Monday, September 11, 2006

Rose Pictures

I like the definition the beads around the outside edge give the rose sections. I also think I can use more rose motifs in some other "problem" areas effectively. For once, I like what is happening here!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

New Pictures

Photographing this piece is challenging. If I get too close to the blocks, the images are blurry. If I get too far away, the details don't show. Please suffer through these with me!

I loved the snowflake effect this Madonna ended up having with the bugle beads. (The image of the Madonna on this is clear in reality.)

I worked on this block today adding more beads, leaves and button clusters. Finally I had to stop! I wanted to keep the lower Madonna more subtle. I may still have some work to do to get this to blend better. And I thought I was done, sigh.

I added some greenery to the blue buttons and rays to the halo, beads to the flower at the bottom. I still have to embellish the Madonna on the right.

These started out as 3 simple buttons and then they became a little garden.

I added pearls to the cross buttons.

I couldn't get a good detail shot here but I added some beads (oomph) to the buttons leading to the lavender rose.

Overall size is 42" x 42"

Do you think I should embellish around the roses in the 2 top squares? I am inclined to leave them alone.

My next step once I have the Madonnas as I want them is to break up the 2 straight lines of trim that divide the middle section. I don't like how I crookedly sewed on one of the trims and I think it could be more interesting with something done to it. I am contemplating a banner saying, "Mary, Queen of Roses" with a small ribbon bouquet or some ribbon roses.

I also plan to machine embroider some kind of stitch along the navy bias tape band so it has some definition (or not). I am not planning to embellish the light blue areas at all (except a sequin fell on there today and looked pretty good but that could take forever. . . .)

Comments are welcome.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

WIP Wednesday

Here are a few photos of the middle madonna flowers I am embellishing. The flowers were made from various pictures of Madonna that I found on the Internet. Several were made from the gown section of one of the pictures. I used the Kaleidoscope software I bought at IQF last year.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Before and After

Pieced Top
All the new pieces are sewn on and the cutouts are ready to be fused. Here are a few detail pictures.


I think these cutouts are really cool. I wonder if I will think that after I have sewn them on (with all those curves)??

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Winter Madonna Problem Solved

Finally, I say, finally, I have figured out the problem with my Winter Madonna piece.

I have not liked the white patches. The white background was too stark for the other rich colors. The motif was cut off in some of the blocks. Both just didn't work for me.

With the thought that I might enter the new C&T publishing Fabric Images contest, I took another look at the piece. It's been hiding in a drawer all winter and most of the summer.

It became painfully obvious what to do! I could just cover the offensive white areas with new patches and add new photo images. Off to the computer to make some new madonna and flower images!

I am pleased now! The upper squares will have rose sprays cut from fabric to cover those white patches. I also plan to cut out the computer images and buttonhole stitch them to the blocks (eliminating the white around them).

While this piece may not be contest worthy, it is satisfying to come to a solution!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

O Serene Like the Moon, O Resplendent like the Sun

Here at long last is my Winter Madonna. It was personal challenge to make a predominantly white quilt, and I feel like I learned about contrasting subtle color gradations. Perhaps I've even lowered a bit my resistance to white.

This quilt is hard to photograph because of the white and the monochromatic palette. It shows better in the close-up photos. I coffee stained the original background fabrics, and then layered over them with white lace. I layered handkerchiefs over that. Most of this piece is constructed by machine, except for the buttons and the lace edging.

The title for this quilt comes from the Great Mary Litany, as did the words I incorporated into my Gold Madonna.

I will still have to experiment with methods of hanging this piece. It's pretty stiff since I used peltex and a layer of batting. Perhaps I will use a ribbon to create a hanger. It needs to be hung because lying on the table it has an uncanny resemblance to a pizza.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Barbara's Composition

I'm designing my Winter Madonna and I've decided to work in circles as well as in white. The central image is transferred onto a round doily and surrounded by a traditional applique design called Cesar's Crown. I've used the challenge fabric in every other section of the crown.

I'm using another traditional applique pattern in the smaller circles called Wheel of Lilies. The Madonna also carries lilies in the central image, and is surrounded by them in one of the smaller ones. Two of the darker circles also have the Wheel of Lilies applique (actually ironed on) but the contrast isn't sharp and I may do those over.

The whole composition is pinned to a pieced background on which I've arrange vintage hankies. One of these is beige, and I may coffee-stain the white ones to increase the contrast.

I've imagined this as a round piece, so I may re-position the hankies and cut the whole thing into a circle. I'll have to back it with Peltex if I go that route.

And here's a piece that I designed at the same time, I've got plans for this one which also involve Madonnas.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Top is Done!

Pieced Top
Here is the pieced top ready for embellishing!

I finished this today and will let it "rest" while I scurry around and make some Lesson Quilts for the training lessons I start on Friday for the position. Having to return to beginning level quilts and think about each step so I can write the directions is an interesting process. I can't believe I have been on "automatic" for so long!

This one I will also have to think about---not exactly sure how I will do the embellishments. Just let me not get carried away!

More Blocks Added

Here are a few progress photos (and an experiment with writing on photos!)

Almost Done with Piecing
Almost done with the borders--should measure about 40" square when done

Side Border Blocks
Side border Blocks

Shiny Fabric
Shiny Fabric in the Blocks

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Debra's Winter Madonna Takes Shape

The Winter Madonna is due the middle of March. It has some specific guidelines to follow: use some of the glittery white jersey knit from Barbara and give the piece a wintery feeling.

Winter in Houston is not icy and even though that is the standard fare for most of the country, I chose to concentrate on the winter foliage and the glittery fabrics of the holidays. I wanted the overcast grey sky, silvery nights and the blue mantle of the Madonna juxtaposed against the rich reds, greens and blacks of ballgowns and bedecked homes.

A new source for inspiration was the Dover Publication called Elegant Floral Designs, a collection of permission free designs of black flowers and lace motifs. Each page features captivating flowers in stark black that can be printed any size. I decided to transfer them to fabric and use them like Victorian cutouts. They determined the direction of this piece---a crazy quilt.

I downloaded the images into my photo program and arranged them for sizes. I printed them onto transparency plastic thinking I would do gel medium transfers but that idea proved to be fruitless. So, I used the transparencies as originals and copied the designs directly to fabric with my printer. The images came out great!

This is one of the transparencies pinned to my design wall.

This is one of the printed fabric sheets.

Central Madonna
This is the central Madonna figure with a bit of a Art Noveau look.

Madonna Blocks
6 of the Crazy quilt blocks

Flower Blocks
Closeup View of the Motif in the block

I will do some more crazy quilt blocks for the outside border and mainly machine stitch embellishments before beading the piece.