Rhythm of the Rails

Rhythm of the Rails (39" x 43")

Rhythm of the Rails (39" x 43")

Rhythm of the Rails is the third and final quilt that I submitted to QuiltCon this year.  It made the cut which made me very happy!  I really love this one.  Rhythm of the Rails was started in a class with Maria Shell.  During class the vertical arrangement started to remind me of railroad tracks.  This quilt represents the pure joy of playing with solid colors.  I can almost hear the rhythm in my head.

Speaking of QuiltCon, I'll be there on Thursday, Friday and the first part of Saturday.  I have several lectures to go to, but I'm not taking classes.  I will also be taking my sketchbook out with me to sketch around town.  On Saturday I'm heading to San Diego to see my daughter and have a little R&R.  I'm looking forward to it!

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Every Last Piece

Every Last Piece (41" x 39")

Every Last Piece (41" x 39")

Every Last Piece was the second quilt submitted to this year's QuiltCon.  It didn't make the cut, but I thought it was the one with the least chance of making it.  This quilt came right out of the scrap bin with the intention to use every last piece of the red fabric.  It’s always a joy to me to use up scraps by dealing with whatever shapes are presented.  Improvisational piecing puts me right into a flow state and the stresses of everyday living recede.  It’s always a happy surprise to see what comes about in the end. 

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Novel Idea Quilts 2011 to 2018

2011 Imagine ( Kapitoil  by Teddy Wayne)

2011 Imagine (Kapitoil by Teddy Wayne)

Every now and then I get a really good idea when I'm in the hot tub late at night.  Sometimes the ideas are really quite harebrained, but I do a lot of thinking in there.  Last night I got the idea to do a Novel Idea quilt post so I hope you think this is a good idea too!  Each quilt is labeled with the title of the quilt and the title and author of the book.

I've included all the Novel Idea quilts I've made over the past 8 years and a couple of extras.  Imagine (above) was the first.  It is completely hand stitched using cloth weaving and embroidery techniques learned from Jude Hill. 

The Novel Idea program with the Deschutes Public Library is a community read program.  The book is usually announced in December and we have about 4 months to read the book (less if you are going to be creating art, of course) and then there is a month of group activities offered by the library which culminates in the author visiting town to do a lecture.  As a life-long reader and lover of books, this has always been one of my favorite things about our library.  I was thrilled when Marilyn Forestell (also a book lover and owner of QuiltWorks) suggested starting the Novel Idea Quilt club which gets together just for the purpose of creating quilts and textile art for this program.  Often the author has been able to visit the quilt gallery to see the exhibit and they've always been so thrilled to see it.  That first year Teddy Wayne was able to see the quilts and I was there.  It was so great to be able to meet the author and discuss how I was inspired to create this quilt.

2011 Tea is No Minor Beverage ( The Elegance of the Hedgehog  by Muriel Barbery)

2011 Tea is No Minor Beverage (The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery)

Tea is No Minor Beverage is not actually a Novel Idea quilt, but it's here for a reason.  During that first year everyone was so fired up about making book quilts we decided to do a second project that year and we chose The Elegance of the Hedgehog.  I didn't realize until doing this blog post that I've done a tea cup before!  After this one extra book we went to just doing the Novel Idea quilt each year.  It was never a cohesive group to begin with and many of us are now in other small groups which make book quilts.  Mine is The Undercover Quilters which I've mentioned many times before.  

2012 Autumn in New York ( Rules of Civility  by Amor Towles)

2012 Autumn in New York (Rules of Civility by Amor Towles)

The third year we read Rules of Civility which was a favorite with many.  One of the things I love about book clubs of any sort is that I am introduced to books and authors I don't know about.  I became a fan of Towles with this book.  His more recent novel, A Gentleman in Moscow, is one of my favorite books ever.  

You may have noticed that this piece is made with silks.  Also, many of these are hand stitched.  One thing about the Novel Idea quilts is that there are no size restrictions.  When creating for most quilt shows, your work must meet a minimum size.  When I'm doing hand stitched art pieces I prefer to work small, so I love that I can work with any size that works for me.  There also also many hand dyed fabrics in these pieces.  I tend to use my most favorite pieces of fabric for these small gems.

2013 The Spirit of the Wood ( The Snow Child  by Eowyn Ivey)

2013 The Spirit of the Wood (The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey)

Of all the books we've done for the Novel Idea Quilts, I think The Snow Child was the most loved by the quilters.  It's such a visual book with themes that appealed to many.  I had so much fun with this piece.  I used hand dyes and vintage linens and it's all hand stitched.  I did get to meet the author, but it was at the book signing rather than the gallery.  She did see the quilts and was very touched by the whole exhibit.

2014 Longing for Connection ( The Dog Stars  by Peter Heller)

2014 Longing for Connection (The Dog Stars by Peter Heller)

If you haven't read The Dog Stars, it's a novel about a post-apocalyptic future.  Many people I know in town as well as many quilters were put off by the theme, but I actually really loved this book.  There were some lovely moments including a passage which included a poem by Kim Stafford, one of Oregon's past Poet Laureates.  This quilt, which is quite small, was inspired by that poem within the book.  I was able to meet the author at the book signing and to tell him about my quilt.  He saw the exhibit and was so inspired he asked if any of the pieces were for sale.  In the end he bought several of them including mine.  What an honor!

2015 The Wayward Jungle Crow ( A Tale for the Time Being  by Ruth Ozeki)

2015 The Wayward Jungle Crow (A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki)

A Tale for the Time Being was such an interesting book.  The author talk was also fascinating.  Like I said in the previous post I am always on the lookout for nature themes, wildlife and especially birds when I read a book for a quilt.  This one did not disappoint with a Jungle Crow that keeps returning to visit one of the main characters.  This one is machine pieced, hand appliqued, and hand embroidered using many hand dyed fabrics and some vintage linens.

2016 Spirit Tree ( Euphoria  by Lily King)

2016 Spirit Tree (Euphoria by Lily King)

In 2015 my sister, glass artist Cheryl Chapman, moved to town.  She also loves books and is a quilter so I thought I'd better get her involved in the Novel Idea quilts.  We both made quilts for the exhibit, mine is above.  I was inspired by the cover of the book and also a passage about the rainbow gum trees.  In addition to that Marilyn had an idea for folks to make masks as part of the exhibit.  It was a theme that related to the book and many people did so.  Cheryl came up with the idea of making glass masks.  We had so much fun getting together to do this.  We created the glass forms in her workshop and she fired them.  Then we had a day in my studio creating the fabric additions for the top of the masks.  

2016 Fused Glass Masks ( Euphoria  by Lily King) Cheryl Chapman on the left, me on the right.

2016 Fused Glass Masks (Euphoria by Lily King) Cheryl Chapman on the left, me on the right.

2017 The H Quilt ( Homegoing  by Yaa Gyasi)

2017 The H Quilt (Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi)

Last year the book was Homegoing which had a multitude of characters, time frames and locations.  In end I decided to put this quilt in the exhibit even though it wasn't made just for the book.  I had actually finished it a couple of months before with no other inspiration than seeing an old H quilt and thinking it would be cool to try it in an improv manner.  Plus, my maiden name starts with H.  As it happens, one of the main characters in the book was called, simply, H.  How coincidental is that?

You can read yesterday's post to find out about Ranjana's Chai (below).  If you haven't made a book quilt yet I highly suggest it as a jumping off point.  My rule with them has always been that my quilts are inspired by the book.  They are not necessarily illustrations of the book.  You can take a feeling, phrase, sentence, word, color scheme, character, animal or object for your inspiration.  It is really fun though and maybe you'll even meet the author some day!  I have done 19 book quilts so far (wow!) and am making plans for my 20th for the Undercover Quilters.  This year our book choice is Martin Marten by Brian Doyle.  I can't wait!

2018 Ranjana's Chai ( No One Can Pronounce My Name  by Rakesh Satyal)

2018 Ranjana's Chai (No One Can Pronounce My Name by Rakesh Satyal)

In the Press

Curated Quilts Issue 2

Curated Quilts Issue 2

Las Ventanas

Las Ventanas

Minimal Purple

Minimal Purple

It's been a good month for getting my work out there in the wider world.  Las Ventanas is in the newest issue (#2) of Curated Quilts, the Log Cabin issue.  I was quite surprised when I got the request for it to be in the magazine.  It's an older quilt, and though it has had its fair share of fame, I wouldn't have expected anyone to keep it on their radar.  Anyway, I'm pleased it's included in this wonderful new magazine.  If you haven't seen it yet, it's a lovely ad free periodical with great inspiration for modern quilters.  You can read up on the making of Las Ventanas here and here.  Thank you to the editors for including me!

In other news, Minimal Purple has also had a revival by being published on the Craft Industry Alliance blog.  It's in an article about the new Pantone Color of the Year- Ultra Violet.  I guess that one was a few years ahead of its time.  Thanks go to Andrea Tsang Jackson for remembering my quilt and requesting to include it!

Modern Quilts: Designs of the New Century

Happy New Year!  Today I am very happy to be a stop on the blog tour for the new book published by the Modern Quilt Guild, Modern Quilts: Designs of the New Century.  This book is like a fantastic trip to QuiltCon, except you don't have to leave your house.  It includes some of the best modern quilts from the past decade.  You can order the book at the link above.  I have two quilts in the book (pages 93 and 170) and couldn't be more thrilled to be included with so many fellow quilters who I admire.  To see the other stops in the blog tour click here.

The Spectrum of the Ordinary

The Spectrum of the Ordinary

The Spectrum of the Ordinary was first shown at Pacific International Quilt Festival 2015, then QuiltCon 2016, and was featured in an article in Simply Moderne Magazine Issue 5.  You can read about the making of the quilt here.  You'll also find mentions of it here and here.  

Waiting for Sanity

Waiting for Sanity

Waiting for Sanity was a Judge's Choice winner at QuiltCon 2017, exhibited at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles and the International Quilt Festival Modern Quilt Guild Showcase in 2017, and was featured in an article in Fons and Porter's Modern Patchwork in the Sept/Oct 2017 issue.  I am so happy that it not only is included in the new book, but will also be touring with the Modern Quilts exhibit this year.  You can find the touring calendar here

Read about the beginnings of this quilt here.  It started in a workshop with Gwen Marston.  And here's how it ended up.  Here's the post about getting the Judge's Choice.  Here's the post about the Modern Traditionalism category at QuiltCon.  It is truly amazing to me that this quilt has had such a wonderful year.  This exposure would never have happened without the support and encouragement of the Modern Quilt Guild, so I'm very thankful to be a member.