Fabric Cookies: High Fiber and Calorie Free

Have you ever heard of fabric cookies?  Me neither.  Until I invented them.

I needed a way for a my statewide SAQA group to thank a smaller group, so I asked the state members to make fabric cookies as thank you gifts.  I described them as something, about palm/hand sized made with fabric.  They ran with those loose instructions and came through in spades!  I received 107 cookies, which made a very significant pile.

Fabric cookies on Ellen Lindner's blog: AdventureQuilter.com/blog

They were all very different.

Fabric cookies on Ellen Lindner's blog: AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Fabric cookies on Ellen Lindner's blog: AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Fabric cookies on Ellen Lindner's blog: AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Fabric cookies on Ellen Lindner's blog: AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Here ‘s a closer look at some of them.

Fabric cookies on Ellen Lindner's blog: AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Below, check out the top left cookie.  It was one of TWENTY-SIX sent by Marlene Glickman!

Fabric cookies on Ellen Lindner's blog: AdventureQuilter.com/blog

And, what about the zipper treatment on the heart above?  I love that.

The next photo is not that great, but I think you can tell they’re fortune cookies.  Aren’t they cute?

Fabric cookies on Ellen Lindner's blog: AdventureQuilter.com/blog

The one on the right, below, was one of several I made.

Fabric cookies on Ellen Lindner's blog: AdventureQuilter.com/blog

My cookies were easy.  I just grabbed a few scraps (out of the trash can) and collaged them into loose circle shapes.  I stitched them together and later added hand stitching.  They were very easy and fast.

Fabric cookies on Ellen Lindner's blog: AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Presenting the cookies was lots of fun.  I went to a meeting of the appropriate group.  (We call them pods here in SAQA Florida.)  Several members pitched in to provide brunch which I got to deliver.  Once everyone had their food, I told them about a great homemade dessert that I’d brought for the occasion.  Then, I dumped the entire collection of fabric cookies on the table.  It was quite a pile and it had the appropriate effect of drama and awe.  They were very happy with all of this, and I think (and hope) they felt appreciated.

It’s so wonderful working with dedicated volunteers!  I’m so thankful for those who pitch in.

Ellen Lindner (Florida representative for SAQA, Studio Art Quilt Associates)

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Sharpies and Alcohol

Have you heard about “painting” with Sharpies?  The idea is to draw with a Sharpie on to fabric, and then to apply rubbing alcohol, which makes the color bleed in interesting ways.

Here’s a quick tutorial.

After reading it, I was ready to give it a try.  I used a fine tipped black Sharpie, which bled into purple.

Sharpies and Alcohol. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Sharpies and Alcohol. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Pretty cool, huh?

But, if I try this again, I’d like the design to have more white and less purple.  So, either I’d need to use less alcohol or I’d need to draw the design with more open space.

Still, a successful experiment.  (Also quick and fun.)

Ellen Lindner

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Arranging Improv Blocks

After making about 15 improvisationally pieced units/blocks, it was time to figure out hot to best arrange them.  In the past, I just put them all together and was happy with the result.  So, I tried that first.

Starting an Improv Quilt. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Sure enough, it was lively and energetic.  But, I wondered if the energy was TOO over the top.  Did it just look frenetic?  (Especially with such dramatic colors.)  Would it look better if there were units of plain fabric interspersed with the pieced blocks?

I auditioned the idea on my computer.

Starting an Improv Quilt. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Hmm.  It still had plenty of energy, but it did calm down some.  I decided to go with this plan.

Which meant that my quilt suddenly grew by a factor of about 3!  Heck, it’ll probably be big enough to snuggle under!  When was the last time I made a quilt that size?!? (Answer 2001.)

Back to work adding in plain squares.  So far I’m liking the result.

Ellen Lindner

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Starting a New Improv Quilt

While making Deliberation I purchased quite a few rust-colored fabrics.  Several of them were purchased online as part of a collection.  So, along with those rust colors, I received many luscious oranges, reds, and fuchsias.  I really liked them and began to plan how I might use them.

I love hand-dyed quilts with many similar colors of the same hue.  I’m not into dyeing, but I suspected I could buy something similar.  And I was right.   Soon, I had a collection of solid and near-solid fabrics in a tight color combination of orange to fuchsia.  Knowing that I’d need some different values and accent colors, I also purchased some neutral browns, as well as yellow-greens and purples with a hand stamped look.

This is what it looked like when I auditioned the combination on my design wall.

Starting an Improv Quilt. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

As you can see, I auditioned them in the proportions in which I intended to use them.  (Very important.)  The major colors are shown in large quantities and the accent ones in small shapes.  I liked the combination so I proceeded with cutting rectangles: largish ones from major colors and small ones from accents.  My plan was to use improvisational piecing, which simply means that no patterns are used.  (See the P.S. note)

Next, I pieced together couples made up of one large and one small piece.  I put them back on the design wall and checked proportions again.  I made some adjustments by sewing a few new blocks, adding some dark neutrals, and trimming down some of the existing ones.  Once I had the proportions to my liking I felt like I could forge ahead without a lot more planning.  Notice that all the seams were curved and many were diagonal.  In the photo below I was just getting started cutting and rearranging the first round of shapes.

Starting an Improv Quilt. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

At this point, I was confident in my plan and ready to get started.  With improvisational piecing it’s great fun to slice into things and sew them back together with a shifted orientation.  Or to insert skinny strips of contrasting colors.  My plan was to do plenty of both.  My idea was to make a bunch of  “blocks,” some with lots of tiny pieces and others with just one alteration.  Then, I intended to let the intricate pieces create a  focal point and to use the simpler pieces around the edges.

This is an example of what I did as I combined and altered two “couples,” making them into one block.

The two couples joined with a horizontal seam:

Starting an Improv Quilt. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Two skinny strips inserted:

Starting an Improv Quilt. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Right side cut and shifted:

Starting an Improv Quilt. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Another skinny insert added.  This one was a scrap from earlier trimming and therefore had two colors in it.

Starting an Improv Quilt. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Two more cuts and shifts added: diagonal and horizontal.

Starting an Improv Quilt. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

A final horizontal shift.

Starting an Improv Quilt. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

This is the final version of the most intricate block.  I won’t square it up any more than necessary.  I’ll leave it like this until I’m ready to join blocks together.  At that point I’ll trim only as needed, but it’s very unlikely that it will end up as a rectangle.

All of this is easy, so it’s quite addicting to slice and alter!

Ellen Lindner
P.S.  There are lots of things online about how to do improvisational piecing, although most of them have to do with straight seams.  I learned from Quilting Arts TV, series 1600 with Pat Pauly.
Here’s a good YouTube video about free cutting and piecing curved seams:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mIwp8TZtfU 
P.P.S.  My old blog has some info about improvisational piecing, too:
Getting started
Putting blocks together

 

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“Stitched” Opening

This past weekend I attended the reception for “Stitched:  Embracing the Quilt as Fine Art,” and it was wonderful.  The quilts were beautifully hung and lit in a handsome space.

Viewers were quite intrigued with the work.

"Stitched: Embracing the Quilt as Fine Art," 2017 exhibit. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Nonsynchronous Array, by Sheilana Massey

 

"Stitched: Embracing the Quilt as Fine Art," 2017 exhibit. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Choices, by Maggie E. Dillon

The quilts were made by the Florida members of SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates.) Subjects ranged from beautiful florals, to…

"Stitched: Embracing the Quilt as Fine Art," 2017 exhibit. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Crystal Clear and Tis the Season, both by Marianne R. Williamson

political commentary.

"Stitched: Embracing the Quilt as Fine Art," 2017 exhibit. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Left-top: Tribute to Maria of San Ildefonso, by Janice Kreuzinger, Left-bottom: Post Traumatic Stress Demons, by Patricia A. Turner, Right: Erasing The Future, by Suzanne Evenson

Artists had lots of opportunities to talk with one another and with viewers at large.

"Stitched: Embracing the Quilt as Fine Art," 2017 exhibit. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Artwork, L-R: Leather & Lace, Broken Whole, and Star by Choice, both by Michele Sanandajian, Winter Solitude, by Becky Stack, Listening, by Andrea Huffman

"Stitched: Embracing the Quilt as Fine Art," 2017 exhibit. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

L: N’awlins Heritage by Maggie E. Dillon, R: Greenhouse Green Monster, by Doris HulseNotice the red dot on the sign for the right quilt above?  That’s right: it sold – along with 2 others, thus far!

"Stitched: Embracing the Quilt as Fine Art," 2017 exhibit. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

L: Inbox, by Susan Rienzo, C: On the Edge of Darkness, by Maggie E. Dillon, R-top: Vine Ripened, by Ellen Lindner, R-bottom: Sunset Cove, by Karol Kusmaul

"Stitched: Embracing the Quilt as Fine Art," 2017 exhibit. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Top: Hot Trees, by Suzanne Evenson, Bottom: Mangroves, by Pamela Morris, Right: Casual Query #6 or 2nd Amendment Remedy, by Leslie HallThis is a great exhibit of 45 very diverse art quilts.  I hope you’ll get to see it.  It will be on display at Court House Cultural Center, 80 SE Ocean Blvd., Stuart, FL.Hours Tuesday through Friday, 10 – 4, Saturday, 11 – 2.

Ellen Lindner
P.S. I have another piece in the show, “Second Thoughts.”
P.P.S.  Thanks to Karol Kusmaul for  many of these photos.

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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. AdventureQuilter.com/blog

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. AdventureQuilter.com

March Journal: Ellen, by Ellen Lindner

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

Ellen Lindner. AdventureQuilter.com

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

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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, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

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

World Quilt Show - FL 2017. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

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, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

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, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

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

Ellen Lindner

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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, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

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

World Quilt Show - FL 2017. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

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, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

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, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

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, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

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.

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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. AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Vine Ripened

Second Thoughts, an art quilt by Ellen Lindner. AdventureQuilter.com/blog

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

 

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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, AdventureQuilter.com/blogPhoto 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, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

This was my piece, Northern Light.Group Challenges. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blogI 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, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

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, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

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, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

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

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