Friday, January 22, 2016

The Pun Composite!

A GREAT BIG and sincere APOLOGY – to Jane:
When I created the PUN composite I counted and recounted, checked and double checked the Pun reveals. I even had your excellent pun in the file and ready to include in the composite. But somehow my brain overlooked it and I did not include “Negative Space” – come to think of it – how appropriate – in the final version. Alice alerted me to the fact and graciously offered to let me remove the back of her “Pair of Pears, Pared” to make room for your quilt. Jane – your quilt says it all – I will be more careful hereafter and think of your pun as they frown at me from space – negatively – I am so sorry!

I look forward to “posting” day, probably as much you do. As you would guess, with my work in the field of humor this round was especially exciting and from your comments, challenging – and you did not disappoint. Indeed, you are pun-stitchers.

Then my challenge: Arrange them in some kind of logical order. I’m not convinced “logical” and “pun” should even be used in the same sentence unless you add words of creativity.  Afraid I can’t say there is really an order this time. All the quilts are fantastic groaners, not only in the sense of humor they interpret but in the new techniques you used to illustrate your witticisms. I also congratulate you on the way your quilts visually “speak” your puns.    

If I were still on the gravy circuit I would be seeking permission to use Carol’s “Poet-Tree” and Judy’s “I Scream Cone” – both delightful hoots in color and message. Mathematicians are probably worn out hearing pies are round, not square, but Kathy took a new spin at it. Alice, our retired English teacher, sure did tweak what we should realize for how difficult it must to be teach English as a second language. I to [intentional] get confused as two how to write through or though or how many “s-s” in dessert or desert or is it pair or pare or pear??????  

Then the visual clues in Tricia’s Cornfield County is good for a scene in the old Hee! Haw! show. Carolyn, do we need to give the composite a PG if I hang it up at church because of “Hindsight?” Looks like those folks could get a little behind in their work if they don’t keep stitching. [What a visual treat!]

The quilts made by Gail, Andrea, Karen, and Sara are interesting lessons in punning. You must add information [know something more] to get the “groan” which makes the puns all the more sophisticated and more of a moaner [or, as Sara said, “banned from the house!”]. For instance: Gail, what is that symbol? Andrea, what is Resist? [Resist arrest?]; Sara, is Yin and Yang really on the ironing board? Wow – good job all!

Nedra, I think you would have had the right to whack your husband if he woke up and said, “Honey, I feel your pain!” Yet another well-known cliché we husbands say without thinking. Glad you didn’t. That cake looks yummy but should it have been spelled “peace?”  

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Karen's "If you MOUSTACHE.....

I went to my niece for pun ideas. She loves them and has a bunch of magnets on her fridge with all kinds of puns. Then I remembered she had the ultimate pun. A picture of her girls wearing one!!
Keira and Maura rocking their tee's!! (and their little socks I made)

I made a little quilt for them to lay on made out of leftover squares that I stitched into strips, re-cut and re-sewed. I used Printed Treasures for their picture then echo quilted around them.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Kathy's New Challenge Word: DOODLE

OK Mavens !     Let's have some crazy fun with this one !  

"DOODLE" could be a Noun, Verb, Adjective, Gerund (as in Doodling !) or just about anything you'd like it to be !

As with Alice's Pun Challenge, you might check out Google's Visual Images for inspiration, check the dictionary for its definitions, and going back to Google's Visuals, try adding the prefix "Zen" to the word Doodle  :-)

Hope y'all have a great time with this one .... I look forward to enjoying all your beautiful works of art in April !

Love,    Kathy


       After getting over my initial "How can I possibly make a PUN into a quilt" freaking-out reaction, I followed Alice's suggestion about Googling "Visual Puns," and had a blast making this quilt !   And in the process, re-affirmed how much I love playing with words :-)
      Of all the wild & crazy visual pun choices, I selected "PUMPKIN PI" because there were so many directions I could take with this pun.   Obviously, the Pumpkin and the Pi sign.  But then.... how about "Pumpkin Pi [r] Square(d)"  !
       The pumpkin is from of some Halloween fabric I already had in my stash.  I appliqued it to some gorgeous Lonni Rossi 'Roasted  Corn' fabric, and then using 'Visual Images' again, found the perfect Pi sign to use as my pattern.

The thought of 'Pumpkin Pi [r] Squared' came about as I was getting ready to start quilting.    Beautiful swirls ?  Gentle curves ?  OR.... Squares, rectangles and a few triangles thrown in for good measure ! 

And the final 'Squaring Off" ???    The back of the quilt, of course !

Thanks Alice !    Great challenge ....  great fun  !

Jane's Pun Quilt

Jane’s “Pun” Quilt

Negative Space

 Well, this should be a delightful reveal. It has been very challenging for me. I kept researching visual puns hoping to find one that really spoke to me. Finally, about 2 weeks ago, I ran across an image which inspired my quilt. I have to admit I tried to come up with something totally original that had art connotations, but had to come back to this image.

The title of my quilt is Negative Space. All of the planets have frowns, one is crying, one has her tongue out. Some of these expressions are difficult to see, but they are there.

I started with a hand-dyed background then looked into my stash of fused fabrics to find some planets. After quilting the background, I fused the planets in place and quilted them. Then I drew their expressions on with markers. I thought it was done but realized they didn’t particularly look like planets. I added the sparkly rings around one of them with Holoshimmer thread to add that special quality.

I wanted to use the expression, “Color gets all the credit while Value does the work” Can any of you draw me a cartoon of that?

Rita's Pun Quilt: The Focus Ranch--Where the Sun's Rays Meet

The pun – a very sophisticated form of humor most often greeted by a hearty groan. Truth be told, your sense of humor either loves a pun or you respond with, “I don’t get it!”  When Alice threw down the gauntlet with this challenge I wanted to try a broken needle technique but what would be the point? (Groan) 

In another life, Randy traveled the “chicken fried steak and white cream gravy” circuit doing “The Healing Power of Humor” workshops, which included the use of humor in creativity and thus, the fun in discussing puns. When Alice gave us this challenge one of Randy’s workshop puns immediately gave me another grin and a groan.  But how to construct the pun in cloth?  I remembered a piece of fabric art at the 2014 International Quilt Festival in Houston.  It was created by Dr. Flora Joy and was of Jackie Kennedy, Oprah, and Mother Theresa.  Looking from the left you see Jackie, looking straight on you see Oprah, and looking from the right you can see Mother Theresa.  In the meantime, Randy had volunteered to do a photo art piece for one of the Stations of the Cross for Lent for our Church. I then discovered Dr. Joy’s book, Trispective, the 3-n-1 Quilt, and we had the actual “how-to” for both projects. 

In order to construct a trispective, three different images must be created.  I decided to try my hand at painting on fabric.  Think Hollis Chatelaine and the Nelson Mandela quilt that won Best of Show at Houston one year.  I traced the images you see on to Grunge fabric (Moda) using a very fine Micron pen.  I used Setacolor opaque fabric paint, purchased from Lenore Crawford when I took her class on turning a photo into a quilt at Quilting Adventures in New Braunfels.  The completed painted images must be cut into one inch wide strips and then merged.  As I was working, I never stopped repeating the mantra, “blue-green-yellow, blue-green-yellow.” Getting the strips out of order would not be a good thing. The strips were fused to a heavy craft interfacing by Pellon.  I stitched between each strip to allow a fold between each strip.  Before folding, the fused piece was 41 inches long. The finished piece was supposed to be 11 x 14 but the end product is 11 x 15 because the interfacing folds made the piece grow. 

So what is the pun?  The Focus Ranch: Where the son’s raise meat.

Gail's Pun...Music, the staff of life

I had several ideas that I'd been mulling over, but when a friend teasingly said "make me a music quilt" I had my quilt!  This is such a wonderful place to try new techniques.  New to me were the dotted phalange in the binding, sewing in sequins (which worked beautifully), and using variegated thread in a machine fancy stitch.  Thank you again Mavens for challenging me.  This one was very difficult mentally!


What a fun theme this was.  I thought of all sorts of puns, but had been thinking of something to do with this number 70 that I had made when I turned 70 - five years ago!  About that time, I also added a fat quarter to my stash that had pictures of women with plentiful behinds and abundant breasts.

Folks continue to tout that the 70s are the new 50s. So, I knew exactly what I would do for my pun quilt, "In hindsight, I thought the 70s would be the new 50s, butt..." As those of us who have passed through aging know, our bodies change and sometimes add poundage over the years exactly where it is not wanted!

My quilt is raw edge appliquéd with various cottons and images cut from the "stout women" fat quarter.  I used colored pencils and fabric pens for the facial features of a caricature of myself.  I love hats although I don't wear many, so I added a flowered Kaffe Fassett hat and sassy spool earrings (which, by the way, I would probably wear!).  The image 70 became my clothing.  I do love rosy cheeks and bright lipstick, so those elements, along with the green eyes perfected my caricature.  At the bottom of the quilt, I added the phrase, "In hindsight ..."

I free motion stitched with Aurifil thread around all of the female characters and added the "endowed woman" at the top right because, I, too am blessed with endowment. My family has chuckled heartily at this self-portrait, as I know you will.

Tricia's Pun- Material Ravens Sew Corny

When I heard the theme "Pun" I was completely stumped.  My husband loves Puns.  So on a bike ride I brought up our theme. Boy did that get him going!  So many ideas.  I love the fact that the theme also created a lot of discussion among the group. I also talked about the theme with my daughters.  We came up with Material Ravens and Sew Corny.

I used hand painted fabric from Mickey Lawler for the background fabric.  I then picked the fabric for the ravens and machine appliqued the ravens and corn.  I couched black cording for the telephone wires.  I pulled thread from my trash for the birds beaks.  I used beads for the eyes. I used a new technique for facing my quilt.

Judy's Pun: I Scream CONE

With all the driving that I do I feel like doing this. Now as I drive I will be able to see it in a more positive light. I would really like an ice cream cone rather then those blasted orange cones. 

I want to quilt more on this and put an ice cream truck behind the cones, but I have a lot of shirts to finish by a deadline. It won’t melt while it is waiting for me.

Sara's Pun Irony

Irony is the Opposite of Wrinkly!  
I had trouble with this assignment. Even though I do appreciate a good pun, my wonderful husband has declared our home a pun free zone. We once had an acquaintance who made every conversational encounter an excuse to see how many puns he could produce, hence my dear husband's banning of puns in the home. I did get totally inspired when my very wonderful girl friend presented me with a custom T-Shirt for my birthday. The front declares (in rhinestones) "Stash Queen" and the back shoulder "Irony is the Opposite of Wrinkly". This quilt came as a complete mental image which was then filed away for the intervening months. 
The white fabric was densely stitched onto texture magic and steamed. The black circle in the white area has a thread sketched iron. I did this by tracing a clip art iron cartoon onto a piece of aged sulky solvy which had yellowed over the years and so let me see the black lines even on the black background. I placed black fabric under the solvy and tear away under it. I free motion stitched the iron outline. The image was all there and the stabilizers were easily torn away. 

The little circles were reversed appliqued into place. Getting a good final circle of the right size was difficult for me until my husband suggested I use one of his "junk" vinyl records (one of his current passions is collecting and listening to music on old vinyl records) as they are a perfect 12 inch circle.
The binding was less than successful as I wanted to arrange the colors so I used a wrapped rather than mitered corner. I am going to work on that technique!
As always this was fun and a great way to stretch
Irony is the Opposite of Wrinkly!

Nedra's Pun - A Piece of Cake

My first impression for this theme was Ugh! I'm not a witty and clever person - I'll never think of anything punny!!  But with much thought and suggestions from several of you, my brain began to swim with ideas.  I finally settled on this one as it had a very personal connection to an important event in my life. When it came to mind I knew that would be it !!

I was pregnant with my first child and I, like so many of my contempararies, wanted to have the baby by natural childbirth.  My husband John and I dutifully went to Lamaze classes and he was well prepared to be my coach.   On my last day of work, which coincided with my due date, I went into labor.   The contractions started very erratically around 6 in the morning but I wasn't quite sure this was really "it".  So I went to work, trained my replacement and went home.   Soon after arriving home, things became more regular and the contractions became closer together.  We left for the hospital when they were 5 minutes apart which was near midnight.  Much to my disbelief and disappointment I was only dilated 5 centimeters!!  There was a lot of laboring to go!!  After a shower, much back labor, and rocking on my knees to turn the baby I decided it was time for the drugs.  But NO - it was too late now!!  So I continued naturally and had Katie at 8 am.  That's about 26 hours of labor(but who's counting) and you're probably wondering what the heck this has to do with cake!!  

John is a very positive and encouraging person and tried so hard to be a good coach providing strength, support and optimism.  BUT, he also can go to sleep at the drop of a hat and kept nodding off between contractions.   I HAD TO WAKE HIM UP when a new contraction started to be my coach!!  Each time, his head would pop up and he'd cheerily say, ITS A PIECE OF CAKE, NEDRA!"  This was his way of telling me you're doing great - it'll be ok.  Silly me, each time he said it,  I wanted to STRANGLE HIM!!   From my perspective, this was NO PIECE OF CAKE!!  

The piece is fused and machine quilted. A shiva paintstick was used to darken the top of the cake to look more like icing.   If you look closely, "It's a girl  Katie" is written on the pink baby rattle to honor our first child.

Andrea's Pun Quilt

I Just Couldn't Resist

11 x 14

glue resist fabric, hand-dyed 100% cotton, machine pieced, fused,
machine stitched

I never intended to design another circle quilt for my Pun, but my muse sent me in that direction.  I will admit that I had trouble coming up with any pun concepts that I really wanted to work with.  This quilt is the result of my third idea.  With the deadline looming, I had to begin with something, so started to construct my second idea.  After a two day struggle, I was looking online and saw the word "resist" and thought OK, this is something that I can have fun with!
Many years ago when I first started using fiber-reactive dyes, I created some resist fabrics, a surface design technique, using a product called Presist and thickened dyes.  I looked though the fabrics that I had made and was disappointed because none of them "spoke" to me.  When I realized I would not have enough time to make more fabric using those products, I remembered that I had read about using Elmer's School glue as a resist.
It was suggested that the fabric be stretched on some type of frame so that it would not come in contact with another surface while drying.  The first thing I thought of was an embroidery hoop, which worked very well.  I applied the glue to a piece of my snow-dyed fabric in a squiggle pattern and let it dry overnight.  Once completely dried I sprayed it with a diluted black acrylic paint.  I ended up wanting to use the entire circle instead of cutting it up as I originally thought I would do.  I pieced the circle ( I actually made five circles ) into a hand-dyed fabric with a color shift from purple to magenta.  

 Wet glue on snow-dyed fabric

Design wall with resist circle fabrics.

Carol's Pun Poetry - Poet-Tree

In the beginning when the word was chosen I was completely stumped. I started thinking about it and came up with poetry, which translated to Poet-Tree.
I copied a small picture that was my inspiration (it was about 3”) and used my enlarger to obviously enlarge it! I started out with a white piece of fabric and used fabric paints and Inktense sticks, not the pencils, to create my wood tree. I also used some masking for the
whites of his eyes, which I had never done before, and a hair dryer to dry th inks and paints when I added more color. Once I had him all painted up, I did stitched texture for his bark/mustache/face/hands and then cut him out of the fabric.
I then got another piece of fabric and painted his background. I attached him to the background and stuffed him a little so he would have a small belly. I then sewed him down and added more

quilting and fancy stitching, etc. His right hand and book were added last. The book cover is a small piece of silk and the pages are white cotton. I wrote the poem Trees by Joyce Kilmer in his little book, of course.
All in all, I like him quite a bit.

Alice's Pun Quilt: A Pair of Pears, Pared

From the beginning, I debated between two different puns, but eventually I settled on the homonyms “pear, pair, and pare.”  I pared a red and a green pair of pears, arranged the pared pairs on a plate, and shot the photo outside on the back porch against the brick wall.  

I printed the photo, after doctoring it a bit on Photoshop, using Jacquard Inkjet Fabric Sheets. Inktense Pencils in various shades of greens and red and a bit of brown and yellow helped to brighten the colors; I blended them with a brush dipped in water.  This was the most fun part of this quilt for me!  (Thanks, Jane Hartfield!)

I have a brand new machine and was eager to try it out on the quilting.  I lost my nerve, though, as far as free-motion quilting, so stitched a gentle curving vine and leaves using the open-toe embroidery foot, feed dogs engaged.  The quilting can hardly be seen, but it shows up a bit better on the back!

Then I fused the photo onto the background, using Wonder Under.  After fusing it, I appliqued around the photo using the buttonhole stitch to secure it.  Finally, I bound the quilt with another red batik. 

PS:  This is actually a two-sided quilt!  On the back is the other design I considered. This one is based on the pun first mentioned by Carolyn:  “Blessed are the piece-makers,” [a pun on the Bible verse “Blessed are the peace-makers”] and it depicts various ones of us Material Mavens “piecing.”  Well, sewing on machines.  Some of us claim never to piece!  Not me!  Who makes this claim will remain nameless!  I actually put together a composite, but I don't think I'll be taking over Randy's job!

 I identify the "piecers" (sorry, quilt artists) in the caption.  I've also posted the original composite, which of course is sharper and clearer than the photo I printed onto fabric!

Photos taken at either Quilting Adventures in 2013 (I think!) or in Nantucket (this
past spring!)
From the top, left to right:  Jane at QA, Nedra in Nantucket,
Carolyn and Sara at QA.  Middle row:  Andrea watching Lois sew in
Nantucket; Alice at QA; Sara in Nantucket.  Third row,
Tricia in Nantucket; Jane, Gail, and Alice at QA.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Judy's Whisper Challenge Quilt #5

When Rita sent me a photo of her quilt I looked at it with an eye of “What are the main components of the design?” I saw a circle, a dark frame, and a toucan in a jungle with foliage. A couple of previous art quilts I made had circles cut out of them. Using that technique I created this to be a piece where the observer is looking through something and mentally completing the picture.

Tricia's Whisper Challenge #2

When I saw Carolyn's whisper quilt. I loved her quilt.  The bicycle reminded me of a bike trip my husband and I took in China.  As we biked along the river we saw the raft floating along. We later took a trip on a similar raft.  I used intense blocks for some of the shading, free motion machine quilting and hand stitching for the river motion.

Lois's Whisper Challenge Quilt #3

I am posting this for Lois, as she is up to ears with moving out of state and with the construction of a new house!  This is the third quilt in the challenge, and she had this to say about her quilt:

When I saw Tricia's quilt I was impressed by the travel aspect of it to far away lands.  Also her lovely use of reflections.  We had just completed a trip to the Galapagos and the photo I had of two friends canoeing and birding at night reminded me of Tricia's.     I decided to do the challenge as a thread paintings with some minor painting with inks. 

Carolyn's Whisper Challenge #1: Boy on a Bike in front of the Cactus Cafe

I was asked to start the whisper challenge by creating a quilt based on one of my photographs.  I chose this photo, which my husband made several years ago in Arizona.  I thought it had so many graphic components that could be a starting point for the next quilter - a boy - a bicycle - a clock - plenty of circles - a restaurant, etc.  My pictorial quilt is an exact replica of the photograph.  It is raw edge appliquéd and free-motion quilted using all cotton fabrics and Aurifil thread.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Rita's Inspiration for Whisper Quilt #4

A lady in a boat on a river in a forest looking through binoculars.  My quilt is what I think she might have been observing.  The quilt is done with raw edge applique with some detail such as leaf veins added with permanent fabric pen.  The quilting was done by stitching around the applique.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Whisper Challenge Quilts!

Eight of us Material Mavens started a year ago on a special challenge project, one that was totally separate from the challenges that all of us participate in.  This challenge is called the Whisper Challenge, and it is based on all the old-time party game, Telephone or Whisper.

The way the game worked was that participants sat in a circle.  The first person whispered a sentence to the next person, and then that one whispered to the one seated beside him or her.  By the time the sentence had worked its way around the circle, the last person said the sentence aloud.  Most often, maybe always, the sentence was dramatically different!

The way our challenge worked was that the first quilter (Carolyn) composed a quilt based on a photograph.  She then sent a picture of the quilt, with no other explanation, to quilter #2, who was Tricia.  Looking at Carolyn's quilt, Tricia then composed a quilt that was in some way inspired by some aspect of Carolyn's quilt.

This process then was repeated until all eight of us had composed quilts.

Number 3 was Lois, and then Rita constructed #4.  Judy based her #5 quilt on Rita's, and she sent me a photo of it.  I then composed my #6 quilt and sent a photo to Kathy, #7.  She constructed her quilt, photographed it, and then sent it on to the last quilter, Janet, who despite being confined to bed, was able to make a lovely quilt!

Sadly, though I composed the "hang tags" for all of these quilts for our just-completed Waco quilt show, I failed to save these documents.  So!  I will talk about my quilt, #6, and then I'll ask the other quilters to discuss their quilts in the comments!

When I saw Judy's quilt, what struck me were the three circles, the toucan bird, the lovely foliage, and the blue background.  So I wanted to include some living creature--and decided on a fish.  I used Susan Carlson's method to construct my fish separately, utilizing multiple gold and yellow fabrics cut in strips to form the fish.  My background was composed in a manner similar to Carlson's but was more accurately a "Sue Benner" method whereby, again, many small pieces and strips of fabric were placed on the backing, holding them down with fabric glue.  To further secure these strips, I topped them with tulle and quilted them down.  I added the seaweed and the air bubbles coming from the fish.  I had quilted HIM before I appliquéd him down onto the background, and I stitched around him many times with a zig zag stitch, another Sue Benner technique.

Okay, now let's have some fairly detailed comments from Carolyn, Tricia, Lois, Rita, Judy, Kathy, and finally Janet, and what inspired their quilts and what methods they used in constructing them!

See all of you on the blog on Friday of this week!

PS  Click to enlarge the composite!  You can see the quilts much better that way!