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Spanish Peaks by Ricky Tims

Click any image for detailed view.

The two legendary Spanish Peaks loom over the tiny mountain town of La Veta, Colorado. They are the smallest mountain range in the state (it appears that two mountains make a “range"). They are also known at the Huatolla (also Whahatoya), which translates to The Breasts of the World. They are sacred to the native peoples of this region and have always been known as a place of peace and sustenance. This small little quilt was intended to pay tribute to the beauty and inspiration found in this area. This small wall quilt is made with original hand-dyed fabric, improvisational piecing, and free-motion machine quilting.
  
 

TRY THE JIGSAW PUZZLE

Choose your own difficulty. Click the 9-patch grid to change number of pieces. Click the circle arrow to make the puzzle pieces rotating instead of stable orientation. Also, there are tips under the "?" on the upper right of the puzzle. If you'd like a full screen version, click the button below. Have fun!

 

  Sandy Hook  

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Sandy Hook Elemnentary School

Newtown, Connecticut

December 14, 2012

This commemorative art quilt was the most difficult one for me to make. Throughout the years I have had friends ask me how I can make such tragic quilts without falling apart emotionally. The answer - I focus on design and techniques I want to use, not the actual event, when I am creating these quilts. But this quilt was different, more difficult. In fact, most of these quilts have been worked on and finished shortly after the event took place. Not this one. My thoughts would not stay connected to the design and implementation of techniques. Personal, editorial comment: children shouldn’t die a tragic death. Children shouldn’t die, PERIOD. So this quilt has been painstakingly worked on for several years, not because of its intricacies (it really isn’t that intricate), but because I couldn’t stay focused on the creative process. I would remove it from where it was stored and attempt to finish it on numerous occasions. In fact, I’m not sure it’s finished yet. Several things have changed on this quilt since its inception shortly after the event. Initially, the colors were too bright similar to what a childhood should be. Since then I have “subdued” the quilt, shadowing the primary-color alphabet, and choosing gray as a border instead of bright white. But I did keep one of the original ideas. These children were young and involved in learning, including writing their own names. I wanted to focus on the names of the deceased in this quilt and I selected the old-fashioned paper that for those of us who are older, we may have used as a learning aid. The “block” names are the children who died during this event. The cursive names are the teachers/staff members who died. I also included the shooter’s mother who was killed by him earlier in the day.

 

Pulse

Pulse Nightclub

Orlando, Florida

6/6/16

A lone gunman entered this primarily gay nightclub and killed 49 people, injured 53 others. This was the deadliest shooting in our country that focused on the LGBTQ community. Because one of the most well-known “icons” of the gay community is a rainbow, I wanted these colors highlighted on this quilt, plus I felt a heartbeat would be appropriate as a reference to the name of the nightclub. On the top right, the perimeter of the quilt begins with the number killed, then evolving from a full pulse to a fading pulse, resulting in the date of death.

 

No Time

 

 

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Las Vegas, Nevada

10/1/17

A lone gunman fired into a crowd of people enjoying an outdoor concert.

He fired from several stories above from a hotel room. Fifty-eight people were killed, 411 more were injured.

When I thought about this event, my primary thought was about the hundreds of people who were enjoying a fun musical venue that evening. For me, there HAD to be music in this quilt! Further thoughts led me to wonder about the violent end of their lives and how they had many dreams, ambitions, and relationships ahead of them if this mass shooting  had not occurred. I included a narrative in the musical lines that referenced these lost dreams, lost time, lost relationships. And I decided to honor the victims with their “frayed” names on the quilt. This was the first commemorative quilt in which I decided to include personal names.

 

Sanctuary

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Sutherland Springs, Texas

11/5/17

A lone gunman entered the church and killed 27 people, injured 22 others.

Even churches and other places of worship are not immune to tragic events. When I heard about this shooting, I wondered where a person might go that would provide safe sanctuary, thus the questions I came up with became the focal point of this quilt. I searched online for information regarding the church and what had occurred. A picture of a gathering approximately a week later, inside the church, showed folding chairs all painted white with a single rose laid on each one to signify the twenty-seven people killed. 

    Critique Group Challenge Week 42 - Suspense

Critique Group Challenge: 

Week 43, Suspense

Photo by Bruce Hinde

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Bruce says:

Assimilated...
Self portrait with a couple of overlays. The dogs were not sure they liked the robot mask when I put that on.

 

52-Week Photo Challenge Class Week 43 - Halloween

Week 52 Photo Challenge: 

Week 43, Halloween

Photo by Patty Robinson

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Patty says:

Hiding in plain view

Yes! Beware all! Even on the coast of Maine, they are comimg out tonight...for some mischief-making! I used dreamscape for the bouys,and black and white for these "guests" of the night. Edited out many tiny details in PS to simplify the overall design.Then used LR edits to tone down the color a bit to pull out more of the white skeletons. Though I have so much more to learn ,to do this more effectively.

 

Smart Phone Photo Challenges
Week 43 - Tricks Or Treats

Smart Phone Challenge:

Week 43, Tricks Or Treats

Photo by Michael Lindow

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Michael says:

These are our spooky Halloween treats. I actually don't eat much in the way of candy, but I got it just in case. Oil painting effect applied.

 

 

 

 

  Deliver Us From Evil

(American flag and cityscape), Click to view larger image.

This piece is raw-edge appliqué, satin stitched, beaded, hand embroidered. It is framed under glass. Approximately 22” by 36”

I sketched this during the evening of 9/11/01.

I wanted to convey a strong patriotic stance about what had occurred in New York City on that day, as well as personalizing the buildings of NYC. The World Trade Center, affectionately known as the Twin Towers, is identified as a gold “double cross”.

A bit of humor - After beading half of the city and becoming tired of beading, I wondered if perhaps the rest of the city could be seen as having a “black-out” because of my tiredness. But I persevered, and beaded all of the windows.

 
Flames of Hatred

(Pentagon shape in flames), Click to view larger image.

This piece is raw-edge appliqué, satin stitched, beaded, thread-painted. It is stretched on artist canvas. Approximately 38” by 40”

I did a rough sketch of this potential quilt on 9/12/01. On the previous morning, 9/11, news media was consumed by the tragedy in New York City, but began focusing on the other tragedies as well on the following day. I wanted to portray the building as it may have been seen by people close by. I was concerned that I was trying to make something beautiful out of this tragedy. The piece is beaded with hematite beads, crystal beads, and glass beads.

A bit of humor - I realized that I should have listened to my high school geometry teacher better. It was difficult to figure out how to sketch a perfect pentagon!

 
From the Darkness…Comes the Light

 

(black, gray, yellow, white, 3-D quilt), Click to view larger image.

This piece is mounted on a 24” by 48” covered canvas, 6” deep.

This was made for the 20th anniversary of 9/11. I wanted to reflect the changes that occur over time after going through a traumatic event. This is a new style of quilting for me. For several years I have been doing what I call “pencil stitching”, using 1/4” wide fabric strips, but this was my first attempt at making a 3-dimensional quilt that has a sewn-in wire armature to maintain its shape.

A bit of humor -  I learned new swear words while working with a wire armature!

Losing Innocence

(Is It Taller Than a Maple Tree?), Click to view larger image.

This piece is raw-edge appliqué, pieced, stain-stitched, painted with letter stencils, beaded, and the trees are fused fabric “snippets”. It is framed under glass. Approximately 18” by 24”

On 9/15/01, I had a phone conversation with my daughter. I asked her how my 6-year old grandson was doing regarding this tragedy that he may have seen on TV. She had been shielding him from the news reports as best she could, but of course, 6-year olds talk among themselves. She said, “Mom, the only question he has asked is - ‘Is it (the rubble) taller than a maple tree?’” He was trying to put the tragedy into the perspective of a 6-year old.

 
Don’t Worry Be Happy

(brightly colored quilt in traditional style), Click to view larger image.

This piece is traditionally pieced with embellishments sewn on. It is a “soft” quilt (not framed or stretched on canvas). Approximately 42” by 42”.

Even though I lived in Iowa at the time and had never been to New York City, I volunteered to go to Ground Zero with the American Red Cross as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor. Before doing a de-briefing at a company that was across the street from the fallen towers, I was walking down the hallway and heard a woman of Guatemalan descent say to her colleague, “Don’t worry about the anthrax scare. Just be happy we’re still alive.” I HAD to incorporate that into a quilt! The optimism of this woman was such a wonderful thing to hear from someone who had watched the towers fall fright before her eyes. I wanted this quilt to be happy and speak to this woman who had the needs of others at the forefront.

Serendipity - For several years prior to 9/11, I had collected small pieces of Guatemalan memorabilia that I found primarily in souvenir shops in the United States. I had no idea what I was ever going to do with this shoebox full of these findings…until I met this woman in New York City. I knew immediately that this was a perfect time to use those colorful pieces. On this quilt I sewed on Guatemalan-inspired bookmarks, belts, and worry dolls. The story of the worry dolls is that a parent would give one to a child to put under their pillow while they slept. If they went to bed feeling worried about anything, these dolls would take the child’s worries away by morning. This quilt is not my type of quilting, but it seemed just right to honor this optimistic and caring Guatemalan woman.

 
 H.O.P.E.

 

 

 

(Bright red flower), Click to view larger image.

This piece is 34” by 58”, mounted on a 24” by 48” canvas.

I used an acronym for this quilt that was also made for the 20th anniversary of 9/11. (I have too many quilt ideas to limit my work to just one 20th anniversary quilt!) The acronym stands for “H.elping O.vercome P.owerful E.xperiences. Without hope, life is more difficult. It is essential to our emotional well-being. Sometimes, hope is all we have to hold on to. This piece is 3-dimensional (my fun, new-to-me technique). It is “pencil” pieced (1/4” fabric strips), traditional piecing, embellished with mirrors in center of flower. It is approximately 6” deep.

Vini Vidi…

(nine small, individual quilts connected by hard metal), Click to view larger image.

This piece uses traditional quilt designs, stain-stitched, raw-edge appliqué, and is a “soft” quilt (not framed or stretched on canvas). Approximately 36” by 42”

I sketched this quilt, along with my Guatemalan-inspired quilt, at night while I was in between assignments in NYC. I felt a strange and cruel dichotomy of where I came from, the heartland of America, and what I was seeing, the harsh and twisted remains of concrete and steel in New York City. My experience reminded me of the old saying, “I came, I saw, I conquered”. But I didn’t conquer. I wept instead at what I was seeing, hearing, what these people had experienced, etc. I wanted to combine the perceived softness of the heartland where I lived (the small, soft quilts) with the harshness of the concrete city where the tragedy occurred (the metal chains and rod).

A bit of humor - After I finished this piece, I thought perhaps it just looked like a bunch of potholders strung together. That was NOT my intent!

 
And the Beat Goes On

(Twin Towers shaded in background with a musical staff), Click to view larger image.

This piece is raw-edge appliqué, stain-stitched, beaded, framed under glass. Approximately 18” by 24”

On the 10th anniversary, I was asked to make an updated 9/11 quilt to be incorporated into a local exhibit of my previous 9/11 quilts. I researched which musicals were playing at the time of the 10th anniversary and incorporated the titles into the musical staff.

 

       52-Week Photo Challenge Class Week 42 - HDR

Week 52 Photo Challenge:

Week 42, HDR

Photo by Richard Stebbins

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Richard says:

This image is from a local neighborhood that had a great mix of trees that I thought would work well. I used a tripod to keep the same picture while flipping through 5 total exposures. This was a difficult exercise in getting the exposures right and then it the editing process.

 

          Critique Group Challenge           from week 42

Critique Group Challenge: 

Week 42, Camouflage

Photo by Allison Haggarty

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Allison says:

Hiding in plain view

I did a little rearranging in the produce section when I went for groceries today.

FIrst try was with a yellow apple, but I like this one better even thought the outlier is more obvious.

I had some other more ambitious ideas but my daughter and her husband are visiting for the first time in almost two years and I'd rather spend time with them :)

Looking forward to seeing what the rest of you come up with!

 

Smart Phone Photo Challenges
Week 42 - Round/Orbs

Smart Phone Challenge:

Week 42, Round/Orbs

Photo by Helen Walsh

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Helen says:

Silent Song: Representing an empty Jabiru nest. One of the installations for Floating Land, a biannual art show set into the landscape at Boreen Point , Noosa. This photo was taken right on sunset after a thunderstorm using a Live Photo long exposure. I used a phone stand and the self timer. Edits in phone.

 

 

 

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