Friday, August 4, 2017

Stained Glass Shadows

My quilt project for this challenge incorporated paper piecing and 60 degree triangles to interpret Elizabeth's sub-theme Stained Glass Shadows. The idea that stained glass shines on a surface and casts a shadow of color on that surface was what we were to base our pieces on. 

The upper portion of my quilt is a paper pieced stained glass block I designed in EQ7.
The bottom portion used 60 degree triangles cut from lighter pastel fabrics 
than the fabrics used in the upper paper pieced block. 
They were sewn in relation to where the shadow colors from the stained glass might fall.

The quilting was used to accentuate the colorful shadows with their somewhat blurred effect on the surface of the containment.
It also helped define the grays of the stone work in which this window was housed.  

 For more information about my challenge piece, visit my blog. Thank you.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Stained Glass Shadows

I loved this theme, which Elizabeth suggested.

I went looking for stained glass shadows in the National Portrait Gallery

although I found most of my inspiration in Elizabeth's photographs, particularly the way the shadows where light wasn't falling looked purple.

My quilt is intended to capture the saturated colour and softened nature of the light where it falls, and the purple shadows and crisp shapes of the areas where it doesn't. Read more about it on my blog

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Colored Shadows

Colored Shadows.  A mini quilt made for my Four-in-Art Group.
This Quarters theme was light: Stained Glass Shadows

 I confess that I wish it had stayed more like this, more vibrant, but with time....and water,

 It ended up more muted.  My inspiration was the way the sun shines in through a stained glass window onto the floor tiles of some ancient cathedral.
 Just a fun teapot print for the back.
This mini finished up at 11.5" x 12.5"

You can visit my personal blog to see the details of the making of this mini at

Stained Glass and Shadows

Sadly, my shadows are not all I'd hoped for but you can see more about this quilt on Rainbow Hare, Janine :)

Rose Window

For the August 1, 2017 Challenge, the theme was Stained Glass Shadows, in the overall yearly theme of Light.
Rose Window
13 1/2" wide by 18" long
Quilt Number 185

I decided to focus on the colors left as the sun passes through stained glass windows, doing some improv piecing, then dense quilting to create this little piece.

You can read more about it on my blog, (which stands for OccasionalPiece-Quilt).  This is the penultimate challenge for 2017, as our last one for the year is November 1st.  Check back then to see all the talented quilters create for that theme.

James' Gift

Like most people I have always loved stained glass and the mesmerizing shadows it can cast.  And a few years back I even took a class and made my own piece which, sadly, doesn't cast much of a shadow.  Shortly after I retired I began making stained glass mosaics, even sold a few, and this one hangs in our house on the coast.

But more relevant to this post, stained glass is no stranger to our home in Virginia.  We have a portion of a door, reportedly from a Scottish dance hall:

along with several Frank Lloyd Wright inspired pieces, such as this one:

But my most treasured pieces were made by my friend, James Johnson.  We worked together in the title industry for a few years before he relocated to Phoenix.  During his tenure in Virginia, he became a trusted friend with a brilliant insight into the human race and a charming wit second to none.  These days we stay in touch via Facebook, fortunately!

James was around when my husband and I built our log home and one of his pieces is now a permanent fixture and was the inspiration for this post.   Let me introduce "James' Gift":

I say permanent because we actually mounted it into our bedroom door:

All the doors in our house are vintage and none match - a variety of panel styles, and this particular one lends itself to James' work beautifully.

My fabric interpretation of this, I fear, fails to convey the true beauty of the real thing, but I love it nonetheless!

The top portion is clearly the original piece, but the portion section is meant to convey how the dark red actually shows up in shadow.  The fabric used in the bottom, from Alison Glass, is truly JUST how it looks in reflection on the wall.

Shown next to the dove-tailed corners of the logs-- I think it looks perfect!

One other piece James made for us is this sweet flower which hangs in my bathroom window, happily:

Aren't I lucky to have such a talented friend?  These pieces are part of my life and always make me think of him!

For the backing of our Four-in-Art effort, I used a Michael Miller metallic piece which proved to be a challenge to quilt (and I immediately donated the remaining 8 fat quarters to our guild donation table!).

As always, the label is the part I most enjoy (although this go round it took a half dozen attempts to print, leaving me in a battle of wits with the printer).  And because of the metallic in the fabric, getting this thing to rest straight was impossible!

Although I was initially stumped with this sub-theme of "stained glass shadows", it proved to be a pleasant endeavor.  My thanks to James for his gift many years ago, which continues to bring enjoyment, and to Elizabeth for the challenge!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Four in Art: Light in the Darkness

The second quarter seems to have come around far too fast and it was certainly a scramble to get this done.

There were so many possibilities for directions with this one and this idea centred on the way light both reflects off glass in a city building and is lit from within at night.

You can read more about this on my blog

The Greatest Show on Earth...

My interpretation of Light in the Darkness, for May's reveal can be found on my blog. Apologies for slightly late posting, owing to computer issues this morning, Janine :)

Light in the Darkness

I loved thinking about the theme for this quarter.  It suggested lots of different ideas both about the physical nature of light, and about light - and the contrast between light and dark - as a metaphor.   You can read more about it on my blog today.

Shattered Moon by Simone Bradford

Detail of Shattered Moon in glow in the dark thread. 

Detail of Shattered Moon in boring non-glowing thread. 

Backyard Camping

With a sub-theme "light in the darkness", I realize my title, "Backyard Camping", could be misleading.  However, when considering all the  possibilities for this theme, I kept coming back to one of my favorite memories:  camping, whether in the backyard or the Girl Scout Camp or a state park.  I should note that my eyesight is terrible and has been since I was very little.  Because of this, I think, being in the darkness is something I adapt to pretty well -- and with a tiny bit of direct light (even the LED displays around the house) I'm good to go!  A flashlight, for me, is a beacon.
So, let me introduce "Backyard Camping":

In this piece I tried to focus on fabrics which helped tell the story -- that wonderful Marcia Derse piece for the tree, the many shades of green for the lawn by way of Paintbrush Studio Paint Chips, a wonderfully aged tan from Cherrywood Fabrics for the tent.  And although it is hard to see, there is a shimmery tea bag over the girl in the tent (my better half puts all coffee and tea grinds in our small garden and held onto the tea bag casings, thinking I might be able to use them for Four-in-Art - so totally thoughtful!).

I took this piece to the cemetery for her "filming" and if nothing else, it adds great filtered light.
The tree, the tent and the girl are all hand appliques;  the rest, machine pieced.  There is echo quilting around the tree and tent and while I had considered metallic work in the sky, it felt darker to leave it alone.

I read, a lot, and have since childhood.  And yep, Nancy Drew was my favorite for years (along with Trixie Belden, Donna Parker, Cherry Ames).  So, that girl, in the tent reading:  me, always!  And with a flashlight (which did not make the cut in this piece).

For the backing I hit my stash for a wonderful little "camping" scenario - how perfect!

Usually I love getting to the label.  This time I so enjoyed putting together this story that the end was somewhat bittersweet.  But summer is almost here and we live away from the city lights so spending time outside at night, on a porch or walking around at dusk,  brings back the feel of "backyard camping".

Halfway There

I write about Halfway There, an illustration of a sleepless night while recovering from recent surgery, on my blog,  Many thanks to Camilla for such a great quarterly challenge.

Four-In-Art: Light In The Darkness: Triquetra

This quilt is my Quarter 2 contribution to Four-In-Art: Light in the Darkness.

The Gospel is presented as the Light to the People and Jesus as the Light of the World.

This quilt represents the Trinity in a Celtic Knot. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit with the ring of eternity.

The gold lame represents the light.

I was directly inspired by the film The Secret of Kells

You can visit my personal blog *here* for a longer explanation of my inspiration.

Light in the Darkness

The photo below is the design I created as interpretation on this quarter's reveal sub-theme "light in the darkness."
Please visit my blog (Patchwork Breeze) for more details about this small quilt.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Shimmery Tunnel of Memories

Shimmery Tunnel of Memories, Quilt #177
Four-in-Art, Series Four: Light
10 1/2″ wide 16″ high

I had fun trying to recreate a rainbow-hued interpretation of Multiverse, a work of art in the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC.  Please visit my blog at Occasionalpiece-Quilt ( to see more of the story.

This is the first quilt in our fourth year of making quilts together. Our little group is so talented at interpreting all aspects of our changing yearly themes, with four quarterly challenges.  

I also have a deconstruction post coming up on my blog where I talk about how this is the completely wrong title, but it will have to stay because I'm not making a different label.  It will post later this week with the intended title.

Shimmering Ponds

My reveal of Shimmering Ponds was paper pieced using batiks and shiny silver lame. 
I pieced the fabrics in different ways to show that the ripples of water can move in different ways depending upon conditions. The lame shows the shimmering and glimmering of the movement.

I was pleased that the sun was brightly shining on the snow today so my photo enhanced the silver lame in the paper piecing. 

I will have my blog post up (a day late) on February 2, 2017


Here is my Shimmer reveal for February. More about the making of this quilt can be found at Rainbow Hare, Janine :)

Light: Shimmer: Lips!

This 12"x12" quilt is my Art Quilt for Quarter One.
For more details you can visit my personal blog: The Life of Riley

Light: Shimmer

For this theme I took inspiration from way the light bounced around in the facets of my cut glass doorknob and cut into blocks and used gold fabrics to reflect the patterns I saw there.  You can read more on my blog

Light Shimmer

This theme inspired me to notice again the patterns that light makes on calm water; which I'm fortunate to have had the opportunity to observe from my kayak, whether on the sea, lakes or river.

Here is what I came up with and if you'd like to read more you can do that here on my blog.

Sun Shimmer, Filtered

Light:  Shimmer:  Sun Shimmer- filtered

When our theme for this year, Light/Illumination, was announced, it scared me a bit.  My fear was not what subject matter to choose, rather that there were so many possibilities and how to pare down the choices into something I could translate with fabric (always a challenge).  And while sunlight in the tree tops surrounding our "house in the woods" was my first choice, that idea fell by the way when I realized it could easily end up being more a study in shadows.

I then turned to my favorite place for shimmer:  sunlight on water (specifically my beach, Emerald Isle, NC).  In all its sweetness, I give you the sun AND

 Sun Shimmer - filtered.

My large selection of yellows gave me plenty of choices for sun colors.  The water interpretation proved more difficult until I remembered some wonderful hand-dyed pieces in my stash from (she presented at our guild and I've used her pieces in many things).  I wanted something which appeared more reflective than just water.

The next challenge was identifying the actual sun with some "shimmer".  This became trial and error:  an overlay proved unsuccessful and the glitter cooperated only slightly better.  In the end I left the "cooperative glitter" and added beading.

What I enjoyed most about making this piece was the chance to work with random curves.  Like many quilters, curves unnerve me, but these were gentle and they cooperated and it was just fun!

I quilted this piece in silver metallic thread and used the same thread for a raw-edge binding.  Traditional binding would have drawn the eye to the outer edges and taken away from my desired view.

Folks often chide me for the size of my stash, but when I don't have to leave home to shop for the perfect fabric - like this backing - I'm happy!  In this piece I see fractured light.    And clearly Mr. Sun approves.

Each time I affix the label to my piece, I marvel at the number we have done.  AND I wonder if, some day down the road, I may want to make one large quilt out of them.  But for now I simply enjoy placing them around the house and rotating them from time to time.

Another Four-in-Art in the books!  And now I'll look forward to our May 1, 2017 reveal.