Quilting can become one’s passion at any point in time, and for Eliane Bergmann, it was when she was 12 years old.
During spring break that year, Eliane attended a 4-H day camp where one of the activities was how to create a quilt. With the help of her friends, Eliane made her first one and continued making more through 4-H before turning to garment sewing as a teenager and through college.
Eliane reignited her passion for quilting in 2016 after stumbling upon several colorful modern quilts on social media. Since then, she has learned different quilting techniques, such as English paper piecing, foundation paper piecing, and sewing Y-seams, to discover what aspects of quilting she enjoys the most.
Today, Eliane runs Patchwork & Poodles, where she uploads blog posts, hosts quilt-a-long courses and has patterns available for purchase that she designed. If quilters can’t get enough of Eliane’s content, follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!
From a Childhood Beginner to a Quilt Pattern Designer
From livestream events to being featured in the current AccuQuilt Quilt Gallery exhibit, Eliane Bergmann has been a pleasure to hear from. The AccuQuilt team had the chance to interview Eliane to learn more about her quilting journey as well as the amazing quilts that she has made. Keep reading to hear more about Eliane’s experience and for inspirational quilt ideas!
AccuQuilt: What’s your current process for quilting?
Eliane: I design a pattern on grid paper with a pen and paper and then I color it in [and adding it to Illustrator]. When I pick colors for quilts, I let myself pick what I like. For my pattern colors, I always want them to be solids [for people to easily change them]. If I was quilting for myself, a pick prints – tons of prints!
AQ: Me too! I love prints! Tell us about the quilts you sent us. Why did you choose those specific quilts?
Eliane: So, those are all patterns that I designed. I design patterns that I enjoy making and I would enjoy having them at home, so hopefully, other people have that joy too. They’re really reflective of my style. I feel like I’m on the border of traditional and modern. They have bright colors with some modern aspects, but the building blocks are very traditional. That’s the style that I like.
AQ: I love the pattern that you made for yourself and your dog, Riley. What was your inspiration for that?
Eliane: I sewed garments from childhood. At some point, I had accumulated so many quilts that I decided to make a quilt coat. I was originally going to purchase a pattern, but I couldn’t find one that had all of the elements that I wanted. I wanted a hood, I wanted buttons. So, I decided to make my own design. In the process of designing it, which took some time – my dog wears coats in the winter. I live in Wisconsin and it’s cold. While I was working on that, I had the itch to try out some techniques and see how they went. How do you deal with the bulkiness of a quilt fabric that you’re sewing to another quilt fabric? I decided to make him a little coat with the idea in mind that we would match.
AQ: I love it! I thought it was great! What is one thing that you want the world to know about you that we haven’t talked about today?
Eliane: I really love using up my scraps! I was making all of these quilts, accumulating all of these scraps, and I thought, “I keep saving them for later and I keep looking at other people’s techniques of cutting them into different sizes. What I really need is a strategy.” When I finish a quilt, I use up those scraps right away. Then, nothing goes into the scrap bin.
AQ: Let’s talk about two more of the quilts that are here in the gallery. The first is Harvest Star. These are stars that are actually turned on point? Do you want to talk about that quilt?
Eliane: Yeah! So, Harvest Star is kind of like a star within a star that’s expanding. And then, you have more stars on the corners. I initially designed the block, and the corners were plain. I put it in Illustrator and thought, “It needs something else.” I put in different shapes – what it needed was more stars!
AQ: Talk about Woven Hearts and your inspiration for that.
Eliane: I really like taking those traditional designs, like a heart and then trying to see how I can make it my own. I really like the idea of ‘Woven Hearts’ because it has a basket weave effect, but at the end, it’s a heart. It looks really great in prints, which is the one I sent you, and there’s also solids. I wanted to showcase that you really could use prints to have that light and dark effect where it would look like interwoven fabric.”
AQ: What I really love is that all the hearts aren’t pink or red. I really love the contrast that you create depending on the fabric that you use. Out of all of [Eliane’s quilts], Nordic Star is my favorite! What is your favorite project that you’ve worked on?
Eliane: Probably Graffiti Hearts.
AQ: Because it’s scrappy, right?
Eliane: Yeah! So, it’s mock improv. It’s a step-by-step, but at the end, it looks improv, which is fun.
AQ: And if you had one thing that you would tell quilters, what would it be?
Eliane: Find your voice and don’t be afraid of what people tell you you should do or that you should do it. I think that some of the best things that have come out of quilting have been people who have taken chances. So, just go for it!
AQ: What an amazing artist you are, and we love all of your quilts!
Just GO! For It!
We hope that Eliane has inspired you to try new quilting techniques to discover your own voice! Eliane’s mix of traditional and modern offers a great balance for quilters on either side and in between.
Watch the full interview with Eliane and hear more about her quilting journey:
What’s your next project? Share your lovely creations with us on social media using the hashtag #AccuQuiltBuilt and don’t forget to tag @patchworkandpoodles and @AccuQuilt!