Monday, August 9, 2010

Aquarium quilts and seascapes

This week, we're going positively aquatic! Today's quilts will make you feel that you can dive right in to the underwater scenery. The quilts we're showing include fish, turtles, and other sea-dwelling creatures, in settings that evoke the color and movement of the sea. Plus, we're providing all the links to patterns which you can use to create your own underwater fantasy. What a way to keep (your) cool ! (note: at the bottom of the post there are two quiz questions... if you know either of the answers, please leave a comment.)

Koi, 40 x 68 (or miniature Koi, 11 x 13), by Lydia Russell Albers and Carol Morrissey, at O Carol Designs

Carol Morrissey is renowned for her vibrant, artistic designs. We love the classic "Koi", above, by Lydia Russell Albers and Carol Morrissey, with its orange and red fish cavorting among stylized blue waves. The miniature version (11 x 13) features a single koi, which would make a beautiful motif within an Asian-inspired quilt.   Another stunning aquatic quilt is "Follow Me", below, which measures 40" x 50". The giant green sea turtles are so realistic...the turtle in the foreground appears to be swimming right towards us!

For more fabulous aquatic designs by Carol Morrissey, check out Swim PartyClown School (with a school of clownfish, of course), and Standing Room Only, to mention just a few ... we're particularly fond of  The Toad ( formerly known as Prince) (!)  This spring we also featured some of Carol's glorious flower quilts in an article called In Full Bloom... take a peek at that article to see her luscious orange poppies. The patterns can all be found on the patterns page at O Carol Designs. 

Seascape I and Seascape II,  by Marjan Kluepfel

Marjan Kluepfel is a fabric artist whose work has been shown in galleries around the world.  The inspiration for her magnificent seascape quilts comes from her scuba diving trips on reefs around the Hawaiian islands, and Australia. Seascape I is in a private collection, but Marjan offers a pattern for the dreamy Seascape II, which is shown above. The brightly colored hand-dyed fabric, which blends from blue-green up to yellow,  creates the impression of the sun penetrating the ocean depths; and the textural embellishments really bring the reef to life.   Marjan teaches some wonderful workshops, including a workshop devoted just to seascapes!  Her work can be viewed in her online galleries where you can feast your eyes on all of her extraordinary art quilts.  

Blue Lagoon, 41 x 41, and Sandhill Cranes, 67 x 63, by Louisa L. Smith, at Quilt Escapes LLC

Louisa L. Smith is a fabric artist, designer, and teacher, whose innovative work has been described as "painting with fabric".  The radiant Blue Lagoon is an example of a "creative nine-patch" quilt, while Sandhill Cranes uses a special curved diamond template; these are just two of the projects in the One Patch Plus book by Louisa L. Smith and Lisa Harris. In these gorgeous quilts, a few dramatic elements are appliqued on top of pieced backgrounds that evoke the sea and sky. As in all of Louisa L. Smith's art quilts, the colors and values of the fabrics are expertly blended to create a sense of depth and movement (witness the beautiful blue Cycloid II).  If you would like to learn more, check out her classes and lectures, which include such subjects as "The Wonderful Art of Stripping"!

Beach Walk, 59 x 73,  including Whale Watch, by McKenna Ryan, at Pine Needles

NEW!  Beach Walk is McKenna Ryan's brand new series quilt, and we're so pleased to have the opportunity to showcase this design. We especially like the Water Ballet (jellyfish) and the Whale Watch block, shown above...okay, we like 'em all.  The kits for Beach Walk will be released this month, and you can get all the details at the Pine Needles website - the home of McKenna Ryan Designs.  Another delightful aquatic series by McKenna Ryan is Sea Breeze, which includes a cute pufferfish (Koo Koo Puff) and other denizens of the deep.  And here is something fun about the Pine Needles site:  you can send a free electronic postcard of any quilt block to a friend (how cool is that?)  Check it out by clicking on any of the above links, or click on the exquisite LOVE quilt block (it's on our sidebar this week).  (p.s. If you happen to know someone who is snooty, you might want to send her The Snooty Sisters e-card... be sure to type in "just kidding" in the message line!)

Quiz Question 1:  In quilting, what is a "sushi roll"?
Quiz Question 2: What, or who, is a "surf quilter"?

If you know the answers to either of our quiz questions, leave us a comment below, and stay tuned... the correct answers will be posted later this week!

Image credits and links:  Images are shown with the generous permission of the artists.


  1. 1. 40 2 7/8" strips from Lecien.

    2. Rob Appell

  2. Deb, thanks SO much for leaving the answers to our quiz questions. You are right, of course. (If this were the t.v. show, "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire", we'd have to come up with some tougher questions!)

    p.s. Tomorrow we'll be featuring a one-on-one interview with Rob Appell, surf quilter extraordinaire. Stay tuned... you won't want to miss it!


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