Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Modern Batik Challenge: Flight

"Flight," 38" x 57", handmade by Pam Geisel, June 2016

This month the Island Batik Ambassador's are making Modern-style quilts. Modern quilts is a style of quilt design that has become popular in the last decade. We were encouraged to use bold colors and prints, have high contrast and graphic areas of solid color, utilize improvisational piecing, and take a minimalism approach to the design with expansive negative space and alternate grid work.

For the cream-colored background I used some of the pre-cut California Creamery jelly roll. The 30 blue and purple fabrics came from the Wind & Sea colletcion, the Desert Rose collection, and the Sweet Pea collection (from last year).

The key for this design for me was using the precut jelly roll fabrics. They come 44" x 2.5". I cut the 30 colored pieces to 13" x 2.5" then cut off between 1" to 1.5" for the inset piece. For the jelly roll fabrics I left the 2.5" width but cut them down to 30", then cut off 1.5" to use as the inset, then randomly cut them in half some where between the 12" and 21" on my cutting table.

I planned the order that the colored fabric would go in, but the cream fabrics were selected mostly at random. (Not entirely because there were two cuts of each fabric and I didn't want two of the same fabric too close to each other so they were separated into group A and group B and I used all of group A before moving to group B).

The strips were then pieced with one long cream piece, the small color inset, the small cream inset, the color and then the second long piece. Sometimes they were pieced in reverse so that the inset pieces would be on the right side.

Then the 30 strips were pieced together. Because the cream pieces were cut in half randomly the colored parts were all on a horizontal grid, but not on a vertical one creating a layout with alternate grid work.

I did straight line quilting 1/4" from each seam then used some of the darkest creams from the California Creamery pre-cuts for my binding. The traditional size for this type of binding is 2.25" wide but I went ahead and used the 2.5" width of the pre-cut fabric.

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

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Birds for All Seasons

I recently finished this custom order of four birds: (clockwise from top left) Carolina Wren, Goldfinch, Cardinal, Eastern Towhee. They are 8" x 6" each and the fabric was fused to a thick, double-sided interfacing, like what I use when I make quilted postcards. Then the fabrics were stitched down. Because the eyes were small, I used black beads for three of them (the towhee has a white sequin behind the bead), and I used a small white bead on the goldfinch.

The customer supplied the photos and plans on displaying them seasonally.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Purple Raindrop

"Purple Raindrop" 13.5" x 15.5", handmade by Pam Geisel, June 2016

The basis for this piece is a wonky log cabin. I selected five pieces of Island Batik fabrics from the "Desert Rose" collection (I used the two purple pieces in my "Lavender Mountains" art quilt). I selected the fabrics that had the water droplet print on them.

I started with a purple center the added the pieces going around it like a log cabin block except that I cut the fabric at an angle instead of even along the long edges.

Once it was all pieced and basted with the batting, I played around with where to add the couched yarn. I did this before I quilted it because I was most likely going to couch the yarn in the ditch between two fabrics and I wanted to couch and quilt at the same time.

This is when I decided to couch between the purple fabrics, turn the block on point, and add the wooden beads. The teardrop shape at the bottom is an earring made with blue wooden beads.

The second earring was taken apart and the beads were sewn as if they were falling from the top to the bottom.

I didn't intend to make a tribute art piece to the musician, Prince. It just turned out that this was more purple than any other color and had shapes that looked like raindrops. I'm not actually a fan of his music, but we do share a birthday (today, June 7).

Saturday, June 4, 2016

"Cosmic Connectivity" voting open

This is me and my quilt "Cosmic Connectivity" at the Wheat Penny Oven & Bar, 515 Wayne Ave. in Dayton, Ohio. I think it looks great on the orange wall in the entry way. It's part of the Summer in the City's "Art in the City" pop-up gallery exhibits.

You can vote for me and my quilt by going to:
Check the boxes for your THREE favorite artists, then click “SUBMIT” at the bottom. You can vote once per site visit, as many times as you’d like per day, voting ends June 17.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

"Cosmic Connectivity" part of Art in the City

Me and my art quilt "Cosmic Connectivity"

My art quilt “Cosmic Connectivity” was selected for inclusion in the city-wide art show “Art in the City,” which is sponsored by the Downtown Dayton Partnership and the Dayton Visual Arts Center. My piece, and 25 other artworks, will be exhibit in one of 26 downtown businesses during the period of June 3-17, 2016. The public will be invited to view shows and vote for their favorite work of art. Votes will be tallied and Art in the City will culminate with a prize award and announcement on Fri., Jun 17, 2016.

Both myself and my piece will be at the Wheat Penny restaurant for the Friday, June 3 kickoff event from 6:30-8:30 pm. My piece will remain at there through June 17. The Wheat Penny is located at 515 Wayne Ave. in Dayton. Here's a map that includes all of the locations plus other art events going on in the city.

Another one of my pieces, the third panel of the slice quilt “Industrial Dayton” that I made with the Miami Valley Art Quilt Network, was accepted as a group submission and will be on display at AAA Tire Auto Service located at 200 E 3rd St. in Dayton.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Playful Paper Piecing: Eiffel Tower

"Eiffel Tower," 8.5" x 15", made by Pam Geisel, May 2016

This month the Island Batik Ambassador's are creating pieces using paper piecing.

To be honest, I'm not that fond of paper piecing. I find that I tend to over estimate how much fabric is needed and then I end up cutting the extra parts away, which I think is wasteful. Perhaps if I did it more I'd get better at estimating. Also I like to chain piece when piecing, which saves on thread. But you can't chain piece when you are doing paper piecing!

It is a good technique to know how to do, and it is helpful when you want to be precise. I used paper piecing once when I was making a custom piece that had 27 log cabin blocks. Each block was 15 logs across and each log was only 1/4" thick. I don't think I could have done that any way other than with paper piecing!

Not sure what I wanted my subject matter to be, I looked over my Island Batik fabrics then went searching on the web for paper piecing patterns, I ended up buying this Eiffel Tower pattern designed by Jennifer Ofenstein of

I ended up using fabric from the Wind & Sea collection. I used the mostly solid lime green, bright blue, and light purple for the tower and I used a multi-colored piece for the background that had all three of those colors on a navy blue background.

Even though the original design had one color for the tower and one color for the background, I decided to alternate the colors and give it more splash. And I liked the movement in the background, like they could be fireworks going off around the tower.

I also added a small row of blue seed beads near the top and also some lime green and blue seed beads in the middle of the tower for some bling.

I usually like to face my art quilts but there was a binding fabric that I used that was just the right color. As I've done recently when doing a visible binding, I like to couch a piece of yarn in the binding seam. This time I used a lime green yarn.

I've never been to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower, perhaps someday.

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

Sunday, May 22, 2016

The New England Quilt Museum

After visiting Baltimore, New York City, and Boston, we headed a little north to go to the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, MA. They have a large collection of quilts that they display and they also host travelling exhibits.

When we were there they had an exhibition of Butterfly Quilts curated by the Texas Quilt Museum, which is on display here until July 10. It was interesting to see the combination of contemporary art quilts along with some vintage traditional quilts.

They don't allow published photos of the quilts, so if you want to see photos of quilts, you'll have to visit their website.

Lowell was a picturesque town with red brick buildings and brick streets. We had a lovely lunch before heading home.