This piece is long overdue. Sorry about that.

It does represent Growth on many levels.

I wanted to paint fabric to use in this piece as I haven’t done that much before. I used thinned down acrylic paint and tried it on both wet and dry cotton fabric. I laid it on the grass to dry in the sun and was able to achieve the terrific depth you see in the background fabric. I let some dry on other surfaces for a more uniform look. That part was my growth, using a new technique. It was a learning process and the results were pleasing.

The theme “Women Hold Up Half the Sky” is a theme of growth. Recognizing the value women add to society and their unique cultures is important to me. It took three tries making this small quilt to get one that satisfied me. Isn’t that interesting since in the end it is a simple image. Perhaps “less is More” is a good plan, especially on a small work. That is one of the things I like about working small. It gives me a chance to try things out.

I stepped out on a limb after seeing Carol’s piece with the writing on it and dared to stamp mine. (Another bit of growth:)

I hope you enjoy this and comments are welcomed and appreciated.

Women Hold Up Half the Sky web


 Words to live by

I had this sketched out awhile ago and always meant to make it into a quilt so this challenge gave me the push I needed. the words are written in with a marker but I would like to try a bigger one and try to FMQ in the words. That would be cool.

 Even with the marker I made a mistake by first putting a line at the top of the T , then putting a line in the middle also. Since the writing was the last thing I do, I either have to live with it or chuck the whole thing. I decided to first out white paint and then shade that as much as I could with Inktense pencil.

I still see it and now so do you since I pointed it out but it’s ok. I wouldn’t sell this because of it but will look fine in my office at work.
If I do it in stitching though I will definately write out the words so I can look at it while sewing.

“Living The Life” by Kathy Zieben

The first 2016 quilt challenge theme is “The Orient Express”.   Being able to experience a world of timeless glamour and romantic adventure would be such a blast!  Boarding such a luxurious train and traveling European cities would be awesome.  Perhaps one day I will get to take a journey on the world’s most famous train.  I would definitely take my camera and capture everything that I might see!

I wanted my quilt to show the opulence and richness of the people who might take this kind of adventure.  They are definitely “Living The Life” and seeing the world.   Using the letters of the name, ORIENT EXPRESS, I decided to think of what would describe such a worldly travel experience.

O is OPULENT                               E is EXPENSIVE

R is RAVISHING                           X is eXtravagant

I is IMPROVIDENT                      P is PROFUSE

E is EXCESS                                   R is RICH

N is NOBLE                                    E is EXORBITANT

T is TACKY                                     S is SPLENDOR

                                                        S is SPOILED



My quilt began with a paper collage showing my interpretation of an Asian theme.  The collage was photographed and scanned onto fabric. It was machine quilted and hand embellished with beading.  Do you think these people are “LIVING THE LIFE”?


I followed recommendations from Janice.  Spend 1/2 a day, used a new technique and had fun.  This is a work on tea dyed linen, with Derwert Inktense pencils, a free hand paint brush with water, and free motion stitching.  I’ve never done something like this, just fast and spontaneous.  This is “Growth” in many ways, But I can’t decide which way is up.













Searching for Saffron

The Orient Express was a train that extended from Paris to Constantinople, now Istanbul. One of the attractions of Istanbul was the spice markets.
My quilt is a view of the spice markets juxtaposed with a stepping stone path,

Millar_Elaine_Searching for Saffron web

My goal for this piece was to do hand stitching, keep it graphic in look and try quilting with felt as the batt.
I like the felt for art quilt as it gives the quilt some added body and keeps it straighter. I love the hand stitching and wish I had done the quilting that way.

Ah well, next time.

I do like making goals for each of these bit pieces. For me, it’s about experimentation.


For the Orient Express Challenge, the first thing that came to mind was fans. I used fabric that’s been in my stash for a long time (according to the selvedge date). The little tassels on the fans are beads from a necklace I took apart years ago. It’s fused, machine stitched and hand quilted. Fanciful-final