Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Rock Composite

When we received this challenge, I had two thoughts: Another theme word that is  “all over the place”.   This one is going to provide enough building materials for at least a small little piggy’s house, one that “The big bad wolf can’t blow down.”  As usual, all over the place is my salute to all of you, because the creative artists among this group never disappoint.  I even had a thought of my own, which I have shared in the banner to designate the theme of the collage.

I started with row two: I wanted to put the quilts with “people” together. Yes, I’m taking poetic license by calling Carolyn’s quilt “people,” but it works in context. It’s a beautiful piece, works well with the twins and Sara and Jane’s idea of a “rock” is touching. Personal note, I’m married to a “rock” also.

Row one and a touch of row four: The plants make wonderful cornerstones. The baby in the tree is a heart-warming touch and close enough to Dee’s twins that Alice and Dee can sing Rock-a-bye together. 

The reason for the touch in row four:  I struggled with where to place Gail’s and Teresa’s quilts, even parked them off to the side temporarily until the rest of the rows fell into place. Then, I discovered how neatly they highlight the top and bottom of the collage with those wonderful colors.

Row three: Pure rocks, as simple as that.

Row four: I really liked the effect of the round pebbles and the striations in Jane’s “rock”, which made this row work. The bright colors in Teresa’s geode [one of my favorite gems] provides a wonderful anchor.

About the banner: When the challenge word was announced, I would have guessed someone would choose one of Ansel Adam’s photographs to illustrate. His “rocks” are world famous and really big rocks. You didn’t so I did, please forgive my intrusion.

Ya’ll have done it again – great job.


P.S.  Once again, I am posting for Randy.  Wow!  He's out-done himself this time, with getting this composite done in record time.  But as he said in his email to me, "What else do you do on a day too cold to work in the shop, outside, and ACE is not on your schedule?"  [Note to Mavens:  Randy works part-time at Ace Hardware in China Spring.  Can you imagine a better sales person that Mr. Randy, who personifies "Do It Yourself" skills?]  Alice

Sara's Rock Quilt

Peter is my rock

I enjoyed this theme because there were so many places to develop it. I remembered that my husband said his name, Peter, as derived from greek, means rock. Peter has been my rock as he has supported me through my most nightmarish experiences. My quilt was produced using thread sketching on some fabric that I had dyed yellow many years ago. I chose yellow since it is one of Peter's favorite colors. This is a very abstracted sketch.
Thread sketch of my rock, Peter

I used this picture which was converted from color to black and white.  
Quilt was based on this image

I actually did the thread sketching twice. The first was done using a tracing on some very old Sulky Solvy stabilizer. I pulled off all the stabilizer I could and then I stuck the piece into cold water. I really liked the thread work on this but unfortunately the ink that I used to trace the image (a Faber-Castell pen that was supposed to be permanent) stained the fabric. I may try to salvage this piece later using dyes (Peter wants me to try tea dying). I tried again by tracing the image onto tracing paper and stitching through the tracing paper with 1 line of stitching. I then removed the tracing paper and went back over the image with more thread. In both cases I used brown rayon thread with a thin polyester bobbin thread. I stitched through a quilt sandwich. I finished the completed piece by quilting with yellow rayon thread on my domestic machine.
Initial thread sketch with staining

Monday, January 15, 2018

Dee's Rock

ROCK, A – Bye – Babies

This is the original photo from Alison Aberdeen Photography,
used with her permission. This photo was not staged; Collin
reached out and held Myra's hand when placed beside her.

Someday I will do my other interpretation of ROCK !!!  However, now is the perfect time for the ROCK I have chosen.   On December 9th, I became the grandmother of twins.  I get to ROCK as much as I want, and some days you might even say it is ‘hard rock’. 

You have seen this technique from me before.  Pen on fabric and transferring an inkjet photo to the inked fabric using Golden thick medium.  I wanted a companion piece to match the one that I had made for their 2 ½ year old sister.

My version of the song:

“Rock a bye babies, in the tree top
When the wind blows the cradle will ROCK.
Gently, gently rocking away. 
Swinging you safely
Throughout the day.

Babies are drowsing, cozy and fair
Mother sits near in her rocking chair
Forward and back, the cradle she swings
But the sleeping babies still hear her sing.

Rock a bye babies, Daddy is near
So is Norah and your Mother
Dear wee little fingers, eyes are shut tight
Now sound asleep – until morning light.”

Big sister helping me make the quilt.

Andrea's Rock quilt

Pebble Beach
ROCKport, Ma.

12" x 12"
silk-screened and hand painted 100% cotton, commercial cotton

Pebble Beach has been a favorite of mine for years.  Not for the sand, but for the ( literally! ) millions of ocean-tumbled rounded rocks.  I have quite a collection of the rocks in various sizes and colors, which range from shades of white, grey, brown, orange and pink. The beach actually has a rather interesting history ( VintageRockport.com ), which I have silkscreened on some of my rocks for texture.  I had a number of ideas for this theme, but kept coming back to this beach that has fascinated me for so long.

The quilt was inspired by this photo that I took when doing my "research"!

Millions of rocks!

Carolyn's Rock: Goddess of the Garden

Added Detail
My inspiration for this quilt is a cast stone garden sculpture that was given to me by my husband for a very special anniversary.  It is a reproduction of a sculpture by Frank Lloyd Wright named “Nacoma”.  This Native American name means “Great Spirit” or “The Wise and Loving Woman”.  Nacoma stands with a young girl by her side and a babe wrapped in a blanket on her back.  The mother and young girl hold American Indian pots. 

For me, the sculpture has been and continues to be the Goddess of my garden.  First, in my beautiful garden in my Dallas home, and now at the entrance to my new patio home.

My first step in creating this quilt was to make a photo of the sculpture.  Then I digitally photo transferred it onto fabric. I added shading and detail to the transfer with fabric pencils.  The transfer was fused onto a commercial hand-dyed cotton fabric for the background.  Free-cut leaves and flowers were added to the design using batik fabrics.  To give the quilt a spiritual and peaceful feeling, I covered the entire piece with two layers of a very soft pink tulle.  

Original Photo
I added additional detail to the sculpture by machine quilting it with gray threads in light and dark Aurifil. Then I used variegated rayon thread to quilt the background. The large leaves were quilted with pink Aurifil thread and the flowers in the grass were quilted with using Ricky Tims Art Studio Thread in a periwinkle blue.   Now, my Garden Goddess is visible both inside and outside of my home.

Kathy's Rock Quilt: "Rock Garden"

Rock Garden

So ......   How much FUN was this new challenge !  I had a blast 'creating' this one-of-a-kind "Rock Garden !" 

I was inspired by the "Rock Art !" book I bought so the Grand Babies and I could paint rocks while they were visiting us during the Thanksgiving holidays.   Well...  that project didn't happen, but the book is filled with inspirational art rocks including the picture of the "Rock Garden !"

The hand-dyed ("Rust-Dyed") background fabric was made using already-rusted objects I found in the field across the street from our house.   It seemed just right to simulate a desert-kind of background.  [As an aside, quilting through the dense areas of rust is challenging....  the rust marks really are "rusted metal," and the sewing machine needle(s) didn't particularly care for the "metal-to-metal" challenge !]

The Free-Motion quilting pattern is called "Pebbles."   A "Rock Garden" with Pebbles  seemed to be a perfect combination, and using a 40 wt. Madeira Rayon thread with lots of different colored 'speckles' gives the quilt a "desert" kind of look.

All the pieces for this Rock Garden were "Fussy Cut" from fabrics I have in my stash.  What a joy it was to create this little 12" x 12" garden !

Our Next Challenge Word!

Teresa was the chooser, and she chose BLUES.  You might overlook this information in her post, as it is a one-liner beneath her narrative!  So, anyway, good-luck with blues; this quilt will be due on April 15.

Alice's Rock Quilt: Rock-a-Bye Baby

The lullaby “Rock-a-bye Baby” popped into my brain just as soon as I read what this theme word was!  I tried to stop that song from running through my head.  I really wanted to do a scenic quilt based on a photo I once took of a gorgeous rock-strewn mountain stream.  But that tune and its words just persisted, every time I thought about making this quilt!

Truth to tell, I actually dislike its lyrics!  “Down will come baby, cradle and all!”  Poor little baby!  Yikes!  I didn’t even like to sing that song to my own babies and my grandbabies.  I vastly preferred the gentler lullaby “Hush Little Baby, Don’t Say a Word.” 

As for construction, everything is appliquéd down with Wonder-Under, and then I stitched around all elements with a tiny zigzag stitch.  I drew the tree freehand, and the tree's canopy was constructed using the "Snippets" technique (as described in Cindy Walter's book by that name).  The baby and the cradle were loosely based on an internet free coloring book page.

I had problems with photography this time.  I actually took about 10 different shots of this little quilt!  Inside and outside in indirect, natural light; inside in artificial light; and finally, outside in direct sunlight. I need advice about how to photograph a square quilt so that it is as square as it really is!  Inevitably, it comes out looking out of square! Any advice?

PS January 16:  Since I worked "right down to the wire" on this quilt this time, I decided today to tweak my quilt a bit. So this photo is slightly different that the one first posted.  I added to the tree's canopy, and I enhanced the baby's yellow coverall by coloring it with an Ink Tense yellow pencil!  I think the quilt is improved.  AND this time I was forced to photograph it inside, because of the very gloomy and cold weather.  But I shone my Ott-Lite directly onto the quilt, and somehow I managed to achieve a photo in which the quilt was as square as it is in real life!  Too, the colors, especially the blue background, were "true", whereas yesterday my quilt looked totally washed out, except for the one shot done in bright sunlight outside!