A Celebration of Color: Pinwheels

The International Quilt Festival is having a quilt contest debuting at the April 2018 quilt show called The Celebration of Color. There are three categories-traditional, modern and art. I entered a quilt last year in the modern category and it made the cut. IQF also chose to have the exhibit on display at the Houston show last November which was an honor. This time around I was inspired by a traditional New York Beauty block. I found a new book recently by accident on Pinterest called "New York Beauties & Flying Geese" by Carl Hentsch. I loved the combo of New York Beauty blocks and curved flying geese. The version I selected used 32 different colors which excited me because I love scrappy quilts and I was again feeding my OCD for color order and the color wheel!! I used fabrics from my stash which were not used from some other quilt I never made plus I added some of the new Alison Glass Chroma fabrics!! They are so lovely!!  This is paper piecing and one must psych up for the mess of the paper removal! The curved flying geese blocks ended up small and pinning and matching two sizes of flying geese on a curve proved to be a challenge. Each block was 20" and the rules state the minimum size is 48." I added a 6.5" border of white background fabric and each border got a simple New York beauty block using a rainbow of colors to repeat the motion of color. It is 51.5" square.  I added a multi colored print for the centers and I also used it for the binding. It has circles which repeated the circles in the New York Beauty blocks. I titled the quilt "Pinwheels" because when they blow in the wind they are round, colorful and have movement just like the blocks in this quilt!!

The International Quilt Festival is having a quilt contest debuting at the April 2018 quilt show called The Celebration of Color. There are three categories-traditional, modern and art. I entered a quilt last year in the modern category and it made the cut. IQF also chose to have the exhibit on display at the Houston show last November which was an honor. This time around I was inspired by a traditional New York Beauty block. I found a new book recently by accident on Pinterest called "New York Beauties & Flying Geese" by Carl Hentsch. I loved the combo of New York Beauty blocks and curved flying geese. The version I selected used 32 different colors which excited me because I love scrappy quilts and I was again feeding my OCD for color order and the color wheel!! I used fabrics from my stash which were not used from some other quilt I never made plus I added some of the new Alison Glass Chroma fabrics!! They are so lovely!!

This is paper piecing and one must psych up for the mess of the paper removal! The curved flying geese blocks ended up small and pinning and matching two sizes of flying geese on a curve proved to be a challenge. Each block was 20" and the rules state the minimum size is 48." I added a 6.5" border of white background fabric and each border got a simple New York beauty block using a rainbow of colors to repeat the motion of color. It is 51.5" square.  I added a multi colored print for the centers and I also used it for the binding. It has circles which repeated the circles in the New York Beauty blocks. I titled the quilt "Pinwheels" because when they blow in the wind they are round, colorful and have movement just like the blocks in this quilt!!

The quilt was quilted with only white thread. I quilted "the Hell out of it" and used 8 bobbins just to quilt it!!  I used a lot of diagonal and radiating lines to quilt the blocks. I added a repeat of the corner New York Beauty blocks in the centers of the outer borders with quilting only then filled in the rest of the borders with a variegated striped effect with stitching. which gave nice texture when the light bounced off of the quilt and created shadows!!  I tacked a small crocheted "thingie" which was rainbow colored to the center of the quilt to repeat the color order and bring the four circle blocks together.  The contest is due January 11. 2018 and I have been frantically sewing and quilting on this project between applying for teaching jobs at two major quilt shows, working like crazy in the hair salon in December and doing all the normal Christmas preparations I usually do each year. But it is finished and now I wait until Feb. 2. 2018 to see if it is accepted.

The quilt was quilted with only white thread. I quilted "the Hell out of it" and used 8 bobbins just to quilt it!!  I used a lot of diagonal and radiating lines to quilt the blocks. I added a repeat of the corner New York Beauty blocks in the centers of the outer borders with quilting only then filled in the rest of the borders with a variegated striped effect with stitching. which gave nice texture when the light bounced off of the quilt and created shadows!!

I tacked a small crocheted "thingie" which was rainbow colored to the center of the quilt to repeat the color order and bring the four circle blocks together.

The contest is due January 11. 2018 and I have been frantically sewing and quilting on this project between applying for teaching jobs at two major quilt shows, working like crazy in the hair salon in December and doing all the normal Christmas preparations I usually do each year. But it is finished and now I wait until Feb. 2. 2018 to see if it is accepted.

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. :)

Bella Valora: Exploring the Color Wheel and Value


While teaching my Bella pattern class in October I had a student who did a different color scheme than I had explored. I have made 6-7 Bella quilts either using a one color (monochromatic) or a multicolor color scheme. I have another pattern and class I teach called "Fifteen Shades of Gray" which is the third photo in this blog. It has 15 very light to medium values of gray with three bright coordinating batiks as the applique colors for a different portrait quilt project. The student selected 24-25 gray squares and one color (blue) for the applique. This gave me the idea to combine the gray values from the Fifteen Shades of Gray pattern with the Bella pattern but instead of only one color applique I did a multicolor/color wheel color scheme. I chose warm colors (reds, oranges and yellows) for the hair and cool colors (blues, greens, turquoise and purples) for the facial features. I chose one white tone-on-tone fabric and 24 values of gray in this project. I placed the lightest values near the face and faded to darker values away from the face. I did separate the chin/neck/lower hair pattern into two sections because I wanted both blue violet and purple. My favorite color is pink so I put both magenta and pink in the hair applique. I added a gold for a small hair strand and would not do that again but use yellow orange instead like I used in the small curls in the lower part of the hair. I thought the YO was prettier than the gold.
The construction of the quilt is the same as the other Bella quilts. I changed the thread color for each coordinating piece of applique and used the same thread color to add quilting to the areas near the applique piece. I quilted the gray background/face/neck with a light gray thread.
I embellished with a blue nail polish on the open area of the mouth-turquoise glitter was added to the eyelid area. I glued a few rhinestones in the left sided background area. I auditioned hair flowers and beads for a necklace as I did in some of the other Bella quilts but it looked tacky and busy. I repeated the multicolor in the cute striped binding fabric.
Valora is the feminine version of the Italian word for value.
My Bella pattern is available from my website at www.laurieceesay.com.
This is Bella Chroma which explores the colors of the color wheel. Still one of my favorite color schemes!

This is the sample for my Fifteen Shades of Gray Class which is smaller at 12' square. Bella is 22.5" square.
I learned my students inspire me and see colors in a different way and it's all good to feed creativity off of each other!

Art is More Fun Than Math!!

 I discovered this awesome book on the internet because the quilt on the cover fed my obsession with color wheels! The book is a great resource for color schemes and exercises in how to use different color schemes and the color wheel for quilt blocks.

The pattern directions for this book cover quilt uses a 22.5 wedge ruler and the 12 basic colors on the color wheel. Within the 12 colors you select 8 values from very pastel to the darkest shade totaling 72 6 1/2" x 1/12" strips sewn together to make 12 strip sections.
I have photographed the book instructions to show how the wedges are cut. Add a piece of white to create a Dresden top to each wedge.

I though I followed the instructions and I ended up with only 3/4 of a circle. I started doing the math. A circle is 360 degrees divided by 12 wedges = 30 degrees not 22.5 as in the ruler width the book suggested. I reread the directions, got advice from my online quilting group and even emailed the book publisher who never got back to me. So I didn't want to scrap the idea so I make four more wedges to complete the circle and I was happy with the quilt and could finish it! My intentions for this quilt is to use it as a visual tool for my color and value classes.
When originally selecting the turquoises I was leaving out the teals, and when I was picking out red violets I was missing out on the warm pinks and when I was choosing the lime greens I was not getting any of the great chartreuses so this was an easy task. I then added the fourth wedge with golds.
 
I am happy with the quilt but will not do this again and art is more fun than busting my brain on this math and geometry stuff!!

Another Color Wheel Obsession

I decided to have a central medallion and a center area of 24" in diameter. I chose a pattern I bought on www.crafty.com for $3.00 called New York Beauty/Curved Flying Geese. I originally saw the pattern on Pinterest. I downloaded the pattern and copied the foundation patterns using Carol Doak foundation paper in my printer. It went pretty fast because there was only four sections to work with.  Each section had 8 "spikes of color which means 32 colors in the color wheel. I found this great colorful plaid with black background which I used in the center of the New York Beauty block and the inner border to create the appropriate size of 24 1/2." I also bound the quilt with this fabric.


 Yes, I love the color wheel! I was doing color wheel themed art back in high school and it continues today. This quilt started in my 12 member block exchange group at Pine Street Quilts in Marinette, WI. Each moth one of us get to pick the block and fabrics and/or colors of the quilt. We have total control of the outcome which is nice sometimes! I chose my favorite block the Ohio Star, and since there is 12 basic colors on the color wheel I designated each one color (two fabrics) plus black for the background. I thought blue violet was the least enjoyable choice so I picked that color.
Then it was how to arrange the 12 Ohio Star blocks. Since yellow dominates over the purples I thought of the placement like the numbers on a clock. I put yellow where "1" would be and followed with the cool colors on the bottom and the warm colors on the top. I equate warm colors as visually lighter and cool colors as visually heavier. I am happy with my choice.
I quilted with black thread with lots of diagonals and stitch in the ditch around the spikes and geese. I did not add any embellishments because my plan for this quilt is a teaching tool for my color theory classes and it's about the color only.
The flying geese foundation piecing was very easy because all the lines are there to follow. Crafty is a pretty interesting websie-I encourage youe to check it out!!

I Changed My Mind and Made One More Bella Quilt!

 I posted when I displayed my last "Bella" quilt in the series that I was done with making these quilts. I changed my mind!! I am obsessed with the color wheel and I had been online purchasing these lovely fabrics from Pink Castle Fabrics so the two came together. Pink Castle Fabrics are from Ann Arbor MI and have a website www.pinkcastlefabrics.com and I had purchased 11 months of stash builder fat quarter bundles. I cancelled when it was time for the brown bundle-not my thing unless the browns are batiks for faces and skin tones. The fabrics are great because some are small polka dots, small tone on tones and some have white prints which seem "Modern" to me.

I chose to accent the face with the yellows, greens and oranges. To me warm tones dominate and push forward while cool tones recede and create depth. The color wheel has 12 colors and I selected 2 of each and one extra since the quilt has 25 background squares. I picked pink for the 25th color since it's my favorite. I like to position blue next to orange since it reminds me of my daughter because those were her high school colors. Weird, I know, but I like blue and orange side by side.

I chose black as the applique color to have the most contrast and black and brights are another favorite of mine! I machine quilted using 5 different variegated threads to color coordinate with the area needing quilting.
I quilted the face with one half straight lines cross hatched and the other half in circles because I liked the contrast of lines.
For embellishments I picked a monogamous color to coordinate with the area on the quilt it was being placed. The flower in the hair was orange, the background rhinestones are purple, red and plum, the nose rhinestone in gold, the eye glitter is orange, the lip glitter is green and the necklace beads are a mirror image of teals on one side and green on the other. the color blue is not represented in the embellishments.
I am considering making this quilt into a pattern.

Modern Roue Chromatique (Modern Color Wheel)

I found a photo of this quilt on Pinterest and loved it because of the rainbow colors and I love a double mirror image symmetry style quilt. I tried to find a pattern source and I found the origin of the photo from Australia and several color variations but no pattern.
 This is the pattern I found on Pinterest but didn't want the blue color hues to dominate. I used graph paper and designed the quilt the way I wanted the colors with blue on the outer edges, red and pink the dominating colors and yellow and green in the center. This became my placement guide for the piecing of the triangles and squares.
I made 3 more copies of my graph paper color placement and taped them together which allowed me to visually view the full quilt.
I then made oodles of half square triangle combinations, cut out plenty of the white swirl tone-on-tone background fabric and many squares as well. I am not a fan of Thangles because it is a paper mess and not necessary. I use the method of adding 7/8" to the finished size of the square for the cutting size. For example this quilt had a finished size of 2" blocks. I cut the squares 2 7/8" and drew a diagonal line through the square and sewed two together 1/4" on each side of the line, cut on line, press to darkest side, and ta-da, a half square triangle.
The most difficult part of this quilt was the placement of the triangles-I hade moments of seam ripper madness. There is NO wiggle room because the contrast is so strong in this quilt!!

This photo shows the "pebble" quilting. There is lots of negative space in this quilt, as is many of the Modern Quilt Movement quilts, and I chose the pebble design as a contrast to all the angles in the piecing.
I will use this quilt a a teaching tool for when I teach color theory and the elements/principles of design classes.

A Sunny Disposition

 I made this wall hanging for two reasons. One, Studio Arts Quilters Association was having a themed exhibit called Color Wheel of Emotions and, second, when I teach color I always talk about limiting the use of yellow in it's true hue because it will overpower other colors. So I was thinking if all the colors of the quilt were yellow then they would complement and not compete with each other. I have made this pattern three times before and love it so I used it again!! I have 25 VALUES of yellow and positioned them so the lighter ones are where the face applique will lay and the rest of the yellows fade to the darker shades toward the left side of the picture. I embellished the quilt with yellow and gold rhinestones in the background,  gold beads and a yellow felt button for the necklace, a silk flower in the hair, gold glitter on the lips and bead work on the cheek in the shape of a sun. I machine quilted sun motifs on the face as well. I am a sunlight person and I love certain songs with sun or sunny in the name. This quilt did not make the cut for the SAQA exhibit-there were over 260 entries and only 19 were chosen. I don't really care because I love my little sunshine quilt and I can also use it for my "Color Is Our Friend" class/lectures and for my design classes as an example of a monochromatic color scheme.
This photo is a close up of the face. I found this great batik for the hazel eye color-it looks like a real iris! The fabrics make me smile because they are so happy!! I chose to use brown as my applique color instead of my usual black because I thought it seemed softer than black but still provided contrast to the yellows.

I VALUE This Quilt!!

I love the "Swoon" block done scrappy style. The three quilts below are the wall hangings I made last summer as teaching tools for my lectures on the elements/principles of design for quilters. I am teaching a 6 part series of classes called "Design Confidence for Quilters" at Pine Street Quilts in Marinette, WI where I work part-time. The second class is this Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013 and it is about asymmetrical balance and value. I decided to make a scrappy Swoon in 13 values from solid white to dark black prints with a solid black Kona Cotton background. (I love Kona Cottons-the feel of the fabric is wonderful and they press nicely!) I usually choose quilts with lots of color and by the time I was ready to add the binding I "had" to add a bit of color and I was working with reds at the quilt retreat last weekend so red was my binding choice. When the quilt was finished I decided to add an accent of red in the center by adding a large red button to the quilt. I quilted this piece with a variegated black and white thread.  The Swoon block is 24" x 24." When I first looked at the quilt from a distance for the first time there was a secondardy image of whitish tulips in the four corners which wasn't planned but when you consider that whites are prominant it is a great teaching tool for studying value. I learned I had very little gray fabrics in my stash and now I do!!
This was my first Swoon block using the 12 + 1 colors of the color wheel.
This is my example of the same color placement but all the colors have been "tinted" with white or pastels. I would not usually do an all pastel quilt unless a baby quilt or possibly a spring theme quilt.

This example is the same color placement but all the colors have been "shaded" with black. I did brighten the golds a bit to make the quilt prettier. Some people use all darks in their quilts such as Thimbleberies and Kansas City Troubles fabrics. I am a brighter style fabric person and I like the original color wheel quilt the best.
 
At some point I should make a "tone" style quilt but they are my least favorite fabrics. But for educational purposes I NEED to make one!!

Swoon Color Wheel

Many of you may be aware of a new 24" quilt block named Swoon by Camille Roskelley. Her business name is Thimble Blossoms and she has a fabric line from Moda Fabrics called Vintage Modern-both the fabric line and the Swoon pattern is very popular locally at the quilt store I work at and my local quilt group. I discovered Camille's blog and she had made a scrappy Swoon bvlock which gave me the idea to use the color wheel colors in a scrappy Swoon because if sounded fun and I have some color theory teaching and thought it would be a good visual tool. It is an easy block-squares, flying geese and half square triangles (no Thangles just a line drawn diagonally through squares, sew and cut apart.) I did a minimal of stitch-in-the-ditch quilting and some radiating lines in the dark background. It killed me but no embellishments were added to keep it simple. Fun  and easy!!
So then I decided to make the same quilt block using "tints" of each color. I used the same color placement just tinted the color. I learned that I rarely use peach (light orange) because there was little of it in my stash. I used grey in the background since black with white added is gray. I quilted the piece with all curved and round lines. Not a grey fan but it is a teaching tool.



After the tint block I made a "shade" block in which all the colors have black added to them to darker them. I found out I had no burgandy in my stash and had to purchase some for this quilt. I think it represents a primitive/country/old fashioned look in quilts which is not my thing. But the finished quilt is nice even though one wouldn't use all dark colors in a quilt because there would be no contrast and the design lines and motifs would not show up much. I quilted this quilt in a combination of curved and straight lines and prefer oodles of quilting and like this quilt the best because of it. I hope it is useful to me when I teach color theory. I love embellishments and my rhinestone supply is calling me out "glue me on to those new quilts!!"

These three quilts showed me my strong and weak colors in my stash. Am I going to run out and buy a bunch of peach and burgandy?-no but it is fun to see where one unconsciousely buys favorite colors and discards others.

Yes these quilts are not artsy but functional. Sometimes that's okay. I am starting a crazy zentangled inspired art quilt at the moment and having so much fun using black and white fabrics from a block exchange from my quilt group.

Caca Yucko!! :(


I completed the face on my latest wall hanging. It had a zillion pieces and it was fun and rewarding. I chose oranges with gold highlights, for the hair, and after fusing the gold tresses and walked past it for 24ish hours I don't like it. The color theory law of use yellow sparingly is screaming at me with "you should know better!!. Not to mention it's too similar to the lime greens in the other side of the face. I will be removing the golds and putting more reds and magentas in its place. For starters those are my all-time favorite colors on the color wheel and I have used them minimally in this project so far. What is to be learned from this situation? Yellow/gold in small quantities and allowing the process of creativity not be rushed. View the work in process and love what is going on before moving to the next step. I still like yellow but it wasn't affective in this quilt. I haven't displayed much of the quilt because it's a secret until it is finished. If there are any opinions on my color choices I would love the imput. Peace out.