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.