I printed it using my Epson pigment printer late Friday night.  I thought I would just 'stitch it up' in the morning.  Almost 12 hours later it is done.  In person, it is tactilely dimensional.  I stitched in layers similarly to what I did in 'Nine Patch in White'.
I love the idea.  However, I thought I would go nuts stitching the window panes.  I will NOT be doing that again.  I got very tired of the stitching when it was only about 1/3 done.  Hopefully, it is a lesson learned.
Although I like it.  It was way way too too much work for the final result as a post card.  I think it would not have been any more work to make it in a larger size.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Challenge 78---Open the Doors of Perception

Theme:  Doors and Windows
Art concept: Contrast
Hostess: Susan Brittingham
Due:  March 2, 2013

“There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.” ---Aldous Huxley

Think of some favorite sayings and quotes you may have heard about doors and windows:

“One door closes, another opens.”

“Our eyes are windows to the soul.”

“Originality houses many rooms, and the views from the windows are all different. “

Often in the heart of winter one can feel closed in, the weather may keep us inside our houses and our own thoughts a bit more than at other times of the year. I started thinking about doors and windows. Where does the door lead? What lies outside the window? Are we looking in or looking out? We might think of doors or windows literally, or metaphorically. In art, doors and windows can be representational or abstract. Windows and doors also lend themselves to multiples and repetition for those who wish to continue with this year’s number theme.

Look at the Art and Architecture of Doors and Windows. Let yourself be inspired by their beauty, mystery and symbolism. The variety of doors and windows we can see is infinite. They can express a sense of place or cultural presence.  A quick image search can take you around the world.

I would also like to encourage you to be mindful of contrast. Use higher contrast for drama, or low contrast to encourage a sense of serenity and calm, but be use them thoughtfully and with intention.

Explore the depictions of doors and windows by artists and quilt makers and be inspired.

Vermeer  used windows as a light source in many of his paintings, even when the actual window was not seen. Explore your favorite Master Painters for doors and windows.

Without stirring abroad, one can know the whole world; without looking out of the window one can see the way of heaven. The further one goes the less one knows. ---Lao Tzu 

And one more thing -- have fun with this!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Mixed Media Response

This piece took on a Valentine's theme and is a mixed media challenge response on stretched canvas.  Elements include beading, leather, embossed metallic tape, ribbon, paint, alcohol inks, stamping, glitter and a variety of pen work.  I had planned to do some machine sewing (couching) but ended up not being able to fit the canvas under the needle/presser foot to do so.  So, the piece took off in a very different direction than originally envisioned.  The beading design is based on an altered photo of a tree trunk.  The writing is 'life with magic' (repeated).


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Nine Patch in White

Nine Patch in White
Framed 12" X 12"
I am really enjoying exploring the ways that texture and depth can be explored.  Besides the raised nine patches, I have used fringed selvages, cording, and decorative trim.

Texture View
I double batted the squares so that they would stand out.  I also used cording, selvage fringe, and decorative trim.  All of the fabrics are full of texture.  This is a darkened version to show the texture.  I pulled threads in the center square to create the pattern.

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Storybook

Hope I am doing all this the right way, so here it is.

I started to make this small and simple but got carried away and now I have moved on to something a lot larger.  I have actually created a 3-dimensional quilted book with a full garden scene and many animals.  The animals and girl are photoprints on muslin, glued onto plastic sheet and cut out.  Dressed the girl in a flowing piece of fabric, made the well out of stone-printed fabric on texture magic with dmc thread for the rope (pulling up bucket), long-stranded yarn, silk and plastic plants/flowers for vines, etc.  Quilted the whole background as well as the "page" and "book cover."  Decided I had better stop and take a photo of the first half to submit before it got any later.  Hope to hear your comments and critiques.  Thank you for a great challenge.  I apologize for the poor photo.  Sandi

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Origami Poseys

This was a fun challenge and my first attempt at free-motion quilting. I used the patchwork square's background for visual texture, as well as the quilting, and added some Origami petals for flowers, which I first folded and stitched and then appliqued them onto the background. The centers of the flowers were heavily stitched with variegated thread and then added some puff ball trim around the centers to accentuate them even more. The one thing I wished I would have done differently was use a darker ribbon for the stems, since I think they tend to get lost in the background.  The piece measures 20.5" x 26.5". Comments are most welcome.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Heart Throb

No on can accuse me of having something done ahead of time for my own challenge!  If I'm lucky, I'll be late to my own funeral!  I was thinking about several different possibilities.  Right across from my sewing machine was a box with this red roping peeking out.

It is tubular and made of some synthetic material.  I purchased it several years ago on Christmas clearance  because I thought it had some quilt possibilities.  Since it is Valentines month, and the awareness month for women's heart health, I thought I'd be a little graphic and use this roping.

Here's my unfinished piece.  I had it together and ready to quilt on Saturday....and went to bed.  Sunday, we went to visit my daughter at Ohio University for her birthday....and when I went to finish it today, I broke three needles.  I think my timing on my sewing machine is off kilter, and since I spent the whole day on Wednesday of last week trying to drop my other  machine off to get the tension fixed...well...I'm without a sewing machine right now.

The blue line shows the sinus rhythm of a an ekg done in perle cotton by bobbin work.  The  roping you can see is used for the veins and arteries.  I hand embroidered the veins on the heart, and machine appliqued and then stuffed the various parts of the heart.  The sad thing is that the background is drapery fabric which needed stabilizing,.  So...before I appliqued it, I ironed decor bond on the back of it...bad decision.  My hands being not  normal  (meaning, affected by some drugs I'm on) ,  I couldn't needle the I ended up doing it by machine.

Not quite how I envisioned it...but..almost done.  The tape around the edges is to tell me when I have to stop quilting as enveloped this.  

Monday, February 04, 2013

Sea Anemones

I enjoy the visual texture of "micro quilting" and attempted to do that for the background using a piece of hand-dyed fabric.  The quilting was then emphasized by use of acrylic paints and ink.

The "anemones" are paper mache and twine that have been painted gold.  Solid color fabrics were then applied to the dimensional forms.  The gold star-shaped beads were a lucky find since they somewhat mimic the color and shape of the anemones.  It wasn't planned as an underwater piece or anemones specifically, but that's what it suggested in the end.  I'm happy with both the visual and actual textures.

The piece is 12" x 20".  I hope you enjoy it and feel free to provide feedback!

Robert Hartley

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Winter Stream

16" x 20"

2/22/13 - I added some Angelina fiber to the stream to enliven it a bit, and using Inktense color pencils, added a bit of green to the shrubbery, and some darker brown in the foreground.
I used some upholstery fabric for most of the background, the part at the bottom and center using the front side and the top and just below the stream using the reverse side.  The shrubbery is some home dec fabric, again using both front and back.  The stream itself is a heavy patterned fabric, overlaid with Angelina fiber held down with the addition of some white beads.  I used the fringed selvedge edge of the background fabric on the edges of the stream.  Just a bit of silvery fabric and some lace became the rocks on the near edge of the stream.  The tangles of thread from the fabrics was too good to throw away, so they added some more texture in the foreground.

I also added a bit of foil to create some frozen grasses here and there, but they don't actually show up that well.

I know this really needs something more -- suggestions and comments will be appreciated!