Flowers! (and Rules)

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My nephew’s wife, Grace, wrote to me and asked for help.  She is a young quilter, who makes awesome gooseberry jam (she shared a jar with me), so I wanted to help. The quilt was for someone close to her who had just been diagnosed with breast cancer, and she thought a quilt was needed.  I agree.

She sent me the screen shot you see above, and since it was on Pinterest…and you know how much I LOVE their search engines (NOT), I thought it was easier to draft it on my computer using QuiltPro than try to find the original design (I tried…and failed…but kudos to whoever dreamed it up).  Besides, that was one of those “barn” quilts, painted on wood, not a cloth quilt.

This is what I came up with.  But I knew Grace wanted to move quickly, and yeah–all those pieces?

I thought about my Home Sweet Home mini quilt, and how she could make fewer blocks, but bigger blocks, and I modified it as on the left.  Nope.  Those middle petals look like cookies or fingers or something.  I left the pattern in the same, but just colored it differently, and came up with the one on the right.  I sent it over.

Grace wrote back.  She loved what I’d done, but now they were thinking poppies. She sent me a sample of a quilt she’d seen.  I drafted it up in my QuiltPro program, drew up a quilt.  But I thought I should test out my own pattern, so I made a Poppy Block:

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trimming snowball corners

Poppy for Grace

I think it will be cute quilt.  This is a 10-inch block and I thought you’d like to have the pattern, too.  Each is a PDF file which you can download.

Here’s the Poppy Block:  Poppies for Grace

And here’s the quilt instructions: Poppies for Grace Quilt

It can be made in reds and greens and be thought of as poinsettias for Christmas.  Or made to commemorate Anzac Day in April, for the Australians.  Or red and white for a bouquet of posies for Valentine’s Day.  Have fun, but please don’t print off dozens for a class or for your friends–send them here to get their own free pattern.  Thanks.

About QuiltPro: they do not pay me or give me free stuff.  I started using that quilt program eons ago, and they are still going strong.  If you are struggling with the current software (I know, I have it and love/hate it too), consider trying this software, as it’s based on making shapes, not connecting lines.  I find it pretty intuitive, but as with anything, there is a learning curve–it’s just that theirs is not quite as steep.

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Making that block added to my collection of red and white triangles (ignore the interlopers in the upper right corner).  I trim them to whatever measurement’s closest, without it being a weird number, and save them.redwhite triangles2

Every once in a while, I sew them into four-patches.

I haven’t decided yet what to do with them, but a couple of questions arise: do I include the Christmas prints?  Or do they get their own collection? (I think so.)

Do you ever quilt with “rules”?  It’s about all I remember from my beginning art classes, ages ago in college.  The assignments laid out rules to create by — an edge to the sandbox — if you will, and went something like this:

  • Take an old piece of clothing, adhere it to a canvas and paint it like something else.
  • Use three shapes only.
  • Create a composition by taking a square of black paper, cutting out some shape and using the negative and positive pieces.
  • This assignment will use only two colors, but you may use any range of those colors.

And so on.  There are many books out there in the marketplace for guided creativity, but they all start with a rule.

Sometimes I find little bags of treasures in my sewing room, with pieces inside that have been collected according to some rule.  Like the red and white triangle rule.  Or the 3-inch square rule, but I kind of think that last one’s a bit of a cheat.

About seven years ago, I saw this on Jan Burgwinkle’s blog, Be*mused, and fell in love with it.  Maybe that’s why I started making little HSTs.  (While she doesn’t seem to update her blog much these days, it’s still amazing to read through the archives.)

So that’s my rule and I’m sticking with it: red and white triangles, although seeing this quilt again does make me wonder if I should break it.

PS.  I did adhere that old piece of clothing to a canvas and paint it.  It was a maternity shirt, which I stuffed and painted it like a landscape: three mountains and a river.  Somewhere I have a photo of it, but the original was mercifully carted off to a dump somewhere.

 

European Patchwork Meeting • Final Post

This has a billion pictures, so get ready to scroll.  I need to wrap this up and bring my head back to what I’m doing in real life.  This is the final post of my visit to the European Patchwork Meeting in the Alsace region of France, this past September.  I have a main page that lists all the posts, in case you come at this from a side street on the web.

This quilt show, or meeting, was held in four different towns in France, and I’ll wrap up the first town, Sainte Marie Aux Mines, then move to St. Croix Aux Mines, and finally Liepvre.  We didn’t make it to the last town, Rombach le Franc, but Jodie Zolliger, who lives in Europe, has written several great posts about what she saw, including the Amish exhibit.  If you are interested, feel free to click over to her blog to catch more.

The Amish exhibit was beautifully laid out in this venue, and as I mentioned, Jodie wrote a great post about it, with better titles and information than I gathered.

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We walked down to the Temple Reforme, where the Val Patch Association, the local guild, had an exhibit titled “La Maison,” or Home.  All of the quilts in that exhibit centered around the theme of home, showing slices of daily life.

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I took a panoramic of the colorful quilts across one side of the church. EPM_Guild3EPM_Guild2

But fell in love with these panels, made by several members.  Jodie has a great post on this one, too.

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Off we go to the next town.

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Pilot, 1995 • 100cm x 126 cm

I selected to head to the Espace Expositions first, to see the Beauville Company’s exhibition of prints from their archives, but was entranced by the skilled and exquisite use of log cabin construction by Andrew Leblanc in her quilts.   I am listing the sizes of the quilts in centimeters, as noted on their title signs.  (100 centimeters is roughly equal to 39 inches.)

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Pilot, detail

It was pretty amazing to me how she’s used the width of the strips to create her portraits and pictures.  Again, the lighting was superb.

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Professor, 1996 • 76 cm x 100 cm

I laughed at this one, because my husband is a professor (but he doesn’t look like someone out of 10th century Russia, or what I thought this man looked like).  Detail of the glasses, below.

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Oasis, 2011 • 103 cm x 103 cm

While this isn’t a figurative portrait, the use of these fabrics was so interesting–not ones you’d associate with creating a design of any kind.  Detail, below.

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Colin-Maillard, 1995 • 110 cm x 220 cm

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Colin-Maillard, detail showing fabrics

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I like how they’d put other constructions of hers in a tableau on the floor.  She had many quilts there.

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Grand-Pere

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She was always busy talking to people at her table, so I could only get this sideways shot of her.  Her website shows many different parts of her creativity.

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We headed down the road, again, to Liepvre (and try as I might, I cannot get my blogging program to allow the accents over their words, so I apologize–it keeps kicking them out when it spellchecks), to the Eglise de l’Assomption where an exhibit of Hildegard Muller (Germany) was hung.  The lighting was very “contrasty” so I did a little photoshopping on these to render them closer to what I saw.

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At the birch grove, 2016 • 102 cm x 70 cm

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Detail.  She hand-dyed her fabrics and then let her mind find the scene that was in the cloth, or so she told me later, when I asked.  However, other times, she had an idea in mind when she was dying the cloth, and made it that way.

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Love in wartimes, 2015 • 102 cm x 70 cm

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Detail.

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Dreams of Amsterdam, 2014 • 102 cm x 70 cm

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Dreams of Amsterdam, detail.

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Imagination

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We walked from their to the Exhibition Hall to catch a couple of exhibits; we had to choose as we didn’t have time to see them all. So many of the quilts in this building were perfectly done, all Best-of-Show-type quilts.  The one above took my breath away, so I have a few details shots of it.  I loved that it was an imitation of one in the Shelbourne Museum — another way our patchwork influence crosses the ocean.  The title of the quilt was Marie-Henriette, and was made by Martine Crabe-Lanux.

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The Twinkle-Stars Remake Quilt by Helga Huisman Hildebrand was also in the “France Patchwork” association section.  There were several countries represented in this hall.

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Another France Patchwork quilt, titled Bleus, and made by Maria Vuilleumier.

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She also had one done in gray, black and white strips, but that one was called Insomnie, or Insomnia.  (Because I’m trying to wrap this up, I’ve heavily edited what I’m posting.)

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Last section, last group of quilts is from the Patchwork Gilde of Germany.  These quilts blew me away.  Every year they have an exhibition and members are asked to enter what they’ve been working on (more info on the placard, below).  This grouping was titled “From Tradition to Modernity 21.”  Because your scrolling fingers are probably worn out at this point, I’ll post the title and the maker on the quilt; some titles are in German.

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Komposition, by Christa Ebert • 110 x 142 cm

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Detail, Komposition

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Frau Hansen Klaverquilt, by Uta Rodemerk • 183 cm square

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Mannerschmuck in Frauenhand, by Sabine Koch

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Mannerschmuck in Frauenhand, detail

Okay, as near as Google could translate it, I think this means “Men’s Jewelry in Women’s Hand,” which I thought was really clever given that these are neckties.

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Ausrangiert-neu sortiert, by Inge Bohl of Germany

Discarded, rearranged is how Google Translate interprets this title.

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Zerbrochene Illusionen, by Lilo Hartmann

Zerbrochene Illusionen means Broken Illusions, as translated by Google Translate.

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Zerbrochene Illusionen, detail

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The Power of Blue, by Gabriele Schultz-Herzberger • 75 x 132 cm

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Flussaufwarts, by Susanne Fellmann-Horsch

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Flussaufwarts, detail

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Crazy Canadian Square Dance, by Barber Reschka • 108 x 107 cm

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Schattenspiel, by Monika Flake • 107 x 131 cm

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Schattenspiel, detail.

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In GrossmuttersNahkastchen gekramt, by Christine Naumann • 78 x 86 cm

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In GrossmuttersNahkastchen gekramt, detail.

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So what do you do about it? by Maire-Christine Chammas • 108 x 147 cm

Very cool quilting.

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Vogelwild III, by Tina Mast • 129 cm x 94 cm

I was told that she teaches art at the local university.  This was stunning.

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Leaves, by Christine Brandstetter • 99 x 132 cm

I talked for a few short minutes to the Uta Lenk, who was the International Representative of the German Patchwork Guild, and she said they would welcome the chance to exhibit at American shows.  I know our local show, Road to California, often has exhibits come from other places, and I would love to see these there.  I almost joined the German guild, but realized that all their materials would be in German, and alas, I wouldn’t be able to read them, but I did buy a pin.

All in all, going to the European Patchwork Meeting taught me that while we Americans fanned the flames of patchwork, the idea of three layers held together somehow, has taken wings, and taken off.  If I were to go again, I’d leave at least two days for the show, and perhaps stay somewhere closer (we stayed the first night in Mulhouse, about an hour away) and in Turckheim the second night (35 minutes away).  It’s near Colmar, and there is much to see in that town, as well.  And…bring an empty suitcase!

SAQA in France: Studio Art Quilt Associates

This is one in a series of posts I’ve written about the Carrefours European Patchwork Show held in September of 2017, in the Alsace region of France.  This exhibit was titled My Corner of the World — Canadian Quilts, and is by a variety of artists.  As I mentioned in the last post, I was giddy with the ability I had to photograph these, as SAQA usually has big NO signs up everywhere, barring us from photography in shows in the United States. Here they are in no particular order:

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37″ wide 30″ long

Washday Blues, Northfield Drive by Millie Cumming, 2017

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27″ wide 30″ high

You’ve Got Mail by Susan Tilsley Manley (2017)  I may get some of the names not quite right, as they had reversed the first names and last names on all the cards.

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22″ x 23″

Rocks on Lake Huron by Hag Gunnel (2017)

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22″ x 29″

Good Morning, Canada by Toni Major (2017)  Detail, below.

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28″ x 48″

Looks Like a Nice Day Up There, by Phillida Hargreaves (2017)

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27.5″ x 22″

Beaches #1 by Mardell Rampton (2017)

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23″ x 34″

Poplar Point, by Jaynie Himsl (2017) Detail, below.

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29″ wide 20″ high

Ted’s Garage, by Robin Laws Field (2017)

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20″ x 37″

Albert Cote’s All I Need is a Garden and a Chair (2017)

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37″ x 28″

Ann Fales’ The Blueberry Patch (2017)

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38.5″ x 28″

Reflections of the North, by Arja Speelman (2017) You can tell I really liked this quilt and the way she constructed it, judging by the two detail shots below.

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22″ x 20.5″

Down on the Farm, by Shirley Bailey (2017)  This handmade, homespun-looking piece is not one I’d usually expect to be in a SAQA show, but I thought it wonderful.

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28″ x 21″

Janet Scruggs’ Looking Down (2017)  Detail, below.

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It appears to be raised and embossed, but most of that was done with color and contrast and quilting.  Very cool effect.

Luke Haynes, Ian Berry & Nancy Crow

I hope the combination of the above three piques your interest, for it was an interesting juxtaposition of quilters.  We also had SAQA in the same space, as well as Mirjam Pet-Jacobs, with her pieces on wastefulness.

I kept track of who was where by looking at my charts:

(You can click to enlarge them, but really, they are just my scribbles.)

These artists were all in the Space des Tisserands, a large room that had been subdivided to accommodate all these quilters.  While some of these pictures are tiled in groups, you can click on any individual image to see a larger version.

First up is Ian Berry.  Yes, he’s the blue jeans guy.  He cuts up blue jeans into shapes and tones and colors and contrasting pieces, then re-assembles them via gluing, into recognizable images.  We had a few minutes before the crush of fans wafted in again to visit with him, and found him a lovely conversationalist.  We talked about quilting, what else?

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Then he was called in for a group picture, one of many I saw him do that day. I wish I would have snapped the photo of the group of ladies posing on the blue tiles in front of the washing machines in the laundromat.  I didn’t know you could step into a work of art that way, but no one was stopping them.

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Next up is Luke Haynes (self-portrait, above), who burst onto the scene about three years ago, and remade the quilt world into his world, by utilizing traditional art studio techniques.  This means that he uses assistants to do the work, but they work under his name, and in this way he mounted his Log Cabin show.  At QuiltCon 2016, some quilters weren’t too happy with him, for to them this smacked of the subsuming of “women’s work” into the male creative world.  But Luke is a happy guy (really fun to hear him talk, and I admire his creativity) and he then morphed into this show (of course, this is all MY view of things–he may have a different take), which was called a collaboration of quilters.  Or Quiltllaborations, as his exhibit was called.

Top Row: [Collab #8] Indigo DWR by Luke Haynes and Rachael Dorr (2017)  90″ square
Second Row: [Collab #6] Polka by Luke Haynes and Libs Elliot (2015) 71″ square
Third Row: [Collab #5] Kills It with Fire by Luke Haynes and Libs Elliot (2015) 68″ square
Fourth Row (L): Untitled   It is one of my favorites, so please click on it to enlarge; however, it is not quilted.  Still cool, though.
Fourth Row (R): Another wedding ring, but I didn’t find the title card.  Some of his were nearly on the ground, or around a corner.

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Nancy Crow, who helped co-found the Dairy Barn (in previous post) also had a few quilts  there under her name; I assume they were either colleagues or students.  One of my fantasies in my younger quilting years was to travel to Ohio and take one of her two-week classes.  I have just about every  book of hers, and screwed up my nerve to read her class supply list.  I was completely intimidated and decided that wasn’t the direction I’d be going.  But still, she is one of my Quilting Fairy Godmothers, although she probably wouldn’t like me calling her that.  (She is a serious quilter–she has a quilting studio with multiple GIANT design walls, scads of tables holding yards and yards of fabric).  Serious.

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Sea Ice–Cook Inlet, by Bonne M. Bucknam (USA)  79″ long

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Conflict No. 7 by Judy Kirpich (USA)  76″ square  If you’ll remember, she had a quilt in the Quilt National exhibit titled Conflict No. 5 Mugging.  I know that Crow encourages those she teaches to work in a series.  If this is two quilts away from No. 5, Kirpich seems like the anguish has eased (if you can read that into a quilt)

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Thirty-four? by Helen McBride Richter (USA) 75″ wide 70″ long  Did I mention that the name of this exhibit was Mastery: Sustaining Momentum?

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Colleen Kole’s Time Fragments #11 In the Distance (USA 2015)  82″ wide 83″ long  Detail is below, that shows the really interesting quilting.

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US – THEM, by Mirjam Pet-Jacobs

Okay, I didn’t love this exhibit of Mirjam Pet-Jacobs, with her pieces on wastefulness, but that could have been just my mindset, or how things struck me that day, for she is a talented textile artist with many exhibits on many different topics (please visit her website to see the range of her artistry). Her exhibit was called “What a Waste!”  The above (on the floor in the middle of the gallery) is the waste that came out of a creative quilt studio.  [Update: She wrote to me to explain that this was a three-years accumulation, which made it feel more real, for after three years, perhaps my waste stream would be the same?]  Perhaps I don’t like to be reminded that there is lots of waste in quilting, and how many of us donate doggie beds full of scraps to our local humane shelter?  My hand isn’t up.  I try to recycle my scraps, using them, sharing them.  But I do know that our textile has long been known for waste–just type in “waste in the textile industry” and see the listings.  We try to ignore all that.  Maybe the way it was presented to me just didn’t make my heart leap?  Or maybe I don’t want to know about this?  Does our cycle of quilt fabric collections — almost too many to keep track of — contribute to this waste?

You can see that it caused me to think.  Also in this building were the quilts from SAQA–Studio Art Quilt Association.  They never let us photograph their quilts in stateside shows, so I felt positively delirious to be able to take photos of these quilts.  That’s in the next post about the European Patchwork Meeting.  I have created a main page, with a listing of posts.

 

Quilt National 15: the best of collection “Contemporary Quilts B”

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There!  Now do you feel like you are in France?  (This is what I saw every morning.)

I am recapping, in a series of posts, my experience in visiting the Carrefours European Patchwork Meeting, in the Alsace region of France this past September.  In case you came at this topic sideways (which is usually how the internet works), I have created a master post, with links to the exhibits.

After visiting the vendors, and Gabrielle Paquin, the next quilt exhibit we went to was the best of the Contemporary Quilts B collection from Quilt National.  They have several groupings of quilts that travel, and since their European partner is this show, we were lucky to see some of these quilts.

dairybarn_frontofbarn_headerIf you don’t know about Quilt National, whose headquarters are in a former dairy barn in Athens, Ohio (above), you might want to read more about them.  Suffice it to say that their quilts are more artistic, less traditional and always intensively creative.

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The exhibit was in this site, with its half-timbered walls.  Inside it was very modern.

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36″ high by 40″ wide

Jayne Gaskins’ Memories (USA, 2014) paid homage to a street scene from somewhere in the Andes in South America (I assume), and was heavily thread-painted.  Detail is below, where you can see the dimensionality of this piece.

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Skylight by Elizabeth Busch, USA, 2014.  Those spatters looked like dye discharge, and I wondered how she did it. It may have also been a batik-like process where she dyed it, then blocked it with a wax resist, then over-dyed it.  As this exhibit had no title cards, there was little information to go on.

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This piece was quite large; I assume each panel to be about 20″ wide and 40″ long (couldn’t read the dimensions when I got home). It’s titled Entropy, by Kathleen Loomis (USA 2014).  I loved her use of striped fabric, not only to subdivide the sections of fabric, but she also used them like Gabrielle Paquin did, as a way to get texture and design into a flat area but without using floral or other motifs in the fabric.  Detail, below.

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62″ x 39″

Pam RuBert is a favorite of mine, and this is her quilt London–Wish You Were Hair (USA 2014).  (You can find another one of hers elsewhere on this blog.)

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35″ long 22″ wide

Rough-edged and exquisitely hand-quilted, Kate Gorman’s A Keeper of Secrets and Parakeets was a quiet, subtle masterpiece.

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42″ high 60″ wide

Amaryllis Set, by Jill Ault (USA 2014) appears to be multiples of the same photograph, printed on a fine fabric, then cut as to reveal different colors and shading. Detail, below.

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34″ square

Okay–is this a quilt?  Straps with paint and grommets on a tinker-toy-steel-rod grid?  Diane Nunez’ Cross Section (USA 2014) certainly makes me wonder.

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37″ x 57″

Roofs of Mumbai, by Jean Renli Jurgenson (USA 2014) was interesting because of the materials used: some stiffened, quilted fabric and some was non-woven, almost paper-like. Details, below.

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I’m not usually drawn to the deep, dark, moody quilts, but her construction and the material she used was compelling. (See detail below for the small knots she used for keeping the layers together).  Judy Langille’s Nocturnus IV (USA 2014) is about 35″ high by 47″ wide.

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44″ square

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Maria Shell’s To Agnes Martin with Color (USA 2014).  Now I know what to do with all my scraps of solids.  Again, I put my hand up for scale.  Those crosses are tiny!

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55″ long 25″ wide

This has got to be one of our favorites.  Janet Windsor’s Crumbling (JP 2014) looks like  stream bed with multi-colored stones.  It looked, upon closer inspection, that they were wrapped fabrics around puffiness with a cardboard backing?  Some stones looked like they’d had some color applied, but that could have just been the fabric.  Talk about a quilt that you want to touch–this was it.

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47″ by 33″

Morning Walk, by Joan Sowada (USA 2014).  I left it uncropped so you could glimpse the exhibit’s layout on either side.

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64″ by 61″

Conflict No. 5 Mugging, by Judy Kirpich (USA 2014) made me wonder if she was had been the victim of a violent crime, with its shards of red and ominous, oppressive sky.  The quilting (below) was outstanding, expressive.

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39″ by 40″

Cecile Trentini’s C5–Red Circonvolutions was Picasso-esqe in its design, the quilting providing all the texture and interest.

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Central Park West Winter VII by Linda Levin (USA 2013?)  This was large (can’t read the dimensions) but mostly it looked like a very cold and blustery day, writ in fabric.