Thursday, January 24, 2013

I VALUE This Quilt!!

I love the "Swoon" block done scrappy style. The three quilts below are the wall hangings I made last summer as teaching tools for my lectures on the elements/principles of design for quilters. I am teaching a 6 part series of classes called "Design Confidence for Quilters" at Pine Street Quilts in Marinette, WI where I work part-time. The second class is this Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013 and it is about asymmetrical balance and value. I decided to make a scrappy Swoon in 13 values from solid white to dark black prints with a solid black Kona Cotton background. (I love Kona Cottons-the feel of the fabric is wonderful and they press nicely!) I usually choose quilts with lots of color and by the time I was ready to add the binding I "had" to add a bit of color and I was working with reds at the quilt retreat last weekend so red was my binding choice. When the quilt was finished I decided to add an accent of red in the center by adding a large red button to the quilt. I quilted this piece with a variegated black and white thread.  The Swoon block is 24" x 24." When I first looked at the quilt from a distance for the first time there was a secondardy image of whitish tulips in the four corners which wasn't planned but when you consider that whites are prominant it is a great teaching tool for studying value. I learned I had very little gray fabrics in my stash and now I do!!
This was my first Swoon block using the 12 + 1 colors of the color wheel.
This is my example of the same color placement but all the colors have been "tinted" with white or pastels. I would not usually do an all pastel quilt unless a baby quilt or possibly a spring theme quilt.

This example is the same color placement but all the colors have been "shaded" with black. I did brighten the golds a bit to make the quilt prettier. Some people use all darks in their quilts such as Thimbleberies and Kansas City Troubles fabrics. I am a brighter style fabric person and I like the original color wheel quilt the best.
At some point I should make a "tone" style quilt but they are my least favorite fabrics. But for educational purposes I NEED to make one!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

January in Upper Michigan

 I made this small quilt to celebrate winter where I live in Upper Michigan. I used my original pattern in which I made 2 square wall hangings last summer-one in purple/yellow and one with values of pink. I wanted to have a scarf that was blowing in the wind so I made this quilt in a rectangle shape. I cut 5" squares in variations of light, medium and dark values of blue including as many snowflake themed fabrics as I had (I bought a few extra!.) I changed my original pattern by adding an earmuff and the scarf and taking the hair to a closer to the head amount. I went total monochromatic with the color scheme-blue fabric, blue threads, and many blue embellishments. I found these great little hologram icecicle beads on my travels in Madison Wisconsin at the Wisconsin Quilt Expo and used them on this quilt. I have blue glitter on the eyelid, nail polish on the lips and scarf ends and a few rhinestones scatter about. I wanted an icecicle motif on the cheekbone area and created them this way-I Goodle searched icecicle images on the computer and when I found one I liked I drew up an image to the size I wanted. I then used Carol Doak foundationl paper in my computer and copied 3 icecicles-2 for the cheeks and one for the chin. Then I placed the icecicles on the quilt individually and stitches in a smaller stitch with blue variegated thread. When finished I removed the paper which comes off pretty nice compared to regular computer paper. I used a 2 color binding to accentuate the contrast of light and dark in the quilt. This quilt is just for fun and not for a quilt jury-somethimes I have to be be fluffy!!
The second photo is a detail version to show the icecicles on the face.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Modern Hair Design

I am embracing the Modern Quilt Movement since learning what it meant and am now aware!! I received one of many e-mail notices about a quilt related subject. There was an upcoming block of the month using 16 12" star blocks with a celtic central design, more borders and a purple background. I loved the blocks and after checking to see if it came in any other colorways (black background) I decided to draft my own blocks and use black as the background. When I began I did not really know what I wanted in the center so I just made the blocks. I used the same color scheme as the BOM which was challenging without orange but I still like the colors. The four corner blocks are the same and a bi*%# to make. I did those first. I am not a fan of Thangles and used the easy method of adding 7/8" to the measurement of the finished size to each square to make the many triangles. I found this info free on the internet. This is much easier, cheaper and no paper mess like Thangles!! A few of the blocks had very small piecing and was challenging but it was an enjoyable process. The center is 36" x 36" and I eliminated flowers, leaves, stems etc. because that is too traditional for me. I had used four of these hairstyle silhouettes in another project and added four more and did one in each color I used in the outer blocks.
I have a short spiky, a bob, a pompadour, a ponytail, an updo, an afro poof, a mohawk, and a pageboy for the eight hairstyles. This was fun, fun, fun to design!! I added swirly "pieces of hair" between the silhouettes to fill in the area and added a flower in the middle. I thought about adding more applique such as combs, curlers, etc. but stopped because I didn't want it to be too busy-the positive/negiative space concept!!

I quilted in the ditch for the quilt blocks and did a diagonal crosshatch in the center. I like the contrast of the straight quilting lines and the curved applique pieces. The hair swirls add nice movement. When the quilting was finished I embellished with a few buttons and rhinesones to further carry out the color scheme and enhance the swirls. THe size is 64" x 64" which is large for me. I chose a colorful splashy print which repeated the colors in the quilt for the binding.

When I was quilting the quilt I discovered the upper center block had a boo-boo. I had the black and red reversed in the bottom section. I couldn't stop staring at the mistake!! I decided to make another one (the flying geese part) the correct way and hand appliqued it over the mistaken area. I can live with it now!!! With a quilt with such high contrasting colors there is no room for error because it is very obvious!!