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.

DSC_0255

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.

9L4A9881

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.

9L4A9888

9L4A9874

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

9L4A9894

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.

9L4A9876

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

9L4A9214

IMG_2608

IMG_2600

IMG_2571

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

IMG_2709

IMG_2647

IMG_2652

IMG_2730

IMG_2747

IMG_2756

IMG_2667

IMG_2822

IMG_2824

IMG_2852

IMG_2858

IMG_2798

IMG_2880

IMG_2883

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!

9L4A8402

IMG_2314

IMG_2343

IMG_2432

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.

IMG_2335

IMG_2383

IMG_2395

9L4A8628

9L4A8641

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.

IMG_2397

9L4A8612

9L4A8613

 

IMG_2441

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.

IMG_2435

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?

IMG_2348

IMG_2377

IMG_2404

 

IMG_2416

 

Happy 4th friends.

Hillary

A Quilt Collaboration

IMG_2389

IMG_2388

9L4A8543

IMG_2374

IMG_2386

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

Two Friends – Two Bags

A couple of weeks ago I celebrated 1000 followers on Instagram by giving away a custom made bag of their liking to a follower and a friend they tagged.  I picked by random two delightful and talented sewists Valerie (Between Quilts) and Nicole (Mama Love Quilts).  Go check them out they are lovely!

In any case, I wanted to make something extra special for them that reflected their friendship with some connection using designs of my own.  By lucky coincidence, a pack of beautiful Marimekko fabric I bought on sale and some new leather I picked up were available and sent me easily into creative mode.

IMG_2210

Nicole had highlighted a previous bag I made out of recycled orange and white leather so I ran with that idea, this time using new white and blue leather with a bit of the Marimekko Pink Unikko print.  I hadn’t written down the dimensions of my previous bag so I winged it (wung it?) as I tend to do.  The leather this go around, probably because it was new, was a little stiffer then my previous attempt but I am pretty pleased with the results.

IMG_2240

For the second design, I chose the same Unikko print but this time on the outside of the bag along with some dark blue suede in what I call my Mini Museum pattern.

9L4A8153

9L4A8156

IMG_2213

9L4A8176

I made inset zippers for both bags and had fun fancying both up with metal feet and pull tabs for the zippers.

I think these gals who I now consider friends genuinely liked their bags and honestly I LOVED making them.  This whole virtual world can feel like a weird online dating game sometimes and I hate that some people know me more by what I make and my tagline rather then by face and up close interaction but I guess this is the new world and no question I have made some amazing friends here.  If you are interested in seeing even MORE of my pictures and are not already tired of me, you can find me on Instagram here: Hillary (@entropyalwayswinsblog) • Instagram photos and videos

My May Bee Sewcial Block came together last week as well.  When Marci gave us our assignment (Bee Sewcial | Flickr – Photo Sharing!) for the month to work on a village block, I kept thinking of San Francisco from Marin County looking across the Bay.  That image informed my weird shaped block.  It is fairly literal though totally improv.  I hope it works for her quilt.

IMG_2235

Cheers,

Hillary

All Things Being Equal

I love the Goodwill.  How fun is it to find treasures among cast off and used clothing?  These items for the most part are lovingly dropped off with the hopes that they can be used and they represent to me the beautiful mixture of our society.  Young people, old people, people of every color under the sun, big and small people, gay and straight, rich and poor-their cast offs all show up and are equally treasured.

I purposely try to limit my exposure to “the news” and it’s 24 hour stream directed my way but the Indiana’s recent anti-gay law and the current case being argued at the Supreme Court have riled me.  How can we deny many of my friends and their families the same rights guaranteed other couples and families just because of their sexual orientation?

So of course, I made a quilt as that is how my emotions are often best expressed.  My Triangle in a Triangle block uses the stripes strategically to make two equilateral triangles (TWO EQUALS) and how better to show them off using all varieties of striped shirts from the Goodwill (where people of all sorts are represented)?  All different and yet all the same.  They remind me somewhat of Kaffe Fassett’s shirt quilts.  I purposefully surrounded the crazy pieces in a solid denim border to ground them a bit and hope to show off some special quilting I have planned.

IMG_2116

IMG_2109

IMG_2146

9L4A8019

9L4A7988

9L4A8007

IMG_2148

Love is Love.  Let’s hope the Supreme Court agrees.

Hillary

Hello Spring!

Hi everyone! Are you feeling the seasons change in your part of the world?  We are definitely in the midst of some major shifts and boy is it nice.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

A couple weekends ago, I took the kids to the Sonoma Valley for some hiking and exploration at the Jack London State Park and on the way there we went to the “Unconventional and Unexpected” exhibit to check out the quilts from the book of the same name.  What a treat this whole trip was.  We loved hiking around Jack London’s estate and seeing his homes.  That man traveled to the far reaches of the world (Alaska, Hawaii and Australia), established a working ranch and wrote several well known books and short stories all before he died at the age of 40-INSPIRING!  Minus the philandering and alcohol/drug abuse, I want to be Jack London when I grow up. 🙂

The quilt exhibit was also fantastic.  Being the only ones there, the person at the front desk kindly gave us our own private tour.  She showed us the quilt backs and even the glass window effect shown on the last pic above (evidently they discovered the pretty effect when showing off the quilts to some local Elementary School students.)  Those bright polyester quilts are dreamy!

image

image

In my own creative world, I have continued to play with the Triangle in a Triangle blocks and have started working on one of my scrubs quilts in earnest.  (One of them is going to be a bias tape quilt which I had alluded to in a previous post.  My wandering mind has veered me in other directions since I last posted but I will come back around to it.)

image

image

image

image

image

I have also been playing with recycled leather and made up some Springy bags.  At some point I need to share my tricks for leather appliqué as I have discovered a few really helpful techniques.  The orange leather by the way is from a skirt donated by Bianca (Thanks! I made them!).  That generous donation has spawned at least 4 different recycled leather projects-AMAZING!

image

image

image

In my attempt to Spring Clean I have also been tackling my UFO pile and combined two quilt backs to make one quilt.  It is so simple it would almost more qualify as a blanket.  This heavy quilt out of remnant bin red denim and silver corduroy, red linen from my enormous fabric stash and ikea canvas Triangle block pleases me to no end however.  It is HEAVY and the texture is squishy and it is made of non-boutique substrates; a WINNER for me on all counts  This quilt will get used and loved in our house and will fit right in with my crew.

Wishing you some similar sublime weather and creative vigor.

Hillary

A Quilter’s Dozen

IMG_1703

9L4A6780

9L4A6800

9L4A6821

9L4A6823

I finished my pieced Maze and Vale Circle Quilt today.  It reminds so many people of donuts that I am calling it “A Quilter’s Dozen” Quilt. (the name was suggested by an Instagram friend.  Thanks T. Ninoe)  To see the details of my planning and piecing look back at my previous blog post about it (Quilting Calm | Entropy Always Wins).

Concentric Square quilting with Aurifil thread centered over the upper secondary square pattern was done in hopes of highlighting it. I used pepper cotton in a blue for the backing to match the Japanese indigo dyed circle on the front and bound it all in a natural linen.

I am about to embark on a complicated bias tape quilt (my first attempt at bias tape quilting).  Wish me luck!

Hillary

5/325 Quilt Complete

9L4A6482

IMG_1548

9L4A6538

IMG_1617

IMG_1616

9L4A6622

IMG_1618

-You are more likely to die these days from a Prescription Narcotic Overdose then a car accident.(CDC – Facts – Drug Overdose – Home and Recreational Safety – Injury Center)

-There were enough narcotics sold in 2010 in the US to distribute 40 Percocet and 25 Norco to every citizen in the country. (Addiction USA: Painkiller sales soar across nation – NY Daily News)

These may seem like shocking statistics but they are not at all surprising to those of us who work in the Medical Field and despite this news Narcotics remain an important tool especially for acute pain and end of life care.

I finished my 5/325 Quilt, a statement piece highlighting the mixed blessings of prescription narcotics (in this case, the most common formulation of hydrocodone/acetaminophen).  To see the process behind my quilt top construction go here: 5/325 | Entropy Always Wins.

Once again, I used Kona Cotton in White and Hand Dyed Fabric in Blue by Kim Eichler-Messmer (Kim E-M Quilts).  Trying to echo the pluses and minuses of narcotics, in the white spaces I machine quilted echoing Plus Signs and in the Blue fabric quilted Minus Signs using Aurifil thread.  I hope the echo effect reflects the impact both pain control and addiction have on the community as a whole.  For the back, I used linen in khaki and scrub bottoms from my time working in Seattle and Cleveland.

I will begin soon to look for venues to get this quilt and it’s message out.

In other news, I finished a quilt block for the Bee Sewcial group.  Kari is leading us down a more graphic design path this month.  I had an idea that morphed as I was making it, once again without a drawn up plan.  It is miraculous that these turned out to be equilateral triangles that made the whole thing work.  I would like to explore this design concept more.  See Kari’s blog post here: Craft Happy: Bee Sewcial: February.

IMG_1589

I am also prepping for Quiltcon next week and am so excited to meet many of you.  I grew my “garden” of linen flowers and will bestow them on my Bee Sewcial and “Nude is Not a Dress Color” friends.  Say “HI” if you spot me!

IMG_1599

I am waiting on some buttons to pass out as well.  Did I really make and order up buttons to share? (so not me but love the message)

IMG_1578

Lastly, check out the gorgeous lanyard Stephanie (Spontaneous Threads.) made me.  It it constructed out of Doe Fabric and a repurposed Sari.  I am one lucky duck.

IMG_1597

Hillary