12×12 blue fabric quilt challenge #5

My Art2quilt group won $50 for an admission of an interpretation of Lillie’s in the 2017 Kaleidoscope show.

They took home $50 for the prize. I wasn’t part of the group at the time.

The group then took the prize money and bought $50 of umbre blue fabric for the 12×12 quilt challenge. It’s a beautiful piece of fabric and I was excited to choose a subject for this blue fabric. It is a very beautiful piece of fabric that reminded me of the sky, so I thought I would make it part of the background as the sky. Now the challenge became what to make in the foreground.

I have wanted to make a quilt of a jack rabbit ever since I saw the biggest jack rabbit in my life while traveling in Patagonia. This jack rabbit was bigger than my dog and she weighs 33 pounds! I truly believe that it could have been a jack-a-lope. But I digress.

I found the cutest picture of a jack rabbit online (Pinterest) and based my quilt around that ⬇️

Isn’t he just adorable! So off I went making my pattern and cutting, fusing, and gluing .

I love flowers of all sorts. I have a personal library of photos I have taken of just flowers during my travels 💐 🍎🌺🌸🌹🌷🌼🌻 For this 12 x 12 “challenge I thought I would KISS (keep it simple, stupid) it.

I used a zig zag stitch for the stems and using black thread, I free-motion quilted the pattern onto the flowers. I did this part of the work before I added the layers of quilting. I don’t know why I decided to do it this way, but for some reason I didn’t want all that thread work showing on the back of the final piece. In the end, I don’t think it really matters.

I decided to keep realistic colors with the rabbit and found four shades of browns in my growing fabric stash. I spent some time with the eye trying to get it to look realistic. I’m not very good with drawing, but I try my best. I think that layering fabric is easier than drawing ✍️.

The blade of grass in his mouth isn’t sewn in yet. I’m doing that last due to the sewing I have to do underneath it.

So here is the final piece. It’s sandwiched with a thin cotton batting. Not bad, I think. You can see that the same blue ombré fabric I used for the background I used for the binding. (2″ sash for 1/4 inch binding). I love how the ombré blended all the way around this piece. I continue using the black thread for the line drawing on the rabbit. I thought it made it look more storybook this way.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with this.

When my kids were little we had a black and white rabbit we kept in a cage on my clothes dryer. We would take him out and he would hop around, chew on wires, scare the dogs. On nice summer days we would take him outside. He liked to be held, but you had to hold him with a firm grip, he liked the security. We called him Bunny. So, in honor of that little rabbit, long ago past , I shall call this piece Bunny. 🐰

Selfie

I love selfies. I especially relish the selfies my kids take. What mother doesn’t appreciate a picture taken of their children?

Technically, my children aren’t children anymore. They’re adults aged 23 and 20. My oldest is my daughter, Alexis. She’s a graduate of the CIA in New York and has her sommelier certificate level two working towards her level three. She has been living (mostly) independently for a few years now; she just couldn’t wait to start living her dream. I’m partially to blame because I raised my kids to be independent. I’m proud of her and her accomplishments so far, but it’s a double edged sword this independence that I instilled into her and it’s this: I’m not the center of her universe, she doesn’t need me like she used to when she was little. Today, I will cook her dinner or we’ll go out to lunch a few times a week. She tells me what’s going on in her life; her goals, her dreams, and her plans to achieve both. She’s the star of her life now and I couldn’t be more proud. It’s true what they say (whoever “they” are) hold onto them while they’re young because they grow up so fast.

So, that’s why I relish the selfies she takes and posts onto her social media. It’s a little window into her world.

⬇️ This is a selfie Alexis took a couple of years ago. When I saw it I knew immediately I was going to turn it into a portrait quilt.

I copied the picture from her Facebook wall onto my iPhone then went to FedEx/Kinkos. I sent to picture via email to the store, they accessed their email and printed the photo to my specifications. This takes a few minutes and costs less than $5. I suggest making a color copy and a posterized black and white for the color values.

I then trace the values of the black and white copy for my fabric piecing. I used the freezer paper method for this piece, and by tracing the copy it makes it easier to see when tracing the pattern onto freezer paper using a light box.

I started with the lips. When making teeth don’t use white only fabric, teeth aren’t naturally white white. Teeth have undertone colors of blue, grey, and or yellow. For her teeth I used a light grey, white and a very pale yellow for the dimensional effect. For the gloss on her lips I used a sheer fabric. For piecing this together I use fabric glue. “A little dab will do ya.” 😊

When cutting out the fabric from your freezer paper cut the pieces about 1/4 inch larger than the pattern so when piecing it together they slightly overlap.

You can see I did not use traditional skin tone colors. I felt for my daughter “skin tone” would not truly represent her. Alexis is an artist and she played with colors her entire life so I felt that should be reflected in this portrait.

When gluing down your piece onto the muslin do not glue to the edge. It will make cutting out your portrait from the muslin easier.

I found the perfect background color and now for the hair. It’s hard not to make the hair look like a helmet. I tried layering a few colors of fabric, but always hated the result. I then decided to hand embroider her hair. This is the only way I know how to texturize her hair without the occlusivness you get with layers of fabric.

⬆️ The hand embroidery stitching I used was straight stitch, split stitch, stem stitch, and chain stitch. The colors I used in her hair is blue, purple, magenta, pink, green, and lilac. I’m pretty sure her hair was every one of these colors at one time 😃.

The quilting is free motion. I quilt in the contours of her face and arm and for the background I patterned out a design using fabric pencil. The final piece measures 20″x24″. Alexis loves this portrait 💗💗

Another selfie, this time it’s a mother/daughter selfie 💗💗💗.

International Quilt Festival Chicago 2018

When I heard about the international quilt show in Chicago, I bought a $100 round trip train ticket and headed to my first exhibition and quilt trade show. Since it was my first show I can’t compare it to other shows, but I thought it was fantastic. I wasn’t disappointed at all, more overwhelmed than anything. I planned for 2 days with a half day class on the first day and a whole day class on the second day. I probably won’t do that again because it didn’t leave me enough time to see the traders. It barely gave me enough time to see all the quilts on exhibit. I snapped over 100 pictures. Below I posted some of the quilts I saw.

A celebration of color sponsored by Aurifil.

Best in show ⬇️

“Remembering Sochi” by Claire Haillot quilted by Colleen Paul.

I especially loved this quilt ⬇️ It is hand appliquéd. The love and friendship expressed in this piece is palpable.

A basket weaved quilt ⬇️ When I saw this piece I literally gasped! I took a lot of pictures of this one because I will make a quilt based off this design some day 💕💕

This quilt ⬇️ was digitally cut with over 2,000 pieces. It a mosaic style and it is amazing

This quilt was 3D ⬇️. I never saw a quilt like this one. It was a refreshing pop of emotion expressed through textile. I wanted to touch it, but instead I stared at it for a long time. It made me feel like a child watching a puppet show. I loved it! 💗

The late, great phyllis Diller. ⬇️. This is an example of portrait quilting that is ON FLEAK!!!

This quilt ⬇️ is an example of thread painting. As you can see the detail, colors, and expression is moving.

Nina : A Theme with Variations by Sheri Culver ⬇️. HERSTORY

⬇️. This quilt was jaw dropping, I mean, who can quilt this???? the detail is amazing!!

And this quilt was my inspiration ⬇️ to start art quilting in the first place. “Wind blown” by Maria Elkins I saw this picture on Pinterest and I thought, yes!!! This is what I want to do! this is me ⬆️.

Adele’s Doily

My next art quilt I decided to use up my felt flowers that I had made in the previous quilt, “A Gustav Klimt Inspiration.” I decided to do a raw edge flower appliqué vase and I wanted it to be kitschy. I cut out the vase free hand so it came out wonky, which for this project makes it perfectly wonky.

Initially, I thought on a colorful tabletop to draw on the flowers, but once I had it made and started laying out the flowers I hated the idea. Back to the drawing board, as they say.

In the end, I went with a black and white background and used a red boarder and red rickrack for the inside boarder. I think I’m starting to get a little kitschy here. I felt that there wasn’t enough contrast between the vase and the background so I got one of my mother-in-law’s antique doilies and placed it between the vase and the background. This created a nice distinction between the two without taking away from either.

Here’s my finished quilt. I used free motion quilting for the back ground. Zig zag stitching around the vase that was already fused into place. I used yarn for the stem by sewing them down using embroidery floss. The felted flowers were already made so that made this project a breeze. I glued the flowers down onto the stems using fabric glue. It measures 20×28 inches.

My husband enjoys this piece because his mother loved her doilies. When she passed away I kept them with the hope of using them in a future project. I hope she approves.

Adele Marie Massaferro de Miguel 1926- 2014. 💕💕

Mother Nature

This quilt required a lot of different techniques that I have learned along the way. I still have a lot more to learn but I will take you step by step on this process.

Above ⬆️ you can see that I started out by tracing out an image of a face onto muslin. Then I cut out small pieces of fabric flowers and leaves to start shading in the face. This is a technique I learned from famed quilter, Susan Carlson, via her book, Serendipity.

My working piece is laid on top of foam core so I can push the pins into place as I continue to shade and collage the face in with my many cut fabric flowers and butterflies. I’m constantly changing and rearranging the flowers around until I think I have it right.

When I feel the piece is complete I start to glue the flowers down onto the muslin. I also use a product called Fray Block by Tailor to keep the fabric from fraying as this is a raw edge technique. This portrait is not glued down to the edge. This was done purposely so I can cut it out from the muslin and lay it onto my quilted background once that is completed.

The background to my Mother Nature quilt, of course, will be trees. The tree branches is a gold and white fabric that I bought from Joann Fabric because I thought it resembled the bark of a birch tree. For the leaves, I decided to do a confetti technique. It’s a pretty easy technique that I learned from watching a few YouTube videos. I laid my darker colors down first then added my lighter colors. I used a purple tulle to lay over the confetti leaves to stabilize it before quilting it down. I didn’t use all my confetti pieces so I bagged them individually to use for a later project. (⬆️ See the muffin tin I used to keep the confetti pieces separate.

Next came the hair. I know, it’s a shockingly a lot of dark color. I was hesitant at first about it, but I proceeded forward. I quilted a free motion feather technique that I also learned from watching YouTube videos (what can’t you learn from watching YouTube videos). The outside edge of the hair I sewed on purple emery floss to give it a pop of color. The thread I used for the feather quilting was also purple, however I didn’t like the purple color veining down the center of the feathers so I used my black inktense colored pencil to darken it in.

I cut out more of the butterflies and added them into her hair. I thought that this added more flow and depth to her hair. I added a white tulle to only her face to soften it a bit before I began the final quilting process.

⬆️ Here is a closer look at the free motion quilting I did on her face. As you can see, I free motion quilted in the natural contours of her face. In this photo you can also see a close up of the branches. I used a gold thread and a squiggly line to appliqué the branches. It was a bit frustrating as the gold thread isn’t strong and tended to break easily if I went too fast.

I decided on a 1/4 inch boarder of a matching colored fabric as the background. It measures 18×41 inches. Mother Nature now belongs to my daughter. She tells me that she loves it and has it hanging in her foyer and that makes me smile.

Henri Cartier-Bresson….an inspiration

One cold, dreary, winter day in Detroit, MI my husband and I found ourselves looking for something to do. What else is there to do on a day like this but go to the museum. The Detroit Institute of Art Museum is a can’t miss! It was, however, the year that it was rumored that the city would have to sell some pieces in order to pay the huge bills that the city had accumulated (thanks Quami).

So, with that in mind, we wanted to go to the museum; in case it was our last chance. It truly is an amazing place with great artists’ work exhibited throughout the whole museum. We spent six hours touring the displays, and you still can go and enjoy it too because the museum didn’t end up having to sell a single piece.

While in the photography exhibit I came across a photo of a little boy carrying two huge bottles of wine. His face was full of pride and the little girl in the background is looking at the boy with either joy or amusement. This picture by Henri Cartier-Bresson simply makes me feel happy. There isn’t a print available for purchase so I took a picture of it with my iPhone with the plan to replicate it with quilting.

I took my iPhone picture to Fedex-Kinkos to have the picture blown up to a huge 64×54 inch photocopy. It was printed on architecture paper and cost $11.00. I traced the face onto freezer paper using a light box. I then numbered the different sections based on light value, 1-9. I have my fabric already purchased and I also pre-numbered them according to light value. 1, being very dark to 9, being very light.

Next, I cut out the pieces and started to glue them down onto muslin. The eyes were very hard for me to complete. At first I thought I would just paint them, but, I decided to fussy cut the fabric to make the eyes as perfect as I could get them.

I continued my work to his body and then to the bottles of wine. Once completed, I then had to decide on the background. I wanted to give an impression of a building with a blue sky background. I also decided that the orange/red sweater gave too much contrast so I muted it down with red bridal tulle. I also ended up muting the contrast-y face down with a white bridal tulle.

So, here he is ⬇️. All glued down and ready to quilt. He will be my second portrait I will quilt. I decided to watch a few more YouTube videos on portrait quilting and off I went!

I started out using invisible thread, but that wasn’t working out too well, so I switched to white for his face, dark brown for his hair, red for the sweater and so on.

Completed, “Little Henri” hangs in my living room and measures 64×54 inches.

He makes me smile 😊

Gustav Klimt-an inspiration

In 2015 I was in Paris,France! Such an beautiful city, it’s no wonder that so many artists come here for inspiration. I was on my honeymoon and we wanted to see and eat everything! We visited the Louvre and the Pompidou. On our last day we were planning to go visit the Musee d’Orsay but it was closed! It was quite upsetting because we wanted to see their extensive collection they have of Van Gogh. Oh well, better planning next time. We decided to walk the streets instead near the river Seine. We started to see posters of Gustav Klimt’s Judith and the Head of Holofernes. We couldn’t believe our luck, there was a gallery nearby that was displaying some of the works of Klimt and it was open! It was amazing, but no pictures allowed, so we took our time in order to absorb all that was Klimt.

This next quilt is an inspiration of Klimt’s Woman in Gold.

I started by making round felt flowers for the background. They are are individually embroidered and beaded. I used about 50 felt flowers in this piece. I did most of this work while watching Netflix’s Orange is the New Black

I went online and printed a black and white the painting Woman in Gold and started the portrait piece. For this portrait I blew it up to about 12×24 and pieced it together as it came out on 4 pieces of 8×12 sheets of paper. I traced it onto freezer paper and started to piece it together.

This one was my first portrait piece so obviously I’m very nervous about sewing the face to make this woman come alive, also this is my first attempt at free motion quilting! I watched several quilting videos on YouTube on quilting portraits, so with a glass a wine to steady my nerves I started the needle to thread to fabric.

I think it came out all right

So here is the final completed work. There is a little beading around the eye and to her collar. I painted the pupils in with acrylic paint. The felted flowers are glued down. It measures 26×35 inches. I call it “My woman in Green”

My Picasso Pillow

1CCCE456-8328-4D39-A673-8D25CB4104A7So, my husband is Argentine and we find ourselves back in his country (or more specifically in the federal capitol of Beunos Aires) at least once a year to visit his family and friends. While visiting we will make it a point to visit one of the museums or art galleries.  In 2016 the Museo de Moderno de Buenos Aires was having an exhibit of Pablo Picasso selected drawings.  I had my favorites, but I especially loved this one ⬇️  I don’t know what it’s called, but it called to me. 7F352349-0A8D-4275-8E60-92B3B1ECC784When I got back to the States, still inspired, I started quilting. I didn’t want it to be a big piece, so I decided to make a pillow. The first step of this process was to draw the image out onto freezer paper to make my pattern.

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As you can see in the above picture I numbered each piece and put hash marks to indicate how the pieces line up with one another. There is fusing on the back of each piece.

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Here I have my pieces sewn together with raw edges. The fabric I used was cotton I purchased as fat quarters.  My intention was to make it lined with black yarn, but it wasn’t working out too well.  I went to JoAnn Fabric to see what I can use instead.  I came home with black bias tape and a wonderful rose red fabric!

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The bias tape worked very well as long as I pressed it along the lines before sewing it down.

It was coming together nicely, but I just didn’t like the lips. After a few changes the pillow was done. I added the fringe which, in my opinion, adds so much to this pillow.  It sits in my living room and it is quite the conversation piece.  I love it 💗

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Biography

I will share a little bit on how I started making art quilts, but first, I have to share a little history about me.

I have two sisters, older and younger. I was the middle child and artistic. I wanted to grow up and be an art teacher, so that way I would be surrounded by all things art. After graduating high school, I was enrolled into a nearby university that had a pretty good art department. But alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Financial contrasts kept me from this dream. So instead, I enrolled to the technical college for a 2 year nursing degree (it was way more affordable). I thought that after I graduated nursing, which I did in 1993, I would start making money and pay for some art classes at the university. But not before I got married, then a year later I got pregnant, bought a house, and started my family. Well, as anyone can guess, time got away and my dream was fading. Sure, I would dabble here and there making crafts, but I wanted to create ART, but there just wasn’t enough time and I was losing my confidence that I was any good at art anyways.

Two children and a couple of divorces later, I would find myself remarried to a wonderful, supportive husband who thinks Everything I do is awesome. And now with two adult children I finally have time for myself. So, at age 45 I bought a Bernina sewing machine and I took my first quilting class. My intention was not to make traditional quilts, but to eventually learn how to make art quilts, but you gotta start somewhere. So, there you are, my little history.CC097395-2332-499E-A285-E2AB1F8474ED