Eleanor Levie – Let it Flow

by Dick Wilbur on April 11, 2016

Let It Flow 

Eleanor Levie – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Today we highlight quilter Eleanore Levie of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who blogged about her experience in creating her quilt “Let it Flow.”  Below please enjoy excerpts and photos from her blog, EleanorLevie.com/quilting-blog:


Artist’s Statement

Water is a deeply complex issue, swirling with interwoven challenges of safety, security, social justice and access.

Only transparently clear, progressive, democratic governance can ensure a good flow of information and funding streams.

As the traditional water gatherers who understand what is best for their communities, women deserve a place in discussions and the decision-making. When mandates become “womandates,” results are life affirming.


Planning this work meant 3 stages:

Stage 1: Idea collecting:

*Images of women with water containers on heads and yokes…which has been done so much, and to which I have no personal connection.

*Vessels–a symbol for women, bulbous or with sinuopus curves, vases or urns with handles that mimic the uterus with fallopian tubes, and vessels that call up containment in the sense of being held, of safety and security…and again, presume the womb!  I return to this image again and again in my work.

Stage 2: Panning for Gold!:

I read all the articles cited by the challenge orgs and more to better understand the issue. I googled images of microbes for typhus, river eye blindness, and more. Reviewed some great watery-art quilts and images used to illustrate the problems of water. Wishing well graphics would find their way into my piece…

Stage 3: Advice from the experts!:

Answering my calls for help, uber-advocates Janet Goldner and Sammie Moshenberg pointed me toward insightful articles on the subject, focusing on sub-Saharan Africa and Colombia.These readings illuminated the bigger problems, above those of purification, draught and pollution and access and climate change. It’s not just about good, scientific solutions to the problems of purification and access. That’s solvable. It’s corruption at the top, a lack of good governance. Funding for local wells, well-kept-up pipelines, and the technology for safe water and sanitation practices rarely reach those in poverty who need them most.

No question about it, WATER is a complex, many-layered problem, with interwoven aspects. I chose to do a woven piece and let it evolve…


Let it Flow – warp laid out (work in progress detail)


Let if Flow – work in progress: plain weave—over one, under one, with the lighter values of fabric and ribbon













Text is the only way I could think of to get across the sophisticated concepts. So I layered areas of organdy, printed with words or phrases. I tried to express the GAP of Governance, Access, and Policy. The importance of Power and Justice, Funding streams and the Full-on Flow of Wealth, rather than trickle-down realities. I spent time pooling together other expressions: Pollution and Poison,  Poverty and Powerlessness—but these are all polarizing negatives. No one wants to see a PO (pissed off) attitude displayed, but a clear POV (point of view) seems essential.


Let it Flow – with stream of consciousness phrases

The weavings came together, with lighter and darker sections cut in curves and overlapped, as shown above. Then, I added stream of consciousness phrases with free-motion script:

  • Justice
  • transparent governance
  • wellsprings of knowledge
  • flow of info
  • ponder policies
  • unclouded judgement
  • funding streams
  • wo/mandates
  • fathom the depths

After that, some dense quilting in wavy lines. Then appliques to lighten some areas, tone down others, add interest and contrast and texture.


Let it Flow – completed! With lovely border, pieced binding and rickrack


Artist’s Bio

Though born and raised in Baltimore, MD, Eleanor Levie’s personality is less Baltimore Album and more Crazy Quilt. Lucky to have learned from a wide array of experts as she produced her many quilting books, she brings their diverse and innovative techniques–as well as her own eclectic ideas and designs to all of her trunk shows and workshops. Mission: Getting beginning and experienced quilters to try something new, quilt outside the box, and have a lot of fun!

Elly owns and runs CRAFT SERVICES, LLC, and is an independent author, editor, book producer/packager, pattern designer; photostylist; teacher and lecturer; and PR & marketing consultant, focussing on quilting, home-sewing, do-it-yourself decorating, keepsake crafts, innovative, fast and fun techniques.

Over the years Elly has worked as an editor for McCall’s Craft Books, Woman’s World Magazine, McCall’s Needlework & Crafts, and Woman’s Day Special Interest Publications.  She also teaches and lectures on  variety of quilting styles and projects.

Elly holds a Master of Arts in Teaching from Brown University and a Bachelor of Arts from Cedar Crest College, Allentown PA. She is a member of Quilt Alliance, SAQA, and the Da Vinci Alliance.



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