Thursday, December 19, 2013

Season's Greetings

I have been busy but finally getting a few hours for working on larger fused piece. Have been working an acrylic abstract painting for a bit each day. There will be many layers on this! Think I have had too strong idea of what I want and need to just go with the flow now. And I have not started Passage(s) yet.
Hope you are having a nice, safe, healthy holiday season. -Sher

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


I suggested "Passage" as the next word, but still not sure it's my turn. Next year, if we still have interest!' I would be open to having an inspirational quote or phrase as well as individual word. Maybe we already settled that the selector can do that. Comments? Is anybody out there?

Bandana Memories sequel

I made a few minor changes to the top, quilted with mostly meandering and bound it with zig zag stitiching- 2 layers of black and 1 each of 2 different variegated threads. Then I decided it was OK but a bit small (12"w x 13" tall) for all the effort and too small for my wall space. So I made a Jean Wells type of quilt "frame" - separate quilt and hand-stitched the edges of the small one to the larger. The fused small one has Quilter's Dream cotton batting, which works well for heavy fusing. I used Hobbs wool in the larger for a little more loft in it. It's on my LR wall. Overall size is 18"w 21" tall. One lesson for me is how important scale is. This is mostly viewed up close and works well that way, but when viewed from 20' away in my kitchen the detail is all lost which is expected. But it reads as blocks of blues, blocks f creams, blocks of greens, etc around the red shed. When I do a larger one that this was practice for, I will try to have more of the main colors in more areas while still trying to keep good sized patches of colors. I will need larger pieces. Also should give me more options for quilting lines. I welcome critiques.

Monday, October 28, 2013

"Bandana" Memory Collage

Since I am always late, I am trying to get this posted early. It is only "pieced," not quilted yet. I fused it. I got inspired to follow the memories of young me on my parents' first farm in Iowa. I was always happiest outside, flying around the rusty machinery and barn buildings on my own legs or my trike, my head wrapped in scarf or bandana due to ear-aches from the wind. Although too young to verbalise it then, I treasured adventure, fresh air, the colors and landscape. That has remained a constant throughout my life.
I took 2 digital photos locally in TX not IA - a rusty,
blue trash bin and a rusty, red metal shed; printed them on my ink jet and incorporated them in my collage. There are some reddish, triangular bandanas flying around the piece too. I took Sue Benner's 2 day workshop Cut & Collage last month. I started a large piece, but came home and realized I could do a smaller one to practice and get back into it on my own plus have a smaller one to quilt before tackling the large fused one. She warned us that edges can get caught easily when machine quilting, as I will do. This ended up to be 12"w x 13" high. Will finish it with multiple layers of zig-zag stitched edges after quilting. It is easier for me to do this without working to an exact size for now. It feels like painting with fabric, and is very addictive. I completed the top in 2 1/2 hours, not counting the digital photo taking and printing. I used leftover pre-fused fabric I had prepared for Sue's class. Very good for me to do small pieces, then go big.Which I want to do. Going to be at IQF for next 4 days.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Late Rust

After surviving a two-day moving sale, I am finally getting around to posting my offering for this challenge:

I have been doing a bit more experimenting with raw edge applique--no fusible, just fabric on fabric joined with thread, and, since those slightly frayed edges are the fabric equivalent of what happens with rust on metal,

I thought this might be appropriate for this challenge, although there is no rusted fabric in the piece nor even rust-colored fabric.

I started with a piece of snow-dyed fabric and then added bits of hand-dyes and lots of hand stitching, along with machine quilting on the background. It ended up being about 20 x 14".

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Oops...I keep forgetting to post the new word. Despite my search for an alternative, this word keeps invading my consciousness...bandana...that's it...bandana! What do we think about a deadline? Mid to late November? Let me know what you all think!

Monday, September 2, 2013


I was inspired by the fabric strips that I have from cutting for another project. Just started weaving them together, and voila! I don't typically work with raw edges...not really my thing. But, "rust" is the place to do it, I think. Also decided to play with some hand stitching. Hope this photo works...kept cutting off an edge. I'm about to find out!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Remember me?

I apologize for being a very silent member of the group this summer. We have had quite a busy time settling into our new house and August became just a physically and emotionally exhausting month with health, dog, and house-related issues culminating in a tree falling on our house a week ago. All is well now and there was a remarkably small amount of damage done, given the size of the tree, but I have just needed to catch my breath and try to gain some perspective.

I also have to admit that I have not worked on a rust project--thought a while about it, but then it didn't happen.  I did get a couple of pieces done, though, and,  if I recall correctly, we said we could post other projects. Let me know if I am misremembering.  Otherwise, I will get a post together in the next couple of days.


Rust in progress

My piece is under construction. Have done most of quilting. Hope to post tomorrow. I think it's my turn to choose a word. Will post it when rust is done.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Yes, I am a Fabric Addict

OK. Here are my fabrics (not laid out in my design). The corner tan-brown is a rust fabric. I will be adding patches of a few brights. I was planning this prior to reading about the rust challenge. It has a theme of  Prairie Winter and will be in my mother's Iowa home when finished. Sorry not to have gotten further, but on the bright side, I am having a good day after taking meds and Excedrin. Going to spend the next week in a cooler climate, then get back to putting this together. I have made a rough layout plan, but not sharing it now in case I deviate significantly!

Am expecting it will be approx 24"w x 36"l. 
I can suggest lots of words, but my "turn" last year was at the end. Carol?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

RUST challenge

I take alot of RUST pictures but for this I found one on pinterest that inspired me.   I think it is mildly successful as an interpretation of the colors.   There is some rusted fabric in the piece, however, it is very difficult to sew through and hard on the sewing machine.   I love RUST..........   I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's piece with RUST as an inspiration.  And we need to know who's up next for a word or whatever challenge you decide........
Carol Esch
back with inspiration photo (sideways!)

Friday, August 23, 2013


Iwill really try to share something by month's end, but it may only be a photo of my fabrics and notes for design. The last 2 months I have been in bed more than not. Lots of blood tests and dr. visits lately. May be as simple as extra low thyroid but I also have Sjogren's Syndrome that gives issues. Planning go see a rheumatologist, but last week our house got hit by a lightning-caused huge electrical surge and hail. Lots of damage. All repairable, replaceable. Just a pain. But Ross was standing in his office when it came in through wiring. He said he felt he had been hit with electroshock paddle. Thank God it wasn't harmful. He flew the next day. So we have been spending all our time getting things in order and talking to insurance and reminding ourselves how lucky we are. We have a high deductible on our homeower's policy, but the costs will be far over that. We are blessed to be able to just pay the dif.
I had done a very stupid thing, though. After moving several times since I bought my Bernina 1630 in 1997 or so, I had somehow not remembered on the last move to plug it into a surge protector this time. Most of the electrical items in the house that got their circuits fried were connected to surge protectors, so it might not have mattered. But I will always unplug mine when not in use from now on. So today I took it in to Bernina repair shop. They expect to have to send it to the factory. It might be 2 months before I get it back. They don't have a loaner either.  I am considering actually buying the 750 now and selling the shop the 1630 after it has been repaired instead of the usual trade-in deal at time of purchase. I have been lusting after a stitch regulator and a bigger throat for quite awhile. Just hard on top of other expenses. Alternatively, I still have a rough working machine I gave my daughter when she was 10. So the 750 may be another 65th birthday from-me-to-me gift. That day was yesterday. I feel that I've officially entered my Act III, but it's just fine. Renewed zest for doing what gives me and others joy. Really hope your summers are going more smoothly!!!!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

I'm ready to go with the "Rust" theme! Lots of possibilities! The August deadline sounds good now...let's see if I can avoid waiting until the last minute! I took sketching and watercolor for the sketchbook with Jane LaFazio (online) a couple of months ago and loved it! I'm planning to sign up for her mixed media sketchbook workshop online. That one starts in June.Would love to "see" any of you there!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

late late late for transformation


I started working with the FEATHER image.   When I find FEATHERS I feel they are from "beyond"......maybe messages.   A kind of transformation.     In a class with Lonni Rossi we experimented with thermofax images and discharging and I chose to have a FEATHER image  to work with.   Since that time I have created a few FEATHER MESSAGES and this was the first one.   One of them will be on the SAQA auction and one on the QUILT ALLIANCE auction.....and I am making more of them.   Transformation for me to work with one image for awhile.............

So, here it is.   I'm sorry I'm late.   Deborah seemed to think it was my turn for the next WORD.   If it is, I chose the word RUST.   Either in process or translation......RUST................   whatever size you want.   Maybe due in end of you'd have the summer to RUST!    Or is that too long?

I will take time now to look at the other posts.   I can see there is alot of inspiring work here!

I've taken lots of RUST pictures and am anxious to interpret that into fabric............hope you have fun with it also......
Carol Esch

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Projects & Misc

Here is a mini fabric collage made at the end of my class with Joan Schulze at Alegre retreat 2 weeks ago. She is an illuminated designer and illuminated teacher. Though her teaching career has now ended, she will be continuing to produce wonderful work in her CA studio. Her class and the stay at Gateway Canyons Resort was a true blessing to me. We made lots of fiber & paper through various transfer techniques as well as monoprinting. I have lots for upcoming projects. This one has an accompanying poem I created called Swords & Songs.
Here is a photo of my design board from the class. It has a lot of the classwork. Papers and fabrics are hung in "booklets." Early projects included how to make a mini-handsewn paper 8 page book and how to use that technique to find interesting abstract patterns from folding a page of B&W paper collage photocopy.
My other time and energy-consuming art projects have been landscaping at our house and our son's house for the past month and a new bathroom at my mom's house- several states away- over the winter. 3D art! We are fortunate to be able to do these things, but I'm ready to just quilt and paint.
How about an update from everyone else? Deborah is interested in another challenge. Happy May Day!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Oh, dear! I'm just not at all happy with this, but it's what I've got. Transformation is such a great word. I have had so much going on lately that I didn't take time to do the word justice! Got very literal again. Started with fabric from old boxers that my boys wore several years ago. Those are all the fabrics in the top third of the piece. As the boys became men, the fabrics transformed into lovely batiks (tee hee). The horizontal, spirally fabric represents all the magical, transformational gobbledegook along the way. I felt like trying some hand stitching, hence the leaves and stem which erupt into a flower-flame. I still need to add some stitching, or some organza, or something! Will post another photo if/when I do. Hope you can see it well enough...the photo isn't so good, either!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Pennsylvania Transformation Transformed

Something kept bothering me about my challenge piece so last night as I was going to bed I decided to try something else.  The middle section was not getting the amount of attention that I intended for it and so I put it on top of the other two:
Just putting the three panels side by side did not work for me, but I think this arrangement is a better reflection of my vision for this piece. And now it is lucky that I had not finished the backs of these panels because I think I will add another layer to the back of the middle panel to make it stand out more. As I start preparing to leave this beautiful part of the country, by the way, I find myself envisioning ways to capture some of the emotional feel of this place as this piece tries to do.

Let me know what you think about the new arrangement . . . .


Transformation Journey

Sorry I am rushing & didn't crop my tile floor background from my images. I am posting my Transformation art quilt top-in-progress plus 2 collages I have done in the past couple weeks. I began last November thinking I would make this piece about the on-going transformation my 21 year old daughter has been going through this past year to overcome some serious challenges. I imagined a combination of my painted canvas, stitched work that incorporated a PS-stylized image of her face somehow faintly on the piece along with the other paint. I bought PS 11, but am still poking my way through using it. Plus my trials of using various transfer methods over my painted canvas didn't work the way I want. Yet. Anyway, I realized in the last few weeks, this is and should be all about my own transformation in coping positively with the pain of her challenges. I believe in this quote by Dylan Hoffman," If we truly want to embark on the journey to psychological wholeness and spiritual transformation, we will have to enter some dark and dangerous lands, and encounter some grotesque and terrifying creatures." I actually stumbled on these words in an magazine I happened to pick up 2 days ago after having already painted & sewn. The universe brought them to me as I work on this piece and myself!

I have only painted canvases, cut them up and zz-stitched them together. Under some layers of paint is the message, "It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end." Next I will be adding some hand stitching lines & marks, then making the batting/backing sandwich, then machine quilting. So I'll repost when it is finished.
I also am doing 2 collages to donate to a local organization called Redeemed Ministries that supports young women who have been victims of the sex trades/ human trafficing. The collages will be part of a silent auction fund-raiser. The girls are referred to as Sparrows. One collage is finished. The other will be done when I add the text title "His eye is on the Sparrow" and I have that one framed. I am thankful this is not one of the problems my daughter has had.

Best wished to all. Looking forward to seeing your pieces and hearing your news.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Pennsylvania Transformation

I actually found time amid all the paperwork and phone calls and e-mails and moving preparations to finish the challenge or at least finish it enough so I could photograph it. I have always loved that time when I suddenly notice the first quiet snowflakes falling. It seems a magical, meditative time to me and this is an attempt to capture that first moment of imminent transformation.

This is 10x16"--or would be if the three panels were joined. You can click on the above photo to enlarge it, but you may not be able to see the three snowflakes on the the middle panel.

The three panels are stuck to my working wall right now because they don't have sleeves yet, but I am trying to solve the problem of how to hang them without a rod or wire or dowel showing in the space between. Something like coat hanger wire may not be obtrusive but I will have to wait until I get the sleeves on to try it out.  I am also thinking plexiglass in some form. Any suggestions?

Can't wait to see what the rest of you have been working on!