Friday, February 4, 2011

Pythagoras Unbound

In this piece, the standard square-in-a-square image used to illustrate the Pythagorean Theorem explodes in three steps. Two colorful cotton fabrics were fused and cut apart using pinking shears. The background was machine quilted in a wavy grid and the edges left raw - a wide zigzag holding the three layering together. Construction mirrors the free, unrestrained, playfulness of the subject matter. And so the change in perspective from precise to silly.

Good Art Among Us

I just posted a print copy of Jane Dunnewold's lecture for Form-Not-Function. It is well researched and thought provoking.
Go to to read this great piece.

Cathy Ortelle

Thursday, February 3, 2011

new challenge word: BIRD

Maybe its because I'm weary of winter. Or perhaps its because birds are a recurring image in my work lately...but I thought maybe since we are all day dreaming of spring and the things that will come with warmer weather that the next challenge word would be BIRD.

You can do anything that has to do with birds. A bird itself, a nest, eggs, birdhouse, chicken coop - whatever strikes your fancy! Have a pet bird you'd like to honor? Do you enjoy looking at birds on a wire? (That's my personal favorite!) Do you like watching birds at your feeder?

Everything is game!

And to provide a little bit of inspiration, here is a photo mosaic to get your wheels turning on our fine feathered friends:

1. Robin_8203, 2. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, 3. Getting In A Lather, 4. Rose-Breasted Grosbeak - USA, 5. Female Bullfinch in garden Jan 29th 2011 9821, 6. Lots of blue eggs, 7. calling whoopers, 8. Robin Eggs are really Blue., 9. Bullfinch, 10. Bird Houses on a Red Barn, 11. DV3E2460, 12. Female Cardinal Feeding, 13. Untitled, 14. Looking for her Sweetheart - Mallard Duck, 15. Stock Dove (Columba oenas), 16. Red-breasted Nuthatch, 17. Pretty Cardinal, 18. Snowy day, 19. eye contact, 20. The dreaming tree, 21. free, 22. Snowy Owl, 23. 目白  Japanese White-eye, 24. green ON green, 25. Chicken, 26. dove in the snow flying - Canon 500d, 27. Two eggs, Nestbox #1, yesterday afternoon, 28. ~Do you happen to have a pair of birds that are... just friendly?~, 29. colorful stare, 30. It Must Be Love, Love, Love ..., 31. Roosters, 32. Birds, 33. Take this down....HFF Everybody..:O)), 34. notes of a rock song, 35. I believe in love...., 36. Follow the leader

Have fun!!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Changed - Cathy Ortelle

I might have taken this challenge too literally. I first heavily rusted (Change!) some Pima cotton fabric; it reminded me of a topographical map.

I then quilted some turquoise hand-dyed fabric to batting and overlaid the rusted fabric. Voila! Clear blue lakes nestled in Northern California mountains. I tried to machine quilt around the obvious places. Disaster! It looked horrid. So I ripped out the machine quilting and tried some hand work. Even worse. I don't have the dexterity to do good hand work any more. So I will be doing more machine work in the future.

I missed last month's challenge - sorry again. I have a huge Christmas party and my whole house is turned upside down and things are packed away. I still haven't found the challenge that I had almost completed before Christmas. Maybe it will turn up some day.

There's lots of fun work in this challenge. I'm looking forward to the next!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Color Change

I got some red-green fabrics from my sister-in-law. Her mother was a dress-maker. I had nice red velvet and dyed cotton in my stash.
I cut squares and zig-zaged them together with the green 'line'.I discharged the top with a self-made flower stamp. What a change - and so different in each fabric! On the partly woolen clothing material on the far right and left, the color is brown. On the dyed fabric, it is yellow also on the velvet.
The outline of the flowershape is stichted with pearl thread.
With paintstiks I changed the color of the flowers into gold, green and pink.

It does look changed - or not?

Change -- "Quilt Metamorphosis"

Since I was the one that chose this month's word, I have had extra time to think about what I wanted to do. I decided to take an old quilt* and change it into a modern piece of art. I took a simple log cabin with hand stitching and kept changing it until I was happy. I left the left side pretty much the same and kept adding more and more as I went further to the right.

I started with the quilt* already quilted and didn't bother taking it down to just a top. I first added a layer of white spray paint to diffuse the background. I stamped with the cap of a film canister the metallic red and green circles and used a pencil eraser to stamp the small gold circles. I fused straight strips of fabric angled somewhat out for a modern look similar to a log cabin.

That didn't seem to be enough change and after thinking about it for a couple of days, I decided on an additional change. I again sprayed the piece with more white paint then added the circular "log cabin." I then stamped more circles from the film canister cap with white paint.

I then layered it with batting and another back and requilted it moving from squared off quilting on the left hand side to the right hand side where it is all curved quilting.

I finished off with a decorative hand stitching. Starting in the upper left corner with white, straight "chicken scratch" stitches and moving to the lower left corner where there are just magenta french knots. In the middle, the colors change places.

Going from left to right these are the changes that the quilt makes:

Old to New
Dull to Bright
Traditional to Modern
Square to Circle
Light to Dark

I hope everyone had as much fun with Change as I did!

Lisa Kay.

* No antique quilt was hurt or in any way damaged by this experiment. It was an old pillow sham made in China that looked like a quilt!

Change: Then and Now

As I thought about the word change in relation to quilting, I realized that I have been quilting for 30 years as of this year. I began by hand sewing 9-patches in an Amish quilt class and I have never looked back. Since I was using solids at the time, I opted to create a background using solid, hand dyed fabrics in a 9-patch pattern. On top of that, I created a flower of sorts using soy silk fiber, painted and melted tyvek and yarn. The flower is a statement about where I am with quilting today. I love embellishing with dimensional materials and playing with new products and techniques.
Here is the soy silk fiber with the tyvek piece in the center. I think there is some angelina fiber mixed with the soy silk to add a little sparkle.
I crocheted fuzzy yarn and couched it to the background to create these tendrils. ...after I quilted the background, of course!

Change as in mediums

Here is my change, from paint to fabric. For those of you familiar with my blog,
you will know that I am up to version # 12 on my blog of this little trike done in oils for my art class.  #'s 13 and 14 are being worked on in the studio.  So how do I stop and create in a different direction for this challenge?  Just change the meduim.  This little trike is fused out of commercial fabrics and painted with thread.  The lovely part is that I just cut it out without any stress. I know the trike well now and it is less and less important that it be just so.  I want the whimsey. Did I get it?

New Botanicals ... encaustic

This challenge did indeed bring about a 'change'... a real fun change! I
made the change [noun] from fabric and worked with paper, yes newspaper and a photograph printed on paper. I used paint where I wanted on the newspaper .. a collage of garden guide photos. I then cut the papers into strips, layered tissue paper over the top, used gel medium to hold them all together... changing from newspaper articles and photograph [verb]. Then I placed the piece on a batt, used a botanical fabric on the back and quilted from the back. Then I finished with a wax....
I love, love, love this technique and am happy I was encouraged to try it with this 'change' challenge.

I certainly look forward to your comments.