Thursday, October 8, 2009

Match the Dirty Dozen Artists

by Martha Wolfe

(L to R) Dij Pacarro, Lisa-Marie Sanders, Jill Brown, Peggy Horsfield, Paula Furgason, Bev O'Connell, Ellen Lindner, Martha Wolfe,
Barbara Bilbo, Irene Watson, Ruth Anne Parker.
Missing from photo, Elizabeth King

Our 6th Annual Exhibit opened on Saturday with a wonderful, well attended reception! The show features over eighty unique fiber art works by the 12 artists, including the Swedish Cafe photo challenge and a "Group Therapy" project building from surface texture techniques taught by Ruth Anne.

If you haven't enjoyed the exhibit yet, it will be continuing through the end of October. As you enter, you'll find the artists' self-portraits hanging on your right. How well do you think you could match the artists with their portrait? Try your luck!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Our 6th Annual Exhibit!

Please help us kick off the

2009 Dirty Dozen Exposed! exhibit!

Opening Reception, October 3rd, from 1-3PM

@Boutique 4 Quilters

2945 W. New Haven Ave., West Melbourne, FL

General viewing during regular store hours:

M-F 9:30-5, Sat. 9:30-4. Phone 321-768-2060

October 2nd through October 31st

The exhibit includes over 60 original fiber art pieces,

made with a variety of exciting materials and techniques.

In addition, two group projects will be featured.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Photo Challenge 2009: The Swedish Cafe

by Martha Wolfe

Again, this year, we have all participated in a challenge using a photograph as our inspiration. The photo was selected by the whole group. The picture was taken by Martha Wolfe in "The Prince's Kitchen" at Prins Eugens Waldemarsudde, an art museum within Djurgården in Stockholm.

As you have seen in the recent Fruit Stand Challenge posts, each artist has focussed on a part of the image that captured their attention and imagination. What would you choose from this photo? Stay posted to see the results of our 2009 Photo Challenge........or better yet, plan to attend our show, Dirty Dozen Exposed, 2009! and see the real deal!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Bev's Fruit Stand Challenge

by Bev O'Connell
"Yes, We Have No Bananas"

Another installment in the series of challenge quilts from a previous annual show. The quilt was created from hand-painted fabrics, papers and Ellen's cast-off knitted yarn. It includes machine embroidery and was free-motion quilted.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Jill's Fruit Stand Challenge Quilt

By Jill Brown
The inspiration for this quilt was the bananas! This quilt was a little out of my comfort zone for me - as I normally do not do abstract, nor do I work with orange or yellow colors / tones.

I thread painted my bananas onto my background with a variegated purple thread (I did get my purple in there!!). It scrunched up the fabric so much, I had to really stipple the background fabric it get it to lay flat. I then beaded "Going Bananas" across the middle two bananas. (The bead work is hard to see in this photo).

This was a fun challenge to do, and everyone's quilt turned out to be very different!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Barbara's Fruit Stand Challenge

Posted by Barbara Bilbo

I looked at the fruit stand picture and decided to do a raw edge collage. After working long and hard, the piece didn't work. Besides, it was too large to be accepted. So I folded it up and away.

Then I decided to do a more abstract piece with the feel of the bushes and the flowers. I also put in the rock wall. And... I did it the correct size.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

2009 Retreat: Fabric, Friends and Fun

by Lisa-Marie Sanders

Does your quilting group have an annual retreat? If not, I’d highly recommend it! We just finished our annual weekend retreat and it was a blast. Our monthly meetings are great but it is hard to surpass the bonding that takes place when you spend two days together crammed into small condos, stepping around sewing machines, supplies and drying fabric. I loved watching my friends as they struggled with creative or technical decisions. I loved the help and insights that each person brought to bear on my dilemmas.

There is something from everyone in each of my projects from the retreat: fabric from Irene, paint from Paula, beads from Jill, yarn from Ruth Anne, Photoshop work from Martha and borders from Ellen. And though we worked a lot, we played too. We had a road trip to a bead shop, we took a post-midnight turtle walk on the beach, we dined together and we learned more about each other on a personal level. Did I mention we laughed a lot? We did.

There were so many hysterical moments that I began to chronicle them so we’d have a way to remember them all. Some you might enjoy:
- A glass of wine helps with free motion quilting
- Whatever problem you may have, there’s a bead for that
- Late night wisdom: don’t crop until morning
- Pass your purse to the person on your left (so you won’t spend too much at the store)

It’s only been a week and I’m already looking forward to next year’s retreat.

(the photo is of Irene Watson working through lunch one day.)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Paula's Fruit Stand Challenge Quilt

Posted by Paula Furgason

The first thing I thought of when I saw the inspiration photo was what great texture could be found in the tire. Inspired by the colors and lines in the photo, I created a pile of turquoise tires with pink tread and took some rubbings of my bike tire.

Quilted in a tread pattern, this piece named itself Off Track.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Ellen's Fruit Stand Challenge Quilt

From Ellen Lindner

Although our inspiration photo had many wonderful components, I was attracted to the colors and shapes of the mangos. Thus, my piece Tropical Fruit was born (below.) The green background fabrics were inspired by the vegetation of the area.

BTW, this is not the first mango quilt I've made. You might also be interested in Mangolicious.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Group Photo Challenge Revisited

From Ellen Lindner

Each year we have a group challenge as part of our annual exhibit. This year's challenge is to create art that's inspired by a particular photo. Most of that is still top secret: to be revealed at our October exhibit.

But, since this year's challenge is very similar to what we did in 2007, I thought you might be interested in it.

This was our inspiration photo, selected by the entire group. This fruit stand photo was taken by Ruth Anne Parker in Maui.

Although the goal was for each participant to be inspired by the image, exact replication of the photo was not expected. (But, certainly allowed.) Therefore, we wanted a photo with lots going on, and this one met that criteria. As you'll see in coming posts, some members reproduced the entire image. Others were inspired by the colors, the textures, or one particular element.

Watch for future posts to see the results!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Basic Business Acumen

Posted by Lisa-Marie Sanders

I should’ve known better. Nonetheless, after 25 years of business and entrepreneurial experience, I violated a fundamental principle of agreements: get it in writing. When a quilt shop owner invited me to promote my book ( as the featured item in her booth for AQS Knoxville Expo, I was so excited I allowed my emotions to override reason. Over the three week planning horizon, the agreement changed so many times it ultimately became untenable. I’m saddened by the lost opportunity, but I am hoping that you can learn from my mistake and avoid similar pain in the future.

Three basic tenets to remember when selling your art or entering into any agreement:
1. Define your goals in advance (what you hope to achieve, what you will provide, what you require as consideration/compensation, etc.)
2. Clarify expectations (mutual responsibilities, time lines, communication)
3. Get it in writing

I find that I learn (and remember) the most from difficult circumstances and, for that reason, I am thankful for this situation. I hope you can also benefit from this lesson learned.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Playing with Molding Paste

At a recent Dirty Dozen meeting, Ruth Anne showed us a ton of cool ways to use a variety of gel mediums. I was especially intrigued with the molding paste, so I came home and began to play with it. The results are fairly subtle in this first piece. In it, I used sequin waste as a stencil for the paste. Once it was dry, I painted the entire piece.

The green piece utilized needlepoint canvas as a stencil, and produced very good results.

I learned one thing: when it comes to molding paste, more is better. The subtle images that I attempted with stamps and such didn't show up very well.

BTW, both of these fabrics were painted with matte medium, before anything else was done.

This was a lot of fun, and I'll definitely try it again!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Goldfish Blues

Posted by Dij Pacarro.
I created this collage using Susan Carlson's "Free Style Quilts" technique. It was fun gathering just the right fabrics to make him fanciful yet lifelike. I covered everything with dark purple tulle before quilting, which gives it an underwater feel.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

What I'm Made Of

from Martha Wolfe
As part of your membership in the Dirty Dozen, you need to create a representational, self portrait. Being a fairly new member, I am working to complete mine for our upcoming show in October (more details soon!).

The technique I have been using lately for representational images is pretty simple. Starting with a photo (in this case, not the best, but an interesting one), I open it in Photoshop and use one of the stock filters---in this case I used "Cutout", then played with the number of levels and the edge settings until I got an image I felt I could collage successfully.

The collage is all raw edge with machine applique. I chose batiks, because the variegation in color makes the image look more alive. The striped shirt will be a challenge! Here is the work in progress.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Design Opportunity

From Irene Watson

I recently had time to play with the techniques in C June Barne’s book, Stitching to Dye in Quilt Art. I really like the pieces she’s done using her foundation technique so I ran out on a shopping spree and bought every white and off-white cotton and cotton blend in the area.

Armed with my new stash, I loaded a plain piece of muslin onto my long-arm. I stitched down strips and quilted as I went. I really liked the results of the undyed piece and struggled with the decision to dye or not dye for weeks.

Last week I threw caution to the wind and decided to dump that bugger in a bucket of dye. I made two mistakes. The first was dyeing on a day when I was fighting a virus. I sneezed while holding the dye container over the bucket and spilled a good amount of dye into my solution. The second was ignoring the first mistake. My little golden yellow piece is now lovely neon orange. The color in the picture is not true. It’s a really eye burning orange.

I haven’t decided whether to view this as a challenge and work with it as is, to overdye it with bronze or a light red to try to tone it down, or to bleach the heck out of it to remove some of the color. I’m leaning towards bleaching it. If it ends up with holes, it’ll just be another design opportunity. Right?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Reward for a Morning Walk

From Ellen Lindner

I know that observation is a large part of inspiration. And that practicing those skills improves them. So, I was delighted when, after four days of walking past them, I finally noticed a patch of Black Eyed Susans. As the dog tugged impatiently on her leash, I gleefully picked handfuls. As I did so, I noticed that the flowers that were past their prime were equally interesting. (Another observation!) I picked those ratty flowers with only half their petals, and ones that had no petals at all. Plus the buds. What a wonderfully diverse collection.

Since I'm doing a series called "Around the Neighborhood," I think there's a good chance these flowers will make their way into a quilt.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Abstract from Realism

From Ellen Lindner

At our recent play day, we did an exercise about finding abstract designs around us. The assignment started with photographing objects throughout the house. Later, we were to sketch one of the objects, removing as many details as possible, in order to reveal "the essence" of that object.

I decided to try a similar thing with some photos from that day. My question: How much could I omit and still be able to show the essence of these items?

I'm sure you can identify the old phone, above. I was struck by the strong design of this little photo. Maybe a future quilt design?

Can you identify the items below? (They belong to Jill.)

Yep. Her crocs.

This is a fun, and I think, valuable creative exercise.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Fun Play Day

From Ellen Lindner

We had a fun play day at my house, yesterday, with projects ranging from hand work to computer work. Although we were initially spread out, by late afternoon we had all migrated to one spot. After all, it's all about the socializing right?

Above, L-R: Ruth Anne, Paula, Peggy and Barbara

Above, L-R: Martha and Jill

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Brevard Live Magazine Featured Artist *NEWS FLASH

Posted by Dij Pacarro.

*NEWS FLASH!  Dij just got accepted into the Art Gallery of Viera.  Check out their website  to see more of her quilts. Grand opening is Friday and Saturday, June 19th and 20th.

Lou Belcher wrote the most wonderful (and kind) article about me, complete with photos, in the June issue of Brevard Live Magazine. 

You can download it online at:

Once you download the June issue, scroll down to pages 56-58 to see my article. I'm so jazzed!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Asian Fusion: Take Out With a Twist

From Jill Brown
Here is my take on the Brevard Art Museum's challenge using the white take out box. I started with a bright oriental themed fabric and another coordinating fabric. I matched two colors of fusible glass with my fabrics. I then created a "dome" out of the fused glass to fit over the take out box, placing the metal handle through the dome. I quilted the oriental fabric, cut it into strips, then wove it into the glass dome, leaving spaces to show the white take out box below. I then added my bead "steam" on the top of the box.

The dome and box were placed on an oriental style plate, with a pair of chopsticks next to it, ready to enjoy the hot steamy meal inside!

The place mat underneath was woven using the oriental themed fabric, and the coordinating green fabric. They were cut on the bias, at a 45 degree angle (in opposite directions), woven and then quilted.

Bon Appetit!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Thinker

From Paula
Doll making has become my passion, and using Tyvek is one of my favorite techniques. So, when given the opportunity to enter the Brevard Art Museum's Take Out Exhibition, it was a no-brainer for me to combine them to create The Thinker, Outside the Box. Her body is made from a piece of hand dyed fabric I made in a class, and later stamped during a program at a Dirty Dozen meeting. Her hair is a few natural silk cocoons, topped with a Tyvek kerchief painted to match her body fabric.

First, I covered both the inside and outside of the container with fabric made from painted dryer sheets, Angelina fiber, and tulle. Using recycled Tyvek, I painted and heated small pieces and covered the outside, taking care that the edges were also covered.

I made sure there were a few spots where the liner would show through. I made a few beads and curly-q's to form the vines and stalagmites, then polished it off with some hot-fix crystals.

The final challenge was what to do with the wire handle. It turned out that it made a perfect sash when strung with the Tyvek beads.

Here she sits on her Tyvek throne, holding a mysterious crystal and pondering the origin of this mysterious beauty. Maybe it came from the crystal laden grotto below.....

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Class Results

From Ellen Lindner

As mentioned in the previous post, I found this class to be challenging - in a good way. My project is shown, in progress, below. Eventually, it will resemble prickly pear cactus, but I think it has quite a way to go yet. But, perhaps, you can see some of the 3D effect that was created by shading with paint.

One of my classmates, Sue Dennis from Australia, posted more class photos on her blog. (See May 21.)

Class with Leslie Gabrielse

From Ellen Lindner
I recently took a 3 day class from Leslie Gabrielse, a professional artist from Holland. The class was very interesting, challenging, and exhilirating!

Leslie's techniques are nothing like those used in mainstream quilting. (He's been making fabric "paintings" for over 30 years, and only recently learned about art quilts.) He paints directly onto the fabric with acrylic paints, and attaches everything with big decorative hand stitches.

One really useful technique is that of using a sheer overlay to mark and position the fabric. Leslie uses a product called Tarlatan, available from Dick Blick. He marks his design on it, and then can mark right through it to the fabrics below. See his funky teapot, in progress below, with and without the tarlatan overlay.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Quilt National

From Ellen Lindner

I'm just back from a SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) conference, in Athens, OH. As part of the fun, I got to attend the opening of Quilt National. Wow! The quilts were amazing: VERY innovative, and (mostly) beautiful.

My roommate for the conference was Anna Hergert, from Canada. She was absolutely delightful AND, she had a quilt in the show! Here she is with her quilt, which is 3D.
The diagonal panels create large rolls in the front. I think you can tell in the detail shot, below.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Small Pieces, Big Ideas

The art quilt photo challenge I've been working on is coming to fruition!  Sisters in Cloth is preparing for their exhibit at the Guilford Art Center, in Guilford, CT, May 26th to June 6th. (Sisters in Cloth is a group that includes members from the Quilt group I participated in when I lived in CT, 6 years ago.)  Each participant in the challenge received 5 photos to "create".  Above is my entry for the Emperor's Summer Palace-Kyoto, the photo is shown as the insert on the postcard below.  To see other pieces, you can click here.   

Thursday, May 14, 2009

My entry for Brevard Art Museum's ´Take Out" exhibition began its life as a humble white Chinese Take Out carton, as required. I pulled some fabrics from my stash, and started designing. For the inside, I used a piece of fabric I had embellished with foiling and oil sticks. For the outside, I cut random strips from some hand painted fabrics a friend brought me from New Zealand. I layered them on another piece of fabric, fused them, then quilted them with metallic thread.

I applied fusible web to both pieces of fabric, opened up the box, sandwiched it between the two layers and fused it all together. I made sure the fabric extended a little beyond the cardboard, knowing I had to satin stitch the edges.

I folded the box back into its proper shape, then had to figure out how to get it to stay together. I ended up using an awl (with my husband's help) to poke holes through all the layers, so I could sew buttons on it. Kind of a four hand job. Then I decided it needed more embellishment on the inside, so I foiled each flap (after I had sewn it together, mind you.)

I foiled some more fabric, cut it into strips, then wove the little placemat, Then I fused it to a background fabric and quilted it with metallic thread. For a final touch, I added beads to the metal handle. At this point, my box became a little tipsy. So I ended up balancing it on the handle, hence the name of my piece is "Balancing Act."

I'm happy to say "Balancing Act" was accepted for the exhibit, and is sharing a table with Jill's piece. Drop by Brevard Art Museum if you have a chance - you will be amazed at all of the imaginative and beautiful creations.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mola Jacket

Machine Embroidery is my other love. Done on a recycled sweatshirt.

Nature Art Quilts

This series incoroprates my love of gardening to my love of fiber art.

Rusted fabrics, tree bark, coconut fibers,
seed pods, painted dryer sheets, dried moss,painted fern impressions, shiva oil sticks, painted & burned tyvek paper, yarns, thread painting found objects.