Friday, July 24, 2020

We still can't meet in person, so we had our 2nd reveal of the year via Zoom. There were 18 Quilts shown and they were all beautiful.

Category:  Inspired by a Song

Artitude Mini-Group Beatles Song Collection
"Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" by Robin Hart
12" x 24"
At the beginning of the Year our Artitude mini group decided to do a group quilt. We chose the “Inspired by a Song” challenge, selected the Beatles’ as the musical artists, and we would each choose a song of theirs that most resonated with us best. We decided that the group title would be “The Long and Winding Road” and that we would have a winding road of the same musical fabric going through all of our pieces. I selected Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds for obvious reasons with my love of all things spacey, and it is one of my favorite songs of that era that the Beatles did.

I designed the quilt in Adobe illustrator, using the drawing tools to create Lucy (who’s face was inspired by a head shot of a model from a public domain photo site). I created the surface design of her dress, using the gradient tool to make the rainbow fabric and the pattern maker tool to create the diamond pattern. I also used the pattern tool to create the flowers. I left room to apply the winding road fabric applique at the top according to the paper template that was given to the group at the beginning of the project. A black line was added after the group decided that it would enhance the winding road design. My quilt would be in position number 1 on the left side. I then did an ombre background that goes from medium to dark blue and drew the star field on top of that. I thread painted the quilt in colors that blended with scene and embellished the flowers and a few of the stars with Swarovski crystals to enhance the diamond effect. It is quilted, sandwiched, with batting in between. The backing fabric is the same musical note fabric that was chosen by the group.

"Octopus's Garden" by Shelli Fried
12" x 24"
I had a piece of hand-dyed fabric that I have been wanting to use and it looked like a great fit for an underwater scene. I love the whimsy of the Beatles song about being in an octopus’ garden and became enthralled with learning about these fascinating creatures. The variety of color and shape is almost beyond the imagination. Some of them love to collect shiny objects and shells to adorn their areas.

This was made with hand dyed cotton, batiks, home décor fabric, commercial fabrics, glass beads, buttons, abalone shell beads, crystal beads, polished colored rocks, SuperMarkers, cotton batting, hot ribbon. Quilted with Superior Monopoly thread. I had great fun putting this together. If I were to do it again, I would use a brighter fabric for the octopus so it would stand out more when all of the panels are together.

"All You Need is Love" by Ginny Lee
12" x 24"
This was inspired by a song title poster from circa 1960’s.  90% of fabrics used are hand dyed including cotton, velvet, trims Wonder Under fusible Super Sparkle Lumiere paint & Tsukineko ink, beading accents and vintage black glass beads from my grand-mother’s stash.

I used freezer paper templates to outline “love, love, love” in the music road section with bobbin work and to hand sew the trim used for “need”.  This was my first time using Tsukineko Inks to shade the glove.  My mother’s world travel suit from 1970’s was used for the word “you”.  The background was quilted with monofilament.  

The Artitude Group intends to donate the quilt to the Sutter Breast Cancer Quilt Auction.

"Julia" by Julia Broughan
12" x 24"
The song was written by John Lennon, about his mother-Julia  The inspiration was an image of Julia found on the internet, lyrics in the song and a statement made by John Lennon to Donovan.  I used Cotton fabric and batting. Plastic toys, lace, Jacquard paints. 

John was taken from his mother at age 5 and raised by her sister.  Julia was hit and killed by a car when John was 17. John told Donovan if he could do anything with his mother, it would be to walk hand in hand with her on the beach, looking at her seashell eyes.

"Michelle" by Michelle Peerson
12" x 24"

“Michelle” is a song written by Paul Mc Cartney. He created the song to try to impress girls by speaking French (which he does not). This shows the Eiffle Tower and a girl with long blond hair. This was my first group quilt and I found it a challenge to be so precise.

"Maxwell's Silver Hammer" by Lynn Tubbe
12" x 24"
I use the “broomstick” technique to wrinkle the fabric for the hair, before sewing it down. This jaunty Beatles melody has a deeper meaning. There was a British serial killer named Maxwell, who murdered a teacher, a science student (hence, the fabric I chose for her face), and finally a judge, with the tool in the song’s title.  However, Paul McCartney maintained the silver hammer referred to the hand of fate.

"Yellow Submarine" by Trish Morris-Plise
12" x 24"
I used commercial cotton fabric, cotton batting, monofilament thread, hand dyed fabric, hot fix crystals, black shoe laces and buttons. 

I attempted to mimic Peter Max's flavor of design.  The biggest challenge was to try to make sure the road would line up with it's neighbors and the block matched in length.

"Here Comes the Sun" by Marylee Drake
12" x 24"
My song was written by George Harrison.  The song was written while visiting the country estate of Eric Clapton in the early spring after a long and wet winter.

I used cotton and batik fabric, rhinestones embellishments, thread play, cotton batting, machine quilting.  The music print was used in each of the panels to connect the theme.

"Blackbird" by Pat Gillings

In researching the back story of the “Blackbird” I found that bird was a slang term for a girl and was a commentary on the American civil rights struggles. The song could be seen as encouraging black women to rise and meet their potential in life.

The woman with wings and the blackbird were made and beaded separately and added to the quilt.  The face was painted with watercolors and colored pencils.  Ombre fabric used for the background and floral fabric used for the foreground.  All participants used the same fabric for the winding road and the same batting and backing fabric.

The entire process was a challenge.  How to depict the blackbird, the woman, how to depict night time without making the background too dark.  How to bead the bird and the wings, how to connect to the woman.  Decided I needed to print some of the lyrics so people could understand how the song related to my depiction.  Thought a lot about this project before I jumped in with both feet and went for it!!

"Hey Jude" by Lynda Lasich
12" x 24"
"Hey Jude" was released in 1968.  Written by Paul McCartney and credited to the Lennon-McCartney partnership, and is listed among the greatest songs of all times.  They lyrics give a positive outlook to sad situation, and encourages the discovery of new opportunities.  The ballad derived from "Hey Jules", as comfort to Jules Lennon after his father left his mother for Yoko Ono.

The words of the song were the inspiration “Don’t carry the world upon your shoulder”, “Let her in to your heart” and “Let it out, let it in”

I used cotton ombre fabric for the background, cotton painted with Tsukineko inks for man’s torso, hand dyed silk fabric for heart, applique, with rick rack embellishment.

"Paperback Writer" by Linda Siska
12" x 24"
When our group decided to do this challenge, I jumped on the opportunity to portray the song, “Paperback Writer.” As a long time author wanna be, it was right up my alley. The images on the quilt represent characters in a story, “Camouflage and the Giants,” inspired by my grandson’s request to “please write a story about me, Camouflage, the Ninja-wizard-Samurai-sensei who fights big, powerful evil-doers.”

I hand painted cotton for the background and fused on all the other elements. To get the characters and the floating pages, I first drew them on paper, colored them with colored pencils and sharpies, then copied them onto fabric, adding shadows with a pencil to give them more realism. The typewriter is a copyright-free clip-art that I printed and enhanced. I added the clothesline at the top both to give the piece more interest and to cover up a mistake I made. I love mistakes!

The biggest challenge was trying to figure out how to secure the raw edge appliqué without compromising the images with their small details. In the end, I left a white margin around each piece and used that space to secure the edges.

"Moon River" by Tracy Visher
30.75" x 20.75"
I had started thinking I would make a moon design for the "Let There Be Light" topic option. When I painted the background, I decided to add moonlight on water. The water became a river as I added pieces and ended up with a natural fit for one of my favorite songs, "Moon River" by Henry Mancini for the movie Breakfast At Tiffany's.

I used hand-painted background on pfd white fabric, using a variety of types and brands of fabric paint. Batiks, multiple types of netting, painted used dryer sheets, yarns, painted and fused Pellon interfacing, free motion quilting. Cotton batting and backing.

 One of my favorite ways to challenge myself is to figure out how to successfully execute a sense of depth to my work. Landscapes are the most challenging. How to get the eye to wander back into the piece. I wanted to create a sense of being up on a hill, looking down on the moonlit water. This requires consideration of size and placement of trees etc. to represent near and far and the slope of the hill. I had fun pulling together different bits of yarn etc. to create the sense of different foliage types.

"True Colors" by Norma Keeley
42" x 45"
The inspiration for the quilt was color block paintings and the song True Colors, particularly the lyrics "…”I see your true colors shining through, I see your true colors and that’s why I love you, so don’t be afraid to let them show, … your true colors are beautiful”…

I used colorful cotton fabric in the “Grunge” pattern by Moda, white cotton tone-on-tone, Kona black cotton for the border and Hobbs Thermore polyester batting.

As always, good design is challenging for me.  I tried to convey the song’s theme in an abstract, simple concept.  I started with graph paper and colored pencils as my design tools.

Category:  Let There Be Light

"Be the Light" by Kathryn Madison
35 1/2" x 25 1/2"
I designed this quilt in March, as we were beginning to understand the reality of Covid-19. I wanted to do two things: use a negative watercolor technique that basically paints the background around the focus elements, and I wanted to use a mythical creature, my favorite being a Pegasus. I wanted her to be the source of light in a mystical forest. Then George Floyd was murdered and this quilt became something else. I wrote a brief poem that is embroidered on the back:
Be the Light-
That invites all, welcomes all, embraces all.
Be the Light -
That illuminates all that is good and true, worthy and right.
Be the Light –
That chases away shadows and warms cold hearts.
Be the Light –
That glows constant and unwavering in the face of evil.

I used PFD cotton, dupioni silk, fabric medium. batting, cotton thread, monofilament, metallic embroidery thread, Inktense watercolor blocks and pencils, Tsukineko inks, gold metallic watercolor paint, Swarovski crystals.  This was the first time I created a facing instead of a traditional binding.

I wanted this quilt to uplift and encourage, first as we live through Covid-19, then after the murder of George Floyd, to bring into the light the systemic racism our country desperately needs to heal.

Category:  Design it Like a Cubist

"Woman in Blue" by Mary Scharosch
This is a free design, no perspective, simple features of face and lines,  geometric forms and quilting.  My inspiration was Cubist influence at museum and Picasso film.

I used cotton fabric, bamboo batting, wool, cotton thread, paint, pencil, wool batting painted with metallic fabric paint, dried, and peeled off. Cut to design of circles and stitched on.

The following quilt fits 3 categories:

Category:  Down the Rabbit Hole

Better Living Through Chemistry by Stephanie Bennett-Strauss
23" x 47"
For me the concept “Better Living Through Chemistry” can light the way to a better education, innovative research, healing medicine and health enhancing pharmaceuticals. But anywhere along the way there is the chance of tripping and falling Down the Rabbit-Hole where good intentions carried to the “infinitem ad absurdum” go Absurdly Awry. Is this where we wanted to be? Are we still on our way? Are we falling? Are we there yet? Where are we?

The challenge name: Down the Rabbit-Hole is a reference taken from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland written in 1865. It has come to mean what happens when one progresses farther and farther down a path (specifically falling down a rabbit-hole), wherein one finds oneself in the midst of a chaotic situation that becomes increasing harder to escape from. In the 60s Better Living Through Chemistry was originally a DuPont Chemical Company tag line. Looking through the Retrospectoscope at the past it becomes obvious that in spite of good intentions, many things went Awry. Today besides some important medical miracles, we also have pollution from pesticides and other poisonous well intended chemicals, and we have a nationwide crisis of addiction, to designer opioids and other manufactured substances. Haven’t we indeed gone Down the Rabbit-Hole?

I used commercial cotton fabrics, 80/20 batting, Wonder-Under, buttons, bamboo.

When choosing a challenge from amongst all three reveal dates, I realized I could possibly do three challenges, each one building upon the previous one. Down the Rabbit-Hole clearly suggested that Jefferson Airplane’s White Rabbit be the song to inspire me for the middle challenge, and Grafitti seemed to beckon it’s continuance for the third. As I worked on the first challenge, many ideas came to me in advance for the second and third, and I felt frequently in that wonderful unreliable state called “FLOW”. It was disappointing to me to have missed the first reveal, (I was ready), but I am happy to show them apart and together this time. 

"White Rabbit" by Stephanie Bennett-Strauss
27" x 49"
This is a layered quilt, with the background showing a world of education and sophistication, and the foreground illustrating the song White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane which was most certainly written in reaction to and response to the social circumstances of the 60s, a time of great potential and great turbulence.

One aspect of Better Living Through Chemistry, originally a motto from DuPont Chemical Company, which exemplified the sophistication and promise of applied science in its’ time, was the explosion of social experimentation with mind altering substances. The song White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane pulled from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland in musically celebrating the parallels between Alice’s experiences in Wonderland, and the shared mind-altering experiences of the counter-culture. It was always one of my favorite songs.

I used commercial cotton fabrics, poster board, white glue, tulle, wonder-under, buttons, pen and ink on fabric.

This second layer of images from fabric on tulle when placed overlying the buildings, park, meadow and rabbit-hole near the tomato garden of the first layer, creates a feeling of floating and chaos, themed specifically to the song White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane. It is meant to evoke the music and the feelings associated with mind-altering substances. It is affixed to the first layer (Better Living Through Chemistry) by means of buttons on top and on bottom.

"Feed Your Head" by Stephanie Bennett-Strauss
27" x 50"
This is a layered quilt. This third layer is Graffiti written across the face of the previous 2-layered quilt. The Challenge was Graffiti, and the is Graffiti.

I have always noticed graffiti; near the tracks near my high school, along the sides of the railcars in west Berkeley and Oakland. Some graffiti is Defacement. Some Graffiti is Tagging. Some Graffiti is much closer to Art. Today’s Graffiti is clearly meant to be Art, and when it was collected on Pinterest it blew me away. It inspired me and I enjoyed doing my own.

I used Vinyl sheeting, Tempera paints, Wonder-under, pen & ink on fabric.

Using Vinyl sheeting to paint my own Graffiti Art onto, then overlay onto the two previous layers of my two previous challenges was an idea inspired by another quiltress Margaret Vodicka. She is a PTQG member, as am I, who shared her piece Plastic Tide by Margaret Vodicka in their Virtual Quilt Show. She had made an Art Quilt  Beach scene which she overlayed with vinyl sheeting to which she had glued scraps of plastic junk in the formation that made it appear to be washing up on shore. I Loved that piece! As an example of “standing on the shoulders of giants”, I gratefully acknowledge her inspiration to me.

 Category:  Magnified

"Snake in the Glass" by Kate Grant
35" x 12"
This piece is a magnification of a rattlesnake.  (Thank goodness they aren’t this big!)

The subject was inspired by a close up photograph of a rattlesnake taken by my cousin’s daughter, who is a wildlife biologist.  The pattern of the scales made it a perfect subject for another rep-“tile” mosaic quilt.

I used Steam-aSeam2 for the adherent material in the mosaic formation process.  I used Heat Resistant Template Plastic for the glass pieces in the quilt.  I love its reflective quality!  For the corner brackets I used ultrasuede, with metallic beads as the “hardware.”  For fabrics, I used batiks and other cottons, along with cotton batting and tulle.  I quilted the snake with monofilament and the glass with silver metallic thread.

This was the first time I used Steam-a-Seam2 for the mosaic process, which overall worked better than the Wonder-Under I had used previously.  I originally planned to finish it with facing, but I didn’t like the bulkiness of the fold.  The piece also looked better with a thin border, so I modified the facing allowing ¼” to show.  I would do this again.

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