Saturday, October 31, 2015

Traditional to Modern a Front Range Guild Challenge

There seems to be much interest in looking at our Quilting roots but making them perhaps more relevant to the newer sewing/quilting esthetic that appeals to new and established quilters.

The Front Range Modern Quilt Guild took up the challenge earlier this year with just this thought in mind. Take an older block and make it modern. And just to make it interesting you could only, use black and white (solids/prints and shades within the black and white spectrum) and one other color. Simple right???!!!

I chose a very simple block. The tried and true Split rail. Three equal strip of fabric, often rotated 90" in a single, simple block.

block by phoebemoon
Based on your color choice and placement the secondary design comes into play.
So, 3 colors to work with, a simple block with 3 strips of fabric.
Now, toss them in the air and maybe vary the length and width of said strips and you get…..

Modern Spelunking ( the name derives from the fact that when all was said and done, the placement and the design reminds me a bit of the stalactites and stalagmites you see in caves)

53 x 48.5"

I wanted to challenge myself to see if I could work with transparency without strict measurements. I did sketch the design roughly on graph paper to get the proportions correct, but did not add any numerical measurements;  the actual construction of the quilt was done on the fly. I did end up with some spectacular failed attempts at getting those transparency sections to work, and I did make my life a little bit harder by having many of the sections at angles, and not the same angles to boot. But that made the whole process  a bit more interesting and very satisfying in the end.

Front, no flash
Front, with flash
The nano particle fabric reads bright white
Top: 100% quilting cotton; Kona snow, black, caribbean, breakers, and retroreflective nano particle fabric.
Back: IKEA 100% cotton bedding

Threads: Aurifil 100% cotton, 50 wt in 2021, 4241, 2810. Superior metallic in peacock blue

Binding: 2" SOG, kona snow

Quilting: straight line and FMQ triangles. Matchstick quilting focally

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Sewing the Arlberg

Basting complete, top
The grays make the pattern move
A gift to two wonderful people. A thank you for two years of service to the club.

Quilt Front
Quilt Back

70 x 70"
Quilted with a Modified #4 stitch; Bernina domestic machine
Threads: assorted off white to medium blues, various manufacturers
100% cotton warn and natural batting
2" SOG binding
100% quilting cottons top and back. Top, all Kona cotton in grays and blues

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Houston 2015

Kind of self explanatory, I have a quilt, "Embers" hanging in the Modern Quilt Guilds Special Exhibit at the International Quilt Festival this year. I also am fortunate enough to have been part of another quilt hanging in the same exhibit, one made by 22 talented ladies from the Denver Metro Modern Quilt Guild, called "Twisted Sisters Quilt" a Modern update of the Game of Twister. After Houston both quilts will be traveling to QuiltCon Pasadena, in February of 2016.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

I made a Tiny Quilt and it's going to California

My submission to the American Made Brands Tiny Quilt Challenge can now be shared.

One of my smaller projects this year - seems to me I've been doing small lately.

subtle echo quilting on the left

close-up of quilting

10" x 11" (small)

Made (as per entry requirements) from American Made Brand Solids. A tiny sample pack from QuiltCon 2016 (the colored bits) and off white for the negative space. I couldn't put any of my retroreflective nano particle fabric in it, although I dearly wanted too. Instead I used inset seams for the lollipop stems.

Quilted with Aurifil 50 wt 100% cotton on #2012 and Superior Metallic peacock blue. I used both straight line dense quilting and FMQ echo quilting to mimic the pieced design in the negative space.

The batting is 100% poly fusible to help with the basting.

The quilt was turned inside out before quilting for a  true, no-binding finish.

It seems like this wee little mini has been done forever, we haven't been able to share until now. It will be hanging along with 39 others in the Road to California Show in 2016. I know it's far off, but if you're there and remember me, I'd appreciate a photo.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Sleepless in Seattle

Oh, how I wish that were true. That I could be in Seattle to see this show and all the incredible art. IF you are in Seattle and find yourself sleepless, perhaps you could go, and when you are there, take pictures and share?

My contribution

The Details :
COLOR FORMS, curated by Jessica Vehorn (Guild Studio)
October 5 through November 27, 2015 with the opening reception October 8, 2015 5-7 pm, Seattle Pacific Art Center, 3307 3rd Ave W, Seattle, WA 98119 (Seattle Pacific University Campus)

The show includes pieces by:
Julie Alpert
Anna Boenish
Wynde Dyer
Colleen Elizabeth
Season Evans
Zak Foster
Hillary Goodwin
Ruby Hoppen
Chawne Kimber
Paul Komada
Matt Macomber
Jeffrey Maris
Ara Jane Olufson
Martha Peterson
Nicholas Sistler
Shelby Marie Skumanich
Blair Stocker
Kate Sweeney
Jessica Vehorn

Backstory, because that seems to be THE story of my life these days. This, me in the show is because of a Texting jag with Hillary of Entropy Always wins. He have history and now we have quilts. If not for her, then this would not be. So, for any of you wondering if kind words and encouragement, collaborative sharing and challenges don't matter, I'm here to tell you you are wrong.

Specifics: (the story, the journey and my sleepless night)
3 pieces, a start, a pause, a finish, a revisit and one that is definitely outside my comfort zone, but had to be. The story behind the Trilogy.

First let me say the general parameters of the show #colorformsshow is to create a nonrepresentational piece, that is greater than 5 x5" and less than 36 x 36". Easy peazy right? Maybe not so much when your comfort zone is usable quilts, in rather predictable shapes (think rectangle/square) and in let's say, large format.

I started with the 10 x 10" piece on the top right. It looked like this initially.

Even with the dense matchstick quilting you could see the shadowing. (I even send a picture to the person instrumental in this whole endeavor, she agreed with me). The curves are tight and the circles small and the way things worked out, I couldn't press to the dark side, plus the fabric would have been visibly lumpy. So despite the fun quilting with the 5 subtle thread color changes, I put it aside.

Next up was this long rectangle measuring in at 27.5 x 11".  I opted for shot cotton background (gray/orange) which nicely camouflaged the inset color pieces. The shapes are the same size as in my first attempt, and I also quilted the heck out of this changing threads often. Because of the darker background I was able to use more saturated thread colors. I doubled up on 100% cotton batting and like the way it plays against the dense quilting.  All threads are Aurifil 100% cotton, 50 wt.
" Revelry"
Skinny 1/4" binding is almost invisible

I opted for rich solid Kona cotton for the shapes and 3 of the 4 circles. The 4th circle, bottom left is glass nano particle fabric. The color palette is similar to the first piece I started. And outside of the nano particle fabric I stuck with solid fabrics, something I've done a lot of this year.
construction details, lots of seam clipping to get those curves to work.

Meanwhile, the piece I started with was calling to me…. so I went back to see if it could be saved, all the while thinking about one request from the shows curator, she would love some non conventional shapes. I tackled the shadowing by adding turned edge appliqué to all edges of the original piece and then matchstick quilting those, changing thread colors just to make things fun.
"Resolution": 10 x 10"
Flash on for this photo on the front, rounded corners, faced binding.

Turn edge appliqué on tiny circles is NOT for the faint of heart. 

Dense quilting through nano particle fabric in yummy blue Aurifil thread. 
 After all the quilting I cut rounded corners and finished with a faced binding. I am so glad I went back to this piece.

But it seemed that I was not yet at the end of my journey. One night I woke up with my head spinning and a headache that lasted all through the night and well into the next day. Since I couldn't sleep, I visited all the pieces I had cut from the 2 finished quilts and all of a sudden an idea, born from a bit of pain and a definite lack of sleep emerged. I still had the script of a unconventional shape, perhaps even an unbound "quilt" running in my brain. So, instead of reaching for the comfort of my solids, I started pulling metallic prints and sparkly whites and just started cutting and sewing. This is what happened, 18 x 13" of repeated shapes and circles, same size, less orderly and tons of fun. I quilted all the pieces onto a single piece of backing fabric, using the doubled cotton batting for stability and quilted the heck out of it, changing thread colors just like in the previous two pieces. I used nano particle fabric again and when all was said and done cut away the backing fabric and excess batting. Needless to say, no binding was used here. I am uncomfortable without the binding, always going back to snip tiny threads that are trying to tumble free. But I do love that I didn't try to over think the process, I just let this one develop on it's own.

"Disquiet" front
I see all three pieces together and although not at all planned,  when they are arranged this way, make an almost square at 24 x 28".  Each piece has hanging sleeves allowing them to be separate as well as together, via a somewhat, if I do say so myself, ingenious (which I of course, forgot to photograph) system of buttons and ties.  So, together or apart, here is "Trilogy". The individual pieces, right to left are "Revelry", "Resolution" and "Disquiet". They will be for sale at the show. Yet another thing I have never done! 

If you live anywhere near the museum, go see the show. There are 19 talented artists who will have stories to tell, I'm certain all well worth your visit.

Thank you to the shows curator Jessica Vehorn (Guild Studio) for talking me through the "art" part of the show and for suggesting that quilts need not be square/rectangular, and that in this instance, being unbound was OK, and looking back I must say, in so many ways Jessica was correct.  Another mere  thank you is not enough  to co-conspirator/artist/quilter/doctor/mom Hillary for all her support and encouragement. I can say for certain that without those 2 ladies, these 3 quilted pieces would never have happened. I am eternally grateful.