working in a series

Log Cabin explorations

I am continuing my exploration of the log cabin. The selection below is destined for a minimal modern quilt using the traditional pattern in a new way. So far, I’ve sketched out the design and chosen the colour palette.

hand dyed fabrics in pink and grey for a minimal log cabin quilt

I am continuing the series I started with In Order and am stretching it in new ways. 

Minimal modern quilt x-cross in black and fuchsia
X-Cross by Doris Lovadina-Lee

I love having a structure to begin with and then thinking about the what can change.

In Order log cabin variation for TMQG mini quilt challenge
In Order by Doris Lovadina-Lee

Do I add hand stitching? Machine stitching? Embroidery?

Venetian Lagoon minimal modern log cabin variation
Venetian Lagoon by Doris Lovadina-Lee

Can I use more colours, patterns? What is the minimum?

Fronds minimal modern quilt in grey a log cabin variation
Fronds by Doris Lovadina-Lee

Looking forward to seeing how this new idea evolves. What traditional blocks have you played with?


Metamorphosis is the triptych that completes the series that I began 2015. Chrysalis Awakening was the first in this series and was created  for the “It’s Time for Colour Show.”  Quilters who had participated in the National Juried Show in 2015 were asked if they were interested in creating an art piece to be donated to raise funds for the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada.

three leaf quilts of the stages of a butterfly metamorphosis by doris lovadina-lee, on display at the National Juried Show
Metamorphosis triptych

I knew I wanted to complete the series, it was finally completed and I entered the triptych into the National Juried show in 2016. It was accepted into the Art – Naturescapes, Pictorial Wall Quilts.

doris's caterpiller in the quilted leaves of the metamorphosis series of quilts by doris
Metamorphosis triptych – Caterpillar
Egg or larvae in the metamorphosis of a butterfly quilted by doris lovadina-lee
Metamorphosis triptych – egg
butterfly beneath the leaf of the metamorphosis triptych by doris
Metamorphosis triptych – Butterfly

This was a fun project to work on and it was interesting to see the visitors’ reactions when they noticed the hidden surprises!

Crossing Borders art quilts

Each one of the members of the Crossing Borders Art Quilters suggested themes. Once the theme was chosen, we had two months to complete our quilts. I gave myself additional parameters, along with the guidelines that the group agreed upon. I chose to work improvisationally,  with hand dyed fabrics, and to interpret the theme using a log cabin construction technique.

The 2016 Challenges:

  1. Crossing Borders
  2. Reflections
  3. Roots
  4. Beautiful Chaos
  5. Life cycle
  6. Crumbling Support

For those that are not able to attend our show April 7-8, 2017 at The Hungerford, I am displaying my art pieces below. Each photograph is followed by an explanation of my thoughts on interpreting the theme. Each member of the group has their artwork available for sale.

Crossing Borders: X-Cross

X-Cross the first art quilt made as part of the Crossing Borders Art Quilters group by Doris Lovadina-Lee

©2016 Doris Lovadina-Lee
12 x 12 inches
cotton, linen, silk, thread

Crossing borders brought to mind traditional quilts that often had an outer border to complete the quilt. I wanted to use borders in a less traditional way, so improvisationally pieced strips using cotton, linen and hand dyed fabrics in shades of black with the occasional gray and deep purple. I then crossed through the borders in a fuchsia hand dyed fabric creating a large cross. The quilt is hand quilted.

Reflections: Venetian Lagoon

Venetian Lagoon the Reflections themed art quilt for Crossing Borders by doris lovadina-lee

Venetian Lagoon
©2016 Doris Lovadina-Lee
12 x 12 inches
hand dyed cotton, thread

With this piece, I wanted to continue using the log cabin construction. My inspiration was the idea of something reflected in water. The fabrics are all hand dyed. It is machine pieced and quilted. I am also editing the design to its most minimal in order to get the idea across – al la Gwen Marston! I used two photographs I took in Venice for the inspiration. I’ve used the colours of the water, the awnings, and the gondolas. The red represents the mooring poles that are often red and white, like our barbershop poles.

Roots: Foundation

Doris Lovadina-Lee's Roots entry for the Crossing Borders Art Quilters: Foundation

©2016 Doris Lovadina-Lee
12 x 12 inches
hand dyed cotton, thread

I usually begin by looking up our theme in the dictionary and thesaurus. Lineage, heritage, base, footing, foundation, source, and infrastructure are some of the words that popped out at me. I wanted to continue working with a log cabin block, so I chose two of my hand dyed fabrics and constructed logs. Each log has a thin strip on either side of it in the opposite colour, referencing live edge wood. I constructed the piece improvisationally without rulers. It is a bit bigger than twelve inches and I have kept the organic edges, so it is not square. I machine quilted in the narrow strips, leaving the logs to puff up.

Beautiful Chaos: Chaotic

Chaotic - beautiful chaos art quilt for the crossing borders art group by doris lovadina-lee
©2016 Doris Lovadina-Lee
12 x 12 inches
hand dyed cotton, thread

Discovered that Beautiful Chaos is the third book in the Castor Chronicle series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. That information didn’t help! I looked further at Chaos theory: the behavior of dynamic systems that are highly sensitive to initial conditions so that long-term outcomes are impossible to predict. With this in mind I chose this hand dyed fabric that changed in colour and texture from red with a little yellow to the opposite. Instead of starting off with a square in the centre, I started with 2 central points in a hexagon shape. Building the logs around these two central hexagons resulted in a random shaped block. The logs ranged in size, length and intensity of colour. I am happy with the outcome although I was hoping to integrate the two sides a bit more, introducing the fabric with more yellow into the side with more of the red fabric. This is something that I will continue to explore in other pieces.

Life Cycle: Spiral

Spiral art quilt by doris lovadina-lee for crossing borders art quilters
©2016 Doris Lovadina-Lee
12 x 12 inches
hand dyed cotton, thread

I thought this might be an easy theme to interpret, but I was wrong. I am happy with the overall look of the quilt.. I first created a traditional log cabin block using hand dyed fabrics. I then drew a spiral and cut into the log cabin to insert a very thin black bias strip. This totally distorted the block and I left the outside edges as they were instead of squaring up the top. I would like to try creating this idea in a larger piece, I think it might be easier to insert the strip.

Crumbling Support: Portal

Portals is the entry for crumbling support by Doris Lovadina-Lee

©2016 Doris Lovadina-Lee
12 x 12 inches
hand dyed cotton, thread
Portals is the second piece I’ve made using the courthouse steps block. I was influenced by the uncertainty during the American election process, the various court proceedings that have been in the news, and the instability of the economy. It seems that many of the foundations of our country are being challenged, cracks are showing in the very foundations that should be solid and strong.
I’ve used mostly hand dyed fabrics, linen and some commercial cottons to construct a courthouse step block. I’ve inserted thin strips on two sides and the central square to show the cracks in the fabric of our institutions.

April Art at the Hungerford

Crossing Borders Show at The Hungerford, Rochester New York Crossing Borders Show at The Hungerford, Rochester New York

The city of Rochester, NY hosts: First Friday, a monthly event, where area artists and small art galleries showcase their works. It’s a citywide event that promotes a “healthy art scene and a healthy city through regular exchange between venues, artists and patrons”.  Jeanne Simpson has arranged for the Crossing Borders Art Quilters to be a part of First Fridays and Second Saturdays on April 7 and 8, 2017. The Hungerford is a historic building on Main Street in Rochester New York, the home of over 100 studios. The Open Studio Event invites the public to visit about 35 of these studio each month.

Hope to see some of you!


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