Sunday, July 17, 2016

A Tribute to Yvonne Porcella Quilt

 This quilt was made for a tribute to Yvonne Porcella call "Live Your Brightest Life" and a group of selected quilts (including mine!) will hang in an exhibit called Quilting in the Garden at Alden Lane Nursery in Livermore California Sept. 23-26, 2016.
I found out about this quilt challenge through Pokey Bolton's blog. Pokey was a great friend of Yvonne's and after Yvonne's passing this winter, of Stage 4 cancer, Pokey blogged about this challenge opportunity and I decided to create a 18" x 26" size quilt inspired by Yvonne's body of work. We were asked to write something for Yvonne's family-whether we knew her, met her through a class or quilt show or was inspired by her work. 
I never met Yvonne but knew of her because she was one of the pioneers in the art quilt world. She started Studio Arts Quilters Associates which I have been a member of. She taught and wrote many publications through the years. She was ill but made an appearance at the IQF Houston 2014 but I didn't see her there.
My inspiration from Yvonne is her use of bright bold colors; her integration of black and white prints with the bright colors and her whimsical style. She created a few portrait quilts and I used these four elements to create my design.
I was curious anyway to make a face fantasy-like and have a rainbow of colors swirled across the face while keeping the hair a "normal" color. I chose Afro puffs as the hairstyle because it is playful and I just love it!! The dress fabric is a scrap of a large scale floral print that shouts happiness. Is the woman black or white-is it a woman?
The background was inspired by the pop art images of 1960s artist Peter Maxx. He used the two tone radiating striped backgrounds in his art and I went with that using Yvonne's white and black influence. 
I knew the dress's neckline needed something white and black to tie it all together and I "auditioned" a variety of trims, fabrics, beads etc, and nothing looked right. I had to purchase the trim I used and it is the correct width of trim and the dots are to scale of the rest of the dress.
 I embellished the eyes with chunky glitter nail polish on the lids. I hand sewed white beads to the dress and the nose got a rhinestone "piercing," but the best part was finally finding my plastic fruit beads from some 1980s jewelry that I had misplaced. I save lots of stuff from the past-you never know!! I was intending to use it on my "Kitschy" quilt from May and tore up my house to find it. So it seemed right to have the fruit become earrings on this fun bright quilt!
Not an embellishment but I used black velvet for the upper lip and black lame' for the lower lid just to break up the continuity of commercial cottons/batiks.
 Here is another view of the quilt. As I was working on this quilt the national news story about the Orlando nightclub shooting had transpired. I was and still am shook up about that so I named this quilt "Pulse" after the nightclub in Orlando to commemorate.
Pokey Bolton confirmed my quilt would be part of the exhibit and she said Yvonne would like it too! Awww!
I can't wait to see what other art quilts designed as their tributes to Yvonne!!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Poison Bottle Quilt Along

I was asked by Misty Cole of Pick Your Brain Designs to be a guest artist for her Poison Bottles Quilt Along. I met Misty through Facebook and met her in person at the International Quilt Show in Houston in 2015. She had twelve of her quilting friends interpret her designs each month. She chose July for me to share my version of her quilt along. Anyone is invited to go to Misty's website www.mistycole.com to download the FREE poison bottle patterns to make a full quilt.
 I knew nothing about poison bottles so Misty gave me some insight which I will share with you. Glass poison bottles came on the scene between the 1870s-1930s. They were used to store cleaning products, insect killers and other liquids that are needed in the home but harmful to people if ingested. The biggest reason people accidentally drank poison was because many people were illiterate and couldn't read the labels and, oddly enough, dimly lit rooms (no electricity just candle light?) 
The poisons were stored in glass bottles because at the time glass was cheap enough to produce. The poison manufacturers began making their bottles in distinguishing colors such as cobalt blue, emerald green, honey amber (beer bottle color?) and black to help people separate the safe and non-safe products. The bottles had textured finishes on them such as dots, ridges and diamond. Words were added to state POISON, DEATH and NOT TO BE TAKEN INTERNALLY. 
I assume as these glass bottles were replaced by other cheaper materials they became collector items because of their beauty. This may be Misty's fascination with poison bottles!
This is my first bottle which looks like an old fashioned perfume bottle. I ran with my portrait quilt theme and added lips to the bottle. I chose a color theme or red/silver/black with a multi-colored stripe. I added red glitter nail polish to the lips for more bling.

This is the second bottle which seems odd laying on it's side horizontal. Currently no bottles are made like this because of the practicality of shelf space. I used one of my portrait quilt patterns and added eyes and hair to the bottle. I used some green sparkly nail polish on the eyes. I envisioned my bottles perhaps being some weird skin lotion sold by a snake oil salesman in the 1920s-1930s from a traveling wagon for women to dip into the fountain of youth!
I again invite you to www.mistycole.com to download the free poison bottle patterns to make an entire quilt with bottles!! Thanks Misty for inviting me to be part of your party!!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

New Bella Jordana Pattern Sample

I introduced my newest portrait quilt pattern Bella Jordana last week and I am sharing now another sample of this pattern using the Moda charm pack called "Flow." I used a grayish black batik for the raw edged applique-I wanted more of a charcoal gray but I want to use what's currently in my stash! The left over charm squares were cut in half and sewed end to end (I used 20 of them) to create the pieced binding. I used a variegated gray and black thread to quilt and attach the applique to the background. I used a combo of green/blue/yellow/pink variegated thread for quilting the background and a light gray variegated thread for the face and neck quilting. I embellished the quilt with two Hawaiian lei flowers and a flower button for the hair accessory. Glitter nail polish is applied on the lips and eyelid. A few matching color rhinestones in the background and one for a nose piercing adds more bling. White matte fabric paint for the eye reflection. This pattern is now available at Pine Street Quilts in Marinette, WI and on my website www.laurieceesay.com
 This is the original quilt which i gave to Jordana for a Christmas gift in 2015. I used dark olive green for the batik and a fabric yo yo for the hair accessory.
   
This is the quilt that is on the pattern cover again using a Moda charm pack. I added felt trim and beads to create a necklace and Hawaiian lei flowers for a hair accessory. I blogged about this quilt last week for more details. Check out this pattern at Pine Street Quilts in Marinette, WI or on my website www.laurieceesay.com 

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Bella Jordana: New Pattern Available for Sale

I have designed a new portrait pattern in my Bella series. It is my salute to women with curly or textured hair like my daughter Jordana and named after her. It is different from the other Bella patterns in that the face shape in different, the mouth is simpler, I added an eyebrow and eyelid applique and, of course, the hair is curly instead of stright. The size remains the same it 22.5" square. It is available on my website www.laurieceesay.com payable through PayPal.

This is the quilt I made for Jordana as a Christmas gift and I used a charm pack. Not sure of the name of the charm pack but probably from Moda and a dark green contrasting batik for the applique. I created a yo-yo with two buttons as a hair accessory

This is the second sample of Bella Jordana using a charm pack from Moda by Deb Strain. I used a tobacco colored brown batik for the applique.I added glitter nail polish to the eyelid and the mouth. I hand tacked felt garland to the neck area for a necklace. I added pink beads on top of this. I used two silk flowers from a Hawaiian lei from Hobby Lobby with a button as a hair accessory.  
My next pattern will be a Christmas themed Bella pattern which will be released in late summer. Thanks for reading my blog!!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

2016 Hoffman Challenge Quilt: Summer Rainbow

This is my 2016 Hoffman Challenge entry titled "Summer Rainbow." The deadline to enter this challenge was extended from June 30th to July 5th so it was safe to post my quilt which I make over the winter. The fabric is digitally printed and for the first time there were two background colors, black or white, with a variety of different colored butterflies scattered about. I bought the black background but I cut out all the butterflies so it didn't really matter!!
I fused some Wonder Under to a large piece of the challenge fabric and fussy cut the butterflies out and began arranging them in a formation of a hairstyle. But I remembered making another portrait quilt with 12 quilt blocks from a block exchange and liked that hairstyle etc. The photo is posted near the end of this blog post. The quilt seemed like it was put in an odd category for entering in a quilt show because other people helped make the blocks so I never entered the quilt in a quilt show. I wanted to use the center portrait pattern again and this became my hair inspiration for this challenge! I separated the butterflies by color and placed the warm colored butterflies on the right and the cool colored butterflies on the left (mostly!) The small white butterflies became the "highlights" of the hair. I selected purple for the dress, a hot pink vinyl for the lips, a white tone on tone background that resembled a butterfly motif and a subtle floral batik for the outside border that compliments the colors without taking away from the portrait.

I used Cherrywood Hand Dyed fabrics for the 5 skin tones. I purchased another butterfly/bird/bug fabric and added the cute fussy cut hummingbird to the background. There are a few bees and dragonflies fussy cut and sporadically placed in the quilt.

I quilted the dress design as a continuation of the dress in the body of the quilt a la "coloring outside the lines!" The majority of the quilt is vertically echo quilted with a purple/hot pink/yellow/blue thread.

Embellishments include hologram sparkly nail polish on the brow bone and purple glitter polish on the eyelid, a mini pink rhinestone for the nose piercing, a purple Christmas ornament bead as an earring, some silver rhinestones in the white background and a variety of tiny beads in flower and butterfly shapes.

This is the original quilt.

Center of original quilt called Scarlet. I love the turquoise and red orange complementary color scheme!! I have to wait until July 18th to find out if this quilt is included in the 2016 Hoffman Challenge Traveling Exhibit. Time to go outside and play in my garden!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Black & White Plus One (Color) Challenge: Wisconsin Quilt Expo 2016

 The Wisconsin Quilt Expo in Madison WI is held every September for the past 9-10 years. Last year the expo had a special challenge which premired at the expo and then traveled to various quilt venues and the theme was fall leaves. I did not enter because I had explored that subject before. In 2016 the theme is "Black & White Plus One (color.) I thought I could find inspiration and Pinterest has paved the way for my ideas. I discovered a female tattoo artist who designed Betty Boop-like tattoos. I loved the contrast of black and white and the finger wave hairstyle. I selected red as the "one color" and used it in the background circle flange, the mouth, the lettering and the binding. Hot pink was my second choice.

The circle has a bias cut flange of red batik which is machine stitched to a pieced background. The dress was inspired by the 1920s fashions from my favorite TV show Downton Abbey. I wanted black embellishments galore and got it with tulle, crocheted trim and beads and sequins! Long rope pearls were the fashion of the era and the look was called Flapper. I knew it was impractical to attach a long pearl necklace to the quilt because of traveling. I chose a small choker necklace (a literal necklace) and over secured it because I have had two experiences with mishaps undoing of the beads! The font used for the word FLAPPER is a font used for tattoos which I love-lots of details and a combination of staright and curved lines and a place to add more red.
The face is embellished with fabric paint, glitter nail polish and fabric markers. I love the 1920s thin eye brows and the shape of the lips. The bottom edge of the quilt is edged with a black and white beaded trim I received from being a teacher at the IQF Houston quilt show in 2015. The quilt size requirement is 30" x 40" and June 30th is the entry deadline. The notification of acceptance is in July. I hope Miss Flapper graces the wall at the expo in September!!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Cherrywood Hand-Dyed Fabric: Lion KIng Challenge - "Feline Fashionista"

Cherrywood Hand-Dyed Fabrics, the company that sponsored the Wicked Challenge in 2014, has a new challenge about the Broadway play Lion King. The challenge began with three of their hand dyed fabrics in a beautiful gradation of yellow oranges. The finished size is 20" square. Any of their other hand dyed fabrics could be used as long as the focus fabrics dominated. The challenge is due in August-I created mine over the winter because that's my main sewing time. I was purposely NOT sharing my quilt but Cherrywood used it on their Facebook page and this first photo is from American Quilt Society which Cherrywood shared with me from Facebook. The point is my quilt called "Feline Fashionista" has gone viral!!

This is the full view of my quilt of the female lead character Nala. This is a promotional pose I found on Pinterest. When I drew up the design I was having trouble drawing the hand so I laid my own hand on the paper and this worked! This quilt has tons of embellishment-fabric paint, fabric markers, bouche yarn/metallic yarn (hair), nail polish, beads, sequins, metallic trim (collar), rhinestones and, a new embellishment for me, Derwent Intense colored pencils. 

I was intrigued by the painted dots on Nala's face as the starting point of this quilt. I used a red Pigma Micron pen and white paint after the quilting was complete to create the dots. Her eyes are very intense and draw you into her world. I used the Derwent colored pencils on the brow bone area of the eyes and to shade the dress.

i love the contrast of Nala's dark yet shimmery lips! As a hairdresser and mother to a grown daughter with ethnic hair, I love texture in Nala's hair!! I braided several strands of a black/brown bouche yarn with a metallic yarn/thread and hand tacked it to the quilt making sure it was "bumpy and full of texture." I had a blast creating Nala for the challenge and felt I was creating her costume/hair and make up. This is why I named it "Feline Fashionista." I hope it makes the cut after two social media photos of my quilt. The exhibit will travel across the USA this fall and in 2017. It will be at the 2016 Houston IQF Show so I can see it for the first time. Like the Wicked Challenge, it is very impressive to see hundreds of 20" square quilts all the same color on display!