Tuesday, March 14, 2017

"Mama's Voice"

The theme for the Quilt Alliance's annual fundraiser and contest this year is "Voices".  It ties in with their commitment to record the stories of quilters and their quilts, so their voices can be documented, preserved, and shared.
It's a great theme!  Learn more about the contest here, so your voice can be heard as well.  It's great to know that proceeds from your quilt being auctioned at the end of the year will support this great non-profit.

I have used the annual contest, with its 16" X 16" format, as an opportunity to explore new ideas in my studio quiltmaking, and this year was no exception.  I've long been intrigued by the idea of creating pictorial quilts as bona fide illustrations, and in this quilt, I gave it a try.

I didn't have a story in mind, but rather a scene I wanted to set....and the voice I celebrate is that of a mother reading to her child.

This was all new to me!

I started with a simple line drawing.

I decided to reverse it, and focus in on the faces, rather than showing the whole hammock.
Faces are tricky, I learned that quickly.  And next time, I'll go lighter with the blue pen.  It is hard to get that much disappearing ink to really disappear for good.

But I needed it to guide my hand embroidery.
Here are the faces partly done, and before I colored in the skin tone with colored pencil.

Then I got to put them "in context", suggesting the hammock without showing the whole thing.

Providing some shade for my readers seemed appropriate, too.  These are collaged cotton leaves cut out from quilters' fabric, Broderie Perse style.
I'm starting to gather my floral embellishments, which will give a country garden vibe to the piece.

And here is the completed "Mama's Voice".
What are they reading?

You decide.......
I would love to practice more faces in the coming months, and see what other stories I can tell with my quilting.  It's fun, and a real challenge.
You'll be able to bid on this quilt in the fall.  I'll let you know when and where.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Quiters' Winterfest Workshop Projects

I've been busy making new samples for the three workshops I'll be giving at the Quilters Winterfest in Frankenmuth, Michigan in a couple weeks.

"Stained Glass Flowers". Learn the central technique from my new book, Allie Aller's Stained Glass Quilting: Fresh Techniques and Design.

"Gothic Windows". Here are three variations on this block with so many possibilities.

"Vintage Softie" employs vintage blocks and fabrics along with machine and hand stitching to create a sweet little critter.  Elepants and cats are both offered because I couldn't choose between them!

There will be lots of creativity, new techniques, and fun...I love the people hosting the Winterfest and am so glad they asked me back this year.  Hope to see you there!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Road to California Exhibit is Up!

I had such a great crew to help me hang the quilts, enough space too. Thank you, Road to California!
Here are some photos of the exhibit, in case you can't be there.  ;-)

All of the book project quilts are here, plus the Gallery quilts, and a few that I have made since the book's completion.
I am so proud of Allie Aller's Stained Glass Quilts Reimagined: Fresh Techniques and Design! You can order it on Amazon; it will be released next month!
....and I'll be teaching from the book next year at Road to California, so stay tuned..... ;-)

And here is a lovely 2 minute video of the quilts made by Mary Kay Davis of The Quilt Show.  Yes, I'll be taping about stained glass quilts with them next month in Denver!


Thank you, Mary Kay and TQS!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Allie Aller's Stained Glass Quilts Reimagined: Fresh Techniques and Design. The New Book Quilts Are on Display at Road to California Jan 18-22, 2017

I am so thrilled that my new book will be released soon.  Click on the peacock cover at your right and it will take you to Amazon to pre-order!

All the quilts from the book will be on display in a special Exhibit at Road to California this week.  It is such a great opportunity for me to debut my work in such a fine venue.

I've made the three quilts below since the book was finished.  These will be on display at Road too.

This is a couch quilt in progress.  The "leading" between the patches is multi-colored, not what you might expect in a stained glass quilt.

A free form collage creates a more contemporary stained glass quilt look.

This detail from a more traditional stained glass quilt shows how effective using silk as "the glass" can be.  My next post will be on the creation of this quilt, "Garden in My Window".

Meanwhile if you are at Road to California this week, stop by my exhibit!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Modern Baby Crazy Quilt

A new member of the family is on the way--Andy and Caylie's baby! Long time readers might remember the wall-hanging Andy commissioned from me when he was courting Caylie, back in 2010, and how it had the desired effect!  You can see and read about that here and here.

They love bright colors, so the baby quilt should be bright too!
Here are the steps I went through to make it...

1. I started with some improvisational 4 1/2" foundation pieced crazy quilt blocks done all in solids.  Of course, this was super fun work.  I pinned them up on the design wall as I went, knowing from the get go they should be on point.

2. Seeing them up on the wall as I worked, I just got used to the white background, and I decided the white sashing would keep those colors popping.

3.Here are the trimmed up blocks getting sashed.


4. Like all quilters do, I have a bin of leftover batting pieces.  I cut two pieces to size and spliced them together with some of C & T's Make It Simpler Fusible Interfacing.

5.  I made my quilt sandwich using my favorite bright Kaffe fabric on the back, leaving enough room to roll the edges to the front to make my binding. It was simple to just pin baste the center of the blocks.  I quilted in the ditch along the sashing and then made a horizontal/vertical grid through the centers of the blocks.

6. The "binding" being pinned into place.

7. After the quilt was all finished, I washed and dried it in hot water and a hot dryer.  I wanted it ready to go for baby duty!  But I discovered a few of my seam allowances were too small and they pulled out in a few places.

Bummer. So I sewed 'em up.

Here is the finished quilt.  It is 30" X 40".

And here are Mom and Dad!

The baby is due in mid-January.

Lots of love to the three of them!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

My RARE Science Celebrity Bear for The Quilt Show Auction

The Quilt Show has partnered with the great non-profit organziation, RARE Science, whose mission is "to work directly with patient families and foundations to find more immediate therapeutic solutions for children with rare diseases." Together they have a special project this fall!

Some background first: One of RARE Science's wonderful programs is RARE bears, where a specially made bear is sent to a special child with a rare disease.  Hundreds upon hundreds of these bears have made children happy--just look at some of the videos on the link above.

There are many ways to join the RARE Bear Army. I was lucky to be asked to make a bear for the "Celebrity RARE Bear Silent Auction", sponsored by The Quilt Show.  A new bear is being revealed each day for the next three weeks on The Quilt show's blog, and mine debuts today, September 29th. They will be on display at the International Quilt Festival in Houston this November, and auctioned off to raise funds for RARE's ongoing work.

Here is the link to The Quilt Show's blog about my bear: 

Meet "Wooly Bear"!

I thought you might like to see how I went about making this cuddly bear.

I rough cut extra large foundation muslin pattern pieces and crazy pieced my wool onto them, using a curved flip and sew method.

Then I had a delightful time embellishing all the seams on each pattern piece, as is traditional in crazy quilting.

Once the embellishment of a "body part piece" was completed, I machine basted along the traced line of the exact pattern piece.  The size had to be exactly accurate so that the bear would sew together well.

When the bear was all together, I thought it would be fun to make a little accompanying quilt for him to sit on.  After the simple quilt was pieced, of course I had to add some matching embellishment to it!  This was during the summer, and I loved stitching outside...all the while thinking of those incredibly brave children who are living with challenges we can hardly imagine.

Again, there are many ways to join the RARE Bear Army. You can create your own, host a sewing or stuffing party...click on the link to learn more.

And be sure to visit The Quilt Show blog each day as a new Celebrity Bear is revealed, and see them all as they are added on the Auction page (the link is there on The Quilt Show's  blog.)  Wooly Bear is in very, very great company!