Sunday, April 9, 2017


This quilt began as a Easter themed portrait of a woman wearing a Easter bonnet. I went on Pinterest and searched Easter hats and then vintage Easter hats. I wanted the emphasis on the hat (and not hair/fashions) and the vintage styles with the big brims and flowers were my favorite!
I then wanted to use my line drawing style and a variety of 5" squares. I wanted pastels and soon found I didn't have very many in my stash. Also the pastel dots/stripes/flowers on a white background were in short supply too! I subscribe to a monthly color way packet of 8 FQs from Pink Castle Fabrics in Ann Arbor MI which started in January. The 3 colorways I have received have helped with some of the pastels. I spent Friday and Saturday at the IQF Chicago quilt show desperately looking for pastel batiks and did find a few but this quilt was finished.
I have 5 squares across and 9 squares tall. I started with the 6 white prints then decided to vertically use the warm colors above the whites and the cool colors below the whites. I did this on purpose because I feel purple VISUALLY appears darker and heavier than the other colors and heavy should live on the bottom of the quilt so the mind accepts it and it doesn't look top heavy.
Why choose purple for the applique? For this same reason that purple is again VISUALLY the darkest color in the mix thus creating the greatest contrast which is very important with this style of quilt. Plus Spring seems to scream of purple!
The second photo shows where I hand sewed a variety of pastel purple buttons and a few small beads to the center of the bonnet flowers. I also hand sewed another style of beads, chunky this time, to the lower edge of the dress collar.
The face received pink and purple glitter nail polish to the eyes and lips. I really wanted to emphasize the hat and found a fun ombre colored shimmery ribbon which I machine sewed to the inside of the brim and I liked it! The background got a few rhinestones for bling.
I used a Sulky pastel Blendables thread in 30 weight for almost all of the quilting.

 Hat flower detail photo
This is a photo of all the potential embellishments for this quilt. I started with an Easter theme but it morphed into a Spring thing so the Easter bunny buttons and Easter egg garland was edited out. The foam and felt flowers/butterflies were too much of a good thing and also wasn't used. I did seem to have enough pastel embellishment for this project.

This was my backing fabric and I love it but it wasn't pastel and stood out too much with the other fabrics. It was sad to let it go but I used it for the backing and the sleeve.
Since Victoriana has a Spring theme and not an Easter theme I can let it hang on my wall a little longer now!!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Art Quilts Around The World Facebook Group Challenge: Communication - Social Memes

My Facebook art quilt group Art Quilts Around the World's bimonthly reveal day is today and the theme is Communication. I chose social memes because I am on Facebook a lot and see plenty of them. They make me laugh and they make me question things.
I am upset with the 2016 Presidential election in the USA and not sure how to channel my anger. Making art with a social theme has worked in the past so why not now.
There is a resistance against Donald Trump and the word "resist" has appeared on social memes. I love the Statue of Liberty and think she is a great representation of America so I combined the word resist with Lady Liberty.

I needed to Google images of The Statue of Liberty for details and found this close up of her face. Not very feminine in my opinion and she seems to be scowling! Her lips look like Elvis Presley lips! I used my line drawing style portrait quilt technique and drew an image with the non-feminine face. I have the left side with reds and the right side with blues and whites in the middle to represent the colors of the USA and our flag.
I usually add a lot of embellishments to my quilts but this quilt seemed busy enough and only added the standard white dot of fabric paint for the eye reflection and a few plastic star shaped buttons.
The next challenge is called The Eyes Have It. Any chance I get I make a portrait quilt and the eyes are my favorite part so this one will be super easy and I have to do something out of the box due May 31st.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Bonfire: Urban Bright Challenge from BasAss Quilters Society

BadAss Quilters Society is a page on Facebook which explores going against the grain of traditional quilters and the proper "rules!" The so called quilting police can be judgmental and this group has created a place for the quilters who are not good at following these rules and are artsy and doing their own thing! They have created a new challenge based on a line of fabric by Frond Design Studio called Urban Brights. The line had coordinating solids to use but sparingly.
I started with a design of a woman with long gloves and a rockabilly hairstyle with a scarf tied around her head.
I used 4 of the 5 prints with peace symbols as the background. One of the more subtle prints for the outside border, the print with the license plate for the dress and head scarf and the facial features fussy cut from one of the large scale prints. The hair, neck/upper torso and the face are from the accent fabrics. They are calling this bright fabric and I tend to disagree! I love brights and knew if I was going to enjoy making this quilt I would need to use the accent colors and sparingly was difficult for me! I flipped the red orange and the yellow fabrics and used the wrong side to get another value of those fabrics for the facial and hair highlighting.
In the last photo in this blog post I have a picture of the funky multicolored thread that can be turned into a rusched thread by pulling one of the threads. I purchased it at the IQF Houston show a few years ago. I used it once before but not to the extent I used it here. The challenge rules stated embellishments were okay to use so I got my bright fix by hand sewing this rusched thread around the border seam and was happy with the result!

This is my original drawing the applique pieces are derived from. I only draw one eye/brow and flip it from it's reversed side to the normal side to get both eyes for the fused applique. I decided to put the head scarf bow on the other side.

This is the ad campaign on Facebook on BadAss Quilters Society's blog.

This is my photo of the fabrics before I started using them. The upper left fabric is my outer border. I only used 3 out of the 6 accent fabrics shown in the lower part of the photo.
This is a face close up photo. I used fabric paint and markers to add definition to the face. A bit of glitter nail polish on the eyes for bling. The fabrics were pretty active so a bunch of bling seemed garish. The quilt is titled Bonfire because of the hair color. Redken, my favorite hair color company and retail products, has a demi color Shades EQ which is a bright auburn and that how I named it. When the quilt was finished I thought the woman looked like the actress Emma Stone. Thoughts....

The fun rainbow thread I used to embellish with!
The contest rules state to blog about our entry then apply on their Facebook page. The month of March is for applying and I will be begging everyone to vote for my quilt when the time comes available in April!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Charity Quilt for Spring University Days at the WI Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts

 I have been invited to be a participant in the Spring University Days at the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts in Cedarburg Wisconsin held May 12 and 13, 2017. They encouraged all faculty to make a silent auction/charity item for their fundraiser. I used my Line Drawing pattern which makes a 12" square mini portrait quilt. Instead of a pieced background I selected a very large scale print as the background. I positioned the white flower over one of the eyes. I also prefer to run stripes vertical.
I defined the nose, eye lids and chin with black thread which was also used to stitch down the black batik applique.
I added some glitter nail polish to the eye lid area and mouth and a rhinestone to the nose area. This project comes together pretty quick.
I hope someone enjoys it!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Boom Chick A Boom

I was inspired by the Facebook Challenge called "The Skin We Are In" from the Bad Ass Quilters Society from Chattanooga TN. They were inspired by Kathy Nida's art quilt with female nudity that was pulled from an American Quilt Society's quilt show in Grand Rapids, MI last August. I had never heard of Kathy or her work so the controversy got her name out in cyber space/social media and her art quilts of women, often nude and with subjects such as homelessness, birth and female reproduction. Bad Ass Quilters Society is already mad at the Quilt Police and the over conservative judgement of quilters who don't fit into their idea of what a quilt "should" be. I have also fallen victim to the Quilt Police and find myself on the support side of art is art and nudity in art is not a bad thing but another form of art expression.
So the challenge is online only at the Bad Ass Quilters Society's Facebook page for viewing-no prizes and nothing is traveling to quilt venues.
I was inspired by Carmen Miranda, Las Vegas showgirls and Brazil's Rio de Janeiro's Carnival. The point I was making was even though the breasts are exposed the emphasis is on all the vast ornamentation of head dress, garments and jewelry. I decided to create a topless Carmen Miranda like image. Back in the early 1990s I had the opportunity to take doll making classes from California's Eleanor Peace Bailey. She is so awesome and was very colorful and trendy and I was automatically drawn to her aura! I purchased several of her witch, mermaid and fairy doll patterns. All her patterns had "boobs" which was a circle of fabric turned under and hand tacked to the chest area. Polyfil was used to stuff the breasts and then the nipples were created by hand stitching them into place. Derwent Inktense pencils were used to draw in the areola. I forgot about the whole thing then really looked at the mermaid doll hanging forever in my bathroom and the idea resurfaced! 
This quilt is full of embellishments:
1. Rainbow rick rack in the binding like a flange.
2. Pointy Christmas ornaments on the skirt waistband.
3. Black with multicolor metallic tulle as the sleeves and the skirt waistband. Two types of trims are hand tacked to each of these. The one trim is also hand tacked to form the bra band and halter straps.
4.Real beaded drop earrings were used for earrings. The coordinating necklace was repurposed for bracelets.
5. I had the plastic fruit beads from leftovers from a 1980s necklace which I hand tacked on. More of the beaded necklace used for the bracelets also used for another necklace and a Dollar Store bead necklace was the third addition. The point is NEVER throw jewelry away because you can repurpose it in the future!!!
5. The fruit headpiece has a silk flower from a Dollar Store Hawaiian lei with a rhinestone. There is white fabric paint added for highlights. Also some of the fabric pencils mentioned above were also used to emphasis and shade the fruit for more dimension.
6. The face has a white fabric paint eye reflection, a subtle bit of nail polish on the brow bone and lips and a nose piercing.
As you can see she is not nude because I covered her up with large Hawaiian lei flowers to use this quilt in other quilt shows. Would you have covered her? Scroll down to the end of the post to see the real deal!

This is a photo of the headpiece in a closer view.

And here is the photo I submitted to "The Skin We Are In" Challenge. I had fun with this and realize art is controversial thus the cover up. Thoughts? 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day: Queen of Hearts

This project began with a Moda charm pack I purchased last fall. I was able to start the quilt last week. I had make a very small portrait quilt with the woman having a heart shaped face, a heart shaped hair silhouette and a heart shaped dress neckline. I was headed in that direction including the heart shaped mouth which I used a few years back for the Day of the Dead quilt which was likeable. I have been watching, on PBS, plenty of British historical TV shows and the fashions influenced me as well as the Queen of Hearts character from the Alice in Wonderland book and movie. Throw in a little Steampunk fashions and I'm ready to draw up a design! I was on a quilt retreat last weekend and made sure this quilt lad priority!
I did a Pinterest search and discovered the cool queen-like collar as well as the dramatic eye makeup. The Queen of Hearts played by Helene Bohnam Carter in the Johnny Depp movie had very thin eye brows so my Queen got skinny brows too! I decided to make the quilt with six 5" squares wide and eight squares tall. I arranged the creams, reds, grays and a few blacks symmetrical with a mirror image. Since a charm pack has 42 squares I added a few dotted charm squares from another Moda pack and a few rotary cut batiks. I quilted the quilt with red thread for the dress and collar; variegated white/red/black thread for the background; variegated red/black thread for the hair and lights for the skin.
I did a lot of embellishments on this quilt:
1. The crown has beads on the peaks and a felt heart button in the middle.
2. The hair has red and white chunky nail polish.
3. The eyes have brown Drewent Inktense pencils to make the rises brown and a Pigma MIcron brown pen to add details. There is chunky red bling from Target on the lids and loose silver glitter/glue as eyeliner. A dab of white fabric paint for the eye reflection.
4. The cheeks have iridescent nail polish and red buttons sewn on them.
5. The mouth has chunky red nail polish to define the heart shape.
6. The collar has red metallic leather rick rack recently purchased at Target which is very fun and exciting to me! It was easy to work with and machine stitch to the collar.
7. The sleeves have a red/white trim on the band and another red/white trim as a bow on the outer edges.
8. The dress has red machine stitched hearts on he bodice as well as red buttons on the seam lines.
9. The ears have repurposed beads for earrings.
10. The background has red rhinestones glued on to it.
11. A red Pigma Micron pen used to draw a small heart spaced mole near one of the eyes. 

 This is a close up on the face and it is so pretty and blingy!
This is a close up view of the dress trims, buttons and rick rack.

Happy Valentine's Day to you!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Art Quilts Around The World Challenge: I Professional Hair Color!!

It is reveal day again for my Facebook art quilt group Art Quilts Around The World. Those two months went fast! The theme this time was "I Believe..." It was selected by the individual in the group who chose it to be spiritual or religious. I could not think of anything that I wanted to put on a quilt to reflect this idea. I had to think about this subject for a while before finding an idea. I decided I have very strong opinions about being a hairdresser for nearly 30 years and how I believe women should wear their hair to look their best. I come from a family where the women color their hair no matter what their age. My Mom is 81 and is still coloring her hair brown like she has for decades! This is my norm to NOT see gray hair. I color hair for my job and it is one of my favorite things to do in the salon. I make my living coloring hair. As you are reading this you may agree or disagree with me. You may have gray hair. I get it but I believe women look better with their hair colored!
In this project I drew a women with a bob haircut (my personal haircut and favorite!) Half of the hair is gray and white and the other half is PROFESSIONALLY colored in a salon. Not from a box from Walgreens and your friend did it while drinking too much wine! Stylists know what we are doing and take classes on color formulation and color correction. Salons fix home hair color!

I just realized the challenge from November 2016 had a face that was split in half vertically and I did it again unconsciously! Oh Well!

In this photo it shows the lettering of the names of five professional hair color companies-Redken (my favorite,) Joico (used to get the bright fashion colors,) Matrix, Paul Mitchell (abbreviated for space) and Wella which is what the salon I work at uses. There are many more companies but since this quilt is small I literally ran out of room. Why use these particular colors for the lettering? They represent the colors customers ask for when they have their hair colored-red, rusty browns, oranges/auburns, gold and pale blonde. The browns are represented in the woman's right side of her hair with warm brown and highlights and lowlights.

This is a close up of the face. I used a few pinks and purples for "make up!" The quilt was embellished with fabric paint, Derwent Inktense pens, a rhinestone on the nose, some glitter nail polish on the brow bone and both sides of the hair.

The next challenge is due March 31 which will feel like Spring is near! The them is using words in a quilt-I actually used words in this quilt and use words anyway in my work. I am going to use the statement "I Resist!" due to the terrible President that is running the USA and my opposition. I feel strongly about this and a quilt with these works will have meaning!