Thursday, April 27, 2023

 We had our first reveal of the year and it was a fabulous one as always.

A Place Visited

'Shades of Shard' by Carole Rossi
20.5" x 37"

This quilt is inspired by an iconic building in London called "The Shard".  I took numerous photos of this building when I was in London ("the place visited") in December 2022.  Its pyramid-like shape & jagged top story dominates the cityscape in a very dramatic way, particularly when the ski is pink at sunset.  I was inspired to create and abstract piece which suggests but does not realistically depict the Shard.  I used hand-dyed cotton overlaid with silkscreen printing; commercial cottons; various yarns, couched; batting-Quilters 100% Dream Cotton; machine quilted with Bernina 820 using several rayon threads.  I created a pattern for the design and worked from there.  I challenged myself to create an overall border that was not a simple rectangle.  I wanted the overall shape to be a bit "jagged" like the top of the building itself.

"Hay-on-Wye, Wales" by Karin Polli
22" x 29.5"

This was inspired by a visit in 2001 to Hay with a friend to visit the many bookstores.  The sky is hand dyed.  It's decorated with beads, buttons and.  My view of Hay is personalized.  The bookstore is named after a business I owned in Guatemala.  The pub is named for the Brewery owned by my daughter and son-in-law in Diamond Springs, CA.  The antique store is named for one owned by my mother and aunt.  The pins were owned by my mother.  The quilt & needlework stores are because of my interests.

"Le Petit Maison" by Michelle Peerson

I saw this little house near the Loire River in the Anjou region of France.  I imagined living there.  The quilt is fused on to a new product for me;  'Pattern Ease".  This is a non-woven stabilizer.  I also used it as my batting.  It tends to make the quilt crinkle, but I like the effect it created.  I used Steam-a-seam 2 lite as my fusible, a titanium needle and fused the facing...another first for me.

"Cathedral Rock, Yosemite Valley" by Sandra Mollon
32" x 25"

This is perhaps the most visited site in Northern California is Yosemite Valley.  Cathedral Rocks sits directly across from El Capitan, and glows in the late afternoon light.  Made from: Cotton batiks and hand dyed cottons (by artist), silk batting, various threads.  The challenge for me was capturing the late afternoon light.


"Sunset Sal, Beachcombing Gal" by Tracy Visher
18" x 20"

I took poetic license with the topic.  Rather than making a quilt about the place itself, I had a fictional character show it.  My family had a reunion at a beach house at Sunset Beach in Watsonville, CA in June 2022.  As we took early morning beach walks, I picked up shells, etc. and imagined a quilt incorporating them.  I used batik cotton, ribbon, wire, beads.  Shells, feathers, sand dollars from Sunset Beach.  Inktense pencils and blocks, pen, organza, glue and Modge Podge dimensional magic.  This quilt is a bit of fun and whimsy.  Rather than just doing a beach quilt, I made up a character so I could include all of the items I collected while roaming this beach every morning.  It was fun and challenging to figure out how to do her hair.

"Kitty Sunrise" by Sophia Day
17" x 20"

My kitties sit on the window sill every morning to watch the sunrise. This is 3 layers of fabric and 1 layer of batting. This is reverse applique.  Black batik is hard to come by, so I tried this black cotton that was touted to not fray.  Not true.  But I was far enough in when I realized that I didn’t want to start over.  I decided to heavily quilt the black and leave the color un-quilted.  This has mandalas for the sunrise and they create a kitty in the negative space.

"My Mandalas" by Pat Gillings
42.5" x 42.5"

Mandalas have been made for thousands of years to represent sacred forms in the world and have lately become popular for meditation and relaxation.  Technically, a mandal can be any design that has expanding circles or geometric shapes.  I created my mandalas using the I-ornament app which allows you to hand draw shapes that are converted into various symmetries.  The backgrounds for the mandalas were created using my hand dyed fabric & some watercolor and alcohol ink designs of mine which were photographed and enhanced on the computer.  I then took my mandala files that had been saved on transparent layers and layered them over the various backgrounds.  The files were then sent and were printed by Spoonflower.  I had them printed as 4 fat quarters; one large for the center and then 4 each on 3 fat quarters that were cut apart and surrounded with Moda grunge fabric.



Friday, March 31, 2023

 We had a fabulous program for our March meeting.  Our very own Robin Hart shared her quilts that she created for a collaboration with Amanda Lee Falkenberg who created a symphony for the International Association of Astronomical Artists (IAAA) 40th Anniversary 2022. The link is to view this wonderful work of art.  Please take a moment to also view the writeup.

These are the 7 moons in the video.

Robin also shared with us how she creates her works electronically, then has them printed on fabric where she then finishes them with thread paining. These are some of the photos of the works she has done.

Here is some of her other astronomical quilts.

Monday, February 27, 2023

 For our February meeting, we had a fabulous trunk show from one of our talented and prolific members, Stephanie Bennett-Strauss.  Enjoy photos of her quilts!

Monday, February 6, 2023

 We started 2023 strong with our first meeting!  We introduced 'getting to know you' as a way to learn more about our fellow members.  We also drew names for a new name tag exchange.

Our own Michelle Peerson led a thoughtful discussion on Creativity.

Several members had show & tell quilts:

'Against the Flames' by Robin Hart
26" x 39"

This was created for the July 2022 reveal.  Since it was accepted to the Houston show, we are just now able to share it.

This is a tribute to the wildland firefighters.  Robin was so alarmed by the number and severity of the wildland forest fires in 2021, and the ever pervasive smoke in Nevada County throughout the Summer that she thought about all of the firefighters that put themselves on the line to save lives, property and forest.  She created this quilt to honor the bravery of those firefighters fighting a forest inferno.  Robin created this using the digital surface design by painting in Adobe Photoshop and then she output it on whole cloth and thread painted to enhance the billowing smoke and fire.  

by Sophia Day

by Stephanie Bennett Strauss

by Tracy Visher

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

 We had our last meeting of the year as a potluck on December 9th.  I was not able to attend, but some of our members got some great photos and shared them to our facebook account.  Visit 

Mountain Art Quilters | Facebook if you have facebook and see the fun.  You can also follow us there!

Friday, October 28, 2022

 Yesterday was the last reveal of 2022 and it did not disappoint!  We had a full house of members and walls full of beautiful quilts.


Remembering Sanibel 20" x 22"
by Pat Gillings

Artist Statement:  This fits the challenge by incorporating seashells.  This was made in memory of my sister, Carol.  We spent a lovely weekend in Sanibel, FL some years ago and some of the shells are from there.   With the recent hurricane Ian destroying much of Sanibel, it is particularly meaningful to me. Most of the quilt was hand stitched on wool fabric.  Materials:  Sari silk ribbons sewn to represent the ocean. White waves created with a wool roving webbing and a dyed scrim for sand.   I used various hand embroidery to create elements to go with the actual seashells. This quilt was actually challenging in that I used heavy interfacing to keep shells from sagging but then couldn't fuse layers as wool would just absorb it.  Had to add more layers which then made the quilt too thick to face and had to improvise a binding.

It's all Shells 18" x 37"
by Jane Haworth

Practice seashell painting

Artist Statement:  I am exploring using seashells in my work for various projects and mediums.  The inspiration was painting of my own collection of seashells.  Materials:  Home Depot drop cloth, various commercial cottons, textile paints & acrylic paints.  While exploring making seashell patterns in various sizes, making watercolor paintings of them and also in fabric collage, I opted to paint these shells in fabric & acrylic paints on the drop cloth base.  It was quite hard to paint on.  I also played around free motion stitching on my new longarm sweet sixteen machine. After the painted shells were stitched, I added collaged shells and an impro layered background.  This will be a table runner.


Turtle Reflections 38" x 34"
by Michelle Peerson

Artist Statement:  Inspired by a photo by Hailey E. Herrera of Los Angeles.  She gave me permission to make her creation in fabric.  I dyed several of the fabrics, mainly the whole cloth piece.  I used sun dyes, salt to create the bubbles & designs.  I waited too long to finish "Reflections" and plan to do more embellishing with quilting, shells & hand dyed cheese cloth.

Evening Reflections 23.5" x 26"
by Jan Mitrovich

Artist Statement:  Her own thoughts and reflections were habitually her best companions" - Jane Austen.  The inspiration was Betty Albert (Cree nation). NW artist paints native American women.  When I saw her painting in a gallery in Washington labeled Evening Star Women, I immediately knew this one should be adapted to an art quilt.  Materials:  Cotton, silk, tulle, misty fuse, batting, beads, rayon ribbon (hair), paints, watercolor to shade the sky, acrylic spatter for background starts, staff ornament, purchased dreamcatcher embellished with paper features, embroidery floss, crystal stars from a diamond paint kit & lots & lots of thread. This piece created itself.  I had the basic image of a woman looking at the moon, but the fabric choices, embellishments and process was revealed to me as it came together.  As I reflect over my past year with MAQ and my beginner's journey with art quilts, I thank you all for your instruction, inspiration & friendship.

As Through the Wishing Glass
by Stephanie Bennett Strauss

Artist Statement.  This fits the Challenge by showing a cat looking for his REFLECTION in the mirror.  Materials:  Cotton & Organza fabric; cotton, polyester, and monofilament thread, cotton/poly batting, Iron-On stiff Interfacing.  I chose the Reflections Challenge because it immediately invoked a memory of a greeting card I had seen many years ago, and I thought it would translate well into an Art Quilt. My quilt depicts a Lady’s Vanity dresser with a large mirror, and several beautifying items on the dresser scarf. Nearby is an antique Tiffany shade hung from a Steampunk style floor lamp. This lady’s  Tabby cat has jumped up to admire himself in the mirror. The perfume bottles reflect nicely in the mirror, but something Magic has occurred when our feline friend looks for his reflection. He sees himself through a silvery mist, appearing very grand, powerful, sleek, and handsome, indeed. Seeing his Reflection has confirmed for himself that he really is who he thinks he is. He purrs, loudly. This quilt was quite challenging for me. I was trying to do things I had not done before, like using organza, working with vinyl (which did not make it into the final quilt), and an attempt at trapunto. Working to create a dramatic up close perspective was new. Figuring out the geometry of reflections was a trial. I thought about trying out the facing method of finishing, but given a deadline, and the many time-consuming mistakes I’d already made during this learning process, it was a bridge too far. Making this quilt was very rewarding, and I learned quite a lot.

Leaf it to Me

Leaves - Botanical #2
by Lynn Tubbe

Artist Statement:  I decided to challenge myself to try some techniques new for me - curved piecing, as well as pulled printing on organza and seeing if it was possible to paint dryer sheets.  What better way to practice - using one of my favorite subjects - leaves.  This was my own design, inspired by Joan Dyer's work.  Materials:  cottons, silk, organza, painted dryer sheets, painted and stamped fabrics.  My first attempt at painted fabric ended up with fabric so stiff, i ended up using it for the leaves sewn down after the facing was finished.  Next time I will use fabric paint, rather than adding textile medium to craft paint.  Steep learning curve.

Hosta 30" x 25"
by Jan Petre

Artist Statement:  The design source is a picture of my daughter's hostas in Michigan.  Having spent half of my life in Michigan and Connecticut, I was inspired to capture the new leaves emerging from the dormant bulb in the springtime.  This was a combination of hand dyed and commercial fabrics, with wool batting; leaf edges were shaded with inks.

Leaf Dance 12" x 18"
by Carole Rossi

Artist Statement:  I love leaves, any kind or shape, any time of year!  They make me happy.  This piece is meant to be joyful & fun.  It's all about the imaginary leaves, dancing all around! The inspiration was improvisational piecing & machine applique.  This was my own design - leaves, all sizes, flying out of a patchwork vase.  Patchwork was repurposed from an older, larger piece.  Materials:  Commercial cottons, including batiks; fabric paint (Lumiere by Jacquard); beads; couched yarn; some hand-stitching around the smaller leaves; buttons; 100% dream cotton batting; Quilting:  Simple straight-line quilting, both on the leaves & in the background.  I enjoy working on smaller pieces because I am more courageous about embellishing.  I'd like to include more embellishments in my larger pieces.

Forest Floor 29.5" x 28"
by Tracy Visher

Artist Statement:  This quilt is entirely comprised of leaves of many sorts.  I had an idea that involved ferns (a favorite forest plant, as they seem so cool and peaceful).  I came up with a design where I could feature the fern but wanted to create a full scene where its surrounding environment was included as a frame for it. I used an ombre fabric for the background.  I loved how the light area of it looked like filtered light in a forest.  I used a large stencil to get the fern image.  I used stamps and stencils for other leaf outlines in acrylic and fabric paints.  there are felt bits and embroidery threads.  Theis is burlap and tulle. The biggest challenge was how to do something unique with the fern image.  I didn't want to just stencil it.  I used it for the outline, then stitched around the whole thing over fusible on the back as a stabilizer.  I then cut out every leaf (which I used as "babies" along the ground).  I backed the whole fern with burlap, but I covered it with green tulle, so it wasn't so "brown".  I couched/embroidered the stem, along with a couple of vines elsewhere.  It was fun using a variety of techniques to add in all of the other plant life. 

Wild Card - Black & White + 1

Pop Art Tom 22" x 19.5"
by Karin Polli

Artist Statement:  All materials are black & white plus green.  I have been trying for 2-3 years to get a good picture of my cat, Tommy.  But he always closes his eyes when he sees the camera.  I finally surprised him in September and got a picture:  Materials:  Cotton fabric, batting and thread in black, white and green.  I inherited the black & white fabrics from a friend and wanted to use what I had without buying any additional fabrics.  Because of the type of designs on the fabrics I had to use, it was somewhat difficult to get shapes and shadows to fit the picture.  I am happy that even with the strange fabrics, it looks like my cat.

I am Not a Frog 20" x 30"
by Sophia Day

Artist Statement:  This used black, white & a light, medium and dark shade of green.  4 of us chose to combine this with a Quilt Guild Paint Chip challenge.  We drew random paint chips.  We also chose to have a theme of "circles".  This used commercial fabrics, monofilament thread and variegated thread.  I wanted to piece the circles but with so many interlocking ones, I didn’t think I could do it accurately.  It’s machine appliqued with monofilament thread.  I left negative space because I wanted to practice my Free Motion Quilting. My husband kept saying he saw a frog on a bicycle, hence it's name.
Where Do Your Dreams Take You? 20" x 30"
by Robi Holmen

Artist Statement:  Sophia Day, Holly Miner, Sue Marshall and I decided on a paint chip challenge using dark, medium and light fabrics, circles and black & white.  This is my own design, drawn first on paper using a large compass to offset some of the circles.  Flying geese imply movement.  Materials:  cotton solids, ombre dark to light, batik print and black & white cotton.  Wool batting is used in this piece with a faced edge.  I cut out each piece of the design, added 1/4" seams to everything, then stitched each section one to another.  I chuckle to myself seeing it complete, thinking:  "What in the world was I thinking".  Applique is so much easier.

Circle Party 20" x 30"
by Sue Marshall

Artist Statement:  I used mainly black & white plus a color chip to meet a guild challenge also.  This was a group challenge, 4 of us decided to do this color challenge, with the added element of circles.  I tried to use fabric that I had:  batiks, commercial black & white prints, grunge circles and dots. I used curve piecing, improv, did sketch for guiding design. It has FMQing with circles and rulers.

Black & White Fibonacci 20" x 30"
by Holly Miner

Artist Statement:  This uses blue, black & white.  It features Fibonacci shown 3 ways:  circles, spiral and boxes (in the quilting).  Materials:  cotton fabric, cotton batting, 12 wt Wonderfil spaghetti thread, 100 wt micro quilter thread.  I designed in Adobe Illustrator and had a good time figuring out how to make the spiral.

We also had one show & tell for a quilt that is in the Houston Quilt show.  

Letting Go
by Jan Reed

The inspiration was an image from a 1920s magazine illustration by Cheri Herouard.  It uses commercial batiks, seed beads and prismacolor pencils.  As I worked on this quilt, I realized how many grievances I still hold onto and wondered why it was so difficult to let them go.