Sunday, January 15, 2017

Dee's Boundaries

Boundaries:  Slipping the Boundaries of Earth

Leaving earth and hurtling through cloud layers into a world of brightness and color was the sight awaiting me each day for 34 years when I went to work.  No matter the time zone or weather, I saw a sunrise or sunset at 36,000 feet; and very often both in the same day.

Techniques:  2 pieces of white PFD cotton fabric painted with Pebeo Transparent Paints.  One piece with more blue/purple, the other more yellow/orange.  These were cut apart and integrated at random.  The photo, which I took, of airplane wing and engine was printed onto cotton batiste from my ink jet HP printer. The quilt is 3 layers and quilted with 100 wt lavender invisafil/wonderfil. 

When I was ready to fuse the airplane image onto the painted background I thought the background looked too bright and too much going on for such a small space and the plane image was lost.  I flipped the painted piece to the back side and there was the picture I wanted! Not only was it a softer version but I liked the rawness of the exposed stitched seams.  This felt like the earthly boundary that I needed to slip past.   To add depth  and to make the exposed seams lay flat, I fused black netting over the top.  I wish I had put the netting on before quilting, then I would not have needed the Misty Fuse to adhere the netting.   This is mounted on an 11 x 14” canvas frame.

Carolyn: A Lifetime of Boundaries

I thought long and hard about this theme.  My recurring thought kept returning to the boundaries that women have faced for centuries.  After our surprising election, I made the decision to go with my gut feelings for this quilt.  I thought of all the American women who have fought for the rights of women - from Abigail Adams to Eleanor Roosevelt to Maya Angelou.  In my own 76 years, I thought about times when as a teenager,  I wore only skirts, and never jeans.  I remembered that the only career choices for women in my day were nurse, teacher or secretary.  I cringed at the memories of crude insults from some doctors at the hospital where I worked as a nurse.  I laughed at the time when I was required to have my husband's approval to open my own bank account and apply for my own credit card.  I painfully considered the time in the mid 70's when I finally became brave enough to file a sexual harassment complaint against a male co-worker.  I also thought about my female friends and their struggles.  I stood in awe of the two women from our church who, in the 1950's, became the first female elders in the Presbyterian Church.  I shared the grief of friends who had to change denominations in order to become the ministers they were called to be.  And, I thought about all of the women I never knew on whose shoulders I stand because they bravely worked for equality.

I chose a subdued pink fabric for my background.  I decided that Rosie the Riveter, that symbol of strength and can do, would be my theme.  I drew a picture of Rosie without facial features to represent all women everywhere.  I fused the gray Rosie to a green background to represent "growth."  Using Wonder Under, I fused Rosie to the pink background, colored in features with fabric pencils and dots of pink ink.  Then I machined stitched around all of her features.  Next came the bars representing boundaries we, as women, still face.  I wanted to honor the women throughout American history up through the present who have worked on behalf of female equality.  I considered many different ways to do this and finally decided to handwrite the names with fabric pencil.  If you look closely, you may even find yourself listed there.  Lastly, I fused the entire quilt with a light brown tulle to signify that our work is incomplete.  A zigzag border in pink, gray, black and green finished the piece.
Karen's Boundaries:  "Come this Way"

Boundaries: Something that points out or shows limit.

An iron gate opens to welcome you to serenity.

Hand-dyed background with minimal quilting using smoke monofilament thread.
Black Kona Cotton cut on the bias in 1/4" strips. For the rods further away I shaved off a scant 1/6th of an inch from the 1/4" strips.  I used Roxanne's glue to keep the pieces in place. I used a 1/6th" satin stitch around all edges. Facings finished the quilt.

Judy Steward- Fence Boundaries

 When I heard the theme was Boundaries I immediately thought of barb wire fences. What makes me happy about this quilt is that it also shows a road and tree lines that are boundaries.

Growing up I tangled with a few barb wire fences. The fence in this quilt is what most of ours were like. Many a baseball, badminton birdie, or kick ball was sent over one in our front  yard. Dad put some boards between two of the posts so that we could climb over it easily and the fence would not be damaged.

With 5 kids in the family we all would walk down the road to the woods by ourselves to get some alone time. The fences always gave me a sense of security and by the time I stomped down the gravel road (if I was angry) to the gate I felt better. I have so many wonderful memories of walking along fences, seeing the tree lines and feeling the sense of joy as I walked into the shade of the trees. Some of those walks were with family members and others with friends.

One road we would walk down had our forty acres were on the right and my friends land was on the left. At the end of the road was another neighbors land and they had a little house on it. The man who owned the land was named Jess and he used that little house as his workshop to make corn brooms. We loved going to visit him as he created these useful pieces of art.

I can feel the roughness of the posts, the thinness of the wire, see the staples holding the wire to the posts, smell the dampness of the woods, the coolness of the shade, the creek to cross, the road to travel. “Boundaries” good feelings and good memories.
 The designing of this quilt was easy. I painted some fabric using Jacquare Dye-na-flo and Setacolor. I pieced the sky to the grass area and cut a few pieces to give the effect of tree lines.
I added the road (not in this photo). Placing the posts was the hard part. I put 3 fabric posts on and added the other 2 by thread work. All the rest was done with quilting.

Theme For April 2017


This should be fairly limitless - take it where you will

Boundaries - Sara

I love this word - boundaries are so important to my creating anything. I've accumulated all kinds of techniques and miles of most sorts of cotton (and other) fabrics and all of the tools and machines to use them with. It is sometimes difficult to actually create anything with so many choices. If I limit myself  and place a boundary on what techniques and media I will use (in this case 2 fabrics - black and red here - and 1 technique free form piecing) creation can start and a piece can be finished.

Several years ago I took a class with Jane Davila at Quilting Adventures. She had us limit our palette and choose one theme and size to work with for a week in order to develop a series. I was amazingly productive and made a series of tree inspired 8 by 10 inch little quilts using colors that were not part of my usual quilting palette (mostly pale yellow and browns). I was really excited at how far restrictions could take me. I was showing someone my output and she commented "sometimes you just have to get out of your box!". That person totally missed the point - I need to corral myself into a box to produce something - without parameters and boundaries my work becomes thoughts and dreams not actually anything real. This quilt is a tribute to setting creative boundaries and I call it "Boxes". It actually is a square 12 by 12 inches which is distorted in this image (I will try another picture later).

As a bonus, while I was working on this I realized that I had another piece started on this theme. It does not fit our challenge boundaries in size (nor have I completely stitched down the facings) but I thought I would quilt the piece and post it:
I was playing with paint sticks and created boundaries with masking tape in order to sample different textures. I added different stitch fills to each of the colored textured area for this fun little (but not little enough for this challenge) piece. I will be finishing this one up for my guild show's miniature sale.

Kathy's Boundaries: Hydrostatic Surface Tension

For as far back as I can remember, I've been intrigued with droplets of water; how they remain separated from each other; and then at some point in their "lifetime" how they roll down or across a surface and eventually merge with other droplets to become larger versions of themselves !

Are there BOUNDARIES that keep them separated from each other ? And what causes them to eventually merge, forming bigger and heavier drops (that is, if they do eventually merge or they remain as separate drops !) 

This phenomenon is called "Surface Tension" or by another definition "Hydrostatic Surface Tension." Google Search provides abundant scientific information about this subject ... probably more information than I could ever read and / or understand !

A Google Image search for "water drops" provided extraordinarily beautiful sources of inspiration !  [Thank You  Google !]

I used hand-dyed silk for the background of this quilt, then mounted the quilt on 2 layers of batting to provide extra depth.  To separate the "rows" for the droplets, I used Madeira and Sulky metallic threads to create vertical columns in random widths.

And then the fun began !   Using "Swarovski" Crystals, and other purchased "Hot Fix" notions, I used my Hot Fix heat tool to apply each of the 'water droplets' onto the background .... one little, tiny piece at a time !    Seen in just the right kind of light, the crystals, et al glimmer and shine just like tiny water droplets.

A close-up

Candace's Boundaries

Boundaries can be changed. Starting with straight lines (boundaries) , then arcs with the lines then skewing the lines. Then the brilliant colors also "outside the lines". A play of randomly pieced fabrics. As Matisse said " Great art makes it's own rules".

Boundaries - Teresa Schlabach

Boundaries - by Teresa Schlabach - this piece says it all.  I love photographing animals.  I was visiting a zoo in Arizona when I looked over at the monkey cage and this monkey looked right at me.  He looked so sad to be in a cage.  I love going to the zoo, but I have mixed feelings about caging the animals.  They have to live within their boundaries.  I know there are some animals the zoo is a safe haven for,  but other animals should be roaming free.  I printed the photo on silk, thread painted it and quilted the background.  I did not stitch the fence.

Gail's Boundaries--Bound by Color

Our lives have many boundaries without which we would all sink into chaos! It is said that "art imitates life", so...does this mean art also has boundaries? We certainly experience limits to our quilting.  In this challenge I have endeavored to work within the boundary of COLOR, not my usual modus operandi. Teresa Schlabach gave me a delectable package of fabrics and trims last Xmas in beautiful shades of deep aqua and sea foam.  Dyed velvet, cotton, organza, burlap, cheesecloth, beads, ribbon, and floss all contributed to my enjoyment in making this abstract piece. Machine and hand stitched 12/12 quilt entitled "Bound by Color".  Thank you Mavens for allowing me to be part of this inspiring group. 

Jane Hartfield's Boundaries Quilt

Broken Boundaries
Jane Hartfield’s Boundaries Quilt

All of our lives we are impacted by boundaries. Our parents set boundaries for us from birth. Next we find new boundaries set by our teachers. And so it goes for the rest of our life. Many of these boundaries are set to keep us safe, but each one is colored by the beliefs and experiences of our authority figures. I believe that many boundaries in our lives can be broken as we grow and mature.

My quilt is a riff on a larger piece I have made recently. I call it “Breaking Down Barriers”. The larger piece is more complex and developed, but I will include a picture of it to show my inspiration. This quilt is 40 x 40” and is whole cloth.

I had put so much thought into this one that I couldn’t do something that was entirely new.

The techniques I used in the small quilt were dyeing and over dyeing a fat quarter. Then I screened a basketweave design that I had made using flour paste resist. Next I stamped on fence posts with Dy-Na-Flo paint. Next I added foil using BoNash bonding powder. Then I started quilting. I used metallic thread to show the flow through the “fences”. The piece had distorted some during the quilting, so I fused a piece of Timtex to the back and then fused a binding on with scraps that I had trimmed off to make it 11 x 14. 

Tricia's Boundary

Several years ago our family went on a ski vacation in Utah.  The snow was amazing and the powder was the best my son had seen. One morning they left me at the house as I don't downhill ski.  They hiked for 30 minutes past the lift and came to this sign at the Boundary of the ski resort.  They sent me this photo. Oh no!  They left the boundary and had a fabulous time skiing in amazing powder and returned safely!  When I hear of the theme boundary I thought this was perfect.

I printed the photo on Printed Treasures and then machine quilted it on the bottom following the lines of the wire fence . The top was machine quilted with a meander to represent snow.

Nedra's Boundaries - NOLA

 Boundaries suggested borders to me, which quickly morphed into a map in my mind. I've seen many "map" quilts and had thought previously about making one of New Orleans. It is my home and is surrounded by Lake Ponchatrain, the Mississippi River and a large navigation canal which create boundaries to the city. Drainage canals section the city into districts and neighborhoods.  In fact, those water boundaries helped to almost wash New Orleans off the map and so a map of it was in order for this challenge.

I painted the background with  fabric paint and used inktense pencils to form the basis of the map. The colors loosely represent the purple, green and gold of Mardi Gras.  A variety of trims, ribbons, decorative yarns, threads, beads and buttons were stitched down to represent and suggest interstates, highways, neighborhoods, water features, and other features.  NOLA (an acronym for New Orleans, LA) is stitched in the center of a serendipitous "heart" formed by some of the threads and a fleur de lis button is also added as this is the symbol of the city and our beloved Saints football team.  I really enjoyed turning this into an homage to the city we almost lost and plan to make a larger, detailed map.

Alice's Boundaries Quilt--A Crumbling Wall

My quilt was inspired not only by our theme this time, but also by Robert Frost’s poem “Mending Wall.”

First, the theme word:  in the current political climate, boundaries, specifically WALLS, have been all-too prominent, in my opinion!  Even more specifically:  building walls.  So what about showing a crumbling wall (or a wall like the Berlin Wall being dismantled)?

Now the poem:  the most quoted line from Frost's poem is “Good fences make good neighbors,” but ironically, and sadly, that is NOT the poem’s theme!  Rather, the point Frost is making through his speaker (a man and his neighbor are mending a rock wall) is that fences, walls, boundaries do NOT make good neighbors, but rather, isolate us and prevent us from fostering friendships or even mending fractured relationships.  That famous or infamous line is spoken by the neighbor, who unlike the speaker, feels that it's important to repair the wall between their two farms.

And so as soon as I heard what our challenge word was this time, I immediately decided to base it on Frost’s poem.  Something happened to me that has never happened before:  I had an instant mental image of my quilt.  I started to sketch it, but then I thought, “Why?  Why not just jump in and design without a penciled sketch?”  (I think that Carolyn often uses this method of “jumping in and cutting”! Forgive me, Carolyn, if I’ve not described accurately the method you sometimes use!)

I pulled fabrics from my stash, including the rocks fabric, applied Wonder Under to them, and then began cutting out components.  For the background sky and grass, I used a technique learned in a workshop with Sue Benner, and that is, using narrow strips of multiple fabrics. 

I cut the wall from the rock fabric and then free-hand cut a gap in the wall.  I cut out smaller pieces of this and other fabrics to compose the pile of fallen rocks.  All these pieces were then fused down to a background.

After all pieces were fused, I machine quilted, using a combination of straight stitches with feed dogs up and some free motion quilting with the feed dogs down.  This 11”x14” quilt is bound conventionally with the same fabric I used for the back.

Rita's Boundaries: Doors of Waco

Boundary n:  something (as a line, point, or plane) that indicates or fixes a limit.
Door n:  a sliding or swinging barrier by which an entry is closed and opened.
In times past, I have seen posters of doors from cities, such as San Antonio.  These posters became an inspiration for my quilt when the challenge word “Boundaries” was announced.

This called for a day trip with Randy and his camera.  It was a fun experience driving around Waco looking for the picturesque and unusual and historical and noteworthy doors.  Doors that many have seen and been through, but never really noticed because they are passage to what lies beyond and we often do not notice the boundary we have crossed.

The photographs that would make up my quilt were chosen and cropped and resized.  I did the cropping (on black and white images with ruler and pencil) and Randy (and Photoshop) did the resizing.  The resulting photos were printed on fabric with an ink jet printer.  The color was added with dry Prismacolor water-soluble pencils.  I had first envisioned adding water to actually water-color the photos, but the bleeding that occurred quickly made it obvious that would not work.  I liked how the rather soft color reminded me of hand painted photos of many years ago.  (Side note: My and Randy’s wedding photos were hand colored, 56 years ago.)  The resulting photos were fused to fabric which were then layered with batting and backing.  Clover brand ¼ inch fusible tape was placed over the edges of the photos and edge stitched in place.  This stitching also served as the quilting for the piece.

And In case you wonder, the doors pictured are as follows:

Row 1, left to right:  Texas Ranger Museum; The Browning Museum on Baylor Campus; The Palladium, an events venue on Austin Avenue, downtown
Row 2:  Original Waco High School, now loft-style apartments; Administration building on what was Paul Quinn College, now Rapaport Academy, a public charter school; The Elite, an iconic restaurant (now closed but recently purchased by Fixer Upper hosts, Chip and Joanna Gaines). Legend has it that Elvis ate there while stationed at Fort Hood.
Row 3:  East Terrace, a historic home of Waco.  There are photos of a cow on the second story balcony during a Brazos River flood; Wiley school, built as a middle school for Waco ISD, but now used for other purposes by the school district; St. Paul Episcopal Church, our church home.
Row 4:  Fire Station Door on Elm Avenue in East Waco; The entry to the courtyard next to the refurbished Hippodrome Theater on Austin Avenue, across the street from the Palladium; The Memorial Masonic Grand Lodge Temple on Columbus Avenue

And I must add a special “Thank You” to my sweet and patient Randy as I struggled to communicate my vision of this quilt so he could execute the manipulation of the images to be exactly what I needed for this challenge. He probably spent as much (or more) time on this project than I did.