Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Reflections Composite


It’s my turn to “reflect”, to engage in conscious thought, because of your delightful and creative “Reflection” quilts. First, I place them all on one page and this time it took a while for my eye to fall on a sequence I thought appropriate. Rita stepped behind my chair and quipped how interesting it would be to put the moons [Karen and Nedra] and the sun [Tricia] Reflection in the top row. 

Fifth row: Lighter colors [Sara and Kathy] and a bug [Gail] seemed to fit in the bottom row and the placement fell into a nice sequence.

Second row: People [Carolyn and Candace], a cup-a’ and a bowl of cereal [Judy], how fitting for a quiet moment to start the day. For me, it’s a tall glass of good iced tea and the newspaper.

Third row: I grew up 100 miles east of St. Louis and visited that zoo many times. On one occasion a gorilla, with that very look Teresa so accurately captured, set quietly in the corner of the cage behind a deep pool of water in the front of the cage. When a large crowd had gathered in front, that mischievous animal took one quick leap into the pool and soaked everyone and it was delightful. The gorilla then went back to the corner and waited for the next group of victims. Rita’s quilt just fits in the row of two.

Fourth row: All reflect real people [Jane, Alice, Dee] images and the colors seemed to work well together.

And that was my thinking. Thank you again for allowing me to be a small part of your creative work.

Randy Schormann

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Judy S.- Reflections of Lancaster, PA

1. A time of meditation looking at my life. 2.The light reflecting images in the items around me.

This is from a photo I took when I was working the AQS show in Lancaster, PA one year. Every morning I enjoyed a walk down to a cafe for a bowl of cereal and a cup of coffee before the show opened. 

It was a time of reflection as I watched people hurry off to work and school. How lucky I was to have this opportunity to be at this table every morning. 

I have always admired artwork with reflections in glassware and I really wanted to create this quilt with that effect. I set this at morning sunrise with a piece of fabric I hand painted so that this could be for anyone anywhere.

I used Cherrywood fabrics for all of the items on the table. They have wonderful gradations that made this possible.

I did add a little paint, but mostly the fabric and thread were my media to make the color happen.

Sara's Reflection

I really enjoyed this theme and initially thought of the wonderful image of trees reflected in a pond. However, I always try to do something that does not occur to me first so before starting to work I mulled on the topic. Then I saw the opening of the Olympics in Brazil and was captivated on how each culture that influenced Brazil left an mark in a patchwork motif. Soon after I was at a gathering at my girlfriend's house where we were encouraged to meditate on the words of the Shema (an important prayer or declaration in Judaism) and create a "torn paper midrash" (basically a construction paper collage story) to illustrate the prayer. It was during a walk where I came upon merging the two inspirations for this quilt. Since meditation requires sitting still, a skill I sorely lack, I am more likely to be inspired during walking or sewing! This got rather theological/philosophical. I'm sure there are multiple understandings of the prayer.

The blue hebrew letters were stencilled using a commercial stencil (Pitome Publishing) and Shiva paint sticks. It is the beginning word "Shema"  of "Shema,Yisroel  hashem  eloheynu, hashem echod " which translates " Hear O Israel -(Listen Up), The Lord is our God, the Lord is One." (Here Hashem is The Name substituting for the name that is said only in worship). (see ) . This always brings to my mind how all of us are bound together as being made in God's image and how all of creation is part of the essence of the one Infinite creator. The "world" in my quilt is imaged by a freeform piecing of fabric which was cut and fused and sewn onto the cloth. It was quilted using lines for longitude and latitude. The Infinitiy signs were inked on (I imagined it as looping around the earth into an infinity sign.) Background quilting is in spirals as an homage to the primordial wind in the beginning of the Bible,

Kathy's Reflection: "The Gazing Ball"

[I must apologize (again!) for being late with this posting.  I actually finished this quilt about six weeks ago, but encountered tremendous challenges uploading pictures, and getting into the blog.  My sincere apologies......] 

The quilt was designed using an Amy Butler Stencil, green fabric paint, silk fabric, cotton fabric, and lots of glass beads.      As I was designing the quilt, my husband said it looked like a Three-Dimensional "Gazing Ball," and thus it has become this lovely piece !

The stencil was printed onto a piece of somewhat sheer white silk, which was placed on top of the "wrong side" of a gray and white "Leaf Fabric," and batting.   Using the leaf patterns from the fabric, I free-motion quilted these layers using a Madeira 30 wt. variegated thread for the leaves, and Sulky Shimmer thread around the green "petal" structures.  [This was the first layer of the quilt.]

I cut this quilted design into a circle, then using a bright lime-y green Sulky 40 wt. thread, machine appliqued it to another layer of the gray and white Leaf Fabric that had been covered with a shear sparkle-y white fabric.  After layering this rather complex quilt "top" with batting and backing fabric, I free motion quilted all the layers together using a 40 wt. Sulky rayon thread.

The binding is the same leaf pattern fabric; this time, you're looking straight at the fabric which shows all the true colors.   

The final touch was to hand-sew all those lovely silver glass beads around the perimeter of the Gazing Ball.  The beads reflect tremendous amounts of light.  

My "Reflection" Quilt demonstrates three depths of the one, simple leaf fabric by using additional sheer fabrics to reflect (or obscure ?)  the fabric in each of the layers.    The silver beads then "reflect" light from all the different light sources in the room.   


Saturday, October 15, 2016

Nedra's Reflection - Moon River

Our home has a gorgeous view of marsh and the Moon River which is a part of the myriad of rivers which comprise the Intracoastal Waterway outside of Savannah.  Shortly after moving here, I woke up very early to a full moon reflecting on the river.  It literally took my breath away.  In order to capture the scene,  I tried to recreate it in fabric.  It turned out ok but not as thrilling as in reality. When this theme was announced I thought about various interpretations and remembered this piece I had started a few years ago.  I decided to rework the piece because it was the perfect "reflection" of the theme.

I started over and ripped out all of the stitching and embellishments and brought it back to the basic background design.  The moon and its reflection are fused - I used a mylar like naterial for the reflection.  The palm trees, bridge and grasses are fused.  Tuile covers the sky to darken it.  I used a variety of machine quilting, hand embroidery and beading to embellish the piece.  Before finishing, I cut it down to fit the 11 X 14 inch size requirement and then finished with eyelash and silk ribbon for the edging.Here are a couple of closeups.

I finished this piece, took pictures and wrote my narrative just a few days before we had to evacuate due to Hurricane Matthew.  Little did I know that storm surge predictions would make me fear this gorgeous river view so soon after completion!!    I am relieved to report that our home made it through the storm with NO wind or water damage.  Luck was definitely on our side as several of our neighbors were not so fortunate. Several have 3 - 4 trees down in their yards and on their roofs. Our community has been amazing and we are making great strides daily to return to normal here on Skidaway Island. 

Gail Bee Reflecting

Reflecting  on my quilting years I remembered my very first block was the honey bee. It was prophetic since my husband is now a beekeeper. to combine the 2 trains of thought?  The traditional honey bee pattern along side my growth as a quilt artist.  I had a class with Judy Coats Perez where we painted audobon drawings and I used this knowledge to paint a honey bee!   Don't look too close as I need lots of practice.   Setacolor textile paint on cotton, free motion quilted, pieced, and appliqué.

Carolyn - Generations of Reflections

Taos Pueblo Storyteller
My quilt is based on treasured memories of my 3 grandchildren and 2 recently “adopted” Karenni-Burmese grandchildren.  I love the Southwestern pottery style called “Storytellers” and “Singing Mothers,” and am blessed to have a small collection of these clay pieces. Storytellers became famous through the work of Helen Cordero, a Native American from the Cochiti Pueblo near Santa Fe.  In 1964, she made her first clay “storyteller,” based on her grandfather who passed on oral traditions to tribal children.  Cordero soon became famous for her Storyteller pottery.  Many pieces are now in the Smithsonian Native American Museum in Washington, D.C.

Our family had the honor of visiting Cochiti in the 1970’s during their normally “closed” Corn Festival.  We were invited to join our longtime friends from Santa Fe, who had befriended this tribe.  One of the potters and her mother prepared a traditional meal for us.  Afterwards, we were invited into the daughter’s home to see her pottery.  As we left, she graciously gave me a piece she had made.  Thus began my love affair with Storyteller/Singing Mother pottery.

As children, my husband and I remember family stories our grandparents told, and we passed this tradition on to our children and grandchildren.  It was always fun to have little ones jump in bed with us early in the morning with pleas of “tell us another story.”

My quilt was made with hand-painted, batik and cotton fabrics.   In the quilt, I am depicted as the Storyteller surrounded by all 5 of my little ones.  We sit on hand- painted grass filled with flower buds.  A stone path leads from our adobe home to the grassy area.  The oldest boy holds a drum.  The next in line, a girl, props up on one arm against my feet, which are extra large to signify wisdom.  A boy sits in my lap, and I am holding the 2 youngest ones in my arms.  I used 4 layers – a batik, cotton batting, Timtex and a cotton fabric for the back.  The background and grass were free-motion stitched in a zigzag pattern on my new Bernina sit-down longarm.  Tiny pieces of fabric fused with Wonder Under were cut into figural and clothing shapes, colored with pencils and pens, fused in place and stitched with Aurufil thread on my domestic Bernina.  The binding is a Kaffe Fassett print that reminded me of vivid Native American colors and geometric designs.

Teresa's Reflection Quilt

I am a thread painter.  "Reflection" - one of the definitions is:  deep thought.  I photographed this particular gorilla at the St. Louis zoo while visiting my youngest daughter and then thread painted it.  I was the only human in the gorilla exhibit that morning and I truly wondered what this sweet animal was thinking.

Alice's Reflection Quilt--Lia in the Mirror

When I reflected on the theme word Reflection (!), I remembered two photos I had taken of granddaughter Lia (Lelia Jane) (now 15) when she was three years old and taking ballet lessons.  One was taken at home in front of her mother’s standing mirror, and the other, at the barre in front of the mirror in the ballet class.

I also recalled a type of embroidery using tiny mirrors I had seen on garments, scarves, and home décor items from India.  This embroidery is called Shisha embroidery, and I found a wealth of instruction material on the Internet.

I ordered a package of small round mirrors from Amazon and practiced the simplest of the many Shisha embroidery techniques until I had mastered that one.  This involves stitching a framework of stitches (using six strands of embroidery floss) from the top down and from side to side, all around the mirror, eight lines of thread over the mirror’s surface.  Then you do what is basically a blanket stitch along the edge of the mirror, and with each stitch, you catch a section of the framework threads and pull it down. This is how the mirror is secured to whatever it is embellishing.  (This is hard to explain using only words and likely confusing to read, but many You Tube videos and blogs explain and picture the technique clearly.)

For the quilt, I layered the pink fabric onto batting, machine stitched a diagonal grid, and then glued the mirrors down to the background with Allene’s glue.  I then did the Shisha stitches first, and then further embellished the little mirrors by embroidering chain stitches around each one, using various shades of purple, violet, and lavender.

Then I printed Lia’s photos onto Jacquard ink jet photo fabric.  These were fused onto the quilt with Wonder Under and then machine blanket stitched around all edges.  I bound the quilt with the same purple Kaffe Fassett fabric that I used on the quilt’s back, purple to tie in with the decorative chain stitches.

Rita's Reflection Quilt--Barney's Photograph

We have a friend, a professional photographer and artist, who has gifted us many of his wonderful photographs.  Ever since starting on this Art Quilt Journey, I have wanted to make a quilt of one of his art images, especially this particular photo.   I just needed the right word.  So with Barney’s permission (actually he said it would be an honor) this is my rendition of a sunflower in front of a reflection garden installation, surrounded by stone pavers.  Below you see his image.

To construct this quilt, I first needed to resize Barney’s black and white original 6 x 9 image up to 11 x 14.   The copy of the photo was then traced onto plastic.  Fabrics were selected that would approximate the scene in color.  The stone pavers and grass were accomplished by reverse applique.  The applique also served as the quilting for this piece.  The stones around the reflection mirror were fused into place and then a hole was cut to allow the mirror to show through.  The stone fabric was wrapped to the back to cover the edges of the hole. The sunflower was superimposed on top of the background.  The sunflower center was quilted onto a piece of sunflower center-shaped batting and the edges were also wrapped to the back.  The petals are a double layer of fused fabric which are glued into place behind the flower center.  And in case you are wondering, the mirror is a $2 small hand held mirror from Dollar General. To get a reflection of the sky in the mirror, a piece of cloud fabric was held up behind the camera so the background in the mirror looked “true.”

[Note:  Alice posted this for Rita since she continues to have baffling issues with the blog and is therefore unable to post herself!]

Tricia's Reflection

 When I first thought about reflection I was planning on creating a quilt from a water reflection. I have been working on that technique. About a month ago I was walking with my daughter and husband around Boston near where she lived.  We were enjoying that beautiful day. At one point I turned around and saw the reflection in the Prudential Building. I stopped a took a photograph. It was so striking.  Thinking about how to recreate it. I decided to use Kathy Loomis's fine line piecing technique. It was quite a challenge creating the building and keeping everything lined up and straight.  It's not quite straight :) You can see the begining stitching below.

For the reflection I enlarged my photograph to the same size, scanned it and printed the image on Printed Treasures. It was an interesting challenge.

"Narcissus" by Candace Berry

The theme seemed to fit. I made a rough sketch first (second image), then the quilt. Used my hand-dyed silk and cotton plus some commercial fabric. Maybe the election season affected my design!

Karen's "Moon over Plum"

We have vacationed on Plum Island for many years in a house with an unobstructed view of he ocean and have watched many moon rises.

     I used Cherrywood hand dyed fabric. Twenty curved rows create the reflection. I turned under the edges and topstitched a 16th of an inch from the edge with the piece on batting. With all the layers the reflection area is slightly raised to give it depth. I like my landscapes borderless. The edges are stitched with an overcast stich to finish.

My "word" for the next challenge is "BOUNDARIES".

Friday, October 14, 2016

Dee Merrell - Reflections - Quilt: "Autumn is Reflection"

Dee Stewart Merrell – Reflection-  Quilt: “Autumn is Reflection”


I made this photograph of my granddaughter last spring not long after she had just begun walking.  She always took every step I took, so she was a bit puzzled when I stepped out onto the porch without her.  When I looked back into the house and saw her looking at me, I could see the sky, yard and trees behind me reflected in the window along with her sweet little face. I could also see myself with my glasses perched on top on my head.  It was one of those special moments when you can see someone seeing their world.

I love this quote by Mitchell Burgess which seemed so appropriate;   “If winter is slumber and spring is birth and summer life, then autumn rounds out to be reflection.  It’s a time of year when the leaves are down and the harvest is in and the perennials are gone.  Mother Earth just closed up the drapes on another year and it’s to reflect on what’s come before.”  - Mitchell Burgess

Techniques:  a white commercial fabric with blue and grey design was used and with a Pentel Gel Roller fabric pen I wrote the quote above onto the fabric.   I used a laser printer for the  photo and generously covered the photo with “Golden” gel medium – extra heavy molding paste and pressed it onto the  fabric and left it to dry for 24 hours.   I heavily spritzed the dried photo back with water, scratching the back with a pin to help the water soak in.  The picture you see is what was left after scraping and rubbing the paper away.  The remaining image is thick, ok for an art quilt , but would not be good for a bed quilt.  I layered it with batting and backing and quilted it.  Finished size 12” x 12”.