Monday, June 6, 2011

Next Challenge: Out of Africa

I thought I might have to pass on this one.  I've never been to Africa, never felt a particular interest in it, never given it any thought.  Then I remembered that I have read and enjoyed a number of books from the series written by Alexander McCall Smith, set in Botswana.  He portrays the Batswana as peaceful, polite, gentle and perfectly charming. 

I think my little quilt will be all about color.  The national flag is azure (symbolizing water) and black and white (for the zebra).  Hot and hazy desert colors--the Kalahari covers about 70% of Botswana.  And, of course, bright colors of textiles.  I think I would like to create a doll in traditional dress, but I did that for the last challenge. 

See those Botswana diamonds?  They aren't really.  They are swarovski crystals.  I did, however, find a few fine specimens of Botswana agate (found nowhere else in the world) in my gem/mineral collection and hope to work those in somehow.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Self Portrait Challenge

This little figure is about eight inches tall and is a true and accurate portrait of me.  I really do have wiry, corkscrew hair, a face like a mirror, a cheerful outlook and a light heart.  And so on. 

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Orange/ Blue/ Purple Challenge

I wasn't happy with this one so I stitched up another one.

I plan to submit this photo to the flickr group, Charley Harper Quiltalong

Friday, February 4, 2011


The next challenge for our art quilt group, Challenging Ourselves, is a palette:  orange, purple and blue, with orange predominating--a requirement I'm not too worried about.  I expect the orange to predominate on its own without any help from me.  In my experience, even a little bit of orange will do this quite decisively.  I wasn't too hopeful that I would have very much in my stash that I could use but just a few minutes of searching yielded some very pretty sky and water blues, soft lilacs and lavenders and oranges in many shades, tints and values.  Thanks so much to my beautiful daughter Erin for the fibers, yarns and beads.  See those lampwork beads in orange and royal blue (University of Florida Gators colors)?  She made those and if she doesn't want me to use them, she needs to say so now.   As I arranged these bits and pieces, a plan began to form.  Happily for me as I'm not one to wait until the last minute when there is a deadline. The date for revealing these pieces is, I believe, March 31. 

Thank you, Bern, for this palette and for being such a good sport and taking some teasing.  Actually, I'm enthusiastic about it and planning to do a respectable job of it!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


I'm hoping to finish one UFO per month this year and this one was finished in January.  It has been too cold and rainy-grey for me to get a photo until today.  The little fabric squares were mailed to me from all over the world.  I have collected them for years and years.  And pieced them together for more years and years.  I'm not sure it was worth it, though it's warm enough--I know because I've been wrapped in it since it came out of the dryer a couple of weeks ago.  This has been the perfect winter for testing it.  It is made of 1560 teeny tiny one-inch squares and measures 75 x 55.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Challenge Quilt--Favorite places

Here's mine.  You can see the others at Challenging Ourselves.  It's the big old apple tree that grew in the first backyard I remember.  I have a clear memory of a full moon through bare branches.  That and the yellow apples brought to mind the Yeats poem "The Song of Wandering Aengus," which accounts for the metallic gold and silver apples. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Another Challenge, Another Journal Page

The topic for this challenge was the Four Elements but I couldn't work out a piece to include all four elements except for a landscape/seascape/thunderstorm sort of piece.  Fine ideas, all.  I just wasn't in a mood to do any of those.  Instead I was in a mood to practice curved improvisational piecing.  I was a chemist in a former life and I'm claiming scientific license (instead of artistic license) to adapt the subject to fit my interests.  So I found these shiny, metallic fabrics which could be taken to represent four actual earth elements--copper, silver, gold and cobalt.  The curvy logs represent the elements as building blocks occurring in veins. 

This was intended for the back of the page but I got the shape of it all wrong and didn't notice until it was quilted.  I can't claim a learning experience as I have no idea how it happened nor how to prevent it in the future.  I should have flipped it once for a mirror image but worked an extra twist into it somehow.  I cut stencils from freezer paper and filled in with a paint stick.  A quick and easy technique for a simple design to be used only once.  I didn't think it was worth doing over as I had the experience and that's all I really care about. 

September 15 is the reveal date for this challenge.  You may see all the submissions at Challenging Ourselves.