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

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 ⬆️.

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”

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”