Friday, May 27, 2011

Pieces of paradise: the floral quilts of Eileen Sullivan

It's day 4 of our exotic floral quilt series, and we're so excited about this collection. If you've ever wanted to make a floral quilt, but are not that enthused about applique, then these quilt designs are made for you.  Eileen Sullivan has created a series of foundation-pieced patterns for some of our favorite tropical and native flowers: waterlilies, birds of paradise, daylilies, dogwood, and many more. Here is a sampling of her stunning designs.

Waterlilies, 29 x 23", by Eileen Sullivan, at The Designer's Workshop

Waterlilies are among the most beautiful flowers in the world.  These flowers captured the attention of French Impressionist Claude Monet, who created a series of approximately 250 oil paintings known as Water Lilies (or Nymphéas). The beautiful quilt shown above is adapted from Eileen Sullivan's award-winning quilt, "Remembering Monet". Elements which extend into the borders are pieced as part of the overall design. The pattern contains complete instructions, practice sections, and one full size freezer paper foundation.

Birds of Paradise, 24 x 36", by Eileen Sullivan, at The Designer's Workshop

We love birds of paradise... and we are amazed by the perfect detail of the flowers and leaves in Eileen Sullivan's quilt. Even the veins in the leaves are pieced (click on the image to see the detail !) Eileen explains that "foundation piecing makes the sharp points of this exotic flower a breeze".

Dogwood, 25 x 29", by Eileen Sullivan, at The Designer's Workshop

Our favorite memory of dogwoods comes from a springtime trip to Yosemite National Park, when the trees were in full bloom. The delicate white flowers seemed to glow as the sun filtered down through the trees. The quilt shown above features blossoms, leaves and stems that appear to drift in the breeze in this classic styling of a world wide favorite.  We also love the choice of border, which looks just like a natural wood frame surrounding a painting.  The dogwood pattern includes the complete directions and Master Pattern for the project shown above, as well as a 10" single flower block !

At The Designers Workshop you will find foundation-pieced patterns for so many favorite flowers... we'll name just a few: christmas cactus, day lilies, peace lilies, pansy, hollyhock, magnolia, and morning glory. Printed freezer paper foundation sheets eliminate the tracing step and are included in each pattern. In the catalog you can also find such handy items as Foundation Piecing 101: A 16 page booklet that will walk you through all the steps necessary to take the mystery out of foundation piecing (six easy 3” blocks move from simple to more complex).

Image credits:  Images are shown with the generous permission of Eileen Sullivan.

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