Sunday, October 25, 2015

Bella Jordana: Salute to Women With Curly Hair

This is a new portrait quilt I made between preparing for the International Quilt Festival in Houston. I had drawn the design a few months ago and then let it sit for no real reason. When I attended the Quilt Expo in Madison WI in Sept. 2015 I found a charm pack with the "shabby chic" prints in a pink/green/turquoise/light brown color scheme. I unfortunately did not save the wrapper with the name. I thought of my daughter Jordana because of her curly hair and her love of these colors and the flowers. I pulled out the pattern and tweaked it a little and it came together. I wanted a Bella pattern with curly hair and I added an eyebrow, changed the face shape, mouth, nose width, added a separate eyelid applique piece and there is a full shoulder line.

I had some pink flower felt trim which I glued to the neck area for a necklace. I sewed three pink flower shaped buttons over the felt and added some glitter nail polish to the flower centers. I hand sewed pink beads to the rest of the felt trim.

This is a close up of the face. I quilted half of the face in a narrow cross hatch and the other in a curved echo stitch. I used only one thread for the ENTIRE quilting process-Sulky Blendables "Milk Chocolate" # 4011 in 30 weight. You can't go wrong with a thread named after chocolate!! The browns in this project did look like the brown in candy bars!! The rest of the embellishments include two large pink flowers from a large Hawaiian lei from Hobby Lobby taken apart with a button center, a rhinestone "nose piercing," hot pink chunky glitter nail polish on the mouth and a white fabric paint dot for the eye reflection. My favorite nail polishes are sitting in Houston watching for me so I will add some of those colors to the eye area when the quilt show is over and my box is shipped back home.  Should this quilt become my next pattern?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Halloween Trick & Treats Forum at IQF Houston 2015

I will be part of the Halloween Tricks & Treats Forum at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, TX coincidentally on Halloween. It from 2-5pm and #760 in the events catalog. Go to to register and view the details. My title is called "Witches-Toil and Trouble in Quilt Making!!" I love witches and lean toward a pretty witch over an old warty ones! The two quilts in these photos are teasers of some of my quilty work! This wall hanging above called Bella Strega is my newest pattern and the only witch quilt I converted into a pattern. I will get feedback at the show and possibly turn other witch quilts into patterns. This pattern is available on my website at, at Pine Street Quilts in Marinette, WI and will be available at the Houston show.

This is a table runner I designed where I was inspired by silhouettes I saw on Pinterest and I already do a few on these silhouettes with historical hairstyles. I saw the phrase "Black Hat Society" as a spin on the Red Hat Society idea and thought it was a cute saying. I decided to add a wart to the witch's chin for the first time!  
The other women participating in the Halloween forum are in alphabetical order:
1.  Pam Damour

2.  Nancy Goldsworthy

3.  Diane Herbort

4.  Margarita Korioth

5.  Cyndi Souder

Check us out at Houston on Halloween! Happy Halloween!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Winter Bella: New Portrait Quilt Pattern

Miss Bella lives in Upper Michigan and I turned her into "Winter Bella" a few years ago when I created the blue snowflake version in the upper photo. I originally titled the quilt "Upper Michigan in January." While being on the teaching/lecturing circuit I would show this quilt as an example of a monochromatic color scheme quilt. I displayed it at Quilting Divas Quilt Shop in Green Bay, WI in 2014 as the "Honorary Quilt Diva Of the Month" and the owner and a few customers asked about a pattern. I was asked again to make it into a pattern in May at the Green Bay WI Evergreen Quilters meeting. I couldn't figure out how to get the applique pieces onto a 11" x 17" piece of paper. When I designed Bella Strega (the Witch pattern) I had an a-ha moment which helped me create this quilt into a pattern and renamed it "Winter Bella." In late summer I constructed a newer version in a gray and red colorway which hangs in Pine Street Quilts in Marinette Wisconsin. The blue version is currently on display in green Bay Wisconsin at Quilting Divas. The quilt is 18"l x 27.5"w and is a raw edged fused qpplique technique. For both color versions I collected as many snowflake themed fabrics as well as anything shiny or "icy" looking. I machine quilted it and embellished it with snowflake sequins, rhinestones, glitter nail polish and loose glitter/glitter glue. It is for sale on my website for $10.00.
 In the close up photo I used foundation paper, a snowflake motif  and variegated thread and machine quilted on the cheekbone/chin areas to repeat the snowflake theme.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Art Quilts AroundThe World Reveal: Uniform

Today is reveal day for my Facebook art quilt group Art Quilts Around The World. The challenge theme was UNIFORM and I interpreted that as something being the same or having conformity. I prefer to make portrait quilts so I selected an Andy Warhol style with four of the SAME images of a woman and I call it "Pop Art Princess 3." What is the same in this quilt: The background; the sashing and the sashing quilting; the image of the woman; the stripe in the halter dress and the position of the stripe on the dress; the brow, lip and eye color; the variegated thread used for the skin tones; the glitter nail polish on the eye lids and the quilting on the images. What is NOT the same: The color of the hair, the skin tones and the glitter nail polish used to embellish the hair. The size of this quilt is 11.5" x 17.5"

Of the four images I like this one the best because the combination of values of the skin tone, lip and brow color seem to be the most flattering. In the upper left corner, the image with the lightest skin tones and the pink hair has too much eye brow contrast and she looks severe. Likewise the black woman in the lower right corner has too low of contrast and I can't hardly see her brows. This became a happy accident to use in my lecture on value. This situation shows how a medium color appears dark or light in relationship to the colors it is placed with.

This is my second favorite image because the woman appears serene. Even though I use the same applique pieces the women can look slightly different based on the fusing placement and the way I quilt it. The next challenge due November 30th is on TEXTURE which is a no-brainer because I use a variety of textures anyway in many of my quilts. I will now go back to prepping for my teaching job at IQF in Houston which is at the end of October!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Spider/Spider Web Fabric Postcards

I go in streaks where I want to make fabric postcards and now is one of those times. I chose my line drawing fabric postcard pattern included in my Bridgette pattern and 5 Halloween colored fabrics to begin this project. I selected the fabrics in Halloween colors and not necessarily Halloween themed fabrics. Five fabrics in a variety of widths work nicely and the varied widths give a random look. Any fabric combinations will work-I chose Halloween this time and make 4-6 cards at a time. I cut them out on the diagonal to give movement and to accent a cheekbone line. I have two sides of the face in my designs and I like to place them together and they look like mirror images. I used black batik for the raw edged applique and black thread with a fancy stitch to join the top, bottom and Peltex stiffener. I usually use Fast2Fuse stiffener by Pellon but I could not find it online and I substituted Peltex and it actually worked nicer because it was heavier (less floppy.) I found the spiders at Joann Fabrics-they are not buttons but are flat on the back to glue to the front of the card. I created a spider web from variegated thread in the lower corner. I embellished with glitter nail polish on the eyelids and a dot of white matte fabric paint on the eye for the eye reflection. I intend to give two of these as door prizes in my "I Value That Quilt!" lecture I am giving twice at the Wisconsin Quilt Expo in Madison, WI on Friday Sept. 11, 2015. My pattern is available for sale from my website at Maybe I will see you at the expo since it is a blast!! Their website is

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Toil and Trouble: "Bella Strega" Is My New Quilt Pattern

This is my newest portrait quilt pattern called Bella Strega which means Good Witch in Italian. I am a hairdresser and I had an Italian man in my chair at the salon recently and I ran my quilt names past him to see if they were authentic and they were!! I love witches and Halloween! I loosely based this pattern on my Bella quilt pattern in the face but added a witch's hat and different hair. I used a charm pack called Midnight Masquerade by Moda Fabrics as the starting point. The pattern has forty 5" squares and the charm pack had 42 squares. After opening up the charm pack I discovered there were duplicates which made me mad. :( I thought the whole point of charm packs were to have the scrappy look without repeated prints. I went to my stash and added a few extras to get the 40 charms needed for the background I used black batik for the raw edged fused applique. I machine quilted the project with a variegated thread. I embellished the quilt with loose glitter/glue on the eyelid; purple glitter nail polish on the mouth; a green rhinestone for a nose piecing and a few black bat sequins I picked up from Nancie's Notions while at the Wisconsin Quilt Expo in Madison WI last year. The size of the quilt is 22" wide x 35" long.

The pattern is available for purchase at my website through Paypal. I am selling them locally at Pine Street Quilts in Marinette, WI as well.

I made this quilt as an addition to my Halloween Witch quilt truck show. I am teaching on Halloween in Houston TX at the International Quilt Fest for the Saturday Sampler and my subject is about witch quilts and it is called Toil and Trouble!! Hope to see you there! On to the next witchy project!!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Art Quilts Around The World Snowflake Challenge Reveal Day!

 My Facebook Group Art Quilts Around the World has reveal day today July 31, 2015 and the theme for this two month challenge is "snowflakes." I am experiencing summer in Upper Michigan and winter will be here soon enough so this idea was weird at first. Once I decided on a snow princess I started pulling cool, icy and snowflake themed fabrics from my stash. I found a royal blue and a white piece of hand dyed velvet from Chris Day for the princess's winter coat.  Chris used to be in this group. She is from Western Wisconsin and will vend at the Wisconsin Quilt Expo in Madison WI in September and I will buy some more velvets from her. I love the velvets because they add texture to the quilt that commercial cottons and batiks do not. I had the two great "disco ball" shiny fabrics from Pine Street Quilts in Marinette WI, where I used to work, and they worked nicely for the hair. I used a white batik for the skin tone to keep the cool icy feel to the quilt.

I originally started with finding the sparkly plastic snowflakes from The Dollar Tree in a place where they shouldn't have been! These snowflakes got me thinking of a crown for the princess. While shopping in Green Bay at the local Gordman's store (Awesomeness!!) I found the blue necklace on the clearance rack. I saved it and removed the necklace chains and flipped it upside down and it completed the crown.

I printed a Googled image of a snowflake on foundation paper and pinned a large flake to the chest area and stitched through the paper to get a snowflake image on the princess. I repeated the process in a smaller version on the cheekbones and chin.

I embellished with several iridescent nail polishes to accentuate the stitched snowflakes and the blue eye shadow.  One iridescent snowflake shaped bead hand stitched in the middle of the chest area and the snowflake princess was finished!

The next challenge is due on Sept. 30 and the theme is "uniform." I'm going to take it literally and either do a quilt of my daughter Jordana in her chef UNIFORM or explore a 50s dinner waitress!!

I will continue to not see snowflakes for several months!!

This s a closeup of the necklace and plastic dollar store snowflakes!