Travel Log Quilt #4

The next quilt in my “Travel Log Quilt” series is one that was made from a trip that my daughter, Jenny, took back in 2006.   Now I know that this isn’t MY travel quilt, but I had been to the same area LONG before digital cameras were a thing, so I claim it anyway.

She was a Freshman at University of Georgia and decided to do “May-mester” (a short 2 week term) in Australia.  Since she had been born in Australia this seemed to be the most natural thing for her to do!! She had a wonderful time there, studying the flora and fauna of such an amazing continent.

Probably her favorite part of the trip was time spent on the ocean in the North-eastern state of Queensland.  She enjoyed snorkeling, sky-diving (NOT part of the course) and watching the sea turtles as they made their way from the nest to their home in the ocean.

When she returned with photos from the trip, I was enamored with this picture of a gorgeous sea turtle floating along in the ocean………

….and also these photos of other undersea creatures……

At the time I was doing a lot of work with photos in quilts and wanted to do something that mixed the photos and fabric.   I started out by setting up a “new” photo that placed the turtle slightly off-center with lots of ocean surrounding……

Each of the lines in the photo represents a small portion of the ocean that I “grabbed” from somewhere else in the photo. It looks choppy here, but the final printing looked great. I printed this photo on fabric using “Printed Treasures” fabric and then started adding”stuff to it.

The three yellow and black fish are all the same photo but just printed in different sizes. They are appliqued to the ocean…..

The reef picture was also printed but I placed it over some fabrics that had a similar look…..

Back then I didn’t have the confidence to free-hand the thread corals but drew them on a wash-out stabilizer, sewed them in place, and then washed the stabilizer away.

The other small fish were simply cut out and appliqued in place without any detail added. I really wanted to give the impression of a school of fish swimming along……

Finally, I added a fabric “coral” and then thread painted over it…..

I was SO pleased with the final quilt…..

“No Barriers”

I loved mixing the photo prints, fabrics and thread work, and I loved the way the quilt spilled out into the border!!

But mostly, I love that it is a fun reminder of Jenny’s trip to Australia……

Travel Log Quilt Update

A few days back I posted about the third in my “Travel Log” quilt series, a quilt called “Eyeful Perspectives”.

As I ended the post, I had the thought that I could fix the quilt by cutting off the part that I didn’t particularly like and I acted on that thought…..

I am thrilled with the new look!!! It still brings the same emotion but without the distraction of the incorrect body shape.

This is one reason that I love to blog….it helps me to think thru solutions to problems!!

Travel Log Quilt #3

For my 3rd Travel Log Quilt, we have to travel to gay Paree!! In July of 2004, Michael spent a month in Germany teaching at one of the universities. We decided that the kids (Brian age 19 and Jenny age 17) and I would meet up with him in Paris for a week of sightseeing.

The trip was a lot of fun as we viewed many of the art galleries, especially enjoying the smaller galleries like the Monet, Rodin and Picasso. Of course, the biggest pull for the trip was the magnificent Eiffel Tower.

While on top of the tower we took lots of photos of the Paris skyline, enjoying the slightly hazy views….

After we were back at ground level, I took this photo of Jenny viewing the tower…..

A couple of years later, I decided that I wanted to make a quilt that was a mixture of photographs and fabric collage. This was the resulting quilt……

Everything above the trees was done with photos printed on fabric but the trees and everything below is from fabric.

Now, I like the memory behind this quilt, but I did NOT do the portrait of Jenny correctly. Her body shape simply isn’t right.

A few years ago I tried to fix it…..

….but it still isn’t right.

The problem is that I LOVE her hair but everything below that just doesn’t work.

As I have written this post, I am wondering about cutting off the quilt at her shoulders….

What do you think????

Travel Log Quilt #2

Last time I showed you “Take Me Back To Guana Quay“, the FIRST in my unintentional Travel Log Quilt series.

This second quilt is called “Bells, Baths and Bidets” and, as every good quilt should, there is a story behind it!!

In 1998, Michael attended a conference in Florence, Italy. We decided that the kids and I would join him after the conference was over. We visited Florence, Stresa and Venice but, by far, our favorite was Rome.

When we arrived in our hotel there was a church bell ringing. Having now spent a month in Rome, I know that it is not an unusual occurrence, but being from Watkinsville, Georgia, we were not used to that sound. The family rushed to the closest window to see where the sounds were coming from…..

….and found this gorgeous bell tower just across the street…..

Being good tourists, we now headed to the bathroom to check out the amenities……

We found a curtain-less shower and a bidet….something VERY unusual for our kids. BUT, what caught MY QUILTER’S eye was the ceramic tile in the top center of this photo……

Sorry for the bad photo….but this was 1998!!

Much to my children’s embarrassment I pulled out tracing paper and traced the design in full….

Note….I am not sure WHY I had tracing paper with me but it was certainly fortuitous!!!

When I got home, I did some additional work on the pattern……

It was certainly a fiddly quilt to make including some machine applique and paper piecing…..

….and just a lot of intricate, time consuming piecing!!!!

But, I loved how it turned out……

When I started thinking about a name, it had to be “Bells, Baths & Bidets!!”…another reminder of a fun hotel in Rome!!

Travel Log Quilt #1

My very first “Travel Log Quilt” is called “Take Me Back To Guana Quay”……..

Take Me Back to Guana Quay

In July of 1997, our family spent two weeks on or around the ocean. The trip started with 4 days on a sailboat in the Florida Keys, followed by 10 days on Guana Quay Island, part of the Abaco chain in the Bahamas.

It was a fun trip, as our kids (ages 12 & 10) had never been on a plane (that they remembered), never been on a sailboat, never been fishing and never snorkeled!! We spent much of our time watching for dolphins, birds and other ocean creatures…..

I actually took fabric on the trip and started making a few of the blocks by hand, but quickly decided since I would be doing a lot of paper piecing, it would be better to wait until I got home. Instead I spent the time looking for inspiration for the individual blocks in the quilt.

At that time I had made a couple of quilts using the ideas in Judy Hopkins book “One-of-a-Kind Quilts”

The idea behind this book is that you can put lots of different sizes of blocks together to form a pleasing design.

Most of the designs came from existing patterns but I designed the sailboat and the lighthouse myself….

I had SO much fun looking thru design after design until I found exactly what I wanted to use in the quilt. Some were paper pieced and some were simply cutouts that were appliqued to the background fabric…..

My favorite block was the large one in the bottom left corner….

I had never done any thread work and greatly enjoyed trying the different techniques to make the coral.

After making the blocks, I was excited to think about tying them together using the “Storm At Sea” block.

To finish the quilt off properly, I did Trapunto quilting around the bottom right corner of the quilt. Be sure to look back at the first photo and exclaim how great it looks!!!!

Yes, I learned an important lesson with this quilt…..if you go to THAT much trouble to do special quilting, be sure that the background fabric will actually SHOW that work. The only way to see the intricate shells is to add a light from the side…..


Anyway, this post has gone on far too long, but suffice it to say that this was the first of my Travel Log Quilts and it got me started on a 23 year journey (so far) of making quilts that reminded us of our travels.

So, PLEASE take me back to Guana Quay!!!…….

Working in a Series

For years I have heard quilter’s talk about “working in a series”. When I heard this phrase, I always imagined having a particular design or color scheme that I used in EVERY SINGLE QUILT that I made…….and that just seemed daunting….and maybe a bit boring.

On Saturday morning I was listening to “The Quilting Arts Podcast” while I endured enjoyed my walk thru the neighborhood. Susan Brubaker Knapp suggested that you have to be deliberate to work in a series. The co-host, Vivika Hansen DeNegre disagreed, saying that sometimes, as artists, we work in a series without realizing it…..maybe exploring portraiture or various themes.

As I listened further, I realized that I do have a series in progress…..Travel Log Quilts!!

This comes as no surprise, but Michael and I LOVE to travel!! We lived in Australia for almost 6 years, soaking in the differences in culture. Starting in 2007, we began traveling all over the world for him to teach and work in research projects. Since that time, we have made 23 trips, visiting 14 countries, for a total of 68 weeks!!!

This meme effectively describes my thoughts on this subject……

Over the years, I have turned many of our photos and memories into quilts, thus my “quilting in a series”. To date, I have made TWENTY-ONE quilts based on our travel and, honestly, many of my inspirations for future projects have started with travel photos.

These quilts have varied greatly in form but the theme has always been the same….it’s a beautiful world and we need to celebrate it!!!!!

Over the next weeks, I will show you some of my “Travel Log Quilts”, so, sit back, get comfortable….here come the vacation photos!!!