Monday, December 30, 2019

There is no November meeting of Mountain Art Quilters, so we make up for it come December. This year, we had the October reveal 2.0 to share, our annual holiday potluck feast to indulge in, and a smattering of show and shares to round out the festivities. The tables were gorgeous, thanks to Ms Ginny Lee, the mood was festive, the company inspiring, and the gift exchange a hoot. If you were unable to join us, we're sorry. Maybe next year.

October Reveal 2.0


"Purple Fantasy Forest"
by Sue Marshall
43" x 34"

Sue had a lot of ideas for this quilt but decided to focus on showing the strength and serenity she associates both with trees and with her father.  Walking her dog, Amber, every day helps her find serenity and peace in the woods.  Sue included the silhouette of a tree, an improv pieced tree trunk and branches, and quilted in additional elements of trees.  One of her goals was to use what she had, so she was happy to find a purple batik that had been in her stash for probably ten years or more.  Her biggest challenges were in getting started and in embracing the inevitable imperfections.  In doing this quilt, she expanded her skills in improv piecing, using both curves and angles.  Sue used an assortment of batiks, Grunge, Marcia Derse scraps, and decolored fabrics.  The batting is black polyester with areas of wool to add dimension.  It was quilted on a Babylock Coronet with So Fine and Glide 60 wt threads.  Sue really likes the Glide 60 wt and found it fun to work with.

Sue hopes that you enjoy her first finished attempt at an original art quilt and that if you take a moment to walk in the woods, you will find strength, serenity, wisdom and enrichment in your journey.

"Winds of Change"
by Sophia Day
21" x 24"

Sophia was inspired by her hand-dyed fabrics in the colors of autumn and the fall of leaves when the big winds came.  She wanted to be very abstract but had a hard time getting started.  Eventually, she fell back on recently learned techniques -- using Terial Magic to stiffen raw-edge appliqué, hand-dyed fabrics and decolorant techniques.  She also used monofilament and King Tut gradient threads.   

"Daphne's Choice"
by Stephanie Bennett-Strauss

This quilt was inspired by Stephanie's favorite Bernini piece, "Daphne and Apollo," a life-sized sculpture depicting Daphne turning into a tree in the very moment that Apollo, her unwanted suitor, was about to force himself upon her.  Bernini's skill is such that she appears fearful and horrified, and he appears determinedly lustful.  Stephanie was so moved by the statue that she researched the mythology, hoping that what may have initially appeared as tragic was ultimately happy, that Daphne did not regret her choice.

When visiting the Villa Borghese in Rome 2001, Stephanie saw the sculptures of Gian Lorenzo Bernini, who, to her, easily eclipsed in beauty and passion the works of more well-known sculptors.  Every one of the sculptures was astounding beyond description, but her favorite Bernini work was "Daphne and Apollo."  After doing her research, she begin to work on the challenge piece, with an attitude of homage to Bernini.  Stephanie enjoyed this work and she hopes it shows.  For clarification, curiosity and completeness, what follows is her slightly abbreviated version of the myth of Daphne and Apollo.

Daphne was a river nymph, sometimes called a river naiad.  Her father was a river god.  After rejecting several suitors her father had presented to her, she begged him to understand that she didn't want to be married at all.  She did not want to be a domestic goddess or anyone's fair maiden; rather she wanted the freedom to be in nature as her father was.  Her father loved her, so he reluctantly agreed.  Meanwhile, in another part of the mythological realm, Apollo and Eros (sometimes called Cupid) were comparing their expertise.  Apollo was the god of the sun and medicine and was a great warrior with a fine bow and arrow.  He was making fun of Eros because of the puny little bow and arrow he wielded.  Eros felt stung and venegeful, so he decided he would teach Apollo a lesson.  He took two of his arrows, dipped the tip of one in pure gold and the other in molten lead.  He then shot Apollo with the gold-tipped arrow and he chose Daphne for the lead-tipped arrow.  Instantly, Apollo felt smitten with Daphne who had pledged herself to solitude.  After having been hit with Cupid's leaded arrow, Daphne was especially hostile towards Apollo.  Apollo chased Daphne relentlessly, and just as he reached out to grasp her body, Daphne called upon her father, the river god, to remember his promise and save her.  It is said that her father turned her into a tree in the very spot where she stood, and where she stands to this day, for trees live very long lives.

In this quilt, Stephanie used cotton and cotton/poly fabrics, thin 80/20 batting, cotton and cotton/poly threads, Wonder Under fusible, decorative cording, nylon and rayon tassels and fringe, plastic beads, and a segment of dry vine from her garden.


"Steampunk Air Race"
by Lynda Lasich
34 1/2" x 30"

According to Lynda, "This quilt was so much fun because of the whimsy and fantasy involved."  Some of the items used, such as the gold paper used by Chinese at grave sites, had been purchased more than twenty years ago.  The half water bottle was her daughter's idea, and they spent a great afternoon decoupaging the Chinese paper onto the plastic.  Initially, the plan was to have two balloons, but plans were constantly changing as vehicles got added.  In addition to the Chinese paper and plastic water bottle, Lynda used hand-dyed and commercial fabrics, craft foam, copper netting, black plastic netting, upholstery fabric, watch and clock parts, beads, plastic from an automatic nail gun, a wooden spool, a vintage sweater clip, and Lumiere paints.

"Ethel Mermaid Goes Steampunk"
by Michelle Peerson
33 1/2" x 20 1/2"

Michelle has been on a mermaid kick for a year now.  She loves underwater quilts, so this seemed a natural partnership.  This quilt features a hand-dyed background fabric created with Pebeo Setacolor sun dyes.  Ethel's skin was dyed with English breakfast tea, the blue gears are indigo dyed, and the jelly fish cheese cloth was dyed with Procion fiber reactivating dyes.  She also used Lyra Rembrandt Aquarell watercolor pencils and permanent sharpie markers to enhance some of the colors and details.  Michelle says this was a fun category and project; she especially loved dyeing her own fabrics.

"Steampunk Gears and Engine"
by Maria Brower
26 1/2" x 19 1/4"

Many of Maria's relatives, including two grandfathers and three great-grandfathers, were train engineers and/or worked for the railroad in the 1800 and 1900's.  Maria has a large collection of train books and has visited the areas were they lived as well as the train stations where they worked.  She used her Sizzix Vintaj BigKick cutting machine to cut the gears from a die from the Tim Holz collection.  In creating this quilt, Maria learned that it is better to quilt a piece before adding the appliqués.  She used the #4 stitch on her Bernini and it gave the piece a great rippled effect which worked well with the wavy print on the front.  Maria used cotton fabric -- the background fabric was from the Krazy Kats and Mary Lou collection by Mary Lou Weidman for Benartex.  She also used ARC polyester embroidery thread.  The black and white cotton fabric came from Ben Franklin's.

The Annual Feast

Our annual potluck is never lacking for wonderful foods, good friends, and a festive atmosphere.  

Our annual holiday bash always ends with a gift exchange accompanied by a reading of the quilter's version of The Night Before Christmas.  Merry Christmas one and all!

Show and Share

Ardy Tobin brought her house quilt in for a reprise as not everyone had a chance to see the finished quilt.

This is Trish Morris-Plise's most recent quilt, the result of classes she took with Rosalie Dace.  This piece, as yet unnamed, may end up as "The Cosmic Travel Trailer."  Trish was just playing with leftovers and added the five red circles to serve as a focal point.

Also by Trish, this quilt is a smaller, more hangeable version of her large dress quilt, "Same Stuff, Different Times." 

Jan Reed found this ad online for a copy of her quilt that is being sold without her permission.  She warns us all that our art can be hijacked and used by unscrupulous individuals.  Artists, beware!

Julie Broughan brought in this cunning needle case done with goldwork embroidery.

Kate Grant is offering a basket making class teaching pine needle baskets.  She dubs her technique "giving birth to a basket."


Jan Reed's quilt, "Saving Paradise," was selected by Ricky Tim's for a Judge's Choice award at the 2019 International Quilt Show in Houston, Texas.  Not only was this a great honor for Jan, but Ricky's explanation of why he chose this quilt was a wonderful tribute to Jan's artistry and a moving statement that touched us all.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Life in the foothills is never dull. With fire season upon us, our local power company decided to lower the fire risk by pulling the plug, and Nevada County was left in the dark. So where to hold our October reveal? Have no fear, Michelle Peerson to the rescue! Michelle managed to find us a substitute venue at the 11th hour. We owe a debt of gratitude to Blue Line Arts in Roseville who took us in and gave us space to hold our October meeting. As not all of our members were able to attend, watch for October 2.0 to magically appear at our Christmas potluck. In the meantime, lost photos from our October meeting have resurfaced, so it is with great pleasure that I present to you our October reveal!


"Steampunk Halloween"
By Lynn Tubbe
33" x 43"

When Lynn found this commercial fabric called "The Ghastlies,"  she realized that she could finally make a Halloween quilt that she would enjoy seeing in her home.  No orange and black for her!  She really had fun with this steampunk theme. She used commercial, dyed, painted, and stenciled fabrics (thanks, Ginny and Marylee!), metal gears, keys, watch faces, various yarns and ribbons, and raffia. 

"Steampunk Calliope"
by Marylee Drake
35 1/2"x 41"

Marylee was inspired by a stained glass window that reminded her of a jukebox. This calliope produces music by sending steam or compressed air through a large whistle, and Marylee sees it as music for a steampunk festival.  The quilting matches the background fabric and the shape of the gears.  Marylee says that if she makes something like this again, she will make some design changes to create more visual dimension as this one seems really flat to her.  She would also add tubes for whistles.  Marylee used cotton printed and hand-dyed fabrics, drawn and fused gears, satin cording, metal chain, and rainbow variegated poly-thread for the machine quilting.

By Trish Morris-Plise
36" x 40"

Photos from books and the internet were the source of Trish's inspiration.  She most enjoyed being able to bring facts from nature and blend them with the industrial whimsy of steampunk.  This piece shows rivets, pullies with gears, and the imaginative world of a seahorse clad in armor.  Trish used hand-dyed and commercial fabrics, leather rope, metallic vinyl, tulle, beads, suede rope, typewriter keys, and cutouts from her Cricut cutter

"Steampunk Peacock"
By Pat Gillings
32" x 45"

Pat interprets steampunk to be a fantasy of Victorian times and mechanism.  In this quilt, she combined animals with machines to represent the steampunk genre.  Pat had seen gowns with peacock feathers on dress forms and decided to combine the two in her design.  Pat used various shiny materials, gears, trims, and beads.

by Robin Hart
14" x 30 1/2"

When the challenges were posted for 2019, Robin's mini group, Artitude, decided on Steampunk as the group challenge.  Steampunk is a subject that uses 19th century technology such as steam engines, gears and air balloons and combines them into a science fantasy genre.  In the beginning, Robin had trouble coming up with a suitable subject for this challenge.  When she let herself go and decided to do something for the fun of it, she found her inspiration by looking up steampunk ideas on a pubic domain photo site.  She created her design in Adobe Illustrator and had it output as a whole cloth design on cotton.  She then thread painted and free motion quilted the main quilt.  Robin thought it would be cool to have the quilt suspended from a zeppelin, which she created the same way as the main quilt then stuffed so it would have volume.  Robin then added strips of faux leather to tether the zeppelin and the quilt together.

"Music for a Lifetime"
by Karin Polli
29 1/2" x 18 3/4"

Karin watched a video about a man who could no longer talk because he had Alzheimers.  He lived in a care activity, but was invited to go to a barbershop music concert put on by his old barbershop quartet and his family.  He was called up to the stage and asked to sing with the group.  While he could no longer talk, he could still sing all the old songs.  Karin says that music of all of us is a lifetime experience.  It is used as a therapy for dementia patients because they can still relate to music from their past.  Care facilities often have pianos and people will come in and play.  It seems it might be better to have something available daily, something like a jukebox.  In this quilt, Karin has created a player organ based on the science of the Victorian times when machines were run by gears, chains, pulleys and steam.  She used cotton fabric, chiffon, copper foil, beads, metal gears and numbers, chain and cotton batting.  She says that getting the scale right was the most challenging part.


"Homage to Trees"
by Sandi Lauher
21" x 32"

In this quilt, Sandi depicts a tree that represents all trees, living through its seasonal changes.  This quilt was inspired by a large fig tree that was growing in Sandi's yard when she was a child.  That fig tree was a place of refuge for her and a place of fun as there was a wooden swing that hung from the tree.  Sandi collected the figs in the summer and leaves in the fall.  She found it challenging to line up the four rectangles, aligning the tree parts.  Sandi using cotton fabrics and batting, polyester thread, thread remnants, Dye-No-Flow dye and beads.

by Sue Serrano
26" x 20 1/2"

Sue has been intrigued by this tree on her property since she first saw it.  She dubbed it the Halloween tree.  As the tree was dead, her husband wanted to cut it down, but Sue said "No!"  There was something about this tree that called to her.  In the pasture where it stands, it is a commanding, albeit spooky, presence.  It is much ganglier than this portrayal, and darker, having no life.  To Sue, it represents both beauty and death.  She had originally intended to create a much larger quilt with an appliquéd tree, but this one manifested itself to her.  With this change in plans, the challenge shifted to finding the perfect background fabric.  After auditioning 'millions' of fabrics, a friend gifted her a piece of her hand-dyed fabric that had every element that Sue, and the tree, wanted.  She used hand-dyed fabric, cotton and rayon threads, 80-20 batting; the 'lacey' tree was created by stitching yarns and roving on water-soluble Solvy.  

"Southern Oaks"
by Julie Berry
28"x20 1/2"

The inspiration for this quilt is a photograph taken by Julie's husband at Oat Alley Plantation.  Julie loves the structure of oak trees and the graceful swoop of their branches.  She wanted the trees to appear in a woodland setting.  The area around the trees is very manicured so Julie added the wildland scenery in the foreground.  Julie had the photograph printed on pima cotton.  The batting is Dream Orient (a blend of bamboo, silk, tencel and cotton).  She used cotton and rayon thread, painted cheesecloth on the trunk for added texture, and included fluffy threads/yarn to give more definition to the moss.

"A Hole in One"
Patty Blesso
21" x 30"

Patty and her brother came upon this tree stump white hiking on Mt. Shasta.  Patty thought the hole in the tree was very unique and would be a great art quilt, so she took a picture of it.  She used many different techniques and materials to make the trees.  The sand path was her biggest challenge.  Patty used sand, puff paint, Terial Magic, yarns, tulle, stabilizer, Fabric Magic, paints, cotton thread and fabrics.

"In the Shadow of Giants:
a Tribute to the California Redwoods"
by Robin Hart
29" x 42 1/2"

Ten years ago, Robin visited the great redwoods in the northwestern part of California.  She was awestruck by the grandeur and majesty of these beautiful, towering giants.  It was a magical and holy experience, as if she were standing in a green cathedral of living trees.  She took many photographs of the area, planning to do a painting of them in the future.  All these years later, when Robin saw the challenge of 'trees,' she decided that now was the time to act.  With this quilt, Robin combines her talent as a fine artist with the art of quilting. She uses her painting skills in PhotoShop to create her subject matter then outputs the painting on fabric.  Using one of her photos as inspiration, Robin set about painting the forest digitally, a process that took a month and a half to do.  It took another month to thread paint and free motion quilt the forest with colors complementing the subject for texture and design.

"Moon Tree and the Four Elements"
by Linda Siska
30" x 57 1/2"

This quilt is comprised of six parts -- a tree outlined against a satin moon in the top part, and five hanging banners representing the four elements.  The most difficult part for Linda was figuring out how to connect the top and bottom portions of the quilt.  After considering 'a hundred different options,' Linda decided to connect the sections with ribbons, sliding a branch in the space between them.  She used satin fabric for the moon, thread painting on tulle for the tree, hand-felted wool for the leaves, and a variety of fabrics, beads, foil, Swarovski crystals, and ribbon.  For the batting, Linda used craft felt.  Metal bars were inserted in both top and bottom parts of the quilt to prevent sagging.

A Special Quilt for a Special Lady

Ardy Tobin, one of the founding members of Mountain Art Quilters recently moved 'out of the hood,' not so far that she cannot attend meetings on occasion, but far enough that every month is a bit too much.  The members of Mountain Art Quilters felt that she needed a commemorative quilt to celebrate her new home.  The members each created a house block for this special quilt.  Joan Dyer volunteered to piece the diverse blocks into a cohesive whole, and resident longarm quilter, Karla Rogers, volunteered to do the rest.  The result is this wonderful, colorful, unique quilt.

Mountain Art Quilters president, Trish Morris Plise, presented Ardy with her surprise quilt.  Ardy was obviously overcome.

Karla explained the quilting process and read aloud the lovely label on the back of the quilt.
Ardy, it is our hope that this quilt finds a special place in your heart as you have found one in ours.  

With special thanks to Blue Line Arts for hosting our October meeting!

Monday, October 14, 2019

Our September meeting featured our own Ginny Lee giving us a demonstration of a variety of methods for deconstructed printing. And, as usual, we had a wonderful variety of offerings for our monthly show and tell.

Ginny Lee's Demonstration of Deconstructed Printing

Ginny Lee and Marylee Drake discuss the deconstructed printing process and the effects it creates.
Ginny shared several techniques for deconstructed printing.
These techniques result in a wide variety of effects.

Show and Tell

Jackie Manley used fabrics by Ann Johnston and her own hand-dyes on a black background to create this quilt entitled "The Eye."  The random piecing echoes the power of a hurricane, and Jackie finished it just as a hurricane passed by.

Kat Madison brought in her quilt, "Spirits of a Vanishing World," (36"x53 1/2").  When Kat designed this quilt, only one animal was vanishing from the arctic habitat, the polar bear.  Now the snowy owl is also disappearing.  According to Kat, climate change is real and we are affecting it.  This quilt is a plea to please do everything you can to reduce our greenhouse gases -- recycle, reuse, eat meat one fewer day a week.  To that end, everything on this quilt that is white -- the snow, the animals, the binding -- is either sewn directly on, or faced with, recycled bed sheets.  Kat also used hand embroidery thread, organza, taffeta, beads, yarn, metallic threads, monofilament, Tsukineko inks, Inktense watercolor pencils and blocks.  The ocean took a lot of math to figure out the wave lengths, and the polar bear is located at the vanishing point.  The quilt background was finished as a stand alone quilt, then everything else was added on top.  The animals are all hand-embroidered.
When she was a child, Kat lived in Alaska and started school in Kodiak.  That incredible place left an indelible mark on her, so this quilt was a labor of love.

wolf detail

Traditional Hawaiian quilts were the inspiration behind the blocks in Stephanie Bennett Straus's "October Wind" quilt.  She included a Halloween song in the border.

Lynne Tubbe's pink and red fabrics were dyed at a workshop at Ginny Lee's.  Some of the fabrics are luxurious silk velvets.

Karla Rogers brought in a denim shirt she tie-dyed.

Karla also shared some of her hand-dyed fabrics.  She used Shibori techniques to dye three dish towels and some cotton fabrics.

Sue Marshall took a pre-printed panel and is in the process of quilting it with decorative quilting.

In August, we take a break from our usual programming and spend a little time together, enjoying a pot luck lunch, and sharing a wide variety of show and tell -- not just quilts, but all those things we've been up to! This August, we were treated to a visit from Kara Asilanis of The Curious Forge.

The Curious Forge

We had a visitor for our August luncheon.  Kara Asilanis, from The Curious Forge, came to tell us about the organization, the space, equipment and skill sets they provide for members, the programs they have set up for youth and non-profits, and to invite us to come for a visit.  She brought samples of the artistic work being done at The Forge and encouraged us to check out their calendar for upcoming public events. 

Show and Tell

Julie Broughan showed us a citrus orange and lemon yellow jacket she had dyed with indigo and embroidered with images of her grandchildren.

Robin Hart was wearing a t-shirt with her own design,

and Shelli Fried modeled her indigo dyed dress.

Carole Rossi was inspired to do this quilt by a photo she took while walking along the beachfront in Barcelona, Spain.  Entitled "Precarious in Barcelona," it was shown in Houston in the architecture exhibit.

Michelle Peerson brought in this piece created using fabrics painted in a Mary Boalt class.  Michelle painted on fusible with Lumiere paints, stamped with, among other things, found objects, and then fused it all to a piece of duck with silk organza.

And Michelle shared with us some dresses she made for new members of her extended family.

Trish Morris Plise had several projects to share.  This purse was made from fabrics created in a Mary Boalt class,

and this stunning quilt was hand appliquéd and hand-quilted using traditional Hawaiian techniques.  This silver sword quilt took her over a year to complete.  It represents a plant that grows only on Maui and blooms every twenty years.    

Trish also shared her mermaid #3, created using techniques learned in an Alexandra Von Burg class.

Ginny Lee brought in some of her fabulous fabrics.  The large piece is a middle weight habutai silk from Dharma.  It was stretched and fabric painted with seta color and will eventually be used as the background for a steampunk quilt.  She used stencils including a plastic tablecloth and placemats, as well as salt, etc.  The crocheted placemat, smaller pieces of fabric and onesie were all indigo dyed.

Jan Petre brought in two animals quilts to share.  This cat was created using Sandra Mullen's technique of thread painting on top of a photograph,

and this owl was finished after taking a class with David Taylor.  David's technique involves using convex and concave shapes to create a design.  It is all done with turned appliqué hand-stitched to the background and then thread-painted.

Patti Blesso has been a very busy woman.  She made this giraffe from a kit, 

a blue heron quilt, 

and a seaweed basket.

Last, but not least, Patti shared with us some of the wearable art she has created -- this jacket from a Mary Boalt class, and 

a Heidi Emmett jacket.

Sharon Rizzo comes by her artistic bent quite naturally.  Her mother was a prolific and accomplished artist whose favorite medium was colored pencil.  It was the anniversary of Sharon's parents' memorial, and we were honored to have her share with us some of her mother's work.

Sharon's dad was also quite an artist.  Here are some examples of his wood working skills, featuring intricate marquetry.

Besides art quilting, Pat Gillings is known for her basketry and beading work, both in evidence here.

Pat uses long pine needles to craft her baskets.  These have beaded centers, a technique she learned on YouTube.  The trick is to add eight beads per row.

Pat also brought in some fabrics she dyed during Ginny Lee's indigo and ice dyeing workshops.