Second Quarter Stephenson Challenge

Second Quarter Stephenson Challenge

I’ve been working on the challenge on and off for a couple of months.  My first impulse was to chose his Blue Vertigo. 

blue vertigoI made some batts and used them to make the circular design. I pulled strips off the batt and laid them out.  Then added bits of colors as needed.

batts design of purple





StephensonThis piece worked out well, but I wanted to try another of his watercolor like pieces.  So, the next one was based on his Purple Rooftop. 

purple rooftop

I used some black pencil roving in the middle, a black background underneath in the center of the piece to help shadow the reflection in the pond and some mulberry silk for a reflective effect.  Unfortunately, the purple wasn’t as obvious in mine after felting.

Stephenson 1Stephenson’s Green Love reminded me of the carving technique I learned in Fiona’s class, so I wanted to try that, too.


The background is black prefelt and with a white center of merino over cotton batting and some of the radiating lines with different colored roving.  The carvings weren’t as wide, but I like the effect.

Stephenson 3a Stephenson 3








I enjoyed the challenge and the variety of techniques I was able to use to achieve the different effects.  Have you done the challenge yet?






18 thoughts on “Second Quarter Stephenson Challenge

  1. You’ve been busy! I like them all (the blues in the first one are delicious and the white sheen on the second one really sets off the other colours) but I really love the third one (carvings) it’s superb!

    1. Thanks Lyn! Yes, the carvings are always like opening a gift and finding a surprise. Even though you know what colors you laid out, after felting you never know how they will look when you them cut open. I laid out a couple of the cutoffs and needle felted them in place to fill in.

  2. You certainly were ambitious on this Second Quarter Challenge! All three of them are terrific.
    Will these pieces be wall-hangings, pillow covers…?

    1. Thanks Cathy! They will likely be wall hangings. I’m not sure.

  3. Great peices Marilyn. the firs one does seem to sink into the center like looking down a tornado. I like the second one, do you think if you shaved it a bit the silk and purple would come up again? the last one is my favourite you have used the carving technique to great advantage. I thought the white in the center was a hole when I first saw it.

  4. Thanks Ann! I can try shaving it although it’s not really hairy. I think I didn’t use enough purple. The mulberry silk does have a nice sheen to it. The carvings are fun and it seemed to lend itself io this particular painting style. Thanks for giving us this challenge it was a lot of fun!

  5. I have been working on exhibits for the upcoming shows that I am in and have not tried to do the challenges, but I have enjoyed seeing all the posts about them. One of the things about fiber is that the texture can overwhelm the details. I seem to prefer simplistic designs in fiber. I like your radiating lines done with the roving on your first picture, better than the second. Just my opinion. You know more about felt than I do and photos don’t always give a true depiction of things.

    1. Thanks Judy! The blue one did turn out better than the second. It is very hard to get subtle details in felt. I liked his Purple Rooftop, but couldn’t reproduce it in felt. That’s ok, it’s just my interpretation, it’s fun trying. It is hard to get a real depiction with photos, but then sometimes, the photos look better.

  6. Well done, Marilyn. You came very close to the original, I especially like the first one and the third one. As you already said, it was not only a challenge to replicate the picture in felt but an opportunity to a new technique that you’ve learned..

    1. Thanks Nada! Yes, learning new techniques opens up a lot of new possibilities and fun.

  7. Wow Marilyn – three challenge pieces 🙂 Your interpretations turned out really well and it’s great that you tried different types of techniques with each one. Looking forward to the third quarter challenge!

    1. Thanks Ruth! I love to experiment. The third quarter challenge is just around the corner. 🙂

  8. These are all great Marilyn! I love the second one, but they’re all great. I think this has been the most popular challenge so far, good choice, Ann!

    1. Thanks Zed! I like that everyone liked at least one of them. Now the pressure is on for the third quarter. 🙂

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