Art Quilts Around the World: Flight of Fancy

This quilt was made for my Facebook group Art Quilts Around The Qorld. This two month challenge was called "Flight of Fancy" and I was inspired by the various birds that flock to the birdfeeder outside of my sewing studio window. I particularly love cardinals because of their color and striking color contrast to the winter snow.
I couldn't resist making this a portrait quilt as well as fitting this challenge into another challenge I needed to have completed by December 8, 2014. That challenge was an embellishment challenge for my local quilt guild Northwoods Quilters. This challenge required a button, which was given to all participants, a fabric yo-yo and any other embellishment we wanted to use. I am not a yo-yo type of person but it was a challenge so I went for it!!
I chose to keep the portrait part of the project in a monochromatic blue to represent the cold weather and blue is a color that recedes into the background. The red cardinal then becomes the focal point because red is a stand out color.
The yo-yo was created from a piece of awesome hand dyed velvet which indirectly became the girl's hat "flower" with a button for the flower center. The button I was assigned was a unfinished wood button which I painted light blue and glittered which became the girl's coat button, No other embellishments were added to the girl except the white fabric paint reflection in her eye.

The cardinal was raw edged fused appliqued and it still needed some zing so I cut six feathers from a red batik and double fused them together to make three feathers. I stitched down the center and cut ruffly feathers with my shears. I then machine stitched them to the cardinal along the same stitching line with the same thread color. After the feathers were stitched down I fluffed them up to get them more of a 3D appearance.
The cardinal got a bit of red glitter nail polish on it's body and white fabric paint for the eye. Any more embellishments seemed unnecessary.
The local embellishment challenge will be on display with the other guild member's quilts in January 2015 at Spies Public Library in Menominee, MI. I can't wait to see the results as well as the online results from the original challenge at Today is the day for the reveal.
I feel it is a nice representation of a fancy bird NOT in flight!!

The Woman With The Belted Dress x Two

This is a pattern I drew up and used for a several quilts a few years ago. I like the asymmetrical placement of the woman, the long hair and the halter dress. When I first designed it the woman was very thin. I thought "who looks like that?" and I added curves to the poor thing so she looked like a real woman! I added the belt because it was fun to accessorize and I can use more fabric!! That is the back story of this design.
Today I used this pattern to make these two wall hangings for two separate reasons. The quilt in the first photo is for a fundraiser in my community for the local free clinic. I want to contribute a donation to this worthy cause. The dress fabric is a hippy psychedelic fat quarter I picked up on my journeys and simply could not put it in another quilt where it seemed appropriate. But my lady could wear it as her dress! I have fallen in love with chevrons and this background fabric was a great contrast to the red hair and the dress. I added red glitter to the hair, glitter nail polish to the eyes and lips (makeup!) and rhinestones for jewelry. I did not add a flower to her hair because I felt there was enough activity with the patterns of the various fabrics and it would have looked too busy. I have to part with this quilt next week. :(
Quilt number two is for my local quilt guild's next challenge on using someone else's "ugly" fabric! I randomly picked the large paisley print. Not the worst fabric in the world but large! I liked the blue/orange combination and ran with that. I chose the paisley as the dress and had this great hand dyed orange velvet for the hair. I tried to downplay the paisley using value. I purposely selected a background that had low contrast to the paisley while boldly using orange for the hair, lips and belt. I embellished with an orange marker in the hair, rhinestones for jewelry and a felt flower button painted with blue nail polish with a bead in the center in the hair. The challenge isn't due until August but I was in the mood to work on it now. If any of my guild members see it before the reveal oh well!!
The two quilts look quite different to me based on fabric chose. I like the red haired woman quilt better because I prefer bright colors with lots of contrast  but I love the velvet hair too! Which one do yu prefer?

Northwoods Quilt Show Demos

My local quilt friend, Lisa Thoune, was camera happy on Saturday and took this photo of me doing my fabric postcard demo at the Northwoods Quilt Show this weekend. I did one on Saturday afternoon and one Sunday late morning. I had a nice group of ladies come to the table. I printed 5 copies of my new Intro to Portrait Quilts pattern "Angelina" and thought I'd try to sell them while I was demoing. I sold 1 on Saturday and 3 on Sunday including one to an area quilt shop that seemed interested in me teaching my techniques. Hooray!!! Lisa has a blog I plan to do an story soon about Lisa but if you want a sneak peak check out her blog.

Lisa also took a picture of my new pattern. I named her after a flower because I also love to garden and I thought this was a logical way of naming future patterns and then I began with a "A." So the next pattern will be a "B" name. So if you are interested in a pattern I would love to send you one and even teach a class on it. E-mail me!!! Also a shout out to Glenda Banta from Marinette WI who was my Print Shop instructor!!

Earth Mother

This Quilt called "Earth Mother" is the quilt I made for my local quilt guild, Northwoods Quilters, quilt challenge. There were three challenge fabrics-the gold crackle I have in the background, the small print with the cream background, which I also have in the background, and the dark green batik which I used for my applique. I stared at these fabrics through the summer of last year and made a Mr. Yucky face since all I could see was the green/gold of the Green Bay Packers. I love the Packers but already have a football themed quilt. Then in the fall of 2010 I found a new line of fabric at Quilters Haven in Menominee, MI where I live. It seemed to go with the challenge fabric because it had fun florals in various scales and an interesting stripe. I  had a renewed interest in this project!! I decided to go with a mother nature style figure as my raw edged fused applique. I have normally used black or dark brown for the applique but I figured why couldn't I use the nice rich green batik. The pattern I used for the woman's face was one I adapted from another pattern I had made-I changed the pattern by giving this woman long hair, a dress, a necklace and leaves in her hair. I began with a Ricky Timms Comvergence style pieced background using two of the challenge fabrics. I prefer to off center the figure because it is more aestetically appealing. I embellishished with silk flowers and leaves, leaf shaped buttons, rhinestones, a wooden button and  felt flowers with glitter. I had a blast with this project and feel it is "earthy" with the greens and browns and it has a calming affect on me. I won 2nd place in the local guild judging of the challenge quilts and all of these quilts will be included in our upcoming quilt show April 30-May 1, 2011 at St, Thomas Aquinas High School, Marinette, WI

12 Busy Sock Monkeys

I consider myself an art quilter but this sock monkey block of the month was calling my name at Quilters Haven in Menominee, MI where I live. It began in May 2009 and I began a back log of 6 blocks at the Nov. '09 quilt retreat. In the summer of 2010 I added the black dot sashing and it has sat since then until recently when I figured out what I wanted for an outer border. The "kit" came with a solid light yellow to sash the blocks. I love the yellow Moda dot but it was yellow overkill. I thought blue would calm it plus pick up the blue in the sky of the blocks. It also became a teaching tool for color theory to demo primary colors. I machine quilted myself which was another reason I was procrastinating!! I do not plan to make any big quilts in the immediate future! And my phography is a little dippy since I usually use my clothesline to display the large quilts and the backyard is full of snow at the moment!! Therefore it got photographed on the living room floor. How many months until spring??
The photo above is the close up of the January block.

And this block is the close up of the June block. I am living the January block right now and wish I was at the beach like the June sock monkey. Anyway, I will display this quilt in my local quilt guild's, Northwoods Quilters, spring quilt show April 30-May1, 2011.

Crazy Challenge!!

I am on the board of my local quilt group, the Northwoods Quilters, and Dorothy J. showed this unfinished quilt top she received from an anonymous quilter. She was at a loss as to "complete" the top. I said I had a vision and Dorothy said "go for it!!" I know nothing of the quilter and their background. I mean no disrespect to this individual but the seams were large and bulky, it was misshaped and there was a large solid white square in the center of the quilt. The eye was drawn to this white square for no reason but it dominated the quilt top in the wrong way. I decided to fussy cut large flowers from printed fabric-mostly Kaffe Fassett fabrics. I raw edged fused appliqued the flowers totally covering the strange white blob. I pulled out the oranges, blues, purples and yellows from the fun print the artist used in the pieced top. I selected medium to smaller flowers sporatically over the top. The quilt top needed to be squared up and the seams trimmed to 1/4". I will outline stitch the flowers in place and show it to Dorothy at our January board meeting on Jan. 4th. I would like to finish this quilt because I see tons of fun quilting and embellishing overload!! In the end, the quilt I received became just the background for some fun applique! I understand as quilters we were all beginners and I can't judge this person's technical skills. She has a good sense of color coordination and I love the bright psychadelic acid-trip print!!

Pat Bishop

Pat Bishop from Appleton Wisconsin spoke at my local quilt guild, Northwoods Quilts, last evening, Oct. 12, 2009. I know her from when I lived in Appleton and noticed she was excelling in the art quilt qorld. I was impressed with one of her quilts at the Quilt Expo in Madison last year and another quilt at the Appleton Art Center. Her work features nature themes, lots of thread painting and she is currently exploring abstract art quilts. My camera was being stupid and I do not have a photo to share with you. Pat has a quilting blog. to check out. She is doing lectures for area quilt groups. Check out her beautiful quilts and her informational lectures. Go Pat!!

Can one quilt w/o being a packrat????

I'm hooked a new T.V. show on A & E called "Hoarders". It shows people with hoarders disorder. They have so much stuff they are ofter court ordered to remove their "stuff" or they will be evicted or their children will be removed from the home. It gets me thinking about my quilting. There is a standard joke among quilters that the one with the most fabrics wins!! Also if you are a quilter who embellishs your quilts, don't you need a supply of frou frou and bling?? And I have to have the varigated thread in every color!! I am fairly tidy because I have a small area in my studio and my significant other is a minimalist. So after watching "Hoarders" week after week, I decided to go through my fabric totes and downsize my stash. We all make fabric purchases that later we shake our heads at. I intend to donate this fabric to my local quilt guild The Northwoods Quilters. There is a group of ambitious women who make many quilts for charity and they can use the fabric. I figured my leftovers would be better served than at a thrift store. It was a good feng shui moment!