Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Modern Quilt Exhibition - my first solo show

I had a pretty exciting week! I had my first solo exhibition in a small atelier house in my home town.

Quilts: Define Gravity, Emerald City Quilt, Regatta, Regatta II, Fade To Grey
My best friend Eva is a founding member of Gruppe 11, which is a diverse group of artists. The group has an atelier house in which they also host exhibitions by their own members as well as regularly by external artists.

My husband and I love the atelier house and go to exhibitions on a regular basis. Early this year I was asked if I would like to exhibit my quilts. Wait, what? Me??? That was my first reaction, that was quite quickly followed by a Oh yes, why not?

Purple Haze                                                                                Define Gravity
Coming up to the exhibition date I had my doubts. Will people be interested in quilts? Are my quilts good enough? And will I have enough quilts to fill the exhibition hall? That actually was my main concern. I wanted to show my best work and work that was truly my own. But with only maybe 20 large quilts in total since I started sewing the choices were very limited.

The Blue One                                                  The Green One
These two mini quilts were made just a couple of weeks before the exhibition. They are called 'The Blue One' and 'The Green One' for the obvious reasons. The log cabin block is currently a real favourite and to interprete that traditional quilt block in a modern way was so much fun.

Quilts: Define Gravity, Porcupine Playground, Connected, Four
In total I was showing eight large and four small quilts. Enough to fill all walls, yay!

It took me a while to figure out how to hang the quilts to picture hooks. After a long search I've found a tutorial here which I adapted a bit.
So all quilts had a 4" sleeve, some just temporarily fixed with pins like the one in the photo above. And then I used a 20mm square timber profile where I srcewed a little hook in. The remaining nylon band was rolled up and put into the sleeve, so no fixing was visible from the front and all quilts hung nicely.

The exhibition was on for one week, respectively two weekends and one week day. I was present at all opening hours and explained to really curious visitors what a quilt actually is, how it's constructed  and the design idea behind every quilt. First I was not sure if people wanted a tour, but everyone enjoyed to hear about the design process.

I also explained what the difference is between a tradtional quilt and a modern quilt. That's me and my October quilt, made from the traditional maple leaf quilt block in typical autumn colours and in a very traditional and geometric arrangement.

I also had everyone to touch this quilt. The quilts exhibited were not to be touched but I knew that there were a lot of people who had never seen or touched  a quilt. And I think a quilt is such a tactile experience, so I thought that was great and everyone truly enjoyed that.

I had descriptions up for every quilt and then a colleague of mine suggested, after I told him that the backs of the quilts are actually also really nice, that I put up pictures of the backs of the quilts. So the next day I printed photos of the backs and put them up and that was a really good idea.

In total there were 82 people visiting the show. I kept a record of it because I was curious how many would come and also how they heard about the exhibition. A good few people came because of newspaper articles, my flyers and Instagram posts and stories.

Quilts: Four, The Blue One, The Green One, Fade To Grey, Splinter, Purple Haze
I had a great time talking to new and experienced quilters, people who had never heard about quilts and were just curious and friends and colleages who knew I make quilts and wanted to see what I'm actually doing.

The best thing actually was an 83- year old patchworker who came and listened to me talking about all my quilts and also shared her experiences. As she left she said to me, that she was so happy that she visited and that she goes home now all inspired and filled with new ideas. I think there is nothing better than your work inspires other people.

I am extremely grateful for the opportunity and to everyone that came to see my quilts. I first wasn't sure whether that was a good idea or if I would do an exhibition again since there is a lot to do and to organise but it was so worth it. I called this post 'my first solo show' because of I'm asked again, I'll definitely do another!

Sunday, 4 August 2019

Define Gravity

After I made my Pantone Quilt with imrov log cabin blocks I was in the swing of it and wanted to see how far I can go with modernising a traditional quilt block.

I used only two colours, black and white, and pieced blocks. I loved how graphic and bold this looked and kept going.

I have a thing for disguising where a block begins and where it ends, and I think in this quilt I perfected that piecing technique. That's why the quilt is called Define Gravity:
gravity, noun; the force that attracts a body towards the centre of the earth, or towards any other physical body having mass.
How perfectly suited.

I knew I just wanted to quilt straight lines and used black and white thread in three different thicknesses.

I used Aurifil in 50wt, 40wt and 28wt and I love how this turned out. Even though black thread on white fabric is tricky because it always looks as if the thread tension isn't correct (the little knot in the batting is still a little visible on the white fabric). The quilting is 1/4" apart from each other.

Nevertheless I love how the quilting turned out. Even though black thread on black fabric is almost invisible, I wanted to achieve a play between the black and white fabric and the colours of the thread.

I made a faced binding once again and put the quilt up on a black building facade. It's actually our coal mining museum, which has a really cool new extension.

Define Gravity is approx. 36" square.
And here it is, a small quilt attached to a large piece of coal.

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Open wide zipper pouch extraordinaire

Sometimes I have an idea for a gift and I just have to make it. My dear colleague and friend Ceylan has left our office to pursue her dreams in Istanbul. I knew I wanted to make her something handmade and it was suppose to be something useful, too.

I decided to make Ceylan an open wide zipper pouch in extra big so she can use it as toiletry bag. And since Ceylan loves nail polish, I downsized the free pattern of the nail polish quilt block by Lori Holt of Bee In My Bonnet and made three of them in different shade of pink.

The bag was suppose to be very chic and classy so I went with Robert Kaufmann Essex Yarn Dyed Metallic in beige and that worked so well.

The other side of the bag has her name in the same shades of pink. The letters are hand drawn first and then transferred into fabric. I quilted in simple diagonal straight lines with this beautiful pink of 50wt Aurifil thread. The bag has a great texture!

 The zipper is pink as well and it's such a great contrast to the beige linen fabric.

 The lining fabric is a pink oil cloth so it suits the bag's use and it can be easily cleaned.

This pouch is seriously my masterpiece in form of a bag. I'm not a big fan of zippers but I do like the open wide zipper pouch by Noodlehead and these bags make great gifts. The size is customised though and it's about 15" (38cm) long and 7"(18cm) high.

In total it took me about 10 hours to make the bag and it was done in two days, all after work until the middle of the night.

But it was so worth it! Ceylan absolutely loves it and she said she always thinks of me when she sees the bag, so what is better than that?

Friday, 14 June 2019

Fade To Grey - Pantone Quilt Challenge 2019

Here is my last minute entry for the Pantone Quilt Challenge 2019: Fade To Grey

I am really in love with this quilt for many reasons. Firstly I wasn't that fond of the colour. Coral, hm. But hey, it's a challenge and you gotta make that work.

After selecting coral solids and combining them with some prints the colour grew on me. I also added a lot of texture with linen and shot cottons, which worked really well.

I also had the idea of having the coral colour fading to grey. That was a play with volume and different colour shades to achieve this ombre effect I very much enjoyed doing.

I wasn't sure if improv log cabin blocks were the right choice for a challenge but it suited the idea of reflecting a coral reef so much that I went with it. Because not only did I get inspired by the colour coral but I also wanted to highlight that our coral reefs are dying. And when they do they turn grey, this sad process is called bleaching and is effecting a large percentage of our coral reefs due to pollution and the temperature rise of our oceans.

The quilting is another reason why I love this quilt so much. I thought long about doing straight lines, but in whatever direction I imagined the lines to be it just wasn't the right thing to do. I started free motion quilting improv geometric shapes all over and that worked so well. The thread colour also changes towards the top, where it's first light grey and then white.

The back is simple but follows the same principle, coral at the bottom, light grey at the top.

The quilting with different thread colours is very evident at the back and it looks good here, too. I did a faced binding to just focus on the quilt itself.

We went to an former steel production plant Jahrhunderthalle in my hometown to take photos. The rusty panels and old walls gave the quilt such a great backdrop.

And how suitable is the art installation of American artist Olu Oguibe installed for the Ruhrtriennale in 2018, you can read more about it here.

Quilt stats:
Name: Fade To Grey
Size: 50 x 55" (127 x 140cm)
Category: large quilts, international
Country: Germany

Linking this to Rebecca and Sarah, thanks you so much for organising the challenge again this year! 

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

That orange zipper

I am going to 'Nadelwelt' (engl.: needle world) this coming weekend, it's the biggest German trade fair that has to do with needles, fabric and yarn. There's going to be quilts on show along other textile things. There's lectures and a big vendor hall.

It's the first time I will be going and I will be meeting with a lot of other quilters and sewists. 

There will be a meet up on Saturday and there's a swap of zipper pouches organised. I made an open wide zipper pouch because they are my favourite zipper pouch to make.

I emptied my turquoise scrap glass and pulled these aqua and light turquoise fabrics and pieced them together and quilted straight lines in light grey.

With all these tone-in-tone colours I thought the pouch needed a bit of a 'bang', so I added a bright orange zipper.

I think this is very suitable and it turned out even better than I had imagined.

For the lining I used some colourful fabric with directional dots that add a bit of a surprise when you open the pouch.

I love those little zipper ends, really finished off the zipper nicely.

So this is going to be for one lucky swap partner. We all put our pouches in a big bag and everyone just picks a pouch randomly. I like that!

I will report back from the actual event when I'm back next week!

Sunday, 31 March 2019

Biene's adventure blocks #8 and #9

This is a long overdue blog post about Biene's adventures quilt blocks #8 and #9.
It's spring out here now and naturally there are a lot more exciting and longer walks ahead of us than in winter. But that doesn't mean we haven't been out on walks during the last couple of months. I just didn't find the time to blog.

The first block I'm going to show you was from autumn and it was a beautiful warm autumn day.

This again is an improv tree blocks with brown leaves, suitable for the autumn forest.

Biene is very camouflaged in these colours and she had lots of fun in running around in the leaves.

This one was from a very cold winter morning with temperatures of -5C (40F), there wasn't any snow but everything was frozen and it looked so good.

I made a winter tree block and pinned it to the frozen moss on the tree.

The sun was just coming out and everything looked so beautiful.

I love when the air is cold and crisp and you find beauty in the detail.

In temperatures like that Biene gets to wear a dog coat. She only has one layer of fur and no undercoat, so when it's really cold she wears it on long walks like this one.

So inspiring!

I am planning on making more blocks this year to make more progress on the adventure quilt. Lots more adventures to come!

Friday, 22 February 2019

Purpel Haze is at QuiltCon!

I am so excited to have another quilt in this most prestigious show that is QuiltCon that's happening right now. I am unfortunately not in Nashville this year, but that gives me the opportunity to finally show proper photos of Purple Haze including the back, which I also like very much:

So when you're at QuiltCon make sure you ask those lovely ladies with the white gloves to turn Purple Haze around for you!

I really like this fresh colour combination and that Aurifil thread in light lilac and 50wt was just the perfect choice.

So here it is again in all it's beauty. This quilt has challenged me in so may ways, there are so many reasons I am extremely proud that hopefully a lot of quilters get to see it in real life.

There are so many interesting details in this quilt, that truly makes me want to explore curves further.

You can read about the blocking progress here, and the initial post where I was taking part in the Pantone Quilt Challenge 2018 with the quilt top only and won 1st prize of the international entries here

And here is Purple Haze hanging at QuiltCon in Nashville. 

Such a pity I wasn't there myself. But I'm going to QuiltCon in 2019, that's for sure!