January-May 2017, Art Quilts of the Midwest; Iowa Quilt Museum, Winterset, Iowa

Posted by ewquilts on January 12, 2017 in Exhibits |
Marianne Fons (co-founder), Linzee Kull-McCray (author) and Megan Barrett (Museum Director) at the Iowa Quilt Museum opening for Art Quilts of the Midwest, January 28, 2017

A collection of quilts featured in Linzee Kull-McCray’s book Art Quilts of the Midwest will be exhibited at Iowa’s new and only museum dedicated exclusively to quilts, the Iowa Quilt Museum in Winterset – Iowa’s quilt epicenter of sorts, thanks to Fons & Porter.  I’m pleased to be exhibiting there within it’s inaugural year of opening.  Quilts and quilting are such a fundamental part of Iowa heritage.  My quilt Portmanteau will be on display as part of this exhibit.  It was one of two of my quilts featured in McCray’s book and is currently in the collection of the Iowa State Historical Museum in Des Moines.

Portmanteau (aka Revolution), 2011

Means of Living

Posted by ewquilts on January 10, 2017 in WIP (Work-In-Progress) |
Continuing in the vein of my concentric square obsession, this is the hand-colored sketch for my next large-scale (~8x24ft) piece, Means of Living.  This piece will primarily feature Robert Kaufman chambray indigo and Danish STOF yarn dye wovens, with a linen binding fabric from my trip to Shanghai in 2012.  I am enjoying making the 33″ concentric squares for Dreamer so much that I wondered what it would be like to just keep going.  I’m excited to get started!
As of February 2018, I have the middle section (blue/blue) pieced

Dreamer (started late November 2016)

Posted by ewquilts on December 28, 2016 in Publications, WIP (Work-In-Progress) |
Currently working on another colossal scale quilt (~8.5 x 24 feet), working title Dreamer.  I’ve had the idea for some time.  I made a sketch while vacationing on San Juan Island in Washington state in early November 2016.
I started mostly with fabric from my existing collection, as well as several pieces given to me by felllow quilter, Dawn Eckrich, of Iowa City, Iowa.
This square was left over from Swim (2013).  The center piece (1×1″) was not the right size for that piece. This orphaned square continued to inspire my fascination with concentric square work.












Summer 2017
Dreamer, 99″ (height) x 264″ (width)
As of early summer 2017, this is where I’ve landed with Dreamer.  When I arranged the squares according to the original sketch, I soon realized, albeit somewhat crestfallen, that at this scale, the piece needed more structure.  Just shy of despair, I decided to start from a classic ROYGBIV (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet) approach and see what happened.  There it was!  After months and months of labor to complete each individual tone-on-tone square, I was finally excited about the combined total.  It meant culling out three of the finished 33″ squares…but at this scale, there’s cast off just like in a smaller project where it happens less notably.  The missing square in the photo shows the floor at my office where I took the photo.  The reflection gave me insight that the piece needs a chromatic foil – white – a place for the eye to rest awhile and something to set off the color intensity. So the final square will be a white-on-(off)white combination.  I hope to have this piece sent to the hand quilter no later than January 2018, and hopefully ready for exhibit by late spring/early summer 2018.

Here is the final version of the quilt, sent to the hand quilter early November 2017.
Dreamer was finished being hand-quilted by late June 2018.
I drove to Shipshewana, Indiana to pick it up from my hand-quilting broker.

After hand-sewing 726 inches of binding on Dreamer
I had exactly this much thread left.  
I consider this a friendly nod from my muses living in this world and beyond.
Next stop: Le Carrefour Européen du Patchwork, France, September 2018.
Rainbow Power, Timmy Thomas – pretty much sums up what this quilt means to me.

Water and Trees

Posted by ewquilts on March 10, 2016 in Inspiration, Writing | 1 Comment
North Star or satelite?
The earth roars as it moves.
Screens scream out their monetized mythologies,
Water and trees
Sing nature’s fecund harmonies.
I dive in deep
And swim in the dew of my lover’s eyes.

April 9, 2016 – Cunningham Children’s Home Benefit, Urbana, IL

Posted by ewquilts on March 1, 2016 in Speaking Engagements |

I have been invited to be the guest speaker for this year’s Festival of Quilts, a fundraising event for Cunningham Children’s Home in Urbana, IL.  I will be presenting my 25 min video “A Piece of Me” followed by a question/answer period during which I will show three of my quilts.  Talks will be at 10:30A and 2:30P in the Administration Lounge.

Arial image of Cunningham Campus
Cunningham Children’s Home, 1301 North Cunningham Avenue, Urbana, IL
Cunningham Children’s Home’s Festival of Quilts joins the Boneyard Arts Festival this spring as one of more than 90 galleries showcasing the arts in Central Illinois. This year Cunningham is excited to present a collection of show quilts that creatively blur the lines between conventional quilt making and fine art.


Posted by EW on January 2, 2016 in Uncategorized |

(Click on image to view larger.)

Face of a Stranger (self portrait)
71 x 98

I believe Icarus was not failing as he fell, but just coming to the end of his triumph.

– Jack Gilbert

July 15-October 11, 2016, Art Quilts of the Midwest; National Quilt Museum, Paducah, Kentucky

Posted by ewquilts on December 4, 2015 in Exhibits |

As part of it’s year-long focus on the role of place in quilt making, the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky will host a collection of quilts from Linzee Kull McCray’s book Art Quilts of the Midwest.  I plan to exhibit One Life, as neither of my quilts featured in the book (Venus Transit, Portmanteau) are available for exhibit at this time.

One Life, 2013

Poppy Field (aka Cross-Quarter Embrace)

Posted by ewquilts on December 3, 2015 in Inspiration, WIP (Work-In-Progress) |
March 2014

I was recently thumbing through a book about weaving when I came across a design that really excited me as a potential quilt idea.  I wouldn’t make the quilt in black and red, but this is just a simple way of remembering that basic concept so that I can later have the fun of choosing colors.  One thing I love about this design is that it holds together no matter how it is oriented.

July 11, 2015
I’m advancing the inspiration of this found design (weaving pattern) toward one of my latest creative goals: colossal quilts. I want to make large-scale (~8′ x 25′) work inspired by my fascination with the patina of industrial objects (boxcars that pass by my window each day, and the fishing boats recently encountered in Bayfield, WI)

July 20, 2015
Cross Quarter Embrace as imagined completed and on exhibit (projected size 8.5×24 feet):
December 2015
It’s early December 2015 and Iowa City’s had its first snowfall.  I’ve embarked on creating this colossal quilt, Cross Quarter Embrace, but have struggled to get it off the ground.  My typical use of a variety of tones and fabrics of similar color to create one overall color isn’t working for a piece of this scale.  So, I am exploring new options.  As I start down this path, I am reminded of how inspiration comes from so many places – including Keith Haring’s iconic Act Up imagery engaged to educate the public about the HIV/AIDS crisis during the mid-80’s.  The AIDS crisis was concurrent with my own coming out process and permanently shaped me spiritually, sexually and artistically.  It’s funny how experiences, some barely even memories, linger and seep into present-day experience and into that which I feel so deeply compelled to express.  It is through the expression and creation of quilt objects that I come to a deeper understanding of why I need to do so – through the recall of all that has brought me to this present moment.
January 2016

My progress is slower than I would’ve liked or projected, but I am happy with the results so far.  Life has a way of intruding on studio time.  I’m having some structural problems with the piece being 100% square, but I am hoping that it will “quilt out” in the hand-quilting process.  I will quickly run out of room in my small studio/home to view the quilt in total as I make it.  This will present a  new creative challenge for me which I’m determined to find a way around, as it is critical to step back and view the piece in total to make sure it’s working as a whole.  I plan to have the top completed by the end of April 2016 at the latest.
…and on Memorial Day, May 30, 2016, I picked up this project again.  I discovered a mathematical miscalculation in the first section I finished (red/turquoise) having to do with alternating rectangles and squares which resulted in odd/even number of seam allowances per finished sewn row.  I would ultimately decide to “salvage” my second version by finishing it with only square pieces – and it may in fact be my favorite of the three.  In order to avoid total demoralization, I started fresh from the center and will work my way out from there.  My new finish goal is by end of August 2016.

As of September 2016, I had three distinct pieces completed on the road to the final piece.  As of January 2017, I have the mid-sized piece (~8×11 ft) back from the hand quilters, and the binding is on.  I am waiting for the first small (~4×5 ft) “sketch” and the final piece (~7×21 ft) to be hand quilted.  Here are a few more photos:

version 1
version 2
stepping off possible quilting design for version 2
with my hand-quilting broker in Shipshewana, Indiana

all remaining photos are of the final version (3)

 on my way to final version

final version (top only) complete, September 2016

August 2017
Putting finishing touches on the final version which I have renamed
Poppy Field after this one along Morse Road, just north of Iowa City, Iowa.

laying out 21-foot long quilt to measure for hanging sleeve

January 5-March 5, 2016, Art Quilts of the Midwest; International Quilt Study Center, Lincoln, Nebraska

Posted by ewquilts on December 3, 2015 in Exhibits |
Drawn from the recent book, Art Quilts of the Midwest, by Linzee Kull McCray, the quilts selected for this exhibition hint at the ways in which the Midwest’s geography, weather, people, and culture influence the work of quilt artists from the region.  The exhibition will be presented in two rotations between January 5 and May 8, 2016.  Venus Transit will be exhibited in the first rotation (January 5-March 5, 2016). 

Thanks to the generous loan of collectors Stephen Kotsines and John Hecht, the IQSC will be exhibiting Venus Transit, one of two quilts of mine featured in Art Quilts of the Midwest.

International Quilt Study Center, Lincoln, Nebraska

Venus Transit, 2012


Pumphrey Family Gallery
International Quilt Study Center
Lincoln, Nebraska

April 14, 2015, “Art Quilts of the Midwest” book talk; Iowa City Public Library, Iowa City, IA

Posted by ewquilts on March 31, 2015 in Speaking Engagements |
Tuesday, April 14 7:00-8:30PM
Iowa City Public Library
Meeting Room A (1st floor)
123 S. Linn Street, Iowa City, IA
Art Quilts of the Midwest author Linzee Kull McCray, foreword contributor and fiber artist Astrid Bennett and I will each participate in this Prairie Lights bookstore-sponsored event.  Linzee will talk about the genesis of the book, as well as featured artists’ motivations and inspirations. 
The evening will conclude with a large-screen full screening of my video “A Piece of Me.”

 with longtime friend, Suzanne Koury

 introductions by Maeve Clark, ICPL librarian

 Linzee Kull McCray presents

Astrid Bennett presents

With “One Life” (quilt)

With “Map of the World” (quilt)

with Suzanne and my quilt (Map of the World)