On the Auction Block – “Elemental Symbols” art quilt

I made this 11.5″ x 27.5″ quilt as part of a challenge based on the word “symbol.”  The colored triangles and the quilting lines within them are both symbols of fire, air, earth, and water.

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art quilt with symbols of 4 elements fire, air, earth, water

“Elemental Symbols” 2016.

New – May’s BirdZeed Challenge

This month’s BirdZeed challenge word is “new.”  I did not sit down with a blank sheet of paper and brainstorm what the word means to me as I sometimes do to get started. Instead, I was talking with a friend about taking a step and doing something new and I imagined standing on a brink, looking down into a swirling blue abyss. I imagined jumping and when I got back to the surface and was again looking down at the blue, it was shimmering. I quilted the blue circle and some of the black background with a shimmery blue thread (Superior Threads Magnifico) to suggest that shimmering excitement of having jumped.

Julie Neu_blue circle on black background art quilt

New, 2017

On the Auction Block – Quilted Coasters

Up for auction this week is a set of 4 quilted cotton coasters. I started making fabric coasters when my toddler started playing with the breakable ones I used to have. These can be tossed around the room without damaging anything. They can also be tossed in the washer if drinks spill on them or they become teething rings.

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Julie Neu, quilted fabric coasters

Creative Play Newsletter (Vol.1, Issue 11)- Do Something Different

In March’s newsletter, I wrote about the importance of play time to stimulate your creative juices and how I have found the times when I have allowed time for play to be some of my most creative. But what if that still doesn’t work?  There certainly are days when even the idea of playing in the studio without any plan in mind feels too hard. When that’s the case, get out of the studio and do something different.

I’ve talked before about those periods of frustration when nothing seems to be going right and I’ve prescribed leaving the studio then to take a walk or go on an Artist’s Date. Both of those are good things but, believe me, sometimes that isn’t enough. I’m talking now about those days when you walk into the studio and just want to turn right around again. Even housecleaning is looking more appealing than creating. Those are desperate times! Before you pick up a scrub brush, try one more thing – explore other media. Haven’t picked up a paintbrush since grade school? Try it now. Mash your frustrations out on some clay. String some beads. Take a class in something that’s really new to you or experiment in media you haven’t tried before. Even when you’re playing in your preferred medium, it can be hard to truly let go. That’s the point of trying a new one. It’s totally new to you so there are no expectations. (Actually, you probably expect that what you create will be total crap and you’ll just be pleasantly surprised when it’s not.) You can create just for the sake of creating. If you can recapture a few moments of that sheer joy of creating that you had as a kid, you might just find that spark that will bring you back to your work.

I recently took a watercolor journaling class with Jane LaFazio. I may never be a watercolor painter, but I tried something new, opened up some new creative channels and managed to paint a pretty decent shoe:

Julie Neu, watercolor painting of purple Chuck Taylor sneaker

On the Auction Block – Quilted Napkin Rings

Up for auction this week is a set of 8 quilted cotton napkin rings.  These are reversible with an interior fabric of blue flowers on a white background. What I love about these napkin rings is that they are also machine washable!

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Julie Neu, blue and yellow floral cotton napkin rings

 

On the Auction Block – Circles Art Quilt

Up for auction this week is a piece called “Circles” that began as a photo on cloth of a pink bleeding heart plant.  I distorted the image by cutting it into circles of various sizes, which I then appliqued onto a black cotton background. I brought more color and balance to the piece by hand quilting additional circles in hot pink thread.

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Julie Neu, art quilt of pink and green circles from bleeding hearts plant photo on black background

I am running auctions that start each Monday morning. If you’d like an email reminder when the auctions begin, sign up here.

Rise Up

I’ve completed the fourth in my accidental series of protest quilts.  This one is called “Rise Up” and it features a crazy pieced, then appliqued and stuffed, symbol representing woman.”

art quilt of pink crazy pieced woman symbol on white background

What it Means to Me:

One of the most heartening events since the election was the Women’s Marches that occurred all over the United States and all over the world the day after the Presidential Inauguration. Women, men, and children left the comfort of their homes and rose up. They marched, they protested, and they made clear that joking about sexual assault would not be tolerated, that denying women access to health care would not be tolerated, that rolling back women’s hard-fought human rights would not be tolerated. They showed with their feet and with their voices that they were ready to fight. There is great power that comes from women rising up together and that gives me hope.

The woman symbol in this piece is created from a crazy patchwork of pink fabrics to represent that diversity of women who have come together. The symbol is stuffed to represent the act of rising up.  Quilting lines radiate from the symbol to represent the impact that comes from action when we rise up together as women and as a nation.

On the Auction Block – Quilted Tea Cozy

Tea cozies frustrate me. Most require tying little strings or lifting the cozy off every time you pour so I designed a new one. No little strings, no need to pull it off,  just Velcro® once and pour.

The cozy is lined with batting and quilted to keep your tea warm with sewn-on Velcro® tabs that close snugly over a standard 6-cup tea pot. (Tea pot not included).

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handmade quilted tea cozy with velcro closures

I am running auctions that start each Monday morning. If you’d like an email reminder when the auctions begin, sign up here.