Friday, June 4, 2010

Dances With Nature: The Quilts of Frieda Anderson

Frieda Anderson is a renowned author, teacher, artist, and quilt designer whose custom-dyed fabrics form the basis for her dazzling quilts,  which celebrate the vibrancy of the natural world. Educated as a professional artist and fashion designer, Frieda decided in 1992 that she wanted to devote her career to her full time fascination with quilts. The results have been a highly successful collection of fabrics, classes, patterns, books... and magnificent quilts!

Spring Greetings, 38 x 50, 2008 by Frieda Anderson

"Spring Greetings" is an award-winning quilt, constructed with Frieda's own hand dyed silks and cottons. The quilt displays one of Frieda's "signatures":  her resplendent cerulean blue and aqua fabric, which vibrantly captures the tones of sky and water. The golden yellow daffodils create a stunning contrast. Spring Greetings recently (April 2010) won the second place award for wall quilts at an American Quilters Society show. The subtle highlights in the sky and green grass create a lovely glow, which would really brighten up any wall by bringing the outdoors inside.

Duluth Trees, 26 x 35, 2007 by Frieda Anderson

Green triangles depict the foliage of these graceful pine trees, as their gently curved trunks sway in the breeze.  The horizontal quilting lines at the base of the tree trunks provides a perfect balance to the vertical focal points provided by the tree trunks. We love this sparkling, contemporary quilt which draws the eye into a serene and enchanted forest.

Walks In the Woods by Frieda Anderson

Frieda writes that each day, she takes a walk in the woods with her dog, George. Her quilts almost always reflect her fascination with nature, and what she sees on her walks. This quilt celebrates the trees in the woods, with golden sunlight shining through the leaves. By depicting tall slender tree trunks and showing a cut away section of the roots, Frieda has emphasized the vertical lines she sees on her walks.  This quilt is in a permanent collection; for more information see Frieda Anderson's Portfolio.

Illinois Landscape, 42 x 24, 2007 by Frieda Anderson

"Illinois Landscape" depicts the gently rolling hills of the northern prairies. Frieda shows the gradations of the beautiful purple sky with streaks of lavender and magenta in her vibrant hand-dyed fabric. She carries the use of stripes and streaks through to the green, brown, and orange fields, where the stripes suggest freshly plowed earth, ready for planting.

Woodland Treasures II, close up, by Frieda Anderson

"Woodland Treasures II" is a fabulous example of Frieda's quilting skills. This lovely piece was quilted with rayon and silk thread, on cotton and silk fabric. Frieda writes about her quilting techniques on her blog, Walks In the Woods.

Dancing Trees, 16 x 20, and Autumn Mums, 30 x 20

Frieda sells patterns for some of her spectacular quilts on her patterns page.    Above, we're showing two of our favorites: "Dancing Trees" and  "Autumn Mums".  In Dancing Trees, trees with brilliantly colored leaves seem to embrace each other.   We also love Autumn Mums... the joyful flowers seem to jump right off the quilt!  In addition to the instructions, this pattern comes with its own step-by-step demonstration on DVD, so that you can easily follow the quilt-making process.  You can bring the outdoors in by creating these radiant art quilts.  Finally, wouldn't it be great to have fabric in just exactly the shade that you need?  Frieda's book, Fabric to Dye For, contains complete instructions for creating your own fabulous fabric; and Fun Fast Fusies provides detailed, easy-to-follow instructions on creating these beautiful images by using fusible applique.  The books are available at the Friestyle shop.

Image credits: Images are shown with the generous permission of Frieda Anderson.  For more information visit her Friestyle website.

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