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    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

Skarvsöm in Sweden and Yakutia

When visiting quilty events in foreign places, especially abroad, I hope, and expect, to see something different, – something we do not have at home, something new and exciting, – even exotic perhaps. But I also notice things that are familiar and similar to things I have seen before. Some times I know right away what the object reminds me of, and at other times it is just a feeling that I have seen it before, but cannot quite pinpoint what, where or when.

When walking the Quilted Field in Suzdal I came across a couple of quilts made in a technique I thought looked familiar. When studying the photos after I got home, I recognized the sewing technique as “Skarvsöm”.

I remembered reading about this technique many years ago in “Norsk Quilteblad”, the newsletter of the Norwegian Quilter’s Association. It was then described as a traditional patchwork technique in Sweden, well documented as far back as the 1700s, and mainly used for ceremonial cushions for weddings.

detalj

“Skarvsöm” is made with woolen fabric which is felted so it will not unravel. It is often traditional patterns formed with squares, rectangles and triangles, but in between each and every patch or design element, a narrow strip, most often in a contrasting colour, is inserted, like a passepoil or piping. When the seam is finished, the strip is cut even with the surface on the right side of the work.

Here and here are examples of how it is made, and in Sweden’s Digital Museum you can see many examples of old items made in this technique, so it  is well documented. Here is a blog post with a short article on the history of this kind of quilting in Sweden.

Åsa Wettre also dedicated a whole chapter to this technique in her book “Old Swedish Quilts”.

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Since I could see no names on the quilts above, I wondered at first if someone from Sweden had entered their work in the Quilted Field project, but dismissed this idea as I thought our Swedish travel companion, Anita Fors, would have mentioned it if this was the case. My curiosity aroused, I messaged the organizers and asked about the names of the quilt makers, and if this was a traditional quilting technique throughout Russia. Within a few hours I got to know that this is a traditional technique from Yakutia, and the two makers are Anna Zverova and Vera Vorfolomeeva.

The latter also made these two quilts hanging in the special exhibition of Best Quilts from Previous Quilt Shows:

I noticed she had used not only one, but three strips of fabric in the seams between the patches, all throughout the red/yellow/black quilt, and in a few places on the other quilt too.

Further study of my and my husband’s photos revealed that this technique was also used in some of the clothing and other gear presented at the Yakut wedding demonstration, like on this coat:

…. the mittens:

 

… and the saddle bags/carpets:

 

It has been interesting to observe and learn about all this, and as often happens, new information creates new questions and more curiosity, – in this case as to what could be the connection between the Swedish and Yakut traditions.

Given that the two geographical areas are almost half a world apart, it is probably pure coincidence, – but I cannot help but wonder.

After studying all this, and also having long online conversations about the subject with our travel companion Anita, I got a sudden urge to try my hand at “skarvsöm”.

Just take a look at the beauty here.

 

Edited:

This kind of sewing is called “kybyty” in Russia. Here is a You-tube-video where Vera Vorfolomeeva shows how to do it.

Here is also a stunning picture of the StBasil cathedral in Moscow that she has made in this technique.

 

🙂

Eldrid

 

Lagre

Lagre

Lagre

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Silversea

It is time for the Bloggers’ Quilt Festival again. Since I am working on commissions which can not be published yet, I will enter an older quilt into the festival this time.

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This wall hanging was made in 2004, and is one of a series of quilts I made using old photos taken on and around the island where I live.

damebaatorig

The photo I used here, was taken sometime in the 1920ies during the cod fishing season, which is usually in February till April. It is probably early in the season since there is still snow.

The photo is taken on the fjord, which we have a good view of from our house. As you can see, there are lots of small boats on the fjord, each one hoping to get their share of the valuables still swimming deep down underneath, – hence the title I assigned to this piece: “Our Share of the Silver”.

Some women owned their own boats and gear, and traditionally they occupied the innermost part of the fjord, which was then called “Kjerringhavet”, – meaning “The Women’s Sea”

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I manipulated the photo so that there are a lot more boats with women in them.

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Then I designed some blocks, which would look like a swirling school of fish when put together, and placed the photo in the middle. I also turned the photo blue to better blend in with the fabrics I planned to use.

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I thought it was a bit tame with only the blue colours, so I added some sunshine, – which I am also sure these women had in their lives from time to time.

silverseaphoto

The photo was printed onto cotton fabric, and the rest of the quilt has both cotton and silk fabrics in it. The quilting lines follow the movement in the blocks surrounding the photo.

The quilt was eventually bought by an organization who then donated it to the old people’s home in our neighbouring village Kalvåg, where it now hangs.

This is entered in the Art quilt category of the Bloggers’ Quilt Festival. Be sure to go over there and have a look at all the beautiful works that have been posted, and also make sure you visit the other categories while you are at it. You can also vote for your favourite of each category from May 21st to May 29th.

This is my 13th time participating in the Bloggers’ Quilt Festival. My previous entries can be found here:

Spring 2009

Autumn 2009

Spring 2010

Autumn 2010

Spring 2011

Autumn 2011

Spring 2012

Autumn 2012

Spring 2013

Autumn 2013

Spring 2014

Autumn 2014

 

🙂

Eldrid

 

The Pokemon Quilt

Last year I made a quilt for our youngest grandson based on a drawing that he had made. Then the older brother got inspired too, and wanted a quilt made from his own Pokemon drawings.

pokemonquilt

He made four drawings which I copied and mirrored, drew the different parts on fusible web, and machine appliqued them to a background fabric.

 

pokemonquilt1

 

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The four blocks were then framed and joined to make up the centre of the quilt. He had chosen all the fabrics for the quilt, and as you can probably see, he loves orange.

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I then made strip sets from the rest of the chosen fabrics, cut them into different widths and distributed them around the quilt centre.

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When the top was finished, the most exciting part (for me) started: I got to try my hands at longarm machine quilting. I spent two days at Sølvi Quiltestudio, first doing a test piece to learn how to use the buttons and other essentials, and then quilting the top on the second day, – and getting lots of useful tips along the way (plus some unforgettable apple cake).

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Quilting a quilt in one day, and not getting a stiff neck and shoulders afterwards, weighs heavily on the YES-side when considering whether to buy myself a longarm machine. The jury is still out on the subject, though.

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Here is the recipient adding a final touch to his quilt. Granny, in her total ignorance about the world of pokemons, had put in one of the figures upside down, so he decided to make something else out of it by drawing a face with a pigma pen. Now there’s a lesson: If you cannot hide a mistake, be creative and make something positive out of it, – embellish it and show it off! 🙂

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And here is the final result, shown off by the proud owner …..

pokemonquilt8

….. before folding it to take it home with him.

 

This quilt is entered in the ROYGBIV Quilt Category at the Blogger’s Quilt festival.  Please head over to Amy’s site and have fun checking out all the other entries there. You can also nominate quilts for the Viewer’s Choice awards.

 

So far, I have managed to participate in all the Blogger’s Quilt Festivals, and below are the links to my previous entries:

Spring 2009

Autumn 2009

Spring 2010

Autumn 2010

Spring 2011

Autumn 2011

Spring 2012

Autumn 2012

Spring 2013

Autumn 2013

Spring 2014

 

🙂

Eldrid

 

Fair Weather Hexagons

The weather has been nice, – in fact more than nice: really, really hot for these parts of the world.

That is when I pull out my ongoing hexagon project and sit in the shade, cutting, basting and sewing.

hexagonjuly14a

When making the shorts shown in the previous post, I ended up with a lot of odd shaped remnants, perfect for cutting up into hexagons. They have all been basted, along with a few other remnant pieces laying around my sewing area.

hexagonjuly14b

A few have been made into flowers, with a few background pieces added, ready to be attached to the growing top.

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I am starting to think that this will become a small throw for the sofa. It is wide enough by now, but has only a third of the desired height, so I will need to add about a hundred new flower blocks, plus some half blocks to make the edges even.

I see I will need a lot of fine weather to finish this one 🙂 🙂   Bring it on!

🙂

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

 

 

 

A Christmas Present for Myself

Sometimes I just fall head over heels in love with a quilt. That is what happened with this one:

annabel

I spotted it as it was posted for sale at the website “Through our Hands”, and I could not believe my luck that it was still available when I came across it. I decided on the spot that this was going to be a Christmas present for myself, and hurried to buy it before someone else could snap it up from under my nose.

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It was made by UK artist Annabel Rainbow in 2011. If you visit her website, you will see that it is very different from her current work, which is absolutely fantastic, by the way.

The quilt is approximately 58 cm square, each block is 6 cm, and it is made entirely of silk fabric. The centre is Cathedral Window blocks, surrounded by a row of Secret Garden blocks. Those of you who are familiar with the technique, will know that a lot of fabric goes into the creation of each block. It is hand sewn through and through.

annabel3

The borders have a pattern in reverse applique, with border fabric re-appliqued on top of the circles in every corner. The blocks all have a small pearl in the centre.

annabel4

The name of the quilt, “Hoc Sensu Modo”, is hand embroidered along the top border, and it means “This side up”.

It is a gem, and I just love it.

🙂

Eldrid

A School Visit

Last week I got a phone call from the local school asking if I would like to visit the 10 and 11 year olds, showing some of my quilts. They had been working on geometrics, and each pupil had been given a paper with a square divided into 9 equal parts to decorate as they liked. We quilters would know this as a nine patch block, – and although such terms were unknown to the children, the term “patchwork” did come to mind when they had glued all their blocks together onto a piece of cardboard. So when searching on the internet for “patchwork”, my website came up, – and after looking around there, they decided they wanted to learn a bit more about patchwork and quilting, and they especially wanted to see the Kameleon Quilts.  Lucky I live so close 🙂

So off I went with a suitcase packed full of some of the quilts that still reside in our home. In the hall just outside the classroom, the result of their geometry project hung on the wall.

A very colourful nine patch sampler.

I told them about nine patch blocks and how they were used in quilts, – very often as the first pattern a small girl would learn to make in former times.

Previously, they had also been doing some rangoli patterns:

We agreed that most of these are four patch blocks.

We also had a look at another traditional block; the log cabin block, and then I went on to show how I had used many of these blocks in my quilts, even the Kameleon Quilts.

On the school website there are some photos from this “show and tell”, which also included other quilts than block quilts. The children were very interested and asked lots of questions, and we were having a great time.

After I got home, I studied the photos I took of their projects, especially the nine patch one. There were some unusual and interesting designs in there, so I have taken the liberty of redrawing a few of the blocks in QuiltPro and playing around a bit to see how they would look if worked into a quilt.

This block is not an unusual pattern in itself, but I have not seen it done in a nine patch grid before, – nor have I found a similar nine patch block in the books and block libraries I have looked through. It may exist somewhere, though.

In a quilt with 3 x 3 blocks it would look like this:

Or like this, if every other block is turned  90 degrees:

Now here is another interesting block:

I have tried to use colours that are similar to the original drawing.

Here it is in a 4 x 4 block quilt:

A very pleasing design, I think.

When every other block is mirrored sideways, it looks like this:

Both of the blocks above have some kind of symmetry to them.

The one below, however, has a refreshing lack of symmetry, both in the design and especially in the colouring; – almost every patch has a new colour:

When set into a repeating pattern, like the 4 x 4 block setting below, it makes a beautiful and interesting quilt:

With every other block turned 90 degrees, it will look like this:

If we “zoom out” a bit, we might also get a better overall view of the design:

I would not mind owning a quilt like that 🙂

In conclusion, this turned out to be a most interesting and inspiring visit, – not least for me.

🙂 Eldrid