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!

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?