Sunday, December 22, 2013

I Changed My Mind and Made One More Bella Quilt!

 I posted when I displayed my last "Bella" quilt in the series that I was done with making these quilts. I changed my mind!! I am obsessed with the color wheel and I had been online purchasing these lovely fabrics from Pink Castle Fabrics so the two came together. Pink Castle Fabrics are from Ann Arbor MI and have a website and I had purchased 11 months of stash builder fat quarter bundles. I cancelled when it was time for the brown bundle-not my thing unless the browns are batiks for faces and skin tones. The fabrics are great because some are small polka dots, small tone on tones and some have white prints which seem "Modern" to me.

I chose to accent the face with the yellows, greens and oranges. To me warm tones dominate and push forward while cool tones recede and create depth. The color wheel has 12 colors and I selected 2 of each and one extra since the quilt has 25 background squares. I picked pink for the 25th color since it's my favorite. I like to position blue next to orange since it reminds me of my daughter because those were her high school colors. Weird, I know, but I like blue and orange side by side.

I chose black as the applique color to have the most contrast and black and brights are another favorite of mine! I machine quilted using 5 different variegated threads to color coordinate with the area needing quilting.
I quilted the face with one half straight lines cross hatched and the other half in circles because I liked the contrast of lines.
For embellishments I picked a monogamous color to coordinate with the area on the quilt it was being placed. The flower in the hair was orange, the background rhinestones are purple, red and plum, the nose rhinestone in gold, the eye glitter is orange, the lip glitter is green and the necklace beads are a mirror image of teals on one side and green on the other. the color blue is not represented in the embellishments.
I am considering making this quilt into a pattern.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Good News!!

This is my quilt called "My Friend is Bipolar" which I originally made for SAQA's "I'm Not Crazy!" exhibit. It did not make the cut for that exhibit but it did get accepted into the Sacred threads 2013 exhibit which was in the Washington D.C. area in July 2013. The quilt gets on their promotional postcard and is returned home-end of story-NO! I received an email from the curator of the Sacred Threads Exhibit stating the Mancuso Quilt Festival organizers want a 25 piece special exhibit at two of their quilt shows in 2014 and my quilt above was selected for this exhibit!! WOO HOO!!

The two shows are Quiltfest Destination Savannah (GA) in March 2014 and Denver Quilt Festival in May 2014. The Mancuso website is for the official dates and other info on the two shows.

I am thrilled that my quilt that I put so much emotional energy into is getting recognition and more people from various parts of the country can see it!! This is not a quilt I randomly hang on the wall because the "manic" woman on the left is so frantic ad almost disturbing I can't look at her for a long period of time. I have made two quilts that have a social cause and this quilt proves that art isn't always pretty and it was stir our emotions. I have gratitude that my quilt has been selected for the exhibit and I can share it at these two quilt shows in 2014.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Just the Portrait Part of Quilt

This is a sneak peak of a quilt I just completed. When I attended both the IQF Quilt Show in Chicago and the Quilt Expo in Madison, the Wisconsin Quilt Museum in Cedarburg WI (which I have never been to) was displaying a yurt. A yurt is a portable structure traditionally used by nomads in Central Asia as their home. The yurt was covered in banner sized quilts and the museum was selling yurt kits encouraging quilters to make a quilt which will travel for over two years to various quilt shows. The kits were sold by seasons and had batting included-I chose the "Spring" kit which had three Jane Sassaman fabrics from Free Sprit. I chose those because of the great color combination of hot pink, lime green and blue. It also had great flower motifs.

The rules stated the quilt was to be 32" wide by 71" long and use the three fabrics included in the quilt. This is a size I have never made before. I drew up a design on graph paper with traditional quilt blocks and using my "Intro to Portrait Quilts" pattern I created three women to fill in the middle of the quilt. It was the first time I made a portrait quilt and had more than one person in the quilt.

I selected three skin tones, three hairstyles, three hair colors, three garment styles and each woman has one of the three theme colors in her clothing. I chose blonde hair to contrast with the black background, red/pink hair to repeat the pink in the quilt and blackish/brown to say consistent with an African American woman's natural hair color. I stayed away from browns (too boring) and oranges (warm tones clashed with the cool pinks and blues.) One woman got blue eyes to repeat the blues in the quilt and same with the green eyes.

When the quilt was nearly finished I like to look at it from a distant by taking a picture with my iPhone. I discovered the afro blended too much into the background. What to do? I laid some turquoise wool roving on the hair and decided it showed too much contrast and she looked like Bride of Frankenstein!! Then I tried a black thin yarn with sheer pieces of bright tricot knitted in and the colors where awesome but she looked like a black folk doll with braids and ribbons. No other of my yarns seemed to work. I ended up machine quilting it tightly with a Sulky shiny blue/turquoise variegated thread to look like a tight curl. I added some blue glitter nail polish to enhance it and I was satisfied with the results.

The woman with the afro got some "earrings" and the other ladies got glitter nail polish in their hair.

I may add some small rhinestones to the traditional areas of the quilt. The quilt is not due until May and that is why I am not showing the whole thing so no one tries to copy my design.

If my quilt is judged into the Yurt Display I surrender ownership of the quilt which is the hard part. I struggled for a few days with that rule and decided to give up ownership if the museum choose it. If not, yeah!!!, I get my quilt back and will enter it in a quilt show or two.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Crayon Challenge Quilt

My local quilt guild is having a crayon challenge which is due at the December 9th meeting. Any one who wanted to participate randomly selected a crayon. The rules were simple-no larger than 24" in diameter, no judging, ANY amount of the crayon color and it could also be a garment or non-quilt item such as a purse or tote. It way a very free and open challenge!!
I chose cerulean blue as my crayon color and I made this small (14' x 14.75") wall hanging. I have used the blue in the woman's eyes, jewelry and in the dots in the batik background. I also bound the quilt with the color but my photo accidently cut off the top binding and I was too lazy to retake the photo so this is what you get for an image of this quilt!!
Speaking of jewelry, I save my Mom and Grandma's jewelry from the 1950s and 1960s and this necklace seemed to work for this quilt. I bend it a bit narrower to fit and then hand tacked it to the quilt. The earring is a glued on rhinestone.
Other embellishments was some orange glitter for the hair, I used some of my blush from my make up case to give the woman a little color to her cheek and some white fabric paint to detail the eyes
I love the study of value in this quilt-I'm actually obsessed with color and value and I love the high contrast of the pale skin and the background value.
I used my usual raw edged fused applique technique to create the image of the woman and machine quilted and secured the applique to the background

This is a close up of the face. The quilts will be on display at Spies Public Library Gallery, Menominee MI from January 2-Mid February. This is free to the public during normal library hours. c heck out the awesome crayon quilt challenges if you are in Menominee MI!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Art Quilts Around The World: Macro Challenge

 I am involved in an online art quilt group called Art Quilts Around the World. is the official site. We have a challenge every other month that one designated member selects. This challenge was called "macro" which means close up and the size of the finished quilt is 11.5' x 16.5." I chose to deviate from my normal portrait quilt style and I went out into my garden in late October. I live in gardening Zone 4 and I LOVE my castor bean plant which is an annual I purchase each year for my garden. I love this plant because it is huge at 10 feet by October and it gives a tropical vibe to my garden. I also love the reddish pink stems and leaf veins.

To make the quilt I photographed a leaf close up. I chose a green batik for the background and a magenta batik for the veins. I then thread painted the textured detail of the leaves with three colors of Sulky Blendables 30 weight thread. I used a pink color for the veins, a yellow green for the horizontal lines/borders and a medium green for the inner detail. The quilt kind looks like the inside of an umbrella or a spider web.

I selected a bright psychedelic print for the binding since the quilt was sort of boring to me. I thought about embellishing the quilt since it was plain but the actual leaf was not glittery or shiny so I left. Is this a favorite quilt of mine-no but it may fit into an abstract category in a quilt show. Maybe...
This photo is of the actual plant in my garden. I enjoy it's hugeness and am sad each fall when the frost takes it out.

The next challenge is "Art Nouveau" and I am again challenge not by the subject but by the limitations of the small size to show all the details of this style of art. This one is due Jan. 31, 2014.