Thursday, May 6, 2010

Tonight I got on a wild hare...

Tonight instead of playing another game or two
of Freecell, Spider Solitaire,
Bridge Baron 19 or Internet Scrabble
while avoiding going to bed,
I decided to create a quilt on Electric Quilt 6.

I view Electric Quilt as a "computer game"
without the violence and with a useful and often lovely outcome.

Tonight I chose this antique quilt
which was made in 1896
and is currently hanging in the Quilt Room
of the Nodaway Valley Histoical Museum
 in Clarinda, Iowa where I am a Board member.

When I looked at my photo, I thought,
 "What a pitiful photo of this quilt!" 

While I worked on it, 
I decided the most appealing aspect of it
 in this photo is the aged antique look. 
It certainly is not the slightly unique, 
but not particularly interesting, blocks. 
But I was not to be deterred, so here it is.

How boring!
So that got me searching for 
and coloring a more interesting block 
and then choosing another nine patch alternate block to complement it. 

After I colored them a couple blues and white, 
I used the "Swap All Colors" tool 
and came up with this color scheme.
I have named this 100" x 100" quilt which has 81 - 9" blocks,
"Clearly you have made your point".

I think it is much more interesting. 
Don't you?

Never one to give up the fight easily and retire to bed,
I decided to reduce the number of blocks
 from 81 to 49 by removing the outside row of blocks, 
revising some of the coloring
 in the alternate blocks along the sides, 
inserting a middle border, 
and enlarging the outer border to 15" 
to keep the quilt at 100" square 
and allow the center 
to fit on the top of my queen-sized mattress 
and only the borders to drop over.

Hmmm, which do you prefer?

I'm glad I skipped my other computer games 
and went for "Electric Quilt."
I always feel more productive. 

If I do decide to make this quilt, 
I can use EQ6 to print off my rotary cutting directions,
 yardages and a printed drawing to select fabrics to match...
or I desire.

I hope you dream of quilts tonight, too.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Can there ever be too many green quilts?

On April 10th my friend Barbara Mills and I 
attended the Iowa Illinois Quilt Study Group 
which met in Kalona, Iowa. 
The focus of the daylong program was 
"Depression Quilts" 
and each of the 60 attendees
 was encouraged to bring two quilts to share with the group.
 I took this photo of two of the antique quilts 
draped over a quilt stand. 

A comment on the caliber of the attendees: 
These women are well-schooled 
and have gathered many quilts in their travels. 
Each time a show of hands was asked for--
"How many of you have a double wedding ring quilt 
at home that you did not bring?"...the tally was at least 23. 
This is coming from 60 ladies. 
This is in addition to the 120+ quilts they brought that day 
which we all oohed and aahed over. 

The attendees were asked the question over and over--
with a change of pattern name--
trip around the world, Sunbonnet Sue or Overall Bill, 
postage stamp, etc. 

I just wanted to rave about this group
 and share a green quilt and as Forrest Gump would say,
 "That is all I am going to say about that."

My friend Lisa Christensen admired this quilt entitled "Maddox".
Now just tell me the green doesn't make it pop!

I just found this next quilt photo 
on the 2010 International Quilt Festival/Chicago 
(actually Rosemont, Illinois) website 
in the SPECIAL EXHIBITS section. 

You may want to check out these 11 special exhibits. 
This quilt which appears in the "Celebrate Spring! 2010" exhibit 
is entitled "Blazing His Own Trail" by Ann Crowl Meyer. 
In addition to being named the Viewer's Choice, 
it was one of the quilts detailed in the VIDEOS section 
(Celebrate Spring exhibit) 
where closer photos 
and interviews of featured quiltmakers were recorded. 
I just love to look at it.
 Don't you?

But to be honest...
not all green quilts are created equal.
I hope my examples have proven that.

If you are not sold yet,
you WILL BE after seeing the next quilt
I made many years ago.

I found the coleus printed fabric
and purchased solid-colored pink and green to go with it.
Mistake #1.

I decided to "fussy cut" a coleus plant for the center
and border it with the green and pink "delectable mountain" blocks.
Mistake #2.

Admittedly this did give me a chance to practice
 the "delectable mountain" blocks which I do like, this a pretty quilt....I don't think so.

The center square looks more like a human heart than a lovely flower.
Hence the name, "Pepto Bismol Beating Heart."

And the border just doesn't do anything for the quilt...
really...what does do anything for the quilt.

So, this is an example of an ugly quilt...
and yet, a quilt which does serve a purpose...
as a warning to others...


So there CAN be too many green quilts!
Learn from my mistakes.
But, of course, we must all make our own mistakes.

 If you have, don't let it break you.
It didn't break me.

I must have made another 30 or 40 quilts since this one.
And almost every one is MUCH better.
Laugh at your mistakes and plan a better quilt.

Until next time,

Monday, May 3, 2010

Going green...

I design all the quilts I want to make on Electric Quilt
before I purchase fabric and begin construction.
Here are drawings of two 100" x 100" green quilts
 I am currently working on.

This one features "deviled eggs on a tray".
So far I have hand appliqued a golden orange yolk
onto each of the 23 egg whites
(made from Kona white cotton).

(Two eggs are missing because...
when have you ever gotten the deviled egg tray 
to the table with all the eggs on it? 
People are always grabbing one off
 as you approach the serving table.)

Now I need to applique the egg whites
onto the large piece of "hostas" background.
Isn't this "hosta" fabric (for the tray) excellent!

My current dilemna is to find a way to keep the hostas
from showing through the egg white fabric.

When this quilt top is completed,
I had planned to stencil "paprika" on the yolks.
Someone recently suggested "pepper" instead,
so now I am considering a second quilt featuring fried eggs on a tray
which I might have to name "Over Easy".
If I do make it,

I would probably have to use some brown/tan striped fabric
and add some 3D rippled bacon strips.
(And yes, I do sleep under all my quilts.)

The next quilt I am prepping for is the sheep in the pasture below.
The sheep will be foundation pieced and sashed
so that they can constantly graze on a lush green grass background.

I hope you are going green, too!