Tuesday, April 26, 2016

For Quilts Sake: By the Numbers - My 500th Quilt!

Me with my first quilt "Hearts & Arrows" which I made in a class in 2001, and my 500th quilt "She Paints With Fabric" which I finished this month

The quilt "She Paints With Fabric" is my 500th quilt! This is amazing considering that I took shop class in Junior High so that I wouldn't have to learn how to sew! I always loved art classes, and up until about 10 years ago, one of my hobbies was watercolor painting. So it seems fitting that a quilt of someone painting is my 500th quilt.

What happened ten years ago? In April 2006, I decided to start making quilts to sell. I had applied for a craft show that would take place the following November and it was time to start making items to stock the booth with.

It wouldn't be entirely accurate to state that I made 500 quilts in ten years because I had made 15 quilts before April 2006. But it does almost boil down to 50 quilts a year. (Back in 2013 I did a blog post because I'd made 52 quilts that year. What I didn't realize at the time was that was pretty average for me.)

While I've made more art quilts than other types of quilts, they don't account for even half of what I've made.

This total includes:
195 Art Quilt and 14 Custom Art Quilts
3 Bed Quilts and 8 Custom Bed Quilts
2 Lap Throws
11 Quillows and 5 Custom Quillows
8 Custom Memory Quilts
16 Custom T-Shirt Quilts
36 Table Runners and 15 Custom Table Runners
32 Baby Quilts
46 Fabric Mosaics and 21 Custom Fabric Mosaics
9 Paintings with Quilt Squares and 14 Custom Paintings with Quilt Squares
65 Other types of quilts

This total does NOT include the following items:
638 Cards with Fabric Squares
8 Coaster Sets
53 Journal Covers
3 Mug Rugs
31 Quilted Necklaces
433 Postcards
30 Purses from Neckties
13 Tooth Fairy Pillows
39 Christmas Ornaments

And my biggest seller:
1350 Wine Glass Coaster Sets. Each set has 4 coasters so that would be 5400 individual wine glass coasters. (That's almost 11 wine glass coasters for every quilt!)

Sunday, April 24, 2016

She Paints With Fabric

"She Paints With Fabric," 19" x 25.5", made by Pam Geisel, April 2016

This month the Island Batik Ambassador's are creating pieces for #AprilShowersIB Challenge! The final size was up to us. but we were encouraged to use images of Spring including: umbrellas, rain gear, spring flowers, farm life, weather, bugs, plants and seeds, or pond and water. So many good inspirations! I decided to go with spring flowers, specifically poppies.

In May and June I will be exhibiting with my friend Libby Rudolf who paints watercolor paintings. It was decided that to commemorate our exhibit, she would make a painting of someone quilting and I would make a quilt of someone painting.

I went through my Island Batik fabrics and just like last month with the minis, I mostly used the Sea Salt Sandy fabrics. I thought they were the perfect choice since they look like they were splattered with paint. (I did use a cream-colored piece for the hand and the face from a different collection).

For the painting itself, I used lighter colors of fabric to keep it from disappering in the background. Her hair is yarn that was couched down. The subtle shadow on her right arm was made by drawing on with a brown fabric marker. I don't usually draw on fabrics but since these had the splatter marks it seemed like it wouldn't be too distracting.

The flowers in the foreground are made with fabric. The flowers in the background are red sequins with red glass seed beads on top. And the flowers in the painting, which are even smaller, are just the glass seed beads. The small cans of paint were and afterthought but the splatters on the outside of the can seemed appropriate.

In our last shipment, we also received some Superior brand thread. I got these three spools of variegated Fantastico thread. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I've never used Superior thread before now. I've been having some issues with thread breakage when doing free motion quilting. I wasn't sure if it was me, the machine, or the thread. Now I'm pretty sure it was the thread because this thread worked perfectly!

I used the blue/green thread (#5070) on the left in the sky with a large, stippling type quilting.

And I used the green/yellow thread (#5156) in the grass. I did a dense pattern of vertical zigzags to indicate the direction the grass was going. I also couched some thread for the poppy stems.

You can click on any of the photos to see them larger.

More about She Paints With Fabric

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Sunny Sunflower, another Island Batik mini quilt

"Sunny Sunflower," 6" x 6", made by Pam Geisel, April 2016

I had so much fun making the 6" x 6" mini quilts wrapped around canvas frames that I made a few more. I made "Mini Mountains" a few weeks ago, and I just finished "Sunny Sunflowers," which uses the same Sea Salt Sandy Island Batik fabrics that I used when I made the first three. (Teaser, I have another project that I'm working on that also uses the Sea Salt Sandy fabrics.)

The sunflower has a brown yarn couched around the brown center, and there are glass beads that were added just inside the yarn and also in the center of the flower.

I am seriously in love with the blue-green fabric that I used for the background. It doesn't show much in the straight on shot, but since this is wrapped around the canvas frame, it's visible on the sides.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Mini Mountains in the Dare to Be a Little Square Exhibit at Village Artisans

"Mini Mountains," 6" x 6", made by Pam Geisel, Mar. 2016

"Mini Mountains" is based on the "Lavender Mountains" piece that I made earlier this year. Both pieces are made with Island Batik fabrics, specifically four purples and two pinks from the Desert Rose Collection and a golden yellow from the Sea Salt Sandy collection.

This one is wrapped around a 3/4" thick canvas frame and has yarn couched on top.

It is one of the three pieces I have in the "Dare To Be a Little Square" show at Village Artisans, 100 Corry St. in Yellow Springs. The show is made up of only pieces that are 6" x 6". The show runs through the end of May and is open  M-Th from 11a-5p, F-Sa from 11a-6p, and Su from noon-5p.

There is an artist reception this Friday, Apr. 15 from 6-9 pm.