Saturday, October 29, 2011


I decided to tackle the sewing room and clean, purge and organize because it needed it and I am going on 2 quilt retreats in November and want to be onganized. So I have this lovely thread rack Ken made and I have the thread organized by color but...

 there is my cat Mia, age 13, who has Pica and gets in my thread and then has to go to the vet for thread removal. She had 2 surgeries in 2003 when I lived in Appleton WI and I have to constantly my on guard with thread, tinsel, rafia, curly gift ribbon, threads hanging from towels amd fabric raw edges. Pica is eating non-edible things. The thread gets all tangles up in her intestines and could sever them which almost happens in '03. I quit sewing for 2 years because I was so upset by this but went back to it becasue I love to sew and quilt and I covered my thread.

I thought all was well in my house in Menominee until last January when the vet found thread wrapped around Mia's tongue. Now I have a cafe' rod and a curtain I made, a wastebasket with a cover, and a covered box to store my bobbins. Sometimes I still catch her going under the curtain for a snack but she knows when she's caught she's in deep doo-doo!! What we don't do to have pets in our houses!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Art Garage Project: Art Meets Heart 2012

I did this fundraiser last year at the Art Garage in Green Bay WI and it was fun so here is my entry for the February 2012 exhibit. Each artist gets a 6" x 6" canvas to do anything they want with it and they are placed together to form a huge heart on the gallery wall. Then the pieces are auctioned off for the American Heart Association. Last year I did a mixed media piece with paper and minimal fabric and I am over the mixed media thing-I am a FIBER artist and why compromise!! Here is a picture of last years display:

This piece began with my fabric postcard design adding 2" more and some hair. I was in the mood for greens and orangey reds and strip pieced batiks. I fused and stitched the applique on w/o batting (weird) and zigzagged the raw edges. I stapled the fabric around the canvas then glued rhinestones near the eye, some Jacquard paint and some green glitter eyeliner (Urban Decay!!) to accent it and wha-la it was finished in less than 24 hours. There was no quilting or binding so it isn't really a quilt but a fiber art piece. I am calling it "Heartburn and Green Around the Gills!! I deliver it in November and the exhibit runs the month of February at The Art Garage.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sapphire and Topaz

This is the photo of the brain buster quilt!! It is big for me at 51" x 40" and I am entering it in an unknown contest based on a minimum size requirement. The design influence began with a small photo of a hairstyle in one of the beauty supply catalogs I receive. I have a female attorney as a hair customer and consulted with her about copyrights and using this photo. After the conversation I decided to mirror image the woman in the picture, change the colors of the hair, and I added things to the face and hair and took away the body of the woman. I feel it is okay now and is not a copy but an inspiriation. Any thoughts on this subject??

I then decided to work in a blue and orange color palette because I was doing the lecture on the elements of design and these colors kept popping up in the research. I also have not worked in this color combo so why not. Pink is my favorite color but orange is my new favorite and I had fun with these colors. They remind me of Appleton West High School colors and the orange reminds me of summer, sunsets and warmth!!

I chose a realistic color palette for the face and suprisingly I kept the face fairly simple without glitter and rhinestones because I thought it turned out nice the way it was. The way the batik was cut I was able to get great shading without trying too hard!!

For the hair I found this great metallic which had both blue and orange and a batik that was interesting. for the highlights/lowlights.

The background was made of various oranges cut into squares and I sewed many, one weeks worth of, circles to look like a bullseye using an orange variageted thread. The blue outer border repeats the circle motif and is free motion quilted with a freeform flower design using a Sulky Blendables thread. I always block my quilts when they are finished but this piece became very distorted from the circular quilting and I "preblocked" the quilt and then added the flowers, binding, and embellishments and blocked it again when it was completed.

Next I used three different large scale florals and fussy cut them to add to the outer border, the hair, cheeks and a few scattered. I then sewed blue felt and regular buttons to repeat the circle theme and orange flower buttons, both felt and regular, to the quilt. I have beads in both colors in various sizes to accent the flowers using Silamide thread which is awesome!!

This quilt took me so long mostly because of all the machine quilting and hand stitched beads/buttons. I named it after the color theme and "Blue and Orange" seemed a bit bland so it became "Sapphire and Topaz" since topaz is my birthstone so it seemed fitting.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sunflowers and Cat Tails

I have been unable to post any finished projects because I was working on two things at once and nothing was getting done. The intense quilt which I am making for a quilt contest had to be set aside to give my brain a break. During the brain vacation I worked on this wall hanging. It began as a pre-printed South Seas Imports panel which I stared at while working at Pine Street Quilts. The manufacturer had a pattern for it but I wanted to make it "artsier!" I usually poo-poo panels but this one spoke to me!! I went into my stash and found many oranges, golds, yellows with a few greens and browns for the outer border. I did a gradation of color around the panel placing the browns at the bottom and the brightest yellows near the top. I stitched a decorative flower stitch in the black area of the panel and free motion quilted the remainer with one of my new Sulky Blendable threads called Sundown which is a beautiful rich gold/yellow combo. I embellished with the fun felt sunflowers from Hobby Lobby, a few rhinestones in the pieces border, some glitter nail polish on the flowers and some beading on the flower centers using my new Silamide thread (thanks Robbie!). My boyfriend Ken thought it should run horizontally-I showed him the manufacturers example which ran vertically and that's why I placed the quilt vertical like a banner. Horizontal or vertical?? Here a some close up photos. I love the beautiful autum colors in the quilt!!