Thursday, May 28, 2015

Quilts inspired by Native American history & tradition

Today we are showing some fabulous and intriguing  quilts inspired by Native Americans'  history and traditions. Native Americans are the "first peoples", or the indigenous tribes that already existed in North America when immigrants from other continents arrived. 

Battle of Greasy Grass by Patricia Heacox, Green Valley, Arizona


Patricia notes, " Lakota and Cheyenne Chiefs bravely led countering attacks on [U.S. Army General George Custer] and the 7th Cavalry. Centuries of Indian life patterns evaporated as ancestral land treaties were cancelled. Black Hills,  South Dakota gold mining brought railroads through Lakota holy land." The June 1876 Battle of Greasy Grass is also known as the Battle of the Little Bighorn, where Native Americans fought and temporarily won against  the attempts of the U.S. Army to resettle their tribes onto reservations.

Close up, Battle of Greasy Grass by Patricia Heacox


Patricia does a beautiful job of depicting these dignified and stately faces of the Lakota and Cheyenne tribes, who resided on the Great Plains, in what are now the states of South Dakota, Wyoming, and Nebraska. Patricia's techniques include inking, applique, thread-painting, and  embellishments. The maps and lettering are in calligraphy, with free motion edging.  The quilting pattern includes sacred symbols of the Lakota Sioux tribe.  The quilt was exhibited at the 2014 Road to California.

Cochise - Once They Were Like The Wind by Patricia Heacox, Arizona


Patricia states, "Most-feared Apache (who lived in what is now Arizona), Cochise, a resourceful complex man, left his indelible footprint. Courage, integrity, discipline, intelligence, and generosity earned adoration by "the People", and respect by non-natives. With the Dragoon Mountains at sunrise, Cochise stands in readiness."

Close up, Cochise by Patricia Heacox, Arizona


Patricia's techniques include inked face, hands, and words' raw-edge applique, thread work,  and free-motion work for outlining and quilting.  We really admire Patricia's work in paying tribute to this heroic leader of the native people of the Southwest. 

Close up, Cochise by Patricia Heacox


On this impressive quilt are samples of some of the wise sayings of Cochise. To make this outstanding original design, Patricia used Tsukineko inks, embellishments, hand-dyed fabric, and fifty different shades of threads. The quilting patterns are horses, geckos, horned toads, agaves, and a star pattern. This quilt was exhibited at the 2013 Houston International Quilt Festival.

Hopi Maiden, 65” x 65”, by Karen Watts, Mayhill, New Mexico


This quilt was designed for the Basket themed New Quilts from an Old Favorite context in 2012, and exhibited at the 2014 AQS Quilt Week in Phoenix, Arizona.

Close up, Hopi Maiden by Karen Watts , New Mexico


Karen's work in traditional southwest colors of blue and cinnamon red, is a tribute to the art of the  Hopi tribe of northern Arizona and New Mexico, which produces beautifully made baskets with precise, geometric designs.

Time to Catch a Dream by Claudia Pfeil,  Krefeld, Germany


Claudia explains, " It was about time : the whole lot !  Piecing, quilting, and embellishment. This quilt represents the Native American dream catcher (the circular designs with feathers hanging from them).  [It contains] the rich colors of nature and the relaxing muted colors, much like the sands of the desert."
Claudia's fascinating work won third place in the Innovative Quilts category at the Pacific International Quilt Festival and Best Embellished Surface ($1000 prize) at the 2014 Road to California.

Close up, Time to Catch a Dream by Claudia Pfeil


Claudia continues, "Not only do you see the pieced circle of the dream catcher with more pieced feathers and beads. But you also see the border with real feathers, beads, and jewels,  all the elements you would find in a dream catcher. The intricate quilting gives texture, reminiscent of designs found on Navajo weavings on blankets and rugs. The couching defines the intricate working of the dream catcher."

Close up (back of quilt) by Claudia Pfeil


Here's a close-up of the fantastic long-arm quilting, as shown on the quilt back. Claudia's original design  is hand and machine appliqued and machine pieced.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Memorial Day

Tomorrow is Memorial Day in the U.S., a day to honor those who died in service to their country.  Each country has its own traditions of remembrance. In the Commonwealth countries, the poppy is used as an emblem of those who died in war, and Remembrance Day is celebrated in November. This striking quilt captured our attention in the 2014 World Quilt Competition at the Pacific International Quilt Festival.

Soldier On, 70 x 40", by Lucy Carroll (Australia)


Soldier On is fiber artist Lucy Carroll's interpretation of the Roll of Honor at the Australian War Memorial.   She says,  "The placing of a poppy is a poignant act which connects us with fallen soldiers through the generations."  Although the U.S. does not have the poppy tradition, this quilt speaks to us with its brilliant wall of poppies.


At the end of the hall you can see two comrades supporting each other as they walk through the archway.  This large wall piece is hand and machine pieced, and hand and machine appliqued.


Lucy is a contemporary Australian textile artist and the winner of numerous national and international awards for her work.  We hope these photos do justice to her stunning creation.  For more of her work, see Lucy Carroll Textiles.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2014 Pacific International Quilt Festival.  Soldier On won Honorable Mention in the Innovative category.
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