MY WORK ON DISPLAY

Posted October 27th, 2016 by Ellen and filed in Exhibitions, For Sale, My Work, News, Other Artists, Quilting Tips

PIEDMONT ARTS

LET’S CELEBRATE

10th ANNIVERSARY – THE ART OF THE QUILT

NOV. 12 – DEC. 31, 2016

My piece, “On the Road to Oblivion” will be on display in an invitational exhibition next month.  I am honored to have my work included in the 10th anniversary show of “The Piedmont Arts Association.”

22onroad2oblivion2

58″ Square

Available for purchase.  Original design.  Copyright Ellen Guerrant

piedmont-arts

Cover image:  “Broken Beech:  What Was, Will Be” by Eileen Doughty

WHERE:  Piedmont Arts, 215 Starling Avenue, Martinsville VA 24112

217-6322-3221      piedmontarts.org

Buzzing

Posted November 17th, 2013 by Ellen and filed in Other Artists, Quilting Tips, Vintage

Six hand-pieced bowtie quilt blocks, circa 1935, each 3″ square.

And there are many more!

Kay’s Christmas quilt – almost finished.

Elizabeth’s autumn leaves creation.

Kay’s fabulous tote.

Elizabeth advises Debra on quilting motifs for her red and green applique’ beauty.

A portion of the large, bright meeting room.

Charlotte’s skyline from the 10th floor of Elizabeth’s building.

Being an artist is often a lonely occupation.  I need quiet and solitude when designing, but missed the fellowship I’d known in groups to which I’d belonged years ago.  I missed sewing with my late Mother and sewing with my sister.  I needed friends!

Early this year, I was lucky enough to grab the last spot in a newly formed quilting bee through my quilt guild.  And it was for folks in my neighborhood!  Yea!  I purposely joined this group because I knew almost none of the members.

This venture has turned out to be just what I needed.  As a member of the Queen Bee, I’m getting to know some great women.  We laugh, we share, we listen, and of course we EAT!  What began as two-hour morning meetings has turned into quilt-a-thons.

Elizabeth was our hostess this month.  Her retirement home has a fabulously huge room on the 10th floor. It was lovely and bright, complete with hot coffee and tea and the most divine blueberry scones I’ve ever had!  Oh my.

Above are photos of our day. Word has gotten out that “the quilters” were in the building.  A woman and her daughter arrived with a grandmother’s flower garden quilt top complete wiwth pathways of 1930’s green.  Her daughter had dozens of 3″ bowtie blocks, all perfectly hand-pieced with the tiniest stitches.  These women were not quilters and needed information.  “What do I do with these?  How do I finish this?  Do you know anyone who could quilt this for me?”  We oohed and ahed over the 1930’s treasures – such a treat to see.  And the mother and daughter left armed with information on how to finish and care for their family heirlooms.  It was a great day!

Making Do

Posted December 13th, 2012 by Ellen and filed in Dyeing Tips, Holidays, My Work, Quilting Tips, Vintage


Vintage textiles and sewing goods have always been loves of mine.  I’ve  collected them for decades.  Amongst my stash of wares is a box full of cording, twill tape, rayon spools, rick rack and bias binding. This year, I’m making a few small Christmas gifts, but wasn’t pleased with my fabrics at hand for finishing.  Admittedly, I really didn’t want to search for and make binding from scratch either, thinking it would take too much time.  My solution?  Sacrifice a couple packages from my vintage collection and paint them with a wash.  I’m very pleased with the results!  Back in the day, Wright’s binding was made from a very nice cotton with a crisp hand.  It turned out exactly as I’d imagined.

My method:

1.  Moisten bias binding* and wring out.  Wrinkles are desirable.

2.  Shake out binding slightly and place in small plastic bag.

3.  Add a small amount of watered down fabric paint.  I used one made for silk.

4.  Squeeze bag, making sure paint gets on all areas of the binding.  Light areas are fine, as is an uneven tie-dye look.

5.  Lay slightly wrinkled binding on plastic or waxed paper to dry.  Press prior to use.

*I used vintage, 100%  white cotton.

Have fun!

Seriously Sidetracked

Posted February 4th, 2012 by Ellen and filed in Family, My Work, Personal, Quilting Tips

Hello dear readers,

This is the longest I’ve ever gone without writing.  When I began my blog almost five years ago, I posted almost daily.  My apologies to those of you who came to my page only to find nothing new.  Thank you all for not giving up on me.

I have been in a situation I can only describe as being “seriously sidetracked.”  Last year’s calendar was well planned.  We were going to remodel our kitchen as a 40th anniversary present to ourselves.  We were going to transform our back garden.  We were going to……………the list goes on.

Things began to seriously back up following my first cataract surgery.  Not being able to see  clearly for three weeks meant I accomplished little.  The second surgery left me equally challenged.  I’d just undergone my first carpal tunnel surgery when we had a call that our daughter-in-law was in labor…..seven weeks ahead of her due date.

Miracle of miracles, little Leven Kai Guerrant arrived early the next day, weighing 4 pounds .02 ounces.  Tiny but perfect, Leven was able to go home after three weeks in the NICU.  Soon after, our DIL underwent gallbladder surgery to remove the badly infected organ which had triggered early labor.

After Leven’s arrival, all bets were off.  There was nothing more important to us than spending time with her and her parents.  We spent the next few weeks traveling to Greensboro for visits.  What fun to watch our first little grandchild grow and develop.

This fall, I made a trip to IL for my high school reunion and to visit relatives long unseen.  The holidays arrived all too soon and left even more quickly.

With all we had going on, I’m afraid I let my health slip.  I stopped going to the gym, assuming I’d get right back as soon as……..well, you know.  I’m finally getting serious again about walking and eating right.  As soon as the incision from my second carpal tunnel surgery heals, I can get back to the gym, the track and the bike.

During this long period of being unable to work – couldn’t see, couldn’t use my hands and so on – I’ve dreamed about the quilts I’ll be making or the sweaters I’ll be knitting for Leven.  My work is very abstract, but I’ve been thinking about making traditional quilts!  What a change that would be for me.

The piece at the top of this post was made in about 1981 during a class to beat all classes.  I studied with the late Mary Katherine Jarrell who began quilting lessons* with a demonstration of what a “proper” sewing basket should contain.  We were to make nine different blocks over the next weeks.

I planned my designs with fabrics which would work together in a sampler quilt.  The border fabric was and is one of my very favorites.  The hand-quilted piece was a gift to my DH and hung on our dining room wall for many years.

Sadly, some of the fabrics have disintegrated.  But I’ve kept the quilt as an example of the kind of work I used to do and as a memorial to dear Mary Katherine.  I hope my hands and eyes heal sufficiently to allow me the joy once more of making and hand quilting traditional quilts.

*If you’re new to quilting, treat yourself to a “quilting 101” class with the best teacher you can find.  You’ll never regret it.  If you can’t find a class near you, contact me.

Design Inspiration

Posted October 28th, 2011 by Ellen and filed in My Work, Quilting Tips

People often ask me where I get inspiration for my quilts.  Many times the title comes first, stemming from an idea I have in my heart.  But the graphic lines of the bleachers at my old high school caught my eye when I was home recently.  Could this photo lead to a new quilt?  Hmm….