I have not posted in a while since I had a busy month of quilt classes, attending an area quilt show, prepping for my 4th visit to teach at the International Quilt Festival in Houston and actually traveling and attending the IQF Houston show. The stress of deadlines are over!! I started this little whimsical quilt before the Houston show and finished it after I returned home. It started with the outside border fabric which I found in September at Bungalow Quilt Shop of Ripon WI while I was attending the WI Quilt Expo. Since I am a hairdresser I am attracted to anything with hairstyles on it. I love the 1960s and retro big hair-think the movie "Hairspray" with Ricki Lake!!. I had originally planned to use colorful fabric markers and "color" in the hair motifs similar to a coloring book design. After trying a few hairstyles with the markers I didn't like it and decided to use the fabric as is and add color from the hair, lips and inner border fabrics.
I saw there were three different hairstyles in the border print and I drew them in the same size scale as my Whimsical Selfie Quilt pattern. I added a simple shift dress for each lady. I picked pink, yellow and orange for the hair to have fun colors to balance the neutrality of the border fabric. I gave the ladies crazy lipstick color as well. As I was working on this quilt I decided the hair needed some black bows a la the 1960s. I decided the yellow middle lady did not need a bow but added a subtle brooch idea to the lower neckline for balance
This was a fun easy enough project and I plan to turn it into a pattern. I will make another version with "normal" hair color and a lipstick outer border. I will need until early 2018 to design the pattern.
I love sugar skulls and anything related to the Day of the Dead celebration which is celebrated in Mexico on November 1st. I made my first sugar skull portrait quilt in 2014 for a "Comin Up Roses" exhibit for the International Quilt Festival when they had a quilt show in Oregon. The last photo in this blog shows a glimpse of the original Rosita. I chose to have all her face painted images on the happy/friendly side not spider webs and scary motifs. I used hearts and flowers.
Fast forward to July 2017 and I sign up for a Facebook 9 block weekly posting of a sugar skull pattern designed by nine different quilters. I thought it sounded fun until I discovered that each pattern was on www.craftsy.com for $3.00. You may say that's not so much but multiply it by 9 patterns plus my time and my printer ink and I will probably have to purchase the patterns to complete the borders and sashings and now this has become an expensive one project download from Craftsy.
I decide to design my own sugar skull pattern. I based the sizing on my Whimsical Selfie pattern and simplified the sugar skull facial painted motifs. I still used black hair with a layered bob, white batik for the face and a tanned (for contrast) skin tone. I purchased small silk flowers for the crown of flowers in the hair. I used coordinating buttons in the center of each flower and went with a rainbow color scheme.
I selected bright prints for the shoulder straps and the inner and outer borders. I embellished with red glitter nail polish, loose turquoise glitter on the eye lid, black fabric markers to define the mouth, rhinestones on the face and some fun shiny turquoise disc-like things from the Dollar Tree nail department for the background. When the quilt was finished I hand tacked the sombrero-like pom poms to the bottom of the quilt.
Two of the women who designed the Craftsy sugar skull series are my Facebook quilter friends-will they be bad at me for doing this? Am I mad I wasn't included in their party-maybe a little and that's why I made this quilt!!
The question is: Should it become a pattern for sale? It is small at 18" square and not very difficult to make. Please give me your feedback. Thank you!!
BadAss Quilters Society is a page on Facebook which explores going against the grain of traditional quilters and the proper "rules!" The so called quilting police can be judgmental and this group has created a place for the quilters who are not good at following these rules and are artsy and doing their own thing! They have created a new challenge based on a line of fabric by Frond Design Studio called Urban Brights. The line had coordinating solids to use but sparingly.
I started with a design of a woman with long gloves and a rockabilly hairstyle with a scarf tied around her head.
I used 4 of the 5 prints with peace symbols as the background. One of the more subtle prints for the outside border, the print with the license plate for the dress and head scarf and the facial features fussy cut from one of the large scale prints. The hair, neck/upper torso and the face are from the accent fabrics. They are calling this bright fabric and I tend to disagree! I love brights and knew if I was going to enjoy making this quilt I would need to use the accent colors and sparingly was difficult for me! I flipped the red orange and the yellow fabrics and used the wrong side to get another value of those fabrics for the facial and hair highlighting.
In the last photo in this blog post I have a picture of the funky multicolored thread that can be turned into a rusched thread by pulling one of the threads. I purchased it at the IQF Houston show a few years ago. I used it once before but not to the extent I used it here. The challenge rules stated embellishments were okay to use so I got my bright fix by hand sewing this rusched thread around the border seam and was happy with the result!
This is my original drawing the applique pieces are derived from. I only draw one eye/brow and flip it from it's reversed side to the normal side to get both eyes for the fused applique. I decided to put the head scarf bow on the other side.
This is the ad campaign on Facebook on BadAss Quilters Society's blog.
This is my photo of the fabrics before I started using them. The upper left fabric is my outer border. I only used 3 out of the 6 accent fabrics shown in the lower part of the photo.
This is a face close up photo. I used fabric paint and markers to add definition to the face. A bit of glitter nail polish on the eyes for bling. The fabrics were pretty active so a bunch of bling seemed garish. The quilt is titled Bonfire because of the hair color. Redken, my favorite hair color company and retail products, has a demi color Shades EQ which is a bright auburn and that how I named it. When the quilt was finished I thought the woman looked like the actress Emma Stone. Thoughts....
The fun rainbow thread I used to embellish with!
The contest rules state to blog about our entry then apply on their Facebook page. The month of March is for applying and I will be begging everyone to vote for my quilt when the time comes available in April!
The design inspiration began with this design I drew in 2015 for a texture challenge for my Facebook art quilt group.
This is the completed quilt-love the velvets and lames!!
I took the original drawing, changed the hair and added lines to connect areas as in a coloring book motif. I thickened the lines for the raw edged fused applique. I used black batik (Hoffman batik in the color Raven) Love it!! I selected the swirly stripe fabric for the dress; orange and hot pink for the hair; two pinks for the mouth; yellow and teal for the eye makeup and three brown gradations of Cherrywood Hand-Dyed Fabrics for the brow bone, face and neck. A large polka dot with a black background is used for the binding. I embellished with yellow rhinestones as a row of eyeliner on the yellow lid area; a hologram-like rhinestone for a nose piercing; a white matte fabric paint dot for the eye reflection and a bit of pink glitter nail polish on the upper lip.
I used the original drawing and I made this quilt this winter and it became a donation quilt for Quilt Alliance which raises awareness and money for Alzheimer Association. The theme of this display is "Favorite Things" I love pink and embellishments! This quilt will also be on display at the IQF Houston show in November in the Quilt Alliance booth.
I don't feel like a celebrity but I am happy to be selected for this fundraised!!
In the early 1990s I wanted to make portrait quilts. I knew how to draw and I figured out with tissue paper to make the applique pieces. But there were a few setbacks. I needed to learn how to piece, cut with a rotary cutter, sandwich the quilt and quilt it, add a binding and then I only had hand applique. I wanted to put pictures/motifs on a background but I only knew about hand applique.
This quilt is an example of my hand applique experience. The quilt is from May 1994 and is a "selfie" of myself and my daughter Jordana just before she was 8 years old. I actually was smart enough to put a quilt label on the back and I called it "Mother and Daughter." This is bittersweet since we just celebrated Mother's Day! It also has my old rotary phone number which I had forgotten!!
I didn't enjoy hand applique at all! I quit making portrait quilts and made traditional pieced quilts which taught me the technical ropes. In 2005 I had nearly given up on quilting because of traditional quilt boredom and unaware of the Internet's potential. I was in a local bead shop in Appleton Wisconsin when I ran into a quilter friend who was now embracing art quilts. She told me about fusible web and how I iron motifs to a background to create a picture. I was elated and made my first raw edged fused portrait quilt in late 2005 and haven't stopped since. I buy Wonder Under by the bolt now!!
Back to the quilt in the photo. I see some similarities to how I proceed now. Portrait quilts, scrappy fabric choices, radiating quilting lines from the back of the portrait, the curves lines in the neck and shoulder area, the shape of the nose, the bright colors, a label on the back and a hanging sleeve.
What is new and improved in 26 years-I machine quilt and I quilt heavily, I do not embroider the facial features but raw edge fuse applique them. I block my quilts for a better shape. I square up everything at every step so the end result is square. My bindings are narrower, the corners sharper and there is no space in the binding that the judges dislike. Even though a judge's comments can hurt one's feelings it is for the best to technically improve! I use batiks as much as possible and, in general, the fabrics available to us currently are so much greater than 26 years ago!!
I would have placed the colorful blocks on the bottom of the quilt and added more of them for visual balance but it is still a nice sentimental quilt. I also would have had less background/negative space and more fussy cut butterflies. And I learned to add embellishments to my quilts if they are hanging on the wall.
This project was my first attempt at the Hoffman Challenge! It did not make the cut (I see why now!) and I didn't enter again until 2010 which did make the cut. I have had five quilts in the Hoffman Challenge since 2010 and 2016s is made and has been submitted for judging.
It's fun to look at old quilts to see where we were artistically and technically and how our supplies have changed and advanced to make better quilts.
I hope you have some oldie but goodie quilts or if you are a new quilter to save you projects and label them with at least a date!!