Friday 3 May 2024

New Theme

A big thank you to everyone who linked up 'Harmony' quilts. It was, again, a wonderful collection and I'm always amazed at how all the quilts are so different, given that we work from the same prompt. I'd also like to wish Barbara and Fiona Happy Travelling :)

Now we have three options remaining:

1. Vintage

2. Spices

3. Mosaic

And the random generator wheel has chosen...

So our new theme is 'Vintage'.

The Reveal Day will be 1st August at 10.00 GMT and, in the meantime, you are of course welcome to post anything related to this theme or art quilting in general here on The Endeavourers.

Happy Sewing!

Janine :)

Wednesday 1 May 2024


I struggled to think of anything interesting to do for this theme so I settled on constructing a Fibonacci spiral. So far as I understand it, this construction is used to create a harmonic composition in paintings and you can see see some examples overlayed with an outline of the spiral here. I'm not entirely convinced that features in the paintings aren't being selected to fit the template but you can see what you think.

I was also hoping this would harmonise in the Makery with the yet-to-be-finished SAHRR I made recently but, despite using the same fabrics, I'm not sure that it does!

I'm sorry I'm posting late as last night and this morning I was struggling with the internet. I really need to start scheduling these posts :(

I'm really looking forward to seeing what everyone else has made this time :)


Harmony. I spent a lot of time thinking about this prompt. I looked up the definition, I thought about harmony in music and in nature. I asked hubs and friends what came to mind for harmony. Ideas popped into my head, but nothing really felt right. 

One day, I sent a text to two of my quilting friends asking if either of them would like this panel. For some reason, neither of them were interested (yes, I'm being snarky). 

As I sat and stared at this panel, a thought came to me: Can I take something out of harmony and put it back into harmony in a different way? Hmm. That might be fun to explore. 

There was cutting involved. A lot of cutting. Very fussy cutting. I took my time, and I used a few different sizes of scissors because some of the pieces were small and detailed. 

Once the cutting was done, I considered how to attach the new pieces onto the new background. I opted for a glue stick; it was not a good choice, but I made it work. I neglected to take photos of this process, but it was a sticky mess. 

Then came the quilting. I managed to find thread that matched quite well, which made me happy because I really wanted to hide the free motion quilting I was doing. It also made it difficult to photograph, so here are a few photos. Hopefully you can see a little bit of the detail. 

And here's Harmony, in a new way. Except for the background and face, all the parts are from the panel. 

This finished quilt measures 20" x 24". The background fabric is from a Tula Pink line, and to quilt the background, I randomly followed the swirls here and there, using a light blue thread. 

This was definitely not what I thought I would end up with for the Harmony challenge, but I sure had fun! 


The Secret Chord

 I had trouble coming up with a strong design for this prompt.  To me, Japanese textiles are stunning examples of harmony, but they are perfect the way they are.  I could just display some fabrics without doing anything more to them, but I think that would be cheating.  :)  And when I tried to come up with a design of my own, it was all too easy for "harmonious" to slide off into "boring."

Finally I decided to translate a piece of music into colors and textures.  I chose the Leonard Cohen song Hallelujah, because its chord changes would provide some movement to a composition.

For each note of the scale, I chose the color that represents how I visualize it.  (This is based on their placement on a piano keyboard and not on their tone; it would be interesting to know if I ever had a piano instruction book that used these colors!)

The musical scale as I visualize it.

Then those colors formed triads that each represented a chord.  

This group represents A minor.

I added some decorative machine stitching for the flow of the music, and fused the blocks to some beautiful silk columns.

"The Secret Chord"

I feel that this does capture the idea of harmony, but it isn't as strong a piece as I would like.  It would benefit from being arranged with a beautiful vase and a branch of orchids!  :)

To read more about how I made this, you can visit my home blog, Deep in the Heart of Textiles.

Harmony in quilt making

When the theme of Harmony came up on the wheel, my mind immediately went to music and I had imaginings of quilts with music notes, or intricate lines weaving in and out of each other in waves like sound waves amplyfying each other.  I was very surprised that I went in a different direction. 
I think its because I was having fun just making quilt tops with no purpose in mind other than to make.  My mind enjoyed being in the moment of fabric selection and playing with colours to get them to flow and live well together, and it occurred to me that is Harmony too.   

I think it is something we do subconsciously as quilters (unless we are using contrast or asymmetry to draw attention to something specific), we strive to make the pieces fit together in a way that is pleasing or balanced.  
I was in a bee of 12 people, and the 11 hive mates made me drunkards path blocks.   I got a 5 pinks and a mixture of other colours and I was struggling to come up with a cohesive design for them.  So I decided to make 2 quilts.  Out of the 12 blocks 1 had a dark centre, and I love the block but it was fighting me in every way I used it, trying to get it to play nice with the others.  Until I added in more dark.  I call this quilt Garden Paths, as I imagine the diagonal lines as paths and the triangles as raised flower beds. Now it feels to me that the dark centre belongs and all is resolved.  Harmony achieved.

So with that in mind I had another challenge this quarter.  A friend asked me if I would be in a bee for her and make a block for her quilt inspired by Portuguese tiles.  I had the opportunity to visit Portugal in April when we went for a short city break to Porto and it was glorious!  Beautiful weather, lots of walkign up and down hills, tasting port wine and eating very well.  There was also the chance to see lots of different tiles, all in various shades of lovely blue with white and smatterings of yellow here and there. 

Some were very intricate and some were painterly, depicting life in the city.  So I had a go at designing my own tile, and I came up with this design that I thought would repeat really well.

And here it is tiled as a quilt.

On its own though as an individual piece I thought the secondary line made it feel unfinished.  It belongs in a group and the line leading off to nowhere felt wrong to me, but I liked the idea of it, so I cropped it.  It still frames the central motif but doesn't pull you out of the frame.  This made me feel better.  Is that Harmony too- feeling in tune with your work?

And tiled it could look like this with grouting lines (aka skinny sashing) in between.

So I had a go at making it.  It was trickier than I thought and the applique is far from perfect but I think the idea works. 

Apologies it's not quilted or finished as a piece of art.  I gave it to my friend for inclusion in her quilt and I didn't have enough time to make a second one.  It's interesting where the theme will take you and I really enjoyed the journey on this one.



This was a difficult one for me. I thought about music but did not want to make a music quilt. Then I googled 'harmony in art' and figured out that anything that was pleasing to the eye was harmonious - not helpful. The other thing I thought about was people relations but, to me that has been done a million times and is almost a cliché. So I was stumped until I was looking at the wall one evening and realized I had the answer:

Aikido – The Way of Harmony – is a Japanese martial art that was created by Morihei Ueshiba in the early 20th century. “Ai” means harmony, unifying. “Ki” means spirit or energy. “Do” means way or path. Ueshiba sensei’s goal was to create an art that practitioners could use to defend themselves while also protecting their attackers from injury. The practitioner uses the energy or momentum of the attacker, usually merges with it and taking control before either throwing them away or putting them on the ground with a joint lock.

A little personal history: I began practicing aikido in 1969 and practiced for 30+ years off and on because of moving around a lot. I had instructors (sensei’s) from the west coast to the east coast and the Midwest of the US and achieved black belts in two styles the art (one from Schools of Ueshiba and the other from Shin Shin Toitsu AKA Ki Aikido). Here is a photo of the quilt as it is now hanging beside some of my certificates. I loved practicing, especially when I was the only female and could throw the males around. J Making this quilt brought back a lot of good memories.

I did not do a lot of sewing for this piece. I printed the kanji onto fabric then sewed, with black thread, around each segment. In the past I did a couple pieces of appliqued kanji but these were a little too complicated.

This last photo is of a painting that my husband did of me in 1993.