May I introduce Ellen Lindner? She was brave enough to conquer the very first Zoom-Workshop for our guild GAAQG, she’ll be our forever Zoom-pioneer. Not only did she do an outstanding job – we had a blast together. And we learned a lot amidst the steady ‚you’re muted‘ – ‚can you hear me now?‘ – ‚can you see me?‘ I wrote a blog post about these crazy times here.
Meanwhile, zooming feels normal like having masks in our cars, purses, floor, everywhere, but looking back to the beginnings of this pandemic and to Ellen’s courage, I sense a mix of nostalgia and that weird feeling of waking up after a nightmare.
But let’s talk about Ellen. She is a lot of fun to be with, if we can start with this really important fact. She told us her first word (growing up on a dairy farm) was „moo“, and according to her husband she hasn’t stopped talking ever since. Good for us! Of course, she is also a talented quilt artist, teacher and author. She says, “I make art for the pure joy of doing so!”
Her art is exhibited throughout the United States, and beyond. She has been published in several magazines, written two books and even appeared on Quilting Arts TV, where she taught some of her techniques, and The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims.
Ellen makes art quilts. And even though work is very diverse, you’ll probably know when you see one of her pieces. She uses commercial fabric as well as self dyed fabric to expand the possibilities and gain more control over the results. Her signature freeform collage style is absolutely stunning, and she does a great job teaching this technique. Apropos teaching: She has worked most of her adult life as a flight instructor – so she knows what she’s doing.
One more fun fact about her: She owns approximately 1000 different fabrics, and 100 spools of thread – and asks to please not tell her husband.
You can find Ellen on YouTube (there’s a bunch of videos from her on her own Adventure Quilt Works channel!)
Now let’s see what she tells us here on bug&bee.
How, when and why did you start quilting or sewing?
I’ve been sewing since the age of 13, back when I made peasant blouses and midi skirts for myself. My mom paid me $1/outfit for sewing. A win-win.
As a newlywed, I needed artwork for our home, but couldn’t afford a painting. But, quilting had just had a resurgence in the US, as a result of the American Centennial. Quilts were making their way onto walls for the first time and I knew I could make a wall quilt for our home.
She Looked for Blessings and Found Them, (a self-portrait,) © 2020
60h x 12w, NFS
„This self-portrait is exactly my height: 5 feet tall. It lists many things I’ve done. Some are cute or complimentary, but others are just the opposite. Combined, they give a peek into my personality and priorities.“
LIKE THE TIME SHE
sang to the cows.
asked “Who wants to tie my shoe?”
camped out under the stars and was amazed by God’s handiwork.
disrespected her mother.
brought a rabbit home from school
told her sister there were bears under her bed.
cared for a friend.
loved her son unconditionally.
thought only of herself.
took care of her sick husband.
became friends with her mother.
looked for blessings and found them.
And – the sixtyfour thousand dollar question: Modern, traditional, contemporary, art quilting: what does spark true joy? And why?
ART quilts! Because I design them myself and I love this creative process.
Let’s get personal: Who is you, Ellen Lindner? Tell us a bit about you. What should we definitively know about you? Will you reveal your best cherished quirk or your most beloved pet peeve?
I’m confident, outgoing, and personable. These are generally good attributes, although my confidence has gotten me in trouble a couple of times. It keeps me from asking for second opinions, etc. Within the realm of quilting, I love to try new things! If my quilts don’t work out to my liking I don’t get upset. I know that time (and fabric) spent experimenting have increased my creativity and artistic skills.
What do you do when you’re not quilting? What does a perfect Ellen-day look like?
I love to spend time with family and friends. A perfect day would include yoga, lunch with a girlfriend, a fun quilt/art related outing, and cooking/eating dinner with family.
Back to quilting: What do you like best about the quilting process?
I LOVE he creative process! I work with raw edge collage, which is very flexible. I can easily rearrange and change things throughout the entire design process.
Would you show us your favorite quilt?
“Crotons”. The bright colors of croton leaves always attract my attention.
How do you beat creative blocks?
Do SOMETHING. Put away fabrics, draw in my sketch book, or work in an Improv style, until new ideas begin to surface.
Please share your coolest trick, best practice, lesson learned – quilt related or not
I really like facing my quilts. Especially the small ones. See my tutorial here:
Are you member of a quilt guild? If so, what would you tell someone who does not even know guilds?
Guilds are great because they help you learn more about quilting AND they introduce you to other quilters. It’s exhilarating to spend time with these like-minded people!
Why do you quilt? Why do people quilt? Can you explain the magic of quilts?
At their most basic, quilts are physically comforting. They wrap you in a hug.
They’re also beautiful, thanks both to the patterns and colors of the fabrics used and to the way the designer has combined them.
But, I think the reason people make them is because they like to be productive and to be creative. The process can produce a real Adrenalin surge! What better way to use your time?