Art of Quilting – May/June 2007

A R T   O F   quilting
Quilts Take Wing
Ravens, owls, pelicans, and robins are depicted in their native habitats of forests and seashores by the five art quilters featured here. Our artists used a variety of fabrics and techniques to stitch these vivid portraits, including fusing, raw-edge appliqué, photo transfers, hand-painted and hand-dyed fabric, free-motion machine quilting, and padding. We hope you’ll enjoy our spring aviary show.
Early Birds
Early Birds, 49″ x 38″, 2005.
Peeping robins and blooming tulips are harbingers of spring in Ruth Powers’ lively pictorial quilt. A flock of birds outside her studio window in Kansas prompted her to render them in fabric. Ruth first drew a sketch of the robins and then pieced and quilted the cotton top in a free-form fashion. This quilt won Best of Show at the 2006 IQA show in Chicago and is owned by The Thomas Contemporary Quilt Collection in California. Ruth teaches and exhibits widely. Her pattern company, Innovations, offers her prize-winning designs for quilts and wallhangings.
Designer Contact:
Ruth Powers
5055 W 117 St
Carbondale, KS 66414
(785) 256-2361
Perching Pelican
Perching Pelican, 51″ x 51″, 2005.
Barbara Barrick McKie is an artist and quilter whose specialty is depicting sea birds, waterfowl, and natural landscapes. Barbara snapped a photo of this colorful pelican perched on a wire at the top of a small building in Oceanside, California. She transformed the bird’s image into a glowing fabic portrait using a dispersed dye computer photo transfer technique. The pelican was machine appliquéd onto polyester crepe atop a hand painted silk background, and then machine quilted. Check Barbara’s Web site for more of her pictorial quilts, wearable art, and beaded jewelry, as well as her husband’s sculpted works of art.
Designer Contact:
Barbara Barrick McKie
Lyme, CT
(860) 434-5222
Waiting out Winter
Waiting out Winter, 40″ x 34″, 2006.
Alaskan fiber artist Karin Franzen has turned her love of birds and nature into a full-time career. She has made more than 50 bird quilts, including this one depicting a common raven on the limb of a spruce tree. Karin hand-dyed the broadcloth background and incorporated commercial cotton fabric into a evocative machine quilted and appliquéd collage. The artist takes frequent trips into the wilderness to photograph and draw ideas for her quilts. Karin notes that her love of sewing and art were instilled in her by her mother and grandmother.
Designer Contact:
Karin Franzen
388 Reynolds Lane
Fairbanks, AK 99712
(907) 488-7641
We Are Family
We Are Family, 55″ x 43″, 2006.
As a naturalist, Grace Errea uses her quilts to depict habitats and landscapes that are threatened by uncontrolled development around the world. She thoroughly researches each location so that her quilts reflect realistic interpretations of flora and fauna. A self-taught quilter, the California artist used turned and raw-edge machine appliqu&eactue;, tucking, padding, and thread and hand painting to complete the owl family. This quilt won an Honorary Mention Award for Pictorial Quilts in the 2006 National Quilt Association show. Grace exhibits her quilts widely and teaches her techniques both nationally and internationally.
Designer Contact:
Grace J Errea
Laguna Niguel, CA
Back Talk
Back Talk, 20″ x 23″, 2006.
A chance encounter with a flock of ravens in Death Valley was the inspiration for Terry Kramzar’s work. This quilt is one of a series depicting the peronalities of these expressive black birds. The tactile nature of fabric and stitching is important to the Pennsylvania fiber artist, who uses a variety of techniques to create her heavily textured quilts. A pieced background forms the foundation for the fused and free-motion quilted sunflower and raven. Terry used jewel-tone metallic thread to catch the glint of sun on the bird’s feathers. To capture the three-dimensional quality of the sunflower, she dye-painted fabric and machine quilted with variegated thread to build the structure of the large seed head. Terry applied the letters with fused silk organza and further defined the shapes with outline stitching.
Designer Contact:
Terry Kramzar
702 Haldane Drive
Kennett Square, PA 19382

Other topics you may enjoy:

  • No Related Posts


Articles, Online Extra Article - Archive
Carrie Sisk

About Carrie Sisk

Carrie's first sewing machine was a gift from her dad—a better gift was never given. A crafter, trained pianist and experienced paintballer, when the opportunity arises, she's hiking in Yosemite or Rocky Mountain National Park.