Thursday, June 28, 2012

Storm-at-Sea Quilts, free block diagrams and patterns

Storm at Sea is a pattern that uses small changes in straight angles to create an optical illusion of rounded shapes.  Here are some gorgeous quilts which are all based on different shadings of storm-at-sea blocks.  We drew up some blocks so we could analyze the design; you can download them for free, along with several free patterns, at the links provided below.   (This post was updated on December 19, 2013).
  
Eye of the Storm, Heart of the Storm, Summerfest Garden, Oceana, Delft Storm, and Albers at Sea


Row 1:  Eye of the Storm by Peggy Martin, at Peggy Martin Quilts; Heart of the Storm by John Flynn, at Flynn QuiltRow 2: Summerfest Garden by Joen Wolfrom; Oceana by Linda Jean Peterson at Cape Cod Art Studio. Row 3:  Delft Storm, by Ionne McCauley at Ionne Quilts; Albers at Sea by Debra Levin at the Empire Quilters Guild.

About the storm-at-sea block:  The storm-at-sea block is based on a 3x3 grid.  This works out well for a 12" block, or any other size that is divisible by three.


Here is the traditional block, below, which has an elongated diamond (shown as two isosceles triangles) on the left hand side and the top :


Here is what the quilt would look like if 20 blocks were placed in a 4x5 grid (below). Note that an additional vertical row of diamonds is placed along the right side of the quilt to finish it off.  


These diagrams are fun to color, and are great for teaching kids about quilting (and geometry).  See if they can find different shapes within the grid, such as flowers, hearts, ribbons, and waves.  You can even find *stars* within the single-sashing version:


In a second variation, the diamond "sashing" is placed on all four sides of the center square, as shown below:


When this "double sashing" block is replicated, it creates a double set of waves in the design, as shown below :


You can download the block diagrams here. For more inspiration here is a free storm-at-sea block pattern from Art Gallery Fabrics, a free pattern by Emily Bailey for Fons and Porter, and a free "Stormy Seas" quilt pattern by Yolanda Fundora.

Storm at Sea block, Art Gallery Fabrics, free pattern at Quilt Magazine

Stormy Seas, 52 x 84", free pattern by Emily Bailey for Fons and Porter

Stormy Seas, 46 x 46", free pattern by Yolanda Fundora at Urban Amish

Image credits and links: Block diagrams are by Quilt Inspiration. Images are shown with the generous permission of the artists. For the original posts, see Storm at Sea Quilts; Straight piecing patterns that appear curved; Can you believe it's a storm-at-seaDelft Storm; and Albers at Sea.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Quilt Inspiration Classics: Art in Quilts

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, it took our breath away.  Just look at the tall ship in the center, with quilts serving as sails.

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). 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 right corner of the quilt.

Lisa J. Taylor at Glen Quilts did most of the quilting in both free-hand and laser-guided patterns on her Gammill longarm, with some assistance in the form of computer-guided elements by Ms. Michelle Johnson (also of the OCQG) on her Gammill longarm with Statler Stitcher.

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 whole collection on his website. There also are wonderful gifts for quilters on Dennis' website, where you can find note cards, t-shirts, and even Quiltoos. Check it out, here.

Image credits: This post first appeared in August, 2011. The image of "Women on Board" is 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 Michelle Johnson.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Free Pattern Day: Union Jack

~All of our free pattern days are archived in the free patterns tab at the top of this page ~
The city of London will host the Games of the XXX Olympiad this summer, and we couldn't be more excited.  The festivities start on July 27, 2012!  In honor of the Olympic Games, and all things British, we've collected some fun (and free) patchwork and applique patterns and tutorials.  As of this writing, there are 36 days until the opening ceremonies... so let's get started!


Above, Row 1: Shabby Chic Union Jack Wall Hanging tutorial by Lynne Goldsworthy at Lily’s Quilts for Moda Bake Shop; Stitch a Union Jack felt cushion (with a heart in the middle), featuring embroidery and appliqué, by Jan Constantine at All About You. Row 2: Free pattern, Scrappy Union Jack by Helen at Bustle and Sew magazine;   Union Jack A La Summersville, string piecing method, by Heather ({House} of A La Mode).  Row 3: Applique Union Jack cushion, free pattern, at Sew Make Believe; pieced Union Jack cushion tutorial at Just Sew Brighton.



Above, Row 1: London Collection by Makower UK; projects include a Union Jack cushion (left), bunting, shopping tote and other free projects.  As of this writing, the fabrics are available at many places including the Fat Quarter Shop. Row 2: London Calling by Timeless Treasures Fabrics, including Underground map fabric (seen at Hawthorne Threads); free projects include a London Tote Bag, Kindle Cover and iPad2 Cover by Michelle Rosca; download projects at Timeless Treasures Fabrics.   Row 3: Foundation pieced Union Jack tutorial, made with tapestry fabrics, at Lawson and Lotti; Double Fat Jack tutorial by Lynne Goldsworthy at Lily’s Quilts (it's called a Double Fat Jack because you make a Union Jack from two fat quarters).



Above, Row 1:  Union Jack Pillow printed on fabric, by Marcy from Haverford House, free vintage printable at The Graphics Fairy; Union Jack removable passport cover tutorial by Anjie Davison at Pom Pom Emporium. Row 2:  Union Jack necklace tutorial, made from scraps, by Natalie Santini at Hungry Hippie; DIY 'LOVE letters' tutorial at Lucy Locket Weddings. Row 3: Finally, if you want to speed things up, here is a pre-printed Union Jack panel from Benartex Fabrics; as of this writing the fabric is still available at various sites including the Fat Quarter Shop.

Image Credits:  All 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.  If any links are broken, we'd love to know; email us at Quilt Inspiration.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Wine Country Quilt Show Day 8

Here's the final day of the Wine Country Quilt Show from Santa Rosa, California. We've had a great time showing you a diverse collection of quilts from these excellent quilt artists.

Toucan U Can 2 by Pat Meiswinkel


Here's a quilt with a cheerful tropical theme. Two large-beaked toucan birds have made their home in the center palm tree. Fabrics of animal prints and jungle foliage surround this happy duo. Quilter Pat Meiswinkel writes,  "This was a fun quilt to quilt. It took me about 10 hours to do the freehand surface quilting designs." The pattern is "Jungle Fever" by Luella Doss and Andrea Schuster for Free Spirit Fabric.

Spring Rain by Elizabeth Marrs


Spring Rain is inspired by quilter Sharon Schlotzhauer's work, Really Wild Flowers, which won First Place in the Whimsical Art Quilts category at the 2011 Houston International Quilt Festival; it was pictured in the American Quilter magazine in November 2011. An  array of playful spring flowers awaits the arrival of giant raindrops. Notice how the diagonal quilting reinforces the raindrops' downward sense of movement and provides a cohesive effect to this eye-catching quilt. 

Poppies, Quails, and Poppies Oh My! by the Moonlight Quilters of Sonoma County
 

The 2012 Opportunity Quilt is an homage to the Respit Quilts made by Moonlight Quilters back in the 1980's. These quilts always featured quails and California poppies (the state flower) among Sonoma County natural bounty; apple blossoms, grapevines, and wildflowers, to name a few. They were hand-appliqued and quilted by members. This quilt was designed by Gina Stateler-Calhoun and Mary Flynn. It was constructed by many members of the guild, featuring both traditional piecing and art quilt appliqued techniques. It was quilted by Ann Linville and Gina Stateler-Calhoun. We liked the handsome, stately, look of this quilt, with its deep historical meaning.

Close-Up of Poppies, Quails, and Poppies, Oh My ! 
 

In this center medallion, the grape leaves are attached in such a way that they "float" one or two inches about the quilt surface, giving a three-dimensional look of a grape arbor fluttering in the breeze.You can see the quail birds and the golden poppies at the base of the grapevine. The variegated earth tones pay homage to the natural surroundings of the town of Santa Rosa, which lies in a rich agricultural area, blessed with fertile soil.

Keith's Turkey by Ellen Cooper, exhibited by Elizabeth McDonnell
 

Elizabeth McDowell writes," My husband, Keith, made friends with a wild turkey that hung around our house. It would follow Keith around [when he was outside]. Unfortunately, a bobcat captured and killed the turkey on our back patio last year. Ellen Cooper made this quilt as a Christmas gift to remind us of Keith and his friend." 

Preserved by Jim Haws 



Jim Haws writes simply "A collection of life items."  He has chosen a clever selection of interesting novelty print fabrics to show various items worth gathering together in groups.  The muted background provides an excellent contrast for these colorful jars.

Image credits:  Photos are by Quilt Inspiration.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Q.I. Classics: a Father's Day Quilt

The tie has achieved notoriety as the traditional Father's Day gift to Dad from his family. However, some quilt artists have turned neckties into brilliant works of art. Here is a quilt that reminds us of an ornate tapestry.

Father's Day 1976, by Bette Haddon, at Studio ArtQuilts


The quilt was created by Bette Haddon, an award-winning quilt artist who lives in beautiful DeFuniak Springs, Florida. She used whole ties along with tie tips, labels, and buttons, to create a highly textured surface (we counted over 200 buttons and labels).


Image credits:  This post first appeared at Quilt Inspiration on June 14, 2011. The quilt is shown with the generous permission of Bette Haddon.  For more quilts made from neckties, see All Tied Up ! Quilts Made from Neckties.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Wine Country Quilt Show - Day 7

Here are more great quilts from Santa Rosa, California. The guilds around this medium size town 50 miles north of San Francisco contain many talented and prolific quilters.

Hawaiian Fish by Carroll Hirsch


We wanted to pack our bags and head straight for the islands, after seeing these really fun, vibrantly colored appliqued fish swimming around, surrounded by royal blue sashing. Carroll Hirsch says, "Going into a fabric store on Kauai, buying a stack of cut fabric for the fish and a Beyond the Reef pattern [designed by Natalie Barnes] started my journey into quilting."

Flowers by Natalie Polin


Natalie Polin says, "Japanese pattern from a class taught by Judy Bianchi at Fabrications in Healdsburg, California. Most of the fabrics are from Japan, collected in a visit to Japan. The cheerful, bright nine patch border make the cinnamon red, chambray blue, and soft gray blocks really sparkle.

Red, White, and Blue Farmer's Sampler by Marilyn Drew


An eye-catching giant sampler, this quilt contains so many fascinating designs. It's like looking through a huge scrapbook of interesting patterns. Marilyn Drew writes, "This is from the Farmer's Wife sampler book."

Tree of Paradise by D.J. Berger


Here's a precisely pieced quilt that shows excellent workmanship of the Amish pine tree pattern. The creative sawtooth border replicates the the tree tops and adds a very cohesive effect. D.J. Berger says, "Fell in love with the border fabric and lucky to find a soft yellow background at the same shop in Lakeport. Quilting pattern is taken from Islamic Art." 

Iowa Barn 3:1946 by Pam Pilcher


This architectural theme quilt is actually four separate panels held together by steel hinges. We thought it was one of the most unique and innovative works at the quilt show.  Pam Pilcher writes, " The Pilcher barn in its red paint days, stands near Lawton, Iowa. These photos, scanned and printed on fabric, were taken in 1946, with the working team  [of horses] Mike and Pete pulling a wagon out front. The  [image made from] rubbing the hinge on the top board is one that was removed from a door when the farm was sold in 1978. Barn Board fabric was painted and rubbed with Setacolor and Shiva Paint Sticks.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wine Country Quilt Show Day 6

Come along and wander around the Wine Country Quilt Show with us for Day 6 and some pretty color combinations. As a wise quilter once said, "Quilt shows are like a box of chocolates !  You never know what you're gonna get......"

Indigo Manor by Louisa Otis


Louisa says,  The pattern for this quilt, called Meet Me At the Manor, appeared in Quiltmaker Magazine in 2010-2011. The clear, restful blue monochromatic hues combined with the lively border of traditional pinwheels and stars, provide a charming effect for this delightful quilt.

California Stars by D.J. Berger
 

D.J. Berger writes, "The California Star pattern is an intricate feather star pattern with a double 9 patch center. I enjoyed using representational fabrics which show the complexity of California within the complex star. California is an incredible state, from lava flows in the north, through amazing agricultural areas to surfing and colors of Death Valley...."  If you look at the center block, you will see Yosemite National Park with its famous El Capitan rock and a waterfall in the distance. The vivid combination of landscape scenes and advanced patchwork comprises a challenging project that turned out beautifully.

Jeweled Stars by Ellindale Wells


From the Shining Stars pattern by Beth Cameron for The Rabbit Factory, this quilt uses half-square triangles to produce very intriguing three-dimensional shapes. The design is so versatile that it can be made  with contemporary vibrant batiks, Civil War burgundies, indigos, and taupes, or retro 1930's tiny prints. Ellindale Wells states, "I kept seeing this pattern in a catalog, finally ordered it, and spent several years gathering fabrics and making a block now and then. Eventually it was completed and is our cheerful bed quilt."

Geisha in the Garden, made by Terry Breazeale, exhibited by Joanne Thomas



Joanne Thomas writes, "This beautifully designed and sewn quilt by Terry Breazeale was a gift to me as our "Bad Girls Quilt Too"  2011 Christmas gift exchange. I am  grateful to receive this fabulous quilt from a wonderful friend."  Terry's beautiful applique work and quilting skills make this lovely quilt very special.

Weird Cats by Marilyn Bruce
 

Hung high above our heads was this adorable quilt of whimsical appliqued cats, obviously thinking about getting into trouble, as cats will do !  The unique, colorful sashing and border treatment create an eye-catching, high contrast effect. Marilyn says that she made "Weird Cats" as a gift to donate to the Humane Society.  (Note: the Fancy Cats fabric by Makower UK is out of print but can sometimes be found on Etsy or Ebay).

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Wine Country Quilt Show Day 5

Let's take a look at some more fun quilts at the Wine Country Quilt Show in Santa Rosa, California !

Fly Me to the Moon by Genelle Voorhees


Genelle writes that this quilt was made at a Bishop's Ranch quilting retreat sponsored by The Material Girl. The celestial effect of this quilt is enhanced by the background fabric which resembles the starry heavens as seen through a powerful telescope.

Sapphire Village by Donna Huckaby

 
Donna says, " I have always admired house block quilts. This year, I decided to make my own. I made most of the houses and the many trees at the Moonlight Quilters of Sonoma County retreat at Walker Creek Ranch. I had a marvelous time and love this quilt. "  We too, love quilts with house blocks, as they always seem so "homey" and cheerful.  Donna has done an excellent job of selecting monochromatic blue fabrics which provide a cohesive and organized look to this cute quilt. 

Double Wedding Ring by Sandra Wasson


Sandra Wasson says,  "This quilt was made with love for my son and daughter-in-law for their wedding day, June 10, 2011."  Sandra updated this traditional, popular design by adding a contemporary border of four-patch green, blue, and pink blocks. 

Four Teapots by Linda Morand


Linda writes, "From my Asian teapots series which was displayed at Moshin Vineyards Tasting Room." The four teapots each appear to be appliqued to a pieced background of muted colors. They provide a soothing, serene aspect to this quilt, much like a Japanese tea ceremony. 

Roxie by Carol Deards


Carol Deards says, "Raw edge applique portrait designed from a photograph. Created from commercial cotton fabrics. Satin stitched to add detail." Carol did a great job on this lifelike depiction of her dog's facial features, especially Roxie's eyes and ears.

Image credits:  photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Wine Country Quilt Show: Day 4

We were very impressed with the variety of quilts we saw from the guilds who presented the Wine Country Quilt Show in Santa Rosa, California.  Let's take a look at some more intriguing quilts on Day 4!

Tropical Whimsy by Nancy O'Brien


Nancy writes, "Kit set purchased in New Zealand, pattern by Cynthia Tomaszewski (at Simple Pleasures).  Applique fused and machine stitched." We like the way that the subtly varied shades of exotic green leaves seem to swirl around the eye-catching flowers and sashing. 

One Bravo Papa by Marilyn Bruce


Marilyn notes, "When my grandson said he wanted an airplane quilt, I decided to make it as a memorial to my husband, the plane he built, and some of the places to which we traveled."  We especially like the lower edge of the bright pinwheel blocks, which remind us of an airplane propeller. Red, white, and blue are one of our favorite color combinations for quilts. 

Close-Up of One Bravo Papa by Marilyn Bruce


Marilyn thoughtfully chose traditional Amish blocks with centers where she could include cherished photographs of their plane trips. This one shows them on the ground in Juneau, Alaska. 

Hens In Boots by Ellindale Wells


Ellindale notes, "When I draw chickens, this is what they look like. Applying the quilt technique of Therese May to that doodle resulted in Hens In Boots." The cute button eyes of the chickens and the surrounding chicken wire fabric add to the whimsical effect of this fun quilt. 

Lakeside by Carroll Hirsch


"I started this quilt in a class taught by Gloria Loughman at the Pacific International Quilt Festival in October 2011, using her pattern  'Lakeside',  states quilter Carroll Hirsch. We really like the dreamy, languid effect created by the lovely watercolor fabric tones. 

Red Desert by Linda Morand


Linda notes, "Inspired by a photo by Debby Bainbridge. Made for a homework assignment in a Pointless Sisters Design class. I over-dyed fabrics with Ret dye in the washing machine for my reds."  We think the long horizontal lines that Linda used to quilt this landscape scene are very effective. They remind us of the high desert plateaus of the American Southwest, with their far-ranging, wide-open spaces.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wine Country Quilt Show : Day 3

Welcome to Day 3 of the Wine Country Quilt Show !  We loved all the quilts which we are displaying in this series; and we always enjoy reading about which ones are your favorites.

Stained Glass Flowers by Judy Kubilus


Judy says that this was a block-of-the-month project at a local quilt shop; and when she saw it, she knew that she wanted to make it.  The vibrant designs in contemporary colors give this art deco-inspired pattern a bold, modern look.

Barney by Pam McVey


Pam writes, "I've wanted to make a Barn Owl quilt since one took up residence in our backyard several years ago."  Pam provided excellent contrast in this design by providing "Barney" with his own light lavender background and border. An array of well-loved traditional Amish blocks give this quilt a warm, comfortable, homey appeal.

Penguins on Parade by Pam Brown


Pam notes, "We did a penguin for the Moonlighters Block of the Month, and I fell in love with him and decided to make the whole quilt using Laura Nownes and Diana McClun's pattern (Calling All Penguins).  Jackie Pavlicek did a fabulous job quilting it." With the icy blue and white hues surrounding the parent penguins and their young,  we can almost feel the Arctic air. Look closely, and you'll see that Jackie Pavlicek has quilted some pretty snow crystals into the background.

April by Debby Reid-Bainbridge

Debby notes, "I made the pattern for this quilt from a photo of my dog, April."  We liked the way that the black satin stitch sets off each piece of this applique, and we thought that the use of buttons for April's eyes provided such a cute touch in each of these panels. This quilt was so nicely designed, with carefully selected fabrics. 

Crazy Leaves by Ann Smith


Rich tones of russet, auburn, apricot, and pine green plus the use of a white background showcase this album quilt which provides much visual interest. Ann Smith says, "This was a mini-group challenge, but we've all finished at various times. This one challenged me with its different sized blocks and variety of of leaves. I do like how it turned out.  It graces the dining room every fall (season) now."

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Wine Country Quilt Show: Day 2

Welcome to Day 2 of the Wine Country Quilt Show, featuring more gorgeous quilts. As you walk through this virtual quilt show, keep watch for quilts with very interesting borders or settings with make them really unique. Which one is your favorite, and why?  We love to read all your comments !

Jazzy Jewels by Helen Anderson


Here's a beautiful rainbow quilt, whose curve pieced blocks are juxtaposed with narrow geometric square sashing to provide an intriguing "window pane"effect. We think that the outer border of tiny windows really gives this quilt a very cohesive, sophisticated look. Helen notes, " A delightful progression of bright jewel tone fabrics. Such fun to make." The Jazzy Jewels pattern is by Cara Gulati at Doodle Press.

Plethora of Pansies by Bonnie Engel


Bonnie Engel writes,  "The pattern is Garden Twist from In the Beginning Fabrics. I machine pieced this and had Sharon Graves of Antioch machine quilt it with a wonderful pansy pattern."   We've always enjoyed snowball design blocks and the lovely fabric selection and matching ribbon border give this quilt an heirloom vintage look. The Garden Twist Book is by Sharon Yenter and the pattern detail can be seen at In The Beginning Fabrics.

 Wendell's Friends by Judy Kubilus
 

If you've ever owned a "crazy cat" with a zany personality like the appliqued ones here, then you've probably lived with one of Wendell's friends.  Quilter Judy Kubilus says, "When I saw this quilt [pattern by Nancy Barrett] on a shop wall, I knew I wanted to make it."  We think it turned out to be adorable, with a two lively borders which really give this quilt an extra burst of energy.

Yellow Cake Mix by Louisa Otis

We loved the cute border of sunflowers which dance around two sides of this quilt. Louisa Otis writes, "This quilt contains 59 Cake Stand blocks, 20 of which were made by fellow members of the Petaluma Quilt Guild. Thank you to my friends at P.Q.G. ! The pattern, "Golden Harvest", appeared in Fons and Porter's Love of Quilting magazine in September/ October 2001." (Note:  A Cake Stand block pattern can be seen at Jinny Beyer's Design Board.) This quilt shows off the excellent workmanship of Louisa and her colleagues.

Orange Sherbet by Pam Larcher


Tangerine and lime green make such an eye-catching combination of warm and cool hues in this quilt. Interesting visual appeal is created by the narrow horizontal flange strips which provide a refreshing three dimensional detail.  Pam Larcher writes, "These are colors which I would normally never choose, but I had brought them from Pincushion [Boutique] as a Sweet Treat.  I made the quilt while on retreat at Walker Creek Ranch with Hen House Girlfriends." 

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.
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