Sunday, November 22, 2015


Our prompt for November was bird(s)

Marcia - I made - what else?!? - a chicken! This one is a light brown Dutch. I used yarns and ribbons on burlap to make it 3-D. I also did a lot of hand stitching in the background in "chicken scratch" pattern.

Hope - I really wanted to do a toucan but just could not get it right. Then I thought of the gambel quail. It has tiny wings and can not actually fly. I made up the little saying at the bottom in their honor. The words were hand stamped with alphabet stamps. The birds are made from various fabrics.

Joan - This is a photo I took of a tree in our town. I printed it on fabric and added a crow. I love the interesting trunk of this tree and the photo perspective looking up into the sky.

Cathey - I started with white fabric and used a Gelli plate to print the background in multiple layers. I then created a stencil and used it to silk screen print the crow and tree. The piece is not yet quilted. The group noticed that the background had an interesting translucent quality when it was backlit. The bottom photo is the same piece in front of a light source.  

Melanie - Music is Life. This piece is a take on the "tree of life." It is a tree made with music symbols and for the challenge, it has a songbird. 

Pat - I decided to experiment with quilting white free-form feathers on a black background. I plan to mount these black and white pieces on canvas. 

Shelia Rae - Old Birds. The center of this piece is crewel work that I was given. It is re-made from another piece. The green flowers are silk flowers deconstructed with button centers. The background is an old piece of vintage patchwork. I used a pencil eraser as a stamp to stamp many green dots on the background vintage block and a glue gun to apply other embellishment. 

In addition to the piece for the month, I made this piece called "Folding Space." It is another re-make from an older piece. I used a lot of hot-fix crystals, some blue sequins for the geisha's eyes and some pleating to add dimension.

The third piece I made is called PTSD comes from the visions and voices when I have a PTSD related nightmare. I started with whit fabric and used a variety of surface design techniques to creat the fabric, The text is stamped with alphabet stamps. The figure at the bottom is mean, trying to turn away from the pain and chaos and put it all behind me. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015


Our prompt for October was "Fall"

Pat: I used a stencil and Shiva Paintsticks on black fabric. I then used colored threads in various stitching patterns to add color and interest.

Shelia Rae: From Russia with Love. This is a piece I re-did. The center is from an old Russian-origin textile.

Grandmother's Colors
My grandmother loved pinks & oranges. She called them sunset colors. This is part of an old quilt that I spray-painted then stenciled with stars & horses for Texas. The center is a "found" CD and the rays are created by embroidery and beading pulled tightly to create tucks. 

Old Made New
This is an older piece I was not happy with so I re-made it with lots of hand-work and embellishment. 

Cathey: Book of  Leaves
I created the pages of this book from canvas with layers of gelli plate printing. I also laminated on rice paper "ghost" gelli prints. The leaf prints are dyed or painted, the letters are from the scrapbooking section of the art store and the binding is beaded. 

Hope: Maple in Fall
I sunprinted a branch of leaves then enhanced them with colored pencils and painted the background. There is a lot of detail in the branch and seeds along with the leaves.

Ferns and Rocks. This is a sunprinted piece. I loved the one Joan made the other month and really wanted to try making one. I love how it turned out. 

Joan: Autumn in Pomfret
This is a photo I took in Pomfret. I printed the photo on fabric and enhanced it with stitch and added a bit of sari silk for the red grasses.

Rocks & Footprints on the Beach, Although not a fall scene, this is a photo I took on vacation in the Outer Banks. I also collected many small, flat rocks and added a pile of them to this piece using glue.

Superior Rocks. This is a photo on fabric from one I took of rocks in Lake Superior. This is the actual color of the rocks!

Melanie: Everything has its Season. I laminated a paper print to tulle then removed the paper from the back. I raw-edge appliqued it to some hand-dyed fabric and added leaves of various fabrics.

Earth and Sky. This is an abstract piece from 3 gelli prints and hand-dyed fabric.

Marcia: Falling in Fall. This piece is made from various ribbons. I think they look like rain or trees in a forest. I then appliqued leaf shapes over them. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Beach or Petroglyph/graph

PetrographDrawing, writing or inscription on stone, as a painting on a cave wall.
Petroglyph ‎-A rock carving, especially one made in prehistoric times.

The challenge for this month was Beach or Petroglyph/Petrograph.

Pat: The idea of ancient symbols and drawings in rocks made me think of archeology. I recently moved into a new house and have been doing a lot of clean-up in the yard. While working on the rock walls, I found many artifacts that told stories about the life of the people who once lived here. I took pictures and created an art quilt from them. Look closely and you will find bits of barbed wire, an old horseshoe, gears etc. I also covered a box with the pictures.

Marcia: I used the beach theme. I layered different types of fabric to create layers of sky, water and sand. The piece is embellished with "sea refuse trapped in seaweed" made of yarn, seaglass, muscle shell, crab claw. 

I also made an applique Achimenes admirabilis for my upcoming gesnariad plant meeting.

Cathey: I went with the Petrograph theme. I started with white fabric and used a Gelli plate. I made 3 layers using red, gold, orange and green paint. The edge is finished with a satin stitch.

Hope: I also used the Petroglyph theme. My piece is hanging in our DOT Gallery exhibit for Sept & Oct. I uses earth oxides to create the cave texture and stencils to create the images. It is the piece on the end of the wall in this picture.

Melanie: I went with the beach theme and created a rare blue lobster from some shibori dyed fabric I made. The lobster is on a white linen background quilted in close lines. 

Shelia Rae: For the challenge, I made a Petrograph. I used rock motif fabric for the background but used paint to darken it. I also ironed some creases into it to make the cave walls look like striated rock. I used a metal deer piece and my hand as masks and sprayed around them to create the deer and hand patterns. I then used red ink to bring out more color. The hand represents the signature" of the artist.

I also made a water piece. The round center is made from a piece of vintage patterened silk which I heavily hand quilted. The embellishments include muscle shells enhanced with blue paint, buttons, sea creatures and charms. 

This piece is made using a mask my son made - circa 1995. It includes African fabrics and motifs. The mask is surrounded by square-head nails that I painted blue. I hand-colored in the dots in the African fabric with yellow and red. 

This last piece also has an African theme. The turtle was re-purposed from an earlier piece. The embellishments include buttons, Angelina fibers, an African bracelet and hand-made beads.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

DOT Gallery Show 2015

Come see our work in the Corporate Offices Art Gallery at the Department of Transportation in Newington, CT

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Artist Inspired

This month our task was to create something influenced by an artist we like.

Joan: Kath Frajbis
I really like the work of printmaker Kath Frajbis.
From her artist's statement: "My work is primarily concerned with the relationships between landscape and the human being.I am most interested in mankind’s effect on the landscape and the passage of time."
I also love landscape and like this artist's use of line, shape and color. I was intrigued by her technique of embossing parts of the paper in the print process without using color. This creates an interesting, subtle texture.
In my piece I represented this texture in the "pathway" using the machine without thread. I enjoyed using some of my hand-marbled fabric.

This is my project from last month. The theme was "tattoo" and this is my take on a frog tattoo design. The background is my own hand-dyed and discharged fabric. The image was transferred using TAP.

Hope: Gabrielle Sichel
Gabrielle Sichel does some beautifu work with color. Inspired by her work, I painted some fabric and organza and used them together to create the color in the background. I then added some shapes I have lately been using and playing with in my art.

I also made a collaged piece this month. I painted the background and used some of my hand-dyed fabric, batik and other ephemera to add interest.

Cathey: Frida Kahlo
I chose Frida Kahlo. She was a brave lady and an artist I admire. She made many self portraits and is often pictured with roses in her hair. For her portrait, I used flowers from *Michaels* batik, commercial cotton, hand-dyed fabric and cheesecloth. 

A couple of weeks ago I took a marbling class and marbled my shirt! I think it turned out great!

Melanie: Dale Chihuly
I love the glass work of Dale Chihuly. Some of it looks marbled so he seemed the perfect inspiration to use some of my hand-marbled fabric. This piece is marbled on silk. The white stitched lines at the bottom represent the white strands of glass Dale uses in some of his work. 

Shelia Rae: Animation
This piece is an ode to animators. It takes specific inspiration from "Ferngully." In the theme song of that movie there is a lyric, "If I gotta eat somebody it might as well be you." The piece is embellished with frogs, lizards, flowers and other images from the movie.

I was given a piece of linen printed with an image of the madonna and child. I removed the stitching that someone had started and hand embroidered the image using a variety of stitches and beads. To make the background more interesting and textural, I stamped it using a stamp I created from a piece of wood. 

Clint Eastwood
This piece was inspired by Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino when he says "Get off my lawn!"
There is a figure representing Clint and the crosses represent trespassers.