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. :)

"Summer Flowers" Modern Quilt

I bought the book "Sister Sampler Quilts" by AnneMarie Chany with Christmas money. I had done one of AnneMarie's BOMs in 2015 using 9" blocks and I liked her designs and her instructions. This book has three BOMs and I chose to do the newest one called "Bonfire" in a 9" block. Her version had beige where I have the large floral and I thought that was way too boring so I selected the large floral and added the five recommented number of colors to make the quilt-red, peach/orange, yellow, grass green and turquiose. It now reminds me of summer flowers! It is a BOM which then displayed completed blocks on Instagram (which I'm not on) and on the Gen X Quilters Facebook page. I got to April's block and decided to just make the quilt!
The outside half square triangles, both piecing and quilting them, were rather boring but the blocks were a lot of fun. I hadn't sewed much with curved piecing or string piecing in a long time and both styles add to the quilt. It is machine quilted on my regular sewing machine with white, red and variegated thread.
 These are a few of my favorite blocks in which we made two of the same block but in different colorways.
 Some of the curved piecing.
String piecing using a rainbow color layout and it was a great idea using random strips!
I am now going to devote the next several quilt projects to ONLY portrait quilts. I have a few ideas drawn up and I am inspired to do a Prince portrait quilt. I have purchased the "unofficial" Purple Rain fabric from Cherrywood Hand Dyed Fabrics, from Minnesota, for that project. I am playing around with photo manipulation to posterize and pixel pictures for a different technique. I'm never bored.....!

Art Quilts Around the World Challenge: Structure

I am in an online art quilt group called Art Quilts Around the World and our current challenge called Structure has it's reveal today. The group's website is aroundtheworldin20quilts.blogspot.com. 
I had a hard time with this theme because I view art quilts as unstructured and traditional quilts as structured. I pondered this idea for over a month then had an aha moment of realizing I liked to make half square triangles and I also like the Modern quilt Movement with its use of chevrons. I began with the white fabric with the large colorful polka dots. I selected six of the seven colors, eliminating the gray, and white for the portrait applique color. I arranged the vertical chevrons so the navy was on the outside for a nice border edge. I like the echo quilting used in modern quilts so I did this with the machine quilting of the chevrons.
The group determines the size of our challenge quilts to be 11.5" x 16.5" but I needed to enlarge this quilt to 12" x18" to work with a HST sized at 3." I may never actually show this or any of the other challenge quilts to the group so I made this executive decision to deviate from the original size because I have to love the quilt or why bother making it.

This is the closeup of the face which was quilted with a tiny stipple stitch between the quilting lines to detail the face. I embellished with nail polish, a rhinestone "nose piercing," a fabric yo-yo from the binding fabric and a large button. I love this quilt and it looks structured.

I enjoyed the process so I made another quilt for my local quilt guild's biennial quilt show April 25-26, 2015 using batik scraps from the raffle quilt. same pattern and same vertical chevron placement. Same fabric yo-yo hair flower. I added a small border to the outside
  since there was no rules!!
I do not work with pastels very often so it was a welcome change.

Neon Pop Art Portrait Quilt

 My eye was drawn to this border fabric when I was in Green Bay WI in October teaching a class. As a child, and a fan of art, I always loved this piece of art by Pierre Mondrian. In the 1960s the fashion industry used it for mini dresses (Twiggy!) I decided to use it in a new variation of my Line Drawing pattern. Instead of a pieced background I selected color color, black, and pulled the four colors from the print (white, yellow, red and blue) as the colors of the applique. I arranged the blocks similar to an Andy Warhol pop art piece with 2 portraits on top and two on the bottom. I moved the applique pieces so that each block had all four colors in each block. I played with how I would set the blocks with borders and sashings. In the end I decided additional borders and sashings were too busy and just sewed them together and added the bold border.. The quilt has enough activity so I just raw edged stitched the applique in the color coordinating color; the background was quilted in black and the facial features were quilted in the dominant color of each block's applique. This quilt will be used as a future pattern as well as a great teaching tool in my Color Confidence for Quilters Class. It is a great example of contrast, warm and cool colors and straight/curved lines.
I love to embellish my quilts but this quilt was telling me to be minimal so I only added the reflection dot to each set of eyes-white for all but the white batik which received a dot of black. Then each portrait got a rhinestone "nose piercing' in the dominant color in each block.

The border fabric was outline quilted on the black lines of the print. It has a modern feel to it and reminds me of the 1980s video by the pop group Wham for the song "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go!" Do You remember that video?