Fabric Faces

I have been searching online and in libraries for tutorials on making fabric collages. There are quite a few out there for making landscape fabric collages, but I am having difficulty finding any tutorials on creating fabric face collages. I found one that covers cardboard in fabric to make a face collage, but I like the idea of making a quilt block instead of a card stock and multi-media product. Any suggestions of books or tutorials on fabric face collages would be appreciated.
In the meantime, I am sketching faces in an art sketch book, and trying to transfer the concept to fabric. This morning, I visualized and sketched one person. Then, I ended up making a collage of an entirely different person. I am having difficulty making the eyes and noses. I tried highlighting with fabric pencil, but that did not work out too well. Maybe tomorrow, I will try fabric paint.

This is the original sketch of what I was trying to do:

I ended up with an entirely different “person”.

Julietta
President of the Quilting Guild

Nadine

I thought I had finished for the day, and I started to clean up the mess on my work table. I had scraps everywhere. When I picked up a grey polka-dot- on- grey scrap, I got a visual of some fluffy, layered hair.
Then I pulled out some white scraps and created a face to go along with this coiffure. More polka dots and Kaffe Fassett floral scraps, and voila! Nadine came to life. I sent a picture of Nadine to my sister, Emma. Of course, she immediately responded with a biography of Nadine.

Introducing: Nadine
Biography by Emma J. Virjan
Nadine
Bra-burner
Has three dogs
Loves Thich Nhat Hanh 
Makes Kick-ass cherry cobbler   
Zumbas on Wednesdays
Never turns down a glass of wine 
Bought Intel at a penny stock and is independently wealthy 

Fabric Faces

When I attended the International Quilt Festival in Houston this past year, I was in awe of the masterpiece quilts of faces and people. The intricate facial features made from fabric, expressing emotion, just blew me away.
Lately, I have been playing with fabric scraps to make small quilt blocks. I use a fabric collage technique to make landscape scenes. Today, I decided to try to make a fabric face collage. I used the smallest of scraps to shape the face, hair, and shoulders. I used FMQ for the cheeks and facial features. Then I drew over the FMQ with fabric marker for the eyes and to outline the nose. The pink lips are from a super tiny piece that I cut from a pink and white selvage. The piece is embellished with pearl seeds. The block is a 4.5″ square.

This is such a great challenge for me.There is a long way to go and so much to learn. But, it sure is fun to try new things.

Old Lady Wearing Pearls and Too Much Pink Lipstick                                                                                     “This is NOT a selfie!”  😉

Fun Friday

It has definitely been a Fun Friday. After taking care of business and enjoying this gorgeous spring day, I went straight to my sewing room.
The gypsy wife quilt project is turning out to be so much fun. I love the “scrappiness” and different sizes of each of the blocks. It is giving me the opportunity to play with fabric, mostly scraps. I am discovering that the more scraps I use, the more scraps I have left over! My bin of tiny, irregular sized scraps is overflowing. These pieces are perfect for the textile art squares that I am currently making. The first gypsy quilt block I made today was From the Heart. I have had this purple rose fabric for some time now, and I thought it worked perfectly for the heart. This block finishes at 6 inches.
From the Heart

The second gypsy wife quilt block I made was a bit tricky for me. There are 17 pieces for this block. I had just enough of a scrap to fussy cut from an inspirational word fabric for the center. This block finishes at 7.5 inches.
Hope from Hartford

These are the four blocks I have completed to date.

After I finished these blocks, I started working on another small textile art quilt block. I have been thinking of the time I was in Hawaii attending my niece’s wedding. That was about 10 years ago. The sunsets were amazing. I tried to capture the memory of these beautiful sunsets in today’s small quilt block.

I played music by Iz, Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, to get in the mood. I especially love his version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow. It was one of my morning greeting songs that I played for my students every morning. Of course, I also had to listen to Blue Hawaii by Elvis!
The music and this quilt block took me on a time travel adventure in my mind…a Fun Friday, indeed. I think I need to plan a real return trip to Hawaii.

Small Quilt Blocks

In between working on some family projects, I have been making small quilt blocks. It is my attempt at some sort of textile art. As mentioned before, I tend to save every scrap of fabric. My sister, Emma, asked if I could send her some of my fabric remnants. She received them today. I am looking forward to seeing what she creates with them.
I chose to make 5.5″ blocks. I begin with a muslin square and then just layer fabric. I do not spend time looking through fabric, since I want it to be quick and random. I just pull out and sometimes just dump them on the muslin. I start sorting and pitching as I try to make a scene with the scraps. Machine stitching is used to hold the fabric. Then, I add hand stitching to add texture.

This was the first one I made.

I made this one today. I used thread scraps to make the bird nest.

Fabric Journal

Since I have finished making rugs and bowls, I was looking for something to do. Then I remembered that I had not yet made the monthly block for my 2019 fabric journal.
This is what I have made for the journal so far:

This will be the title page.

January                                                              February
March

For the April quotation block, I used one of my orphan blocks that I made years ago. Instead of embroidering over the printed quote, as I did on the others, I embroidered over a handwritten quote. It did not come out as neatly as the printed quotes, so lesson learned.

My tendency is to save even the smallest of fabric scraps. I have tried to be more practical and  organized, but my two scrap bins are full. I also save thread scraps. 🙄 As I was getting ready to throw these scraps away, I decided to upcycle them and use them in the April block instead. I threw a small amount of fabric scraps onto 10″ X 10″ muslin block. I scattered and played with the fabric before I threw on some of the thread and ribbon scraps. Then I covered the block with Sulky Wash Away Stabilizer.
I was able to practice some free motion quilting over the stabilizer. Then I cut some larger brown scraps into a tree limb. My sister had shared some birds that she drew, and she gave me permission to print them on fabric. I have made some items for her with these birds, and today, I used one of the birds for this textile art piece. I appliqued the bird and leaves to complete the piece. This fun process just confirmed that I will not be throwing away tiny scraps of fabric or thread. 😉

Year of the Bird

My sister informed me that 2018 is the Year of the Bird. This Audubon site has some fantastic bird cams to view. I have been thinking “birds” all day! On my outing today, I saw some cardinals. They were in two different locations, so there was no territorial fighting dance.
After I completed my morning stitch meditation, I viewed some tutorials on fabric embellishment and textile art. I have ordered some books from the library to continue gathering ideas. I started working on a piece built around the blue fabric print I made with the Gelli plates. I am trying not to judge, just make.
But, the results are a bit too stiff and formal for me.
It’s a start.
It was fun.

Stitch Meditation

Year of the Bird

Fabric Quilt Journals

Lately, I have been really getting into trying new things with fabric. I spent some time looking through Pinterest…way too much time…and I saw so many textile art craft ideas. A while back, I made a fabric journal for my sister. She and I have been having conversations about collage, Gelli art printing, and other fun stuff. I have some Gelli art plates on order, so while I am waiting, I decided to play around with some of the memos that my brother sent me. I started cutting and adding applique. I quilted and outlined with thread.
I made two signatures, but I have not yet put them together. I am thinking I will use other fabric tomorrow to make signatures to add to the back of the two I made today. I also am looking through my beads and buttons to see what I can use to embellish the signatures. I’m thinking that I might add some pearl beads on the gray and white embroidery border on the blue signature.

This is what I have so far. I need to put it away for a bit and think of what I want to do next.