Bella Bordeaux: Last In The Series

This is number five in a series using my same favorite pattern and a variety of batiks in the background. I love this pattern because of the face and swirly hair and all the fun embellishments I am able to add to the quilt to make me happy! I also love Timeless Treasures Fabric Tonga Treats Batiks. They sell them as charm packs, jelly rolls or yardage and I picked up this one with the forest greens and burgundies. When I work on my color wheel class samples I discovered I had NO burgundy in my stash. I guess I saw it as a "country/primitive" color and since I like bright hues I never purchased any. Same is true to some extent with the forest green but when I found this charm pack it was calling my name because it is a variation of red and green and I love that!! I chose burgundy as my raw edged fused applique color because I have done this technique with forest green before and thought burgundy was my "challenge" color. As I worked on the quilt it reminded me of winter in the garden and holly berries etc. This is not a Christmas quilt but a winter garden quilt. I named it Bella Bordeaux which is Good Burgundy in Italian. I love the Italian language and the other quilts had Bella in their names and the color or the quilt added such as Bella Gialla and Bella Rosa (purple/pink.) The other two quilts were monochromatic values or yellow and the other one was in all blues without Italian names.
Since I live where there are no fabric or craft stores within an hour, and I wanted a sprig of holly and berries, what do I do??-I make my own!! I drew out the holly leaves on Wonder Under fusible web and double fused some forest green batik together, cut them out and with some Sulky Blendables Thread I stitched around the leaves and added the veiny details. Then to make the berries I used red, black and a bit of magenta Sculpy Clay and made my own which bake in the oven to harden. I used a toothpick to make holes to hand stitch the berries into place. I fabric glued the three holly leaves at the stem area only to the quilt so it is 3D and then hand stitched the berries around the holly. I took a little red shimmer nail polish to the berries to "frost" them up!! And wa-la who needs Hobby Lobby!!
I embellished some cute red, pink and green snowflakes to the background area and some white hologram iridescent nail polish to the eyelid and one white rhinestone for her nose piercing and Miss Bella Bordeaux is ready! I think I will hang her at Pizazz Salon where I work because the color schemes match!!

SAQA "I'm Not Crazy" Exhibit Entry

Studio Art Quilters Association is having an exhibit titled "I'm Not Crazy" which explores mental health issues. I think the title  is offensive but whatever. It is the perspective or someone with mental illness, a caretaker or friend or family member of someone with mental illness. I have a very close friend who is Bipolar and is medicated to have balance in her life. This quilt is my interpretation of being bipolar-one minute she is happy, hyper bouncing off the wall and the next sad, depressed and angered. I used muted sad, dull colors to represent being depressed and, of course, the frustrated facial expression. I used bright colored fabrics with lots of chaos for the manic side's clothing, make up and jewelry. Her hair is out of control and her facial expression shouts "manic." I used lots of desciptive words on both sides of the personality in a subtle way in the background. I purposely went subtle because in society we don't want to talk about mental health issues and they are subtle and quiet  in our discussions. I found there is a two sided smiley face which symbolizes Bipolar Disorder and I added it to the quilt in the lower center of the quilt.
This photo is a closeup of the depressed personality.
And this is a photo of the manic personality. She's kind of "out there!" Her expression deminds me of Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland!!
Cloeup of the Bipolar symbol and a few of the background words.
I embellished the manic side with hand made Sculpey clay beads, a beaded earring, rhinestones for pierced earrings, orange lame' in the hair to symbolize being wired, and some fabric paint. The intent was for excess and chaos in hair, make up, clothing and jewelry. The depressed side has a necklace made to buttons made from leather (pretty cool from a quilt show!), a few beads for the necklace and a rhinestone for the nose piercing. Both have a little fabric paint for details.

The exhibit aplication is online at SAQA's website the month of May and during the summer we find out if we made the cut then the selected quilts will travel for 2 years to the various Mancuso Quilt Shows.

This quilt is not meant to represent beauty but a social issue. I was thinking of entering it in the local community art show at my library which runs through the summer but I'm not sure if the social issue would offend people. I guess art can do that sometimes...

Menominee Mermaid

I have been collecting these great blues, greens, teal and turquise fabrics to make a wall hanging and then I decided to do a mermaid quilt. I started with wanting her to sit on a rock but then should I do a realistic mermaid or a "line drawing" mermaid with the pretty fabrics showing through?? I went with the second choice. The size of this piece is 22.5 x 25 which made the face too little for any applique except the mouth. I drew and painted the face to complete it. I cut 25 different 5" squares in blues, greens, teals and turquiose and added the bottom row of browns to get a rectangle and to have more of a "rock" color going on w/o deviating from my original color theme. My co-worker Sherrie at Pizazz Salon, where I work, said "don't you ever do a lighthouse in your quilts?" I then make a Mr. Yucky face since that motif is everywhere in Menominee because we have a lighthouse on the Bay of Lake Michigan. But I needed something in the upper left corner and thought that would be funny and I had to go no further than the cover of the local phone book to figure out how to draw a lighthouse!! Miss Mermaid is embellished with a blue starfish in her hair which also has strands of blue gliiter. Her face is painted with nail polish, Smooch paint and fabric paint. There are beads randomly sewn and I made fish buttons out of Sculpy clay and painted them with teal nail polish. Every summer at Spies Public Library in Menominee there is an art exhibit for any local artist to display their work. I will be putting this piece in the show and will not be doing Show and Share at Northwoods Quilters first because of the timing. The exhibit will be on display until the end of August.

Here is a close of Menominee Mermaid's face and hair.