Tuesday 5 February 2019

Texture: Basket Weave

First, I apologize for this post being so late.  Some of you know that I had a computer issue a few weeks ago and it seemed that Microsoft struck again.  But I am up and running and still resisting replacing my Win 7 desk top.

When I read the theme for this quarter was texture, I pretty much knew what I wanted to try.  I wanted to use fabric to create a basket weave effect. The squares are 4 inches and the black is just 1/4 inch.

I don't think it turned out too bad.  It looks a little wonky, but wonky is trending right now, isn't it?  Or maybe just in stars.

I'll be posting about this piece on my blog:

Sunday 3 February 2019

New Theme

Thank you all for making and sharing such wonderful Texture quilts :)

We now have eleven themes left in the hat:

1.            The sea
2.            A walk in the park
3.            Memories
4.            A quilt inspired by a newspaper headline
5.            Emotions feelings
6.            Opposites attract
7.            Colour theory
8.            Dreams
9.            Wishes
10.         A scene from a book
11.         Raindrops keep falling on my head

And Mr Random Number Generator has selected...

Number 11 - Raindrops keep falling on my head! 

I have no idea who suggested this theme but I can't wait to see how everyone is going to interpret it :D

Please be sure to have your quilt ready to publish for the deadline. 

The deadline for this quarter will be May 1st 2019 at 10.00am GMT. 

If you have any questions or problems arise, please feel free to email me (Janine) or Catherine at any time.

In the meantime, please post here, on The Endeavourers Blog, with any thoughts, ideas or techniques you'd like to share. 

Happy Sewing!

Doodle Quilting - having fun with quilt texture!

Apologies for the late post!  We had stomach flu in the house this week and I am much delayed in everything.  Here is my take on the challenge of Texture:

My friend Paula first showed me the Art Therapy range of adult colouring books and straight away I loved the patterns and saw how similar, and how well, they could translate to quilting.  I thought this could be a fun way to explore texture that is created by varying quilt pattern and density.
These three are my favourite of these types of books.  I have not once coloured any of the gorgeous images in!  I take them out, admire them, feel inspired and somehow they end up back in the bookcase but this time I took out my A3 sketch board and had fun doodling shapes inspired by the books!
I found out that I liked dense bits with echo lines creating space around the doodles to let them breather a bit!

Thinking of that echo line I remembered a drawing I did for the Pictorial Ticker Tape Quilts I teach in a 1/2 day to full day workshops.  This cow was a quick sketch using my finger (couldn't find the pen) on an app on the iPad.  This is why the line is so thick.  I thought quilting on either side of this line would give me the echo outline and a frame work to have fun with some fillers and doodles.
Using an app for the Slate 2 tablet I got for Christmas, I had fun playing with fillers.  The app made a 15 second video of the drawing so I thought it might be fun to share it with you here.  If you want to find out more about the app see my blog Charly & Ben's Crafty Corner or visit ISKN-the Slate 2 here.
Then it was onto fabric with a bit of sketch stitching in black thread.  And some free motion quilting.

And some straight line background quilting.  Things I learned: use a darker background or thicker white thread to make the white bit pop more,  Thread sketching is fun, Fill in doodle quilting is lots of fun,  Spirals make for great texture and pebbles make for for a great animal nose filler!

I hope this light hearted take on the challenge is ok.  I'm so glad I got the opportunity to have a play and finally get some use out of those books!

Friday 1 February 2019

Wendy's Texture Challenge

This is Wendy's February Reveal but I (Janine) am posting it here for technical reasons. Please visit her blog to see her post and find out more about this beautiful quilt. You can find her post here:

Texture on February 1st

Greetings Fellow Endeavourers!

Having been a member of this group since its inception but, due to a series of bizarre life events, having never actually finished a quilt to post, I am thrilled to have something to show you this time around.

I have always wanted to try my hand at a Cathedral Windows quilt and this seemed a good time to give it a whirl. It's made of nine blocks and measures 14 in / 35.5 cm square. The learning curve was surprisingly steep. I groused to myself that I would finish this sucker and never do another. But, I found little tricks and fixes as I went along, and things came out better as I kept sewing.

The blocks are machine zig-zagged together which is something I would not do again as it makes the intersections at the corners quite thick. The curves of the windows are hand stitched, which is something I like to do -very zen. The buttons add texture and interest and, most importantly, camouflage above referenced crappy intersections.

The background is white muslin, the windows are a fabric by Alex Anderson from a line called "Flutter," and the buttons are from an old shirt of my husband's. And, I see it is snowing softly as I look out my kitchen window.

I wish you all many blessings as we enter February!
Smiles, Maureen


Ain't nobody here but us chickens

Actually it's a cock because they have the nost flamboyant plumage. I love the quills that overlay the feathers creating extra texture in the plumage

I have chickens so I should have chosen one of them!

I used some felting to do the comb amd wattle but I kept catching it in the presser foot. I added it before quilting thinking it would be easier to attach to a single layer of fabric but I think I should have on last

The quills were made from thin strips of dyed t-shirting which was then pulled to make thin curly strips

I echo quilted around him

The lower part is shibori, indigo dyed fabric which looks like feathers. different coloured threads - mostly variegated - were used to echo and accentuate the outlines

This is quite small so I may revisit this topic on a larger scale as I like the subject matter and the greater use of texture than I would normally do

PS ignore the Brit in Brisbane! I can't sign out and post as www.thecraftyyak.com which is the blog I use now!

Texture: Bubbles and drips

This is the first reveal of 2019 for the Endeavourers.  Our theme this quarter was 'Texture', and this was a lovely one!  I so enjoyed thinking about the possibilities, and getting stuck into playing with fabric.

When I make a quilt for The Endeavourers I usually start by looking up the dictionary definition of our theme.  It kickstarts the thought processes and it's interesting sometimes comparing the entries in different dictionaries.

In this case, some dictionaries focussed on what you might think of as the obvious definition which describes texture as the tactile characteristics of something, which are experienced through touch.  Others added the idea that texture can be experienced visually too.  And others added another idea - that texture is the quality you get when you combine different elements, for example in literature or music, or even in life - you could say the way in which the elements, or strands, are 'woven together', which is a nice fabric metaphor!

Anyway, I started off by thinking about the tactile qualities of different fabrics and how the texture would work in a piece inspired by the visual texture of bubbles and drips in condensation on my window.  I find these patterns very beautiful and had been thinking for a while about how I could experiment with trying to capture some of their quality.

I sewed this strange piece using velvet and cotton,  and then added more texture with bubble quilting.   It looks quite organic and didn't seem to want to be square.

I made the larger white bubbles using a trapunto technique and the black ones using velvet behind 'portholes'.  The contrast in all the textures means that running your fingertips over it is strangely satisfying!

Having made this piece quite early I was still having so much fun thinking about the theme and was so interested in its possibilities that I made lots of experimental pieces which have started to form another quilt.   I was starting to hope that I might have been able to post it here instead but a disaster in quilting means the entire thing is waiting until I can face unpicking it.   I will finish it!  As always I am grateful for the opportunity this group gives to really think and explore.

Texture Quilt - Today We Will Live in Colour!

My quilt, today, is really a hotch potch of fabrics, threads and techniques with different textures and I enjoyed using - and in some cases using up - a wide variety of materials that have languished for a long time in my sewing room. It has persuaded me that all the random bits and pieces I wonder why I keep really will 'come in useful one day'. When the 'Texture' theme was announced, I really wasn't very enthused by it but now I'm a complete convert! I'm very grateful to be in this group. All of you are an encouragement and an inspiration to me to experiment and to learn new things and I'm very much looking forward to seeing what everyone has made for this challenge. There is a little rhyme and some more info about the making of this quilt on my blog, Rainbow Hare :)

Texture to Treasure

February Reveal for The Endeavourers.  

"We are a group of [12 international] quilters who take part in a quarterly challenge to make a smallish art quilt of any (reasonable) size according to a theme chosen at the beginning of the quarter.

We work in any style suggested by the theme, but once in a while, we will also throw a particular technique into the mix as an incentive to be adventurous."

You can read more about the group HERE. You can also see all the quilts from the members of the group HERE.

The theme for this quarter reveal is TEXTURE. 

This is what I found to use when the theme was first announced. 

As I progressed with this art quilt, I found other fabrics and materials to use. I changed the composition, too. 

My final piece, Treasuring Grandma's Memory, is completed (although I want to add a necklace hanging out of the jewelry box and add some type of leaves to the flowers). This is a photo of my mother-in-law. My husband is delighted with this tribute to her. 

Here are a few close-ups to let you see the types of texture I brought in to this art quilt. 
I tried to give the vase a smooth texture with the satin-like fabric. The idea of etching was done with stitches after I placed batting behind the satin. I trimmed the piece and appliqued it to the background fabric.

I made the jewelry box from a technique I watched Heather Thomas demonstrate on a preview video for National Quilter's Circle HERE. (No affliliation) Below are photos of how I did this.

Damp cloth poked through grate of cooling rack from kitchen to air dry, 

iron and attach stabilizer, 

ready to cut.

I found some synthetic suede-type fabric that had a backing on it. It looked great for a photo frame. 

I printed the photo on an EQ Cotton Lawn Inkjet printer sheet and I stabilized it with iron-on stabilizer. I cut an opening in the suede where the photo would show through from behind it. 

After appliqueing it to the background, I noticed that the stabilizer showed through on the edge just a bit. 
I used a brown Fabric marker to color the white. All fixed:

And finally, I used the batik background fabric to create a stucco appearance on the wall. The thought the colors created a patina and roughness of an old wall. 

Textile Challenge...Flotsam/Jetsam, Endeavorers

Flotsam/Jetsam, texture challenge small quilt, close up.

The backing floral had a beach grass/weedy look to me, just right.

About 18 x 18".

Flotsam/Jetsam, Texture Challenge Quilt finish.

The texture challenge was a good stretch for me. I wanted to keep this project light and uncluttered.
I started with a canvas made of squares of Kona cotton solid, smooth, and Robert Kaufman's Essex linen blend, rougher. And that got hand quilted, a start on texture.

Running stitches, French knots and cross stitches were added. Then I added shredded laces and fabric scraps rolled and couched down for a look of some odds and ends you might find washed up on the beach. And maybe the cross stitches are little star fish? 

So that's my take on texture stuff you might find on a beach.
 I look forward to seeing what everyone else has come up with and to more challenges,
Thank you.

It Started with a Caterpillar

I was on my daily walk, pondering our "Texture" theme.  "Let's see," I thought, "let me start with the basics.  There's the texture of cloth itself...I could do something with the cotton flower, cotton boll, and finished cotton cloth...No!  I have those cocoons!  I can do silk!"

With that thought, the whole idea popped into my head so quickly that I am a little afraid I must have seen something like it in a book.

Quite often on my walks I find these cocoons fallen out of oak trees.  Close up, the intricacy and luster of their strands is amazing, and I have written more about them here.

Close-up of strands.

One time I was lucky enough to find one unhatched, and kept it in the house until it broke out so I could discover what species it was.
Polyphemus moth.

I was also thinking about stitching the design of his antennae into the corners of the quilt.

I have some big pieces of vintage tussah silk that I bought years ago at an antique shop.    Tussah is defined as "a strong, coarse light brown silk produced by various undomesticated Asiatic silkworms," in Fairchild's Dictionary of Textiles. I love its sandy texture and strength.  For this quilt, I dyed some of it with Jacquard silk paints and Dyna-flow paints, but left some its natural color.

Then I mixed in Thai silk and Burma silk which I get every year from a fair trade booth at the International Quilt Festival.
Silk from Spirit of the Artisan.  Thai silk on the top, Burma silk on the bottom.
Both of these are changeable silks -- with warp one color, and weft another. Depending on the angle of the light, different colors appear. The Thai silk is very fine and regular in appearance, with a black warp and solid color weft -- both warp and weft are about equal in size.  The Burma silk also has warp is very fine, but the weft is much heavier than the warp, and has big slubs in it.   Some of the color combinations are gold warp with sea green weft, and royal blue warp with lavender weft.

Originally I planned to stitch some of the cocoons onto the quilt, to do a lot of stitching with silk thread, and maybe even to add some embellishments made from old silk scarves.  But as I worked, I just loved the contrast between the types of silk so much, subtle though they are, that I didn't want to add anything.  I just wanted it to invite viewers to touch it and feel the difference between the nubby tussah silk and the slubby lustrous silk.
Tussah and Taffeta (maybe not strictly silk taffeta, but it makes a good title).

The lighter blue is dyed tussah, the dark plum is Thai silk, and the shiny rose is Burma silk.

So even though our local cocoons and moths were my inspiration, they did not make it into this quilt!

The cocoon inspiration on the quilt corner.

I had many other ideas for this theme, and I hope I get around to making some of them.  And I know after I read the other posts, I will have even more ideas!


Oh this challenge was interesting... there are so many possibilities to create texture with textiles. When I read the announcement for this quarter theme I just didn't know where to begin. I wanted to do so much… but as I began narrowing down my ideas one kept coming back to me. The texture created by the different stitch techniques on quilted cloth. So that's what I did on this mini: I created sort of a sampler of organic improv stiches to create the texture: I machine quilted some wavy lines and then hand-quilted the rest with different stitches. Then added some French knots and raw applique flying geese for a more three dimensional look.
As you can see this quilt is very neutral. I love minimalist quilts, but also I purposely avoided color threads on this quilt. Instead I settled for using different thread weights on the same color as the background fabric so the stiches wouldn't pop to much. Rather let the texture left by the imprint of the stitches on the cloth be the main focus.
I've been enjoying these challenges and the community we have formed on this group. I'm really looking forward to the next one.
More photos on my blog