Brenda Yirsa is a pastel artist and oil painter whose work depicts landscapes, portraiture, and abstracts of Montana and the American West. She has designed quilt patterns for Bigfork Bay Cotton Company based on her original paintings. Her love of Western themes is revealed in her American Icon (cowboy) and Blue Paint (horse). Today we're featuring Brenda's gorgeous flower quilts, which include birds of paradise, plumeria, poinsettia, hibiscus, iris, and more. Her floral designs create a sense of depth through shading and layering of the fabrics, making us feel as if we can reach out and touch the flowers.
Bird of Paradise, 23.5 x 31.5", by Brenda Yirsa, as seen at Bigfork Bay Cotton Co.
Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia) has always been one of our favorite flowers, and this quilt captures its beauty. The genus Strelitzia is native to South Africa, and is named after the duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the birthplace of Queen Charlotte of the United Kingdom. The common name is "bird of paradise", because the flower resembles the avian bird of paradise. The orange flowers of Brenda Yirsa's design are striking against the purple-and-green backdrop (color lovers will note the perfect triadic color scheme). Bigfork Bay Cotton Company offers the bird-of-paradise quilt pattern, or a complete fabric kit.
Plumeria, 19.5 x 24", by Brenda Yirsa, as seen at Bigfork Bay Cotton Co.
Plumeria have a glorious fragrance, which makes them a popular flower for Hawaiian leis. The flowers are most fragrant at night in order to lure sphinx moths to pollinate them. However, the flowers have no nectar, and they fool their pollinators; the moths transfer pollen from flower to flower in their fruitless search for nectar. This system seems to work for both plumeria and moth, since neither of them is endangered ! We love Brenda Yirsa's plumeria applique pattern, which captures the beauty of the flower and its glossy green leaves (a plumeria fabric kit is also available).
Poinsettia, 21" x 23.25", by Brenda Yirsa, as seen at Bigfork Bay Cotton Co.
If you've ever seen a poinsettia growing in the wild, you know that this is truly an exotic plant. The poinsettia plant grows as a shrub or small tree, which can reach a height of up to 4m (16 feet)! The plant bears dark green leaves, and the colored bracts—which are most often flaming red - are actually leaves. Brenda Yirsa's poinsettia pattern reminds us of the wild plant in the tropics; the reds and greens of this quilt look perfect against the sophisticated black-and-white border.
For more information on Brenda Yirsa's original artwork, please visit her website, www.yirsa.com. For a complete list of Brenda Yirsa's quilt patterns and fabric kits, visit the Bigfork Bay Cotton Company.
Image credits: Images are shown with the generous permission of Brenda Yirsa.