Friday, August 12, 2011

Art in Quilts --- Quilts in Art

One of our favorite quilt patterns is Storm at Sea. We love the way that the straight seams create the appearance of waves and circles. When we caught a glimpse of this dazzling storm-at-sea quilt.... somewhere... it took our breath away.  Just look at the tall ship, with its quilts for sails, in the center panel. We simply had to find out more.

On a Quilted Breeze, 87 x 109", by the Oregon Coastal Quilters Guild, with artwork by Dennis McGregor

 "On a Quilted Breeze" was designed around a glorious painting, by Dennis McGregor, called "Women on Board" (see the detail image below). The quilt designer, Nan Scott, cleverly integrated the artwork into the quilt by selecting the colors of the storm-at-sea blocks to match the colors in the image, so that the center panel appears to flow seamlessly into the blocks. If you look carefully at the quilt you will see a horizontal band of apricot-and-peach blocks, which match the colors on the horizon. The golden tones in some of the blocks match the colors in the clouds and sails, while the cerulean and aqua blues match the colors of the sky and topsail.  There is even a circular motif, reminiscent of the sun, in the upper left corner of the quilt.

Women on Board, 19 x 25", limited edition print, by Dennis McGregor

We'd love to climb on board this magical ship, with its flying geese, feathered stars, and other quilted sails.  Dennis McGregor, award-winning artist and singer-songwriter, makes his home in central Oregon - the home of the famous Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show.  In fact, Dennis has created many of the posters for the quilt show (and the Sisters Folk Festival.... and the Sisters Rodeo).  You can see the fabulous collection on his website.

Annie, 28 x 18", by Dennis McGregor at

In the background of "Annie" are the majestic Three Sisters volcanic peaks, each over 10,000 feet in elevation, that dominate the skyline.  The town of Sisters, Oregon was named after the peaks, and the stunning scenery of the region is brought to life in Dennis McGregor's painting.

There are wonderful gifts for quilters on Dennis' website, where you can find note cards, t-shirts, and even Quiltoos. Check it out, here (you'll be glad you did).  And, if you are curious to find out more,  you can see a 2004 video of Dennis in action -  singing, and painting, and talking about what inspires him -  courtesy of Oregon Public Broadcasting.

Image credits: Images of "Women on Board" and "Annie" are shown with the generous permission of Dennis McGregor. "On a Quilted Breeze" was designed by Nan Scott and pieced by 48 guild members of the Oregon Coastal Quilters Guild. The quilting was done by Lisa Taylor and Mechelle Johnson.

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