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.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Art is More Fun Than Math!!

 I discovered this awesome book on the internet because the quilt on the cover fed my obsession with color wheels! The book is a great resource for color schemes and exercises in how to use different color schemes and the color wheel for quilt blocks.

The pattern directions for this book cover quilt uses a 22.5 wedge ruler and the 12 basic colors on the color wheel. Within the 12 colors you select 8 values from very pastel to the darkest shade totaling 72 6 1/2" x 1/12" strips sewn together to make 12 strip sections.
I have photographed the book instructions to show how the wedges are cut. Add a piece of white to create a Dresden top to each wedge.

I though I followed the instructions and I ended up with only 3/4 of a circle. I started doing the math. A circle is 360 degrees divided by 12 wedges = 30 degrees not 22.5 as in the ruler width the book suggested. I reread the directions, got advice from my online quilting group and even emailed the book publisher who never got back to me. So I didn't want to scrap the idea so I make four more wedges to complete the circle and I was happy with the quilt and could finish it! My intentions for this quilt is to use it as a visual tool for my color and value classes.
When originally selecting the turquoises I was leaving out the teals, and when I was picking out red violets I was missing out on the warm pinks and when I was choosing the lime greens I was not getting any of the great chartreuses so this was an easy task. I then added the fourth wedge with golds.
I am happy with the quilt but will not do this again and art is more fun than busting my brain on this math and geometry stuff!!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Little Traverse Bay Quilt Guild Class: Intro To Portrait Quilts

I had the opportunity to do a lecture and my Intro to Portraits Quilts class based on my first quilt pattern last week at the Little Traverse Bay Quilt Guild in the Petoskey and Charlevoix MI area. I had several ladies in my class and got photos of most of the projects-one person had to leave early and another person had an arm injury and couldn't sew on her machine. The women were very fun, creative and well organized. These are the great examples of the class projects.
Great pink hair!
Redhead doing a redhead quilt!
Self portrait with a wild background!
This project may become a pillow!

Love the color combinations and the fuchsia hair!
Awesome warm colors and bold outer border fabric!!
Great use of primary colors and fun glasses!
 And this last photo is an example of my quilt that I demoed on Quilting Arts TV Season 13 Episode 1303. If you go to all of us artists have our work available for download. Laurel downloaded my pattern and brought it to class to show be-I'm impressed.
This awesome quilt guild treated me like a queen! I had a great experience and have lots of memories! I was able to visit the local quilt shop called Hearts to Holly in Charlevoix, I traveled to Lower Michigan for the first time and I crosses the Mackinac Bridge for the first time also! The bridge was a rush!!