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.




Teresa's Blues in Nature

I found this blue hibiscus at a botanical garden here in Arkansas.  I have never seen one before or since.  I photographed it, printed it on satin, stitched it with polyester threads, and embellished it with tulle and Angelina fibers.  It is one of a series I have been working on and will actually put it on a wooden frame and make it a 'gallery' wrap style piece of art.  I loved all the different colors of blue and the range of purples that also came into play.  It almost looks like a sea urchin.  It is a very modern looking piece to me. - Teresa Schlabach

Andrea's Blues Quilt




With My Complements

mono-print, hand dyed cotton
11" x 14"

I knew that I wanted to work with shades of blue and because of two recent online classes with Linda Germain, Printmaking Without a Press ( lindagermain.com ) decided to print a panel on a gelatin plate ( gelatin, glycerin & water ), to use as the focus of my quilt.  A geranium plant sacrificed a few leaves for the stencils.  Only two different blue paints were used but mixed with either white or black to create more shades.  Although I was pleased with mono-printed fabric, when assembling the panel with a few hand-dyed pieces, could see that it very much needed to be "spiced" up, so decided that adding a bit of it's complement might work, which made a big difference.


geranium leaves on gelatin plate

Sara's Blue Quilt

Even though blue ia my favorite color, this was a tricky theme for me as my brain kept going into the imagery of a spiral of a dark blue depression. I didn't want to go there in my mind or on my quilt! I even thought of making an all orange quilt and titling it stare and look at a white wall but decided that would be pushing things. My husband and I were chatting over his plans for building out new office space and we were both excited about BLUEprints. I have tried to vary what techniques I use for the quilts I've made in these challenges. Since my first Material Mavens quilt was created with thread painting, I decide to revisit thread as a way to create imagery for the last quilt in the series.


My husband printed our blue print in reverse onto newsprint. (Here is the right-side up image)


I spray basted it to the back of a piece of blue fabric and transferred the design by stitching through the newsprint using white bobbin thread. I then  removed the paper and placed the fabric on a layer of batting and thickened the lines using free motion stitching on top of the previously stitched bobbin thread.I found out pretty quickly that the batting was not enough stabilization to keep the fabric from distorting so I  placed the fabric and batting into an embroidery hoop. After my stitching was done I added another piece of batting and a backing and stitched diagonal lines through the whole quilt using monofilament thread. The edges are finished with a facing.

Gail’s Favorite Shade of Blue


While pondering ideas for a blue quilt I began thinking of
my favorite shade of blue and somehow this led to the
1960’s blue eyeshadow!  Who doesn’t remember and love that?
Down the rabbit hole I went where my first Barbie arrived to join 
me in my reverie wearing my favorite shade of eye shadow.  A quilt
block from 20 years ago joined us and became my challenge quilt!
I had fun free motion quilting my old friend with micro stippling 
for the face.  I’ve always wanted to try that along with echo quilting 
Miss Barbie Millicent Roberts!  See I’m such a fan I knew her entire
name.   My brother once won a radio call in contest after asking me
her full name!   I still have my Barbie although someone cut her ponytail 
off.  Barbie is not safe in a house full of brothers!  However I’m still
searching for the elusive blue eye shadow! Hoping I’m still around when 
it comes back in style!


Tricia's Blue Birds

I know we are hoping for spring but I just had to create this piece. We are experiencing our new home and landscape. Every year  at our old home we have tried to attract blue birds. This year with advice from a friend we bought blue bird pellet food in hopes of attracting the blue birds to our new home. We are successful in getting them to the feeders. Now we just hope they will nest in one of our boxes.  This was created from a photograph I took after one of the March snow storms.

I used fusibles and free motion quilting. I collages the fabrics to create the snow.

Rita's Quilt: Blues, Blues, Fly Away!




Knowing I was not going to continue this journey, I completed my Blues quilt in the week after the last reveal.  This final quilt is a statement of my mixed feelings.  It was a relief to have finished this leg of the journey and to know I have arrived at my destination.  But it was also a bit sad to have finished, as well.  Somewhat like reading a wonderful novel and being distressed that it had to end.  

All fabrics are blue in homage to the sadness I was feeling and yet knowing that feeling was going to take wing and fly to new challenges as the butterflies illustrate.  Thank you, dear friends, for all the wonderful compliments you have showered on me during these two rounds.  I will still be a Maven in spirit and will continue to follow your wonderful fabric art.


The idea for this quilt came from a commercial pattern, for a full-size quilt in the modern style.  I took the illustration, miniaturized and modified it and then added the triangles turning into butterflies.  Everything is raw-edge fused applique.  The quilting was done by stitching around the triangles.

[Posted by Alice because of the on-going "issues" that Rita has had with Blogger!]

Alice's Quilt: String-Pieced Blues




I’ve always wanted to make a string-pieced quilt, and so I decided that this last quilt for Round Two would be a good time to try this technique.  And what could be better than string-pieced Kaffe Fassett fabrics?  Perhaps some of you Mavens and other friends know about my passion for his designs and his fabrics.  And I keep every scrap of his fabric left over from my larger quilt projects.

So then I started looking through my KF scraps.  And guess what?  Very few of these were predominantly blue.  Blue is present, but mostly it’s mixed in with many other colors.  Also among them, there were few “true blues,” though lots of purplish-blue and greenish-blue.  But those, I decided, would just have to do. Too, with a quilt this small, I could do lots of fussy cutting.  So that’s what I did—snipping out sections from my scraps with various versions of blue.

After the cutting and then the piecing was done, I hand-embroidered a running stitch alongside each of the “strings” or strips of fabric, using a variegated Perle cotton thread.  I backed the quilt with a Kaffe Fassett leaf pattern fabric, and I bound it with leftover binding from another KF quilt.  




Saturday, April 14, 2018

Carolyn's Blues: 3 Bluebirds Singing the Blues AWAY!


When this challenge word was announced, I initially had two thoughts – bluebirds and the song made famous by Marty Robbins in 1955, “Singing the Blues.”  So I thought, why not combine them?  I found drawings of bluebirds in coloring books, but they were all happy looking birds.  I liked them, so I decided my 3 happy bluebirds would be singing the blues AWAY!

I drew, as best I could, 3 birds, attached Wonder Under to a medium blue batik fabric.  Then I penned each drawing to the fabric with pens and cut them out.  Once cut out, I drew faces on each with a Micron Pigma pen.  Then I used fabric pencils and pens to highlight their features. Once I was satisfied, I ironed each bird in place, perching two up in the sky and one on a fused tree branch, an idea I saw in the coloring book.  Then I added a music staff with musical notes flying away.  It reminded me of the happiness I felt years ago each time I heard my now adult daughter, Cammy, happily practicing the flute. 

All of my fabric choices are batiks.  The birds, tree limb and musical staff and notes were fused using Wonder Under.  Instead of 3, there are 4 layers to my quilt.  I fused the front fabric with the design in place onto a layer of batting.  Then I fused the back fabric to a piece of Timtex cut to size.  Finally, all 4 layers were fused together.  

For the machine stitching, I used a selection of Ricky Tims Superior Art Threads to give the quilt some nice sheen. The Timtex acts as a stabilizer which adds to the quality of the machine stitching. With this challenge, I decided to use a technique that I learned in a class with Cindy Needham that she calls " micro quilting." For a contrast with background fabric - a blue polka-dot - I used a Ricky Tims light turquoise thread.  

 In this technique you free-motion quilt varying sizes of circles onto your background fabric.  Once they are done, you go back over the un-quitled areas with teeny tiny stitches in the shape of circles until all the fabric between the circles is completely covered with thread.  Cindy uses this technique in small areas, but silly me, I decided to cover the entire 12x12 in micro quilting.  Although it may not look like it, I spent hours and hours on this technique.  I DO like the effect, but next time I try it, I will definitely stick to smaller areas where I just need a few circles to pop!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Rock Composite


When we received this challenge, I had two thoughts: Another theme word that is  “all over the place”.   This one is going to provide enough building materials for at least a small little piggy’s house, one that “The big bad wolf can’t blow down.”  As usual, all over the place is my salute to all of you, because the creative artists among this group never disappoint.  I even had a thought of my own, which I have shared in the banner to designate the theme of the collage.

I started with row two: I wanted to put the quilts with “people” together. Yes, I’m taking poetic license by calling Carolyn’s quilt “people,” but it works in context. It’s a beautiful piece, works well with the twins and Sara and Jane’s idea of a “rock” is touching. Personal note, I’m married to a “rock” also.

Row one and a touch of row four: The plants make wonderful cornerstones. The baby in the tree is a heart-warming touch and close enough to Dee’s twins that Alice and Dee can sing Rock-a-bye together. 

The reason for the touch in row four:  I struggled with where to place Gail’s and Teresa’s quilts, even parked them off to the side temporarily until the rest of the rows fell into place. Then, I discovered how neatly they highlight the top and bottom of the collage with those wonderful colors.

Row three: Pure rocks, as simple as that.

Row four: I really liked the effect of the round pebbles and the striations in Jane’s “rock”, which made this row work. The bright colors in Teresa’s geode [one of my favorite gems] provides a wonderful anchor.

About the banner: When the challenge word was announced, I would have guessed someone would choose one of Ansel Adam’s photographs to illustrate. His “rocks” are world famous and really big rocks. You didn’t so I did, please forgive my intrusion.

Ya’ll have done it again – great job.


Randy

P.S.  Once again, I am posting for Randy.  Wow!  He's out-done himself this time, with getting this composite done in record time.  But as he said in his email to me, "What else do you do on a day too cold to work in the shop, outside, and ACE is not on your schedule?"  [Note to Mavens:  Randy works part-time at Ace Hardware in China Spring.  Can you imagine a better sales person that Mr. Randy, who personifies "Do It Yourself" skills?]  Alice

Sara's Rock Quilt

Peter is my rock

I enjoyed this theme because there were so many places to develop it. I remembered that my husband said his name, Peter, as derived from greek, means rock. Peter has been my rock as he has supported me through my most nightmarish experiences. My quilt was produced using thread sketching on some fabric that I had dyed yellow many years ago. I chose yellow since it is one of Peter's favorite colors. This is a very abstracted sketch.
Thread sketch of my rock, Peter

I used this picture which was converted from color to black and white.  
Quilt was based on this image

I actually did the thread sketching twice. The first was done using a tracing on some very old Sulky Solvy stabilizer. I pulled off all the stabilizer I could and then I stuck the piece into cold water. I really liked the thread work on this but unfortunately the ink that I used to trace the image (a Faber-Castell pen that was supposed to be permanent) stained the fabric. I may try to salvage this piece later using dyes (Peter wants me to try tea dying). I tried again by tracing the image onto tracing paper and stitching through the tracing paper with 1 line of stitching. I then removed the tracing paper and went back over the image with more thread. In both cases I used brown rayon thread with a thin polyester bobbin thread. I stitched through a quilt sandwich. I finished the completed piece by quilting with yellow rayon thread on my domestic machine.
Initial thread sketch with staining


Monday, January 15, 2018

Dee's Rock




ROCK, A – Bye – Babies


This is the original photo from Alison Aberdeen Photography,
used with her permission. This photo was not staged; Collin
reached out and held Myra's hand when placed beside her.

Someday I will do my other interpretation of ROCK !!!  However, now is the perfect time for the ROCK I have chosen.   On December 9th, I became the grandmother of twins.  I get to ROCK as much as I want, and some days you might even say it is ‘hard rock’. 

You have seen this technique from me before.  Pen on fabric and transferring an inkjet photo to the inked fabric using Golden thick medium.  I wanted a companion piece to match the one that I had made for their 2 ½ year old sister.

My version of the song:

“Rock a bye babies, in the tree top
When the wind blows the cradle will ROCK.
Gently, gently rocking away. 
Swinging you safely
Throughout the day.

Babies are drowsing, cozy and fair
Mother sits near in her rocking chair
Forward and back, the cradle she swings
But the sleeping babies still hear her sing.

Rock a bye babies, Daddy is near
So is Norah and your Mother
Dear wee little fingers, eyes are shut tight
Now sound asleep – until morning light.”




Big sister helping me make the quilt.