Tuesday, 5 December 2017

The next artist is Vilhelm Lundstrøm

Thank you for the honour, Venetta, I'm sure it comes as no surprise that I've chosen a Danish artist. 

Vilhelm Lundstrøm (1893, Copenhagen – 1950) was one of Denmark's most successful modernist painters. It was he who introduced French cubism to Denmark. He was educated at the Royal Danish Academy of Art where he studied under Rostrup Böyesen. Lundstrøm spent an extended period in France in the 1920s ...

Link to Wikipedia

4:20 minutes You Tube video about his life
The video has english subtitles.

Have much fun and don't pull your hair out!

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Next artist

Hi everyone. 

Venetta please can you choose a name from: 

Linda B, Jinnie, Uta, Rosemary, Mai-Britt, Dianne and Claire? 

Then let us know so they can announce their chosen artist.  Crazy what with all the things to do in the run up to Christmas, but I am dying to know what the next challenge is.


Thursday, 30 November 2017



   I like Escher's work, but I was dreading this challenge. In the end I decided to try making my own tesselation, just to see how it worked. I started with a hexagon and tried some really simple designs, getting a little more complex each time. I enjoyed playing with the tesselations and in the end had eight or nine designs, the simplest being too simple and the more complex ones not being very interesting. This was the only one that I felt I could do anything with. I thought it would be quick and simple to make too. I first quilted the motifs from the back, as it was much easier to see the markings on the white backing fabric. Then I painted them with iridescent fabric paint (it is difficult to see the iridescence on the photo and I haven't been able to capture the colours accurately). I had more trouble making it than I thought, as I made a mess of transferring the design and had to start all over again. It took me four times as long to paint it than I thought it would, by which time I was thoroughly bored with it, and in hindsight I think it would have prefered to have printed it. Originally I was going to paint all the shapes, but realized it would be better to leave a black border for more contrast, but by then I had painted the bronze shapes in the middle row up to the edge. I made a mistake in the final cutting and the design is not centred, which annoys me: they say to measure twice, cut once, but I am geometrically challenged and despite my rule of measure at least five times and cut once, I still managed to make a dog's dinner of it!

text messages 15: Escher - by Uta

I like Escher pictures, but 'transforming one of them into a quilt' is not my thing. So I decided to use his name, and the letters it is comprised of, as the inspiration for this challenge.
At first I chose a piece of hand-dyed linen that had been waiting for its turn, and had been a bit sad because of the brightness of its color contrast, red and yellow.
Then I marked squares and filled these with 'handwritten' versions of the ongiong name, in various orientations.

you need a good stabilizer to be able to put that kind of stitching onto the fabric...

These filled squares were then overlaid with large versions of the individual letters of the name ESCHER. Of course, the 'e' appears twice in the name, but that must not necessarily result in a doubling of  appearance on the piece. Along the way certain readjustments had to be made, because I mis-stitched, or made an unconscious decision that something about the plan had to be changed, who knows. In any case, the original plan looked slightly different, but only a little bit, really.

First an outline, that can then be filled.

Here you can see the almost finished piece as I am still debating its final orientation.

And this is the final orientation it has arrived at.
text messages 15: escher
In conclusion, it was more fun than doing the Klimt challenge, and I have given myself the liberty to interpret the challenge theme generously. I hope that meets with  approval, but I suppose it is open to the members how they decide to take up the challenge, and how to use it as inspiration.


I love Escher, but found this challenge totally overwhelming. Luckily I love a challenge, so thank you Venetta. There was also lots of sides to him I was totally unaware of, so researching has been most fun.

It took me a long time finding inspiration, and I would look daily at his art, being at a loss of what to do.

Then only last week I came across my source material (plenty of time then) in the form of what I think is an installation, from an Escher exhibition in Madrid. I am not sure he made it, it looks too modern, but it is clearly inspired by him. So my quilt will be inspired by, inspired by!

It was a joy to make, using the ‘flip and stitch’ method. 


From the Madrid Escher exhibition

In my studio yesterday busy with Zoom!

Bring on the next challenge! Note to self: Do not procrastinate so much ;0)

Division of two planes

Oops - nearly forgot the date!

I had an idea, someone had done it, I had another idea, someone had done that, I had another idea .... etc.

So I did a bit more research based on Escher's work on planes, until I came up with a simple intersection that still has movement in it. Actually it had more movement than I intended, the red lines formed perfect curves before I quilted this piece and obviously distorted the base fabric.

Inspiration for this piece came from:
Sphere Surface with Fishes by M.C. Escher 1958

But the design was extracted from:

Sphere Circles

Whilst sourcing this image as a url I came across - www.wikiart.org which opens with a "today in history" random collection of artworks. it's good job I've chosen my artist - this site looks like a bottomless pit of art exploration!

Something Fishy

Well, Venetta, I think you scared a lot of us with your choice of Escher.  But that is what this group is all about - challenging ourselves.  Like most of us I have admired his work and draughtsmanship for ages.  I love the ones which metamorph across the page but eventually went for one of his tessellations.

The piece is raw edge applique on a whole cloth black background - commercial and hand dyed cottons.  It was a challenge to chose which bit to focus on and then how to execute interlocking the shapes.  But I thoroughly enjoyed the process and had fun.

Roll on the next challenge!


Portrait of Matt - inspired by Escher

My immediate inspiration was Escher's 1922 woodcut self-portait and I could not even contemplate any of his other work.

I was so struck by how contemporary this portrait is, even though it was created nearly a century ago. I based my portrait on a photo of my son-in-law Matt. It was hard to find a photo of him NOT smiling. The stitched background is formed from tesselated houses, as a nod to their new house.

My Take on Escher

As much as I have been fascinated & intrigued by the art of tessellation it has never inspired me to produce a piece hence the simplicity of my piece and the heading 'My take".

Added to the fact that as good as all my pieces in this challenge have been whole cloth / surface design in nature I have gone with the flow.

My inspiration originally started with the tale end of a scarf I have ......

and then I applied it to a tree 'disintegrating' into birds in flight.  I made a decision to also work in colour.  The two background fabrics are a piece Hilary & I dyed when we were working on the colour range and the right hand piece Diane you may recognise.  the top was stencilled & painted.  Quilting it was a challenge but I eventually settled on the straight lines which I think work.

Personally a little disappointed in the end piece but I can live with it.

Regular Divisions of a Plane

I have been an admirer of Escher's work, especially his mathematical works that create an illusion. Escher was inspired by L.S. and Roger Penrose, the creators of the Penrose triangle (an impossible triangle known as a tribar). He used this concept to create a print of people on a staircase that has the optical illusion of always ascending or descending.

It was my goal to put the Penrose triangle on a quilted background that is mathematically divided by circles and lines. As you can see by my drawing, my plan was to interlock the Penrose triangles across the quilt.
I printed the triangles on Transfer Artist Paper (TAP) and then colored them with Tsukineko inks. The transfer of the triangles did not work and I suspect it was because my TAP was more than a year old.

However, not to be defeated, I managed to get a few to print onto Chiffon and then I machine appliqued them onto to back of my quilt...which then became the front of my quilt.

Although my resulting piece was not what I originally had planned, I enjoyed learning more about Escher's life and his art.

I was delightfully surprised that there was an Escher exhibition in Seoul, South Korea at the same time that we were visiting our son (who is stationed there with the Army) and our daughter in law. The exhibition was very popular and very crowded.

Escher was undoubetedly a great mathematician and together with his artistic talent he combined the two to great effect.  I found this challenge daunting to say the least (his tessellations are extraordinarily brilliant) but I was not inspired with the fact that his work was monochromatic in most of his work.  My passion is colour, and in Africa this is what we have and see in every facet of our lives, even in winter when it can get really cold up here on the highveld, the sun shines from clear, beautiful skies and our indiginious trees in the garden are always green.  In retrospect I could have used colour, but in the end used different shades of blue.  Not my favourite piece but hope I rose to the challenge. I used African fabric called Schwe Schwe in the corners and in the binding to represent the scales of a fish, which, I think, worked well.  I also include two pieces of his which were my inspiration.


When I was initially confronted by the prospect of interpreting Escher's work I felt totally overwhelmed . His work has never really appealed to me and because I love bright colours it became a daunting task . However ,on analysis , I discovered how brilliant a mathematician he was and because of this was logical in his approach. I regard him as a mathematician rather than an artist . Possibly he found that through art he was able to try out mathematical conundrums !
There was no way that I wanted to work in greys, black and white and decided that a monochromatic palette would best suit what I wanted to portray of his work . He became a master of repetition (through which he searched for infinity )and tessellation so I did 2 pieces in the end . One in which I used precision and repetition and the other an experiment with tessellation. Here they are.
The head in the first piece was part of a woodcut but coincidentally looks a bit like Escher's profile so seemed very appropriate . I am sure you can all work out how my tessellation worked . Rosemary



I apologize, but I haven't done my piece. 

My time has not been well budgetted and this is not good for a procrastinator.  And then a few things cropped up (broken tooth/crown being one of them) and I had no time to spare.  I am definitely involved in way too many things, but they all give me pleasure.  As does this group.  So I will attempt to get it done when things quiet down in a week or so.  My design is drawn, so now it's the fabric selection time and work. 

And I will definitely get the next one done pronto!! 

I look forward to seeing all yours. 

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Another teaser

Scraps left over from .....


Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Escher Teaser

It's not finished yet, but I have been working on it for a few days. With mistakes or, differently put, minor changes of plan. But the overall design is developing nicely, and I thought I would show you all a picture of my discarded thread ends as a teaser.

Probably not a typical Escher colour, but a typical colour for me.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Hello 12by the dozen bloggers ,
I want to tell you about a project that will be happening next year . I belong to a quilt group in Auckland which has about 35 members. Every year we host a show where we show our work ,have a small marketing section and can sell quilts we no longer want . It is well known to quilters in Auckland and we get about 800 to 1000 viewers . This funds us for the following year and pays for tutoring.We have 2 retreats a year and at our last retreat I was chatting to our president about our blog and the'Artist Series'. She was very interested and asked me to bring what I had done so far to show the committee . I offered to hold a mini exhibition at next years show and they accepted , asking also that I give floor talks encouraging others to likewise blog with friends or other quilters.  I would like to tell people at the floor talks about all of you and can introduce you and show images of all of your work ( Hilary says she can help me with this). However if anyone is unhappy about this aspect I can simply show my pieces and talk only about the artists and briefly touch on the blog . However I would really like to do the former as we are a group and my pieces are just a part of the whole . One of the fascinations for me of being a member of this blog has been the amazing differences between us in the interpretations of the artists works . This is the richness of group work .
So... I would love to get your opinions /permission for this so that I can start preparations . The exhibition is in May 2018 and I know how time flies.
Looking forward to hearing from you.

Thursday, 21 September 2017


  I went the other day to the Forney Library, which is a specialized art Library in Paris, and quite by chance found a copy of Jinny Beyer's  "Designing tessellations: the secrets of interlocking patterns", which I was able to borrow.  She explains the symmetry of them and how to make them. There is a section on Escher's complex designs and she shows how she thinks he developed some of them. It could be useful: I'm trying not to be at the last minute!


I have finally finished my Alex Janvier inspired quilt and am at last up to date. I was not inspired by one particular quilt, but by the lines and curves of his art in general. At first I tried marbling with shaving foam, but  I ended up with a mess that was unusable, so it was back to square one. I then tried playing about with swirling lines until I decided on this design, which I decided to try on a black background instead of a light coloured one. I drew the design then cut it apart and used it as a stencil with markal paintstiks. I then machine quilted the other swirls.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Does it have to be...

Not sure whether this is the right spot to ask this question - .... BUT: does it have to be a picture/painting by the artist that is used as an inspiration for a challenge, or could it be anything about the artist that sets off inspirational process?
Thanks for feedback/discussion of this item.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Escher Puzzle

Remembered I have a puzzle.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Artist for the next quarter is....

When we lived in The Netherlands, I was so impressed by many, many Dutch masters and their incredible works. The Hague is the home and studio of my favorite artist, M.C. Escher! I can't wait to see what you create!!

Friday, 1 September 2017

Birch Tree

    I love Klimt's patterns, but I find a lot of his paintings have too much pattern. It is a bit overwhelming, especially with all the gold. I much prefer his paintings of birch trees and decided to combine both pattern and a single birch tree when I discovered some Klimt inspired patterned fabrics in my stash that I bought quite a few years ago. I was intending to include leaves hanging down, using patterns from the fabric that seemed suitable. However they looked more like seaweed. I then thought of adding some smaller birch trunks in the background, but that did not look right either. So it is a single birch in winter. I would have posted this yesterday, but for the realisation that I couldn't finish it with a facing as I usually do, as the extra wadding that I put under the tree made that part too thick  to use this method. So instead of spending about an hour and a half in putting on a facing, I spent 6 1/2 hours sewing, unsewing and resewing (repeat several times!) a pieced binding as I did not want to put a 'frame ' round it with a single coloured binding. I will avoid doing a pieced binding in future! By the time I finished it, there was not enough light left to photograph it, so I left it until today. I had hoped to  finish my Janvier quilt yesterday too, but that will have to wait until next week now.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Three Portraits                                              

is the title of my quilt and my inspiration.

My aim was that you would never guess what my inspiration was, he,he.....

At first I looked for paintings with very little colour in them and I fell for these three wonderful portraits. I decided to incorporate them all by printing them onto fabric, add Heat and Bond then cut them in bits. I  selected the bits I wanted to use and made a pleasing arrangement (to me). Fused to a heavily quilted background, then added some machine stitching.
I meant to include no gold, but couldn’t resist, starting with the border.
Had it in my head for a long time, and it turned out exactly as I had hoped. 

Now bring on the next challenge!

Birch Forest

It was difficult at first to get away from all the gold and swirls which I really like.  My first attempt was not successful.  But then I started to look at his forest scenes and thought that this was way more up my alley. 

And then I remembered an exhibit of Wolf Kahn's work that I had seen and thought I would take a look at that style which I also admired.  So this is a bit of a combination of the two. 

Klimt's Beech Forest

Wolf Kahn

Klimt - Big Brother is watching you...

As I said already in my self-introduction, Klimt is not exactly one of my favorite artists. But I took the challenge, and I found a picture of one of his drawings in one of my art books. Didn't want to have to search for long, and if working with an unpreferred artist as inspiration, it doesn't really matter which painting you use, that was my thought.

"Die Hoffnung" - Hope

I was mostly attracted by the circles on the robe, and took it from there. I had printed a fabric when visiting Ali George in Australia in November 2015 and wanted to use this. Recently I have been including pieces of a reflector fabric in some of my work, and instead of gold, this seemed an appropriate substitue for Klimt's glitter. Add some found washers, start playing around...

Then I thought the oval just looked too solid, and cut out a piece that could be added in reverse.

I added some stitching, fixing the washers and applique the reflector fabric - and then I decided I might change the orientation of the whole thing.

When it's dark and the reflector fabric is 'active', it looks like this, and could be called "Big Brother is watching you."

Although I am not exactly sure of the title yet. And might change the orientation back, if persuaded. I just have the problem that I had to finish before I will be leaving for Birmingham and my trip to the US day after tomorrow and needed to get this up before I leave...

Talented group

The time has come for me to bid farewell to this amazingly talented group. I've truly had a lot of fun with the challenges but I need to step back. Special thanks to Hilary for leading the group and organizing such a memorable trip to England. I will continue to follow the blog and look forward to seeing all your wonderful creations. xoxo

Look Mum - no bling

Oh dear, what to do with Klimt whose work provides us with so many ready made quilting patterns!  I frequently use a free cut version of the cobblestone block shape that appears in his Portrait of Adele Bloch Bauer and I lingered there a while and also looked hard at the Three Ages of Woman but decided that I couldn't do that particular title justice.

Whilst endlessly scrolling through images and interpretations on the web and my own PC I remembered a photo that I had of an eraser print by Margaret Cooter.  The original was made from carved Staedtler Mars Erasers which are 23mm x 65mm to give you a sense of the scale.

The subdivided sections put me in mind of this section of 'The Kiss'' from which I took my colour palette. Whilst I like his use of grey here, when I tried to replicate this in fabric it seemed to flatten the piece so in the end I stuck with yellows, albeit some of them quite greyed, and black.

And yes, I totally avoided any suggestion of gold, hence the title. I'm not averse to a bit of bling but it just didn't seem necessary here:

Klimt Waterfall

How to make a Klimt inspired piece without it looking like a copy?  Not sure I have succeeded but I had a lot of fun trying. I have taken every piece of material in my stash (in all senses of the word) that has gold and silver in and used them - cotton fabric, plastic, metal mesh and sheet, foiling, lame, sheers - you name it.  Add to that buttons and crystals.

Background is a hand dye from Frieda Anderson which I have screened printed.  Shapes fused in place and machine stitched. Satin stitch around the edge.

Looking forward to the next artist.


I too found it difficult to concentrate on only one piece of  Klimt'w work so took pieces of several of his works.  I must say I enjoyed every moment of constructing my piece together with his designs, swirls and compositions.  He obviously loved the flowing russt coloured hair depicted in a lot of his models, so couldn't pass that one up.  He was also part of the art noveau movement and I tried to capture this as well in the piece.  All in all there were several pieces I enjoyed and incorporated as well as putting my own signature on this piece.  I have called her Clara.