Tuesday, July 22, 2014

More "modernizing" of traditional quilt blocks

Marny here…in a previous post we showed a few steps to add modern elements of asymmetry and negative space to blocks.  What do some modernized versions of the nine patch block look like in the traditional alternating grid?  What might they look like with just a tweak of the setting?    

Here is the starting point.
Traditional nine patch in traditional alternating grid setting.
Elongated nine patch in the same traditional alternating grid setting.
Negative space added to elongated block.  
Different distribution of color and negative space.
Modernized nine patch in a "new" setting.
Just a first step away from the "traditional" alternating grid.
Added negative space at the top and bottom of the quilt.  

The natural next step would be to try out altogether different settings!  There is no limit to the experimentation you could embark on with modernizing blocks and settings!  Hope you give it a try!  

Till Tuesday…

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Household Texture Tour

jill here...People often ask us where we get our ideas for patterns.  There is never a shortage on inspiration...only how it can be different from what has already been created!  I took a little visiting (not mine, my daughter's) house tour of different patterns and textures; they are everywhere .....

Pillow with threaded lines.

Pillow with medallion design

Textured steps

Inside of  a charcoal chimney starter

Garden path.

Iron gate

Patio pavers


Traditional tile work

Patterns are everywhere and fun to think about their translation.  'Till next Tuesday!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Changing Traditional Quilt Blocks to Modern

Marny here…many of us have favorite traditional quilt blocks.  It is a fun exercise to morph them into modern blocks.  Today we want to show asymmetry and negative space being used to modernize the traditional nine patch. 

Start with a traditional block such as this nine patch in three values. 

Explore asymmetry by changing the size of the pieces.
This block happens to have become rectangular rather than square.

Here is a different asymmetric version that is square.

Negative space added into the block.
The background used in this quilt could be white.  

Here even more negative space (background) added here.  
Have some fun with your favorite traditional block!  Till Tuesday…

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Refresh, Renew, Reinspire

jill here....It was my husband's idea.  He was the brains and the brut strength.  I was not the beauty (no make-up, no mirrors, no bathrooms);  only a hat to cover a bad hair day!  But, the backpacking was refreshing and the views absolutely beautiful.  The only bad news for 10 days was the ranger's forecast.  Here's a few photos from my phone...

This was the first trailhead.  Note the sign of the bear.  Yes, Mike saw three (I was relaxing)!

The little city connected to our adventure was charming.  It was a great juxtaposition of old and modern.  There was a built in break to shop at three wonderful quilt shops (staked my claim from the get go)!

The photo doesn't do justice to our first national park's beauty.

Be one of the first five comments to correctly name the park and we'll send you a Tasty Measures pattern.   A comment of what inspires you this summer would be nice too!

'Till next Tuesday...

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Catherine Reinhart Home[maker]

Marny here…let me share a special exhibit currently being held in the Community Gallery on the ground floor of the Octagon Center for the Arts in downtown Ames.  

My artist brother-in-law, Stewart Buck, encouraged me to check out studio artist Catherine Reinhart's solo exhibition Home[maker].  It is fascinating.  Catherine has kindly granted me permission to use the photos I took in the gallery for this blog post.  I am only sharing a small portion of the show below.

Here is a quote from the gallery signage.
"Catherine's work is a liturgy of gesture where material studies and repetitive action dominate.  Her art making is a labor intensive ritual; a working through. By spending her days measuring lengths of thread and arranging delicate lines Catherine creates a quiet space in which to process the dichotomous relationship between the vitality and fragility of living."   

The string paintings associated with found quilt squares are indeed a "labor intensive ritual".  The arrangements of thread in "delicate lines" are astonishing.     As quilters, we often have piles of threads to the side of our machines.  But these are "positioned" threads completing a composition.  They are hard to describe or photograph.  As quilters repeating movements over and over with intention we can relate to Catherine's quiet space suitable for renewing thought.

Added to post 6/25/14:  Catherine shared that the quilt blocks in this show came from a gifted quilt top made entirely of leisure suits.  She disassembled the top "into pieces which are(were) aesthetically pleasing" to her.  The string paintings result from her own process, combining quilting and free motion sewing.  

Please visit Catherine Reinhart's website and visit the show if you are in town.  I couldn't do justice to her larger pieces so they are not included, but you need to see them!        
Forms of Collection: of layering, 2014
found quilt squares, string paintings

Tit for Tat, 2014
found quilt squares, string paintings

Sketch III, 2014
found quilt squares, string paintings

Sketch V, 2014
found quilt squares, string paintings

Early to Rise, 2014
found quilt squares, string paintings
Thread, yarn and string…ubiquitous, yet artistic here.  I am never going to look at thread quite the same way again.

Till Tuesday… 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Modern Workshops and Trunkshow

Marny here…yesterday the Keepsake Quilters hosted us in Cedar Falls, Iowa.  We gave a little workshop on modern quilting, transformed a traditional block with modern design elements, taught two of our patterns, had a delightful shopping excursion to the Crazy to Quilt Shop and finished with a Trunk Show of all our patterns.
Unloading for a fun day with the Keepsake Quilters.

Rare luxury of space.  
Even when everyone had arrived the room was wonderful!

A short lesson transforming this traditional nine patch to modern in a variety of ways.

Table filled with fabric for some exercises mocking up some blocks.

Samples of Cutlery and Leftovers for the class.

One student's Cutlery under construction.
Cross weaves and stripes-it is going to be beautiful!

Our trunk show was just drawing to a close when the sirens went off in Waterloo.  Persistent tornado warnings sent us to the very comfortable basement for 45 minutes.  Heavy rains, high winds and tornados in the vicinity did not keep the intrepid group from carrying on their meeting downstairs!

Jill and I departed on the best route for avoiding bad weather.  We were optimistic that we had to exit from the heavy rain and wind since we had seen the radar.  But the storm headed south along our path…emergency vehicle lights caused us to pause in the town of Traer.  Yikes more sirens.  But also a haven one block away.  The Traer fire department offered shelter to a dozen weary travelers.     
A comforting sight…this is an awesome underground shelter.   Luckily we never had to descend into it. 
Thank you to the Traer Fire Dept.  Professional and hospitable!

Back in the car, pulled off the road just once more, entered a totally dry Ames, dropped Jill at her house, and the skies opened up with another deluge for my last mile home.    

Despite the weather challenges it was a great experience with all the busy, creative, thoughtful Keepsake Quilters.  Thank you!!

Till Tuesday…

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Modern Architecture Walkabout

jill here...Iowa State University is a playground of art and architecture.  Sunday morning was a beautiful day to walk about and rediscover some points of modern.

This is one of my favorite campus sculptures.  Diagonal lines and rectangles create an active rhythm.  The mulch at the base (to alleviate mowing?) brings focus to this representational art work.

Love this modern gate.  The transparent changes in the background add to the interest.

The historic cross pattern makes it way to the featured kachina.  The light, medium and dark values on the medium toned brick are used in equal proportions but the light wins out.  Interesting how the horizontal lines at the base (and the windows to the right) bring the asymmetry into balance.

Even the Cyride bus stop has been modernized.  The rectangular red "waterfall" displays the graphic white logo making it easily identifiable.

The interior design displays transparent parallelograms.

 Vertical and horizontal lines create interesting combinations.  The green of the landscape really adds to the grey and aubergine on this gently curved facade.

This is the new modern building I set out for...the horizontal louvers not only act as aesthetic interest but probably function to help screen the southern heat gain.  Again, the landscape textures bring interest and soften the relief.

The asymmetric entrance is a nice welcoming change.

Curved bicycle hoops in the foreground will be filled this fall.  Only student orientation this sunny Sunday.

Sun and shadow accent the perspective of this design building.

This next Monday, June 16th, we'll be presenting a workshop and trunk show in Cedar Falls, Iowa.  The Keepsake Quilters Guild will explore modern!  If you're interested in more information, contact        Judy Tyer
Program Chair
Keepsake Quilter's Guild

'till next Tuesday...