Sunday, August 23, 2015

Spider/Spider Web Fabric Postcards

I go in streaks where I want to make fabric postcards and now is one of those times. I chose my line drawing fabric postcard pattern included in my Bridgette pattern and 5 Halloween colored fabrics to begin this project. I selected the fabrics in Halloween colors and not necessarily Halloween themed fabrics. Five fabrics in a variety of widths work nicely and the varied widths give a random look. Any fabric combinations will work-I chose Halloween this time and make 4-6 cards at a time. I cut them out on the diagonal to give movement and to accent a cheekbone line. I have two sides of the face in my designs and I like to place them together and they look like mirror images. I used black batik for the raw edged applique and black thread with a fancy stitch to join the top, bottom and Peltex stiffener. I usually use Fast2Fuse stiffener by Pellon but I could not find it online and I substituted Peltex and it actually worked nicer because it was heavier (less floppy.) I found the spiders at Joann Fabrics-they are not buttons but are flat on the back to glue to the front of the card. I created a spider web from variegated thread in the lower corner. I embellished with glitter nail polish on the eyelids and a dot of white matte fabric paint on the eye for the eye reflection. I intend to give two of these as door prizes in my "I Value That Quilt!" lecture I am giving twice at the Wisconsin Quilt Expo in Madison, WI on Friday Sept. 11, 2015. My pattern is available for sale from my website at www.laurieceesay.com. Maybe I will see you at the expo since it is a blast!! Their website is www.wiquiltexpo.com


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Toil and Trouble: "Bella Strega" Is My New Quilt Pattern

This is my newest portrait quilt pattern called Bella Strega which means Good Witch in Italian. I am a hairdresser and I had an Italian man in my chair at the salon recently and I ran my quilt names past him to see if they were authentic and they were!! I love witches and Halloween! I loosely based this pattern on my Bella quilt pattern in the face but added a witch's hat and different hair. I used a charm pack called Midnight Masquerade by Moda Fabrics as the starting point. The pattern has forty 5" squares and the charm pack had 42 squares. After opening up the charm pack I discovered there were duplicates which made me mad. :( I thought the whole point of charm packs were to have the scrappy look without repeated prints. I went to my stash and added a few extras to get the 40 charms needed for the background I used black batik for the raw edged fused applique. I machine quilted the project with a variegated thread. I embellished the quilt with loose glitter/glue on the eyelid; purple glitter nail polish on the mouth; a green rhinestone for a nose piecing and a few black bat sequins I picked up from Nancie's Notions while at the Wisconsin Quilt Expo in Madison WI last year. The size of the quilt is 22" wide x 35" long.

The pattern is available for purchase at my website www.laurieceesay.com through Paypal. I am selling them locally at Pine Street Quilts in Marinette, WI as well.

I made this quilt as an addition to my Halloween Witch quilt truck show. I am teaching on Halloween in Houston TX at the International Quilt Fest for the Saturday Sampler and my subject is about witch quilts and it is called Toil and Trouble!! Hope to see you there! On to the next witchy project!!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Art Quilts Around The World Snowflake Challenge Reveal Day!

 My Facebook Group Art Quilts Around the World has reveal day today July 31, 2015 and the theme for this two month challenge is "snowflakes." I am experiencing summer in Upper Michigan and winter will be here soon enough so this idea was weird at first. Once I decided on a snow princess I started pulling cool, icy and snowflake themed fabrics from my stash. I found a royal blue and a white piece of hand dyed velvet from Chris Day for the princess's winter coat.  Chris used to be in this group. She is from Western Wisconsin and will vend at the Wisconsin Quilt Expo in Madison WI in September and I will buy some more velvets from her. I love the velvets because they add texture to the quilt that commercial cottons and batiks do not. I had the two great "disco ball" shiny fabrics from Pine Street Quilts in Marinette WI, where I used to work, and they worked nicely for the hair. I used a white batik for the skin tone to keep the cool icy feel to the quilt.

I originally started with finding the sparkly plastic snowflakes from The Dollar Tree in a place where they shouldn't have been! These snowflakes got me thinking of a crown for the princess. While shopping in Green Bay at the local Gordman's store (Awesomeness!!) I found the blue necklace on the clearance rack. I saved it and removed the necklace chains and flipped it upside down and it completed the crown.

I printed a Googled image of a snowflake on foundation paper and pinned a large flake to the chest area and stitched through the paper to get a snowflake image on the princess. I repeated the process in a smaller version on the cheekbones and chin.

I embellished with several iridescent nail polishes to accentuate the stitched snowflakes and the blue eye shadow.  One iridescent snowflake shaped bead hand stitched in the middle of the chest area and the snowflake princess was finished!

The next challenge is due on Sept. 30 and the theme is "uniform." I'm going to take it literally and either do a quilt of my daughter Jordana in her chef UNIFORM or explore a 50s dinner waitress!!

I will continue to not see snowflakes for several months!!

This s a closeup of the necklace and plastic dollar store snowflakes!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

It's Summer So I'm Gardening More and Quilting Less!

It is Summer and I live in Zone 4
which gives me 4-5 months of gardening time. I am quilting less because I love my cottage garden with the whimsical artsy garden art that myself and my boyfriend have created through the years.



This is the front yard decked out for the Fourth of July-it gets a Northern Exposure so not a lot of sun and therefore all the hostas.

I am sewing two BOMs I found on Pinterest and Facebook. The one in the top photo is from Facebook and is from Michelle Foster and her Aiming for Accuracy II-Quilt Along called Mishka's Playground. It began in March and on the 7th and 21st of each month a new set of small (8"-9") blocks are emailed to me and I can make them anyway I want. There is a FB page where we can post our work as well as view all the fun and varied versions of this pattern. I chose a white background and colorful fabrics with white polka dots. Sometimes the I disagree with the instructions and do my own thing!!

This BOM is called Moccasin by Gen X Quilters and the designer is Ann Marie Chany. It is smaller than the first BOM I talked about at 67" square. The blocks are 9" in size and each pattern makes two of the same block but with different color ways. This BOM is more "modern" and I was totally enjoying it until June and July's blocks. The triangle block which is on the bottom of the photo was a huge problem using templates. I haven't used a temple since the 90s and it was still not a fun thing to do-not the most accurate triangles and I cut off the tips but I'm not re-doing it! There is a Facebook group but not many people post their work there. There is a Flickr group but I'm not into that. The BOM sample was in pinks, purples, orange, indigo, white and brown and I chose to do cooler colors plus lime green.

These blocks are from a book called Arcadia Avenue by Sassafras Lane Designs. Each block is 18" in diameter and there are 12 paper pieced blocks. This pattern appeared very fun because of the use of the color wheel and I intend to use it in my color theory teachings. Once I began I realized each block was very slow going because of the pre-cutting all the fabric and making 1 wedges that are difficult to put together. I planned to make 9 blocks but since they take so long to make I am leaning towards only 4 blocks!

Lastly, I am in an art quilt group formed through Facebook and every other month we create a small wall hanging based on a theme one of the members. The current theme is due July 31st and is called "snowflake." This photo is a sneak peek-I used sparkly plastic snowflakes from The Dollar Tree as a crown in the hair and a "statement" necklace on the clearance rack at Gordman's in Green Bay, WI and hand tacked it upside down. I used a few novelty snowflake fabrics, all cool colors with some shiny and some fuzzy fabrics. I will share the full photo on July 31st.
I have had a few ladies request I convert two of my quilts into patterns and I intend to but with the summer weather I just can;t be inside on the beautiful sunny days. It will happen!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Bastet

I shared a teaser photo of this quilt a few months ago. I made it for the 2015 Hoffman Challenge. I have had the quilt finished since February. I will mail it to the exhibit curator today and thought it was time to show the full quilt. The 2015 theme fabric was predominantly red, black and metallic gold with a little orange and green. If you looked closely at the print there were knitting motifs and small quilt blocks and the general shape of the designs were squares and rectangles-all angular shapes. I decided to create an Egyptian woman and researched ancient Egyptian goddesses. Isis was a common goddess but not a name I want to use anymore since the international terrorist group took that name. I chose Bastet because she was the ancient goddess of fire, cats, of the home and pregnant women. I have a black cat and wanted to incorporate a cat, black or whatever, in a quilt and this idea was coming to life. 

As I was researching Egyptian clothing etc. I discovered they worn an excessive amount of gold ornamentation and their cats did too. Great since I was up to embellish this quilt to the max! I tapped into my "bridal store fabric stash" to get the look I wanted. I used black velvet (I'm humming that 1980s song in my head!) for the hair and black lame' for the underneath hair. I found the awesome white pleated fabric for the dress which I cut at different angles to get a 3D realistic look.

I used the 2015 Challenge fabric for the yoke of the dress, the headpiece, the drapey fabric on the lower left of the woman and the parts of the stool the cat is sitting on. I added Egyptian hieroglyphics I found on Pinterest on the top and bottom panels. I selected my name for the letters-I thought it was interesting the "C" and the "S" are almost the same. When I say my last name strangers think it starts with an "S" so I found that intriguing. I have hand and machine sewed several metallic gold trims to the yoke, the cat, the headpiece and  the seam allowances. The cat's necklace and the woman's earrings are from one set of earrings I found in February at Payless Shoes at Fox River Mall in Appleton WI which I took apart and separated. I used turquiose nail polish on the eyelids and white fabric paint for the eye reflection.

I also used gold metallic thread and many decorative stitches on my sewing machine to further add to the heavy ornamentation. The bracelet also has beads sewn onto it. There is a gold metallic flang on the vertical borders. I had a blast making this quilt and must wait until mid-August to find out if it made the cut to travel from Sept. 2015-Sept. 2016 to various quilt venues across the country. I will miss it when it is gone!!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Art Quilts Around The World-Out Of This World-She's An Alien

 It is May 31, 2015 and reveal day for my Facebook group Art Quilts Around  The World. The theme is "Out of this World" and I chose do a portrait quilt and I thought an alien woman would be a great choice! I wanted to stay away from blue skin because it was too "Avatar" and green skinned martians are too typical. Plus I reserve green skin for witches!!
I also watch every season of Face Off on the Syfy (sp.?) Channel which seems to have an alien makeup challenge every season and this inspired me!
I selected white skin and orange hair. My last 4 quilts have all had orange in them unconsciously! I do love orange but this wasn't planned. What makes this woman an alien? The pointy ears, orange and yellow iris color, the flat wide bridge of the nose and the weird white skin tone. She sports a flaming orange Mohawk hairstyle and small ear gauges. 

I embellished with several clear sparkly buttons on the cheekbones to look like alien "markings", an earring from my jewelry box for in the ear gauge, rhinestones for smaller earrings, several varieties of silver glitter nail polish on the eyes and face and a few black rhinestones in the background.

My alien woman is pretty in her own "out of this world" kind of way and I love the orange Mohawk!!.

The next reveal date is July 31st and the theme is Snowflakes which will be a Christmas is July kind of moment! I have nothing planned yet in my head.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

New Work: Neon

T
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!!