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!