Archive | January, 2018

Three Steps Forward

After completing the background of my abstract quilt, I was ready to tackle the primary motif.  I used my sketch as the idea.

It all Started with a Beautiful Fabric. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Next, I had to choose colors.  I thought some red might be dynamic.

Taking Inspiration from the Starting Fabric. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

 I used photo editing software to audition several different color options.

Three Steps Forward. Ellen Lindner, AdventurQuilter.com/blog

I wanted to play up the red (above) but the yellow provided so much contrast that I decided I needed to work with it in my planned focal point.  Maybe this:

Three Steps Forward. Ellen Lindner, AdventurQuilter.com/blog

Or maybe I should drop the red altogether.

Three Steps Forward. Ellen Lindner, AdventurQuilter.com/blog

I decided to forge ahead with this arrangement.

Three Steps Forward. Ellen Lindner, AdventurQuilter.com/blog

Which meant auditioning red and yellow fabrics.

And eventually I got this.

Three Steps Forward. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Hmm.  I liked it but it didn’t have the drama I expected.  Did the shapes need to be wider? More experimentation would be needed.

Ellen Lindner

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Taking Inspiration from the Starting Fabric

As I worked on the abstract quilt, I continued to take clues and inspiration from the original fabric.  Since it was very angular, I wanted my pattern to be the same. Can you see how the shapes and lines of the side fabrics are extensions of the central fabric lines?

It all Started with a Beautiful Fabric. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Same for the quilting.  First, I stitched parallel lines on the two sides and in the middle I stitched around each little line.

Taking Inspiration from the Starting Fabric. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Then, I decided to stitch parallel lines in this central area.  Oh my!  WHAT was I thinking?  It was WAY too much starting and stopping for me and I gave up after the few lines shown above.

Plan B: concentric lines.  It worked pretty well, except for the fact that my variegated thread gave too much contrast in some of my messy spots.  I have a bit of redoing ahead of me.

Taking Inspiration from the Starting Fabric. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Next, it was time to think about the main design elements to be placed in the foreground of this piece.  Again, I wanted something angular, but when I checked, my sketchbooks I didn’t have anything like that.

Taking Inspiration from the Starting Fabric. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

So, I turned, once again, to the fabric itself.  I took close up shots of several of the fabric shapes and found one I liked. (Although I edited it quite a bit.)

Taking Inspiration from the Starting Fabric. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

And, so here is the plan for the final motif.

It all Started with a Beautiful Fabric. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

I’m liking it a lot.  Next will be determining what color to make the motif.  Light or dark versions of the colors already present would be an obvious choice.  But, I think I want to do something a little unexpected.  We’ll see.  Red maybe???

It’s been really fun to let the fabric inspire so many choices.

Have you ever done something inspired by a particular piece of fabric?

Ellen Lindner

 

 

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It all Started with Beautiful Fabric

Back in July I bought this beautiful painted piece of fabric from Pat Pauly.

It all Started with a Beautiful Fabric. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Isn’t it gorgeous?  I knew it could be the start of something wonderful.  The only problem is that the scale of this fabric is much larger than I normally use. Which meant that I didn’t have other similarly scaled fabrics to work with.  Still, I thought I could feature this inspiration fabric and add simpler fabrics to it.

First, I had to figure out how much of this fabric to use and a rough idea of the size of the quilt.  I decided to use half of the fabric.

It all Started with a Beautiful Fabric. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Then, I auditioned how I might cut it and reassemble it.  Folding helped me visualize the new shape of the fabric.

It all Started with a Beautiful Fabric. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

So, I did this. The piece on the right has been turned 180 degrees.

It all Started with a Beautiful Fabric. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Next, I began to audition other fabrics.  I thought these looked pretty good.

It all Started with a Beautiful Fabric. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

At every turn, I used the starting fabric to help me make decisions.  Such as the angles for the side pieces.  I wanted them to enhance the angular nature of the starting fabric’s pattern. See what I mean?

It all Started with a Beautiful Fabric. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Here’s the left side completed. (That is, pinned.)

It all Started with a Beautiful Fabric. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

And here’s the entire background when I THOUGHT it was finished.

It all Started with a Beautiful Fabric. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

I decided that one of the yellow fabrics on the right showed up too much, so I had to address that.  Trial and error!

Thus far, I’ve shown you only the background.  But I was also working on an idea for a foreground motif.  I’ll show you that next time.

What would you do?

Ellen Lindner

 

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Prepping for Shibori

I’m getting ready for a shibori dying day with my art quilt buddies.  (Shibori is a type of dying which uses manipulation of the fabric to resist the dye in certain areas.  Tie dye is an example.)  There are a TON of ways to fold, roll, scrunch, and stitch fabric prior to dying to get a variety of patterns.  This time I decided to do something new for me: hand stitching.

Here I’ve stitched parallel rows.  When the threads are pulled tight, they create a sort of messy smocked effect.  The folds will make it difficult for the dye to get into the crevices, creating a pattern.

Prepping for shibori. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

I also stitched little rows of tucks. This photos shows them before being drawn up.

Prepping for shibori. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Then I got very industrious.  Here, I stitched tucks in small circles and pulled them tight.

Prepping for shibori. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

With my fabric folded in half I drew concentric semi-circles for stitching.  These will yield full circles when dyed.

Prepping for shibori. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Allow me to say that this stitching and pulling and knotting took A LOT of time!

Prepping for shibori. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Next, I used a long basting stitch on my machine and did some more parallel rows and rows of tucks.  MUCH faster!  The only trick is to pull up only the bobbin thread.

Prepping for shibori. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Prepping for shibori. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Prepping for shibori. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Finally, I switched to faster non-stitching methods. I used rubber bands to hold scrunched fabric in place.

Prepping for shibori. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Check this out: rocks caught up in the fabric and secured with rubber bands.  I used a ton!

Prepping for shibori. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

I can’t wait to dye this stuff!

Update: Our dying day has been postponed due to COLD here in Florida!  How weird is that? Our plan was to do it outside with temperatures in the 60s.  That would have been fine for us, but not for the dye.  The water needs to be fairly warm.  I guess I get more time to prep.

Ellen Lindner
P.S.  I know my “cold” story isn’t getting any sympathy from your northerners and you’re right!  I can’t believe the frigid temperatures I’ve seen reported!  Stay warm folks.

 

10

A Little Christmas Gift

What is utilitarian, personal, and decorative?  Why hand stitched dish towels with my personal recipes printed onto them.

Dish towels with personal recipes and hand stitching. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

This is what I made for several close family members as Christmas gifts. My mom and sister especially appreciated them because we tend to use many of the same recipes.  So, they had fun hunting up their favorites, recognizing hand writing, and such.

Dish towels with personal recipes and hand stitching. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

I scanned the recipes individually and created a computer file the right size.  I found that it looked too much like a photograph, so I removed most of the color and tweaked it a little on my computer.

Dish towels with personal recipes and hand stitching. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

I had my computer image printed onto linen by Spoonflower.com .  If I remember correctly, I had 2 yards printed and that gave me enough to make eight towels.  I just hemmed them and added the hand stitching.

Which was quick and easy.

Dish towels with personal recipes and hand stitching. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Dish towels with personal recipes and hand stitching. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

I changed the colors of thread for each towel, reflecting the colors of the recipient’s kitchen.

Dish towels with personal recipes and hand stitching. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

This project was super easy and everyone really liked them. (Me too.  I have one in my kitchen drawer.)

Did you make any gifts this year?

Ellen Lindner
P.S. A little research revealed that hand stitched towels are very durable.  They can be used and washed just like any hand towel. I was even told that the towel will wear out before the stitching.

 

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