Creating · Quilt Shows · Something to Think About

Quilt Festival Entry 2011

Welcome to those who clicked over from the Blogger’s Quilt Festival!


I made began this quilt in a class from Ruth McDowell.  For those who have taken her classes, you know you only begin there, but then go on to spend a good amount of time chasing down just the right fabric to go in a particular spot.  It was a four-day class and by the end, we were all dragging in–our creative juices spent, our bodies dead tired, but our vision–changed.  For Ruth (who by the way didn’t look tired at all!) had changed us.  I was then, and still am now, a quilter who is enamoured with the grid.  I love nine-patch, stars, crazy about sashing, and love love love Log Cabin.  Maybe it’s my orderly nature or something, but when you finish a grid quilt it’s like having cleaned out a drawer or a closet or two.  You’ve restored some order to the universe with your neat rows and sharp points (even if you have cut off a few in construction–who notices?).

Heart’s-ease is the old-fashioned name for a pansy.
Ruth suggested I use a fabric that my husband brought me from Zimbabwe as the center; she was right–it really works.

So trying to do this quilt–which is a strictly right-side of the brain, pile on your fabrics, cut those pieces of freezer paper and go go go sort of process–humbled me.  The angles–none, except a few around the border–are that blissful 30 or 60 or ninety-degrees cut over and over.  The picture I’d brought in of the pansy determined her own angles, her own coloring and background.  I think I cornered the market on yellow-green fabrics that year.  But after a year and a half–it was finally done.

It had been on my pinwall while I finished my undergrad, earning my degree in Creative Writing.  So in a way, both Pansy and I grew while she lived, unconstructed and grid-free as I wrote short stories and the beginning of a novel and struggled through having my own brain cracked open and reformed.  No tidy endings for either the stories or the pansy, but only a dark, broken border to contain our tales, our thoughts, a few dreams and a degree.

Heart’s-ease label.
When Amy asked for a quilt that taught me a lot–this just HAD to be the one!

Thanks to Amy for hosting this.  Some of the other quilts I’ve been working on are:

Come A-Round (which is at the quilter right now)

Spring/Life’s Alive (I just needed a light, happy quilt)

Christmas Star (Whew! Made it before Christmas arrived last year)

You can read about these and others by clicking on the collage of words in the right margin.

Hope you find more inspiration and ideas. I’ll be looking at yours as well!

Thanks for visiting,

Elizabeth E.

Click here to return to the 2011 Quilt Festival, and come again!

15 thoughts on “Quilt Festival Entry 2011

  1. I’m so glad you shared your quilt and story… I enjoy Ruth’s books and technique…haven’t tried it yet and think a class would be incredible. Your other quilts were fun to see also.

  2. Elizabeth, I love your Heart’s Ease. Of course, I adore Ruth McDowell’s work and am a fan of paper piecing, especially the original kind that she does (straight from life). But like you I also love log cabins and samplers too.

  3. Hi
    thank you so much for your nice comment.
    I think I’ll send it to Japan tomorrow. Hopefully it will arrive
    soon & certainly ;o)
    Have just seen your applique project – I’m sooo in love ;o)I wish I could applique just as you.

  4. The pansy quilt is wonderful! I love Ruth McDowell and her quilts, but the only class I’ve had with her was on Penrose Tiles and did not include sewing. I know exactly what you mean when it comes to grids. I like the orderliness of them and it hard to break away from pieces straight and true. However, you did a wonderful job with the pansy and I may be tempted to try something similar some day!

    1. Hi Sandy, Thanks for your comment! And thanks for the nice things you said about my pansy quilt. If you’ve taken a Ruth McDowell class, you know how wonderful she is–and how much you get to stretch your brain to take it all in.


      E. S. Eastmond

  5. Hello! Your quilt with pansy is amazing! I really love that! I like to make patchworks with tiny pieces – perhaps one day I can do something like yours!
    Sunny wishes from Greece! Teje

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