Friday, December 21, 2012

Chinese Christmas or Dirty Santa Party

Every year we have a finger food, gift exchange party to celebrate the Christmas season. The gifts must be handmade or from a collection. The food was outstanding which I didn't photograph, I just ate it. The gifts were also outstanding.
 Carol Bormann holding a journal with hand made cover made by Lettie Blackburn. And Lettie holding a pillow made by Emmie Seaman
 Cathy Jeffery holding pieced, molded leaves made by Diane Steffen. Maybe we can get Diane to write a blog post about her technique.
 Donna Olson holding Christmas socks.
 Lettie holding a wall quilt made by Roberta Ranney.
Pottery made by Dianna Callahan
Merrilee Tieche was Queen for a Day while she plows through tissue paper.
Then we also had show and tell:

 Roberta Ranney with one of her many owls. She says this is the last one; made for herself.
 Quilt for a four-poster bed made by Lettie Blackburn
Red Strips by Cathy Jeffery
Cathy Jeffery is holding another piece in which she used scraps from her red strips. Note Vivian Terbeen wearing the tiara. Now she's Queen for a Day!
YES! we had loads of fun.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Transportation 12 x 12 Challenge

 Our latest challenge chosen by Carol Bormann and entitled "Transportation" was revealed at the last meeting.  In a personal manner, life has become challenging for several of the members and only nine participated but it was still fun to see everyone's creative innovations.

 Hazardous Ride
Cathy Jeffery
I was inspired by a tumble that I took on my great nephew's skateboard, thinking I could still ride it at the age of 62!

Donna Olson
I took this name from the movie "Avitar" where the form of transportation was gigantic winged creatures. I would just settle on a Crow. 

 Go Mama
Emmie Seaman
Babies in a backpack get a warm, cuddly, smooth ride.

 Bike Ride Across the Danube
Lucy Silliman
Lucy is a world traveler who rides out of the ordinary modes of transportation.

 U Turn
Diane Steffen
 California Freeway
Vivian Terbeek

 Gassing Up At Phillips 66 on Route 66
Carol Bormann
The 1957 Ford (my first "ride" in a Mid-Century Modern setting was machine embroidered using rayon thread on black polished cotton.

I Love New York Taxis
Merrilee Tieche
I visited the Eastern Seaboard from October 2 through October 14. Ten days later, Hurrican Sandy swept toward New York. I had planned to use busy New York City somehow in the representation of the Transportation theme of this little quilt, but seeing the photographs of the beautiful bright gold NYC taxis submerged in hurricane driven waters really focused that idea. This was my first trip to New York and I fell in love with the city, it's energy, and beauty.

After the Rain
Dianna Callahan

Thursday, October 4, 2012


Enduring a bad drought this summer, Dianna Callahan named our new 12 X 12 challenge theme, "Hot and Dry."
 There were only nine of us participating this time. Summer has been too busy for some. Perhaps they'll add more later.

106 In The Shade
Emmie Seaman
Much of my landscape died during the drought and trees in the forest lost their leaves. It was so hot and miserable outside, I felt like a prisoner in my own home. I should add a window with bars on it.
Carol Bormann
While traveling through northern Missouri, I saw dry and cracked fields with corn stalks short and withered. By contrast, the corn in Nebraska was green and lush due to the irrigation the farmers were using. I realized there could be "Hope" if the crops were nurtured. This custom machine-embroidered piece shows this hope with the small green plant emerging from the cracked earth. It symbolizes the "Hope" I feel with the progress that has been made with our economy in the past 3 years. The crop is not developed enough yet, but if it continues to be fed, it should keep growing and be bountiful.
 Buzzard Over a Dry Gulch
Dianna Callahan

 Extreme Drought
Cathy Jeffery

 Donna Olson

 Lucy Silliman

 Arid Crops
Diane Steffen
A flight over Missouri from California in August inspired this version of Hot and Dry.

 Only the Dragon Fly Was Happy
Vivian Terbeek
Because when it is this hot and this dry, only the Dragon Fly is out visiting the sun flowers.

Hot and Dried
Merrilee Tieche

Saturday, July 28, 2012


Members of Uncommon Threads explored the "Fourth of July" theme for the July Challenge. Colors used were to reflect the traditional colors of the holiday.


Maureen Ashlock

Fireworks in fabric – Due to my son’s illness we did not celebrate the Fourth at his house. This was my fireworks.


Carol Bormann

Most of us are descendents of immigrants who came to America with the promise of a better life for them and their families. No matter what political affiliation people have chosen, I hope they remember this symbol of our liberty for all who live here. The design is custom rayon machine embroidery on cotton with fireworks freemotion stitched in multi layers of Rayon thread.


Dianna Callahan

My son-in-law is a Marine who fought in the Desert Storm war. I had saved a “desert storm” T-shirt from 1991, and used it for this project.


Diane Steffen

Presidential campaign is in the works. So much negative garbage is on the news that it boggles the mind. Why can't we just hear the good things about each candidate and make our decisions?


Lily Kerns

No political commentary intended. This is just a simple statement of fact. Holes in lavender tulle layer reveal the stars and stripes below it.


Donna Olson

Eagles are often used as a patriotic theme. My fascination with crows is evident in many pieces I have done, so I decided that what we needed was an All-American Crow.


Emmie Seaman

Although some think that being anti-war is unpatriotic, I think I am very patriotic. Thank God our democracy allows us to disagree and speak freely.


Lucy Silliman

“Celebrate” has a blue starry background with red stars and white sprays of light. Fireworks have always been an important part of our 4th of July celebration. Lake of the Ozarks is known for its big displays with everyone in our cove taking part in the fun.


Cathy Jeffery

I played with the idea of a new interpretation of our nation’s iconic symbol – the flag. What developed was my patriotic creation of the “Stars and Stripes”.


Vivian Terbeek

A flag photo was printed on fabric and appliqu├ęd to a dark blue background. Three explosions of fireworks were created using machine stitching and lots of colorful glass crystals. This is my childhood memory of going to the park was the 4th of July celebration at night. 


Merrilee Tieche

This piece features an ocean with fireworks and a full moon over a backdrop of navy tulle painted with an American Flag. Reflective Angelina film creates the fireworks and their reflection on the water’s surface. Inspiration came from experience in my younger years of watching fireworks from the deck of a boat, surrounded by hundreds of other boats celebrating the 4th of July the same way, floating on the Pacific Ocean.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Maureen Ashlock

This road was featured in the 1967 song by Paul McCartney. Penny Lane is one of the roads that lead off the roundabout that has the Barber shop where the Fireman goes to get his hair cut. John, living nearby, would meet Paul at the entrance to Penny Lane to catch buses into the center of London. A large shopping area and the bus terminal were located where the many routes merged. While living in Scotland in June 1969 we drove through Liverpool to go down Penny Lane when we were on leave in London.

Lettie Blackburn

My piece "Flaming Pie" was Inspired by a 1961 quote from John Lennon, who was tired of the media always asking where the group got the name the "Beatles". He responded; "I had a vision of a man in a flaming pie, who said 'you shall be called THE BEATLES, with an 'A', and so we were".

Carol Bormann

This tribute to the Beatles became my “happy quilt” for the challenge. Fascinated with the uniforms of the band along with the epaulettes and tassels, I chose to minimally reference the Beatles by cropping the images to show parts of the uniforms and only limited facial and hair details. The technique used was custom machine embroidery in a cross stitch pattern giving the piece a petit point appearance.

Dianna Callahan

The Beatles’ song “Help” kept going through my head and inspired this abstracted portrait of Ringo in a high-contrast, Notan style.

Cathy Jeffery 

"The Long and Winding Road" was inspired by a heartbreaking time in my life.

Lily Kerns

My goal in these challenges has been to move as far as possible from an obvious interpretation of the challenge--and still claim that it was "inspired by".

The Yellow Submarine was the only Beatle title I could think of. Both diving expeditions that have actually made it seven miles deep to the bottom of the Mariana Trench did indeed find bio-luminescent life forms. When I went to the web to play the song, neither the words nor music seemed familiar. Now I have another reason for not recognizing the music!

Donna Olson

When I thought of the Beatles’ songs, this was the first to come to mind, along with the vision of God’s Creation of Adam on the Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

Donna Olson

I am fascinated by crows and enjoy working with crow images. The Beatles’ “Blackbird”, a beautiful song, made my choice easy.

Roberta Ranney

My piece, "Blue Jay Way" was inspired by a song written by George Harrison back in the day. It actually refers to a street in LA but I chose it because I liked the name of the song.

Emmie Seaman

My portrait of "John" is a paper "cutout" technique that was applied to fusible fabric.

Lucy Silliman

Diane Steffen

I LOVE my car. Because the inspiration was the Beatles, and I drive a Beetle, I had to do something with the VW Bug theme.

Merrilee Tieche

Inspired by a John Lennon song written about the two women he loved most - his mother, Julia, who was killed when John was 17, and his wife, Yoko Ono. There is a lot of ocean imagery in the lyrics and the ocean always speaks to me.