Sunday, January 18, 2015

Neon Pop Art Portrait Quilt

 My eye was drawn to this border fabric when I was in Green Bay WI in October teaching a class. As a child, and a fan of art, I always loved this piece of art by Pierre Mondrian. In the 1960s the fashion industry used it for mini dresses (Twiggy!) I decided to use it in a new variation of my Line Drawing pattern. Instead of a pieced background I selected color color, black, and pulled the four colors from the print (white, yellow, red and blue) as the colors of the applique. I arranged the blocks similar to an Andy Warhol pop art piece with 2 portraits on top and two on the bottom. I moved the applique pieces so that each block had all four colors in each block. I played with how I would set the blocks with borders and sashings. In the end I decided additional borders and sashings were too busy and just sewed them together and added the bold border.. The quilt has enough activity so I just raw edged stitched the applique in the color coordinating color; the background was quilted in black and the facial features were quilted in the dominant color of each block's applique. This quilt will be used as a future pattern as well as a great teaching tool in my Color Confidence for Quilters Class. It is a great example of contrast, warm and cool colors and straight/curved lines.
I love to embellish my quilts but this quilt was telling me to be minimal so I only added the reflection dot to each set of eyes-white for all but the white batik which received a dot of black. Then each portrait got a rhinestone "nose piercing' in the dominant color in each block.

The border fabric was outline quilted on the black lines of the print. It has a modern feel to it and reminds me of the 1980s video by the pop group Wham for the song "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go!" Do You remember that video?

Monday, December 29, 2014

I'm a Cheesehead Baby!!!

I love the Green Bay Packers and so does my daughter Jordana who lives in Green Bay and my hairdresser friend Sherrie. I designed these wall hangings and constructed them while I was on my quilt retreat the weekend before Thanksgiving.  I gave the wall hangings to Jordana and Sherrie as Christmas gifts.
I wanted a cheese head on the female motif's head and had to Google it to get an accurate image of it. I used one fabric and fabric paint and markers to get the highlights and lowlights of the cheese holes.

I had the green and gold fabrics from the 2013 Wisconsin Shop Hop from Andover Fabrics and thought it would have the Packer colors without the obvious Packer fabrics.  I chose the jersey number of Aaron Rogers because he is the quarterback. I designed two different hairstyles but everything else is the same.

I am considering a quilt pattern that would be interchangeable for all the NFL football teams. I understand the cheese head is only for the Packers so I have to figure out what women football fans would wear on their heads especially in the warm climates. I went to www.nfl.com to their pro shop and have a few ideas such as knit hats or a headband.

I did a raw edged fused applique technique and embellished with fabric paint, glitter, nail polish and rhinestones.




Sunday, December 14, 2014

Bella Valora: Exploring the Color Wheel and Value


While teaching my Bella pattern class in October I had a student who did a different color scheme than I had explored. I have made 6-7 Bella quilts either using a one color (monochromatic) or a multicolor color scheme. I have another pattern and class I teach called "Fifteen Shades of Gray" which is the third photo in this blog. It has 15 very light to medium values of gray with three bright coordinating batiks as the applique colors for a different portrait quilt project. The student selected 24-25 gray squares and one color (blue) for the applique. This gave me the idea to combine the gray values from the Fifteen Shades of Gray pattern with the Bella pattern but instead of only one color applique I did a multicolor/color wheel color scheme. I chose warm colors (reds, oranges and yellows) for the hair and cool colors (blues, greens, turquoise and purples) for the facial features. I chose one white tone-on-tone fabric and 24 values of gray in this project. I placed the lightest values near the face and faded to darker values away from the face. I did separate the chin/neck/lower hair pattern into two sections because I wanted both blue violet and purple. My favorite color is pink so I put both magenta and pink in the hair applique. I added a gold for a small hair strand and would not do that again but use yellow orange instead like I used in the small curls in the lower part of the hair. I thought the YO was prettier than the gold.
The construction of the quilt is the same as the other Bella quilts. I changed the thread color for each coordinating piece of applique and used the same thread color to add quilting to the areas near the applique piece. I quilted the gray background/face/neck with a light gray thread.
I embellished with a blue nail polish on the open area of the mouth-turquoise glitter was added to the eyelid area. I glued a few rhinestones in the left sided background area. I auditioned hair flowers and beads for a necklace as I did in some of the other Bella quilts but it looked tacky and busy. I repeated the multicolor in the cute striped binding fabric.
Valora is the feminine version of the Italian word for value.
My Bella pattern is available from my website at www.laurieceesay.com.
This is Bella Chroma which explores the colors of the color wheel. Still one of my favorite color schemes!

This is the sample for my Fifteen Shades of Gray Class which is smaller at 12' square. Bella is 22.5" square.
I learned my students inspire me and see colors in a different way and it's all good to feed creativity off of each other!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Art Quilts Around the World: Flight of Fancy

This quilt was made for my Facebook group Art Quilts Around The Qorld. This two month challenge was called "Flight of Fancy" and I was inspired by the various birds that flock to the birdfeeder outside of my sewing studio window. I particularly love cardinals because of their color and striking color contrast to the winter snow.
I couldn't resist making this a portrait quilt as well as fitting this challenge into another challenge I needed to have completed by December 8, 2014. That challenge was an embellishment challenge for my local quilt guild Northwoods Quilters. This challenge required a button, which was given to all participants, a fabric yo-yo and any other embellishment we wanted to use. I am not a yo-yo type of person but it was a challenge so I went for it!!
I chose to keep the portrait part of the project in a monochromatic blue to represent the cold weather and blue is a color that recedes into the background. The red cardinal then becomes the focal point because red is a stand out color.
The yo-yo was created from a piece of awesome hand dyed velvet which indirectly became the girl's hat "flower" with a button for the flower center. The button I was assigned was a unfinished wood button which I painted light blue and glittered which became the girl's coat button, No other embellishments were added to the girl except the white fabric paint reflection in her eye.

The cardinal was raw edged fused appliqued and it still needed some zing so I cut six feathers from a red batik and double fused them together to make three feathers. I stitched down the center and cut ruffly feathers with my shears. I then machine stitched them to the cardinal along the same stitching line with the same thread color. After the feathers were stitched down I fluffed them up to get them more of a 3D appearance.
The cardinal got a bit of red glitter nail polish on it's body and white fabric paint for the eye. Any more embellishments seemed unnecessary.
The local embellishment challenge will be on display with the other guild member's quilts in January 2015 at Spies Public Library in Menominee, MI. I can't wait to see the results as well as the online results from the original challenge at www.aroundtheworldin20quilts.blogspot.com. Today is the day for the reveal.
I feel it is a nice representation of a fancy bird NOT in flight!!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Scarlet: Portrait Quilt with a 12 Month Block Exchange

This quilt started as a 12 month block exchange in 2013 at Pine Street Quilts where I work. The fabric was a line of fabric that was digitally printed and I liked the color combination of red orange and turquoise. The line hasn't been a big seller at the shop but I liked it. I sat on it almost a year then decided to add a portrait quilt to the center with the blocks around the outside. I love star blocks and was somewhat disappointed by the blocks I received from the ladies in the block exchange. I ended up with doubles of the same block twice-there are a gadzillion of blocks and I got the same ones! So I pouted a few months then decided to actually make a quilt with the blocks. I used a great batik that tied the colors together as well as added depth to the quilt. By adding the small sashing between the blocks this made the center 25" square.

 I used a few of the fabrics in the block exchange and a whole lot of batiks! There are four hair fabrics, two dress fabrics and the cool background fabric. I stitched the hair with a contrasting color which is not my norm. I wanted to have an outline effect. I purchased an attachment to create circles while in Chicago at the IQF14-Chicago show in June and used this for the turquoise background. Subtle but it did a better job than if I had marked it and just stitched it. The attachment was a bit pricey but I feel it was worth it. I have a Viking Sapphire sewing machine.
I embellished the hair with some orange wool that I couched to the front bangs. Then I had this great orange/pink/green cording which I also couched to the hair. Then some orange glitter nail polish.
The eyelids received some blue glitter nail polish and the mouth and eyes had some fabric paint to enhance the look.
The background has a few turquoise rhinestones and the inner corners of the sashing got some peach colored felt flowers with orange rhinestones in the intersections.
That left the earring. I tried shopping for a ready made earring in the right color and size which didn't happen. I ended up finding three separate things (small sequin, bead and large sequins) to make my own earring which I hand stitched to the ear area.
I named this quilt Scarlet because her hair is scarlet color and I like color names. she looks like Jessica Rabbit the cartoon vixen!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Bella Catalina

I love making Bella quilts from my Bella pattern! I made this one using a Moda Catalina batik charm pack from Pine Street Quilts where I work on Tuesdays. I also selected a very dark brown from the shop as the applique fabric. I used some of the left over charm squares cut in half and sewn end to end as a pieced border.

I quilted a leaf design on each cheek and the chin with variegated thread. I added some grass green glitter to the veins of the leaf on the left cheek to add definition. I embellished with some loose glitter/glue on the eyelid and I also added some glitter nail polish on the mouth.

I presented this quilt to the owner of the quilt shop as a potential quilt kit and she agreed! I will also will be teaching this quilt as a class on Saturday January 10, 2015 and students can create their Bella quilt in any color way whether monochromatic, color wheel or a charm pack version.

I taught this class last Saturday in Green Bay, WI and was impressed with the student's creativity and am inspired my their color choices and want to create more Bella quilts!!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Steam Punk Quilt: Brigadier Victoria Locke-Ceesay

I have wanted to make a steam punk themed quilt for over a year. I looked at all the different fashions, hairstyles, hats and jewelry at Pinterest. I saw a lot of muted browns, golds, and rusts since it was old fashioned and bright fabric dyes hadn't been invented. Steampunk mixes the Victorian Era fashions and decorations with the Industrial Revolution (gears, keys, flight, trains, bicycles, clocks.) I loved the old fashioned corsets, fancy hats, gears and peacock feathers. I just couldn't start this quilt until the "right" fabrics were in my possession. This summer a local woman called Vicki gave me a nice stash of specialty fabrics and there was a considerable amount of the turquoise, gold bronze and brown plaid lame. The minute I saw it I knew it was the outside border and the color scheme came together. The lame is very crunchy, noisy and has a paper-like feel and is lightweight but does not unravel. I also used lame from Vicki for the corset, hat brim edge and the hat band and ribbon. The other fabrics are commercial batiks and cottons.

 The huge peacock plume was a bit difficult to draw out the applique pattern but once it was sewn down I really love the affect.
 I used some white fabric paint to get the reflection in the goggles, eye area and the mouth. I have some glitter nail polish on the eyelids and mouth. I was given a box of embellishments from my local quilt guild when I stepped down as program coordinator and there were pieces of vintage jewelry in the box. I reworked a few pieces to create the necklace centerpiece. The bronzy rhinestones were purchased at Joann Fabrics in the bead department and the whole thing appears weathered and worn.
I also found a bag of metal gears at Joann Fabrics which I hand sewed randomly on the quilt. I googled gear clip art and printed a few simple gear motifs using Carol Doak's foundation paper. I sewed over the lines to get the gear design and did some tiny stippling in the gear openings to get a secondary gear design.
 
Then I always title my quilts and was stumbling a bit with this one. I found a website where you can get a steampunk name based on your own name. I didn't like my converted name but I liked parts of it and I also used parts of my daughter's name version. I used Victoria as the first name because my friend Vicki contributed to the great plaid border fabric and lames and because of the Victorian Era. I combined my mom's maiden name "Locke" with my last name to get "Brigadier Victoria Locke-Ceesay."
I will enter this quilt is a few upcoming quilt shows in 2015.