Thursday, December 27, 2012

Free pattern day: Snowflake and snowman quilts

Snowmen are often made as part of a family project in celebration of winter. Here are some *free* snowman and snowflake quilt patterns and tutorials! (Note:this post was updated on November 27, 2016)


Pixelflake quilt, 66 x 66", free pattern by Stacey Day for the American Quilters' Society (PDF download)


Santa Claus is Coming to Town quilt, 63 x 76", free pattern at Andover Fabrics (PDF download)


Stars Aflutter quilt, 76 x 98", free pattern at Robert Kaufman Fabrics


Snowflake Quilt, free pattern by We All Sew (Bernina) as seen at Quilt Views


Don't Lose Your Mittens, 52 x 74", free quilt pattern by Maywood Studio (PDF download)


Scandi snowflake table runner, 10 x 40", free pattern by Hilary Gooding for Makower UK


Snowflakes Wall Hanging, inspired by Karen Montgomery at All People Quilt


Snowflake Table Runner, 14 x 40", free pattern and template by Gingham Girls


Winter Snowfall table runner by Connie Kauffman, free pattern at Quilters Newsletter


Snuggle Snowmen, 44 x 64", a tutorial by Natalia Bonner and Kathleen Whiting at Piece n’ Quilt


Snowman Snow Days, 69 x 81", by AE Nathan Co., Inc.


Here are the downloadable pattern files:  Page 1 and Page 2.

It's not often that we see pieced snowmen, so we were excited when we came across this quilt.  We first spotted the quilt at the Runaway Quilters website; it was the subject of a 2008 class by Rita English.   The pattern was designed in 2005 for a fabric collection by A.E. Nathan.  If you have ever shopped at JoAnn, WalMart, or Hobby Lobby, you may be familiar with A.E. Nathan fabrics; for their latest collections and projects, and more sources, please visit the A.E. Nathan website.  With their generous permission we are providing the free Snow Days pattern, shown above, to Quilt Inspiration readers.

Tweety's Snowflake by Wendy Butler Berns at Quilters Newsletter


Snow Cristal block, free pattern by Joanna at Shape Moth 


Snow table runner, 48 x 14", free pattern by Denise Russart at Just Quiltin'


Snowflake block, Celebration pattern, free pattern download at Carol Doak


 

Snowflake applique block, free pattern at Wee Folk Art


Pixelated Snowflake quilt, 50 x 50", tutorial by Kelby Sews


Paper Snowflake block, free foundation pattern at Larkspur Lane Designs



Snowman mug rug tutorial by Rachel at Not-so-Plain Jane


Aunt Kate's Snowflake Quilt tutorial by Trish Poolson for Moda Bakeshop


Winterfall Nordic Star quilt, free pattern by Wenche Wolff Hatling for Lecien Fabrics(PDF download here)


Blueberry Ice quilt, queen size, free pattern by Gerri Robinson as seen at McCalls Quilting


Snowfall quilt, 60 x 60", free pattern by Susan Emory for Michael Miller Fabrics (includes snowflake template)


Blizzard Quilt, 61 x 61", free pattern by Susan Emory for Michael Miller Fabrics


Tonga Snow Angel quilt pattern by Heidi Pridemore for Timeless Treasures


Blue Storm quilt, free pattern by Jean Ann Wright at Marcus Fabrics


Hexagon Snowflake cushion, free pattern at Love Patchwork and Quilting



Blue December pillow, 18" square, free pattern at Quilt Views


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.  Some of these are tutorials while others have downloadable patterns; we have tried to note which is which in the title above each photo.  If any links are broken, we'd love to know; email us at quiltinspiration {at} gmail {dot} com. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Imagine World Peace: Symbolism in Cloth

An ancient Japanese legend promises that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish.  Origami cranes became a symbol of world peace through the story of Sadako Sasaki, a young girl who was living in Hiroshima when the atomic bomb was dropped; Sadako attempted to make 1000 paper cranes before her death in 1955.  In 2011 we featured an origami crane quilt designed by Margaret Rolfe; here are five origami cranes in a lovely wall hanging.

Five Origami Cranes by Carol Smith at the 2012 River City Quilters' Guild show


Here we see four smaller pieced cranes surrounding a large center medallion; we love the color scheme, and the way in which Carol Smith connected the blocks with flying geese.  She writes: "A paper piecing class with Jerry Fujimoto at the Flying Needles Quilt Guild (Woodland, California) provided the opportunity for me to finally learn this technique." The detail of the crane block is shown below.

Close-up, Five Origami Cranes by Carol Smith


The quilt was machine pieced and machine quilted on an Innova longarm machine. To complement the theme, Carol quilted large and small cranes in the open areas between the blocks.

Close-up, Five Origami Cranes by Carol Smith


Peoples of all cultures continue to hope and pray for peace.  Creating symbols of peace in fabric, such as cranes, is a creative way to express this universal wish. 

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas 2012

Merry Christmas to all ! On the eve of Christmas, we thought you might enjoy this beautiful design by Dilys Fronks.  You may know Dilys as the author of Enchanted Views: Quilts Inspired by Wrought-Iron Designs. Many of her quilt designs have been translated into kits, including this depiction of the story of Christmas.

Christmas Banner, 13 x 44".  Design by Dilys Fronks (North Wales, UK); kit by the Creative Iron


This Christmas Banner combines the three most popular Christmas appliqué designs from Dilys Fronks: Nativity, Shepherds and We Three Kings. The kit includes a Kona Cotton laser cut silhouette (a single piece, ready for fusible applique) and instructions for assembly. Also, you can see many more intriguing silhouette designs at Dilys Fronks' website; kits are available for seven different garden gate designs.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Peace on Earth

 Here is a beautiful quilt by fiber artist Jean Baardsen.  The message, "Peace on Earth", has special meaning at Christmas.  As described in the story of the Nativity,  the heavenly angels appear to shepherds in their fields.  The angels praise God with these words:   "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

Peace on Earth, 27 x 21", by Jean Baardsen


We are drawn to Jean Baardsen's quilt because of its elegant design and timeless appeal. Jean says: "This was my 2000 raffle quilt. The idea for the dove and streamers came from a Christmas card. I used green magic marker on blue fabric to make the earth. The dark blue background fabric already had the white hounds tooth and pink dots on it. "Peace" was added with couched gold trim. I wanted to call the quilt "Peace on Earth" and if you look at the detail, you can see the word "on" written in one of the pink dots!" (shown below).

Close-up, Peace on Earth by Jean Baardsen


Jean Baardsen has been making art quilts since 1995; she also paints and creates works of art with mixed media. She says: "The principal source of inspiration for my art work is nature. Birds, fish, trees and flowers make frequent appearances. And then there’s the fabric. Thrift shops exist to provide me with fascinating fabrics for my art quilts. Whatever clothing is colorful, strange, unique, or weird makes its way home with me. Old blouses are the bread and butter of my fabric stash."

 Image credits:  The image is shown with the generous permission of Jean Baardsen. We previously featured Jean's "Red Sky at Night" quilt in Quilt Inspiration Classics: Nautical Quilts.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Winner of the December Giveaway: Color Play for Quilters

Thank you to all who entered the December Giveaway; we enjoyed reading your comments!  We picked a name at random from those who entered, and the lucky winner is:  Inge Lise from Denmark.   She has won a free pass to Joen Wolfrom's Color Play for Quilters at Craftsy.   If you've ever wondered how prize-winning quilters come up with their color combinations, and create movement, depth and luminosity through fabric, Joen Wolfrom's class is for you (see our review here).  Here are some quilts from the class.

 

Above, L-R: "Northern Lights" and "Memories of Monet" by Joen Wolfrom; "Northern Lights" by Meredith Annett as seen at JWD Publishing; "Tsunami" by Margarete Steinhauer as seen at JWD Publishing; "Reflections on the Pond" and "Pizzazz" by Joen Wolfrom.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Color Play by Joen Wolfrom: Class review and giveaway !

~The Giveaway is closed... read on for our class review ! ~
We're here with a review of Joen Wolfrom's new online class,  Color Play for Quilters, and we are thrilled to be able to offer a free class to the lucky winner of this Giveaway.  As you may know, Joen Wolfrom is one of the most respected teachers on the subject of color and design.  She is a quilter, author, designer and photographer, and the owner of JWD Publishing.   We have admired Joen's work for a long time (in addition to her books, we love her Ultimate 3-in-1 Color Tool).  We also have been intrigued by Craftsy, which is a wildly popular new craft learning site.  We discovered that taking the class is like taking a 2-day quilting retreat, except that you can do it on your own schedule, from the comfort of your own home ! 

Northern Lights by Meredith Annett (Nova Scotia, Canada)


One of the things we like about Color Play for Quilters is that it does involve "play". There are 13 different lessons, and each lesson involves some aspect of playing with color and/or fabric. For example, Lessons 2 and 3 are devoted to creating your own color wheel and exploring the four color scales in the world of color: the pure color scale, tint scale, shade scale, and tone scale (you'll learn what these are, why they are important, and how to create them in paint and with fabric). Meredith Annett’s quilt "Northern Lights", shown above, provides an example of how shades enhance a design with their deep, dark beauty (a shade is created when black is added to a pure color).

Coriolis by Judy B. Dales (Vermont)


"Coriolis" by Judy Dales, shown above, is one of the quilts which Joen Wolfrom discusses in Lesson 4 (Value/Gradation).  Joen says that "Coriolis" is one of her favorite examples of the use of value gradation (moving the value of a color very gradually from light to darker or from dark to lighter). Joen shows how Judy has moved a wide range of values throughout her quilt, from light to dark to light across the surface of the quilt. This keeps the eye moving across the quilt, creating an exciting design !

Blue Ginkgoes by Norma Schlager (Connecticut)


In Lesson 5, Joen discusses color plans that work, and how to use them.  For example, in "Blue Ginkgoes", Norma Schlager has used a lovely complementary color scheme of aqua blue with orange-red.  In the class, Joen explains that what we learned in school may need some adjustment ! Do you remember learning that orange/blue and red/green were complementary pairs ?  Thanks to Joen's classes and books, we now know that orange is complementary to turquoise, red is complementary to aqua green, and orange-red is complementary to aqua blue.  These subtleties can make all the difference between a quilt that is simply OK and one that is truly stunning. 

Memories of Monet by Joen Wolfrom


In addition to color and value, Joen explains how to create certain illusions in your quilts, including Depth (Lesson 7). For us, one of the 'aha' moments in this class is that you can create an illusion of depth - such as you would see in a landscape - in a pieced quilt. Fabrics that are lighter and grayer ("toned") will recede, while fabrics that are darker and purer in color will advance. "Memories of Monet", above, is a deceptively simple design which Joen created by combining two historic nine-patch blocks, Summer Winds and Storm at Sea. The marriage of these two blocks, and the careful application of color and value, creates four-pointed stars and softly-colored diagonal lattices set inside illusionary circles. Joen explains the illusion; she also has created several different sample quilt blocks so you can test the principles with your own fabric stash.

Reflections on the Pond by Joen Wolfrom


This beautiful quilt uses harmonious (analogous) colors of garden and water, moving from soft yellows to alluring violet. This is also an example of a visual illusion which Joen covers in Lesson 9: Luster. In "Reflections on the Pond", Joen uses value - a gradual shift from light to dark - to create luster. In the class, you will learn the difference between Luster and Luminosity and how to create these effects in your own quilts  !

In sum, we think that Color Play for Quilters has something for everyone.  For those who are left-brained, as we are, there is enough color theory to explain why different color schemes work, and to explain how to analyze fabrics that will produce a desired effect. For the right-brained among us, the class is filled with beautiful photographs of flowers and landscapes, as well as quilts, which Joen uses to illustrate the take-home points; another section of the class covers Visual Coloring, which is an intuitive approach to color in design.  In terms of the Craftsy platform, we loved the interactive nature of the class. For people who would rather learn "hands on" than by reading a book, Craftsy is the way to go. You can skip around if you want, fast forward or repeat sections, and ask questions as you go. For the serious quilter who wants to make more beautiful quilts, this class is a great value (only $39.99). We learned a lot, and we highly recommend this class!

~This Giveaway is now closed.  Thank you to everyone who entered!  The lucky winner of Color Play for Quilters will be announced tomorrow,  December 20, 2012. ~
How to enter this Giveaway: Under this post is the Comments section (click to expand if necessary). Leave us a brief comment there, explaining why you would like to learn more about color in quilting, and we'll add your name to the list of contestants ! Please make sure that we are able to contact you, either by your blog, website, or e-mail address. The Giveaway closes at noon EST on Wednesday, December 19. One winner will be drawn at random and will be announced on Thursday, Dec. 20. The lucky winner will receive a free class registration to Color Play for Quilters by Joen Wolfrom.

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

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

River City Quilt Show Day 6

Day 6 of the River City Quilt Show concludes our regular coverage of this Sacramento, California talented guild's show.  We had a great time seeing all these wonderful quilts, as it's always such fun to visit hometown guilds around the nation.

Ginkgos In Green, 28 x 40, by Helen Powell


Split complementary colors of spruce, aqua, deep chartreuse, and bright orange plus yellow orange characterize Helen's contemporary and uniquely designed quilt.  It  is constructed using reverse applique, in which the vibrantly striped warm hues peek through the cool hues of the ombre fabric.

Close-up of Gingkos In Green


Gingko trees go back to the time when the earth was young, and this quilt reminds of us new life forms emerging from a rich, primeval luminous green. Helen has done an excellent job of careful and accurately spaced hand-quilting in an echo motif which plays up her intriguing foreground design.

Honor to Mackintosh,  12 x 12 by Sandra Torguson


Sandra says,  " [This quilt is a ] tribute to Charles Rennie Mackintosh, who was an architect, designer, and artist. This quilt used hand-dyed fabrics, fusible bias tape, and colored pencil." The strong curves of the pattern are set off by the minimalist diamond quilting pattern, which provides a finished and balanced effect to this very creative art-nouveau style piece.

Good and Plenty, 52 x 52, by Jan Soules, quilted by Debbie Lopez
 

Jan notes, "I began this quilt in an applique class with Dawn Licker  (a noted teacher in the Sacramento area). I decided to make only four blocks because I didn't like the patterns. I put then into an original setting." Jan's precise applique work in this lovely Baltimore album pattern helped her to win First Place in the Two Person Quilt - Any Size award category.


Jan adds, " [This pattern is]  The D.A.R. Mary Simon quilt top"  from a renowned 19th century creator of Baltimore album style quilts.  In this close-up, the theme of abundance is brought out by this very eye-catching and sprightly fruit basket, replete with a pineapple, grapes, a little bird, and even a butterfly.

Rainbow Connection, 58 x 58, by Jan Soules, quilted by Jan Soules and Lorraine Matthews


Jan writes,  "Rainbow Connection" is based on a traditional block. It was fun and challenging to get the colors to blend, forming a unique color wheel.  I spent a lot of time auditioning the fabrics to get it 'just right.'.  We think that Jan has done a superb job of color selection and arrangement with this very eye-catching quilt.  (Note :  We first saw this pattern in Janet Mednick's "Quilting With the Stars" ) .

Alpine Wonder, 32 x 41, by Paulette Trafecanty


Paulette tells us,  "Our October retreat group challenged us to make a 'Winter Wonderland' quilt.  This is my entry." We enjoyed seeing Pat's fine work, complete with sparkling crystals, on this festive pattern.   Note: Quilt Inspiration reviewed this glowing, gradated design in one of our previous posts titled  Alpine Wonder : Ode to a Tree.

Photo Credits:  Photos are by Quilt Inspiration.
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