In a Different Style

After completing my last quilt, I didn’t have a strong idea about what I’d like to do next.  So, I pulled out my old sketch book, in search of inspiration.  I found it in this little sketch.  This stylized plant is pretty different my usual style, which I thought would make it fun.

Click any image for a larger viewEllen Lindner's "Dancing Toward the Sun," in-progress.  AdventureQuilter.com/blog

I pulled out fabrics to decide on a color palette.  Although I wanted the sky area to be blue, I decided to add interest with some tiny slivers of yellow.

Ellen Lindner's "Dancing Toward the Sun," in-progress.  AdventureQuilter.com/blog

I wasn’t too sure about the ground, though.  Maybe green or rust?  Some thought was needed.

I selected black and white fabrics for the sprout.  I had an idea about an appropriate construction technique, but some experimenting would be needed.

Ellen Lindner's "Dancing Toward the Sun," in-progress.  AdventureQuilter.com/blog

The sky began to take shape quickly.  I set up a rotary cutting station and ironing station right next to my design wall.  I was able to iron a fabric, quickly cut it, and pin it in place.

Ellen Lindner's "Dancing Toward the Sun," in-progress.  AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Very early on I got the idea of adding little bits of red to the background.  Something to experiment with as things progressed.

After initially making the bottom section green, I just didn’t like it.  I switched it to dark blue and, this time, added little slivers of red.  Much better.

Ellen Lindner's "Dancing Toward the Sun," in-progress.  AdventureQuilter.com/blog

In the photo above, the background was nearly complete.  My goal was to make it interesting all by itself, and I think I succeeded.

Ellen Lindner

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Working Loosely with Paper Collages

In my class, “Design Your Own Nature Quilt,” I show my students about making paper collages as a way to interpret a photo loosely.  I was introduced to this by Cherilyn Martin, and I’ve used it several times.  It’s a fun and easy project, and it there’s NO WAY to be overly exact with it.  Just what our brains need, at times.

As I prepared for a recent class, I decided to make another example of this process.  This was my inspiration photo, although  I decided to omit the trees on the left.

Great luminosity, don’t you think?

Click any image for a larger view
Japanese Ti Plants.  Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Here’s the assignment: Tear magazine pages/papers and glue them in place to interpret your photo at  a size of 8 1/2″ x 11″.  The combination of the small scale and the tearing mean you’ll only be able to capture the largest and most important shapes.   You’ll HAVE to work loosely!

Here’s my background.

Working loosely with paper collage, Ellen Lindner. AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Then, I added some bright orange foliage.  These established my composition, even though they had rather wonky shapes.

Working loosely with paper collage, Ellen Lindner. AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Finally, I added a few dark petals.  But not in a realistic color.  Instead, I made them dark purple.  And that’s enough, I think.

Working loosely with paper collage, Ellen Lindner. AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Voila!  I love the wonkiness.

I hope you’ll give it a try.  And if you do, I definitely want to see your results!  (Send me photos and I’ll show them here on my blog.)

Fun, right?

Ellen Lindner

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Piecing Batting Together

Well, it finally happened.  I ran out of batting at an inconvenient time.  Running to the quilt shop wasn’t an option, but I remembered hearing about piecing batting together.  So, I decided to give it a try.

First, I overlapped the two batting pieces and cut them both with a curvy line.  My hope was that the curve would help me line up the two pieces, and it did work well.  (Although now I’m wondering why it matters.  A straight-lined join, even if it was a little mismatched, would still work wouldn’t it?)

Click any image for a larger viewPiecing batting together.  Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

I joined the pieces together with a rather messy ladder stitch.

Piecing batting together.  Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

The ladder stitch looks just like a whip stitch from the front.  The difference is the way the needle travels on the back side.  Click on photo above to see.  It’s better than a whip stitch because it doesn’t draw the fabrics together so much.

Here’s how to do it.
- Take a stitch left to right, across the fabric seam, connecting the two pieces of fabric.
- Travel under the fabric, parallel to the seam and moving away from you.
- Take a stitch right to left, across the fabric seam and continue.

This stitch is often used to close up the seam of a stuffed toy or other small item.  This tutorial from “NannyNotes” shows an example.

BTW, this was very quick.  (Faster than going to the store.  Hah!)  I’ll definitely do it again.

Ellen Lindner
P.S.  Have you ever pieced batting together?  Do you have any related tips?

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Notes for a Friend #16 & 17

Here are the Notes for a Friend, #16 and #17.  These are part of the group that started life as an ugly quilt.

Note #16, shown on black background

Note for a Friend #16, by Ellen Lindner.  AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Detail.  Click for larger view

Note for a Friend #16 - detail, by Ellen Lindner.  AdventureQuilter.com/blog
Note #17,
Note for a Friend #17, by Ellen Lindner.  AdventureQuilter.com/blog
Detail.  Click for larger view
Note for a Friend #17 - detail, by Ellen Lindner.  AdventureQuilter.com/blog
These small pieces are a BIG improvement over the original quilt!
Find purchase information here.

Ellen Lindner

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Notes for a Friend #14-15

Some months ago, I cut up an unsuccessful quilt and used the pieces as the starting points for another set of Notes for a Friend. 

These are the first two resulting quilts.

#14, photographed against black:

Notes for a Friend #14, by Ellen Lindner.  AdventureQuilter.com/blog

#Detail. Click to enlarge

Notes for a Friend #14 - detail, by Ellen Lindner.  AdventureQuilter.com/blog

#15.  Click to enlarge

Notes for a Friend #15, by Ellen Lindner.  AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Detail

Notes for a Friend #15 - detail, by Ellen Lindner.  AdventureQuilter.com/blog

I especially like mounting these tiny quilts on framed glass.

Notes for a Friend #15, by Ellen Lindner.  AdventureQuilter.com/blog

I’ll show you two more in the next post.  Find purchase information here.

Ellen Lindner – Making Lemonade

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“Summer in the South” Complete

My piece “Summer in the South” is now complete:

Click any image for a larger viewSummer in the South, an art quilt by Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com

Here’s a closer image:

Summer in the South, detail, an art quilt by Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com

If you’re a southerner, perhaps you can also feel the heat and hear the cicada bugs in the background.  All part of living in the south during the summer.

This piece is available for purchase.  Find more information here, including how you can audition it in your home.

Ellen Lindner

You might also like these similar pieces.  Click the image to go to the appropriate web page.

Ti Plants A-Glow-Glow

 

Garden Party

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Great Photographs: So Close

Remember my new “mail” room that I’ve recently set up?  With storage and shipping features?  One additional hope I had for this room was a great photo set up.  So, I did a trial run to see how it might work.

Oh, it was fantastic!  I just moved my empty table up (vertically) against the wall, and I had a nice long sight line.  Then, I pulled out the two mega lights I had purchased some years ago.  And the tripod.  And brought my design wall in with my latest quilt pinned to it.  Voila!  I was ready to shoot!

Click any image for a larger viewEllen Lindner's attempt at great photos, AdventureQuilter.com

Ellen Lindner's attempt at great photos, AdventureQuilter.com

But, someone forgot to tell my camera.  I’ve owned it for a few years and this is the first time I’ve needed manual settings for shutter speed, etc.  Where did I find those features?  Nowhere!  My camera doesn’t have them.  Darn!  Drat it.

Back to shooting outside.

Ellen Lindner
P.S.  A few notes:
- I have two design walls.  Neither is attached to the wall.  They just lean up against it, allowing me to move them around.  Great for photography.
- Hand sewing needles make great invisible pins for attaching a quilt to a support.  (I was really proud of myself for thinking of that one!)

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Red Art in the Bathroom

I recently updated my master bathroom.  I painted the walls a soft grey/tan.  (The name was “blank,” so that gives you an idea – even though it looks a little too warm in these photos.)  It was a good backdrop for the vibrant red art I wanted to add to the room.

Click any image for a larger view

White Poppies near the sinks:

Red art in the bathroom, Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com

And Red Strata over the toilet:

Red art in the bathroom, Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com

Can you tell I planned and sized both of these for their respective locations?  And, since I wanted the artwork to be the star of the room, I kept everything else colorless, adding white towels and neutral rugs.  I’m really happy with the way these changes brighten up the room!

Ellen Lindner
P.S.  Fiber art works very well in bathrooms.  There’s no wrinkling or puckering from the humidity.

 

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Crepe Myrtle Quilt Progressing

After completing the background for my crepe myrtle quilt, I got to work on the  foliage.  I followed my sketch closely and it looked like this.

(See the sketch and design process in this previous post.)

Click any image for a larger view

Crepe myrtle quilt in-progress, Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com

By scrunching my fabrics in the blades of my scissors as I was cutting, I got irregular, organic shapes.  I call this process “jagged cutting” and I use it a lot.

I was quite happy with my foliage until I started to notice the blooming crepe myrtles around town.  The thing I really liked about them was their open airiness and the individual branches that sprang out.  Hmm.  Mine didn’t have that.

So, I worked with a different photo (my own) and printed out that plant’s silhouette as a new foliage model.

http://adventurequilter.com/blog/2014/08/getting-started-on-a-crepe-myrtle-quilt/

Much more open, right?  Of course, this meant quite a bit of reworking.  Resulting in this.  Better, don’t you think?

http://adventurequilter.com/blog/2014/08/getting-started-on-a-crepe-myrtle-quilt/

The trunks in the photo above, were just for a quilt fabric audition.  I removed them and quilted everything.  That’s rather unusual for me.  But, I knew I’d be dodging pink blossoms later, so I decided to quilt in stages like this.

The first few flowers were to give me an idea about size and placement.  Many changes to come.

Crepe myrtle quilt in-progress, Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com

I generally construct my quilts with raw edge collage.  I hold everything together with pins until I quilt and secure it.  But, since I knew I’d be using several pink fabrics for blossoms, I decided to try fusing them.

Crepe myrtle quilt in-progress, Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com

It was a little bit of a challenge to decide on the proper level of accuracy.  I wanted the heavy blossoms on the left to have the almost triangular crepe myrtle shape, but I also wanted the interior ones to be rather loose.  This made it really hard to stop!  There was always something I could tweak.

The next photo shows the composition almost complete.  I’ve added trunks, rounded a few blossom shapes, and filled in the “armpits” between some of the left branches.  (You know what I mean, right?)  It’s almost ready to have the flowers quilted.

Crepe myrtle quilt in-progress, Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com

I’m pretty happy with it.

Ellen Lindner

P.S.  Did you notice the red object in some of these photos?  It’s a wrist pincushion.  The fabric end allows me to pin it to my design wall.  Very handy.

 

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Children at Paint

I thought you might enjoy a few more photos of the kids in the summer art class I taught.

Cyrah and Jaylina were usually fully engaged with their painting.  They easily mastered mixing colors and generally used a wide variety.

Click any image for a larger view

Children at paint, Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

The older girls, Tiana and Desiree, liked spraying watercolor paper and encouraging their colors to bleed.  (Even though they weren’t keen on having their pictures taken.)

Children at paint, Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

 The youngest girls, Shanyla and Unica were very enthusiastic!  They had fun whenever they held a paint brush.  No planning – just applying paint!

Children at paint, Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

It was very fun for me to work with these girls.  I hope I get to do it again next summer.  If so, there will definitely be paint involved!

Ellen Lindner
P.S.  See my own recent painting adventure here.

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