Thursday, July 31, 2014

Art Quilts Around the World: 3 R Challenge

 I am in an art quilt group through Facebook called Art Quilts Around the World. Every two months we select a challenge and today is reveal day for the 3 R challenge-Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. go to their blog to see all the challenge quilts plus all the previous challenges.

I have been favored with two local woman who I did not know give me fabric because they heard I would use it for a good cause. The first woman used to own an area bridal shop and was down sizing her special occasion fabric stash. I received velvets, satins, taffetas, lames, laces and chiffon in a variety of colors. I was very happy and overwhelmed by all of this great fabric. The black fabric of the hair in this quilt is from this woman. It is actually on ottoman type fabric which I forgot to mention before. It is a heavier coat weight fabric with a texture design. It was very stinky when the iron was on it! The second woman I met used to live in Las Vegas and told me she made costumes for Vegas shows, drag shows. Disney and circus costumes. She currently does hair and make-up for the Performing Arts Center in Appleton WI-What great stories to share with me! Quite the interesting lady!!It was sparkle paradise for me the day I received all the lames and shiny fabrics! I reused the awesome striped "eyelash" lame as the dress in this quilt.

The background and binding fabrics I have used in two other separate quilts. The small facial feature fabrics are all recycles scraps from my stash.
The quilt was shiny enough from the eyelash lame so I held off on the normal rhinestone embellishments. I did use several nail polishes on the face and a bit of fabric paint. The earring is a combination of a bead, a chain from an old necklace and a shiny thing from a Christmas garland
I was going for a 1960s pop art psychedelic woman. I had fun on this quilt and plan to use this quilt locally for a quilt challenge I will blog about in August.

Monday, July 28, 2014

6" x 6" Framed Quilt for Menominee Area Art Council Scholarship

 I am a member of the Menominee Area Arts Council which serves Menominee MI and Marinette and Peshtigo WI. Each year on the last Sunday in August there is an art fair for area artists at Henes Park in Menominee. The group decided to purchase 6" x 6' canvases and each willing member could "paint" something on the canvas and at the art fair all pieces will sell for $25. The proceeds will help raise money for local high school art students earn art scholarships for college. I don't paint so I remove the canvas that was stapled onto a wooden frame and made a mini quilt and then wrap it around the wood frame and staple it to the back. Wala!

I have done this several times for an art exhibit in Green Bay WI each February at The Art Garage for fundraisers and it is a lot of fun. Why is it fun?-no bindings and it's small in size to it's easy to construct. Also I use lightweight flannel instead of batting to keep the bulk to a minimum for the framing part of the project.

I used the same pattern I used last winter for the Art Garage but instead of a blond I wanted black hair and my favorite color combination of red and lime green. (

I embellished it with nail polish, fabric paint and some actual make-up blush on the cheeks-very simple. No beading or rhinestones.
The quilt was 10" x10" and I wrapped the design around the wood frame and in the second photo the design is seen from a side view.

The art show is on Sunday August 24, 2014 at Henes Park in Menominee, MI from 10-4. Check it out and buy a mini canvas and support college scholarships for art students!!

Friday, July 25, 2014

A Wicked Commotion  
 I entered this quilt in the Cherrywood Hand Dyed Fabrics Wicked Challenge. It involved the Broadway play Wicked and a fat quarter packet of this company's green hand dyed fabrics. I had not heard of this company before but I was extremely interested since I LOVE witches and I double LOVE green skin!! I ordered the fat quarter packet and received the rules. All entries are sized at 20" x 20" and 60% of the quilt needed to be the 4 green fat quarters and the 40% remainder was some of their many other hand dyed fabrics. I selected more of their fabrics to get the skin tones and I bought a pink gradation to get the lip color and then the binding. This was my challenge to not go into my stash to make this quilt and only use the hand dyed fabrics from Cherrywood. Also I usually use batiks and prints and this was all solid fabrics.

I must admit I have not seen the play Wicked (bucket list!) and I went to Pinterest and started my research on how the lead character, Elphaba the Wicked Witch, was different from other witches and the witches I normally make. Elphaba's dress was very modestly covering her body, it was not totallt black in color, very textured and it was inspired by nature. Her hat was very tall and pointy unlike my normal bent over hat style. I wanted to have black hair but I already used the black for her dress and hat so I went with dark brown and used black variegated thread and black fabric paint/markers to darker the hair even more.
This dress is full of embellishments. The rules said any embellishments were fine so I went crazy! I machine quilted in a bright variegated color, I added a lace trim with black beads to get the textured look. I ruched dark green silk ribbon around the neckline, I ruffled the same ribbon for the high neckline. I found a great black with metallic green edging at the IQF Chicago show and used it on the neck and the corset area. I hand sewed beads to the bodice and lower dress to add more color and texture. I used a black shimmery ribbon with wire and created the shoulder ruffle.
For Elphaba's hat I dotted the hat with a metallic fabric paint in green, added some of the metallic ribbon for the band and a dark green leather button to the band. Her face is embellished with fabric paint, markers and nail polish like I usually do.
The background has a few lime green rhinestones for bling.
I discovered there were famous quotes from the play and I really like this one Elphaba says-"I don't cause a commotion-I am one." I love this quote and used a portion of it in my quilt.
I had the time of my life making this little quilt. The link at the beginning of this blog is Cherrywood's blog post with my quilt as the first entry. I decided to share my quilt after they did. The deadline is August 1, 2014. There will be a gallery exhibit of all the quilts for judging purposes and then 20? quilts will travel to various quilt shows and the Broadway at the Wicked anniversary. I really want my quilt to be selected!!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Bella Inverta: Reversing Values

I made this quilt as part of my teaching demo at the International Quilt Festival in Chicago in June. It began with a Moda Charm Pack called Soho Chic. The top fabric was the one in the upper right hand corner of the quilt. I fell in love with the chartreuse, eggplant, teal and dark pink. When I started choosing the 25 squares for the quilt I picked all the light ones and really disliked what was happening. Then I realized there were "darks" and :lights" but no "mediums" which was a lesson in VALUE! I usually pick the lights and mediums for the pieced background and use a dark coordinating batik for the applique. I set those light prints aside for the binding and grabbed the rich colored dark squares that I loved from the beginning. But then what do I use for the applique so it is visible? I reversed it and went with a light color to get optimum CONTRAST! I purchased a piece to cream batik and it reminds me of a photo negative. I name my quilt series Bella (good in Italian) ... Negative seemed, well, negative so I tried the word reverse in Italian and it was "inverto" which I switched to the female "inverta" hence the name of the quilt.

 This photo shows some of the many trims, beads, baubles and flowers I had auditioned as embellishments for this quilt. These are the rejects. I chose some lime green rhinestones for the background, some hot pink glitter nail polish for the mouth, hot pink loose glitter on the eyelid and instead of my usual white reflection dot on the eye I "reversed" with a dark brownish purple.  Then I had some fun jewel tone Christmas garland I took apart and hand sewed the sequins to the outside of the binding for some bling. These large sequins remind me of the winter hats we used to wear in the winter as children! (a baby boomer moment!)
 This is one on the original style Bella quilts with a colorful background with black applique.  Bella Chroma.

And this quilt called Bella Rosa (pink in Italian.) This monochromatic color scheme is a great way to have a VALUE study.
This quilt is now a pattern and is available on my website