Sunday, February 19, 2017

Charity Quilt for Spring University Days at the WI Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts

 I have been invited to be a participant in the Spring University Days at the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts in Cedarburg Wisconsin held May 12 and 13, 2017. They encouraged all faculty to make a silent auction/charity item for their fundraiser. I used my Line Drawing pattern which makes a 12" square mini portrait quilt. Instead of a pieced background I selected a very large scale print as the background. I positioned the white flower over one of the eyes. I also prefer to run stripes vertical.
I defined the nose, eye lids and chin with black thread which was also used to stitch down the black batik applique.
I added some glitter nail polish to the eye lid area and mouth and a rhinestone to the nose area. This project comes together pretty quick.
I hope someone enjoys it!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Boom Chick A Boom


I was inspired by the Facebook Challenge called "The Skin We Are In" from the Bad Ass Quilters Society from Chattanooga TN. They were inspired by Kathy Nida's art quilt with female nudity that was pulled from an American Quilt Society's quilt show in Grand Rapids, MI last August. I had never heard of Kathy or her work so the controversy got her name out in cyber space/social media and her art quilts of women, often nude and with subjects such as homelessness, birth and female reproduction. Bad Ass Quilters Society is already mad at the Quilt Police and the over conservative judgement of quilters who don't fit into their idea of what a quilt "should" be. I have also fallen victim to the Quilt Police and find myself on the support side of art is art and nudity in art is not a bad thing but another form of art expression.
So the challenge is online only at the Bad Ass Quilters Society's Facebook page for viewing-no prizes and nothing is traveling to quilt venues.
I was inspired by Carmen Miranda, Las Vegas showgirls and Brazil's Rio de Janeiro's Carnival. The point I was making was even though the breasts are exposed the emphasis is on all the vast ornamentation of head dress, garments and jewelry. I decided to create a topless Carmen Miranda like image. Back in the early 1990s I had the opportunity to take doll making classes from California's Eleanor Peace Bailey. She is so awesome and was very colorful and trendy and I was automatically drawn to her aura! I purchased several of her witch, mermaid and fairy doll patterns. All her patterns had "boobs" which was a circle of fabric turned under and hand tacked to the chest area. Polyfil was used to stuff the breasts and then the nipples were created by hand stitching them into place. Derwent Inktense pencils were used to draw in the areola. I forgot about the whole thing then really looked at the mermaid doll hanging forever in my bathroom and the idea resurfaced! 
This quilt is full of embellishments:
1. Rainbow rick rack in the binding like a flange.
2. Pointy Christmas ornaments on the skirt waistband.
3. Black with multicolor metallic tulle as the sleeves and the skirt waistband. Two types of trims are hand tacked to each of these. The one trim is also hand tacked to form the bra band and halter straps.
4.Real beaded drop earrings were used for earrings. The coordinating necklace was repurposed for bracelets.
5. I had the plastic fruit beads from leftovers from a 1980s necklace which I hand tacked on. More of the beaded necklace used for the bracelets also used for another necklace and a Dollar Store bead necklace was the third addition. The point is NEVER throw jewelry away because you can repurpose it in the future!!!
5. The fruit headpiece has a silk flower from a Dollar Store Hawaiian lei with a rhinestone. There is white fabric paint added for highlights. Also some of the fabric pencils mentioned above were also used to emphasis and shade the fruit for more dimension.
6. The face has a white fabric paint eye reflection, a subtle bit of nail polish on the brow bone and lips and a nose piercing.
As you can see she is not nude because I covered her up with large Hawaiian lei flowers to use this quilt in other quilt shows. Would you have covered her? Scroll down to the end of the post to see the real deal!

This is a photo of the headpiece in a closer view.

And here is the photo I submitted to "The Skin We Are In" Challenge. I had fun with this and realize art is controversial thus the cover up. Thoughts? 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day: Queen of Hearts

This project began with a Moda charm pack I purchased last fall. I was able to start the quilt last week. I had make a very small portrait quilt with the woman having a heart shaped face, a heart shaped hair silhouette and a heart shaped dress neckline. I was headed in that direction including the heart shaped mouth which I used a few years back for the Day of the Dead quilt which was likeable. I have been watching, on PBS, plenty of British historical TV shows and the fashions influenced me as well as the Queen of Hearts character from the Alice in Wonderland book and movie. Throw in a little Steampunk fashions and I'm ready to draw up a design! I was on a quilt retreat last weekend and made sure this quilt lad priority!
I did a Pinterest search and discovered the cool queen-like collar as well as the dramatic eye makeup. The Queen of Hearts played by Helene Bohnam Carter in the Johnny Depp movie had very thin eye brows so my Queen got skinny brows too! I decided to make the quilt with six 5" squares wide and eight squares tall. I arranged the creams, reds, grays and a few blacks symmetrical with a mirror image. Since a charm pack has 42 squares I added a few dotted charm squares from another Moda pack and a few rotary cut batiks. I quilted the quilt with red thread for the dress and collar; variegated white/red/black thread for the background; variegated red/black thread for the hair and lights for the skin.
I did a lot of embellishments on this quilt:
1. The crown has beads on the peaks and a felt heart button in the middle.
2. The hair has red and white chunky nail polish.
3. The eyes have brown Drewent Inktense pencils to make the rises brown and a Pigma MIcron brown pen to add details. There is chunky red bling from Target on the lids and loose silver glitter/glue as eyeliner. A dab of white fabric paint for the eye reflection.
4. The cheeks have iridescent nail polish and red buttons sewn on them.
5. The mouth has chunky red nail polish to define the heart shape.
6. The collar has red metallic leather rick rack recently purchased at Target which is very fun and exciting to me! It was easy to work with and machine stitch to the collar.
7. The sleeves have a red/white trim on the band and another red/white trim as a bow on the outer edges.
8. The dress has red machine stitched hearts on he bodice as well as red buttons on the seam lines.
9. The ears have repurposed beads for earrings.
10. The background has red rhinestones glued on to it.
11. A red Pigma Micron pen used to draw a small heart spaced mole near one of the eyes. 




 This is a close up on the face and it is so pretty and blingy!
This is a close up view of the dress trims, buttons and rick rack.

Happy Valentine's Day to you!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Art Quilts Around The World Challenge: I Believe...in Professional Hair Color!!

It is reveal day again for my Facebook art quilt group Art Quilts Around The World. Those two months went fast! The theme this time was "I Believe..." It was selected by the individual in the group who chose it to be spiritual or religious. I could not think of anything that I wanted to put on a quilt to reflect this idea. I had to think about this subject for a while before finding an idea. I decided I have very strong opinions about being a hairdresser for nearly 30 years and how I believe women should wear their hair to look their best. I come from a family where the women color their hair no matter what their age. My Mom is 81 and is still coloring her hair brown like she has for decades! This is my norm to NOT see gray hair. I color hair for my job and it is one of my favorite things to do in the salon. I make my living coloring hair. As you are reading this you may agree or disagree with me. You may have gray hair. I get it but I believe women look better with their hair colored!
In this project I drew a women with a bob haircut (my personal haircut and favorite!) Half of the hair is gray and white and the other half is PROFESSIONALLY colored in a salon. Not from a box from Walgreens and your friend did it while drinking too much wine! Stylists know what we are doing and take classes on color formulation and color correction. Salons fix home hair color!

I just realized the challenge from November 2016 had a face that was split in half vertically and I did it again unconsciously! Oh Well!


In this photo it shows the lettering of the names of five professional hair color companies-Redken (my favorite,) Joico (used to get the bright fashion colors,) Matrix, Paul Mitchell (abbreviated for space) and Wella which is what the salon I work at uses. There are many more companies but since this quilt is small I literally ran out of room. Why use these particular colors for the lettering? They represent the colors customers ask for when they have their hair colored-red, rusty browns, oranges/auburns, gold and pale blonde. The browns are represented in the woman's right side of her hair with warm brown and highlights and lowlights.

This is a close up of the face. I used a few pinks and purples for "make up!" The quilt was embellished with fabric paint, Derwent Inktense pens, a rhinestone on the nose, some glitter nail polish on the brow bone and both sides of the hair.

The next challenge is due March 31 which will feel like Spring is near! The them is using words in a quilt-I actually used words in this quilt and use words anyway in my work. I am going to use the statement "I Resist!" due to the terrible President that is running the USA and my opposition. I feel strongly about this and a quilt with these works will have meaning!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Bobbie Pin: Rockabilly Chick

 This quilt began as another quilt which was for a Ricky Timm's Convergence challenge. I purchased a piece of his hand dyed fabric and then used it in the challenge. When I received the fabric I thought it was the ugliest fabric in the world-brown and muddy looking! It needed some bright colors to help it out! I wanted to do a portrait quilt with raw edged fused applique over the Convergence pieced background and drew up a design with a Rockabilly woman with tattoos and fun retro hair. It is fun combine my hairdressing career with my quilt designs!  The photos of the original quilt are toward the bottom of this blog post. I made that quilt in October but never shared the photos because of the epic fail.
I will talk now about the my newest version. While teaching last November at Houston my Janome tech support woman was sewing a project with a fun line of fabrics called "Good Hair Day!" This fabric line caught my attention because of the bobby pins, blow dryers, hair combs, curls and braids. Once I was home from Houston I ordered this fabric line. I enlarged my normal 5" square to 5.5" and added a border. The rest of the project went pretty conventional in construction. I quilted the background in a triple crosshatch design. When it was complete it reminded me of a 1960s silk robe's quilting I had as a child! Very retro just like the Rockabilly theme!
I embellished the quilt with blue rhinestones and a large bead for an earring was hand sewn in place. A small amount of fabric paint and glitter nail polish to accentuate the eyes. I discovered I had colored sparkly blue bobby pins which I hand sewed to the corners in the outer border and two in the hair area.  The fabric motifs were very strong and showy and too many embellishments seemed senseless. I had fun creating the flower, heart and Hello Kitty tattoos-I have not added tattoos to a quilt before.


This is a close up view of the face.
 These are the photos of the failed attempt. What went wrong? There is not enough contrast between the pink used in the applique and the pieced background.
I made several attempts to add definition to the face by adding lots of glitter and fabric paint. The details just do not show up. I did enter the online Convergence contest and, of course, I did not get accepted. I love the newer quilt with plenty of contrast and am stuck with the original quilt. What should I do with it since it's not something I am proud of?

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. :)