Wednesday, December 14, 2022

 We had our last meeting of the year as a potluck on December 9th.  I was not able to attend, but some of our members got some great photos and shared them to our facebook account.  Visit 

Mountain Art Quilters | Facebook if you have facebook and see the fun.  You can also follow us there!

Friday, October 28, 2022

 Yesterday was the last reveal of 2022 and it did not disappoint!  We had a full house of members and walls full of beautiful quilts.


Remembering Sanibel 20" x 22"
by Pat Gillings

Artist Statement:  This fits the challenge by incorporating seashells.  This was made in memory of my sister, Carol.  We spent a lovely weekend in Sanibel, FL some years ago and some of the shells are from there.   With the recent hurricane Ian destroying much of Sanibel, it is particularly meaningful to me. Most of the quilt was hand stitched on wool fabric.  Materials:  Sari silk ribbons sewn to represent the ocean. White waves created with a wool roving webbing and a dyed scrim for sand.   I used various hand embroidery to create elements to go with the actual seashells. This quilt was actually challenging in that I used heavy interfacing to keep shells from sagging but then couldn't fuse layers as wool would just absorb it.  Had to add more layers which then made the quilt too thick to face and had to improvise a binding.

It's all Shells 18" x 37"
by Jane Haworth

Practice seashell painting

Artist Statement:  I am exploring using seashells in my work for various projects and mediums.  The inspiration was painting of my own collection of seashells.  Materials:  Home Depot drop cloth, various commercial cottons, textile paints & acrylic paints.  While exploring making seashell patterns in various sizes, making watercolor paintings of them and also in fabric collage, I opted to paint these shells in fabric & acrylic paints on the drop cloth base.  It was quite hard to paint on.  I also played around free motion stitching on my new longarm sweet sixteen machine. After the painted shells were stitched, I added collaged shells and an impro layered background.  This will be a table runner.


Turtle Reflections 38" x 34"
by Michelle Peerson

Artist Statement:  Inspired by a photo by Hailey E. Herrera of Los Angeles.  She gave me permission to make her creation in fabric.  I dyed several of the fabrics, mainly the whole cloth piece.  I used sun dyes, salt to create the bubbles & designs.  I waited too long to finish "Reflections" and plan to do more embellishing with quilting, shells & hand dyed cheese cloth.

Evening Reflections 23.5" x 26"
by Jan Mitrovich

Artist Statement:  Her own thoughts and reflections were habitually her best companions" - Jane Austen.  The inspiration was Betty Albert (Cree nation). NW artist paints native American women.  When I saw her painting in a gallery in Washington labeled Evening Star Women, I immediately knew this one should be adapted to an art quilt.  Materials:  Cotton, silk, tulle, misty fuse, batting, beads, rayon ribbon (hair), paints, watercolor to shade the sky, acrylic spatter for background starts, staff ornament, purchased dreamcatcher embellished with paper features, embroidery floss, crystal stars from a diamond paint kit & lots & lots of thread. This piece created itself.  I had the basic image of a woman looking at the moon, but the fabric choices, embellishments and process was revealed to me as it came together.  As I reflect over my past year with MAQ and my beginner's journey with art quilts, I thank you all for your instruction, inspiration & friendship.

As Through the Wishing Glass
by Stephanie Bennett Strauss

Artist Statement.  This fits the Challenge by showing a cat looking for his REFLECTION in the mirror.  Materials:  Cotton & Organza fabric; cotton, polyester, and monofilament thread, cotton/poly batting, Iron-On stiff Interfacing.  I chose the Reflections Challenge because it immediately invoked a memory of a greeting card I had seen many years ago, and I thought it would translate well into an Art Quilt. My quilt depicts a Lady’s Vanity dresser with a large mirror, and several beautifying items on the dresser scarf. Nearby is an antique Tiffany shade hung from a Steampunk style floor lamp. This lady’s  Tabby cat has jumped up to admire himself in the mirror. The perfume bottles reflect nicely in the mirror, but something Magic has occurred when our feline friend looks for his reflection. He sees himself through a silvery mist, appearing very grand, powerful, sleek, and handsome, indeed. Seeing his Reflection has confirmed for himself that he really is who he thinks he is. He purrs, loudly. This quilt was quite challenging for me. I was trying to do things I had not done before, like using organza, working with vinyl (which did not make it into the final quilt), and an attempt at trapunto. Working to create a dramatic up close perspective was new. Figuring out the geometry of reflections was a trial. I thought about trying out the facing method of finishing, but given a deadline, and the many time-consuming mistakes I’d already made during this learning process, it was a bridge too far. Making this quilt was very rewarding, and I learned quite a lot.

Leaf it to Me

Leaves - Botanical #2
by Lynn Tubbe

Artist Statement:  I decided to challenge myself to try some techniques new for me - curved piecing, as well as pulled printing on organza and seeing if it was possible to paint dryer sheets.  What better way to practice - using one of my favorite subjects - leaves.  This was my own design, inspired by Joan Dyer's work.  Materials:  cottons, silk, organza, painted dryer sheets, painted and stamped fabrics.  My first attempt at painted fabric ended up with fabric so stiff, i ended up using it for the leaves sewn down after the facing was finished.  Next time I will use fabric paint, rather than adding textile medium to craft paint.  Steep learning curve.

Hosta 30" x 25"
by Jan Petre

Artist Statement:  The design source is a picture of my daughter's hostas in Michigan.  Having spent half of my life in Michigan and Connecticut, I was inspired to capture the new leaves emerging from the dormant bulb in the springtime.  This was a combination of hand dyed and commercial fabrics, with wool batting; leaf edges were shaded with inks.

Leaf Dance 12" x 18"
by Carole Rossi

Artist Statement:  I love leaves, any kind or shape, any time of year!  They make me happy.  This piece is meant to be joyful & fun.  It's all about the imaginary leaves, dancing all around! The inspiration was improvisational piecing & machine applique.  This was my own design - leaves, all sizes, flying out of a patchwork vase.  Patchwork was repurposed from an older, larger piece.  Materials:  Commercial cottons, including batiks; fabric paint (Lumiere by Jacquard); beads; couched yarn; some hand-stitching around the smaller leaves; buttons; 100% dream cotton batting; Quilting:  Simple straight-line quilting, both on the leaves & in the background.  I enjoy working on smaller pieces because I am more courageous about embellishing.  I'd like to include more embellishments in my larger pieces.

Forest Floor 29.5" x 28"
by Tracy Visher

Artist Statement:  This quilt is entirely comprised of leaves of many sorts.  I had an idea that involved ferns (a favorite forest plant, as they seem so cool and peaceful).  I came up with a design where I could feature the fern but wanted to create a full scene where its surrounding environment was included as a frame for it. I used an ombre fabric for the background.  I loved how the light area of it looked like filtered light in a forest.  I used a large stencil to get the fern image.  I used stamps and stencils for other leaf outlines in acrylic and fabric paints.  there are felt bits and embroidery threads.  Theis is burlap and tulle. The biggest challenge was how to do something unique with the fern image.  I didn't want to just stencil it.  I used it for the outline, then stitched around the whole thing over fusible on the back as a stabilizer.  I then cut out every leaf (which I used as "babies" along the ground).  I backed the whole fern with burlap, but I covered it with green tulle, so it wasn't so "brown".  I couched/embroidered the stem, along with a couple of vines elsewhere.  It was fun using a variety of techniques to add in all of the other plant life. 

Wild Card - Black & White + 1

Pop Art Tom 22" x 19.5"
by Karin Polli

Artist Statement:  All materials are black & white plus green.  I have been trying for 2-3 years to get a good picture of my cat, Tommy.  But he always closes his eyes when he sees the camera.  I finally surprised him in September and got a picture:  Materials:  Cotton fabric, batting and thread in black, white and green.  I inherited the black & white fabrics from a friend and wanted to use what I had without buying any additional fabrics.  Because of the type of designs on the fabrics I had to use, it was somewhat difficult to get shapes and shadows to fit the picture.  I am happy that even with the strange fabrics, it looks like my cat.

I am Not a Frog 20" x 30"
by Sophia Day

Artist Statement:  This used black, white & a light, medium and dark shade of green.  4 of us chose to combine this with a Quilt Guild Paint Chip challenge.  We drew random paint chips.  We also chose to have a theme of "circles".  This used commercial fabrics, monofilament thread and variegated thread.  I wanted to piece the circles but with so many interlocking ones, I didn’t think I could do it accurately.  It’s machine appliqued with monofilament thread.  I left negative space because I wanted to practice my Free Motion Quilting. My husband kept saying he saw a frog on a bicycle, hence it's name.
Where Do Your Dreams Take You? 20" x 30"
by Robi Holmen

Artist Statement:  Sophia Day, Holly Miner, Sue Marshall and I decided on a paint chip challenge using dark, medium and light fabrics, circles and black & white.  This is my own design, drawn first on paper using a large compass to offset some of the circles.  Flying geese imply movement.  Materials:  cotton solids, ombre dark to light, batik print and black & white cotton.  Wool batting is used in this piece with a faced edge.  I cut out each piece of the design, added 1/4" seams to everything, then stitched each section one to another.  I chuckle to myself seeing it complete, thinking:  "What in the world was I thinking".  Applique is so much easier.

Circle Party 20" x 30"
by Sue Marshall

Artist Statement:  I used mainly black & white plus a color chip to meet a guild challenge also.  This was a group challenge, 4 of us decided to do this color challenge, with the added element of circles.  I tried to use fabric that I had:  batiks, commercial black & white prints, grunge circles and dots. I used curve piecing, improv, did sketch for guiding design. It has FMQing with circles and rulers.

Black & White Fibonacci 20" x 30"
by Holly Miner

Artist Statement:  This uses blue, black & white.  It features Fibonacci shown 3 ways:  circles, spiral and boxes (in the quilting).  Materials:  cotton fabric, cotton batting, 12 wt Wonderfil spaghetti thread, 100 wt micro quilter thread.  I designed in Adobe Illustrator and had a good time figuring out how to make the spiral.

We also had one show & tell for a quilt that is in the Houston Quilt show.  

Letting Go
by Jan Reed

The inspiration was an image from a 1920s magazine illustration by Cheri Herouard.  It uses commercial batiks, seed beads and prismacolor pencils.  As I worked on this quilt, I realized how many grievances I still hold onto and wondered why it was so difficult to let them go.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

 We had a wonderful meeting outdoors yesterday.  Our speaker was Linda Waddle, who shared her expertise doing discharge and bleach on various fabrics.  So many possibilities!  I think we'll be seeing quilts with this technique from our members in the future!

Monday, August 29, 2022

We had a special program for our August meeting.  Guild members brought in their favorite quilts and shared the story behind them.   It was wonderful to hear what inspires us to make our art. We also shared some of our favorite tools.

Michelle Peerson

Pat Gillings

Kat Madison

Karin Polli

Lynn Tubbe

Shelli Fried

Karle deProsse

Sophia Day

Sharon Rizatto

Stephanie Bennett-Strauss
Jan Reed

Marie Brower


Thursday, July 28, 2022

 We had our Summer Reveal yesterday and there were many beautiful quilts presented.

Challenge - In the Trees

"A Summer Night in the West" by Tracy Visher
21.5" x 28.25"

Artist Statement:  A reflection on summer in Reno in 2021 when we were surrounded by wildfire smoke and didn't see the sky for 6 weeks. Sadly this is our "new normal". We end up packing for potential evacuation at least once each year. Fire season here is now 12 months a year.  I used bleach sprayed on black Kona cotton for the background, to attain the rust colored "smoke". I melted organza and copper lame' fabric to create some of the distorted shiny bits that represented flames. I cut out compressed sponge in the shape of a tree and stamped the black trees at the bottom foreground. 

"Windsong in the Morning Mist" by Karle deProsse
31" x 18"

Artist Statement:  The birds in flight are weaving in and out of the trees.  I was hiking in the woods around where I live one morning when I disturbed a flock of birds out of a tree.  I heard the sound of their wings before I saw the birds in flight.  I wanted to capture that enchanting moment.  I used 31 shades of blues in batiks, hand dyed and commercial fabrics.  The 215 paper pieced birds took much longer than I expected.  (What was I thinking in designing them so small?).  I wanted to piece the bird strips, not applique them.  figuring how to weave the birds in and out of the fabric was a challenge, as I wanted to keep the integrity of the fabric rather than piecing it in sections.  It seemed my garment sewing skills were used as much as my knowledge of quilting.

"High Above" by Patty Blesso
17" x 23"

Artist Statement:  The large oak tree has many animals in it.  I love nature and enjoy seeing animals in the trees when I am out hiking and kayaking.  I used Cotton fabric, photo pictures of the deer and eagle that I put on fabric.  I enjoyed making the tree and placing the animals among the branches.

Challenge - Fractal or Fibonacci

"Exploded Fibonacci Sequence" by Sophia Day
34" x 21"

Artist Statement:  The blocks are made using the Fibonacci Sequence.  They are 1", 2", 3", 5" or 8".  Rather than keeping them all together, I "exploded" them to get a more improv version with a lot of negative space.  I used commercial fabric, warm & natural batting and Superior thread.  The straight-line quilting was with a ruler.  The rest was Free motion.  I was very pleased and then I had a series of unfortunate events with fabric bleeding and then fabric bleaching.  It's much less vivid now than originally, but I learned what not to do.

"The Big Bang, Reimagined" by Kathryn Madison
24" x 43"

Artist statement:  Fibonacci is a series of numbers that define many spirals in nature, among them galaxies and seashells.  The inspiration was the stunning photos from the Hubble Space telescope.  I used a soldering iron, freezer paper, organza, acrylic felt, cotton, batting, vilene, polyester thread, monofilament thread, Swarovski crystals & beads. For the shell and the nebulas (cat's Eye, Hourglass and Helix) I used a soldering iron to precisely cut and fuse layers of organza, then thread painted them for texture.  the hand was painted on 100% polyester, then cut with the soldering iron for clean edges, then appliqued to the shell.  for the two galaxies (M81 and the Milky Way), I drew them on vilene, hooped it with a layer of tulle, then thread painted them.  After rinsing away the vilene, I appliqued them in position and trimmed away the tulle.  Then I fused hundreds of crystal "stars" in place.

Challenge - From a Fairy Tale

"Blue Fairy" by Tracy Visher
14" x 15"

Artist Statement:  She is the blue fairy from the 1940's Disney's Pinnocchio animated movie. This quilt is made entirely from my husband's worn-out denim jeans. Her wing tips are the edge of the pockets. Her wand tip is the "button" from the pant's waistband. Her belt is from beltloops. I added paint, beads and inktense pencil. 

Challenge - Black & White & One Color

"Intersections" by Julie Berry
16" x 21"

Artist Statement:  I love the clean, crisp contrast of black and white and added just a little blue for accent.  I have been wanting to try an angular modern design and thought black and white would be perfect for this.  I usually do landscapes, birds or flowers, so this was a personal challenge.  Cotton, organza and ric rac are the body of the quilt.  Sandra Bruce's buttons are a design element.  Something I learned while finishing this quilt was never plan on just a little glue coming out.  the buttons wouldn't stay straight, so I thought a couple of dots of glue would take care of it.  The barely flowing glue tube erupted and then I had another problem.

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

 Some of our members shared their expertise with us this month.

Ginny Lee talked to us about 'mark making' on fabric.

Marie Brower talked to us about her experiences with rust dying.

Robi Holmen shared her favorite facings for art quilts.

Show and Tell

Mourning Quilt 46" x 66"
Joan Dyer

This quilt was inspired by her husband's end of life stress.  She used hand dyed, discharged cotton, batiks and commercial fabrics.  It went together much better when she found the perfect focus fabric. It's constructed of multiple strips of various widths, each quilted differently.

Tracy Visher

This quilt got the juices flowing again for Tracy.

Curious 20" x 20"
Lynda Lasich

This was made for the Cherry Wood Grafitti Challenge.

Geisha Garden
Stephanie Bennett-Strauss

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

 We had our first reveal of 2022 on April 27.  As usual, it did not disappoint.

Bird's eye view

"Miner's Ravine Springtime"
36" x 16"
Jan Mitrovich

This is an imagined bird’s eye view of a portion of the park:  Trees, boulders, path, and patches of color representing poppies and lupine among the meadow grasses. The inspiration was walks though Miner's Ravine. Materials include cotton prints (some hand painted), organza, tulle, various yarns, cotton batting, hemp burlap background, assorted threads. Nature is a ragged collection of textures, colors, and elements that work together to create the beauty that we love. This piece experiments with straight/crooked, soft/hard, thick/thin, loud/muted in an attempt to imitate the art that is nature. Jan chose to include “human views” of the poppies and lupine that include details we may see when we look closely, in contrast with the aerial perspective.

City Scape

"Urban Decay"
"35" x 18"
Tracy Visher

Cities are busy, exciting places to visit, and for some, to live a unique lifestyle. It’s not hard to imagine young professionals in such a role. What if you HAVE to live there. What if you HAVE to live in the parts of the city no one wants to see or care about? This quilt depicts those areas. Whatever they may seem on the outside, they are homes and lives well lived for many.  Tracy had wanted to make an “inner city” quilt for some time. She happened upon the line of fabric by Tim Holtz called “Abandoned” and it all just came together. She used cotton fabrics, cotton, blend and metallic threads. WINDOW SCREEN! Inktense pencils and blocks, acrylic paint and beads. 80-20 cotton/poly batting.  
For Tracy, the trickiest part of this quilt was getting some sort of accurate perspective with the buildings. She also had a very clear mood in mind when she made it. While somber, she wanted to include bits that told you this was still home to people. It was a lot of fun “aging” the buildings and street. If you look at the far L building closely, you will see that she used some actual window screening material (saved from a replacement she did last year). She found the sky fabric and knew it was just the thing, with a little paint added.


"Sun Shades over Fudenjuice Food Court"
30" x 21"
Robin Hart

The inspiration was a photo challenge from the Nevada County Camera Club.  Robin was assigned a grid in Nevada City and went out to photograph a city scene with umbrellas.  She found the food court outside of Fudenjuice and not only were there umbrellas, there were beautiful red sun shades.  She shot a number of images with her camera and then picked the best one and processed it in Photoshop using the pen and ink and poster filters to give it texture and interest.  She then had it printed at real Graphics and quilted it for design.  The materials include cotton percale whole cloth, cotton batting, and cotton back fabric, various colors of cotton and polyester threads.  It was inspiring to Robin to create a piece that fulfilled a photographic challenge and a MAQ challenge at the same time.  

Lynda Loves Lace

"I Do - Reuse and Recycle"
13" x 21"
Shelli Fried

This piece was inspired by the work of Natalya Khorover, an artist who uses her work to bring attention to the environmental impact of single-use plastics. When Shelli started to collect single-use plastics to use in this piece she was shocked just how ubiquitous they are in our lives. This challenge was an opportunity to integrate the plastic flowers as a reminder to herself and others to look for and lobby for alternative packaging. Materials used include satin, various lace trims and borders; plastic wrappers from toilet paper, paper towels, and frozen pea packages; plastic caps from medication and toothpaste tubes; ribbon; cotton batting, Superior Monopoly thread. This piece morphed over time as ideas came and went. Initially Shelli wanted to have stuffed glove hands holding the bouquet. After trying a couple of different sizes, she abandoned the idea as they covered too much of the lace. The first bouquet turned out to be too dense and heavy looking. Three of those flowers were cut out and replaced with the top flower to create better balance and lightness. The flowers were glued to pipe cleaners which were inserted through a hole she made through the all layers. The pipe cleaners were spread apart and stitched down and covered with a piece of satin on the back. Shelli had forgotten how much lace can stretch!!! She made her college roommate’s wedding dress, and that was too many years ago to remember.

"Cinq Pots de Fleurs"
20" x 16"
Ginny Lee

The inspiration was a Libby Williamson workshop at Craft Napa on technique process.  She use acrylic paint, canvas, cheesecloth, lace trim, white-on-white & black-on-white cotton, felt.  This was a process of sketching a design concept, painting fabric with acrylic paints, free motion stitching individual components to a felt backing and collaging the shapes, using scraps of lace & cheesecloth to break up the background.  Ginny especially likes the 3-D effect and intuitive process for future quilts.

"And Still I Rise"
30" x 40"
Kathryn Madison

The inspiration was Maya Angelou's poem, "And Still I Rise."  

"You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I rise"

Materials used were Alencon lace, tsukeniko ink, inktense blocks and pencils, organza, cotton, batting, beads, monofilament thread, crystals.  In the dark ages when Kathryn first started working for IBM, women in the 'business' side of the house were mandated to wear dresses or suits, nylons, and heels.  even Kat, who did construction contracts. Picture it...climbing a ladder in an Oleg Cassini suit, heels and a hard hat.  Kat is sure the guys below loved that.  She sewed many of her clothes to save money.  One of her "uniform" regulars was an ivory silk chiffon blouse with Alencon lace down front, back and sleeves.  It worked with every suit and was cool in the summer. So... when the "lace" challenge was announced, she immediately knew what she wanted to do.  Strip that lace off that blouse and turn the "uniform" into a Phoenix rising from the flames.  This Phoenix is created with the lace from that "uniform" blouse.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

 We started our March meeting with a presentation from 3 of our members;  Kat Madison, Lynda Lasich & Tracy Visher, on how they use embroidery in their quilts.  They shared some quilts using these techniques.

Ginny will begin offering fabric dying and painting classes again. Here are some class samples:

Show & Tell

Joan Dyer

Joan shared a quilt that she made using embroidery techniques.

"Cats 'n Dragons"
15" x 45"
Tracy Visher

Made for the SAQA Prism Exhibit

"K is for Katie"
21" x 25"
by Tracy Visher

This was for a challenge from a local quilt shop. You purchase a $10 bag of random "parts". With it you can make anything you want. A purse, a pillow, a quilt, whatever. The only requirement is that you must use a minimum of 5 items from the bag and one of them must be an upholstery fabric. Tracy used every item in the bag except for fused T-cup. All she added of her own was the background and binding, her earring and she painted fabric for her face. 

"Power Hungry"
by Tracy Visher

Tracy was driven to create this after seeing the Ukranian invasion.

"The Year That Left a Hole in My Heart"
by trish Morris-Plise

"Madam Vice President"
by trish Morris-Plise

The first quilt was included in "Quarantine Quilts:  Creativity in the Midst of Chaos" by Sandra Sider and the second was juried into the 2022 Sacred Threads exhibit.

"Label Me Human"
23" x 30"
by Karle deProsse

Karle took a picture of her eyes for this piece.  The fabric & objects represent many of things in her life that make up who she is. She came across a school project for teen girls that had them collage their body/self-image from pictures cut out of magazines.  The concept intrigued Karle.  She went to the internet to find pictures to use for parts of her face with the concept that she desired it to be cartoonish. Karle used tea-dyed fabric, hand dyed fabric, commercial fabrics, handspun natural-dyed yarn, buttons & charms, felt, colored pencils, crayon rubbings.  Karle quoted "In life, if we are fortunate, we surround ourselves with the things that we love.  We label ourselves with these.  I have depicted that in this piece with as many things that came to mind as I had representative fabric or other objects.  I envisioned my image to be cartoonish, to portray humor in life."