Category Archives: Adventure Challenge 2012

Vernal Equinox March 22, 2012

Tuesday we celebrated the Vernal equinox.  Here it was glorious and continues to be the wonderful sunny blue sky days  that fill me with delight.  I have only really noticed the longer days because I am getting up in the light and it is still light at dinner time.    Going out of doors with out a coat or jacket is very freeing.    The air is filled with bird song.   I find myself labeling them and looking into the branches.  The spring warmth  has cause the plants to open there leaves.  The willows greens contrast against the pines and the silver maples rust colored buds are spilling pollen out across the sidewalk.    There are many flowers up.  I have  the usual spring plants like crocus and snow drops  and in addition there  are daffodils open and even violets are blooming.  I know violets use to appear near the end of April as my Mom often put them on my birthday cakes.   With all this new growth around me I have been pushing out lots of work too.  The fact that I had four full days in the studio with out any interruptions did not hurt ether.   I seem to be more awake somehow and the ideas are really flowing.   I am collecting them in the idea/sketchbook for the times when I am a little on the depleted side.    I am enjoying  all  and I hope you are celebrating the wonders of Spring too.

Progress Report    Cycling Circuits

Image of the full quilt with the inserts

Photos of the circle filled with the screen and the bead work.

Golden Rounds a Paper  Quilt and Adventure Challengepaper quilt with bead work and openigns filled with painted innerfacing.

This work is coming along nicely.  I am all done with the beading step now.   I painted some inner facing to put behind the big openings I had cut into the quilt.  I think I need to live with this work for a while now because it seems a bit busy to me.   I find that time gives me fresh eyes and I an usually spot the problem. 


Blue Purple and red quilt with angleina stitched on top

This quilt was a lot of fun to work on.  It is not a part of any old series unless one thinks of fooling around is a series.  Several years ago I taught a friend how to use Angelina and there where some   examples that I could not bring myself to toss.   The little felt squares where an experiment too.   They worked together in this quilt.   Detaile showing the angelina, felt and the quilt stitches

I had a good time quilting this work with metallic  thread in an explosion type of pattern.

Blue Frogs- Adventure Challenge

full shot of the quilt showing the frogs on a blue and deep orange background.
Bule Frogs Adventure Challenge

This quilt is done I think.  I like the contrast in the two sizes of cording and how it makes the same Frog Knots appear so very differently due to scale. detail of the satin frogs This quilt is my second exploration of the frog idea from Lois Erison’s book and that is why it is an Adventure Challenge quilt. 



  New Work: Angle Balance Deep Purple fabric with wedges of white angelina on top

This is an example of how ideas spring one from another.  I have had this intense purple fabric for a while and was having a difficult time using it.  When I saw how well it worked with the Angelina in the Fireworks piece I just kept on playing.

close up showig the angelina and sequins on the purple fabric There is a possible third quilt using the fabric and the Angelina together.

Knot Know- Adventure Challenge and  DMC #7  Full shot of quilt with DMC colors/fabric and black knots on top

I am reaching the end of the fabric from the DMC challenge.  I still have some crimson of Dawn’s  remaining and some green f from Marty, but I do not see any more work in this without a lot of supplementary fabric so I do not feel is stays within the spirit of  the project.     I put it in the Adventure Challenge category because I was still playing with knot idea from the Ericson’s book.    These knots are all my own inventions because I now understand how they are built.  So I tried my own hand at creating some of them.

Close up of one of the knots pinned to the quilt top  The big glass beads that I used in this work are from the stash of my Mothers stuff that I am slowly sifting through.  They were a part of a necklace on a leather thong.   This is a case where my personal goal to learn something new and  apply the concept in my own  way really came to pass.   I am delighted.


Wrinkle Work – Adventure Challenge 

close up showing the process  This is a pure play start here.  In the Louis Ericson book Design&Sew It Yourself  on page 74 she talks about using wrinkled fabric.  The book says to use natural fibers so I pulled some silk out of my stash.  The next step is to wet the fabric and then tie it into a bundle and allow to dry.  When you carefully unroll the dry fabric you do not smooth out the wrinkles, but stitch them down on a base fabric.    wrinkled fusha silk sewn down with blue threadIt was a fun experiment but I do not see any direct application of what I created at this time.

Shards-  Special Features Quilt

Blue and brown quilt with pot shards on top    This top was created from remainders of the Twinkle series .  I had thought I could use it as the background for Blue Frogs. But is just did not work.   I think it will work however with the pottery shards that my Mother collected from area where my brother was a Dentist for the Indian Health Service.  I call it a Special Features quilt because the pieces have been setting in the dark of a drawer sense I brought them home from my Moms house when we emptied it after her death 12 years ago.      I went to my book   American Indian Art  by Norman Feder were I found this great pot image.   potI intend to adapt the incised pot designs to become the quilting pattern for the quilt.  Watch for the development of this idea.   The squared area will be good locations for the shards.

Mini 5Framed bit of quilt

This is one more of the framed mini quilts that came from the cut up  work I did a few weeks ago.

There will be no post next week as I am off to the Identity:Contest and Reflection Conference  put on by the Studio Art Quilt Association and the Surface Design Association in Philadelphia.   I am excited about this as I have never been to a conference by either of these organizations and I am a member of both of them.  I have also managed to get tickets to the Van Goth Up Close show at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.   It will be  a stimulating week for me.

Keep Creating and I will see you in two weeks on the  5th of March.



Spring and Distraction March 9, 2012

Good morning, and please forgive me for being late on this post.  I like everyone at one time or another I got off track.  I enjoyed my walk yesterday and loved noticing the wonders of spring.  I spotted  my first Robins- two males singing at  full throat in the top of two different trees.   At ground level I saw Snow Drops and Wind Flowers showing there faces through the soil.   My Tulips are pocking through- only about an inch It always makes my heart light.  When I got home I was informed that we were having guests- so I spent my morning cleaning up in preparation for that instead of doing this project.   We had a good time and I enjoyed seeing the old friends but by the time they departed it was late and I like to do this project with a clear mind.  I think what I really have learned from this is that I just might start before Thursday morning to build the blog.

Progress Report:   Blue Frogs-  Adventure Challenge   

most of the top showing the quilt     This quilt is coming along.  I did a bit of shifting of the frogs and now I like the lay out.  I have started to do a bit of reflective quilting around the out side of the frogs to keep the undulating feel.

image showing two of the frogs- front and backThis close up shows the how the striped fabric makes the movement of the knots show when you  tie this frog.   I intend to explore this knotting frog technique a bit more .

Spiraling Out

Images showing the addition of buttons to the surface. 

As this view shows I am still adding buttons to the spiral.  My wonderful friends at the  Tea Cups and QEG’s  meetings gave me additional  buttons and I am making progress.  I showed this quilt in progress at the meeting on Tue and got some great feed back on how to do my facings in a more accurate fashion too.  So I tried that method on one of the other quilts this week.     I like the effect.  It is great to have lots of feed back on what one is doing.







Crimson Diminished DMC   VI

shot of the quilt in the middle of quilting- ruby beads and silver roses added  I had this quilt laid out last week.    This is the sixth quilt where I am still using the limited pallet from the DMC project.   I have added the text like fabric in this case.   I think there is just enought to build one more piece to complete this series.     I have added ruby beads and silver roses to the surface here .  I am quilting with the machine in a geometric pattern that is created by the shapes of the pieced units.    close up showing the roses and a bit of the quiltingI am enjoying this project and over doing as I always do.

Cycling Circuits 

one corner of this blue and pink quilt with the wholes and some of the quiltng   This is just one corner of this quilt.  I am done with the quilting step and I am applying the  new facing technique that Noel told  me about at the QEG’s meeting.   She also had a great suggestion for a better way to face shapes that I intend to apply to the next work were I use that idea.   I have several ideas for what I want to do in the openings and will work at that prat of the process this week.



I intend to keep enjoying the wonders of spring this week .

Keep Creating



Feb 16, 2012 Color

When I walked into the studio this morning before I turned on the light I looked at the pin wall.  Because the day is gray the light was not strong so the wall appeared in colors of darks, grays and tans.  Is this what a color blind person sees all the time I wondered?  I love color and it dose effect my life.  I am keenly aware of red this week for lots of reasons- Valentines day being a big part of that.Red and pink balloons  I was a hostess and  had to bring balloons  as table decorations to the luncheon on Tuesday.  Getting four of these clusters of balloons in the car was a challenge.  But the process made me smile all day long.  I have one cluster in the studio now and I am still grinning about the whole idea.    My husband gave me Red Roses for the holiday too.  They are another study in the wonders of red.    Color is a strong influence  on my life.Close up of Roses Color  is so very complex.  There are  labels like  tint, shade and hue. They are used to label feelings like” black moods”,  ” seeing red”, and “feeling blue”.  We all have our favorites and colors we dislike for various reasons.   Angela’s suggestion from the QEG’s meeting was that we study color, so I have purchased two books on that subject.( there are lots of them)   I intend to read do some exercises and see if I can build some additional color confidence.  In the mean time I will keep my eyes open and try to be more aware of the color that fills my world, being thankful that I see  them.

Progress Report:       Biases Bound Adventure Challenge #1      18″X22″

Full quilt ,red black and biasis strip cirlcleing across the surface
Biases Bound

Biases Bound is now done. Those biases strips sure started a lot of different projects and I learned a lot about  color using them too.    I am still enjoying the process and  plan to try to work again with solid fabric strips on the next backgrounf with the strips crossingYou can see from the close up how complex the strips were and understand why they frustrated me a bit.  I do like the way they look however.  As you can see I have added the size to the title section of the blog.  I am not sure if this is were it will remain- but I feel it is and important bit of information about the quilt.  I also am trying to find a standard  small item to add to my close ups so the viewer will get a sense of scale there as well.  A postage stamp perhaps……




Paper Quilt – Rocks and Water      13.5″X22″

Paper quitl in blue, white, purple with wholes and cuts
Rocks and Water

I am quite happy with how this quilt finally resolved its self.  My wanting the “river” like cuts to be uneven did not make it an easy process however.  I like the use of the purple ribbon in the back as it adds  to the depth of water feel I was after here too.    The process is still a challenge to me so I will keep working in this fashion for at least a few more pieces.    I can see so many ways to keep adding and playing with  this concept- adding buttons or beads on top. More fabric and how about paper from other sources?    Fun in the future. Close up of quilt showing openings

Black White and Burgundy     18″X 24″.         I am trying new ideas for presentation of my work.   Some where I read about mounting art quilts on canvas.  I do not remember where I read this or the exact method the author was pushing so I had to try my own thing.   I just stitched  the work to the surface- only at the top this time.

Colors in the title with silver and red beads added as accents
Black, White and Burgundy

This quilt  grew out of the Adventure Challenge . I made this background for the biases work and it is strong- but far too much action for the biases strips.  I like  the color balance here.  The mounting process  does  shows off the quilting well. I like the way the  beads show up here as well.close up of silver and red beads

I am learning that I must really keep myself in check when I am building a small back because I get into the design process so much this type of thing happens.  The work that I referred to at the beginning of the blog is one where I have let that happen.    Over doing is so easy for me.


Mini Series   I have lots of old quilts.  Some I am reworking like ” The Moon She Called Me” ( Feb 2 posting), but  after talking with my friends Barbara and Beth at there studio a few weeks ago-  they  suggested I look at some of the older work and try to make them into smaller units.   Here is my attempt.Cream background with black and red machine appliques   This quilt- Juggling a Friendship  was 38″X44″ and it was created in 1994.  Now I feel there is just too much happening in this work so  seeing it is a prim candidate for the cut up.  I made a frame with a 5″X7″ opening and moved it around on the surface until I found an area I though was pleasing.      Then  I pulled up my courage and  cut……..Close up of the quilt with the matted area   I kept moving around the surface until I ended up with  a dozen little works that are about 7″X9″.  That size because then I can  put them easily in standard  matts and frames.    I then zigzagged around the raw edges  to stabilize them.Quilt with cuts showing and the matt in place for the next one  I discovered that the edges would not warp as much if I put paper under the edges.    The picture shows the pile of mini’s with the  paper bound pieces in the top.  It is going well I think and I am happy with the little works.      Now I am off to do the framing and the glass. one in frame, one with edgue zig -zagged, paper on the back piecesI hate to admit that the pile of scraps is calling up a new idea  too……..

I hope you are all being creative and enjoying the wonders of the season.  Have a productive week.



Feb 2, 2012 Lost and Found

The Spring like weather yesterday made me do a bit of cleaning and tidying up.  Something I tend to put off as I want to get to work.  But there were lots of piles of fabric sorted for furture projects- or at lest things I though would work together well.   I put some fabric back on the shelves were it belongs and put the potential stuff in the yellow bins that I have for that purpose.  It looks a lot better with the bins on the shelving were they go and the cutting table all cleared off.  My goal for the bins is to keep all the parts of projects  in one area. I then did a more of the same to the bay window.  That area was filled with  plants, painting supplies and lots of items that did not seem to belong any were else.  After putting  the paints back were they really go and watering the plants, I decided to give away the old printer that I have not even plugged in for over a year and a half .  I can use the one in the computer/office room if I want to copy things.   And  de-cluttering  the space was part of the mission.     This morning I went confidently to the shelves with the yellow bins and started searching for a project.   I  remember putting the created, but unsuccessful parts in one bin.  And in deed there was a bin full of just such items- but the background  that I was looking for, the first one created for the basis project that was too soft in color, was not in the box.   So I looked in all the bins…. no background.   A side benefit of the cleaning the day before was that I had found some spring green fabric that I though would make great Yo-yo’s  for the next  Adventure Project.    So I had cut the circles and did the work last eve while I watched TV and I wanted to scatter them on the background.   “It has to be here,” I told myself.  ” How could I lose it?”   Then  I  looked across the studio to the area I had not cleaned.    The chair serves as my staging area for work that I will do by hand had been overloaded and the pile had slipped to the floor.    OK, I though, I will at least pick that up before I start the blog- and then look again for that back.    So I plied the whole bit on my desk and sorted and folded.  Found the lost back!

Adventure Challenge III

pale green with purple and cream background.
Lost Back

The yo-yo idea came from the next book I selected.  It is called “The Art of Manipulating Fabric” by Colette Wolff.  This one is only 8 years old.

Apple green yoyos and purple matalic paper that is insidw

Adventure Challenge I     Bias Bound

 Black White and burgandy fabric with black and white bias strips looping across the sruface     This project got a lot of attention this week.  The quilting is reflective of the actual bias lines.   I am calling this  Adventure Challenge I even though this was the third back that I created, the bias was the first book idea that I have tried.     The idea of doing “frogs” is still in the idea stage , but it will come to the surface with time.

Adventure Challenge  II,  DMC 4 , Slight Slip

This quilt fits under all three ideas.  I used Dawn’s fabric in her layout  for this project (look at old blog to see layout).   When I decided that I wanted to slice the quilt in two I did not consciously think about the Faggoting stitches with beads until later.

Crimson, with blue green and turquoise squares
Slight Slip DMC 4

The close up is of the faggoting on the left and the metal beads across the center.   I really like this look, but the process is very slow.

matalic triangel beads with green seed beads on top and the faggoting on the right sided
Slight Slip- showing Faggotting

This last detail shows the candle floats with clear beads in the centers.  I like how this idea is similar to Sasha mirrors that are used in middle eastern works sometimes.

Close up of the candle floats on the crimson
Slight Slip - close up 2

Pillow Tops   I created these two pillow tops from the leftovers of Twinkling Tracings.  They will include the blue fabric when completed and will accompany the wall pieces. I still have lots of leftovers so I am sure the color combinations will turn up again.

Brown, blue and aqua blocks arranged in a random fashion for two pillows.
Pillow Tops

 Wholes Series- Circular Openings    I am still in love  with wholes so I decided to start a new quilt in this vain.  I also thought that this time I would create the shapes first and face them at the beginning. Then I would build the quilt around the pieces.   I hope this is  works.

Purple and blue faced shapes and cut opening
Faced Circles

This shot shows the fabrics sewn together and ready for clipping and turning.  After I have done that step I will sew as close to the seam as possible so that when it is flipped it will lie flat.







There is lots of work ahead of me this week .    I will try to keep the studio tidy so I do not lose anything this time too.

Keep Crating Friends



Jan 26, 2012 Power

This morning I blew a fuse and lost the power in the studio.  What a way to make one come to a halt.   As I sat in the pale light that came through my bay window on this gray day, I was suddenly aware of how much I depend on this magical stuff we call electricity.   I was in the middle of sewing a seam so the stop really make me take notice.   How many items were on before it happened I asked myself?  The sewing machine of course, the two Ott lights on the desk, the two power bars of three lights that are over head, the iron, the two spot lights from taking pictures for the blog, the extra heat unit in the studio, and the light in the laundry room downstairs is also on this line.    And did I leave the light on in the closet when I went for fabric, I wondered?   That is a  high demand,  I thought, and some of that is unnecessary as well as a bit lazy on my part.  So I went around the room and turned off things- including the sewing machine as I like to always use the switch to start it, and went down to the basement to throw the fuse in the box.  In the process I discovered that the light  for the area leading to  the fuse box is also on that circuit and it was on because that leads to the laundry too.    I do not think that I have more items then most folks, but I do think I need to be more mindful of what I am using.  If the problem had been caused by a source that I could not fix my day would have really been stopped.   So with that in mind I will try to use power carefully, remembering to turn things off when not in use  and keep in mind what are  the consequences of its loss.  Electricity is a powerful material that one can easily take for granted until it is taken away.  So to keep the magic of Electricity in my studio I will be a better steward of its use.

 Progress  Report

DMC Challenge- Limber Loss and Slight Slip

I finished up Limber Loss this week.  I still need to do the pressing, but I am happy with the look. It continues the theme that was started with Amended Squares.

I like the way the units all work together here.  In the detail one can see the metal additions. They are the units off the bottom of candles that allow the candle to float.  In this case I trimmed off the points that stick into the wax.  You can also see the close alignment of the bugle beads to create the circle



Slit Slip is coming along nicely too.  I have completed the quilting and I am almost done with the facings.( you can see the last ones on the bottom.   I plan to use beads between the two units to connect them and create one big irruglar shape with it.

Slit Slip


Re Work – The Moon She Called Me

I have given lots of works away this year as a part of  my Project Divest , but there are some works that I am finding in that process that need a bit of  sprucing up.  So I have saved them to do just that.  This old piece has been hanging on the back of the door for mouths.  I decided to  add a moon to the surface of the work and add some additional quilting.   Here is were I am sorry to say that I have not taken enough photos so the progress is not documented.   I am still learning.  I made several moons and they have been rejected-Too small, too transparent, too busy and finally I created on that I was happy with.  This Moon is water marked satin with  dark fabric underneath and lots of free motion quilting on top.

The Moon She called Me

Adventure Challenge-  Black,White, and Burgundy

This is another case were the the act of creating go away from me.  I was having such a good time crating a background that it got far too complex. When I realized this I just kept going, but it will have to end in a different fashion as I do not want to use the bias strips on this surface, there is far too much action for that to work.  I am still using the three colors  that I had selected last week.

Black, White and Burgundy

Adventure Challenge- Bias Bound

This is the top I will apply the bias strips too.  It is much quieter and I hope I can make it work.   The same three colors are still in use.  I an thinking that I will cut it down a bit too.  But I must make the visual decisions visually.

Bias Bound













Paper Quilt

I had started this paper quilt last week.  I think I am going to call it Crannies.   But I still need to think on this title.  At the moment it is cut and there are a few openings.  This is and in progress piece.

Crannies- in progress




I have lots of options for this at this point and I am still running them around in my mind and on the pin wall.








I plan to spend a lot of time in the studio this week and hopefully make progress on many fronts.  I hope to  get the post from  the 5th of Jan fixed this week too.  Every entry gives me more confidence and helps me do a better job I think.  There is still a long way to go- but each mistake is a part of the growth process.

Keep Creating




Getting Started January 19, 2012

It was so very cold this morning and still dark- I so wanted to stay in bed…….. But others needed rousing and the day would not do its self, so I rolled out and did the morning rituals.    Still unexcited I then off to the studio.   I had  a “no mind” project to work on- the Scrap Happy quilt.   So I stared  by sewing on the pre-pinned row of blocks.  Before I knew it  I was sewing on the last row and an hour had passed.  My mind was fully engaged in how I wanted to attempt the problem that was on the pin wall.  I realized I had won against the winter doldrums……” Just  DO IT” as the saying goes.  It really dose work- that plus stopping on a project were the next step is obvious really dose not hurt either.

Progress Report

Pink Button Necklace

  Completed Button necklace in pink and cream

This project is now done.  I am working on getting the instructions completed too.  They will go up as a tutorial when that is finished.  My goal is to have that complete by next Thur.  I am still cleaning up details and I know I need to write read, re read let some time pass and check again before I put up instructions so it takes me time to do it correctly.






Adventure Challenge

Last week I talked about getting inspiration from some of my older books, and I think this will be a fun thing to do. I decided to use the Louis Ericson book Design&Sew it Yourself   for the first project to try.  I selected  to do some work with bias strips. I loved the look of the frogs in the book so I sort of started with that in mind.  But the material I selected- a black and white print was far too busy for the fancy work of the cords to show up.  Perhaps later I can try that.  So I built a background of light green,  with a pale purple and white strip across it.Light green and pale purple background with black and white bias loops pined to the surface.  Then making a visual decision visually, I decided that this did not show off the bias to its best advantage and created a new color combo to use the strips on. Image of burgandy and black and white fabricsand the bias tap This works a lot better for my eye.  So I will build a new platform for the bias work using these fabrics.

Blue Fantasy

I have been working on this quite little piece for a while.  I hold onto fabric for a long time as I made the marbleized fabric in a class at Quilting By the Lake before 1985.  

I enjoyed applying the bead work and french knots to the surface to enhance the marbleized area.   It is now a completed work.  I like the horizonal format and the  close color palate.Full shot of the quilt showing the fianl layout with the beadwork and the final quiltingDMC Project

There are several quilts in this project that I worked on this week.

Amended Squares is the oldest one.  As the pictures shows I have done a lot of the machine quilting and some bead work here.  I feel that it is complete at this point.


This sloution is far less clutterd than the first attempt with this lay out.  I am still very close to the works and find they both have strong points.   I do feel that this one is a better place to work from for the next two in the series however and so I kept the others similar in feel and simplicity.



Limber Loss is the next one in the series and they are Marty’s colors and her lay out of the pieces.    I think it is a fine complement to Amended Squares.Limber Loss is in the bead application process.

Slit Slip

  This is the third in the revised  DMC series.   I really altered this lay out one- but I followed the rule 5- If you want to do it- DO IT.   I am plan to join the two units with beads in the opening….. I hope I can pull this off successfully.






Paper Quilts

I enjoyed my work with the openings on the paper quilt that I worked on  last week that my mind went running in a new direction with that concept.  So I painted up two more colored paper piles and built two addition surfaces to work on.  No titles yet but that will come as I play with the work.  I am enjoying the process.

   I hope the week will be a good one you.

Keep Creating