Author Archive | Ellen Lindner

QBL Classmates at Work

My classmates at Quilting by the Lake worked hard and did some amazing work.  I somehow missed final images for most of them, but these few will give you an idea.

Rosalie Dace, our teacher, circulated around the room almost non-stop.  She gave one-on-one advice to each student.

QBL Classmates at Work. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Barb worked late each night and almost completely assembled her piece by the end of the week. (Here it is still in-progess.)  It was inspired by a stone wall, but she took a lot of liberties with her color choices.  I loved it.

QBL Classmates at Work. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Peg started with rectangles and turned them into house shapes.

QBL Classmates at Work. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

This is Lisa’s piece very early on.  Hers is the one inspired by her engagement ring.  She quickly mastered curved piecing and it’s a good thing.  As you can see, she has quite a few yet to do.

QBL Classmates at Work. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

I wish I had a photo of Lisa’s work further along.  She used some wonderful hand dyed fabric and many bright colors.  It was really singing at the end of the week.

Olan was the only man in our class (or at QBL for that matter,) but it didn’t seem to phase him in the least.  He pieced these intricate feathers as part of a very large stylized piece.

QBL Classmates at Work. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Emily went for a minimalist look and for good reason.  When she began to play with these fabrics, they interacted so well she didn’t want to break up the composition.  She hand appliqued them in place and her top is finished!

QBL Classmates at Work. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

My neighbor in class was Annemarie and she brought these vibrant colors.  I knew I’d like her piece when I saw them.

QBL Classmates at Work. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Sure enough, here it is.  I love the composition and contrast!  It was my favorite.  This is it at the very end of the week.  She just had a few more seams to stitch.

QBL Classmates at Work. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

One of the great things about taking a class is learning from your classmates.  I definitely did that!

Ellen Lindner
P.S.  If any of my classmates read this, I’d love to receive photos of your finished pieces.  With your permission, I’ll add them to this post.

 

1

Translating Sketches to Color

After working in black and white to create sketches, it was time to make them up in fabric.  (Fabric with color!)  This is the palette I selected.  My usual favorites.

Translating Sketches to Color. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

These are my first four.  I used my favorite 2 sketches, plus mini-crops from them.

Translating Sketches to Color. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Rosalie’s idea was for us  to create multiple units and then join them together.  But, I began to lose enthusiasm for that idea.  Although I really liked these four units, I didn’t like the idea of creating a quilt with a gridded format.  I discussed it with Rosalie and she agreed.  So, I decided to focus on just one motif.  However, with Rosalie’s encouragement (insistence?) I decided to incorporate the four stitched units into the background of my future piece.

Translating Sketches to Color. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Above, you can see the arrangement of those pieces and my black paper “place holder” for the future primary motif.  (Thanks to Olan who provided the white fabric I needed to extend my background muslin.)

I drew lines on the muslin to help me make sweeping curves throughout the background. I was excited about this idea.

Translating Sketches to Color. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

I got pretty detailed where one line crossed another and used a different fabric for each little shape.

Translating Sketches to Color. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Here it is near completion of the background.  As you can see, I pinned up potential fabrics as I worked. Once selected, each fabric was cut to shape, often with an “underlap” for the adjacent piece, and pinned in place.

Translating Sketches to Color. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

And here the background is complete, and glued.  I was VERY happy with it.  Next, I worked on selecting fabrics for the main motif.

Translating Sketches to Color. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Auditioning motif fabrics.

Translating Sketches to Color. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

The final class arrangement.

Translating Sketches to Color. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

I’m pretty happy with this.  I will add quite a few more arcing tapered lines in the background.  However, when I got home I was so tired of looking at it I needed a break from it.  So, it’s on my design wall FOLDED IN HALF so I can only see the back.  I’ll get back to it with new eyes in a few weeks. Do you ever do that sort of thing?

Ellen Lindner
P.S. A miracle happened: with the exception of that white piece of background fabric, I actually had everything I needed in a five day class!

6

More Black and White Exercises

One of the great things about taking a class is that you get to learn from everyone around you.  In my class with Rosalie Dace, she was very good about going around the room and coaching everyone.  And she didn’t mind eavesdropping, so I overheard quite a few good tips.

I thought you’d enjoy seeing how some of my classmates tackled their black and white exercises.  Each one started with a single shape that was then altered, multiplied (maybe) and explored at least three more times.

When Stephanie alternated the values in her shapes she got something that looked almost like a rib cage.

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and white exercises. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Olan cut his very exact shapes with an exacto knife.

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and white exercises. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Mary’s sharp triangles morphed into a large flower.

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and white exercises. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Lisa used her engagement ring as a jumping off point.  Thus, the curves, which emulated her oval stone.

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and white exercises. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Kenna did an awful lot with a basic triangle.

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and white exercises. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

And look what Cathy did with the same shape.

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and white exercises. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Annemarie’s composition seemed pretty basic at first, but wait until you see what she did with it.

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and white exercises. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

More triangles.  Betsy used very sharp ones.  Almost like thorns.

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and white exercises. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

What a lot of diversity!  These little sketches turned into some really awesome quilts.

Ellen Lindner

2

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and White Exercises

Are you familiar with the work of Rosalie Dace?  She’s a fabulous art quilter from South Africa and a highly sought-after art quilt teacher.  I’ve been wanting to take a class with her for quite some time and I finally got to at Quilting by the Lake a couple of weeks ago.  It was very good – although somewhat different than I expected.

She gave us some very useful tips, concepts, and pep talks each morning.  Our first assignment was to use black and white paper to create some “sketches.”  We were to choose one shape and then explore it over and over at least five times.

I chose the humble rectangle.

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and white exercises. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

These are shown in the order in which I created them.  This was actually quite a stretch because it was sometimes difficult to come up with one more variation. I noticed that I was somewhat enamored with the idea of line.

For our second shape, Rosalie suggested that we choose something special to us or familiar to us.  I chose a palm frond.

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and white exercises. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

As usual, I had to make a literal depiction in order to get that out of my head.  In doing so, I was able to focus on the long skinny tapered shape within the frond and I started playing with it.

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and white exercises. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Soon, things got interesting.  I really liked the last 3 above. Rosalie wanted me to make more, so I began to search my favorite two for tiny compositions.

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and White Exercises. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

There were many that I liked.

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and White Exercises. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and White Exercises. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and White Exercises. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and White Exercises. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and White Exercises. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and White Exercises. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and White Exercises. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and White Exercises. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Can you believe so many viable compositions came from those little sketches?

The fact that these designs no longer say “palm frond” is not a problem.  As a matter of fact, it’s actually the point.  The idea is to play with shape only and to see where it takes you.

I found these black and white exercises to be fun, enlightening, and useful.  Why not give it a try?

Ellen Lindner

6

“Circular Abstractions,” an Awesome Exhibit

While at Quilting by the Lake, I got to visit the Schweinfurth Art Center, which was hosting an exhibit called “Circular Abstractions.”  Oh my, these quilts really make an impact!

As you can see, they’re quite large: each about 80″ square.

"Circular Abstractions" Exhibit. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

By Kaci Kyler, Marks IV

The quilts were meant to be inspired by a large Bulls Eye pattern.  That is, four quadrants, each with a bulls eye (target) motif.  The challenge was proposed by Nancy Crow, and she invited certain students to participate.  Some artists got very creative with their interpretation of quadrants and bulls eyes, as with the quilt above.  But, that was sort of the idea.

Others stuck to the bulls eye motif more clearly, but still with LOTS of variation.

"Circular Abstractions" Exhibit. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

By Randi Morgan, Traveler

Some artists disassembled the components and put them back together askew.

"Circular Abstractions" Exhibit. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

By Patricia Guthrie, Rolling Color

Our class teacher, Rosalie Dace, gave us the assignment of selecting a piece to buy if we were gallery owners.  This piece was my pick.  I really love it.  Wouldn’t it be great in a large public space or on a business wall?

"Circular Abstractions" Exhibit. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

By Tommy Fitzsimmons, Orbicular I

Tommy, (above) really S T R E T C H E D the proportions and I think it’s very successful.

Rosalie also asked us to select a quilt we’d like to take home.  Although the one above tempted me mightily, I just kept gravitating back to the one below. I think I could look at it for hours!

"Circular Abstractions" Exhibit. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

By Kaci Kyler, Marks III

Doesn’t it just glow?  When you look closely, you can see the woven effect created by ALL THOSE LITTLE PIECES.

"Circular Abstractions" Exhibit. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

And then, finally, you notice the VERY TIGHT matchstick quilting.  Compare the texture to that of the wall.  Amazing, right?

"Circular Abstractions" Exhibit. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

This is a FABULOUS exhibit, which demands a little bit of study.  It’s divided into trunks and is traveling around the country.  If it comes close to you, you’ll definitely want to see it!

Ellen Lindner
P.S. I only showed you a few of the quilts in the exhibit.  There are about 20 or 30.

6

Energetic Quilts by Noel Keith

I had a great time this past week at Quilting by the Lake.  It was like (a rather intense) quilt camp.  What fun!  We stayed in dorms, ate our meals in the cafeteria, and used the college class rooms as our own.  The camaraderie and Adrenalin surges were just fantastic!

Viewing the related quilt show was one of the first things I did.  There I was introduced to the quilts of Noel Keith, from New York.  I’m showing you several of her quilts here.  (They were labeled, but it wasn’t always clear which title went with which quilt, so I’m showing them without titles.)

What color!Quilts by Noel Keith. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

What energy!Quilts by Noel Keith. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Quilts by Noel Keith. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

I think maybe this one is my favorite. Quilts by Noel Keith. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Quilts by Noel Keith. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Quilts by Noel Keith. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Love it.Quilts by Noel Keith. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Aren’t they great?  She’s a master of color, but her pieces are much more than color stories. She’s created a lot of energy with her improvisational (inexact) piecing.  Very nice!

Which one is your favorite?

Ellen Lindner
P.S. I couldn’t find a website for Noel, but she has as Facebook page.

6

Should I Make it More Abstract?

I’m really happy with the way the background of my Red Bud quilt is turning out.  Here it is before quilting.

Should I Make it More Abstract? Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

This image shows the heavy quilting I did on the tree trunks.

Should I Make it More Abstract? Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

But, about the time I finished quilting the background I had a sort of disturbing thought.  That is “would it look better if it were more abstract?”  Hmm.  Making something abstract isn’t disturbing at all to me.  But, doing so this far into a quilt seemed daunting.

Still, I began to sketch options on my computer. First option: what if I cut the background into three pieces and added to each of those to complete three different quilts.  The idea was intriguing, but the work load was not.  (You may remember that I’ve done a bit of this lately on a smaller scale.)

Should I Make it More Abstract? Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Next thought: what about leaving the center as is, but changing the two sides dramatically.  Maybe painting over them and continuing.

Should I Make it More Abstract? Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Or maybe I should just leave the background as it is and do all the abstraction with the flowers.  Since I had no idea how I was going to make the flowers, anyway, this was pretty appealing.  Maybe something like this.

Should I Make it More Abstract? Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

For now, I’m going to experiment with this last idea.  I really like the idea of abstracting the flowers. The question is whether the background will need something, too.

Have you noticed that I take a lot of detours?  It would definitely be faster is I just went from point A to point B.  But where’s the fun in that?

Ellen Lindner
P.S. UPDATE – Shirley asked “I am interested in how you use your computer to play with your designed especially in abstraction. What program do you use? I would love to see/hear how you so it.” In case you’re also interested, here’s my response.

I use Photoshop Elements for photo editing.  It gives me the ability to work in layers.  That way I can use different techniques on different layers, showing and hiding them as I choose.  For instance, look above at the image with the clear center but the faded sides.  The sides are a different layer, below the one with the in-focus center.  I reduced the opacity of the side ones to give a painted-over  look.

The bottom image is completely (and quickly/sloppily) drawn.  It was easy to do.  I created a new (invisible layer) on top of the full image.  I kept the full image layer visible.  Then, I used the brush tool, picked the color from the original photo, and drew on the new layer, right over the original image still visible  below.  The paint didn’t “stick” to that layer, since I was painting on the invisible layer above it.  As though I was painting on glass with the photo underneath.  I hope that makes sense.

I don’t have a great deal of “go to” tricks when it comes to abstracting, but I generally try some version of simplifying the image.  In this case, I used the same painting technique described above, using a very fat brush.  This kept me from focusing on details and about all I could do was depict the direction of the petals.

But before drawing the petals as described above, I first used a skinnier brush to draw some big open loop/petals.  Just because I thought they’d look cool.  I used them a few months ago and liked them, so I guess they were still in my head.  See this post.

PSE is great software and commonly used. However, there’s a definite learning curve involved.  If you want to try it, I suggest a good tutorial book or online class.  I highly recommend the “Teach Yourself Visually” series for any new software purchase.  At $30, these books are awesome!

Good luck with it!
Ellen Lindner

7

Hand Stitching Hexies

Although I seldom do any hand stitching on my quilts, I like to have a hand  project available for traveling, etc.  I’ve searched for something that will hold my interest –  for years.  First I tried yo-yos. Then small collages.  Finally, I decided to revisit hexies (or hexagons.)

Hand Stitching Hexies. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

These are traditionally used in English paper piecing, something I learned WAY back when.  I wasn’t sure I wanted to hand join the hexies together, but I found that I quite liked making them.  And don’t they look pretty when grouped by color?

After making a few, I began to experiment with how to easiest join them. They’re created on templates of card stock /”paper,” which is generally not removed until after they’re sewn together.  I wondered if there was some other way to stiffen them, so the card stock templates could be removed.  I tried heavily starching them, and they had plenty of body.  So, I gave it a try, appliqueing the hexies onto a plain background, and securing them with a zigzag stitch worked in invisible thread.

It worked really well, although all those passes to catch every edge took longer than I expected.

Hand Stitching Hexies. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

I did a lot of stopping and starting to avoid double passes with the stitching.  Next time, I think I won’t worry about that and it will be much more efficient.

Eventually it occured to me that since I wanted a hand sewing project, I should at least try hand joining them.

Hand Stitching Hexies. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

And, sure enough, it worked fine.  Templates are removed only after all the surrounding seams are in place.  The holes help when removing the “paper.”  You just stick a chop stick or dull pencil in there and pry it out. I made my own templates and used a hole punch to make the holes.

Hand Stitching Hexies. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

So, then I wondered if I could hand stitch them without the templates, if I starched them heavily again.  I’m still working on the sample for that, and I think it’s going to work just fine.

Hand Stitching Hexies. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Hand Stitching Hexies. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

I’m not at all sure what I’ll be doing with these.  I’m pretty sure I’ll use them in coordinating colors, perhaps as a background for a future design.  In the meantime, making them is a fun way to dip into my scrap collection.

This little project came in handy on a recent flight, (even though the tray table was TINY.)

Hand Stitching Hexies. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Just what I needed.

If you want to try your hand at these, here are a few tutorials and tips:
– An easy to cut template (that I used.)
– Making hexies
– Joining hexies

Ellen Lindner
P.S. I also tried making hexies from circles.  The technique is easy, but I found that they weren’t very accurate, which made joining them unfeasible.  They’d still work well for applique, however.

2

Starting My Red Bud Quilt

After coming up with  a design for my quilt, it was time to select some fabrics.

Designing a Red Bud Quilt. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

My computer generated sketch is shown above.  I decided to fracture the sky quite a bit in order to give the impression of busy twigs, etc.  The lower part would be mostly one fabric, though.

So, I dug into my stash of blues, to see if I had what I needed.

Starting My Red Bud Quilt. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

I crack myself up.  Of course I did!

Next, I put a piece of muslin onto my design wall and drew in the desired dimensions.  Then, I drew in the tree, along with some dotted lines for fractured sky pieces.

Starting My Red Bud Quilt. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

When the first piece went in I was so excited!  I got quite a little Adrenalin surge!

Ellen Lindner

3

Designing a Red Bud Quilt

After viewing blooming Red Buds in Virginia in April, I was inspired to make a quilt.  I thought I’d have a difficult time depicting them from a distance, so I decided to feature their blossoms close up.  To that end, I took a bunch of photos.

Designing a Red Bud Quilt. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Gorgeous, right?

Designing a Red Bud Quilt. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Designing a Red Bud Quilt. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Designing a Red Bud Quilt. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Designing a Red Bud Quilt. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

I think it’s so interesting the way the blossoms pop directly out of the bark.

I spent quite a bit of time merging and resizing photos on the computer and finally came up with this as a sketch.

Designing a Red Bud Quilt. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

The sky and branches should be pretty straight forward, but what about those blossoms?  I think some experimenting will be in order.

Ellen Lindner
P.S. Check out some of the other flowers I’ve created in this gallery.

2