One Month

In two days I start back to work again after a month off.  I have logged many hours doing continuing education for Dayjob, baked almost every variety of pumpkin muffin/scone/cookie you can imagine and of course have been creating.

In a month:

Pattern Play (I replicated the Tate Museum flooring pattern using a modification of Latifah Saafir’s Glam Clam Pattern in bag form.  For fun I added a knit pillow of my design to match my previously finished quilt top with buttons covered with treasured Umbrella Prints fabric):

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Bag Design (repurposing photos I had taken on canvas)

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Block Making (for my Bee Sewcial group and shown with a minimini quilt made by Stephanie Ruyle).

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Minimalist Design Play with Leather Scraps

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Anatomical Stitch Sketching

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Fabric Making

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Quilt Finishing (with amazing quilting by Jessie Ziegler)

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Self Portrait Work In Process (with my first bias strip quilt using scrubs on hospital sheets)

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My creative and family life are feeling extra rich after this sweet time.  Grateful

Hillary

Slow Stitching

I am halfway into a month off of work and ironically as I rush around trying to fit the rest of life in I find myself more stressed then relaxed?  That soooo is not what vacation is about right?

Inspired by the book “Slow Stitch” by Claire Wellesley-Smith, I decided to slow things down a bit with handwork.  I have always found peace in knitting and excitement in sewing (excitement in sewing??  Haha! I’m sure that sounds so funny if you are not a maker.)  It turns out at least for me that sewing can be relaxing if you do handwork in little bites.

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I started the process by cutting up some ill fitting jeans and doing reverse shibori with bleach on the pieces in various folding patterns.  Holy Cow, what a fun easy, quick process that was.  All my future jeans are destined for bleach jobs.

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Every night as I have been sitting and watching movies with my husband (such a rarity during the rest of the year), I have been devising and stitching up new little patterns with bits of felted wool, recycled leather and silk floss.  The shibori Os called for some Xs so a theme took hold.

I wasn’t quite sure what was to become of this concoction but finally settled on a bag I have been dreaming up.  It called for a leather border with mitered corners and to add more interest (and help attach it to my extra firm pellon interfacing) I machine embroidered with invisible thread even more Xs and Os.  I used the back of a vintage feedback for the inner part of the bag.

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This thing is VERY impractical with silly little pockets on the inside that don’t hold much but I am in love with it as an art piece.  And as with most of the makes I love, it is destined for someone else worthy.  I think they will get the wonkyness of it.  I hope so.

Hillary

An Invitation To Be Creative

What if someone told you that this month it was especially important to pull out all the stops and be really creative?  Would you do things differently?  Would this mission paralyze or feed you?

Last month as I have mentioned I was invited to make some small quilts in a tight time frame for an art show in Seattle.  As I pondered making, I let my mind open a bit and found myself wandering new creative roads-so fun.

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Repurposing is a mission for me, so I decided to incorporate leather or suede I had collected from clothing into the pieces.  My first work above is an image that has been percolating in my brain for a bit and means to show the contrast of light and dark, happy and sad, new and used.  The black leather from an old coat I hope adds a whole new tone to the brightly pieced diamond.

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Wanting to continue the contrast theme and the color mission I was given, I did dense quilting on the back in colors to match the front with the hope that they bring light and color to the dark.  With help from an Instagram friend, my make adopted a name, “The Great Recession”.  I think the dark creeping overlay on the overly bright, too perfect front image fits the description well.

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On my second piece, I decided to play with an improv method I experimented with in a block for my first Bee Sewcial month led by Stephanie Ruyle.  Striped Ikea canvas made a fun matte dense surface to play with and I went with some of my favorite mustard linen (side note: If I had to pick a fabric that is me, this is it.  I have included it in about a third of my quilts).  To tie my used/new theme, I incorporated some beautiful electric blue suede from a skirt donated to me again by Stephanie.  Our friendship and journey together as makers is meaningful and it feels so appropriate to include this in my quilt. (Plus Stephanie’s has some amazing pieces that will be at the show too.  Go check she and her pieces out: Spontaneous Threads)

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Of the new roads I traveled on this piece was the use of purple fabric on the backing.  I NEVER use this color in my makes and now I am quite smitten.  An unintended extra meaning is that purple and gold are the colors of my alma mater, The University of Washington in Seattle where this piece will be shown.

I called on my good friend and Umbrella Prints collaborator Robin King to help me with labels ( A Collaboration On Friendship and Motherhood – Umbrella Prints Trimmings Challenge Entry 2015 | Entropy Always Wins).  These hand printed pieces are awesome and it makes me happy to have another important friend incorporated in my makes.

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Tripping on this creative spree, I started sketch stitching anatomical pictures.  The combination of clinical pieces of anatomy onto used, discarded antique linens tickles me to no end.  They represent well the strange dichotomy of my everyday life: delivering horrible news to a patient followed by helping my kids with homework, helping an addict through an oxycontin addiction followed by stitching up a pretty purse, doing a complicated life saving procedure followed by a yoga date with my girlfriends . . . There is more of this series to come.

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If you get a chance and are in the area, check out my mini quilts and the work of others at the Seattle Pacific Art Center on display from October 5th-November 27th.

Hillary

Sew Mama Sew and Art Show Details

Last month Kristin and Beth of Sew Mama Sew sweetly asked me to share details of a tile block I made up while creating this quilt top as a commission for one of my oldest friend’s.  Go see their intro about me here: Introducing Hillary Goodwin from Entropy Always Wins | Sew Mama Sew | Outstanding sewing, quilting, and needlework tutorials since 2005 and my Tile Block tutorial here: Tile Blocks Tutorial | Sew Mama Sew | Outstanding sewing, quilting, and needlework tutorials since 2005. I’m thrilled to get this quilt finished and enlisted the help of long arm quilter Jessie Ziegler (threaded quilting studio) for a quilt collaboration.  That negative white space is going to look yummy with her quilting.

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In other news, some mini quilts for an art show in Seattle beginning next month are in process.  I am honored and excited to be sharing space with many gifted artists.  A big bonus is that Seattle is where i went to undergrad and Medical School and many friends and family still are Seattle residents.   It will be fun to share my work there.   For details of the show (and an introduction to an inspiring maker) see Anna’s post here: It’s Official! I Left My Job to Become a Quiltmaker | Quilting Queerly.

Hillary

Design Play

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I’ve been perfecting my skills lately at the game “How Can I Make That Into A Bag/Quilt/Mini Art Piece.”  Are you familiar with my favorite game?

My Pieces and their sources of inspiration in picture order:

-The Doctor is In Second Edition:  A new bag design I made up out of cotton, wool and leather inspired by one of the quilts featured in soon to be release book by Heather Jones. (Quilt Local: Finding Inspiration in the Everyday (with 40 Projects): Heather Jones: 9781617691768: Amazon.com: Books)

-Stitch Sketching everything I can imagine including a drawing of feet by the Louise Bourgeoise.  Uneven tension never looked so good.

-A Baby Quilt Top using the Glam Clam pattern ( Glam Clam Quilt (8″) by Latifah Saafir – Crafts ) I adapted to look like flooring in the Tate Museum.

I am also really enjoying the black and white #beesewcial and #inspiredbybeesewcial blocks following the guidelines set out in my last blog post many of you are displaying on Instagram.  Keep them coming!!

Lastly, although I was quite looking forward to a deadline-free September, a wonderful opportunity came up this week and it looks like I will be designing a piece for an art exhibit in Seattle.  My mind is swimming with ideas.  Time to focus and make.

Hillary

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Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid – Bee Sewcial Theme for September

As many of you know I am in a unique Quilting Bee with some uber talented ladies.  Each month, one of the ten members picks a color palette and a loose theme from which we all create blocks for a quilt.  September is my month as Leader/Queen.  Since we have had August off and this last week is crazy busy for me, I am posting my mission a little early.

As background for my theme, I adore modern minimalist design, the effect of negative space and making with meaning so I have decided to combine all these things into one grand mission for the month of September.  Note that from this month forward, we have decided to invite everyone to join us in sewing.  We don’t have room to add other blocks to our quilts but would love anyone to sew right along with us and share what you are making on Instagram by including the Hashtag #inspiredbybeesewcial.  We will be checking in on this companion group and commenting as we go so if you are up for the challenge join us (and this month tag me as well @entropyalwayswins so I don’t miss what you are making).

What I ask of my Beemates is to make two distinct quilt blocks no bigger then 10.5 x 10.5 inches (I need even more negative space for this quilt I envision).  I want each of you to use black and white fabric (and I use those terms a little loosely because there are obviously many versions of black and white.  Adding variety adds some depth in my opinion).  Make a design that highlights the importance of negative space (some things are better left unsaid) and lastly make each design mean something.  Perhaps the design is a reflection of your place in the world, your child, family, recent notable event, favorite joke . . .  The meaning doesn’t have to be serious and you don’t need to share it (though I would love it if you did).  In my opinion infusing our makes with meaning steps our making up a notch so spend a little time pondering why and what your block means about YOU.

Pictures tell a thousand words so please feel free to check my pinterest board for designs that inspire me in this way: Pinterest: Discover and save creative ideas . Leannes’s Echoes quilt in my opinion is a perfect example of minimalism and the use of negative space in design.

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Other modern quilters who do this very well include Alexis Diese (materials and method / alexis seise), Lindsay Stead (Lindsay Stead) and S.D. Evans (SDE Quilts).  Although I am including some of my own modern minimalist quilts in this post I intentionally am excluding my own blocks because I don’t want them to influence what you make.

Recap:

-Palette: black and white (any variety)

-Block size: two blocks 10.5 x 10.5 or less

-original minimalist design highlighting the use of negative space

-infuse your block with meaning and share (or not) what it means

-pieced or paper pieced methods are preferred but if you have to use appliqué to get across your meaning, go for it

-Everyone is invited to join us in making these blocks during the month of September.  Bee Sewcial folks only tag theirs with #beesewcial and all others tag with #inspiredbybeesewcial on instagram and we will be following along

I can’t wait to see what you all make!!!

Hillary

“All Things Being Equal” Quilt Complete

This weekend I finished my quilt tribute to the justice of marriage equality.  For the backstory see my previous post here:  All Things Being Equal | Entropy Always Wins.

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I used my Triangle in a Triangle block to piece striped Goodwill shirts into equilateral triangles that carried more of the same in a secondary pattern.  To further reinforce the meaning, I quilted echoing equilateral triangles that extend into the denim border.  The combination of these three sets of equilateral triangles (pieced, secondary pattern and quilting) all at different angles soothes that over the top urge to put meaning in my making.

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Carolyn Friedlander’s Ledger fabric for the back helps keep score and the iconic equal sign was the cherry on top of my creation.

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To add some humanity and a little imperfection (I don’t like things too perfect honestly) I pieced the binding in alternating red and blue striped shirt fabric from the Goodwill.

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Blessings to all marriages and families who will enjoy the benefits of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling.  Now off to make something in a color other then blue.

Hillary

Summertime

The summer sun shone round me
The folded valley lay
In a stream of sun and odor
The sultry summer day.

The tall trees stood in the sunlight
As still as still could be
But the deep grass sighed and rustled
And bowed and beckoned me.

The deep grass moved and whispered
And bowed and brushed my face.
It whispered in the sunshine:
“The winter comes apace.”

The Summer Sun Shone Round Me by Robert Louis Stevenson

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Summer is flying by in a fit of travel, work and creativity.  We were lucky as a family to travel to Iceland and Banff/Yoho National Park over the last couple of months.  Interspersed with travel I have been working at my day job harder then ever in my career (the ACA has resulted in more people being insured which is a good thing but with a real shortage of primary care doctors our ERs, indeed those across the country, have been overwhelmed).  I digress.  In any case, despite all this busyness I have found time to create though no time to blog or follow blogs.  I look forward to catching up with many of you  Included in the pictures above are some blocks I made for our July Bee Sewcial assignment by Karen (CapitolaQuilter: Bee Sewcial July – REFLECTION) .  They are intended to show REFLECTION and I think are inspired by my travels.  I am excited as well to share that two of my quilts have been accepted to the Modern Exhibit at the International Quilt Show in Houston and Quiltcon 2016.  This is my first foray into the Quilt Show world and I am both nervous and excited.

Happy summer!

Hillary

More Makings

This last month has been surprisingly productive given the craziness of my work and family life.  I think my creative life feeds on it a little bit though.  The less time I have, the more ideas I come up with and the more I need to make.  Can anyone relate?

I started and ended the month with blocks finished for Debbie in our Bee Sewcial group.  She gave us the mission of making Midcentury Modern blocks.  Find her block post about it here: A Quilter's Table: Bee Sewcial Goes Mid-Century.  What a fun endeavor this has been once again.  I did some improv curves with inset ovals.  I made up a paper piecing pattern for a MCM star, experimented with a boomerang shape utilizing the 6 minute circle technique (It worked!) and lastly made up some very geometric appetizers to finish up this fun buffet.  It’s all I can to keep from sharing my month’s mission which begins in September.  Can’t wait!

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Of course, I have been bag making too.  I am really inspired by the new book out by Anna of Noodlehead, “Handmade Style” (Handmade Style: 23 Must-Have Basics to Stitch, Use, and Wear: Anna Graham: 9781940655062: Amazon.com: Books).  I channeled her Tablet Case pattern and modified it (as I tend to do) and made three bags, the last being one for my dad for Father’s Day.  I used my stitched toaster for one, recycled a french knot project for another and did some more stitch sketching/free motion quilting on left over painter’s drop cloth in the shape of a camera for the third.   To add interest, I used unfinished leather for the binding and tiny pockets in all of them.

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My friend Sondra and I are collaborating on some bags together too so I combined vinyl and paper reproductions of her works with leather and took them back to her today as she plans to add paint, mica and other ornamentation.  I can’t wait to see them finished.

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In the selfish sewing department, as we are headed to some cold weather soon I combined some organic fleece I had previously hand dyed with linen and left over Malabrigo Rasta Wool for a scarf.  It was picked as a Craft/Make Magazine online weekly favorite this last week (CRAFT Flickr Pool Weekly Roundup | Make: DIY Projects, How-Tos, Electronics, Crafts and Ideas for Makers | MAKE: Craft)-so fun.

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Lastly, I finished up a quilt top I started in December.  I call it “Stars and Stripes” though there really aren’t either to be found on this modern American Flag variation.  I am excited to have a quilt that I can take out on future 4th of Julys.  It’s fun to see it mixed in with my other quilts-geometric lover anyone?

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Happy 4th friends.

Hillary

A Quilt Collaboration

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Last winter here in Northern California we faced what they thought would be the “storm of a century”.  Since we live on a piece of property with a lot of trees this typically means electricity going out, trees down and several days of time off the grid.  As we prepped bringing out lamps, blankets and our generator, it brought to mind the mood and the phrase “Batten Down the Hatches” and a quilt design was born.  I grabbed a large piece of orange/red Kona cotton and made it a pieced porthole with which i filled improv curved waves and sky.  The huge storm as it turned out never came to pass BUT I was left with a throw sized quilt top that grew on me daily and begged for some special quilting that I knew I was not up to.

I’ve mentioned before that 2015 has been a year of collaboration for me.  This latest quilt is the child of one such amazing union.  The free motion quilting work of Christina Cameli (A Few Scraps) is epic, truly.  To be honest I had no idea how special her art was until I held the fruits of it in my hands.  As I was pondering how to finish this piece, I threw out the idea of collaborating to Christina and lucky me, she said yes.

She filled this quilt with beautiful free form art that tells quite a story.  We both have since acknowledged the fact that somehow working with another makes you travel roads you would have never considered.  I am so thankful we got to travel the journey together.

Christina will be teaching several free motion classes at Quiltcon 2016.  One of them is titled “Wild Quilting” and uses this quilt and other works as inspiration.  Catch this quilt and Christina at Quiltcon if you can.  I promise, you will find her work and teaching inspiring.

Hillary