Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Coloring Book Claudia

 I'm still working on my newest idea of coloring book portrait quilts. I made a version already which I showed earlier in December, or maybe November, and now I am influenced a woman named Claudia who took one of my classes at the IQF Houston Quilt Festival in November. Stroll down this post to see her photo! I started with wanting a curly Afro type hairstyle and I designer a different neckline and sleeve for the dress than the Coloring Book Callie deisgn. I mirror imaged the design for a change of pace. I selected 2 fun batiks with medium scale designs and a multi-color to pull coordinating colors for the eye shadow, lips, background and hair. The two quilts are the same until I quilted them.
 I was inspired by Etta James, RuPaul and Beyonce for the hair and it matched the gold in the dress fabric. I loved this deep turquoise batik for the background and eyelids and the mouth became red. I used some of the wonderful Cherrywood Hand Dyed Fabrics in the gradation of browns I have purchased for skin tones. LOVE!! I quilted the background in a 1" grid design and then in one direction from upper left to lower right I connected a diagonal quilting line-strictly playing around to see how it looks. I liked the look and will do this again.
I embellished with two different glitter nail polishes on the eye area as well as tiny rhinestones scattered in the background from a nail art kit from The Dollar Tree (cheap and a nice color variety!!)The nose got a rhinestone piercing and I finally used the little rainbow colored crocheted thingie I picked up on my travels for a hair accessory! I found some small size Christmas tree ornaments and I sewed one onto the ear area as an earring. Lots of bling!!
 The pink version is the same but the quilting does not have the diagonal stitching. I fabric glued a 3D silk flower to this woman's hair. I decided to have gray hair for a change and some people do have gray hair so it is recognizable.
This is the real Claudia from Houston TX and she attended my Whimsical Selfie Portrait class last November. I have been reluctant to design an ear applique up to this class because ears can look like peanuts in a shell!! Upon seeing Claudia's short hairstyle and exposed ears I drew up an ear pattern for her and this has kick started me to add ears to my future portrait quilt designs such as this new project. Why use Claudia's name? The "C" name flowed with coloring book...
This will be a pattern I write up in early 2017. I had not designed it in time to include it in my fall 2017 quilt show teaching proposals. My other design did make the cut. On to something new!!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Rainbow Cat Eyes

 I made this quilt for The Celebration of Color Exhibit for the IQF Chicago Quilt Fest in April 2017. I wanted to combine my love of color and portrait quilts but try something different. I was inspired by a few rainbow themed motifs on Pinterest. The quilt had to be a minimum of 48" which is larger than I usually work. Vertically the quilt is 48" and horizontally it is 55". It fell into the Modern category and has a ton of negative space which I echo quilted in the coordinating color of the motif above and below it-that was boring! It was!
I wanted cat eye shaped eye glass frames (because they are my favorite!) and lips on the motifs and I "moved" the color one over on the color wheel which by default created an analogous color scheme! You'd a knew!
This is different than my "normal" portrait quilts but I wanted to go more modern. I was told by someone close to me that it wasn't finished because there were no face details. Sadness.
 This is a close up of one of the faces. I thread painted brows, cheekbones, a jawline, a nose and lots of strands of hair to each motif. There are things to see from afar and then closeup. I used two different trims and machine couched them to the quilt for hair emphasis. I added rhinestones to the glasses to look retro. I hand sewed a leather button to the hair. I hand sewed beads to create an earring. The lips got fabric glitter paint or glitter nail polish. All had to be identical to appear repetitive.
This is another view of more of the details. I thought the face reminded me of the 1980s video from the band Wham from the song "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go! because of the neon-like influence. I love that song and it makes me happy and so do the cat eye glasses. 
I know art is subjective but my feelings are hurt by my friend's comments because I spent a huge amount of time on this quilt and want it to be selected for the IQF Chicago quilt show. Time will tell.....Whether it gets chosen or not I will be using it in my color classes because there is plenty of things to discuss with color in this quilt. :)

Sunday, December 4, 2016

JIngle Bella: New Pattern Sample

 I decided to sew another sample of my new Jingle Bella pattern using a Moda charm pack called "Holly Nights." The current charm packs, especially Moda, do not have 42 different fabric squares like they did when the fabric companies first introduced them to the quilt market. I love charm packs because of the wide range of fabric print varieties. When I used this particular pack there were few light squares which I prefer for the face. I challenged myself to only use the charm pack squares and not go into my fabric stash and the face is less blended than I would have liked.

I quilted the entire quilt with one thread, a Sulky rayon thread #943 1549, after I attached all the applique pieces with black thread. This thread ran nicely through my sewing machine and gave a pretty shimmer that repeated the metallic gold in the fabrics.
 This is a close up of the face. I embellished with only metallic gold items I found some loose chunky gold "scatter" at Target for the eyelids; some gold nail polish on the mouth; a gold rhinestone for the nose piercing and some dollar store tiny nail art gold bling glued to the background.
 This beaded trim was an unexpected find this past summer while at a rummage sale. The plan was for the first Jingle Bella sample but I had over-cleaned my sewing room and couldn't find it! I found the trim months later and hand sewed it to the bottom of the quilt after the binding was sewn on-again very sparkly!!
 This is the original pattern sample also using a Moda charm pack but instead of traditional fabric it is whimsical. Same exact style of quilting. The choice of fabrics can really change the outcome and style of the quilts!
I changed thread colors in this project when I quilted it. As seen in the above photo I used a Christmas variegated thread on the face.
This pattern is available on my website www.laurieceesay.com for $10.00 Through PayPal.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Art Quilts Around The World Facebook Group Challenge: Science

 Today is reveal day for my Facebook group Art Quilts Around the World. The current theme is Science. I am not a big science person and had a hard time figuring out what to do with this challenge. When I was a beauty school student back in the late 1980s we had a textbook chapter on anatomy specifically the skeletal and muscular systems of the body. To cut hair one needs to know the bone structure of the face. As licensed cosmetologists we also are able to perform facials and therefore need to know what and where the facial muscles are located. So a shout out to beauty school is how I came up with my idea. 
I split the face in half and did muscles on one side and a regular woman's face on the other side. I discovered on Pinterest many images portraying muscles had the muscles in different bright colors to visually see them. I was all on board for bright colors so that was easy! The "normal" side has a neutral color palette.
I quilted the muscles in the accurate direction in which they would flex!
The "normal" side got a bit of glitter, a rhinestone nose piercing and both sides got beads for earrings and I used fabric pencils to enhance the eyes, hair and mouth. As I was working on this challenge it became fun and I really enjoy the finished quilt.
This is a closeup photo of the muscle side of the face-lots of tiny muscles!
The next challenge due January 31, 2017 is "I believe..." which is very broad based. I feel strongly about many things-the beauty industry, fashion dos and don'ts, politics and racial discrimination so I'm not sure the direction I will take this challenge.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Coloring Book Quilts

I have not posted in a while because I was busy before, during and after the IQF Houston quilt show. Such a great experience and I meet so many interesting quilters including five international students that were in my Bella Chroma full day class. 

I have a new lecture about how adult coloring books have inspired me to create quilts, portrait quilts especially, in the style of coloring books with a wider black line surrounding the applique motifs. The original quilt I made in this style was given to the IQF Houston silent auction and I can't find the photo. Sorry. I had squared off the tips of the hair and decided that was too much unnecessary work so I redeisgned the pattern and went with the usual pointy hair streaks. 

The photo on the top with the two versions is the revised design. Each quilt is 16" x 24" and has one fabric for the background. I decided to make two color ways-one with orange hair and one with red hair. Each has a fun colorful bold stripe for the garment. The facial features are the same. I wasn't sure if I liked the yellow color on the eyelids so when I was embellishing the quilts one got a gold row of rhinestone "eyeliner" and the other I totally covered up with turquoise nail art sparkly stuff glued on the eyelid.. The other embellishments were some pink glitter nail polish on the upper lip and a clear silver rhinestone for a nose piercing.

I will use this idea for a new pattern which I will write in early 2017. I am including it in my future quilt class proposals and see if the quilt teaching judges like it!!
 
 The coloring book idea began with this quilt's drawing. I connected and added black lines and expanded the background because I really liked the image.
This is another version of this pattern which became my Quilt Alliance charity auction quilt.

Do you like this new idea of the coloring book theme?

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

My Bella Pattern Revamped for Wonderfil Threads

I took my drawing of my Bella pattern and enlarged it to 24" square and adapted it to a more realistic version. Some things are similar but there are much more hair strands, skin tone shading and eye detail. I was asked by Wonderfil Threads from Calgary, Alberta Canada to make a wall hanging quilt. I have been one of their featured teachers and I receive perks from the company so I thought it was honorable to make a quilt, when they asked me, which will be displayed when the company vends at markets and festivals. The idea of pink hair came from me while working in a hair salon and reading all the ads in hair stylist publications and the trend has been vibrant colored hair. I chose pink because it's my favorite color! I selected blue/turquoise for the eye shadow because it was a color in the background fabric and it seemed retro-like in a 1960s kind of way. When selecting the lip color I stayed with the 1960s theme and chose a lighter pink to mimic the frosted lips of the decade a la Twiggy and Mary Quant!!

This is a starting point photo of the applique pieces fused and cut out and the background and binding fabrics chosen. The applique pieces are then fused to the background and with 7 different colors of hair it was a bit complicated! Could I turn this into a pattern-it would be hard to explain the process and order to fuse the applique pieces to the background fabric. The whole fusing process is like putting a jigsaw puzzle together!!

This is a photo of the details of the face. I used only Wonderfil Threads since this project was about their products. Some of the threads used were Fabulux rayon thread which has a beautiful shimmer on the hair; 40 wt rayon variegated for the eyes and mouth and Egyptian cotton "Tutti" in  variegated browns for the skin tones. I embellished with loose chunky glitter on the eyelid for "eyeliner," nail polish on the mouth and eye shadow areas; a rhinestone for a nose piecing and a variety of rainbow colored beads hand sewn to form a necklace. I will be sending this one onto the Wonderfil folks and plan to make another version for myself with a woman of color with red hair and green eye shadow!!



Monday, October 3, 2016

Modern Scrappy Portrait Quilt Class at IQF Houston

I will be teaching my "Modern Scrappy Portrait Quilt" Class using my Bella pattern at the International Quilt Festival in Houston Saturday November 5, 2016. The website is www.quilts.com to register and the Class is #703 and is a 6 hour class. The class kit will have 25  pre-cut 5" squares from Cherrywood Hand-Dyed Fabric for the pieced background as well as the Bella pattern. Cherrywood is the fabric company that created The Wicked and The Lion King Challenges that have been so popular! Their hand dyed fabric is so soft and buttery and I just wanted to pet them and ooh and aah over them before I cut the fabric into kits. We will be exploring the color wheel and placement of color to get more visual impact with the 25 different colors in the pieced background. The applique in a raw edged fused technique. I hope to see you there. If not The Bella pattern can be purchased on my website at www.laurieceesay.com