Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Just Me

 Quilt #16 in my Through Ellyn's Eyes series is pretty simple to explain.... It's simply my initials, EHZ, in a bold, graphic design. I drew it up on graph paper first, then set to piecing.  It came together pretty quickly. The only tricky part was getting the half square triangles in the angle of the Z to line up properly. Yes, there was a seam ripper involved. But the end result was worth it.

This quilt was made with Kona black, red, chartreuse and capri. It was quilted on my domestic machine with a walking foot and big stitch hand bound in red.

It isn't lost on me that my 6 month project is quickly coming to the end. I will continue working on this series until the end of the year... which is SOON! I will miss it when I finish but I've learned so much doing it. I can't wait to share my revelations with you. I'm also putting together a guild lecture all about it. I hope some of you will invite me to share what I've learned with your guilds. 

Friday, November 19, 2021

A Collaboration with Sarah

 Several months ago, when Sarah Goer and I began our Zoom calls based on In Tandem Art (read more about that here) we decided to issue each other a challenge. We each chose a photo from our archives, sent our photo to the other, and then made mini quilts inspired by the photos. It was great fun and a good way to kick off our stint as pArtners. In case you are wondering, yes, we are still meeting over zoom every 2 weeks, holding each other accountable, inspiring each other and occasionally solving world problems (I wish!).

The photo I sent to Sarah is this one.....

During the strict quarantine times of Covid, hubby and I would go driving around our area (north Texas) and explore buildings in small towns we'd never seen before. I love the colors and architectural details of this building. 

Sarah created a wonderful minimalist mini inspired by my photo. 

Sarah's quilt measures 9"x7"

I love that it captures both of the things I loved about the building. 

Sarah sent me this photo of a door at the Rock of Cashel in Ireland...

I was intrigued by the angles created by the molding on the door. Also the neutral color palette, which is not my norm at all. I loved the green creeping into the aging stone and wood. Here is the quilt I created...

my quilt measures 13"x13 1/2"
I used all prints (another unusual choice for me!) and fabric from my stash. 

This was a fun challenge and a great way to collaborate and learn more about each other. I highly recommend you find a quilty pArtner and try something similar.

To read more about this project, check out Sarah's blog.

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Funky Dresden Revisited

For the fifteenth quilt in my Through Ellyn's Eyes series, I decided to revisit and old favorite technique of mine, the funky dresden. I've made many variations of this wonky dresden over the years but never combined lots of them into one quilt like this! I must say it was great fun and I rather love the ending result.

For this quilt I used Kona Black, Corn Yellow, Chartreuse and Capri. The finished quilt is 33x44, the biggest quilt in my series so far and, for that matter, the biggest quilt I have quilted with my walking foot on my domestic machine! I quilted it in a simple diamond pattern and bound it with a big stitch on the front. I'm really loving binding wall quilts this way.
I use a size 8 pearl cotton and a chenille needle (size 22 or 24) when I big stitch. I also find the green needle threader below to be a valuable tool when working with pearl cotton. It's made by Clover and it is so sturdy! 
As usual, I couldn't resist throwing in a couple of cross stitches along the way...

So, fifteen quilts done and about six weeks to go!


Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Welcome to my Neighborhood

The more I play with buildings in quilts the more fun I have! This one is the 14th quilt in my Through Ellyn's Eyes series and I had so much fun creating this little rainbow neighborhood...
I especially love the way the slant black roofs look on this one. I think I'll probably be moving into the yellow house.... I like the big window!  You?

 This one measures 16"x18" and I walking foot quilted it on my domestic machine. The colors I used are Kona black, red, tangerine, corn yellow, chartreuse, glacier and capri.

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Quiltcon fabric challenge - Tumbling Triangles

 I'll be honest, I haven't participated in the Modern Quilt Guild's fabric challenges in recent years. Often the fabrics they use just don't speak to me. This year was a different story. When I saw the Wyndham Artisan Cottons they were offering up I hurried to sign up. In addition to the fat eighth bundle I received from the MQG, I ordered 2 yards of one of the "neutrals" allowed, the black gray. I had no plan. So, I started making an assortment of triangle blocks, using the neutral as the background. 

After mulling them over and moving them around on the design wall, I came up with a plan. Since I had controlled the block sizes, no real puzzling was required and the blocks fit together nicely.

I added a skinny silver border to contain my triangles and then added some big stitch triangles just for fun. Quilted it on my domestic machine with my walking foot. 

Big stitched binding seemed like the perfect finishing touch. Now fingers crossed it gets to hang at Quiltcon next year!

Friday, October 29, 2021

Triangle Trees

 Who else loves a good sew-along? I was excited when Nicholas Ball announced another Improv Triangle Sew-along this month. His improv book is one of my very favorites and his triangle method is the best. First I thought, can I do this? I don't want to neglect my Through Ellyn's Eyes project. boo. Then I thought, wait! What if I make it part of my project?! Jackpot. 

This time around, Nicholas encouraged us to make our triangles holiday trees. I pulled the colors from my project that speak Christmas to me, Kona Red, Chartreuse, Glacier and Capri with a bit of Kona White thrown in. 

First up, make a pile of triangle blocks...

look at the awesome snow capped trees! suggested by Nicholas

Then I started moving them around on my design wall. This is one of my favorite parts of improv quilting...
My layout changed a bunch of times before I landed on this completed quilt. Here it is, all done! It's the biggest quilt in my series so far, 43"x25". Walking foot quilted in all the colors on my domestic machine and faced for a nice clean edge.

like my cute shoelaces? I wove them on my inkle loom

You can see the quilting better in this photo. I love where the colors cross at the bottom...

So there it is! Quilt #13, Triangle Trees! 

Friday, October 22, 2021

Welcoming Lamp

I've been working on a very special quilt  for a while now, and I'm happy to share it with you today. This is Welcoming Lamp.......

There's quite a story behind this one, so get yourself a cup of tea and settle in. 

Several months ago, through the wonders of the internet (instagram and Zoom) I met Karen Bolan, a gifted modern quilter from California. Karen and I quickly realized we had several shared passions, the biggest being a passion for inclusive community and a love of collaboration. Both of us enjoy sharing lectures on collaboration with guilds. We began meeting via zoom to talk about different ways we could work together. Basically, we wanted to collaborate on our collaboration lectures. These zoom meetings were filled with rich discussions on community in quilting and both of us had quite a few light bulb moments along the way!

Pretty quickly we knew we wanted to work on a collaborative quilt together. Karen and I decided to set basic parameters (size, colors, inspiration theme) and then each work with a group separately to create half of the quilt.

Our inspiration became The New Colossus,  Emma Lazarus' poem which is printed at the base of the Statue of Liberty. We talked a lot about creating a welcoming space for refugees and others who are oppressed. 

For my half of the quilt, I met with my friends Chris and Susan at a day retreat center nearby. I asked Chris and Susan because I knew the three of us each had different skills to contribute and that we would work well together. Chris has a great eye for color and is fearless when it comes to improv! Susan is a true artist and her design skills are something I often tap into. We worked as a team to design and piece our half of the quilt. We really got into a groove and it came together in a day.
Chris working at the design wall.

Chris, Susan and I with our finished top

 Our design thoughts..... the gold "sun" is the crown on the statue, and the gold slab is her torch. The strip piecing at the bottom represents oppression; prison bars, or the wall at the border... or perhaps refugees in a  long row leaving their homelands. The bright blues in the "sky" represent hope for the future.
I took our pieced top home, quilted it and added faced bindings. If you look closely at the bottom you might see something you don't ordinarily see on a quilt. It's half of a separating zipper tucked into the facing! Karen and I wanted a way to both attach and separate our quilts so they could be displayed as one quilt or two.

Here you can see the zipper with our two quilts zipped together:

Karen's half of the quilt came together very differently than mine! She had quilters each make one block representing a line from the poem, then she assembled them together. You can read all about her process over on her blog.

I encourage you to find ways to collaborate in the quilting community if you haven't already!