Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Hello

Hi I want to thank you for asking me to join your group. I am very excited about joining.  I have never blogged before so we'll see how I do.   Just to let you know a little about myself.   I live in Massachusetts. I have sewed since I was a child as I am sure most of you have also.  I went to school for photography and fell in love with screen printing.  I had a screen printing business for many years but decided to close as my husband was traveling for work so much and I was raising our 4 children.  Still needing a creative outlet I saw a class for a "quilt camp".  It was a week long class during school hours and I was hooked.  I feel with quilting I am combining my photography, screen printing graphic experience and sewing all in one.  For the last few years I have been creating small landscape quilts based on my images of Nantucket. I also photographed over two hundred and fifty vanity license plates on Nantucket and manufactured a line of bags with the images.  You can see them and a few quilts on my web site  www.triciadeck.com.

Looking forward to posting in January!

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Travel Collage


Here are all of our travel quilts!  Once again, we can thank Rita's husband Randy for assembling it for us in such an artful manner.


Here are the quilt makers.  Top row, left to right:  Andrea, Carolyn, Judy S.
Second row:  Nedra, Janet, Alice
Third row:  Judy W., Wendy, Barbara
Fourth row:  Sara, Linda, Kathy
Bottom row:  Rita

Now, what do you think?  Do any of you want me to try my hand again at making a postcard from this group?  If you DO want a card, let me know.  I recall that I "owe" several of you cards since you over-paid me last time.  But you who did, do you want another spiral card or a new travel one?
Let me know ASAP!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Wendy's Travel Quilt--Post #2--Road Trip

I'm sure this seems like a strange vacation block, but to those of us who have traveled around Canada and the entire U.S. for the last 13 years, this was every vacation! Every holiday and tourney weekend was spent in the coldest of ice rinks year round. My youngest son played tier hockey and these were our vacations. We did see some drop dead gorgeous parts of Canada and Alaska, but in the winter you'd just rather be inside the rink. So I decided to ink the back of a giant ice hockey player and thread paint over the ink. This truly was our life and I wouldn't change any of it. Now that this kid is graduated we hope to have a more normal type of vacation. Although now there are the grandkids...


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Judy S- Travel Tags


I’ve always wanted to travel to all 50 states. I haven’t gotten there yet, but the states written on the luggage tags are ones my husband and I have lived in or our sons have moved to. There was one tag left and I added Maine because ever since the 4th grade I have wanted to visit it and that was accomplished. I would love to get out there again some day. 

The clock faces represent how time is part of travel. It may be a time in my life to move or our sons growing up or just waiting at a red light. When I was in Houston at Quilt Festival this year I found some wonderful stencils and the clock one fit right into my travel quilt.   

Sara's Travel - Down the Nile and Through Time


This challenge really gave me fits for some reason. I did not want to be too literal but I couldn't seem to settle on any idea. Finally I thought of travel by river and how much I enjoyed the two river cruises I've been fortunate to take. The first river cruise was on the Nile from Luxor to Aswan. The ancient scenery was breath taking and I totally loved the repetitive motifs such as the ankhs and stylized lotus blossums and papyrus that we saw engraved into temple structures and burial structures.
With that theme in mind, I started this quilt without really knowing how I was going to execute it - I was thinking wood block but then with fabric in hand decided on reverse applique. I layered 3 pieces of fabric and stitched outlines of a canopic jar and anhk on the left side  and the crown of Upper and Lower Egypt, Lotus and Papyrus and the eye of Horus on the right. I decided more was needed and so outlined the motifs using bobbin stitching and heavy metallic cord (Superior Razzle Dazzle and Madeira Glamour).While stitching on this, I watched a Libby Lehman lesson on The Quilt Show in which she showed machine binding using fusible to hold the binding on the back and then couching the cord next to the binding which adds color to the binding and secures it with machine stitches. I did that with the two colors of cord used in the quilt twisted together. Watching that video was fortuitous since she shows lots of reverse applique and I already decided to go in that direction.

Detail of Down the Nile and Through Time

Janet Trippin in Japan

Since I started midstream last time I could not wait to see what the new assignment was going to be. I decided my square would be based on the first thing that came into my mind. I logged on (suspenseful music buildup), I saw the word, (suspenseful music here leading up to climactic moment) and the first thing that came to mind was...basketball. Ahh nuts.
In 1984 one of our former Japanese exchange students we had hosted invited us to visit her for a week. At the time you could purchase with your thirty day visa a Japan rail pass. So I thought why not visit them for a week and spend the rest of the month traveling around Japan on the train. It seemed like such a good idea at the time. So I packed up my 3 ½ year old son, three hard side Samsonite suitcases without wheels, a bag of toys and books and set off. I will let your imagination fill in what the trip was like from there. The highlight of the trip was being there for New Years Day. It is traditional to wear kimonos and you get a real sense of what Japan looked like before they became so westernized. It is a day of visiting and hatsumode, going to a Shinto shrine or Buddhist temple to pray and tie your wishes to a tree. Then prayers are said followed by washing yourself with (I'm not making this up) holy smoke to bind your prayers. My hostess hand sewed a kimono for Justin and me and the ladies woke me up at six o'clock to start the long process of dressing. Guests started coming about eight with gifts for me and money for Justin. It was a long day because you can't bend, you sit on the floor all day and nobody spoke English but our exchange student. It was a wonderful experience but exhausting.
I've been wanting to learn sashiko stitching for quite some time now and this is the perfect project. I know that it is traditionally done on dark blue but I simply cannot see the markings not even with two pairs of glasses on so I stitched my kimono on that old traditional Japanese cloth Belfast linen. My husband, who also quilts, let me go through his stash and use a beautiful blue ombre piece that he had. Kimonos are classified by the shape, print, and color and since I was a married woman and visiting for a holiday mine had an overall pattern in blues and gold called a homongi. The crests down the side of the square represent the five family crests that men wear on their kimono. The crests can be a family crest or one that is commonly used. These represent starting from the top: kotobuki (good fortune), matsu (pine trees), shiro (castles), noshi (extension of good fortune), and kiri (crest of the Imperial family in the 8th century).
Finally, the first day of stitching I broke the eye out of the needle trying to use the sashiko thread with a regular needle. FYI, I ordered Sashiko thread only to find out it is just Perle cotton. In Japan they have an annual festival on February 8th called hari-kuyo where they take their broken needles to a shrine and put them in blocks of tofu, putting them to rest. I love this. They honor the object that enabled them to make something beautiful and ask for the ability to sew better in the coming year. As a sign of respect to my broken needle and to honor my original intentions for this square mine is resting in a basketball, a Baylor basketball of course.


Barbara's quilt--Maui Travels

Mavens, time has slipped away from me again so here is the photo of my quilt unquilted!  My favorite travel place, in addition to visiting grand children, is Maui where my middle daughter, Cori, lives.  This will be the fifth Thanksgiving that we will visit that beautiful island.  The photo that I used for this quilt was taken of the Seven Sacred Pools by my eldest daughter, Jodi.  I have not seen this place because I have a fear of heights and will not travel the road to Hana.  I will see it in photos instead!!
This quilt is a very close up 1" square taken from the original photo that you see below.  It was a practice piece in Sue Benner's Landscape class at Empty Spools Retreat.  The technique is strip fused collage with tulle covering the top.   I think I will take it with me to Maui and hand quilt it on the plane.

Wendy's Travel Quilt--Road Trip--Post #1

Barbara said:  Wendy was having trouble posting her photo from her ipad so she sent it to me and here it is!

Alice now says:  Find this photo AND Wendy's explanation of her quilt by scrolling down to
"Wendy's Travel Quilt--Road Trip--Post #2"

Our new challenge word

Wow!  The quilts so far are gorgeous!  I am going to be quilting mine now, but I thought you might like the new challenge word before I get my Travel quilt finished!  Drum roll please...................
"Interwoven".  I hope you have fun with this--I have no idea what mine will be!

Kathy's Travel: Where Are You Going, Dad ?

Moving from Anchorage, AK to Gatesville, TX 2-1/2 years ago, I hadn't anticipated traveling the roads I've encountered during the past 3 months.  A voice mail message from my Dad, "I'm really sick.  I need help."  And with that one phone call, the journey began.

Hospitals, Emergency Rooms, clinics; out-of-control diabetes, insulin, glucose levels; EKGs, CAT scans, ultra sound; doctors, nurses; cardiologist, cath-lab, surgery, stents; Medicare, insurance, VA eligibility; home health care, assisted living; legal documents, bank account, Power of Attorney, Advance Directive, DNR orders; transportation, walker, cane, scooter, grab rails; confusion, memory loss, meetings with funeral homes, discussions about memorial services.                              Exhaustion.

The fabric I used in my "Travel" quilt  is filled with all kinds of dates and locaions that signify the extraordinary amont of time, effort, and coordination it takes to keep my Dad moving forward on his journey.   The "Stitched-on-Air" sphere on the upper left side was inspired by an article by Nancy Green on page 32 of the October/November 2012 Quilting Arts Magazine.    Quite often I feel like we're lost in outer-space; we're overwhelmed by the complexities of his health care.           The most difficult, serious, and personal challenge for me as I travel this journey is dealing with my parent who doesn't believe in prayer, and who doubts that God exists.                    "Where are you going, Dad? "

Front of "Where Are You Going, Dad?
Close up of "Stitching on Air" (Front of quilt)




Back of "Where Are You Going, Dad?"
Close up of "Stitching on Air" (Back of quilt)

Carolyn's Travel: On The Grand Canal



We spent our 50th wedding anniversary in Venice with a twilight gondola ride through canals lined with old homes, each with their own dock post.  Our evening ride ended with a cruise along the Grand Canal.  I was intrigued with the elegant, black gondolas with their ferros, distinctive metal designs at the prow, the front of the gondola.  In the early morning it was a delight to see them lined up at the dock.  Their artistic ferro designs gleamed in the early morning light – each a piece of art.  In each gondola the gondolier’s hat, signifying ownership of the vessel, sat perched on the bench.  We learned from our gondolier that steering a gondola requires a license that takes many years to earn.  Gondoliers frequently come from families who pass down the skill from one generation to the next.  The oar and oarlock are the most important parts of the gondola and are often shaped to fit the hand of a particular gondolier.




My design was constructed on relief paper from my memory of our ride. The fabrics include recycled silk from a thrift shop, hand-dyed cotton, shot cottons and hand-dyed cheesecloth.  Parts of the design were accented with heat-set PrimaColor fabric pencils.  The colorful post on the lower left, seen all around Venice, was built by laying tiny strips of turquoise fabric onto white fabric and red strips onto white. The colorful, shadowy homes are highlighted with windows, some with closed shutters, and doors with beads for doorknobs. The back of the quilt is strip pieced into a design using shot cottons by Kaffe Fassett that complement the colors in the silk fabric.

Rita's Travel: "I took the one less traveled by" from the poem, The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost.

Two years ago I was commissioned to do a series of 40 inch by 40 inch panels of the four seasons as they might appear in the beautiful backyard ravine of dear friends that live near Lexington, Kentucky.  Photos of these were posted on this blog in the introductory section of our Material Mavens.  The panels were created using a technique I first saw several years ago on the TV show, Simply Quilts, hosted by Alex Anderson.  Alex's guest was Noriko Endo from Japan (Confetti Naturscapes from Dragon Threads Publishing).  Since doing those four large panels, I have wondered how this technique could be used for something much smaller.  This month's theme was the perfect place to experiment with a smaller format.

Photo Essay of the Technique

 The first step is to find a photograph that illustrates your vision.  I had my chosen photo enlarged to 16 inches by 16 inches to allow for the 12 x 12 quilt panel plus the necessary material needed for the gallery wrap frame.
Choose your fabrics in the colors that mimic the photograph.  I feel that batiks are the best choice because they essestially do not have a right and wrong side.

Trace the photo onto clear plastic with a fine tip Sharpie marker.


Place the tracing on the back of the photo.  The back of the photo is white making the tracing stand out nicely.  Again, trace the entire photo but do it this time on freezer paper.  This will become your master pattern for reference.


Next, trace the pieces that will be fused to the background, also on freezer paper.  For my Travel piece, only the tree trunks and limbs were fused.  Roughly cut out the traced shapes and iron to the right side of the chosen fabric.  Then put fusible on the wrong side of those fabric pieces.  I used a paper backed fusible called Shades SoftFuse.  I had not used this product before, but it is very nice, soft, not stiff and works very well.  Remove the paper from the fusible web and then cut out the shapes using the pattern you drew on freezer paper and which is still attached to the fabric.


For the background, I used two fabrics that were seamed together, one for the sky and one for the road.  Make your quilt sandwich at this time.  This must be done before you start adding tiny bits of fabric.

Next, I sliced and diced the fabric for the leaves, ground cover and pebbes.  I have found that tiny parallelograms work well for leaves.  To do this, I cut my fabric into narrow strips and then cross cut the strips at a 45 degree angle.  For contrast, I cut squares for pebbles and ground cover.  It is a guessing game to know how much fabric to cut.  Start with a small quantity as you can always cut more.  I put each fabric in a small bowl which became my 'paint pots'.


As the piece is started, study the photograph and determine which parts would be the greatest distance away.  Those are done first.  The rest of the details are then added from back to front and layered one on top of another.  You may find you will need to refer to the master drawing and that you can use the plastic tracing to place the fabrics that must be fused.

Now for the fun part, which was placing all those tiny bits of fabric.  My most valuable tools were long tweezers and a stylus.  I would pick up the fabric pieces with tweezers and then push them into place with the stylus.



When the image is to your liking, it will be completely covered with a piece of black tulle.  It is helpful to have a second set of hands for this step, as it needs to be carefully placed on top of the image.  To secure the image for quilting, use safety pins but do not fasten them.  Use as many as you feel you will need to hold everything in place.  You will be amazed that after doing the pinning, you can pick up the top of the quilt and nothing moves!  Remove the safety pins as you quilt.  I used invisible thread.





Alice's Travel Quilt--Norway

The Hanseatic Wharf, Bergen, Norway



Two different cruises to Norway were dreams come true for me.  Ever since as a teenager I read the trilogy KRISTIN LAVRANSDATTER by Noble Prize-winner Sigrid Unset, I have been fascinated by Norway.

The cruises were different, though there were a few duplicate ports.  During both, we feasted our eyes on deep-blue fjords, majestic mountains, charming villages with wooden houses and public buildings painted in all the colors of the rainbow.  One such colorful port was Bergen, where we spent hours wandering in the shops and open food markets of the Hanseatic Wharf.

My quilt depicts this part of Bergen.  I based it on a photograph, but I simplified and changed the building colors.  I fused the buildings and dock to pieces of hand-painted sky and water-look batik.  I embellished the wooden buildings with perle embroidery thread, using the chain, running, couching (on the boat masts), and back stitches, stitching through to the batting.  Because penetrating the layers of batiks, Wonder Under, and batting took much effort (I even resorted to a pair of small pliers to pull the needle through on occasion!) I inked in many of the details (windows, doors), rather than embroidering them. I drew the two sailboats with ink, as well, and added details on the freehand-cut swans (which look more like ducks!) and the buoy.   Though I was hoping to embroider sky and water, I ended up doing some simple and random machine quilting.  And I thread painted the white lines that represent the furled sails on the two boats.

I learned a lot with this quilt about what NOT to use, when attempting to use Laura Wasilowski’s wonderful methods (in FANCIFUL STITCHES—COLORFUL QUILTS)!  I even emailed her, telling her of my frustrations.  She suggested wool batting (I had used 100% cotton) and being careful not to “over fuse” the appliques until the quilt was completed.

This quilt was finished with a Wonder-Under fused binding, and I used the same fabrics that appeared at the edges of the quilt to make it less obtrusive.

P.S.  This quilt is now two-sided!  I took a page from Nedra's book and fused my first Travel Quilt to the back of this one!  That quilt I called Postcards from Norway.  I printed favorite photos from my two cruises to June Taylor photo transfer fabric.  Then I constructed a background that replicated the Norweigan flag.  I then fused the 4 mock "postcards", as well as the back of a postcard (made from a stamp), to the background.  I inked a message and an address on this back, to make it look more authentic.  I frankly loved this quilt, but after listening to advice from several, I decided to use #2 (the scenic one above) as my "reveal" quilt.  I still think I like the postcard one the best!



Linda's Travel Quilt: Shake and Fall



    The topic “travel” is perfect for my last four months and I have been posting travel related themes on the topic at my blog Drawing Time.” Alice encouraged me to choose “Shake and Fall” which I made after my beading group traveled to Waterville Valley toward the end of the leaf season.

     Although the reds had left NH, the subtle yellows, oranges and greens along the rivers, rocks, pines and birches were a gorgeous offering beside the highways. We gathered for dinner the first night with plans to watch the third debate. As we were enjoying the filets a bird frantically tried to get in one window after another. We were afraid his flipping around and flying would injure him so we pulled the curtains and tossed an unappreciated dinner roll out onto the deck.

      Shortly after this incident, we felt a vibration under our chairs that lasted 5 to 9 seconds for which the bird activity must have been a harbinger. It was an earthquake begun in Hollis, ME. We then watched the debates while we drew signs and pacified ourselves as only handwork can calm. Just yesterday, I added the embroidery around the bird to learn to never iron embroidery. After posting, I went on to add some red stitches to further communicate the frantic flaps.

Nedra’s Travel – Paris



Paris is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve seen and one of my favorites.  I’ve been lucky enough to visit it 3 times so I quickly decided it would be the topic for travel.

I wanted to represent 3 iconic sights, the Eiffel Tower, the glass pyramid of the Louvre, and a Metro station sign.  I started with stabilizer onto which I traced an outline of the 3 shapes.  Using gray organza and placing it on top of the outlines, I stitched along the lines with a narrow satin stitch, filling in the grids and details.  I carefully cut out each form from the organza, snipping very close to the edges.

Silk screening would have helped achieve the background I wanted but I’m not skilled at that and don’t have the equipment.  So I attempted to achieve those effects using fabric and printer.  I purchased the pink background fabric,  cut a piece 8 ½ x 11 and ironed to freezer paper of the same size.  I then used a calligraphy font and typed out Monmarte, Notre Dame, Tour Eiffel, Champs Elysees, etc. and then printed onto the fabric.  Wonder under was fused to the back of the printed fabric and I cut out each of the words and phrases.  Lining these up very carefully on the background fabric, I pinned in place.  The white writing and images were cut from a fabric with a map of Paris on it and handled in the same way.  Using a stencil I created the black letters and applied fusing to those.

When happy with the layout of the images, letters, and words I fused them in place.  I then cut warm and natural in the shapes of the Eiffel Tower, pyramid and metro and fused to the stitched organza shapes.  I pinned to the background and then satin stitched these once again along the perimeter of each to secure.  The added batting gives a  bit of dimension to the shapes.  I fused the edges and used a decorative stitch to secure.  I chose not to machine quilt this piece.

I had originally tried to include photos(courtesy of Andrea) and emphemera from a trip (that she and I took to the European Patchwork Meeting in 2010) with all of these elements on the front, but it just didn’t work.  Sooo, I decided to make a reversible piece and put those on the back.


 I found a pleasing layout and covered all with tulle and machine stitched carefully around the edges of each to secure.  I made the mistake of ironing next and the dark black spot on the upper right side is a receipt that burned!!  Ooops.  Guess you can’t iron those even though I used a cover piece.  I finished each 12 x 12 and then fused them back to back to create the reversible piece.

Andrea's Travel Quilt


Door Locked
First Class Passengers Only

commercial fabric, screened, color pencils, photo transfer

In June of 1967 I traveled to Europe for the first time with my parents and sister aboard the SS France.  When I heard that our new theme was TRAVEL, I immediately decided that I wanted to "honor" this very special experience.  I believe that this was the start of my love of travel, architecture and photography.
The first layer of imagery was screened onto batik fabric with discharge paste to remove the color.  The second layer of images were screened with transparent grey fabric paint.  The third layer screened in black are (left): the first page of the journal that my mother kept, documenting our trip, the text on the lower right is an enlargement from a typewritten paragraph from the travel scrapbook that I compiled when we returned home.  I love to incorporate text into my work, especially handwritten text.
My original idea was to include an image that would read:

Door Locked
First Class Passengers Only
because that was a memorable part of our ship experience.  We were traveling "Tourist Class" and when exploring, encountered many locked doors, as we were not permitted in the "First Class" sections of the ship!

Judy W's "Travel Bugs"

My travel experience to date has been minimal.  As an avid reader I consider myself more of an armchair traveler.  However, to my husbands delight I became a golf enthusiast this past summer, which sparked a mutual desire to pursue future annual mid-winter golf vacations.  Recently pet free and soon approaching retirement, our travel opportunity is growing exponentially.  Without a doubt, we've been bitten by the 'travel bug', so I chose to convey my travel theme from a whimsical perspective.

Ladybugs bear personal significance in a couple of ways.  My first dog was named Lady but I often called her Ladybug and we traveled lots of childhood miles together.  Ladybugs are also somewhat of a namesake. My nickname is Jude. I shared my idea with dear friends a couple years ago that if I had a Volkswagon beetle I would have it custom painted red with black dots, the headlights would look like eyes, and my vanity plate would say "Judebug".  Since then, we have enjoyed the ladybug theme in various gifts between us... therefore, my travel bugs are depicted by 'Judebugs'.  The letters "A" and "B" portray the term "Traveling From A to B".

My design was sketched freehand, translated to hand dyed fabric and embellished with running and back stitched embroidery, hand painted houses using Lumiere metallic, Pigma pen colored ladybugs and machine anchored three dimensional synthetic leaves.  Machine quilted details were free-motion stitched with clear mono-filament.  Unsure if I should add more quilting to the background, I refrained with the idea that I could always add more later.

Originally I'd planned to create a background fabric with Sharpie Markers and Alcohol dyeing but the result was too dark so it became the backside and binding of the quilt.  This is a dye technique new to me, which I will further explore.
I started with these colors scribbled on a white on white fabric but the result was too pale so I added darker colors that aren't being shown here.
This is the 'wrong side' of the dyed fabric, which offers a pale alternative of the original.
I had just enough fabric for both the backing and binding and a scrappy label.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Quilt Status

I'm curious ... am I the only MM who waits until the last possible moment to actually begin working on my current challenge quilt?  My intentions are great early on, and I spend A LOT of time mulling over possibilities and doodling ideas, but actually starting the project seems to elude me until deadline stress spurs me into action.  Do others in our group work this way or does it change from project to project, personalities and schedules?  I'm wondering if I am creating bad habits or just putting pressure on myself for the extra challenge? Hee hee, like I really need more challenge!

Yesterday was spent entirely on straightening my studio just so I had creative work space today.  I've discovered reading has taken priority this Fall thanks to a back injury that forced me to 'lay low', and resuming an art mode mentality has been slow to say the least.  Do other Maven's struggle with similar hurdles and if so, please offer up some shot in the arm motivation that's worked for you.

PS.  I will have my Travel piece posted on time!  Looking forward to seeing everyone's newest creations this week.

Revised Schedule

Greetings, Mavens!  It suddenly occurred to me that Janet, our newest member, had not been assigned a date for her to choose the theme!

So I have once again revised the schedule, adding Janet to the end.  Please consider this schedule as "locked in stone."  I know that somehow over the months I accidentally switched a few of you, but this one below was based on the last schedule that I published on July 4, 2012.

Here it is:

Nov. 15, 2012, Barbara chooses the theme for Jan. 15, 2013
Jan. 15, 2013, Judy W. chooses the theme for March 15, 2013
Mar. 15, 2013, Kathy chooses the theme for May 15, 2013
May 15, 2013, Sara chooses the theme for July 15, 2013
July 15, 2013, Nedra chooses the theme for Sept. 15, 2013
Sept. 15, 2013, Wendy chooses the theme for Nov. 15, 2013
Nov. 15, 2013, Janet chooses the theme for Jan. 14, 2014

Doesn't it seem unreal that our schedule now stretches to the first month in 2014?  And of course, for those of you who are relatively new to our group, you "announce" the theme anytime on the date listed for you, for the next quilt that is due in two months.

So, Barbara, get ready; you're next.  Ironically, I have fretted and fumed and spent more time on this Travel theme than any of the other ones, and it was my theme!  I actually have two different quilts completed and don't know yet which one I'll end up using.  I am not 100% happy with either one of them, frankly.  But at least I learned a lot from making both, and that, after all, is one of the main reasons we are all involved in this project!

Just to plant a little bug in your ears:  By January, 2014, we all need to decide whether we want to continue the group, whether we should change any of the guidelines (such as the size, for example), and whether every two months is too often and perhaps we ought to go to every three months.  I believe that the original 12 x 12 group went through two rounds of doing 12x12 quilts every two months and then switched to a different, oblong, size, and they gave themselves longer to work on the quilts.

Anyway, be thinking about all of these matters!  We have a full year to make these decisions.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Reveal Day and Where Do You Display Your MMs?

Greetings, Mavens!  As you no doubt know, November 15, our next reveal day for the Travel quilt, is coming up next week on Thursday.  I'll be out of town that day, but I have a draft of the photo and explanation done and will be able to post on time from a remote computer.  From Mississippi, of all places!  A friend of mine invited me (old English teacher that I am) to accompany her on a "literary pilgrimage" visit to the birthplaces of Faulker, Eudora Welty, and Willie Morris.  I'm reading Morris's memoir right now, NORTH TOWARD HOME, but just today learned that he also wrote MY DOG SKIP.  There is a charming movie made from that book, one of the few that adults and children can enjoy equally together.  (But keep a tissue handy!)

I photographed my Travel quilt today outside on this bright, sunny fall day.  For the first time I used a tripod, and why I've not done that before, I don't know.  It made it much easier to zoom in and to keep the camera steady.

I came in to my studio and pinned it up with the other MM quilts on my design wall.  That made me wonder what all of you do with your quilts, once they're quilted?  The MMs, I mean.  Husband Bob wants me to hang mine somewhere outside my studio, where more visitors can view them.  But we have so little wall space left!  I am open to ideas from all of you.  On our first floor, we do have high ceilings, and so we could possibly hang them up high somewhere, but that would mean getting out the ladder every two months.  And HOW exactly to hang them?  I want a quick and easy hanging method!

Rita, as you perhaps know, displays hers, as well as her husband Randy's wonderful mosaics of all of our quilts, in a long hall at their church that cried out for adornment.  How generous of her, and what a wonderful way to acquaint more people about art quilts!

Anyway, below you will see a photo of all 7 of my MM quilts so far, with fabric hiding the Travel one!  As you can tell, I used a level to hang the ones on the right straight, but didn't want to get out a taller ladder to re-do the ones on the left!  These are in order, from the top, left to right:  Harmony, Surprise, South, Elements, Mystery, Daydream, Spiral, and the hidden Travel!  My own personal favorites are Harmony, Surprise, South, Mystery, and Spiral.  The only one I really do NOT like very much (too cutesy!) is Daydream!  Elements is okay and pretty and I love the fabrics, but I guess I am just more of a literalist than an abstractist--and Blogger is telling me that that is not a word! (But it ought to be.)




Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Once Again, ALL the Spiral Quilts!

On the first composite, which I've now taken down, our good friend Randy, who's been assembling these for us, accidentally left off the last quilt, Nedra's, on the bottom right!  He was most chagrined, but of course I have reassured him that all of us can well understand small glitches like that.

Anyway, here the composite or mosaic is, this time complete.  And I am excited about ordering from iPhoto some flat cards printed with these stunning quilts!

Hope all of you are well!  Have fun with Travel!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Judy W's Spiral: "Staircase To Heaven"

First I'd like to apologize for being tardy with this submission.  Between torrential wind wreaking havoc and felling two significant trees from our landscape, plus a delayed front deck replacement with construction materials adding to the 'disaster status' of our yard, my schedule went completely awry.  This is the first year in a long time that I can say I might be looking forward to winter!

Now, about the spiral theme.  I was off to a slow start and no firm ideas would gel.  Time was nearly up and very few doodles were striking my fancy.  My photo of the spiral staircase inside our Alaska Railroad train car just wasn't working out so I Googled spiral staircase images and found this one, although the original was in black and white.  Using my iPhoto tools, I chose a green color that reminded me of fiddle head ferns.  The image was printed on a June Tailor Colorfast 100% Cotton Fabric Sheet For Ink Jet Printers and heat set with a dry iron.

"Staircase To Heaven" embraces my love of curved lines, spiral staircases, fiddle head ferns when they first begin to unfurl in the spring, but most of all, I love the photo angle with its upward movement that leads my thoughts toward infinity and eternity in heaven.  The black/gold spiral border print was luckily in my stash, as well as the gold spiral braid.  I chose to extensively accent the spiral movement with predominantly green and gold glass beads.  The stair treads are machine quilted with a variegated green Blendable thread.  I machine stitched the braid with gold metallic thread.  I'm not sure the details will show up well enough in this photo but my husband said, "this looks rich".  I agree with him.  It really glows in person.

Wendy's invisible spiral block

I have to apologize for no spiral block this month. Actually I had one, but while my sister was visiting and we were out to dinner, the car was broken into. My finished spiral block was stolen. Yes, that's how magnificent it was. Hee hee. Actually, it was in a bag which was stolen. A classic smash and grab. Several cars were broken into so I suppose they weren't after my block after all. Anyway there was no time to create another one. I'll try to get it done along with the new one.  All of the blocks are beautiful and so creative. What a group of talented women!
Wendy

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The center of Rita's Sunflower Spiral



Here is the closeup of the center of my sunflower that some of you requested.

Nedra's Spiral - Stamps


Just as I was naming my post, I realized that the rectangular shapes, pinked edges and machine quilting on the green strips reminded me of postage stamps so there you have it -"Stamps".   And what an appropriate name because all of the spiral shapes on the quilt were stamped.

I started by painting fabric a blue/green hue to create a background fabric.  The small red spiral pattern on the background fabric was made with a large purchased rubber stamp and more fabric paint.  I used a combination of a wooden spiral shape and a foam shape(cut from a larger foam board) as stamps with yellow/green paint to make the larger red spirals.  I then cut out three rentangular shapes from the fabric I stamped.  The red and green strips were cut from matching batik fabric with a pinking edged rotary cutter and all pieces were fused onto a commercial fabric from my stash that matched perfectly.  I then machine quilted a few spirals, however the lighting is not great and it is hard to see so here is a close up of those.

My color scheme is based on a split complementary pattern of blue-green, red and yellow-green which I chose when I began.  I would never wear anything in this color combination but it's supposed to work according to the color wheel!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Judy S-Ribbon spirals



The truth is that I have been mulling over the word spiral for almost the whole 2 months and only finished it yesterday. What I came up with makes me think of the Olympic event where they use the ribbons in their routine. I love watching the Olympics and hearing the stories of the athletes journey there.
As a little girl I always enjoyed taking ribbons and twirling around with them. They flow and fly through the air to make such wonderful designs. I never imagined it would become a portion of an Olympic event. The funny thing is that when I looked up the color of the Olympic rings they are red, yellow, green, blue, and black on a white background. I didn’t get all the colors right,(no black or white and I added orange) but I did pick out colors that I liked. They look Olympicish right?
My design started in a dream on spirals. It turned out even better then in my dream and was fun to make. I cut a circle out of fabric and then just started cutting into it in a spiral fashion.  Next I laid it on the background fabric making it ruffle as I spiraled it out of the center and pinned it in place. It looked really cool with the pins radiating out from them and I thought I might quilt it that way. Then I started gluing the low spots down and taking the pins out. I liked it that way too. I may add some other touches later, but for right now the ribbons are flowing and making happy ripples in the air.