Would you like to have a class with Ellen?

Ellen would be delighted to have a class with you or your group! You can check out her classes at www.ellenanneeddy.com. She also offers independent studio time in her studio in Indiana. Talk to Ellen about classes at 219-921-0885, or contact her scheduler Sarah at 616-485-5646 to set a date

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Ellen Anne Eddy
Author of Thread Magic: The Enchanted World of Ellen Anne Eddy Fiber artist, author and teacher
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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pat Winter's Crazy Gatherings

One of the treasures of the Indiana Dunes area is Pat Winters, of Winter Gatherings. Pat is without a doubt one of the most inventive and talented crazy quilters I have ever seen.  She has an unerring  color eye, a wild sense of humor and imagination. She's known mostly as a web presence, because her family responsibilities make it harder for her to travel.She's like no one else. Her skill with a needle is unparalleled.

Pat's work first came to public attention when Quilting Art featured the incredible crazy quilt book she made for her mother after her father's death. She's gone on since then to do countless webzines and projects with people all over the world. She's an astonishment.

.Pat is now offering what she calls Crazy Gatherings.  She has a delightful studio  and classroom in her beautifully refinished prairie farm home  outside Chesterton, IN and offers her inspiration and skills in a intimate personal setting. She's offering classes in painting laces and dryer sheets, crazy quilt covered cigar boxes, and many other possibilities. A day with Pat is a rare treat. If you are a hand embroiderer wishing to stretch, someone who loves Victorian wonders, or just want to touch beautiful embroidered objects, you must have one of her classes

Here's what she says about her upcoming classes

Classes will be available after Oct first and ongoing so if you miss out on a class, no worries. There will be more. Classes can be organized at your convenience if you have a group of 4. I also offer private classes (one on one) .
If you feel like enjoying a day in the country, email me at 
angell100@comcast.net and set up a date for a fun and relaxing class where you will spend a day with a teacher who makes sure you "get it" in a comfortable and well lit environment.
There is nothing like paying for a class and wasting your day returning home with no idea of what you just learned.
 Refreshments always available throughout class time. Dress comfy and casual. Kick off your shoes!
Become a Gathered friend and receive class and merchandise discounts.
*Gathered Friend~ A return student will receive future classes at lower cost and freebies!

You'll find more about Pat at

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Musings: Art outside the Box Lost Art:Down the Rabbit Hole and Back Again

If art is about love ( not romantic love, but passion and expression) what do we do about love lost? Recently I spoke with someone who  had an odd and unpleasant experience with a gallery that  tried to steal work of hers. They did not succeed, due to her savvy and  good sense.  The gallery was shameless if nameless.The real damage from that kind of thing is that the world is never the same after that. When someone chooses to steal or deceive you for theft, you've fallen down the rabbit hole, and, like Alice, much will not make sense the same way again. It opened an old wound for myself. Eight years ago, I had a number of works stolen.

 Theft is a  rude shock to all that, particularly for those of us who have lived in the quilt world. 

The medievals had a notion about what made a good village. You took the prettiest girl, put her on the best horse and gave her a bag of gold to carry. If no one bothered her, the horse or the gold, it was a good village. Or everyone was sleeping.

The quilt world has always been  that kind of village. It's the land of everyone's mother and grandmother.  So it's been painful to watch as it's become acknowledged as art we've had a rise in theft, deception and shoplifting. The art world is a less virtuous place. It has a history of theft, deception and wrong ownership. It does indicate that quilts are being taken seriously as art. You don't steal something with no value.

It does make you wonder. Why would they do this? Need or greed? Rage? Self-righteousness? What need could be so strong? It's not like needing to feed a child or clothe someone.  The effort to sell a piece without it's provinance is silly. Most art sells for the price it sells for because we know who made it.It's value is largely in the name of the creator. There's almost no way to know why.The heart is a labyrinth.

Can we instill the same kind of decency you see in the quilt world into the art world? Good luck. It's much more ego driven and that seems to open some sticky doors on issues of morality and basic honesty. I've had even "honest" dealers remove labels from quilts without permission because they were afraid someone would contact me personally. Their fear of my potential lack of honesty destroyed theirs.They never understood what my problem was. It was, of course, all about them. And it was, of course several of those unlabeled quilts that disappeared.

 I let the quilts go, knowing they were really gone. What I know, is that even lost, those quilts changed me. I am a stronger artist for having made those quilts. They stretched my skill. They taught me to see something different. They were stepping stones in my path. 

Most pieces leave me at some point. Usually they sell. If they sell to someone I know, I may still have access to them, but not always. But all of my work stands in different places of my development and that cannot be taken or sullied. 

In a way, art is the byproduct of living as an artist. Sort of like silk is the byproduct of having silk worms. My real product is my own skill, vision, ability and responsibility to the things I'm able to create. The art just happens on the way.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Ellen Anne Eddy's Dye Day Workbook is ready to order!

 Ellen Anne Eddy, the author of Thread Magic,
takes you through a short course on color
theory and sponge dyeing. Ellen’s fabric is legendary for
having light sources, sunsets, ponds, lakes, forests, and
swamps, all within the dyeing itself. Ellen gives you the
information you need to dye your own amazing fabrics.
Complete with sources, how to’s and dye charts.

My new book, Ellen Anne Eddy's Dye Day Workbook has just shipped from the printer. We're expecting it to arrive on Monday, October 12th. You can order it signed for you at www.ellenanneeddy.comI'm so proud of this book. It's full color. It's a gentle helpful color course, it's got a nice set of step by step instructions for dyeing both fabric and thread and it's got coordinating color charts that make sense of both the Dharma and Pro Chem names (which are not the same and are very confusing). And it has a full source list to help you find exactly what you need to dye your heart out.It's written to be a support to my dye class, but you could also use it as a guide to in your own studio.
Order yours today!


Other Books by Ellen Anne Eddy
Dragonfly Sky
Quick and Easy Machine Binding Techniques
Tigrey Leads the Parade
Thread Magic:
The Enchanted World of Ellen Anne Eddy
Coming soon:
Ladybug's Garden
The Visual Path: Designing Quilts that Move

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Musings: Art outside the Box:Other People's Stuff

 As someone who's dyed fabric for over 20 years, it's almost unthinkable for me to use someone else's fabric in an art quilt. It's almost like putting on someone else's underwear or using their tooth brush. It feels very strange and wrong somehow. I'm used to the definitions I get from what I do in a dye room. I can create a whole world just in the dyeing and then embellish from there. I play with quilt fabric for my own entertainment, but usually what I do is make myself aprons. I quilt with hand-dye.

And I would have said that was written in stone if I hadn't gone back to making baby quilts. One of the ministries we do in my church is make quilts for babies and shut ins. I swore I would never do that kind of quilting again. Of course, that kind of quilting is only a little bit about blankets. It's about caring for people and learning how to give to people. It's about building community. It's a whole other art form, and absolutely vital. We forget that in our mothers' time so much of the world ran on what we called "service organizations". In a world where people are struggling to make things work with two jobs, volunteerism is almost impossible. But it covered a great deal of need, in giving to the community and in being able to have something to give. Both those states are a vital ying/yang of basic human existence. We give, we take. Hopefully we live in a balanced world where both of those things are possible.

So I found myself finishing a quilt for a lady with a brain tumor. We'd shopped specially for that quilt. Lots of Kaye Fasset, an amazing cat fabric, and some contemporary abstracts. I showed it to a friend. It was nothing but  nine patches. The people I'm working with have some pretty limited skills. We tend to keep it simple.But she said"You're fabric's doing the work for you here." She was so right. With fabric that pretty, who cared? The lady loved it. She's been taking it along with her for her treatments. That quilt is busy doing it's job.

That being said, how much of our art is totally ours?Certainly when we use commercial fabric, it's easy to forget that there's a designer in a back room who it really belongs to. It's their art. But what we choose to do with it is ours.

Ever since the first calicoes and Jacobean prints came from India, we've redefined, reworked, undone, redone and embellished other people's art into our own. I don't often use other people's fabric. But I do look at photos for anatomic information about animals I draw. All art is derivative. It all comes from somewhere. Perhaps the question is, are we honest enough to fess up to saying from where? I won't use calico. But I do find I have a weakeness for brocade. And when I'm done with it, it doesn't much look like what I started with

So the next time you see an amazing piece of fabric that is the work of someone else's hands, celebrate it. Buy it. Cut into it. It's only fabric. It only bleeds in the wash.
Monday, October 5, 2009

Musings: Art outside the Box: The Ressurection of the Trash and the Ugly Duckling

I've always  loved the story of the ugly duckling. It has to do with having been called ugly a great deal in my childhood. I don't think I was. I think it was simply something that the other children knew hurt. It was a common enough occurrence that at the time I took it at face value. There were no dates, no flirtations, no involved preening sessions in the mirror. Every time I tried it it became part of a cruel joke. Instead I fled into a room with a sewing machine. Now, that room ( not that particular room but rooms like it) are my studio. And I flee to that room not out of fear, but because it's a place I know I belong. Like the duckling, all I had to do is survive long enough to grow into myself. And to have a few people who were willing to support me while I did that.

How many little girls are ugly ducklings? We are brutal on our little girls. My best guess is that all of them are in dread of that decision, handed down by anyone upon them. My best guess is that if our models of beauty have to starve to be beautiful enough, no on is. Not by that yardstick. And for those who do and are, perhaps other yardsticks are equally cruel. I remember a friend of mine who was a model. She told me men thought less of her because she wasn't smart enough. Smart enough for what? Pretty enough for what? What if we valued courage, cunning and wit? Or kindness? Or compassion and a love of peace?

I had one of my quilters tell me she'd found a fish I wouldn't let her throw away in class. It was a hard study. She'd struggled very hard. The fish had a great deal of potential, past the troubles she was having creating it. My first impulse when she told me she found it was to wonder if I'd done a cruelty, in fishing the fish out of the trash.

Have I thrown away art? Well, yes. Not often. I don't finish everything if it really isn't working. I've always believed in taking something as far as it was helpful. But it was too good a fish to not let him find his way. To let him grow into who he was to be. I can't tell you how relieved I was to hear she felt that way too.

So often, something we take from the trash, something discarded, disregarded has a point and a place once we've let it grow into itself.

These fish almost hit the trash. I had made their background first and them second.  I put them in their pond and they were wrong. Not just a little wrong. Desperately wrong. They hung on my wall for weeks.
My god daughter Sarah came to visit, looked them over and said " Are we going to cut these puppies or what?" Sarah has an artist's eye and the courage of a lion. And since they were, to my mind, already trash, I said, "Why not?'
Separated, hung together, cut and rebound I loved them. They were lovely ducklings. They were very pretty swans.
So I hold on to my wings, hoping someday I will grow into them. I watch what I throw out and raid the trash with courage and abandon. And every so often, I watch a duckling grow into a swan.

Ellen Anne Eddy's Flowers on Youtube.com

Review of Thread Magic Garden

Review of Thread Magic Garden
From the Subversive Stitch

Review of Thread Magic Garden

Review of Thread Magic Garden
Book Review from Golden Dog Quilting

C&T Blog

C&T Blog
My Studio Garden: A blog at C&T Publishing

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Quiltposium, Fall2011

Quiltposium, Fall2011
Ellen's New Article, Dance of Design

Essential Embroidery Stitches: Free Hand and Machine Embroidery Designs and Techniques.

Essential Embroidery Stitches: Free Hand and Machine Embroidery Designs and Techniques.
Get this free book from Quilting Arts. It has a series of articles I wrote called Defining the Line.

The Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly Effect

Guest Blog On Subversive Stitchers!

Guest Blog On Subversive Stitchers!
The Stories Tell Me

Guest Blog On Quilt Gallery

Guest Blog On Quilt Gallery


National Quilters Ring

Quilt Teacher Blog Ring

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