Monday, February 23, 2015

Deep and dark

 One good thing about writing a blog is that it motivates me to keep working so I'll have something to write about!  

Progress.  I've complete the design for 2 more of my song blocks, but not all the appliqué stitching is done.  I love being at this stage when making a quilt.  I have more blocks to design, fabrics to choose, machine stitching to do and I can move between these steps as my time allows and mood directs. 

These songs are just a tiny sampling of some of my favorites.  I like them for their words, or just for the tunes.  


"Turn! Turn! Turn!"


Here I have depicted the song "Turn! Turn! Turn!" music and adaptation by Pete Seeger, sung by the Byrds, the words from the Book of Ecclesiastes. Copyright:  Melody Trails Inc. 

It's a simple but beautiful message.  We have seasons in nature and also in life.  No matter what, we move from one to the next, never ending.  




"I Am a Rock"



This block is based on "I Am a Rock" sung by Simon and Garfunkel, written by Paul Simon, Copyright: Eclectic Music, Paul Simon Music.  

The beginning lines of this song depict a cold winter day, the song is dark.  I created a maze of rocks and stones.  One can get in, but can't get out; once inside, protected and shielded.  



Block from my quilt "December" 


Speaking of dark and cold, I want to share a bright note.  My quilt December was accepted  by the National Quilt Museum, Paducah, KY as a finalist in their upcoming exhibit:  New Quilts From an Old Favorite: Nine Patch.  It will be on display there starting in April and then move on to other museums and quilt shows around the country for two years.  An even brighter note:  December won second place in the judged part of this exhibit.  

Each exhibited quilt has a chapter written by the quilt maker and will be published in a book by The American Quilt Society, available for purchase when the exhibit opens.  




"December" 



Leo and Lily keeping each other warm



Rock on my friends!  



The Stones.  Always.  

Monday, February 2, 2015

Pattern Published!




Carla Rose and Katy Marie
I just received my March/April American Quilter magazine published by American Quilter's Society.  Included in this issue is their current catalog of fabrics, patterns and books. My quilt pattern titled Carla Rose and Katy Marie, published by AQS is featured in the catalog and is now available for purchase here.  A kit is also available.   

I designed and made this quilt for my adult daughters. Um.... guess what their names are? The bright colors and bold motifs represent their warm personalities, strong work ethic and enthusiasm for life.  Using raw edge fusible machine appliqué, this wall hanging is fun and easy to make.  

Lisa Arndt completed the long arm quilting.  I love her work;  note how her quilting matches the feel of this quilt.  


Quilting detail/Close up

And if you love appliqué as much as I do, check out my book also published by AQS and available on their website, at your local quilt shop or at www.amazon.com.



 Nature's Journey Applique




Friday, January 23, 2015

Gardens of Rock


Songbird by Fleetwood Mac


Finally, a new quilt in progress.  This design and theme have been in my head for some time now, maybe a year!  Maybe 40 years?  

I have never lost my love of rock music, most of it from the '60's and '70's.  And of course there is also my love of nature and gardens.

So I am designing a very large quilt, 89" x 89" where 8 of my favorite songs will rock on. 



Basic Block Sketch


The black background center represents a vinyl record and will be appliquéd with each song's theme, all in nature or garden motifs.  The first tier surrounding the record has appliquéd diamonds (diamond needle to play the record) on an ivory (in honor of my piano playing) background.


Next will be a tier of different colored pieced arcs - the colors here will not be used, I just crayoned the arcs to get the feel.  

The last tier will be again use black and ivory fabrics and will consist of different pieced tiny quilt blocks such as a nine patch, to represent my love for quilting.  I didn't sketch all the pieces in the outer tiers, they appear blank. I think each one will be a different quilt block. These outer tiers will mesh or converge with each other as shown here:


Gardens of Rock layout





Harvest Moon by Neil Young





Colours by Donovan



I will need 274 diamonds for this quilt for the first tiers.  These diamonds will be appliquéd using my favorite technique:  raw edge machine appliqué with fusible web.

I found Heat n Bond EZ Print Lite to use and it is wonderful when multiples of the same shape are needed.  

Trace your shape as many times as will fit on a regular sheet of paper, then run the EZ print sheets through your printer.  I was still able to cut the donut holes as I normally do with fusible web.  







Monday, July 14, 2014

Do you sell your quilts?


What have we here?  It's a wild mushroom I picked up on my walk today.  I have no idea what kind it is or if it's edible, but it looks like fiber art to me.  I probably translate every neat thing I see in nature to fiber in my mind.

This mushroom has a nice round symmetry; I often use circles as a design element in my quilts.  A new quilt I am designing and drawing right now will be based on a circular design and is inspired by my love for music, nature and quilts.  Hmmmm, a quilt about quilts.  Stay tuned.

I'm just writing an update today.  Often I'm asked if I sell my quilts and the answer is always: "No, I don't." If I sold them, I would no longer have them in my possession (obviously) or have them to share with other quilters.

At the moment many of my quilts are on display elsewhere.  Several are part of a wonderful art exhibit at The Campanile Center in Minocqua, WI.  This exhibit is open through September during any of the events held there. 

Two of my quilts are now on display at Cheri's Fabric to Quilt, Mercer, WI promoting my book.  Many of my quilts have been displayed at The Fabric Patch, Ironwood, MI, sort of a rotating show there.  And 3 of my quilts are still "on tour" with The American Quilter's Society Quilt Week shows around the country as part of their author's exhibits.


I've recently kept busy making a crib quilt for my soon to arrive first grandson.  I can't show a photo yet as it's to be a surprise for my daughter Carla and her husband Jack, though they approved the design before I started.  This cute rabbit which I crocheted, was a shower gift and I'm working on a mobile consisting of little crocheted dogs!  Tiny stitches seem to take forever, but I love working with wool yarns and having needle and fiber in my hands.




"Nature's Edge" quilt top is at the long arm quilters being artistically quilted and I can't wait to see it and of course get it out to shows.




 And finally, this quilt top (not yet named) is also off being quilted.  I had planned to quilt this one myself with an overlay of tulle, and magical quilt designs to create the snowy effect shown in this photo (my inspiration):




However, after the top hung on my design wall for quite some time, one day it occurred to me that I was avoiding starting the quilting as I really had no idea how I was going to pull this look off.  It's out of my expertise, and within a couple of days I sent it off to the long arm quilter.  

Now, listening to rain outside, it's time to get back to my fibers.



Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A Few of my Favorite Things


Finished!  It's always a great feeling to have completed a project regardless of how long it took.  All the work and planning and imagining means nothing until a quilt is bound and hung and photographed.  Long sentence.

This quilt was adapted from the pattern My Christmas Album by Tina Curran.  Some of the blocks are my own design such as the ice skates above.  I hand appliquéd all the motifs in wool on cotton backgrounds and borders. 

Take a moment to note the long arm machine quilting done by Ann Becker, Always in Stitches.  Each block was quilted differently, picking up the theme of the appliquéd motifs.  Little quilting details were added - see if you can find them.  Ann does amazing work and turns each quilt into a personal work of art. Her love of what she does really shows.    

This kind of machine quilting is beyond me, though I'll continue to work at my own level.  

As always, quilting makes the quilt. Feast your eyes. 












A Few of my Favorite Things
48 1/2" x 48 1/2"

Friday, April 18, 2014

Published!


May/June 2014 issue MQU


I am excited to tell everyone that two of my quilts have been published in the current issue of Machine Quilting Unlimited.

December is featured in a special Appliqué Quilts article by Diane Rusin Doran and Oh, Mexico Beach is displayed in the Quilts from our Readers section.  

Both are shown as full quilts and also with close up details and include the story behind each quilt.  

I subscribe to six different quilting publications and do enjoy them all, but MQU back issues are saved and kept in my library of quilting books. They are a great reference for inspiration and instruction.  I can honestly say that reading this magazine inspired me to improve my own machine quilting skills and gave me the courage to quilt December on my home Bernina.  


Other news from my quilt world:



Electric Quilt has released it's computer program software for Macs and it is truly wonderful!  I bought a  MacBook Pro about a year ago (lifetime PC user) and struggled trying to use my PC Electric Quilt program with VMware Fusion and Windows 7 on my Mac - it just never ran smoothly. 

For around $30, I could upgrade my PC version of EQ7 to the new Mac version and downloaded it in no time.  Other companion software such as "Stash" is easily installed. I've been using it without a glitch.  



Monday, April 7, 2014

Still December?


December 58" x 58"

The most popular topic of conversation here in the Northwoods of Wisconsin is the weather   - at least it has been this winter.  I don't keep track, but it has to have been one of the snowiest and coldest in a long long time.  Even though it's spring (not December) by the calendar, it's still winter outside. Why just the other day, Mother Nature delivered about a foot of new snow.

I can't say that I mind as it gives me many hours in my sewing room to work on my quilts. 

Speaking of December, my quilt titled December has been juried into the American Quitler's Society Quilt Week, Paducah, Kentucky, April 23 through 26.  It is always thrilling to have my quilts displayed there, my favorite show of all.  

On to other things besides the weather - oh wait - my quilt in progress is winter related too!  
Hmmmm….. do we have a trend going here? 

See my last blog post for an intro to this quilt.  

Below are photos of progress I've made.  After adding the roof, sides and sidewalk to the "old building"  I'm now working on the snowy trees.   The smaller tree took me an entire day to draw, cut, fuse and appliqué stitch.  The larger tree is pinned in place and will take a bit more time to get just right, and then it's on to more trees and branches to the left side of the building.  

The last phase will be the tulle overlay and/or other ways to achieve that really soft, lovely snowy effect.  This may take awhile. 
















Tuesday, March 25, 2014

New York City

 New York City building in the snow


My daughter Carla is an art design director at Knock, Inc in Minneapolis and she travels to NYC at least monthly to shoot all those wonderful Target in store model photos for apparel and accessories.  Yes folks, that is HER work.  

Recently, she sent me the above photo. The city is a mess to get around in the winter, but that old apartment building smothered in snowflakes looks so quiet and peaceful.


 I of course thought this would be a great quilt design and sketched out the old building, then overlaid a  tissue paper drawing of snowy trees.  

Phase 1 in fabric is done - fused and ready to stitch:



It looks only slightly like the photo thus far, but this is a work in progress and a big project.  In order to achieve that hazy, snowy look, I've overlaid some white tulle to the right half of the quilt top:




You get the idea?

I'll be adding sides, roof and sidewalk to the building next, then I will need to enlarge, cut and fuse those tree branches over the entire quilt top.  

In contrast to this peaceful winter scene, I spent my 60th birthday in NYC in September, 2010 with my daughters and sister.  It was a wild 4 day blast of fun and touring, noise and people and just too much fun.

Someday, I'll go back in winter.



Carla, Jane, Katy, Ellen

Wednesday, February 19, 2014



Enter this contest to win fabric for life!  Contest ends February 28th, but you can still enter each day until then - it only takes a minute.

To enter:  Click here  

GOOD LUCK!


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Published! And other news from Jane.


Dresden Basket 
23" x 23"

My original, complete pattern for Dresden Basket has been published in The Appliqué Society's Jan/Feb newsletter.  I would encourage any appliqué enthusiast to become a member -  I have been for many years.  

TAS states:  "Our Mission is to Promote, to Teach, to Encourage the Love of ALL Types of Appliqué in Quilting."

The newsletter is delivered to members in print (black and white) and includes an online edition in beautiful color.  

The Appliqué Society's editor Patti Ives has written a wonderful review of my new book Nature's Journey Appliqué; you'll find the review in the current newsletter issue.  




Also included is a feature story about Gail Gilson Pierce and Lisa Wood owners of Wooly Lady, neighbors from northern Wisconsin. Their appliqué designs are wonderful and I consider their hand dyed wool fabrics the best around.  A number of those wools are included in My Christmas Album quilt still in progress:




My Christmas Album
in progress



Other news from Jane's quilt world:


This morning, winners of The American Quilter's Society Phoenix show, which opens today, were announced:  WOW!  I was pleased to see that my entry "Oh, Mexico Beach" won an Honorable Mention award.  


Oh, Mexico Beach
85" x 85"



Closer to home - meaning my actual sewing room - I have been working to complete my Nature's Edge quilt.  If you'll notice I completed that last block and have been working on the  borders.  This is a "rough" photo as there will be many more adjustments and additions to the appliquéd borders.  





I have this quilt top hung on my design wall where I pin and re-pin my appliqué motifs, sit back and stare, walk away, go away completely, and eventually that moment comes when YES!  I know I've hit it. I can then fuse the motifs and finish stitching.  

For some time, I was just stuck on this quilt and did not have any creative ideas for finishing it.  But I'm on a roll now!  

I'm anxious to start a new quilt which is spinning and turning in my head .  Remember those words "spinning and turning".





Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Woolies


Just an update on "My Christmas Album" adapted from the pattern featured in Quilter's Newsletter designed by Tina Curran.  I have used felted wool for all my appliqué motifs.

The blocks and borders are pinned to my design wall, but not pieced as yet.

I'm still hand stitching the penguin and ice skate blocks and then on to all those sweaters.  

My dear sis Ellen LaVen sent me some wonderful little diminutive buttons from her SkeeterBitz Etsy shop to adorn some of the sweaters and I can't wait to start stitching  them.

It is a Christmas quilt... Christmas 2014 that is.  


HAPPY WINTER!