Tuesday, December 9, 2014


For December our challenge was to be inspired by a female or feminine.

Melanie: Three Dresses
What is more feminine than a dress. I look upon them with nostalgia because I seldom have occasion to wear them these days. My piece is three dresses moving/dancing in the breeze on the line. It is a Gelli plate print with organza overlay and Shiva paintstick enhancement. .

Joan: Malala
I am a huge admirer of this young woman. She has such amazing courage and strength. This piece is a photo of Malala that I manipulated - posterized - then printed on fabric, I added a dimensional butterfly to represent re-birth and one of Malala's quotes as her heart. The quote was formed into a heart shape and printed on organza. The background is quilted but I chose to leave her image unquilted to allow it to come forward. The edge is serged.

Cathey: Aboriginal Girl
I was inspired when I found a picture on line of a young Aboriginal girl. I really enjoyed creating her using hand dyed fabric for her face, black fleece for her hair, gold tulle for highlights and ice-dyed fabric for her lips and for the background. I also like the close-up, cropped perspective of the picture.

I recently completed a mixed media course at the Rhode Island School of Design. Color palette was a big part of the class. In the Color Study piece below, I used lessons learned from that course as well as the value of good cropping.

Hope: Rejoice!
My piece was inspired by a photo of my niece who was celebrating at a wedding with sparklers at night. It was a joyful occasion and my niece and the photo captured the joy so well. In the piece, the sparklers are represented by beads. The moon is a type of organza I had - very silvery. 

Marcia: Sorority Days
When I think of women, I think of my college sorority sisters. In my piece, I used the colors and symbols of my UCONN sorority, Pi Beta Phi. Even though I have a huge fabric stash, I had to search the shops for just the right color of blue and wine red that are the sorority colors. Our pin was an arrow. In addition to attaching the actual pin, I re-created it in gold fabric, The loose threads represent the many roads we have all taken since graduation. 

In addition to the group themed project, I made another one called First Night. I used some blue and gold fabric I had and added blue and gold embellishments of ribbon, braiding, buttons etc. I also hand embroidered several of the motifs with gold threads. 

Shelia Rae: Momma Sees You
This piece was inspired by what I see in my neighborhood. It is not always a pretty sight. The piece includes eyeglass pieces I found on the street. I decoupaged pictures in the frames. Lucy's is where I work. I used a belt buckle for the storefront. The Goya bottle caps and religious images are a nod the the prevalent Catholic, Hispanic culture. There are even a couple of hookers and drug dealers. As always, lots of handwork, beads and other embellishment. 

"Giving Thought to the Flight" Is a piece in appreciation to this group of textile artists who have appreciated, encouraged and inspired me. It is a old crewel pillow top that I had made into something previously. With the groups inspiration, I have remade the piece to be more contemporary and with better workmanship. I sprayed the crewel embroidery with pink, then sparkly paint. 

Since it has been two months since our last meeting, I have a few additional pieces to show. 
Winter Just Keeps Dragon On includes - what else - dragons! The backing is also dragon fabric. The background is a pieced remnant given to me. I painted the plastic trees sliver and added lots of other embellishment. 

Illusion is an interpretation of a drawing by my son,

Star Route Texas is how we described the address of homes that were in the remote sticks. This is how I think of trying to get to my aunt's house in rural Texas. There is a lot of dense hand quilting in this one.

I love the old forts in the Texas area. They were my inspiration for Cliff Palace. The fabric for the fort really looks like adobe. I added black tulle behind the building to make the building come to the foreground. I found some shell buttons that made perfect rocks and little plastic trees that I painted and added. 

M-O-O-N spells Moon - is a line from a Stephen King movie and was the inspiration for this piece. The upper left corner has found holograms of rocket ships from the 50's. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Unfinished Business

Our challenge for October was to finish a project that has been on the back burner for a while.

Shelia Rae:
I have several things to show because I missed a couple of meetings and re-made a couple of pieces.

Complementary Colors
This is my piece for the complementary colors challenge. I chose orange and blue. It includes many hand sewn embellishments.

Bird is the Word
This incorporates the music and paper challenges. The singing birds are hand stamped. Much of the content for this piece was inspired by my son.

Our House is a Very, Very, Very Fine House
This is another one inspired by music, "Our House is a Very, Very, Very Fine House...."
The centerpiece is a painted silk scarf. I added stamped letters, Angelina fiber around the fireplace, and lots of embellishments and hand stitching. The entire piece is covered with yellow tulle.

I Want My Planet Back
Another song. This one sung by the Techno Brothers. It actually glows in the dark. I added rings and hand stitching around the glow-in-the-dark stars. I spray painted the buttons before adding them. It even incorporates a little "string theory."

Dreaming of a Pink Marble Bathroom
This was an older piece that I tore apart and re-made with better workmanship. I started with some orphan blocks made by an unknown woman. I used stamps, pink spray paint and markers to transform it.

I am from Texas where there are many tornadoes. A friend of mine lost her newly purchased home in one of them. It is a tribute to her spirit and optimism that she re-built and when finished told us that she now had the pink marble bathroom she had always dreamed of.

RonJon's Funeral
This is another re-do. It commemorates my brother's funeral. He was a biker and his Harley "brothers" turned out in force for his funeral. The peppermint schnapps bottles along the bottom are a nod to the ones that were tossed back then thrown into his casket as they filed by.

I started with an angel panel, then over-dyed the blue CD fabric. I used glue to attach the CD (Stevie Ray Vaughn, "Double Trouble,"), Harley eagle, bullets, earrings and the Harley Bell. I added some pink glitter over the top then covered it all in organza to help hold it all together.

This first piece is a Zentangle snowflake I made for the SAQA tree at the New Britain Museum of American Art.

This is my unfinished piece. I started it many years ago in a class with Katie Pasquini Masopust. She is known for "Fractured Landscapes" using value differences to add light in interesting ways. I am glad it is finally finished!

I decided to re-interpret an older piece (the first one) of thread painted leaves. The second picture is my new leaves piece made with a Gelli print on ice dyed fabric. I used copper and gold metallic paints over leaf masks.

This is a fabric collage based on a photo. I started it a couple of years ago in a Pam Mostek class and have been working on it intermittently ever since. I think it is finally coming along.

I also finished a wedding quilt I have been trying to complete for my friends moving from Costa Rica to Colorado. I used colors that reminded me of Colorado.

This is an experimental piece of fabric. I started with black fabric and used Jacquard discharge paste through leaf stencils. Once the color was removed, I ice dyed that fabric. It created a beautiful almost batik effect.

This a piece of flowered fabric I had and really liked. I decided to showcase the gloxinia by using heavy beading and stitching embellishment. I framed it and it was on exhibit at a gardening show.

My newly finished piece started life as a watercolor quilt. The technique using tiny squares in a gradation of color to achieve a watercolor effect. I decided it would make a great background for added embellishment. I added yo yo's, ribbon, lace, button and other embellishments to add more interest.

Quiet Time I & II
This is a pair of Gelli prints I had for a while. I used heavy quilting to highlight the patterns, bound the pieces in silk and mounted them on painted canvas.

I started with a piece of fabric I clamped, discharged, and over-dyed in an Elin Noble class. I loved the orange "moons." I added a lot of linear lines stitched with a variety of threads.