Nala pop brings a bag to top

by admin November 13 Art Quilt

One of the things you learn when studying colour theory is "more important than hue is its value"Tha

One of the things you learn when studying colour theory is "more important than hue is its value"
That translated into simple terms means it does not really matter if you are using red blue or yellow, what matters more is if it's light, medium or dark.

This concept allows to make realistic portraits, I mean that "it looks like her ...", using completely false color.

Wanting to make a bag with Nala, and wanting to do it colourful, I used this theory.

And the result is not bad I'd say 

To give you an idea of ​​the work, here are the basic steps:

1) Find the right image, crop it, process it at pc to make it easier to draw the pattern from it, print it (1h)

2) Make the paper pattern. Some people do it with pc. I, despite being good with the PC, and even if I have a graphic-tablet and I'm not afraid of using it, I still prefer to do it the old way... paper, pen and light-table. So I take the photo and a sheet of paper and I define the main shape and all the important lines. Those of colour and light change. Each area so defined will be translated in a different piece, or more pieces, of fabric. (Not a fast job, I can need 2 full hours to obtain the final pattern)

3) Fabric hue and value selection. This is followed by a painstaking job of cutting the fabrics and composition. Cut, compose, think, replace. This is a long job, for this dog head, the size of 16x20cm, it took me 8 hours without fiddling.

At this point I have my application, which is only the embryo of what it will be T the end. Still missing all the details but the image is there and one already can tell "It looks like her"

4) Wanting to make a bag, at this point I put aside the application to choose the bag fabrics. Here I've chosen jeans for the outside and quilting cotton for the inside. Cut all the parts. (1h between choose, iron and cut)

5) Then comes the second longest part: to sew the application on the front of the (still un-sewn) bag. I fix the application (in this case with a little glue, but I could have used the fusible web) and start a free hand stitching work that is intended to permanently attach all the fabrics and to add details, defining the fur, nose, eyes. Obviously I have not used random thread but I carefully chose the colours. Luckily I have great choice thanks to my beloved Aurifil bog box.
All this takes away another 5/8 hours, depending on the level of detail and considering that I fixed all the threads on the back, even if they will be hidden. This takes away some time.

6) At the end I can finally put the whole bag together. First the outside, with a squared bottom, then the lining, with her squared bottom, then the handles and finally I sew everything and close the gaps. There are tons of details, those things that normally people don't notice, but they are there and contribute to the solid and well-made bag (i.e. the X seams to reinforce the handles). All these take away time. This step requires 2 hours.

And so at the end I have a wonderful custom bag, with my dog, that "really looks like her"
The total work took at least 20h. Three days of good work.

But it really worth it.

 (Do you want a custom bag or quilted picture? Mail me at )

tagz: || || || ||

The imaginary penis

by Orkaloca August 16 art * Art Quilt * show


News of the week: at a show dell'AQS (American Quilt Society) an exhibited a quilt, which is part of the collection "Portrait and people" of SAQA, was censored and removed by the organizers.

The reason? A visitor complained, saying she felt offended by the sight of a penis (I guess it threatened her by the quilt).

The funny thing? There is no penis in that quilt!

I refer you to two interesting posts:

THIS by Kathy Nida, the artist, she tells us about the quilt

THIS by Tanya Brown, she speaks of the quilt and in general about the censorship in quilt shows.


A day to dye for

Fabric dyeing is addictive. The problem is that it is a game that requires time but especially space, so I don't do it often.

But last week I realized I'm running out of dyed fabric so, voila, I grabbed my Procion dyes and started a Tray-Dye batch.
This techniques is really nice because allows to use little water, without having buckets full of color around, but only the tray in which the fabric lies.

For the curious on Thursday March 3rd I'll make a demo during the craft fair Bergamo Creattiva, Where there will be also a quilt I've made for the collective show "Quiltomanti"

Ohhh I love this one, who knows how it will be once opened *_* 

Ohhh here I feel the dyeing demon... heeeelp XD 


Birmingham 2014: another big satisfaction

by Orkaloca August 13 art * news * Art Quilt * show

Here I am, back from Birmingham, where from August 7th to 10th I took part in the Festival of Quilts.
I was there as Italian International Representative (IR), to take part in the annual meeting of the European IRs and because ... well because there was one of my quilts in the contest ^ _ ^

This year the contest was packed, more than 1,000 quilts, divided into various categories.

And here is my "baby" with a really original title (yes of course :p) : OrkaLoca
I always play on the pun about orcas and the spanish word "loca" which means crazy.

While last yearall the badges with the awards were already been exposed at the opening of the exhibition, this year they made me sweat.
In fact there were no tags on quilts, only the winners had been moved and covered with black clothes. All this because at noon they have done a nice awards ceremony, followed by the unveiling ceremony of the winners.
Only later, at about 3pm, they put the tags on the quilts.
And I was hoping, finger crossed, to see a tag on my quilt. I put so much effort and good vibes in this piece that I hoped so much.

And at the end, after all the waiting, it was finally there, appeared out of nowhere, my blue tag with the words "Highly Commended". This is a recognition given to that quilt that has not been on the podium just by a whisker.

To say that I'm happy is an understatement :)


Birmingham 2013... double prize

by Orkaloca August 11 art * Art Quilt * show

The Festival of Quilts in Birmingham is the biggest show of Europe in the field. Surely one of those that has the largest number of quilts in exhibition and competition.
This year we had 700 quilts, in various categories, from all over the world.

After having heard so much about this show, I went there for my first time, also because there was my final practice session of the Quilt Judge Course.

Besides visit the show, I had also sent two quilts for the contest. One, "the great judge" for the "pictorial" section, the other "hunting song" for the "miniature" section.

And oh my, still I don't believe it, they both have had a prize!

"Hunting Song" has had 3rd prize and the "great judge" has been Highly Commended

The highly commended is a qualification that is given to those quilts who have not entered in the top 3 for a whiff, like 4th, 5th and 6th in practice. Can be assigned to a maximum of 3 quilt but is not required to be give. Son I'm very happy because it means that it is well deserved :)

So here there are a couple of pictures (click to enlarge) ... the Great Judge with his plate:


And a really happy me with the small, great, "hunting song"

And if you don't recognise the small quilt with orcas, don0t worry, there will be a backstage post for you ^_*


Happy Dance for Floral Symphony

by Orkaloca June 14 art * Art Quilt * quilter life * show

Since when I started to make patchwork, quilts and shows, my great ambition has been to have a quilt accepted in Houston show, in the contest or in one of the special exhibits.

I made it :)))

There's an annual special exhibit named "in full bloom". Since it's in memory of a flower lover, the quilts has to be with flowers.
I tried last year to submit a quilt but it wasn't accepted.

But this year I have been selected and my quilt  "Floral Symphony" will be one of the 32 chosen to be part of the exhibit.
Inauguration will be in october, then the exhibit will travel for une year.

And now here it is, a photo and a detail of my quilt :)
I made it last year for the Birmingham quilt show, and now it will go overseas... I have to makeit  a millemiglia card :p



by Orkaloca September 18 art * creazioni * Art Quilt

I decided to give triptych a try
I went in a craft shop to buy some frames for my quilts, and I found these small, 5inches side, frames. I immediately thought that one was insignificant, but what about a group? So I took three black and three red frames and I decided to make two triptychs.

I have developed a design that would give the idea of ​​flowing between the three frames, but that would be complete and balanced in every single frame.
Then I made the two triptychs, the same design different color choice.
The quilts are composed of hundreds of strips of fabric on a fusible web base, then I added batting and backing and I quilted and mounted them in frames.

Here is the first triptych: Blue Wave


And the second one: Red Wave

Like almost all my quilts these triptychs are avalaible for sell... xmas is coming ^_*
Contact me if interested ^_^ 



by Orkaloca September 1 art * creazioni * Art Quilt

Last friday was the release day for the monthly Fast Friday Fabric Challenge and the theme was to explore the design principle of Repetition and play with creative descriptors of group of objects (like a pod of whales, a deck of cards etc)

First I thought to make a quilt about killer whales (predictable but I LOVE them) but after I read the challenge I found by chance, in my grandma home, this old chalk drawing made by my mom when she was a girl:

It has a meaning to me, and since the design seemed to fit with the challenge I've decided to convert it in a quilt.

I've copied the design on fusible web, cutted the pieces and fused on them fabrics, big pieces for the cats, confetti pieces for the yellow/blue part of the bullseye.

I've named it "catseye" because you can't name a group of cats ... every single cat is sure to be the center of the world :)

I've used commercial cotton, the threads are poly and rayon..
It's 15x9 inches and it isn't bounded because I think I'll frame it :)

The only doubt I have is about the blue/yellow part of the catseye... I wonder if it could benefit by a dark satin-stitch to enhance the blue/yellow edge. But I'm afraid that this could visually darken the right half of the work lowering the value contrast with the purple cat.

On the FastFriday blog I've had several good feedbacks and they think I should leave it as it is, what would you suggest?
Thank you!


Futurist flower

by Orkaloca August 3 Art Quilt

Fast Friday Challenge 71: choose a style of art and make a quilt featuring flowers.

Just read the challenge I thought of my favorite styles ... surrealism, cubism, futurism ...
And with this last style I have decided to make this small quilt:

It 'a wholecloth painted with paintstiks and the technique of masking.

The segmented lines, repeated shapes and colour gradients evoke that sense of speed and fragmentation typical of futurism.
To complete the quilt the word "flower" is written in letters with free placement.

The machine quilting highlights the shapes and predominates in the background making the letters stand out.

One of the joys, when you create, is to have some feedback that makes you realize that you were successful.
Well last night my husband saw the quilt. I said "That 's the challenge, I had to do flowers in a painting style of my choice" and he immediately told me "The Futurism"

What a satisfaction! :)


Of the live fears and death illusions

by Orkaloca October 10 art * Art Quilt * show

In this post I want to tell you about the birth of the quilt I've made for the Bergamo show "quilters in wonderland" hosted by DireFareQuiltare and held during the Creattiva fair (october 2011)

First of all the theme... in the call for entries was stated: "The journey of Alice in Wonderland is a fantastic journey that brings us back to our childhood. A journey into a wonderland where there are so many fantastic characters, but also a psychological journey on the growth phase of each of us. in Wonderland we meet our fears, our hardships, the difficulties that each of us has had to overcome to "grow". Follow the white rabbit in its burrow, take a look on this world to discover ourselves. "

As you can see there were lot of ways to interpret the theme: literally or introspectively
And since I swim in the introspective like a fish in its pond I immediately set aside the figure of the beautiful blonde girl to look at my path of growth, my fantasy world, my fears.
(and then think... the Wonderland is not so wonderful, Alice is for most of the time alone, lost, scared, sad, and doesn't understand what happens. At the end there is also a mad woman that wants to decapitate her. Oh what a joy!)

So this is how this quilt was born. Its title is "Of the live fears and death illusions"

To design this quilt I started by the naked pregnant woman. Before I drew the outline, building at first a sketch of the skeleton and then "mounting" on it the muscles. To know anatomy helps a lot in the construction of the human figure.

I then built the Notan, that is a study in black and white of lights and shadows. This helps to distribute the colors, as in the second test done in pencil.
After performing the test with pencil on paper I copyed the figure on lilac hand-dyed cotton and I reproduced the shades of colour with lilac paintstick and a sponge. The details were outlined with the Inktense purple pencil.
Here are the three phases: Notan - pencil - fabric. Click on images to enlarge.


Done the woman I went on drawing the background. I made the design on the freezer paper and then ironed it on the front of the background fabric.

Then came the "difficult" part: color the whole thing using the drawing as a large mask from which cut off pieces to color (still paintstick and sponge) the fabric. The pieces are then masked again to protect them against the next color.
There are mainly two difficulties, one technical and one conceptual:
- Cut the freezer paper without cutting the fabric below
- Since each section is uncovered, coloured and then covered again, you cannot see the finished work till the very end. This means that you must already have in mind a definite idea of ​​colors to be applied: which and where. In short, you must have in mind a clear vision of the finished work and of what has been already done to avoid missing pieces.

Here is a picture of the work during construction. I only unmasked the three flowers I was coloring, notice how all the other pieces already colored are covered under the freezer paper. This is to avoid stains and smudges. It's a job that requires great precision.

After the entire background had been coloured came the good part, you can peel off the whole freezer paper and finally, for the first time, the full background is visible. Therea re still white areas where I was going to paint killer whales (with the same techniques but in a smaller scale) and where I was going to applique the woman.

Here are two details on the finished work. You can see the colour shades and the quilting that outlines shapes and fill the background.


I love this quilt, another one that reflects my soul. I'm happy it has been appreciated, also if it didn't earned an award. :)

(oh and no, I'm not pregnant ^_*)