Monday, June 11, 2012

Bella Gialla

This project began with me purchasing some Timeless Treasure Tonga batik Treat Squares in Gelato-it is this manufacturer's version of charm squares. The colors of purple, pinks, yellows and a few neutrals intrigued me.  The second photo is an image which is part of a large advertising postcard from a local beauty supply. The ad was not interesting but I loved the image of the woman-I loved the hair and the large eye with the eyeshadow. I then combined the two ideas. I added a row of my own batiks to make the quilt square and added a complete face witha nose, mouth and hair covering the other eye. When I draw this out I gridded 1" on the postcard and 4.5" finished. (The charm squares are 5" minus the 1/4" seam allowance.) I use my judgement to create the lines and eliminate others, like near the shoulder area, until I am happy with it. I raw edged fused appliqued in a dark burgandy batik. It is easy to apply the applique because I just follow the squares in my drawing for placement accuaracy.

The third photo is a close up of the face. I added a machine quilted flower and stem on one cheek and a sun on the other and a modified ying/yang on the chin. I named the quilt "Bella Gialla" because I wanted to use a color name and I like Italian words-it means "pretty yellow." I added some yellow rhinestones in the background and one pink rhinestone near the nose. I found these fun flower beads at Hobby Lobby and I used 5 different colors and hand beaded around the outside binding to repeat the flower theme. I added some gold glitter for eyeshadow-I thought I wanted purple glitter  but then realized there would be no contrast and yellow would repeat the yellow theme and it really sets off the eye. Also I decided to add some white batik and a pale purple batik to define the eye better since the eye was the focal point of the quilt. I'm glad I did that and love this little quilt (22.5' x 22.5".) The small amount of background was quilted with yellow/gold thread in a traditional diagonal grid design to balance the curves lines in the hair and face. It was easy to do since the squares were already there as a guide for marking.

I am happy with the balanced amount of yellow in this quilt without overkill which can happen. I will use this pattern again in another colorway in the future.


  1. I'm just starting to get into fabric portraits and loving what you do. I just wish I could find a class near me. But as usual, I will read articles, study others' work and just do it on my own. Man, a class would save me so much time. Wish me luck!!!!