Monday, April 15, 2019

Art Quilts at the Wheat Penny through June 30


My art quilts are hanging at the Wheat Penny Oven & Bar, located at 515 Wayne Ave. in Dayton, Ohio through June 30, 2019. 

My theme for this collection is "All the Colors." All seven of my Project Quilting Focus Through the Prism quilts are there along with Journey, Sunrise Celebration, and Millefiori Moonlight.


I also have a small grouping of warm colors (red, pink, and purple) with Eiffel Sunrise, Be Still My Beaded Hearts, Dancing Geese, and bookended with two framed Rainbow Geese pieces.



The section with the cool colors include Window Web, The Fragment of a Song, Depth, Mermaid Haiku, and Fishy Fishy.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Sunrise Celebration - revisited

"Sunrise Celebration," 21" x 30", handmade by Pam Geisel

I originally made "Sunrise Celebration" in 2015 for a Project Quilting challenge (which you can read about here). At that time I used some hand spun yarn that was given to me to make small hand stitches on the quilt. A few months ago I noticed that some of the stitches had disappeared. Some were gone from the front, and some were gone from the back, and there wasn't even a little pile of yarn underneath it.


I can only assume it was something about the yarn itself, so I took out what was left and replaced it with embroidery floss, which I've used for hand stitching on other quilts and it hasn't disappeared. After I finished this quilt (the first time), I thought it was a little too subtle. 

I haven't made any changes to a quilt after it's finished but since I was going to have to restitch this one, I thought I'd make a small change. This time I used an orange thread for the blue and purple stitches so they'd stand out more. I used the same color maroon on the yellow and there's a pink color to bridge the two in the pink fabrics.

Left shows the new stitches, the right original version

It might be harder to tell from farther away, but if you click on the photos above you might see it.

More about Sunrise Celebration

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Eiffel Sunrise - Project Quilting


"Eiffel Sunrise," 9" x 15", made by Pam Geisel for Project Quilting, Season 10, Challenge 4: Pixel Play, Feb. 2019 in Yellow Springs, Ohio


Challenge recap for "Craving Chocolate":

Be inspired by chocolate.

Sure, I thought about the candy, and also the color. Then I remembered the movie "Chocolat" which was set in France (although not specifically Paris). I selected fabrics that had some brown tones but still had lots of color.


I used a paper piece pattern designed by Jennifer Ofenstein of SewHooked.com that I also used a few years ago to make this Eiffel Tower with Island Batik fabrics in blues and greens.


I had the perfect yarn and I loved how it looked couched around the inside of the inner border that I also used it on the outside of the border.

More about Eiffel Sunrise.


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Click on any of the photos to see larger images.

To read more about Project Quilting, go here.

To see other entries for this challenge, visit the Craving Chocolate page.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

New Name...Tips on Fusing Letters...and Project Quilting

"Pam Geisel Art Quilts chair back" 16" x 16", made by Pam Geisel for Project Quilting, Season 10, Challenge 5: Abecedarius, Mar. 2019 in Yellow Springs, Ohio

Challenge recap for "Abecedarius":

Your project must be about the alphabet.

Before it was announced, I wasn't sure I was going to participate in this week's challenge. I recently changed my business name and there was a lot of work associated with that which was keeping me pretty busy, including new business cards, new hang cards for all my products that get sold in person, changing all of the internal links in this blog, and many more tasks.

Many years ago I made a director's chair back cover to go over the back of my director's chair when I do a show. I wasn't sure if I wanted to update that to the new name, and if I did I could certainly wait until closer to the next show, which is a ways off yet. Until this challenge was posted, that is.

As a graphic designer, I love the alphabet and letters and typography. I'd be able to take care of an item on my to do list and use this to announce my new name!


Why did I change my business name? When I decided to start this business, I got some advice that you shouldn't use your name because otherwise vendors won't take you seriously. And while this might have been good advice in the past, I don't think it is now. Branding and being found are important.

When I started my business, I spent a day and a half Googling name ideas to find one that wasn't already taken. Back then when I searched "For Quilts Sake" with and without quotes, nothing came up. And for many years, it only went to my website.

Now when I want to go to a website, I seldom type the www. or the .com. If you start typing "Home Depot" then that's what come up on the list below the search bar. A few years ago I noticed when you type in For Quilts Sake, Google asks if you meant "For Quilts Sale." So not only is my website not coming up, my competition is.

I also noticed that while there are other Pam Geisels out there, if you type my name and quilts, there I am. (The Geisel is important as there seem to be a lot of Pams who quilt.)


Anyway, here's the new website: www.PamGeiselArtQuilts.com. It's responsive so it looks good on your phone, also. It has most of my art quilts and framed art with links to my Etsy page (for the ones that are for sale); to my Pixels page to get the images on t-shirts, mugs, and more; and back to this blog to read more about the quilts.

The stitching on the back of the chair back where I sewed down the edges of the letters

A few tips if you're going to fuse letters:

1. The larger the better. Half inch tall letters are very hard to work with.

2. Upper case are easier than lower case.

3. Use a blocky font. If you're printing from your computer use a font like Arial and not one like Times that has all the extra serifs. But Pam, you used a script font on your project. Yes I did. It was only for nine letters and one of the benefits of this was it was only four pieces, since all of the lower case letters form one piece. (OK, five pieces if you include the dot over the lower case 'i'.)

4.If you plan on using fusible, print your text in reverse before tracing on to fusible.

5. Most fusible I've used aren't completely permanent so plan on either sewing down the edges of the letters or quilting on top of them with many stitches.

6. Batik fabrics don't fray as much as regular fabrics. If you have problems with fraying you can add some fray check.


I also have a coordinated arm caddy to use at shows. I made this a few years ago but it's handy to keep items I need close by.

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To read more about Project Quilting, go here.

To see other entries for this challenge, visit the Abecedarius page.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Aye, Eye Captain - Project Quilting

"Aye, Eye Captain," 23" x 5", made by Pam Geisel for Project Quilting, Season 10, Challenge 4: Pixel Play, Feb. 2019 in Yellow Springs, Ohio

Challenge recap for "Pixel Play":

Be inspired by digital pixelation.

I had so many ideas for this challenge but I decided to kill two birds with one stone and make something for a special Sacred Threads exhibit Eye Contact: Creating a Connection where they are going to display quilts of human eyes. The only requirement is that the size be 23" wide by 5" high. (They are due May 31, 2019 so if you want to play along, click the link above. They can be any style and don't have to be pixelated).

I found a photo to use as a reference and I move the eyes a little closer to each other then I used Photoshop to pixelate the image. (Filter / Pixelate / Mosaic) and I played around with that. Since the high was limited to 5" I decided my pixelation would be with half inch squares so I'd have 46 across and 10 high.


Then I selected the fabrics. This is when having a large stash comes in handy. It took awhile to cut and place all the pieces and I also spent some time moving pieces around and swapping some out. I ended up using over 30 different fabrics and some of them I used both the right side and the wrong side.


When I couldn't decide if there was enough contrast between two fabrics, I'd lay them next to each other and cover them with a piece of paper that had a half inch square cut in it. If they looked too similar I'd get a different piece of fabric.



Since I don't have a design wall, I had the pieces on my cutting mat and when I thought I was close I'd take a photo then hold the camera away from my face and see if there were any places that I wanted to change.

I used a piecing method where you place the squares on fusible innerfacing then sew the pieces in rows and columns. Center Street Quilts has a good tutorial on her blog although I'd add that you should top or stay stitch 1/8" around the outside edges to keep those pieces from flapping up. Since my pieces were only half an inch when sewn, my back was lots of seams.

Seems like a lot of seams!

Because I tend to sew with a generous 1/4" seam allowance my piece ended up being a little larger than the 23" x 5" I was aiming for but I was able to trim off a few rows to make it the right size, which reinforces to me that I don't really like to make something to a certain size.


I only added minimal quilting with some stitch-in-the-ditch (not really visible on the front but you can see a little on the back and over my label which I like to add before I quilt but write on afterwards).



I usually like to use a knife-edge facing to bind my quilts but I was worried about the bulk from all the seams and I kind of liked having the thin blue binding along the edge so I did that instead.

I'm happy with the way it came out but I don't think I'm going to be doing another piece that has half inch squares in it.

More about Aye, Eye Captain.

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Click on any of the photos to see larger images.

To read more about Project Quilting, go here.

To see other entries for this challenge, visit the Pixel Play page.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Baby Quilts with Butterflies!



I recently made some baby quilts using Viva Terra fabric that "celebrates the beauty of the desert" with images of butterflies, zucculent plants, wind blown leaves, and polished rocks in blues and pinks and purples. One of the fabrics had lovely large butterflies which I fussy cut to make my art quilt "Social Butterflies."


This close up of the Blue quilt shows the center butterfly fabric, the second butterfly fabric, the leaves, and a textured fabric.


This close up of the Pink quilt shows the second butterfly fabric, the succulents, polished rocks, leaves, and a textured fabric.



The hand-dyed fabric that I added to "A Kaleidoscope of Butterflies" is what I used on the backs of the Blue and Pink quilts.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Social Butterflies - Project Quilting

"Social Butterflies," 14" x 12", made by Pam Geisel for Project Quilting, Season 10, Challenge 1: Hope Springs Eternal, Jan. 2019 in Yellow Springs, Ohio

Challenge recap for "Hope Springs Eternal":

Your project should be about hope. It doesn’t have to be obvious, but you do have to be able to explain how it relates to the theme.

Funny note, my project for the first challenge of season 8 was titled "Hope."

For my challenge I decided to use the image of butterflies and how the caterpillar goes into the cocoon and emerges as a butterfly. Does the caterpillar know that it's going to emerge as a butterfly? And if it does know that, does it hope that everything works correctly? I know when I start a new project I always hope that everything works correctly.

For this piece I worked backwards. I found a piece of tie dyed blue and purple fabric to use as the backing. I sandwiched it with the batting and backing then did some free-motion quilting. My tip for free motion quilting is to use thread made for machine quilting. I finished the edges with a knife-edge binding. (Photo at left)

The butterflies: the back (left) and front (right)

I had fabric with butterflies printed on it and I cut out two, fused some interfacing on the back of them then fused a redish purple fabric to the back. I used black thread to sew around the outside to hold the fabrics and interfacing together.


I sewed them onto the backing but just along the middle and not around the edges so the butterflies still have some movement with their wings.

More about Social Butterflies.

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Click on any of the photos to see larger images.

To read more about Project Quilting, go here.

To see other entries for this challenge, visit the Hope Springs Eternal challenge page.