Tuesday, July 24, 2012

My head is full of spirals that are spiraling up and down, here and there!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Central Texas Mavens Show Their Stuff!

Kathy, Alice, Rita, and Judy S.

Last night at our Homespun Quilters' Guild of Waco, Judy S., Kathy, Rita, and I brought all six of our MM quilts to display.  It was one of our "Bee Buzz" nights.  A Bee Buzz is something that my co-chair of programs and I started last year.  During this program, a couple of bees talk about the history of their bee, its organization, what members do during their meetings, and then show some of the work they have worked on either as a group project or individually, during the meetings of the bee. 

We Mavens are a part of a very loosely-organized art quilt bee in our Guild, but we've only met twice and when I say loose, I mean truly loose!  So chiefly we discussed our online group and how it works.  We displayed our MM quilts on three foam core display boards.  Judy's, Kathy's, and my quilts were pinned to the left and right of the displays, and Rita's gallery wrapped quilts were in front on plate stands.  Rita's talented husband assembled and printed up composites of all the quilts from Harmony through Daydream.  These were the big posters you see in the center of the tri-fold displays.

I told about the formation of our online group and how it works, and then Judy talked about the two times the local art bee has met and what we did then.  Anyway, we thought you'd enjoy seeing pictures of the four of us and our displays.  

When Judy asked the assembled guild members if any had questions, one member asked "What do you DO with these little quilts?"  I replied, "We treasure them!"   I further explained that some of us keep them displayed at home all the time, others keep them in a box.  Rita is going to display hers on a long hall at her church, and that's one reason why her husband made the posters!

I think soon I will suggest that all of you email me with photos of where you keep your little MM quilts, and I could then post on this blog the photos of your quilts.  I think our followers would enjoy seeing those pictures, not to mention all of us would enjoy knowing about what all of us do with our little quilts!

Harmony and Surprise

South and Element

Mystery and Daydream

Monday, July 16, 2012

Hi there,

I'm Wendy and I suppose I should introduce and tell you a little about myself. I guess I'll begin after college. At that time I was already married and had my oldest son, Aaron. I knew that I was going to stay home and raise my family, so working outside the home became a distant memory. That was in 1976.
I began quilting in the 80's and, like everyone else, was hooked immediately. I remember thinking what a cool job it must be to teach quilting as opposed to a classroom full of crazy kids. I took every class I could to "fill my toolbox" and a few years later I found myself teaching 3 to 4 nights a week. I absolutely loved this, but found that constantly coming up with new classes to please the masses, was sucking the creativity right out of me. The teaching went on for about 15 years. It was a great run and it allowed me to do the constant extreme travel we had to do with my youngest son, Ryan, with his tier 1 hockey. My kids are quite spread out.  The oldest is 36, a daughter in the middle and the youngest is 23. He just graduated from college and is back home in San Diego with a job!
Fast forward to 1997. I bought a gammil just to allow me to finish my own quilts, as I am convinced quilting on a home machine is like wrestling an alligator. As most longarmers know, friends come out of the woodwork to offer you their quilts to practice on. Soon I realized this would be my new job. I have been lucky enough to have a great business with a terrifically talented clientele for 15 years.
While I am still quilting for others, I am forcing myself to do more of my own art, both in textile and graphite/paint etc. I made a resolution a few years ago that I would learn something new every year and so far I have learned to play the piano, am learning a foreign language and am constantly going back to take classes in all mediums of art. My philosophy is "the more you know, the more you grow"
While giving a program at the guild, I made a comment that I would like to make quicker projects like 12" blocks.  Barbara talked to me about this group and I was all in. This is a first for me. My usual projects are very detailed, extremely complicated and excruciatingly time consuming. I love designing and drafting and my masterpieces quickly become monsterpieces. So, this 12" block challenge is going to be great for me, forcing me to make quicker decisions and simplify my ideas.
Thank you all for welcoming me into what promises to be a wonderful experience. I can't wait to produce my first project.
I am going to try and upload a picture of one of my latest quilts so that you can see what I like to do. No guarantees.

Dream Doodle

Finally, after a fun day with family, here is my Daydream quilt!  My quilts usually begin with a bit of dreaming and "what if"ing.  I was looking for something on a shelf and happened upon a large quilted practice piece done on my longarm.  It gave me an idea to try a technique that I have wanted to experiment with for a long time.  I cut a 12" square out of the piece and took it to my painting room (my garage!).  I found some leftover Pebeo Setacolor translucent pearl paint and mixed in a bit of turquoise.  I really like how the paint lets the quilting show through!  The rest was hand stitched with variegated hand dyed perle cotton thread.  I love this stitch!  I think it's called the rice stitch or chicken scratch.  I did a lot of daydreaming while stitching!  Do you think I can get away with using this quilt for Spiral too?!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Nedra's Daydream - Musings

I had a very busy weekend planned at our summer home in Maine.  I was to help my son's fiance,  her mother and my daughter make 100 jars of homemade blueberry jam which were to be used as wedding favors at the ceremony in August at our Maine house. There would be a houseful of guests and much work had to be done.  Oh and the daydream reveal was on Sunday!!!  Yikes!!!    Thankfully I had finished well in advance!!   So early last week I took my photo, wrote a draft of my post and brought my laptop with me.  It would be so simple to sneak off and post.  It would only take a few minutes I thought.  Well, the wireless connection was VERY slow and really wouldn't work so I had to enlist my husband's help.  He finally got it working and then my computer shut down. The battery was spent and I didn't bring the cord to plug it in.So much for planning ahead!
 It is now almost 11:00 pm and I've returned home and can finally reveal!

Having portrayed realistic images for the previous themes, I immediately decided to do an abstract portrayal of this theme when it was announced.  I pictured myself daydreaming--I saw myself lounging on the ground looking up at the clouds in the sky.  Images and ideas were swirling around in my head against a backdrop of blue clouds.  And thus "Musings" was conceived.  The pink batik represents the "not-so-grey matter" of my brain, the blue swirls are the clouds and the green squiggles are the ideas and images floating through it all.  All materials are batiks and are fused and decorative stitching was used to embellish.  I purchased a new Brother sewing machine (which has over 300 decorative stitches I was eager to try out) just a week before the theme was announced.  Using bright rayon thread I chose several to outline the sections.  I am pleased with the movement and simplicity of the piece.

Barbara's Daydreams Quilt--Dream Doodles

I'm going to try to post from my iPad because we are visiting grandchildren in Northern CA. I will add details when I see if this posts well.

Judy W.'s "Dream Horse"

Judy W's ~ "Dream Horse"

My lifelong obsession with horses is hands down the most consistent subject I daydream about.  I gravitate to horses like bees to pollen.  I love everything equine, even the smell of their stables.

From my first initial pony ride as a child, to present day, horses have captured my hearts desire to be near them, touch them, smell them, feed them, ride them, read about them, and on occasion draw them.  This is the first time I have specifically hand drawn a horse from memory and translated it into a quilt. 

This pictorial portrayal is straightforward, nothing fancy or cutting edge here.  The horse applique was cut from the shiny side of rust-dyed satin that I'd backed with  Wonder Under fusible stabilizer.  I used Fray Check to keep the edges from unraveling. The word HORSE is cut as one piece from fusible-backed brown cotton fabric.  I positioned the horse between the letters to create a frame before ironing both to the blue background fabric. To avoid stitching the horse head edge, I spot glued it for reinforcement.  Mane and face features were free-motion thread stitched.

A wood grained border fabric depicts a stall and rawhide lace was anchored with Fast Grab Aileen's Glue, to frame the piece.  (Great glue for a no sew item).

As a child I often wished for a horse but my parents reply was usually, "if wishes were horses then beggars could ride", or simply stated, "dream on!"  So for now the dream continues.   I'm considering donating this piece to the Friends of Pets Quilt Auction this Fall.

Linda's "Day"Dreams

     I do not daydream. I dusk dream. When I hit the pillow in the evening, at a time I should be sleeping, I start to plan my paintings. I wonder how to celebrate 50 years of marriage, imagine new projects to enjoy with my grandchildren, and think about friends near and far. The quiet period, with nothing to disturb my dusk dreaming, along with my being a night person, can be productive.
     This quilt started out as a nightwalk on a beach in Maine or the Vineyard, but the sand became stars at night. I love the coast...walking and picking up shells. But stars at night with an assortment of pillows, topics dreamed on the pillows from that week in June one day about a month ago (baking, painting plans, quilt shows, friendly spider Charlotte near my computer), are reflected in this piece. I REALLY wanted to portray the bear who made it all the way to the ocean on Cape Cod and was taken 100 miles back into Western Massachusetts, but again made it 100 miles back to a tall Brookline tree before he was downed. He had big daydreams and the admiration of many. Mine should be bigger!

Rita's Daydream

The  image that came to me with clarity was gazing at clouds, finding shapes, and enjoying the daydreams  from those imagined shapes.  Is the little girl in the quilt daydreaming of a south sea adventure in her own little sailboat?

The background was created using a technique developed by Anna Faustino and detailed in her book, Simply Stunning Woven Quilts.  I started with two log cabin blocks with the square in the upper right corner.  The blocks were cut into strips between the seams, one vertically and one horizontally, and woven together.  I cross hatch quilted the woven square using a serpentine stitch and variegated thread.  The black design and the clouds are fused on top of the background square.

This quilt is gallery wrapped around a 12 inch x 12 inch x ¾ inch wooded frame.

Sara's Daydreaming

I had trouble with this theme. I am frequently distracted and unfocused from what I am supposed to be paying attention to but I don't seem to have clear daydreams - more like a cloud spun through a maze or a hamster on a wheel. I thought of showing a closet of size 4 dresses but I am not into producing realistic images. I also want to use the 12 by 12 format to try out different techniques. The end result is I remembered a class I took at IQF last year by Laura Coates Perez entitled  "Tea Bags and Ephemera". It involved attaching ephemera to fabric with matte medium. The teabags were used to trace or print images. Rubber stamps and shiva paintsticks tied things together. In my house one of the issues is finding the rubber stamps and or ephemera you know you have but can't get to. That gave me some (probably well needed ) limitations.

I started by soaking muslin in a very dilute solution of water and Golden iron oxide paint. I was going for mottled and rusty which happened in few places but it did add a pleasant yellow/orange background. I ended up doing 2 pieces. The top piece has silk rose petals, English and Arabic text cut from discarded books that my husband found in a library trash area, magazine images, a teabag, Chinese Joss paper and some rubber stamps. I used Shiva paint sticks on top of the image. I was getting impatient waiting for the matte media to dry so I started another using flowers I found in an old copy of Oprah magazine. I rather like that one better.  Quilting is done using invisafil thread. Since the quilts were using non-traditional techniques, I decided to finish them the same way - I zig-zagged silk sari yarn to the border of the quilt and then pinked the edges to meet the yarn border. I used a continuous piece of yarn for the sides and tops and one piece across the bottom to tie bows in the corners. They do represent the swirling chaos in my mind!

Andrea - New Theme


I do hope you enjoy working with this theme.  After months of thought and many lists, the word SPIRAL came to me a couple of weeks ago, in a kind-of  "AH-HA" moment, and I knew it was "the one".

Judy S.- Daydream Life

Daydream was a dilemma for me. I flipped the calendar at my studio and my mouth fell open that Reveal Day was so close. Thank heavens it isn’t the 2nd! Thoughts were running through my head, but nothing was coming out to the forefront that I could sink my teeth into.

The thought of my daydream of having my own books, patterns, and videos on quilting seemed selfish but, I want to share my love of quilting and sewing with everybody! I just couldn’t find anything else that I really wanted to depict, so here it is. Maybe it is time to put it out there in front of my face in a concrete way. Stop being a daydream and work on making it a reality.

I did produce a video on machine quilting on the domestic sewing machine and if you look at the close-up of the patterns on the pegboard they are the first 2 patterns that I created. These have been the steps made toward that goal.

It was so much fun creating this quilt. I made a really rough sketch of what I wanted to make. Then I started working with fabric. I love showing my drawing and then the quilt because I really can NOT draw. My students in Temple, TX didn't believe me, but now they are believers. My medium is fabric! Cutting out things with scissors and rotary cutter are how it works for me. 

The TV camera came first. Since I work at Temple Sew & Quilt, I made my TV show Quilt and Sew. One of the books on the shelf in red is called "Zipper Fun". That one is for a young girl I am teaching to sew because we had a tussle with putting the zipper in the dress. I promised her the next one would be easier. I found the perfect piece of fabric to make the pegboard for hanging the rulers on. When I was making the  little quilt on the wall, the pieces I cut off turned into scraps on the floor. My Mom would have us sweep the floor after we were done cutting things out when I was growing up. Now that I think about it that was very clever. It was more fun to sweep up all those little pieces of color and texture then just the dirt.

I have learned that "Dream, Create, Inspire" is what helps me bring more to my students and friends. I am always "Dreaming" up more idea's on what I want to share with them. In class I help them to "Create" those projects. What I really enjoy is seeing how one technique or project "Inspires" others to embellish, sew, quilt, or just delight in what is there for them. To all my students, family and friends Happy Quilting!!!

Andrea's Daydream-another view!

Andrea's Daydream

My Garden Cottage
I daydream of someday, hopefully within the next couple of years, moving into a small weather-ed grey cottage surrounded by flowers with a backyard large enough to construct  a very, VERY large studio!

Pieced and fused using commercial and hand-dyed, silkscreened fabric.

Alice's Daydream Quilt--Grandkids' Daydreams

I’ve spent so much time with our four grandchildren this summer that I decided to focus on their daydreams.  Our granddaughter is 11, nearly 12, and her life right now revolves around her friends.  The little boys are all three totally focused on sports!  The two Michigan boys (nearly 11 and 8) played both Little League and were on select, “travel” teams, and so their daydreams center on baseball.  The California grandson (nearly 9) is an expert swimmer and on his local swim team.  He was in the relay finals, and his team won all three of their relays, and so I have him daydreaming about that event.

I have a huge stash of commercial quilting fabric with “juvenile” themes, and so I was delighted to find baseball players, young girls having fun together, and swimming boys and girls.  I made extensive use of Wonder Under fusible for this quilt, fusing this product to the backs of all the fabrics just mentioned, plus browns for the boys’ hair, some gold swirly fabric for Lia’s pony tail, and then various colors of fabric for their shirts.  I decided to use a piece of a discarded crazy quilt project for the daydream “thought bubbles.”  I wanted them to have some dimension, and since this project was stitched onto batting already, it worked well.  I cut the bubbles leading up to the thought bubbles from a multi-colored polka dot fabric.

I used some previously painted sky fabric for the background, which I machine quilted.  The larger appliqués were first fused to the background and then were machine appliquéd down with a tiny zig-zag stitch.  (I simply fused the simpler, smaller shapes down with the Wonder Under.)  I backed the quilt with the swimming-children fabric, and I used the sky fabric for the binding.

Carolyn's Daydream: Lost in Andalusia

Kathy's Daydream: "Dream Catcher"

 The first thought that came to my mind when we received the "Daydream" challenge was something we'd often see in Alaska that represented the spiritual world in the Native Alaska culture.   "Dream Catchers" are available in many of the local shops throughout Alaska; the most sought after are those made by Alaska Natives (any of a number of Indian, Eskimo, Aleut, Athabaskan, etc. tribes), and other resident artisans.    Dream catchers incorporate beautiful natural materials, and often have what appears to be etherial-type webbing that represents catching (encapsulating) the dream.   Another "daydream" type structure is the Mandala, and it was from these two concepts that I made this quilt.
"Dream Catcher"  Overview
I traced my image from a Mandala coloring book, selected 7 fabrics, layered them on top of each other, then machine stitched the Mandala pattern through all 7 layers of the fabric.  I removed the paper pattern, then with my smallest (and sharpest) scissors started cutting away layer after layer of fabric to reveal the color I'd assigned to each section of the mandala.  This mandala in many ways reminds me of a stained-glass window!  I used a technique developed by one of Alaska's premier artists, Susan Schapira, called "Contemporary Reverse Applique."  This technique involves cutting and removing the fabrics from the top down rather than applying (or appliqueing) fabrics on to the top of a base fabric.  In this case, my top fabric is black.   After the cutting was finished, I free-motion machine quilted this piece using 30 wt. black rayon thread on the top, and 60 wt. mono-filament thread in my bobbin.   Starting from the center motif, I used a radiating type stitch that represents motion and movement.... perhaps the ascension of the dream into the heavens. 

"Dream Catcher" Back of Quilt

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Hi Alice, I'm kind of winging this and I just want to see if I'm doing this right. If so, I'll continue and write a little about myself. Wendy

Friday, July 13, 2012

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Mavens, now that Petra has decided to pursue other interests and Wendy has joined us, I have revised the schedule.   Some of you will notice that your assigned month has been changed.  This affects everyone from Barbara on down, because Petra had formerly been the theme-chooser for November 15, 2012.  Anyway, here is is.  For those of you on this list, it might be a good idea to print this schedule off:

Andrea: theme #7 on July 15, 2012, for Sept. 15, 2012's quilt.
Alice: theme #8 on Sept. 15, 2012, for Nov. 15, 2012's quilt.
Barbara: theme #9 on Nov. 15, 2012, for Jan. 15, 2013's quilt.
Judy W:  theme #10 on Jan. 15, 2013, for Mar. 15, 2013's quilt.
Kathy: theme #11 on Mar. 15, 2013, for May 15, 2013's quilt.
Sara: theme #12 on May 15, 2013, for Jul. 15, 2013's quilt.
Nedra:  theme #12 on July 15, 2013, for Sept. 2013's quilt.
Wendy:  theme #13 on Sept. 2013, for Nov. 2013's quilt