Friday, October 29, 2021

 After our record breaking storm last weekend, we had a beautiful day for our last reveal of the year.  And so many beautiful quilts were revealed. Here are their stories:

The Dark Side

"No Word" 15"x23"
by Michelle Peerson

Grief is dark.  A child whose parents die is an Orphan.  A partner whose spouse dies is a widow.  A parent whose child dies knows the dark side.  This was created with hand dyed Shibori Indigo background, steam-a-seam 2 lite.

"Firestorm" 23" x 19"
by Pat Gillings

Living with fire and smoke for months on end in Northern California is definitely "the dark side" of climate change.  I created this quilt to show the emotional impact of another summer of continual loss.  I believe the tree picture was originally taken in New Zealand and I had previously modified it to a 'glowing' look, but never used it directly in a quilt  I then applied the app WordFoto which allows you to surround your photo with up to ten works of your choosing.  The app fills in the words randomly in all the empty spaces.  Amazing.  This quilt was created after learning multiple skills in Susie Monday's online course on crating online art and collage.  

"Deciding in the Darkness" 35" x 39"
by Stephanie Bennett-Strauss, MD

I was inspired to choose this them because it fit only too well the state of mind I have been dealing with intermittently for some time now.  Artistically, I think that some observers might find that it evokes similar feelings applicable to moments in their own lives.  Munch's famous painting, "The Scream", inspired my starting place for the Dark Side challenge.  The screaming suffering "Self" is in the center, with dark, moody fabrics radiating out from upper left, suggestive of the perspective that Munch creates with a bridge in his original painting.  There is an Angel on one shoulder, and a Demon on the other, each in position to whisper influential advice.  But the Angel is trapped in a gilded cage, in the path of an oncoming storm, and so the Demon has full access, and spews his malice to the unfortunate suffering Self. Note:  the only white fabric in the quilt is a ray of White Light, perhaps a Ray of Hope, extending down from the upper left.  It appears to be coming from the outstretched hand of a hooded figure, who at first glace could be a Savior, but then looks more like the Grim Reaper.  Perhaps it is both death and Redemption  It stands in a peaceful graveyard, beckoning. This torturous predicament is made even more acute by the rising flames.  This is, indeed, a very dark quilt.  The Angel image was fussy cut from Christmas fabric, the Demon & Death figures were drawn by me with Micron pens and colored pencils, the background is pieced and machine appliqued.  Mostly cotton/polyester thread was used with some monofilament.  Then bamboo batting was used.

"Midnight Midway" 34" x 44"
by Marylee Drake

I wanted to do something using dark fabric with a dark theme.  I'm a an of Steven Kin's literature and his many dark stories.  I thought of a midway at midnight before the lights went out , but the visitors were gone.  I imagined scary shadows and monsters lurking in the recesses of the booths and among the rides.

Who Am I

"Healing" 27 1/2 x 40 1/2
by Jan Reed

All this time isolating during COVID made me re-evaluate who I am and what's important to me in life.  The inspiration for this was a painting of a creek that made me long to be able to go and sit there for as long as it took to sort through things.  This was made with commercial batiks, fabric inks, prismacolor pencils, some fabric paints and fused, raw edge applique of almost 300 pieces.  This piece turned out to be really difficult as the wonderful blends of paints the original artist used were tough to find in my fabrics.  I also altered certain parts of his scene and then those didn't match up with the master I drew.

"Mask Mandate" 20" x 20"
by Jane Haworth

I included the year 2020 and this is how we lived our lives in 2020 - Masks! I made a self portrait-selfie photograph.  I used hand painted on cotton using a variety of acrylic fabric paints.  I used a hand-carved rubber stamp, wool & cotton batting.  I used terial magic on the mask. This is my first self-portrait and I feel hiding half the face made it easier.  I painted the face after I drew out an enlarged photo.  This I backed with wool and free motion quilted.  I made my stamp "20" and stamped fabric for the background.  I layered them up and added the mask.  The mask I pinned in place and sprayed with terial magic to keep the folds.  I thought that was a good idea.  I enjoyed making this quilt.  The hardest part was adding the light reflections on the glasses.  

Wild Animals

"Barn Owl" 22" x 28"
by Ginny Petersen

I wanted to create a quilt without straight sides and also crate another wall hanging using the beautiful maple tree seed pods.  I used scraps from my stash, yarn, vinyl mesh, maple tree seed pods for the owl's body.  Tree roots were splayed out on freezer paper to prevent sticking and glued in place using Elmer's craft bond quick dry glue.  The tree was quilted with stippling stitch on my Bernina 770QE. Barn owls are rarely seen but always there.  The only one I ever saw spent a few days under the overhang of our house.  This one is hanging out in a tree.

"Alkebulan" 36" x 26"
by Sandi Lauher

This depicts 4 wild animals of Africa  My love of Africa, it's landscape and it's cultures and especially it's wildlife inspired this quilt.  I used cotton fabric, synthetic felt, polyester thread, water color pencils, tassels, and bone beads.  The quilt's largest animal is centered.  I chose the elephant because of the love and respect that I have for them.  But what you notice first are the other 3 animals (lion, giraffe & meerkat).  The acacia tree and monstera leaves are plant life of Africa.  2 challenges I faced were the painting of the lion's face (took many attempts) and the order of my process.  The backing was attached before the bottom cording.  I think the reverse would have been easier.

"Gino & Aloicious" 35 1/2" x 20 1/2"
by Tracy Visher

While not the typical rendition of a wild animal from a jungle or African veld, these two chimpanzees are definitely "wild"! The typical crazy thing that just pops in my head was the inspiration.  I found a photo that showed two chimps together that I used mere to be sure I understood their features.  The rest is whimsy.  I used cotton batting, cotton fabric, tinsel, angelina fiber, fiberfill, sequins, brass chain, inside of a mylar balloon, upholstery vinyl, inktense blocks and pencils.  I always set out to challenge myself in some fashion.  Trying to get clothes on these boys and give them facial features that conveyed a personality were the two big ones this time.  Getting Gino's eyes was really important too!

Wildcard 2020

"2020" 20" x 20"
by Sharon Rizzato

As an ICU RN, I have been hit, pinched, kicked and emotionally abused by family members, but never have I felt unsafe for more than a moment.  In 2016 a pandemic team was appointed for the USA.  They developed an epidemiologic play book, it included identification of emerging threat and a specific plan to keep the US safe from a novel virus.  In 2018, the pandemic team was disbanded by our "leader". The pandemic play book was never utilized during the Covid pandemic.  As an ICU RN, I witnessed hospitals scrambling to obtain and stretch the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).  One time use cheap plastic gowns and a mask were now to be used for an entire 12 hour shift.  N95 masks were only issued to be used with identified positive Covid patients.  Covid testing took 6 days to result.  In normal times, PPE was readily available to us, we were able to use what we needed without positive testing.  I witnessed two emergencies that occurred shortly after shift change where our only options were to use night shift's old PPE or wait for PPE to arrive from the basement or not respond to the patient  This was unacceptable and dangerous to healthcare providers.  In fact during the first year of Covid, 3800 health care providers died in the US.  The majority of them worked either in the ED or the ICU.  Being an older RN with underlying health issues, I realized it was time to leave.  After the second emergency with no PPE, I left the ICU and went to a non-Covid unit and eventually moved to Covid tracking and tracing.  I retired two years earlier than I expected due to this.  The hospitals were doing their best to protect us and make sure we had PPE for the future. It was the US that failed the health care system.

"Let's Heal the World" 24" x 22"
by Sue Marshall

I wanted a positive take on "2020'.  So "Heal the World" was conceived.  I wanted to symbolize "Heal the World".  It shows a broken world in the background, hand stitching and photos of people being 'hugged by quilts' to symbolize healing.  I used batik and cotton fabric, printed photos on cotton (ink jet), machine and hand stitching.  I went to my first quilt retreat.  So it was a great opportunity to get pictures of people with quilts around them.  I love the photos and good memories I have of getting people to help with my project.  

Friday, September 24, 2021

 For our September meeting, members brought in their quilts from our October 2020 and April 2021 reveals, since we had to do these via Zoom. You can look back through posts to see all the quilts revealed.

We welcomed a new member, Jan Mitrovich.  She brought 3 beautiful quilts to share. She is new to art quilting and strives to try new things with each quilt she creates.  

In the Pond

Jan has recently started quilting again.  She took a class at the Reno quilt show and made this quite ambitious quilt.  It has paper pieced New York Beauties, applique and 3D applique.  She realized that she needed to practice her free motion quilting.

Sea Horse

Jan free motion quilted a Sea Horse panel.  The quilt grew and grew around the Sea Horse.

Caples Lake

This was from a photograph taken at Caples Lake near Tahoe.  This area was recently burned in the Caldor fire.  

Another Show & Tell was from Sophia Day. This is called Dusk and is for a Fabric Challenge for the Modern Quilt Guild.  The fabric is from the Hoffman Artisan Cotton collection.  

Thursday, August 26, 2021

 We were able to meet in person again for our August meeting, with masks on and practicing social distancing. 

Members brought their quilts from last year's first two reveals so we could see the quilts in person.  If you would like to see them again, look at the April 2020 and July 2020 posts.

We also had a few new quilts to share:

This was from July's reveal Challenge, "A La My Favorite Artist"

Girl With Pearl Earring in Blue by Mary Sharosch

One of Mary's favorite artists is Vermeer and she loves his painting "Girl With Pearl Earring".  She viewed the painting in San Francisco and was amazed by how much her granddaughter, who is of Dutch heritage, resembled the girl.  She dressed her granddaughter similar to the girl in the painting but the twist, was one color, Delft Blue with white  Vermeer painted this portrait in the City of Delft, Holland.  Mary used indigo hand dyed linen in the Shibori Technique, blue pencil with blue and yellow color scheme are the colors associated with Holland.  She use her own photo of her granddaughter and colored it in Photoshop, printed it at home on cotton.  It's hand and machine stitched.  The indigo stripes were a challenge to use as they were all dyed in one direction but not enough length to surround the portrait.  It was a fun project and she enjoyed using her granddaughter as the model and it was a nod to her heritage.

This was a quilt from the July 2020 reveal, "Let There be Light"

The Bubble Nebula by Robin Hart
39" x 40"

This is the 7th in Robin's deep space series of art quilts inspired by Hubble Images.  She chose the Bubble Nebula because it is a bubble of light against the darkness of space.  this truly was her pandemic art quilt.  Although Robin first chose this subject for it's unique imagery, over the last fifteen months this has become so much more  Originally this quilt was for the July 2020 challenge.  With all the trials and tribulations of Covid, she could see she wasn't going to make the deadline.  Robin finished the Photoshop painting in October 2020.  Then with all the other political turmoil on top of Covid, and a move in April, Robin realized this wasn't going to get finished very fast, so, she finally found the time and energy in May and June to finish the thread painting.  Robin now sees this as a victory of light over darkness, especially with the pandemic.  The quilt was painted in Photoshop with the stars designed in Illustrator and merged with the painting.  It is a whole cloth design, output on a large format printer on cotton cloth and then heavily thread painted and free motion quilted with colors complementing the subject for texture and design, which accentuates the patterns in the nebula.  Robin is continuing to explore deep space subjects for her MAQ challenges and is continuing on a new trajectory with this are quilt by combining her painting skills in Photoshop to create subject matter and then outputting the painting on fabric on a large format printer.

This was Show & Tell

On the Stoop by Carole Rossi
24" x 31"

Carole had been thinking about the images that make up this quilt for quite some time.  She spent a bit of angst over this past pandemic year fussing (somewhat unsuccessfully) over pots of plants on her front porch, which is what inspired her to go in this direction, with rather unique leaf arrangements rather than botanical prints.  She was also taking a class about leaves during this same period.  The leaves on the plants are "artistic suggestions" rather than realistic depictions.  Carole likes to create images that are a bit fanciful!  She painted the fabric "paneling" for the siding on the building and the bricks, using acrylic paints.  The pink petals are from fabric which she dyed.  The pots are created using wool fabric hand-dyed by her friend and colleague, Linda Waddle.  Carole wanted the pots to have a textured feel- to stand out (somewhat) from the rest of the piece.  She couched pieces of yarn to create additional movement on the purple pot.  She also used yarns for some of the plant 'stems'.  Carole fused leaves and stems and used a blanket stitch to create a 'homemade, sitting on the stoop' feel!  Carole used a combination of her various photographs as well as one of her watercolor creations.  The materials are commercial cottons, hand-dyed cottons, batiks, yarns, painted fabric (using acrylic paints), hand=dyed wool.  The batting is quilters 100% dream cotton.  It is free form quilted, using mostly Mettler Poly Sheen threads.  It was a challenge to create this composition.  Carole wanted it balanced.  She wanted the eye to flow from "pot to pot".  She worked on the composition for quite some time.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

We were able to meet in person for our summer reveal. So many creative, beautiful quilts were shared.

                                              A La My Favorite Artist

Feeling Good by Julie Broughan
47 1/2" x 28 1/2"

The inspiration was the song "Feeling Good" by Julie's favorite musical artist, Nina Simone.  Cotton fabric was used.  There is some fusing.  The sky letters were painted on.  The sky quilting was done with Superior Threads Monopoly thread.  The biggest challenge was to find someone who could spiralize the words.  Her mother went to high school and college with a singer named Odetta.  They sang in choir together.  Julie grew up listing to her style of folk/blues/spiritual songs.  Nina Simone is her favorite singer of this genre.

Fur, Feather and Fins

Lilac Breasted Roller by Julie Berry
17" x 12"

Julie is a long time bird watcher and has always been intrigued by this little bird.  When her husband had the opportunity to go to Africa, she asked him to get a photo that she could make into a quilt.  The fabric is all cotton, both commercial and hand dyed. There are cotton, silk, rayon and poly threads in it and silk batting.  She originally tried to make the quilt using Sandra Bruce's Material Matrix method.  It didn't work on this quilt, but she'll try again.

Nowhere to Run by Kathryn Madison
27 1/2" x 44 1/2"

Living in a place where wildfires have become a constant threat, Kat wanted to express that fear through the eyes of a young bear.  Mama's gone and he has nowhere to run.  She used PFD cotton, cotton/poly batting, recycled bed sheets, organza, tulle, fusible interfacing, misty fuse, yarn, cotton hand embroidery floss, cotton and poly thread, monofilament, fabric medium, Inktense watercolor blocks and pencils, Tsukineko Inks.  The techniques were hand embroidery, hand applique, hand painting, machine couching, machine thread painting, machine applique, machine quilting. Bears visit Kat's property so this quilt was a labor of love from the painted background, the large thread painted cedar tree, rock, lichen and moss, to the cub, hand embroidered and pieced together.  The organza flames presented the biggest challenge.  She used misty fuse to layer different colors of yellow and orange to get shades of fire. The large "flames" in the foreground present the greatest challenge, that they be solid enough to stand alone, and also handle being stitched with monofilament to the rock.  She had originally planned to face this quilt, but realized that the couched grass in the foreground was too thick to turn inside a facing.  So she added thin binding and painted it to match the quilt.  She designed this quilt to be compressed vertically, to give the feeling of being trapped.


Hydrangea Remix by Pat Gillings
34 1/2" x 34 1/2"

The original design began with a personal photo of hydrangea blossoms.  Pat modified the hydrangea photo using online Apps:  Photoshop Elements, Pixlr, Artisco, MegaPhoto.  MegaPhoto was used to create the unique designs.  Artisco was used for coloring.  Pixlr was used for the collage. Pat had the photo printed by Spoonflower on one yard piece on cotton.  She quilted and used sequins and beads. Pat continues to experiment using Apps that she learned in Susie Monday's Ipad class.  This design was not done in class, but later.

Lilacs by Lynda Lasich
29" x 34"

After taking Donna Greenwald's workshop entitled Confetti, a quilt using that technique was high on Lynda's 'to do' list. She used cotton fabrics, hand painted fabrics, wool batting and foam rubber.  While using the rotary cutter to make the lilac confetti, she sliced off the side of her left index finger, so her DNA is in the quilt somewhere.

Gone Too Soon - Spirit Lives On by Karle de Prosse
37" x 20"

When Karle pruned back her roses this last January, she placed a few buds in a vase. They all bloomed beautifully, except one that just drooped over and died. Looking at it made her think of those that died young, before we were ready to let them go, and all those dying of Covid-19. She decided to make this piece in memorial. Then in the spring when Karle received her Covid vaccine (and her mood picked up) she remembered that her belief is that one’s spirit lives on after death. She decided to make the piece a diptych and add a bright “spirit” piece to it.  She connected them with the ribbon representing the thin veil that connects us to the other side. She used Batik fabric & her hand dyed fabrics.  Silk organza ribbons, misty fuse, and Terial Magic. Connecting the two pieces with the ribbon was a bit more of a mind game than she expected with what goes where when sewing the ribbon between the facing. 

Suture by Tracy Visher
13 3/8" x 17 3/4"

The inspiration for this quilt was a random desire to see if Tracy could make a "road" that disappeared into the distance.  She used cotton fabric, tulle, perle cotton embroidery thread, Angelina fibers and acrylic paint.  She attempted to make the "road" go over a hump before heading into the distance.  Sewing the bulge was a challenge.  She hadn't fussy cut before.  She enjoyed using lots of tulle layers to add to the atmospheric perspective of the distant hills and plants.

Cezanne's recently discovered "Still Life with Artichokes"
by Lynn Tubbe 12" x 12"

The mini group Artitude chose an artichoke theme for the 2021 challenge.  The artichoke was printed using "cheater cloth".  Fabric pencils and inktense pencils were used for shading.  Lynn did the grid work before attaching the fused scene.  This technique works very well and avoids all the stopping and starting of grid work.

Artichokes from Space by Robin Hart
12" x 12"

This is one of the Artitude artichoke quilts.  This quilt was designed in Adobe Illustrator.  It is a whole cloth design, output on a large format printer on cotton cloth and then free motion machine quilted with colors complementing the subject for texture and design.  It is quilted, sandwiched with batting in between.  Some of the members chose to incorporate the other theme of "Inspired by an Artist" and used humor in their subject matter.  Robin preferred to do this straight, but with a spacy twist.

Artichoke Spray by Pat Gillings
12" x 12"

This is one of the Artitude Artichoke quilts.  Pat took a personal photo of an artichoke and modified it using online Apps Megaphoto & Procreate.  She had Spoonflower print it on organic cotton sateen.  It is faced with raw silk.  Embroidery thread was used across the quilt to emphasize the design.  The material was somewhat hard to work with.  Spoonflower no longer uses so won't order again.  Pat hoped to do more beading but she couldn't find suitable colors.

American Gothic Artichoke by Lynda Lasich
12" x 12"

This is one of the Artitude Artichoke quilts. The challenge was making this fun and interesting.  Cotton fabric, cotton batting and King Tut thread were used.  After deciding to use American Gothic painting by Grant Wood from 1930, Lynda's daughter helped her incorporate a photo of an artichoke and place the botanical on the pitchfork.  

"Picasachoke" by Michelle Peerson
12" x 12"

This is one of the Artitude artichoke quilts and also qualifies for "A La My Favorite Artist". Michelle wanted to combine a botanical and an artist she loves - Pablo Picasso's art.  She often visits Chateau Grimaldi in Antibes, France where he lived to see his art.  His medium varied from paint, fibers, metal and more. The image was printed on cloth.  Water color pencils were used for shading and blending.  The challenge of the group was to finish at 12" x 12". This piece is 12 1/2" x 11 3/4".

Wait, what?  Artichoke Tea?!? by Shelli Fried
12" x 12"

This is one of the Artitude artichoke quilts.  When Shelli started researching artichokes on-line, she discovered that several countries make a form of artichoke tea, including Vietnam, Mexico (they use the flower) and Croatia.  Artichoke is also blended with other herbs and types of tea because of it's many potential health benefits.  Since Shelli and her husband have a trip planned to Vietnam, she decided to share their recipe.  She hopes to drink it while she's there.  She used printing on fabric, commercial fabric, embroidery with crewl wool, quilting with clear Superior MonoPoly thread and Aurifil and Superior cotton threads.  This was a fun project for her as she had never made a piece this small before.  Shelli has not printed on fabric before and included it on a quilt.  She did a mock-up in paper to make sure the proportions would work.  Then she wrestled with her printer and finally got help from fellow member MaryLee to get the pictures onto fabric (thank you!!!).  She looked for Vietnamese artichoke teabags online and in some Asian markets as she was going to include one in the piece and maybe dye some of the fabric.  Unfortunately, she only found one option of 100 tea bags for $35+ so she skipped that idea.

Happy Little Artichoke Field by Julie Broughan
12" x 12"

This is one of the Artitude artichoke quilts and also fits the "A La My Favorite Artist" as Bob Ross is Julie's favorite artist.  Her inspiration was a birthday card.  She used all cotton fabric and cotton embroidery floss.  She did some quilting using Superior Threads Monopoly. Julie knew she had to showcase Bob Ross?  She and her husband went to Castroville and took pictures of artichoke fileds.  She manipulated a photo using and app called Go Art.  She made a paper collage and had it printed onto fabric at Real Graphic in Grass Valley.  She did get permission from the artist who make the greeting card to use and alter her design.

by Linda Siska
12" x 12"

This is one of the Artitude artichoke quilts.  Linda found a photo of an artichoke on the web and was captivated by the form and variation in colors.  She used cotton fabric and batting and Poly thread.  Linda manipulated the photo in her photo editing software, enhancing the color and creating a more painterly effect.  She had the image printed on fabric at Real Graphic and quilted it to enhance the form.

Lil Nell's Artychokes by Giny Lee
12" x 12"

This is one of the Artitude artichoke quilts.  Ginny looked at artichoke prints and vintage produce labels for inspiration.  She used cotton fabric, procion mx dyes, metallic threads, lumiere irridescent paints.  After deciding to make artichoke prints, her first challenge was deciding on a different color palette from literal artichoke colors.  Completing this quilt was the most challenging part of this quild and Ginny credits fellow member Trish Morris-Plise with encouraging her step by step.  Thank you Trish!

Arti-choke with Arti-tude by Trish Morris-Plise
12" x 12"

Trish used cotton fabric, wool batting, commercial cotton backing and cotton thread.  It was fun to participate in a group project.

Field Flowers by Jan Petre
15" x 20"

Jan wanted to do a botanical design giving the impression of flowers growing in a field. The background fabric is handmade using Setacolor transparent paints, leaves and sun painting with salt sprinkled on to give the appearance of dew or water droplets in a freshly watered garden.  The fabric for the pink flowers was ice dyed.  The flowers are raw edge appliqued to the background.  She chose to use a vertical pseudo stem and leaf quilting design to give the illusion of flowers in a thick field of greenery.  

Botanical by Lynn Tubbe
26" x 51"

Lynn wanted to use the sun prints she made with the help of fellow MAQ members.  She also wanted to try several painting techniques and used some leftover shibori prints.  She used both machine and hand quilting/stitching.  Painting on fabric was new to her and quilt a challenge.  "Grow" is one of the words on this piece and very apt.

Perseverance by Sophia Day
19" x 23"

The inspiration was an online image. Sophia used both commercial and hand dyed cotton fabric.  She used Aurifil and Bottom Line thread.  She had been wanting to learn to do a pieced, improv background.  She also wanted something that would qualify as a modern quilt with a neutral background.  Sophia moved the blocks around many times to get the shading right.  The leaves are confetti pieces sandwiched between 2 pieces of water soluble stabilizer and then quilted.  Once the stabilizer was washed away, the pieces were cut.  The tree is all raw edge applique, with the leaves having a slight 3D effect.

Our member Joan Dyer had to downsize her stash.  She had a sale and donated 1/2 of the proceeds to our group to use for Programs.  Thank you Joan!  In appreciation, all the members made Improv Star blocks, many using Joan's hand dyed fabrics.  Member Ardy Tobin pieced the quilt and member Sue Marshall quilted it. Michelle Peerson presented it to Joan and they both wrapped up in it for a photo.

Monday, June 28, 2021

 We had our first meeting in person in over a year!  The theme of the meeting was technique demos from some of our amazing members. We met at one of the member's house and got to see the beautiful pool project she's been working on.

Tracy Visher

“The Hole Megillah”

 Tracy demonstrated an interesting way to create a raised, covered and backed cord “ring” that is pushed through a hole you cut in your quilt (GASP…what?!). Tracy calls herself the “mad scientist” and is always trying out-of-the-box approaches and techniques. This one as was inspired by Betty Busby’s work. The basic technique is to cover a rope ring with stretchy medical tubing that has been dyed. A piece of fabric is placed behind the hole in the ring and attached. The ring is pushed through the hole that has been cut through the quilt top and batting and secured. It looks really cool!!!


Jan Reed

Creating Smooth Transitions

Jan showed us how she uses colored pencils and oil pastels to soften the transitions of color or value between objects or pieces of fabrics in her work. She demonstrated on a fused piece-in-process that depicts colorful rocks that are under water. Jan uses her fingers and sometimes brushes to blend the added medium with the fabric and the results are stunning. It was clear that this is a skill that requires much experimentation and practice. Jan is a master.

Jane Haworth

Mono-printing Botanicals using a Gelli Plate

Jane demonstrated a technique for making mono-prints with a gelli plate using plants and leaves. She has been experimenting making these on fabric so they can be used in her quilting and they can be made even more easily using paper. Jane uses various acrylic paints, a gel plate, and stiffened fabric (she sprays it with Terial Magic) to create layers of color and pattern. The designs produced are unpredictable and serendipitous and it is great fun to see what happens. The resulting fabrics are great to cut up and use in collage work.

Shelli Fried

Bury Those Threads…Easy Peasy

Shelli passed out needle, thread, and fabric to get everyone hands-on. Most people were new to this super-easy way to bury thread ends or pull stray threads, yarn, etc. through to the other side. The technique uses the loop created by putting a doubled thread through a needle. The threads to be buried are captured in the loop and are pulled through along with the needle. Hard to explain – easy to do. If you missed it, ask Shelli.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

We're still not meeting in person, although we're getting close.  But Zoom does have its advantages.  We had a wonderful meeting yesterday with a presentation by Sandra Mollen.  Her topic: Rock, Water, Reflection.

Sandra showed us a variety of beautiful quilts she has created using rocks, water, and reflection. She broke her presentation into four sections: Photos, Fabric, Process, and Machine Quilting.

The first category was Photos: There are many ways to search for a suitable photograph online: Facebook Pixabay, social media, or websites. Sandra stressed that you must always get permission in writing from the photographer in order to use it as your own subject matter, unless you are using a service like Pixabay or Shutterbox and then you need to check to make sure it is copyright free.  Or if you are confident in your own photography skills, you can use your own photos. Once you have decided on a photo, there are many methods to modify or enhance your subject in preparation for your artistic interpretation, three of which are: Photoshop, Artisto, and Photo Reflection—Water Effect which is her main choice.

Fabric choice was Sandra’s second topic. Her go-to’s are batiks and her own hand-dyes. She showed several of her luscious hand-dyed fabrics and batik over-dyes that she uses. She also has a great stash of commercial fabrics that work in tandem with her own fabrics. In addition, to get just the right dimension/shading/color, Sandra enhances her fabrics with inks and paints, specifically Tsukeniko inks and pens. She prefers the inks over paints as they do not change the hand of the fabric.

Category three was Process. Her method is to find an image and get it enlarged to the size of the finished quilt (she uses Vistaprint). And make sure to copy the photo in color. Next, trace the shapes, cut them out, and choose a starting point and go for it! It’s just that easy…for her!!

Sandra’s final category was Machine Quilting. She showed close-ups of her quilting, which she does on her trusty Bernina, and the quilting is as detailed as her landscape (or animal). Choosing the correct batting is an important element, depending on how tightly you plan to quilt your scene. And planning out your quilting in advance is essential for overall success. Her go-to batting for water in particular is Thermore as it is thin enough to ensure her quilts will lay flat when finished. Wool batting is used if she wants more loft.

After this fabulous presentation, we are all now ready to start our own landscape or animal portrait using some of these techniques. Thank you, Sandra, for sharing your well-honed skills with us. Your work is beautiful and you are truly an inspiration.

Show & Tell

The Mother Weeps by Tracy Visher 

Artist Statement:  I have read and seen much information about the melting of the ice caps and glaciers and the impact of this activity on the rise of ocean waters around the globe.   This was my way of expressing my concern about global warming. I used batik fabrics, metallic threads, Inktense ink blocks, hot fix crystals, cotton batting.  I challenged myself to try to depict the brightness of sun and the cold of water and the ice. As the ice edges have melted and softened, it was a challenge to show that but still have translucency and a feeling of the frigid temperatures.


Wednesday, April 28, 2021

 Mountain Art Quilters had our first reveal of 2021 today.  Due to ongoing covid restrictions, we did it via a zoom meeting.

Challenge "Elemental" 

'Fire' by Holly Miner

Artist Statement:  The Four Elements, Earth, Air, Fire and Water are a interpretation of Elemental. I am one of four, Sophia Day, Sue Marshall and Robi Holmen who wanted to do a group challenge and use improvisational design. We used our birthdays to figure out who would do which element. Each of us started with a piece of special hand-dyed fabric provided by Sue as a color inspiration. Everything else is regular quilting cottons and batiks. 80/20 batting. Quilted with Microquilter and Sew Fine. I did color in some of the white dots in the smoke area with Sharpies and Tsuneko inks. I enjoyed collaborating with my friends. Also, thanks to Robi, I learned a new technique for making a better facing.

'Air' by Sophia Day

I chose the element for my zodiac sign; air. 4 of us decided to do the 4 elements; fire, air, water, earth, based on our zodiac signs.  We each started with a focus fabric to decide the colors. The materials were Commercial cotton, hand dyed cotton, aurifil thread, 80/20 batting. We choose a common fabric for linking curved lines to tie the quilts together.  We also each added some fabric from the other elements to tie ours to theirs.  The only criteria we had was improv, which is new to all of us. Getting our lines to match across quilts was challenging.  I think if we did this again, we should have stricter requirements to tie the quilts together.


'Its Essential' by Sue Marshall

Artist Statement: I really feel parts look like water to me. Sophia M, Holly M, Robi H and myself decided to challenge ourselves with a group quilt project, using “Elements” as the topic.  We went with our zodiac signs to pick who got which element.  Inspiration for water, trips to Lake Powel, fishing at Lake Oroville, boating at Lake Tahoe, even walking the NID on our property to the water we drink everyday, just about everywhere. I used commerical, batiks, hand dyed fabrics (some I even did just for this project).  So that was new for me to do on my own.  Thread – Superior King Tut, variegated white/gray/blue, So Fine for the bobbin and Glide gray. We met twice to help with how to make our pieces cohesive.  Came up with a plan for connecting lines at specific points and pieces to be improv pieced.  We also share some fabric to bought the same fabric for the line segments.  The biggest challenge for me was getting the lines at specific locations and getting inspired for how to tie the pieces together.  I also tried to incorporate colors from neighboring pieces into mine.  I figured the water would reflect it’s neighbor.  

'Beautiful Earth' by Robi Holmen

Artist Statement:  This is made as a group challenge to depict one of the four elements; fire, air, water and earth.  This is my own design, from head, to hand, to paper, to fabric.  I used mostly batiks, a few silks and some cottons.  A couple of fabrics were stitched diagonally with metallic thread.  80/20 batting and wool were used to give the agricultural plots dimension.  I was intimidated at first to join three very accomplished improvisational quilters.  The four of us met to determine connecting points in using the tan fabric.  I drew a few different designs on vinyl with dry erase before the final design.  

'4 Elements' by Holly Miner, Sophia Day, Sue Marshall, Robi Holmen

'Earth Alchemy' by Shelli Fried

Copper, silver, and gold are elements created by our planet that are hidden in the earth until we find them and bring them into the light. I looked at the Table of Elements (my interpretation of the topic) and thought these would be fun to play with. This challenge topic spoke to me because I have been collecting fabrics that represent some aspect of nature and its beauty and mystery. The design evolved significantly. It started as one big piece of layered strata meant to set off a piece of felted wool I created. It sat on my design wall for three weeks while I tried to figure out what wasn’t working. Finally, I cut the piece into three panels and flipped the middle one upside down. The felted piece no longer worked so it will show up somewhere else in the future. I planned to have the piece hang freely without a background and then realized that meant it could end up against a background that didn’t support the design, hence the black…I used commercial fabrics, batiks, metal chains, silver cord, Angelina, gold lame, stone beads, Superior thread, beading thread, black cotton batting, Eileen’s Tacky Glue, E6000 glue. The first major challenge is mentioned above in “Inspiration.” The second relates to the silver panel. After attaching the chains and seeing the panels together I discovered that the silver chain blended into the panel background and was lost at a distance. I experimented with adding glittery beads, reflective paint (that actually wasn’t), and glitter glue. Finally, the second row of chain was added and the silver cord doubled to create more weight and presence. I am happier with it now although from a distance the copper and gold chains still stand out more. The reflections from the silver chain only works well in very good light. This was a great learning opportunity for me and a great experience in letting a piece evolve over time while staying open to possibilities.

'Earth Alchemy' Close Up

'Earth Alchemy' Close Up

'Earth Alchemy' Close Up


'Diminishing Returns' by Joan Dyer

Artist Statement:  I just started piecing the blocks and developed the design as I went along.  I used hand dyed fabrics, scraps from my stash, polished cotton sashing and borders.  I made this for my friend and tax consultant, who has given me so much help over the last couple of years.  This is back to basic square blocks, and a straight setting - where my quilting began 30+ years ago.

Challenge "New to Me" 

'Memories of Tuscon' by Maria Bower

Unable to get a good, sharp pattern from the metal wall art piece, I decide to scan the piece except it was too large for my scanner.  I took the piece to G.V. Blueprint and had them scan it and print it out on white cotton fabric. Years ago (when we wintered in Tucson for 11 seasons) I purchased the galloping horses piece that had an interesting rusty appearance.  My goal was to use it to make a quilt using the metal it as a pattern.  I used a cotton batik that I purchased in Tucson years ago (no fabric company name on fabric). Cotton batting, 5 colors of Arc Embroidery thread. Quit has a raw edge and an colorful backing.  I quilted the entire background free motion changing colors of thread to match the fabric and then fused the horses, flowers and plants that I fussy-cut.  I have a lot of flower and plant fabric that I purchased over the years for art quilts.  If I don’t have the right color need I use marking pens to change the color or enhance details.

Challenge "Speak Up" 

'Suture' by Tracy Visher

I used two different methods for adding text to this piece. One in the embroidered statements in the red and blue sections and I printed on organza for the words in the center. I was deeply troubled by the sentiments and behavior on both sides of the political divide during last fall’s elections. This was brought home 10-fold with the January 6th activities at the White House. I fervently wished for a way that America could find their way back to one more tolerant country. The label says it all: 
a: a uniting of parts.
b: the seam or seam-like line along which two things or parts are sewed or united.
How does our nation heal now? The divide between passions and ideologies is wide and ragged. It will take time, with many steady hands and open hearts to repair this great and tragic wound.
I used PFD cotton for background. Various cottons for red and blue sections. Embroidery thread. Printing on Organza. Finding a method that would “ read” for the text on the cotton prints was difficult. Most printing methods were too faint so I ended up embroidering (lots more work!), I burned the edges and sealed them with matte medium, which I also used to stiffen embroidery thread for the “sutures” across the center. This quilt led me to participate in the Violet Protest project which will send 8” quilt squares to every member of congress this fall, urging unity vs divisiveness.

'S.T.F.U.' by Michelle Peerson
Whenever I had to listen to him talk (which was a little as possible) my head was screaming S.T.F.U.  I used Commerical and hand dyed fabrics. Steam-a-seam 2 lite, Superior thread.  This was a good little piece of therapy.

Wildcard Challenge "2020" 

'Word Soup for 2020' by Trish Morris-Plise
19 5/8"x19 5/8"

Artist Statement:  My inspiration was thinking about the words I heard on a daily basis in 2020. I used PFD fabric, cotton batting, cotton thread and acrylic paint.  When I sat down to ponder 2020, words came to my mind.  So many words that described feelings and emotions.  I don't think I could have picked one to focus on.  Focus?  Oh that's a 2019 word.  The measurements of this quilt is a statement about 2020 also.  This quilt fits the subject as it accurately conveys my emotions and feelings and the words I heard most frequently in 2020.

'2020' by Diana McKeever

Artist Statement:  I think this quilt speaks for itself.  2020 was a difficult year that made many of us want to scream.  The first thing that popped into my mind when I saw the topic 2020 was Edvard Munch's, "The Scream".  I borrowed the face from his painting, then depicted the things that made me want to scream.  I used cotton quilting fabric, steam-a-seam2, felt, colored pencils, a toilet paper roll, a disposable mask and cotton batting.  The wavy gray background represents waves of dark painful things that kept hitting us in 2020.  Specific items are depicted in arrows that are painfully sharp - shortages in the stores, the election, "peaceful" demonstrations, George Floyd, the coronavirus, and forest fires.  It is quilted with red dollar signs and red 2020s representing both individuals and businesses that went into the red.

'Who's That Masked Singer' Side 1 by Sue Serrano

'Who's That Masked Singer' Side 2 by Sue Serrano

Artist Statement:  This quilt is 20” x 20” and it depicts happenings in the year 2020. The inspiration was the song “Both Sides Now” and the year 2020. I used commercial cotton fabric (and a small strip of black satin); cotton and rayon threads. This small rendition of 2020 depicts that everything is not always as it seems on the surface and it might be too easy to get caught up in appearances or what seem to be initial “facts” that often turn out to be incomplete or inaccurate. Webster defines the phrase “both sides” as one “used to refer to the people who support a position together with the people who support the opposing position”. Giving myself 20 days to complete it, I wanted to create a piece that reminds viewers that we can support each other on both sides and perhaps come to an agreement, somewhere near the middle. The song, “Both Sides Now” has always been a favorite of mine. The title of the quilt alludes that the masked singer could either be Joni Mitchell, composer of the song, or Judy Collins, the first to record it; both have bright, blue eyes.  It could be either, and neither answer is wrong. The quilt is actually double sided wherein the flip side might convince you that the masked singer is indeed Joni Mitchell, composer of “The Big Yellow Taxi”. But that could just be an illusion. The allusions on the back side (as opposed to the ‘illusions’ on the front side) are as socially current today as they were in the 60s. While DDT has been replaced with Round-up, parking lots are still everywhere at the sake of living trees/plants/humans. The Truffula tree that The Lorax (written by Dr. Seuss—who has been canceled) tries to save in his community is just as important now as the foliage Mitchell sang about 60 years ago. And in the end, “It’s life’s illusions [that] I recall. I really don’t know life at all”. So, the question begs--who is that masked singer? My biggest challenge here was keeping the references to 2020 at a minimum and not getting carried away with the poetry of the song(s) and allowing it to become the focus rather than the support. That was sort of solved by using both sides; the music will always be the focus for me.  The second biggest challenge was how to finish this quilt with the open border. Initially, the entire left side was “open” but that proved too much for me, so I left just a small portion open. I found the fabric an appropriate background for the quilted text and symbols, reminding me how we often talk over one another.  In the end, I think my favorite part of the quilt is my big yellow taxi! Besides the fact that it was fun creating it, it is rich in symbolism.