Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Country Church Quilt

Quilt #9 in my Through Ellyn's Eyes series is finished and it makes me really happy. It's a simple little country church and it has a lot of meaning for me.
Two of my late great uncles were Presbyterian ministers. This has carried on through the generations. I am still a Presbyterian today and my faith is an important piece of who I am.The uncle I knew best was Uncle Les. His church was a sweet little country church in upstate New York. In addition to pastoring, Uncle Les and Aunt Delia had a farm. Mostly they harvested grapes that were sold to Welches. I have fond childhood memories of visiting them in their country farmhouse.
 More walking foot quilting on this one, Also, I'm really becoming fond of big stitch hand bindings on my quilts.
My collection of quilts is growing and I am seeing some distinct themes developing. Which quilt is your favorite so far?


Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Color of the Year 2021

 I always look forward to the announcement of Pantone's color of the year. This year's colors really resonated with me...

Pantone's swatches for its latest Colors of the Year: Illuminating, a vibrant light yellow, and Ultimate Gray, the first neutral shade to ever be selected.

Illuminating and Ultimate Gray. Both beautiful, separately and together. In fact, I have decorated my guest bedroom and bath in these colors. So it felt good to dive in and use them together in a small quilt. Small because the McKinney Modern Quilt Guild will be displaying them in the display case at the library again this year, as we did in 2019.

I actually made my quilt several months ago. After I pattern tested my friend Jane (Twiggy and Opal)'s Sparkle quilt, I decided to make a much tinier, two color version as a personal challenge. I used Kona Bright Idea (Illuminating) and Kona Overcast (Ultimate Gray) and made this 12" version of Sparkle...

Today it heads off to the library display. I hope to get up there sometime this month to see all of the quilts from our guild.

Have you made anything with this year's colors of the year?

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Going Up!

Eight weeks into my Through Ellyn's Eyes project and I'm still having so much fun. Beginning to see some patterns and learn some things about myself so that's awesome. This week I dipped back into buildings. I love buildings and architecture and find so much inspiration in cities. 

While I have a bunch of things sketched out in my sketchbook, when this week rolled around I really didn't know what I wanted to make. It kind of freaked me out a bit! I am always itching to get started on my next mini in the project but this week I kind of hit a wall. Nothing inspired me. Luckily I had other things to work on and deadlines to meet, so I kept busy. Very late in the week I had this vision of a ladder climbing up to a high, open window.....
Going up has a story to tell... what do you think it is? Did someone already climb up through the window? A forbidden boyfriend perhaps, sneaking in behind her paren't backs? A mischievous teenager who had snuck out after curfew? A burglar? YIKES! What do you think the story is?
I love how this one plays with my City Windows quilt. Both have a cartoonish feel, don't you think?

Eight quilts finished so far! Where do you think I'll go next?

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Barn Quilt

 Quilt number 7 is complete for the Through Ellyn's Eyes project. In keeping with my buildings theme, this one is a barn. A tiny barn! With a teeny tiny barn quilt....

that teeny tiny barn quilt measures 3/4" square. Yup. It's so tiny.

I used Kona Red, Capri and Chartreuse, and Kona Corn Yellow and Glacier for the itty bitty quilt part. The finished quilt is 18"x20" and was quilted on my domestic machine with a walking foot. I added a little bit of hand stitching on the barn.

So, seven weeks and seven mini quilts! Onward...

Friday, August 20, 2021

More Triangle Play

More than two years ago, I was inspired by this triangle pattern, created in stone on a highway bridge near my home.  

I managed to create a foundation paper piece pattern to represent each section and, after some playtime with the pattern, made this mini (still unfinished) to replicate the bridge.
Then, I put it all in a box and promptly forgot about it, as we do. Sigh...

Fast forward to this week, when I pulled it out again and decided to use those triangles in a playtime mini for my Through Ellyn's Eyes project. I decided to use my Kona Red, Orange and Tangerine since that gave me the most monochromatic shaded look (not really. humor me here. Honestly it ended up with quite a bit of contrast).

The finished mini is 12" square and uses 3 FPP bridge patterns and 3 reverse patterns. I quilted it with my walking foot in several thread colors to match the fabrics, echoing the angles in the triangles. I'm calling this one Triangle Play 2.

So, with six quilts on my design wall, I can see some trends evolving! Several more ideas are already in my sketchbook which is good. I had worried that I would run out of steam, but that does not seem to be the case! Whew!

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Blocks for E.A.

 It is my sweet friend E.A.s turn to request bee blocks from our Quilts Unscripted bee, I'm telling you, every month I appreciate the quilters in this bee more and more. Each one offers up such carefully thought out prompts that encourage me to dig deep. This month was no exception.

E.A. asked us to explore the idea of holding space for someone, whether that means thinking about people who hold space for us, being fully present for us, or us holding space for others. She wanted us to think about how that feels and to create identical (or as close to identical as improv can be) pairs of blocks on this theme.

After many interesting conversations with people close to me, some deep personal thought, and maybe even a few tears, I created two pairs of blocks for her.

For my first pair, I used blues and grays to represent turbulent waters. Often when I am struggling with something in my life I feel like I am drowning (interesting since I have a pretty intense fear of water to begin with). The lightness at the top and the rays coming down represent incredible people in my life who hold out their arms to me in my darkest times and pull me from despair. For some of them, holding space means sitting with me, listening to me and holding me until I find peace. For others, it means speaking difficult truths into me in a kind and gentle way.  (deep enough for you? if you came here for laughs today I'm sorry to disappoint!)

My second pair of blocks takes a whole different turn. They illustrate how it feels for me to hold space for my three adult children (represented by the three triangles above). The soft pink at the bottom represents home, where my husband and I both literally hold space for them, if they ever need a place to land, and figuratively hold space for them in our hearts. I believe that knowing we are always here, believing in them and ready to catch them if they need us, has allowed them all to soar and succeed. The really cool thing has been watching them hold space for each other over the years. 

So I thank E.A. for giving me the means to articulate (both in words and in fabric) thoughts that I have had for many years. These blocks will be winging their way to Nashville soon.

Monday, August 16, 2021

a collaboration with Ally

A few months ago, when all of the kids came to visit, Ally showed me this image she had created on her iPad and asked if I could make it into a quilt for her. Challenge on!
While not colors I usually work with, I was happy to do it for someone I love. I set about collecting fabrics  with Ally in mine. I enjoyed every step of putting it together.

And just in time! This week Ally receives her MSW (Masters in Social Work) from UT Arlington. Quite the accomplishment! And she was able to achieve this remotely from her home during the pandemic, with her trusty dog, Malibu by her side.

Nice work Ally!