Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Card

Our theme this month is a Christmas Card.

Bethlehem Star: Hope Barton
I think I get credit for persistence. This was my third try. First, I stitched the town with a silvery thread on a blue print fabric but it was too busy. Next I stitched it in white on a blue batik but I forgot to reverse the penciled guide so it was backwards. Finally on the 3rd try, I got it right. I used fusible interfacing on the blue fabric, then penciled in the town and star. I stitched the scene from the back so I could follow the penciled drawing. I used Peltex interfacing to make the card stiff.

Poinsettia: Cathy LaBonte
I appliqued the flower's petals, then did some thread painting, and added hot fix crystals.

Christmas Ball, and Our Lady of Guadeloupe: Joan Johnson
I waited til the last minute but then I made my cards in one day. For the Christmas Ball, I used paper that I made a while back. The paper looks like "light." The ball is made from fabric with Christmas words on it. I used gold fabric for the "collar" on the ball, then appliqued the red ribbon. The pine is a combination of stitching and pen work.

This past weekend I went to a service in Spanish honoring Our Lady of Guadeloupe. It was wonderful! Today I received a Christmas card in the mail and although it is not a picture of Our Lady of Guadeloupe, the card and event inspired me to make this "Old World" card. I color photocopied the card onto fabric and cut it into 2 pieces because I think in some respects, Christmas has become fragmented. The ruffle with the colored yarn flowers was something I had and it represents the colorful Spanish ceremony.On the inside of the card I used a quote from the service and some embroidered fabric I had that I though evoked stained glass.

Dove of Peace: Linda Gardner
I made 2 of these. The first one came out a little small so I enlarged it and made a second one. The dove is trapunto and the words are machine embroidered.The edges of the cards are satin stitched.

Santa: Marcia Kilpatrick
I was not sure how to go about making a card. I found these 2 Santa panels and decided to embellish them for my card. I used white pearls to represent snow, silver beads for ice, star sequins, tiny colored, metal letters I got in a yard sale, and other beads. My husband thinks I am crazy but I love to bead and embellish.

Christmas Balls, Snowmen, Tree with Gifts, and Star of Wonder: Melanie Johnston
The Christmas Balls are penned with jelly roll glitter pens. The background is blackened using a sharpie, then the piece is quilted with gold thread. Lastly, I applied hot fix crystals to enhance the balls. It does not open so is more like a postcard.

For the snowmen card, I used colored pencil. I was going for an old fashioned look. I wanted to try the new Smootch spritz pearly spray I just bought.  I used the Vanilla Ice on the card. Love the spray! What fun! Gives a nice all over subtle glitter. Perfect for "snow."

In the Blue Star card, I used blue satin, blue Ultrasuede, plain white tulle, and white tulle with snowflakes on it. The silver cording is supposed to represent a tree with a star crystal on top.

The tree with gifts was an experiment using Glaze pens. Supposedly they are best used on non porous surfaces. I coated the fabric with Golden Digital Ground to make it non porous. The glaze pens are fun to use. The ink flows from the pens and sets us with a nice glaze.The tree is green silk. The gifts are made with the glaze pens.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Quilt in a Ball

For this month's challenge, Hope suggested we put a quilt inside a glass Christmas ball. We were all a bit skeptical but the results were a lot of fun and it was surprising to see the different interpretations.

Paper Pieced Log Cabin and Tree: Joan Johnson
I immediately thought of paper piecing. I left the paper in to help it hold shape after being squeezed into the bottle.

Stars and Hearts: Marcia Kilpatrick
I pretty much did all of mine by hand. I made a simple 4 patch, then hand sewed little star and heart buttons all around the edge to create and finish the "binding." I added some beads on the quilt itself to enhance the pattern.

Angelina Postage Stamp: Hope Barton
I made a multi-colored batik "postage stamp" style square. I used lots of starch to help it hold shape inside the ball. A set of long tweezers were especially helpful in straightening it out once I squeezed it inside the ball. I added some Angelina fiber on the bottom to give it a little glitz.
Double Sided with Crystals: Melanie Johnston
My intent was to use paper piecing but when time started to run short, I decided to print out quilt squares on fabric and enhance the coloring with markers. I quilted each side separately on very thin batting, then put the two together and zig-zagged the edge with gold thread. I added a few hot fix crystals in the center of the poinsettia and on the star tips for pizzazz.

Beaded "Quilt"  Pat Ferguson
I don't do miniatures. Instead, I used some letter beads with other beads and used them to spell "quilt." I scattered some more beads, bits of quilt scraps, and some crystal beads from my mother-in-laws crystal necklace on the bottom of the ball.

Silk Snowflake: Cathey LaBonte
I used silk dupioni as my base, then stamped a snowflake with iridescent paint. I quilted it all with holographic thread, then zig-zagged the edge/"binding" with heavy, glittery thread used in the bobbin. Next time, I will remember not to cut the quilt "to size" until after I quilt it!

Tree-in-a-Bottle: Linda Gardner
I decided to make a 3-dimentional "quilt." I made a wedge, quilted it, and decorated it with hot fix crystals, then fused the edges to create the cone shaped tree. The challenge was how to get it to pop back into a tree shaped after being squeezed inside the bottle. I had some fishing line that was stiff and had "shape memory." I knew it would want to go back to its original shape after being squeezed. I "laced" the bottom of the tree with the clear fisihing line and it worked just as I had hoped! I added some polyfill in thebottom to simulate snow and a few beads for extra glitz.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Found Objects

The October theme was "Found Objects."

Ghost Pines: Hope Barton
I love wine and wine labels. The label from this wine, "Ghost Pines" is especially beautiful but better yet, the label is strong and comes off in one piece. I had a couple of these saved in my kitchen and decided to use them as my "found object." In this piece, I manipulated a photo of a flaming orange sunset to get colors used in the label and make the tree silhouette more ghostly. I used fabric to continue the hill from the label into the quilt.
Dancing with Wine: Hope Barton
Inspired by my first quilt and a glass of wine, I continued with the Ghost Pines wine theme, and made this happy scene.

Golf Season: Joan Johnson
In golf season my husband's golf tees are everywhere. His pockets are filled with them, and when I do the laundry, they fall out on the floor, in the washing machine etc........ When I saw the "bubbly" fabric, I thought it was the perfect background. The door on the machine opens.

Feathers: Marcia Kilpatrick
I have chickens. I made this little quilt a while back with some of their shed feathers. I thought it was pretty cute at the time with the chicken themed fabric.
Autumn Night: Marcia Kilpatrick
This quilt was made from little scraps of fabric and thread lying around my sewing room. The border is beaded with beads I got for free from a local tag sale. The theme is the forest on an autumn night.

War and Peace: Melanie Johnston
When excavating a new addition to our house, several shards of pottery and glass were unearthed and among the pieces was a white, ceramic lamb.
A year ago, I was a selectman in our town. The day after an unpopular decision, I found a handful of roofing nails in my driveway. I decided to use both objects togther and call it "War and Peace." The peace symbol is trapunto and made with fabric I hand dyed.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Our inspiration/challenge for September was "Mandala."

Mystical Mandala: Melanie Johnston
I wanted to do some paper piecing and use some of my hand dyed fabric. I drafted a template to use for the paper piecing. Once finished, I decided it needed some crystals for a more magical/mystical quality so I added some hot fix crystals. It was my first time using them and was a lot of fun. Definitely get the applicator for heating and applying them!

Diversity Mandala: Melanie Johnston
I have been wanting to do something with a diversity theme for a while. While doing the mandala challenge, I came across Karen Eckmeier's new work in mandalas. She has a similar piece  that was just perfect.

Painted Mandala: Melanie Johnston
In addition to immersion dyeing, I have been experimenting with painting with dyes. This mandala was made by painting with thickened dye on fabric that was pretreated with soda ash mordant. The painting was then embellished with gold paint and various colors of foil. 

Yo Yo Flower Garden Mandala: Marcia Kilpatrick
So many choices and ideas! I chose one with flowers. I had a box of yo yos in various sizes I had made a while back. I decided to use them. The result is this flower garden mandala. 

Fan Mandala: Marcia Kilpatrick
This piece was made from a classic fan pattern. Four fans make a circle. 

Mariner's Compass Mandala: Marcia Kilpatrick
This mariner's compass was made using folded wedges of fabric. The method is a lot easier than precision piecing and looks great!


Capricorn: Linda Gardner. I designed this mandala for my embroidery machine. The inner circle is the number nine. The mandala represents my birthday, January 9.

Hope Barton: Hope is a new member to our group. She did not finish a mandala but here are some art quilts she brought to our meeting. 


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Song in My Heart

Our theme for this month was "A Song in My Heart." Choose a song, a line from a song, or even just a mood a song evokes.

Music in My Mother's House: Melanie Johnston
I love this song. I love the images and sounds of the song. I chose a line from the song: "There was music in my mother's house, there was music all around. There was music in my mother's house and my heart's still full with the sound." The words are printed around the swirl in the heart. I printed some notes on organza, trimmed the organza and placed it so it looks as though it is coming through the house door. I think the organza makes the music "float on air."

Somewhere Over the Rainbow: Marcia Kilpatrick
Although she appreciates music, particularly relaxing music, Marcia says she does not have musical talent. She says it was a stretch for her to rise to this challenge.She did a lot of research on rainbows  for this quilt. How many colors? What is the proper order? She covered the rainbow with sparkly tulle, hand stitched rain and sun rays with metallic thread and added charms to represent images in the song.

Secret 'O Life: Joan Johnson
Joan selected a line from this James Taylor song. The line is: "The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time."She chose to make a piece that represented the calm, peaceful feeling she gets from the song's message.

Parsely, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme: Linda Gardner
Linda has software to digitize embroidery. She used the words from the folk song, selected a font and graduated the sizes of the letters to create a wedge shape for each word. She stitched out 2 of each word and placed them mirror image to each other to simulate tree shapes.

Zen Music: Pat Ferguson
Pat has been exploring the use of Zentangles® in quilting. For this challenge, she "Zentangled" a G-clef and quilted it. Check our her website for more of her "Zen Quilting" ideas.


Photographic Inspiration

Our theme for this month is "A Photograph." The idea is to be inspired by a photograph and use it as a jumping off point. The photo may be used directly or just for inspiration.

Goldie: Pat Ferguson
This is an old photo of my grandmother. I printed it on fabric then "framed" it with fabrics and trims to match the feeling of the picture. The trim is from Germany. It is very heavy and contains actual metal.

Fish: Melanie Johnston
This fish was a photo printed out on fabric. I used Photoshop Elements to lighten and blur the background so that the fish would stand out. I printed the fish, then used some foil to accent certain colorful scales.
Historic Hampton: Melanie Johnston
These are photos from the Hampton Antiquarian and Historical Society. I printed them on unbleached muslin. Each photo has a different Photoshop Elements filter applied. The photo pf the graveyard has an overlay of the same photo printed on organza. "In person" this makes for a creepy holographic effect.

Colorful Nautilaus Shells: Melanie Johnston
Still experimenting with Photoshop Elements. Istarted with a photo pf a nautilaus shell then used the hue and saturation tools to duplicate it in other colors. I printed in on white satin (treated with BubbleJet Set 2000) and further enhanced it with Tsukineko Champagne Mist sparkly ink.

Poppy:  Marica Kilpatrick
This piece was inspired by a photograph I took at the CT Audubon Trail Wood next to the Information Shed where it grew among  grasses. The poppy has ruching on the edge to interpret the frilly edges of poppy. The button and black beads are to signify the dark center of the poppies.  The piece is hand done.
Waterlilies: Joan Johnson
I love waterlilies. Here are 2 quilts inspired by my photos of them. In the second one, I tried a sliced/convergence technique.

Landscape: Mary Oliver
I love landscape and collage. This piece was inspired by a photo of a landscape.

Stained Glass: Linda Gardner
I did not make a piece inspired by a photo, instead, I finished this stained glass piece I had been working on.