Thursday, February 20, 2014

Northern Lights - Project Quilting

"Northern Lights" 20" x 10", made for Project Quilting, Season 5, Challenge 4: Across the Universe, Feb. 2014

Challenge recap for  "Across the Universe":

Use the theme "Across the Universe."

While I was thinking about this challenge, it occurred to me to do something with an image of the milky way, but last fall I made "My Very Educated Mother Just Said Uh-Oh, No Pluto" so I wasn't ready to revisit that. I was looking at some photos of the universe, and one reminded me of photos of Northern Lights.

Ever since I made "Mountain Mist" for last year's Project Quilting, I'd been wanting to make another fabric mosaic similar to that one but with Northern Lights. I decided to make a companion piece to "Mountain Mist" so that meant this one would be the same size. Luckily I already had the frame.

The first thing I did was sort through the hand-painted fabric I have to pick a piece that looked like a sky that could have Northern Lights in it. The I played around with some mint green wool roving and two different colored yarn. The yarn on the left was multi-colored but wasn't twisted very much so I combed it out to make it looser, more like the roving. The yarn on the right was also multi-colored but it was twisted pretty tight.

Once I decided on placement, the roving and the first yarn were lightly fused to the backing fabric using MistyFuse. The tighter yarn was couched to the background (you can see the stitches in the photo).

I cut out the tree silhouettes then stitched them to the background. I put netting over the whole thing (to help hold the roving and yarn in place) and stitched it to the background. Then I added another row of tree silhouettes. I used the same black fabric for all of the trees so you can see how much the netting lightens the color that's behind it.

Finally I matted and framed it but I decided to leave the glass out of the frame so it feels more like a fiber piece.

More about Northern Lights

= = =

Click on any of the photos to see larger images.

To see other entries for this challenge, visit the Across the Universe link up.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Artist as Quiltmaker XVI and Public Quilt/Fiber Bombing Opportunity

"Kings Yard Farmers Market," 18.5" x 28", made by Pam Geisel, July 2013
I recently learned that my art quilt "Kings Yard Farmers Market" was accepted in the "Artist as Quiltmaker" show, which is the second-longest-running art quilt exhibition and happens every other year. The exhibit is presented by The Firelands Association for the Visual Arts, located in Oberlin, Ohio.

I have entered this show before but this is my first time being accepted in it. I feel very honored to be included since they had over 400 entries and only accepted about 50 of them. I'm also excited to see the other wonderful quilts in this exhibit.

The exhibit opens on May 11 and goes through July 27, 2014 with a walk-about with exhibitors on Sun., May 11 at 2 pm.

The gallery is open Tue–Sat, 11a–5p; Sun 1–5p with extended hours Memorial Day/Oberlin College commencement weekend: May 23, 24, 25: 10a–6p. It is located in the New Union Center for the Arts, 39 South Main St. in Oberlin. The gallery is on the east side of Main Street, across the street and north of the Post Office. There is free parking available on Main and College Streets and in nearby parking lots.

There are seven additional exhibits on view in Oberlin during the Artist as Quiltmaker show, most of them are fiber-related. A list of the exhibits and details are here:

This year they are planning a first-ever Quilt/Fiber "Bombing" during the exhibit and here's how YOU can participate in the Quilt/Fiber Bombing:

The details are at:

Quilt/Fiber blocks should be 12" (finished size) and they ask that there are ties attached. Instructions for finishing and adding ties are at:

They need the squares by May 1. If you are interested in participating, they ask that you sign up here:

Friday, February 7, 2014

Sweet Dreams Counting Sheep - Project Quilting

"Sweet Dreams Counting Sheep" 19.25" x 16", made for Project Quilting, Season 5, Challenge 3: Sweet Treats, Feb. 2014 

Challenge recap for  "Sweet Treats":
Choose one or more candies for your inspiration.

So here's an insight as to how my ideas are formed. I kept thinking about making a collage using candy. But in order for it to be a quilt, I'd have to make the candy out of fabric, and that seemed very time consuming. I tried to remind myself that I only had to be inspired by the candy, not actually represent it. But my brain wouldn't give in.

Then I realized that there was a type of candy I could represent, I could simulate cotton candy using batting! But what would I use the batting to make? As it happens, the art co-op that I belong to is working on pieces for the next lobby show and the theme is "The Lion and the Lamb." I could make SHEEP out of batting!

First I made the quilt top. To design the background I used an exercise from the book "Adventures in Design" by Joen Wolfrom where I selected a letter (lower case f) and a font (Elephant italic) then play with the letter and create a design that evolves from the letter's lines. Once finished, the original letter might not be recognizable.

I rotated the letter and used the curve of it's back to be the curve of the grass. The round "terminals" at each end were shifted and became the moon in the sky and a spot in the grass. Part of the crossbar was rotated and became a fence post.

I pieced 2" squares on point in blue for the sky and green for the grass then I cut the grass on a curve, lined up the squares, and attached the two by sewing the raw edge then couching green yarn on top of the raw edge. I also couched yarn around the two circles.

At this point I basted, quilted, and bound the quilt using a facing technique and it was time to make the sheep. The original idea was to make the sheep with batting but I've been wanting to make something similar to the "Three Shredded Christmas Pine Trees" that Diane Lapacek made for the Project Quilting Off Season Challenge: Happy Holidays in Dec. 2012.

So instead I cut small strips .5" x 1.5" and folded them in half and sewed them to the body of the sheep to give them a 3D effect. The sheep have couched yarn for legs and white sequins with black seed beads for eyes.

Because I didn't go with my cotton candy idea, I did include the word "Sweet" in the title. I also noticed that there is one fence, two circles, three sheep, and four boards in the fence.

Click on any of the photos to see larger images.

More about Sweet Dreams Counting Sheep