Monday, November 18, 2013

This quilt was inspired by Michael Miller's fabric line called "Heavenly Pixies" which to me looked like fairies but whatever it was adorable!! The yellow print is also in the line of fabric. I chose to use my tried and true Blank Quilting free download pattern which name escapes me which I tweak a bit. the pattern is free from their website This pattern is simply half square triangles, squares, rectangles and flying geese. I am a fan of the double mirror image style placement for a quilt design-no row quilts for this woman since I do enough of those at the quilt store I work at. I fussy cut the pixie border fabric because it was directional which was easy enough. I chose all my personal favorites-red and lime green for the color scheme (Counterpoint!,) polka dots, stripes and herringbone!
In this photo of the center I decided to quilt with a silver thread to REPEAT the silver in the pixie fabric using a Madeira rayon silver thread. It is a wonderful thread that feeds through my sewing machine with ease unlike the Sulky metallic thread which is totally sparkly but a pain in the tush!! I used only curved and circular lines for the quilting.
I embellished with only silver to REPEAT the silver theme-I used silver rhinestones in two sizes in various areas and I have these clear with silver sparkly buttons from Joann fabrics and they were placed in the center of some of the blocks. The key to embellishing to know when to quit!! Then I added silver jingle bells around the binding and in a few areas on the quilt. It makes noise when I shake it! Very festive!!
I call it "Pixie McGlitter" because on Facebook there was a page that talked about picking your "Santa's Elf"' name. You took the first letter of your first name and the month you were born and mine was Pixie McGlittter. I was working on this quilt when the Facebook name thing was posted so that's  my name inspiration since it made me smile! It is so cutesie-poo I couldn't resist!!
I will hang it on my wall after Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Throwback Thursday: I Remember Doreen Speckman

I had a huge mess where I store a lot of my quilts. These are my non-art quilts which consist of my various holiday quilts, my quilts for teaching examples and other quilts I love and have been making since the early 90s. I found these three wall hangings that were from Doreen Speckman's first book and I had a bit of nostalgia. Doreen Speckman was from Madison WI and traveled the world teaching quilting. She was very gregarious, full of laughter and famous for her Peaky and Spike combination of triangles pieced together to get an elongated triangle. I was living in Appleton WI and was a member of the Darting Needles Quilt Guild and a new quilter and Doreen Speckman was the guest speaker. I was extremely influenced by her work-I bought her book and thru the mid to late 90s made a ton of these quilts and gave plenty more as gifts. I loved Doreen's humor and she indirectly gave me permission to combine prints, polka dots and stripes which I wanted to do but had not seen yet. I was able to take two classes from her and she autographed her second book for me! Doreen passed away when she was only 50 years old in 1999 and myself and the quilting work felt her loss. So finding these memories of her were special.
The first photo is called Scrap Lilies and my label says 1995. I actually hand embellished tiny seed  beads to the quilt! I had hand quilted all three of these quilts-thank goodness I quit doing that! I also mitered the corners of the borders and who does that anymore!!
This second photo is a layout I make a gazillion times and we used templates-oh how times have changed!! I still use this little quilt as a table topper at Christmas and still adorn it!

This is the same quilt but in more "Laurie" colors-I was finding my groove! I still tend to pick lots of polka dots and black with brights. My technical stuff is pretty sad on these quilts-bad bindings and the corners aren't straight but you have to start somewhere!
I am glad I put labels on these because they are 18-19 years old and it seems like yesterday I made these. RIP Doreen!!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Bella Bordeaux: Last In The Series

This is number five in a series using my same favorite pattern and a variety of batiks in the background. I love this pattern because of the face and swirly hair and all the fun embellishments I am able to add to the quilt to make me happy! I also love Timeless Treasures Fabric Tonga Treats Batiks. They sell them as charm packs, jelly rolls or yardage and I picked up this one with the forest greens and burgundies. When I work on my color wheel class samples I discovered I had NO burgundy in my stash. I guess I saw it as a "country/primitive" color and since I like bright hues I never purchased any. Same is true to some extent with the forest green but when I found this charm pack it was calling my name because it is a variation of red and green and I love that!! I chose burgundy as my raw edged fused applique color because I have done this technique with forest green before and thought burgundy was my "challenge" color. As I worked on the quilt it reminded me of winter in the garden and holly berries etc. This is not a Christmas quilt but a winter garden quilt. I named it Bella Bordeaux which is Good Burgundy in Italian. I love the Italian language and the other quilts had Bella in their names and the color or the quilt added such as Bella Gialla and Bella Rosa (purple/pink.) The other two quilts were monochromatic values or yellow and the other one was in all blues without Italian names.
Since I live where there are no fabric or craft stores within an hour, and I wanted a sprig of holly and berries, what do I do??-I make my own!! I drew out the holly leaves on Wonder Under fusible web and double fused some forest green batik together, cut them out and with some Sulky Blendables Thread I stitched around the leaves and added the veiny details. Then to make the berries I used red, black and a bit of magenta Sculpy Clay and made my own which bake in the oven to harden. I used a toothpick to make holes to hand stitch the berries into place. I fabric glued the three holly leaves at the stem area only to the quilt so it is 3D and then hand stitched the berries around the holly. I took a little red shimmer nail polish to the berries to "frost" them up!! And wa-la who needs Hobby Lobby!!
I embellished some cute red, pink and green snowflakes to the background area and some white hologram iridescent nail polish to the eyelid and one white rhinestone for her nose piercing and Miss Bella Bordeaux is ready! I think I will hang her at Pizazz Salon where I work because the color schemes match!!