Friday, March 30, 2012

Quilt Inspiration Classics: Easter Quilts

We've always had a soft spot for Easter, bunnies, and eggs. The quilts in this post first appeared on March 31, 2010, when we had about 7 followers... so you may not have seen these before!  This is one of our favorite posts from that year.

Egg cups quilt, ~ 20 x 30, by Jean Loken



We came across the beautiful quilt, above, and were impressed not only by the 18 different Delft style egg cups, but also by the colorful, three-dimensional lattice work. The quilt was made by the late Jean Loken, who generously shared the story with us in 2010: "It was from a Dutch company, and friends of mine imported some of their fabulous fabrics and wondered if anyone they knew would tackle a quilt with instructions in Dutch... I found a Dutch lady who translated it for me. Then I had to change the centimeters into inches that I could cut with a rotary cutter. The diamond intersections were harder than I thought they would be, but we love the quilt." You can read about Jean Loken, her life and her quilts, at SJ Loken

Garden Bunnies, 66 x 77, by Darcy Ashton at Ashton Publications




Darcy Ashton has created a series of wildly popular bunny patterns and quilts. This marvelous quilt features ten hand-appliquéd bunnies set among log cabin blocks, done in the colors of spring. The patterns for all of the bunnies - and for eleven different quilts featuring them - are in Bunnies & More, a book by Ashton Publications.

Baltimore Bunnies,64 x 79, by Anne Sutton for Bunny Hill Designs




The beautiful Baltimore Bunnies Quilt by Bunny Hill Designs has twelve different appliquéd blocks, in the style of an heirloom Baltimore album quilt. Two of the ornate blocks, which feature bunnies framed by flower wreaths, are shown above. Also check out these classic Bunny Hill patterns: Garden Bunny, Sugar Bunnies, The Bunny Run, The French Rabbits, and Rabbits Prefer Chocolate.

Bunny Medallion Quilt, by Darcy Ashton at Ashton Publications




The bright pink cabbage roses, above, provide the perfect backdrop for the little white bunny. The bunny is from Darcy Ashton's original Grandma's Bunnies book. Although the book itself is out of print, the loose-leaf collection of 30 rabbit patterns is still available. To order, see Ashton Publications' patterns page.

Bunnies & Egg, 18 x 19.5, by Diane McGregor at Castilleja Cotton



Three bunnies and an egg: do the math. In this whimsical mini quilt, the white bunnies peer out from behind a giant egg, while pink and red butterflies... flutter by. The pattern is available at Castilleja Cotton along with the adorable Bunny and Egg, below.


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

Monday, March 26, 2012

Arizona Quilt Show 2012: The Finale

Welcome to the last day of photos from the Arizona Quilter's Guild Show this month !  We had a wonderful time attending this show, and we always love to read your comments about which quilt is your favorite.

Starfire by Audrey Longhurst. First Place, Pieced- Medium


First place winner for medium-size pieced quilts, Audrey Longhurst says, I began this quilt in a workshop taught by Judy Niemeyer.  It may not be obvious, but the quilt is composed of square blocks."  Audrey did an excellent job of color selection for this vibrant pattern. There are enough neutral hues placed around the center stars, that they really blaze forth and create a very eye-catching design.

 Royal Crown with Fans, collection of Quilt Appraiser Nora Mohr, White Mountain Quilt Studio


This elegant, stately Hawaiian quilt is believed to be created about the year 1930. Although the quiltmaker is unknown, the experts at the Hawaiian Quilt Project think it is the the work of Hannah Ku'umililani Cummings Baker (1906-1981). Hawaiian quilts made before World War II were both appliqued and quilted with white thread, using a very thin cotton batting. Nora Mohr notes that the echo outline of these quilts is described as one finger or two finger. This quilt is echo quilted at one finger, in rows 3/8 " apart.

From Quilt Inspiration's posts and research on Hawaiian quilts, we have learned that the outline of the crowns shown here is a way of honoring the Hawaiian kings and queens. The crowns motifs are a popular theme in Hawaiian quilts of past decades.

Picnic Time by Angie Steveson, quilted by Jessica Jones.


Second place winner for small mixed technique quilts, Angie Steveson writes, "My love for food was the inspiration for this original quilt. Seven different food appliques are scattered about as ants join the picnic." We really enjoyed this cheerful, whimsical quilt, with the ants (who were even carried over to the quilt back !), the red checkered tablecloth, and the realistic picnic food appliques.

Another One That Got Away by Amanda Thrall Jeffrey


Amanda Thrall Jeffrey writes, "I designed this after taking a class with Susan Carlson in 2007. I am a fly fisherwoman, but have never actually caught one (yet) !"  We love the bright complementary colors of the violets, blues, oranges and golden yellow, the excellent, realistic detail of the fish itself,  and the lively print border.

Hawk by Rita Vautrin, quilted by Rita Vautrin


Of this quilt, Rita Vautrin writes simply, "Inspired by a picture I took in Brazil."  This pictorial quilt impressed us as being very true-to-life. Rita's design and applique work captured the dignity of the hawk and his sharp, watchful eye very well. She carefully blended browns, golds, and grays to depict the nuances of light and shadow on the hawk's wings and on his perch.

Close-up, Hawk by Rita Vautrin


In this close-up, you can see some of the beautiful quilting work, including the use of thread painting to enhance the hawk's face and upper wings. The swirling designs of the sky quilting give us a sense of the wind blowing gustily around the hawk's hidden and high-up perch in the tree branches.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Best of the 2012 Arizona Quilt Show: Part 6

We can't get enough of beautiful quilts ! That's the entire purpose of this blog. What pride these quilters must have felt in seeing their outstanding work displayed at the Arizona Quilter's Guild 2012 show. We were impressed by all these quilts: and we'd love to read your comments about which quilt impressed you the most.

Jerome I by Margot McDonnell


Up in the beautiful foothills of north central Arizona, the old western town of Jerome is well-known throughout the state for honoring its heritage. Margot McDonnell's outstanding use of  all neutral hues shows great detail and flawless perspective in depicting this vintage house standing proudly against the elements of winter. Blue-ribbon winner for Pictorial Quilts, Margot's work is hand appliqued, hand embroidered, and machine quilted.

The Poseidon Adventure by Monika Hancock, quilted by Debbie Stanton


Blue ribbon winner in the category of Large Pieced Quilts, artist Monica Hancock writes,  " (Longarm quilter) Debbie Stanton picked this pattern from Judy Martin's "Stellar Quilts", hinting that I needed more challenging projects.....she was right ! It took time and thinking about the process." The modern Greek Key design using a range of lovely blue batiks, interspersed with traditional Ohio Star blocks really caught our eye in this king-sized quilt.

Close-up, The Poseidon Adventure, quilted by Debbie Stanton


In addition to the blue ribbon for piecing, "The Poseidon Adventure" also won the turquoise ribbon Exemplary Award for machine quilting with a track mounted machine. Debbie Stanton's beautiful swirled quilting pattern provides a perfect contrast to the geometric, angular design of the blocks.

Magical Midnight Garden by Judith Ritner and Designing Women members, quilted by Cindy Phare


First place winner for Best Quilt by a Group, Judith Ritner says,  "An original design created and executed by Designing Women group members. (This quilt was)  paper pieced, regular pieced, and hand appliqued." These gorgeous colors and the sprightly art nouveau style flowers interspersed with modern Mariner's Compass blocks remind us of a glowing, lit-from-behind Tiffany stained glass window.

A Baltimore Album by Barbara Klink, quilted by Sharon Brooks


Barbara Klink notes, "I machine embroidered this Baltimore Album quilt taught by Claudia Dinnell ( who digitized the patterns)." Machine embroidery patterns and designs have burgeoned in the past two decades, and in the hands of skilled artists like Barbara Klink and Claudia Dinnell, stunning quilts like the one above have been created. This is a great example of new technology being used to create time-honored and well-loved quilt blocks.

Simply Quilts Quilt, round robin, Lorraine Owen, Cindy Phare and Charlotte York.  Quilted by Lorraine Owen.


Lorraine Owen states,  "This was a Round Robin with some friends. The center was made by me, the butterflies (in the corners) were made by Cindy Phare, and the moustaches (at the sides) were made by Charlotte York." Red and white quilts are always so cheerful, and this delightful pattern is no exception. Look closely at the center of the quilt, and you can see how the pattern appears to "spin around " with dynamic energy.

Close-up of Simply Quilts Quilt


This is a quilt after the circa 1900 Vortex quilt in the American Folk Art Museum, which we posted in our Infinite Variety in Two Colors: Red and White feature.  There is also a link to a reproduction vortex quilt pattern in our Free Pattern Day - Red & White Quilts. We love this pattern and the fascinating optical illusions created by it.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Best of the 2012 Arizona Quilt Show: Part 5

Another day, another beautiful quilt -- or five !-- from the 2012 Arizona Quilter's Guild Show in Mesa, AZ. Even though the show's organizers had thoughtfully set up a "Viewer's Choice" ballot box where attendees could vote for their favorite, we couldn't choose just one. We thought they were all terrific ! What about you ?  Let us know your "Viewer's Choice" selection in the comments below.

Colorburst by Julie Mossier


Second place winner for pieced, medium-size quilts, Julie Mossier says,  "I love Jacqueline de Jonge's designs, but I modified the pattern a bit. With over 1000 pieces and 100  + fabrics, it was very challenging to keep everything organized. " Look carefully at the focal point, the 8 pointed star in the center.Can you see the fascinating three dimensional effect that makes the points and planes of the star appear to fold backward and forward like a paper fan ?  Julie has used pure, color-drenched fabric to create a spectacular work.

Scraps and Roses by Bev Lawrence


Like a burst of springtime flowers that all of a sudden blossom forth, this stunning king size quilt really captures the viewer's eye. Creator Bev Lawrence describes it as a "scrap quilt", but the colors are so beautifully coordinated, that it becomes a perfect blend of pinks, oranges, yellows, and purples. The flying geese sashing and elegant border of flowers give this quilt so much sparkle and charm. "Scraps and Roses" was one of our very favorites at the show this year.

Close-up of Scraps and Roses


Observe the beautiful applique work, the careful echo quilting, and the attention to fine detail, including the little French knots on the petals of the flowers !  We wish this quilt would have won a prize, as the workmanship and colors were so lovely.

Roseus by JoAnn Kilgroe, quilted by Jessica Jones.  Honorable Mention.


JoAnn Kilgroe writes,  "I love pinks, purples, and batiks.Collecting the 80 different fabrics was as much fun as making my quilt." We think that JoAnn has done an excellent job of fabric placement, achieving a sun-dappled effect of light and shadows together. "Roseus" uses batiks to their maximum potential in creating both high contrasts and a soft, restful, luscious pastel effect at the same time.

Spinning Blocks by Louise Tilby, quilted by Linda Visnow


Geometric three-dimensional designs in quilts have always amazed us, and this one's no exception. Louise Tilbey notes, "The hand applique was done using the English paper piecing method, which entails basting the fabric to paper templates, then appliqueing them to the background fabric."  Look at Louise's marvelous craftsmanship and flawless eye for monochromatic color selection of these blocks. They appear to be floating through deep space, like mysterious celestial jewels.

Sashiko Hexagon Sampler by Julianne Dodds


Julianne Dodds tells us, "Loving oriental fabrics and designs led me to Sashiko (Japanese hand embroidery). This wall hanging is paper-pieced and hand-quilted." Formal and elegant, this sampler is a wonderful tribute to Asian fabric patterns and symmetrical, graceful designs.

Close-up of  Sashiko Hexagon Sampler


We were very impressed by the precise, painstaking stitching and the selection of Sashiko designs to match the patterns of the printed fabrics.  Julianne Dodds' embroidery, quilting, and piecing skills are most admirable!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Free Pattern Day: Easter !

Easter is associated with so many fun traditions.... it might be time to whip up an Easter quilt, bunny, or eggs to celebrate the season.  Here some free patterns to get you (us) going.  (Note:  this post was updated on April 17, 2014)


Easter Table Topper, free pattern by Amanda Murphy


April Bite Size Quilt, 12"square, by Lisa Norton at Quilt Patterns Direct 



Barn Babies Quilt, free pattern at Robert Kaufman Fabrics


Honey Bunny mini quilt, free pattern and tutorial by Kellie Wulfsohn at Don't Look Now


Carrot Table Runner seen at Chickn Girl, free pattern at Better Homes and Gardens


Vegetable Patch mini quilt, free pattern at The Purl Bee


Easter Quilt by Fran Rourke at Spotlight (Australia)



Whack-a-Bunny quilt tutorial at The Plaid Scottie



Bunny Dreams Table Topper tutorial by Cherry Blossoms as seen at Sew We Quilt


 Easter Applique Wall Hanging by Christina Sherrod at Craft and Fabric Links


Bunny Hop mini quilt, 17 x 17", free pattern by Irene Berry and Susan Geddes at Quilters Newsletter


Hoppy Easter mini quilt, free pattern at Attic Window Quilt Shop


Happy Easter Wall Hanging tutorial by Samelia's Mum


Rise and Shine Placemat Tutorial by Vicki Welsh at Field Trips in Fiber


Bunny Hop Pillow by Amy at Ameroonie Designs


Easter Egg Block tutorial at Sew a Straight Line


Easter Egg Cushions tutorial at Peppermint Patcher


Happy Easter Mug Rug at Sulky International


Silk Easter Egg Stitchery, free patterns by Janet M. Davies at JMD Designs


Egg Mug Rug tutorial at Where The Orchids Grow


Fabric Carrot Tutorial at Clare's Craftroom


More Free Easter sewing projects 

Above, Row 1, L-R: Patchwork Easter Eggs by Molly at Purl Bee; Spring Wreath by Melissa Mortenson for Moda Bake Shop; Fabric Covered Eggs by Vanessa Christenson. Row 2: Felt Peeps bunting by Dana of Made as seen at Vanessa ChristensonRow 3:  Cashmere Bunnies by Betz White; Fabric Easter Egg Tutorial for pieced eggs at Retro Mama; Fabric Easter Basket by Vanessa Christenson.


Above, Row 1, L-R: Rabbit centerpiece at Pane, Amore e Creatività (Bread, Love and Creativity in Italian; there is a translate button under the ads on the right sidebar).  Easter Bunny free pattern at Apine Industriose  (Italian). The pdf template does not require translation.  To translate the post, go to translate.google.com and type in this URL.) Row 2: Felt Chocolate Easter Bunny by Tina at Art Chick Studio; Bunny Finger Puppets at The Purl Bee. Row 3: Felt Peeps Bunnies at Mommy Savers.


Image credits:  Individual images are copyrighted by their owners. Please respect their generosity in sharing their free patterns, and the restrictions they have placed on the use of these designs; complete information can be found at the designers' websites provided in the links. The images shown on this page are derivative works that are the property of Quilt Inspiration; please do not copy them without permission. If any links are broken, we'd love to know; email us at Quilt Inspiration.
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