Monday, July 28, 2014

6" x 6" Framed Quilt for Menominee Area Art Council Scholarship

 I am a member of the Menominee Area Arts Council which serves Menominee MI and Marinette and Peshtigo WI. Each year on the last Sunday in August there is an art fair for area artists at Henes Park in Menominee. The group decided to purchase 6" x 6' canvases and each willing member could "paint" something on the canvas and at the art fair all pieces will sell for $25. The proceeds will help raise money for local high school art students earn art scholarships for college. I don't paint so I remove the canvas that was stapled onto a wooden frame and made a mini quilt and then wrap it around the wood frame and staple it to the back. Wala!

I have done this several times for an art exhibit in Green Bay WI each February at The Art Garage for fundraisers and it is a lot of fun. Why is it fun?-no bindings and it's small in size to it's easy to construct. Also I use lightweight flannel instead of batting to keep the bulk to a minimum for the framing part of the project.

I used the same pattern I used last winter for the Art Garage but instead of a blond I wanted black hair and my favorite color combination of red and lime green. (

I embellished it with nail polish, fabric paint and some actual make-up blush on the cheeks-very simple. No beading or rhinestones.
The quilt was 10" x10" and I wrapped the design around the wood frame and in the second photo the design is seen from a side view.

The art show is on Sunday August 24, 2014 at Henes Park in Menominee, MI from 10-4. Check it out and buy a mini canvas and support college scholarships for art students!!

Friday, July 25, 2014

A Wicked Commotion  
 I entered this quilt in the Cherrywood Hand Dyed Fabrics Wicked Challenge. It involved the Broadway play Wicked and a fat quarter packet of this company's green hand dyed fabrics. I had not heard of this company before but I was extremely interested since I LOVE witches and I double LOVE green skin!! I ordered the fat quarter packet and received the rules. All entries are sized at 20" x 20" and 60% of the quilt needed to be the 4 green fat quarters and the 40% remainder was some of their many other hand dyed fabrics. I selected more of their fabrics to get the skin tones and I bought a pink gradation to get the lip color and then the binding. This was my challenge to not go into my stash to make this quilt and only use the hand dyed fabrics from Cherrywood. Also I usually use batiks and prints and this was all solid fabrics.

I must admit I have not seen the play Wicked (bucket list!) and I went to Pinterest and started my research on how the lead character, Elphaba the Wicked Witch, was different from other witches and the witches I normally make. Elphaba's dress was very modestly covering her body, it was not totallt black in color, very textured and it was inspired by nature. Her hat was very tall and pointy unlike my normal bent over hat style. I wanted to have black hair but I already used the black for her dress and hat so I went with dark brown and used black variegated thread and black fabric paint/markers to darker the hair even more.
This dress is full of embellishments. The rules said any embellishments were fine so I went crazy! I machine quilted in a bright variegated color, I added a lace trim with black beads to get the textured look. I ruched dark green silk ribbon around the neckline, I ruffled the same ribbon for the high neckline. I found a great black with metallic green edging at the IQF Chicago show and used it on the neck and the corset area. I hand sewed beads to the bodice and lower dress to add more color and texture. I used a black shimmery ribbon with wire and created the shoulder ruffle.
For Elphaba's hat I dotted the hat with a metallic fabric paint in green, added some of the metallic ribbon for the band and a dark green leather button to the band. Her face is embellished with fabric paint, markers and nail polish like I usually do.
The background has a few lime green rhinestones for bling.
I discovered there were famous quotes from the play and I really like this one Elphaba says-"I don't cause a commotion-I am one." I love this quote and used a portion of it in my quilt.
I had the time of my life making this little quilt. The link at the beginning of this blog is Cherrywood's blog post with my quilt as the first entry. I decided to share my quilt after they did. The deadline is August 1, 2014. There will be a gallery exhibit of all the quilts for judging purposes and then 20? quilts will travel to various quilt shows and the Broadway at the Wicked anniversary. I really want my quilt to be selected!!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Bella Inverta: Reversing Values

I made this quilt as part of my teaching demo at the International Quilt Festival in Chicago in June. It began with a Moda Charm Pack called Soho Chic. The top fabric was the one in the upper right hand corner of the quilt. I fell in love with the chartreuse, eggplant, teal and dark pink. When I started choosing the 25 squares for the quilt I picked all the light ones and really disliked what was happening. Then I realized there were "darks" and :lights" but no "mediums" which was a lesson in VALUE! I usually pick the lights and mediums for the pieced background and use a dark coordinating batik for the applique. I set those light prints aside for the binding and grabbed the rich colored dark squares that I loved from the beginning. But then what do I use for the applique so it is visible? I reversed it and went with a light color to get optimum CONTRAST! I purchased a piece to cream batik and it reminds me of a photo negative. I name my quilt series Bella (good in Italian) ... Negative seemed, well, negative so I tried the word reverse in Italian and it was "inverto" which I switched to the female "inverta" hence the name of the quilt.

 This photo shows some of the many trims, beads, baubles and flowers I had auditioned as embellishments for this quilt. These are the rejects. I chose some lime green rhinestones for the background, some hot pink glitter nail polish for the mouth, hot pink loose glitter on the eyelid and instead of my usual white reflection dot on the eye I "reversed" with a dark brownish purple.  Then I had some fun jewel tone Christmas garland I took apart and hand sewed the sequins to the outside of the binding for some bling. These large sequins remind me of the winter hats we used to wear in the winter as children! (a baby boomer moment!)
 This is one on the original style Bella quilts with a colorful background with black applique.  Bella Chroma.

And this quilt called Bella Rosa (pink in Italian.) This monochromatic color scheme is a great way to have a VALUE study.
This quilt is now a pattern and is available on my website

Monday, June 30, 2014

Double Duty: 2014 Hoffman Challenge and The Witch? Award on Facebook

 This is my entry for the 2014 Hoffman Challenge. The fabric is the big floral fabric which I fussy cut and made a hat/headpiece out of as well as the floral fabric applique pieces in the upper left corner and the lower right corner. I was having lunch with my daughter Jordana, who is biracial, last winter, and she was telling me about the stupid things people in Green Bay, WI, where she lives, say to her regarding race. They seem to not be able to "figure" her out, they assume she is a Green Bay Packer wife/girl friend or say stupid things that ignorantly racist. I got upset by this and channeled my energy into this quilt. I tried to match Jordana's skin tone and make a quilt loosely based on her coloring and use the Hoffman /challenge fabric. I call it "Hybrid" not based on the combination of flowers, which is a term used in floral/botany studies, but the combination of races and skin tones. I was very upset and this was a great way to get my anger out!!
I embellished it with a few sequins/beads in the background, rhinestones in the floral areas and a flower bead for an earring.

Part Two: There is a local portrait contest on Facebook called The Witch? Award. I want to win the contest and would appreciate your vote if you are on Facebook. If you go to and click LIKE on the photo of my quilt that locks in your vote. If you like another piece it cancels my vote-just saying...The voting goes until mid August I think. Thanks for voting!!
This is a close up photo of the face-I added a bit of actual blush to the cheekbones to make it look more realistic. The Hoffman Challenge will notify all entrants in August if their piece made the cut, and if so, the pieces will travel across the country to various quilt venues.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) 2014 Auction Piece

I have been a SAQA member for a few years and they do an art quilt auction beginning in September of each year to raise funds. They ask any of the members to donate an original art quilt piece 12" x12" and I created this piece I call "Human Harmony."
The deadline was extended from June 1st to June 15th and that gave me enough time to make something for the auction.
I started with the red batik with purple and gray gears. I felt like working with darker skin tones and blonde hair-as interesting combo but if it's good enough for RuPaul it's good enough for me!! I added the word harmony because I was being social/political in my mind while I was creating this and it spoke to be about human/racial harmony.
I embellished with two different yellow nail polishes for in the hair, one polish on the lips and another purple nail polish on the eyelids. I added rhinestones to simulate actual jewelry and a bit of white fabric paint on the eyes.
I'm glad they expended the deadline so I could commit to the SAQA auction project!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Coming Up Roses-Quilt! Knit! Stitch! IQF-Portand!!

 Happy dance! I made this quilt specifically for the International Quilt Festival in Portland Oregon this August for a contest called Coming Up Roses. This show will have quilting, knitting and stitching for this exhibit. for more show details.

I began with the idea of a Day of the Dead style makeup and LOTS of red roses in the hair. I explored on Pinterest different types of Day of the Dead makeup. Lots were scary and sinister-I chose hearts and flowers. The nose looks like a spade from a deck of cards. I showed this quilt last month to a group of Grade 1-5 elementary students and one girl thought the nose looked like a chocolate chip. What a creative mind and I like that idea better.
The eyes had five colors of different fabric plus white painted dots, red painted dots and the "usual" eyeliner, whites of the eye, iris, pupil etc. I did the whole face, neck, hair  and clothes then concentrated on the roses because this was the purpose of the contest.

I googled clip art of roses and selected one I liked and make a mirror image of the rose as well. I cut out a bunch of roses from red batik and arranged them in a pleasing asymmetrical manner. I used a darker fabric marker to get the depth as well as stitching with a darker thread and then I used fabric paint in a lighter red to get the highlighted areas. It was all a concept of value which is my new favorite subject!!
I embellished three different sizes of pre-made red roses on the roses, hair and background, red glitter nail polish in the hair, a few grayish sequins to bling out the background.
I named this quilt "Rosita" thanks to my friend Patty N. for the idea. I wanted a Mexican name that had rose in it and that's how it happened!!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Bollywood Challenge: Art Quilts Around the World

I am in a Facebook art quilt group called Art Quilts Around the World and their blog is There are 22 members from around the world and we have a challenge every two months. The reveal day in today, May 31st, for the Bollywood Challenge.
I was intending to do a Bollywood quilt down the road and purchased the fabric on the left side of the quilt from Bollywood to me means lots of bling and flashy embellishments so I went crazy!! I hit my jewelry stash and selected the huge over heavy dangly earring for the forehead. I had some leftover gold trim from my 2013 Hoffman Challenge quilt and added two to the quilt plus some gold rick rack to add to the bling. I used several decorative threads with gold thread to create the image of a sari. I added plenty of gold beads and colored rhinestones to the head scarf. I took two old earrings and the chain from an old rabbits foot with some gold glitter nail polish to create the woman's earring/nose jewelry. I added a bit of glitter nail polish to the hair also.

Here is a detail photo of the face. I enjoyed the entire process of making this small (11.5" x 16.5") quilt.