Monday, April 14, 2014

Portrait Quilt for Appleton East H.S. Class Reunion Door Prize

I have a class reunion this July in Appleton WI. I went to Appleton East H.S. and our school colors were blue and red because we were the Patriots. Back then the Americana color combination was not easy to come by but today it's everywhere. Anyway, the reunion is having door prizes and the coordinators are asking us to donate something so here is my contribution. I used my school colors and all fabrics in my stash. The batik stars and stripes is totally a great fabric as well the batik I used for the halter top!! I have used this pattern of mine before but have not added a border before. I also went into the border with the hair while doing the quilting.

I embellished with rhinestones for earrings and a necklace, two different nail polishes for the hair, a red glitter nail polish on the lips and a great blue chunky glitter nail polish for the eye shadow. I found a cute little button for the jeans closure.
The quilt is 18" x 24."

I added the year of my graduation to the bottom of the quilt in a subtle way. I wanted some reference to the reunion but not too much. You can do the math to figure out how old I am!

And last I never show my labels but I wanted to show this one. I do all my labels using the face stamp I picked up at Joann Fabrics and then I emphasize the eyes and lips using my Pigma Micron pens. I use them to write the info for the labels too.
I hope who ever gets my quilt enjoys it!!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Student's Work from my Portrait Quilts 101 Class in Oshkosh WI

I had the pleasure of teaching my Portrait Quilts 101 using my Angelina Pattern at the Fox Valley Tech. College's Sewing and Quilting Expo in Oshkosh WI last Friday March 14, 2014. I had 7 ladies in my class and 6 hours to teach them my techniques. The first photo is at the end of the day where they posed with their projects. All but one got to the quilting stage of the process. This was a fun group of women-they knew basic quilting information and could concentrate on the artistic process. As you can see the quilts all turned out a bit different!! They told me they are thrilled to see results and go home with a project nearly finished.

I am choosing to not add names to the descriptions so I will refer to each artist as "this woman." This woman stepped outside of my pattern pieces and added a fabric necklace and decorative clothing. She also enlarged the eyes and mouth. Very striking!!

This woman early in the class asked me if I had a pattern for eye glasses. I looked around the room and 6 out of 7 of the students and myself wear glasses. I said no I didn't but I would draw up an applique pattern. Then another woman, who was wearing awesome cat eyewear frames, asked me to draw her glasses also. So through the requests of students I have added glasses to my little portraits!!
This woman chose to do her project as a self portrait and added an asymmetrical blouse in which she will add a decorative button once the quilt is finished. Creativity!!

This woman followed my suggestion to use non-human skin tones and selected two awesome teal/green colors. Also blue hair and purple glasses. Very fun and the woman in the portrait looked like a beautiful reptile!!

This woman used one of my "bonus" hairstyles which I give to only people who take my class. She chose to NOT fuse the end of the ponytail and said she will create a 3D  pony when it is finished!

This woman started a bit unsure of her color scheme but when she pulled this great blue border fabric it all came together. I am so jealous of this fabric of figures of woman-no name on the selvage end to track it. It is subtle but works so well. A great use of primary colors and a triad color scheme!

 This woman selected fabrics that where more subdued and earthy. She felt her skin tone choices where a little too similar. Maybe but it's still lovely and she can quilt it in a darker thread and add "blush" to the cheek to add more color!
This woman also selected earthy colors. She went with a teal batik for the shoulder straps which seemed odd to me at first but the outer border pulled in the teal and it was very lovely and soothing to the eye!!

That's my Show and Tell!! This was such a rewarding time with a group of ladies that were an A+ in my opinion!! I hope they finish their quilts and, if so, I will post them on my blog!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Ann B: A Real Person Portrait

I have a website and I have had Ann Bridges from Appleton WI (my hometown) re-do my website last year. Ann is a former hair customer, neighbor and we found each other a while back on Facebook. Ann has a web design business called AMB Web Solutions and she helped me out when my original web designer retired.
Ann is very generous with adding pages/widgets to my website. I just added a page with my teaching schedule and another page with my patterns for sale.
So I wanted to pay her back by making a portrait quilt of her. I used her Facebook photos as references since I haven't actually seen Ann in several years. I was wondering what her favorite color was so I could use that as the color scheme of the quilt so I was sneaky and told her I was doing a survey on "what is your favorite color?" for my color classes. I did ask on Facebook and to the people I worked with etc. in a 24 hour period and the results were interesting.
Pink was her favorite color (mine too!) and I loosely use a pattern where I did myself in a whimsical portrait and Ann's glasses were the same shape as mine. I changed the face shape, smile and nose. She has fun hair too!! As I was creating this quilt Ann posted on Facebook while watching American Idol that Keith Urban and her had the same haircut!! I had to agree!
I embellished with nail polish on the lips, pink rhinestones in the background and some bronze fabric paint in the hair. No jewelry.
I mailed it to Ann this week and she received it yesterday and loved it!
I love surprising people with my art!!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Hanging with AQE (Art Quilt Elements) 2014

Wayne Art Center is in Wayne PA-I have never been there. I received an email from them about fabric postcards donations for their art center. They have an art exhibit (which I had no idea about) every year and they have another exhibit of fabric postcards at the same time as the main exhibit. The postcard exhibit is called "Hanging with AQE." I donated this postcard in the second photo. Apparently they raise money by selling these cards to help the art center.
I had this card hanging out in my studio so I mailed it off for the cause and exposure! Not too much commitment on my part except some paperwork and a trip to the Post Office! I hope someone likes enough to bid on it and it can have a happy new home!!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Woman With The Belted Dress x Two

This is a pattern I drew up and used for a several quilts a few years ago. I like the asymmetrical placement of the woman, the long hair and the halter dress. When I first designed it the woman was very thin. I thought "who looks like that?" and I added curves to the poor thing so she looked like a real woman! I added the belt because it was fun to accessorize and I can use more fabric!! That is the back story of this design.
Today I used this pattern to make these two wall hangings for two separate reasons. The quilt in the first photo is for a fundraiser in my community for the local free clinic. I want to contribute a donation to this worthy cause. The dress fabric is a hippy psychedelic fat quarter I picked up on my journeys and simply could not put it in another quilt where it seemed appropriate. But my lady could wear it as her dress! I have fallen in love with chevrons and this background fabric was a great contrast to the red hair and the dress. I added red glitter to the hair, glitter nail polish to the eyes and lips (makeup!) and rhinestones for jewelry. I did not add a flower to her hair because I felt there was enough activity with the patterns of the various fabrics and it would have looked too busy. I have to part with this quilt next week. :(
Quilt number two is for my local quilt guild's next challenge on using someone else's "ugly" fabric! I randomly picked the large paisley print. Not the worst fabric in the world but large! I liked the blue/orange combination and ran with that. I chose the paisley as the dress and had this great hand dyed orange velvet for the hair. I tried to downplay the paisley using value. I purposely selected a background that had low contrast to the paisley while boldly using orange for the hair, lips and belt. I embellished with an orange marker in the hair, rhinestones for jewelry and a felt flower button painted with blue nail polish with a bead in the center in the hair. The challenge isn't due until August but I was in the mood to work on it now. If any of my guild members see it before the reveal oh well!!
The two quilts look quite different to me based on fabric chose. I like the red haired woman quilt better because I prefer bright colors with lots of contrast  but I love the velvet hair too! Which one do yu prefer?

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Another Color Wheel Obsession

I decided to have a central medallion and a center area of 24" in diameter. I chose a pattern I bought on for $3.00 called New York Beauty/Curved Flying Geese. I originally saw the pattern on Pinterest. I downloaded the pattern and copied the foundation patterns using Carol Doak foundation paper in my printer. It went pretty fast because there was only four sections to work with.  Each section had 8 "spikes of color which means 32 colors in the color wheel. I found this great colorful plaid with black background which I used in the center of the New York Beauty block and the inner border to create the appropriate size of 24 1/2." I also bound the quilt with this fabric.

 Yes, I love the color wheel! I was doing color wheel themed art back in high school and it continues today. This quilt started in my 12 member block exchange group at Pine Street Quilts in Marinette, WI. Each moth one of us get to pick the block and fabrics and/or colors of the quilt. We have total control of the outcome which is nice sometimes! I chose my favorite block the Ohio Star, and since there is 12 basic colors on the color wheel I designated each one color (two fabrics) plus black for the background. I thought blue violet was the least enjoyable choice so I picked that color.
Then it was how to arrange the 12 Ohio Star blocks. Since yellow dominates over the purples I thought of the placement like the numbers on a clock. I put yellow where "1" would be and followed with the cool colors on the bottom and the warm colors on the top. I equate warm colors as visually lighter and cool colors as visually heavier. I am happy with my choice.
I quilted with black thread with lots of diagonals and stitch in the ditch around the spikes and geese. I did not add any embellishments because my plan for this quilt is a teaching tool for my color theory classes and it's about the color only.
The flying geese foundation piecing was very easy because all the lines are there to follow. Crafty is a pretty interesting websie-I encourage youe to check it out!!

Friday, February 21, 2014

My patterns are available for sale through my website!!

 This is my Line Drawing Portrait technique that was featured on Quilting Arts TV Season 1300 Episode 1303. The quilt in the second photo was also on the show. I decided to create a pattern for this technique and was also influenced by the Modern Quilt Movement. How can I "fit" portraits into the  modern movement? I saw lots of solid fabrics, chevrons, wavy lines paired with straight lines and I used my line drawing pattern and it took off. This pattern has all four versions in the directions. I have a new idea for a future pattern as well!!

Go to to link into my Store. I am eternally grateful to my web designer, Ann Bridges, of ABM Web Solutions, LLC, Appleton WI for adding my store page. I can quilt but I am not a web designer-sometimes we have to surrender some tasks to people who are professionals instead of trying to figure it out which takes away from the fun part of designing quilts and sewing!!I also added my upcoming teaching schedule to my website. Yeah to Ann!!
This is the gray version!

This is the wavy version!

This is the chevron version