Monday, November 24, 2014

Art Quilt: Rose Window

Good morning Friends!  I am participating in the "Round the World Blog Hop".  I hope you are enjoying your trip visiting many different quilt artists.

I was invited to participate in the blog hop by my friend Frieda Anderson.  Frieda makes beautiful quilts with nature themes and also teaches and sells her hand dyed fabric and patterns.  Frieda and I met many years ago because we are both members of PAQA, the Professional Art Quilters Alliance.  When we met, her sons were in high school and now they are grown/married/grandkids.  I didn't even have kids yet(!) and now mine are in middle school/high school.  We have been friends ever since.  Like, forever!

I thought that this would be a good time to show you a quilt that I made earlier this spring.  I was excited about attending the new show in Portland, OR, presented by Quilts, Inc, (the producers of Quilt Festival in Houston) called Quilt! Knit! Stitch!  I was planning to vend with my Sophie's Toes Sock Yarn, and since the show was a new concept--crossing the boundaries of different genres of needlework, I thought it would be extra special to have a quilt in the show also.

I planned to enter the special exhibit "Coming up Roses" and  I was excited about the rose theme.  I've made many floral quilts over the years--I am always inspired by flowers.  And this time, I wanted to do something a little different.  I've been turing over in my mind an idea for many years--over a decade, actually, to do something in fabric that experimented with light.  I wanted to get a stained glass effect with fabric.  I don't mean a jewel-toned quilt with black sashing that mimics stained glass, but a quilt that really looks like light is shining through.

This was a real challenge for me.  Usually, the line drawing is the most difficult part.  Once that is finished, I am quick with all the color choices.  But this quilt took a lot more time and experimentation with the colors and values, to get the effect I was working for.

I am very happy with the way this quilt turned out, and have plans for future experimentation with the stained glass idea.

Rose Window is currently for sale:  $4,200.  
Measurements are: 52" height  x 39" width

Here is a photo from August, of me and my daughter Molly at the show with my quilt.  We had a wonderful time vending, seeing Portland, and enjoying all the beautiful quilts!

Next week on the blog hop:  Lyric Kinard.  Lyric is another friend that I met through PAQA years ago.  She lived for a short while in Chicago and now lives in Cary, North Carolina.  Lyric is an artist, teacher and author and her quilts are very meaningful.  Take a look and enjoy her work!  

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Finished Quilt: Tiny Crosses

Hello Quilty Peeps!  It's about time I show a finished quilt on the blog!  This one was finished in September, but it took me a while to grow in love for this quilt.  Just keepin' it real.  Here is the story.

Flash backward to August when the kids went back to school.  I Instagrammed this pile of quilts:  four quilts that had been basted and ready to quilt, waiting patiently for me all summer.

Where to start with the quilting?  First in....first out?  Or last in....first out?  Biggest to smallest?  Worst to best?  Or how about the one that the teenager keeps bugging me about (only one fits that category, can you guess?)

I picked the one that fit into several of those categories--the tiny crosses of Liberty fabric--the one on the bottom.

It was quite big to quilt (81" x 92") and I quilt with a 20 year old Bernina 930, a workhorse but not fancy.  My shoulders were reminding me that I haven't quilted a big quilt in a while.  And while I was quilting it I was reminded of all the things that I could see "wrong" with it.  Such as:

1.  I used all the fabrics from one collection. It seems to be "the usual" thing to do these days--make a quilt entirely from one collection of fabrics.  What's up with that?  I have never done that.  I may buy some new fabrics but I always add from my stash.  In fact, most of my quilts are entirely from my stash.  I think there's a sparkle that you get when using a variety of fabrics that very rarely can come from one collection.  In this quilt, I believe that it does work, because this collection was huge, and well, Liberty.  Yeah.  No worries.  It works.

 2.  I made this quilt by freehand cutting and sewing the crosses.  The crosses are meant to be wonky.  But I think I cut them too evenly and not wonky enough.  They aren't perfect, but they aren't imperfect enough to look like it was done on purpose, so I think they just look wrong.  Maybe the fact of sheer size and amount of teeny squares makes up for it.

3.  It was started during a difficult time in my life, and it still carries all those memories with it.  That's a hard one.  As makers, we tend to roll up all those life events right into our work that happens at the same time.  The good and the bad.  Fortunately, those bad feelings have begun to fade, they're much softer.

Transition to the good news:

Somewhere during the binding stage, I started to fall in love with this quilt.  Really, how could you not LOVE this binding???

And then there's the photo shoot.  Maybe I should take every quilt to the park next door.  It is a beautiful spot and I'm fortunate to have it in my backyard.

When the sun is shining on this quilt all those blue and red Liberty florals just sing a happy song.  It is really so cheerful, just what I envisioned.  Summery, patriotic, kind of old-fashioned.

If you missed seeing it in progress, here are all the other times I blogged about it:  January 2013May 2013, September 2013December 2013.

And here it is in my favorite shot, by the pond.  A beautiful spot, a happy place to document this quilt. Thank you for reading and letting me share this with you!

In happy endings, I have shaken all bad feeling for this quilt and love it unconditionally.  It has taken up residence on our sunroom sofa and has become a favorite among the TV watchers.  I think it will see heavy duty this winter and nothing could make me happier!