The ModTiki – and why not?

Enchanted Tiki RoomDoes any one recall Disneyland’s Enchanted Tiki Room?  I do!   It was quite simply a most magical experience and is still a Disney classic to this day.    Located in Adventureland, it debuted in 1963, and entertains its guests with a colorful cast of animated talking toucans, birds, tropical flowers, tiki drummers and best of all, talking tiki totem poles – all singing a variety of catchy Polynesian tunes.  It is just fabulous!

So when we moved back to Southern California and decided to finally settle in Palm Springs, little did we know that we were moving into a mecca of what might be termed upscale, but rather touristy Polynesian playlands.   Around every corner in Palm Springs and the surrounding communities, you’ll find tiki themed hotels and cocktail lounges, serving exotic rum-laced cocktails from their own enchanted tiki rooms adorned with of course, Tiki statues.

Within a few months of moving here, I was quickly becoming Tiki obsessed. One morning to Carl’s chagrin, we even ventured out in triple digit temps to take photos of our Cosmos quilt draped over a favorite Tiki.  This guy greets visitors daily at the  entrance to the famed Club Trinidad and Purple Room (where Frank, Dean and Sammy used to hang out in the 60’s).    I just love the way the Tiki and the quilt  become one piece  – elevating both to new level of art.

CosmosTiki
So it was only a matter of time that I ‘needed’ to design a ModTiki – and hey, why not?  I started sketching this guy out about 12 months ago but didn’t really make him a reality until a few weeks ago when I made the samples and wrote the pattern.

Tiki Drawings

Warning — These ModTikis are fun and can be quite addictive….I had a great time looking through scraps of batiks and fabrics testing out which fabric prints might look great as the tiki body  – like these two made from Island Batiks or the Kaffe Fassett Artisan Collection…

….or this one made with Banyan Batiks, which would reflect more of  traditional hand carved look to the ModTiki…

BB Tiki

As always, my preferred method of applique stitching the shapes was on on my trusty Bernina 750QE sewing machine, using Stitch #2 and an open toe applique foot (#20 for Bernina lovers) using Aurifil 50 wt thread in the top and in the bobbin. My preferred zigzag setting is stitch length 0.5 and stitch width 3.0 – for me, this creates a nice tight stitch that resembles a satin stitch without being too tight,  and nicely outlines the shapes without overwhelming them.

Tiki Applique 3
What’s terrific too is that the shapes on the ModTiki provide many opportunities where you can “stitch into and out of the points”  – this is a fabulous look and really adds a “high end” look to your applique stitching.

When you approach the point of an applique shape, as you are stitching,  reduce your stitch width so the zigzag stitch becomes smaller and smaller – this is stitching ‘into the point’, if you will  – then after turning the corner, enlarge your stitch width to stitch ‘out of the point’.   It’s a little like patting your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time and takes practice, but once you get the hang of it, it really does create a fabulous touch to your appliqués.

The ModTiki pattern includes both the small wallhanging size – which is fat quarter friendly and measures 11″ x 22 (or 16″x 22″ when adding the optional flower appliqués), but also the Kon Tiki larger size – measuring 44″ x 66″ – 12 half yards is all you need for this bigger version and that includes the background fabric and all the fabrics for the 12 Tikis.
Kon Tiki
I’m finding that almost any fabric can make a great Tiki!  Solids, batiks, florals, geometrics, you name it!

So are you feeling a little ModTiki?  Then go ahead and give our happy little guy a try!  It’s guaranteed to bring a smile to your face and makes an excellent gift for that guy in your life!  You can purchase the pattern on our website here.

Mahalo and Aloha! Until your next colour fix~
Linda & Carl

 

 

 

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The Prince Challenge with CherryWood Fabrics

I recently received news that my art quilt “Kiss” was selected as a finalist in the 2018 Prince Cherrywood Fabric Challenge.  Needless to say, I was thrilled, and  honored to have been selected.  388 quilts were entered and only 165 quilts were selected.

LSullivan_Kiss
A little background about Cherrywood Fabrics and the yearly fabric challenge.  Each year Cherrywood Fabrics selects a contest theme using a limited palette of colors and Cherrywood fabrics for quilters to make a small art quilt representing the theme.  Themes from past years include Wicked (greens and black), The Lion King (yellows and ambers) and Van Gogh (all blue naturally).


Here a few pics of the Van Gogh Exhibit I recently saw while teaching at AQS Quilt Week in Paducah – wow!

You can view the quilts from past contests here at the CherryWood Fabrics website.   The quilts selected are then placed in a traveling exhibit and tour the major quilt shows in each city for many years.

This year’s theme was the artist/musician, Prince and the color was of course, purple.  The challenge was to take inspiration from Prince’s music, style, movies, and create a unique quilt using a limited color palette of purples and black using only Cherrywood Fabrics.  The quilts had to measure exactly 20″ x 20″ and “read” purple allover.

I chose to use Prince’s song “Kiss” as my inspiration.  I have long been a fan of Prince and his music since the early 80’s, and the song “Kiss” is certainly one of my favorites  – but Tom Jones’ (yup – you heard me – Tom Jones from “What’s Up Pussycat” fame) cover version is just as fabulous.


Sir Tom still performs “Kiss” today  while touring Europe and the States.  Here’s a sneak peek video of Sir Tom in action – so fabulous for a guy in his late 70’s – enjoy!

Anyway – I had my theme – kissing lips….or a kiss goodnight….or hugs and kisses….or a kiss goodbye?  I knew whichever way I went, the kissing lips would need to be super sexy, luscious and seductive – all traits that Prince oozed through his voice, lyrics and movements.  I went back and forth about whether to use Prince’s iconic symbol floating in the background, or stitching in purple rain streaks paying tribute to another of Prince’s top 10 songs.  But after viewing the Andy Warhol exhibit at the Palm Springs Modern Art Museum over Memorial Day, it hit me – keep it simple – make one IMG_0262humongous pair of super sexy, luscious, seductive kissing lips ala Andy Warhol pop art.

Once I had the design, I set to work on construction of the quilt. I had the outer edges of the pair of kissing lips but needed to incorporate the lighter purple fabric in order to abide by the contest rules so I added highlights to the lips.

I traced the shapes on to fusible web.  I used the 2 lighter shades of Cherrywood Prince purple for the lips and the black and darkest purple for the background.  I made an uneven 4-patch background and using my trusty Bernina 750QE and all purple Aurifil thread (#2582 my favorite) – I first machine quilted the background in an erratic zigzag (I was channeling Princely guitar vibrations while I did this….).  Then the lips were fused on – I satin stitched around those luscious lips!  Each section took me about 45-60 minutes as I needed to be careful and exact while satin stitching around the shapes.  And since the lips were fused directly onto the already quilted background – I did not need any stabilizer while satin stitching.   Finally – A huge kiss to honor Prince!

This was a fun project!  And again I am so honored to have been chosen to be in the traveling exhibit.  The Prince Cherrywood Exhibit will debut at AQS Quilt Week in Virginia Beach, VA in October, a quick stop at the Houston Quilt Market in November  and then it’s off to Road to California Quilter’s Conference, where I’ll be teaching several classes in January 2019.

If you’re traveling to quilts shows, please keep a look out for the Prince Cherrywood Exhibit or other Cherrywood Exhibits in the future – they are a must see and all of the art quilts no matter what the theme are just wonderful! Here’s a link to the Cherrywood schedule for all exhibits.

Until you next colour fix~
mouth21

 

 

 

Let’s Talk Moody….

This week, we are so proud and excited to announce that one of our quilt designs and the pattern, “Moody” is featured in the new issue of July/August Modern Patchwork magazine. It’s always a thrill to see yourself and a quilt you’ve designed in print!  This issue is just hitting newsstands and is available for purchase here.

I also think it’s always interesting to hear about a ‘pattern’s history” – some patterns work right away and some like this one need to wait for the right fabrics to come along to make it “sing” (our term for when the design and fabrics work splendidly together – when they do, the quilt begins to “sing”…..tra-la-la-la)

This particular pattern was designed several months ago by Carl using the quilt software EQ7 (or Electric Quilt version 7).  It’s original design was in a hot, modern palette and all the blocks were intended to be appliqued over the super large 4-patch background. It’s also been a test quilt to audition other fabrics with large scale florals, etc… but the colors or combinations never quite “sang”.

At least not until Tula came along….

Last year, Tula Pink released her version of modern solids to coordinate perfectly with her other Tula Pink fabric collections, available from Free Spirit Fabrics.   I love the range and depth of her solids collection…it’s certainly not a traditional color wheel rainbow of solids, but imho, there’s just something a little more sophisticated, classy  and different with these colors….And of course, different means it’s a challenge and I like that!   These solids are now a stable at Free Spirit Fabrics and readily available at your local quilt shops and online.

So when we eyed  Tula’s solid collection, we immediately thought that our “Moody” quilt that had been waiting in the wings, had finally found a partner – yup -you guessed it – they made beautiful music and the quilt sang!
Moody
Moody Dir
We submitted the design to Modern Patchwork magazine and they accepted it!  However, before we submitted it,  we made one major change to the construction – it’s all pieced.  We thought the pieced construction would 1) definitely be more challenging for the sewist and 2) evoked more of a modern feel to the overall quilt….

Figuring, checking and double checking the pieced dimensions and arithmetic was a bit of challenge, but after a few test blocks all was great! The quilt construction really goes together quite quickly!

Once the quilt top was complete using Aurifil 5o weight thread (of course) – our good buddy, Teresa at Quilting is my Bliss did an amazing job machine quilting with the grecian keys design.  All in all, I think the quilt came out gorgeous and definitely evokes an air of sophistication and of course ‘moodiness’ as the colored blocks seems to change  personality when they cross the dark and light backgrounds.

Modern Patchwork CoverThe pattern is indeed available in the current issue of Modern Patchwork now on saleMoody Dir 2 And kudos to the editors as well – if you like the Tula Pink solids I used and want to duplicate it exactly color for color,  you’ll find the exact fabrics called out by color name on the materials list in the magazine – a nice added touch by the editors – :-  Thank you Modern Patchwork….

Until your next colour fix~  Linda & Carl