Sunday, August 4, 2019

Art on the Lawn, Sat. Aug. 10 in Yellow Springs

Art on the Lawn is this Saturday, Aug 10 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. There will be around 100 artists, plus some food vendors and live musicians. The show is sponsored by Village Artisans, where I am a member.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Daybreak is Your Midnight in TWO QuiltWeek shows

"Daybreak is Your Midnight," 35.5" x 36", made by Pam Geisel, 2014

My art quilt "Daybreak is Your Midnight" has been juried into TWO of the American Quilter Society's QuiltWeek shows. The American Quilter’s Society is a body of quilters with a heritage that encompassing all ages, design styles, and methods. They sponsor QuiltWeek events that are held in multiple cities across the country.

My piece will be at:

Grand Rapids Quilt Week from Aug. 21-24 at the DeVos Place Convention Center, 303 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI

Paducah Quilt Week from Sep. 11-14 at the Schroeder Expo & Carroll Convention Center, 414 Park Ave, Paducah, KY

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing with Moon Quilts


"Time Lapse Moon Rise" (above) is the art quilt that I made to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the moon landing. It is still travelling as a part of the "Fly Me to the Moon" exhibit and was also included in the "Fly Me to the Moon: An Art Quilt Journey" book. 

But it seems that I like to use the moon in my quilts as I've included it in at least five other quilts. Usually I like to use it as a full moon, but there is one that has a sliver of a moon. Some of the moons could also be suns, if that's how you want to look at them.

This moon (or sun) on this quilt doesn't have any quilting on it so it puffs out away from the quilt. I did add some extra batting behind it to give it even more shape.

One of my more recent quilts, this one uses hand dyed fabrics and the fabric for the moon has some light purples in it.

This moon, and the counterpoint circle of light green fabric behind the sheep in the lower right corner both have yarn couched around their edges.

This piece was made from a silk necktie that was cut apart and sewn back together in a square. I usually make neckties into purses but the image on this one was so interesting I beaded it and wrapped it around a frame so it could be hung.

The moon, and the swoosh above it, are a peach-colored taffeta. This quilt uses several non-cotton fabrics including silks, velvets, and shiny denim. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Cosmic Connectivity & Aye, Eye Captain at Sacred Threads in Virginia, July 2019

Eye Contact art quilts at the Sacred Threads show. Photo by Theresa Martin

I have two pieces in the biennial Sacred Threads exhibition. The photo above, taken by Theresa Martin, is from the "Eye Contact" part of the exhibit. For this part artists were asked to make small art quilts that measured 5" high by 23" wide featuring human eyes facing the viewer. (There are more photos of the Eye Contact exhibit on Theresa's blog.)

I thought this was a very creative way to display all of them. Mine is in the lower right of the photo. I call it "Aye, Eye Captain" and it is a pixelized image of a pair of eyes.

My art quilt "Cosmic Connectivity" (left) is in the main portion of the juried show, which highlights art quilts that have a connection to the sacred and/or as an expression of spiritual journey exploring themes of joy, inspiration, spirituality, healing, grief and peace/brotherhood.

This is what I wrote about my piece when I submitted it:

Some people look into the night sky and feel insignificant. I look into the night sky and feel connected to everything else. This is my interpretation of that feeling, that even if I’m not physically attached, I am still connected to other things, similar to the lace pieces that aren’t a part of the larger lace but still connected by the yarn. Carl Sagan says “The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.”

The show is up from July 11-28, 2019 at the Floris United Methodist Church, 13600 Frying Pan Road in Herndon, VA (near Washington DC).

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Quilt Encounters of the Thread Kind - my 600th Quilt AND and Art Panel

"Quilt Encounters of the Thread Kind" 16" x 21", handmade by Pam Geisel, 2019

I'm a member of Village Artisans, an artist co-op in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Several years ago some community members created art panels that hung on the outside of our building at 100 Corry St. Unfortunately time and weather caused some of the panels to warp and split and we decided it was time to create some new panels.

I knew my 600th quilt was coming up and I decided that I wanted to make a panel (24" x 48") and also a quilt with the same image. I actually had a lot of ideas and was having difficulty narrowing it down but I also wanted to use paint that I already had on hand. Eventually I settled on a UFO and camping idea.

Luckily when I went to use the paint, most of it was still good (a little surprising considering the paint was 18 years old! Way to go Do It Best High Gloss Enamel!). I had originally planned on the body of the UFO being red but the red paint can was rusted shut but fortunately for me I also had a can of purple and hadn't planned on using it, but it was still good.

I wanted to use the shapes on my panel as solid colors (instead of blending them while painting) so it would translate better when I made the quilted image, which I also made a little wider, proportionally.

Once the panel was finished, I made the quilt. I used hand dyed fabric which I fused then sewed down the edges when quilting and I added some quilting around the moon and coming out of the UFO.

I used my favorite knife-edge binding but I liked the look of the ground floating in the blue so I left part of the background showing at the bottom and on the sides.

There's an inside joke among quilters: UFOs are what we call our Un-Finished Objects (projects). 

The Art Panels

Here are some photos of all the panels. To see more photos of the other panels, visit the Village Artisan's blog.

The 14 panels on the building.

L-R: Rosie Huart, mine, Sue Brezine, and Cynthia McDonald

As always you can click on the photos to see them larger.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Double Sided Scrappy Table Runner for Quiltsy Scrappy Quilt Challenge

Quiltsy, my on-line Etsy quilting group, is having a scrappy quilt challenge. Here's a small double-sided table runner that I made using 5" batik fabric squares that were left over from a couple of different "charm" packs. A charm pack is a collection of 5" squares with each square being a different but coordinating fabric. I'd already used most of the charms and I wasn't sure what to do with the leftover pieces so voila!

Originally I was going to make a larger table runner with all of the fabrics on the same side and a solid backing fabric but I couldn't find an arrangement that I liked. Then I realized that the black and brown fabrics complemented each other, as did the blue and greens. I did have to add some fabric from my stash for the half square triangles in the "corners" as those have to be a little larger than 5".

I was able to find a navy/gray fabric to use for the binding (it looks navy on the blue/green side and like a dark gray on the black/brown side). I also used a navy thread for quilting because it looks like black on the black/brown side.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Art Quilts at the Wheat Penny through June 30

My art quilts are hanging at the Wheat Penny Oven & Bar, located at 515 Wayne Ave. in Dayton, Ohio through June 30, 2019. 

My theme for this collection is "All the Colors." All seven of my Project Quilting Focus Through the Prism quilts are there along with Journey, Sunrise Celebration, and Millefiori Moonlight.

I also have a small grouping of warm colors (red, pink, and purple) with Eiffel Sunrise, Be Still My Beaded Hearts, Dancing Geese, and bookended with two framed Rainbow Geese pieces.

The section with the cool colors include Window Web, The Fragment of a Song, Depth, Mermaid Haiku, and Fishy Fishy.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Sunrise Celebration - revisited

"Sunrise Celebration," 21" x 30", handmade by Pam Geisel

I originally made "Sunrise Celebration" in 2015 for a Project Quilting challenge (which you can read about here). At that time I used some hand spun yarn that was given to me to make small hand stitches on the quilt. A few months ago I noticed that some of the stitches had disappeared. Some were gone from the front, and some were gone from the back, and there wasn't even a little pile of yarn underneath it.

I can only assume it was something about the yarn itself, so I took out what was left and replaced it with embroidery floss, which I've used for hand stitching on other quilts and it hasn't disappeared. After I finished this quilt (the first time), I thought it was a little too subtle. 

I haven't made any changes to a quilt after it's finished but since I was going to have to restitch this one, I thought I'd make a small change. This time I used an orange thread for the blue and purple stitches so they'd stand out more. I used the same color maroon on the yellow and there's a pink color to bridge the two in the pink fabrics.

Left shows the new stitches, the right original version

It might be harder to tell from farther away, but if you click on the photos above you might see it.

More about Sunrise Celebration

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Eiffel Sunrise - Project Quilting

"Eiffel Sunrise," 9" x 15", made by Pam Geisel for Project Quilting, Season 10, Challenge 6: Craving Chocolate, Feb. 2019 in Yellow Springs, Ohio

Challenge recap for "Craving Chocolate":

Be inspired by chocolate.

Sure, I thought about the candy, and also the color. Then I remembered the movie "Chocolat" which was set in France (although not specifically Paris). I selected fabrics that had some brown tones but still had lots of color.

I used a paper piece pattern designed by Jennifer Ofenstein of that I also used a few years ago to make this Eiffel Tower with Island Batik fabrics in blues and greens.

I had the perfect yarn and I loved how it looked couched around the inside of the inner border that I also used it on the outside of the border.

More about Eiffel Sunrise.

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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 Craving Chocolate page.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

New Name...Tips on Fusing Letters...and Project Quilting

"Pam Geisel Art Quilts chair back" 16" x 16", made by Pam Geisel for Project Quilting, Season 10, Challenge 5: Abecedarius, Mar. 2019 in Yellow Springs, Ohio

Challenge recap for "Abecedarius":

Your project must be about the alphabet.

Before it was announced, I wasn't sure I was going to participate in this week's challenge. I recently changed my business name and there was a lot of work associated with that which was keeping me pretty busy, including new business cards, new hang cards for all my products that get sold in person, changing all of the internal links in this blog, and many more tasks.

Many years ago I made a director's chair back cover to go over the back of my director's chair when I do a show. I wasn't sure if I wanted to update that to the new name, and if I did I could certainly wait until closer to the next show, which is a ways off yet. Until this challenge was posted, that is.

As a graphic designer, I love the alphabet and letters and typography. I'd be able to take care of an item on my to do list and use this to announce my new name!

Why did I change my business name? When I decided to start this business, I got some advice that you shouldn't use your name because otherwise vendors won't take you seriously. And while this might have been good advice in the past, I don't think it is now. Branding and being found are important.

When I started my business, I spent a day and a half Googling name ideas to find one that wasn't already taken. Back then when I searched "For Quilts Sake" with and without quotes, nothing came up. And for many years, it only went to my website.

Now when I want to go to a website, I seldom type the www. or the .com. If you start typing "Home Depot" then that's what come up on the list below the search bar. A few years ago I noticed when you type in For Quilts Sake, Google asks if you meant "For Quilts Sale." So not only is my website not coming up, my competition is.

I also noticed that while there are other Pam Geisels out there, if you type my name and quilts, there I am. (The Geisel is important as there seem to be a lot of Pams who quilt.)

Anyway, here's the new website: It's responsive so it looks good on your phone, also. It has most of my art quilts and framed art with links to my Etsy page (for the ones that are for sale); to my Pixels page to get the images on t-shirts, mugs, and more; and back to this blog to read more about the quilts.

The stitching on the back of the chair back where I sewed down the edges of the letters

A few tips if you're going to fuse letters:

1. The larger the better. Half inch tall letters are very hard to work with.

2. Upper case are easier than lower case.

3. Use a blocky font. If you're printing from your computer use a font like Arial and not one like Times that has all the extra serifs. But Pam, you used a script font on your project. Yes I did. It was only for nine letters and one of the benefits of this was it was only four pieces, since all of the lower case letters form one piece. (OK, five pieces if you include the dot over the lower case 'i'.)

4.If you plan on using fusible, print your text in reverse before tracing on to fusible.

5. Most fusible I've used aren't completely permanent so plan on either sewing down the edges of the letters or quilting on top of them with many stitches.

6. Batik fabrics don't fray as much as regular fabrics. If you have problems with fraying you can add some fray check.

I also have a coordinated arm caddy to use at shows. I made this a few years ago but it's handy to keep items I need close by.

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To read more about Project Quilting, go here.

To see other entries for this challenge, visit the Abecedarius page.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Aye, Eye Captain - Project Quilting

"Aye, Eye Captain," 23" x 5", made by Pam Geisel for Project Quilting, Season 10, Challenge 4: Pixel Play, Feb. 2019 in Yellow Springs, Ohio

Challenge recap for "Pixel Play":

Be inspired by digital pixelation.

I had so many ideas for this challenge but I decided to kill two birds with one stone and make something for a special Sacred Threads exhibit Eye Contact: Creating a Connection where they are going to display quilts of human eyes. The only requirement is that the size be 23" wide by 5" high. (They are due May 31, 2019 so if you want to play along, click the link above. They can be any style and don't have to be pixelated).

I found a photo to use as a reference and I move the eyes a little closer to each other then I used Photoshop to pixelate the image. (Filter / Pixelate / Mosaic) and I played around with that. Since the high was limited to 5" I decided my pixelation would be with half inch squares so I'd have 46 across and 10 high.

Then I selected the fabrics. This is when having a large stash comes in handy. It took awhile to cut and place all the pieces and I also spent some time moving pieces around and swapping some out. I ended up using over 30 different fabrics and some of them I used both the right side and the wrong side.

When I couldn't decide if there was enough contrast between two fabrics, I'd lay them next to each other and cover them with a piece of paper that had a half inch square cut in it. If they looked too similar I'd get a different piece of fabric.

Since I don't have a design wall, I had the pieces on my cutting mat and when I thought I was close I'd take a photo then hold the camera away from my face and see if there were any places that I wanted to change.

I used a piecing method where you place the squares on fusible innerfacing then sew the pieces in rows and columns. Center Street Quilts has a good tutorial on her blog although I'd add that you should top or stay stitch 1/8" around the outside edges to keep those pieces from flapping up. Since my pieces were only half an inch when sewn, my back was lots of seams.

Seems like a lot of seams!

Because I tend to sew with a generous 1/4" seam allowance my piece ended up being a little larger than the 23" x 5" I was aiming for but I was able to trim off a few rows to make it the right size, which reinforces to me that I don't really like to make something to a certain size.

I only added minimal quilting with some stitch-in-the-ditch (not really visible on the front but you can see a little on the back and over my label which I like to add before I quilt but write on afterwards).

I usually like to use a knife-edge facing to bind my quilts but I was worried about the bulk from all the seams and I kind of liked having the thin blue binding along the edge so I did that instead.

I'm happy with the way it came out but I don't think I'm going to be doing another piece that has half inch squares in it.

More about Aye, Eye Captain.

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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 Pixel Play page.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Baby Quilts with Butterflies!

I recently made some baby quilts using Viva Terra fabric that "celebrates the beauty of the desert" with images of butterflies, zucculent plants, wind blown leaves, and polished rocks in blues and pinks and purples. One of the fabrics had lovely large butterflies which I fussy cut to make my art quilt "Social Butterflies."

This close up of the Blue quilt shows the center butterfly fabric, the second butterfly fabric, the leaves, and a textured fabric.

This close up of the Pink quilt shows the second butterfly fabric, the succulents, polished rocks, leaves, and a textured fabric.

The hand-dyed fabric that I added to "A Kaleidoscope of Butterflies" is what I used on the backs of the Blue and Pink quilts.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Social Butterflies - Project Quilting

"Social Butterflies," 14" x 12", made by Pam Geisel for Project Quilting, Season 10, Challenge 1: Hope Springs Eternal, Jan. 2019 in Yellow Springs, Ohio

Challenge recap for "Hope Springs Eternal":

Your project should be about hope. It doesn’t have to be obvious, but you do have to be able to explain how it relates to the theme.

Funny note, my project for the first challenge of season 8 was titled "Hope."

For my challenge I decided to use the image of butterflies and how the caterpillar goes into the cocoon and emerges as a butterfly. Does the caterpillar know that it's going to emerge as a butterfly? And if it does know that, does it hope that everything works correctly? I know when I start a new project I always hope that everything works correctly.

For this piece I worked backwards. I found a piece of tie dyed blue and purple fabric to use as the backing. I sandwiched it with the batting and backing then did some free-motion quilting. My tip for free motion quilting is to use thread made for machine quilting. I finished the edges with a knife-edge binding. (Photo at left)

The butterflies: the back (left) and front (right)

I had fabric with butterflies printed on it and I cut out two, fused some interfacing on the back of them then fused a redish purple fabric to the back. I used black thread to sew around the outside to hold the fabrics and interfacing together.

I sewed them onto the backing but just along the middle and not around the edges so the butterflies still have some movement with their wings.

More about Social Butterflies.

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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 Hope Springs Eternal challenge page.

Monday, January 7, 2019

TWO art receptions THIS WEEKEND!

I have art in two exhibits that will both have receptions this weekend.

This Sat. Jan. 12 from 2-4 pm is the closing reception of the 12th Annual Ohio Online Visual Artist Registry Juried Exhibition at the Carnegie Gallery in the Columbus Metropolitan Main Library. This year's theme is "My Treasures are Within." "Life is Like a Box of Chocolates" is in this exhibit.

Then on Sun. Jan. 13 from 2-4 is the opening reception of MVAQN: Still in Stitches! at the Troy Hayner Cultural Center, 301 W. Main St., Troy, Ohio. The show runs from Jan. 11-Feb. 18. She Paints With Fabric, Morning Glories for Georgia, and Standing Tall are in this exhibit. All of the pieces in this exhibit are created with fabric.

One of the things that I like about both of these venues is that the exhibit spaces is in an architecturally interesting space.

The Columbus Metropolitan Main Library was built in 1907 with money donated by Andrew Carnegie. When they expanded in 1991 they kept part of the original building which is where the Carnegie Gallery is located. I find it interesting to see how the old and new parts of the building interact.

The Troy-Hayner Cultural Center used to be a private residence. Mrs. Hayner left her mansion to the Troy City Schools and it had been used as the Troy public library for 33 years but is now a cultural center. It's beautifully restored and is worth the trip just to see the building.