Wednesday, May 20, 2015

New Work: Neon

This is my latest portrait quilt. I was inspired by the hair color industry and the funky neon hair colors that are available in the cosmetology industry. I have been searching and purchasing neon fabric and embellishments since last fall and recently had the time to make this quilt. I really love the yellow print that I used for the dress and wanted to use more of it in the borders but since I do not like yellow in large quantities I chose to use this print for the backing fabric instead. The fabric for the lipstick and the pale yellow highlights was purchased while at the IQF Houston 2014 Show last October which gives me good memories! I used Cherrywood Hand Dyed Fabrics  for the gradation of 6 skin tone fabrics. They are hand dyed cottons and work very well for skin tones and are are equal to me as batiks. I purchased a fat quarter packet of browns for another project and love them to bits!!

I decided to take photos of the various steps of this portrait quilt to show how it come alive with each step of stitching, borders, fabric paint and embellishments. This is just the center of the quilt. I chose to cut some of the top off the center once it was completely fused because all the background was not needed.

This is the top with the various borders added. I love the swirly fabric on the left and bottom borders since it reminds me of the fashion designer Emilio Pucci! I fussy cut the directional pattern once I discovered there was a double direction. My cat Jack photo bombed this picture! Hi Jack!!

The quilt is quilted, bound and on cardboard being blocked. This is a step I only was taught about 4-5 years ago which changed my world because it will square up a quilt and make it lay flat. This is VERY important for having a quilt hang in a quilt show and the judges love a straight quilt without any wavy edges!!

I collected neon colored embellishments. I have a variegated orange/yellow ribbon, a fun neon colored decorative elastic, loose glitter, nail polish, rhinestones, and a variety of beads. I did not use everything which is the part that is hard because I have to use good taste and know when to stop adding more bling!!

This is the finished close-up of the face. I added the ribbon and elastic to the dress neckline; the loose glitter was used for eyeliner; rhinestones were used to make an earring; nail polish was used in the yellow of the hair to add to the highlights; rhinestones were added to the right and top borders and beads were sewn to outside of the binding. I intend to enter this quilt in a national quilt show and beyond!!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Whimsical Victory Rolls x Two

I love 40s hair especially victory rolls. I also love a Split Complementary Color Scheme of lime green, red and purple. These two ideas are on my favorite quilt "Victory Rolls" which is also my business card. 
I made these two 12" square quilts as auction quilts for two national charities-Studio Arts Quilt Associates and National Quilting Association. 
I used my original pattern Angelina, which I use in my Intro to Portrait Classes, and created a hairstyle with 1940s victory rolls. I used the leftover floral print from the original quilt for the dress fabric. The dress received a 1940s shoulder pad silhouette and a sweetheart neckline.
I did not use green skin because these are not for me and I thought they were more "auction-able" if they were traditional skin tones. I used the lime green in the binding.
 This hairstyle did not lead itself to an easy shape/silhouette like many of the others I have created that are in the pattern or the "bonus" hair my students receive when they take my class. I used a lighter purple fabric paint to add highlights to the pincurls and a dark purple paint for the insides of the curls to create depth. I accomplished this idea with the original quilt but with four values of fabric. These quilts were meant to be simpler so I painted the values which was fun and successful. 
I embellished with red rhinestones in the background, two colors of glitter nail polish on the eyes, red glitter nail polish on the mouth and a felt, wooden and plastic button for a flower hair accessory. I added a bit of cosmetic blush to the cheeks, chin and forehead for fun!

Time to mail them to their proper destinations!
Here is the original Victory Rolls Quilt which has won a few ribbons at quilt shows and was in the Sacred Threads Quilt Show in 2013 and their featured book "Sacred Threads Exhibition 2013."

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Sunglasses Wall Hanging-Bring on Summer!!

 I did a spin on my original Angelina pattern by making four of the same bobbed hair style, two skin tones, facial features and a few sun glasses and a Andy Warhol style placement to create a fun Summer wall hanging. I added two of the glasses I used in my pattern in this wall hanging so if you have purchased this pattern from me online, from one of my classes or when I was vending you can make this quilt. 
I'm not going to make any instructions-just go with it!! I found the fun sun glasses fabric locally at Pine Street Quilts and the idea came together. I originally had just the red sun glasses on one of the women and posted a photo on Facebook. One of my fine artist friends (Mary Mc.!) commented that she thought all four of the women should have sun glasses. I had considered this and went back and pulled a few of the different frame styles from the sun glasses fabric print and color coordinated it. I love to make the eyes on the portraits so to cover them up with the sun glasses seemed sad to me. I knew I wore my sun glasses on the top of my head and sometimes peeked out over them so that is how I positioned the sun glasses without sacrificing the eyes.
  I added a small amount of red glitter nail polish to all the lips, nail polish to eyelids and a few red rhinestones to the upper left sun glasses to get the retro look!
I had most of this wall hanging finished but used it in the Open Studio at the International Quilt Festival March 28, 2015 in Chicago as a demo for my portrait quilt presentation. I was antsie to finish the wall hanging because I am personally ready for warm weather and it will be a seasonal quilt on my wall very soon!!

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 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 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 
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?