Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Quote Composite

Creativity, incongruity and humor, remember the connection? When the word quote was presented, as usual, I couldn’t wait to see which of the four nouns would be the most prevalent in the quilts. I must tell on myself. I was hoping to see someone take “quote” outside the box and not just do a quote, but do a quilt about quoting. Instead, the fifteen panels beautifully and creatively and with a touch of humor do a gorgeous job of illustrating each chosen quote.

Row one: I thought the colors, the style of the panels and the humor just seemed to go together. HHHMMM Tee Hee, Jane and Teresa, a little too much wine, and it all may look like, “a little ray of pitch black.”

Row two:  Art is an image of an experience but it is also an experience unto itself. Thus, look carefully at row two and you will become involved in what the quilters are feeling. Better yet, read a good book, listen to good music, perceive/receive.

Row three: Quite often I will see images so thoughtful that demand to go together, and they will be the first row created, such as the three in this row. Then I will block in the remainder of the composite.  Therefore, my reasoning is simple; how can the three quilts fit anywhere else?

Row four:  Dorothy had no idea where she was going, nor did Yogi, so why not play in the rain on the way. Why not indeed!

Row five: The patterns in the quilts attracted me to this row: trees, leaves and the brilliant colors in Carolyn’s quilt. 

Another round of JOB WELL DONE to you all. 

An Assortment of Scenes from the Retreat!

This will give you just a taste of the fun and fellowship we had!  What a great bunch of women.  All of us really bonded over our love of art quilting and having fun!  So happy that Carolyn and I met Gail and Jane at a Quilting Adventures class with Katie P-M several years ago, and so happy, too, that these two suggested Candy and Teresa for membership in our online group!
Jane, Gail, Candy--relaxing at the cabin during Happy Hour!

Judy, Carolyn, Rita, Candy--also Happy Houring!

Rita working on a project brought from home.  Sun printed fabric at the back!

Teresa quilting one of her digital photos printed on satin.

Candy working on a project from home.

Jane pondering how to quilt her ice-dyed piece.

Lobby at the lodge.

Carolyn and her sun printed fabric; Gail in the back.

Alice adding "masks" in the form of sticky foam cut outs to her
painted fabric to be sun printed.

Candy showing us how to make stamps from craft
or "sticky" foam.

Rita showing us how to make those amazing 3-D quilts!

The dining room from a floor above.

Storm rolling in to Mt. Magazine!

Carolyn in white, Candy, Jane, Alice.  I am watching Jane quilt
her ice-dyed piece and getting hints and tips!

Jane celebrating her birthday with chocolate cake and red wine--our last
Happy Hour at the cabin!

Judy working on her gorgeous quilt, brought from home!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Our Mt. Magazine, AR, Retreat!

Eight of us Material Mavens had a wonderful time last week from last Monday through Saturday at Mt. Magazine state park in Arkansas.  The four Arkansas members were great hosts, and the four of us from Texas were amazed at the beauty of this location.  The Texas Mavens stayed in the lovely lodge in excellent hotel rooms, and the four from Arkansas had rented a two-bedroom cabin.

We shared art quilting ideas and techniques, and many of the most industrious members worked on individual projects during our "free times."  And we spent many hours visiting and having fun!

I'll try to recount briefly some of the sessions we had:

1.  Gail Bradney talked to us about the importance of value in quilting.  She showed many examples of her own work, and members shared their own experiences in the use of value.  I personally showed photos of one of my own quilts that "breaks rules" in that it was purposely designed as a quilt with little or no contrast in value.

2.  Jane Hartfield led us in a great session of ice-dyeing.  Before we started work, Jane showed us beautiful examples of her own work.  Some of us had never worked with dyeing whole cloth quilts.  All of us were excited and amazed by the results.

3.  I led the group in sun printing, which following Jane's sophisticated technique I described as "going back to kindergarten"!  Despite the simplicity of the method, the eight of us enjoyed the magic of painting damp fabric with Setacolor paints, placing leaves or other "masks" on the fabric, and then setting it outside in the sun to dry.  Eventually with rain threatening, we brought the fabrics inside, but once all had dried, the results were fun to see.

4.  Teresa had a most informative session on using Spoonflower (https://www.spoonflower.com) to print your own fabric from digital images.  The examples she showed of her own products were beautiful and inspiring!  Teresa and Jane both were most generous in demonstrating how they quilt either the dyed whole cloth quilts or the thread painted fabric from Spoonflower.

5.  Rita demonstrated with enlarged photos how to create the amazing 3-D quilts such as the one she produced for our Pun challenge.  She took us step by step through the process, using paper rather than cloth.  To see this results of this technique, you can go back on our own blog to http://thematerialmavens.blogspot.com/2016/01/ritaspun-focus-ranch-where-suns-rays.html
Rita made what appears to be nearly impossible look doable and fun.

6.  Candy showed us how to make stamps to use on quilts using the sticky-back foam sheets you can purchase at any hobby store, attaching designs to leftover meat trays from the grocery store.

In addition to these demonstrations and lessons and, in some cases, hands-on experiments, we went on a field trip to Mama's Log Cabin quilt store, a store out in the country outside of Ft. Smith.  Owner Kay Voss prepared a delicious lunch for us, and many of us were delighted to find "just what we needed" or at least wanted at Kay's store that is crammed with beautiful fabrics and a huge variety of books and patterns and other quilting necessities.

Every evening we enjoyed fellowship at the cabin that the Arkansas Mavens had rented, having Happy Hour with wine and snacks.

All in all, a great retreat.  I'll try to follow up with more photos later!

Candy, Judy, Carolyn, Rita, Alice, Jane, and Gail on the porch at the cabin.   Teresa took this photo! There's another that Gail took with Teresa in her place.  I'll try to locate and add that one!

Our ice-dyed fabrics!  Bottom row:  Jane, Rita, Alice, and Carolyn.
Top row:  Judy, Teresa, and Gail.  (Sadly, Candy had already left and didn't get in this group shot!)

Our sun-printed fat quarters!   Top Row, Judy, Teresa, and Gail.
Botom row:  Rita, Jane, Alice, and Carolyn.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Tricia's Quote You Are My Sunshine

When I first heard about the theme "Quote," my first thought was the song-

 You are my sunshine,
My only sunshine.
You make me happy
When skies are gray.
You'll never know dear
How much I love you.
Please don't take
My sunshine away.

The song is one of my favorites. This past winter we have been living in Nantucket full time. I have started taking a lot of yoga classes. In one of the Saturday classes at a building called "The Greater Light" the yoga teacher read this quote from Mathew 5:14-16

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

With these two quotes I decided I needed to create a light of sunshine.  I created the sun with rays extending out in all shades of yellow.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Karen's Quote

   If Opportunity Doesn't Knock,
   Build a Door


   I have always made my own opportunities when it comes to employment. I tried working the "conventional" jobs and they just weren't for me! I moved home at 25, started a bridal alterations business in the evenings and weekends, and during the week provided childcare. After 13 yrs of that, turned to teaching quilting and sewing which I still do and started a gardening business taking care of clients gardens. My fantasy is this shop where somehow the combination of flowers and fabric would meld together.
   This piece is machine appliqued, embellished with silk ribbon embroidery. Many French knots!!
It's a piece that I had drafted a long time ago...Quotes challenge pushed me to finish....and build another door! 

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Kathy's Quotation

Belated Greetings, and an explanation about why my posting is a bit late.    Actually my quilt has been ready for a while, but while trying to compose this Blog entry, my computer, iPhone, and digital camera got together and collectively decided to take the day off  :-(    I've spent hours trying to upload the pix of the quilt (iPhone, camera, computer), and finally had to text (iPhone) the pictures to my sister and have her e-mail them back to me.   Arghhhhh !    Anyway ...  Here we go !

This quotation (Music is What Feelings Sound Like) is near and dear to my heart.   I started piano lessons when I was 6 years old, and started playing the organ in Junior High.   Music has always been an integral part of my life, and often, its where I "go" when I need some peace and quiet; when I need to think things out; where I find happiness, joy, consolation, solace.  

One of my former organ teachers (truly a Master at his craft), would often tell me to "Play with Passion ! " in other words not just 'play' at the music, but really put my heart and soul into it.   I've found this to be really important when I accompany church services.... especially those having to do with what we call "Life Events."     

When I'm 'playing' and rendering service to others as a "Liturgical Musician," I'm at my very best.  I know the people need comfort, support, encouragement, joy, laughter ....  all the emotions that go with the life events we encounter on our journey.     I'm able to do that through the graces of God, and the incredibly awesome musicians who have accompanied me on my own personal journey.

In making this quilt, I used my computer (Shreky! ) to word process the quote, then made paper stencils for each of the letters / words.   Using "Mystyfuse" and dark blue batik fabric, I was able to construct the words, and adhere them onto the lighter blue background fabric.  

I wanted the quilting to be rather ethereal, so kept the stippling pretty tight around the words; then expanded the quilting to include lots of swirls, expanded stippling and meandering.   The threads are two of my most favorites:  Madeira 30 weight variegated rayon (absolutely yummy !), and Madeira monofilament in the bobbin.

The backing of the quilt... of course was inspired by music :-D

The binding:  Pinked raw-edge fabric fused to the back and front of the quilt, and then top stitched, as described in "Fusing Fun !" by Laura Wasilowski

Dee's "Quotation" Challenge

Theme:  Quotations
Dee Stewart Merrell

"Plans to protect air and water, wilderness and wildlife, are in fact plans to protect man.”
― Stewart L. Udall

Title:  “A Tree for Udall”

I have kept many books of handwritten quotations over the years; I don't know where they are now, but I am sure that if I could reread them they would still have deep meaning.  As I have lived in different places and been the keeper of children, of promises and of secrets, I have changed and the themes of my quotes have changed. Now one of my favorite quotations, written by me but not the one I chose for this challenge, is; “Grow where you are transplanted”.   I have a closeness with nature, farmland and agriculture which was the canvas of my youth. Presently I live in the city, or rather, suburbs, which I love, but those initial roots have also been my support.   When choosing my quote I knew that I wanted to offer homage to trees. 

I have concerns about the present path that our government has chosen in regards to our environment, and I look back to the  progressive leaders  that initiated the environmental movement;  I chose to highlight Stewart Lee Udall. Stewart Lee Udall was an American politician and later, a federal government official. After serving three terms as a congressman from Arizona, he served as Secretary of the Interior from 1961 to 1969, under presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.

Udall played a key role in the enactment of environmental laws such as the Clear Air, Water Quality and Clean Water Restoration Acts and Amendments, the Wilderness Act of 1964, the Endangered Species Preservation Act of 1966, the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965, the Solid Waste Disposal Act of 1965, the National Trail System Act of 1968, and Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968.  He also helped to spark a cultural renaissance by setting in motion initiatives that led to the Kennedy Center and others.    

My art work was done with two contrasting hand-dyed fabrics, manipulated to offer the  best placement of color.  The trees are fused and stitched with simple background quilting.  The background fabric is by Gloria Loughman, and the tree fabric by Ricky Tims.  The quilted piece is mounted on an 11”  x 14” canvas frame.

Sara's Quote Quilt - Directions from Yogi Berra

 The Women in Visual and Literary Arts in Houston did a show called "She Said", where each piece was inspired by a woman's quote. I thought "Quote" would be a great one word spring board and I did not expound on it much since I thought a work might be inspired by any number of quotes or sayings or perhaps even typography. This topic proved tricky for me because it seems so boundless. As I said the last time, I need boundaries to quit thinking and actually start working!

It turns out that there are many quotes I love. My favorite was on a calendar for "Women who do to much" that I was given at the lowest point of my life. I remember taking to heart the notion that "She who laughs, lasts" (often attributed to Mary Pettibone Poole but sometimes to others). I also love one from Robert E, Lee "The education of a man is not complete until he dies". I did not get a visual sensation from either of those.

 I remembered learning in an "Improving Work Processes" class (when I worked in a manufacturing facility) that Yogi Berra said "if you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there". I looked it up and discovered to my horror that that is NOT what Yogi said but rather was derived from the Cheshire cat. Yogi actually said "If you don't know where you are going you will end up somewhere" or perhaps "You have to be careful if you don't know where you are going, because you might not get there". He also gave directions once saying "when you get to the fork in the road, take it". As someone who has always had issues with map directions, I decided to pay tribute to directions from Yogi Berra  with this simple quilt:

Made with bias strips and an x marks the spot done with fusible applique. I constantly do remind myself that "she who laughs lasts"

Alice's Quotation Quilt: A Bookshelf Quilt

I suppose it’s no secret by this time, among my Material Mavens friends, that I love books and reading!  Off the top of my head, I can recall my “Comfort” quilt (favorite reading easy chair, mug of tea, stack of books, etc.) my “Translate” quilt (depicts the main character of my all-time favorite book) and recently, a quilt based on poet Robert Frost’s poem.  Perhaps there have been others that I don’t immediately call to mind, quilts that reveal this love that stands with quilting as my two favorite pastimes.  SO! I embraced this theme with great delight!  What quotation to choose among the hundreds of my most favorite authors?  

And then I chose a quotation from an author (Roald Dahl) who’s a favorite of one of my grandchildren and not me!  But the quotation is so delightful, and as soon as I found it, I knew what I’d construct:  a bookshelf quilt, with a shelf holding some of the favorite books from my childhood.   I put Dahl's quotation in a banner above the bookshelf.  (It reads: "So please, oh please, we beg, we pray, Go throw your TV sets away. /  And in its place you can install/ A lovely bookshelf on the wall.)

That idea conjured up a happy memory of myself as a little girl:  Sitting on the floor in front of a shelf in the children’s section of the Austin Public Library.  I had just finished reading THE VOYAGES OF DOCTOR DOOLITTLE, and I was fascinated by the doctor and envied his ability to talk to animals.  When I discovered on the bottom shelf other books about the beloved doctor by author Hugh Lofting, I was as excited as I’d have found a buried treasure!

The books on my bookshelf quilt are pieced, not fused.  Once I had finished the piecing, for the titles I used again a technique I had used for my “Interwoven” quilt, printing onto ribbon.  I typed in different fonts just a few of my childhood favorites among the scores whose titles I well remember. Then using double-stick tape, I taped ribbons over the titles, and I ran this page through the printer again.  

Then I fused the ribbons with the titles down onto the books, using Wonder Under, and then I appliquéd them with a small buttonhole stitch.  I printed off the banner at the top of the quilt with the Roald Dahl quotation, and I appliquéd it, too.  The little blonde girl, who represents me as a child, was a coloring book image that I printed onto fabric, after coloring it with colored pencils. Then I fused it and stitched around it also.  This buttonhole and straight appliqué stitching sufficed for the quilting on my quilt.  I bound the quilt conventionally with red fabric, and the backing is a wonderful print of books that I have had for a long time.

Rita's Quotation Quilt

This challenge has been a delightful thread to follow.  In my search for the perfect quotation to illustrate, I found some writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson that seemed to be a book about quotations, containing quotations about quotations.   And so my quilt was formed.

In actuality, the piece entitled "Quotation and Originality" is just one part of a larger work by Emerson entitled "Letters and Social Aims," published in 1875, containing essays originally published in the 1840s.

My quilt displays only three quotations attributed to Emerson, but several more quotations about quotations from Emerson, which are food for thought, are as follows:

"All minds quote."

"We quote not only books and proverbs, but arts, sciences, religions, customs, and laws; nay, we quote temples and houses, tables and chairs by imitation."

"A brave man quotes bravely, and will not draw on his invention when his memory serves him with a word as good.  What he quotes, he fills with his own voice and humor, and the whole cyclopedia of his table-talk is presently believed to be his own."

"Quotation confesses inferiority."

"The child quotes his father, and the man quotes his friend. . . .  Whatever we think and say is wonderfully better for our spirits and trust, in another mouth."

"The divine never quotes, but is, and creates."

Another quotation that is fun for the imagination was written by Gelett Burgess (1866-1951), author of "The Purple Cow."

"Ah, yes! I wrote the 'Purple Cow'--
I's sorry, now, I wrote it!
But I can tell you anyhow,
I'll kill you if you quote it!"

In creating my quilt, an image of a book, closed and opened, was enlarged to fit the space designated for each. The pieces of the books were traced on heavy weight paper stock, cut out and wrapped with fabric to which a fusible had been applied.  The puzzle pieces of the books were then put together and using permanent fabric glue, attached to the quilted and bound background. A bit of whimsy was added with the stick figures quoting Emerson.

Carolyn's Quote: "Each Flower A Soul"

"Each flower is a soul blossoming in nature."

In March, Alice and I took a class from Lenore Crawford who mixes painted fabric with cotton prints.  After the class, I was not happy with my piece.  It was based on a photo I took of a vivid pink ocotillo bloom at Ghost Ranch, the home of Georgia O’Keefe.  So when thinking about our theme “quote,” I decided to cut it up and make a close-up version of a modern looking cluster of flowers popping up from the ground. 

As a flower-lover, I found a lovely quote by Gernard de Nerval that suited my intention for this design.  Nerval was an 18th century writer, poet, essayist and translator.  As a friend of Victor Hugo, he translated Goethe’s Faust into French, thereby introducing the French to a variety of German Romantic authors.  He thus became a major figure in French romanticism.

I used pieces of my hand-painted flower that had previously been bonded onto 100% cotton and fused the pieces into a design using Wonder Under.  Each piece was layered onto a piece of dark blue batik. I thought the design needed some other colors, so I free-hand cut and painted a yellow batik flower and green batik for greenery.  The small yellow flower above the leaf is a piece from a Kaffe Fassett fabric.  The quote was digitally printed on a yellow background.  I made a sandwich of the design by adding cotton batting,  a layer of 12”x12” Timtex and a backing fabric.  Then I machine quilted the design through 6 or 7 layers with Aurifil thread on my domestic Bernina machine.

Humor and Travel by Teresa Schlabach

At first I was not sure about this theme, but the more I thought about it, the more I became excited about it - so I did two quote themed projects.  I wanted to reflect that I have humor in my attitude about my job as well as one of my hobbies is to travel!  Thus, the two quilts you see!  There were so many quotes in my collection, it was hard to choose, but these two kept coming to me again and again.  - Teresa Schlabach

Quote by Candace Berry

I have always loved this quote and I love the character in Mother Teresa's wonderful face.  The face was printed from my computer onto a used tea bag. I put it on some hand-dyed fabric using gel medium. I then machine quilted, added some stamping, handstitching, and finished with some silk sari ribbon for the binding.

New theme

Our next inspiring word is SPACE. I hope you have fun with it.

Nedra's Quote - The Emerald City of OZ

The Wizard of Oz was one of my favorite movies as a child.  I loved it, but those flying monkeys and the witch scared me so much I had to cover my eyes when they came on the screen!!  There were so many memorable quotes from it that I had a hard time choosing my favorite!!

I painted fabric for the rolling hills to which I added dots of fabric paint to mimic the sleep inducing poppies encountered on the journey to OZ.  The Emerald City, yellow brick road, Dorothy , basket, Toto, and the larger poppies are fused, beaded, jeweled and embellished with fabric pens.  I added a little machine quilting to the hills and mylar to make Oz sparkle. The quote is printed on hand dyed fabric.

Judy's Quote- Life is not waiting for the storm to pass-It's learning to Dance in the rain

There are a lot of storms in our lives both big and small. After the initial shock of the storm hitting, I work really hard to see any good there might be from the event. There isn’t always dancing, but since I am a relatively optimistic person I choose to head that way. I haven’t had any catastrophic losses so my dances happen pretty fast, but sometimes they are tentative dance steps.

The stomach churning, grieving pain, and yes, physical pain from mental anguish and  physical pain in general is not something you can just turn on or off. There is a process and we can’t do anything, but go forward. Everyone has a different timeline for healing and we need to support without criticism their process. If I need to just sit and hold someones hand or just sit, I want to support them and let them know that someone is there for them.

I've been taking a class at Baylor on 2-D design and it is a joy to now see why a piece of my work works. Before I just did it by instinct and now my world has opened up to see why things are good or bad. I hope you enjoy this little quilt.

Gail's Quote: What is Truth?

One quote I've always loved to ponder is the infamous Pilate's "What is truth?"
spoken just before he washes his hands of any guilt.  This quote speaks to us as loudly today as it did 2000 years ago.  Our eyes, ears, and hearts are inundated with moral relativism, fake news, tweets, and opinions.   So, what is truth?  Truth is reality . The truth comes from our Creator and it is absolute as God is absolute.  
I found this image from some online clip art and added the quote.  The water represents purity, the hands represent humanity, the copper bowl represents the earth, and the green background represents hope.  I really liked this challenge and being Lent I thought this quote was most appropriate.  Happy Passover and Happy Easter!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Jane Hartfield's Quote Quilt "Life Is Short"

Life Is Short
Jane Hartfield’s Quote Quilt

I must admit this theme was difficult for me. It was hard for me to focus and narrow down the choices for “Quote”. I really was close to the deadline without a decision.

However, one theme kept coming back to me. During the past three months, I have lost a lot of friends. Some were pretty close friends. One former coworker. Bridge players. Quilters. A very special minister in our church. It just seemed like an uncommon number of deaths. It was affecting me deeply and reminding me once again that “Life Is Short”. I also started seeing some posts on Facebook that said Life is short, take the trip, eat the cake, buy the shoes. So I decided to make that a bit more personal.
Life Is Short
Make Art
Sit on the Beach
Drink the Wine

I really don’t think this little quilt is quite up to my usual standard, but I will explain it a little more. Three of the fabrics I dye printed while in San Antonio studying with Jane Dunnewold. The black and white circles came from a fat quarter I had purchased. I painted the words on using a squeeze bottle. Boy, was that challenging. I could work on that for months and perhaps improve, but I didn’t have the time or the inclination. Then I quilted it using motifs that I felt complimented the statement. Grapes for the wine. Waves for the beach. Echo quilting for the Art.

Be sure to look for a separate post for our next theme!