Saturday, October 16, 2021

Abstract Minimalistic Textile Art

This textile art piece uses simple linear shapes and neutral fabrics. The style, abstract minimalism, is at home in modern or traditional settings. The pop of the single print fabric adds interest without detracting from the calming simplicity of the piece.


It was created in an improvisational manner, making it truly one-of-a-kind. The textile composition is 8 x 10 and matted with a 11 x 14 mount. It is listed in my Etsy shop. SOLD.


Thursday, September 30, 2021

Textile Art

It's been a while. Good to be back to my creative space. I've got a bunch of textile art pieces floating around in my head. They are small and perfect for experimenting with new ideas - nearly instant gratification. And I love how graphic these small ideas in fabric can be when framed simply.

Here's the first brought to life - inspired by the fluid, organic shape of kelp. The negative space is just as engaging as the kelp itself.

It's just as I imagined it. That's what I love most about creating original designs in fabric. 

I made this piece using the same improv applique method I have been using for the past couple of years. I really enjoy the process of cutting and sewing by eye, rather than using a template. The variations of shape and serendipity of design that result are so interesting.

More to come. This one is in my etsy shop

As an aside - sadly etsy has been overrun with mass produced items under the guise of "production partnerships" and "vintage" items. There are still lovely handmade items to be found, but you have to dig around to get to them. Let me know of any better platforms for handmade items, please. Back soon, I hope.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Modern Quilted Appliqué Pillow

It has been absolutely frigid lately in the Midwest, and when it is that cold I just want to sit under blankets as much as possible. Hand sewing is perfect for such days, so I returned to improv appliqué in my latest project.

The technique of improv appliqué begins, for me, with appliqué shapes cut by hand without a template. I eyeball the shape and trim as necessary to adjust to the contours I want. Then I baste the pieces in place and appliqué with matching thread.


I prefer rather dense quilting on appliqué pieces because it makes them durable. This pillow cover is machine quilted about every quarter of an inch.

The finished pillow cover is 19 x 19 and fits a 20 inch pillow form nice and snuggly. The design is a little mid century modern meets 1970s with the coral, gold, and brown square arcs. You can find the finished quilted pillow cover in my etsy shop.

I'm thinking of attempting to make a how to video on this method of improv appliqué, if anyone is interested.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Tall Tales Baby Quilt


I had intended to make more of these adorable foundation pieced blocks, but I cut things a bit short when I realized they would be perfect for my book loving friend's new baby. Using 20 blocks (8" square unfinished), I staggered the placement and added a quick border to make a 37 x 49 baby quilt.


The blocks, which use adorable Heather Ross prints, are just so cute for tummy time and story time - they would be great for any baby - but I known my friend is going to love making up silly tales about each one with her kids.


The background is a lovely, soft peppered cotton, and the backing fabric is a Alexander Henry print I have been hoarding for a while. A great black and white print goes with anything! I chose the texty binding print by Carolyn Friedlander which is a bit on the nose for the quilt theme. It made me chuckle anyway.


You can find the Tall Tales Quilt blocks by Quilt with Kate on Etsy. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Quilt Blocks for a Book Lover

I have a small stash of special Heather Ross prints. The hand drawn quality and quirky subject matter of her fabrics is perfect for fussy cutting and quilt blocks that need a focal image. As I was thinking about the stories such images tell, I was reminded of a cute paper pieced book block I'd seen around the web. It is the Tell Tale block pattern by Quilt with Kate. 

The Heather Ross prints make perfect book covers, and I enjoy imagining the titles and subject matter of each one. The frog cover is of course Wind in the Willows, and clearly we have an account of the  the Princess and pea. The unicorn has to be a book of fairytales. The girl and her cat cover is a recent YA novel full teen ennui. Maybe this book is memoir about Woodstock. 

Monday, October 12, 2020

Three Quarter Log Cabin Scrap Quilt


It is a relief to finish this quilt. Making the improv blocks from scraps was so relaxing last fall, but they sat another year on a shelf as I tried to figure out how to use them all together. The solution of sashing to separate the crazy prints and colors has worked fairly well.

The quilt is big by my standards (73 x 95), since I quilted it on my tiny home machine. I find small scale free motion designs well suited for a large quilt because the small shapes, like these loops, allow you to stop and adjust the quilt frequently without interrupting or marring a larger, flowing design. 


I used an extra wide yellow backing from my stash and an old Erin McMorris Summersault print that I love for the binding. I think largescale prints are so interesting as binding because you get quite a variation along the edge or the quilt.

Patting myself on the back for using these blocks rather than letting them languish, and I hope the quilt will be useful and a blessing to a local child in foster care. 

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Breathing Room

Remember this scrap project from last fall? I made three quarter log cabin blocks with my print scraps, using every shade and pattern. It was fun and therapeutic, but once I completed the blocks, I was dismayed to find I hated how they looked together. I even wrote a post contemplating where I went wrong. After leaving them on the shelf and the mental break of working on other projects, I decided to see if I could rescue the blocks. I do not ordinarily use sashing, but I knew the blocks needed some breathing room.

The fabric I chose for the sashing is Homespun Essex in indigo (although it reads as grey to me), and I think it is just what the blocks needed. The neutral space between the crazy prints tones down the chaos just enough. I picked my favorite 45 blocks, which finish about 9 x 12, so this will be an extra long twin when I get it pieced.