Sunday, January 31, 2016

Art Quilts Around the World Facebook Group: Book Challenge

 My Facebook art quilt group Art Quilts Around The World has a challenge reveal today and the subject is a favorite book. I thought about the many great favorite novels I have read and nothing jumped into my head that I would want a quilt made out of and the time spent making the project. I was looking at my quilt books for something unrelated and I saw my favorite quilt book "Pattern Play" by Doreen Speckmann and decided to use it as my inspiration for this challenge. Doreen was a quilter from Madison WI and I was a new quilter in the 1990s when I first saw her speak at the Darting Needles Quilt Guild in Appleton WI. She inspired me like no other quilter at the time because she used a variety of prints in each quilt and that is what I wanted to do and she gave me permission! She had a great sense of humor and she created characters called Peaky and Spike out of two triangles in her quilts.
Doreen's book was a book I used exclusively in the 90s and early 2000s. I saw her lecture and took a few of her classes. I made over a dozen lap and wall hangings based on the patterns in this book. At the time Doreen used templates but I have switched it up and use foundation piecing to have more accuracy these days. Doreen used to do quilting cruises and dance the Electric Slide at these events. On a cruise in 1998 Doreen died of a heart attack on the dance floor and the quilt world lost a great creative woman.

I created a version of Doreen's Peaky and Spike style piecing for this project using some of my favorite colors. I used a rayon variegated thread I bought in Houston and my new sewing machine's decorative stitches in the borders. It is not an art quilt but more traditional but it represents the challenge theme. I added the cute little button to keep with MY theme of having a portrait quilt!

This is the inner cover of Doreen's book where she autographed it and I love it to this day. RIP Doreen Speckmann!! The next challenge due March 31st is "Folklore" which will be a challenge for sure. I get to choose the challenge after that and I have it selected so be prepared!!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Gen X Quilters - Quilt Inspiration | Quilting Tutorials & Patterns | Connect: Bonfire BOM: Monthly Giveaways!!

 I am starting a new Block of the Month from Gen X Quilters and there is a monthly giveaway and any participants need to link up our blogs to their blog so here it is!! The title of the BOM is called "Bonfire" and two blocks either 9" or 12" are made and we can chose to swap blocks with another person if we want. I chose the 9" size to keep the finished quilt from becoming too large for me. The fabric in the second photo is the outer border fabric. The sample quilt used a solid beige and I'm so not into beige that I have none in my stash and this large scale floral seemed nice while it's freezing cold in January! 

This curved block reminded me of constructing block for the New York Beauty block-not difficult but lots of clipping the curved edge and lots of pinning. Sewing is very slow and accurate. Fun!!
Gen X Quilters - Quilt Inspiration | Quilting Tutorials & Patterns | Connect: Bonfire BOM: Monthly Giveaways!!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

"All Dots!" Second 2015 Block of the Month Quilt Completed

 This is a BOM quilt I started in March 2015. It is called "Mishka's Playground" and the designer is Michelle Foster. Michelle has a Facebook page devoted to this BOM and it is called Aiming for Accuracy Quilt Along. Twice a month 1-3 blocks were emailed to participants and we made our quilt in any colorway we wanted. Each month when complete we would post our blocks to the FB page.

It was extremely fun to see all the great yet different color variations in this project. Some people had a patriotic or Christmas theme; some did scrappy and some did muted primitive colors. I chose brights with a white dot and a white background. I had plenty in my stash and bought several more. The BOM ended in October-November with the three borders. The triangle pieced border was time consuming but adds so much to the quilt! I did the borders while at quilt retreat in November because I could be uninterrupted and focused. I did the border in a rainbow color wheel order because that made sense to me!! A few people on the FB group page chose to not tackle the triangle border and that's their choice. One woman added extra fabric to the quilt to fit her bed. It was already 60" x 80" and larger than I usually like to quilt but it is such a happy quilt I went ahead with it anyway! 

I machine quilted with all white thread mostly in the ditch and added accented curved lines in the white fabric areas and echo quilting in the sashings and borders.
This is a photo of the backing fabric which is spiffy too! I repeated the color wheel colors and I found a repeat of a dot or circle. I usually don't pre-shrink my fabrics but did for the backing. After working on the quilt for a week or so machine quilting it the white fabric didn't look as white as it started out to be and was dingy. When the entire quilt was done I took a chance that the dotted fabrics would not bleed in the washing machine. I set the washer on cold and added a small amount of soap and crossed my fingers it would not bleed especially the dark purples. I opened the lid of the washer while it was doing it's thing and it was fine. I put in in the dryer to give it an old fashioned "bunchy" look! I added a sleeve it to hang on my wall so I can look at it better. 

The time now is to return to making portrait quilts. I am going to do two quilt challenges up next-the 2016 Hoffman Challenge due in July and a black/white/one other color challenge due in June for the Wisconsin Quilt Expo in Madison next September. Time to design!!!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

2015 Moccasin Block of the Month Finished!!

This Block of the Month was discovered on Pinterest last December and the project started on January 1, 2015. It was presented by Gen X Quilters,, by AnnMarie Chany and the monthly 9" blocks were emailed to me on the first of the month until December which had the HSTs and the border etc. I brought the project to my quilt retreat late November and finished the top-I figured out the sizes of the squares and triangles before waiting until December 1st. The project advertisement displayed the quilt in pinks, yellows, oranges, purples, white and dark navy blue. I chose this analogous color scheme because I just love blue violet and lime green together. All of my fabrics were solids, tone on tones and the purple is a batik-no obvious print fabrics. The approximate size of the quilt is 68" square. Basically a fun time except for a few blocks but I have never seen this block layout and using 9" blocks the quilt didn't get too huge.
I bought myself a new Viking Sapphire 960Q sewing machine in November and did all the machine quilting on it. I used an echo stitch in the HSTs and all the purple background/negative space. The background echo stitching is all going in a vertical direction as seen in the second photo below.
The third photo is the backing fabric which I found at Joann Fabrics-I was able to duplicate all the colors of the quilt in the backing fabric. I love the flowers and am terribly excited about this fabric. Unfortunately I could not find the remainder of the backing fabric to use when it was time to construct the border so I used the fabric I bought a year ago for this purpose. The next day I found the backing fabric-such is life!!
AnnMarie Chany is doing a BOM for 2016-she has published a book that is available on Amazon and I bought it as a Christmas gift to myself and will do next year's BOM.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Bella Jordana: Second Version

 I have decided to turn Bella Jordana into a pattern for 2016 and need a few samples for my pattern cover. The original quilt in the second photo was intended to be my daughter Jordana's (hence the pattern title) Christmas because she likes a shabby chic style. While at the quilt show in Houston I purchased a Moda "Good Karma" charm pack and asked Jordana if she liked this fabric (she had not seen the other finished wall hanging) and she liked the greens in the fabrics to go with the bare spot in her kitchen.
I would have used navy blue for the dark applique color but I bought a nice dark green in Door County WI on my travels to my November quilt retreat to repeat the green theme. 
After finishing the quilt I thought any rhinestones would get lost in the fabric print. I did embellish the lips with nail polish and I used a left over charm square to create a yo-yo flower for the hair. I added a few buttons and called it finished. Both quilts are machine quilted the same.

This is the original quilt which has a lot more embellishment and will be the cover of the upcoming pattern. The choice of fabric really does set the mood because the top photo's quilt is more contemporary and the lower photo's quilt is more old fashioned. I like them both!!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Art Quilts Around The World: Texture Challenge

Today is reveal day for my Facebook group Art Quilts Around the World. Our current challenge is about texture which is easy peasy because I use texture in many of my quilt through special occasion fabrics and embellishments. I went into my bridal/Las Vegas fabric stash and chose the "squeaky" plaid lame for the background, a brown hand dyed velvet for the hair, a new turquoise velvet from a vendor from United Kingdom at the Houston quilt show in October and an eyelash lame for the dress. I used hand dyed cottons and batik for the skin and facial features. I added a fun blue rick rack to the neckline to add more texture.

I used a chunky textured hologram-like nail polish on the brow bone and some loose iridescent turquoise shapes from the nail art department heavily on the eyelids. I added a rhinestone to the nose area also but I would have done that anyway!! I have a lot of quilting on the face to create another type of texture. I discovered that with the nap of velvet all quilting stitches were "buried" in the nap and didn't show up very well.  The next challenge is based on a favorite book and I have no ideas yet. I may choose a children's book. This challenge is due January 31, 2016.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Bella Jordana: Salute to Women With Curly Hair

This is a new portrait quilt I made between preparing for the International Quilt Festival in Houston. I had drawn the design a few months ago and then let it sit for no real reason. When I attended the Quilt Expo in Madison WI in Sept. 2015 I found a charm pack with the "shabby chic" prints in a pink/green/turquoise/light brown color scheme. I unfortunately did not save the wrapper with the name. I thought of my daughter Jordana because of her curly hair and her love of these colors and the flowers. I pulled out the pattern and tweaked it a little and it came together. I wanted a Bella pattern with curly hair and I added an eyebrow, changed the face shape, mouth, nose width, added a separate eyelid applique piece and there is a full shoulder line.

I had some pink flower felt trim which I glued to the neck area for a necklace. I sewed three pink flower shaped buttons over the felt and added some glitter nail polish to the flower centers. I hand sewed pink beads to the rest of the felt trim.

This is a close up of the face. I quilted half of the face in a narrow cross hatch and the other in a curved echo stitch. I used only one thread for the ENTIRE quilting process-Sulky Blendables "Milk Chocolate" # 4011 in 30 weight. You can't go wrong with a thread named after chocolate!! The browns in this project did look like the brown in candy bars!! The rest of the embellishments include two large pink flowers from a large Hawaiian lei from Hobby Lobby taken apart with a button center, a rhinestone "nose piercing," hot pink chunky glitter nail polish on the mouth and a white fabric paint dot for the eye reflection. My favorite nail polishes are sitting in Houston watching for me so I will add some of those colors to the eye area when the quilt show is over and my box is shipped back home.  Should this quilt become my next pattern?