I'm very blessed to have a core group of friends some of them going back to when I moved to Texas in 1975 and some who have come into my life fairly recently. You are lucky in life to have one or two trusted friends but I have several. The kind of friends who you have gone through every experience a woman can go through in her life, childbirth, divorce, marriage, infidelity by a spouse, re-marriage, death of parents, death of siblings and close family, changes in finances, bankruptcy, moves to new homes, loss of home from fire, babysitting, chicken pox, financial loss, not knowing how to get through the next day, hospitalizations too many to count, cancer, loss of a child, exhaustion, packing and moving in the middle of the night to get away from an abusive spouse, the list could go on and on. But there has also been great joy, laughing till you snort wine out your nose, misadventures which lead to more laughing. We are blended together like ingredients in a cake, each with our own part to contribute. I know the next few years will add another experience, losing them at some point. So we overlook irritations, differences of opinion, politics, religion and we tell each other how much we love one another, just in case. The different colors of strips in the quilt represent their personalities. It is paper pieced, big surprise, and Rita there are 256 pieces so you don't have to count.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Since visiting Dublin some years ago, I have been fascinated by Celtic knots. As a retired biology teacher I am also intrigued by animal (zoomorphic) designs. The challenge of Interwoven was presented and I immediately had visions of Celtic design. In exploring this idea, I found the book, The Complete Book of Celtic Designs which gave many options from which to choose.
Batiks were the first fabrics I auditioned for the design. However, those seemed to fight with the intricacies of the interwoven lines in the design. I then went to my collection of solid fabrics and was on my way to bringing my four silly birds to life. The birds are done with fused applique and then zig-zag edge stitched in gold thread. The eyes were first stitched in gold and then the white and black areas were painted. The wings were cut from a square of machine embroidered cross stitch.
The biggest challenge was to figure out how to draw the pattern for the applique so that what was supposed to be on top did in fact lie on top and what was to be crossed over was underneath. This image is gallery wrapped around a wooden twelve inch by twelve inch frame.
First, please accept my apology for mistakenly posting my Interwoven quilt on the 14th instead of the 15th. I think I'll pick the middle of the day to post from now on and I should be okay.
The majority of our glorious Interwoven challenge pieces have been submitted and once again I marvel at the diversity, skill, creative interpretation and thought provoking stories underlying each art quilt. These stories truly enhance the viewers visual intake and understanding from the artists perspective. Great job Maven's!
Our next challenge theme is Communication, which can and no doubt will run the gamut of possible interpretations. Have fun and try something totally out of your comfort zone. I look forward to that reveal in March.
Interwoven. I knew that I would be weaving fabric, but how would I be able to convey my message by just weaving strips of fabric together? I wanted my piece to represent how our lives are touched by the things we encounter. Events, people, places, and humdrum chores are all the components that make us who we are.
I decided that a heart would be the best shape to tell that story. I drew a heart on a square of muslin and started weaving. With the pieces of fabric that I save in a punch bowl that was my grandmothers, I was able to find wonderful strips to play with. As I wove the strips together I thought how the bright colors represent the happy, exciting times and the dark ones show some tough times. Of course there are plenty of medium colored ones.
I was going to trim up the heart nice and neat before attaching it to a background. I even thought about turning the edges under. When I was done I just couldn’t trim things off because it made me think of how each event doesn’t start out the same way nor does it affect us the same way. I did cut the heart away from the muslin and put it on the soft yellow fabric to make it glow and quilted swirls all around. I bet we all have beautiful hearts!
I started this project by brain storming the topic with my husband. I knew the first thing I thought of was warp and weft and I wanted a different approach. He suggested families since our new family trees merge in every generation creating an interwoven family. I said "Wow, Trees". His response was - you just love tree imagery (I am guilty as charged - trees speak of life, strength and endurance). I thought more about trees relative to our theme and thought of how canopies of trees weave into each other in a dense forest. Then for some reason I thought of the central prayer of Judaism that states "The Lord is One" which some like to extend to thinking all of the creations are part of the one - we are all connected. I just had to do this image.
Execution gave me fits. I have added to the challenge by trying to use different technical approaches for each quilt. For this I dragged out a collage box and started layering upholstery fabrics on muslin and a gorgeous deep blue purple silk charmeuse swatch that I dyed in some class. One of my goals is to use up some of the bits and pieces of fabric that I've accumulated this way. I cut out foliage , sewed it down and put it on the wall and horrors - no contrast, no image, yuch. I then backed the whole thing with black craft felt and decided to see if thread could provide image rehabilitation - no joy. I was going to scrap the effort and start again but a fiber artist friend suggested I could cut stencil like shapes into the image and add contrasting edges. I decided to cut out the bulk of the background and put everything on another dyed sample that gradated from yellow to blue to add light and life to the image. This was a big improvement. Good thing I did not wait until the last day to get the quilt together! Another one of my goals is to par the general clutter in my life. This month I started with my bureau which is a big job. One of the things that I found stored with my socks was dyed cheese cloth that I bought from Ellen Anne Eddy. There were 2 pieces; one various shades of yellow green and one dark brown/black/green/blue. I went back to the studio to finish this piece up. I planned to add the green to the foliage but instead ended up accented the bark with the dark texture of the cheese cloth. I then ironed the new background onto fusible batting with the tree elements, added a backing and much more stitch to make sure every element is attached and the piece is well quilted. I decided this one needed a traditional binding in dark brown.
The picture needs some work - Houston hasn't seen sun light in what seems like weeks so this is pinned to my design wall and I attempted straightening in Picassa
When thinking of what is interwoven, I thought of my family since it was December.The mixing of traditions and family personalities kept leaping to mind. The simultaneous reading of Middlemarch, with all its interwoven themes, just accentuated the chosen subject.
I remembered Celtic designs with their intricately intertwining patterns, and researched them on the Internet and in books. Rather than quilting patterns, I was looking for something wilder but still a controlled image.Since there were no fabrics with such designs and appliqueing would take me a year, I decided to enlarge to our 12” x 12” using squares and then to paint the piece on muslin. Red and green Jacquard Textile holiday colors mixed lightly with water left soft the white piece of fabric on which I drew. When the paint was dry, I accentuated the lines of the image with a Sharpie Rub a Dub laundry marking pen that does not bleed but gives a consistent wide mark. I stitched over all the lines with invisible thread to quilt to the batting. I added a red and green backing fabric that came up and over the edge, mitered at the corners. Finally, almost, I attached cheap red carnival beads all around.
Next, a friend suggested I mount my Family Holiday to a 12” x 12” pre-stretched canvas. I found canvas on sale at Michael’s and the shallowness was perfect for a quilt. I usually like deeper for a painting. I cut a 15” x 15” piece of the backing fabric and lightly centered the quilt and basted or hand-stitched all around the back edges of the art by hand. I put the quilt, attached to the new backing, face down and dabbed Aleene’s fast- drying tacky glue to the back edges of the 15” x 15” and secured those outer edges to the wood. The result was a painting ready to display...but one with the floating softness of a quilt.
Posted by Linda Hicks at 1:09 PM
When the theme, “Interwoven” was announced, I knew that I wanted to create a quilt about how the lives of friends weave together in mysterious ways. I have a dear friend of thirty years. The two of us enjoy the labyrinth and celtic symbolism. So I knew that this quilt would be in honor of her. I decided to use a circle as a symbol of our church’s turf labyrinth and our circle of friendship. We also have a meditation garden in the form of a triquetra. At church, it is symbolic of the Trinity. But in the ancient Celtic world, it was often used to symbolize the 3 stages of a woman’s life: maiden, mother and crone. Perfect! I would use a triquetra. But how to draw one? After many frustrating attempts, I finally found a youtube demonstration. I followed it step by step to produce my design
I found some hand-dyed cheesecloth in various shades of turquoise, purple and orange in my stash. I thought the cheesecloth would be perfect because of its interwoven texture. At Christmas, my daughter and I played with laying the cheesecloth onto various colors of batiks. We liked the effect, but how would I adhere it to batik? I searched the internet without success and decided to experiment. I took the purple cheesecloth, attached Mystifuse to the back of it, let it cool completely, carefully removed the paper backing and fused it onto a solid blue batik. WOW - I was hooked! Then I fused the turquoise onto a light green batik and the orange onto a yellow batik. I LOVED the results. The next step was to add another interwoven dimension to the background by machine piecing turquoise and orange strips of the fused cheesecloth down one side and across the bottom left corner, interweaving them as I went.
Then I applied Wonder Under to a hand-dyed fabric that picked up the orange and purple colors and set it aside. I fused a multi-toned turquoise batik for the triquetra, removed the backing, and cut out the circle and triquetra. I sliced both in strategic places so that I could weave them in and out, and carefully tacked them in place onto resist paper using a hot iron. When I was satisfied, I placed them on the background cheesecloth and permanently fused them in place; machine stitched the strips and machine appliqued the circle and triquetra. The border was created using a zig-zag stitch with 3 threads in purple, gold and turquoise. The final addition was a “tail” comprised of cheesecloth remnants used in the quilt.
How I went about creating my piece was to first print my photograph on printed treasures. I then cut away some of the backing. I free motioned the branched and leaves onto the backing. I then started looking around my studio for ribbon, twin and yarn to create my birds nest. I had recently discovered a wasp nest in a bush in my yard. I brought the wasp nest in a pulled off several paper layers. I layered the material I had gathered and started free motion stitching with a variegated thread with a zig zag stitch. I kept going over it up, down and sideways and adding more materials as I went until I felt there was enough to create the next. I then created the leaves and stitched them down with a vine stitch up the center.
Try as hard as I might, I could not think of anything other than weaving fabric or colors together for this theme. I was determined to do more than that I continued to tell myself. I sketched out a couple in which ideas and fabric wove together to form blocks or a portion of a quilt. I carefully filled them in with colored pencils. These didn’t come out quite as I envisioned however. Sooo instead of fighting it, I embraced the idea of weaving something together, and planned to add other design elements to make it special.
I started with a nine patch, gave it an asymmetric placement and then enlarged it to fit the 12 X 12 dimension. My chosen palette was the secondary colors, violet, orange and green (but I preferred how a blue/green shade of fabric looked so went with it). I wondered if I could add the look of transparency, so I experimented with the placement of different shades of my color choices. When I was happy with the basic layout and color choice and placement, I worked other fabrics and colors into the design. Using bias strips of the blue/green and black/white fabrics, I moved them around until they looked "interwoven" and then machine stitched those in place. I machine quilted with clear thread to accentuate the interweaving and voila we have my unconventional nine-patch!!
At first I found this theme extremely challenging! But then I decided to weave ribbons together into a design. I have been struck all along about how the lives of all of us Mavens, from all across the USA, are now connected through this group—how our lives are, indeed, “interwoven.” And so I decided to learn to print onto ribbon, and I printed all the Mavens’ names onto silk ribbons.
I found clear directions for printing from a new book I have, and then located the same online. You can find these printing directions here. After printing the names, I fused each of the ribbons to re-positionable Steam-a-Seam 2. Then, working on release paper, I tackled the most difficult part of this process—weaving the ribbons so that all names could be read. Next I fused the background turquoise silk to all-cotton batting with Wonder Under. Then I carefully transferred the woven ribbons to the silk background, ribbon by ribbon, and then fused the weaving down.
A personal goal since the MMs first began was to try out new techniques and materials as often as possible. This time I used all silk for the first time, and I learned how to print onto ribbons with an inkjet printer. The background silk came from a blouse purchased at a thrift-store. I ordered the silk ribbons online, after learning in a recently purchased book that inkjet printing works best on silk or nylon ribbons. Using thrift-store clothing was a tip I picked up in a workshop under Sue Benner this past fall, taken with fellow-Maven Carolyn.
I hand quilted using echo quilting around the woven ribbons design and then added some hand-quilted circles to the corners and edges. I then bound the quilt with another item of recycled clothing--this one a silk tie-belt from a long-outgrown silk dress of my own that is probably about thirty years old. I like the way the slightly different shade of aqua and its subtle print define the edges of my quilt. Pieces from this silk dress will likely eventually reappear in future quilts!
This is one of those times that I knew exactly what I wanted to do when we got our new challenge theme and I was so excited ! Inspired by Anna Faustino's book, "Simply Stunning Woven Quilts," I turned to page 31 and found the perfect model. I've previously made several "woven" quilts, and was eager to add some new techniques to the weaving process. Fabric selection: 6 pale yellow to bright orange/red hand-dyed fabrics; 6 pale lavender to deep purple hand-dyed fabrics; 1 deep red hand-dyed; 1 deep black hand-dyed; bright orange-glittery tulle.
Block construction: (1) Make two identical 13" x 13" Log Cabin blocks in the courtyard style with the yellow to orange/red and lavender to purple fabrics. (2) Then cut two circles (one deep red and one black). Applique one circle onto each block using a zigzag stitch. From the back side of the Log Cabin blocks, cut away the pieced-block fabric under the appliqued circle to eliminate the extra layers.
(3) Fuse "Wonder Under" (or other adhesive) to the backs of both blocks, and cut the blocks in strips [as shown in the book]: one with vertical curvy strips and the other with horizontal curvy strips. (When cutting through the circles, use the parallel and meridian lines of a globe to make the circle look like a sphere.)
Weaving the blocks together is described in Ms. Faustino's book starting on page 24. The major challenge here was to get the deep red, and black "circles" to line-up with each other; this was a bit more challenging than I'd anticipated ! When I was satisfied with the weaving process, I placed the quilt on top of my batting; placed bright orange-glittery tulle over the top, and free-motion quilted through all layers using Madeira mono-filament thread in both the top and bobbin. The glittery tulle added just the right 'punch' to make this little quilt glow !
To bind and finish this piece, I used what I describe as a "keyhole" binding technique. I cut a circle in my backing fabric, and using a contrasting fabric "faced" the cut-out circle to cover the raw edges. With right sides together, I sewed the backing fabric (that had the cut out circle) and the quilt together around all 4 sides. Then.... gently pulled the quilt through that cut out / faced circle. Voila ! all edges were concealed ! I pressed the quilt, then hand stitched that faced-circle to close up the opening. [The next time I use this technique, I'll take pictures of the back to better illustrate what it looks like !]