Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Microscopic striated muscle cells

When looking in my closet I see a rainbow of color.  No kidding, all my clothes are sorted into the color groups of the rainbow which made this challenge very easy. While easy to design, not easy to make and post as my the main board in my Pfaff blew up, my feather weight won't quilt to the left, and my daughter broke my camera! 

"Striated Muscle Cells" is the second of hopefully a full series of microscopic themes. This little quilt (12"x 21") is meant to represent striated muscle cells under the microscope. The quilt below (done some time ago) represents flu viruses--the yellow spikey ones being H1N1 viruses. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

What's in your closet?

...denims,blacks,whites,brights and silver!
Not my usual style of work, but I wanted to try something different for this last challenge. It started with brightly colored hexagons which were stitched to black denim using metallic  silver thread. Then the piece was cut into 2" squares, patched back together and more silver thread was added. . While I love the colors this was not a favorite finish, but I enjoyed the process. 

Basic Black with Rainbow Tops and Toes

It's funny how my art imitates my closet! My art typically displays a glorious riot of color...so does my closet.  When I opened the closet doors in preparation for this piece, I had to smile.  Color...all colors make me happy.  My skirts and slacks are mostly black, but my tops, scarves and shoes are a multitude of colors. All bright, clear color too...no muted or grayed tones, and only one pastel.
So there you go, Basic Black with a riot of color on top...just like my clothes!  :)

Since the longarm had a large quilt in process loaded, I decided to to quilt this one on my domestic machine...something I haven't done (other than straight lines) for over 10 years, and oh boy, am I rusty!  Those are some pretty ragged feathers! But Bouree doesn't mind...he's already claimed this for his own.

I used Superior's Lava thread in the top and Bottom line in the bobbin. The batting is just one layer of Quilters Dream Puff.  I wasn't brave enough to tackle my usual two layers of batting with the DSM.

I have thoroughly enjoyed these challenges over the past two years. It's been wonderful working with such a talented group of artists.  I shall be keeping up with your work and you, as I see you around the "net".

Colors in my Closet

These are the main colors in my closet. The block is one of my experiments. The detail is on my blog http://focus-on-fiber.blogspot.com

Camouflage for a Birdwatcher

Green, green, green!  I didn't realize I had so much green until I really took a good look at my clothing.  Sure ... there are blue jeans and black jeans ... even beige floral jeans.  But when I opened the closet door I was assaulted by green!  Who needs 5 green jackets?  (I love every one!)  I'll admit to a little more variety in my T-shirts and sweats, if you toss out the black and green ones.
While trying to come up with a design for this challenge, I found a vintage clothes hanger in my stash of 'junk' and knew just what I wanted to do.  My T-shirt quilt is constructed from eco printed, natural dyed and rusted silks, silk sari ribbons, flannel batting and cotton backing.  It is raw edge pieced and hand stitched with silk and cotton threads.  30" x 24" 

This was the most fun challenge yet!!!

It Ain't Over

Apparently the Fat Lady has not sung her requiem over my Secret Series.

Closet Secrets

Closet Secrets detail
When I posed the challenge to each of our participants to look into her clothes closet for inspiration for this next round, I had thought that I would leave my series format and charge off in another direction.  But actually when I had a look in my closet, I found that there are predictable patterns and colors in my wardrobe...as predictable as my favorites in my studio.  Many are the same, but not always.  I don't wear as much red, dark blue or mauves as I use in my work, for instance.  I guess that what I wear is more likely predicted by my own physical coloring (strawberry blond) than what my actual favorite colors are.  

At any rate, staying with the series made sense.  So, now, I'm looking at a series of seven...I had been thinking of this series in terms of grouped even numbers....which obviously means this isn't the end of the series either.  Who knew this project was going to have such 'legs'?

Winter Blues - Colors in my closet

I've loved these color challenges because they have allowed my to work on a series exploring this cut fabric method.

My closet has a lot of black and white so I chose to use a few of the other colors I wear; periwinkle, pink and turquoise. 

Winter Blues 32' x 28"

I was happy when I realized I could weave the tree in and out of the branches -  it solved a big problem. 

I wrote a bit more about how I made it and there are a few more photos on my blog....

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Look into your closets

As the season changes many of us are putting our winter wear away and bringing out our lighter spring and summer clothes.  We in New England are slow to get to this chore as winter is leaving at a plodding pace.

Perhaps, that's what gave me pause while I considered my challenge to the group.  I noticed that most of my clothes' colors do not change much from season to season.  The depth of color, perhaps.  Dark oranges, rusts and reds of my sweaters may change to pink and salmon...but the basic color is consistent.

I wonder if you looked into your closet, if you would find split complementary, complementary, triad or, perhaps, tetrad.   Are you mono-chromatic?  Analogous? Acromatic?  Are you cool or warm in color temperature?  My guess is that we all have very definite 'comfort' colors that we rely on.  So go to your closet.  Study your color choices...decide what your personal harmonies are and create a piece using 'your' personal palette.

Digressing for a moment:  I have completed a series of six pieces from our last challenges.  I don't know whether there will be more in the future or not.
As some have asked to see them together, I will include a photograph here.

Crawfish Season

This is Deb Levy's entry, called It's Season...Crawfish Season.  Deb is unavailable to post at the moment and I don't know any of the back story.  She'll fill us in when she returns.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Still quite wonky!
The background hasn't been quilted yet ... and I have a couple of dead flowers and a bottom border of crumpled leaves to add when my hands allow me to stitch again.

For this challenge I chose the colors of spices to stitch my garden as the first sign of green emerges in Spring. 
Cinnamon, Paprika, Cloves, Pepper, Garlic ... with a touch of fresh Rosemary, Basil and Turmeric.

I rusted my fabric with a piece of garden fence.  Other pieces were discharged or burned.  The silk crocus was natural dyed with Turmeric.  Trapunto gives the fence added dimension.  When finished, the quilt will be stretched on a canvas panel.

I set this up to be posted yesterday on reveal day, knowing that I wouldn't have access to a computer.  I don't know why it wasn't!  Google glitch?

Thai Cuisine

On the menu at Rose Cottage, Thai Cuisine ~ eggplant, basil and pepper.  Quilt is 18 inches square, all hand dyed and printed fabrics (cotton, rayon and vintage linen).

This is a woven quilt ~ 12 strips horizontally and 12 strips vertically woven together.  The woven strips were fused to muslin foundation cloth, that was placed over batting and backing, and then machine quilted.  I had wanted to hand quilt this one, but I knew before I even began that my hands/wrists would not hold out.  So machine quilted it was.

More info on my blog.

To Not See the Forest for the Trees

I loved this challenge, it was a quilt I'd been wanting to make, I'm glad it's done. 

To Not See the Forest for the Trees 27x19

My palette - I've got to cook that turnip.....

I had some really good fabric choices to create that line between tree and sky.

You can see more photos and read more details on my blog
I'm looking forward to the next challenge.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


My food choice for the challenge of using 3 colors from foods you prepare is bell peppers-green, red, yellow. The detail shot is on my blog http://focus-on-fiber.blogspot.com The background is a batik, the leather is gold kid. It's machine quilted.

Color Challenge 9: Use at least three colors of food in your kitchen

Our challenge this time was proposed by Kathy Sperino.

I wrote a list of foods I love and dragged out the scrap bag looking for celery, avocado, pimento, red pepper, and lemon.
Then I came across a 'failed' monoprint done on a piece of hand-dyed cotton back in February or March.  The pale overlay of zinc white acrylic reminded me of skim milk.  The image seemed to hold possibilities I hadn't seen when I first pulled the print.

'Foggy' - Susan Christensen; 16.75"x11"
There are detailed views over at my blog.  Hope you will stop over for a look!

Secret to Longevity?

Fruits and Vegetables!  Not exactly a well-kept secret...even if it is an under-appreciated secret.  I'm still working in my series of secrets.  This was particularly fun as I was able to use so many different greens...pun intended ;^)

Choosing three or more colors of food in my kitchen was cake...;^) In our three generation household, half are vegetarians.  Every meal focuses on fruits and vegetables so they are always very colorful.  This challenge was fun...mouth-watering, almost.