Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Art Quilts Around The World-In The Garden Challenge-Mosaic Garden Art

My Facebook art quilt group Art Quilts Around the World has reveal day for the current art quilt challenge. The theme is "In the Garden" which sounded easy because I garden but it is the beginning of what the calendar says is Spring and I am challenged to remember what my garden looks like. As you scroll down I took a photo of the same side of my house where I have a big flowerbed and the comparison photo today March 31st and at the end of May. If you garden you will understand the zones of gardening and I am in Zone 4 and a bit of a wait to plant anything or put out my garden art.

So I resorted to photographs of my garden and found the photo of the mosaic stained glass stepping stone my boyfriend Ken made in 2006. I drew the image of a woman with blue skin and a sun around her head. Ken added the yellow triangles to the outer edge. It sits in a flower bed by my side door into my kitchen and I plant a lot of yellows, blues and orange flowers and have other color coordinating garden art near it. It makes me happy!
I also have done a art quilt technique with a mosaic style where all the applique pieces are separate from each other and the background "grout" shows through instead of overlapping the pieces. This style is not my fave because you have to stop and start each stitched applique piece because they do not touch. More work and more thread. But to make this project look like a piece of garden art it had to be made this way.
I added very little embellishment because it's garden art but I did add a little red glitter nail polish to the lips and the purple eye lids got some purple bling.

The next challenge is due May 31st and it is called "Out of This World" and I am feeling like an alien invasion!!
The east side of my house on March 31st-brown, barren and last Fall's leftovers.

A file photo of my garden on the same side of the house on May 31st. Green and happy!!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

"Free Your Mind" Quilt!

I am trying something new and posting on my blog from my iPad since the cord which attaches my camera to my laptop is being stupid and I am long overdue to post!! I was trying some different techie quilts stuff which I am not so good at and my brain was about to explode!! I was perusing Pinterest and found a quilt block design called The Power of Nine" that was in modern solid fabrics and all star blocks (my fave!) The pattern was available through www.craftsy.com to download and print. I needed to step away from the computer project and have a "no-brainer" sewing project and this was the one!! I had a few yards of a large scale print with bright colors and brown sunflowers. I pulled yellow, orange, two pinks, turquoise and blue batiks, a green stripe and a fabulous warm tobacco brown batik to make the blocks scrappy style. The way the designer had them was great but I am more into prints than solids. 
I sashed the blocks with the brown batik and added a 6" border. I machine quilted the whole quilt in dark brown thread. No embellishments.  I will title it "Sunflowers and Soil" which is nice to think of gardening season in January and February. I was going to take a photo of the quilt outside on my clothes line but the weather in Upper Michigan has been very cold so I was a wimp and waited until yesterday when it warmed up to a balmy mid 20+ degree day! Then my camera/computer wouldn't jive! 
The other photo is the fun large floral fabric for the back from Joann's!! I never show the back of my quilts but this fabric was so pretty!
I still haven't returned to the computer work but worked on my 2015 Hoffman Challenge quilt. That quilt is finished also but I'm not sharing it until July 2015! Go to www.facebook.com/artsychickquilts to see a preview.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Art Quilts Around the World Challenge: Structure

I am in an online art quilt group called Art Quilts Around the World and our current challenge called Structure has it's reveal today. The group's website is aroundtheworldin20quilts.blogspot.com. 
I had a hard time with this theme because I view art quilts as unstructured and traditional quilts as structured. I pondered this idea for over a month then had an aha moment of realizing I liked to make half square triangles and I also like the Modern quilt Movement with its use of chevrons. I began with the white fabric with the large colorful polka dots. I selected six of the seven colors, eliminating the gray, and white for the portrait applique color. I arranged the vertical chevrons so the navy was on the outside for a nice border edge. I like the echo quilting used in modern quilts so I did this with the machine quilting of the chevrons.
The group determines the size of our challenge quilts to be 11.5" x 16.5" but I needed to enlarge this quilt to 12" x18" to work with a HST sized at 3." I may never actually show this or any of the other challenge quilts to the group so I made this executive decision to deviate from the original size because I have to love the quilt or why bother making it.

This is the closeup of the face which was quilted with a tiny stipple stitch between the quilting lines to detail the face. I embellished with nail polish, a rhinestone "nose piercing," a fabric yo-yo from the binding fabric and a large button. I love this quilt and it looks structured.

I enjoyed the process so I made another quilt for my local quilt guild's biennial quilt show April 25-26, 2015 using batik scraps from the raffle quilt. same pattern and same vertical chevron placement. Same fabric yo-yo hair flower. I added a small border to the outside
  since there was no rules!!
I do not work with pastels very often so it was a welcome change.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Neon Pop Art Portrait Quilt

 My eye was drawn to this border fabric when I was in Green Bay WI in October teaching a class. As a child, and a fan of art, I always loved this piece of art by Pierre Mondrian. In the 1960s the fashion industry used it for mini dresses (Twiggy!) I decided to use it in a new variation of my Line Drawing pattern. Instead of a pieced background I selected color color, black, and pulled the four colors from the print (white, yellow, red and blue) as the colors of the applique. I arranged the blocks similar to an Andy Warhol pop art piece with 2 portraits on top and two on the bottom. I moved the applique pieces so that each block had all four colors in each block. I played with how I would set the blocks with borders and sashings. In the end I decided additional borders and sashings were too busy and just sewed them together and added the bold border.. The quilt has enough activity so I just raw edged stitched the applique in the color coordinating color; the background was quilted in black and the facial features were quilted in the dominant color of each block's applique. This quilt will be used as a future pattern as well as a great teaching tool in my Color Confidence for Quilters Class. It is a great example of contrast, warm and cool colors and straight/curved lines.
I love to embellish my quilts but this quilt was telling me to be minimal so I only added the reflection dot to each set of eyes-white for all but the white batik which received a dot of black. Then each portrait got a rhinestone "nose piercing' in the dominant color in each block.

The border fabric was outline quilted on the black lines of the print. It has a modern feel to it and reminds me of the 1980s video by the pop group Wham for the song "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go!" Do You remember that video?

Monday, December 29, 2014

I'm a Cheesehead Baby!!!

I love the Green Bay Packers and so does my daughter Jordana who lives in Green Bay and my hairdresser friend Sherrie. I designed these wall hangings and constructed them while I was on my quilt retreat the weekend before Thanksgiving.  I gave the wall hangings to Jordana and Sherrie as Christmas gifts.
I wanted a cheese head on the female motif's head and had to Google it to get an accurate image of it. I used one fabric and fabric paint and markers to get the highlights and lowlights of the cheese holes.

I had the green and gold fabrics from the 2013 Wisconsin Shop Hop from Andover Fabrics and thought it would have the Packer colors without the obvious Packer fabrics.  I chose the jersey number of Aaron Rogers because he is the quarterback. I designed two different hairstyles but everything else is the same.

I am considering a quilt pattern that would be interchangeable for all the NFL football teams. I understand the cheese head is only for the Packers so I have to figure out what women football fans would wear on their heads especially in the warm climates. I went to www.nfl.com to their pro shop and have a few ideas such as knit hats or a headband.

I did a raw edged fused applique technique and embellished with fabric paint, glitter, nail polish and rhinestones.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Bella Valora: Exploring the Color Wheel and Value

While teaching my Bella pattern class in October I had a student who did a different color scheme than I had explored. I have made 6-7 Bella quilts either using a one color (monochromatic) or a multicolor color scheme. I have another pattern and class I teach called "Fifteen Shades of Gray" which is the third photo in this blog. It has 15 very light to medium values of gray with three bright coordinating batiks as the applique colors for a different portrait quilt project. The student selected 24-25 gray squares and one color (blue) for the applique. This gave me the idea to combine the gray values from the Fifteen Shades of Gray pattern with the Bella pattern but instead of only one color applique I did a multicolor/color wheel color scheme. I chose warm colors (reds, oranges and yellows) for the hair and cool colors (blues, greens, turquoise and purples) for the facial features. I chose one white tone-on-tone fabric and 24 values of gray in this project. I placed the lightest values near the face and faded to darker values away from the face. I did separate the chin/neck/lower hair pattern into two sections because I wanted both blue violet and purple. My favorite color is pink so I put both magenta and pink in the hair applique. I added a gold for a small hair strand and would not do that again but use yellow orange instead like I used in the small curls in the lower part of the hair. I thought the YO was prettier than the gold.
The construction of the quilt is the same as the other Bella quilts. I changed the thread color for each coordinating piece of applique and used the same thread color to add quilting to the areas near the applique piece. I quilted the gray background/face/neck with a light gray thread.
I embellished with a blue nail polish on the open area of the mouth-turquoise glitter was added to the eyelid area. I glued a few rhinestones in the left sided background area. I auditioned hair flowers and beads for a necklace as I did in some of the other Bella quilts but it looked tacky and busy. I repeated the multicolor in the cute striped binding fabric.
Valora is the feminine version of the Italian word for value.
My Bella pattern is available from my website at www.laurieceesay.com.
This is Bella Chroma which explores the colors of the color wheel. Still one of my favorite color schemes!

This is the sample for my Fifteen Shades of Gray Class which is smaller at 12' square. Bella is 22.5" square.
I learned my students inspire me and see colors in a different way and it's all good to feed creativity off of each other!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Art Quilts Around the World: Flight of Fancy

This quilt was made for my Facebook group Art Quilts Around The Qorld. This two month challenge was called "Flight of Fancy" and I was inspired by the various birds that flock to the birdfeeder outside of my sewing studio window. I particularly love cardinals because of their color and striking color contrast to the winter snow.
I couldn't resist making this a portrait quilt as well as fitting this challenge into another challenge I needed to have completed by December 8, 2014. That challenge was an embellishment challenge for my local quilt guild Northwoods Quilters. This challenge required a button, which was given to all participants, a fabric yo-yo and any other embellishment we wanted to use. I am not a yo-yo type of person but it was a challenge so I went for it!!
I chose to keep the portrait part of the project in a monochromatic blue to represent the cold weather and blue is a color that recedes into the background. The red cardinal then becomes the focal point because red is a stand out color.
The yo-yo was created from a piece of awesome hand dyed velvet which indirectly became the girl's hat "flower" with a button for the flower center. The button I was assigned was a unfinished wood button which I painted light blue and glittered which became the girl's coat button, No other embellishments were added to the girl except the white fabric paint reflection in her eye.

The cardinal was raw edged fused appliqued and it still needed some zing so I cut six feathers from a red batik and double fused them together to make three feathers. I stitched down the center and cut ruffly feathers with my shears. I then machine stitched them to the cardinal along the same stitching line with the same thread color. After the feathers were stitched down I fluffed them up to get them more of a 3D appearance.
The cardinal got a bit of red glitter nail polish on it's body and white fabric paint for the eye. Any more embellishments seemed unnecessary.
The local embellishment challenge will be on display with the other guild member's quilts in January 2015 at Spies Public Library in Menominee, MI. I can't wait to see the results as well as the online results from the original challenge at www.aroundtheworldin20quilts.blogspot.com. Today is the day for the reveal.
I feel it is a nice representation of a fancy bird NOT in flight!!