Wednesday, October 19, 2016

My Bella Pattern Revamped for Wonderfil Threads

I took my drawing of my Bella pattern and enlarged it to 24" square and adapted it to a more realistic version. Some things are similar but there are much more hair strands, skin tone shading and eye detail. I was asked by Wonderfil Threads from Calgary, Alberta Canada to make a wall hanging quilt. I have been one of their featured teachers and I receive perks from the company so I thought it was honorable to make a quilt, when they asked me, which will be displayed when the company vends at markets and festivals. The idea of pink hair came from me while working in a hair salon and reading all the ads in hair stylist publications and the trend has been vibrant colored hair. I chose pink because it's my favorite color! I selected blue/turquoise for the eye shadow because it was a color in the background fabric and it seemed retro-like in a 1960s kind of way. When selecting the lip color I stayed with the 1960s theme and chose a lighter pink to mimic the frosted lips of the decade a la Twiggy and Mary Quant!!

This is a starting point photo of the applique pieces fused and cut out and the background and binding fabrics chosen. The applique pieces are then fused to the background and with 7 different colors of hair it was a bit complicated! Could I turn this into a pattern-it would be hard to explain the process and order to fuse the applique pieces to the background fabric. The whole fusing process is like putting a jigsaw puzzle together!!

This is a photo of the details of the face. I used only Wonderfil Threads since this project was about their products. Some of the threads used were Fabulux rayon thread which has a beautiful shimmer on the hair; 40 wt rayon variegated for the eyes and mouth and Egyptian cotton "Tutti" in  variegated browns for the skin tones. I embellished with loose chunky glitter on the eyelid for "eyeliner," nail polish on the mouth and eye shadow areas; a rhinestone for a nose piecing and a variety of rainbow colored beads hand sewn to form a necklace. I will be sending this one onto the Wonderfil folks and plan to make another version for myself with a woman of color with red hair and green eye shadow!!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Modern Scrappy Portrait Quilt Class at IQF Houston

I will be teaching my "Modern Scrappy Portrait Quilt" Class using my Bella pattern at the International Quilt Festival in Houston Saturday November 5, 2016. The website is to register and the Class is #703 and is a 6 hour class. The class kit will have 25  pre-cut 5" squares from Cherrywood Hand-Dyed Fabric for the pieced background as well as the Bella pattern. Cherrywood is the fabric company that created The Wicked and The Lion King Challenges that have been so popular! Their hand dyed fabric is so soft and buttery and I just wanted to pet them and ooh and aah over them before I cut the fabric into kits. We will be exploring the color wheel and placement of color to get more visual impact with the 25 different colors in the pieced background. The applique in a raw edged fused technique. I hope to see you there. If not The Bella pattern can be purchased on my website at

New Pattern: Jingle Bella

My Bella pattern has been very popular and I have used it as the subject of many quilt venues and guild workshops. I have designed a Halloween, a winter and a curly haired version of Bella. At my local quilt shop, Pine Street Quilts in Marinette Wisconsin, and while visiting quilt guilds the request for a Christmas/Santa hat Bella has been vocalized. I designed this quilt based on the requests and I love Santa hats and Christmas colors also! I purchased a Moda Fabrics charm pack and challenged myself to ONLY use the charm pack and not add other fabrics. The blues and turquoise threw me off a bit because they are not traditionally Christmas colors. I treated them as sky colors and the rest was easy. I did not embellish this quilt much because the whimsical prints had enough activity-just some fabric paint on the eye, rhinestones and nail polish on the mouth and eye. If you view the photo you will see a trim hand sewn to the bottom of the quilt to look like Christmas garland that is so cute and sparkly!! This quilt is on display at Pine Street Quilts at 801 Marinette Avenue, Marinette WI as a shop sample and the patterns are for sale there. I also have them for sale on my website through PayPal. I have been asked to design an Easter hat Bella-would you buy this version if it was available?

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Art Quilts Around The World Challenge: Letters From Home - Menominee Michigan Lighthouse

 My Facebook art quilt group Art Quilts Around The World had it's current challenge reveal yesterday-I am late because it's a crazy busy time with my quilt teaching stuff. I am a day late and have a day off today so here goes. The theme was called Letters from Home and a stylized stamp of the area we live in. I had a very very hard time with this challenge because I prefer to make portrait quilts. The city I have lived in the past 9+ years is Menominee Michigan. The Menominee Indian Tribe is where the city gets it's name. I Googled images of Menominee Indian woman and got no results that interested me. The city across the Menominee River is Marinette, WI and they were named after Queen Marinette who was a Menominee Indian woman. Again I Googled images of her and she was photographed only as an older woman and I didn't want a quilt like that. So plan C is a lighthouse which is everywhere in my city. Menominee is on the bay side of Lake Michigan and near where the Menominee River connects to Lake Michigan. We have lots of water and thus have a lighthouse. I made a lighthouse quilt a few years ago for a local fundraiser and adapted that pattern to this quilt so my quilt image is not fully accurate to the actual Menominee lighthouse. I planned to use a white background and blue for the raw edged fused applique to give a nautical look then added red since red is on the real lighthouse. I added a small amount of blue glitter nail polish to the water area and some silver glitter polish to the sun area-the quilt didn't scream out for sparkle. It will be given to a local charity for fundraising purposes.

This is the name of my local newspaper and they use the lighthouse in their logo and the lighthouse is getting a facelift accoridng to yesterday's newspaper which was timely for this blog post. 
The next challenge is about Science which is not one of my favorites either. Any ideas out there? Maybe physiology, muscles or bones of the body, skulls Ala Sugar Skulls!!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

International Quilt Association's Celebrity Mini Quilt Auction Quilt

 I will be teaching again at the International Quilt Festival this November in Houston-it is the mother of all quilt shows and so much fun to be part of! I was asked to participate in the International Quilt Association's Celebrity Quilt Auction. I was asked to donate a small quilt which will be auctioned off at the festival. The group of quilts will have an area on display at the quilt show. The money raised helps support the activities of IQA. I am lecturing this Saturday September 10, 2016 at the Wisconsin Quilt Expo on "Adult Coloring Books Inspiring Quilts" and am intrigued by how coloring book motifs and quilt design have common elements.
The design inspiration began with this design I drew in 2015 for a texture challenge for my Facebook art quilt group.
 This is the completed quilt-love the velvets and lames!!
 I took the original drawing, changed the hair and added lines to connect areas as in a coloring book motif. I thickened the lines for the raw edged fused applique. I used black batik (Hoffman batik in the color Raven) Love it!! I selected the swirly stripe fabric for the dress; orange and hot pink for the hair; two pinks for the mouth; yellow and teal for the eye makeup and three brown gradations of Cherrywood Hand-Dyed Fabrics for the brow bone, face and neck. A large polka dot with a black background is used for the binding. I embellished with yellow rhinestones as a row of eyeliner on the yellow lid area; a hologram-like rhinestone for a nose piercing; a white matte fabric paint dot for the eye reflection and a bit of pink glitter nail polish on the upper lip.

I used the original drawing and I made this quilt this winter and it became a donation quilt for Quilt Alliance which raises awareness and money for Alzheimer Association. The theme of this display is "Favorite Things" I love pink and embellishments! This quilt will also be on display at the IQF Houston show in November in the Quilt Alliance booth.
I don't feel like a celebrity but I am happy to be selected for this fundraised!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Adult Coloring Book Inspired Quilts: Lecture at Wisconsin Quilt Expo Sept. 10, 2016

 I am a huge fan of adult coloring books and it is National Adult Coloring Book Day! I was a huge fan of coloring books/crayons/colored pencils as a child. Nothing has changed because I still love all these things and anything artsy craftsy! When adult coloring books came on the scene a few years ago I noticed a correlation to my Line Drawing Style quilts. I have put together a lecture about how adult coloring books inspired quilt designs. I will be lecturing on this subject at the WI Quilt Expo on Saturday Sept. 10, 2016 at 8:30am. Early bird special!! 
 The photos in this blog post show how I selected a simple page from the coloring book "Coloring Creative Characters" edited by Tonia Jenny and Barbara Delaney from Book World and processed through to a quilt design. This is a teaser for the lecture so I'm not sharing too much today-see you in Madison!
I enlarged the page and assigned colors to my liking. In the top photo I made a small wall hanging in the Line Drawing style I typically work in.
In this photo I decided to add a border and used a fun geometric print from my stash. I pulled 6 batiks to coordinate with the border print and cut them into various widths and strip pieced them and ran this vertically as the background of the quilt. I used the exact applique as in the first project. It's cool how with the same motif but different backgrounds the finished quilts are so different! While working on these quilts I found more and more ideas which I will share in my lecture. I chose to demo a face motif but I will have other motifs in this lecture as well for people who aren't into faces like me. This idea is very inspiring and my brain is exploding from all the potential!!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Art Quilts Around The World: Vision Board-Hair Color

 Today is reveal day for my Facebook art quilt group Art Quilts Around The World. This challenge is called Vision Board. I thought about the white and black hair color I tried to have late last summer and I damaged my hair. It is still on my vision board as a hair color I want! Did I mention I am have been a hairdresser for 29 years and am challenged by this?
I first saw the hair color on Pinterest. My hair has been colored dark brown for years. In  hair color theory to lighten hair that has previously been dark one must bleach the hair. In doing so it can damage the hair because there are so many layers of hair. And in my case, my fine hair couldn't handle the bleach and my hair quality was compromised. I gave up and have been repairing and deep conditioning my hair ever since. 
This hair color became the subject of this vision board challenge. I selected red as my background, dress and glasses color. On Pinterest I searched vintage clothing because I love this too and found a great dress neckline and duplicated it in this quilt. The real dress would have a tab and button in the center on the neckline. 
 This is the close up of the neckline. I have found that red and black combination prints are not easy to find. I used a lot of this hounds tooth print in another quilt and now have an excuse to buy more fabric to replace this piece!! The black and white fabric used in the dress is so 1960s and I love it too!!
For embellishment I used a hologram and a slate sparkly glitter nail polishes to add shimmer to the hair. I added a few tiny rhinestones to the glasses, white paint for the eye reflection and a small amount of nail polish to the eyelid. I didn't over on the embellishments because the variety of fabric prints seemed like enough activity and I wanted the hair to be the emphasis.
The next challenge which is about a postage stamp that represents the area where we live in due September 30, 2016. I am exploring lighthouses, Menominee Indians or Queen Marinette.