Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Quilting in the Garden Quilt Show

Organized by renowned quilter and television personality Alex Anderson,  "Quilting in the Garden" is a yearly show that features nationally known quilters as well as local quilt guild members in Northern California. Join us on a sunny autumn Saturday as we visit the outdoor quilt show on September 24, 2011 at Alden Lane Nursery in Livermore, California.

In this inspiring setting,  the quilts wave happily in the breeze, suspended high above the ground from clotheslines hung between giant oak trees.

Dresden Plates, by Mary Walcher, Amador Valley Quilters

Mary Walcher brings a fun, fresh, approach to traditional Dresden Plate blocks. She has done an excellent job by designing a sampler quilt where the plates are arranged in a contemporary, original setting, like a bouquet of giant, colorful flowers.

Australian Wedding, by Lou Ann Smith at Lou Ann Smith Art

We loved this contemporary take on traditional log-cabin blocks, done in lavenders, grapes, golds, and cocoa browns.  Lou Ann Smith started out with solids, then added Kiwi prints and Aboriginal-inspired patterns to form the centers. An accomplished print-maker and ceramicist, Lou Ann shows a fabulous sense of color and composition. We really regret that the plants and shrubs in the way prevented us from moving in for a close-up of these blocks.

Faded Glory, by Verna Mosquera at The Vintage Spool

Here's an applique tribute to an old-fashioned Fourth of July celebration, featuring bunting, balloons, skyrockets, flags, and an antique wagon and tricycle.  The lively, realistic figures provide an energetic contrast to the subdued, ice cream sherbet-colored pastels in this very eye-catching quilt. The beautiful detail can be seen in the close-up photo, below.

By concentrating the quilting on the background fabric and leaving the applique figures relatively untouched, Verna's creative applique figures really pop off the quilt. The "Faded Glory" pattern is available at The Vintage Spool.

Roseville by Sandra Mollon at Sandra Mollon Quilts

A prolific designer and teacher, Sandra Mollon became fascinated with Baltimore style appliqued quilts about twenty years ago, and has been winning awards for her fabulous hand applique work ever since.  What makes this quilt so entertaining is the diverse array of containers and flowers represented in the Roseville design by Maggie Walker.  This stunning heirloom hung in the trees about fifteen feet above our heads, waving back and forth in a strong breeze,  otherwise we would we have gladly provided some close-up shots for you !

Rose Cottage, by Verna Mosquera at The Vintage Spool

One of the Featured Guest Artists at Quilting in the Garden, Verna Mosquera has created an adorable cotton-candy cottage surrounded by a fanciful garden of flowers and trees. Notice how Verna ties together these charming elements by using the border fabric for the roof of this little fairy-tale home.

IBS Sampler, by Paulette Williams

We love basket sampler quilts, especially when they are updated in a modern medallion setting like the ones shown here.  This clean geometric lines of the baskets and inner borders are complemented by the high contrast ribbon border of navy and yellow.

IBS Sampler by Paulette Williams

A staff member at Livermore's local quilt shop, In Between Stitches, Paulette shows a keen eye for arrangement and composition of traditional Amish blocks done in Bali batiks.  Paulette has provided lots of neutral background space to the medium value Balis, so that each block pattern can be appreciated.  With its intricate patchwork and cool colors,  this quilt is both serene and intriguing.

A beautiful braided border of periwinkles, aquas, deep greens, and lavenders provide great visual interest and the perfect complementary balance to the neutral background of the body of this lovely quilt.

Scuba Time, by Rob Appell

A Featured Artist at this year's show, Rob Appell very kindly took some time to talk to us about his brilliantly colored quilt,  Scuba Time.  Michael Miller Fabrics commissioned Rob to create a landscape quilt with an undersea theme and designed fabrics specifically for this quilt. Based in Morro Bay, California,  Rob has incorporated his love for the ocean into many of his quilt designs; and his work has quickly become nationally and internationally known.  For further information about Rob's fascinating work, please see Quilt Inspiration's interview with Rob Appell here.


  1. Some beautiful quilts! Hope you don't mind I am going to share the first photo (quilts hanging over the gardens) on my blog and suggest readers go to your blog to see more. Gardening is my favorite, so putting the two together was awesome.

  2. What a fantastic way to show off the quilts, would have been quite difficult to photograph them in the breeze, but you managed to do a great job.

  3. Thanks so much for taking us there.
    I could almost feel the breeze and the quilts arelovely.

  4. This is one place I miss since my move out of state. I used to be an Amador Vally Quilter yrs ago. But Alden Lane is one of my favorite places to visit and shop at. Looks like it was a gorgeous day for this.

  5. Thank you everyone, for your comments !
    Seanymph, we are so glad that you are familiar with Alden Lane Nursery. We agree, it is such a fun place, and the plants always look lovely. It was a gorgeous day indeed, but it can get very windy in Livermore, as you know, with the wind blowing through the Altamount pass. Some of the quilts were blowing around wildly and actually got tangled by blowing over the clothesline and folding up on themselves. We loved the warm bright sun, but we could have done with a little less breeze.

    Best wishes, from Marina and Daryl at Quilt Inspiration


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