Sunday, July 30, 2023

Alice's Luminosity Quilt: St. Louis Arch at Night

A friend from Missouri posted on Facebook a photo of the St. Louis arch taken by a professional photographer.  I immediately thought of basing my luminosity quilt on this photo.  I contacted the photographer (Larry the Photographer) for permission to use his image in this way, and he graciously agreed.  My first attempts disappointed me, primarily because the fabrics I brought from Texas to Michigan, where we are for the summer, just didn't all work.  They were solids, and though lovely ombres, they came off looking too flat.

I purchased some batiks here and, discouraged about the arch quilt, I then made a second quilt for the theme, basing it on a memory seen last winter from our front porch here in Kalamazoo--a full moon behind a bare tree.  BUT then all the other quilts were posted, and I felt mine was too reminiscent of several others!  But this quilt was done, so why not make a two-sided quilt, both of which would work for the luminosity theme?

So try number two of the St. Louis arch quilt began!  Those batiks I just purchased would work better than what I had brought with me, and I was able to combine these with the ombre fabrics from home.  The batiks formed the water and the foliage at the base of the arch.  The ombres I used were in shades of orange and yellow for the arch itself and its reflection in the water below the arch.  I also used the ombre for the sky, as I was particularly eager to capture the pink of the sunset that caught my eye in the photo.  No, the sky wasn't purple, but I could live with a purple sky that is fading into pink!

The most challenging aspect of this quilt was how to make the reflections of the arch in the water look right.  My daughter here suggested that I cut the orange and yellow ombre fabrics for the reflections with "wobbly" edges.  She was right; this worked much better!

After fusing with Wonder Under,  I secured edges of the appliques with a tiny zigzag stitch. I did this stitching and minimal quilting through the batting in order not have stitching show on the backing quilt. But I goofed!  When about to bind the quilt, I noticed an area of my Arch quilt that needed more quilting.  Improvise, improvise!  The stitching that showed on the back of the quilt I hid conveniently with some Pentel dye sticks!  The quilt is bound with the same blue batik used for the water in the Arch quilt.  

Here is Larry the Photographer's photo of the arch:

And here's the back of the quilt

Friday, June 30, 2023

Tricia's Luminosity

I created this piece from a photograph I saw of Sankaty Light House at sunset on Nantucket. I thought the moon behind the light house is a great example of luminosity. 

I used raw edge applique, fusibles and free motion quilting.

Nedra's Luminous - Grahams' Giraffe

 When my kids visited us in Georgia this past April vacation Graham, my 8 yr old. grandson,  slept in my "studio". He knew I made quilts, but it was the first time he got to see my workspace and design wall.  Many of my favorite MM quilts are pinned to the top of the design wall.  He called me in the room and asked what they were for and if I could tell him about them.  I explained our blog and themes and he asked what was our next theme. I said luminous;  he smiled and his eyes sparkled!!  "Could we help you make this one", he asked eagerly!!

I was touched as this was the first time he expressed so much interest in my work, even though I've made him and his sisters several quilts over the years!!  I of course took him up on it!!  He and his twin sister Noelle spent the next 2 hours with me planning what to do.  "It needs a moon", he said.  I agreed that was a great idea and asked what else we should do.  "Well we could have a giraffe too"!!!  (These kids know their Grandma I thought.).  I let them pick the fabric we would use and draw the giraffe and moon .  I helped them cut out the figures which we fused to the background.  I let them stitch down the pieces on the machine, with my help guiding the fabric.  We added the spots on the giraffe with pearlescent paint and glitter to it and the moon. for more shimmer.  Graham then decided we needed grass since the giraffe was "kind of above the ground".  (Very good design sense I thought!)   I gave him some inktense pencils to add blades of grass.   That was as far as we got since we had plans for a dolphin-watching boat ride later.  We didn't find more time to complete it as they were busy and left a day later.

After they left, I added the acacia tree and embellished the blades of grass as they were quite light and not very visible. I machine quilted the background and added a few beads as a finishing touch.

It was very exciting to work on this together!!  Without their ideas and enthusiasm I don't think I would have made a quilt for this theme!!

Andrea's Luminous Quilt

11" x 14" 
Cotton, Dupioni Silk

How colors can dramatically change when placed next to each other has fascinated me for years.  When I started to think about how I wanted to approach Luminous, I decided I wanted the quilt to be a simple design using only solid fabrics and the title would be "Glow".  The "pop" of silk was added because of the luminous  quality of the fabric ( and I was getting a bit bored with just the greys and greens!!! ).  I think I achieved the glow I was hoping for, but I'm sorry that I did not fuse instead of piece.  That ugly little voice in my head is shouting that my seams are not straight, and there are many wrinkles that should be flat!

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Flour/flower Composite

    Carolyn             Nedra    

Tricia                Karen

                  Andrea               Judy                    


Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Judy's Flower Rabbit

22" x 26"

Flour/Flower. I have a funny picture from the beginning of the pandemic that I thought I might make into a quilt. The store shelves were totally empty of flour because everyone started baking, but someone who helped us get a laugh had put some pots of Flowers on those shelves.

I just didn’t get that one going, but I have been working hard to collage a rabbit. It turns out the year of the rabbit just might be my year of a series of rabbit collages. This is one of 3 that I have been working on. When I completed it, I realized that it fit the theme perfectly. It’s spring, it’s floral, and it’s a rabbit which covers this year and this season.

The background fabric is an ombre so it goes from light to dark and there are more dots in the dark area. I used the middle of the fabric, which is the lightest part, as the backing. The fabric is Moda “Ombre confetti metallic” by Vanessa Christenson of V and Co. On the selvage it says, “Spread Kindness Like Confetti”. I believe that wholeheartedly.

Carolyn's Flower -Dancing Flowers

 Of course, being the gardener that I have always been, I just HAD to do flowers for this theme.  I am not a cook or a baker so for me, this was the right and only choice! 

I tried to use just one flower, but it looked lonely blowing in the wind.  I ended up adding a second flower and 5 leaves floating by.  The quilt is fused with scraps of Kaffe Collective fabrics that I have used in previous quilts, as is the binding.  I tried a wavy stitch for the polka dot background.  In my mind, it imitates swirls of wind.  We just had a super windstorm full of West Texas sand, so wind was on my radar.  

I am recuperating from 3 + months of health issues, so this was my first time "back in the saddle".  It feels good!!!

Andrea's Flour/Flower Quilt

 Parisian Tulips
Raw edge fused cotton
11" x 14"

I disparately wanted to combine both themes, but after days and days of trying to design something that I liked, incorporating a reproduction flour sack image printed on cotton from Etsy, I was very close to giving up all together. Then I reminded myself that this was supposed to be a fun process, so I relaxed and gave myself permission to just use the 'flower' theme.

This quilt is based on larger quilt that I made for a guild challenge last fall.  As I was not completely happy with the results of that quilt ( I had to follow specific rules and size requirements ) I thought this was my opportunity to remake it using many of the same elements and fabrics, but 'tweak' it here and there, including the size.  I am much happier with this version and very pleased that I gave myself the permission to have fun! 

Nedra's Flower/Flour-Pillsbury Flour

As soon as I read this joke, I knew what I would do for this challenge !!

On the first day of a marriage retreat the instructor talked about the importance of knowing what matters to each other.  For example he said, pointing to my husband David, "do you know your wife's favorite flower?"  David grinned and answered with confidence, "Pillsbury, All Purpose".  

Here is my sixties homage to the Pillsbury dough boy and some of the goodies enjoyed by a lover of this kind of flour!!!  The flour bag, plate, bread, cookies, and dough boy are hand sketched.  I made a stencil for the word pillsbury and painted the circle and dots with fabric paint. The red banner and wheat are fused.  The bread,  cookies (painted separately and fused onto plate)  and plate are colored in with Inktense pencils.  The dough boy is made with two layers of very thin batting fused and stitched on and then shaded with Inktense pencils.  The chocolate chips and crumbs are embellished with a few beads.  Lovin' From the Oven is written with pencil and filled in with Inktense pencils.  The piece is machined quilted. To complete the look I used a bias stripe and tiny ricrac in complementary colors.  I had sooooo much fun working on this challenge!!

Karen's Flower- Poppies

I pulled this piece out of my class samples and re-worked it for "Flour/Flower".
I've always loved poppies though can't grow them for real!
The background is chenille, 6 layers of rayon and cotton, sliced and fluffed.
I made 2 different squares of chenille, cut an "X" through them and reattached.
The poppies are made with cotton petals and wool centers.
Double-sided with wool felt backing. and stitched onto the background using stem stitching to hold in place.
The edges are not stitched.
The poppy "bud" has a 3D center, the bottom petal is curved off the flower.
Working on this makes me want to try one more time to grow them!

Tricia’s Flower- Wisteria Tree

 A year and a half ago I took a Merrill Comeau mixed media class at Snow Farm in western Mass. I started to work on a piece from a photograph of a Wisteria plant. In our last house we had a 50 year old Wisteria tree which was so beautiful in the spring.  I decided to finish my piece for our flower theme.

I used raw edge appliqué, free motion stitching and French knots.  I loved Merrill’s class.  It helped me to free up my use of fabric.

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Karen's Bohemian

Bohemian can be a life style, a fashion statement, home decoration. This piece is for my niece who is most like me in her love of Bohemian. I found this picture and turned it into her and I. It depicts for me, the feeling of the definition of Bohemian. Wanderer, artistic, lives in an informal way.
    The picture was printed on the back side of a tone on tone beige fabric, using just the line drawing. I then used the Inketense pencils and blocks to color it in. I use water to release the ink to give it a water color look. I was going to put stitching in it but decided to leave it and will frame to give to Nikki as part of her wedding gift.

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Tricia's Bohemian Peace Barn


This is the Peace Barn in my town. At night the peace symbol is lit up. I just love the barn and drive by it almost every day. I especially love seeing the peace sign when it is lit at night. When I saw the theme Bohemian I started asking about the history of the Peace barn. The barn was painted with the Peace sign in 1969 by the owners Glenn Merry and his wife. They were "classic hippies" my friend told me. It was painted during the Vietnam War and some people viewed the sign as a symbol against the war but they meant it to just be a Peace sign. The sign has been vandalized by someone throwing paint on it.   

The current owners have kept up the care of the Peace sign. When Covid started they made sure the lights were on every night. They felt we were all in this crisis together and the Peace sign showed a sense of hope. Someone cut the lights in three places again vandalizing it. It took many months for them to be able to have the lights repaired.

I created the quilt with my photograph of the barn. I used fusibles and free motion machine quilting. I thought it would be a perfect example of the Bohemian theme.

Here is picture of the barn at dusk.

Monday, October 31, 2022

Judy S.-Bohemian

To me bohemian means color and pattern. But it also means nature, ease and freedom.

I made my little 12” x 12” quilt out of silk sari scraps that you can buy at the quilt shows (especially the Houston Quilt Festival which is going to start this Wednesday evening). They are rather fragile fabrics and are tied up in bunches that are very wrinkled and twisted. Each piece needs to be undone and ironed flat to see where the damage is and if it is even a useable piece.

After they are ironed and sorted I sew them onto a muslin base to stabilize them. I love the luster of the silk.

The piece that I cut in a curved shape is one of my hand dyed fabrics. I stitched it down with black thread and free motion stitched the design of the floral bouquet with the black thread. I sat back and saw that it really needed color to bring it to life on that beautiful background.

Usually I do thread painting using a straight stitch as I free hand it, but I had just finished zig-zagging around the edge and the zig-zag stitch gave the thread work more depth and interest.

Nedra's Bohemian - Gaja


What a challenge this was!!  Socially unconventional person, especially one involved in the arts, is the definition of a bohemian.  There were so many possibilities to consider; only a limited amount of time for execution!!!  

I went on a trip this spring to the California coast and drove to Big Sur.  The destination was Nepenthe,  the restaurant owned by Bill and Lolly Fassett.  The restaurant has been known for its Bohemian look and feel, belly dancing, and poetry readings and was a favorite of  many from the LA scene.  Hmm, their son Kaffe grew up there and is my favorite fabric and quilt designer whose signature is bright, bold, unconventional prints and his first artistic endeavors were in painting.

An idea started to form.  My first thought was to recreate the gorgeous view from Nepenthe using his fabrics.  While I worked on a drawing and started fabric placement, I quickly realized I would be trying once again to recreate a realistic picture using fused fabrics.  Uhhhh, that's been my MO for many reveals!!!  Instead, I challenged myself to use his fabrics to create a Bohemian inspired but traditionally pieced wall hanging.

Yikes - I have so many Kaffe fabrics to choose from I was overwhelmed!!!  I was eventually drawn to a  gorgeous black floral print.  In my "discovery" process I came across a quilt made using log cabin blocks constructed with irregular sized strips. There was a focus fabric in a bright print surrounded with strips in contrasting colors.  The blocks were cut in fourths and reassembled to create a very random design.  My plan was to use that method and create blocks with the black print and bright and contrasting colors that would achieve an eclectic vibe.  I created a nine patch piece but it was very busy and had no real focus. After much thought, rearrangement and auditioning of ideas and designs,  I decided to add the elephant in complementary colors. (the elephant is fused -- I can't stop myself!!)  Why an elephant you may ask???  When I googled Bohemian images for ideas, a colorful, jeweled elephant was often in the design of a wall hanging, painting or other image.  And it seemed to fit with my own vision of something bohemian.  It was the focus the piece needed!!(the focus fabric for the block centers is used as the entire right hand border.  In the upper left hand border is a complementary fabric of Brandon Mably's, Kaffe's partner).

The piece  is 17" X 22' and is  machine quilted with variegated rayon thread and embellished with beads, crystals and hand dyed yarns and threads.  Gaja is the Sanskrit word for elephant.

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Childhood Collage


Childhood inspired a few of us to create wonderful mementos of our younger lives.  There is no particular reason for the arrangement of the collage.  I'm lucky to have composed it at all.  Boy do I miss Randy!!  Sadly it is too late to ask how he created his wonderful works.   But I will keep trying.

Our next theme is Bohemian and it is scheduled for November 30.  Hope to see many works of art when we meet again on the blog.


Monday, July 4, 2022

Judy S. Childhood: Parallel Parking

Childhood: Parallel Parking 

Most of my little quilts have something to do with my childhood and I didn’t want to repeat them. This quilt represents learning to parallel park which takes you from childhood into the big world where adults let you go out on your own sometimes.

Childhood in the country means that you are miles away from town. So, when you turn 15 you get a driving permit and at 16 you are free to drive to town or school on your own. Not riding the school bus is a big deal!

To teach me how to parallel park my brave sister, Susan took me to the small town of Vandalia, Missouri where I wouldn’t know anyone and they had a lot of parallel parking. I don’t know how long she had me drive around the block and try it again and again, but possibly 2 hours. I had to do it between real cars so that I could get the process down.

The treat was being able to go into the fabulous candy store afterwards. As you stepped into the store you were greeted by the old fashion glass counter where they would scoop out the candy you wanted and place it in the white paper bag. Oh my gosh! The coconut bonbons, bridge mix, and so many others to choose from. Childhood at it’s best!

Now I take quilting friends on retreats or outings and sometimes I have to parallel park in McKinney, Texas. I have discovered that I really do a great job parking on the left side of the street.

The funny thing about parallel parking is that when I did it for my drivers license test I was horrible! They only had poles set up to park between (for obvious reasons), but I couldn’t line up with the tires, gauge the distance I would be beside the other car, and visualize how to match up with the other car as I turned into the space. As I park downtown in Waco, Texas those things are always running through my mind so that I can just slide into the parallel space. Thank you, Susan!

Andrea's Childhood Quilt


My 1950's Shoe Collection
( or When My Shoe Obsession Began! )
11" x 14"

Hand-dyed and painted cotton, stenciled, rubber stamped, fused.

I'm not sure where to begin.  This is my "Plan B" design as I could not get the perspective that I wanted for my first design, which also featured shoes, or rather sneakers.  Anytime I can "work" shoes into one of my MM themes, I will!

I have been obsessed with shoes for years and I do believe it started in my childhood.  I can remember having 3 pairs of shoes every year probably until I got to Junior High School.  Ugly brown 'everyday' shoes; white *Converse sneakers and Sunday 'best' black patent leather Mary Janes for church.  I desperately wanted black and white saddle shoes, but that never happened.  I suspect my mother thought the white part would always need polishing as I spent a lot of time playing kickball with the neighborhood kids.

I started with a hand-dyed blue fabric background to represent the ocean, lakes and blue skies that I think of when I remember my childhood summers spent in Rockport MA and/or Camp Fire Girls camp.  The shoes were constructed and fused to the then quilted background.  I had to paint a piece of white fabric brown as I had none in my stash.  I also painted the pale blue and pink polka-dotted 'socks' fabric.  I could not find any 1/4" satin ribbon ( both Joann's Fabrics and Michael's ribbons were depleted ) for the shoelaces, so I painted two lengths of pale grey ribbon that I own, one white and one brown ( which I would not do again as it became too stiff to tie nice little bows ).  The majority of the rubber stamped letters that compose the shoe descriptions were left over from another project, which I thought added a bit of child-like whimsy.  The final addition was the stenciled "My 1950'5 Shoe Collection".  It wasn't until I put the finished quilt up on my wall to photograph that I realized, instead of "1950's" the stencil I cut was actually "1950'5".  Because I cut the stencils myself, I printed them many times 'auditioning' paint colors but never once saw the mistake!  I could ( and may still ) cut an 's' stencil, print on a separate piece of fabric to fuse on top of the 5, but at this point, think the mistake is kind of funny, I 'looked, but did not see'.

* Converse Rubber Company founded in 1908, Malden Massachusetts, where I grew up.