Monday, October 15, 2018

Judy's "Joy Dances"


There are so many things that I am joyful about and it was a struggle to choose. The joy of raising our 3 sons and now adding the daughter-in-laws and the grandson to this joyful mix makes me smile. 

Then there are the memories of growing up on a farm. Right now the fall weather brings back the times we had bonfires, weiner roasts, smores, and the wonderful wet days with the fall leaves glistening in red, yellow, and orange.

Going to an art museum, zoo, aquarium, concerts, plays, riding the train, traveling by airplane or car to places I get to see and experience were also up for the Joy challenge. Rainbows, flowers, good meals with friends and family. Being outside, hiking in the mountains, walking along a creek, snow shoeing as the snow gently falls from the sky. 

The quilt world full of fabulous fabrics and friends. Quilt shows, the artists, vendors, and the festival feel in the air. The email with a “Congratulations you got in AQS and Houston shows” makes me squeal and do a jig. I could go on and on, so I stopped and decided the word “Joy” needed to just be colorful and fun.

I was going to just put the word on a piece of fabric and add celebration streamers, but I love cutting holes in quilts and “Joy” could dangle from the middle! I actually chose the back fabric first for my front, but when I found the fabric with the flowers I knew that had to be the front. I actually stitched and turned “Joy” right side out which was a serious challenge. It does have batting in it, so that made it even more difficult to turn through that tiny hole. Ugh! (I have ideas on other ways to achieve the same look which might be easier.)





When I sent the video of the finished quilt to my daughter-in-law, Ashley, she came up with the perfect title for this. Enjoy!




Kathy's "JOY" Quilt !

Today is October 15, and obviously our "Reveal Day !"

Tomorrow, October 16, our family will celebrate with much JOY what would have been my son, Ian's 39th Birthday.  Tragically, we lost our Precious Boy 15 years ago, and not a day goes by that I don't think about him and cherish his presence in my life.

Rather than focus on his absence, I choose to celebrate his life with much JOY Ian was a vibrant young man, had just graduated from college, and was about to embark on the rest of his life.

My "JOY" quilt seemed to take on a life of its own as I was working on it !  The background fabric is kind of "glitzy" and reminded me of Confetti  - the kind we might throw into the air to celebrate New Year's ….. or a Special Birthday !     I stitched through the fabric, batting and background fabric with Madeira "Monofilament" thread … one of my most often used and favorite threads for machine quilting.  [I always use Madeira Monofilament in my bobbins !]

To 'construct' the Heart, I chose a patterned red batik that looked - to me - like it had life flowing through it.  The red batik is backed with a vibrant purple to give the "Heart" more depth.  I appliqued the heart onto the glitzy background fabric, and machine quilted it using a "cross-hatch" pattern.  And then the real fun began !   I "snipped" all the raw edges of the heart; soaked the quilt in water, squeezed out as much water as I could, then tossed the entire piece into the dryer with some towels.

It took several drying cycles, but the quilt finally dried, and the edges of the Heart gave me that "raggedy edge" I was looking for !  I attached the binding, the hanging "tabs," and the label.

We'll be able to enjoy this special quilt many times during the year:  Ian's Birthday; Valentine's Day (which our family celebrates as "Harte" Day !); and Christmas.     Thanks for letting me share my personal and very special story quilt with all of you.....      Peace and blessings,     Kathy

Andrea'a JOY Quilt


Untitled
11" x 14"
stencil, screen printed, hand-dyed cotton, machine quilted

This quilt was inspired by a photo taken on a recent trip to France.  We spent two nights in the very magical town of Colmar, with its cobblestone streets, half-timbered buildings and flowers still in bloom.  No matter which way I turned, I couldn't help but smile.  

Even before starting this quilt ( I had a completely different idea in mind ) I made a line drawing from the photo of what I thought would give a "feel" for the architecture, then made a Thermofax screen of the drawing.  When preparing to do a "test" print of the screen on white fabric, there were small scraps of hand-dyed fabric on my print table and thought, hmmmmm...what would this look like if I place a few of these scraps randomly down and printed on top of them?  Nothing to lose, so I did and really loved it, so decided that this would be the beginning of my Joy quilt instead of my other idea.  Then the overthinking began: "I can't do this, it is just too simple".  OK, what if I add something to the background?  So decided to cut a freezer paper stencil of large run-on words of places and things that give me joy, to print on background which would add another layer.

This is version #3.  #1 was my experiment, #2 was on a light grey linen but the color I stenciled 
the background with was too dark and overpowered the other imagery.  The use of the grey also gave a different "feeling" that I did not like, even though I did like the texture of the linen.  I went back to look at version #1 that gave me so much creative "joy" and realized it was the black imagery on the white background with those few "blips" of color that I had lost by "overthinking"
Simplicity won!


inspiration photo



freezer paper stencil

Alice's Joy quilt: Grandchildren & Their Mothers



When I learned of the theme for this time, the first thought that came to me was how much joy our four grandchildren have brought to my husband Bob and me.  And so my quilt focuses on these four and their mothers.

I scanned four favorite photos of the children and their mothers and then printed these on EQ Printables.  On the top row, outlined in pink and then blue, are our daughters Kathy and Susan and their first-born babies, Lia and Malcolm (both born in 2001).

On the second row Kathy is holding her son Locke (10 months old) and the joy on her face and his makes me smile every time I see this photo!  (I've included a close-up of this photo.)  Next to it, outlined in black, is a black and white image of daughter Susan with her second son, Dawson; I believe he’s about two years old here.

I chose an exuberant commercial print for the background.  I’ve never been able to determine if it depicts flowers or fire-works, but whatever, it is a joyous product.  I fused the printed photos with Wonder-Under onto the background.  Then I outlined each one with several rounds of zig-zag stitching.  This stitching is the only “quilting” on the quilt.  I used the same bright print for the binding and the backing. 

Nedra's Joy- Noelle and Graham


Inspiration for this theme was not hard to find.   The birth of my grandtwins, Noelle and Graham,  3 1/2 years ago has provided so much joy in my life that there was no other choice for me!  The joy on their faces in this pic is so pure that it had to be captured in fabric!  

I used photoshop to posterize my picture.  My initial plan was to recreate the faces in fabric but  had limited fabric choices with me in Maine.  So, I enlarged the posterized image and printed it on fabric.  The image was cut out and fused onto the background.  Threadpainting was used for their hair, faces, hands and feet.  Some further stitching was done to give depth and texture. This is actually the second piece I made and I am happier with how the faces look on this reduced size.  The background  is quilted in straight lines.  JOY is fused and binding was added.  It is mounted on a fabric wrapped canvas for easy hanging.

This piece was done using a larger image which was printed on fabric.  It was fused onto a background and was threadpainted also to emphasize shading and features.  Echo quilting was done.  The frame is a wiggly striped fabric that I cut and fused to a stiff interfacing and then modge podged for durability.  Noelle's facial features didn't please me so I tried the smaller size which is the above version.  Hope this is all clear!  

I think I'll give one to their parents!!

Here is the original photo.










Tricia's Joy Quilt - Marley's Joy



This is my daughter and her husband's dog Marley. Marley just loves the snow.  This photograph was taken by another daughter of Marley out for a walk in the snow. Her expressions is of pure joy! Thinking about this theme I thought of this photograph and felt it was the perfect picture to create. 

I decided to give thread painting a try. I took a class from Jennifer Day several years ago. I dug out her book to reread.  I had the photo printed on fabric and went to work.

Here is detail of the thread painting.

I am amazed how much thread goes into the thread painting. This was a fun project. 
Here is a picture of the back which show how much thread there is.



Sunday, October 14, 2018

Carolyn: Coco Is Our Joy


Coco - 11 Weeks Old
I knew immediately when this theme was announced that my quilt had to feature our dog, Coco.  She is a 2 year-old Havanese that we have had since she was 11 weeks old.  When a newborn, her coloring was chocolate and white - chocolate on her ears and around her eyes and middle.  As she grew she became a Golden Havanese just like her mother – mostly white with golden-tan markings. 

Havanese are an interesting hypo-allergenic breed that originated in Cuba. Intelligent, agile and quick to learn, they have strong hind legs and curly, soft hair rather than fur.  These attributes make them perfect circus dogs.  Coco loves to jump, play and learn new “tricks.” With her sweet personality and fun-to-watch antics, she has stolen our hearts and provides us with daily joy.

I used a Kaffe Fassett print and batiks for my quilt.  I took a photo of Coco playing with a ball, electronically eliminated the background around her, and transferred the image onto a VV Graphics cotton fabric sheet.  The photo was fused using Wonder Under 805 to the background.  I used the same fusing technique for the beach ball and the “movement” streaks in the design.  I hand-embroidered a zig-zag design onto the turquoise lines on the ball, and machine-stitched a scarf around her neck.


The image of Coco is machine-stitched using tan, peach and silver threads along with threads in corresponding colors for the rest of the design elements.  Once the stitching was completed, I used Prismacolor pencils to highlight Coco’s curly hair and to add dimension to her nose, mouth and eyes.  After heat-setting the colors, the quilt was bound in a golden/orange batik.  



Thursday, August 9, 2018

The Wild Composite!



As usual, your art work is stunning. With just 7 quilters the layout was fairly straight forward this time.

Color and flowers dominate [really dominate] the top row.  The shapes set the stage for the second row - vertical in the middle, flanked by the remaining two horizontals, and the colors blend well. The "Pac-Man" character in Dee's quilt had to be on the left to "eat" his way [and take your eye] into the middle of the composite.

Alice, Thank You for placing the back of your quilt on black. See how it stands out in contrast and fills in the space surrounding the white space and compliments the bottom row and the vivid colors in your quilt. It pulls it all nicely together - top to bottom.

Teresa, the color in the titles is taken [cloned] from the color in your flower petals. Dee, the color in the Mavens title is cloned from the triangle in "Pac Man."

Another outstanding and creative beginning.

Randy 

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Gail’s Wild Sunflowers


I’m a big fan of Andrea Brokenshire.  I was fortunate to take a week long class with
 her last year in Schulenberg Texas.   This is the 2nd quilt I have completed using
her method of painting on silk charmeuse with a freezer paper pattern.  The original
photo was taken by our own Teresa Schlabach.   Pro Chem transparent textile paints
on silk charmeuse.  I hope to do more of these.  

Monday, July 16, 2018

Teresa's Wild Quilt: Wild Flowers in Canada




I couldn’t help but to thread stitch this beautiful flower.  The colors are wild and I added Angelina fibers in the center.  It is printed on Satin and stitched with polyester and metallic threads.  

Note from Alice:  I posted this for Teresa.  She was having major problems with her computer.  So she sent me the photo and the explanation.  I have to confess that for the first time ever I had problems getting this gorgeous photo to upload.  But patience is a virtue, and I kept trying and trying and finally, it worked!  And how delighted I am that it did!

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Judy's- Wild Whimsical Quilt

Wild took me on a wild ride because when I heard the word I thought I was going to do wild hair with wildlife in it. I just couldn't get that idea worked out. Next it was wild fabric. Another no go because it was just a mess. Next the actual word WILD made with different fabrics that would portray animals. Nope, just not me.

I tried scrunching up cheesecloth on top of fabric to make it interesting. Sigh, nothing would work on it.
I drew branches thinking the wild nature of the tree branches would be nice. Again that was just a mess.
This is a photo of some of the fabrics I pulled out trying to figure out how I was going to make a Wild quilt. A lot of them actually made it into the quilt. If you go to my Facebook page Wrapped In Quilts you can see a tour of these fabrics along with an explanation of my thoughts.

The story that goes with this quilt is that I love to hike in the mountains and the trees are so beautiful with their leaves waving. To be out in nature can be a serene, healing place, but it can also be a wild place.  I've been surprised in the woods with snakes, wild pigs, and deer. 
I made the hills look like leaves in color and quilting but it was too similar to what I made last time with the blue mountains. I had a scrap of wavy fabric that was left over from a birthday banner I made and laid it on the mountains which made me smile. So the whimsical waves on the mountains were added to the quilt to make it fun.

Andrea's Wild quilt


Wild Rabbits Running Wild
11"x14"
Whole cloth on cotton, snow-dyed cotton, mono-print, silk-screen and thermofax screen.

Originally I was designing a wild flower-themed quilt, using Queen Anne's Lace ( daucus carota ) wild carrot.  I took lots of photos as the plant is "in season" now and growing everywhere except in my yard where it would be very welcome.  Then, while running errands about a month ago, I was driving home on a road I have driven hundreds of times, but this particular time noticed a sign that changed the creative process in an instant ( I love when that happens! ): SLOW WILDLIFE XING.
This sign is either new or has been there for years and I never paid attention to it.  As I have had the word "wild" on my mind, the sign caught my eye and imagination with an idea that was much more motivating to me than the wildflower concept.  I immediately "saw" giant wild rabbits leaping back and forth across the road.  Like Queen Anne's Lace, rabbits are very much in season now.  I can pull into my driveway most evenings and see at least three munching away on my plants!

I did know that what ever the design, I wanted to include mono-printed imagery using my gelatin plate.  The background started off being just an experiment with a hand cut mylar stencil applying the paint on the plate in various ways using non-rabbit colors for fun.  The more I played and layered the image, the more I liked the result and thought, "what if" I allowed myself to use this experimental piece as the "real thing"?  So I proceeded by layering more imagery using silk screen and thermofax screen methods, and was quite pleased with the result.  When I was ready to add the binding, I thought I would just use white fabric, but happened to have a piece of snow-dyed fabric out for another project, looked at it and realized that it had all of the colors that I used in the quilt and it blended rather nicely.  I then "auditioned" the white, which was too stark.  Another one go those unplanned moments that worked!




Dee's Wild Color Wheel

 Wild Color Wheel 







Would you just look at this colorful mess?  My color wheel exploded!  Thanks to unpredictable Yellow going wild.  Yellow is always causing so much trouble.  She knows how beautiful and irresistible she is and she flaunts it.  She has taken over several of my projects; I don’t like to admit that she ruined them, but you have to keep Yellow on a tight rein because a little goes a long way.

This project happened in stages.  I did the zen doodles with black scribble paint one session.  It sat for a few months then I fused on the color wheel, except my yellow fabric ended up with the fusible on the wrong side so I had no yellow.  It was sat for another month and then with pens and pencils I began coloring in the doodles.  It seemed that Yellow took off on a tangent of her own.  Then the last stage, which happened to be on July 4th, I added a few flowers to Yellow and quilted the doodles.  The outside edges are bound with a zigzag stitch.  I had so much fun making this piece!  This was all about playing and having fun with simple tools.

This also looks like PacMan; so we could say that PacMan went wild in my studio, eating up all the fabric.

Alice's Wild Quilt: Killing Two Birds with One Stone


My quilt and fabric designer hero is Kaffe Fassett.  Therefore, it’s hard to throw out even a small scrap of fabric left over from any of the quilts I’ve made using them.  Recently I’ve been working on a “Mile a Minute” quilt which is a marvelous way to use even tiny scraps.  I won’t try to explain this process here, but anyone interested can Google that name and learn about these quilts. (I first learned about the process about 18 years ago!)

As this quilt started to come together, I stood back and looked at the blocks on my design wall.   I actually said aloud,  “This quilt is totally wild!” 

Wild!  Ah ha, a light-bulb moment!  I could turn several of these blocks into my Wild quilt for Material Mavens!  In truth, I had been struggling to come up with a vision for this MM theme.

And so was born my Wild quilt, using four of the Mile-a-Minute blocks.  I could easily spare them; the quilt has now a total of 56 six inch blocks!  I chose four of the blocks I was the most fond of, sewed them together, sandwiched them with batting and another piece of KF fabric. For its quilting I hand-embroidered a simple running stitch with a variegated perle cotton.  The binding on the quilt was left over from one of the many KF quilts I’ve made in the last few years.  My little MM quilt uses about 20-25 different scraps of various sizes; and that’s not counting the backing and the binding!  The large quilt uses scores more. When it’s done, I’ll send all you Mavens a photo of it.

This has been a “killing two birds with one stone” project for me, and I am delighted with both little and big quilts.  AND with the “Mile-a-Minute” process, that I urge you to learn all about!


Here the corner is folded back to show the quilt's backing.  I've used
this gold Paperweights fabric in many quilts!

http://patchworkpie.blogspot.com/2008/06/mile-minute-quilt.html

Kathy's "WILD FLOWERS"

WILD FLOWERS



From the moment we got our new "WILD" Challenge, I knew exactly what I wanted to do !

And then.....   As I was completing the requirements for my "Master Gardener Certification" through Texas A&M University, I had what we sometimes call an "Ah-Ha" moment !   What could be more perfect than a simple rendition of the beautiful "WILD" Texas Sunflowers that adorn our highways, fields, and gardens !     The Texas Sunflowers are abundant; they don't need any special  gardening care, and they're just about as wild, independent and "sassy" as can be !

I found this beautiful Sunflower fabric in one of our local shops, and knew right away it was the perfect jumping off point for my "Wild" quilt.   All of the design elements were free-motion quilted using Madeira Monofilament thread.   I free-motioned quilted the background area and echo-stitched around all of the petals to give the quilt more texture.

And then the beads !    Using three different varieties of beads, I hand stitched each bead to the center of the flower.  The beads represent the seeds that Sunflowers produce... those same seeds we love to eat as snacks !

Hope y'all enjoy this brief description.    And before posting and signing off...…
      
I'd like to thank Alice, our Fearless Leader, who coached me and with great patience and kindness posted all of the pictures of my quilts for the last several reveals as I struggled with the drastic switch from a McIntosh platform to a PC.   

I'm still very slow with all this computer "stuff" and it took my husband and me a chunk of time to get the pictures out of the camera, get them onto my computer, and then find the picture(s) in a not-so-very-intuitive location on the computer !  Obviously, I need to continue reading "Windows 10 for Dummies"!        

Peace and blessings to all  šŸ˜ 


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Blues Composite

The Blues Composite
As usual, I place all the quilts on one page and push my chair back and hope for my own “reveal.” HHMMM, the Thesaurus said I could use the gambler’s word “tell.” After some reflection [Does that word bring back memories?] 

I made my first move, this time with Row Three and placed Teresa’s eye-catching Blue Hibiscus right in the middle of the row and all the rest just seemed to fall into place. 

Next, the blues and horizontals and verticals just seemed to fit into Row Two.  Notice how the shape of Rita’s vertical, Judy’s horizontal, and Andrea’s vertical nicely frame the top of Teresa’s quilt. And the colors compliment also. The orange streak in Andrea’s quilt does a great job leading the eye into the Geraniums and break up the blue.

Row Three: The odd spacing around Teresa’s quilt allowed adequate room for the composite title and the date of this last Reveal for Round Two.

Row One: I did think this theme would bring out more “New Orleans.” And then Janis Joplin appears, front and center, the lady who dared to be different. With all that “blue” near the top, Alice and Kathy tucked in nicely. So, yes, the top of this composite was “revealed” about color. But you did not disappoint, color and creative subjects – wow!

Row Four: Gail’s face [What a transition – Janis to Barbie?] balanced well with Row One, then the Birds framed the Barbie. AAHH, yes, Blue Birds and blue eyes, who would have thought? A creative quilter, that’s who.

Row Five: Then Sara and Jane complete the composite. Notice how the color, subject and rendition of each quilt, from top to bottom, lead your eye around this composite.  A wonderful and creative way to end Round Two. 

Note from Alice:  As usual, Randy Schormann created the composite and then wrote the explanation of why he put each quilt where he did.  Once again, thanks to Randy from all of the Material Mavens!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Jane’s Blues Deconstructed


When I first started Jane Dunnewold’s Mastery of the Art Cloth course, she gave us an assignment to make four quilts. It was a color assignment. I chose blue. I also chose to work with textile paints. This quilt was about hue. We could use any color that read “blue” from blue green to blue violet on the color wheel including different values. 
It was fascinating to discover how the underlayers affected the color of the transparent paints. 
I mounted it on felt with Mistyfuse and machine quilted it. 
The background fabric was dyed with blue #400.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Kathy's "BLUES"

THE GREAT "ALASKA BLUES ! "

The first thing that came to my mind was the 35 years I lived in Anchorage, Alaska, and the oh-so-beautiful summer flowers, especially the Alaska State Flower, the "Forget Me Not !"   They're stunning in their color(s) and their simplicity.   Think of the conditions they have to endure just to produce the leaves and flowers !  And then I thought of the awesome Texas Bluebonnets that are in full bloom right now, and how absolutely gorgeous those flowers are !

I actually have some fabric from Anchorage that depicts the Forget Me Not Flowers, and very reluctantly cut that fabric to make the kind of wild and crazy flowers on my quilt.   [When you see the quilt in person, it'll be fun to see how quickly (or not !) you can find the Forget Me Nots!]

All the flowers were cut from blue-ish toned fabrics.   I fused 2 layers of compatible fabrics together (Heat and Bond Light), then sort of randomly set the flowers on my base "quilt" and began machine stitching the fabricated flowers on to that quilt.  I trimmed the flowers, partially cut each flower into 8 "petals", and then hand-washed the entire quilt.  I wanted to get all those petals separated, and add texture to the petals at the same time.   After that, I added two colors of blue fabric squares (made from netting !) to add some pizazz and texture.

The backing fabric is Royal Blue fabric with Gold stars, and was chosen in honor of the Alaska State Flag, and the song that we sing with much pride.     I end my narrative with the lyrics to this incredibly beautiful tribute to the Greatland - ALASKA !


Eight stars of gold on a field of blue,
Alaska's flag, may it mean to you,
The blue of the sea, the evening sky,
The mountain lakes and the flowers nearby,
The gold of the early sourdough's dreams,
The precious gold of the hills and streams,
The brilliant stars in the northern sky,
The "Bear," the "Dipper," and shining high,
The great North Star with its steady light,
O'er land and sea a beacon bright,
Alaska's flag to Alaskans dear,
The simple flag of a last frontier.






Judy- Mountain Blues

 I struggled with "Blues". There was the natural jazz one, but that wasn't something that I was familiar enough with in my life. I thought of indigo blues which could be done by dying fabric. As I pondered the indigo blue route, the idea of using blue jeans to create a scene really appealed to me.     Recycling and working monochromatic were calling me. Next was the design. Hmmm. Abstract would work. A simple flower and other easy designs popped in and out of my head. When the mountains came in I grabbed it. The first time I saw mountains was in the 1970's. They were the Smoky mountains and they made my heart sing. We lived near the Teton mountains in the 1980's for a short while and drove all over to absorb the majesty of the Rocky mountains. We have continued to head to the mountains and experience their awesomeness.

The small mountain on the right side of the scene, which is the nice royal blue, was cut from the inside of a back pocket. It hadn't faded and I needed that color value. I layered the pieces and needed some contrast so that I could see each mountain. You can decide if those are rivers or clouds in the mountains. Next I fused the edges down and I was ready to quilt.

When I started quilting I did the mountains first. They just needed some simple echo quilting to keep your eye moving across them.  The sky got straight lines to keep it clean. I am working with a ruler to get straight lines quilted and it is working quite well. After that was completed I felt that there needed to be something in the sky to give it some interest and a sun wasn't it, so I quilted a design that looks like some of my doodles.

Enjoy the beauty of the mountains!

Dee's Blues Quilt: Southern Comfort



Theme:  Blues

Title:  Southern Comfort

Dee Stewart Merrell


Janis Joplin and blues;  nothing else says blues like Janis and her raspy voice and gutsy lyrics.  She is such an icon to the world of music and blues.

I wanted to make this piece as vivid, raw and honest as Janis and her vocals.  The image was transferred to fabric using Citrasol and filled in with fiber inks. Raw-edged fabric strips were glued in place then stitched/quilted.  It is mounted on an 11 x   14" canvas frame.