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. 🐰

Stained glass: 12×12 quilt challenge #4

My next quilt challenge was inspired by Anna Faustino’s book, Simply Stunning Seamless Quilts ⬇️

In her book she describes three different methods to create your stained glass quilt. For my quilt I decided to go with the tulle method.

The first step is to come up with a pattern you want to use. The book has patterns to work with too, but they were too big for my needs.

Since it’s summer time and I have at least six hummingbird couples coming to my feeders this year I decided I wanted a hummingbird quilt. After drawing the hummingbird onto my fusible webbing I started cutting the pieces out. ⬇️ The book tells you to use an Exacto knife, which I did use initially, but I felt I had better control with the smaller pieces using my small fabric scissors ✂️

I should also mention to make sure you use a good quality fabric when cutting small pieces, otherwise you have nothing but frayed pieces. (Lesson learned 🙄)

Using tweezers to separate the small pieces from the paper fusible webbing I laid the pieces onto my background fabric. Anna Faustino uses hand dyed fabrics for this part. Since I don’t have any, I found this piece of dyed fabric at Joanne Fabric. I think for future stained glass quilts I’ll try hand dyeing my fabric.

This bird is looking pretty lonely hovering in space like this. ⬆️

Let’s give it something to fly to.

Okay, so the picture above ⬆️ is the completed quilt. As you can see I added flowers to help ground this little guy. I used a double boarder in my binding. I don’t know if you can see the black tulle I laid over the quilt before free motion quilting on top. This method allows you to use raw edge appliqué and prevents fraying without having to sew directly on top of the cut pieces.

What I liked most about this particular piece is the back side. ⬇️

The free motion sewing around the pattern made a beautiful quilt on the back.

Life’s little pleasures.

Water: a 12×12 quilt challenge #3

The challenge for June’s 12×12 inch quilt from my Art2quilt group was water. Hmmm… What to make that would represent water? I decided to make a fish swimming in water because I’m currently working on a quilt that I plan to eventually add fish, so I thought this 12×12 quilt challenge would be good practice.

The above pictured ⬆️ is the beginning of my quilt. The fabric I used is a white cotton. The water is painted using both Playcolor which is a solid poster paint (sold on Amazon for $13.99) and Permanent Fabric markers by Creative Joy (sold on Amazon for $9.99). To make the Playcolor permanent and blend I used Aloe gel and heat set it once it was dried. I really liked using the Playcolor because it gave a deep, dark, rich color once the Aloe gel was added.

I then couched the water with black craft thread using a small zigzag stitch.

The fish was made using four different orange colored fabric that I bought at a garage sale, can’t get better than that!

The fish is raw edged appliqué fused with misty-fuse and was also couched with black craft thread. I added a water lily using a green fabric and a pink ribbon embroidered flower with orange beads at the center.

It looks more like a stained glass piece so I used black fabric for the boarder.

My son told me that this is his favorite quilt so far. Continue reading

12×12 FLOWER #2

This month’s 12×12 quilt challenge in my Art2quilt group theme is flower. For this challenge the quilter is able to create any type of flower quilt using any kind of method; be it appliqué, fabric painting, thread painting, and so on. I decided to try my hand at ribbon embroidery. I watched a YouTube video found here ➡️ https://youtu.be/coWAlsXsGVs.

Originally, I wanted to add all types of flowers but quickly discovered that pulling ribbon through a 3 layered quilt is impossible! Next time I will do the ribbon embroidery then add it to the quilt.

The types of flowers I chose to use were the types I could thread to the top of the quilt.

I beaded the centers of the red flowers to kind of resemble poppies.

For the quilt pattern, I just free motioned the design of the fabric. I chose a gold leaf fabric for the boarder. This piece reminds me of the book “Memoirs of a Geisha”, which is one of my all-time favorite books.

I’m very happy with how this piece turned out. 😊

12×12 Fantasy #1

Today’s quilt was inspired by Twelve by Twelve by the International Art Quilt Challenge. Being inspired by beautiful work, I brought the book to my quilting group, Art2quilt. If you don’t have the book, I highly recommend it. The premise is around creating a 12×12 inch quilt with no limitation on materials or technique. It does have to be 3 layers and quilted. We decided our challenge word would be “Fantasy”.

When I think of fantasy, I think of fairies 🧚‍♀️. So, with that in mind, I went to the fabric store to see if I can get some inspiration. Sometimes I able able to get inspired by fabric that I see. Not so much this time, but I did get an idea for a my art quilt by some crystal colored beads. I bought the beads and headed home; excited to get this quilt going.

My fairies will be dancing by the moonlight. I started out creating the background with blue and green colors and piecing the three colors of fabric together using a curve quilting technique. I then heavily thread painted the field of grass using a blue thread, free motion quilting and patience. For the sky I just free-handed, free-styled and free motioned the wind.

🌙 I decided to use a crescent moon in this fantasy piece. I have read some time ago that a crescent moon is an ancient symbol for women. Are all fairies girls? I used a sheer fabric with tiny daisies already fused into the fabric. I appliquéd the moon into place then used a zigzag stitch over emery floss for the edge. I used the same stitch technique for the stems of grass in the foreground.

The tops of the grass was hand embroidered then beaded using the crystal beads that inspired this piece.

Adding the fairies was tricky. Originally I was going to appliqué the fairies using some kind of sheer fabric, but that made it too heavy looking and took away from the beaded grass. Then I came up with the idea to just stitch the fairies as a silhouette to the center using white thread. This way the fairies appear as though by fantasy. Great idea, but how do I do that? Well, I drew out a couple of fairies dancing together onto a piece of paper to the exact size I wanted. Then, I cut out the fairies using very small scissors. I sprayed the back of the paper with glue and waited until it dried enough to feel tacky. I placed the tacky paper fairies to the center of my quilt. This stabilized my pattern making the machine stitching much easier for this tiny piece. I forgot to photograph the process of the actual stitching of the fairies but here you can see once I finished stitching around the pattern I was easily able to remove the paper pattern without too much fuss.

And here is my finished piece. It measures 12×12 inches. I call it “Dancing with a Daisy Moon”

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.

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”