Monday, October 15, 2018

Judy's "Joy Dances"

There are so many things that I am joyful about and it was a struggle to choose. The joy of raising our 3 sons and now adding the daughter-in-laws and the grandson to this joyful mix makes me smile. 

Then there are the memories of growing up on a farm. Right now the fall weather brings back the times we had bonfires, weiner roasts, smores, and the wonderful wet days with the fall leaves glistening in red, yellow, and orange.

Going to an art museum, zoo, aquarium, concerts, plays, riding the train, traveling by airplane or car to places I get to see and experience were also up for the Joy challenge. Rainbows, flowers, good meals with friends and family. Being outside, hiking in the mountains, walking along a creek, snow shoeing as the snow gently falls from the sky. 

The quilt world full of fabulous fabrics and friends. Quilt shows, the artists, vendors, and the festival feel in the air. The email with a “Congratulations you got in AQS and Houston shows” makes me squeal and do a jig. I could go on and on, so I stopped and decided the word “Joy” needed to just be colorful and fun.

I was going to just put the word on a piece of fabric and add celebration streamers, but I love cutting holes in quilts and “Joy” could dangle from the middle! I actually chose the back fabric first for my front, but when I found the fabric with the flowers I knew that had to be the front. I actually stitched and turned “Joy” right side out which was a serious challenge. It does have batting in it, so that made it even more difficult to turn through that tiny hole. Ugh! (I have ideas on other ways to achieve the same look which might be easier.)

When I sent the video of the finished quilt to my daughter-in-law, Ashley, she came up with the perfect title for this. Enjoy!

Kathy's "JOY" Quilt !

Today is October 15, and obviously our "Reveal Day !"

Tomorrow, October 16, our family will celebrate with much JOY what would have been my son, Ian's 39th Birthday.  Tragically, we lost our Precious Boy 15 years ago, and not a day goes by that I don't think about him and cherish his presence in my life.

Rather than focus on his absence, I choose to celebrate his life with much JOY Ian was a vibrant young man, had just graduated from college, and was about to embark on the rest of his life.

My "JOY" quilt seemed to take on a life of its own as I was working on it !  The background fabric is kind of "glitzy" and reminded me of Confetti  - the kind we might throw into the air to celebrate New Year's ….. or a Special Birthday !     I stitched through the fabric, batting and background fabric with Madeira "Monofilament" thread … one of my most often used and favorite threads for machine quilting.  [I always use Madeira Monofilament in my bobbins !]

To 'construct' the Heart, I chose a patterned red batik that looked - to me - like it had life flowing through it.  The red batik is backed with a vibrant purple to give the "Heart" more depth.  I appliqued the heart onto the glitzy background fabric, and machine quilted it using a "cross-hatch" pattern.  And then the real fun began !   I "snipped" all the raw edges of the heart; soaked the quilt in water, squeezed out as much water as I could, then tossed the entire piece into the dryer with some towels.

It took several drying cycles, but the quilt finally dried, and the edges of the Heart gave me that "raggedy edge" I was looking for !  I attached the binding, the hanging "tabs," and the label.

We'll be able to enjoy this special quilt many times during the year:  Ian's Birthday; Valentine's Day (which our family celebrates as "Harte" Day !); and Christmas.     Thanks for letting me share my personal and very special story quilt with all of you.....      Peace and blessings,     Kathy

Andrea'a JOY Quilt

11" x 14"
stencil, screen printed, hand-dyed cotton, machine quilted

This quilt was inspired by a photo taken on a recent trip to France.  We spent two nights in the very magical town of Colmar, with its cobblestone streets, half-timbered buildings and flowers still in bloom.  No matter which way I turned, I couldn't help but smile.  

Even before starting this quilt ( I had a completely different idea in mind ) I made a line drawing from the photo of what I thought would give a "feel" for the architecture, then made a Thermofax screen of the drawing.  When preparing to do a "test" print of the screen on white fabric, there were small scraps of hand-dyed fabric on my print table and thought, hmmmmm...what would this look like if I place a few of these scraps randomly down and printed on top of them?  Nothing to lose, so I did and really loved it, so decided that this would be the beginning of my Joy quilt instead of my other idea.  Then the overthinking began: "I can't do this, it is just too simple".  OK, what if I add something to the background?  So decided to cut a freezer paper stencil of large run-on words of places and things that give me joy, to print on background which would add another layer.

This is version #3.  #1 was my experiment, #2 was on a light grey linen but the color I stenciled 
the background with was too dark and overpowered the other imagery.  The use of the grey also gave a different "feeling" that I did not like, even though I did like the texture of the linen.  I went back to look at version #1 that gave me so much creative "joy" and realized it was the black imagery on the white background with those few "blips" of color that I had lost by "overthinking"
Simplicity won!

inspiration photo

freezer paper stencil

Alice's Joy quilt: Grandchildren & Their Mothers

When I learned of the theme for this time, the first thought that came to me was how much joy our four grandchildren have brought to my husband Bob and me.  And so my quilt focuses on these four and their mothers.

I scanned four favorite photos of the children and their mothers and then printed these on EQ Printables.  On the top row, outlined in pink and then blue, are our daughters Kathy and Susan and their first-born babies, Lia and Malcolm (both born in 2001).

On the second row Kathy is holding her son Locke (10 months old) and the joy on her face and his makes me smile every time I see this photo!  (I've included a close-up of this photo.)  Next to it, outlined in black, is a black and white image of daughter Susan with her second son, Dawson; I believe he’s about two years old here.

I chose an exuberant commercial print for the background.  I’ve never been able to determine if it depicts flowers or fire-works, but whatever, it is a joyous product.  I fused the printed photos with Wonder-Under onto the background.  Then I outlined each one with several rounds of zig-zag stitching.  This stitching is the only “quilting” on the quilt.  I used the same bright print for the binding and the backing. 

Nedra's Joy- Noelle and Graham

Inspiration for this theme was not hard to find.   The birth of my grandtwins, Noelle and Graham,  3 1/2 years ago has provided so much joy in my life that there was no other choice for me!  The joy on their faces in this pic is so pure that it had to be captured in fabric!  

I used photoshop to posterize my picture.  My initial plan was to recreate the faces in fabric but  had limited fabric choices with me in Maine.  So, I enlarged the posterized image and printed it on fabric.  The image was cut out and fused onto the background.  Threadpainting was used for their hair, faces, hands and feet.  Some further stitching was done to give depth and texture. This is actually the second piece I made and I am happier with how the faces look on this reduced size.  The background  is quilted in straight lines.  JOY is fused and binding was added.  It is mounted on a fabric wrapped canvas for easy hanging.

This piece was done using a larger image which was printed on fabric.  It was fused onto a background and was threadpainted also to emphasize shading and features.  Echo quilting was done.  The frame is a wiggly striped fabric that I cut and fused to a stiff interfacing and then modge podged for durability.  Noelle's facial features didn't please me so I tried the smaller size which is the above version.  Hope this is all clear!  

I think I'll give one to their parents!!

Here is the original photo.

Tricia's Joy Quilt - Marley's Joy

This is my daughter and her husband's dog Marley. Marley just loves the snow.  This photograph was taken by another daughter of Marley out for a walk in the snow. Her expressions is of pure joy! Thinking about this theme I thought of this photograph and felt it was the perfect picture to create. 

I decided to give thread painting a try. I took a class from Jennifer Day several years ago. I dug out her book to reread.  I had the photo printed on fabric and went to work.

Here is detail of the thread painting.

I am amazed how much thread goes into the thread painting. This was a fun project. 
Here is a picture of the back which show how much thread there is.