Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Janet's Time Quilt

I recently had an experience where time felt like it was going the speed of light to every minute feeling like it was an hour.  I went from a stuffy nose to bronchitis to the emergency room to the IC in what felt like a very short span of time.  Once admitted to the hospital while they tried to get me stabilized every minute was agonizing.  Recuperating at home now is painfully slow and the highlight of my day is hearing the garage door go up in the afternoon meaning my husband is home.  For him there is not enough time in the day, work, errands, chores at home, taking care of me.  

My quilt has a similar story.  I bought four Garden Gang cross stitch patterns when I was pregnant.  I was on bed rest and I finished two and thought I would have lots of time when the baby came because they sleep a lot,  so I would finish the other two after he was born. Silly me. That was thirty four years ago.  I did finish them finally this last year and since I've taken up quilting I thought why not make them quilts instead of framing them.  I just could not believe that much time had passed since I finished the first two.  So time is relative to your situation.  I have to thank Judy Steward for quilting the borders for me as she is someone whose day flies by and I appreciate her taking the time.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

The Time Composite!

Greetings, fellow Material Mavens!  I will let Randy explain his composite in his own words.  As usual, it is almost as much fun to read his rationale for his arrangement as it is to study the composite!  Remember, you can "click to enlarge" to see the quilts in all their glory!

[PS from Alice I added new "explanations" for Rows Three and Four!  Hope I did okay, Randy!]

Here's what Randy (and Alice!) had to say about the arrangement:

Material Mavens:
Sorry for the delay in getting the TIME composite published on the blog. Rita and I were enjoying our almost 2 year old grandson and he was the priority so I guess my apology is only about half sincere.  It is confession “time.” 

The quilts in the other three most recent composites fell into rough row by row categories.  As much as I studied this round, I could not find a row “theme.” As Rita was looking over my shoulder she made it simple – just make it look good – and I think that fact has been accomplished.

Row one:
When the theme was announced I assumed all we would see is stitches around a clock. I even envisioned the Salvador Dali “Melted Clock” on a square. We do see very creative clocks in this row, all with special memories for the creators. 
Row two:
Jane’s special “old” time piece, then Nedra takes us to the movies [a walk back in time], then takes our clocks apart [see gears in the upper right corner] to help us think about not letting time rule our lives, then Tricia uses the tried and true reminder of time in photographs.
Row three:
Rita's and Karen's quilts seem to be good companions.  Both unusual in their own very different ways!
Row four:
I’ll call this row “The Outside Row”, trees, a strawberry  and a magnificent sunrise – all “outside the box thinking” and all kin to one another since they are represent the beauties and bounties of nature. 
Row five:
I’ll take the liberty of calling this row the “Pain and Happiness row” and you just need to read the quilters words and I’ll think you will agree. Gail’s happiness in being released from pain,  Carolyn’s 56 years of happiness, with, I’m sure only a little pain along the way, and the portrayal of Kathy’s journey needs no further explanation. 

I guess there were “themes” after all, just not as clear-cut as other rounds.  Again, thank you for allowing me to be a small part of your group. As always, is it too much of a cliché to say, “looking forward to seeing you get outside the box when you create your  “Circle.”

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Tricia's Time The Time We spent Together

After we were all on Nantucket I decided my theme would be - The time we spent together.  I printed the photographs on printed treasures.  I used Rita's technique of confetti quilts for the island.  The sewing shop didn't have the tulle so I will have to put the tulle on next week.  I used Lois's edge technique for the edges.  I also used a no bleed sharpie to put type on the quilts.

Monday, July 27, 2015

 Karen's "Times they are a Changin"                       

                        I wanted to show my piece after I turned it on "point" and added hands.
This hangs in our bathroom. Every morning when I  start my day I'm reminded that change is
                                                                           GOOD! (sometimes!)

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Time Addendum

I think everyone has posted, except those with personal challenges going on at this time.  Our thoughts and prayers are with you all for mending, healing and comfort for you and your loved ones.

First of all, I apologize for all the double and triple comment posts by me.  I'm still not sure how that happened!!?

Now to the heart of the matter.  I am touched by so many of your quilts and back stories for them.  Many of you were inspired by sad, difficult and challenging situations and events in your lives. You created beautiful and moving works of art that you will have forever out of them.  What to me seemed like an impersonal theme was so personally moving for others really makes me reflective on my membership in this group.  It has enriched my life in so many ways.  You are such a special collection of amazing, talented and interesting women who I am so glad I was able to get to know at our retreat at Tricia's.  My wish is for us ALL to be able to meet in the future and to continue this fulfilling challenge as long as possible!!!

Amd now on to CIRCLE - I already can't wait!!

Happy quilting, stitching, painting, screen printing, photoshopping  . . . . . . .

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Rita's Time: A Sort of River

Before our grand trip to Nantucket, I had planned a very different quilt. My quilt was even sketched and titled.  And then in Nantucket I visited the Whaling Museum.  There on display were 17 embroidered scenes and narratives based on the book “Moby-Dick” masterfully rendered by Susie Boardman.  After seeing those gorgeous works of needle art, I’m thinking you-all will think it a bit “fishy” to say my original idea was “harpooned” and I immediately knew my “Time” quilt would be going in a different direction. This quilt is my attempt to reproduce Susie Boardman’s style.

Susie used only three different embroidery stitches: the split stitch, the French knot and needle-lace.   She explained, “I never wanted it to be about the embroidery, but about the stories.  I didn’t want people to be looking at the pieces and wondering what stitch I used here or there.” Originally I had planned to do the same stitches on my piece.  However, I was not able to find a reference anywhere that described how to do needle lace and given the fact that I had a deadline looming, I used my old tried and true stitches: stem stitch, French knots and straight stitch.

Susie dye-painted certain areas of the fabric.  After learning about Prismacolor water-soluble colored pencils at our workshop, I used those to pre-color the fabric before the embroidery was added.

Susie used gold leaf on each of the 17 embroidered narratives.  I used gold ribbon.  And so I owe a huge Thank You to Jane for the introduction to the water-soluble pencils and to Tricia for hosting such a wonderful experience and also for letting me borrow the magazine, “Nantucket Today” with the photos and story of Susie Boardman.

The quote used and illustrated is credited to Marcus Aurelius.  One source says he was the last of the Five Good Roman Emperors and is also considered one of the most important Stoic philosophers.

Andrea's Time Quilt: Tea Time

Tea Time

stencil, screened, fused cotton
11 x 14

My first thought went to the obvious: clocks and watches, which I tried to avoid, but images using clocks kept dancing though my head, so I decided to stop fighting it!  The idea for Tea Time came when I decided to make a pocket watch the focus of the quilt.  I bought this watch at the Portobello Antique Market in London, 1967.  The key that came with it was not the correct one, so it has been stuck at almost 4:10 for decades.  Traditional British afternoon tea is served between 4:00 and 6:00pm, so I had a working concept: teapot, cup and watch against the British flag.  I stenciled the flag and then screened images of European clock towers on it taken from my photographs.
As a confirmed anglophile, I am pleased with finally being able to use my British pocket watch ( or image of ) after all these years!

Sara's Time

I struggled with this theme at first - really working to figure out what said "Time" to me that did not involve clocks and calendars. I then stumbled on the quote from Warren Buffet " Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago". That was a head smacking moment - of course a tree. The tree of life, a tree with rings, many trees endure long past ourselves. This quote also echos a story in the Talmud when an older man is asked why he is planting a Carob tree when it won't bear fruit for 70 years when he won't be alive. The man explains that it is for his grandchildren since  he was able to enjoy carob from trees planted before he was born.

This quilt is gallery wrapped. The image is a shade tree that I took in Brenham, TX several years ago. I manipulated it in several iPad apps that I learned about in an on-line class with Susie Monday. The quote fabric that I added as an applique was created in photoshop elements (which I took a class on from Kerby and Lura Smith in March). I printed it onto Electric Quilt Fabric using an Epson Photoprinter 3880 and then I quilted this piece on craft felt before mounting it on the frame.

New Theme:


I hope you enjoy my choice.

Carolyn: As Time Goes By

When the theme, time, was announced, I knew immediately that I would celebrate our marriage of 56 years with our song, As Time Goes By.  I decided to create a quilt based on our wedding photo and incorporate a history of our years together.  After searching through many photos, I chose 5 that signify the best of our time together: photos of our two girls at 6 months, us with our 3 grandchildren, our entire family, and one of us as we look today.

I wanted the quilt to appear aged, like some old photo you might find in a trunk.  Most of the photos were in color, so I antiqued them by using sepia and oval distortions in my Apple photo editing file.  It was difficult to get black and white photos and color photos to be approximately the same sepia tone, so this became a long process.

The next step was to decide on the background fabric.  After being introduced to fabric painting by Jane at our Nantucket retreat, I chose to try my hand at painting.  I chose Lumiere water based paints, using red for passion, gold for the golden years and blue for tranquillity.  I began by brushing and blending the paints, moving from the center outward.  I wanted to suggest movement from our marriage photo going out to not only the next generation, but future generations.  For this technique, I used 561 gold metallic paint. When I was satisfied, I lay the fabric aside to dry and began painting gold metallic around each photo. When dried, I fused them to the background with Mysti Fuse.  I completed the quilt by quilting around each photo with gold metallic thread in a tiny zig-zag pattern, ending with simple gold metallic machine quilting from the quilt's center outward.  The words to the song are printed on the back of the quilt.


Oh my Goodness !   This theme presented itself at one of the most critical  “times” in our lives.   

Starting in January 2015, my husband Greg and I began a journey that’s lead us into worlds we never knew about, and into what has been a time-warp of doctors, clinics, surgeons, hospitals, surgical and cardio re-habilitation, pain management... The endless challenges of two major life altering surgeries within 4 months of each other.  

Total knee replacement surgery occurred in February.  Recovery from that surgery, and re-hab to get the new Titanium knee in synch with the rest of  Greg’s leg structure was well under way.

In May, Greg had a significant cardio ‘incident’ that lead us into “Triple By-Pass” and “Valve Replacement” surgery.    We’re just now getting ready to enter the Cardio Re-hab program, Greg’s starting to drive again, and he’s able to do ‘light’ work around the house, but isn’t supposed to lift anything over 10 pounds.

My quilt focuses on this journey.   The background is composed of strips of fabric that have hand-written words & phrases that describe some of the things we experienced during these past several months.  The background is overlayed with a dark purple ‘veil’ representing the incredibly deep, solemn times we’ve experienced.

The main focus of the quilt, of course, is Greg’s “Broken” / “Mended”  heart.   During surgery, the ribs are separated from the sternum so the surgical team can access the heart.  Following this, the ribs and sternum are “wired” back together (yes... with real wire !) and the chest is stitched back together. Eventually, the bones and tissue heal; however, the wires remain in place forever.   I try to imagine what Greg’s chest X-Rays look like  !

The fabric I used for the back of the quilt reminded me of all the EKG's Greg's had to have.

I’ve been very, very grateful for this theme.   It’s lead me to great soul-searching, and continues to help as Greg and I work our way through these extremely challenging times. 

Judy S.Time: Beautiful Morning

How does a quilt of a hot air balloon at sun rise depict “Time”? When I was in the 4th grade my parents bought me a subscription of “World” magazine. It was a magazine that National Geographic created for kids in the 70’s. One time they had an article about the Hot Air Balloon Festival in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

I have always been fascinated with hot air balloons, but the article really fueled my interest. When there are hot air balloons around I tend to follow them and watch them gracefully float on the air currents. One time I was in Albuquerque the weekend before the festival. I was able to watch some of them practice and enjoy the morning. I still hope there will be a time when I can ride up into the air at that magical time of day.  

Lois' Time

I'm on vacation trying to post this with my phone!  When I thought about time I kept thinking about how life is measured by how fast we can all do things or get information.   This thread painting has a lot of hand dying with inks incorporated into it. I'm happy with it. Sorry for the short narrative it's difficult doing this on the phone!

Jane's Time Quilt

Jane’s Time Quilt


“Are we there yet?” “Hurry up. We are going to be late!” “Ain’t it funny how time slips away?” “She is ahead of her time.” “I wish I had started sooner” "Can't we stay a little longer?" "If only time could stand still." “How long did it take to make that?”


Time is such a rich and fertile concept for creative projects. I think we could use this theme all year and come up with plenty of different quilts. I know I have had some very complex thoughts about time. Sometimes I think I found art quilting too late in my life. Now I know that all we do over the years contributes to what we know about life and how we express that knowledge. I found art quilting at just the right time. “How long does it take to make a quilt?” It takes a lifetime, and I never keep a time sheet.


My quilt is a close up image of an hourglass. I hope you can see that. I started by dyeing a fabric deep blue for the background. Then I fused a piece of white fabric to Wonder Under, drew my image and started painting. When I was satisfied with the image, I fused it to the background and quilted and thread painted.
 Karen's  "Times they are a Changin"        


Perfect theme for me this go round. Many changes in my life from professional to personal. I feel like my life splintered into pieces. All the fabrics in this piece has significance to me as a quilter/teacher.They are parts of quilts and clothing.
My first vision was to do it in blacks and silvers but decided to make it colorful and cheerful. I'm trying to embrace the changes in a positive way!
 Slivers of wedges machine stitched onto batting and backing. Used my favorite irregular zigzag for the finish edge.
From the start this is a clock face. A quarter turn and hands will be added.

Nedra's Time - A Clockwork Orange

As this was my theme, I had lots of time to contemplate many ideas and actually had trouble choosing just one.  Even though I did not see A Clockwork Orange in the 70's, I was always fascinated by the title, music and trailers which suggested frenetic activity and distorted images to me. When I looked into the movie, I was very disappointed to learn that it was about violence, juvenile delinquency, gangs, and a dystopian society.  However, those subjects seemed to fit with my original thoughts of dysfunction and I decided to stick with this as my inspiration.

I pieced strata of different shades of orange using inspiration from the book Stratavarius Quilts by Barbara Persing and Mary Hoover to create the disjointed clock face. I added the purple to emphasize the segments and layered tuille on the upper right and lower left quadrants to create more contrast.  A few backward numbers, metal pieces and cloth strips provide embellishment.  The piece is machine pieced and quilted and bound with a very thin binding.  

Alice's Time in a Bottle

I’ve always loved Jim Croce’s song “If I Could Save Time in a Bottle.”  Since we lost our oldest child, our daughter Kathy, in February 2012, the song has new and even more poignant meaning for me. (I have quoted and printed a portion of these lyrics and fused this quotation to the back, in case you’re not familiar with the words.)  It seemed a natural for me to use that song as inspiration for my quilt.

To portray “time in a bottle,” I used three of my old watches, all of which have sentimental value to me.  In the large bottle I suspended an antique man’s pocket watch that my mother gave me years ago, one she had found while browsing in an antique shop.  In the smaller bottles I suspended the watch my parents gave me when I graduated from high school and, then, one that daughter Susan gave me about 20 years ago.  None of these watches work anymore, but I can’t part with any of them!

I arranged a still life of these three bottles on the dining room sideboard, with some red fabric beneath them, against a red wall.  After photographing the three “time [pieces] in bottles,” I printed the image onto Jacquard Inkjet Fabric Sheets.  I applied Wonder Under to the back of the printed image.

For the background, I was eager to try the weaving technique that Rita used for her background in that lovely bird quilt for our Neighbor theme, but I tweaked this somewhat.   On You Tube I watched a tutorial on how to weave curved strips.  For the two fabrics to weave together, I chose two different red batiks.  Before cutting the curves and weaving them, I fused Steam a Seam 2 onto the fabrics, a product recommended in the video (because of its repositionable nature). After the weaving was done and the background was cut to size, I quilted the background with a small zigzag stitch, following along the curves.

Then I fused the bottles image onto the background.  As an afterthought, I fused a strip of the same fabric I’d used under the bottles for the photograph onto the background, as I didn’t like the look of a “floating still life” and I hoped this would make the bottles look as if they were sitting on a table!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Gail's "Time is on my Side"

This year I read "A Brief History of Time" by noted physicist Stephen Hawking.  One thing that struck me was how every bit of matter present at the Big Bang is still present today.  Of course it is, matter can neither be created or destroyed!  Molecules simply rearrange and change into different forms.  You could potentially ingest a carbon atom that was ingested by Genghis Kahn or Jesus Christ.  Hold that thought!  When I turned 50 I suddenly developed severe psoriatic arthritis (just like Phil Michelson!).  It caused such pain and fatigue that I didn't sew for an entire year.  My rheumatologist tried first one drug and then another as they all ultimately stopped working for me.  After 3 years I was given Enbrel injections which put the disease in remission so well that I've almost forgotten I even have PA.  This drug has only been developed in the last 15 years.   "Time" has definitely been on my side!   My quilt depicts the Enbrel molecule.  It has Jane's hand dyes, Guatemalan wovens, thread and bead embellishment, and is finished with Lois' edge treatment.   My luck of having been born at the right "time" enables me to do what I love!   The name of my quilt is "Time is on my Side".

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Last Two Days in Nantucket!

I left off my prior post some crucial events that took place on Thursday!  Tricia had arranged for us to take a wonderful tour of the island.  We began in 'Sconset, which I had just read about in the excellent novel set in Nantucket, AHAB'S WIFE., saw the lovely light house and then continued on to see many famous sites in historic Nantucket.

That evening we walked to a restaurant for our dinner and had an interesting encounter or two with some of the younger folk of Nantucket!  One young man asked us as we were leaving the restaurant if it was a "happening" place.  Tricia suggested that he go instead to Nautilus, and then we escorted him there.  Sure enough, it was just the sort of lively experience he was seeking.  We had an amusing encounter with an inebriated young woman, but I fear that recounting that here might be a bit risqué for this blog!

I have also failed to mention that every evening we had "show and tell" with various members showing the rest of us their work, especially the Material Maven quilts they had brought.  Before dinner for drinks and snacks and after dinner, there was much activity taking place, too, on iPhones and iPads!

On Friday morning Gail shared with us her methods of creating the wonderful quilted portraits that is a specialty of hers.  Each of the Mavens who "presented" did such a great job, and we all came away with exciting ideas to try and new products to use.  What a talented group the MM's are!

On Friday evening, after a delicious lobster dinner at Tricia's, we went to an art gallery where some 8 of our group had a few of their MM quilts on exhibit.  It was exciting to see the Mavens' work along with wonderful paintings and other art works by Nantucketers!

Lois had to leave us on Friday, and the rest of us left Saturday morning or noon.  Our gracious and accommodating hostess, Tricia, ran a taxi service back and forth from Union Street to the airport!  The Cape Air flight that Rita, Carolyn, and I took was quite different from the one which had been diverted to Hyannis on Monday!  It was a perfect day for flying, and seeing aerial views of Nantucket was fantastic!  Carolyn took some good shots with her camera.  Carolyn, if you would be so kind to add these photos to this blog post, we would all appreciate it greatly!

I have failed to mention the beautiful cherry trees in
bloom all over Nantucket.  This one, in Tricia's back yard!
View from the Widow's Walk at Tricia's house

Alice on the Widow's Walk
Side of Tricia's house.  We usually used this
kitchen door for our goings and returnings.

Examples of typical Nantucket architecture.  The consistency and faithfulness to the
historic Nantucket style was gratifying and exciting to behold!

Nedra applying the heat gun to her "puff painted" image.  I forgot to tell about
Tricia's demonstrating this paint and all of us getting to design a puff painted tree!

Lighthouse we visited on our tour of Nantucket and 'Sconset.

Taken from the tour bus--the oldest house in Nantucket.
Our lobster dinner!

This and the next few--the MM quilts on display at the art gallery.

Gail checking out Sara's quilt!

The gallery where our quilts were exhibited.

Our after-dinner gathering time.  Here, Andrea and Carolyn

Carolyn and Tricia

Nedra, Rita, and Sara



The Cape Air plane that Rita, Carolyn, and I took back to Boston

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

HI. Karen Pulaski here!!

Hi Mavens. I'm happy to be part of your talented group.

  I've been sewing for most of my life. I started my career in the bridal field. For 13 years I made or altered bridal dresses.
   I made the move to teaching quilting 20+ years ago. I've added children's sewing classes to the mix as well.
   I enjoy all the aspects of the quilt. Machine applique is what I really love.

 I am however not a pro with the computer. I'm going to try to post some pictures for you to see. If they don't show up you can go to my Face Book page, Karen Pulaski Fiber Arts to see what I've posted so far.

I've enjoyed seeing the posts from Nantucket. I'm disappointed that I couldn't be there.

Thank you