International Quilt Association Silent Auction Donation Quilt: Black Light

I am teaching again this November at the International Quilt Festival in Houston. They invited me to contribute to the International Quilt Association Celebrity Mini Quilt Silent Auction. I am delighted they asked me and enjoy seeing my work in the line-up with all the other teachers, award winning quilters and IQA board members.

The above photo is my inspiration for this quilt. It is the cover of the August sale flyer for an area beauty supply store and I thought it was awesome and worthy of a portrait quilt idea. There is a new color line in which the colors are very vivid under a black light. The color line is called Neon Electric by Pulp Riot. I really liked the purple-like skin tones and the bright brows, lips, hair and eye shadow contrasting greatly. And I liked the fakeness of green eye brows and the funky hair colors. As I was working in the colors they reminded me of the colors in the basic package of Lifesaver candy I used to eat as a child!!

The above photo is my inspiration for this quilt. It is the cover of the August sale flyer for an area beauty supply store and I thought it was awesome and worthy of a portrait quilt idea. There is a new color line in which the colors are very vivid under a black light. The color line is called Neon Electric by Pulp Riot. I really liked the purple-like skin tones and the bright brows, lips, hair and eye shadow contrasting greatly. And I liked the fakeness of green eye brows and the funky hair colors. As I was working in the colors they reminded me of the colors in the basic package of Lifesaver candy I used to eat as a child!!

I used this face pattern again to design this project. I changed the hair, clothes and eye shadow to be more winged in shape. I think it looks a lot different just changing up the colors.

I used this face pattern again to design this project. I changed the hair, clothes and eye shadow to be more winged in shape. I think it looks a lot different just changing up the colors.

This is a close up of the face. I purchases some fabric glow in the dark paint in four colors and brush stroked the paint in the matching colors. In the dark it wasn't terribly affective but oh well. For embellishments I stayed very simply because I thought the colorful fabrics were enough. I glued dark purple rhinestones to the ear lobes for earrings and a small purple rhinestone for a nose piercing. And last, a small bit of glitter poster paint on the mouth. I chose the size of 20" square just like the Cherrywood challenges because I like the size. Ta da! She is done. I am also in the middle of making a similar more complete version of this black light glow in the dark idea for myself which I will post when it is complete.

This is a close up of the face. I purchases some fabric glow in the dark paint in four colors and brush stroked the paint in the matching colors. In the dark it wasn't terribly affective but oh well. For embellishments I stayed very simply because I thought the colorful fabrics were enough. I glued dark purple rhinestones to the ear lobes for earrings and a small purple rhinestone for a nose piercing. And last, a small bit of glitter poster paint on the mouth. I chose the size of 20" square just like the Cherrywood challenges because I like the size. Ta da! She is done. I am also in the middle of making a similar more complete version of this black light glow in the dark idea for myself which I will post when it is complete.

Art Quilts Around The World Challenge: Nursery Rhymes

My Facebook art quilt group Art Quilts Around The World has it's reveal today. The theme is nursery rhymes with a back story or plot twist. I chose Mary Had a Little Lamb and the lamb was co-dependent and that's why she followed Mary to school!! Haha!! I decided to make Mary a high school student with a cute fit and flare dress and petticoat, leggings, slouch sox and Doc Martin boots! I selected the local Menominee high school colors of maroon and gold for the color scheme of Mary's outfit. Locally anyone supporting the local high school wears a maroon "M" on the front of their dress/tee shirt etc. The "M" could also represent Mary's first name initial. The lamb was created by me Googling lamb clip art since I didn't really know what a lamb looks like. For the fleece I used quilt batt-not "as white as snow" but I loved the fuzzy texture! I thread painted CoDA.org on the lamb's body to share about the national organization which helps people (lambs?!) with co-dependency. I had fun stitching the details of Mary's garment especially the boot details.

My Facebook art quilt group Art Quilts Around The World has it's reveal today. The theme is nursery rhymes with a back story or plot twist. I chose Mary Had a Little Lamb and the lamb was co-dependent and that's why she followed Mary to school!! Haha!! I decided to make Mary a high school student with a cute fit and flare dress and petticoat, leggings, slouch sox and Doc Martin boots! I selected the local Menominee high school colors of maroon and gold for the color scheme of Mary's outfit. Locally anyone supporting the local high school wears a maroon "M" on the front of their dress/tee shirt etc. The "M" could also represent Mary's first name initial.

The lamb was created by me Googling lamb clip art since I didn't really know what a lamb looks like. For the fleece I used quilt batt-not "as white as snow" but I loved the fuzzy texture! I thread painted CoDA.org on the lamb's body to share about the national organization which helps people (lambs?!) with co-dependency.

I had fun stitching the details of Mary's garment especially the boot details.

Mary's face is very small at 1" wide by 1.5" tall. I cut tiny white batik eyes and a red mouth and fused them on the face. I used fabric markers, paint, colored pencils and thread painting to get the facial details. I embellished with glitter nail polish and fabric paint. The hair received some bronzy nail polish as high lights. It was challenging to get such detail on the small scale.

Mary's face is very small at 1" wide by 1.5" tall. I cut tiny white batik eyes and a red mouth and fused them on the face. I used fabric markers, paint, colored pencils and thread painting to get the facial details. I embellished with glitter nail polish and fabric paint. The hair received some bronzy nail polish as high lights. It was challenging to get such detail on the small scale.

The hand applique is also very small as well. I added a tiny red flower to represent a painted thumbnail-details, details!! The book bag batik fabric had a happy accident when the flower motif ended up in a perfect position on the bag! I couldn't have done that if I tried! The next challenge due September 30, 2017 is Steampunk. One of me favorite portrait quilts that I made in 2015 has a steam punk theme. This new quilt will be much smaller and it will have plenty of gears!  

The hand applique is also very small as well. I added a tiny red flower to represent a painted thumbnail-details, details!! The book bag batik fabric had a happy accident when the flower motif ended up in a perfect position on the bag! I couldn't have done that if I tried!

The next challenge due September 30, 2017 is Steampunk. One of me favorite portrait quilts that I made in 2015 has a steam punk theme. This new quilt will be much smaller and it will have plenty of gears!

 

Fiesta Rosita: Should This Quilt Become a Pattern for Purchase?

I love sugar skulls and anything related to the Day of the Dead celebration which is celebrated in Mexico on November 1st. I made my first sugar skull portrait quilt in 2014 for a "Comin Up Roses" exhibit for the International Quilt Festival when they had a quilt show in Oregon. The last photo in this blog shows a glimpse of the original Rosita. I chose to have all her face painted images on the happy/friendly side not spider webs and scary motifs. I used hearts and flowers.

Fast forward to July 2017 and I sign up for a Facebook 9 block weekly posting of a sugar skull pattern designed by nine different quilters. I thought it sounded fun until I discovered that each pattern was on www.craftsy.com for $3.00. You may say that's not so much but multiply it by 9 patterns plus my time and my printer ink and I will probably have to purchase the patterns to complete the borders and sashings and now this has become an expensive one project download from Craftsy.

I decide to design my own sugar skull pattern. I based the sizing on my Whimsical Selfie pattern and simplified the sugar skull facial painted motifs. I still used black hair with a layered bob, white batik for the face and a tanned (for contrast) skin tone. I purchased small silk flowers for the crown of flowers in the hair. I used coordinating buttons in the center of each flower and went with a rainbow color scheme.

I selected bright prints for the shoulder straps and the inner and outer borders. I embellished with red glitter nail polish, loose turquoise glitter on the eye lid, black fabric markers to define the mouth, rhinestones on the face and some fun shiny turquoise disc-like things from the Dollar Tree nail department for the background. When the quilt was finished I hand tacked the sombrero-like pom poms to the bottom of the quilt.

Two of the women who designed the Craftsy sugar skull series are my Facebook quilter friends-will they be bad at me for doing this? Am I mad I wasn't included in their party-maybe a little and that's why I made this quilt!!

The question is: Should it become a pattern for sale? It is small at 18" square and not very difficult to make. Please give me your feedback. Thank you!!

My Newest Pattern "Earth Mother" Available for Sale!

This is my newest portrait quilt pattern called "Earth Mother" which is available for sale on my website. I had made this quilt back in 2011 and brought it out of retirement this Spring to show it as examples of embellishment options while lecturing at a quilt show. A few people asked if this was a pattern and I said "it could be!" I changed the background and utilized the piecing of scrappy 5" squares to help guide in the applique placement since the vertical and horizontal seam lines work as guidelines. I selected 42 5" squares of batiks for the background and a dark green batik for the raw edged fused applique because green seemed nature-like and Summery. The finished size is 28" x 32." Earth Mother has long hair, an off the shoulder dress, a pendant necklace and a variety of leaves to form a crown in her hair plus one more on her cheek.

This is my newest portrait quilt pattern called "Earth Mother" which is available for sale on my website. I had made this quilt back in 2011 and brought it out of retirement this Spring to show it as examples of embellishment options while lecturing at a quilt show. A few people asked if this was a pattern and I said "it could be!" I changed the background and utilized the piecing of scrappy 5" squares to help guide in the applique placement since the vertical and horizontal seam lines work as guidelines.

I selected 42 5" squares of batiks for the background and a dark green batik for the raw edged fused applique because green seemed nature-like and Summery. The finished size is 28" x 32." Earth Mother has long hair, an off the shoulder dress, a pendant necklace and a variety of leaves to form a crown in her hair plus one more on her cheek.

This is the close-up photo of the face with the quilting and the embellishing complete. I pulled from my embellishment stash any leaf or flower, large or small, in a variety of green colors. I added green rhinestones and loose glitter, glitter nail polish and a large glittery bead for the center of the necklace. Lots of sizes of green rhinestones above the eyebrows. The polymer button on the left cheek is painted with green nail polish to shine it up some! I took apart bracelets to use the green beads in this project-anything to have lots of green embellishments!Also silk flower scatter from The Dollar Tree stitched to the quilt in the crown area in between the applique leaves.

This is the close-up photo of the face with the quilting and the embellishing complete. I pulled from my embellishment stash any leaf or flower, large or small, in a variety of green colors. I added green rhinestones and loose glitter, glitter nail polish and a large glittery bead for the center of the necklace. Lots of sizes of green rhinestones above the eyebrows. The polymer button on the left cheek is painted with green nail polish to shine it up some! I took apart bracelets to use the green beads in this project-anything to have lots of green embellishments!Also silk flower scatter from The Dollar Tree stitched to the quilt in the crown area in between the applique leaves.

This photo shows the quilting of the background using a variegated thread and a fun leaf decorative stitch on my sewing machine. I did all the background quilting before I added the leaves on the crown area. I fused and stitched those on after the quilting was finished.

This photo shows the quilting of the background using a variegated thread and a fun leaf decorative stitch on my sewing machine. I did all the background quilting before I added the leaves on the crown area. I fused and stitched those on after the quilting was finished.

This version is just a fused top with the additional leaves taped to it to show an Autumn version. I collected yellow, gold, peach, orange, red, burgundy and a few purple fabrics of batik, commercial cottons and even a few solids to get the fall colors. I chose a dark brown batik for the fused applique. I will complete the quilt the same way but instead of the embellishments being green they will be in Autumn colors!

This version is just a fused top with the additional leaves taped to it to show an Autumn version. I collected yellow, gold, peach, orange, red, burgundy and a few purple fabrics of batik, commercial cottons and even a few solids to get the fall colors. I chose a dark brown batik for the fused applique. I will complete the quilt the same way but instead of the embellishments being green they will be in Autumn colors!

Cherrywood Hand Dyed Fabrics Van Gogh Challenge "Vincentia"

Cherrywood Hand-Dyed Fabrics is having a third fabric challenge in 2017 due August 1. They select three gradations of one color plus black and anyone interested purchases a bundle of fat quarters for the challenge. The rules state these four fabrics must be used in 75% of a 20" square size quilt. Any of their other lovely fabrics can make up the 25%. If you need to use white you can use some from your stash since they do not sell white (they dye white fabric pretty colors!!) The other two past challenges were The Wicked Challenge in 2014 using witch skin tone greens and last year the challenge was The Lion King using warm yellow oranges. My entry "Feline Fashionista" was one of twenty designs the Disney Corporation selected as their favorite! These 20 quilts will hang in a Broadway theatre in November-I also received a huge beautiful ribbon!! Both times my quilts made the cut and have traveled through the year to national and regional quilt shows. Both years Cherrywood created a book with a photo of all the entries and had a book signing opportunity for all included artists to meet and sign each others books while at quilt shows. in 2017 they chose an idea that had nothing to do with a Broadway play and selected the artist Vincent Van Gogh and there were three blues and a black to work with.

I love art and art history and am familiar with Van Gogh's work and especially love his Starry Nights painting. I had a vision of a black woman with an Afro Puffs hairstyle that looked like a starry night painting. I used the black for the background and all three blues for the skin tone depths and highlights on the order of the movie Avatar. I made a copy of the Starry Nights painting and analyzed where there was more white, yellow, blue etc. I saw one orange new moon in the design. I began with a medium blue background and funny shaped circles of yellow and white. I cut narrow fused fabric strips from the three blue, white, yellow, gold and orange and layered them to look like the Van Gogh Painting. I heavily quilted all of the strips down with thread in all of these colors to secure them and create movement. I really loved how it turned out. and I feel it has the same movement as the original painting

This a close up of the hair and some of the face. I used a craft store blue star mini Christmas ornament with a sequin and bead for an earring.. The background needed bling so I added a few black rhinestones to subtly add shimmer. I love my bling!!

This a close up of the hair and some of the face. I used a craft store blue star mini Christmas ornament with a sequin and bead for an earring.. The background needed bling so I added a few black rhinestones to subtly add shimmer. I love my bling!!

This photo shows more of the face. I used tiny gold rhinestones from The Dollar Tree in the nail art department for eyeliner. Shimmery nail polish is on the lips and in the hair. I used some brown Derwent Inktense pencils to define the mouth. I named my entry "Vincentia" after Van Gogh's first name. Last year there was a huge amount of entries and only a third of them made the cut. I can only hope this quilt is as fortunate.  

This photo shows more of the face. I used tiny gold rhinestones from The Dollar Tree in the nail art department for eyeliner. Shimmery nail polish is on the lips and in the hair. I used some brown Derwent Inktense pencils to define the mouth. I named my entry "Vincentia" after Van Gogh's first name.

Last year there was a huge amount of entries and only a third of them made the cut. I can only hope this quilt is as fortunate.

 

Lady Liberty Whimsical Selfie Class Sample *NEW*

I love the 4th of July for two reasons-I love the combination of red, white and blue (a throwback to my Appleton (WI) High School-East colors and I love the Statue of Liberty. I have made two other wall hangings with her but two weren't enough and I liked the idea of my Whimsical Selfie pattern woman wearing a Statue of Liberty hat similar to the ones people purchase at the parties stores! Yes, I have worn this look!!

My daughter is 35 now but when she was little she said she wanted to grow up to be the Statue of Liberty-I said she was a strong female but her arm might get sore holding up the light!!

This pattern is my first and oldest pattern. I have taught it many times and I get suggestions of glasses and new hairstyles from the students in my classes. Last year I added a Santa hat, a witches hat, a steampunk hat and a Rosie the Riveter style headband. I designed more clothes besides the shoulder straps. A common request from students in my last class was for a smooth one length bob hairstyle. While designing the Lady Liberty hat I also drew up this bob and combined it in this quilt.

I have run out of my great fun 4th of July prints and had to buy the background print recently for this quilt. I used Cherrywood Hand-Dyed Fabrics for the skin tones, lips, irises, brows, and shoulder straps which are so awesome to handle and work with.

The border fabrics are quite busy, my choice, and this meant little in the way of embellishments. This saddened me but I wanted the hat to be the focus or I could have used solids or tone on tones for the background and borders which was way too boring!!

I embellished with several color coordinated glitter nail polishes, blue loose glitter, a few rhinestones on the stars in the background fabric and a tiny silver star on the cheekbone.

I will hang it at work at the salon I work at for a few weeks during the 4th of July holiday and then add it to my class samples.

This is the first 4th of July quilt I made several years ago.

This is the first 4th of July quilt I made several years ago.

This the latest quilt in this theme which I used in my Facebook art quilt group for the Communication Challenge. I used up most of my awesome patriotic fabric and will have to go shopping for more!!

This the latest quilt in this theme which I used in my Facebook art quilt group for the Communication Challenge. I used up most of my awesome patriotic fabric and will have to go shopping for more!!

Art Quilts Around The World Challenge: The Eyes Have It

Today is reveal day for my Facebook Art Quilt Group Art Quilts Around The World. Two months go fast and this theme is called "The Eyes Have It" which is to me eyes in a portrait quilt but could be eyes of anything or "I." Lots of choices to play with. I put eyes in all my quilts (my favorite part of a portrait quilt!) and had all my 3-4 years worth of projects from this group in front of me recently and discovered I never use yellow in any of these projects. This became my color choice as well as my desire to have a woman of color as the featured portrait. I found a cool tribal makeup on Pinterest and was inspired by it for my African woman. I also found the tribal looking fabric for the background in my stash and thought it worked well. I used my favorite go to skin tone gradation fabrics from Cherrywood Fabrics because they are so lovely to work with and the gradation of values takes the work out of selecting fabrics.  I used a white and black variegated thread for the hair and hand tacked black bouche yarn to the surface to give a nice Afro texture. I ran the fuzzy ends off the edges. I am titling this quilt "Mariama" after my ex MIL who lives is Gambia West Africa. I never met her but thought she had a pretty name.

Today is reveal day for my Facebook Art Quilt Group Art Quilts Around The World. Two months go fast and this theme is called "The Eyes Have It" which is to me eyes in a portrait quilt but could be eyes of anything or "I." Lots of choices to play with. I put eyes in all my quilts (my favorite part of a portrait quilt!) and had all my 3-4 years worth of projects from this group in front of me recently and discovered I never use yellow in any of these projects. This became my color choice as well as my desire to have a woman of color as the featured portrait.

I found a cool tribal makeup on Pinterest and was inspired by it for my African woman. I also found the tribal looking fabric for the background in my stash and thought it worked well. I used my favorite go to skin tone gradation fabrics from Cherrywood Fabrics because they are so lovely to work with and the gradation of values takes the work out of selecting fabrics.  I used a white and black variegated thread for the hair and hand tacked black bouche yarn to the surface to give a nice Afro texture. I ran the fuzzy ends off the edges. I am titling this quilt "Mariama" after my ex MIL who lives is Gambia West Africa. I never met her but thought she had a pretty name.

This is a close up of the eyes and all the bling of 3 sizes of rhinestones, fabric paint, glitter nail polish and tiny beads from the nail art section from The Dollar Tree!

This is a close up of the eyes and all the bling of 3 sizes of rhinestones, fabric paint, glitter nail polish and tiny beads from the nail art section from The Dollar Tree!

Photo of the mouth detail using Inktense pencils for shadowing and white fabric paint for highlighting. Thread painting adds to the depth of the mouth. The next project due July 31st is Nursery Rhythms with a twist of a back story. I am leaning towards a co-dependent lamb who follows Mary around! Snort!

Photo of the mouth detail using Inktense pencils for shadowing and white fabric paint for highlighting. Thread painting adds to the depth of the mouth.

The next project due July 31st is Nursery Rhythms with a twist of a back story. I am leaning towards a co-dependent lamb who follows Mary around! Snort!

Wisconsin Quilt Museum's Strawberry Challenge: Strawberry Blonde

There is a Wisconsin Quilt and Fiber Arts Museum in Cedarburg WI. The city of Cedarburg has a strawberry festival every June and the city and the museum joined forces and created a strawberry quilt contest this June.

I came up with the idea of strawberry blonde because it is a commonly used term in the hair salon to describe light red hair and I decided to be literal with the description and give a woman hair made of strawberries.

I did not own any strawberry themed fabric and went shopping for some but only found one digitally printed version. I put a post on my Facebook page to see if any of my FB friends had strawberry fabrics and/or buttons/trims. People came through with 5 different prints which I fussy cut all but one which I used in the background. Another friend brought me 2 styles of shank strawberry buttons. At my local quilt show late April one of my 5th grade hair customers/new quilter told me to go to a particular booth because there was red with white dot buttons which I purchased!!

I fashioned the hair as a collage and created rows of strawberries, including sliced ones, to look like strands of hair. I used burgundy for the under part of the hair and the digital print for the right side foundation. I added the dotted buttons as a row as well.

The dress was influenced by the green on green stripe from my stash that reminded me of 1960s dresses with the stripes going in all directions. I wanted to add embellishments but everything was too bold and took away from the hair. I purchased nail art motifs from The Dollar Tree which had a summer theme and included fruit and I was happy to discover there were sliced strawberries which were very tiny and worked well!!

 

This photo is a close up of the face and hair. I love using Cherrywood hand dyed fabrics for the skin tone gradations, eye brows, lips, lashes and iris. I embellished the face with a bit of nail polish, fabric paint and a "strawberry" nose piercing!

Dress close up photo

Dress close up photo

Button close up photos.

The contest is on display at the WI Quilt Museum from June 3-22 in which voting of entries will take place. The Strawberry Festival is June 24-25, 2017 and the quilts are on display until July 9th at the museum.

If this quilt does not get a ribbon in the contest I will have a quilt I really enjoy and I can use it for a color theory sample of a Complimentary Color Scheme of red and green. Also fun because these two colors are usually associated with Christmas, As they say "nature always gets it correct with color!"

Wisconsin Quilt Expo's Modern Mini Quilt Challenge

The Wisconsin Quilt Expo people, who provide an awesome quilt show the weekend after Labor Day, is asking quilters to create a mini modern quilt for a challenge and they will offer awards. The required size is 24" x 24" or smaller and no other rules. Just a deadline of Tuesday May 23, 2017 which wasn't a lot of time so I had to hustle to get it done!!

I had explored hair silhouettes in the past but worked with eight hairstyles and could only use 6 to get them to fit in the size restrictions. I wanted to stay true to my love of portrait quilts and my salute to hair styles. I selected a 1940s bumper bangs style, a 50s Barbie doll-like ponytail, a 1960s updo, a 70s Afro, a 80s short spiky style and a 90s curly high ponytail. I used a solid piece of black fabric and determined the 60 degree lines (6 sections and six silhouettes.) I then echo stitched in lime green, yellow orange, red orange, pink, blue violet and turquoise the six sections. I selected the six hair silhouette colors because of my obsession of the color wheel and my love of color order on the color wheel. After the quilting was complete I fused the silhouettes to the quilt and stitched them done. Because this is a "modern" quilt I did not add embellishments since modern to me means minimalistic.

The quilt is 24" square and went together pretty fast and I submitted it to the contest online. Follow at #ModernMIniQuiltChallenge

Bonfire: Urban Bright Challenge from BasAss Quilters Society

BadAss Quilters Society is a page on Facebook which explores going against the grain of traditional quilters and the proper "rules!" The so called quilting police can be judgmental and this group has created a place for the quilters who are not good at following these rules and are artsy and doing their own thing! They have created a new challenge based on a line of fabric by Frond Design Studio called Urban Brights. The line had coordinating solids to use but sparingly.

I started with a design of a woman with long gloves and a rockabilly hairstyle with a scarf tied around her head.

I used 4 of the 5 prints with peace symbols as the background. One of the more subtle prints for the outside border, the print with the license plate for the dress and head scarf and the facial features fussy cut from one of the large scale prints. The hair, neck/upper torso and the face are from the accent fabrics. They are calling this bright fabric and I tend to disagree! I love brights and knew if I was going to enjoy making this quilt I would need to use the accent colors and sparingly was difficult for me! I flipped the red orange and the yellow fabrics and used the wrong side to get another value of those fabrics for the facial and hair highlighting.

In the last photo in this blog post I have a picture of the funky multicolored thread that can be turned into a rusched thread by pulling one of the threads. I purchased it at the IQF Houston show a few years ago. I used it once before but not to the extent I used it here. The challenge rules stated embellishments were okay to use so I got my bright fix by hand sewing this rusched thread around the border seam and was happy with the result!

This is my original drawing the applique pieces are derived from. I only draw one eye/brow and flip it from it's reversed side to the normal side to get both eyes for the fused applique. I decided to put the head scarf bow on the other side.

This is the ad campaign on Facebook on BadAss Quilters Society's blog.

This is my photo of the fabrics before I started using them. The upper left fabric is my outer border. I only used 3 out of the 6 accent fabrics shown in the lower part of the photo.

This is a face close up photo. I used fabric paint and markers to add definition to the face. A bit of glitter nail polish on the eyes for bling. The fabrics were pretty active so a bunch of bling seemed garish. The quilt is titled Bonfire because of the hair color. Redken, my favorite hair color company and retail products, has a demi color Shades EQ which is a bright auburn and that how I named it. When the quilt was finished I thought the woman looked like the actress Emma Stone. Thoughts....

The fun rainbow thread I used to embellish with!

The contest rules state to blog about our entry then apply on their Facebook page. The month of March is for applying and I will be begging everyone to vote for my quilt when the time comes available in April!

Charity Quilt for Spring University Days at the WI Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts

 I have been invited to be a participant in the Spring University Days at the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts in Cedarburg Wisconsin held May 12 and 13, 2017. They encouraged all faculty to make a silent auction/charity item for their fundraiser. I used my Line Drawing pattern which makes a 12" square mini portrait quilt. Instead of a pieced background I selected a very large scale print as the background. I positioned the white flower over one of the eyes. I also prefer to run stripes vertical.
I defined the nose, eye lids and chin with black thread which was also used to stitch down the black batik applique.
I added some glitter nail polish to the eye lid area and mouth and a rhinestone to the nose area. This project comes together pretty quick.
I hope someone enjoys it!

Boom Chick A Boom


I was inspired by the Facebook Challenge called "The Skin We Are In" from the Bad Ass Quilters Society from Chattanooga TN. They were inspired by Kathy Nida's art quilt with female nudity that was pulled from an American Quilt Society's quilt show in Grand Rapids, MI last August. I had never heard of Kathy or her work so the controversy got her name out in cyber space/social media and her art quilts of women, often nude and with subjects such as homelessness, birth and female reproduction. Bad Ass Quilters Society is already mad at the Quilt Police and the over conservative judgement of quilters who don't fit into their idea of what a quilt "should" be. I have also fallen victim to the Quilt Police and find myself on the support side of art is art and nudity in art is not a bad thing but another form of art expression.
So the challenge is online only at the Bad Ass Quilters Society's Facebook page for viewing-no prizes and nothing is traveling to quilt venues.
I was inspired by Carmen Miranda, Las Vegas showgirls and Brazil's Rio de Janeiro's Carnival. The point I was making was even though the breasts are exposed the emphasis is on all the vast ornamentation of head dress, garments and jewelry. I decided to create a topless Carmen Miranda like image. Back in the early 1990s I had the opportunity to take doll making classes from California's Eleanor Peace Bailey. She is so awesome and was very colorful and trendy and I was automatically drawn to her aura! I purchased several of her witch, mermaid and fairy doll patterns. All her patterns had "boobs" which was a circle of fabric turned under and hand tacked to the chest area. Polyfil was used to stuff the breasts and then the nipples were created by hand stitching them into place. Derwent Inktense pencils were used to draw in the areola. I forgot about the whole thing then really looked at the mermaid doll hanging forever in my bathroom and the idea resurfaced! 
This quilt is full of embellishments:
1. Rainbow rick rack in the binding like a flange.
2. Pointy Christmas ornaments on the skirt waistband.
3. Black with multicolor metallic tulle as the sleeves and the skirt waistband. Two types of trims are hand tacked to each of these. The one trim is also hand tacked to form the bra band and halter straps.
4.Real beaded drop earrings were used for earrings. The coordinating necklace was repurposed for bracelets.
5. I had the plastic fruit beads from leftovers from a 1980s necklace which I hand tacked on. More of the beaded necklace used for the bracelets also used for another necklace and a Dollar Store bead necklace was the third addition. The point is NEVER throw jewelry away because you can repurpose it in the future!!!
5. The fruit headpiece has a silk flower from a Dollar Store Hawaiian lei with a rhinestone. There is white fabric paint added for highlights. Also some of the fabric pencils mentioned above were also used to emphasis and shade the fruit for more dimension.
6. The face has a white fabric paint eye reflection, a subtle bit of nail polish on the brow bone and lips and a nose piercing.
As you can see she is not nude because I covered her up with large Hawaiian lei flowers to use this quilt in other quilt shows. Would you have covered her? Scroll down to the end of the post to see the real deal!

This is a photo of the headpiece in a closer view.

And here is the photo I submitted to "The Skin We Are In" Challenge. I had fun with this and realize art is controversial thus the cover up. Thoughts? 

Happy Valentine's Day: Queen of Hearts

This project began with a Moda charm pack I purchased last fall. I was able to start the quilt last week. I had make a very small portrait quilt with the woman having a heart shaped face, a heart shaped hair silhouette and a heart shaped dress neckline. I was headed in that direction including the heart shaped mouth which I used a few years back for the Day of the Dead quilt which was likeable. I have been watching, on PBS, plenty of British historical TV shows and the fashions influenced me as well as the Queen of Hearts character from the Alice in Wonderland book and movie. Throw in a little Steampunk fashions and I'm ready to draw up a design! I was on a quilt retreat last weekend and made sure this quilt lad priority!

I did a Pinterest search and discovered the cool queen-like collar as well as the dramatic eye makeup. The Queen of Hearts played by Helene Bohnam Carter in the Johnny Depp movie had very thin eye brows so my Queen got skinny brows too! I decided to make the quilt with six 5" squares wide and eight squares tall. I arranged the creams, reds, grays and a few blacks symmetrical with a mirror image. Since a charm pack has 42 squares I added a few dotted charm squares from another Moda pack and a few rotary cut batiks. I quilted the quilt with red thread for the dress and collar; variegated white/red/black thread for the background; variegated red/black thread for the hair and lights for the skin.

I did a lot of embellishments on this quilt:

1. The crown has beads on the peaks and a felt heart button in the middle.

2. The hair has red and white chunky nail polish.

3. The eyes have brown Drewent Inktense pencils to make the rises brown and a Pigma MIcron brown pen to add details. There is chunky red bling from Target on the lids and loose silver glitter/glue as eyeliner. A dab of white fabric paint for the eye reflection.

4. The cheeks have iridescent nail polish and red buttons sewn on them.

5. The mouth has chunky red nail polish to define the heart shape.

6. The collar has red metallic leather rick rack recently purchased at Target which is very fun and exciting to me! It was easy to work with and machine stitch to the collar.

7. The sleeves have a red/white trim on the band and another red/white trim as a bow on the outer edges.

8. The dress has red machine stitched hearts on he bodice as well as red buttons on the seam lines.

9. The ears have repurposed beads for earrings.

10. The background has red rhinestones glued on to it.

11. A red Pigma Micron pen used to draw a small heart spaced mole near one of the eyes.

This is a close up on the face and it is so pretty and blingy!

This is a close up view of the dress trims, buttons and rick rack.

Happy Valentine's Day to you!

Art Quilts Around The World Challenge: I Believe...in Professional Hair Color!!

It is reveal day again for my Facebook art quilt group Art Quilts Around The World. Those two months went fast! The theme this time was "I Believe..." It was selected by the individual in the group who chose it to be spiritual or religious. I could not think of anything that I wanted to put on a quilt to reflect this idea. I had to think about this subject for a while before finding an idea. I decided I have very strong opinions about being a hairdresser for nearly 30 years and how I believe women should wear their hair to look their best. I come from a family where the women color their hair no matter what their age. My Mom is 81 and is still coloring her hair brown like she has for decades! This is my norm to NOT see gray hair. I color hair for my job and it is one of my favorite things to do in the salon. I make my living coloring hair. As you are reading this you may agree or disagree with me. You may have gray hair. I get it but I believe women look better with their hair colored!
In this project I drew a women with a bob haircut (my personal haircut and favorite!) Half of the hair is gray and white and the other half is PROFESSIONALLY colored in a salon. Not from a box from Walgreens and your friend did it while drinking too much wine! Stylists know what we are doing and take classes on color formulation and color correction. Salons fix home hair color!

I just realized the challenge from November 2016 had a face that was split in half vertically and I did it again unconsciously! Oh Well!


In this photo it shows the lettering of the names of five professional hair color companies-Redken (my favorite,) Joico (used to get the bright fashion colors,) Matrix, Paul Mitchell (abbreviated for space) and Wella which is what the salon I work at uses. There are many more companies but since this quilt is small I literally ran out of room. Why use these particular colors for the lettering? They represent the colors customers ask for when they have their hair colored-red, rusty browns, oranges/auburns, gold and pale blonde. The browns are represented in the woman's right side of her hair with warm brown and highlights and lowlights.

This is a close up of the face. I used a few pinks and purples for "make up!" The quilt was embellished with fabric paint, Derwent Inktense pens, a rhinestone on the nose, some glitter nail polish on the brow bone and both sides of the hair.

The next challenge is due March 31 which will feel like Spring is near! The them is using words in a quilt-I actually used words in this quilt and use words anyway in my work. I am going to use the statement "I Resist!" due to the terrible President that is running the USA and my opposition. I feel strongly about this and a quilt with these works will have meaning!

Bobbie Pin: Rockabilly Chick

 This quilt began as another quilt which was for a Ricky Timm's Convergence challenge. I purchased a piece of his hand dyed fabric and then used it in the challenge. When I received the fabric I thought it was the ugliest fabric in the world-brown and muddy looking! It needed some bright colors to help it out! I wanted to do a portrait quilt with raw edged fused applique over the Convergence pieced background and drew up a design with a Rockabilly woman with tattoos and fun retro hair. It is fun combine my hairdressing career with my quilt designs!  The photos of the original quilt are toward the bottom of this blog post. I made that quilt in October but never shared the photos because of the epic fail.
I will talk now about the my newest version. While teaching last November at Houston my Janome tech support woman was sewing a project with a fun line of fabrics called "Good Hair Day!" This fabric line caught my attention because of the bobby pins, blow dryers, hair combs, curls and braids. Once I was home from Houston I ordered this fabric line. I enlarged my normal 5" square to 5.5" and added a border. The rest of the project went pretty conventional in construction. I quilted the background in a triple crosshatch design. When it was complete it reminded me of a 1960s silk robe's quilting I had as a child! Very retro just like the Rockabilly theme!
I embellished the quilt with blue rhinestones and a large bead for an earring was hand sewn in place. A small amount of fabric paint and glitter nail polish to accentuate the eyes. I discovered I had colored sparkly blue bobby pins which I hand sewed to the corners in the outer border and two in the hair area.  The fabric motifs were very strong and showy and too many embellishments seemed senseless. I had fun creating the flower, heart and Hello Kitty tattoos-I have not added tattoos to a quilt before.


This is a close up view of the face.
 These are the photos of the failed attempt. What went wrong? There is not enough contrast between the pink used in the applique and the pieced background.
I made several attempts to add definition to the face by adding lots of glitter and fabric paint. The details just do not show up. I did enter the online Convergence contest and, of course, I did not get accepted. I love the newer quilt with plenty of contrast and am stuck with the original quilt. What should I do with it since it's not something I am proud of?

Coloring Book Claudia

 I'm still working on my newest idea of coloring book portrait quilts. I made a version already which I showed earlier in December, or maybe November, and now I am influenced a woman named Claudia who took one of my classes at the IQF Houston Quilt Festival in November. Stroll down this post to see her photo! I started with wanting a curly Afro type hairstyle and I designer a different neckline and sleeve for the dress than the Coloring Book Callie deisgn. I mirror imaged the design for a change of pace. I selected 2 fun batiks with medium scale designs and a multi-color to pull coordinating colors for the eye shadow, lips, background and hair. The two quilts are the same until I quilted them.
 I was inspired by Etta James, RuPaul and Beyonce for the hair and it matched the gold in the dress fabric. I loved this deep turquoise batik for the background and eyelids and the mouth became red. I used some of the wonderful Cherrywood Hand Dyed Fabrics in the gradation of browns I have purchased for skin tones. LOVE!! I quilted the background in a 1" grid design and then in one direction from upper left to lower right I connected a diagonal quilting line-strictly playing around to see how it looks. I liked the look and will do this again.
I embellished with two different glitter nail polishes on the eye area as well as tiny rhinestones scattered in the background from a nail art kit from The Dollar Tree (cheap and a nice color variety!!)The nose got a rhinestone piercing and I finally used the little rainbow colored crocheted thingie I picked up on my travels for a hair accessory! I found some small size Christmas tree ornaments and I sewed one onto the ear area as an earring. Lots of bling!!
 The pink version is the same but the quilting does not have the diagonal stitching. I fabric glued a 3D silk flower to this woman's hair. I decided to have gray hair for a change and some people do have gray hair so it is recognizable.
This is the real Claudia from Houston TX and she attended my Whimsical Selfie Portrait class last November. I have been reluctant to design an ear applique up to this class because ears can look like peanuts in a shell!! Upon seeing Claudia's short hairstyle and exposed ears I drew up an ear pattern for her and this has kick started me to add ears to my future portrait quilt designs such as this new project. Why use Claudia's name? The "C" name flowed with coloring book...
This will be a pattern I write up in early 2017. I had not designed it in time to include it in my fall 2017 quilt show teaching proposals. My other design did make the cut. On to something new!!

Rainbow Cat Eyes

 I made this quilt for The Celebration of Color Exhibit for the IQF Chicago Quilt Fest in April 2017. I wanted to combine my love of color and portrait quilts but try something different. I was inspired by a few rainbow themed motifs on Pinterest. The quilt had to be a minimum of 48" which is larger than I usually work. Vertically the quilt is 48" and horizontally it is 55". It fell into the Modern category and has a ton of negative space which I echo quilted in the coordinating color of the motif above and below it-that was boring! It was!
I wanted cat eye shaped eye glass frames (because they are my favorite!) and lips on the motifs and I "moved" the color one over on the color wheel which by default created an analogous color scheme! You'd a knew!
This is different than my "normal" portrait quilts but I wanted to go more modern. I was told by someone close to me that it wasn't finished because there were no face details. Sadness.
 This is a close up of one of the faces. I thread painted brows, cheekbones, a jawline, a nose and lots of strands of hair to each motif. There are things to see from afar and then closeup. I used two different trims and machine couched them to the quilt for hair emphasis. I added rhinestones to the glasses to look retro. I hand sewed a leather button to the hair. I hand sewed beads to create an earring. The lips got fabric glitter paint or glitter nail polish. All had to be identical to appear repetitive.
This is another view of more of the details. I thought the face reminded me of the 1980s video from the band Wham from the song "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go! because of the neon-like influence. I love that song and it makes me happy and so do the cat eye glasses. 
I know art is subjective but my feelings are hurt by my friend's comments because I spent a huge amount of time on this quilt and want it to be selected for the IQF Chicago quilt show. Time will tell.....Whether it gets chosen or not I will be using it in my color classes because there is plenty of things to discuss with color in this quilt. :)

JIngle Bella: New Pattern Sample

 I decided to sew another sample of my new Jingle Bella pattern using a Moda charm pack called "Holly Nights." The current charm packs, especially Moda, do not have 42 different fabric squares like they did when the fabric companies first introduced them to the quilt market. I love charm packs because of the wide range of fabric print varieties. When I used this particular pack there were few light squares which I prefer for the face. I challenged myself to only use the charm pack squares and not go into my fabric stash and the face is less blended than I would have liked.

I quilted the entire quilt with one thread, a Sulky rayon thread #943 1549, after I attached all the applique pieces with black thread. This thread ran nicely through my sewing machine and gave a pretty shimmer that repeated the metallic gold in the fabrics.
 This is a close up of the face. I embellished with only metallic gold items I found some loose chunky gold "scatter" at Target for the eyelids; some gold nail polish on the mouth; a gold rhinestone for the nose piercing and some dollar store tiny nail art gold bling glued to the background.
 This beaded trim was an unexpected find this past summer while at a rummage sale. The plan was for the first Jingle Bella sample but I had over-cleaned my sewing room and couldn't find it! I found the trim months later and hand sewed it to the bottom of the quilt after the binding was sewn on-again very sparkly!!
 This is the original pattern sample also using a Moda charm pack but instead of traditional fabric it is whimsical. Same exact style of quilting. The choice of fabrics can really change the outcome and style of the quilts!
I changed thread colors in this project when I quilted it. As seen in the above photo I used a Christmas variegated thread on the face.
This pattern is available on my website www.laurieceesay.com for $10.00 Through PayPal.

Art Quilts Around The World Facebook Group Challenge: Science

 Today is reveal day for my Facebook group Art Quilts Around the World. The current theme is Science. I am not a big science person and had a hard time figuring out what to do with this challenge. When I was a beauty school student back in the late 1980s we had a textbook chapter on anatomy specifically the skeletal and muscular systems of the body. To cut hair one needs to know the bone structure of the face. As licensed cosmetologists we also are able to perform facials and therefore need to know what and where the facial muscles are located. So a shout out to beauty school is how I came up with my idea. 
I split the face in half and did muscles on one side and a regular woman's face on the other side. I discovered on Pinterest many images portraying muscles had the muscles in different bright colors to visually see them. I was all on board for bright colors so that was easy! The "normal" side has a neutral color palette.
I quilted the muscles in the accurate direction in which they would flex!
The "normal" side got a bit of glitter, a rhinestone nose piercing and both sides got beads for earrings and I used fabric pencils to enhance the eyes, hair and mouth. As I was working on this challenge it became fun and I really enjoy the finished quilt.
This is a closeup photo of the muscle side of the face-lots of tiny muscles!
The next challenge due January 31, 2017 is "I believe..." which is very broad based. I feel strongly about many things-the beauty industry, fashion dos and don'ts, politics and racial discrimination so I'm not sure the direction I will take this challenge.