Archive | January, 2017

Learn 2-Color Double Reverse Applique

Recently, I wrote an article for Quilting Arts magazine about my Double Reverse Applique technique.  (You can find it in the February/March 2017 issue.)

Double Reverse Applique article by Ellen Lindner.

Double Reverse Applique is a really awesome technique, because it’s both accurate and easy.  Here’s the proof: my first attempt at using the technique.

Made using Ellen Lindner's Double Reverse Applique technique.

March Journal: Ellen, by Ellen Lindner

And here’s the photo that I used for creating a pattern.

Ellen Lindner.

See what I mean about it being accurate?  It’s especially easy if you make a two-color project like the one above.  I’ve written a companion article about it, which you can find on my website.

By the way, I have lots of other articles, tips, and tutorials on my website.

Ellen Lindner


Orlando Quilt Show: Grab and Draw

“Grab and Draw.”  That’s my new term for the kind of quilts I like: those that draw you closer from across the room and then reward you with wonderful details.  Here are more great examples  from World Quilt – FL, Orlando.

Check this out, by Kathryn Harmer Fox, from South Africa.

World Quilt Show - FL 2017. Ellen Lindner,

Very interesting from afar, but look at this detail shot.

World Quilt Show - FL 2017. Ellen Lindner,

Can you believe that stitching?!?  Some of the stitches are quite long, at least 1/2″.  The wildness really adds a lot to the imagery.  What I’m not sure you can see in this photo is that there are layers and layers of stitching.  The top of the dog’s head is stitched with tons of white and cream before the contrasting stitching was added.  Wow!

And here’s another one by the same artist.

World Quilt Show - FL 2017. Ellen Lindner,

This piece by Linden Lancaster also passed the Grab and Draw test.

Mostly because of the way she depicted the delicate blossoms with overlaid sheers.

World Quilt Show - FL 2017. Ellen Lindner,

I decided there was also some green paint on the background, as well as green and purple sheers.  Lovely.

Ellen Lindner


Orlando Quilt Show: Awesome Details

There were some really great quilts at the World Quilt – FL show last week.  My favorite kind of quilts are those that grab your attention from across the room and draw you closer, and then when you get up close you’re amazed by the details of the piece.  For me, there were several in this show that met this two-pronged criteria.

Here’s my favorite, “Pele.”  It was made by Jenny Hearn, from South Africa.

World Quilt Show - FL 2017. Ellen Lindner,

Did it “grab you from across the room?”  Great.  Now, look at these awesome details.

World Quilt Show - FL 2017. Ellen Lindner,

That’s right:  it’s got needlepoint in the center!  Along with heavy stitching, including what appears to be some washers wrapped with stitch.

World Quilt Show - FL 2017. Ellen Lindner,

More of the same at the bottom.  The pointy part actually protrudes as a separate piece in front of the grayer background below.

World Quilt Show - FL 2017. Ellen Lindner,

When my eyes finally strayed away from this fabulous stitching I noticed lots of little 3D elements elsewhere.  I love this quilt!

World Quilt Show - FL 2017. Ellen Lindner,

I have more photos to show you from this show, but honestly, the other photos pale in comparison to this quilt.  They’re still great, of course, and I’ll show you in the next post.

Ellen Lindner
P.S.  This quilt is part of the traveling World Quilt show exhibit.  Unfortunately, it has suffered from being folded a lot.  Too bad Mancuso (show management) can’t figure out a way to roll or pad them better.


Join Me for “Stitched,” in Stuart, FL

There’s a wonderful art quilt exhibit opening in Stuart, FL this week.  It’s called Stitched:  Embracing the Quilt as Fine Art  and I have two pieces in it.

Vine Ripened, an art quilt by Ellen Lindner.

Vine Ripened

Second Thoughts, an art quilt by Ellen Lindner.

Second Thoughts

Actually, I’ve seen images of all the exhibit pieces (45 of them,) so I know how great it will be.

The exhibit opens on the 20th, with a reception on the 27th.  I’ll be at the opening and I hope to see you there!  Full details below.

Ellen Lindner



Dirty Dozen Challenges

As I mentioned in the last post, my art quilt group, Dirty Dozen Fiber Artists, often has group challenges based on drawing inspiration from a particular photo.  This was the photo we selected for our 2009 challenge.

Group Challenges. Ellen Lindner, credit: Martha Wolfe

We decided on a vertical orientation, with measurements of 18″ x 12″.  Here’s the group display.  Very different, right?

Group Challenges. Ellen Lindner,

This was my piece, Northern Light.Group Challenges. Ellen Lindner, never really cared for this quilt, I think maybe because of the color combination.  Whenever I’m disappointed with a quilt I like to examine it and think about what worked and what didn’t.  These are some things I think I did well:
– Used the soft peach glow of the candles as the predominant color.
–  Mimiced the grid lines of the windows as design elements.
– Created interesting leaves, inspired by the foliage in the windows.

Here are those leaves up close.  Some are stitched sheers.  Others are painted and melted plastics.  I like the way they curl and buckle, lifting away from the quilt surface.  That might be something to try again on a future quilt.

Group Challenges. Ellen Lindner,

However, I think the combination of peach and yellow-green just doesn’t work.  And maybe the whole foliage thing is a little heavy handed.  To test that theory, check out the in-progress background, below.  I think it was better before I added the leaves.

Group Challenges. Ellen Lindner,

If I were doing this quilt again, I think I’d keep the background about the same.  Then, I’d add a FEW leaves in maybe a rust color.  NOT green, something sorta monochromatic.

So, remembering to be inspired by the photo and not controlled by it, I’ve started on a new challenge.  This is the inspiration photo.  Photo credit Kathryn Robinson

Group Challenges. Ellen Lindner,

This photo was taken in southern France.  We selected it  because it has a lot of different components, which gives us many options for working with it.

What would you want to mimic from this photo?  Colors, shapes, foliage, flowers, steps, the door, the bench?  Oh yeah, we’re using a vertical orientation:  36 x 24.  Would that influence your decision?

I can guarantee all the resulting quilts will be very different!  Mine is nearly complete, but I’m not allowed to show it until the March unveiling.  (That’s hard for me!)  Of course, you’ll be the first to see it, after the DDFA gals, that is.

Ellen Lindner


Group Challenges

I belong to a wonderful group of art quilters, called Dirty Dozen Fiber Artists.  We try to have some sort of exhibit every year and we often have a group challenge as the “entry fee” for participation.  On several occasions we’ve used a photo as our inspiration, with all of us using the same image.  We’ve had some very interesting results with this approach.

Here’s one from around 2007, I think.  We purposely chose a rather busy photo, knowing that different people would be intrigued by different things.  We wanted lots of options and this photo from Maui did the trick.  Photo credit Ruth Anne Parker

Group Challenges. Ellen Lindner,

The resulting quilts from this challenge were pretty amazing.

Group Challenges. Ellen Lindner,

Ruth Anne Parker


Group Challenges. Ellen Lindner,

Peggy Strauchman


Group Challenges. Ellen Lindner,

Peg Horsfield


Group Challenges. Ellen Lindner,

Paula Ferguson


Group Challenges. Ellen Lindner,

Barbara Bilbo


Group Challenges. Ellen Lindner,

Marylin Salvador


Group Challenges. Ellen Lindner,

Mary Dyer


Group Challenges. Ellen Lindner,

Jill Brown


Group Challenges. Ellen Lindner,

My piece, Tropical Fruit


Group Challenges. Ellen Lindner,

Elizabeth King

Group Challenges. Ellen Lindner,

Diane Smith

Can you believe how different they all are?

The reason I’ve been thinking about challenges is because we have another one going on right now.  Watch for my next post, in which I’ll show you the inspiration image, along with additional results from other challenges.

Ellen Lindner
P.S.  There’s lots of information about the Dirty Dozen on this blog and my old one.  Both have search functions at the top right, so you can easily search for Dirty Dozen.


My Brilliant Wish List

It’s not very often that I use the word brilliant when talking about myself.  But, in this case, someone else said it first so I’m just agreeing.  (Don’t tell my mother.)

Does your family spend lots of time thinking up thoughtful and surprising gifts for one another?  My family gave up on that long ago.  Of course, we want to give things the recipient would like, so we send our wish lists to one another in the form of links about specific online items.  But, at Christmas, my husband said he needed ideas for some small stocking stuffers for me.  Coincidentally, I was in the local quilt store, when I noticed all the inexpensive items that would fit the purpose.  But, how could I properly describe a particular glue, a particular pen, and specific fabric bundles in a way that my husband could ever find them?  And then it hit me:  photos!

My Brilliant Wish List. Ellen Lindner,

So, I started taking photos of the things I’d like.  First:  blue-green fat quarters.

My Brilliant Wish List. Ellen Lindner,

Favorite glues and pens:

My Brilliant Wish List. Ellen Lindner,

My Brilliant Wish List. Ellen Lindner,

Warning:  These Frixion pens leave a ghost shadow on dark fabrics.  I use them only on light fabrics or where the line will be cut off or covered.

Finally, a fabric bundle.  I suggested that each fabric could be an individual gift and I was rewarded with lots of soft squishy packages in my stocking!

My Brilliant Wish List. Ellen Lindner,

I sent these photos to my husband and he took his ipod to the quilt store.  He’d show the sales ladies a photo and say “Where’s this?” Then, the next one, with “Where’s this?” and so on.  They would excitedly show him –  all the while exclaiming “Your wife is brilliant! Your wife is brilliant!”

My mother taught me not to argue.

Especially with logic like that.

Ellen Lindner
P.S.  I got lots of wonderful gifts for Christmas, including plenty of fabric!



If You Never Make a Mistake

Have you ever been to a class and realized  you left the most appropriate fabrics at home?  This happened to me when I took a class from Elizabeth Barton.  I learned a lot about abstracting and designing and had a great paper “sketch” I wanted to interpret in fabric.

It Doesn't Always Work. Ellen Lindner,

Per Elizabeth’s instructions, I worked up my design in paper with three different value variations.  I decided to work with the one on the left, above.

But, I didn’t bring enough of my two colors, blue-green and orange.  As a result, I had to fill those areas with lots of different fabrics.  I worked hard at getting them to play well together.

I tried ignoring color and working only with value.

I persevered and got this far.

But I just hated it.  WAY too splotchy!  At this point, I bagged the whole thing.

I still love the design and intend to use it for a quilt, but I’ll have a MUCH better selection of fabrics when I do!

I’m philosophical about this sort of thing.  By being open-minded I’ve helped myself be more open-minded next time.  And the things I learned will stay with me.  I didn’t waste my time or my fabric.  It was useful.

I saw a great quote, but I don’t know who said it:  If you never make a mistake it’s because you’re not experimenting enough.  Yes!  I believe that.  Here’s to making plenty of mistakes.

Ellen Lindner