Negative Space Handbook Blog Hop

Negative space is one of my favorite tools to use in my modern quilt designs, and I was ecstatic when Sylvia Schaefer released her book, The Quilter’s Negative Space Handbook.  In this book, Sylvia takes the concept of Negative Space and breaks it down into eight manageable sections for the reader to explore.   These sections can be used on their own or mixed and matched to develop your own unique designs.  While there is a project to illustrate each type of negative space, the reader is actively encouraged to apply each approach to their own original designs.  This combination makes the book perfect for all levels of quilters.  At the end of this post, you’ll have an opportunity to win a digital copy of The Quilter’s Negative Space Handbook, so I hope you’ll keep reading!

Sylvia has a great eye for negative space, and I have been a fan of her work ever since I saw her quilt, The Disintegration of the Persistence of Artichokes at an American Quilter’s Society show in Paducah one year.

The Persistence of the Disintegration of Artichokes by Sylvia Schaefer

A couple of years later we had our quilts (both using lots of negative space!) hanging side by side in the winner’s section of the Modern category at another AQS Paducah show.  This time it was Meeting of the Geese that I was admiring.

Meeting of the Geese by Sylvia Schaefer

Most recently, I was honored to quilt Northern Lights for the book.  The edge to edge motif is a digital download by Anita Shackelford.

Northern Lights by Sylvia Schaefer

The eight approaches to negative space design in the handbook are:

  1. Removing Elements
  2. Standing Alone
  3. Oversized Simple Blocks and Inverting
  4. Setting Rows
  5. Scattering
  6. Disintegration
  7. Making Shapes
  8. Extending Lines

I am looking forward to further exploring each of these approaches to negative space, but the one I couldn’t wait to try was scattering.  I have made several plaid quilts, and I thought some of Sylvia’s suggestions would be fun to try in creating a new design.  (Please check out this post about Infused Plaid to see how my typical design process differs from what I am doing here!)  In the book, Sylvia mentions using a random number generator to determine block placement.  This really caught my attention, and before I even went to the next page of the book, I googled “random number generator” and started sketching.

For this design, I started by setting a few parameters.  The grid is 34 units by 34 units, and I decided to place 34 colorful squares into that space.  I used a random number generator for each of the horizontal and vertical coordinates, then rolled a game die to determine the color of the square.  Since the linear matchstick quilting that creates the plaid effect will extend through the squares, each row and column was assigned a color for all future squares that were placed in them.

Once the main pieced section was developed, I decided that extra negative space would really set off the design.  Considering the concept of breathing space  that is introduced in the “Standing Alone” chapter, I decided that the top and right sides of the main section would be about half the width as the borders on the bottom and left sides.  Here is the quilt top, complete with borders.  I always make these plaid quilt tops a few inches larger than the desired finished size.  This allows me to block the quilt and trim it to the size that looks best.

When I add the quilting to this piece, I will be incorporating a third type of negative space usage to the quilt, extending lines.  I love to allow colorful quilting thread to take on a staring role, and this should be a an interesting way to infuse color into the surrounding space.  Hopefully, I will be sharing the final quilt with you soon!

Here’s the exciting part!  If you would like to win a digital copy of The Quilter’s Negative Space Handbook, just leave a comment on this post.  Any comment counts, but if you are looking for inspiration, tell us about your favorite quilt using negative space.  It can be a quilt you made, or a quilt created by someone else.  One entry per person, please.

One week from today, Monday, March 25, 2019, I will use a random number generator to select a winner of a digital copy of the book.

You can also order a copy directly from the author!

There is lots of inspiration at the other stops on the blog tour, so I hope you check out these other negative space inspired posts!

March 11 – C&T Publishing – blog tour kickoff

March 12 – Nicole Neblett – Mama Love Quilts

March 13 – Christa Watson – Christa Quilts

March 14 – Jessica Caldwell – Desert Bloom Quilting

March 15 – Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill – Whole Circle Studio

March 18 – Cassandra Ireland Beaver – The (Not So) Dramatic Life

March 19 – Yvonne Fuchs – Quilting Jetgirl

March 20 – Sarah Ruiz – Saroy

March 21 – Sarah Goer – Sarah Goer Quilts

March 22 – Sylvia Schaefer – Flying Parrot Quilts – tour wrap-up

 

 

Columbus Cityscape Block of the Month: Franklin Park Conservatory

The Franklin Park Conservatory is situated just east of the core of downtown Columbus, Ohio and creates a botanical hub for the city.  The main building depicted in this quilt block is primarily a greenhouse structure that hosts plants and artwork that melds with nature.

Each section of the conservatory replicates a different climate and highlights the plant life found in those areas.  Outside, a spectacular children’s garden engages visitors of all ages.

Interspersed throughout the building are installations of Chihuly glass.  This sculpture is the upper portion of a tunnel so you experience the piece by walking below it.

Each winter the conservatory transforms to a winter wonderland covered in colorful lights.  One of my favorite parts of this display are the trees that have their root systems reflected in lights along with their branches.

A hot shop is also part of the conservatory year round, and this tree was created with glass made on site by the artisans doing demonstrations and offering classes.

This pattern is available from Dabble and Stitch in Columbus, Ohio.  If you have already purchased the pattern, you can access the extra templates here.  You will need the password included in the pattern instructions to access this page.

Columbus Cityscape Block of the Month: Statehouse

The Ohio Statehouse is situated in Downtown Columbus near many of the buildings we have already added to our quilt.  The Ohio Theatre is across the street, and the science center is a couple blocks away, just over the river.  In the other direction you will find the main library and the art museum.

Our statehouse is particularly distinct because it doesn’t feature an exterior dome, but a cupola.  There is an internal dome structure in the rotunda, and the tour of the building is worthwhile to experience the art and architecture featured in this impressive structure.

This pattern is available from Dabble and Stitch in Columbus, Ohio.  If you have already purchased the pattern, you can access the extra templates here.  You will need the password included in the pattern instructions to access this page.

I will be demonstrating the construction of a portion of this block Sunday, February 3rd at 1pm at Dabble and Stitch.

Turkey Quilt: A 2019 100 Day Project

Last year was my first time attempting a 100 Day project, and I love the resulting quilt, Resonance.  This year I am doing another 100 Day Project, but I am going with something with a more specific design.  I have been wanting to make a turkey quilt for quite awhile now (keep reading to find out why), so the 100 day time frame seemed like the perfect opportunity to give it a go.  This is the project design that I have been working on:

I like to start my 100 Day projects on January 1st because (except for leap years) my birthday falls on the 100th day of the year, and it feels perfect to sandwich this type of project between two key dates.  I have spent the first twelve days on the design process.  I will spare you every process photo, but here is an overview of the design process.

I wanted to give the turkey a certain amount of formality, so I spent a lot of time looking at art books, and ultimately decided to place the turkey in an archway with a checkerboard floor.  The inspiration for this design ranges from Renaissance paintings to 20th century Rock and Roll posters.  Most of the design process has taken place on AutoCad Lt.

After looking at a lot of turkey images, I sketched out a large wild turkey.

I took a photo of the hand drawn sketch and loaded it into AutoCad to trace over the main lines and insert the turkey into the archway.

For the semi circles surrounding the arch, I designed a bunch of somewhat formal designs to surround the turkey- I like to think that they all feel a bit feathery to coordinate with the turkey tail.

Once these designs were complete, I inserted them into the semi-circles around the arch.  Each these motifs are unique- there are no semicircle repeats in the quilt!  I then finished off the line drawing of the design.

By now, I’m sure you are all saying, “That’s nice, but why the turkey?”  There is actually a good answer to that.  When I was in the primary grades of elementary school, we colored what I am sure was at least 1,000 turkey coloring sheets throughout the month of November.  At one point there was a coloring sheet that had no specific directions, so I decided to take some artistic license.  I colored a gorgeous blue turkey with every shade of blue in my 64 color box of crayons.  As you may have guessed, this did not go over well.  I was informed in no uncertain terms that turkeys are brown, and apparently have tail feathers that alternate red, yellow, and orange.  From that point on, I never colored anything a color different than what it was “supposed” to be until I entered adulthood.  (Come to think about it, maybe my dislike of brown fabric stems from this incident!)  Since that time I have always had a nagging feeling that I am doing something wrong when I make recognizable objects an unrealistic color, even though I know logically that it’s really an ok thing to do.  My big hope is that the process of making this quilt will help to squelch those inner demons!

So here is the finished design again.  It will be constructed with a combination of traditional and foundation paper piecing along with a generous amount of appliqué.  The actual turkey will have a lot more detail once it goes into fabric.  I plan on using the turkey drawing as the general outline, and then getting creative from there.

 

2018 Year in Review

Around the beginning of every year, I like to look back on the previous year.  I have usually accomplished more than it feels like I have, and 2018 was no exception.

  • I started the year with a 100 Day project which culminated in Resonance.  Aurifil liked it so much they displayed it in their booth at Spring Quilt Market.  Later in the year, I became an Aurifil Artisan!

Photo courtesy of Sylvia of Flying Parrot Quilts

  • QuiltCon 2018 also included four of my quilts in the contest.  Lateral Ascension (upper left of the photo below) even received third place in the Minimalism category! (It also received an honorable mention at AQS Spring Paducah and a 2nd Place at AQS Grand Rapids!)

 

  • My first cover quilt also came around last year.  Raise the Roof is a particular favorite of mine, and it also received a third place at the American Quilter’s Society Fall Paducah Show.
  • Upward Perspective was a mini made for a Curated Quilts Challenge, and it was selected for inclusion in the magazine!

  • In 2018 I also started my second Block of the Month with Dabble and Stitch in Columbus, Ohio.  This year’s quilt has pictorial representations of key Columbus landmarks.

  • I also designed the 2018 Row by Row for Dabble and Stitch.  The theme was music, and I based the block on the state song, Beautiful Ohio.

  • My most exciting moment of 2018 was having my quilt, Infused Plaid, added to the permanent collection of The National Quilt Museum.

Photo courtesy of The National Quilt Museum

  • The 2018 colors of the year were Ultra-Violet (Pantone) and Tiger Lily (Kona), and I had a great time putting them together into this quilt!  Zenith received a second place in the Modern category at the American Quilter’s Society Fall Paducah Show.

  • As 2018 drew to a close, I had exciting news that three of my quilts, including Complementary Convergence (below), were selected for QuiltCon 2019!  I have added sleeves and labels to them this week, and will be shipping them off at the beginning of next week- now that is a great way to start 2019!