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  • Patterns

    Ormen Lange Bargello

    Pattern for the Ormen Lange bargello quilt

  • Mosaic Circles

    Downloadable pattern for Mosaic Circles

  • Bargello Flame

    Downloadable pattern for Bargello Flame

  • Bargello Dancing Flames

    Downloadable pattern for Bargello Dancing Flames

  • Somerset Pillow

    Downloadable pattern for Somerset Pillow

  • Nine Patch Kameleon Quilt

    Downloadable pattern for Nine Patch Kameleon Quilt

  • Downloadable pattern for Autumn Bargello

Sewing Machine Still Running

It has been some time since new projects were posted on here, but I can assure you that my sewing machine is still active, although not quite as active as in previous years.

About a year ago I finished my last commissioned piece, and decided not to take on any more commissions in the future, but to only sew according to my own whims.

The first thing I needed to do, was to let the machine run freely, – to just happily sew along without too much planning. That is what Log Cabin is for, in my opinion: Cut lots of strips in happy colours, light and dark, and just sew along. This was at the end of winter, and the Covid19 pandemic had just sent us all indoors, – so I craved some bright, sunny colours to work with.

I had planned and cut fabric for a large quilt for a double bed, but decided I did not need such a large quilt after all, and went for a single bed quilt instead. Then I suddenly had a lot of leftover blocks, so I could also make a throw.

And would you know, there were still lots of fabric strips left, so I could throw some solid black into the mix and make a Roman Stripes quilt. This one can go on a single bed too.

As we all know, scraps tend to multiply, so I had still lots of leftovers. This time around they will go into some scrappy blocks. By now I have enough for another throw, if I set them with sashings in between.

The finished quilts have all been quilted by Sølvi Quiltestudio. At the same time I also sent her a very old top, started some time in the early nineties. It is log cabin blocks sewn on a foundation, and I had planned to hand quilt it (silly me).  It was all basted and I had quilted perhaps a fifth of the surface before it was put away. I have long since realized that I would never finish the hand quilting, so I ripped it all out, and sent it to be longarmed along with the others.

Now it is finished, and I am very satisfied with that.

🙂

Eldrid

 

The First Kameleon Quilt

It is Festival time again over at Amy’s Creative Side.

Since I am working on projects that cannot be shown yet, I decided to write about an older quilt this time, – and then I thought, why not go to the real old ones while I am at it. So here we go: the first Kameleon Quilt:

nightandday-night

After the quilt was made back in 1998, people were constantly asking: How did you come up with this idea?

Well, how indeed.

Keeping track of my creative process, and then explaining it afterwards, is not at all easy. The process is for the most part visual, and does not translate well into words. Words as such come into play only as long as they trigger mental pictures.

Well, –  here goes anyway:

It started as a brainstorming for a special log cabin quilt I wanted to make, – something that would be a bit different from just ordinary log cabin.  I had been into three dimensional folding techniques for a while, and was pondering if three dimensional pieces could be added to the quilt somehow.

nightandday-night-detail

I had also just read, and immensely enjoyed, Antonia Barber’s book about The Mousehole Cat.   I loved the illustrations, and many of them were mainly in blue greens, which are my favourite colours.

 

Mowser the cat helps save the starving village “Mousehole” by pacifying the Great Storm Cat so his human can land a catch of fish. Afterwards they celebrate with “Stargazey Pie”.

Just from this last word a lot of associated pictures came to mind: yellow stars gazing out of a velvety blue sky, the oval bluish fish peeping through the golden pie crust, the pie shape in my quilt design program which easily makes a melon patch block when doubled and flipped over.

I had also flowers in mind.  They are always appealing, and the Stargazey-Pie-word  made me think of the flower called “Night and Day”, a small pansy-like flower with dark violet-blue and yellow petals.

dagognatt2I wanted to make a quilt which would remind me both of this flower and the starry night sky. But how?

I was finally able to visualize log cabin blocks surrounded by flower petals, a yellow centre, something orange and pink folding out onto a blue-green background of leaves. Yes – I could make that happen by alternating the colours of the blocks and let the petals be three dimensional., standing out from the surface.

nightandday-day
Could I make the petals open and close? – that would be fun. What would the quilt look like with closed petals? Very green, perhaps, because then the petals would cover the yellow centres. And maybe it would be boring if all the yellow disappeared behind the green leaves.

Could I make the leaves more blue and put in some yellow spots for stars somehow? The Stargazey word had not left my mind yet, and since the flower petals close at night, the quilt ought to look sort of “nighty” with the petals closed.
What if the petals didn’t close completely, but let some of the yellow flower centers show through? Cut holes in them? Yes, that was definitely a possible solution. But when the petals opened again, then the blue-green would show through on the orange-pink side of the petals, – well, so what? The holes could be leaf- shaped, then they would fit nicely with the flower theme.

How could I make the holes in the petals look nice? I did not particularly fancy raw edges at the time.  Passepoils? Too much work, and I might not get them to be flat.
Cut the petal in half and curve the two adjacent edges? That would be sort of cheating, but it might work well. Curve the edges?????? That’s it!!! Curve the edges of the petals themselves, and there will be no need for holes or cutting in halves.

 

nightandday-day-detail

 

The idea was too good not to try out, so I eventually sat down and drew a pattern and then sewed the quilt. I discarded the log cabin block and went for a block with straight diagonal seams instead.  All the time I felt so smug when thinking about my quilt which would be able to change between two looks: open petals and closed petals, and at this stage I had also figured out that I needed loops and buttons to hold the petals in these two positions.

As I had joined the blocks into rows and was sewing the rows together, the three dimensional petals wobbling this way and the other while I was sewing, I suddenly realized that my quilt would have more than only two looks. In fact, there were so many possible combinations, I was not able to figure it out. An internet acquaintance, who happened to be a computer engineer as well as a quilter, helped me figure out the number.

nightandday-diagonal

The triangles, or petals, can be buttoned in an unbelievable 1 152 921 504 606 846 976 possible combinations. The number is so huge I did not even know how to say it, and I bet many of you do not know how either.
Out of this, “only” 512 combinations will make up a symmetrical and balanced pattern, which is still a lot more than the two I had planned.

I probably should not reveal that this was a surprise to me, but rather do as the cat does after it falls off the window ledge: just walk away with a posture that says: “it was not an accident, I intended to fall all the time”.
But I admit it, I did not plan all these combinations, they just happened!

nightandday-detail

I named my quilt “Night and Day” after the flower, but a friend commented that it was just like a chameleon as it could change its look endlessly, so I also called it The Kameleon Quilt. With so many looks, it deserved to have more than one name.

nightandday-medallion

 

Later I have made more quilts using the same principle of the 3D petals or flaps, and then they were numbered Kameleon Quilt no 1, no 2, etc. They can all be seen on my website.

I also made an animation to show how the petals, or flaps, turn and change the look of the quilt.

I eventually wrote a pattern for the quilt, and also taught classes. It also hit the TV-screens during the last season of “Simply Quilts”.

Over the years people have sent me photos of their own renditions of the quilt.  I am often told that especially their menfolk are intrigued by the quilt and the way it can change its look almost endlessly. It is a great toy. 🙂

playing

Here is our oldest grandson engaged in buttoning the flaps to change the quilt.

This quilt is entered in the “Original Design Quilt” category in the Bloggers Quilt Festival.  Please head over to Amy’s site and check out all the other entries there.

 

My entries for the previous festivals can be seen here:

Spring 2009

Autumn 2009

Spring 2010

Autumn 2010

Spring 2011

Autumn 2011

Spring 2012

Autumn 2012

Spring 2013

Autumn 2013

 

🙂

Eldrid

 

 

 

More Murmansk Quilts

There were some other quilts hanging in the exhibition rooms that we visited. There were examples of traditional quilt patterns like we are used to see, and also a few quilts that had taken their motifs from Murmansk and the surrounding area.

The most impressive was one made by Roza Tonkich. She is  not a member of any of the quilt groups, but is an individual quilt artist who is well known and respected in the area.

The quilt is a winter view of the city of Murmansk, – the northern lights above, and she has included some well known sights of the city, like the big statue on the hill above the city.

I was told she worked on this quilt for 2 years before it was finished.

A second quilt also shows scenes from Murmansk, and has also included the boats on the fjord below the ciry.

It  has a collage of some of the familiar sights,  and I particularly liked the clever use of plaids and stripes in this quilt.

The third quilt does not focus on the modern city, but shows the landscape of the Kola peninsula, – maybe like it was before with mountains, lakes, hills, and woods, – and with small villages in between.

I thought that the paisley fabric used for the cabins was very appropriate. We visited some older villages, and although many of the houses there were old and run-down, the need and skill of the original owners/builders to decorate their houses was still very visible. The houses belong to, as well as add to, the landscape.

I think the quilt captures very well the “spirit” of these “flowery” log houses.

Ok – that’s the end, so far, but I hope I will have some more to show you another time.

Eldrid