Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Black & White Plus One (Color) Challenge: Wisconsin Quilt Expo 2016

 The Wisconsin Quilt Expo in Madison WI is held every September for the past 9-10 years. Last year the expo had a special challenge which premired at the expo and then traveled to various quilt venues and the theme was fall leaves. I did not enter because I had explored that subject before. In 2016 the theme is "Black & White Plus One (color.) I thought I could find inspiration and Pinterest has paved the way for my ideas. I discovered a female tattoo artist who designed Betty Boop-like tattoos. I loved the contrast of black and white and the finger wave hairstyle. I selected red as the "one color" and used it in the background circle flange, the mouth, the lettering and the binding. Hot pink was my second choice.

The circle has a bias cut flange of red batik which is machine stitched to a pieced background. The dress was inspired by the 1920s fashions from my favorite TV show Downton Abbey. I wanted black embellishments galore and got it with tulle, crocheted trim and beads and sequins! Long rope pearls were the fashion of the era and the look was called Flapper. I knew it was impractical to attach a long pearl necklace to the quilt because of traveling. I chose a small choker necklace (a literal necklace) and over secured it because I have had two experiences with mishaps undoing of the beads! The font used for the word FLAPPER is a font used for tattoos which I love-lots of details and a combination of staright and curved lines and a place to add more red.
The face is embellished with fabric paint, glitter nail polish and fabric markers. I love the 1920s thin eye brows and the shape of the lips. The bottom edge of the quilt is edged with a black and white beaded trim I received from being a teacher at the IQF Houston quilt show in 2015. The quilt size requirement is 30" x 40" and June 30th is the entry deadline. The notification of acceptance is in July. I hope Miss Flapper graces the wall at the expo in September!!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Cherrywood Hand-Dyed Fabric: Lion KIng Challenge - "Feline Fashionista"

Cherrywood Hand-Dyed Fabrics, the company that sponsored the Wicked Challenge in 2014, has a new challenge about the Broadway play Lion King. The challenge began with three of their hand dyed fabrics in a beautiful gradation of yellow oranges. The finished size is 20" square. Any of their other hand dyed fabrics could be used as long as the focus fabrics dominated. The challenge is due in August-I created mine over the winter because that's my main sewing time. I was purposely NOT sharing my quilt but Cherrywood used it on their Facebook page and this first photo is from American Quilt Society which Cherrywood shared with me from Facebook. The point is my quilt called "Feline Fashionista" has gone viral!!

This is the full view of my quilt of the female lead character Nala. This is a promotional pose I found on Pinterest. When I drew up the design I was having trouble drawing the hand so I laid my own hand on the paper and this worked! This quilt has tons of embellishment-fabric paint, fabric markers, bouche yarn/metallic yarn (hair), nail polish, beads, sequins, metallic trim (collar), rhinestones and, a new embellishment for me, Derwent Intense colored pencils. 

I was intrigued by the painted dots on Nala's face as the starting point of this quilt. I used a red Pigma Micron pen and white paint after the quilting was complete to create the dots. Her eyes are very intense and draw you into her world. I used the Derwent colored pencils on the brow bone area of the eyes and to shade the dress.

i love the contrast of Nala's dark yet shimmery lips! As a hairdresser and mother to a grown daughter with ethnic hair, I love texture in Nala's hair!! I braided several strands of a black/brown bouche yarn with a metallic yarn/thread and hand tacked it to the quilt making sure it was "bumpy and full of texture." I had a blast creating Nala for the challenge and felt I was creating her costume/hair and make up. This is why I named it "Feline Fashionista." I hope it makes the cut after two social media photos of my quilt. The exhibit will travel across the USA this fall and in 2017. It will be at the 2016 Houston IQF Show so I can see it for the first time. Like the Wicked Challenge, it is very impressive to see hundreds of 20" square quilts all the same color on display!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

New Portrait Quilt: Raspberry Swirl

This is my newest portrait quilt. I was inspired by a cool hair color I discovered on Pinterest. I saved the photo and for the first time I used Microsoft Photoshop and posterized the image to separate the colors and values. I was playing around with Photoshop and thought I would see if it would help me out and save time. It did and I would use this feature again. I was also inspired by the color purple after Prince's passing and wanted to use it in the quilt. I used all but one fabric from the same line from Keep Me In Stitches in Appleton WI in the background. It is a tiny white square with different colored backgrounds-it looks like polka dots from a distance. 

This is a detailed view of the face and some of the hair. I went crazy with detail for this project. I had 7-8 pinks, magentas and purple batiks for the hair and 5-6 skin tone colors as well. I used many different colors of thread in the hair area to connect the applique pieces and give the appearance of strands of hair. The mouth gave me a problem-she looked as if she had an under bite. To fix this I took a purple fabric marker on the bottom lip and "canceled" the excess out. Then when I was machine quilting the upper lip I added a bit extra and it is to my satisfaction and balanced!

To create the swirly circular background I cut a piece of muslin as the foundation piece and fused the different colors in place keeping the area where the portrait will be fused open.

This is the finished quilt top only. I added the purple border to pick up more of the purple. I thought about a floral batik with the coordinating colors but it was too busy and took away from the portrait. I used it for the binding!

This is the finish quilt blocked and sewn with a sleeve and label. Could I be done? Yes but embellishments are so fun-it's like wearing a garment and not adding jewelry or hair accessories. It is acceptable but the jewelry or embellishments add that extra zing!!

This is detail view of the hair and the ear. Ears are hard to do because they always have lots of parts to get the realistic appearance. The finished quilt has a few large flower shaped sequins sewn to the outer border and one became an earring. I enhanced the eye with fabric paint. I used two hologram nail polishes in the swirly parts of the background to accentuate the movement of the background. I was influenced by Prince's song Raspberry Beret and used it in the title of this quilt called "Raspberry Swirl!" It sounds like a flavor of ice cream and that's okay too!! I will enter it in the Wisconsin Quilt Expo which has a June 30th deadline for a September show. Next on the list is my Prince quilt which will be interesting since I have never made a male portrait quilt!!