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.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Delia Held a Giveaway and Look Who Won

What luck!  This lovely piece was sun-painted by the generous and talented Delia of Delia's Place.  The photo is hers, too.  While you're there, look at her thread-painted lorikeet.  Think I will try something similar-an applique of tree frogs?  It measures 20 x11.5 inches, a perfect size.  A good thing as I know I couldn't cut it.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

My First Art Quilt Challenge

I'm a member of a group of twenty art quilters, Challenging Ourselves,  and the first reveal is happening today!   Our objective is to explore new techniques and to venture beyond our usual areas of skill and interest. With this challenge, I wanted to learn a bit about painting--with both thread and textile paint.  I'm not exactly thrilled with the results but I am more comfortable with the techniques and it's a start...

Friday, May 14, 2010

A wonderful surprise!

I had no idea this lovely wallhanging was on its way to me!  It was hand-embroidered and hand-quilted by Trish who has all the talent and expertise to do the teeny tiny perfectly straight and even stitches.  The fabrics are beautiful and are right at home in my wee white and pastel cottage.  It will hang at eye-level by the computer (where I seem to spend more and more of my time) so I can enjoy it.  I do so admire the little dainty, delicate stitcheries.  Thank you, Trish!! Such a treasure!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

New Purse!

I'd like to be able, when I want,  to suspend the tendency I have to overthink, overplan and overwork.  This purse is an exercise in spontaneous and improvised.  I pulled out a scrap of linen, some leftover 2" fabric squares, and the little bit of crochet and whipped this up in about an hour.   The fabric patches are raw-edged and zig zag appliqued.  I didn't have any matching thread so I quilted it (wavy and crooked) in variegated red/green thread.  I measured only enough to insure that the lining would fit inside the purse.  Very satisfying and I like it, overall.  It doesn't have quite the offhand look I was trying for.  Wonky is still more difficult for me than even and straight. 

I saw a pillow a few years ago, similar in design, and thought then it would make a cute purse.  Another one to scratch off the to-do list.  ;o)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Portrait of Kitty

I tried five different background designs and Kitty rejected them all.  Then I noticed this fabric and the flowers that would be so right for embroidery and beads.   Colors bold enough to stand up to the black and white stripe.   I like it even though it's not even close to the original plan.   I do hope Kitty's mom likes it as well and can find a spot for it in their 18th century house in CT. 

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Portrait of Kitty

Kitty is all built but not fused yet.  I'm going to let her simmer on the back burner for a few days while I consider backgrounds.  Do I place her on a stone wall in the garden?  Lying on a quilt?  Before a window?  I might decide that the solid black is too black and switch it out in favor of a tone-on tone?  Any advice and suggestions are welcome!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Portrait of Kitty

Just a kitten, isn't she beautiful?  She certainly deserves a quilted fabric portrait.  I hope I can do it justice.

I resized, posterized and desaturated the photo using Gimp2 to define the separate values.  She's basically a black and white cat, so I  turned the photo into a sketch to help with the thread sketching later to blend the furry edges. 

Now to translate the sketch into fabric.  Stay tuned...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Portrait of Bonny, A Little Quilt

My first quilted portrait.   What a lot of fun and a wonderful learning experience!  Bonny is 13 years old now and the black has turned to grey, the caramel faded to tan and she hasn't quite the spring in her step she once had.  But she still follows me around all day, dribbling a tennis ball at my heels or helping in the garden, digging up anything planted, despite the "No Digging" sign.  The most difficult and time-consuming parts were getting a suitable photo and finding suitable fabrics in my stash which leans heavily toward neon brights.  I desaturated the photo to find the shadows.  There weren't many.  Next time, I'll know more about setting up the lighting so there will be more interest in the shadows.  Is this the first of a series?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

First Day of Spring

Pinwheel variation
Originally uploaded by bonnyarts
I pulled this quilt out of storage to put on my bed to welcome spring and wave goodbye to the coldest winter here in central Florida since, I think, about 1960. It's been the coldest in my memory anyway. I pieced it by tracing plastic templates and cutting with scissors, sometime in the 1990s. The handquilting took quite a long time as it's more than 100 inches square. I finished it only a few years ago.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Art Quilt Challenge

I can't reveal the front of this wee quilt till May 15 so here's the back, a little teaser..  It's for an art quilt challenge group; the theme is "Hidden Treasures."  I struggled with it (two false starts) until I realized it was becoming a chore and I was taking it much too seriously.    So I decided on a whimsical approach and it all fell into place.  The funny shape?  It's the first page in an art quilt journal and I plan to use the same shape for all future challenges.  Somewhat limiting as it's only 10 inches square approximately and I'll need to be careful of the third dimension.  And the back must be neat and tidy.  It won't be hanging against a wall.  I'm sure to add some design to the back as it is really very boring as it is.  I won't decide how to bind it till I have a few more pages.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Harbinger of Spring!

I planned to make only one but see so many possibilities!  I could end up with a flock.  This delightful pattern is by Nellie Durand at  Nellie's Needles.  You will find a slide show there of many amazing birds!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Another Hexagon Quilt

Only one more big (six feet by six feet) sandwich waiting on the sewing table to be machine quilted.  Then I think I will limit my projects to placemats-size for a while.  ;o)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The One Block Wonder is Finished!

Still warm from the dryer, signed, sealed and about to be delivered this afternoon, this quilt represents a whole heck of a lot of work!  It will go to my daughter who has already admired it and assured me that it will be treasured forever.  I give most of my quilts to my family so I don't have to store them but can visit them any time I want.  Clever, no?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I have two hexagon-block quilts currently in the works.  So when I ran across this one in the linen chest, I noticed for the first time that it is made of hexagons, too.  It dates from the time I first realized that '30s reproduction fabrics were readily available, late '90s.   It and and another quilt represent the first armful of fat quarters I ever bought.  I remember not being able to stop smiling!  The pattern, from McCall's Vintage Quilts magazine, Fall, 1997, is called Endless Chain.  Not quick and easy, no shortcuts.  It's done the old-fashioned way:   all set-in seams, with the centers hand-appliqued.  It's stitched in the ditch around the hexagons, then tied through the centers.  I didn't much care about the actual quilting but have since come to appreciate it.  ;o)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

One Block Wonder

I've never been even remotely tempted to try this quilt.  One fabric, one shape.  Not my style.  Until I started following the discussion of the upcoming class on the Learning Fiber Arts group.  So much excitement!  Then I remembered I have six yards of a beautiful Kaffe Fasset "Bekah" print.  The flowers are six to eight inches, a large print.  It was one of those what-was-I-thinking, whatever-will-I-do-with-it purchases.  It fits all the criteria; it hasn't even been washed (according to the directions, you aren't supposed to wash it) which is surprising, as I usually wash all fabric as it comes in the door.  I've signed up for the class and borrowed the book from my daughter and now I'm wondering, will I be able to wait until the class begins?  Is there any rule against getting a headstart?  I do work more slowly than most.  ;o)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

In My Back Yard

The bougainvillea is particularly showy now.  We've gone out with shears several times to trim it, but it's always abuzz with bees and butterflies and we don't have the heart.  We're told to expect a low of 27 to 31 degrees tonight and it's sure to be nipped.  Which will be good for it.  Then we can trim it. ;o)