It’s Freezing Here in the Windy City!

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Windy City #9  by Laura Wasilowski

I make a lot of quilts about houses. An architect may say I’m looking for the ideal structure. A psychiatrist may say I’m trying to return to the “womb”. I say I live near the Windy City and appreciate the shelter and warmth of a well made house when it’s freezing outside. No matter what the reason, I like making house quilts. Here’s one of the latest ones, Windy City #9. Looks warm to me.

Ah! Those Chicken Memories

Chicken Dreams by Laura Wasilowski

Chicken Dreams by Laura Wasilowski

About 20 years ago I made a series of quilts about chickens. Like many of you, I had caught chicken fever and was enamored with their bright colors and charm. But soon my chicken mania diminished, and I put them to bed thinking they were silly and not so charming.

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Chicken Music and his friends being packed for their journey.

But I’m over that now and am so happy I have my collection of chicken quilts. In fact, these fine fowl are on their way to Oregon for the Friday evening Picnic in the Park celebration at the Quilter’s Affair show in Sisters. I’m the guest speaker this year and will happily show off my hens and sing a song or two. Hope you can be there!

Not Far from the Tree

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In an effort to clean up my studio (one more time, with feeling!), I unearthed another unfinished quilt. I don’t remember making this acorn quilt. And I have no idea how long it has been sitting on the “to be continued” shelf.

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Nut House #2 (sans embroidery) by Laura Wasilowski

So I turned the acorn into a house. This is my second Nut House quilt so I must working on a series of nut houses. (This could explain why I forget things on shelves.) Hope to have my nut house embroidered soon. Wish me luck!

Spring Blooms #2

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Spring Blooms #2 by Laura Wasilowski

I’m pretty sure it is the height of summer in Illinois. But this past Spring I started a series of flower quilts, Spring Blooms.

This version of Spring Blooms #2 has been hanging on my design wall since March when the tulips first popped through the ground. Why?  Because I could not decide if I wanted to add machine quilting or not.

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Spring Blooms #2 by Laura Wasilowski

Yesterday I stitched it. Those tulips finally bloomed! It’s small (9″ x 9″) so it didn’t take long. And like it much better. What do you think?

How to Turn Your Blue Chair into a Quilt

bluechairNow that my blue chair quilt is complete, I thought you’d like to make one too. Here are the directions. First get a blue chair. Find one with a beautiful plump shape in a rich blue color. Place a round table next to it and artfully arrange a plant on the table.

bluechairdrawingAsk the table and chair to hold still while you make a sketch. As you draw, make enclosed shapes. Remember, these shapes become fabric shapes. Now you need to enlarge the sketch to the size of the quilt you’d like to create. 

One way to do this is to scan the drawn image and save it as a jpeg. Or take a photo of the drawing and save it as a jpeg. Once your drawing is in a jpeg format, you have several ways to enlarge it. 
  • Print it on acetate and project the image using an overhead projector. (Old technology but you just may have an overhead projector in your attic.)
  • Project the image using a digital projector and trace onto paper.
  • Or take it to a copy shop and have them enlarge it and print it onto paper.  

If you are projecting the image, enlarge the image to the size you want and trace it onto white paper. This is your Master Pattern. Whoo hooo! Now go forth and make a blue chair quilt.

Designing Blue Wing Chair #5

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Blue Wing Chair (detail of stitching onto painted Timtex) by Laura Wasilowski

Making art is a challenge. But I so enjoy the process! The making of Blue Wing Chair took me away from my usual methods of working and opened up a new world of possibilities. Why did I change my method of working?

Because Blue Wing Chair is part of a SAQA exhibit called Radical Elements based upon elements from the periodic table. Part of the Radical Elements statement reads:

The artists were also asked to move quilting beyond the usual materials of fabric and thread, exploring the function and decorative properties of different surfaces and stitching materials. This exhibition was the first to embrace the newly expanded definition of an art quilt and is a signature exhibition for SAQA.

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Blue Wing Chair (front) by Laura Wasilowski

My Blue Wing Chair is about memory. It is the memory of learning to read and how this magical event led to the discovery of stories and adventures and vivid accounts by extraordinary characters. It is the memory of sitting in a favorite cobalt blue chair with an enthralling book and visiting other worlds.

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Blue Wing Chair (back) by Laura Wasilowski

 Blue Wing Chair is about a simple tool that taught me to read, the flashcard. Flashcards have shapes on paper called letters. The letters make words. The words make sentences. The sentences make stories. The stories teach me how to live, how to make art, how to be human.That simple tool, the flashcard, brought me to this blue chair where I sit and read and travel through life.

Now can you guess what element Blue Wing Chair represents from the periodic table?