Tag Archives: portrait quilts

Head of Marketing and The Rainbow Bridge

I’m not unemployed, I’m self-employed. I’m the owner and artist-in-residence for QUILTArtbymegan. There. I said it. And I’m terrified. Why? Because, even with all the resources and cheerleaders I have, it’s really up to me. I’m the CEO, CFO, and head of marketing.

Marketing, ho boy. This means I not only need to promote my work, but myself. That gets difficult sometimes when I fear I’m made up entirely of unrealized potential locked away in self-doubts. This week’s blog post by Les Kertay addresses this problem head-on. It’s good to be scared… and to take the leap anyway. Oh crap, I’m human. Go read the blog post. Really. It’s intensely vulnerable and inspiring all at once.

I had a chance to talk with an amazing business woman in last November. She took her art from painting in her home studio to being wildly successful internationally. She spent some time to mentor me, tell me some things that helped her get where she is. As a shy artist who preferred to work alone, as so many of us introverted emotional artistic types are, she has a trick for marketing her work. She pretends that she’s selling someone else’s awesome stuff. I’ve been thinking about that a lot recently and think it’s a great tool to get out of my own way. So, in that spirit, here’s some of the cool stuff that’s available to you from QUILTArtbymegan and its amazing artist-in-residence.

Portrait quilts are unique, beautiful, fiber heirlooms. They’re great to celebrate any occasion, including memorializing the death of a loved one. This piece was a gift to someone who had recently lost her companion. Anyone who has ever loved a pet can understand the effect that their passing can have… especially since they were a part of your daily life for so long. This is a great way to honor that connection. Here’s the photograph that inspired the piece.

dog photo for PaulaHere’s the 12×12 art inspired by the above photograph. My customer asked for a top only, not a quilted piece so she could make this into a pillow.
Final Dog Sample

 

Here’s the final product, after it was given to the woman in the photograph, who’s mourning her friend. I’m so honored to be a part of this memory piece. The embroidery around the edges is from the book “The Little Prince”  by Antoine de Saint-Exupery and reads, “But if you tame me then we shall need each other… to me, you will be unique in all the world,.. to you, I shall be unique in all the world.” My customer also did the beautiful quilting before making the piece into a pillow.

Paula5

 

I am working out the details for another memory piece. This time, it’s a T-shirt quilt. The shirts are team shirts from college, which will be turned into a bed quilt. I enjoy every project but these memory pieces are extra-special to me.

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2014 will be a great year for QUILTArtbymegan

Here’s a bit of a preview of what’s coming this year. First of all, I’ll be doing a bunch of portrait quilts. You know, those are the ones inspired by a photograph and then rendered into fabric. Coming up are twins, a dog, a snowy landscape, and more. Here’s a tracing of one I’m working on now which has holding hands and wedding rings showing. It’s in pencil so it doesn’t photograph beautifully just yet.

hands tracing

Also, one of my sample quilts this year has to feature my niece Mary. ‘Cause I love her and she’s flipping adorable. So here’s a photo from Halloween that I’ll be using as inspiration.

Panda Mary

Alright, on to the second category of quilts you can expect from me in 2014. I’ll be making more things with crumbs! Here are two quilts-in-progress that use crumb blocks in their design. (One is a super-close up because the whole quilt hasn’t yet been revealed to the receiver.) Crumbs heart crumbs with black

I’m also working on making my crumbs customize-able. I think they’re in the top two cool things I do with my quilting and hadn’t figured out a way to make them in a cost-effective way. Worth my time to make the stuff and worth your money to buy them. Enter the letter pillows! Soon these will be available to order in my etsy store. You can buy them individually or as a group to spell out names, holidays, important dates (numbers will be available, too), and more. I’m also working on a way to stretch these across canvas for an on-the-wall look rather than the pillows’ on-the-shelf thing.

letter pillow sample

Another thing I’ll be playing around with (and hopefully making beautiful wear-ables out of) is old wool, cashmere, and silk items. I’m experimenting with up-cycling in the style of the artist Katwise.

What else? Tons, I’m sure! I’m learning new things all of the time. I think as an artist it’s important to explore new things and learn from other artists. Plus just play around and see what happens. That’s what I did with this doll quilt piece that was entered into the Project Quilting Challenge this week. It’s made of strings, which are skinny long strips. I’m not in love with the final quilt but it was fun to experiment and stretch myself. There are bunch of quilts finished in this challenge that are gorgeous! See and vote for your favorites here. 

pinked dolls

I took the “Twisted Sisters” class from Ami Simms on Saturday. It was so much fun! I initially wasn’t thrilled with the quilt design but learned how I can make it my own and am sure I’ll love the thing once it’s all put together. I also learned a bunch of tiny tips and tricks that make all the difference when you’re sewing. For example, if your selvage strips have been cut off the way you find the straight of grain (which is parallel to the selvage) is to stretch a tiny section of the fabric with your fingers. The direction that has the least stretch is the straight of grain. Twisted sister

I predict this’ll be a great year for me personally and QUILTArtbymegan as well. Stay tuned! You won’t want to miss any of it.

Customer Service 101: Active Listening

 

It is so very important to listen to customers and really hear what they’re saying. I made a portrait quilt top (not quilted, so it could be hung in a frame) for a customer who wanted to give it to her husband for Christmas. She described it as he’s in the military and she wanted something beautiful and unique featuring this photograph of his squadron.

Julianna 1I heard her… until I saw the picture. Dude! That’s the mountain from Close Encounters of the Third Kind! The one the kids were drawing and the guy made sculptures of because the aliens would land there. How cool that this is an actual real-life landmark! I’m such a sci-fi geek. And my first pattern draft focused on how awesome the mountain is… until I realized that I wasn’t focusing on what’s really important to the customer.

It doesn’t matter what I think is important (or cool!) in a photograph. It matters what the customer wants to feature. So I scrapped my drawing of the mountain in all its glory, which hides the planes quite well… and swapped that for a plain stripped fabric which brings the focus back to her husband’s squadron. I think it’s well done.

Juliana 2

Four Faces: A Custom Portrait Quilt

When I started this blog way back in August of 2012 I gave you a sneak peak of a quilt-to-be. It was in the planning stages then and has long ago been completed. Somehow I neglected to show you guys the big finish! So here it is. I started with this photograph: 4 subjects photo

Then, taking several artistic licenses, I rendered it into fabric. I like to call it inspired by the photograph instead of actually copying the photograph exactly. Shading is important here as is texture. Plus the gravel backdrop was too boring and I’d rather not have that boot in the quilt. Two of the women in this photo are sisters, the ones wearing green and grey. You’ll notice they have the same eye color. I tried to use some of the same fabrics for these two faces to give you the sense that they’re closer related. The other two people are cousins of the sisters. Recognize anybody? Yup, that’s me on the lower left. I call this masterpiece, “Four Faces.”

FourFaces Completed

 

I’m working on a custom order now for a quilt of this sort. Instead of a portrait I’m working from a landscape photograph with an airplane in it. I can really do this with any photograph, people. The holiday gift-giving season’s coming up quickly but there’s still time to order one of these for someone you love. Check out my etsy shop for more cool stuffs.

The reviews are coming in!

Hello everybody. This is just a quick post to let you know about a new page on my blog. You can find it here: https://quiltartbymegan.wordpress.com/customer-feedback/

I will be adding to it periodically as more feedback comes in. These are reviews from people who have been gifted, bought, or seen my quilts. Please check out my etsy shop, too. https://www.etsy.com/shop/QUILTArtbymegan Now’s the time to get those orders in for the 2013 holiday season.

etsy banner

Expect a blog post next week about the quilts that a team of us are making for Crystal Lake Camps, where I spent many of my childhood summers. It’s a place that I hold dear to my heart and I’m honored to be coordinating three quilts for the Lodge. There’s a native american theme at the camp, so everyone’s divided into four clans: the turtles, turkeys, bears, and wolves. I’m in charge of organizing the two twin sized quilts for the turkeys room and one larger quilt for the turtles room. I also have the permission of the maker of quilts for the other two clans to show photographs of her stunning creations here.

In case you’re wondering, I’m a proud turtle. GO TURTLES!

turtle claws