Dying Scarves

My sister and I had a great time attending a recent scarf dying class.  Taught by my good friend, Jo-Ann Jensen, she provided me with plain silk, knowing that I’d want to use it in quilts.  Of course!

She first taught us how to do a tie-dye sort of thing.  She calls her geodes.  Well, I just didn’t have enough patience for all those rubber bands!  Plus, I didn’t choose my colors very wisely.  This is what I got, about 12 x 12.

Scarf dying with Jo-Ann Jensen. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

It’s not pretty enough to use as is, but certain parts can be cut and used very effectively.

Scarf dying with Jo-Ann Jensen. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Next, I tried to paint something that might work as a sky.

Scarf dying with Jo-Ann Jensen. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

I think it will work.  Again, I’ll use localized slivers.

Scarf dying with Jo-Ann Jensen. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Finally, I did a long folded piece using just two colors.  The designs I got are really pretty, but I think it will need some over dying to add color to all that white.

Scarf dying with Jo-Ann Jensen. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Scarf dying with Jo-Ann Jensen. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

This was a ton of fun!  If you ever get a chance to take a class with Jo-Ann, I strongly recommend it!

Now thinking about how I might use these fabrics together.  Hmm.

Ellen Lindner

P.S. You might also enjoy this post on  ice dying.

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“Coastal Overlook” Complete

My latest piece, Coastal Overlook, is now complete.  It’s about 30″ x 40″ and I’m pretty happy with it.

Coastal Overlook, an art quilt by Ellen Lindner. AdventureQuilter.com/blog

  If you’ve been following my blog you know that this quilt was inspired by a drive along the Pacific Coast Highway in California.  I wanted to abstract it and, for me, that’s the tricky part.  I want to hit the sweet spot where the level of abstraction has added interest, but not completely obliterated the image.  I’m never sure if I’ve hit it or not.  Of course, a good title always helps give clues.

To add energy I added lots of off-kilter seams and skinny inserts.  I think it works.

Coastal Overlook - detail, an art quilt by Ellen Lindner. AdventureQuilter.com/blog

When I took my inspiration photos I was standing near the edge of a cliff, with lots of golden grasses at my feet.  I hinted at these with a little piecing and thread painting.

Learn how you can audition this piece in your home.

Now, I’m kinda enjoying slowly folding fabrics, putting away things, and taking time to think about what I want to do next.  As usual, I have several ideas.

Ellen Lindner

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“Floral Improv” Students Rocked It

To say that my Floral Improv students rocked it is an understatement.  After a little instruction, they jumped right into drawing and cutting free-form flowers.  Then, they learned a little about composition and design considerations and gave that a try.  Along the way they were not afraid to try new things and they received suggestions beautifully.  What a fun group to work with!

And just look at their results!

Barbara’s palette was delightful.  She’ll add definition to the stems and leaves with dark stitching and then it will really pop!

Ellen Lindner's Floral Improv class. AdventureQuilter.com

Sharon’s quilt provides very high contrast, creating a lot of drama.  Most students will define their poppy petals with dark thread, but Sharon will use a light gray.  (But still something dark for the daisies and leaves.)  This is going to be great.

Ellen Lindner's Floral Improv class. AdventureQuilter.com

Margaret selected complementary orange and blue with a happy dose of pink and purple added in.  It’s very bright and cheerful!

Ellen Lindner's Floral Improv class. AdventureQuilter.com

Look at Kathi’s soft colors.  Didn’t she do a good job with them?  And what about the “body language” of her flowers?  She used her curving stems to great advantage.

Ellen Lindner's Floral Improv class. AdventureQuilter.com

Jo-Ann was still experimenting at this stage, but she had some really great things happening.  Like those s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d daisies.  They have lots of personality.  I know this is going to be full of life.

Ellen Lindner's Floral Improv class. AdventureQuilter.com

Cindy is fairly new to quilting, but she fully embraced the project.  She did a great job.

Ellen Lindner's Floral Improv class. AdventureQuilter.com

Barbara’s dark background really set off her pastel flowers beautifully.  She only has a little stitching left to do.  I can’t wait to see her finished quilt!

Ellen Lindner's Floral Improv class. AdventureQuilter.com

Bobbi was speedy and she managed to create a lot flowers in a short period of time.  She also fussy cut some shapes from a pink fabric to serve as buds.  A very nice touch.  It’s bright and wonderful!

Ellen Lindner's Floral Improv class. AdventureQuilter.com

Another 3 students packed up before I could photograph their work, but I can assure you it was on a par with these.  I’m SO delighted by these results in the very first offering of this class!

I’m now taking this class on the road.  Let me know if your guild would like to have me add you to my schedule.  (Email link below.)

Ellen Lindner

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“Floral Improv” Inaugural Class

Color was everywhere as I taught Floral Improv for the first time.  Just look at the backdrop I had for my demo board!

Ellen Lindner's Floral Improv class.  AdventureQuilter.com

After only a short while students were making free-form daisies and poppies in a myriad of hues.

Ellen Lindner's Floral Improv class.  AdventureQuilter.com

Ellen Lindner's Floral Improv class.  AdventureQuilter.com

Ellen Lindner's Floral Improv class.  AdventureQuilter.com

Ellen Lindner's Floral Improv class.  AdventureQuilter.com

Ellen Lindner's Floral Improv class.  AdventureQuilter.com

Ellen Lindner's Floral Improv class.  AdventureQuilter.com

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Oh what fun we were having!  Even the scraps were beautiful.

Ellen Lindner's Floral Improv class.  AdventureQuilter.com

This was a “guinea pig” class.  The students got to participate at a greatly reduced price (with the funds going to the shop owner who provided the space and promoted it,) and I got their feedback in return.  They were great about that, and I did identify a few things that could be improved.

Like the sweat shop scene below.  Everyone quilted their backgrounds as part of the class.  We collectively decided this could be done as part of the class prep, freeing up about 30 minutes for more pertinent activities.

Ellen Lindner's Floral Improv class.  AdventureQuilter.com

Great input and great fun.  Thanks to my guinea pigs!

Watch for the next post in which I’ll show you my students’ fabulous results.

Ellen Lindner

You may also enjoy:
grow-with-the-flow-debut-class-a-hit

 

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A Class with Pat Pauly

You know all the improvisational piecing I’ve been doing lately?  It’s all Pat Pauly’s fault.  When I saw her demonstrate it on Quilting Arts TV, I jumped in and tried it.  Plus, there were several other segments featuring Pat which included a variety of design and creativity exercises.  These really intrigued me and I tried a few of them.  So, when I learned that Pat would be teaching classes about 3 hours from my home, I decided to hit the road and take a class with her.

The class was called “A Dozen Ways:  Designs for Art Quilts.”  The idea was to show us ideas for jump starting quilt designs.  As you might imagine, the pace was VERY quick in order to cover so much material.

Our first assignment was to cut up a photo and rearrange it.  Here’s mine, before and after.  (Of course, the after would need to be tweaked to square it up.)

Artistic exercises in a class with Pat Pauly. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

 

Next, we made a small 1″ square opening in a piece of paper.  We used this window to audition different compositions within the pictures we had brought.  This was mine.  There are definitely some great little compositions in this photo, although I think only one of mine was viable.  (Did I mention we were moving very quickly?)

Artistic exercises in a class with Pat Pauly. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

 

At one point she had us sewing on index cards.  We were supposed to just pull scraps out of our bags and stitch them down with no thinking.  My first one is on the right, and I followed the instructions exactly.  But, gee it was ugly.  I decided a little thinking was in order!  At least I could pay attention to colors.

Artistic exercises in a class with Pat Pauly. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

So, I made the next 4, and liked them better.  Pat’s idea is that these can serve as springboards for larger compositions.  And, if the fabric is patterned with a big circle, the large composition will also need a circle.

I kinda liked this next exercise.  We were to select two complimentary images (from calendars we had brought,) cut them up and turn them into two coordinating pieces.  The two pieces should stand alone or also look good butted up next to one another.

Artistic exercises in a class with Pat Pauly. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

These photos were taken by Richard Jensen.  I selected them because they both featured trees, but they were different in the amount of foliage, weather, and vantage point.

This combo/dyptich idea has been rattling around in my brain a little.  I don’t intend to make this into a quilt, but I like the rather poetic marriage of two subjects like this.

At the end of the day, we quickly created a slightly larger collage.  This time she told us we “could think a little.”  This is what I came up with.  I didn’t really have scraps large enough to create an effective background.  But, I like the color palette.  The scale is off, but with larger blue shapes (and lots of tweaking) this might turn into something decent.

Artistic exercises in a class with Pat Pauly. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Or not.  It doesn’t have to become anything!  The time and thought I spent creating it enhanced both my artistic skill and my creativity.  That’s time well spent!  And the whole day fit that description.  It was a very good class.

Have you taken any good open-ended classes like this?  I’d love to hear about them.

Ellen Lindner

 

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Surrounded by Sandhills

We’re lucky to have many Sandhill cranes in my neighborhood.  They’re an endangered species and, to me, rather unusual.  They are very tall, almost 5 feet.  They generally walk slowly with their heads moving gracefully forward and back as they go.  We don’t seem them fly very often, but they can easily do so.  And they have a very distinctive warble.

crane 1

Shortly after receiving a digital SLR camera as a gift, a group of cranes moved through my front yard and I went outside to photograph them and to learn about my camera.  (Think large 35 mm style camera that creates digital images.)

I guess I startled them because they began slowly moving away, down the street to the right.

Sandhill crane. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com

There were about nine of them altogether, but I never got all of them in one shot.

Sandhill cranes. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com
But then, something unusual began to happen.

Sandhill cranes. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com

It seemed that they may have changed their minds about the direction they wanted to travel.

Sandhill cranes. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com

Sure enough, they turned around and started back toward me, moving right to left.

Sandhill cranes. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com

Sandhill cranes. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com

I was standing in my driveway and they came closer and closer.  Because I had the camera up to my eye, I was slow to pick up on what was happening next.  The birds were now circling back around me to my left!  It was almost like they were curious.

Sandhill cranes. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com

What was going on here?  They came extremely close and eventually, circled between me and my house.

Sandhill crane. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com

Now having turned 360 degrees back to their original direction, they traveled across my neighbor’s yard and continued on their way.

Sandhill cranes. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com

This was all very unusual bird behavior.  The only thing I can figure is that they were attracted to the clicking shutter noise of my camera.  Maybe I’ll have to test that theory again one of these days.

I watched them a bit longer and captured this shot of several taking flight.

Sandhill cranes. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com

They’re very majestic birds and I’m glad to have them in our neighborhood.

Ellen Lindner

5

The Devil’s in the Details

Or is that “God is in the details?”  Either way, it was the details that often demanded my attention at the World Quilt – FL, which was recently held in Orlando.

As you might expect, many of the most exceptional quilts were the winners from the World Quilt traveling competition.  Several of them had abundant use of texture.

Orlando quilt show. AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Ann Marie Miro quilt, detail

Orlando quilt show. AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Quilt made by Jutta Erner, detail

Synthetic fabrics were used fairly frequently.  Often they were scrunched, melted, or distressed in some other fashion.

Orlando quilt show. AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Detail of quilt made by C. Crugel, from South Africa

I especially liked the raised circular stitching, above.  Little washers (or something similar) were stitched over to give the raised effect.

Orlando quilt show. AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Debby Williams, from New Zealand painted the many geometric star shapes on her quilt

There was also some exquisite detail work.  Check out the border on this quilt.  The feathers were appliqued on AND stuffed!  A subtle little detail, rewarded only to those who studied it closely.  (Or, in my case, overhead someone else who was studying it closely.)

Orlando quilt show. AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Made by Ansa Breytenbach, fron New Zealand. Detail image

How about the quilting in this next piece?  It won “Best of Country,” for the United Kingdom.

Orlando quilt show. AdventureQuilter.com/blog

By Annelize Littlefair

Not a detail shot, I thought this quilt was rather interesting.  I liked the idea of sketching people doing everyday activities, with just a hint of color.

Orlando quilt show. AdventureQuilter.com/blog

By Alison Laurence, from New Zealand

And the detail shot.

Orlando quilt show. AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Not too many years ago, I could generally identify which quilts were from which country.  But, for me, those days are gone.  Everyone seems to be influenced by everyone else.  I hope we don’t get too homogenized!

Ellen Lindner

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Orlando Quilt Show: Things that Caught My Eye

I really enjoyed a visit to the World Quilt Show – Florida, in Orlando, yesterday.  There were many wonderful quilts, great vendors, and FRIENDS to visit with!  It doesn’t get much better than that.

I took photos of some of my favorite quilts, as well as ones with something that was either new to me or especially well done.

Perhaps you’ve seen this wonderful quilt online.  It’s called Coco, and it was made by Neroli Henderson, from Australia.

Orlando quilt show. AdventureQuilter.com/blog

The texture on this piece was amazing.  It was composed of TINY little snippets of fabric sewn in place, (although you couldn’t see the stitching.)  No tulle overlay was used to control all those pieces, though!  I’m not quit sure how she managed it.

Orlando quilt show. AdventureQuilter.com/blog

This next quilt was also made by an Australian: Sue de Vanny.  It was very well done and won an award for machine workmanship.

Orlando quilt show. AdventureQuilter.com/blog

The tram had many wonderful details, again made from small pieces of fabric.

Orlando quilt show. AdventureQuilter.com/blog

An appropriate destination, don’t you think?

The color and composition of Susan Hotchkis’ quilt really appealed to me.

Orlando quilt show. AdventureQuilter.com/blog

As I got closer, I was even more intrigued by the techniques and textures at work.  VERY heavy machine stitching was used to add texture and color in some areas.

Orlando quilt show. AdventureQuilter.com/blog
Although it all appeared rather random, I could tell the artist put great thought into.  (See the additional blue and yellow stitching below?)

Orlando quilt show. AdventureQuilter.com/blog

I almost walked right by this quilt.  Just because it was sorta low contrast, which doesn’t always get my attention.

Orlando quilt show. AdventureQuilter.com/blog

It’s called ‘Leafy”  Sea Dragon,  and it was made by Lois Parish-Evans.  Although the sea horse is nice, the things that got my attention were the intricate side parts, which had lots more contrast.  I wondered how they were done.

I was surprised by the answer, which was explained on the sign.  Lois started with plain white fabric and quilted the entire design.  The sea horse is stitched in black, but most of it is done in wonderful little dainty patterns with white thread.  Then, she used Inktense pencils to color in the design.

Orlando quilt show. AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Oh my!  The tiny white lines you see below are the quilting lines.  The spaces in between have been colored in to give this wonderful result.  I’m kinda spell bound by this.

Orlando quilt show. AdventureQuilter.com/blog

These images are just the start of my pictures.  I’ll have more for you in the next post or two.

It’s quilt season.  I hope you get to go to a show!

Ellen Lindner

3

Swapping ATCs

Of course, the reason for making artist trading cards it to swap them!  And that’s just what I did with a talented group of SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) members  from south Florida.

These are the nine cards I received.

Artist Trading Cards. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog
What a collection!  These women are pretty fearless.  They used a lot of surface design techniques, including painting, thread painting, melting, gluing, and hand stitching.

Here are some closer views.

Artist Trading Cards. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

A wide variety of materials was skillfully employed by these artists.  Can you identify the orange open-weave item in the left card above?  Yep, it’s from a produce bag.  Great texture and contrast!

Both of the cards below used glued paper, among other things.

Artist Trading Cards. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

It was great fun trading ATCs and generally celebrating the holidays with these women!

Ellen Lindner
P.S.  SAQA is an excellent organization.  Find more info here.  (I’m biased, but I think the Florida members are especially talented, active, willing to help, and fun to hang out with!)

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Making ATCs (Artist Trading Cards)

Did I tell you about meeting a woman on an airplane who later sent me some upholstery fabric samples?  It all started while I was “arting” on a cross-country flight.  I was sketching and playing with paints and she was knitting.  Of course, it didn’t take long before we were talking about our respective projects, and it turned out that she was a quilter.  We exchanged contact info and it wasn’t long before a NICE selection of sheer upholstery samples showed up at my door.  How thoughtful!

Making Artist Trading Cards. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

I love sheers with textures.  Since I had recently agreed to make an artist trading card, I thought some of these delicate fabrics would be just perfect.  (Then I found out I needed to make TWELVE of them!  Oh well, at least I had the fabric I needed.)

Not familiar with artist trading cards?  They’re small cards about the size of a credit card:  2 1/2 x 3 1/2.  As the name implies, artists make them and trade them.

I decided on silk burgundy and cotton cream fabrics to showcase these sheers.

Making Artist Trading Cards. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

The gridded sheer fabrics made excellent backgrounds against the deep burgundy colors.

Making Artist Trading Cards. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

For each one, I layered a textured sheer piece that covered most of the card.  Next I added a small piece of cream fabric.  Then, I cut a motif from the sheer fabric and added it on top.  These were accented with a little bit of black  fabric.  Finally, I stitched around the motifs with black thread.  I did it in a kind of messy/sketchy style.

This one was my favorite, and I sent it to my new airplane friend.  (It was number 13.)

Making Artist Trading Cards. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Here’s another one close up.

Making Artist Trading Cards. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

I added silk on the back, too.  Since it ravels badly I burned the edges with a soldering iron.  That took a while.

Making Artist Trading Cards. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Here’s the whole collection.  I was pretty happy with them and they were (mostly) fun to make.

Making Artist Trading Cards. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

I swapped these for a very intriguing collection.  I’ll show you those in the next post.

Have you ever made ATCs?  Which one is your favorite above?

Ellen Lindner
P.S.  See my soldering/melting set up here.

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