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 ( ), 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!


Judy's Balancing Rocks

I have always been fascinated by the way people can balance rocks. It doesn’t seem possible, but they have the patience to make it happen and I love seeing them. One day I was hiking on a trail at Ghost Ranch which is near Abiquiu, New Mexico (Georgia O’Keefe’s territory) and came upon some rocks that were balanced on each other. I took pictures of them and thought I would use that for my “Rock” quilt. As I was paging through the other photos I found this one of the most spectacular balanced rocks that no man can make. If you ever get to go to Ghost Ranch, hike the trail to Chimney Rock, this is what you will see.
 Here is the "In Process" photo. The photo is 8.5" x 11" paper. I traced the lines and enlarged it to 11" x 14". I did a little bit of painting on it, but you really can't see it. It did help me decide how I should quilt it.
Here is a closeup that gives the truer color of the piece and the thread work that I did on it. The sky fabric is a piece that I hand dyed.

Rita's Rock: Geology 104

Time:  Winter Quarter, 1958-1959

Place:  Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, Illinois

Scenario:  During this time in history, Biology majors, like myself (female), found little opportunity to teach what we loved, High School Biology.  For the most part, the teachers hired to teach these classes were also coaches.  Therefore, my adviser and head of the Zoology Department, Dr. Scruggs, suggested as many different science courses for my electives that could fit into my schedule so I would be qualified to teach a wide variety of High School science classes.  This decision proved invaluable over my 36-year teaching career.

During my Freshmen Winter Quarter, I found myself in Geology 104. Although there was no term paper, a rock collection was required.  The one you see on this quilt could well have been mine because we had to turn the collections into Dr. Chang in a partitioned box, each sample correctly labeled.

 For this Material Mavens post, I found photos of rock samples on line and printed them onto fabric using the ink jet printer.  The box was modeled after a “look through the window quilt pattern” for the depth dimension.  The rock sample photos were then cut out and placed in the “box”.  All the fabrics are fused onto the light background and then the quilting was done by stitching around and along the edge of all pieces.

The identification key:  1. Basalt   2. Anthracite Coal   3. Granite   4. Pumice   5. Diorite  
6. Limestone   7. Conglomerate   8. Schist   9. Shale   10. Marble   11. Breccia   12. Flint   13. Halite (rock salt)    14. Quartzite   15. Sandstone   16. Chert   17. Gneiss   18. Hematite   19. Obsidian  
20. Slate

Side note:  This was the time frame when I met this handsome young man, Randy, that worked in Owl Drug Store with my roommate, Barbara.

Side note 2: Dr. Chang’s first language was Chinese so he spoke with a very heavy accent.  It gave many of us guilty pleasure when Dr. Chang was describing the unique characteristics of the mineral, Schist (sample #8).

Rock challenge by Teresa Schlabach

My Birthday is in the month of February and I have always loved Amethyst as it is my birthstone.  I am especially partial to geodes.  They are so fascinating.  This is actually done using the confetti method with a batik purple fabric, purple Angelina, and purple tulle overlaid that contained a few sparkles.  I used by Brother Scan and Cut for the letters.

The new challenge word is:  Blues

Jane's Rock Quilt

Jane’s Rock Quilt
Jerry Is My Rock

As I worked my way through a diagnosis and treatment of lymphoma, many people asked me, “Is Jerry taking good care of you?” My answer was always, “Oh yes, he is a rock!” What I meant was that he was always dependable and always available and always thinking of what I might need. He never wavered in his care.

I like rocks. I like the way they look. I like their unique appearance. I like the many colors and textures they show me. However, I have always been challenged in depicting rocks in fiber art. I am learning and as in all art challenges, I am trying to depict what I see not what I expect to see. That is not as easy as it sounds.

This time I started with a piece of Stonehenge fabric. I liked the name and the neutral rocky feel of the cloth. Then I used a custom thermofax screen all over the fabric with brown fabric paint. The screen was made by Jane Dunnewold’s husband using a photograph I had made of rocks.

The next step was to add various fibers and hand dyed cheesecloth. Then I quilted strata in by machine. At this point I just let it sit on the design wall for a while. It did not photograph well. Not enough contrast even though I did like the detail shot.

I decided to add a little glitz to it. I started with gold paint. That helped. But I added some beads to look like the pebbles that collect in fissures in the rock.

I hope you enjoy my interpretation of Rock. Jerry is a lot more handsome but he is my rock.

Gail’s Rock Challenge—Alexandrite



Beautiful gemstones come from rocks that one would not look twice at.
We are born of raw rock that is cut and shaped by life.  The beauty does not 
shine forth without pain and adversity.  The longer we live the more we are cut and 
polished into a precious gem.  What starts as a large rock ends up a small jewel.                        
  Natural alexandrite  is very rare and expensive.  It is found mainly in 
Russia, hence the name alexandrite.  My 12x12 quilt feebly attempts to capture
the faceted reflection of an alexandrite gemstone.