Finally, A Quilt Design

I’ve had this Jane Sassaman fabric for several (5?) years now, but I love it so much it’s been hard to decide what to do with it.

one-block wonder quilt

Garden Divas fabric by Jane Sassaman

Coincidentally, I’ve also been meaning for years (more than 5?) to make a one-block wonder quilt.  In case you don’t know, one-block wonders are hexagonal blocks made out of 6 equilateral triangles.  Usually the triangles are identical so that the block looks like a kaleidoscope.

hexagon block

I think you can see the outline of the hexagonal block and its triangles here

Finally, I got the fabric and the one-block wonder idea together, and here are the blocks. They are just pinned together, and I expect to re-arrange them many times before I decide on a final design.That black half-hexagon in the upper left corner is what I’ll do to make the edges of the final design even.

I thought about adding some focus to the design by inserting small, solid-color lines at random places, line this:

I’m not sure I like that, but scattered black triangles are a possibility:

Or maybe not.  Suggestions?

Pamela Wiley Quilts in Savannah

While in Savannah for QuiltCon, my husband and I happened on an exhibit of quilts by Pamela Wiley, a professor emerita of SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design).  I’m sorry I missed her class at QuiltCon, but the exhibition of her quilts was terrific!

SCAD, Pamela Wiley quilt

As Above So Below, by Pamela Wiley

Pamela Wiley’s quilts are stretched tight and framed, so that when we looked in from the street we were not sure at first whether we were looking at paintings or quilts.  Once in the gallery, it was apparent that these were real quilts.

Pamela Wiley quilts

Mineralogie by Pamela Wiley

Little information was given about the materials used; each label simply listed “stitched cotton”.  However, the stitching was used to distort the cotton, not just in the usual way by making raised and depressed areas with stitching and batting, but also by slightly moving printed lines so that the surface appeared warped.

Pamela Wiley art quilt

Detail of Outside In, by Pamela Wiley

Stitching was used to add layers of color and to distort commercially printed fabric in ways that fooled the eye.

art quilt, Pamela Wiley quilt

Outside In by Pamela Wiley

I took a number of pictures, with permission of the guard for the exhibit.  If you want more, there is an article about her work in what I call “art school language” here, and many pictures of details of her quilts on Instagram here.  I’ll be looking for quilt shows where she may teach in the future!

Pamela Wiley quilt

Houndstooth Hurdy Gurdy by Pamela Wiley

art quilt, Pamela Wiley

Detail of Houndstooth Hurdy Gurdy by Pamela Wiley

Pamela Wiley quilt

Detail of Houndstooth Hurdy Gurdy by Pamela Wiley

Pamela Wiley art quilt

detail of Holding Space by Pamela Wiley

Pamela Wiley

Holding Space by Pamela Wiley

Pamela Wiley art quilt

Full Circle by Pamela Wiley

art quilt

Detail of Full Circle by Pamela Wiley

Pamela Wiley

Detail of Full Circle by Pamela Wiley

Oh, and if you aren’t already intimidated, let me tell you that all these quilts were dated 2016!!!

Next Scrap Project

I mentioned I’m doing a Lego Quilt, based on instructions from Tonya Ricucci.  I am lucky to have changed to a 4-day-a-week job, so I spent my first Friday off getting all the strips done.  I put them up on the design wall as I pieced them to be sure I was getting a good balance of colors and values.

lego quilt

Strips on my design wall

Tonya’s instructions say to cut 1-1/2″ strips and join them to make the rows in each block.  I have a lot of strips, sorted by width, so I tried the 1-1/2″ strips first, joining them end-to-end and cutting into the lengths I needed.scrap quilt, strip quilt

That was tedious, to say the least. I switched to using wider strips, joining them lengthwise, and cutting 1-1/2″ strips from the sets.lego-3

lego-4Now I have 420 strips, enough to make my 42 blocks (finishing 10″ each) for a 60″ x 70″ quilt.  This will be my next leaders-and-enders project.  Here are all the strips laid out ready to go!  scrap quiltStay tuned!  I think it will be fun to see it come together!

Smoky Mountain Quilt Guild Show, Part 2

There has been so much going on (that’s good!) I haven’t had a chance to post the rest of my favorites from my local guild show.  Here are a few more of them.

Please note that this is a local show, so most of the quilts were made from patterns or workshops. I’ll list the source where I have it.

Jen Kingwell qult

Jen Kingwell design beautifully done by Susan Roper

traditional qult

Traditional design made “to use up scraps”

Our guild has a very active group making Quilts of Valor for men and women who have served in the military. The next two were made for that program.

Quilts of Valor

Inspired by a design on the Alycia Quilts blog

Illusions quilt

Design by Jenny Doan for Missouri Star Quilt Company

modern paper piecing

Design from the book Modern Paper Piecing was both pieced and quilted by Linda

Amish modern quilt

Debby designed and made this quilt after a study of Amish quilts

rainbow quilt

Quilt is based on a Mind the Gap design by Moda. Karen cleverly named it after her “mistake” in placing the green strips!

Gray quilt

Christeen designed this quilt herself, and I think the name should get a humor award!

Modern log cabin quilt

Betty designed and made this quilt for a log cabin challenge

Detail view. Pattern is by Kathy Wells.

From a pattern by Kathy Wells

I’m lucky to live near so many talented quilters!

Where Did You Wear It?

A couple of years ago I made a quilt based on the little triangle codes found on plants at my local nursery.  It sank without a trace when I entered it in a show.

But the idea stayed with me, and earlier this year, when I wanted to make a quilt with social significance, I decided on a QR code.

Since my “day job” involves a lot of treating conditions that condoms might have prevented, I wanted to make a quilt to promote condom use. It’s what we like to call “safer sex”. Now don’t get all huffy on me; sex is a fact of life.

When I went looking for a condom-related QR code, I found this one developed by Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands.

Where Did You Wear It campaign

The folks at Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and Hawaiian Islands were gracious enough to allow me to use their QR code

Back in 2012 they put this QR code on all their condoms in a campaign called “Where Did You Wear It?”. Those who scan the code are taken to a website where they can put a pin in a map to show their geographic location–where they wore the condom!

The site also gives some important facts about condom use. The point of their campaign, and my point in making this quilt for show, is to normalize, encourage, and promote the use of condoms when needed.

It turns out QR codes are robust little devils, so I was able to re-color it and develop a lively quilt design with the use of my trusty Electric Quilt program:

Where Did You Wear It campaign

Quilt Design from the “Where Did You Wear It?” QR code

Making this was quite a challenge!  At each step I kept scanning it to be sure it took me to the “Where Did You Wear It?” site.  (You can download any of several QR code scanners to your smart phone or iPad. I used QMark.)

Asheville Quilt Show

The QR Code quilt, ready for its first show. It will the in the Asheville Quilt Show soon!

When I discussed the project with my wonderful son-in-law, he helped me turn my blog address into a QR code, too!  That’s this blog address you see in the TINY QR code making up one block toward the bottom right of the quilt. Scanning it brings you to this post.

Please help me to encourage condom use when appropriate by sharing this post.

The Rest of the Story

Here are the other two quilts I made while doing the Gwen Marston class on iQuilt.

This first one is my version of one of her quilts, and again I made it 12″ x 12″.  I faced it, which I don’t usually do, so that was a learning experience.  I like the way it turned out.Gwen Marston iQuilt class

This second one was made of scraps from the other quilts in the series, which makes me happy.  Marston2

This started as a liberated Roman Stripe design, with a center of 4 larger blocks and a “border” of smaller blocks.  The size of the blocks worked out fine, but the pieces got more and more “liberated” so that I’m not sure it looks much like a Roman Stripe any more.  Which is fine, actually.

I quilted it using a pattern of wandering lines, all in one direction, and I like the result. After considering several threads, I used a thin medium grey polyester.  I think it blended well so that the quilting didn’t obscure the design.  Here’s my “trial” of several threads.Marston1

How do you choose your quilting thread for a project?

Quilt Alliance Contest

Here’s my entry for the 2016 Quilt Alliance contest, “Playing Favorites “. The design is inspired by Gwen Marston’s work, and the piece is titled “Gwen Visits the Farm”. The black fabric has animal sounds printed on it: “peep” etc.

improvisational quilt

“Gwen Visits the Farm”

The “Playing Favorites” theme of the 2016 Quilt Alliance contest is intended to capture a picture of quilting in 2016 by asking contestants to make quilts using their favorite techniques.  I love improvisational quilting, and Gwen Marston was doing it long before anyone thought of the “modern” quilt movement!

In addition to making the quilt in Gwen Marston’s improvisational style, I quilted it using decorative stitches.  I’ve used several of the decorative stitches on my machine for quilting for a long time now.  However, I recently took a Craftsy class in which Jackie Gehring suggested using even more of the decorative stitches.  I think the stitching reflects the state of the art of quilting in 2016, as well.machine quilting

I’ve been thinking for YEARS of doing a series of quilts in the styles of my favorite quilt designers, so this is the first in that series. Please stay tuned!

Layer Cake Quilt

I bought a terrific layer cake was bought a couple of years ago and it has been “waiting”, along with its solid coordinates, for inspiration to strike.

quilting storage

Future projects are stored in boxes…oops, sometimes for years! (Found a nice set of these at Costco.)

Then the other day I decided I wanted to insert strips of the coordinating colors into the squares. As you probably know, a layer cake is a stack of 10″ x 10″ squares. That means fat quarters (18″ x 22″) of solids will work well for insert strips.

I started by sorting the layer cake squares into stacks with the solids I wanted to use with them.

layer cake quilt

Layer Cake and Coordinates

Then I cut strips of various widths from the solids.The strips varied from 1″ x 18″ to 2″ x 18″, in 1/4″ increments. I cut a variety of widths from each solid color.

insert strips into quilt blocks

Strips ranging from 1″ to 2″ wide in 1/4″ increments

I had NO idea what I was going to do with these blocks once I got them modified; I just liked cutting them up and inserting strips–it takes very little to entertain some of us 😉 Then I remembered John Cage’s “prepared piano”.   So I called these “prepared fabrics”.

I did the inserts in several ways, still working on this just for fun:

When I looked at my “prepared fabrics” together, it was apparent I wasn’t going to just sew them together along the edges (for several reasons)!Retreat18

So the next step was to go to EQ (Electric Quilt, a computer program for quilt design) and make some designs:

Quilt from layer cake

Option #1. I’ve always loved concentric blocks, and alternating them like this produces a nice design easily.

modern quilt design

Option #2. Concentric blocks off-center are even better!

layer cake quilt design

Option #3. Flying geese are always a lively design element, and I just bought a special ruler for trimming!

modern quilt design

Option #4: I haven’t done anything with gentle curves for a while. These look like flags to me.

What do you think?  Anybody have a strong preference for one of these designs?  Whatever I do, I think it will be fun to see how the inserted strips turn out in the final design 🙂

 

Only as Good as Your Last Quilt?

There’s a cynical phrase, common in professional sports, that is used often in other arenas as well: You’re only as good as your last game. It’s a commentary on public opinion. Unfortunately, there’s a corollary in our everyday judgments of ourselves.

Michael Miller Challenge 2013

This little quilt, “Packet of Posy Seeds”, did NOT win anything.

One of the modern guilds I belong to had an interesting discussion last meeting about which quilts are selected for QuiltCon, and why.  We pretty much all agreed that the show is used to further the MQG’s own definition of modern quilting rather than to reveal the depth and breadth of the modern quilt movement.

modern quilt

This little quilt was published, along with an article I wrote

So, am I a good quilter because my quilt was juried into an AQS show? Or a poor quilter because SEVERAL quilts were rejected for a QuiltCon show? A good quilter because I’ve designed quilts that were published?  Or a bad quilter because every magazine doesn’t love every one of my proposals?  There’s a temptation to feel great when a quilt wins a prize and to feel a bit down when one is rejected.  But does that make sense?

modern quilt

Happy Squares, designed and made by me. I love it, but nobody wants to publish the pattern.

Of course there are some “competitive quilters”, but most of us quilt because we enjoy it. My quilts are made to please myself, not to please other people.  Even when I make a quilt for a challenge or show, I make it the way I want it, and I expect that is true for most people.  I doubt that quilting is a road to fame and fortune for most of us, and that’s fine.

Modern Quilts Unlimited magazine

Zippy Star quilt for Modern Quilts Unlimited. I won a contest with this design.

So, if QuiltCon didn’t accept my quilt, it is NOT a personal judgment about me, it is a programmatic judgment about where the MQG folks want the definition of modern quilting to go. And if some of my quilts are published or win prizes, that’s dandy, but I still made them to suit myself.

improvisationally pieced quilt

“In Fairyland” has been in 2 shows but won no prizes.

So much of life involves following other people’s rules, sometimes for good reason and sometimes not.  Although I’m a serious quilter, I want to do it by my own rules.  I’ll still submit to shows because I like to see my quilts displayed.  But really, the quilt is an end in itself.

Spring Sun, a design by me, using blocks paper pieced from a totally different Judy Niemeyer pattern!

I designed Spring Sun using blocks paper pieced from a totally different Judy Niemeyer pattern. It was juried into an AQS show.

My friend Melanie has written a couple of posts on why we quilt.  You might enjoy them:

Make Good Art

Saturation Point

Finished Tops!

After much deliberation about layout, I got my Modern Sampler quilt put together last week and sent it off to be quilted.  Here’s the final top:

modern sampler

My Modern Sampler top is ready for quilting!

Then, for good measure, I put together the batik blocks from a swap I was in several years ago and sent that top off to be quilted, as well.

batik quilt blocks

Group batik blocks, put together and ready for quilting

Yes, the sashing DOES vary a bit, because the blocks do.  That’s the way it goes with a block swap.  I love the variety of the blocks and, of course, the batik fabrics.

I’m sending this to Aunt Marti’s UFO challenge, which helps keep me motivated.  What are you up to?