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.
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!!
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
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.
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!
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!"
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
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!
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!
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.
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?
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!!
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. :)
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.
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.