Thursday, July 25, 2013

Cell Quilts Composite

Thanks to Rita's husband Randy, here is the composite of all the Cell Quilts!  I've had this for some time but left for California right after Randy sent it to me.

Now I've got a breathing space and have time to post it.  As usual, Randy is a true artist in the way he has arranged these quilts! 

I will be in touch with all your Mavens when I get home, and after I send off the Canyon Quilts postcards, which I've had for two months, to see how many of you would like a postcard or two or three of these quilts.

Happy summer to all!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Kathy's Cell(ular) Structure

Note to Kathy and all other Mavens:  I volunteered to combine both of Kathy's posts from Reveal Day, the day she was having so much trouble posting and had to resort to posting two, Parts One and Two.  What follows is the combination of Parts One and Two!

Dear Mavens,  I'm so sorry for the late posting.   Actually I had all my text and pictures in our blog and ready to go, and then..... computer went haywire and I lost all my blog data.  "Shreck" (my MacBook) has finally settled down so I'm starting all over again with my Cell story.

I knew right away what I wanted to do with this great challenge word, and was able to use Google Image Search to find some wonderful images of cell structures.  I was looking for organic images and found spectacular "candidates" for our challenge, including the image below:

Another great image came to me through an e-mail advertisement for organic fruits and vegetables, and I fell in love with the image below that was described as "cellular microstructures."   I was definitely on my way with these images  :-D  

For the base of my 12 x 12, I used beautiful hand-dyed silk fabric that I brought down from Anchorage,  AK.   The fab was especially appealing because it had striations in it, some cellular "irregularities," and most likely some small amounts of bleach discharge here and there.

The screen has the same honeycomb images as the computer images I found Google Image Search.   I gathered all my screen paints, selected a luscious metallic silver, pulled the paint through the screen, and Voila !   My organic microstructure cell !

When it the screen paint was dry to the touch, I layered the silk fabric (that had been screened) onto batting, and then free-motion quilted around all the screened lines using Madeira "Jewel" metallic thread.  When the quilting was complete, I attached the silk onto black suede fabric using several layers of zig-zag stitching.  (The Madeira "Jewel" metallic thread was used for both free-motion work and the zig-zag stitching.)

To complete this quilt and enclose all the raw edges, I used one of my favorite binding techniques... the keyhole binding that I've used on so many of my other MM challenge pieces.  After attaching my label, and small hanging sleeve, I signed my name to the front of the quilt and began the process of trying to get my posting done.

Sara's Cell - Ameoba

I chose the theme Cell since I started my life fascinated with life and was captivated by microorganisms. In junior high we had "slam" books where people responded to questions that probed into their likes and dislikes. I was probably the only 7th grader who claimed Louis Pasteur as an idol. My graduate research revolved around election micrography of cells on culture. My textbooks have gorgeous images and I have often thought of developing a series of cell related quilts. I was also hoping that the word had usage in enough other areas that we could have a good diversity of interpretations.

I had planned on a quilt that highlighted a mitochondrion. This summer I started an online design course with Katie Pasquini Masopust. One of our assignments was on edges and I decided I needed  an amoeba   crossing over the field of the quilt. I looked at many images of amoeba           before I got started and saw that the amoeba has two areas of cytoplasm thus the 2 shades of gray. This cell is also drinking - you can see pinocytosis starting at the top where projections from the cell are creating a fluid filled vesicle. The green dots are vesicles filled with alga, the large yellow one is the contractile vacuole that maintains the fluid balance in the cell. The nucleus was constructed using scraps of thread covered with dyed cheese cloth and then held down with quilting. I intended to add seed beads for more texture but my husband talked me out of it.

Judy W's: Cellular World

Several ideas came to mind with this theme but part of my goal in whatever I make is trying to use supplies and leftovers from my studio.  The focal point of Cellular World began as a screen print about 5 years ago when Kathy and I were experimenting with fabric art and surface design methods.  I hand dyed a white recycled bed sheet and Dover Publications provided the copyright free clip art from which I made a thermofax screen to print from.  It was some time ago but I believe I used bronze Lumiere fabric paint to silkscreen the image.

Wonder Under fusible was ironed to the backside of the dyed/screen printed fabric, then with pinking shears, the smaller circles were cut from the left over border surrounding the large circle.  Finding a suitable batik background was far easier than laying out a pleasing arrangement of cells.  Thanks to fusibles, the decision was permanent!

Using black monofilament for both top and bottom threads, I free motion stitched all the circles including the dotted batik background.  Overall, I am very pleased with the result, especially since my brain cells seemed to be entirely focused on golf this summer and my dismantled studio has not progressed toward my intended remodel since spring!

Tricia's Cell

I found this theme to be really difficult.  I talked about the theme with several friends trying to get an idea of what to work on.  My daughter Eliza suggested looking at normal cells versus cancer cells.  After looking at cell images on the internet I came up with this idea.  The center circle is a normal cell.  The outside ones are how the same cell changes when it has cancer.  I put a cancer cell for every member of my and my husbands immediate family(my father, brother sister, niece and my husbands father, brother and nephew) that has had cancer. We have 4 survivors!  Cancer has affected all of us in so many ways.  My husband will ride in the Pan Mass ride in three weeks that raises money for cancer research.  I then machine quilted all of their names around the quilt several times. 

Judy's: Brain Cells

I knew that I didn’t want to try to replicate real cells. I would have to be more precise about how it looked and I wanted to just play with the cell theme. There was a piece of fabric in my stash that I could see cells in, but the colors were too harsh. I decided to play with some of my Jacquard Dye-na-flow. These dyes are already mixed up and are easy to use. The colors come out intense but soft.
I was torn on what to call my piece. As I was quilting it, I chuckled when I thought of it as my brain cells. I am involved with so many things and then there are the things I want to do, but don’t know how to squeeze them into my daily life.
As you can see there are some area’s that are crammed with lots of little cells and yet there is some open space that can be filled. I just hope I am taking time to relax in that open space once in awhile. One part I enjoyed seeing come to life is the funny bird with the long legs running out of the quilt. With this piece it is almost like looking at the clouds and seeing animals and shapes in them. The bird is really defined, but I can find sheep, funny creatures with antenna’s, hearts, flowers, and even a fried egg. Take some time and see what fun things you can find in my “Cell” quilt.

Lois' CELL Quilt

I decided that I would use this theme to explore working with Angelina Fibers.   I literally ironed swirls of different colors of the fibers together again and again,and again,and yet again.  Layering the colors on top of one another.  Then I went outside and burned holes in the patch of ironed fibers where i wanted the parts of the cell parts to come through. It was a little precarious putting a candle under it and quickly stomping out the flames, and the smell was not great, so I did it outside.   I then cut the outside of the patch to the shape of the outside of the large cell and then re burned the edge to give it  more of an irregular natural look   I made two cells this way. The fibers have an iridescent quality to them and I thought that that helped with keeping the cells look fluid like. When I tried to  make them out of fabric, which is how I started, It just didn't work for me.  I've always wanted to try working with these fibers, that Tricia introduced me too years ago, but never had the right project for it. This was it.   I then appliqued it onto a watery looking fabric, and went to town machine drawing all over the cells to get the look that I wanted with different colors of thread and combinations of different stitches, over each other until I got the look that I wanted.  It was a challenging theme, but one that I really enjoyed puzzling out the best way to get where I wanted to go.

Barbara's Cell - Under the Microscope

Under the Microscope began with a Google image search of the word Cell.  There were soooo many images of human, animal, plant and I can't remember what else!  I used my memory to create these not so real cells.
I began cutting batting shapes for each cell followed by playing with fabrics that reminded me of the cell images.  All the fabrics are raw edge (no fusible) and stitched by hand with # 8 perle cotton through the batting circle shape only.  I had help from my husband and daughter to arrange the cells on thick gray felt (the background).  Each cell is stitched to the felt and I added stitching on the felt to add interest.  There is no batting or backing behind the felt and no binding.  The squiggly green shape on the yellow cell is a handmade felt stem that I made in a wet felting class.
I had the most fun finding the fabrics and doing the hand stitching!

Carolyn's "CELA 107"

Cela 107, Evora, Portugal

When the word "cell" was announced, I knew exactly what my quilt would be.  In 2012, my husband and I celebrated our 52nd anniversary with a trip to Portugal and Spain.  Just days before we left, I learned that a distant grandmother in my family lineage immigrated from Portugal.  This made the trip even more interesting for me.  While there, I became fascinated with their beautiful, intricate porcelain creations, all in the same color combination: blue, yellow and white.  A feature of our tour included lodging in pousadas - historic buildings converted into country inns that are run by the Portuguese and Spainish governments.  On our last nights in Portugal we stayed in the town of Evora at a pousada that was originally a 15th century monastery.  Our room, an actual monk's cell, was Cell #107.

Close-up of Our Cell Number
While in Lisbon, my husband and I visited a porcelain museum featuring antique porcelain tiles, vessels and walls.  I used the vibrant colors of the Portuguese porcelain for my piece.

Like many of the walls we saw, porcelain tile separates the top and bottom portions of the wall in my quilt.  The flowers across the top represent the various floral motifs dominating many of the art pieces we viewed.  I used hand-dyed fabric for the top portion of the wall and the door, and batiks for the bottom of the wall and the tile floor.  The door stoop is silk.  
 Evora, Portugal

I made a second quilt for the back.  It is covered in photographs we took in Evora. They include a photo of the door to our cell with a photo of the actual cell number sign, a photo of the inside of our room, the front of the monastery, and the Roman Temple of Diana located barely outside the entrance to the monastery. On each side of the temple are photos of the Cathedral and the University of Evora, where we enjoyed a musical performance by students.  I am a novice machine quilter and experimented with free-motion quilting on this piece.

Linda's borrowed Klimt Cells

    The CELL challenge brought up thoughts of incarceration, bee hives (I paint in encaustic), nun and priest cells (a lone painter’s studio), the smallest unit of life that divides and multiplies (for me the first patch in a quilt). But I saw a movie on Netflix about Gustav Klimt with his viewing scientist’s slides of cells at salons in Vienna. These images from slides appeared in his paintings as a kaleidoscope of spirals, flowers, and geometric shapes, along with the symbols of birth and death. I chose to copy his well-known tree of life to illustrate the great fun I had with this challenging topic, the CELL, revisiting Klimt!

12" x 12" quilt atop background fabric

      I read books on Klimt’s life and works. I felt emotionally and physically drawn to the paintings which before this Cell Challenge left me cold. In fin-de-siecle Vienna, Austria, these paintings were revolutionary. The odd, exaggerated and distorted evoke emotion. Nerve cells in viewer brains respond strongly. Slowly people recognize the use of biological images (germ cell and ovum, pollen and pistil, bird) to symbolize creation, life sex, and death in Klimt’s work.

        Back then, there was a high level of integration between science and the arts. “Just as the language of embryology (symmetry, formation, rhythm, choreography) was largely borrowed from artistic discourse, science once gave artists metaphorical bulbs from which to blossom.” CultureLab: Gustav Klimt's mysterious embryos (Amy Maxmen’s quoting Scott Gilbert of Swarthmore)

          In expression, Klimt’s sensitive use of space was often two dimensional, patterned, with outlines clear and sumptuously curvilinear. His masterpieces anticipated the use of multi-media of our time with plaster, gesso, gold leaf, paint and mosaics.They are rich in the use of CELLS!  I used Lumiere fabric paints, Rub a Dub Sharpie laundry pen, with black and white fabrics referencing the architecture/fabrics of the Secessionists. (see Drawing Time, June 29, 2013 for my techniques).  Also, check out The Age Of Insight - Wired Science for the importance of art and science to each other.

Rita's Cell: Protozoan or Protista?

Rita’s Cell:  Protozoan or Protista?
I was Zoology major at Eastern Illinois University so when Sara posted the July challenge word I thought she had been sensing my quilting karma. The Cell design popped out from under the microscope (that has a place of importance in our home) fully formed and demanding to be executed!  
 In 1958, my first Zoology text book was General Zoology by Tracy L. Storer, copyright, 1951. In those days at Eastern, text books were rented and not purchased, but you had the option of purchasing the book if you wished and it is sitting at my elbow as I work on this writing.  It was the ‘Bible’ of all things Zoology.
In my college years, the three organisms illustrated in my quilt were classified as Protozoa or one celled animals.  They all moved in some manner and therefore were classified as animals, not plants.  However, it was troubling that the Euglena contained chlorophyll, the same material that makes green plants green.  But classification is a continually evolving discipline as new discoveries are made.  Today, these little organisms are classified as Protists or microscopic, single celled organisms, neither plant nor animal.
The largest cell (bottom) is a Paramecium (Kingdom: Protista; Phylum: Ciliophora) and all members of this group have cilia, or short hairs which help them move.
The top left cell is a Euglena (Kingdom: Protista; Phylum: Euglenopyta) and this organism uses a long whip-like flagella to enable it to move.
The top right cell is an Amoeba (Kingdom: Protista; Phylum: Rhizopoda).  These organisms move by using extensions from their body called pseudopodia (false feet).  The pseudopodia bulge out, anchor to another surface and the inner material of the organism then flows into the extension.
The microscope image is from a photograph of an old microscope that has been printed onto fabric.  This microscope belonged to a close friend, Dr. Robert (Bobbie) Crosthwait (1934-2005), the first cardiac surgeon in Waco to do open heart surgery.  
The images of the three organisms were taken from my old Zoology book, traced onto fabric and hand embroidered.  A small bit of color was added to the organisms using colored pencils. The embroidery was then cut into a circle to represent the view from the eyepiece of the microscope and fused into the green background fabric.  The image of the microscope had fusible web applied to the back and was carefully cut from the fabric and fused onto the background.
Fun facts for The Cell added by Randy:
Can a camel go through the eye of a needle? Nope! But how many of Rita’s Cell critters can make it? The eye of a #7 betweens sewing needle is 0.35 mm (millimeters) wide (approximately). For you purest, that measurement is at a right angle to the shaft, not parallel to the shaft.
The Euglena measures approximately 50 microns in length and 14 microns in width.  It takes 1,000 microns to equal one millimeter – written as 1/1000 or 1:1000.
Finally the fun facts:
If you line up 14 Euglena – side by side – like a rank in a marching band – they could all swim through the eye of that needle at the same time.
The Paramecium comes in a variety of lengths but they are usually about .50 mm wide. This means not even ONE can swim through the eye of our needle. But that’s OK because, as Rita said, those little hair-like cilia are actually all over their outer body like tiny oars and that’s how they swim, so you don’t want them stuck in a needle eye anyway.
The Amoeba is a different story. If they have just a tiny slot in that eye, they would just make their false foot fit the space and flow right on through.
See – aren’t you smiling now?

Andrea's CELL

Some of My 100 Trillion Cells: All Purple

Initially I was working with a concept of depicting cell phones in a prison cell, which gave me great pleasure thinking about, but after viewing images of the human cell online, decided to work with my vision of what some of my own cells might look like.  Many of the online images reminded me of my snow-dyed fabric so I then began to think about fusing circles on top of a piece of my purple emersion-dyed fabric.  That seemed a bit too stark, so then started screening words and circles on the background.  While in the process of screening, my "little grey cells" were at work thinking about and ultimately rejecting fused circles for ones pieced using the "Six Minute Circle" method by Dale Fleming.  I saw her demonstrate her method on Simply Quilts a few years ago and have wanted to try it ever since.  Although my circles took more like 20 minutes, I love the technique and how forgiving the stitching can be, yet produce a visually perfect pieced circle.  When my seven "cells" were completed I then quilted more circles using a variegated 12wt. Sulky cotton thread ( for some reason, my practice circles were evenly stitched, but not so on my quilt, which was very disappointing ).  I then thought I was done, but NO!  When I viewed from a little distance it looked rather flat, so out came the beads.  Well, I have never beaded on fabric before and did not realize how long the process takes!  The first circle, on the lower, right took more than 4 hours to bead.  I still look at it and wonder why.  Once I made the decision to bead, I thought that all seven cells would require beads, but happily after completing the third in the upper right realized that any more would actually be too much.  With great relief I could then put on the binding and consider the piece done.

back view of "Six Minute Circle" construction

close-up of beads and screened background 

He sees FISH

Yes, an odd name for something in the cell category, but my son works in a Pathology Lab and this is his view of the microscope in a dark area with a color florescence that can be changed depending on what you need to see/know.
He posted this pic on facebook one day after the "word" went out and I said that is a cool picture, and proceeded to make it.
I used cottons, fabric paints, inktense pencils and of course thread.

Nedra's Theme

When presented with each new theme, I often initially reject the most obvious ideas striving to be different.  I had that same desire when it was my turn for the theme choice.  I wanted to pick something different.  I thought about the previous themes – most of them were nouns or verbs, some concrete, some abstract.  No colors had been chosen.  I thought it would be fun, and different, to pick an adjective!  How about a colorful adjective??  Drum roll please, and thus your next theme is GREEN.  Many possibilities have come to mind over the last month or two as I have considered the choice.  I hope you are equally inspired  and enjoy working with it.  I look forward to seeing your creative interpretations!   

Alice's Cell Quilt--Honeycomb

My cell quilt is a collage of “things bee-related.”  The octagonal cells in a honeycomb connect it to the theme.

One of my aims in being in this art-quilt group is to try new materials and techniques.  This time, I tried quite a few: (1) thread painting (the bees bodies and wings); (2) stenciling (the bees and the rejected background, now on the quilt's back; (3) thread painting (the bodies and the wings of the bees); (4) an embroidery stitch that was new to me, the seed stitch (on the background); (5) transferring images with TAP

Two of these techniques resulted in my two favorite parts of my quilt:  the dimensional bees’ wings and the black flowers.  I learned how to make the bees’ wings from a book by Karen Kay Buckley called Applique Basics and Flower Wreaths.   I had long ago read about making stamps from craft foam.  I cut the flowers out free-hand, peeled the backing from the foam, and attached them to transparency film cut to size.

I free-motion quilted the black flowers.  Embroidery stitching on the bee hive, a few outlined cells on the honeycomb, and the seed stitches in the background served as additional quilting.  The background fabric is a subtle honeycomb print that also forms the binding.

I first tried a honeycomb stencil for my background, but it didn’t look authentic to me.  Hating to “waste” this stenciling on yellow silk, however, I ended up putting it on the back of my quilt.  I couldn’t resist printing off a few lines of the Jimmie Rodgers’ song “Honeycomb” that ran maddeningly through my head every time I worked on my quilted collage!

The back of my Honeycomb quilt

Nedra's Cell - Honeycomb Garden

The cell that I chose to work with is "a small compartment in a larger structure such as a honeycomb".  This one was perfect for a vintage quilting interpretation of the theme I imagined.  "One of the most popular patterns in North American quilting after 1925 was the Grandmother's Flower Garden" stated quilt historian and scholar Barbara Brackman.  She also reported that "many women who never made another quilt finished a Grandmother's Flower Garden".  I have quilted for about 25 years and I have never made one so I thought I'd use that quilt pattern to interpret this reveal's theme and make my  mini "garden".

Using a fusible backed stabilizer as a hexagonal template and two colors of silk, I made the cells of my honeycomb garden.  I experimented with the placement until I found a pleasing design and then hand-stitched the cells together.  I machine stitched them to a 12 X 12 piece of peltex covered in the ivory silk.  I echo quilted ¼ inch inside each cell and on the bordering background to complete the honeycomb pattern.  A hand embroidered bee was added to finish the piece.  

Janet's Cell Quilt: In Flanders Fields

I love it when the assigned word has so many definitions. Math, science, religion, accounting, insects, nuns, prisoners, on and on. I liked, “A membranous area bounded by veins in the wing of an insect such as a butterfly”. I had a beautiful monarch pattern from Silver Linings by Linda Hibbert. If you paper piece she has fantastic patterns ranging from beginners to those that make you lay down on your sewing machine and cry. So I started out to make a butterfly and ended up in a completely different place. I needed a flower and I had a poppy pattern I wanted to try. That made me think of veterans day every year when our pastor read “In Flanders Fields” to us in Sunday service. It is a poem written by an exhausted doctor who had been operating for seventeen days straight. He sat down on the back of an ambulance to rest for a moment only to notice that with all the horrors he was surrounded by there were also beautiful poppies. He threw it away when finished and a soldier picked it up and sent it back to England where it got published in the newspapers. That was almost a hundred years ago. No matter how bad things are something beautiful is there, if we just look for it.