#london swap blocks

We are currently working on 2 swaps #Londonseattleswap and #londonhoustonswap with our 2015 red and white theme.  All the blocks should be 12.5 inches square unfinished and can be made in any red or white fabrics, totally free design.  I thought I’d share some inspiration, first photos were taken by Donna at QuiltCon 2015

gee bend quilt con 2015  gee bend quilt con 2015 a  geebend  gee bend quilt con 2015 b

the quilt was made by Gee Bend.

quilty cross

A great simple tutorial from Shannon Lamden.

red and white house block

Free tutorial from AZPatch.

circle of friends units

This circle of friends would be great in red & white, tutorial from Emerald Coast MQG.

wonky star

from Owen’s Olivia.

free form improv block

tutorial by My Patchwork.

If your on instergram please add the #londonseattleswap and #londonhoustonswap to your blocks.  The Modern Quilt Guild blog has lots of tutorials and I have a pinterest board with inspiration for me.  Don’t forget the LMQG library, if you’d like to borrow a book just email me.

Double Wedding Ring Quilts by Victoria Findlay Wolfe

double-wedding-ring-quilts-1Double Wedding Ring Quilts by Victoria Findlay Wolfe, hot off the press and out this month. I have seen double wedding ring quilts and appreciated their beauty, but thought them fiendishly difficult.  Victoria encourages us to not worry about making mistakes and to use them to learn from and even turn a mistake into a design feature!  With her thoroughly modern approach and improv style, turns a very traditional quilt style into 10 breathtakingly modern beauties.

double-wedding-ring-quilts-2This quilt was Victoria’s starting point using Center City fabrics from Jay McCarroll.  She used AccuQuilt wedding ring die cutters and a mistake quilt top, turning it into a master piece.

double-wedding-ring-quilts-3Bright Lights, Big City above, is large-scale scrappyness – perfect if you have lots of left overs from previous quilts.  Each section is well explained and with lots if diagrams, photos and suggestions to move the designs on further.

double-wedding-ring-quilt-4Leona above was inspired by a vintage quilt top, called Olga and this was named after Victoria’s grandfather ad his twin sister Leona.

double-wedding-ring-quilt-5I love the way this book takes such a traditional pattern, breaks it down and reinvents it with a modern twist – so many ideas on how to change the design, mixing up fabrics or even those quilt tops folded gently to one side as they some how fall short of our creative desires when making them.  I think my favorite quilt if all is Luminous Views made in solids, its big, bold and very modern take and beautiful.  This book really does inspire you to create and push your creative boundaries.  So if you’d like a little nudge, want to try circles or just have a beautiful book to gaze at this is for you.

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Luke Haynes | “Quilt; as quilt, as art”

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Luke Haynes visited the LMQG at our habitual meeting place the Star Tavern, Belgravia, on 12th on the October 2014. He brought with him stories, perspectives, bales of ideas that would shame the even his “Goodwill” fabric hunting grounds, and of course quilts. As quilts. And quilts as quilts, as art.
IMG_4878Luke loved Purple. Purple was made for him by his mother and was perhaps the beginning other visual and creative interests. One theory has it that he has been remaking Purple all his life. If that is the case, he has done the most challenging of all creative things. He has allowed his creations to change his outlook, he has engaged in what they mean to others. In his words, he “has a conversation about it”.
luke haynes quilt backLuke trained in art and architecture and at the same time, pursued what was at once a distraction and an alternative, photography. These threads came together in quilting.

At an early exhibition Luke found himself to be the subject of an unexpected celebration;

“I LOVE how you don’t care if it is straight!”

He does not bind by hand, he uses the visibility of the seams as part of the framing of the quilt. He does use acid free glue.  He does not do that which he doesn’t want to do. All very affirmative for a room full of modern quilters!
luke haynes close upOther than steering clear of knitted fabric (there is a limit to the contemporary edge that even Luke can construct out of some material), Luke will try fabrics together that seem unlikely neighbours, shirting with synthetic fur, cotton labels with wool suiting, vinyl with denim….He sorts his Goodwill, by the kilo, purchases by colour. He doesn’t dye fabrics, he reconstructs them as they are. His editing is based on whether he would like to wear it. If yes, it is spared the rotary cutter. Until the next wardrobe cull. If not, curtains. And they might well be.
IMG_4890Luke’s work is a synthesis of different perspectives. Log cabins are suggested, and the lines deconstructed, the blocks don’t match the frames, they echo them. They stimulate inquiry, they disturb familiarity.
luke haynes cupcakePhotographs are photoshopped and reimaged in fabric, into portrait quilts. The fellowship of quilting’s heritage realised anew. The reverse of the quilt holds the negative image that the electronic photographs never had, picked out in a contrasting bobbin colour. Joe Cunningham’s signature “drawing with bias tape” has the same stature and space on the quilt as Joe’s image. The work of the long arm quilting machine becomes the earliest of craft methods, ink sketched onto a background.

In another portrait quilt, Whistler’s Mother becomes “a big bearded goofy guy” and as with Mrs Whistler, the physical map of a journey through life, patent on the face, present in the textures of the portrait quilt. Ambiguity brings questions. Is he care worn and tired a contemporary Whistler whose digital bubble has burst? Has he simply had a heavy meal and a night of video games?
IMG_4886Are we looking at the weight of the world or the passing effects of self indulgence? We are stimulated to ask the question, provoked to debate the response. Isn’t that what art does? And speaking history, across generations, in fabric, the maker evident in their sewing, isn’t that what quilting has done?
luke haynes longarm quiltingThe accessibility of Luke’s portrait quilts makes them the “pictures on a blanket” of the cautious Seattle art gallery visitors he told us about. They are objects for use, they are personal, they are public. They are quilts, as quilts. They are quilts; as quilts, as art.

Inspiration of the month

Improvisational piecing is a technique that is at home in traditional quilting (think Quilter of Gee’s  Bend) as it is in modern quilting.

For our inspirational feature for this month we’d like to share a wonderful modern improvisational quilt that was constructed by Lu Summers in 2012 and I believe was ultimately the foundation for her book on improvisational piecing that was published in 2013.

 

There are literally no limits to improv piecing. You can strip it down to just a pair of scissors and thread or combine many techniques and still machine piece. The endless possibilities also makes it for many a quilter daunting although most do find it in the end quite liberating.

 

During the making of this quilt Lu often had doubts and I believe it was a bit of a roller coaster ride that in the end turned into a colourful and striking quilt that provides with every new viewing always something new to focus on.

Lu runs classes on screen printing and improv piecing at her home in Suffolk.

Meet Judi

IMG_4505Tell us a little about your self: I’m a 60-ish mother of one son. I’ve been quilting for roughly 15 years.  Still learning and growing, which is a big part of the attraction to quilting.

What inspired you to start quilting: I have always admired quilts and I started buying them long before I started making them. About 30 years ago there was a quilt display in my local library, and I bought a quilt. My mother admired it, and clearly wanted one, and I thought how hard can this be!  I didn’t know anything about quilting, but I knew enough to buy 100% cotton fabrics (although they were dress weight) and I also bought the Eleanor Burns log cabin Quilt in a Day book. I made a log cabin lap quilt for my mother, figured out how to turn it into a quilt by looking at the one I had, but I had no idea about quilting it. I have never seen a quilt with so little quilting, but I gave it to my mother who loved it and used it until her death, when both my brother and my sister asked if they could have the quilt. I wouldn’t part with it and it’s my go-to comfort blanket if I don’t feel well.  I didn’t make another quilt for a long time, but went to a local exhibition where the ladies invited me to join their group and I never looked back.  Oddly enough, I ended up a member of the group where the maker of my original quilt purchase was still an active member, and I was able to tell her that I still had her quilt from all those years before.

IMG_4498Favorite tool or notion: I love my sewing machines! I don’t sew anything by hand if I can help it. Not because I can’t, but because I am too impatient.

IMG_4500Where do you work on your quilts and keep your fabric stash?  I took over my son’s bedroom when he moved out, but my fabric stash is now so huge that there ís no room left to sew. I tend to use the dining room, and use the kitchen to cut fabric as the worktops are a much better height.

Do you prefer to follow a pattern of improvise?  I followed patterns for years and years, always envious of those who produced original work, but scared to take the plunge. My passion for modern quilting means I do much more improvisational work these days and try to come up with original ideas. Though I think I am often rehashing designs I have seen elsewhere, but I’m getting there!

IMG_4502What is your biggest quilting mistake? Years ago I made a foundation pieced quilt with tiny pieces. When I came to quilt it, my aspirations were far in advance of my experience. I wanted to quilt feathers in the borders, but how to go about it? I decided to laboriously draw out the feathers on Izal toilet paper [the stuff that’s like greaseproof paper] pin to the quilt and sew, what could go wrong? Of course, what went wrong was that the quilt got smaller with every border I stitched, so that by the time I came to the last one, the design was way too big for the space!

I threw the quilt into a drawer and it’s still there (I think). I should dig it out and either take out one curve of the feather or make all the curves slightly smaller, but maybe not this week.

IMG_4501What are you working on right now? I recently went to an exhibition of the work of the artist Modrian and was totally inspired. I have been playing around with some ideas, but need to come up with a more exciting layout than I have come up with so far. I think I’ll start making some blocks, put them on a design wall and see what happens.

How do you start a quilt, fabric or design first? Design generally.

IMG_4503Do you stick to one quilt at a time or do you have several on the go at once? I have several on the go at once. I’m the same with books.

Favorite fabric right now: I still love Modaís Comma, even though I have made 4 or 5 quilts with this line, something I have never done before.

Tea or coffee: Tea

Machine or hand quilting: Machine, every time! I can hand quilt ñ in fact I took a class many years ago with Dierdra McElroy, who taught me a lot about hand quilting, but it’s too slow for me.

IMG_4506Favourite band: Not sure I have one. I tend to listen to Smooth FM when I am sewing.

What do you do when you’re not quilting: I work with my husband, running a business which provides admin support to Independent Financial Advisers. I am about to embark on a 2-year quilt judging course run by the Quilters Guild of the British Isles, which I am both excited and scared about.  I don’t have any great desire to judge other peoples quilts, but a lot of the course is about art and design (not directly relating to quilts) so I am looking forward to the personal development side of it.

First live band: OMG that was so long ago! Emerson, Lake and Palmer, I think.

Scrappy Bits Applique by Shannon

quilt3© c & t publishing

Every quilter, sewer has scraps left over from projects and what to do with the smaller pieces can be tricky. Shannon Brinkley has been creating things with her hands since she was a very young girl and fell madly in love with modern quilting in college.  Shannon is a modern quilter and this is a very modern take on appliqué methods.

quilt2© c & t publishing

Scrappy Bits Applique starts with the basics of raw edge appliqué techniques, advice on colour theory, quilt design, collage techniques and various finishing methods.  There are 8 projects in the book with charts so one can make a baby quilt up to king with full fabric requirements for the different sizes. Various quilting methods are explained and shown, along with basting techniques and handy tips.

quilt1© c & t publishing

The Little fox is very cute and far from the South London fox I see! The half triangle boarder is brilliantly explained with lots of tips and makes sewing the Geese blocks far less challenging.

quilt4© c & t publishing

Windy Poplar is very effective with the low volume background. The Elephant with its pieced background, Around the World would be an amazing gift for a gap year student or wall hanging. The book comes with templates, but as I had a PDF review copy I cannot say what size patterns are.

quilt5© c & t publishing

The fallen leaves cushions are a brilliant starting point; there is a lot of top stitching and satin stitch with the designs. This anchors the edge of the scraps and also adds definition to the designs.  At the back there are lots of inspiring quilts Shannon has made to spark your imagination. I love The Kraken and Shannon has featured this quilt on her blog.  I would re3commend Scrappy Bits Applique to anyone wanting to venture out into applique and also for anyone with a basket full of scraps and not sure what to make.