Here is the quilt from the video. After reviewing the quilt I realized that I missed coloring the triangles around the octagon white. So I will share the adjusted coloring as well.
I would love to see your feathered star quilts. Please feel free to post in the Learning EQ Facebook group.
Advanced Feathered Star Quilt Showcase
Tech Know Quilter Masters members, recently went through a class on some pretty complex feathered stars.
This topic was developed based on a viewing of quilts from the Linda Giesler Carlson and Dr. John V. Carlson collection at the International Quilt Museum. Linda Carlson is an active member of Tech Know Quilters. She graciously allowed me to use photos of her quilts for a class. I've included an interview with her which you will find at the end of the showcase.
Here was the first inspirational star antique quilt from Linda Giesler Carlson's collection used in the Tech Know Quilter class.
Here are some of the quilts created by Tech Know Quilter member that were inspired by the circular star antique quilt.
Here was second inspirational quilt from Linda Giesler Carlson's collection.
Here are some Tech Know Quilter member quilts inspired by the California Star quilt.
Linda Carlson Interview
Linda Giesler Carlson is a quilt educator, fabric designer and collector. She has published four books, taught extensively across the country and on cruises to Alaska and the western Caribbean. She has donated her large collection of antique four block quilts to the International Quilt Museum in Lincoln Nebraska. Although she has now retired from teaching and lecturing, she continues to quilt and is an active member of Tech Know Quilters, where she is mastering Electric Quilt 8.
Linda graciously allowed us to use some of the photos of her quilts from her collection at the International Quilt Museum in a Tech Know Quilters Masters class.
She also allowed me to interview her about her history with quilting.
Tell me about your first quilt.
I started quilting in 1975 when oldest daughter Amy was on the way. I thought it was the thing to do. So I bought a kit which was pre-quilted and bound that needed applique with embroidery on it. I knew so little, I didn't even know to hide my thread knots on the back.
My next step was when my husband John got into medical school. My mother said that I needed something for myself to do. So I created an applique pillow (Ernie from Sesame Street) and a pieced pillow (the Weathervane block) in a beginning quilt class.
What are your favorite parts of quilting?
I like designing original patterns and choosing the fabrics. I became fascinated with four block quilts. I liked applique quilts but thought the multi-block applique quilts would take a long time to make. In those days everybody did everything by hand. I thought that four blocks would be a lot faster. I hadn’t considered that the blocks in the four block quilts were much larger and more involved than multiple applique blocks.
What inspired you to collect quilts?
I wanted to teach about four block quilts, and being an elementary and junior high school educator, I knew I needed to do research before teaching about the subject.
My research involved State Quilt search projects and museum collections from states that came into the Union before 1850. I found that of those states, many of the four block quilts came out of the Pennsylvania heritage and were set next to each other. The ones that had five blocks were on set on point. That creates a center block. Sometimes that center was filled with quilting and sometimes it was a block just like the others.
How long have you been collecting quilts?
Probably since the late 1980s. The focus of my collecting became the most popular four block patterns. They were:
I acquired unique examples of all of those major categories and used them in my lectures. I also collected others that had different types of motifs, but were very unique and unusual.
I found them by going to antique shops when I was teaching on the road. When I taught at the big shows like Houston and Paducah, there would be antique dealers there. I got to know them and they would end up sending me photos and ask if I would like the quilt. And I always did.
The International Quilt Museum in Lincoln Nebraska has at least 72 of my quilts. There were two shows of those quilts and I did go and present the lecture to them. That was quite fun.
I was also invited to participate in "What's American About American Quilts" symposium at the Smithsonian in 1995. I was able to present a 20 minute lecture complete with slide show on “The Roots of the Large Four Block Quilt”.
Tell me about your books.
Quilting to Soothe The Soul
This had a different focus than the first three books. I was working on a four-block tree quilt for Meredith -- my youngest daughter. My dad had died in 1993 when I was working on the border which included a number of willow trees. Of course, the weeping willow is a symbol for mourning. As I was stitching the quilt, I realized that other quilters had gone through their own grief periods as well. Thus began the research for this book.
I found that different cultures traditions emerged in the quilts. Tribes such as the Delaware, Shawnee, Lakota, and Ogalala Sioux practiced Giveaway ceremonies for life events. One Indian tribe always gave star quilts to their graduating seniors from high school. It was always just one large star in the quilt. There were other cultures that had casket quilts or a pall to go over the coffin.
During that research I found a lot of wonderful stories. One of the 4 block tree blocks included in the book had baby hands in the quilting with the names Keith and Kenneth. One of the hands was turned backwards. I believe this was a memorial quilt to these twin sons that maybe died at birth because the hands were quite tiny. On the other hand, it is possible that she was already making the four block tree quilt. When the twins were born, she wanted to commemorate that.
The book was originally written to write about quilts to express grief. But then I decided to expand that research to include hard issues including health issues, families moving away or kids leaving home.
During that time 9/11 happened. I included a sub-section of the book for 9/11 quilts. I corresponded with a guild in New York and asked what our guild could do for them. They were making quilts for the funeral directors that were helping with the burials. Along with my guild’s participation in the quilts, I featured some of their quilts in the book.
Why did you decide to donate your quilts to the International Quilt Museum?
When we built the house in 1996, we created a room that was light and humidity controlled. However, my studio was next to the heater room and we started thinking about what would happen in case of a fire. So I began to think in earnest about what I wanted to do with the collection. I knew I did not want to break up this collection because it was extremely unique.
I had attended a conference at the International Quilt Museum. I was very impressed how they took care of the quilts. They were really enthusiastic about quilt history, quilts and textiles. I've never regretted that decision.
Have You Redrafted the Quilts using Electric Quilt?
Not until the Tech Know Quilter's Masters class. In my book Four Blocks Continued, I shared some of the quilts from the collection in modern fabrics. I typically just traced the applique units using pencil and paper and included applique templates in the book.
How has Tech Know Quilters helped you?
It has pushed me considerably in creating patterns on the computer. However, when I am stumped, I will go back to the paper and pencil. I know how to do that and am comfortable with that process. What I really love about EQ is that you can choose fabrics including combinations or fabrics and values of fabrics and plug those into different places in your design before you cut even one piece of fabric.
And what’s really nice is when create quilts with a current collection and you know immediately that it is going to work in this place in a block.
It is great that we can continue to push ourselves to learn new things.
Linda finished our interview with a quote from her husband John who is a retired pathologist.
Before quilting became my career, he said in gest that "quilting was an obsession and a disease and the end stage is collecting antique quilts.”
If you are interested in purchasing any of her books, you are welcome to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. She has extra copies of all of her books other than Roots, Feathers and Blooms.
Check out her collection of quilts at the International Quilt Museum using this link. Linda Giesler Carlson and Dr. John V. Carlson collection at the International Quilt Museum. I suspect you will be as inspired as I was.
Do you have left-over turkey? (Maybe it is the turkey from last weeks blog post.)
Or -- what about an orphan block? You know -- the one that took hours (or maybe days to put together). In your heart you know you won't make another one.
This tutorial provides an idea for a layout focused on highlighting a single block.
The video shows how I used the Tommy the Turkey block from last week. But using this basic layout you could highlight any featured block.
During this free video tutorial. I will share with you a quilt that was designed to feature Tommy Turkey. This is a great project for beginners to EQ8. This would also be an easy project to piece.
Here is the quilt from the video.
Let me know of a setting you used for a theme block. it doesn't need to be Tommy the Turkey. Share your design in the Learning EQ Facebook group.
I am hoping you had a great Thanksgiving. I am taking a break for a few days and visiting my sister and her family in Kansas City.
Tech Know Quilters Virtual Quilt Show
Each month I challenge those in Tech Know Quilters to apply what they learned during the last month. They can share a project from a lesson or an original design applying the concepts they have been learning in Tech Know Quilters.
Tech Know Quilters is a membership program focused on mastery of Electric Quilt 8. We have members at all stages of their Electric Quilt journey.
If you would like to join this amazing group of quilters, you can sign up for the wait list here.
Here are their projects for October.
The TKQ Masters Creating Labels class has been surprisingly one of the most useful classes. In addition to the labels I made for a craft my family made, my sister and I are making travel jewelry bags and box pouches for family and friends this Christmas from a piece of clothing fabric that belong to my mother who passed away in December. Referencing class 5, Adding Curved Text, I designed the labels to go on the pouches and bags, and a local company printed them up for me at a very reasonable rate. The labels are circular printed on ultra suede. I am so excited as they look so awesome and will make these gifts even more special. Great class Kari!!!
I actually designed this (based on a picture of an antique Cherokee woven cloth panel) during the Introduction to Easy Draw section. Our local Guild quilt show is coming up and the easiest category to win a ribbon is Miniatures because there are so few entries. This measures 13" X 23". I drafted the whole thing as a block and then set it in a quilt of the same dimensions. Can't wait to learn how to add quilting/embroidery lines to a quilt because I think this really needs something else.
I've been working on this quilt for a while. I love this fabric collection; Northcott's Kensington Park 2020. The prints don't show up very well here but I love the tans, aquas and black. I saw a quilt in an old quilting magazine so I searched EQ for the block and the closest one was Western Spy. I edited it using the Pick tool until I had what I liked. I added a border of large and small points out. I had to adjust the spacer border to make it fit. The very narrow black border is actually meant to be a Faux piping between the borders for accent. It finishes at 91x91". I love learning more about EQ and am happy to design my quilts the way I want them to be. Looking forward to Applique because I have a special quilt in mind for me.
Brigitte Lee Leaf Quilts
I have been doing the Foundation Class this month. On the left a quilt I redid using the leaves of the foundation class. On the right is the quilt, I did many years ago (26) using half-square triangles.
In October, I took Kari's Master's Advanced Feathered Star class. In it I learned new strategies to create feathered stars with less triangular points and rotating the block in a quilt. Setting new blocks into the outer units of the quilt block opened up new avenues of designing. I decided to go in a totally different manner to subdivide the star and create a patriotic version.
I took the Modern Quilts Class but have never really appreciated this genre. I have come away with a greater appreciation and might even try a few experiments in a real quilt! This is a simplification of our spiral class.
Spent the month doing Mix and Match medallion centers and borders. Played with Serendipity and borders to fit which was a really hard challenge to me, and using more options in the layout and border tables. Had a lot of fun looking up fabric libraries, creating favorites and using things. It's fascinating how each lesson builds on the previous and make things easier to remember.
Candy Huddleston Snowflake Garden Maze
Inspired by the Kaleidoscopes classes. I used a snowflake block I came up with & decided to combine it with your Garden Maze setting from the September On Point email. I've always liked the Garden Maze setting & think this works well. I'm learning so much and really enjoyed both lessons.
Since some of us will be focused on turkey this week, let's also think about creating a turkey block using Electric Quilt 8. This is a fun block that uses PolyDraw to complete the feathers along with some of the shape tools in applique. You will be amazed at how easy this block is to draft.
Do you have a Dresden ruler tool in your collection? If so, this would also be super easy to piece. Maybe I should try to piece him next week.
If you would like to piece him, click on the image below to download templates for a 12 inch block.
Feel free to share pictures of your turkey in the Learning EQ Facebook group. Here is a link to the post.
Tech Know Quilters Calendar Quilts
A variation of the Tommy the Turkey block was included in the Calendar Quilts class. Calendar Quilts will have you honing your drafting skills as you draw twelve 20" x 15" quilts - one for each month of the year. Plus there is even an option to create a monthly calendar. Combine the calendar quilt and the calendar for a perfect backdrop for your computer -- no quilting required.
The calendar quilt class is offered exclusively in Tech Know Quilters. Tech Know Quilters is a membership for Electric Quilt 8 users who are mastering their design and EQ8 skills. Sign up for the wait list to be informed on the next open enrollment period.
Current Tech Know Quilter members can let us know if they would like to swap their December class for one these options. Please note that this is a more advanced class.
I don't know about you. But I have a fair number of 2-1/2" fabric squares. Some are leftovers from other projects. And I have also been known to buy some of those mini-charm packs at quilt shows.
But I don't always tend to use them and they end up taking up space in my fabric collection -- which is way too large.
In this post, I decided to tackle the problem. I designed a quilt that allows those 2-1/2 inch squares to be the star of the quilt.
The fabrics used in this quilt came from the EQ Stash Collection (Download 2). (If you would like to purchase the collection from them, make sure to use the discount code for their 25 Days of Christmas sale.) The leaf fabrics were from Into the Woods by Katrinka for Free Spirit. The frames used Speckles 24/7 by Hoffman.
The real magic happens when you set the block in an on point layout. Check out the optical illusion that is created.
I would love to see pictures of your quilt. Consider posting pictures on the Learning EQ Facebook groups post.
Extra tip: This block is so versatile. Let say rather than 2-1/2" squares, you have a collection of charms (5" squares). You could draft an attic window block start with a 4-1/2" square in the center.
Did you know that in Tech Know Quilters, there are two full classes for designing optical illusion quilts? Tech Know Quilters is a membership for Electric Quilt 8 users who are mastering their design and EQ8 skills.
Sign up for the wait list to be informed on the next open enrollment period.
Current Tech Know Quilter members can let us know if they would like to swap their December class for one these options. Please note that these are more advanced classes.
Do you like working with specific rulers or dies? You know -- the ones that will end up giving you a very specific block (or maybe even parts of a block).
Some of my favorite are the tools from Deb Tucker's Studio 180 Design,
If I have specific pieces that I want to work with, I love using Electric Quilt to design blocks around those pieces. It is so much fun having my own blocks, versus ones that look like everyone else.
Deb Tucker has created a Split Rects tool. The Split Rects tool allows us to cut pieces and trim down triangle units where the finished height is twice the width. They can be produced in sizes from 1/2" x 1" to 4" x 8".
Here are examples of Split Rects units.
There is a technique sheet that Studio 180 Design sells that gives more information for creating Split Rects Bonus units. You will definitely want to watch this video in the link to see how you can use the tool to piece your own Split Rects bonus units.
There are three options for Split Rects bonus units.
In the Electric Quilt 8 tutorial, I will take you through my process in designing blocks that use those units. It is a bit like putting together a jigsaw puzzle.
Here are the 12 inch blocks created in the video. Each of those blocks use 3" x 6" Split Rects bonus units.
I would love to see what blocks you end up creating using the Split Rects bonus units. And for an added challenge, create a quilt that uses one (or more) of the blocks.
Feel free to post on the Learning EQ Facebook group.
Electric Quilt Expert and Educator and Pattern Designer.
On Point Quilter