Saturday, August 5, 2017

The Space Composite

Confession time, again;  I was pleasantly surprised. After all these years enjoying the creative work of the Material Mavens you will be quick to use our grandson’s favorite word and ask me why would I be surprised?  When the word for this round was published I expected a high percentage of the quilts to be extraterrestrial.  Then, reveal day and not one! Unless Candace meant to show us her window into space.

To the reasoning behind the layout on the Space composite, again a challenge:

[Pre-note:  If and when Teresa sends us her quilt, I’ll work it in.]

After time spent reading your thinking as you created your quilts I could not gather a common thread [at least to my satisfaction].  There is a common theme within Alice, Karen and Andrea’s work. They all did speak of negative space in their thinking, but I felt more comfortable using their quilts as the color layout seemed more eye catching.

Row one then becomes a queue of nice blues.

Row two follows the color scheme with reds.

Row three and now you know why I saved the black and whites to “hang” together, despite the blue boots.

Row four and five are people related. If you don’t believe me read Sara’s explanation. I was a biology major also and I think this use of space is really clever.  There is no doubt Gail touches the very heart of space.  

Row lower right corner: Admit it, how many of you are jealous of Tricia’s quilting studio? We all celebrate her wonderful Space. I especially like the weather vane.

Those are my thoughts for July reveal. Job well done everybody – AGAIN.



Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Jane's Update

i expect most of you know by now that I had a crazy turn in my life recently. I developed lymphoma in my thyroid which caused difficulty breathing and eating and talking and all that stuff that goes on in your neck.
I ultimately had surgery and have begun chemotherapy which should cure this condition. It was very scary and very difficult for a couple of weeks that felt like a lifetime.
I didn't get my space quilt completed. And it was my theme! I had decided to do something on outer space because when I started art quilting, I made several Nova or Supernova pieces. My vision of outer space is very colorful and explosive.
I dyed a piece of silk for the background then started painting on it using some techniques Gail had shared with me. That is as far as I got before this medical emergency hit.
I hope to be back in the studio again soon. Until then, I hope you will continue to pray for me. The prayers I have already felt have been a great comfort.
Thanks for embracing the theme with such diverse quilts.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Space window by Candace Berry

The circular window is sheer hand-painted organza with 3 small bird feathers sandwiched inside.Hope you can see the gold flecks over the piece. Machine quilted and machine embroidered. My husband made a wooden stand for this piece. It shows off the window.

Karen's Quilt: Filling Space





I have 2 machine quilting classes coming up and wanted to make a piece using just the walking foot to show my students. I thought it was a perfect way to use the word "space". 

Machine quilted with black 50 wt. 100% cotton on shot cotton fabric. 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

October Challenge Word

Thank heavens Alice has the schedule of who has the new word for our group! Without her we would all be waiting for the next person to post it and we would be disappointed since I didn't remember it was ME!
The new word for our last Challenge in 2017 is "REACH". Have fun!

Interstitial Space - Sara's Space challenge

Space was a wonderful theme as there are so many ways to approach it. My first thought was outer space. I then thought about space as an element of art and thought I would create a composition based on negative space. As always, I spent way too much time only working on the project in my head. Just before I started to actually start working with fabric I remembered Interstital Space - the spaces between cells. My histology and fine structure books are filled with wonderful images for inspiration Unfortunately those books have found new addresses in my house after being organized and I have yet to remember where that is. I turned to the internet for more inspiration and discovered that the term interstitial space is used in both cell biology and architecture. I therefore had to make two quilts

This first quilt depicts a stylized view of cells near a capillary - the space between the cells is probably greater than reality. The quilt is put together using raw edge fusible interfacing. I couched copper colored yarn around the outside of my cells to set them apart and to emulate a simplified cell membrane. The purple fabric in both qults was a small piece of hand-dyed fabric that I screen printed on.

This second quilt is pieced and represents interstitial space in architecture - the spaces between floors in a building that allow room for conduits and pipes 

The Space Within III



Dee Stewart Merrell



The Space Within III

Too much space?  Never enough?  Or the obvious “ SPACE – The Final Frontier”.  I had to be true to my first feeling on this challenge, and it had to be the space that is mysterious and unknown.  I wanted to show all the colors and energy of a nebula, I wanted to bring the exploding darkness to life.  Then I knew that I could show space in my own way:  with a circle.  These were just a few of the rabbit holes that I went down and I feel like I also did a bit of time travel - because I  completely changed my entire piece this morning, the day of REVEAL.  

This past week I was at a Quilting Adventures retreat in Schulenburg, TX,  and my teacher was Jane Sassaman.  Many things that she told us, and I did take notes, made a definite impression on me and I absorbed some things to such a degree that when I got home on Thursday evening and viewed my “space piece” again, it no longer pleased me.  I tried to stitch new life into it, but that did not work.   So I started a brand new art piece on Friday… the design was really looking good, and then I stitched it -  the stitching turned it into a psychedelic sunflower!   I like it, and I will use it after some major tweaks, but not for this challenge. 

Back to my Sassaman notes:  Simplify and Exaggerate.  I knew that I did not have time to design a background, so I would need fabric that did the work for me.  I had tried hand dyes and batiks before because they have a lot of depth and movement.  A really nice green caught my eye and when I spread it out it was one of those fabrics that you cannot live without but you are never sure what to do with it.  It was a Robert Kaufman and designed by Sherrill Kahn, the fabric name was “The Fire Within II “ ..  thus the name of this work:. “The Space Within III”. (three tries to get it right.)



The Space Within I





The Space Within II










Tricia's My Space

Two years ago my husband and I decided to downsize after raising our children in Lincoln, Ma for 30+ years.  We weren't sure what we wanted to do.  After deciding to stay in our town, we found a 100 year old barn and house on beautiful conservation land.






























   We were not able to save the house. We decided to build a new house on the site and renovate the barn. My husband and his friend renovated the barn for our garage and My Studio or My Space! Finally we moved into the house on May 18th. My studio still needs a few things for me to start working in My Space. Here are a few pictures of my space.



 Because the barn had a cupola my husband surprised me for Christmas with a specially designed weather vane. A Singer sewing machine for our weather vane. 



 When I heard the theme Space I was stubbed.  After thinking about the theme for a month I suddenly came upon the idea of My Space is my new studio. I feel so blessed to have this space to create in! I decided I needed to create the weather-vane to represent My Space.



Judy's: Space In My Heart

When the word “Space” was given to us I had no clue where I was going with it. Well, the month of June has been a thought provoking month. It has been one of thinking how much I love my family and friends. It started with my oldest son coming home so that he could have surgery on his ankle at the VA and recuperate at our house. Next my husband had a kidney stone get stuck and it was ER, surgery and in office surgery. During that session our first grandbaby was born! Oliver is precious! His parents are on cloud nine. Also my other daughter-in-law in Kentucky fell and had major surgery on her knee. So many highs and lows, but we are now all on the mend and the little Steward family is perking right along.

I’m someone who wants to protect my family and friends and take care of them as much as possible. There was a lot to do in the month of June. I enjoyed being able to feed my son good meals and give him a safe, comfortable home to recuperate in and keep his dog and cat here. I know that helped with his healing. I was happy that I could take my husband to the ER and be the one who kept track of everything that was going on there. I’m happy I can help when my daughter-in-law needs help going to the doctor with the little one and I love being able to do his laundry, especially folding those tiny little outfits. I wish I was closer so that I could have helped my son and his wife in Kentucky, but they know I would be there if I could.

In July I spoke at the Quilter’s Guild of Arlington and gave a workshop too. My heart is filled a little bit more with the wonderful comments and stories the ladies at the workshop shared with me and those who came up after the lecture to talk. My quilting is all about stories. There is a reason that I make a quilt and when others enjoy the stories it just makes my heart sing!

In April at our Material Mavens retreat I loved making connections with the Arkansas mavens. I know everyone a little bit more and you each have a space in my heart. Today, I met a man who is 97 years old and was married on Dec. 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor day. Yes, another special spot for him now. I think my heart is even more open then it ever has. Maybe it’s because I’m older, but I think it is because I just really enjoy people and want to know them better. 


My heart is full and the amazing part it can continue to be filled even more. I was going to make a heart and fill it with all kinds of things, but I felt like it just looked like a mess. This heart has other hearts in it to make it look like it is pulsing with great joy for all the love that is in it.  The rays coming off of it are what is continually being added. May the space in your heart be filled with love too.

Andrea's Space Quilt: Space, Or the Lack Thereof!



11" x 14" cotton, fused organza

This was the perfect theme for my return!

It was at least six years ago that I decided I should downsize and thought I would like a Cape-style house.  I finally found "the one" in the spring of 2015 and was able to purchase it last summer.  After six months of renovations, I moved in just before Christmas; however it took an additional 4 months of purging/donating/recycling and packing to be completely out of my former home.  

Going from a large house, in which I lived in for 40 years, with 12' ceilings and a two-floor, cat free dedicated studio, to a small house has been a challenge.  I thought I would be able to sew in the living room, but sharing that space with four very interested cats has proved impossible.  

Plan B is to set up my sewing room in a second floor bedroom.  My design wall will remain in the living room on the first floor and my fabric dyeing can be done in the basement.  I love the new house and eventually it will become "creatively functional," but meanwhile I am feeling very confined by my lack of space which is what I am hoping this quilt conveys.

 My assistant...
clearly she didn't like the placement of the C!

Gail's---A Space in Time



A Space in Time 
Personal space is the distance between 2 persons where they feel perfectly comfortable.  Carrying a child beneath your heart for 9 months is as close as 2 people can physically get.  However, you carry a child in your heart forever.  The space in time depicted by this photo quilt was one of the happiest moments of my life.  We were dancing to Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World" at Rory's wedding.   Tears were flowing from both mother and son.  
This 11x14 quilt is painted, appliquéd, and free motion quilted.  The edge is bound with lace from my Mother's wedding gown. 


Alice's Space Quilt: Negative Space



An article about modern quilts inspired my Space quilt.  The article listed many of the hallmarks of a modern quilt—improvisational piecing, straight-line (usually in a grid) quilting, high contrast, and much NEGATIVE SPACE.  Of course, those last two words jumped out at me!  Ah ha, I thought, I won’t go the moon and stars and planets route, but instead will construct a modern quilt.

I twice slashed diagonally a large square of dark blue fabric, from the top to the bottom.  Then into the two openings I pieced two other strips of batik fabrics.  Then I once again slashed from the top to one side, and into this gap I pieced yet another batik. 

After then squaring up my background fabric, I layered the quilt with batting and another piece of batik fabric.  Then I straight-line quilted into the negative space, following the lines of the pieced-in sections.  Not really a grid, but oh well!  I bound the quilt conventionally, using the same fabric as the background.

This quilt is simple, but I thoroughly enjoyed the process and look forward to someday making a larger Modern Quilt.
a close-up showing the quilting lines in the negative space




Save My Space!


There could be a children's story attached to my little quilt.  Is Mr. Four Patch leaving the group because he wishes to see the world?  Or is Mr. Patch just getting too big for his boots and was asked to leave?

I already had this challenge completed when a friend requested help in moving her substantial stash to her new home.  This quilt could make an excellent door hanging for most of our studios as Mr. Patch begs us to "Save a Space for Him"  I'll leave it to your imagination to decide if the stash is coming or going.

The idea for this quilt is not an original with me.  Because I had already completed a "Space" quilt with the circle theme, I was having a bit of trouble coming up with a new idea.  Then my best friend from Indiana was spending a week with me to make a t-shirt quilt for her granddaughter's high school graduation.  While she was here we saw a photo on Facebook of a wall hanging very similar in design to the pattern you see in "Save My Space!".  This was perfect and I hope you got a grin from it.

To accomplish the hole in the quilt, I used the pillowcase technique to finish the edges of the missing block and the escaping block.  I then bound it as usual.  Mr. Four Patch's arms and legs are fabric covered cording with wool mittens and boots.  The googly eyes added the final touch.

Kathy's "PORE SPACE"

[Overall photo of "Pore Space"]

In a land far, far away;  and for more than two decades, I was privileged and honored to work with some of the most brilliant, creative, ingenious, and wonderful people I've ever known !   

That place:  ALASKA - known as "The Greatland !"   

That work environment:  ARCO Alaska, Inc. - one of the largest oil companies in the world !   

Those people:  Engineers, Scientists, Geologists, Geophysicists, Paleontologists, and the amazing Management Team and Support Staff needed to help keep exploration, production, and operations running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year !

One of my most favorite Engineers is now in Jakarta, Indonesia, and despite the great distances and time zones, we've maintained our friendship.  It was he who listened to and answered my endless questions about "Pore Space."  

When I first inquired about where Oil and Gas are found, I thought they'd be in large easy-to-find "pools," and then, without too much difficulty, transported from their source through a pipeline into a refinery.  From the refinery, the petroleum products would be processed into oil and gas that would be readily available for the consuming public.  So simple.... I thought !

Taking a giant step back....  First of all, we had to find the oil and gas !     To my utter shock, much of the petroleum resources are found very deep underground in hard rock deposits.   Those rock deposits are often filled with fractures (some microscopic in size; some extremely large).  The SPACE between the rock fragments that holds fluids (like water, oil, gas, steam etc.) is called a PORE.

Generally speaking, "porosity" is made up of the space between small rock fragments (e.g. sand), but sometimes porosity is formed from very small or larger fractures in the rock, or even where rock has been dissolved away.
[Close up view indicating Free-Motion Quilting]

To get a better understanding of "porosity," geologists sometimes like to force blue 'epoxy' into a rock sample; slice the sample into very thin sections (aptly called "Thin Sections" !); and then photograph the thin section to see the porosity and the rock.

My "PORE SPACE" quilt is my personal artistic rendition of a "Thin Section" that has been enlarged close to a million times its actual size !  As you can see, the "blue epoxy" has followed the microscopic fractures that cut through the rock grains, and could possibly indicate the presence of petroleum.

I'm very, very grateful to all the wonderful people who mentored me as I journeyed through the amazing world of scientific discovery !

View of the backing and binding fabric that also has the appearance of "Pore Space"  





Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Quote Composite




Creativity, incongruity and humor, remember the connection? When the word quote was presented, as usual, I couldn’t wait to see which of the four nouns would be the most prevalent in the quilts. I must tell on myself. I was hoping to see someone take “quote” outside the box and not just do a quote, but do a quilt about quoting. Instead, the fifteen panels beautifully and creatively and with a touch of humor do a gorgeous job of illustrating each chosen quote.

Row one: I thought the colors, the style of the panels and the humor just seemed to go together. HHHMMM Tee Hee, Jane and Teresa, a little too much wine, and it all may look like, “a little ray of pitch black.”

Row two:  Art is an image of an experience but it is also an experience unto itself. Thus, look carefully at row two and you will become involved in what the quilters are feeling. Better yet, read a good book, listen to good music, perceive/receive.

Row three: Quite often I will see images so thoughtful that demand to go together, and they will be the first row created, such as the three in this row. Then I will block in the remainder of the composite.  Therefore, my reasoning is simple; how can the three quilts fit anywhere else?

Row four:  Dorothy had no idea where she was going, nor did Yogi, so why not play in the rain on the way. Why not indeed!

Row five: The patterns in the quilts attracted me to this row: trees, leaves and the brilliant colors in Carolyn’s quilt. 


Another round of JOB WELL DONE to you all. 

An Assortment of Scenes from the Retreat!



This will give you just a taste of the fun and fellowship we had!  What a great bunch of women.  All of us really bonded over our love of art quilting and having fun!  So happy that Carolyn and I met Gail and Jane at a Quilting Adventures class with Katie P-M several years ago, and so happy, too, that these two suggested Candy and Teresa for membership in our online group!
Jane, Gail, Candy--relaxing at the cabin during Happy Hour!

Judy, Carolyn, Rita, Candy--also Happy Houring!

Rita working on a project brought from home.  Sun printed fabric at the back!

Teresa quilting one of her digital photos printed on satin.

Candy working on a project from home.

Jane pondering how to quilt her ice-dyed piece.

Lobby at the lodge.

Carolyn and her sun printed fabric; Gail in the back.

Alice adding "masks" in the form of sticky foam cut outs to her
painted fabric to be sun printed.

Candy showing us how to make stamps from craft
or "sticky" foam.

Rita showing us how to make those amazing 3-D quilts!

The dining room from a floor above.

Storm rolling in to Mt. Magazine!

Carolyn in white, Candy, Jane, Alice.  I am watching Jane quilt
her ice-dyed piece and getting hints and tips!

Jane celebrating her birthday with chocolate cake and red wine--our last
Happy Hour at the cabin!

Judy working on her gorgeous quilt, brought from home!