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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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Musings: Art Outside the Box: Coming Attractions:The Thread Magic Garden


As a gardener I have a love/hate thing with January. It's a month of frozen tundra, puctuated with ice storms and an occasional  melted mud pit in back. I look longingly at dead stalks and seed pods and live for the seed catalogs that start to fill up my mail box.


But as a quilter, January is one of those best times. Dark nights and snowed in walks make it perfect quilting time. It's exactly the time to make the garden in the studio bloom.
So I'm delighted that C and T Publications has told me my new book Thread Magic Garden will be ready for release in January.


If you're familiar with Thread Magic, you know I don't write the traditional, "12 quilts for baby" quilt book. Those books fill a special place for quilters, but I'm constitutionally incapable of it. Besides, I don't know 12 babies who need quilts right now. Someone else needs to write that book.


What I do write are books that take things apart, show you new ways to put them back together and that focus on free motion, thread work, artistry and expression, so far out of the box that they don't fit in squares any more.I'm hoping you'll find that true of Thread Magic Garden too.


I've created a simple system for pattern-less flower applique that goes from deliciously simple to  intricately stitched and embellished. And a new way of codifying free motion zigzag stitch that's changed what I can do with applique.


None of this is done with fancy machinery. I actually don't do anything that's hard. Instead, it focuses on simple zigzag and straight stitch to create a world of magic. It's just time consuming and compulsive. 


There are 25 flowers for you to create, a full discussion of free motion stitching with different approaches for straight and zigzag stitches, 2 step by step teaching projects and over 50 new quilts.You're going to want to play.


It also means I have new classes and lectures to share with  shops, guilds and groups. Check my web site for the new classes covering this groundbreaking material.


They tell me my book is coming out in January. Email me and I'll notify you when it's ready for pre-order.


C and T Publications have my first book, Thread Magic: The Enchanted World of Ellen Anne Eddy, available in a downloadable and a print on demand format. You can order it from them now.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Designing Ways: The Container and the Contained

" Mother, Mother, May I swim? Yes my darling daughter. Hang your clothes on the highest pin and don't go in the water."

In the same way we read mystery and horror novels, and watch romantic comedy, we flirt with edges. Come hither, hold on tight, don't let go, what really is at the edge? There's a lot of drama to be gained from art in the process of making a box and then breaking out of it.


We need the box. We need the safety and the security of it all. But we crave the excitement and drama of the edge. Where one thing starts and something else ends. When that edge is clean, straight and clear, it's very tidy. But it leaves us wanting to break out.


Nature, life, the world, the universe is not full of a lot of straight edges. We impose those on our world, but they impose right back at us. A good example is mint in your garden. You may have planted it in a small plot in a straight line. Blink twice after a good rain and you'll find it across the yard and down the hill has well. My feeling is that I might as well just go along with it.



So within art it's worth building both. You build the surface of your work, which is a container. Then you break out of that container,as nature itself is bound to do. The stripes here create a sense of order as well as filtered sun, but the leaf refuses to stay in place. It pops out and our ladybug comes right along with it.


The vine here creates the border here, and our lady bug nestles within it. But it too refuses to stay just on the surface. It pokes out just enough that we know it's a living thing and not about to follow a ruler.


This bug is contained by the flower she's on. But not entirely. She's clearly heading for the edge.


Finally this bug and leaf create the border together. They are the container and the contained all in one.








Wrapping it up:
As quilters we're used to square corners and straight edges.  We depend on them. They make a container for our images. But as we make borders and let our work edge right off them, we can take our contained work and put it in motion, by breaking out of the border and refusing to be contained.


Designing Ways: The Container and the Contained

" Mother, Mother, May I swim? Yes my darling daughter. Hang your clothes on the highest pin and don't go in the water."

In the same way we read mystery and horror novels, and watch romantic comedy, we flirt with edges. Come hither, hold on tight, don't let go, what really is at the edge? There's a lot of drama to be gained from art in the process of making a box and then breaking out of it.


We need the box. We need the safety and the security of it all. But we crave the excitement and drama of the edge. Where one thing starts and something else ends. When that edge is clean, straight and clear, it's very tidy. But it leaves us wanting to break out.


Nature, life, the world, the universe is not full of a lot of straight edges. We impose those on our world, but they impose right back at us. A good example is mint in your garden. You may have planted it in a small plot in a straight line. Blink twice after a good rain and you'll find it across the yard and down the hill has well. My feeling is that I might as well just go along with it.



So within art it's worth building both. You build the surface of your work, which is a container. Then you break out of that container,as nature itself is bound to do. The stripes here create a sense of order as well as filtered sun, but the leaf refuses to stay in place. It pops out and our ladybug comes right along with it.


The vine here creates the border here, and our lady bug nestles within it. But it too refuses to stay just on the surface. It pokes out just enough that we know it's a living thing and not about to follow a ruler.


This bug is contained by the flower she's on. But not entirely. She's clearly heading for the edge.


Finally this bug and leaf create the border together. They are the container and the contained all in one.








Wrapping it up:
As quilters we're used to square corners and straight edges.  We depend on them. They make a container for our images. But as we make borders and let our work edge right off them, we can take our contained work and put it in motion, by breaking out of the border and refusing to be contained.


Friday, July 1, 2011

Musings: Art Outside the Box: Hiding in Plain Sight and the Musical Sandbox Squabble

Every so often I tell myself that all I did was quilt a fish. How silly. Well, yes, I quilted a fish. And who is that fish? I find all art is incredibly ( and somehow mindlessly) self involved.


I've recently found myself in an especially stupid squabble with someone at my church. I won't say which one. We are all mostly alike and there's one of every kind in every church on the planet.You can put in the name of any church you've ever been to, and that's the one. It turned into a tug of war over the choir music.


There are two major ways to win a tug of war.With that said, there are a half dozen different dirty tricks. You can pull, let up, tell them to look over there and yank, talk about their mom's hygene. Those are all ways to win at tug of war. But the bottom line is simple. You either tug harder than they do or you let go of the rope.


But like all wars, you have to ask, "What's the prize? And what is the price?"


I'm a very faithful church goer for several reasons. Sheer loneliness is a significant part of it. A hunger for ritual, certainly a chunk. I believe God to be everywhere, but I'm hoping He hasn't left the building. Mostly, I'm hoping to be a better me.


But I didn't miss the fact that I'm in a room with people. Of course they're scary. I'm sure I am too to them. What was I doing in the choir? I was hanging out in plain sight and perfectly hidden as an alto in the first row. So when we got an organist who insisted I sing out of my range or stay silent, I lost my place to hide. He's a world class organist.  I'm an alto in the back.He's also world class at other things I won't mention. If we're going to play tug of war, I don't think I have the pull.


Who wins at tug of war? I can't believe the guy with the muddy bottom who pulled hardest really won. His very own muddy bottom? What a prize!


So here I am in my quilt, trying to hide somewhere else.Here I am hunting a church with a choir loft or another place for an odd artist to fit in. Perhaps I can rethink that hiding bit. It's not like I'm good at it. I'm looking at several churches, none of which have a choir at all, and wondering if there's a space under the floor.  It's all autobiographical,  really.
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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

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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
http://quiltinggallery.com/2010/08/12/dancing-in-the-light/

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