Step By Step Facebook Art Quilt Group Challenge: Makeup/Hair Tutorial

Today is reveal day for my Facebook art quilt group’s bimonthly challenge. The theme was Step By Step. I thought of makeup and hair lessons or tutorials.  I was a huge fan of Kevin Aucoin, a makeup artist for celebrities, who wrote 3 wonderful makeup books yet passed away from prescription drug overuse in the early 2000s. He would photograph women with their makeup NOT blended to show how and where to apply and which colors to use. The hair tutorial reminds me of my beauty school text book diagrams to show the location and direction of curls. These diagrams used arrows to help cosmetologist understand the direction and movement of the individual curls.  When I finished this quilt I realized how crazy it looked and how it is important to blend your makeup or you will look like this!! Even the dark lipliner looks bad to me! I over-accentuated the shape or the eye brow to explain how to create an eye arch but the female in the quilt looks kind of mean. I always have my portrait quilts looking pretty so this one is kind of weird but it fit the Step by Step theme.

Today is reveal day for my Facebook art quilt group’s bimonthly challenge. The theme was Step By Step. I thought of makeup and hair lessons or tutorials.

I was a huge fan of Kevin Aucoin, a makeup artist for celebrities, who wrote 3 wonderful makeup books yet passed away from prescription drug overuse in the early 2000s. He would photograph women with their makeup NOT blended to show how and where to apply and which colors to use. The hair tutorial reminds me of my beauty school text book diagrams to show the location and direction of curls. These diagrams used arrows to help cosmetologist understand the direction and movement of the individual curls.

When I finished this quilt I realized how crazy it looked and how it is important to blend your makeup or you will look like this!! Even the dark lipliner looks bad to me! I over-accentuated the shape or the eye brow to explain how to create an eye arch but the female in the quilt looks kind of mean. I always have my portrait quilts looking pretty so this one is kind of weird but it fit the Step by Step theme.

Here is a close of the face.

Here is a close of the face.

Farrah Wings

In February I was invited by Susan Brubaker Knapp, the host of Quilting Arts TV on PBS, to participate as a guest artist. I taped 3 segments in April on Pop Art Portraits, Dollar Store Embellishments and Realistic Hair Techniques in Portrait Quilts. This quilt was made for the purpose of being a working sample for the Realistic Hair segment.   As a hairdresser I am exposed to a huge amount of hair color options and bright fake colors are popular. I had purchased the outside border fabric a while back and chose to use it in this quilt thus creating the analogous color scheme. Mermaid hair color (kelly green, lime green, turquoise and possibly blue) was my inspiration and then featuring the 1970s Farrah Faucett style haircut with the strong full side swept bangs and side layers. I am not a huge fan of brown in my work but it seemed to fit as the background.  I made the majority of the quilt in March then sewing on the TV show's sewing machine sponsor's machine, a fancy Bernina, right out of the box to do the demo. The sewing machine rep, Jeanne Delpit from FL, sets up the machine with the selected thread, foot and stitch length. She physically moves it onto the set. My taping segment was for 8 min. so the actual sewing time on camera is minimal for all the prepping done!   I returned home and put the quilt on hold until I completed other deadline projects. I finished it this week! It is titled "Farrah Wings!" which is a hairdresser jokey name!

In February I was invited by Susan Brubaker Knapp, the host of Quilting Arts TV on PBS, to participate as a guest artist. I taped 3 segments in April on Pop Art Portraits, Dollar Store Embellishments and Realistic Hair Techniques in Portrait Quilts. This quilt was made for the purpose of being a working sample for the Realistic Hair segment. 

As a hairdresser I am exposed to a huge amount of hair color options and bright fake colors are popular. I had purchased the outside border fabric a while back and chose to use it in this quilt thus creating the analogous color scheme. Mermaid hair color (kelly green, lime green, turquoise and possibly blue) was my inspiration and then featuring the 1970s Farrah Faucett style haircut with the strong full side swept bangs and side layers. I am not a huge fan of brown in my work but it seemed to fit as the background.

I made the majority of the quilt in March then sewing on the TV show's sewing machine sponsor's machine, a fancy Bernina, right out of the box to do the demo. The sewing machine rep, Jeanne Delpit from FL, sets up the machine with the selected thread, foot and stitch length. She physically moves it onto the set. My taping segment was for 8 min. so the actual sewing time on camera is minimal for all the prepping done! 

I returned home and put the quilt on hold until I completed other deadline projects. I finished it this week! It is titled "Farrah Wings!" which is a hairdresser jokey name!

The point of the TV taping was the hair. I featured the lightest color of lime green to bring the viewer's eye to this area. I used lime/turquoise thread and thread painted hair movement and hair strands. I added using the sewing machine 2 styles of narrow lime green shiny ribbon couched on top of the hair. I added hologram colored glitter nail polish to further enhance the area.

The point of the TV taping was the hair. I featured the lightest color of lime green to bring the viewer's eye to this area. I used lime/turquoise thread and thread painted hair movement and hair strands. I added using the sewing machine 2 styles of narrow lime green shiny ribbon couched on top of the hair. I added hologram colored glitter nail polish to further enhance the area.

The face was embellished with fabric markers, fabric paint, glitter nail polish, and a real earring from my jewelry box. I intend to enter this quilt in a few quilt contests. When I find out when the TV show is ready for viewing on TV I will let people know.

The face was embellished with fabric markers, fabric paint, glitter nail polish, and a real earring from my jewelry box. I intend to enter this quilt in a few quilt contests. When I find out when the TV show is ready for viewing on TV I will let people know.

Art Quilts Around The World Challenge: Film Noir

Today is reveal day for my Facebook art quilt group Art Quilts Around The World. The challenge was titled Film Noir and I did not know this subject until I Googled it. It represents the Black and White movies of the 20s-30s when the movie industry was in its infancy. Plenty of dark smoky rooms, everyone was smoking cigarettes, shadows, interestingly textured backgrounds, dark street scenes and, my personal favorite, femme fatales!! They were the actresses who became famous from the movies they were in-Bette Davis, Carole Lombard and Myrna Loy to name a few. Sorry but no cigarettes in my quilts!  I saw this challenge as a study of value and chose to work in black and white with the exception of using a light icy blue for the irises in my portrait quilt. I found a photo where the bleach blonde finger waves caught my attention. This was my challenge to create a 3D image on a flat surface and capture the way the light or lack of light hit the waves in the hair.   I was not sure if I wanted to create a value scale from white to gray to black OR use prints and go from white to a white print with black to a black print with white to solid black. I chose both-grays for the skin tones and the prints for the hair. I collect white batiks and they are difficult to come by. I had a pile or "warm" whites for the skin tones and "cool" whites for the hair. I used as many small scale prints as I could so it "read" as a solid from a distance. 

Today is reveal day for my Facebook art quilt group Art Quilts Around The World. The challenge was titled Film Noir and I did not know this subject until I Googled it. It represents the Black and White movies of the 20s-30s when the movie industry was in its infancy. Plenty of dark smoky rooms, everyone was smoking cigarettes, shadows, interestingly textured backgrounds, dark street scenes and, my personal favorite, femme fatales!! They were the actresses who became famous from the movies they were in-Bette Davis, Carole Lombard and Myrna Loy to name a few. Sorry but no cigarettes in my quilts!

I saw this challenge as a study of value and chose to work in black and white with the exception of using a light icy blue for the irises in my portrait quilt. I found a photo where the bleach blonde finger waves caught my attention. This was my challenge to create a 3D image on a flat surface and capture the way the light or lack of light hit the waves in the hair. 

I was not sure if I wanted to create a value scale from white to gray to black OR use prints and go from white to a white print with black to a black print with white to solid black. I chose both-grays for the skin tones and the prints for the hair. I collect white batiks and they are difficult to come by. I had a pile or "warm" whites for the skin tones and "cool" whites for the hair. I used as many small scale prints as I could so it "read" as a solid from a distance. 

This is a close up of the hair and face. I embellished very little on this project because it stood by itself. I thought the hair needed more light reflection and used a white metallic paint in those areas as well as a bit of the same paint in the center eye area. The lower lip got a touch of silver glitter nail polish. The eyes received the customary white matte painted dot for the eye reflection. I think she looks like a young blonde Bette Davis.  I intend to use this quilt in my future workshops/lectures regarding color, value and realism in portrait quilts. Fun times!!

This is a close up of the hair and face. I embellished very little on this project because it stood by itself. I thought the hair needed more light reflection and used a white metallic paint in those areas as well as a bit of the same paint in the center eye area. The lower lip got a touch of silver glitter nail polish. The eyes received the customary white matte painted dot for the eye reflection. I think she looks like a young blonde Bette Davis.

I intend to use this quilt in my future workshops/lectures regarding color, value and realism in portrait quilts. Fun times!!

Blue Bar Quilt's First Annual Anniversay Challenge Quilt

This quilt was made for the Blue Bar Quilts Store in Middleton, WI (Madison) for their First Annual Anniversary Quilt Challenge. I saw the post on Facebook and they mailed me the challenge fabric which is the background fabric. Is it funky hexagons or mini hair combs?   I will be teaching at this shop in May and will actually get to visit this great modern quilt shop, I met Gael, the owner, at the WI Quilt Expo last September and am excited to teach at her shop and check out all the fun fabrics she carries.  The contest deadline is March 31, 2018 and I was sick of keeping it a secret! Plus I mailed it to the shop so they know I made it.All entries will hang in the shop and get voted on by-I'm not sure!  In the 3rd photo I drew up a design and used a black light theme. This quilt went for a donation. I used the same pattern for this challenge and it really looks quite different using different fabrics. This time I used "normal" skin tones but still embraced the wild hair colors!!

This quilt was made for the Blue Bar Quilts Store in Middleton, WI (Madison) for their First Annual Anniversary Quilt Challenge. I saw the post on Facebook and they mailed me the challenge fabric which is the background fabric. Is it funky hexagons or mini hair combs? 

I will be teaching at this shop in May and will actually get to visit this great modern quilt shop, I met Gael, the owner, at the WI Quilt Expo last September and am excited to teach at her shop and check out all the fun fabrics she carries.

The contest deadline is March 31, 2018 and I was sick of keeping it a secret! Plus I mailed it to the shop so they know I made it.All entries will hang in the shop and get voted on by-I'm not sure!

In the 3rd photo I drew up a design and used a black light theme. This quilt went for a donation. I used the same pattern for this challenge and it really looks quite different using different fabrics. This time I used "normal" skin tones but still embraced the wild hair colors!!

This is a close up of the face and hair. I used velvet for the lips and lots of turquoise embellishments to enhance the eyes and hair and to make the earrings. 

This is a close up of the face and hair. I used velvet for the lips and lots of turquoise embellishments to enhance the eyes and hair and to make the earrings. 

The original "black light" idea.

The original "black light" idea.

A close up of the funky colored make up!! The judging is out of my control-I just hope the voters like my quilt!

A close up of the funky colored make up!! The judging is out of my control-I just hope the voters like my quilt!

Whimisical Selfie Quilt Pattern: Witchie Poo

My first portrait quilt pattern designed in 2011, originally titled "Angelina" then changed to "Whimsical Selfie Quilt" for marketing sake, got a new version. I continue to add different hairstyles, hats and holidays. Since I am a huge Halloween and witch lover it seemed normal to add a witch selfie quilt. I made the top a year ago and I am not a UFO fan so I thought I needed to complete this wall hanging.   I have a love of collecting Halloween fabrics and digging into my fabric stash to make this was a breeze. I selected the one sided long hair braid for the hair and added the basic dress pattern instead of the usual shoulder straps-its colder in the fall so she needed more clothes!

My first portrait quilt pattern designed in 2011, originally titled "Angelina" then changed to "Whimsical Selfie Quilt" for marketing sake, got a new version. I continue to add different hairstyles, hats and holidays. Since I am a huge Halloween and witch lover it seemed normal to add a witch selfie quilt. I made the top a year ago and I am not a UFO fan so I thought I needed to complete this wall hanging. 

I have a love of collecting Halloween fabrics and digging into my fabric stash to make this was a breeze. I selected the one sided long hair braid for the hair and added the basic dress pattern instead of the usual shoulder straps-its colder in the fall so she needed more clothes!

Halloween Selfie detail view.jpg

For embellishments I used a green glitter nail polish on the eye lids, some orange glitter poster paint on the lips, a green bead for a wart on the chin, orange loose glitter on the hair, a black plastic spider on the hat band and a few slivery rhinestones for the background. I searched 2 to 3 times in my embellishment stash for a non-shiny purple trim for the dress neckline but I had nothing. I will still keep looking and add it later. Happy Halloween!

Earth Mother Quilt Pattern: Autumn Version

This is my Autumn version of my newest portrait quilt pattern "Earth Mother." I selected golds, oranges, reds and a few plums for the background squares. I used charm packet pre-cut squares of batik, commercial cottons and even a few solids. I selected a dark spicy brown batik for the raw edged fused applique.  Again, as in the first "Summer" version, I quilted the background with the same leave motif stitch and variegated thread. I quilted the face, the neck, hair and dress. Then I fused the leaf appliques that form a crown around the hair.  I have been collecting lots of leaf themed embellishments. I found several silk leaves (maple and oak) at The Dollar Store, sheer leaves, plastic leaf buttons, felt leaf buttons, iridescent leaf sequins, chunky leaves that were glued onto the quilt and a leaf trim in which I cut one leave and glued it to the center of the pendant. All of my embellishments are matched to a color on the quilt which allows me to add alot of items without it looking garish.

This is my Autumn version of my newest portrait quilt pattern "Earth Mother." I selected golds, oranges, reds and a few plums for the background squares. I used charm packet pre-cut squares of batik, commercial cottons and even a few solids. I selected a dark spicy brown batik for the raw edged fused applique.

Again, as in the first "Summer" version, I quilted the background with the same leave motif stitch and variegated thread. I quilted the face, the neck, hair and dress. Then I fused the leaf appliques that form a crown around the hair.

I have been collecting lots of leaf themed embellishments. I found several silk leaves (maple and oak) at The Dollar Store, sheer leaves, plastic leaf buttons, felt leaf buttons, iridescent leaf sequins, chunky leaves that were glued onto the quilt and a leaf trim in which I cut one leave and glued it to the center of the pendant. All of my embellishments are matched to a color on the quilt which allows me to add alot of items without it looking garish.

This is a close-up of the face. I used red, orange, orange yellow and gold rhinestones above the brows. I used an orange glitter polish on the eyelids and a chunky gold nail polish on the mouth.

This is a close-up of the face. I used red, orange, orange yellow and gold rhinestones above the brows. I used an orange glitter polish on the eyelids and a chunky gold nail polish on the mouth.

This photo shows the variety of leaf embellishments-silk leaves in two colors and sequins.

This photo shows the variety of leaf embellishments-silk leaves in two colors and sequins.

More silk leaves, plastic buttons and felt buttons.    I love autumn colors and this quilt makes me happy!

More silk leaves, plastic buttons and felt buttons.

I love autumn colors and this quilt makes me happy!

International Quilt Association Silent Auction Donation Quilt: Black Light

I am teaching again this November at the International Quilt Festival in Houston. They invited me to contribute to the International Quilt Association Celebrity Mini Quilt Silent Auction. I am delighted they asked me and enjoy seeing my work in the line-up with all the other teachers, award winning quilters and IQA board members.

The above photo is my inspiration for this quilt. It is the cover of the August sale flyer for an area beauty supply store and I thought it was awesome and worthy of a portrait quilt idea. There is a new color line in which the colors are very vivid under a black light. The color line is called Neon Electric by Pulp Riot. I really liked the purple-like skin tones and the bright brows, lips, hair and eye shadow contrasting greatly. And I liked the fakeness of green eye brows and the funky hair colors. As I was working in the colors they reminded me of the colors in the basic package of Lifesaver candy I used to eat as a child!!

The above photo is my inspiration for this quilt. It is the cover of the August sale flyer for an area beauty supply store and I thought it was awesome and worthy of a portrait quilt idea. There is a new color line in which the colors are very vivid under a black light. The color line is called Neon Electric by Pulp Riot. I really liked the purple-like skin tones and the bright brows, lips, hair and eye shadow contrasting greatly. And I liked the fakeness of green eye brows and the funky hair colors. As I was working in the colors they reminded me of the colors in the basic package of Lifesaver candy I used to eat as a child!!

I used this face pattern again to design this project. I changed the hair, clothes and eye shadow to be more winged in shape. I think it looks a lot different just changing up the colors.

I used this face pattern again to design this project. I changed the hair, clothes and eye shadow to be more winged in shape. I think it looks a lot different just changing up the colors.

This is a close up of the face. I purchases some fabric glow in the dark paint in four colors and brush stroked the paint in the matching colors. In the dark it wasn't terribly affective but oh well. For embellishments I stayed very simply because I thought the colorful fabrics were enough. I glued dark purple rhinestones to the ear lobes for earrings and a small purple rhinestone for a nose piercing. And last, a small bit of glitter poster paint on the mouth. I chose the size of 20" square just like the Cherrywood challenges because I like the size. Ta da! She is done. I am also in the middle of making a similar more complete version of this black light glow in the dark idea for myself which I will post when it is complete.

This is a close up of the face. I purchases some fabric glow in the dark paint in four colors and brush stroked the paint in the matching colors. In the dark it wasn't terribly affective but oh well. For embellishments I stayed very simply because I thought the colorful fabrics were enough. I glued dark purple rhinestones to the ear lobes for earrings and a small purple rhinestone for a nose piercing. And last, a small bit of glitter poster paint on the mouth. I chose the size of 20" square just like the Cherrywood challenges because I like the size. Ta da! She is done. I am also in the middle of making a similar more complete version of this black light glow in the dark idea for myself which I will post when it is complete.

My Newest Pattern "Earth Mother" Available for Sale!

This is my newest portrait quilt pattern called "Earth Mother" which is available for sale on my website. I had made this quilt back in 2011 and brought it out of retirement this Spring to show it as examples of embellishment options while lecturing at a quilt show. A few people asked if this was a pattern and I said "it could be!" I changed the background and utilized the piecing of scrappy 5" squares to help guide in the applique placement since the vertical and horizontal seam lines work as guidelines.  I selected 42 5" squares of batiks for the background and a dark green batik for the raw edged fused applique because green seemed nature-like and Summery. The finished size is 28" x 32." Earth Mother has long hair, an off the shoulder dress, a pendant necklace and a variety of leaves to form a crown in her hair plus one more on her cheek.

This is my newest portrait quilt pattern called "Earth Mother" which is available for sale on my website. I had made this quilt back in 2011 and brought it out of retirement this Spring to show it as examples of embellishment options while lecturing at a quilt show. A few people asked if this was a pattern and I said "it could be!" I changed the background and utilized the piecing of scrappy 5" squares to help guide in the applique placement since the vertical and horizontal seam lines work as guidelines.

I selected 42 5" squares of batiks for the background and a dark green batik for the raw edged fused applique because green seemed nature-like and Summery. The finished size is 28" x 32." Earth Mother has long hair, an off the shoulder dress, a pendant necklace and a variety of leaves to form a crown in her hair plus one more on her cheek.

This is the close-up photo of the face with the quilting and the embellishing complete. I pulled from my embellishment stash any leaf or flower, large or small, in a variety of green colors. I added green rhinestones and loose glitter, glitter nail polish and a large glittery bead for the center of the necklace. Lots of sizes of green rhinestones above the eyebrows. The polymer button on the left cheek is painted with green nail polish to shine it up some! I took apart bracelets to use the green beads in this project-anything to have lots of green embellishments!Also silk flower scatter from The Dollar Tree stitched to the quilt in the crown area in between the applique leaves.

This is the close-up photo of the face with the quilting and the embellishing complete. I pulled from my embellishment stash any leaf or flower, large or small, in a variety of green colors. I added green rhinestones and loose glitter, glitter nail polish and a large glittery bead for the center of the necklace. Lots of sizes of green rhinestones above the eyebrows. The polymer button on the left cheek is painted with green nail polish to shine it up some! I took apart bracelets to use the green beads in this project-anything to have lots of green embellishments!Also silk flower scatter from The Dollar Tree stitched to the quilt in the crown area in between the applique leaves.

This photo shows the quilting of the background using a variegated thread and a fun leaf decorative stitch on my sewing machine. I did all the background quilting before I added the leaves on the crown area. I fused and stitched those on after the quilting was finished.

This photo shows the quilting of the background using a variegated thread and a fun leaf decorative stitch on my sewing machine. I did all the background quilting before I added the leaves on the crown area. I fused and stitched those on after the quilting was finished.

This version is just a fused top with the additional leaves taped to it to show an Autumn version. I collected yellow, gold, peach, orange, red, burgundy and a few purple fabrics of batik, commercial cottons and even a few solids to get the fall colors. I chose a dark brown batik for the fused applique. I will complete the quilt the same way but instead of the embellishments being green they will be in Autumn colors!

This version is just a fused top with the additional leaves taped to it to show an Autumn version. I collected yellow, gold, peach, orange, red, burgundy and a few purple fabrics of batik, commercial cottons and even a few solids to get the fall colors. I chose a dark brown batik for the fused applique. I will complete the quilt the same way but instead of the embellishments being green they will be in Autumn colors!

Cherrywood Hand Dyed Fabrics Van Gogh Challenge "Vincentia"

Cherrywood Hand-Dyed Fabrics is having a third fabric challenge in 2017 due August 1. They select three gradations of one color plus black and anyone interested purchases a bundle of fat quarters for the challenge. The rules state these four fabrics must be used in 75% of a 20" square size quilt. Any of their other lovely fabrics can make up the 25%. If you need to use white you can use some from your stash since they do not sell white (they dye white fabric pretty colors!!) The other two past challenges were The Wicked Challenge in 2014 using witch skin tone greens and last year the challenge was The Lion King using warm yellow oranges. My entry "Feline Fashionista" was one of twenty designs the Disney Corporation selected as their favorite! These 20 quilts will hang in a Broadway theatre in November-I also received a huge beautiful ribbon!! Both times my quilts made the cut and have traveled through the year to national and regional quilt shows. Both years Cherrywood created a book with a photo of all the entries and had a book signing opportunity for all included artists to meet and sign each others books while at quilt shows. in 2017 they chose an idea that had nothing to do with a Broadway play and selected the artist Vincent Van Gogh and there were three blues and a black to work with.

I love art and art history and am familiar with Van Gogh's work and especially love his Starry Nights painting. I had a vision of a black woman with an Afro Puffs hairstyle that looked like a starry night painting. I used the black for the background and all three blues for the skin tone depths and highlights on the order of the movie Avatar. I made a copy of the Starry Nights painting and analyzed where there was more white, yellow, blue etc. I saw one orange new moon in the design. I began with a medium blue background and funny shaped circles of yellow and white. I cut narrow fused fabric strips from the three blue, white, yellow, gold and orange and layered them to look like the Van Gogh Painting. I heavily quilted all of the strips down with thread in all of these colors to secure them and create movement. I really loved how it turned out. and I feel it has the same movement as the original painting

This a close up of the hair and some of the face. I used a craft store blue star mini Christmas ornament with a sequin and bead for an earring.. The background needed bling so I added a few black rhinestones to subtly add shimmer. I love my bling!!

This a close up of the hair and some of the face. I used a craft store blue star mini Christmas ornament with a sequin and bead for an earring.. The background needed bling so I added a few black rhinestones to subtly add shimmer. I love my bling!!

This photo shows more of the face. I used tiny gold rhinestones from The Dollar Tree in the nail art department for eyeliner. Shimmery nail polish is on the lips and in the hair. I used some brown Derwent Inktense pencils to define the mouth. I named my entry "Vincentia" after Van Gogh's first name.  Last year there was a huge amount of entries and only a third of them made the cut. I can only hope this quilt is as fortunate.   

This photo shows more of the face. I used tiny gold rhinestones from The Dollar Tree in the nail art department for eyeliner. Shimmery nail polish is on the lips and in the hair. I used some brown Derwent Inktense pencils to define the mouth. I named my entry "Vincentia" after Van Gogh's first name.

Last year there was a huge amount of entries and only a third of them made the cut. I can only hope this quilt is as fortunate.

 

Art Quilts Around The World Challenge: The Eyes Have It

Today is reveal day for my Facebook Art Quilt Group Art Quilts Around The World. Two months go fast and this theme is called "The Eyes Have It" which is to me eyes in a portrait quilt but could be eyes of anything or "I." Lots of choices to play with. I put eyes in all my quilts (my favorite part of a portrait quilt!) and had all my 3-4 years worth of projects from this group in front of me recently and discovered I never use yellow in any of these projects. This became my color choice as well as my desire to have a woman of color as the featured portrait.  I found a cool tribal makeup on Pinterest and was inspired by it for my African woman. I also found the tribal looking fabric for the background in my stash and thought it worked well. I used my favorite go to skin tone gradation fabrics from Cherrywood Fabrics because they are so lovely to work with and the gradation of values takes the work out of selecting fabrics.  I used a white and black variegated thread for the hair and hand tacked black bouche yarn to the surface to give a nice Afro texture. I ran the fuzzy ends off the edges. I am titling this quilt "Mariama" after my ex MIL who lives is Gambia West Africa. I never met her but thought she had a pretty name.

Today is reveal day for my Facebook Art Quilt Group Art Quilts Around The World. Two months go fast and this theme is called "The Eyes Have It" which is to me eyes in a portrait quilt but could be eyes of anything or "I." Lots of choices to play with. I put eyes in all my quilts (my favorite part of a portrait quilt!) and had all my 3-4 years worth of projects from this group in front of me recently and discovered I never use yellow in any of these projects. This became my color choice as well as my desire to have a woman of color as the featured portrait.

I found a cool tribal makeup on Pinterest and was inspired by it for my African woman. I also found the tribal looking fabric for the background in my stash and thought it worked well. I used my favorite go to skin tone gradation fabrics from Cherrywood Fabrics because they are so lovely to work with and the gradation of values takes the work out of selecting fabrics.  I used a white and black variegated thread for the hair and hand tacked black bouche yarn to the surface to give a nice Afro texture. I ran the fuzzy ends off the edges. I am titling this quilt "Mariama" after my ex MIL who lives is Gambia West Africa. I never met her but thought she had a pretty name.

This is a close up of the eyes and all the bling of 3 sizes of rhinestones, fabric paint, glitter nail polish and tiny beads from the nail art section from The Dollar Tree!

This is a close up of the eyes and all the bling of 3 sizes of rhinestones, fabric paint, glitter nail polish and tiny beads from the nail art section from The Dollar Tree!

Photo of the mouth detail using Inktense pencils for shadowing and white fabric paint for highlighting. Thread painting adds to the depth of the mouth.  The next project due July 31st is Nursery Rhythms with a twist of a back story. I am leaning towards a co-dependent lamb who follows Mary around! Snort!

Photo of the mouth detail using Inktense pencils for shadowing and white fabric paint for highlighting. Thread painting adds to the depth of the mouth.

The next project due July 31st is Nursery Rhythms with a twist of a back story. I am leaning towards a co-dependent lamb who follows Mary around! Snort!

Happy Valentine's Day: Queen of Hearts

This project began with a Moda charm pack I purchased last fall. I was able to start the quilt last week. I had make a very small portrait quilt with the woman having a heart shaped face, a heart shaped hair silhouette and a heart shaped dress neckline. I was headed in that direction including the heart shaped mouth which I used a few years back for the Day of the Dead quilt which was likeable. I have been watching, on PBS, plenty of British historical TV shows and the fashions influenced me as well as the Queen of Hearts character from the Alice in Wonderland book and movie. Throw in a little Steampunk fashions and I'm ready to draw up a design! I was on a quilt retreat last weekend and made sure this quilt lad priority!

I did a Pinterest search and discovered the cool queen-like collar as well as the dramatic eye makeup. The Queen of Hearts played by Helene Bohnam Carter in the Johnny Depp movie had very thin eye brows so my Queen got skinny brows too! I decided to make the quilt with six 5" squares wide and eight squares tall. I arranged the creams, reds, grays and a few blacks symmetrical with a mirror image. Since a charm pack has 42 squares I added a few dotted charm squares from another Moda pack and a few rotary cut batiks. I quilted the quilt with red thread for the dress and collar; variegated white/red/black thread for the background; variegated red/black thread for the hair and lights for the skin.

I did a lot of embellishments on this quilt:

1. The crown has beads on the peaks and a felt heart button in the middle.

2. The hair has red and white chunky nail polish.

3. The eyes have brown Drewent Inktense pencils to make the rises brown and a Pigma MIcron brown pen to add details. There is chunky red bling from Target on the lids and loose silver glitter/glue as eyeliner. A dab of white fabric paint for the eye reflection.

4. The cheeks have iridescent nail polish and red buttons sewn on them.

5. The mouth has chunky red nail polish to define the heart shape.

6. The collar has red metallic leather rick rack recently purchased at Target which is very fun and exciting to me! It was easy to work with and machine stitch to the collar.

7. The sleeves have a red/white trim on the band and another red/white trim as a bow on the outer edges.

8. The dress has red machine stitched hearts on he bodice as well as red buttons on the seam lines.

9. The ears have repurposed beads for earrings.

10. The background has red rhinestones glued on to it.

11. A red Pigma Micron pen used to draw a small heart spaced mole near one of the eyes.

This is a close up on the face and it is so pretty and blingy!

This is a close up view of the dress trims, buttons and rick rack.

Happy Valentine's Day to you!

2016 Hoffman Challenge Quilt: Summer Rainbow

This is my 2016 Hoffman Challenge entry titled "Summer Rainbow." The deadline to enter this challenge was extended from June 30th to July 5th so it was safe to post my quilt which I make over the winter. The fabric is digitally printed and for the first time there were two background colors, black or white, with a variety of different colored butterflies scattered about. I bought the black background but I cut out all the butterflies so it didn't really matter!!
I fused some Wonder Under to a large piece of the challenge fabric and fussy cut the butterflies out and began arranging them in a formation of a hairstyle. But I remembered making another portrait quilt with 12 quilt blocks from a block exchange and liked that hairstyle etc. The photo is posted near the end of this blog post. The quilt seemed like it was put in an odd category for entering in a quilt show because other people helped make the blocks so I never entered the quilt in a quilt show. I wanted to use the center portrait pattern again and this became my hair inspiration for this challenge! I separated the butterflies by color and placed the warm colored butterflies on the right and the cool colored butterflies on the left (mostly!) The small white butterflies became the "highlights" of the hair. I selected purple for the dress, a hot pink vinyl for the lips, a white tone on tone background that resembled a butterfly motif and a subtle floral batik for the outside border that compliments the colors without taking away from the portrait.

I used Cherrywood Hand Dyed fabrics for the 5 skin tones. I purchased another butterfly/bird/bug fabric and added the cute fussy cut hummingbird to the background. There are a few bees and dragonflies fussy cut and sporadically placed in the quilt.

I quilted the dress design as a continuation of the dress in the body of the quilt a la "coloring outside the lines!" The majority of the quilt is vertically echo quilted with a purple/hot pink/yellow/blue thread.

Embellishments include hologram sparkly nail polish on the brow bone and purple glitter polish on the eyelid, a mini pink rhinestone for the nose piercing, a purple Christmas ornament bead as an earring, some silver rhinestones in the white background and a variety of tiny beads in flower and butterfly shapes.

This is the original quilt.

Center of original quilt called Scarlet. I love the turquoise and red orange complementary color scheme!! I have to wait until July 18th to find out if this quilt is included in the 2016 Hoffman Challenge Traveling Exhibit. Time to go outside and play in my garden!

New Portrait Quilt: Raspberry Swirl

This is my newest portrait quilt. I was inspired by a cool hair color I discovered on Pinterest. I saved the photo and for the first time I used Microsoft Photoshop and posterized the image to separate the colors and values. I was playing around with Photoshop and thought I would see if it would help me out and save time. It did and I would use this feature again. I was also inspired by the color purple after Prince's passing and wanted to use it in the quilt. I used all but one fabric from the same line from Keep Me In Stitches in Appleton WI in the background. It is a tiny white square with different colored backgrounds-it looks like polka dots from a distance. 

 
This is a detailed view of the face and some of the hair. I went crazy with detail for this project. I had 7-8 pinks, magentas and purple batiks for the hair and 5-6 skin tone colors as well. I used many different colors of thread in the hair area to connect the applique pieces and give the appearance of strands of hair. The mouth gave me a problem-she looked as if she had an under bite. To fix this I took a purple fabric marker on the bottom lip and "canceled" the excess out. Then when I was machine quilting the upper lip I added a bit extra and it is to my satisfaction and balanced!

To create the swirly circular background I cut a piece of muslin as the foundation piece and fused the different colors in place keeping the area where the portrait will be fused open.

This is the finished quilt top only. I added the purple border to pick up more of the purple. I thought about a floral batik with the coordinating colors but it was too busy and took away from the portrait. I used it for the binding!

This is the finish quilt blocked and sewn with a sleeve and label. Could I be done? Yes but embellishments are so fun-it's like wearing a garment and not adding jewelry or hair accessories. It is acceptable but the jewelry or embellishments add that extra zing!!

This is detail view of the hair and the ear. Ears are hard to do because they always have lots of parts to get the realistic appearance. The finished quilt has a few large flower shaped sequins sewn to the outer border and one became an earring. I enhanced the eye with fabric paint. I used two hologram nail polishes in the swirly parts of the background to accentuate the movement of the background. I was influenced by Prince's song Raspberry Beret and used it in the title of this quilt called "Raspberry Swirl!" It sounds like a flavor of ice cream and that's okay too!! I will enter it in the Wisconsin Quilt Expo which has a June 30th deadline for a September show. Next on the list is my Prince quilt which will be interesting since I have never made a male portrait quilt!!

My Quilt Is Featured In The April/May 2016 Quilters Newsletter Magazine!! Woo Hoo!

 I had seen a call for red themed quilts a while ago in 2015 from Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) because they were compiling quilts for a Go Red For Women Campaign. They put a lot of the quilts on their Pinterest board if you want to see many more red quilts. I found out my quilt "Beauty School Flashback" was selected to be in the April/May 2016 issue back last fall. It is difficult to wait and not tell anyone what is going on. I do not subscribe to this magazine and today I tried without success to purchase the magazine. I was bummed but then I check my mail today and I had a complimentary copy of Quilters Newsletter!! Sorry my photography isn't the greatest but the glossy paper tends to create a huge reflection.
 I have to say my quilt got an excellent position in the magazine layout and another photo of the detail of the lady's face. I made the quilt in 2010 for Joann Fabrics "Quilt Your Colors" Contest using only their fabrics (not easy when you want to use quilt shop fabrics!!) I came in 4th place nationally and was fortunate to win some prizes. Joann's never really promoted the end result of the contest and they never did the contest again. I blogged about this quilt back in the day so I'm not going to go into the construction of the quilt. It sure is a great felling to have my portrait quilt work in print!!
This is the cover in case you want to purchase it!

Art Quilts Around The World: Texture Challenge

Today is reveal day for my Facebook group Art Quilts Around the World. www.aroundtheworldin20quilts.blogspot.com. Our current challenge is about texture which is easy peasy because I use texture in many of my quilt through special occasion fabrics and embellishments. I went into my bridal/Las Vegas fabric stash and chose the "squeaky" plaid lame for the background, a brown hand dyed velvet for the hair, a new turquoise velvet from a vendor from United Kingdom at the Houston quilt show in October and an eyelash lame for the dress. I used hand dyed cottons and batik for the skin and facial features. I added a fun blue rick rack to the neckline to add more texture.

I used a chunky textured hologram-like nail polish on the brow bone and some loose iridescent turquoise shapes from the nail art department heavily on the eyelids. I added a rhinestone to the nose area also but I would have done that anyway!! I have a lot of quilting on the face to create another type of texture. I discovered that with the nap of velvet all quilting stitches were "buried" in the nap and didn't show up very well.  The next challenge is based on a favorite book and I have no ideas yet. I may choose a children's book. This challenge is due January 31, 2016.
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Bella Jordana: Salute to Women With Curly Hair

This is a new portrait quilt I made between preparing for the International Quilt Festival in Houston. I had drawn the design a few months ago and then let it sit for no real reason. When I attended the Quilt Expo in Madison WI in Sept. 2015 I found a charm pack with the "shabby chic" prints in a pink/green/turquoise/light brown color scheme. I unfortunately did not save the wrapper with the name. I thought of my daughter Jordana because of her curly hair and her love of these colors and the flowers. I pulled out the pattern and tweaked it a little and it came together. I wanted a Bella pattern with curly hair and I added an eyebrow, changed the face shape, mouth, nose width, added a separate eyelid applique piece and there is a full shoulder line.

I had some pink flower felt trim which I glued to the neck area for a necklace. I sewed three pink flower shaped buttons over the felt and added some glitter nail polish to the flower centers. I hand sewed pink beads to the rest of the felt trim.

This is a close up of the face. I quilted half of the face in a narrow cross hatch and the other in a curved echo stitch. I used only one thread for the ENTIRE quilting process-Sulky Blendables "Milk Chocolate" # 4011 in 30 weight. You can't go wrong with a thread named after chocolate!! The browns in this project did look like the brown in candy bars!! The rest of the embellishments include two large pink flowers from a large Hawaiian lei from Hobby Lobby taken apart with a button center, a rhinestone "nose piercing," hot pink chunky glitter nail polish on the mouth and a white fabric paint dot for the eye reflection. My favorite nail polishes are sitting in Houston watching for me so I will add some of those colors to the eye area when the quilt show is over and my box is shipped back home.  Should this quilt become my next pattern?

Art Quilts AroundThe World Reveal: Uniform

Today is reveal day for my Facebook art quilt group Art Quilts Around The World. The challenge theme was UNIFORM and I interpreted that as something being the same or having conformity. I prefer to make portrait quilts so I selected an Andy Warhol style with four of the SAME images of a woman and I call it "Pop Art Princess 3." What is the same in this quilt: The background; the sashing and the sashing quilting; the image of the woman; the stripe in the halter dress and the position of the stripe on the dress; the brow, lip and eye color; the variegated thread used for the skin tones; the glitter nail polish on the eye lids and the quilting on the images. What is NOT the same: The color of the hair, the skin tones and the glitter nail polish used to embellish the hair. The size of this quilt is 11.5" x 17.5"

Of the four images I like this one the best because the combination of values of the skin tone, lip and brow color seem to be the most flattering. In the upper left corner, the image with the lightest skin tones and the pink hair has too much eye brow contrast and she looks severe. Likewise the black woman in the lower right corner has too low of contrast and I can't hardly see her brows. This became a happy accident to use in my lecture on value. This situation shows how a medium color appears dark or light in relationship to the colors it is placed with.

This is my second favorite image because the woman appears serene. Even though I use the same applique pieces the women can look slightly different based on the fusing placement and the way I quilt it. The next challenge due November 30th is on TEXTURE which is a no-brainer because I use a variety of textures anyway in many of my quilts. I will now go back to prepping for my teaching job at IQF in Houston which is at the end of October!

New Work: Neon

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This is my latest portrait quilt. I was inspired by the hair color industry and the funky neon hair colors that are available in the cosmetology industry. I have been searching and purchasing neon fabric and embellishments since last fall and recently had the time to make this quilt. I really love the yellow print that I used for the dress and wanted to use more of it in the borders but since I do not like yellow in large quantities I chose to use this print for the backing fabric instead. The fabric for the lipstick and the pale yellow highlights was purchased while at the IQF Houston 2014 Show last October which gives me good memories! I used Cherrywood Hand Dyed Fabrics  for the gradation of 6 skin tone fabrics. They are hand dyed cottons and work very well for skin tones and are are equal to me as batiks. I purchased a fat quarter packet of browns for another project and love them to bits!!

I decided to take photos of the various steps of this portrait quilt to show how it come alive with each step of stitching, borders, fabric paint and embellishments. This is just the center of the quilt. I chose to cut some of the top off the center once it was completely fused because all the background was not needed.

This is the top with the various borders added. I love the swirly fabric on the left and bottom borders since it reminds me of the fashion designer Emilio Pucci! I fussy cut the directional pattern once I discovered there was a double direction. My cat Jack photo bombed this picture! Hi Jack!!

The quilt is quilted, bound and on cardboard being blocked. This is a step I only was taught about 4-5 years ago which changed my world because it will square up a quilt and make it lay flat. This is VERY important for having a quilt hang in a quilt show and the judges love a straight quilt without any wavy edges!!

I collected neon colored embellishments. I have a variegated orange/yellow ribbon, a fun neon colored decorative elastic, loose glitter, nail polish, rhinestones, and a variety of beads. I did not use everything which is the part that is hard because I have to use good taste and know when to stop adding more bling!!

This is the finished close-up of the face. I added the ribbon and elastic to the dress neckline; the loose glitter was used for eyeliner; rhinestones were used to make an earring; nail polish was used in the yellow of the hair to add to the highlights; rhinestones were added to the right and top borders and beads were sewn to outside of the binding. I intend to enter this quilt in a national quilt show and beyond!!

Sunglasses Wall Hanging-Bring on Summer!!

 I did a spin on my original Angelina pattern by making four of the same bobbed hair style, two skin tones, facial features and a few sun glasses and a Andy Warhol style placement to create a fun Summer wall hanging. I added two of the glasses I used in my pattern in this wall hanging so if you have purchased this pattern from me online, from one of my classes or when I was vending you can make this quilt. 
I'm not going to make any instructions-just go with it!! I found the fun sun glasses fabric locally at Pine Street Quilts and the idea came together. I originally had just the red sun glasses on one of the women and posted a photo on Facebook. One of my fine artist friends (Mary Mc.!) commented that she thought all four of the women should have sun glasses. I had considered this and went back and pulled a few of the different frame styles from the sun glasses fabric print and color coordinated it. I love to make the eyes on the portraits so to cover them up with the sun glasses seemed sad to me. I knew I wore my sun glasses on the top of my head and sometimes peeked out over them so that is how I positioned the sun glasses without sacrificing the eyes.
  I added a small amount of red glitter nail polish to all the lips, nail polish to eyelids and a few red rhinestones to the upper left sun glasses to get the retro look!
I had most of this wall hanging finished but used it in the Open Studio at the International Quilt Festival March 28, 2015 in Chicago as a demo for my portrait quilt presentation. I was antsie to finish the wall hanging because I am personally ready for warm weather and it will be a seasonal quilt on my wall very soon!!