Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Large Leaf Magnolia Quilt

“Large Leaf Magnolia,”
8" x 15", made by Pam Geisel, Jan. 2014

My friend Debra asked me to make her a quilt featuring a tree that was recently planted in her yard. It is a Large Leaf Magnolia and while they aren't very common to our area, they will grow here. We actually saw some growing in the woods in Kentucky in the Red River Gorge area.

This tree was planted by a mutual friend who also commissioned a quilt, that one featured the bloom from a Large Leaf Magnolia tree. (You can see it on this page.)
Back before it got cold and snowy I took this photo. One of the things I love about where this tree is located is that the leaves get a lot of light behind them and they look like they are glowing.

One of the things that Debra loves about this tree is because it is unusual for this area, people will stop and ask her what type of tree it is.

I simplified the tree and only included four leaves on top so each leaf could be more distinct. I also got rid of the fence and the rocks around the mulch so the focus would be the tree itself.

It was Debra's idea to have one leaf by itself as a separate quilt and attached to the piece with the tree. I attached the two pieces using frosted brown beads because the color of the beads picked up the color of the trunk and the mulch at the bottom of the quilt.

I added some shadows to the leaves by using pieces of fabric and did some thread painting to make the veins on the leaves. I did stipple quilting in the background.

The mulch was made as a fabric mosaic, with little pieces of brown fabric fused to a background, covered with netting, then stitched with brown thread in a random zigzag pattern.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Quilted T-Shirt Poncho - Project Quilting

"Quilted T-Shirt Poncho - patchwork side"  approx. 58" diameter, made for Project Quilting, Season 5, Challenge 2: Upcycled, Jan. 2014 

Challenge recap for  "Upcycled":
The front, back, borders, binding and embellishments should all be made from materials that have had a previous life as something else. You may use new thread and batting. Your project must include at least two items that were never intended for use in a quilt or clothing.

I’ve made several quilts using upcycled material: a wall hanging made from a wedding dress, a wall hanging made from neckties, little purses made from neckties, and many quilts made with t-shirts and other clothing. I’ve made so many t-shirt quilts that I had amassed a large stash of t-shirt backs.
Awhile back I thought it would be neat to make a cape or poncho using the t-shirt scraps. I even remember thinking “perhaps it will fit for one of the Project Quilting challenges this year.” When I saw this week’s challenge my first thought was “Yes! Now I can cross t-shirt poncho off my list of things to make.” My second thought was “Oh no! Now I have to make a t-shirt poncho!”

The first thing I did was go through my stash of t-shirt scraps. I cut them so they were all 11" by approximately 9" (some were a little less than 9", some a little more). I set up two of my 6' folding tables and decided I'd make the poncho just under 60" wide, because that's how wide the two tables are when pushed together.

I sewed the patchwork rows together...and sewed...and sewed. I decided that one layer of shirts wasn't really enough to keep me warm and thought I'd make it reversible, with something different on the other side. I made the back side with 12 pie-shaped pieces, which went together faster, although I did spend too much time figuring out how to make a pie-shaped template the correct size.

Here's the other side, the "formal side" as I call it. This side actually alternates two black then one gray pie shape so when my arms are down the grays look more like thin accents.

I didn't have enough large pieces of black or gray t-shirts in my stash, but my husband had two black shirts and one gray shirt that he didn't wear anymore and he gladly donated them to the cause. By using the inside of the shirt (so the printed side wouldn't show) I was able to get 3-4 pie shapes from his extra large t-shirts.

Here's the poncho laid out so you can see both sides. I didn't put any batting between the layers because I didn't want it to be too bulky to wear, but I did baste and quilt it. Because t-shirt material doesn't fray I just sewed around the edges with a straight stitch.

If you’ve ever talked to my about quilting, you’ve probably heard me say that I only sew quilts, I don’t sew curtains or clothing. So this really was a challenge for me, even though the poncho doesn’t have arms, buttons, pockets, or even a hood.

The "two items that were never intended for use in a quilt or clothing" were the two spools I put on the end of the tie strings.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Synchronized Swimming and Pastel Color Study in Fiber Art exhibit at the Pique Galleria in Cincinnati

"Synchrozined Swimming," 22" x 22", made by Pam Geisel, July 2007

I made this art quilt back in July of 2007 using blue fabrics in a variety of shades blended from light to dark. It is pieced and machine quilted.

There is some hand quilting and beads in the four corners that I see as fish jumping out of the pool as if they are doing synchronized swimming.

More about Synchronized Swimming

=  =  =

"Pastel Color Study," 6" x 8", made by Pam Geisel, March 2008

This framed fabric mosaic was made in March of 2008. Pastel rainbow colored fabrics were arranged, covered with tulle, then quilted in place and framed.

This close up photo shows the tulle and the quilting.

More about Pastel Color Study

=  =  =

Both of these pieces, and more, are in the "Fiber Art" exhibit at the Pique Galleria in the Walnut Hills neighborhood in Cincinnati. The show is an eclectic collection of contemporary art and fine craft showcasing the versatility and wonder of threads. The Pique Galleria is located at 2803 Woodburn Ave. in Cincinnati, OH. There will be an opening reception on Fri., Jan. 24 from 6-9 pm.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Glen Helen Members Show

"Coneflower Confection" side view

My art quilts "Coneflower Confection," "The Fragment of a Song," and my framed fabric mosaic "Indigo Dreams" are in the Glen Helen Association Members' 8th Annual Art Exhibition will be in the Glen Building Atrium Gallery, 405 Corry St. in Yellow Springs. This show goes through Feb. 28 and the building is open Mon.-Sun. from 10 am to 4 pm.

The opening reception is this Sun., Jan. 19 from 2-4 pm.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Heart on a String - Project Quilting

"Heart on a String" 
11.5" x 19",
made for Project Quilting, 
Season 5, Challenge 1: String Along With Me, Jan. 2014 

Challenge recap for  "String Along With Me":
Make a quilt using strings (strips of fabric no more than 2½” wide). Your entire project must be made from strings. It is OK to cut strings into other shapes.

Traditionally a "string" is a thin strip of fabric left over after cutting and the strips in a string quilt are often different widths.

For this quilt I made the heart using five different red fabrics and 5 different pink fabrics measuring between .25" and .75" wide. The cream-colored fabrics measure between 1" and 2" wide.

The burgundy colored stripes that run vertically at the top and bottom of the piece are ribbon sewn to the top. There are also beads outlining the pink part of the heart.

In the spirit of the string quilt, all of the fabric I used were scraps with the exception of the fabric that had the pink dots on the white background. I've had that fabric for awhile and have been waiting for the right project to use it in and I think having the pink dots helps connect the heart to the background.

Click on any of the photos to see larger images.

More about Heart on a String

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Project Quilting Season 5 Begins

It's hard to believe that Project Quilting is starting it's fifth season (and that I've participated the last four years!) So I'm excited to announce that it's time for Season 5 of Project Quilting to begin! This year I'll participate in as many as I can and I'm also a prize sponsor.

Like the last two years there won't be any judges, but there will still be prizes. Prizes will be chosen by random from all of the participants for that challenge.

At the end of the season there will be grand prizes and each time you enter a challenge your name will be put in the drawing for the grand prize. So the more challenges you enter, the better your chances for winning.

The schedule for this year is:
Challenge 1: January 5 - TODAY! 
Challenge 2: January 19
Challenge 3: February 2
Challenge 4: February 16
Challenge 5: March 2
Challenge 6: March 16

Each challenge is posted at noon CDT and due exactly one week later at noon CDT.

The challenge will be posted on the "Persimon Dreams" Project Quilting blog and you can also find links about past seasons there.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Both Sets of Dayton Landmark Quilts on Exhibit in 2014

Back in 2011 the members of the Miami Valley Art Quilt Network decided to make a set of Slice Quilts. Member Ronnie Doyal went out and took some photos of landmarks around the Dayton area. Six photos were selected and then "sliced" into parts with each quilter getting a separate part.

Each quilter could use any fabric or technique that she wanted but the colors had to be true to life and it was important that they all be the same height. Once the quilts were finished, they were hung next to the other slices in the photo.

We had such a good time that in the Fall of 2012 we chose 8 more photos to slice.

The first time we did it, I made the 6th slice in the "Dayton Skyline" quilt and the 1st slice in the "Sacred Heart Church" quilt. For the "redux" I made the 3rd slice in the "Industrial Dayton" quilt.

Both sets of quilts (made up of 40 total slices) will be on display at Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm from Jan 6-Mar 9, 2014. There will be a reception on Sun. Jan. 12, 2-4p. 

The center is located at 1000 Aullwood Rd. in Dayton, Ohio and is open M-Sa 9a-5p and Su 1-5p. There is a $5 fee for adults ($3 children) that also allows access to the center, farm, and hiking trails.