Friday, July 25, 2014

The Friendship Composite

I have been out of town since the day after our last Reveal, so I am very late getting this posted!

I always enjoy reading Randy's rationale for why he puts the quilts where he does!  So I thought I would just copy here what he sent to me:

Row one:
Kathy's image just seemed to fit to start off the page--as a nice label.  Barbara's kids then lead us into Andrea's and just a bit of color for a nice transition to all the color below.

Row two:
The eye is hit by that tremendous splash of "Color my world friends" (to steal Jane's words.) We have our grandson this week so Alice's quilt and our favorite flower tugged a smile and a hug (and we've seen that field) (and one of my favorite quilts of Rita's is a sunflower quilt), which leads to  Janet's philosophy, good friends are often opposites--so that row just came together very nicely. 

Row three:
Started off to be the row of people's faces, first and last.   And the middle, you say? You can't read Nedra's description without coming away thinking friendship of a global and personal level, especially "the rings." 

Row four:
Sara's quilt and this row does a magnificent job symbolizing that we all find "the wind under our wings" in different ways.  

Row five:
This row allows me a personal "rant" so please tolerate.  It's short. We have access to so much electronic gadgetry today we are forgetting how to forge long-lasting friendships face-to-face. Carol, Judy, and Carolyn have reminded us how important this is to our well-being.

Thank you all for allowing me to be a part of such a talented, creative group.


And thank you, as always Randy, for doing such a super job of putting together our composites.
And how fun it was to read the "whys" of your arrangement!

Thursday, July 17, 2014


So sorry, I realized that I posted a word that was too much like one of our other themes (translate)! Must have been due to my shock at having to choose another word so soon :)

So the new word is CONTRAST - hope to see lots of great work in October.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Kathy's Friendship: "For Good"

The theme of "Friendship" proved to be a very unexpected emotional journey for me.   I looked up friendship in the dictionary, and not finding any of the definitions very inspirational, decided to just ponder the subject for a while.     And then, watching bits and pieces of the Tony Awards on a Sunday evening, I heard the song,  FOR GOOD,  that still brings tears to my eyes.   ("For Good" from the Broadway Play:  "Wicked" in a lyrical conversation between Glinda, the "Good" Witch, and Elphaba, the "Bad" Witch.)

I was able to retrieve that segment of the Tony Awards on our DVR, and took a "video" of it on my iPhone.   I've since played and re-played that 3-1/2 minute iPhone video dozens of times (still brings tears to my eyes !); have Googled the song to get all the lyrics, and finally, paid-for and down-loaded the sheet music from an on-line service called "Music Notes" that I frequently use.

Because of the emotional impact this song has on me, there was no doubt that "For Good" had to be my Friendship theme.   

And, my apologies to Alice, but with this being our last MM reveal for this round, I took the liberty of changing the parameters just a bit.  "For Good" needed more space than the allotted 12" x 12" and so, as my final challenge quilt, I made my quilt into 4 separate 12" x 12" pieces and bound them together as a quilted 'book' that I can read over and over again.      The pictures I've attached don't effectively convey how the 'book' looks in real life, and the lyrics are so important, that I've taken another liberty, and have included them below so you can experience them for yourselves:


I've heard it said that people come into our lives for a reason,
Bringing something we must learn.
And we are led to those who help us most to grow, if we let them,
And we help them in return.

Well, I don't know if I believe that's true,
But I know I'm who I am today because I knew you.

Like a comet pulled from orbit as it passes a sun,
Like a stream that meets a boulder halfway through the wood,
Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But because I knew you, I have been changed for good.

It well may be that we will never meet again in this lifetime,
So let me say before we part:
So much of me is made of what I learned from you,
You'll be with me like a handprint on my heart.

And now whatever way our stories end,
I know you have rewritten mine by being my friend.

Like a ship blown from its mooring by a wind off the sea,
Like a seed dropped by a sky-bird in a distant wood,
Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But because I knew you... Because I knew you...
I have been changed for good.

And just to clear the air,
I ask forgiveness for the things I've done you blame me for.
But then, I guess we know there's blame to share,
And none of it seems to matter any more.

Like a comet pulled from orbit as it passes a sun
   (Like a ship blown from its mooring by a wind off the sea,)
Like a stream that meets a boulder half way through the wood,
   (Like a seed dropped by a bird in the wood,)
Who can say if I've been changed for the better?

I do believe, I have been changed for the better.
And .... Because I knew you ....   Because I knew you....
Because I knew you...
I have been changed

Peace and blessings to all the Dear Mavens.   I look forward to our next round of challenges and continuing our extraordinary "Friendships" !
 [I used the 4th page to print out the MM information about this quilt.   Picture not provided.)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Judy S.- Friendship in First Grade

In first grade I became really good friends with a girl named Stephanie. Her dad was in the army and when I found out she was moving away I couldn't believe it. Nobody moved away from our small community.
Mom realized how hard it was for me to lose a friend. She took a plastic bleach bottle and cut a girl out of it. Together at the kitchen table she let me draw her face and hair. I wrote her name on the back of the head so that I wouldn't forget her name. Mom sewed shorts on her and shoes. Then we made clothes that looked like some of the dresses she wore to school. I sewed sequins on her clothes so that she would have shiny buttons.
It's been a lot of years, but you never forget those difficult good byes. Mom did a special thing to help me remember Stephanie and enjoy the friendship we had.

Gail's Friendship Quilt

No greater love than to lay down ones life for a friend.   Based on 1905 painting.  I can't post any details right now.  In ER w Mom.  Possible broken rib from fall.  Hand dyed fabric by Helene Davis of Paducah.  Raw edge appliqué,Setacolor paint, netting overlay, straight line quilting.  All to enhance the dreamlike atmosphere.

Sara's Friendship Quilt

I had a really difficult time approaching this last theme in our series. My mind kept coming up with possibilities. I thought of asking my BFF for her fabric scraps to piece a quilt (because friendship is sharing fabric) but she lives on the other end of town and I did not have time in the schedule to visit her this month. I thought of an image I remembered of the backs of my daughter and her best friend feeding ducks in Houston's Herman park when they were in grade school. Alas the photo is my daughter's album was not the best quality image. I thought of the stuffed lamb ("lambie" ) that the girls used when my family's move meant they would not see each other often - lambie went to live in the other's home every time the girls got together. I learned about lambie after my daughter died when lambie went to live with her friend. I kept cycling back to an image of hands since the touch of a friend's hand is so important. I used that imagery in my comfort quilt (busy hands and the hands of a friend) so I wanted something different. I spent much of a month dithering like that. One of my guilds challenged us to make something inspired by a song. I decided to look up songs about friendship and found Bette Midler's " Wind Beneath my Wings". The song reminds me of happy work days at Compaq computer where Rod Canion would play it at company meetings. It also reminded me of a friendship quote I found "We are all angels with only one wing ... we can fly only embracing each other". Once I quit mentally exploring the concept and settled on one concept the quilt practically made itself - once again I learned that to get anything done I need to create "a box" to keep myself restricted on a direction and then get to work.
Here it is:
I created the feathers using some fabric I painted while working on a class assignment with Katie Pasquini Masopust. I wanted a controlled palette of neutrals so I created them by painting fabric with complementary colors (using mostly dyna-flow paint). I had just the right couple of pieces and found a perfect printed sky fabric in my stash. I quilted the tail feathers using gray cotton and the rest of the piece was quilted with Sulky monofilament thread - all on my domestic sewing machine. I did start this series with the goal of trying out something new with each quilt. This time it is pre-painting fabric and a single fold binding that I learned in June from Gwen Marston.

I really enjoyed this project. Jane,this was a very appropriate finale word.  It was so great to meet so many of the people who created this blog last October and it was wonderful to be forced to create to a deadline (my dithering and re-thinking often takes over actual creating something). I must admit my self-challenge to use a new technique with each quilt was starting to feel restrictive but it was certainly worth pursuing. I look forward to the next new and different round.

Barbara's Friendship Quilt--"Follow Me"

This quilt had to be of my two favorite small people, my grandchildren.  I loved this photo of Jude taking Jozy to school and knew that I would use it in a quilt.
The background is made in the style of English appliqué artist, Janet Bolton, a technique I used before in my Communication quilt.  The background is done first using pieces collaged together mostly raw edge and stitched by hand with Perle Cotton thread.  I have a large collection of fabrics in this color and made this background before I knew what I was going to do with it.  I enlarged the photo, drew their outline, made some artistic changes and additions, fused the silhouette with Wonder Under onto hand dyed fabric and stitched the edges with sewing thread.

It has been fun watching the friendship develop between these siblings ages 4 and 2.

Tricia's Friendship Quilt - Millie and Pearl

This is my grand daughter Pearl and our dog Millie.  I was having a hard time deciding what to create for our friendship quilt.  I had finally decided to use a photograph of our two dogs.  They really care about each other.  Then our son and his family were visiting for a week over the 4th.  I was sitting in the room when Pearl went over and kissed Millie.  I was able to get a quick shot of them.  I decided that was the perfect image I wanted for my friendship quilt.

I had never created a quilt with a person or an animal before.  It help that Pearl's face was in profile.  I am happy with the quilt but would like to take some classes to learn how to thread paint people and animals.  Since I was working at the last minute I had ordered some flesh colored fabric but it has not yet arrived.  I went to the local fabric store and found the flesh fabric.  I think it would have been better to have a little more color.  It was fun and I have a new challenge to work on.  Anyone have a suggestion for a portrait teacher?

Janet's Friendship Quilt - What Hump?

The definition of yin and yang can be thought of as complementary rather than opposing forces that interact to form a dynamic system in which the whole is greater that the assembled parts.  If you think of it in terms of my best friend Cheryl and I that would definitely apply.  If you are lucky, really really, lucky, maybe once in your lifetime you will have a friend like Cheryl.  We finish each other’s sentences. We can just look at each other and know what the other one is thinking. She'll say you remember that thing that time and we both know what “that” is.  Our conversations are circular not linear and that drives my husband nuts because he cannot follow what we are talking about or what is so funny. 

We met at work over the phone.  We worked in separate buildings, I was in accounting and she was in something to do with the computers department.  I called and said I had an “abbynormal” message on my console and she said back “What hump?”  The universe aligned and we found probably the only two people in Waco who knew the joke. We both love Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein and you will just have to watch the movie as it would take way too long to explain the joke.  That was almost twenty five years ago.  Since then we have been through everything from hell to high water.  She is always the first person there in a crisis and the last to leave until you are ok.  She is also the first one to agree to something fun and very odd that nobody else in their right mind would agree to.  When I typed that I could almost hear her saying, “Who said we are in our right minds.” 

The last few months have been awful at our house and at hers with surgeries, family losses, and her badly broken foot from trying a particularly difficult move on her stripper pole (she broke it at Jazzercise but if you run into anyone she knows go with the pole story).  So we talk on the phone, I can't drive and she is confined to the lift chair on her first floor.  We always say the same thing, if you need me call, I can't come at present but call anyway.  So Cheryl, you are my most beloved best friend.  Always remember that if you fall, I will pick you up.  After I finish laughing.

P.S.  The last line actually happened on a hiking trip with our husbands.  I was just about to tell Cheryl to slow down as the trail was steep and really slippery but was too late.  I'm ashamed to say all I could do was sit down and laugh, if she could have seen what it looked like from behind she would have known what was so funny.  Our husbands finally walked back to see if we had been eaten by a bear.  Ok, the only bears in Texas are at Baylor University but there were some really scary looking armadillos out there.  Hugs and kisses Cheryl.

Rita's Friendship: Friends on a Promenade Stroll, circa 1895

Friends on a Promenade Stroll, Circa 1895

Our wonderful, enduring friendship started in the fall of 1966 soon after my husband accepted an offer to teach Biology at a two year Community College in southern Indiana.  At the beginning of each school year the University sponsored faculty social events and paired “old-timers” with “new-comers.” On this particular evening it was a bowling night.  Our “veteran” faculty member was Vernon and his wife Marilyn. When I learned that Vernon taught in the Parks and Recreation department, I was terrified, because I had only been bowling a couple of times in my life and to then be paired with someone that taught bowling was not something I wanted to do.  But off we went and as they say the rest is history.  Randy and I almost immediately bonded with Vernon and Marilyn and we had a great evening.

Randy and I lived there for almost 10 years. During that time, in the span of two years, from 1970 to 1972, Marilyn and Vern had a daughter and a son and we had a son and a daughter. One of our most cherished memories was when our daughter was being born and Marilyn and Randy were in the waiting room – waiting. Marilyn was 7 months pregnant at the time.    It must have been quite a sight to see the two of them when the doctor told Randy his daughter was here and he hugged this very pregnant lady.
In 1976 we moved to Waco, Texas, and the hardest part of that move was leaving such dear friends.  However, as it has turned out we have stayed very close.  Marilyn and I may not talk for two or three months, but when we do, it is almost as if it was yesterday. 

For Christmas 2008, our children, Daniel and Lisa, gave Randy and me the gift of a cruise to Alaska in anticipation of our upcoming 50th wedding anniversary celebration in 2011.  Of course I told Marilyn.  After Marilyn learned of the gift, in secret, she arranged for her and Vernon to take the same cruise with us.  We did not learn of their presence until we were on the ship. So Randy and I had two very special gifts, the cruise and getting to share it with wonderful friends.  What a marvelous surprise!
Therefore when the theme FRIENDSHIP was announced, it was a given that I would do something in honor of this special relationship.  Our faces are from an image taken on the cruise ship before an elegant evening meal.  This was printed on Timeless Treasures with an ink jet printer.  The costumes were taken from drawings of clothing that might have been worn in the 1890’s.  All of the clothing is fused onto the background which was prepared first and then quilted.  After the costumes were in place, I stitched around each one of them.  The buttons and jewelry are either embroidery or beading.  The ladies hats are put together with pre-made ribbon flowers and glued in place.  And of course, as a finishing flourish, the top hats have a feather!

Jane Hartfield's Friendship Quilt: Friendship Colors My World Happy!

I don’t know if friendship meets the criteria for a theme word, but I chose it because we are ending the first round of quilt challenges for Material Mavens. I have not been a member for the entire time, but the friends I have made through quilting and this group are very important to me. I love meeting new people through quilting. It affords me the opportunity to make new bonds with like minded people. So…Friendship Colors My World Happy!

I started with a piece of fabric I had dye painted during my  dyeing session when several friends gathered to create colorful fabrics. This piece was “wet into wet” and utilized bright primary colors. I quilted it in free motion hearts using 2 variegated threads in the needle. Then I needle felted a larger heart with bamboo roving, yarn, silk threads, and organza. I direct appliquéd a black felt heart to the quilt, then stitched the felted heart to it. The quilt is finished with black zigzag stitching.

You, my new friends, are quite an inspiration to me. Thank you for welcoming me into your group. Happy Quilting!

Friendship - Carol's Quilt

So after racking my brain and doing way too many things in between, I came up with this scenario for Friendahip.
                                 Just a couple of gals having a relaxing time at the local French Bistro.
Really, I was stumped and it popped into my head and I liked it.

Hand dyed fabrics, purchased fabrics, from a drawing I did. TADA!

Lois requested more about the construction...............HHHMMMM, let me see.
When I make anything I have a picture in my head and maybe some photos to use for resources. I then cut out all the pieces and build it as I go adding here and there. Then I usually get mad at myself for not having any Misty Fuse on all those little pieces. I then proceed to remove them all one at a time and put some MF on them, then reassemble and iron the whole thing down then sew it together with appropriate thread.
(You did ask)  LOL!

Lois's Friendship Quilt: You are My HAPPY!

You are my Happy!

When the theme of friendship was first posted I knew that I would do an illustration of my best friend and husband of forty years, Bob.  We met the first day of college and became great friends a year and a half before we started dating, and have been together ever since.  I decided I wanted to get the look and feel of an athletic letter jacket as we were young when this friendship started, yet I wanted to depict him as he looks now, young at heart.  I did a combination of a thread painting, sewn down strips of raw silk, and the heart is a piece of marbled cotton fabric. ( I took a three day workshop in June learning how to marble on silk and cotton and this fabric was created by me in that workshop taught by Karen Tunnell.) 

I started with a photograph, and did a simple illustration of  it and transferred it to my fabric. Then I inked on the fabric with Tsukineko Inks, mapping out where the lettering would go.  I appliqued on the heart with machine applique and started to thread paint.  I didn't plan what else would be on this just kept adding as I was sewing and memories would crop up as that is the way our life has been.  No grand plan just doing what seems right at the time for both of us.   Sweet Pea and Butter Cup refer to our daughters Rebecca and Taryn and they are without a doubt the best thing created from our enduring friendship and marriage.  The heart with initials was taken from our the wedding invitations that we silk screened  together in college.   I will post some details below so you can see it in more detail. Lots of sewing on this little one and lots of back and forth between thread painting and inking of thread and fabric.

Nedra's Friendship - Sochi 2014

I chose to go global with the friendship theme instead of something more personal.  The fact that I had no access to personal photographs or other mementos for this reveal significantly impacted this decision!  I have found it additionally challenging to create the July and Sept reveals as we spend the summers in Maine.  I have some supplies here, but my STASH is in Georgia and it’s a crap shoot as to what I should bring with me!!!!  Well this time I only brought my Kaffee Fasset stash since I had plans to work on a Kim McLean design using his gorgeous fabric this summer.  Well it proved quite useful for my concept.

While thinking about symbols of friendship, the Olympic rings popped into mind.  I contemplated one of the benefits of the Olympics and how they were intended to foster good will and friendly relations between nations and their athletes and citizens.  Many of the participants develop relationships and make lifetime friends as a result.  The Sochi Olympics then came to mind as I thought of the bright colored patchwork banners that were used as the official Look of the Winter Games. They had impressed me with their bright colors and quilt related design.   Research into the development of the banners proved that one of the concepts chosen to be represented by them was friends;  as well as family, motherland, comfort, beauty, warmth and creativity.  Quilts provide and represent those too!  Quilts used to be made and finished in bees with friends and often given to friends!!!  Perfect!!!  And how lucky that my Kaffe stash would be just what I needed to create my quilted interpretation of these banners.

Machine pieced and quilted with fused Olympic rings and tuille covered fabric stamps. 

SIT DOWN - Version Two

Friendship: SIT DOWN

SIT DOWN is a tribute to Carlon (a close friend for over 30 years) and an uneducated African American folk artist named L.V. Hull.  Carlon and I worked together and spent many hours drinking lattes and tea at Starbucks.  On one of her trips, Carlon visited L.V. Hull at her home in Kosiusko, Mississippi.  Hull was famous for creating art out of discarded "junk" - shoes, TVs, hubcaps, wood, bottles, tires, toys, etc.  Hull considered herself an artist and a person who gives good advice.  So, she combined her talents by decorating her creations with brightly colored dots and “sayings” – some familiar and others original. “Face powder may get a man, baking powder will keep him. The three R of life- at 25 romance, at 45 rent, at 65 rheumatism.  Take a smile from someone else and pass it on.”  Her words were crudely written and usually misspelled.  She was proud to say that no two pieces were alike.  While at Hull's home, Carlon purchased a wooden plaque for me with this piece of L.V. advice -“Friend are hard to find; sit down.” It proudly hangs in my sewing studio and is one of my most prized possessions.

For this quilt, I looked at old, humorous cards that I had received, and then tried my hand at creating a caricature of Carlon and me sitting in a Starbucks window. My drawing was traced onto a cream fabric and tinted with colored pencils.  The plaque sits at the bottom of the window.  In true L.V. Hull tradition, I used a variety of dots and unusual colors.  The fabric is Kaffe Fassett cottons and a few leftover hand dyed fabrics.  It is quilted using a walking foot and free motion.  On the back is an enlarged version of my plaque along with the back featuring Hull’s signature, date and expression of faith.  I made two versions of the quilt - one for Carlon; one for me.  L.V. Hull died in 2008 at age 66.  

Andrea's Friendship Quilt - Friendship and The Rotary Telephone

photo transfer, screen printed, paint, watercolor pencil

This quilt started with the 1950's black and white photograph that my father took of my two cousins and me while visiting them in Maine.  I think this was the first time that I had met them and remember having the best time, as I feel this candid photo depicts.

The next time that I had a similar experience was when I met my friend "Jeanette" in the eighth grade, as I think the "photo booth" photos show.  Jeanette and I have been friends ever since, a friendship that I truly value.  Although we e-mail now, many, many notes were written to each other in class ( over the course of five years until we graduated from high school ) that would be exchanged either during the class or in the school hallways while changing classes.  Once home, we continued our conversations by spending hours talking on the phone.

All of the imagery was screen printed except for the photo transfer.  I used watercolor pencils and Jacquard Colorless Extender Textile Paint to color the children's clothing.

Alice's Friendship--Yellow is the Color of Friendship (And Cousins Make the Best Friends)

Recently I found a photo taken in 2006 of our two youngest grandsons, Locke and Dawson.  The cousins (then 3 and 2) are sitting on wooden steps that lead up to a big, wrap-around porch on a house we had rented on Lake Michigan to celebrate our bachelor son Rob’s 40th birthday. I realized that this would make a good image to depict friendship.

I have long wanted to try my hand at screen printing.  So I emailed the image, which I had converted to black and white, to a good friend who has a Thermofax machine.  She graciously made a screen for me from this photo, after manipulating the image herself on Photoshop.  After many trial runs, I finally got a print I that I liked, using acrylic fabric paint.

Soon after doing the screen print, my husband and I saw field after field of sunflowers on a drive home, south of Ft. Worth.  Several days later a sunflower-fields image appeared in the Waco Tribune-Herald.  The photographer was staff photographer Rod Aydelotte, whose work I have long admired.  I got in touch with the newspaper and received permission to purchase a copy of the photograph and to use it in this quilt.  Thanks, Rod and the Tribune-Herald!

But how to make the screen print of the little boys and the photo of the sunflowers work together?  On the internet I learned that the color yellow is associated with friendship.  Perfect!

The sunflower photo is transferred to fabric using TAP, Transfer Artist Paper. The sunflower at the bottom is a silk flower that I cut up and tacked to the quilt.  The images on the quilt are fused onto batik using Misty Fuse.  The quilt is hand quilted using the running stitch with red perle cotton thread.  More of the same batik is used to back and to bind the quilt.

Not wanting to neglect our other two grandchildren, the older two (Lia and Malcolm), who are ALSO good friends, I have reproduced some other photos, another taken also at Lake Michigan in ‘06, on the back of this quilt.  I used TAP for the top two images, the color version of the front screen-printed one and another of the children with their Uncle Rob.  The other photo (printed onto June Taylor Computer Printer Fabric) was taken in Waco at a museum the children adore.  These are all fused on top of a piece of ExtraOrganza by Jacquard, which has been printed with the sub-title of this quilt typed in many different fonts.  I think all the photos illustrate that saying very well!  So now I have a two-sided quilt!  
The quilt's back