Friday, January 23, 2015

Published! and it's a Watercolor Drawing!

I am pleased as punch that my work was accepted into this book by Lesley Riley "Inspirational Quotes Illustrated."  Where to order?  Click here to go to Amazon.  I make art quilts for the wall - it's my main medium.  When this email came across my desk as a call for entry, I decided to do a watercolor instead. I've got to tell you that the book is so amazing, with all kinds of art mediums to fill the pages. It's the book that you want to have in your studio, and on your coffee table at home. And beautifully done, by the way.

Tickled pink that my book is signed by Lesley!  Life just got a little sweeter!  I am just so happy to have my work in this book, with all of the other extremely talented artists who were inspired by the quotes that Lesley gave them.  I admit, it took me about a dozen tries to get the one quote that spoke to me, but in the end it worked!  The pages are perforated, so you can tear them out carefully and frame them on your wall.  How brilliant is that?

Here is how I am listed in the back of the book!  My daughter Jen helped me with the title of my artwork, since it was inspired by her.  She loves the color green.

She had a curious love of green, which in individuals is always the sign of a subtle artistic temperament. Oscar Wilde. Painted with watercolors and green metallic paint. Pitt pen for the black outline. It is so me, and so my daughter.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Petal to the Metal

Welcome to the Sizzix Blog Hop!  Whoohoo!  I am excited to be part of this, and support my friend, Victoria Findlay Wolfe!  Here is the list of artists that are participating in the Blog Hop:

January 16th Jamie Fingal
January 16th Tracy Mooney
January 17th Elizabeth Timmons
January 17th Nicole Daksiewicz
January 18th Ebony Love
January 18th Holly Hughes
January 19th Marni Weaver
January 19th Leslie Tucker Jenison
January 20th Karin Jordan
January 20th Sue Bleiweiss
January 21st Jenny Doan

For this hop, each of us is using a die or dies by Sizzix designer, Victoria Findlay Wolfe, the Double Wedding Ring Queen.  I chose to use the melon dies to create my piece.  'Petal to the Metal.'
I used this gorgeous line of fabrics titled Alchemy by Fringe, made by Hoffman California Fabrics.  They are brand new!

I began by fusing all of the fabrics with Mistyfuse.  On the wrong side of the fabric, I roll out the Mistyfuse and cover it with a Goddess Sheet to protect my iron, and it also helps make a better bond with the fabric.  I make all of my quilts this way.  Raw edge applique.

These are just beautiful fabrics, and are all enhanced with gold metallic

I cut strips so I could just place the fabric onto the die, without much waste.  This is a huge die and can only work in the Big Shot Pro machine.  The machine cuts up to 6 layers of pre-fused fabrics.  I love that about this machine. I am using the Big Shot Pro for these large dies. 

This is to show how large the melons are.  13" long by 6" wide.  Put all of those together, and you've got a big quilt. Sizzix DWW Large Melon #660196 - there is a link in the right column for Sizzix

Since I am a 'think outside the box' kinda gal, I decided to cut them in half to make a flower, and a do-able size quilt.

I slid the tips of the petals under the 9" ring (Sizzix #659163), and pressed them into place

After placing the ring over the background, I felt it would be more interesting to have a four section center, so I added these to the middle

The flower is not fused down yet, because there are some things that I need to do first.  For example, I want to see how the colors work together.  Where the petals land, and does each background fabric make them pop.  I added a section of orange to two areas.

You can see it here.  I took a photo of the quilt with my iPhone to see which way the flower lays on the background, for easy reference.  I have trimmed the sides of the background and fused it to a piece of wool blended felt (my foundation).  I don't use batting or do binding.  The wool blended felt is by National Nonwovens #T0Y002.  I also back my quilts with the wool blended felt in a fun color.

Here's the flower, and I have fused it to a piece of black wool blended felt.  Then I am going to free motion machine quilt the entire piece, before I cut it around the petals, to prepare for the zipper trim
The petals are free motion machine quilted in lines like a flower petal.  I pinned the flower into place at the center ring.  I want to be able to lift the petals, so I can free motion machine quilt the background with ease, but not under the big petals.  I mean, really, why would I want to cover the entire piece with thread and design, if portions of it will not show? 

Now the fun part begins, adding zipper trim to each of the petals

The trim is slid underneath the pedals and sewn into place.  I have a BERNINA 750 QE, and I used a free motion foot with a straight stitch to sew the zipper trim.  No pins, and I didn't break any needles.  I have made many quilts with zippers, and is part of my signature style.
Closer view of the center of the flower, using the 9" ring and 2 circle dies (3/4" circles #657601 and 1-1/2" circles #658315) Link to Sizzix in the right column of my blog.
"Petal to the Metal" - 24" square - so happy how it turned out!

Friday, January 09, 2015

Autumn is for Birds!

So excited to tell you about my newest line of fabric with Hoffman California Fabrics!  Autumn is for Birds. This line highlights fall leaves and birds.  It will ship to stores in April.
The fabric grid for "Autumn is for Birds."  In industry lingo, this is called a secondary line. Smaller than lines introduced at Quilt Market. I am just so happy that my vision was realized for my favorite season.

The designs were started with this fabric design, using Hoffman's hand dyed fabrics.  Pretty colors!  All of the leaves were fussy cut and fused together to create my signature 2 tone leaf.

From my sketchbook - my inspiration!

What every bird watcher needs is a Bird Journal to write down their findings.  Collaged fabrics to create this journal.

A house in the woods, and more leaves - of all kinds, shapes and colors.

All of the above made this focus fabric.  It brings in the blue collaged background fabrics from my first line "Home is Where Your Story Begins.  It's my signature blue.

The neighborhood lending library

The bird journal for all of the bird watchers out there!

The house in the woods

Bird on a branch, bunting and the blue batik collaged background

Okay, let's get started to make a small quilt with this line. I pre-fused all of the fabrics with Mistyfuse, my choice for a fusible web.  I am building my design on a Goddess Sheet, which is also a Mistyfuse product.  My entire design table is covered with a Holy Cow Goddess Sheet. Using my sharp Havel's scissors, I cut out the objects on the focus fabric that I wanted to use.

The bunting with 'fall-like' motifs on them

I love this one with the birds on branches with leaves and my artwork in the background.  All of my little drawings coming alive on this print.  So exciting!

Enter the Fabi Big Shot by Sizzix (see link to Sizzix in the right side bar.  This machine saves me alot of unnecessary strain on my hands.  I can cut 6 layers of pre-fused fabrics with this baby.

I had a custom die made by Sizzix that has a grid of 6 - 2" squares on it.  I use 2" squares for many of the backgrounds in my quilts.  I really like the collage look.
I begin by building my design.  I am also using some other blenders from other Hoffman Fabrics lines.

I just love the Bird Journal.  This line was inspired by all of the bird lovers out there, including my niece, Jane.

Adding the bunting.

Falling leaves on black.  I can see many uses for this particular fabric.  Can you?

I love how the squares help so much with the design to give it more color and balance

The Bird Watcher, finished with a narrow border of blue swirls from my second line "Heart and Soul Sisters."  It really brings it altogether.
Free motion machine quilted around the edges of the objects and squares.  Simple but whimsical

The bird journal and bunting

Birds and large falling leaves
Happy birding.  There will be a Blog Hop in February, so you can see how other quilt artists use this fabric line, which I am thrilled about!  Autumn is for Birds by Hoffman California Fabrics.  Talk to your local quilting store about carrying this line for your next masterpiece.  Think table runners for fall, small art quilts, potholders, a fall quilt for a cold day to keep you warm on the couch, gifts for friends.  Oh, the possibilities!  There will be a free pattern on the Hoffman Fabrics website, plus a 'how to' from me of how to make a large leaf.  Sew Fun!

Monday, January 05, 2015

When Things Come Full Circle

It's kinda fun when you make one thing and that idea becomes something completely different.  I made this quilt a few years ago.  It is called 'Square Dance.'  It is made up of long strips of fabric that is divided by a variety of trims, including zippers.  You can click on the photo to see it larger.
Using 'Square Dance' as an inspiration, I created this small quilt for my Rebel Quilting DVD.  In making the step-outs for this quilt, I made about 6-8 quilts, from beginning to end.  Each section is about 6" tall by 18" wide.  A great way to learn all about color and design.

My DVD by Quilting Arts/Interweave

Description of the DVD on the back
So, you can imagine how many sections I had from making the DVD, so I cut them all up into 5" squares, and pinned them to my design wall.

With the help of a couple of friends, texting, we concurred that the squares needed to be wonky.

Then I added some large silk circles to the mix.  I kept it up on my design wall to inspire me.  Change things around, add more black to some of the square, to create a shadow.  OR...
Have it made into fabric for 'Heart and Soul Sisters.'  Amazing.  Hoffman Fabrics took the entire quilt back to their office with them.  Luckily many of the fabrics were theirs, and the ones that weren't were substituted with my own artwork.  Some of the squares already had free motion machine quilting on them.  This is the 'rainbow' colorway.
The is the 'daisy' colorway.  I am so pleased how they both turned out!  Certainly an a-ha moment.  The original quilt is still in my studio, waiting to be finished and entered in a show.  Maybe this year!
Here is a small quilt that I made with both version of a Nine Patch. I used Hoffman's black and white stripe fabric for the in-between parts.  I call this a 'what if?' quilt.  Throw caution to the wind and create something really fun and colorful.  Some illusions with the circles.  All fused with Mistyfuse!

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