Thursday, October 18, 2018

Quilts for Dia de los Muertos! (Day of the Dead)

Dia de los Muertos  (Day of the Dead) is celebrated throughout Mexico and in some other parts of Latin America. It coincides with November 1 and 2, which are All Saints Day and All Souls Day.

The purpose is to demonstrate love and affection for deceased family members, whose spirits are thought to return to the household to greet the loved ones.  We're featuring some of the most colorful and whimsical Day of the Dead quilts that we have seen over the last few years. 

Disparity by Karlee Porter (Salt Lake City, Utah)

Blue-ribbon winner for Best Surface Design at the 2017 Houston International Quilt Festival, Karlee remarks, "The inspiration for this design was the word "Disparity."  The skull was used as a centerpiece to remind the viewer that all life comes from something that must someday die.

Close-up, Disparity by Karlee Porter

Karlee's techniques for her original design include hand and machine embellishment, digital and professional fabric painting, and couching. 

Close-up, Disparity

For materials, Karlee used satin backing, printed wholecloth fabric, and two layers of Warm and Plush batting. Her intricate, finely detailed quilting patterns really give this striking image a great deal of energy.

El Muerto by Barbara Sferra (Cincinnati, Ohio)

A member of SAQA ( Studio Art Quilt Associates),  Barbara provided this lovely rendition of  El Muerto to the 2017 Benefit Auction, SAQA's premier fund-raising event.  Its proceeds benefit SAQA's exhibition and education outreach programs.

Close-up, El Muerto

Elegant and precise couching stitches provide a colorful embellishment for this lighthearted,  grinning countenance.

Flor de Muertos by Betty Busby (Albuquerque, New Mexico)

Betty Busby is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and a member of the Studio Art Quilt Associates. Her work depicts a young woman with long flowing locks and an elaborate earring.  She appears to be looking through a flower-bedecked portal from the spirit world into the earthly realm as she prepares to join her loved ones for a family visit on Dia de Los Muertos.

Close-up,  Flor de Muertos

In this close-up of Betty's mini-quilt,  you can see the circular/ diamond shaped design motif around the subject's eye serves as a complementary shape to the circular shapes of the small flowers surrounded the border.

My Inner Yogi by Debbie Schulze (Taos, New Mexico)

Debbie explains, "This is what you get when you combine a physical therapist, a yoga instructor, and a quilter. I found the Kaffe Fassett to be plenty whimsical enough to complement my happy, wacky, yogi."

Close-up,  My Inner Yogi

Debbie adds that her design source was her love of yoga, addiction to bright colors, and the lovable Mr. Chillingsworth, a top-hat wearing skeleton from Andover Fabrics.  Her techniques include machine piecing, fused applique, and machine quilting.

Close-up,  My Inner Yogi

Even this admiring kitty cat is done in imaginative polka-dot fabric, with an equally comical purple face and ears.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2017 Houston International Quilt Festival.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Quilts to Celebrate October and Halloween!

October is a most festive month, as we celebrate the ongoing harvest, cooler autumn weather, and the opportunity to create some very fun Halloween quilts !  Here are several of our favorites. 

Spells and Potions by Pam Hadfield (California), quilted by Heidi Stagno

Pam Hadfield's Spells and Potions won Third Place at the prestigious 2018 Road to California show.  This is a Crabapple Hill Studio pattern that is all done in hand embroidery; Pam also added some needle turn applique to enhance the design.  This design makes us smile! In the photo below you can see the bottles of "Lying Lotion" (deceit guaranteed)!, Eye of Newt (with stitched eyeballs inside), and French Knot Powder.

The Witching Hour clock, below, is placed above books that include Spells and Potions, Embroidery, and Hexing for Dummies.  The design is enhanced by Heidi Stagno's beautiful quilting.

The Witch by Thalia Patricio (Nevada)

Another Third Place winner! The Witch by Thalia Patricio was a crowd favorite at the 2018 Road to California show.  Thalia says, "I was taking a class at Quiltique (in Henderson, Nevada) and working on Laura Heine's The Dress [collage quilt pattern].  On the way home I realized the pattern would make a really great witch.  I love anything with Halloween colors and used Tula Pink's Nightshade as inspiration for her face."

We love the special features and Halloween fabrics which Thalia included in The Witch! In the closeup of the dress, below, you can see bats, black cats, and jack o'lanterns are all featured here.

Halloweenies by Cindy Greco, California

Cindy explains, "This is a McKenna Ryan design. Laser cut fusible pieces were provided with patterns for all blocks, so it went together quickly.  I love the ghosts around the border. I also purchased the embellishments kit which included the beads, ribbons, and decorations on the tiny pumpkins."

Close-up, Halloweenies

Cindy continues, "This was a lot of fun to make. Even though the precut pieces already had the fusible paper on them, each piece needed to be stitched to the background." We really like this block of the little owl sitting next to an acorn basket of goodies, which shows the whimsical, imaginative tone of Cindy's quilt. 

Edgar Allen Poe Door Interpretation by Claire Gimber,  Arizona

Claire Gimber is a member of the "Mavericks", an art quilt chapter of the Arizona Quilters Guild.
The Mavericks were invited to make a quilt or fiber hanging depicting the style of a door that a specific artist might create. The door on the quit is an invitation to enter the world of the individual artist. Claire chose to depict a door that might have been invented by 19th century author Edgar Allan Poe, author of  "The Raven"  Her door is in the midst of a barren, lonely wall, with small panes of leaded glass, and heavy hinges, such as might be found in a 19th century garret.. We think this door with the surrounding foreboding birds exemplifies very well the macabre, Gothic tone of much of Poe's work.

Birthday Challenge by Katie McCutcheon, Arizona

Katie McCutcheon's cheerful October pumpkin wall hanging was made for the Shoofly [Quilters] Birthday Challenge.  The Shoofly Quilters are located in Payson, Arizona. This quilt was exhibited in the Arizona Quilters guild 2018 show, celebrating their Ruby Extravaganza (1978-2018).  The falling leaves give a real sense of autumn!

Image credits: Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2018 Road to California show (The Witch, Spells and Potions); the 2018 Quilt Arizona show (Birthday Challenge); the 2018 Guild of Quilters of Contra Costa County (California); and the 2014 Arizona Quilters guild show (Edgar Allan Poe Door Interpretation).
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