My friend Melanie mentioned recently how much inspiration comes from travel, and I agree. While travelling in New England last summer, I came across this book in a quilt shop.
I enjoy making landscape quilts and made quite a few at one time, but donated them almost all of them to the free clinic where I worked for a while. It’s time now to make some more! I have been saving this project as a reward for getting some other things done!
My First Tiny Landscape
Karen gives very, very detailed step-by-step instructions and I must say that’s a good thing! The book is well illustrated and I had no trouble making this little village on my first attempt. Because I already had the materials, it is postcard size (4″ x 6″)! As you can see in the picture, her directions involve finishing the piece with tulle over everything to be sure none of the tiny pieces comes loose.
I enjoyed this project and like the way it came out. I must note, however, that it took all day to make one postcard 😀
So I went to the Asheville Quilt Guild’s annual show, which usually has lots of inspiration. There were many nice quilts, but two quilt makers stood out, in my opinion.
The first is Diana Ramsay, whom I know from the Modern Quilt Guild, which used to exist in Asheville. Here are her quilts:
Dutch Holiday by Diana Ramsay
Detail of Dutch Holiday
Fascinating Rhythm by Diana Ramsay
Bulls Eye II, by Diana Ramsay
Although I don’t know Linda Fiedler, I was very impressed by her quilts, as well:
Moonglow, by Linda Fiedler
Detail of Fusion by Linda
Fusion, by Linda Fiedler
The guild’s gift shop always has something I wish I had made, and this year it was a little pyramid bag. Of course I bought it.
I’ve always liked pyramid bags, which I first saw years ago in a craft store in Berea, Kentucky. I had a pattern to make one, but it seemed pretty complex. The internet to the rescue! I found several sets of instructions and even videos. Here are the instructions I used:
I recently took a class, with Rosalie Dace, focused on the use of lines in quilts. Coincidentally, I had a guild challenge to “make something” out of some fabric we had “modified” in a class at a previous guild meeting.
Those are permanent wrinkles in the fabric, which is the desired modification. I must say that everyone else’s wrinkles were in a more regular pattern–I had trouble with the technique. However, the most frequent critique of my art quilts is that they should be “freer” with less predictable regularity, so this certainly is an “improvement” for me!
I got the piece built into a larger quilt square, layered with batting and backing, and started embellishing.
Then I wondered what else to do with it:
The center piece is a fabric”jewel” made in the same guild workshop
I decided on more lines! Here is the piece after adding more lines (sewn into the corners at irregular intervals!).
And I decided on multiple little beads instead of the big fabric “jewel”. When we shared our creations at guild, I found that other people had also set their squares on point, and one woman had then incorporated hers into a bag! Since the last thing I need is another art quilt, I think I will make this into a bag, too. And I’m thinking of attaching a tassel to that fabric jewel and hanging that on the bag as well. Stay tuned!
I recently took a class at the annual North Carolina Quilt Symposium, which this year was held in Asheville, relatively close to where I live. The class was taught by Rosalie Dace, an art quilter who lives in South Africa. The focus was on techniques for putting lines into quilts. Since she is an art quilter, there were many techniques that wouldn’t be used in utility quilts, but it was fun to try them out anyway.
Here are a couple of Rosalie’s quilts that were on display at NCQS.
My modern guild is having a challenge to produce quilts for display when the traditional guild has its next show in the fall. The guidelines are: no more than 36″ on any side, and using some Riley Blake solids whose colors were extracted from a landscape photo chosen by the guild. The quilts aren’t due for several months yet, but I had a brainstorm and produced mine already. Here we go:
The quilt is faced rather than bound
And here is a detail. In case you haven’t caught on, this is the one that was stained by basting spray. However, that came out just fine with dry cleaning.
In case you haven’t been reading my blog long enough to know about the condom quilt, here is a brief summary:
A couple of years ago I wanted to make a quilt from a QR code in such a way that the entire quilt top could be scanned to open the target website. Since I was going to be putting in a lot of effort, I wanted a QR code that had some meaning for me.
At that time I was working in public health, spending much of each day helping patients cope with various problems that might have been prevented by appropriate use of condoms.
When I looked for a condom-related QR code, I found that Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and Hawaiian Islands (PPGNW) had developed a QR code to be placed on their condom packages. Scanning the code linked to PPGNW’s “Where Did You Wear It?” site. The goal was to encourage safer sex through condom use.
The Original Code
My colorized version of the code
PPGNW graciously agreed to let me use their QR code in my design. I colorized their code and made my quilt, checking after construction of each section to be sure the whole thing still scanned correctly.
This is the finished quilt. That tiny embedded QR code leads to my blog.
I showed the quilt anywhere I could. (It isn’t just younger people who need safer sex.) That included guilds, quilt shows, and the folks in my office. After a year of showing it to anybody who would listen, I donated the quilt to PPGNW to be used in any way they wish.
I was very pleased recently to receive this picture of the PPGNW management staff with the quilt. That funny looking guy is their condom mascot.
The folks at PPGNW report that the quilt has sparked discussion, especially about the interaction of traditional crafts and technology. I enjoyed this quilt from start to finish and I’m glad it is now in its home.
My entry in this year’s Quilt Alliance contest was chosen by judge Linda Pumphrey for her Judge’s Choice Award! Here’s the quilt:
For Quilt Alliance contest 2017, 16″ x 16″
And here’s Linda’s comment:
I love the graphic abstract and bold colors of this little quilt. The quilt is beautifully executed with strong visual impact.
Of course I am thrilled to be chosen!
All quilts entered in the contest will be displayed at QA’s “Quilters Take Manhattan” event as well as at International Quilt Festival in Houston. They will then be auctioned to raise money to support the Quilt Alliance’s many projects.
Here’s the link to the auction site, where you can see all quilts entered in the contest:
In one of my modern guilds, several of our members have volunteered to teach techniques we want to try out. Some of these may be more “art quilt” than strictly “modern quilt”, but what matters is that the members want to learn the technique, not how it could be classified.
One member who does some fantastic art quilts is going to teach us how to use colored pencils intended for fabric. At the last meeting, she suggested that we get a head start by making a palette of the pencils we have so we won’t be wondering how the color will turn out when we do her project. I had this grid-print fabric from another project, so I used it for my sampler
After reading an article in Quilting Arts about how to use pencils on fabric, I got some textile medium to try To make the sampler above, I brushed a thin layer of fabric medium on the square, then applied pencil. The color went on smoothly while the textile medium was damp.
I haven’t yet tested how colorfast it may be. The woman who will be doing the program applied her pencils directly to the fabric (without textile medium), then brushed with water. The colors had a lovely watercolor-like appearance as they bled a little into each other. I presume the textile medium will hold the color and prevent that bleeding. That would be good for things where precise placement is needed, but of course sometimes fuzzy edges might look better. More to come!