Category Archives: Quilts

On the Auction Block – “Hello, Sunshine” art quilt

This small art quilt (approx. 10″ “square”) can be hung or used as a candle mat or under a vase.  Yellow sunshine and rainbow border are machine stitched with cotton thread to a black cotton fabric background.

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

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#APQResolution – French Doors

I feel like I’m finishing up a school year and getting ready for summer because I have been finishing stuff up like crazy. Last week, I finished quilting “Rajah Quilt Revisited” which was a 2016 Block of the Month that I started in January.  This week, I finished a quilt that had been in the UFO pile for a decade. Yes, you read that right. I pieced these tops in October of 2007. (I think. It could have been ’06 or maybe ’08.) I made them to be a Halloween costume for my DH and me. We each pinned a panel to our shirts, wore berets and threw drapery fabric toga-style over our shoulders and went as a pair of french doors. (Yes, it took some explaining.) After Halloween, I stuffed them in my drawer with the intent to quilt them one day.

One day arrived in April, which was the month when these were supposed to be finished for the American Patchwork & Quilting UFO Challenge. I pulled them out, started quilting the first one and then moved on to the other. It was at that point that I realized one was shorter than the other. (The one I started quilting, of course.)  My DH is a foot taller than I am so I made my panel shorter, but in the decade that they sat in my drawer, I totally forgot that detail. So I pulled out stitches, added more fabric and started quilting again. Of course, as you’ll see in the photo, I still mis-measured. But, they are done, not perfect and after a decade, having them hanging is worth an extra half inch of fabric!

wall quilt with photos of Paris and white sashing

French Doors, 2017.

#APQ Resolution – Rajah Quilt Revisited

This was supposed to be my finished quilt for March for the American Patchwork & Quilting 2017 UFO Challenge, but it needed to be completely quilted and bound so I’m happy to have it completed by June. This quilt was the 2016 Block of the Month from The Quilt Show, called “Rajah Quilt Revisited.”  It’s based on a quilt made on a women’s prison ship that traveled from England in 1841.

My quilt was machine appliqued, machine pieced, machine quilted and hand quilted and I am happy to say that I made it for myself so I get to keep it!

Rajah Quilt Revisited, 2017. 68″ sq.

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.

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

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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 – 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.

Spring Fling

Most of the quilts I work on are complicated and intricate; I like a good challenge.  But, this past weekend I went away for my guild’s Spring Fling, 3 days of basically non-stop sewing near Lake Winnipesaukee, NH.  For that kind of event, I leave the complicated projects behind and focus on fun, easy, colorful projects.  Here’s what came out of the weekend:

Doesn’t get more colorful than this, does it?

The second project was a fusible kit by McKenna Ryan (Block 5 from “In Full Bloom).  These kits are great for retreats because it’s just tracing, cutting, and fusing with very little thought involved.

Creative Play Newsletter (Vol.1: Issue 9) – Play Time

What is Creative Play and why do I keep talking about it?  Well, I keep talking about it because after many, many years of fighting it, I have finally realized how very important it is. I stopped playing at about oh, two years of age.  That’s probably a bit of an exaggeration, but not much of one. My mom has told me that I was the most mature five year-old she had ever met (and I think she really means “serious” when she says “mature”).  My sister can vouch for what a stick-in-the-mud I was as a kid. Needless to say, I carried that into adulthood too. I love reading, but I read mostly non-fiction or classic, serious fiction.  I took up quilting as a hobby initially because it resulted in something useful and was something that I could do while watching TV and thus otherwise “wasting” time. Honestly, it’s amazing people wanted to spend time with me!

I started playing in 2008, at the ripe old age of 33. That’s when I started my “Creative Play” blog and I went into the studio each week with the sole purpose of playing. During that time, I tried out many new techniques and I learned a lot. The most important thing that I learned from that experience, however, was how play feeds creativity. That period was one of the most creative times in my life, precisely because I was leaving room for creativity. I was just playing around to see what happened and what happened was some of my best work.

Fast forward to today, when after a hiatus from playing and after having fallen back into my old pattern, I am again leaving some time for creativity. A few weeks ago, I decided on a Friday to not make a To Do list. I decided that I wouldn’t work on any of the projects on my work table (unless I really felt moved to) and that I would just see what the day brought. I had barely finished my first cup of tea when I started thinking about the BirdZeed challenge word for the month. It was the 27th of January, four days from the end of the month, and I had had no intention whatsoever of doing the challenge. The word was “line” and I had not been inspired.  But, on that day that I had left open, I decided to take up the challenge.  An idea came very quickly to me and I made a good start on the piece. After buying some supplies, I finished it up before the end of the month. I had no plan to create this work, but because I gave myself some play time, my creativity flourished and I created one of my most heartfelt pieces to date. Read more about what it means to me in my blog post.

Line in the Sand art quilt piece. Women's March protest

Line in the Sand, 2017. 8″ x 10″

Read last month’s newsletter article.