Sunday, November 9, 2014

Scarlet: Portrait Quilt with a 12 Month Block Exchange

This quilt started as a 12 month block exchange in 2013 at Pine Street Quilts where I work. The fabric was a line of fabric that was digitally printed and I liked the color combination of red orange and turquoise. The line hasn't been a big seller at the shop but I liked it. I sat on it almost a year then decided to add a portrait quilt to the center with the blocks around the outside. I love star blocks and was somewhat disappointed by the blocks I received from the ladies in the block exchange. I ended up with doubles of the same block twice-there are a gadzillion of blocks and I got the same ones! So I pouted a few months then decided to actually make a quilt with the blocks. I used a great batik that tied the colors together as well as added depth to the quilt. By adding the small sashing between the blocks this made the center 25" square.

 I used a few of the fabrics in the block exchange and a whole lot of batiks! There are four hair fabrics, two dress fabrics and the cool background fabric. I stitched the hair with a contrasting color which is not my norm. I wanted to have an outline effect. I purchased an attachment to create circles while in Chicago at the IQF14-Chicago show in June and used this for the turquoise background. Subtle but it did a better job than if I had marked it and just stitched it. The attachment was a bit pricey but I feel it was worth it. I have a Viking Sapphire sewing machine.
I embellished the hair with some orange wool that I couched to the front bangs. Then I had this great orange/pink/green cording which I also couched to the hair. Then some orange glitter nail polish.
The eyelids received some blue glitter nail polish and the mouth and eyes had some fabric paint to enhance the look.
The background has a few turquoise rhinestones and the inner corners of the sashing got some peach colored felt flowers with orange rhinestones in the intersections.
That left the earring. I tried shopping for a ready made earring in the right color and size which didn't happen. I ended up finding three separate things (small sequin, bead and large sequins) to make my own earring which I hand stitched to the ear area.
I named this quilt Scarlet because her hair is scarlet color and I like color names. she looks like Jessica Rabbit the cartoon vixen!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Bella Catalina

I love making Bella quilts from my Bella pattern! I made this one using a Moda Catalina batik charm pack from Pine Street Quilts where I work on Tuesdays. I also selected a very dark brown from the shop as the applique fabric. I used some of the left over charm squares cut in half and sewn end to end as a pieced border.

I quilted a leaf design on each cheek and the chin with variegated thread. I added some grass green glitter to the veins of the leaf on the left cheek to add definition. I embellished with some loose glitter/glue on the eyelid and I also added some glitter nail polish on the mouth.

I presented this quilt to the owner of the quilt shop as a potential quilt kit and she agreed! I will also will be teaching this quilt as a class on Saturday January 10, 2015 and students can create their Bella quilt in any color way whether monochromatic, color wheel or a charm pack version.

I taught this class last Saturday in Green Bay, WI and was impressed with the student's creativity and am inspired my their color choices and want to create more Bella quilts!!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Steam Punk Quilt: Brigadier Victoria Locke-Ceesay

I have wanted to make a steam punk themed quilt for over a year. I looked at all the different fashions, hairstyles, hats and jewelry at Pinterest. I saw a lot of muted browns, golds, and rusts since it was old fashioned and bright fabric dyes hadn't been invented. Steampunk mixes the Victorian Era fashions and decorations with the Industrial Revolution (gears, keys, flight, trains, bicycles, clocks.) I loved the old fashioned corsets, fancy hats, gears and peacock feathers. I just couldn't start this quilt until the "right" fabrics were in my possession. This summer a local woman called Vicki gave me a nice stash of specialty fabrics and there was a considerable amount of the turquoise, gold bronze and brown plaid lame. The minute I saw it I knew it was the outside border and the color scheme came together. The lame is very crunchy, noisy and has a paper-like feel and is lightweight but does not unravel. I also used lame from Vicki for the corset, hat brim edge and the hat band and ribbon. The other fabrics are commercial batiks and cottons.

 The huge peacock plume was a bit difficult to draw out the applique pattern but once it was sewn down I really love the affect.
 I used some white fabric paint to get the reflection in the goggles, eye area and the mouth. I have some glitter nail polish on the eyelids and mouth. I was given a box of embellishments from my local quilt guild when I stepped down as program coordinator and there were pieces of vintage jewelry in the box. I reworked a few pieces to create the necklace centerpiece. The bronzy rhinestones were purchased at Joann Fabrics in the bead department and the whole thing appears weathered and worn.
I also found a bag of metal gears at Joann Fabrics which I hand sewed randomly on the quilt. I googled gear clip art and printed a few simple gear motifs using Carol Doak's foundation paper. I sewed over the lines to get the gear design and did some tiny stippling in the gear openings to get a secondary gear design.
 
Then I always title my quilts and was stumbling a bit with this one. I found a website where you can get a steampunk name based on your own name. I didn't like my converted name but I liked parts of it and I also used parts of my daughter's name version. I used Victoria as the first name because my friend Vicki contributed to the great plaid border fabric and lames and because of the Victorian Era. I combined my mom's maiden name "Locke" with my last name to get "Brigadier Victoria Locke-Ceesay."
I will enter this quilt is a few upcoming quilt shows in 2015.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Art Quilts Around the World: Monochromatic Challenge Reveal

Today is reveal day for my online art quilt group Art Quilts Around the World. The current theme is a monochromatic color scheme. I have done many monochromatic color scheme quilts because I enjoy the process because it involves a study of value. I have a lecture that I teach about value and this style of quilt is way too fun!
I have done pink, red, green, blue, brown, purple and yellow monochromatic quilts so by process of elimination I chose orange as my color for this challenge.
I drew an image of a woman with a 1960s hairstyle and makeup. I went into my stash and pulled all my oranges from pastel to a dark orange brown. I love the woven batik background fabric which calms all the energy of the oranges.

I embellished this quilt by digging around in my embellishment stash and found sequins, beads, glitter/glue, a felt flower with a rhinestone, some velvet on the shirt neckline, glitter nail polish on the lips and another rhinestone for a nose "piercing." I found the large sequin dangly trim and hand sewed it to the bottom of the quilt after the binding was sewn on-it reminds me of a go-go dancer's dress.
I titled the quilt "Carrot, Copper, Cantaloupe"
I have not posted in a while because I am trying to figure out how to add a watermark to my posted photographs. I have found a local woman from my art council who is a photographer and is helping me tomorrow. Once I figure that out I will be sharing my new realistic style quilt about steampunk.
I have been busy in other areas of my live besides quilting. I work in a hair salon and had to find another job and that time of finding a new job took away from my quilting!! Then the last few weeks my 16 year old cat Mia has been sick and went to the vet. Mia decided it was time to go to cat heaven and I put her down on Friday Sept, 26. She was a crazy mischievous cat that ate my sewing thread, raffia, curly ribbon, tinsel, artificial Christmas tree needles and basically any string she could get in her mouth. She  had two surgeries and several close calls. After the Christmas tree incident in 2003 I have not had a Christmas tree in my house. So this year I will put up a tree in Mia's memory. She always spent a lot of time in my sewing room and I miss her terribly.
I travel to Houston Texas for the IQF Quilt Show in late October and am beyond excited to teach two 6 hr. portrait quilt classes as well as enjoy myself shopping and viewing the exhibits.
 
 
 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Three Little Witches and an Auction Quilt for IQF-Houston

 I am lecturing at the Wisconsin Quilt Expo in Madison, WI this coming Friday Sept. 5, 2014. My lecture is called "I Value That Quilt!" and decided if time permitted I would make a few 4" x 6" fabric postcards as a gift to my volunteer and one for a lucky person attending my lecture. The third postcard is a surprise to someone! I drew up a design loosely based on a small version of my other witch designs. I had left over fabric from my Halloween 2013 Witch Quilt and some Cherrywood Hand Dyed Fabrics left over from The Wicked Challenge a month ago which I used for the green skin. The fabrics are all batiks and I embellished with three colors of nail polish and my signature white dot of paint in the eye area for reflection. I used a variegated Sulky rayon thread for stitching the dress, hat and outside edge-love, love, love this color combination of purple, red, dark blue and lime green!!
This little (12" x12") quilt is my donation for the International Quilt Festival in Houston at the end of October. I am so excited to be teaching there for the first time and the organization asks all teachers to donate a piece to their charitable cause. I picked the dots, stripes, rainbow color scheme, brown hair and glitter nail polish because those are my favorite things and I thought they represented me the best. I hand beaded the earrings and the necklace and used some nail polish on the lips, eyelids and hair, I need to get it to Houston by the third week of September.

I have an "epic" quilt that has been finished but I have to figure out how to add a watermark to the photographs. My techie skills are substandard so I have some educating to do!!

 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

U-L-G-Y! You Ain't Got No Alibi-You Ugly (Fabric Challenge!)

My local quilt guild, the Northwoods Quilters, has been having quilt challenges. The first one was a crayon (color) challenge and this one is call the "Ugly Fabric Challenge." Anyone who wanted to participate brought to a meeting an "ugly" fat quarter. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and some of the fats were nasty ugly and some were pretty to me! We put all the fat quarters in a container and without looking we selected a fat quarter to make a small quilt, purse, hat etc. We had three months to complete this project and the reveal is at tomorrow's guild meeting! I chose 2 ugly fat quarters and in the first photo the large paisley fabric is kind of ugly! The color is a bit dull to me and the scale of the fabric is large and somewhat hard to work with especially if you are cutting it into small triangles etc. I used it as the dress fabric and then tried to downplay it with an interesting background fabric and the great hand-dyed orange velvet for the woman's hair. I "blinged" it up with some rhinestones, a leather button with some glitter nail polish and some other glitter nail polish for the woman's "make-up." I think the orange hair is now the focal point and the paisley dress is not prominent at all.

This is the second piece I did and I blogged about it in my last post. I sometimes will use a quilt twice for challenges if at all possible. The ugly fabric (the binding fabric) was not ugly to me at all. I love dotted fabric and black and lime green. I was then just making a quilt. I used this fat quarter piece in my Dresden Plate quilt for demonstrating value but it was too big for this challenge. I did this quilt for a online art quilt recycling challenge and it was really about the lames and special occasion fabrics. I love this little quilt that is 11.5" x 16.5" because it is a pop art princess and has a 1960s vibe which I love!
All of the Ugly Challenge Fabric Quilts will be in an exhibit August 26-Sept. 29 in Menominee, MI at Spies Public Library Gallery. This exhibit is free to the public during normal library hours.
I can't wait for the reveal to see how all the guild members interpreted their ugly fat quarter(s!)
 
 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Art Quilts Around the World: 3 R Challenge

 I am in an art quilt group through Facebook called Art Quilts Around the World. Every two months we select a challenge and today is reveal day for the 3 R challenge-Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. go to their blog  www.aroundtheworldin20quilts.blogspot.com to see all the challenge quilts plus all the previous challenges.

I have been favored with two local woman who I did not know give me fabric because they heard I would use it for a good cause. The first woman used to own an area bridal shop and was down sizing her special occasion fabric stash. I received velvets, satins, taffetas, lames, laces and chiffon in a variety of colors. I was very happy and overwhelmed by all of this great fabric. The black fabric of the hair in this quilt is from this woman. It is actually on ottoman type fabric which I forgot to mention before. It is a heavier coat weight fabric with a texture design. It was very stinky when the iron was on it! The second woman I met used to live in Las Vegas and told me she made costumes for Vegas shows, drag shows. Disney and circus costumes. She currently does hair and make-up for the Performing Arts Center in Appleton WI-What great stories to share with me! Quite the interesting lady!!It was sparkle paradise for me the day I received all the lames and shiny fabrics! I reused the awesome striped "eyelash" lame as the dress in this quilt.

The background and binding fabrics I have used in two other separate quilts. The small facial feature fabrics are all recycles scraps from my stash.
The quilt was shiny enough from the eyelash lame so I held off on the normal rhinestone embellishments. I did use several nail polishes on the face and a bit of fabric paint. The earring is a combination of a bead, a chain from an old necklace and a shiny thing from a Christmas garland
recycled.
 
I was going for a 1960s pop art psychedelic woman. I had fun on this quilt and plan to use this quilt locally for a quilt challenge I will blog about in August.