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Whoop-TEA-doo! It’s Earth Day!

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

In honor of Mother Earth, I just added a new piece to my ReUSE series.


tea rose-detail


I don’t know how long I’ve been stalking the idea of a Tea Roses piece, that is, roses made out of tea bag envelopes. Last year, I took lots and lots of pictures at a rose garden in Florida. Then, meaning to get rid of one horrid picture of me, I mistakenly deleted all my shots. That’ll teach me to put on my glasses when reviewing my shots!

Starting again, I found a photo of a yellow rose that I cannot now find–I think it is one of Sammie Moshenberg’s lovely images. I traced the picture, numbered the pieces, and prepared to do a cut and glue sort of applique with tea bag envelopes.





The “kit” of materials I assembled sat by the TV for months. Turned out this method that was waaaay too complicated for me. I’m more of a slap-dash kind of quilter.

Last week, an online quilt class taught by the extraordinary Pamela Allen of Canada featured an assignment for a fantasy fabric garden. That was the impetus to go back to my Tea Rose project once again, and substitute my trash stash for fabric prints to dash off some flowers. Following the lead of my sister students, I cut petals freehand, and worked in rounds. In this series, I simply adhere shapes with glue-stick over patchwork. White bags that once held ground coffee gave me bigger pieces and a quiet background, too.  I cultivated plots of assorted tea bag and coffee packaging to sort of fence in my garden.


tea rose 1


Due to the foil-lined packaging that holds a crease, I was able to fold back some of the petals like a real flower. But even with the silver backing peeking up, the flower heads looked too dense, and the petals weren’t readable as separate shapes.

Back to the drawing board, I tried out an open design, like an arts & crafts style stencil or stained glass design.


tea rose 2


Better! Then on to layering over woolfelt (wool and rayon blend), preshrunk for a thick, sherpa-like quality.  Quick quilting and trimming with passementerie and ball fringe gets everything sown so I can reap the rewards before Earth Day ends!




tea rose-EL


My garden is a bit messy, and even though the bottom edge is angled, the whole thing should still hang straight and true. Not the case, not even close. But as they say, DONE is better than perfect.

Hope everything’s coming up roses for you! And that you ReUSE, RECYCLE, and REPURPOSE trash or found objects to REDUCE your carbon footprint. Oh, and RECONSIDER the many ways of creating quilted art!



Prize(s!) announced!

Friday, December 13th, 2013

Announcing the winners of my purple comment challenge! I’ve listed them below, and replied to them individually below. Please send me your addresses (so I can get your prizes off in the mail) via email:



Honestly, I was struck by the winning qualities of every single comment.  You showed me that people are reading my blog. And since that “literary form”– if you wanna call it that–is a one-way street, you made it fun to check my inbox all week long for your points of view.

On to the prize winners:

For inspiring me with her courage in the face of adversity and her rhapsody for the Purple…er, Blue Ridge Mountains, the big stash of purple fabrics goes to….drumroll, please…. Robin. BTW, because you made yourself absolutely unforgettable, I will be throwing in a complimentary copy of my book Unforgettable Tote Bags.

For tickling my fancy…er, my funnybone, a copy of my Quilt Blocks Go Wild! plus one purple fat quarter goes to: LeeAnna Paylor. And she didn’t even mention her  quilt inspired by the famous poem, “When I am old I shall wear purple!”

For Sue Levin, who is so passionate about purple she uses it for walls and ceilings of her home, as well as in her quilts, a copy of my Skinny Quilts & Table Runners II book….plus a purple fat quarter.

For Kristin Freeman, who paints landscapes with her words, a copy of Accidental Landscapes, by the amazing Karen Eckmeier, and edited by yours truly, plus one fat quarter (with purple and earth tones!).


Earth Day Giveaway!

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Happy Earth Day! To those who made comments on the posts of April 12 and 20: YOU’VE ALL WON a FREE copy of my book, UNFORGETTABLE TOTE BAGS! Email me–ELevie@comcast.net with your name and mailing address. If you do not live in the contiguous United States, we’ll “talk.”

I’m so proud to share designs by this amazing collection of quilting celebrities. And I know YOU’ll be so proud of yourself and the bag you’ll make using the ideas and inspiration in this book. This is one bag you won’t forget when you go shopping, ‘cause it’ll be, well, unforgettable!

Let me tell you, I’ve had books published by AQS, Martingale, Harry Abrams, Workman Press, Rodale, and more. But in keeping with the green theme of this book, I just had to self-publish it, choosing a top-quality green printer in the US that used recycled paper and non-toxic inks. I’m really glad I did it my way, the green way.

I gotta confess, though, I had to dip deep into my savings to do it.  It was hard, and I don’t expect to come close to breaking even. Soooo I hope you don’t mind my suggesting some ways you might thank me for this gift— only if you like it, of course!

•    Write a review on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Unforgettable-Tote-Bags-Celebrity-Quilters/product-reviews/0615317502/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

•    Ask your local or regional quilt guilds and quilt shops to check out my presentations:http://www.eleanorlevie.com/speaker-topics.php
and workshops: http://www.eleanorlevie.com/speaker-topics.php
and invite me in for an unforgettable program. I’ll work with neighboring groups to schedule trips that keep the travel expenses affordable for everybody.

•     Buy this book—and other books-—from my website. Good prices, great gifts, and personally autographed for you or the person at the receiving end of your gift. If you’re a sewing, quilting, or art teacher, why not teach a tote bag class—or series of classes!? Contact me for incredible prices on books in multiple for all your students.

•     Stay in touch! Keep me–and all of us–green, smart, and on-trend or ahead of the curve!  Share your news and views. Bookmark my quilting blog, “like” my Facebook page, Inspiring Quilting. And watch for my next book, Quilt Blocks Go Wild!, coming out in August.

With all the best from me and Mother Earth!


Honoring Earth Day with Fabulous Fiber

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Grabbing another chance to share some of the highlights of Fiber Philadelphia 2012–still going on in many venues. Just in time for Earth Day on Sunday, I’m shining light on a few innovative works by artists who celebrate nature with wit and innovation.

And you, dear reader, get to grab another chance at my giveaway: On Earth Day, April 22, I’ll be giving away 22 of my make-it-green collection of Unforgettable Tote Bags: 20 designs too cool to leave in the car. With designs by Virginia Avery, Karen Eckmeier, Kaffe Fassett and Liza Lucy, Diane Gaudynski,  Judy Hooworth, Jean Ray Laury,  Lonni Rossi,  Jane Sassaman, Susan Shie, and me, you’ll be getting a lot of ways to avoid paper, plastic, or those made-in-China mystery-fiber reusable grocery bags. Me, I invariably carry a hand-made tote bag that doubles as purse and carry-all. To check it out, click here. To get in on the deal, leave a comment on this blog!


On to eco-friendly fiberart. First up, friendly fauna in diminutive crochet, by Carol Eckert. These delightful pieces in cotton over wire are on view at the Wexler Gallery in Philly; Silent Invocations and Snakes for Fish:








From fauna to flora, get a load of “Leaf Fall, Fragments var. 3” by Barbara J. Schneider—photo transfer on fabric. It’s a stunner among the Art Quilts Elements master works at the Wayne Art Center:










You want flowers? Joan Dreyer, whose work was on view at the Crane, made the light and lyrical Still Life/Daisies. Look closely and guess what those petals are made from…







Were you able to sink your teeth into that challenge? They are dental X-rays, darlings!












Finally, above, a word to live by. This is “Chance Encounter,” by Gyongy Laky, part of the instructors’ exhibit at the Crane. Fiber was never as expansively defined—or as exciting—as it was at this venue.  You want more recognizable  forms of fiber—something closer to quilting? Enter the giveaway and get inspired to make an Unforgettable Tote Bag. Just leave a comment here: What do you think of these pieces? How are you going green in your creative expression?