Thursday, March 31, 2011


Linda H. MacDonald, Powell, WY

Dance is not limited to the human form. You could choose “Dance of the Sea Turtles” for example. Or an abstract showing movement and rhythm.
movement: the design principle that uses some of the elements of art to produce the look of action or to cause the viewer’s eye to sweep over the art work in a certain manner.
rhythm: refers to a way of utilizing art elements to produce the look and feel of rhythmic movement with a visual tempo or beat.

This was the challenge this month for the Fast Friday Fabric Challenge. FFFC is an on-line group of art quilters who are issued a challenge the last Fri. of each month and the idea is to finish it in a week.

I chose to take a photograph of one of my quilts. I enter the photo in PSE and played with the filters. Since I was looking for movement I went to the distort filter and played until I had the design I wanted.

I wanted a piece larger than 8 1/2 x 11 so I printed it on two pieces of fabric and sewed them together. The quilting lines were there in the design and all I had to do was follow the lines. I had fun with this one.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Caught in the Web

On the March 5 post (
I posted about how this design came about. It is the combination of two photographs that were manipulated and converged in photo shop elements. I've really been enjoying working in Photo Shop and printing the results on fabric.

I was really happy with the first printed piece I made but it left me wanting more. If you follow my blog you know that I like to face most of my art work instead of putting boarders around the finished piece. I did that to this piece, and used black fabric as the facing. Before I turned the facing to the back I had a good look at the piece and decided that I really liked it with the black boarder.

First Attempt.

I had finished quilting the piece and decided to finish it as planned. I still wanted to put a boarder on the print so I decided to start over. I printed the piece again and add a boarder using a mottled black/gray fabric. I quilted it as I did the other piece but extended the web into the boarder. Just as I was finishing the quilting, the "WHAT IFS" struck.

What if I thread painted a spider and put her in the web? So I did. I've been having a lot of problems waking up very early in the morning recently. So Sunday morning at 4:30 I'm in my studio thread painting.

I placed the spider in various locations on the web and with my husband's help I decided in the lower left corner. In my opinion this piece is so much more striking than the first piece. I'd love your opinion.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A great week in the Studio

I've been working all week in my studio. The only interruptions was to eat and sleep. I told my husband that I was on a roll and I didn't want to be bothered. He's a wonderful guy so he just lets me be.

I am preparing to teach two Fabricating Faces classes in early April. I will be teaching next Saturday at the Greenville, SC Quilt Guild. Then the following weekend I will be at JC Campbell.

Several of my students want to make portraits of animals which I haven't done yet. Therefore I decided I needed to make a portrait of a dog.

This is Clyde, he belongs to our son's family who live in CA. My son said that Clyde had a way of making everyone think they were his favorite. I believe that. I thought he like me the best and my hubby through he liked him the best.

I said earlier that I was on a roll this week. I want to have a finished photo before I post what I've been doing. Hopefully tomorrow one of the two pieces will be finished. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

More Focus Meeting

This piece is Veronica Moriarty's. I've posted it before perhaps with a different back ground.

Veronica wanted some help with what kind of binding to go on this piece. I think we may have talked her into pink.

Another interesting piece by Veronica

Sybil Radius was another guest at our meeting. She brought this lovely piece made in green silks. Her daughter had specific ideas about color simplicity, pattern, etc. This photo does not do the colors justice, sorry Sybil. There were four shades of soft greens.

Sybil's quilt up close.

Janet Ginn brought this piece from a past circle challenge. I think I'm remembering correctly when I say this design was a doodle that she saved for years. Great design.

Donna Barnhill was another guest at this meeting. Donna is an expert in using materials she has around the house. This piece was in response to using paint over a patterned object. Donna used house paint and her design was from a bamboo place mat

This interesting piece was in response to being give this piece of silk.
Donna brought this piece and asked for some help. Several suggestions came from the group. One being to add a fifth smaller flower. It was also suggested that she add a little of the 3-D effect that she had on a few of the other flowers.

Diana Pickens brought this little stripe piece that she will be teach at our state QSC Fall Retreat.

This cute little quilt came from a stash of 20 year old fabric that Diana organized for Veronica. She got some of the stash for her efforts and made this little quilt.

Dixie Haywood shared a few of her award winning quilts with our guest. Both beautifully hand quilted.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Focus Fiber Art Meeting

I was asked a few weeks ago to send some information to J. C. Campbell Folk School for them to post on their Blog. ( Just went to the site and see that it is posted. Have a look.

Yesterday Focus held it's monthly meeting and invited three guest. Donna Barnhill, Sybrina Myers and Sibil Radius. We met in Moore, SC at the home of Veronica Moriarty. Many of the Focus members brought finished pieces that we had made in order to show our guest how we work. Several of us brought works in progress and the guest brought pieces of their work to show as well.

Focus is not a structured group, we meet around 9:30 and start with FOOD.

After that we get down to business with Show and Tell. We often bring work in progress, especially if we have questions. Yesterday I brought this piece.

If you read the previous post "Play Date" this is the piece for which I was working on the border. Barb Tennyson, who always has such good suggestions, thought I should add a smoky/blue piping just before the binding. I had planned to add piping there but was going to use the light brown. I have lots of work to do on this but came away with some good ideas.

Sabrina Myers brought several interesting pieces.

Sabrina's son, who is an aspiring artist, helps his Mom out with suggestions from time to time.

More of Sabrina's art work. I admire an artist who can work both in realism and abstraction. Wish I could do that.

Barb brought this piece that was a Focus challenge several years ago. We had a photograph, taken by Pat Kilberg, at the old Pickens Railroad Yard. We could use anything in the photo as inspirations. Barb took individual sections and separated them into blocks. On Barb's morning walks she is always picking up (art scraps, such as metal nuts) she used some of these in the art work. Barb says she is always finding nuts and wonders where the bolts are.

Over twenty years ago Barb cut out these pieces of wool from old skirts and silks from ties. She's just getting around to piecing them for a bed quilt. This may be a record for UFO's.

Barb makes the most wonderful shadow boxes. These usually consist of water, fish and rocks. This little miniature has a dragon fly on a twig as well. Everything but the box is fabric or covered in fabric. Most amazing!

Marge Edie also brought her railroad piece. Marge used a very interesting technique on the construction of this piece. I will be discussing this later in a post for HiFiber. Marge is a planner, she knows design, color, fabric etc. before she starts a piece. Because she wanted to make sure the fabrics she had chosen was going to work she made a small piece first and then the larger piece.
We have watched this piece grow during our Focus meetings. Marge is such a wonderful technician. This piece is so full of various size diamonds and she is machine piecing them. This is going to be a king size quilt. I am in awe.

Too much happened yesterday to get in one post more to come.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Play Date

Yesterday I had a play date with Dixie Haywood. Dixie is a friend of mind. Aren't I lucky? She has also written over eight books most on foundation piecing. See Dixie, I didn't call it paper piecing.

I asked Dixie for help with a border that I want to place on a new piece that I'm working on. I'm not very good with piecing accurate blocks so I thought I would go to the best for help.

I wasn't even sure that the design I had my husband draft for me was a candidate for foundation piecing. Dixie took one look and knew right away that it could be done. Dixie's book Foundation Borders by Hall & Haywood had the instructions that I needed for this border.

I'm not good at reading and figuring out just what I need to do, so Dixie helped me out step by step.

The first photo is of the pattern my husband drafted. The second is of freezer paper that was marked for the different units in my pattern. There were only four different units as three were repeated upside down.

These are the units for the block. This block was drafted from an American Indian Symbol for Kiva Steps.

Freezer paper foundations, units and the beginning of a border.

This photo shows the pieced border as it will be butted up against two small borders. I'm very excited about this piece and I really want it to come out as I imaged it. Once I get it together I will post the whole piece.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

HiFiber Meeting for March

Our HiFiber Art Group meet last Thursday at The Loft in Seneca. We've decided to do something a little different this year for our meetings. We are going to have Show & Tell and bring up business that needs discussed. After that one of our members will present a short demo and teaching project.

Marge Edie presented a well thought out and planned program. More on that later. Four members weren't able to come and Marge is planning a little make up date for them. I don't want to give away any of the details yet.

This piece was made by Donna Barnhill. It is the result of a presentation by Barbara Sokol in January. Barbara showed us how to make dimensional shapes that will hold that shape.

The close-up shows this technique a little better.

This is also Donna's piece. Penny Little another of our members was on a trip to Africa late last year and she brought this piece of fabric back to share with members. Donna has done a very interesting treatment with her piece. She was asking for opinions on a background for it.

Beatriz Ruinen brought two blocks from a workshop with Karen Comb. Our Lake and Mountain Quilt Guild had Karen in for a lecture and workshop in March. Beatriz is such a good technician I can hardly wait to see what she does with this.

Ann Hanewald brought this computer blended panel. Ann is having trouble deciding how to quilt the piece and asked for suggestions. I believe it was agreed to keep it simple but to try and add a little punch to the color with thread.

This little butterfly is made with the technique Barbara taught in Jan. We took two layers of fabric and joined them together with Ultra Hold fusible web. I took some of these to CA with me last month for my grand children to help decorate. My granddaughter Sydney decorated this one. I also brought pieces that I have been working on but they've been posted here already.

Dawn McEntyre is the cross-stitch expert in this group. I'm afraid I don't know the story behind this design. I know that Dawn had another canvas using blue and green threads. I believe she got it unfinished and she then added her touch to finish the piece.

Marge Edie then presented her demo.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Fabricating Faces Again

I've been working on this blended photograph of my granddaughter, Aubrey. It is printed on my Epson C88 on four banner length pieces of cotton sateen. The other section is similar to the technique I use in fabricating my portraits.

I sewed these two together and started quilting them Yesterday. I ran into a bit of a problem with the stitches and decided that I would stop working on that project because I was becoming frustrated.

I had made several of these faces earlier because I thought I wanted to use them on both sides of the large piece. I decided to only add them to the right side so I had several to play with. An idea of how I wanted to quilt the black strip with the outline of Aubrey's face had come to me and decided I would try the technique out on a small piece.

This is the results of that experiment. I like the way the some what wavy line vertical lines work on the face. It off sets the circles in the boarder as well. Aubrey's bedroom is decorated in black and white zebra stripe and hot pink. I think this will make a nice little accessory to her bedroom. She won't be receiving it until July as I am going to be using it as a sample for my "Fabricating Faces" class.

After such a frustrating day with the quilting on the big piece I ended up quite satisfied with the days work.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Feeling almost Human and Working Again

Finally I feel like a human being again. I even got out of my PJ's today. I've been itching to get into my studio it's been at least a month and I've really missed it.

I've mentioned that one of the techniques I've been working on recently is computer manipulation of photos. Just wanted to show a piece that is almost finished and give you an idea of how I accomplished this one.

I started with this photo from a trip my husband and I had years ago. This photo has been digitized from a slide. My husband has taken on digitized all our old slides. My slides are way more than he can handle so I have to go through them and decide which I want the most. This was one of them. No manipulation has been done to this slide.

This photo was also a slide that was converted. I did change the color in this one a little emphasizing the pink. I also changed it from a vertical to horizontal since my mountain shot was horizontal. I took this shot on a misty morning so the back ground was obscure. That worked really well for what I wanted to use this photo for.

After resizing the photos to the same size I overlaid the mountain photo with the web Photo. This is the results.

The size is 13" X 19" and was printed on a 13" Epson. I knew before I started this piece that I wanted minimal quilting. I started with Sliver thread in Silver and followed all the web lines. However, this didn't show up as much as I wanted so I went back in and quilted the larger web lines with Candlelight thread. I'm quite happy with this piece and am enjoying the learning experience of Photoshop and how it can assist me in my art.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Back in SC but !

We are back from our trip to CA and we had a wonderful visit with our family. However, I brought back something that I would have just as soon left there. A stomach bug. I have no energy but really wanted to post a little something on my blog today.

The FFFC challenge this month has to do with curves. I'm a curvy person, always have been so I was happy to see this challenge. Even though I was away from home and couldn't physically work on the piece I did design it while out there.

I've been doing a lot of computer manipulation in my work recently and decided that I wanted to design something for this challenge on the computer.

Several years ago I taught a class where I made a host block and then using a Drunkards Path template to cut out the pattern and then placed it on the design wall until I was happy with the design. This technique has hundreds of possibilities. The photo to the left shows one such design. I still have this in my UFO's because I like to keep some pieces ready to use for demos.

When I started working with manipulating photographs I discovered that abstract designs worked quite well with many of the techniques in PhotoShop 8.

I cropped the photograph until I was happy with the design. I then when into filters-distort-polar coordinates. It wasn't quite what I wanted so I went back into filers-distort-zigzag. The above design is what I came up with.

Now I have to print it on fabric and quilt it but I don't think that will take a lot of time. The design really tells me how it should be quilted. Don't think I will make the deadline of Sat. but I have a good start.