Friday, August 28, 2015

Island Batik Fabrics - Coming this Fall & Winter

The FedEx truck pulled up in front of our house. Neither my husband or I had ordered anything recently so we weren't expecting a delivery and assumed it was for the neighbor across the street. But the delivery guy came up to our front door and then I remembered that I'd gotten an e-mail yesterday to expect the new Island Batik fabrics soon. I literally jumped for joy, which I think surprised my husband. Not sure how I'm going to get any work done today, knowing these lovely fabrics are waiting for me. I'll keep you updated on what I make from them.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Summer in the Country Blog Hop!

Welcome to today's stop on the Island Batik Ambassador's "Summer in the Country" Blog Hop!

Today I'll share two quilted projects made with brand new Island Batik fabrics, a recipe for chocolate peanut butter cookies, and how you can enter a giveaway to win some Island Batik fabric of your own. (You can click on any photo to see it larger).

"Summer Storm", 27" x 24", made by Pam Geisel, July 2015

This is my finished project, but I'd like to show you how it came together.

I used these blue Island Batiks from the "Jewels and Gems" (Lapis Lazuli) collection, from left to right: 611528022, 611529021, 611525017, 611531019, 611530020, 611524018
I came up with many designs but in the end I was seriously considering a traditional quilt pattern that I've always admired, Storm as Sea. Here's my computer sketches of the fabrics in that layout:

And while I might someday go back and make one of these, none of these ideas used all 6 pieces of fabric, so I decided to go with an original idea, although I did keep the "Storm" in the name.

Step 1: Cut fabric into 4.5" squares, lay in a checkerboard pattern with the two lightest fabrics filling the left three columns and the right two columns, and the darker fabrics alternating in columns four and five. For the directional fabric, be sure to keep it oriented horizontally to offset the verticalness of the two darker columns. Do not piece yet!

Step 2: Iron fusible webbing to the back of the two darkest and the tiny diamond fabrics. Cut out irregular zigzags that are a little longer than 4.5".  Place on fabric so they alternate horizontally and vertically. Fuse in place. Top stitch along fused edges with dark blue thread. Now piece the squares together.

I had already thought that "Summer Storm" would be a good name for this quilt, partially because I wasn't making the "Storm at Sea" quilt and also because the zigzags kind of reminded me of lightning bold shapes. The decision to use this name was confirmed when we lost power during a thunderstorm, right as I was piecing this quilt! 

Step 3: Cut two long thin strips from the wavy fabric. Iron fusible webbing to the back. Trim off some curves following the patterns on the fabric to make it more organic. Fuse in place where the dark fabric meets the light fabric to help make this transition softer.

Step 4: The quilt top is now pieced! Baste with batting and backing and quilt. I quilted vertical wavy lines with light blue thread on the light blue fabric and dark blue thread on the dark blue fabric and also in the waves of the wavy fabric.

Step 5: Hand quilt stitches using a light blue embroidery thread on the dark zigzags echoing their shape. For visual interest, have some stop part way.

While I was working on this piece, I was very interested in the light blue fabric that kind of looked like it had a snake skin pattern on it. I had some little pieces of dark blue that had fusible web on the back from where I cut out the zigzag shapes out.

"Blue Waves" framed mini quilt, 5" x 5", made by Pam Geisel, Aug. 2015

I wasn't sure what to do with this but it turns out I found a frame that was just the right size so I sewed some border fabric on, then quilted along the horizontal blue curves with a dark blue thread then framed it.

Here's a very close up shot of the fabric and the stitches.

More about Summer Storm

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All of this quilting and blogging makes me hungry and I see it's time for a snack. How about some chocolate peanut butter cookies?

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup butter
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
4 tsp baking powder
1.25 teaspoons of salt
4.5 cups of flour
5 Tbsp cocoa

Cream sugars and butter together
Add eggs (one at a time) and vanilla
Add baking powder, salt, and flour (1 cup at a time)
Mix well then roll into a ball
Take off 1/3 off the ball and add cocoa to it, blend well
Roll out chocolate dough into a log that is approx. 20” long
Make the vanilla dough into a log and then flatten it to approx. 4” x 20” rectangle
Lay the chocolate dough in the center of the vanilla and wrap it around the chocolate
Roll the dough until it is tube shaped
Cut in 1/8 to 1/4 inch slices
Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes
Remove from heat and cool on rack.

Make 3 dozen

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Positively Pinwheels! - Project Quilting

 "Positively Pinwheels", 20" x 20", made for Project Quilting, Focus Through the Prism, Challenge 4: Pinwheel, Aug. 2015 in Yellow Springs, Ohio

This is my fourth entry in the Project Quilting "Focus Through the Prism" challenge. To play along you need to purchase a ROYGBIV hand-dyed bundle of fabric from Cherrywood Fabrics and then at the beginning of the month a traditional quilting block is selected. Participants get to chose which of the seven focus fabrics they want to emphasize for the month, but other fabrics can be added.

All quilts will be made 20" x 20" with the intention of displaying them together in the future.

August's block is "Pinwheel."

I thought that the Pinwheel block would come up during this challenge, only for some reason I thought it would be last month. I must confess that the Pinwheel block is one of my favorite blocks. I like how depending on how you look at it, it can look like it's spinning to either the right or to the left.

And if you change the arrangement of the triangle pieces, you can create several other blocks including "Broken Dishes" (left) and "Winged Square" (right) to name a few.

I wanted my design to be similar to "Monkey Tail",  "A Second Self", and "Cabin Sweet Cabin", the other quilts I've made for the Focus Through the Prism challenges.

So I pieced eight pinwheel blocks using orange as one of the colors for all the blocks and arranged them around a square of black.I used the same border fabric and couched a piece of black yarn, this time in an arrangement that represented blowing wind. Then I quilted black quilting lines that echoed the yarn at 1/4" apart.

I used a knife-edge facing to bind the quilt.

I always thought "Positively Pinwheels!" would make a great name for a book about Pinwheel blocks, but since I haven't published any patterns, it seems unlikely that I'm going to publish a book, so I used the name for this quilt.

Here are some of my past pinwheel quilts

Left to right: "Cotton Candy Pinwheels" made with hand-dyed fabric; "Picnic at Ellis Pond" with a pinwheel quilt under the picnic basket; "Polka Dot Pinwheel" fabric mosaic

Left to right: "Holding Hands" with sky fabric for the negative space; "Blue Pinwheel Necklace"; "Pinwheel Elephants"

More about Positively Pinwheels! and my Focus Through the Prism Series

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Click on any of the photos to see larger images.

To read more about Project Quilting's Focus Through the Prism, go here.

To see other entries for this challenge, visit the Pinwheel link up.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Quilt National 2015

Photo by the Dairy Barn Arts Center

It is once again time for my biennial trip to see Quilt National, an art quilt exhibition held on odd-numbered years at the Dairy Barn in Athens, Ohio and attracts entries from around the globe. This year there are art quilts from 33 states and 8 countries.

The exhibit runs through Sept 7, 2105. If you don't get a chance to see it there, you can either view it on line, or catch it on tour.

On Tour

As of this posting, parts of the show will tour to Akron, OH and St. Louis, MO.

The Akron exhibit will be at the Mutton Hill Quilt Show at the John S. Knight Center in Akron, Ohio on Oct. 17-18, 2015.

The St. Louis exhibit will be at the Peabody Opera House on Nov 19.-28, 2015 (closed on Nov 22 and Nov 26).

If more tours are scheduled, you can find them here.


Photography isn't allowed in the Dairy Barn but there are many place on-line to see some of the quilts:
- Prize winners
- People's Choice leaders
- Photos of 30 of the pieces on Smugmug
  Some of my favorites are here, including:
      - "Growing Pains" by Kathy Brown
      - "Morning Walk" by Joan Sowada
      - "SYO #74" by Harue Konishi
      - "Moonrise Study" by Brienne Brown
- Here's a list of the exhibitors with approximately 50 of them having links to a short video of them talking about their quilt.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Blog Hop: Island Batik Ambassador's "Summer in the Country" Kick Off

The Island Batik Ambassador's are hosting a blog hop. Each day a different blogger will share one a project created with one of the new Island Batik fabric collections and a summer recipe. Each blogger will also host a give-away so you'll want to be sure to check out them out and leave a comment. Here's the line-up with links to the blogs:

8/17     Island Batik!
8/18     KISSed Quilts
8/19     Kauffman Designs
8/20     Adele Mogavero
8/21     MooseStash Quilting
8/22     Pamela Quilts
8/23     Freemotion by the River
8/24     The Patchwork Pearl
8/25     Fun Threads Designs
8/26     Me!
8/27     Lemon Tree Snippets
8/28     Bejeweled Quilts
8/29     Tamarinis
8/30     KISSed Quilts – Part 2
8/31     Beaquilter
9/1       Purrfect Spots Designs
9/2       Maria Michaels Designs
9/3       Mary Mack Made Mine
9/4       Made In Scraps
9/5       Happy Cottage Quilter

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Photos from the "Five in Fiber" Exhibit at the Troy-Hayner Center

In case you can't make it to see the exhibit in person, here are photos from the “Five in Fiber” art quilt exhibit at the Troy-Hayner Cultural Center.

There are over 60 art quilts made by A. Sue DeSantis, Ronnie Doyal, Pam Geisel, Carroll Schleppi, and Lisa Quintana.

The Troy-Hayner Cultural Center is located at 301 W. Main St. in Troy and is open Mon. evenings 7-9p, Tues.-Thurs. 9a-9p, Fri. & Sat. 9a-5p, and Sun. 1-5p.

The exhibit runs through Oct. 4. Some of the quilts are downstairs but most of them are upstairs in the gallery room and in the hallway.

There will be a presentation by four of the exhibitors on the Dayton Landmark quilts on Sun. Sept. 27 at 2 pm.

If you've never been to the Troy-Hayner, it is a beautiful building (that used to be a private house).  The photo above is the front porch.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Art on the Lawn this Saturday

Art on the Lawn is this Saturday, Aug 8 from 10 am-5 pm at Mills Lawn, 200 S. Walnut St. in Yellow Springs, Ohio. I'll be there under the shade of the trees with my art.

The show is sponsored by Village Artisans, which I am a member of. On Tuesday I was on the TV show "Living Dayton" to promote the event. You can watch the video here:

Sunday, August 2, 2015

"Five in Fiber" exhibit in Troy, Oh: 2-1/2 years in the making

I’ll have several of my art quilts an exhibit with four other members of the Miami Valley Art Quilt Network (hence the title “Five in Fiber”) at the Troy-Hayner Cultural Center in Troy.

If you've ever exhibited in a popular location, you might know that it can take awhile to get an exhibition scheduled and to create pieces for it. The story for this exhibit starts more than 2-1/2 years ago.

Back in 2013, fellow MVAQN member and quilt blogger Lisa Quintana sent out an e-mail to all the group's members saying she was going to put together a proposal to exhibit at the center and asked anyone who was interested to send her photos of three quilts, an artist statement, and a resume or CV. She wanted it to be an exhibit of newer works.

Four of us responded. With Lisa being the fifth, she titled the exhibit "Five in Fiber." A few weeks later she e-mailed the rest of us that the chemo treatments for her recurrence of breast cancer weren't working, and that she might not be alive when the show finally happened. In June we found out the proposal was accepted and that the show would be in Oct. 2015.

In Oct. 2013, Lisa's fight with cancer was finally over.

Here we are, two years later and it's "Five in Fiber" although one of us will only be there in spirit as we are including her quilts posthumously. As per Lisa's wish, we've all created new works for this exhibit. Most of the quilts I'm exhibiting were made in the last two years.

The exhibit runs from Aug. 7-Oct. 4 with a reception Fri., Aug. 7, from 5-6:45 pm. The Troy-Hayner Cultural Center is located at 301 W. Main St. in Troy, Ohio.

If you’ve never been to the Troy-Hayner center, it’s worth a visit just to see the inside of this beautiful building, which used to be Mrs. Hayner’s home. While you’re there you can check out the giant Abraham Lincoln one block southeast.