Saturday, April 30, 2016

"Half Pint": Little House On The Prairie Quilt Along Project

I discovered Downton Abbey on PBS last fall then discovered Andover Fabrics Downton Abbey themed fabric and Ebony Love (a quilt pattern designer)had done several Quilt Alongs using their fabrics. Andover Fabrics, in late 2015, designed a line of fabric replicating the fabrics from the TV Show Little House on the Prairie and Ebony was ready with a new quilt along. It began in early January 2016 and each WEEK participants would receive a part of the quilt mystery. The fabric styles were divided into two families called "Dear Ma" (reds/browns) and "Dear Pa" (blues/light pink) or you could use your own fabrics. I purchased the "Dear Ma" collection from using my birthday $$. It was intense doing so much each week but it was winter and quilting and sewing is what I do! Ebony provided two outer border options-complicated with triangles or simple with basic three borders. Her finished size was 96" square which I knew was too big for my liking. I used 4" squares of all the fabrics but the cream (my least favorite of the bunch) and made a pieced border. I used the red print on the ends to balance the other end blocks. It was a happy accident the yellow squares in the outer border lined up with the yellow in the quilt! My finished quilt is 82" square. I really love the square layouts of Ebony's quilt along patterns and plan to start another one in June using my own fabrics in pinks. purples and whites. The purple was a choice before Prince died and now I'm a bit obsessed with purple.      
 This was the largest quilt I have ever quilted. I thought about sending it to a long arm quilter but I really don't like the all over stipple quilt look. I like to stitch in the ditch, cross hatch through squares and echo stitch. It took me two week to quilt it between my job and other responsibilities. I used only cream colored thread. The binding is red because it was my favorite color in the Dear Ma collection! It is a very heavy quilt.
Ebony gave everyone fabric requirements. I did not do the fancy triangle border and had lots of fabric left which I sewed together for the backing which I have never done before.
The quilt is so huge the only place to display the quilt is on my clothesline. It has been terribly windy so I couldn't take a photo until today.
I call it "Half Pint" because that was Pa's nickname for Laura Ingalls on the TV show and it is a favorite memory for me because my daughter and I used to watch the show all the time. 

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Let's Color Bella!! Markers or Pencils??

I have always loved to color and now it is cool for adults to have their own coloring books. Someone decided grown ups coloring in pictures was relaxing and a distraction from the real world or a problem. Everywhere I go I can purchase adult coloring books. My iPhone has several apps to color pictures-even for free!! When I was returning home last November from the IQF Houston Quilt Show my flight was canceled and I spent more time than I would have wished in the airport. My coloring app saved my mental state of mind and I made some pretty pictures. 
I decided to adapt my Bella pattern to a coloring book page. The first photo is colored in with Sharpie pens. I had no beiges and browns for skin tones so Bella is very pale!
In the second photo I used colored pencils which gave me more variety but less coverage. I had fun!! I am asking your opinion about my coloring page. Should I do more of this and adapt some of my other patterns as well? If I sold these as single pages what would you pay per page-$.50 or $1.00 or other? Thanks for the input!    

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Art Quilts Around The World Facebook Group: Folklore Challenge

My Facebook art quilt group "Art Quilts Around The World" has reveal day today. The theme is Folklore. I googled options and fairies and mermaids were common themes but I have done those in quilts before. I found the legend of Madre Monte (Mother Mountain) which is from Columbia to be interesting. The folklore story is about a woman who wears moss and leaves and a green hat that conceals her face. She lives in dense jungles and supposedly bathes in rivers causing flooding and heavy storms. She haunts those who steal other people's land and cast plagues on cattle owners who steal or misuse fields or ignore boundaries. She puts spells on people in the jungle when they walk and they eventually fall asleep with exhaustion and do not wake for hours.
 I saw this woman as a earth mother type with all green skin and hair. I used one of my other portrait patterns and made it smaller to the required size. I reduced the size of her Afro as well. I chose 4-5 green for her skin tones and a tie dyed ruffly heavily textured fabric for her Afro hair. I envisioned lots of hair texture and viney stuff by using lots of textured yarns which I machine and hand couched to the quilt.

From my embellishment stash I pulled anything with a green leaf-silk and felt leaves; leaf and flower buttons; sequins, beads and even foam leaves. I found a great metallic special occasion fabric for the dress and used two green glitter nail polishes on the eyes. I stitched the turquoise background with a leave themed specialty stitch with a variegated thread to repeat the nature theme.
 This photo shows a close up of the hair and all the funky fuzzy yarns I used to capture the jungle vines in her hair! I had a blast with this challenge once I found an idea and will use this quilt for Earth Day and other seasonal related quilt themes.
This was the original pattern that I adapted for the Folklore that I used for my 2014 Hoffman Challenge quilt. It looks different with green skin instead of brown.

The next challenge for this group I get to select and I chose "Kitschy!!!" Kitschy is defined as pleasingly distasteful, melodramatic, overdone, gaudy, tacky, sentimental, folksy, cutesy fun or hideously ugly. It is so bad it's cool! I discovered the word Kitschy in 2005 and I was thrilled there was a name for the style I embraced! I wear kitschy jewelry, have garden art and add something kitschy to many of my quilts.

I discovered some terrible gaudy cat eye glasses on Pinterest and will run with this idea for this challenge due May 31, 2016

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

New Open Studio Samples of Selfie Quilts for IQF Chicago in April

I decided to not teach at the IQF Chicago Quilt Show April 7-9, 2016 but chose to attend the show and when the Houston Educational Department asked me to participate in Open Studio I said "yes." I am doing two demos-the first one on Friday April 8th from 4-6pm and I titled the subject as Selfie Portrait Quilt which is my whimsical first pattern re-marketed. I created two new sample quilts with some clothes instead of shoulder straps and expanded on eyeglasses with my favorite frame shape of cat eye!! I also love the Rosie The Riveter style 40s head scarves so that is new. I love polka dots and red/pink together so it was a fun project!!
Then I've been wanting to do a Packer themed version of this pattern for a while so I pulled some green and gold fabric and designed a football jersey and a cheesehead. Should the cheesehead point up or down? I had it both ways and went with "up."

Both quilts have nail polish for eye make-up and on the hair. Rhinestones are added to the cat eye glasses and the Packer girl got a necklace and background bling!

I plan to make a few more accessories before the quilt show such as a steampunk hat!

The other demo is called Fun and Funky Fabric Postcards on Saturday April 9th from 10am-12noon. I did this demo at Houston last October and will blog about this if I have some new cards to display. 

I hope you will be attending the show in April because it is fantastic because of the classes, loads of quilt displayed and vendors galore!! Stop by at my demos and introduce yourself!!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

My Quilt Is Featured In The April/May 2016 Quilters Newsletter Magazine!! Woo Hoo!

 I had seen a call for red themed quilts a while ago in 2015 from Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) because they were compiling quilts for a Go Red For Women Campaign. They put a lot of the quilts on their Pinterest board if you want to see many more red quilts. I found out my quilt "Beauty School Flashback" was selected to be in the April/May 2016 issue back last fall. It is difficult to wait and not tell anyone what is going on. I do not subscribe to this magazine and today I tried without success to purchase the magazine. I was bummed but then I check my mail today and I had a complimentary copy of Quilters Newsletter!! Sorry my photography isn't the greatest but the glossy paper tends to create a huge reflection.
 I have to say my quilt got an excellent position in the magazine layout and another photo of the detail of the lady's face. I made the quilt in 2010 for Joann Fabrics "Quilt Your Colors" Contest using only their fabrics (not easy when you want to use quilt shop fabrics!!) I came in 4th place nationally and was fortunate to win some prizes. Joann's never really promoted the end result of the contest and they never did the contest again. I blogged about this quilt back in the day so I'm not going to go into the construction of the quilt. It sure is a great felling to have my portrait quilt work in print!!
This is the cover in case you want to purchase it!

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!!