Tuesday, May 14, 2013


For May, the group decided to do a project based on the Quilting Arts reader challenge, "Passages." Here are our results.

Melanie: Since this project was around the anniversary of the Titanic sinking, that was on my mind. I call this first piece "Passage Interrupted." I used walnut ink, scrunched the fabric and let it try to create a distressed parchment look, then printed the pass on to the fabric with my printer. I stitched it to allow the edges to curl up adding to the distressed look. The ocean is made of silk pole shibori. The whitecaps are French knots and white beads.

I did a second piece because I could not get "Secret Passages"out of my mind. I washed some blue and yellow transparent fabric paint over a scrap piece of fabric with some markings on it. I then screened on 3 images of a stone entrance. I quilted a figure into each entryway and added some ravens in flight. A little hand stitching for texture finished it off. 

Hope:  I wanted to make a piece to represent my recent "passage" into retirement. I thought of me on my bicycle riding free. The first piece I made was of the rider cycling through a town. I was not totally happy with it because it seemed too stiff. I made a second piece using a piece of earth oxide dyed fabric for the background. This piece leaves more to the imagination and I am much happier with it. The group pointed out that the rider in the second piece is going downhill. An unconscious metaphor for the sense of freedom I felt with the second piece. So here is my bicycle "series."

Cathey: I took a fairly literal approach to this project and made a doorway. By now everyone knows how I love working with lots of different media. I made an urn using puff paint. I glazed and painted it and sewed it on to the background. The urn is filled with flowers made from a product called "flower soft." Glue, stitching and solvy helped me get the flower soft onto the fabric. The door is made from scrapbooking paper. The stone archway of the door was quilted first, then painted. I added some Golden Pumice Gel to the paint and painted the stones. It really gave them a great texture.  I quilted the background fabric in large rectangles to make it look like blocks of marble. 

Joan: For the first weeks of the challenge, I kept thinking about how I could represent my mom's passing. I could not get it right in my head so I looked up "passage" in the dictionary for a little inspiration. One definition talked about stages. That made me think of cicadas. They have been in the news because this is their year! I used a piece of fabric that I had experimented with. It has paint, bubbles and sunprinting on it. Perfect. I sketched a cicada on the fabric, them enhanced it with markers. I used some crayons to darken the upper body and make the wing stand out. I heard someone say that their cycle is "Sing, Fly, Mate and Die" and had to incorporate that phrase.

Marcia: I had a hard time with this one. I finally decided on the passage of night into day. The 9 dark pieces on the left  represent 9 hours of night. The right side of the piece has 15 pieces of lighter fabric representing 15 hours of daylight. This was the split at the time I made the piece. The fabrics are silk, sari silk waste, velvet, leather, hand dyed cotton and other commercial. I embellished with hand stitching, beads and buttons.  I especially like the little spring rabbit button in the lower right corner.

Sheila Rae: I made this piece from a quilt block symbolizing "safe passage" on the underground railroad. Since that was a story of blacks and slavery, I used African fabrics. The background is a yellow hand dye. All the stitching was done by hand and some of the thread used is fly tying thread. I embellished the piece with shells, hand embroidery and buttons.