Thursday, December 10, 2020


 Our December meeting is traditionally a Holiday potluck.  This year we had to settle for a festive zoom meeting with Holiday head wear and sweaters and Christmas trees/quilts in the background.  But we did continue the tradition of having Show & Tell be any non-art quilt project members wanted to share. It was very special seeing how creative our members are in other arenas.




Karle deProsse shared a sweatshirt she finished.  It was started many moons ago.  She covered the sweat shirt with black and white fabric and colored the flowers with crayons, shading the flowers as they are in her garden.  It was heat set with waxed paper.


Kate Grant shared her handbag. She has been wanting to use some of her tapestry weavings in new ways and was particularly interested in trying one as a panel on a purse.  For the purse,  she used the basic instructions for making a tote but modified the size, pockets, and strap and added a zipper to close the top. Lots of fun!


Lynda Lasich shared a "Coat of Arms Shield" quilt she is working on.  Traditional wool applique on metallic linen from Britex.  Her plan was to have this piece look like a coat of arms.  The linen was already metallic, and wanting a metallic border to represent metal was key to the appearance desired.  She was sorely disappointed as that fabric was contemporary on a tradition center field and didn't work.  Having invested in four yards of the grunge, she needed to come up with how to use it  Oil Shiva sticks and embossing blocks were the answer.  One the border was painted and seven days of drying time elapsed, she could heat set the border.  Once her fractured right arm heals, she will sew the painted binding on.



Marylee Drake and Lynn Tubbe shared quilts from a group project.  They all brought Christmas fabric to share & cut the paisley drops with an AccuCutter.




Marylee Drake shared 3 more Holiday quilts.  Over the River was hand embroidered.  The redwork and pinwheel quilt has a lot of beading and custom quilting.  The snowman was made using shapes from AccuCutter dies.






Norma Keeley shared 2 quilts.  Her Christmas quilt was Block exchange with friends of a friend. Each of them made 16 blocks to send to one another. The blocks sat in her UFO collection until this year during COVID when she finally put them together into a quilt. Circles 2 is another UFO quilt.  Hand appliqu├ęd circle blocks made a number of years ago and finally put together.  Fussy cut circles. Hand quilted. The background of the blocks are Cherrywood fabric.
















This was a Sierra Sisters round robin garment exchange.  Michelle beach themed, Karen Polli -Guatamala themed, Sue Serrano - fish themed, Jane Haworth - Art apron, Marylee Drake - Susan Sproul inspires apron, Sharon Rizzato - bling coat , Shelli Fried - Fall themed coat.











Sharon Rizzato showed us in-progress photos of Pandemic Clay Craziness. With SIP she was able to cohort with three families who were all working from home and practicing safety. 

Additionally,  With the canceling of all vacations for the next two years, they decided to put in a pool. 10 years ago they made clay dolphins for her sister in law’s pool.   Thus they decided to make 3 sea turtles for the bottom.  The collaboration of artists took on a life of its own and all the pool walls soon had tile murals.   

Her Daughter in Law Denicha Rizzato and good Friend Jammie Hurl, along with Sharon herself were the clay artists   Her husband, son and granddaughter drew the critters. 

5 months, 2 days per week,  8 hours per day x 3 people plus additional people contributing— They logged at least 1,000 hours of art work.   This project helped keep their creativity and sanity during this difficult time.   Pandemic pride!! 






Shelli Fried shared a baby quilt, a dresser runner and a tablecloth.  The baby quilt was made from a panel and was quilted by Kris Volker of Lincoln CA. The table cloth was made from batik fabric imported from Ghana.The cat dresser runner fabric was purchased from Villa Rosa Designs in Grass Valley. Also quilted by Kris Volker.






Stephanie Bennett-Strauss shared 3 quilts.


Sue Marshall shared her "Quilty Queen".  She has been watching Alex Anderson on TQS.  She gave them a challenge to do an Avatar art quilt.  This was a fun project. Made her look at my fabric in a new light.  She called her “Quilty Queen”, and felt it was appropriate since it was supposed to be fantasy.







Tracy Visher shared 2 quilts. 

Bacterium Delirium:  This started off as an abstract exploration. I tried out lots of different techniques and found I was attracted to the tension between the very linear background the the circular foreground elements. As I worked along, I was thinking a lot about the news and the global germ warfare we have all been fighting. I was thinking that while 2020 has been focused on surviving Covid, 2021 will still hold our attention as the vaccines arrive and we stew about who has and has not or who can or cannot get vaccinated. It is as if we are just continuing our obsession with germs and bacteria. The quilt seemed to me to be what one might see under a microscope, when looking at the virus or it's treatment. I named the quilt after our global preoccupation with the topic.

The "Be Merry" quilt: I have a space in my entryway for an up to 45x45' quilt. I decided I'd like to add a little ho, ho, ho to that area. I looked at images online and saw and idea I liked. I made up a pattern and used a bunch of Christmas fabric scraps I had. Of course my sewing machine decided to start pulling grease through the bobbin at the point I was doing white on white stitching so the whole project go sidelined for 2 weeks while I had my machine serviced. I wasn't very Merry at that point! 



Trish Morris-Plise shared two wall hangings:  "Toes on the Nose of Autumn".  This is a computer altered photo, and had it printed on cotton fabric.  I took it about 6 years ago while out on a walk.  I came across a large pile of fallen leaves and just wished it was so big I could jump into it!  Unfortunately all I could muster were the toes of my shoes in the middle of the small gathering of leaves.

"Last Drop of the Day".  This fire season has been one for the record books.  It is still alive and well in December 2020.  The piece is based on a photo taken by a local photographer.  I saw it on Instagram, contacted him and he sent me the photo as well as gave permission to use it.  The sky has been painted.  The Sutter Buttes raw edge appliqued and the smoke in front of the buttes was mimicked with tulle.  The trees were made using Donna Greenwald's technique of Confetti.  I will be going to a new home in the not to distant future.


Ginny Lee shared a stained glass project she did with a very good friend of hers.  It used left over stained glass and copper, glued onto a mirror.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

October 2020 Reveal

 This was our last reveal of the year.  We did it via Zoom, as we've done all reveals this year.  It was a wonderful afternoon, seeing all the beautiful quilts. The descriptions of the quilts are the 'artist statements' by the makers.

Category:  Graffiti 

"Color is Not a Crime" by Michelle Peerson

The inspiration for quilt was an image on a wall in Portland during the BLM protest.  It sums up my view of all people color, it is not a crime. I used cotton fabric, a sharpie and thread.  I added the colors for the road at the bottom, each to represent the various colors of our skin. Red, yellow, black and white ("they are precious in our sight") and added green for the LGBTQ and Fairy people.  I despise prejudice of all kinds, the definition of "Prejudice" is preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience, "prejudice against people from different backgrounds".

"Chaos 2016-2020" by Karin Polli


CHAOS: extreme confusion or disorder. UGLY: bad, disgusting, unpleasant, cross, quarrelsome. From the Old Norse word (ugger) for fear. GRAFFITI: inscriptions or drawings on a wall or other public surface—often inspirational or political. The inspiration was that Donald Trump has used “fear” as a sword against the American people—fear of losing health care (ACA and Medicare), and also social security. He has invoked fear of violence in cities and moving to the suburbs, fear of immigrants and people of different colors, backgrounds, countries, and religions, and fear of what a different party will do to them. His administration has been full of confusion and disorder due to the people he has chosen to run the government. He has been disloyal to the constitution and American citizens and residents. The quilt was made out of cotton and cotton batting. The difficult part was getting the words—the size of the UGLY and the small words, which I experimented with different mediums and finally settled on vinyl.  This quilt is one word on a brick wall with a political message. Donald Trump and his administration has been chaotic and ugly and so are the words describing him and his followers in government. 

"Grace Under Pressure" by Sue Serrano

The quilt has graffiti (words of songs ) in the face and body of Grace and all around her. The inspiration was the song “Under Pressure” by Queen. And then the song “I Heard the News Today, oh boy” by the Beatles. But mostly Queen. The top is constructed of one linear piece of fabric I bought somewhere years ago. It was the perfect background for Grace: the subtle, sporadic colors; and the abstract lines that provided the contour for her face, neck, and shoulders. All so naturally placed. She is filled with wool batting and backed by another fabric appropriately titled “Graffiti”. I used cotton, rayon, and silk threads for quilting. Words to songs are printed on organza and sewed onto the top. A piece of hand dyed sateen was used for one side of her head/brain while another piece of hand dyed cotton was used opposing it. Embellishments for eye lashes, crown, and earring. On the back are the complete lyrics to both songs printed on cotton.  First of all, I love the literal and figurative double entendres in this piece. It is as much of a literary work as it is a quilt.  That said, I had intended for Grace to be a model for Cubism (which would have been a third challenge category), but she wouldn’t have any of that. Her “not so easy to look upon” countenance grew on me, and I ended up keeping her and focusing on the graffiti provided by the two songs mentioned above. The graffiti outside her body is positive words that cannot break through all the negativity from the pressure Grace feels while the graffiti inside her body is indicative of the outside pressure that ails her so. The phrase “grace under pressure” comes from an Ernest Hemingway quote that alludes to one doing a fabulous job of getting through a difficult situation, hence the “grace” part (and her name). The “under pressure” obviously comes from the song by Queen, hence all the lyrics alluding to how difficult her situation is (Covid and all her losses) this year. In the beginning, she continually listens to the news (The Beatles) for needed updates on daily life. After awhile, the news becomes so depressing and monotonous that she succumbs to the pressure and cannot hear or feel the words/support coming at her from loved ones. Grace is really trying to handle her life “under pressure” as Hemingway would have her do. I think she will be alright in the end. She will eventually be able to once again be the queen that she is (signified by the crown on her head), standing tall and confident….after she gets her hair cut! Right now, however, the pressure is really getting to her.   On a personal note, I have never listened to so much Queen music over such a short period of time. I hadn’t realized before that Freddie Mercury was such an amazing musician. My appreciation for him and his music is probably the best outcome of this quilt. Here’s to you, Freddie! And Grace. Both under pressure.

"Graffiti for the Ages"Add by Tracy Visher

The dictionary defines graffiti as "writing or drawings scribbled, scratched, or sprayed illicitly on a wall or other surface in a public place". Cave, or parietal art is the epitome of this sort of work. I have a friend who is a great rock art enthusiast and has even written a book about petroglyphs in our area. I mentioned that I was considering doing a quilt for the "graffiti" category but that I hadn't hit on a design yet. She said "well you know, cave art was the original graffiti". Two months later, her commented popped in my head in the middle of the night and the rest is history. I began with a plain, unbleached or dyed osnaberg fabric. The surface was tea dyed, sprinkled with powdered water color, colored with Gellatos and stitched. The art and symbols were drawn on then painted with acrylic and fabric paints and stitched. The border and backing are batik. The batting is 80/20 cotton/wool. I really enjoyed the challenge of taking the "blank slate" of plain fabric and adding multiple layers of different treatments to create my underlying "rock wall". The handprints in the lower corners are actual tracings of my twin 4 yr. old grandson's hands, reduced to keep in scale. I learned that the oldest cave art found, dates back 73,000 years ago and was found on Borneo in Indonesia.

Category:  Silk

"Waiting" by Julie Berry

It's 10/28 and this pumpkin is still in the field.  It is waiting to find out it's fate.  Will it become a decoration, a jack-o-lantern, a pie or???  The quilt is composed of dupioni silk and sari silk.  I quilted the background with dupioni silk and constructed it by layering on curved pieces of sari silk onto silk batting.  I used silk, rayon, polyester and cotton threads.  This was a fun quilt to make and my first time using sari silk.  I found that silk ravels more than the cotton I normally use. 

"Sari, Not Sorry" by Tracy Visher

The quilt is made entirely of silk, apart from background, the felted wool "balls" and some embroidery thread. The design, and its abstract nature, were a new stretch for me. I paint too and have often struggled with creating abstracts. Somehow this one just sort of designed itself. It had initially been a vertical design but the more I played with it, the more the horizontal layout felt "right". When I first saw the challenge title I thought, ugh, working with silk would be awful. Over time, I realized I had a good-sized collection of silk I really should use, as I strive to use stash first. The stripes, little accent strips and large colored thread are all from recycled Indian sari's (women's clothing) I had collected years ago. I particularly loved the silks that are two different colors, warp and weft. The felt balls were part of a large collection of same. I used perle cotton for the embroidery. Silk ravels!! This was a good thing when I wanted to expose the two-color silk threads, but they would not stop raveling so I really had to be careful how much I handled it. The colors were so vibrant that it felt like stitching jewels. I used the balls and the embroidered circles to play counterpoint to the highly linear strip layout. I thought the two-toned border added interest and better highlighted the nearby strips.

Category:  Using Perspectives

"Light at the End of the Tunnel" by Sophia Day

The inspiration was the hope that there's a light at the end of this COVID tunnel.  The fabric was mostly hand dyed and batik fabric, with a few commercial fabrics.  It was quilted with sulky thread.  The bottom of the tunnel is a dryer sheet.  I wanted something pieced and I wanted it to represent the hope for a ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ when we can meet, hold hands and dance together again.  I used the colors that California is using as we move toward less restrictions;  purple, red, orange and yellow.  I didn’t want something linear as it’s not a straight line forward.  I tried several techniques and settled on the improv circles.  As the quilt got bigger, it was harder to keep it flat with the improv piecing.  Also, I struggled with how to make sure it looked 3d.  I used a dryer sheet to point toward the vanishing point.  

"Loss" by Sue Marshall

I tried to use perspective to give depth to the piece.  Quilted some areas denser, and quilting lines spaced large to small to add depth, also. This is the 3 piece I’ve tried this year to meet the art quilt challenge.  So I’m hoping this is close enough.  So I started with the bold black and white fabric, cut it down the middle and pieced it.  Since it then reminded me of two dog noses, the piece took a different direction.  I pulled fabric from my stash. So I took a picture of the slope at a ski resort where our dog recovered a body, who was taken out in an avalanche.  She alerted on the site within 3 minutes from when she was released.  Unfortunately, they didn’t get notification early enough for the person. I used
hand dyed fabric, batiks, commercial cotton.  Batting is 80/20 cotton/poly blend and wool in the middle section to add more dimension. Isacord and So fine thread.  Hand stitched small cross with Sue Sparo’s thread. The main challenge was getting inspired.  I had wanted a happy quilt, but to me this is a sad quilt.  The person wasn’t recovered in time and we lost our dog on July 6th of this year.  So I named the quilt “Loss”. Quilting the quilt, I had problems keeping the piece flat and also used bias edges in the binding.  The wool batting helped with the excess fabric and I stabilized the bias edges with a water soluble stabilizer.  I pieced the binding to extend the design.  I’m hoping you enjoy my piece.

Category:  Design It Like A Cubist

"Forest:  A Cubist Perspective" by Karle deProsse

The landscape is fractured and abstract as are cubist landscapes and paintings.  As I enjoy creating landscapes more that abstract art, I drew inspiration from studying George Braque’s cubist landscapes, who had inspired Picasso’s work.  I used cotton fabric, fusible interfacing, white cotton batting, Superior Threads’ clear polyester monofilament thread and rayon thread. This was a challenge in two areas. First, my creativity flatlined this year making my start date way too close to the deadline.  I had to simplify my original design to complete it in the limited time. I am not as pleased with the outcome.  Second, I choose the topic to truly challenge myself to create an abstract piece outside of my comfort zone.  The fusible interfacing made the piece stiff and difficult to work with.

"The Trombonist" by Holly Miner

The subject has been stylized to resemble an early Cubism painting i.e. shapes, color and addition of text. The inspiration was paintings of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque from their Analytical Cubism movement(1909-1912). Musical instruments and musicians were a popular subject for Picasso and Braque.  I used quilting cottons for top & back, 80/20 batting, 60wt, 40wt threads plus some detail with Intense pencils.  Doug, my husband, is a musician. I chose him as my subject for this quilt. He does play guitar & stringed instruments are very common in the Abstraction genre, but I wanted to feature trombone, his preferred instrument. I photographed him with his bass trombone to make the piece mine & used the photo as a reference for the main figure. (Photo attached). I enjoyed working with monochromatic colors and adding the music related text/images. The piece is small so the topstitching was difficult as the fabric edges fray. The research on Cubism was an added bonus as I really knew little about the beginning of the Modern/Abstract art.

Category:  Underwater

"Up Up and Away" by Maria Bower

This is an underwater view of the deep blue sea. The inspiration for this quilt was the background fabric that shouted “underwater” to me. I used several stencils to outline the fish shapes.  I had a fabric with light metallic blues and pinks with gold overtones. I used colored pencils, some fine point markers to detail and color the fish. I used cotton fabric for the plants and fussy cut shapes, in some cases I used fabric with printed plants and cut them apart. Backing fabric is a dark blue variegated print with small lighter color circles. Cotton batting and Polyester thread of various colors was used for quilting. I used a facing on the back and not a border or binding that would distract from the underwater view. The mermaid was my challenge and especially her hair and face.  Her fish body is a metallic fabric. Her face was done with colored pencils & a bit of paint.