Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Our theme this month was Pets, Animals or Other Creatures.

Green Mamba: Hope Barton
When this topic was "picked out of the hat" I was a little cranky. I had a couple of techniques in mind that I wanted to try but was not sure they would fit the challenge. In the end I was able to use the techniques and include a creature - a snake!  I used the quilted/painted canvas technique that Melanie used on her Vegetable soup piece. I really liked that technique. I used a yellowy - creamy fabric, quilted it, then used a foam brush to paint it with brown acrylic paint mixed with a little fabric medium. I tried yellow and blue paint before settling on the brown. The leaves and snake are "dimentional" and applied to the painted canvas by hand stitching/tacking. Not easy to do on a heavily quilted and painted base! The leaves were inspired by Dianne Hire; the snake is a deadly green mamba.Green mambas like to hide in the African forests.
Boots: Joan Johnson
Bootsie is my cat. I have been exploring interpreting portraits in fabric. For this project, I started with a photo, then used a couple of great free photo programs to manipulate the image. I experimented with pixlr and fotoflexer. After a lot of playing around, I used "posterize" to simplify the image. This made it easier to interpret in fabric. I used mostly fabric along with a bit of white paint for the eye highlights and a gray fabric marker for some enhanced shadows. When I told my sister about the project, she asked if I was going to be able to capture the "craziness" in Bootsie's eyes. What do you think?
Colorful Rooster: Melanie Johnston
In my town there are lots of chickens and roosters. Some of the roosters are amazingly beautiful and colorful. I am always looking for opportunities to use my hand dyed fabric and thought a rooster would be a good subject. I found a small black and white block print, enlarged it and used it as the template for the piece. The only commercial fabrics used are on his eye and legs. I used scraps to piece a colorful, coordinating binding. The background has 4 different black fabrics pieced, then quilted with a feather motif and grid.

Froggy: Melanie Johnston
My husband suggested I do a frog so I did a second piece. I used a silhouette of a tree frog in a green froggy looking fabric. I used an orange hand dyed fabric for the background to make him really stand out. I used echo quilting to give him some movement. Under him I added a graphic element of some stamps with green fabric ink on a scrap of fabric I had.
Rufus: Cathy LaBonte
My piece is a memorial to Rufus James LaBonte, my one and only dog. He was a wonderful black lab. I started with a photo of Rufus and used photo editing software to achieve a watercolor effect. I think printed the photo on fabric and used watercolor pencils and a spritz of water to enhance the watercolor quality. I then appliqued Rufus to the background fabric, quilted and added some beading. My husband felt compelled to point out that Rufus was off center on the quilt. I told him that was for "artistic effect." The quilt group agrees with me.

Chicken Gazebo:  Marcia Kilpatrick
By now, everyone knows that chickens are one of my passions.Last summer my husband made a gazebo for me and the chickens. I can let them loose in the gazebo, which is enclosed with chicken wire, and enjoy them in there with me while I read a book etc. With this long, snowy winter, both the chickens and I long for spring when we can be back in the gazebo together. My quilt shows the chickens in their coop, longing for gazebo weather. I used hardware cloth for the coop door and onion bag for the gazebo. The snow on the coop roof is batting and the snowflakes are individually cut out of snow fabric - a la broderie perse.Instead of "quilting" the piece is "tied" using embroidery floss in a snowflake motif.

Chickens, Chickens, Chickens: Marcia Kilpatrick
I have a lot of chicken fabric. A really lot!! This was a project to use some of it up. This piece is multi-layered. I quilted through all the layers with a metallic thread. This gave the central chicken a lot of dimension and texture. The chicken is a printed fabric. Naturally I had ample chicken fabric for the borders, binding etc., etc.

 Chickens in Summer: Marcia Kilpatrick
This is another multi-layer piece. I used green terrycloth for summer grass, and a brown fabric for the dirt where they peck, scratch and play. I used "big stitch" quilting with embroidery floss to represent "chicken scratch" and added various buttons and chicken buttons that I had.

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