Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A new theme...

As everyone seems to be ready for it, here is our new theme:


I hope you'll enjoy researching on this subject, but don't eat too much of it!

We have three months this time, right?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Thank You!

I can't even express to you all how excited and delighted I've been to check the blog all day and find all of the gorgeous and different Dandelion entries in our first challenge! I *knew* this would be a wonderful and inspirational group. I'm also rather thrilled that we have all been so eager that all twelve of posted our quilts on the first of our "timed release" dates! I so appreciate the enthusiasm with which you have jumped into this challenge.

So, thank you ALL for contributing these pieces. They show such talent and creativity and skill. I know I'll be looking back at these quite often.

I'm honored to have my work among yours and I am looking forward to seeing what comes next!

Nikki's Dandelion

Dandelion Wine

Yellow cotton fabric, yarns, glass and seed beads, brads, artificial flowers, raffia, wire, embroidery floss, metallic thread, ribbon, buttons
I took the color yellow and started exploring every kind of embellishment idea I could discover. First I raided my stash at home and then hit every department at JoAnn's. I began by needle felting six different yarns onto a base fabric. I then used embroidery floss to stitch X's and french knots. I next added the beads, brads, buttons and fake flowers. I then sewed on puffs of several other yarns, bits of ribbon and yellow raffia. I then quilted this onto a backing fabric with gold embroidery floss and bound the edges with several yarns. The last touch was the wire swirls and springs. Who said less is more!

Gerrie's Dandelion


Whew!! I have been working and working to get this done and photographed and chronicled on my blog. You can see the complete process there. It has a base of over dyed cotton which I discharged using Soft Scrub. I made thermofax screens from a photograph. I altered it in Photoshop and made it in 3 different sizes. I stitched it with variegated hand-dyed Perle cotton.

I love all the pieces that have been posted. It truly shows our individuality and showcases our unique creativity. Can't wait to hear what Francoise has in store for us.

Oh MY Goodness... I REALLY feel as if I'm in over my head! Your quilts are truly amazing!! I'm sorry to have been silent for such a long time,too. We've been very very busy with a new business. Anyway, to the quilt -

Well, the first thing I had to do was overcome my dislike of dandelion yellow. I failed. I enjoy looking at it, but working with it was just too stifling. Besides that, I realised that my favourite stage of dandelions is when they have lost all of their seeds and are left green and alone.

While I was thinking about this project I went through a week of having an old favourite R.E.M. cd looping in my car and the words of the song "Wendell Gee" started to merge with the images of dandelions. Suddenly the seeds blowing away became symbolic of freedom, abandonment and even death. I'm not sure I can even articulate my feelings, but there is such a beauty in the concept of flying into the wind. It could even be seen as a metaphor for our lives (anyone who knows me and my husband knows that we are 50% gypsy and we move house A LOT)!!

ps apologies for the photo quality (it's blurry AND the darn thing doesn't even look square). I will try to replace this with a better one tonight, but I must get to work!
No time to say goodbye

*Edited* with (hopefully) a slightly better photo - this one is stubbornly difficult to photograph! Thank you all SO much for the lovely, encouraging comments (Deborah, you sweetie!). The lyrics of "Wendell Gee" by R.E.M have me thinking of my son who died very suddenly at home four years ago. James had Down Syndrome and significant congenital heart defects, so we had known for most of his sixteen years that the time would come when he would move on. I must stress, this isn't a painful or sad memory (hard to explain really), more of a recollection of how quick and without warning a soul's departure can be, how fragile that little seed's anchorpoint on the dandelion head really is. Onward we fly, to other things...

PS Looking forward to Chocolate :)

OK, I promise this is the LAST time I will edit this! Just wanted to add that my blog post today has some construction details if you are interested in such things.

Where does all the yellow go?

My quilt started with the title, which at first was little more than a mental wail of desperation. You were all posting pretty photographs of the dandelions in your gardens and I was stuck in inner city London trying to find inspiration and wondering where all the yellow went in cities. Or indeed where the yellow in the petals of a dandelion went when it turned white.

The next week I went on the prowl in city centre Leeds. The answer to the first question became apparent - the only yellow in city centres is in warning signs of all descriptions. Later, feeling philosphical I wondered: what is the point of a dandelion? Maybe it is nature's warning flower. Warning! Life is short and fades. Notice it and enjoy it while you have it!

I snapped away with the camera and particularly liked the crusty texture on the pedestrian crossing sign. The dire warning of death by electrocution was right outside my hotel.
I was rather pleased my developing plan to do a dandelion quilt with no real yellow in as I hate yellow and, at Festival of Quilts in August, even got a friend to try to help me buy yellow fabric to even out my stash. She failed and I sayed in my comfort zone of autumnal shades! However, the weekend after Leeds, I was at the Great Northern Show in Harrogate and spotted this fabric which was so perfect it enabled my to move away from my comfort zone. The buttons just jumped into my hand and got me all excited.

I pieced the three strips of the background and appliqued the photos on with zigzag and monofilament for no other reason than that when I printed them out on one sheet I forgot to space them with a quarter inch all round to allow for piecing!

Each black column has dandelions quilted in monofilament with yellow in the bobbin. Again, by accident, the tension used on a sample allowed occasional tiny bits of the bobbin thread to peek through. I left it like that because it looked to me like the yellow was just at the last stage of disappearing into seed heads. I quilted on the yellow strip following the shape of the flowers.

Originaly I was going to use a photo of the seed head at the bottom of the falling petals but it ruined the balance of the compostion, so I used it as a label instead.

[at present Blogger refuses to upload more photos - I will post the label when it is behaving!]

My first art quilt, first photo printing, first use of monofilament and buttons. Loved the experience. Thanks Diane, bring on the next one Francoise!

Never Say Never!

Piece de Resistance

Despite once declaring otherwise, I was prompted to revisit the shibori-style stitch resist dyeing technique when it occured to me that the larch motif would make a splendid dandelion seed head. In another departure from my usual methods, this piece is hand quilted with concentric circles and radiating lines.

So Exciting!

How thrilling to check the blog today and see such amazing artwork popping up every hour or so. Wow. Here is my contribution.

I used a somewhat improvisational technique of building up a composition of various fabrics. I stitched some. I fused some and some got caught up in the stitching of the piece next to it. I have always been drawn to a layout that is reminiscent of an altar or shrine. It seems like that presented itself here also. Then I added some surface design with the yellow/orange stamped circles and a bit of machine stitching in the shape of a dandelion's spikey leaves. And then -- of course -- the hand embroidery.

I finished with a traditional binding, but gave it some character with a simple blanket stitch extended from the white section on each side -- embellished with a small bead in each stitch. This idea came from "thr3fold" journal, a wonderful publication by Linda and Laura Kemshall.

I am thrilled with this little beaded section. I think it's my favorite element of the whole piece. (I won't tell you my less-than-favorite elements, though that might be an interesting discussion.)

Kristin's Dandelions

I was inspired by all the dandelions that keep popping up through my kids: text books, craft projects, TV shows, seasonal inspiration, poems, etc. I tried to make something that was childlike, but didn't look like I handed the project over to my kids to make (not that they wouldn't have done a great job). Big stitches, button embellishments and ric-rac all seemed to say KIDS to me.

I was also pulled in a completely different direction. While thinking along the lines of "what's a very Kristin thing to do?" I thought of the distorted hexagons I've used before, which led to the traditional "Grandmother's Flower Garden" quilts, which led to the title "Grandmother's Flower Garden is Overrun by Dandelions." It was too good to pass up.

The dandelions are very dimensional yo-yos and the Pusteblume are machine thread lace which you can see through.

This is what the back looks like:

Blowin' in the Wind

Here's my dandelion piece.

My ideas about what I wanted to portray about dandelions changed as I explored this theme, but I always came back to featuring the delicate puffs and the spikey leaves.
I started by needle-felting some silk organza into a piece of hand-dyed cotton. The puff you see is actually the back of the felting -- that is, the threads pushed through the cotton are what creates the puffs here.
I machine-quilted in the stems and leaves.
The hand-dyed cotton base set the scene for this, so machine quilting was just about filling foliage in to suit the contours provided by the existing color.
Once I quilted in the shapes of the leaves, I was tempted to stop there. But as I want this challenge to push me to try things I don't typically do, I went further. I added hand-embroidery for detail in the puffs and drifting seed heads, then added more color with pastel crayons.

Karen's Dandelion

This piece was made using my embellisher so there is no thread involved, only 7 needles pushing the fabric into the felt below. I used silk, rayon, nylon and cotton fabrics. The purple is pieces of fabric I chopped up and sprinkled on the felt. I then covered the whole thing with tulle and "embellished" it.

Terry's Dandelion

Weeds are Flowers Too . . .

Once I discarded my all too complicated dandelion design, I knew that I wanted to focus in very closely on just one blossom. My original designs came in handy to blow up and find just the parts I wanted to show. As I was working on the dandelion I was working concurrently on another project, which included a photo of a field of flowers. Close inspection of the photo showed that there was a bee that had landed on one of the flowers and I knew then that my dandelion would have to host that same bee. And just as we all began to see dandelions everywhere once our theme was set, I began to see bees everywhere, including the disturbing story, on 60 Minutes this week about how the bees are disappearing.

For this piece I used my usual methods, using commercial prints, which I paint and manipulate. The design is fused and machine quilted.

P.S. Helen asked about posting a tutorial of my techniques. There is one on my blog here.

Terri's Dandelion

12x12 dandelion quilt
Ferocious Dan

When we found out our theme was 'dandelion', I didn't know immediately what I would make. I enjoyed looking at many dandelion photos, and wondered if I'd make a dandelion while still in it's bright yellow stage, or if I'd make a dandelion after it was all fluffed up.

I entertained a few scenarios in my head and all of a sudden a light bulb came on and I immediately knew what I wanted to do. I have so much fun watching my cats romp and play outside that sometimes I think they resemble miniature lions in the jungle.

I drew and painted the main design on fabric and appliquéd it to the background. I then dyed some Lutradur with Dye-Na-Flow. I cut out graduating round shapes and cut petal shapes into them. I attached those to the background and added in some fiber for the dandelion centers. The two large dandelions are three dimensional. In the upper area of the background I free-motion stitched some dandelion flower shapes.

Francoise's dandelions

This is the first dandelion quilt I completed. I used my own dyed fabrics. Some are shibori dyed. I embroidered and quilted by hand.
This is the second one. Last Sunday, I decided to try and save the yellow dandelion I had worked on last month. All the fabrics are hand-dyed too. And everything is machine stitched. By the way the stitching looks a bit crooked, but it isn't in real...
Both quilts are inspired by the pictures I took in my garden when Diane first gave us her theme.
Pfff... it's done! Now I can concentrate on the next theme, that I'm still the only one to know.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Dandelions everywhere!

Well it's 30 October in New Zealand and I could post my challenge entry quilt but instead here is an advertisement from an inflight magazine from my trip over here:

Those are dandelions, right!?

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Contenders

In additon to my warm up dandelion thread drawing, I have completed three other quilts as part of this challenge. Here is a glimpse of the contenders.

Incidentally, despite my best intentions, none of these quilts is exactly 12x12 inches so I do hope we are adopting a generous de minimis* approach!

*de minimis non curat lex [Latin] The law does not concern itself with trifles; -- a principle of law, that even if a technical violation of a law appears to exist according to the letter of the law, if the effect is too small to be of consequence, the violation of the law will not be considered as a sufficient cause of action, whether in civil or criminal proceedings.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Almost done

This one is already in the recycling bin...
But I'm almost finished with the next one. You can have a (very) tiny peek at it on my blog.
And... I've chosen the new theme. When would you like to know about it?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

And another thought . . .

Sorry, I'm on a roll tonight.

I was just thinking about how to post these things. I think it would look great if we agreed on a format and each post was formatted the same way.

Here's my suggestion:
Name the post (your name)'s Dandelion, ie "Terry's Dandelion". Post the photo, centered. If we each post a photo that is 400 pixels by 400 pixels, that is a good size for the blog and all will be the same size. Then, below the photo, write whatever statement you want to make about the piece, as well as its name if it has one. Diane suggested we post between Oct. 30 and Nov. 2.

I'm done!

I've been crazy busy for the last month, so haven't commented here much, but I just finished my dandelion. Here is a tease—a little bit of it.
Diane asked if we started with one idea and then headed off in a different direction. I did, absolutely. I started out with a quote in mind and a very complicated drawing that I showed here. I lost the quote, changed the image and late in the process another project I was working on gave me a whole new idea for the dandelion piece. I can't wait to show you!

Overrun by Dandelions

Francoise, pick our next theme carefully -- because whatever it is, I'm bound to be surrounded by it for 2 months!

Is this just happening to me? Or are you finding that dandelions greet you wherever you go?

I recently finished a really terrific novel by Patricia Gaffney, "Mad Dash." It's the story of a woman in her late 40's whose mother has just died, and her daughter has departed for college, and she's going through what she knows is a crazy emotional, empty-nest, mid-life crisis sort of phase. The arrival of a new puppy on the scene brings various aspects of her marriage into sharp relief, and she sets out to decide what she wants her life-from-here-on-in to be. I was totally charmed by the author's style and the character's voice and by the humorous and pointed comments about married life.

Anyway, upon finishing it I popped into to see what other books I might find by the same author, and lo and behold, this is the first one that came up. Charming cover, eh?!

(and, from an artistic point of view, fascinating that I associate green and yellow with dandelions and yet this is such a direct sense of "dandelion," that puff floating against a blue and white sky.)

Friday, October 19, 2007

We're SO trendy!

Have any of you been watching "Pushing Daisies?" For those of you out of the US, it 's a new tv show that just started airing, and it's very clever. It's a fairy-tale-esqe story of a fellow who discovered as a kid that if he touched anything dead, it would come back to life...but if he touches it again, it dies again forever. Discovering that his childhood sweetheart has been murdered, he brings her back to life - but now can never touch her.

I know, it sounds downright lame. But what is so interesting about this is that the program is written so well. It's funny, almost campy, and it is meant to be a light-hearted story. The visuals are gorgeous --there isn't a set or scene that looks like the real world. Everything is in brilliant, fairy-tale colors. It's really fun to watch ... and every detail is cleverly perfect. And the humor is charming. There's a big hulking detective (who teams with Our Hero to bring murder victims back to life to ask them who killed them and then bring the murders to justice and --oh yes-- collect the rewards) who knits on the sly (little socks to hide his stash of reward money!) and has been known to save them from disaster with a knitting needle. I laughed aloud when the narrator said something like, "there's nothing like a comforting stockinette stitch when you're feeling blue."

Anyway. The reason I'm posting it here is that I just watched the second episode online. (You can stream the show at your convenience from the website by downloading their player.) And the second episode was about a car manufacturer making an experimental car that runs on dandelions! The scenes in the car factory are really fun -- including the girls in dandelion costumes (see above!) And dandelion imagery and colors are everywhere in this episode.

It was highly entertaining, and great dandelion inspiration. Apparently we're ahead of the curve on recognizing that dandelions are IN!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

New Look + New Website

You may have noticed that the blog has a new look. This is to complement the new Twelve by Twelve website:

As we complete each challenge, the gallery pages on the website will be populated with images and details of our quilts. In the meantime, you will find profiles of the Twelve by Twelve artists. Check it out and e-mail me if you find any broken links or other strange happenings.

Changing directions and reveal date

Brenda's comment below made me wonder how many of us had a specific dandelion image in mind, or color scheme, or a direction they thought they were going, and then ended up going in a different direction?

That sure happened for me.

When we post our final results, perhaps each artist can talk a bit about her process, too?

Did we ever settle on a specific "reveal" date or time? How about they can be posted any time between October 30 and November 2?


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Some Dandelion Imagery

I have such a busy October. I am trying to stay on task with this. Thank goodness it is a relatively small quilt. I just took a class in "Transferology" with Wendy Huhn. I took some laser copies of some dandelions and here are some of the images that resulted. The top one is a gel transfer to fabric. The bottom left is a Citrasolve transfer to silk charmeuse - quite lovely, but didn't photograph well. The bottom right is a gel skin or decal, made by layering gel on the image and letting it dry, then washing off the paper. The resulting gel decal can be glued to fabric and stitched, like fabric.

Today, I played with the fluffy dandelion in Photoshop and came up with this image which I plan to use to make a Thermofax screen. Not sure what I am doing with all of this, but something will emerge!! BTW, I don't understand how all you "blogspot" bloggers get along with blogger. Posting photos is a pain!!!!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Sneak Preview

Here's a bit of what's going on in my Dandelion world... I'm having fun!

Saturday, October 13, 2007


I too have finished. I think its fair to say I have gone for simplicity, but I have tried several things that were new for me and I like the result. Can't wait for the grand reveal!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Blog Button Code

At present I am working on a couple contenders for the Dandelion challenge and still the ideas keep coming! Meanwhile I have also prepared a button for the 12x12 blog:
Twelve by Twelve group blog
Here is the code that you can cut and paste into your blog side bar if you wish:

<a href="">
<img src="" alt="Twelve by Twelve group blog" /></a>

Please e-mail me if you require any assistance. (The image url was updated on 24 November 2007 so you may need to update your coding accordingly so the image shows up in Firefox.)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Reject

I'm done! Finished my dandelion quilt last night. I felt so sure that I would use the fabric shown in my dandelion quilt. But in the end, the poor thing, it was passed over for more appropriate cloth. The deadline is nearing, I'm getting anxious for the first revealing.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Me too!

I also have some work in progress!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Some progress

Been working on our challenge... Not sure I'll go further with this design. 12 x 12 is a new size for me to work with. I've often worked smaller, and I've worked larger, of course... At least, now that I've tried a design, I know what 12 x 12 means!
I've also been thinking a lot about the next theme...

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Birth of a Website

This week I am working on developing a personal quilting website for a new client. While I am in web designer mode, I took the liberty of registering the domain name and putting an "under construction" page in place. See: - A Collaborative Art Quilt Challenge

If there is no objection, I propose to develop the website to showcase our theme challenges and link back to our various blogs and websites. If we go down the exhibition path, we can also list our exhibition schedule!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Karen's Dandelions

Well I think I've finished my dandelion piece (unless I change my mind) and I'm wondering how we want to post this. My thinking is we should either wait until everyone is done or wait until Nov. 1st and post them at the same time. Any ideas?