Monday, September 23, 2013

The Fragment of a Song for the Bound 2B Round show at Village Artisans

"The Fragment of a Song," 9" x 18", made by Pam Geisel, Sept. 2013

I made this quilt for the Village Artisans' show "Bound 2B Round." The art didn't have to be round in shape, it could instead have a round theme. I also chose fabric that had some dots or swirls in it to play up the theme.

When I made this quilt, I basically made it backwards. Usually you piece the quilt top, do the quilting, bind the quilt, then add the label and sleeves. Because the quilt top is made up of five long strips of fabric, I decided to try a "quilt-as-you-go" technique.

Adding the label :
To start I sewed a blank label to the right side of the backing fabric. I did this for two reasons: I can sew it with the machine instead of having to sew it by hand and because having the quilting go over it makes it very hard for someone to remove the label. The downside is you have to be sure where you want the label to go before the quilt is quilted, for a large quilt it can be difficult to make sure the label is straight, and if you make a mistake when writing on the label you will have to hand sew a new one on top. Sure I could write the info on the label first but I'm don't usually have a title for most of my quilts until I'm finished.

Quilting :
After I sewed the label on the backing fabric I laid it face down on my table and topped it with the batting. Then I placed the first fabric strip (from a batik jelly roll) face up near the left side of the batting. I placed a second strip of fabric face down on top of the first and sewed through the whole sandwich. I pressed it open then placed the third strip on top of the second one and sewed that down. Then I repeated for strips four and five. (And since I used batik fabric which is the same on both the front and the back, I didn't even have to worry about right and wrong sides.)

Quilting-as-you-go is a great time saver, but works best with a quilt top that has strips. If the quilt top had complicated piecing, I don't think it would work.

Binding :
Usually you bind the quilt after all the quilting is done. This is because sometimes doing the quilting can cause the quilt to stretch or shift, especially if the quilting lines are long in one direction. If the quilting goes to the edge you might also want the binding to cover the stops and starts of the quilting thread.

By this point everything in my quilt is in place. I'm going to do some more decorative quilting but it won't go into the binding area or cover a lot of space so. I don't have to worry about anything stretching or shifting. That means it's time to bind the quilt. I used my favorite strip-facing binding technique.

"The Fragment of a Song" detail of hole

Cutting the holes :
The three large white circles in the quilt are actually the wall behind the quilt as those are holes. I used a template to trace three different sized circles on the back of the quilt. I used a straight stitch and stitched around the circle just outside the line then I used some very small, sharp scissors to cut away the fabric and batting.

I had planned on doing a satin stitch around the inside of the circles but the sewing machine that has the zigzag stitch wasn't co-operating so I took that as a sign that the quilt didn't want a satin stitch. Because the batik fabric is a finer weave than regular fabric it doesn't usually fray as much but just in case I also added some fray check around the edges.

"The Fragment of a Song" detail of quilting

More quilting :
I drew more circles on the back and literally quilted backwards because I had the back of the quilt facing up so the bobbin thread became the circles on the front. I used both a light and a dark green thread. (There are two circles quilted in the photo above, the lighter green circle is a little harder to see.)

"The Fragment of a Song" detail of embellishment

Embellishing :
In keeping with the round theme I sewed on a dozen blue buttons. I also couched down two teal-green yarns.

Sleeves :
The sleeves were the only part that were done in the usual order, they were the last part of the quilt.

As always, you can click on any photo for a larger view.

More about The Fragment of a Song

= = =

The show "Bound 2B Round" will be at Village Artisans from Oct. 1-Nov. 3. Village Artisans is located at 100 Corry St. in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and is open M-Th 11a-5p, Fr-Sa 11a-6p, and Su noon-5p. There will be a reception the night of the Yellow Springs Art Stroll, Fr. Oct. 18 from 6-9p.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Yellow Springs Americana Series Notecards

The note cards for the Yellow Springs Americana Series are now available! Each set of six comes with one of each card plus six envelopes. The cards are professionally printed and are blank inside. They are 5" x 7" and fit in a 5" x 7" frame or in an 8" x 10" frame with a mat.

They can be purchased from me locally, at Village Artisans, or from my Etsy shop.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

A Dozen Quilted Birdhouses

Along with the Yellow Springs Americana Series, I also made some Quilted Birdhouses for the Yellow Springs Textile Art Group's show at the Winds Cafe in Sept.-Oct. 2013. I wasn't sure how many I would need for the show so I just kept making them until I had a dozen. Click on the photos for larger images.

Antique Quilt Birdhouse
9.5" x 10.75"

Made with pieces from an antique quilt nine-patch square on a heavy, cream-colored linen background, with green silk ribbons for the roof. Embellished with white silk ribbons, blue, green, and yellow buttons, and a sheer green leaf in the upper right corner.

Blue Lace Birdhouse
9.5" x 10.75"

Made with white lace over a blue background with blue velvet ribbons for the roof. Embellished with blue and white silk ribbons, and blue and white buttons, including a small blue heart shaped button on the lace "pocket."

Feathering the Nest Birdhouse
8.75" x 10.5"

Made with heavy cream-colored linen and canvas with a brown grosgrain ribbon for the roof. Embellished with brown grosgrain and blue velvet ribbons, blue, white, and brown buttons, and a brown felt flower. The main images represents a brown bird carrying brown and blue roving for her nest.

Golden Dragon Birdhouse
8.75" x 10.25"

Made with a gold silk background with brown and gold embroidered images, and a brown sheer fabric, with a brown  ribbon for the roof. Also features a red/brown suede-like fabric. Embellished with brown grosgrain ribbon, brown yarn, brown buttons, and a large, unique, wooden red button.

Green Heart Birdhouse    
8.5" x 11"

Made with a home decor fabric with printed leaves for the background, with a green silk ribbon for the roof. Embellished with cream-colored sheer ribbons, frayed green cotton ribbons, and white buttons. Also has six glass beads shaped like leaves hanging from the bottom, and a large, ceramic, pastel green heart sewn to the center.

Lavender Birdhouse
8.5" x 10.5"
Made with cream-colored fabric for the background including quilting cottons and linen, with purple ribbon for the roof. The large purple fabric is woven yarn. Embellished with a sheer printed purple ribbon, a shiny purple ribbon, a sheer white ribbon, cream-colored buttons, and purple glass beads.
Midnight Garden Birdhouse
8.75" x 10.5"
Made with a black background fabric printed with brown and white flowers and some sparkly silver flowers sprinkled in, with a black silk ribbon for the roof. Also features a brown suede-like fabric and a silk fabric with an embroidered paisley. Embellished with a brown grosgrain ribbon, black and white buttons.
New York Birdhouse 
8.75" x 10.5" 
Made with a tan silk fabric with a line drawing of the Flatiron building in New York City plus hand-written words. Also features cream-colored linen fabric and sheer brown fabric, with a brown ribbon for the roof. Embellished with brown and tan ribbons, and brown, silver, and white buttons plus two metallic beads.

Rainbow Birdhouse
8.25" x 10.75"
Made with a heavy, cream-colored linen background with thin rainbow-colored ribbons couched to it with a red silk ribbon for the roof. Features three pieces of woven fabric with rainbow stripes, bordered by orange, purple, and green ribbons. Embellished with black buttons and beads and a large, red, heart-shaped button.
 Red and Silver Birdhouse
8" x 10.25"
Made with a silky maroon fabric printed with blue and gold flowers with a brown grosgrain ribbon for the roof. Also features a red metallic denim fabric. Embellished with red and purple sheer ribbons, brown and pink buttons, round silver beads, and a string of red glass beads.
Red Raspberry Tea Birdhouse
7.5" x 10.5"
Made with linen tea bag that used to hold Red Raspberry Tea with written instructions. Also has a red and grey checkerboard fabric and a brown ribbon for the roof. Embellished with maroon and green ribbons, and brown and white buttons. The strings from the bag are left hanging on the sides.
White Glove Birdhouse
8.5" x 10.5"
Made with heavy, cream-colored linen and burlap fabrics for the background and features an antique white glove heavily beaded. With a maroon silk ribbon for the roof and embellished with sheer white ribbons, tiny white beads, and a large pink button.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Yellow Springs Americana Series: Picnic at Ellis Pond

"Picnic at Ellis Pond," 18.5" x 28", made by Pam Geisel, July 2013

All of the quilts in this series were made the same way. Using InDesign, I drew the outlines for the shapes then printed them out actual size (I had to tile print them onto 9 sheets of paper then tape them back together).

"Picnic at Ellis Pond" in progress

I placed the printed layout under a piece of fusible interfacing, which is thin enough to still see the outlines, and built the quilt top by putting the fabric pieces on top of the interfacing.

Once the pieces are all in place they are fused to the interfacing. The quilts are all machine quilted, sometimes with a foot and sometimes with free motion, although it can sometimes be difficult doing free motion quilting on a quilt that has a lot of fused pieces of fabric as the needle will drag and not do what you want it to.

All of the quilts are faced for their binding so the binding isn’t visible, and I “signed” them all with the sewing machine.

I knew I wanted one of the quilts to be a picnic scene but wasn’t sure where it should be. I went out with my camera to several places around Yellow Springs including the picnic area at John Bryan State Park but the images from John Bryan could have been anywhere.

Reference photo

I ended up at Ellis Pond and thought the combination of the pond and the weeping willow trees made it more distinct, although I did make some adjustments to the layout.

"Picnic at Ellis Pond" detail

The picnic basket features one of the few commercial prints used in this series, most of the fabrics are hand dyed or batiks, but I already had the fabric and it was the right size so I went with it. The backing fabric is also the basket weave.

"Picnic at Ellis Pond" detail

I’d bought the water fabric awhile ago with the intent of using it for water at some point.

The quilt under the basket is fused but the edges were folded over to give it some dimension against the grass.

This is all machine raw edge appliqué.

More about this quilt and the Americana Series

Friday, September 6, 2013

Yellow Springs Americana Series: Sunflowers at Whitehall Farm

"Sunflowersat Whitehall Farm," 17.5" x 28", made by Pam Geisel, July 2013

Just north of Yellow Springs on State Route 68 there’s a field that for the last several years has had sunflowers planted in it. There have been a few near accidents because so many people stop to take photos because it’s such an awe-inspiring sight.

Part of the property has a wire fence but I decided to use my artistic license and add the wooden fence so I had somewhere to lean the bicycle.

"Sunflowers at Whitehall Farm" detail

The sunflowers are made from three different commercial sunflower prints that vary in size. I added the brown batik fabric to the center of all the sunflowers to unify them. I also added over a hundred light purple seed beads to represent the centers of the last rows of sunflowers.

I found the perfect hand-dyed fabric that had yellow and green blended together to use for the background behind the sunflower stems.

"Sunflowers at Whitehall Farm" detail

The chain on the bicycle is black cord that is couched down and the spokes are stitched thread.

More about this quilt and the Americana Series

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Yellow Springs Americana Series: Lazy Summer Afternoon

"Lazy SummerAfternoon," 18.75" x 28", made by Pam Geisel, July 2013

This is not our front porch. I love our front porch but it’s different than this one. We did used to have a red porch swing, but we don’t anymore.

While I was working on this quilt, my husband was putting new siding on our house. He went with a tongue-and groove cedar that he stained, I went with yellow clapboards. He installed two new windows while I only had to make one.

"Lazy Summer Afternoon" detail

The clapboards on the house were made by folding over the bottom edge but laying them down starting at the top. Getting the angle of the clapboards and the window were a little tricky.

The railing is pieced, everything else is raw edge appliqué. The “chains” that the swing hangs from are black cord that is couched down.

More about this quilt and the Americana Series

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Yellow Springs Americana Series: My Soul in a Blackberry Pie

"My Soul in a Blackberry Pie," 18.75" x 28", made by Pam Geisel, July 2013

For this quilt the picket fence and most of the window elements were machine pieced.

The pie, rocks, bushes, and chair are raw edge appliqué so those pieces were made by drawing the reverse of the images onto a paper-backed fusible web, fusing it to the fabric, cutting it out, then layering the pieces on the quilt.

"My Soul in a Blackberry Pie," detail

My husband makes fantastic pies so I used a photo of one of his pies as a reference. He likes to make the lattice crust tops so I made mine the same way by cutting out the fabric strips and weaving them together. I quilted berry shapes on the purple fabric.

While I didn't do this intentionally, I noticed that most of the quilts in this series play with perspective, having one object in the foreground (the pie) and other objects in the background (the chair). By making the pie larger than the chair, I indicate to the view that it is closer to them (close enough to touch...don't you want to?)

More about this quilt and the Americana Series

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Yellow Springs Americana Series: Kings Yard Farmers Market

"Kings Yard Farmers Market," 18.5" x 28", made by Pam Geisel, July 2013

We are fortunate to have three Farmers Markets in Yellow Springs, two on Saturday morning and one on Thursday afternoon. I knew I wanted to make a quilt of the market, but wasn’t sure how I’d make it into a vertical format like the other quilts in this series.

I went to the market and took lots of photos and decided that the focus should be inside one of the canopies with the other canopies in the background.

Reference photo

I cropped the photo, changed the lettuce to a photo of apples and pumpkins that I had taken last fall, changed the honey to a collection of different color tomatoes (also taken last fall), added a canopy, and changed the trucks in the background to crates of produce.

"Kings Yard Farmers Market" detail

This is all machine raw edge appliqué so there were a lot of raw edges to be quilted down, including all the tomatoes. 

The fabric I used for the barrels holding the apples is the same fabric I used for the center of the sunflowers in "Sunflowers at Whitehall Farm" and in the center of the flowers on "Picnic at Ellis Pond."

More about this quilt and the Americana Series

Monday, September 2, 2013

Yellow Springs Americana Series: Patio at the Winds Cafe

"Patio at the Winds Cafe," 18.5" x 28", by Pam Geisel, July 2013

Since I made this series of quilts to be hung in a group show at the Winds Cafe in Yellow Springs, I wanted to create a quilt that featured them.

Reference photo

This summer the Winds installed a new patio dining area. I love to eat at restaurants that have outdoor dining areas and was especially drawn to this area because of the lights they have.

I wanted this quilt to be a scene set in the evening so I could light the lights. I also loved the architecture that was included in this photo: the exterior stairs on the left and the building on the right that support the lights and the canopies.

This is all machine raw edge appliqué. The wires supporting the lights are the same black cord I used to hang the front porch swing in “Lazy Summer Afternoon” and for the bicycle chain in “Sunflowers at Whitehall Farm.”

For the fence in front of the table first I tried a piece of blue cord because I thought it would tie in with the blue of the canopies but I thought it felt too confining so I switched to a purply cord that picked up the colors of the fabric at the bottom of the quilt (the brick walkway).

"Patio at the Winds Cafe" detail

The lights were made by cutting small yellow circles and fusing them to the background then I cut larger circles from a yellow sheer fabric and stitched them to the circles. Then I hand pieced some large, iridescent sequins that helped cover the stitched and give the lights a “glow.”

More about this quilt and the Americana Series

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Art Reception for YS Textile Art Group at the Winds

Today five members of the Yellow Springs Textile Art Group are hanging their group art show: Corrine Bayraktaroglu, Carol Culbertson, Pam Geisel, Bette Kelley, and Sue Rudolf. The show will feature fiber and textile art.

You can view the show during the months of Sept. and Oct. at the Winds Cafe, 215 Xenia Ave. in Yellow Springs. The Winds Cafe is open Tues.-Sat. from 11:30 am-2:30 pm and 5-10 pm, and on Sun. from 10 am-3 pm, they are closed on Mondays.

There will be an opening reception on Sun., Sept. 8, from 6:30-8:30 pm.

I made a set of 6 art quilts featuring American-themes using Yellow Springs images for references. I also made several small Quilted Birdhouses for this show.