Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Terra Cotta Table Runner

Terra Cotta Table Runner, 45" x 15.5", made by Pam Geisel

I made this custom table runner a few months ago but it was going to be a gift so I didn't want to post it too soon. The customer picked an approximate size and suggested colors then since she was local, I let her come over (wearing masks, of course) to select which fabrics she wanted me to use.

We played around with the layout until she was satisfied with the design and also selected the backing and binding fabric.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Monkey Tail - Quilt of the Week

Monkey Tail, 20" x 20", handmade by Pam Geisel

In 2015, after the regular season of Project Quilting had finished, the coordinator decided to host a Focus Through the Prism series. Participants had to purchase a fabric bundle (although we could add additional fabrics), had to create a 20" x 20" quilt, and would have a month to complete each challenge. Every month a traditional quilt block would be selected and participants had to make one of the seven colors from the fabric bundle be the featured color.

Since the parameters of the challenge were to use specific fabrics and a given size, I decided it make all of the quilts similar enough to be a series, and the first quilt would help define what my series would look like.

The first traditional block was presented at the beginning of May and it was the Monkey's Wrench block (also known as Churn Dash). I made some designs and started piecing. Halfway through I looked up at my art quilt Lavender Diamonds and though that I could have made something similar to that but since I was already going a different direction, I'd keep going. Only once I started quilting it, the universe had other ideas and it got wonky and wouldn't cooperate. 

So I set it aside and started on my second idea, which is how I ended up with Monkey Tail. The choice of the blue fabric was mostly a random choice. (I took the piece that wasn't working and cut it up and made it into quilted postcards.)

So all of the seven quilts in the Focus Through the Prism series:

- Use all of the seven colors but have one main color (with smaller pieces of fabric almost the same color to give it some visual texture*)

- Have a black border with brown stars

- Have bits of the focus color on the black square in the middle, on the border, and on top of the other colors

- Have a piece of black yarn couched on top*

- Have curved quilting lines 1/4" apart that echo the shape of the yarn*

*characteristics also used in Lavender Diamonds

In this piece the focus color is BLUE and the yarn represents A MONKEY'S TAIL.

My series was featured in Art Quilting Studio Magazine's Autumn 2018 issue on working in a series and they were also included with several quilts that other people made for the Focus Through the Prism challenge including the Wisconsin Quilt Expo in 2016. Above is Monkey Tail with some of the other blue quilts.

Because this is the Quilt of the Week, it is 10% off the original price of $300 and as a special deal, all of the Focus Through the Prism quilts are 10% off through 5/16/21 if you purchase directly from me. Details can be found here.


Monday, March 22, 2021

Tiny Lighthouse - Quilt of the Week


Tiny Lighthouse, 2" x 3" in a 6" x 8" frame, handmade by Pam Geisel

In the artsy little village where I live, there used to be a frame shop that would host an exhibit of small artwork every other year. The artwork submitted needed to be 2" x 3" and the admission fee included matting and framing the piece. Sadly that frame shop has closed but it was a fun experience to work so small.

The sky and sand strips are 1/4" high and are pieced. The lighthouse was appliqued to the background and where the light goes is some hand quilting.

It is double matted and in a light wood frame. It can hang on the wall or stand on a table or shelf.

Because this is the Quilt of the Week, it is 10% off the original price of $75 through 3/28/21 if you purchase directly from me. Details can be found here.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Make a Wish - Project Quilting

Make a Wish, 12" x 16", made by Pam Geisel for Project Quilting Season 12, Challenge 6, Ab Intra

Recap for Ab Intra:

"Ab intra is a Latin phrase (therefore. also used in modern legal terms) that means “from within.” Its opposite, ab extra, is “from outside.” Show us what it’s like inside to live in your unique body. What boundaries do you stay within? Who are you inside your social bubble (family, career, society)? How about a wearable art piece – any clothes you’d like to make where you’ll end up literally inside the finished project? Or, show us the internal spark that fires your creativity! What’s in your sketchbook or rolling around in your head?"

I found this theme a bit intimidating. My husband and I often joke about if we had a t-shirt to warn the rest of the world about ourself, what would our t-shirt say? He's a writer, so words are his thing. I'm an artist, so images are my theme. Thinking about what my t-shirt would say made me think of the pile of t-shirts that I've collected to make something out of. I do make t-shirt quilts although I haven't made one for myself. This particular t-shirt image spoke to me about what it's like for me as an artist.

I feel like the art I make is a part of myself and I'm sending it off into the world and maybe some of my art will inspire someone else to grow into the artist they need to be. I did some free-motion quilting, not something I do a lot of, and the path that they took makes me think of how I move through life, not necessarily in a straight line but in a general direction, getting distracted by this thing over here, then back on the path only to get interested in something over there, but eventually in the right direction. 

I wrote the title of the piece at the bottom with free motion quilting.

The backing fabric is also appropriate because I am colorful and bold, although you have to get to know me a bit before I show you my back side, which might have some messy stitches in it.

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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 Ab Intra page.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Sunrise Celebration - Quilt of the Week


Sunrise Celebration, 20 " x 31", handmade by Pam Geisel

If this quilt looks similar to last week's Quilt of the Week, that's because it was made with the same technique, just with much more color. Like "Daybreak is Your Midnight" it uses hand dyed fabric and hand quilting but unlike Daybreak it has some sashing between the horizontal columns. The sashing, is that wide because I wanted to use this great fabric that had black with little brown stars on it but I'd only bought a quarter of a yard, so I calculated how much I'd need for the binding and what was left got to be sashing.

The hand quilting on this piece is three little stitches in all of the inset color pieces. I originally used a hand spun thread but noticed a few years later that the stitches were disintegrating so I removed them and redid the hand stitching with embroidery floss. The original thread was a maroon color but when I redid it I used maroon in the yellows but orange in the blues and purples. I used a chunky, multi-colored yarn along the sashing and the binding.

I made it for the Project Quilting challenge "Sunrise/Sunset" so I designed and created it all in one week. The name comes from the Sunset Celebration that happens every evening in Key West only I wrote the title wrong on the label, so now it's a celebration of the sunrise, although with most of my art pieces that have sunsets, they could all be sunrises, also.

It was included in the Fiber577 exhibit at the 577 Foundation in Perrysburg, OH, in 2015.

Because this is the Quilt of the Week, it is 10% off the original price of $740 through 3/21/21 if you purchase directly from me. Details can be found here.

Monday, March 8, 2021

Daybreak is Your Midnight - Quilt of the Week

Daybreak is Your Midnight, 36" x 36", handmade by Pam Geisel

I like to play with contrasts, especially in abstract art quilts. This one has dark vs. light, rectangles vs. circles, and lots of neutral colors vs. a pop of color.

I did some hand quilting on this piece and because there were places where I was going through as many as six layers of fabric, I sometimes had to use a pair of needle-nosed pliers to pull the needle through.

The title comes from the lyrics of "Take a Pebble" by Emerson, Lake, & Palmer: "The daybreak is your midnight; the colours have all died. Disturbing the waters of our lives." I though this fit because when colors "die" they become neutral, like blacks and browns, and also I liked how the "disturbing the water" is like ripples, which is what I see the large, hand-quilted circles as.

This art quilt was featured in Art Quilting Studio Magazine's Summer 2018 issue on using hand dyed fabric.

It has also been included in several notable exhibitions including The Ohio Designer Craftsmen's Best of 2015 traveling show, in the 11th Annual Ohio Online Visual Artist Registry Juried Exhibition at the Columbus, Ohio Metro Main Library in 2017, and at AQS QuiltWeek in both Grand Rapids, Michigan and Paducah, Kentucky in 2019.

Because this is the Quilt of the Week, it is 10% off the original price of $1585 through 3/14/21 if you purchase directly from me. Details can be found here.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Forget-Me-Nots - Project Quilting


"Forget-Me-Nots," 7" x 11", made by Pam Geisel for Project Quilting, Season 12, Challenge 5, You're Crazy

Recap for You're Crazy

Projects must be inspired by Crazy Quilts. Crazy Quilts are a style of patchwork quilts that usually incorporate small, irregularly shaped pieces of fabric. Often the fabrics used are not what is normally used for patchwork but instead are silks, velvets, and brocades. These were also places where quilters could feature their hand stitching and embroidery skills or places to use special embellishments.

As much as I love the Project Quilting challenges, I've been doing this quilting thing for awhile so I've usually had some encounter with most of the past challenges. This one is different as I've never made a crazy quilt. Not even a single crazy block. So I guess this week really was a challenge for me.

The backstory for this week: recently a quilting friend passed away. To say that Sue was a collector might be an understatement. And even though she'd been working on giving away her stash for several years now, there were still items in her studio when she passed. A few weeks later her children, who I'm also friends with, gave me several large boxes to find a good home for.

I only kept a small amount and passed the rest along to another mutual friend. Of the items I kept were three small pieces that she had started but not finished. I'm not sure what her specific plans were for any of these. She really liked to play around so she might not have had an end goal in mind.

One of the pieces that I kept was because I really liked the soft green fabrics that she was working with and it did remind me of a crazy quilt in style, even though it's more horizontal and less circular. All of the embellishments that I added came from her stash: the ribbons, hand-dyed variegated yarns, glass and pottery beads, and the seven flower shapes that I think might have come off a piece of jewelry.

I didn't really add any quilting other than the couching and I used a knife-edge binding (facing).

Besides being an amazing fabric artists, Sue did many other types of art including embroidery, pottery, mosaic, and painting to name a few. She was also a Master Gardener, which was why I made this into a little garden scene and called it "Forget-Me-Nots."

More about Forget-Me-Nots

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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 You're Crazy page.

Monday, March 1, 2021

Life is Like a Box of Chocolates - Quilt of the Week

Life is Like a Box of Chocolates, 53" x 53", made by Pam Geisel

This piece started off as a sampler quilt although not only were the blocks (intentionally) different sizes, they we also (intentionally) different shapes as some (the flag) were rectangular. To make up for the different sizes and shapes, there was a lot of background fabric (the dark blue).

After being set aside for several years, I basted and quilted this piece with a tight, angular free motion quilting and then I did the unthinkable. I cut it apart into 81 5" squares.

I arranged the squares into 9 Nine Patch blocks and appliqued them onto one of two overdyed navy blue background fabrics, which is why you can see a bit of the batting and raw edges around the squares. The Nine Patches were arranged into an even larger Nine Patch with sashing fabric made from the original border fabric.

I find the more I look at this quilt, the more my brain tries to reassemble the sampler blocks. Some of the original quilt blocks were Bear’s Paw, Jacob’s Ladder, Log Cabin, and Path Through the Woods. Can you see them?

I named this quilt because it's a play on a chocolate "Sampler" box and it kind of looks like little quilted candies arranged inside a box.

Because this is the Quilt of the Week, it is 10% off the original price of $2500 through 3/7/21 if you purchase directly from me. Details can be found here.