Just the Portrait Part of Quilt

This is a sneak peak of a quilt I just completed. When I attended both the IQF Quilt Show in Chicago and the Quilt Expo in Madison, the Wisconsin Quilt Museum in Cedarburg WI (which I have never been to) was displaying a yurt. A yurt is a portable structure traditionally used by nomads in Central Asia as their home. The yurt was covered in banner sized quilts and the museum was selling yurt kits encouraging quilters to make a quilt which will travel for over two years to various quilt shows. The kits were sold by seasons and had batting included-I chose the "Spring" kit which had three Jane Sassaman fabrics from Free Sprit. I chose those because of the great color combination of hot pink, lime green and blue. It also had great flower motifs.

The rules stated the quilt was to be 32" wide by 71" long and use the three fabrics included in the quilt. This is a size I have never made before. I drew up a design on graph paper with traditional quilt blocks and using my "Intro to Portrait Quilts" pattern I created three women to fill in the middle of the quilt. It was the first time I made a portrait quilt and had more than one person in the quilt.

I selected three skin tones, three hairstyles, three hair colors, three garment styles and each woman has one of the three theme colors in her clothing. I chose blonde hair to contrast with the black background, red/pink hair to repeat the pink in the quilt and blackish/brown to say consistent with an African American woman's natural hair color. I stayed away from browns (too boring) and oranges (warm tones clashed with the cool pinks and blues.) One woman got blue eyes to repeat the blues in the quilt and same with the green eyes.

When the quilt was nearly finished I like to look at it from a distant by taking a picture with my iPhone. I discovered the afro blended too much into the background. What to do? I laid some turquoise wool roving on the hair and decided it showed too much contrast and she looked like Bride of Frankenstein!! Then I tried a black thin yarn with sheer pieces of bright tricot knitted in and the colors where awesome but she looked like a black folk doll with braids and ribbons. No other of my yarns seemed to work. I ended up machine quilting it tightly with a Sulky shiny blue/turquoise variegated thread to look like a tight curl. I added some blue glitter nail polish to enhance it and I was satisfied with the results.

The woman with the afro got some "earrings" and the other ladies got glitter nail polish in their hair.

I may add some small rhinestones to the traditional areas of the quilt. The quilt is not due until May and that is why I am not showing the whole thing so no one tries to copy my design.

If my quilt is judged into the Yurt Display I surrender ownership of the quilt which is the hard part. I struggled for a few days with that rule and decided to give up ownership if the museum choose it. If not, yeah!!!, I get my quilt back and will enter it in a quilt show or two.

I Can't Stop Making These Things!!

I love batiks and all the color combinations you can create with them and I love the new felt buttons available to us and I can't stop making these postcards!! These two cards are made as birthday cards for two of my friends who have upcoming birthdays. I will mail them in envelopes to avoid the post office drama of trying to explain hand cancelling and them being confused and overcharging me postage. I added some glitter to enhance the eyes area and added a "pretend" nose piercing! Now back to the brain busting quilt!!

No Brainer and Big Concentration Projects


The photo above is the no brainer project. I love making these strip pieced and raw edged fused appliqued fabric postcards. I have made many and was in the autumn mood and plan to send a few to my friends with fall birthdays. I found the fun felt buttons in a leaf shape at Joanns. They came in three colors and I sewed one of each to the postcard for a bit of texture and dimension. I added some  orange glitter/glue to the eyes and to make it look like a nose piercing.
Then the other photo is a teaser of my entry in the 2011 Joann Fabrics Quilt Challenge. It is the huge brain buster project that I only do 2-3 times a year because i want it perfect for a conpetition. I was one of the top 20 last year and my goal is to be in the top 10+. The rules for the quilt size is 36" x 36" minimum and this one is horizontal at 53" x 43." I have this attraction to orange since gardening season began and it's overflowed into my quilts as well. I wanted to work in the blue and orange color combo and it was a "challenge" finding fabrics that I liked at Joanns that had  prints with these two colors in them and finding enough batiks to do at least the face. I also was trying to find florals in blue-not easy! I went to the Madison East, Green Bay and Escanaba MI stores and finally felt like I had enough fabric selctions to work with. I'm used to going to my stash and/or purchasing extra at the local quilt stores and not relying on just Joann Fabrics for my fabric choices-perhaps that's part of the challenge!! I have all the applique pieces stitched in place and I am quilting the orange background in a circular "bullseye" pattern at the moment. I have plenty to do but the deadline isn't until January 2012 so I'm good. I setnit aside and do the no-brainer sewing. I plan to make another hat soon and more cards and the list never ends...!! I am never bored and that's a good thing

Christmas Postcards

I had a moment when I organized my studio and found this great Christmas themed batik. I decided to make 10 postcards since the Fast2Fuse was already cut out to size. I machine quilted and edged the cards with Sulky Blendables thread in the Christmas colors thread. I then had fun with gliiter nail polish and glitter/glue and flashed them up a bit. The back is a solid white with a hint of glimmer. I find that it's just easier at the Post Office to mail them in a envelope than to have the drama of hand cancelling and freaking the front desk people at the P.O.  Each card is slightly different depending on the fabric cuts-some are more green and some are more red.

Commissioned Artwork

I was approached by an area woman who say my artwork at the Old Church Gallery in Cedar River, MI where I display and sell my art. She e-mailed me and requested two fabric postcards, one was a gift and the other was for herself, in which she could choose the hair colors. I suggested she could choose different eye color as well. So the one is of warm brown hair with hazel eyes (I had to be careful not to have her look like a vampire in the "Twilight" movies!) and the other is a whitish blond with blue eyes. I embellished with fabric paint, nail polish, glitter glue and loose glitter and even a little blush on a Q-tip-it's a hairdresser thing!! It was  fun to change it up a bit and not do the normal purple, orange and yellow.




Violetta




I showed this quilt in it's earliest stages and now it is finished. I am pleased with the contrast of light and dark. I like the gradation of greens in the background and love the spiky hair. I used batiks for the raw edged fused applique because of the tightly woven quality of the fabrics. I embellished the quilt with beads in the green background, rhinestones in the outer border, blue glitter eyeliner and some pink, green and purple paintstiks on the hair to highlight areas. I intend to enter it in upcoming shows in 2010.