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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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?
Now 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.
Ask 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.
- 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.
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?
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.
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.
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.