Friday, March 27, 2015

Memory Quilt: Boxer Shorts & Bandanas

"Boxer Shorts," 77" x 91", made by Pam Geisel, March 2015

This is a custom memory quilt that I made using the customer's son's boxer shorts, bandanas, pajamas, shorts, dress shirts, and some home d├ęcor fabric that was left over from some curtains that they used to have.

The colored squares are 4.5" x 7" with two white pieces of fabric on either side of the short edge to make the basket weave effect. And even though they don't look like it at the top of the quilt, they are rectangular in shape, it's just that this quilt is to big to hang from the quilt stand!

Here's a close up:

The binding was made using the fabric from the sleeves of two of the plaid dress shirts. You can click on the photos to see them larger.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Louie - Project Quilting

"Louie," 23" x 13", made for Project Quilting, Season 6, Challenge 6: Isn't That Charming, Mar. 2015 in Yellow Springs, Ohio

Challenge recap for  "Isn't That Charming":

This weeks we're using "Charms" which are 5" squares of fabric. If you don't have a set of charm squares in your stash, you can cut your own 5" squares from any fabric you choose.
  1. The entire right front side of your project must be constructed using charm squares. The only exception is the binding. It can be cut from yardage along with backings, linings, etc, that will not show on the right front side of your project.
  2. You must use at least 20 charm squares.
  3. The charms squares can be cut and manipulated in any way you choose.
I actually have some batik charm squares. I sorted through them and found 16 that had either brown, a blue-ish gray, or both, then I cut four charms from other brown fabric that I had.

I cut 19 of the charm squares in half giving me 38 pieces cut 2.5" x 5". I arranged them, and rearranged them, then rearranged them some more until I came up with a layout that I was satisfied with. The final charm, the darkest brown, was cut into 17 smaller pieces and was inset into every other piece.

The set on the right are sewn together with a piece of yarn couched to either the right or left side of the inset piece.

Here's a close-up of the yarn, which is brown with some gold twisted in it.

Once I got it all pieced I basted it then quilt stitch-in-the-ditch. But there was something missing, so I decided to sleep on it. The next morning I decided what it needed was an owl. I'd just finished doing some graphic design for some interpretive signs for the Glen Helen Raptor Center, so perhaps I just had owls on the brain.

This is Louie, a barn owl and one of the resident raptors. I immediately noticed that the coloring in him was the same brown and grayish blue that was in the background of the quilt. I got permission to use the photo and the next step was to make an owl using fabric pieces smaller than 5" square.

TheT body is fused to the background but before fusing the head I stitched inside his head to indicate the feathers that are more obvious in his face than in the rest of his body.

I also couched some off-white hand-woven yarn around the heart shape in is face. After I added the binding, I couched the same off-white yarn around the binding edge.

More about Louie

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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 Isn't That Charming link up. (Louie came in second in the People's Choice voting!) 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Island Batik Ambassadorship

I've been selected as an Island Batik ambassador. What that means is they send me lovely batik fabric, I use it to make quilts with it, then blog about it. This is the first batch of lovelies that I received.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Lavender Diamonds travels to Lancaster, PA for AQS Week, wins Honorable Mention

Pam Geisel with her quilt Lavender Diamonds. Photo by Bill Franz


Local Quilter Semifinalist in International Quilt Show

Paducah, Kentucky, USA – Pam Geisel from Yellow Springs is a semifinalist (and won and Honorable Mention in the Large Quilts - Home Machine Quilted category) for the 2015 AQS QuiltWeek® – Lancaster, Pennsylvania, March 11‐14, 2015, at the Lancaster County Convention Center. Pam has been chosen to display the quilt, Lavender Diamonds, along with 200 others in this AQS contest. First, Second, and Third Place prizes in seven categories will be awarded, along with six overall awards including Best of Show. Winners will be announced at the show and posted on the AQS website, More than $50,000 will be granted, including $10,000 for the Best of Show and $3,500 each for Best Wall Quilt, Best Use of Color, Best Original Design, Best Hand, Best Home, and Best Longarm Quilted. Regardless of how Lavender Diamonds places in the final judging, all semifinalists´ quilts will be displayed at the show, which is expected to draw more than 15,000 people.

AQS Founder and President Meredith Schroeder says, “This year’s quilts show off the artistry of quilters in traditional as well as innovative techniques. There is something for everyone to enjoy in the Lancaster quilt contest.”

Quilts were entered in this international contest from 36 US states and 9 other countries. Come see a wide range of special exhibit quilts including: Stitch Like an Egyptian; New Quilts from an Old Favorite: Carolina Lily; the Pilgrim/Roy 2015 Invitational Challenge; Red, White, and Quilted; The WICKED™ Cherrywood Challenge; and the AQS Authors’ Exhibit.

The American Quilter’s Society hosts several shows annually, each with its own quilt contest. Besides the Lancaster, Pennsylvania show, AQS hosts other prestigious shows in Paducah, Kentucky; Syracuse, New York; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Des Moines, Iowa and Albuquerque, New Mexico.

For more information, please go to

Edited to add this quilt won "Honorable Mention" in the Large Quilts - Home Machine Quilted category. The list of winners can be seen here.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Mermaid Haiku - Project Quilting

"Mermaid Haiku," 21" x 18", made for Project Quilting, Season 6, Challenge 5: My Favorite Fabric, Mar. 2015 in Yellow Springs, Ohio

Challenge recap for  "My Favorite Fabric":

Use your favorite fabric (the one that's too pretty to cut). You can add as many other fabrics as you'd like, but since this one is your favorite, it should be easily recognized in your completed project. Be sure to include a photo of the fabric.

OK, this was a tough one. Not making the quilt but picking a favorite fabric, since I have so many beautiful hand dyed and batik fabrics, in addition to commercial prints. I decided the spirit of this challenge was to use the fabric that you don't want to cut, that you just want to save forever.

I haven't had difficulty using my favorite hand dyed or batik fabrics, but when I searched through my stash (and yes, I had to look through all of it!) I did find several commercial prints that fit the category of "too pretty to cut." I noticed that most of these pieces were large scale prints, which I don't tend to use a lot.

Going by instinct, I chose this piece of fabric. It has a blue background and what looks like ocean waves, only the waves are a variegated green, pink, and purple. I couldn't decide on a way to cut it or what do do after I cut it, so I thought about what it could be if it was just the background for something else, which led to the mermaid idea.

The fabric was slightly larger than half a yard (20" x 42") and I decided to use half of it, so while I did not cut it into pieces, I DID cut it. I made my quilt sandwich and couched some gray hand-spun yarn with bits of silver in it horizontally across the fabric, following the shape of the waves.

I found a piece of hand dyed fabric for her upper body drew her face on with a permanent marker and raw-edge machine appliqued it to the background.

Then I created the tail like I make my fabric mosaics: small pieces of green fabric arranged in the form of a tail and covered with green netting. I made the tail as a separate piece and wrapped the netting around it then appliqued it to the background. I also quilted the scales with a dark green thread.

I couched three different yarn vertically to represent ocean plants and couched white hand-spun yarn also with silver accents as her hair. I gave it a knife-edge binding and couched some thinner white hand-spun yarn around the edge to act as a border.

The final touches were adding some pearl-white buttons.

I only have part of the text on the selvedge and it reads "Haiku styled by Deborah Co" and there it cuts off. So I named my quilt "Mermaid Haiku" and wrote this:

"Peaceful mermaid floats
amid the fish and sea shells
bliss beneath the waves."

More about Mermaid Haiku

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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 My Favorite Fabric link up.