Saturday, March 30, 2013

Faith, Hope and Love

On Easter, many of us take the time to reflect on the promise of hope and new life in the Easter story. Here is a luminous stained glass quilt with a beautiful message of Faith, Hope and Love.

Rays of Hope - Stained Glass version by Carolyn Morris

This quilt was exhibited at the 2013 Arizona Quilters' Guild show. Carolyn Morris says: "Using gradation batiks, each section was cut individually, ironed in place, and quilted with irregular satin stitches.  The trapunto cross was machine embroidered and then appliqued to the front." The full quilt is shown below.

Carolyn says: "My life is dedicated to serving others. For many years that involved my three children and their training. Now that they have children of their own, I use the talents that I have to enrich the lives of others. Many of the quilts I make are small 15" squares with embroidery messages or scriptures on them. I give many away to those in need of prayers."

The "Rays of Hope" design came to Carolyn Morris on Easter, 2011, in response to her own prayer. You can find the pattern at Rays of Hope Quilts at etsy and see Carolyn explain the full story on YouTube.

Image credits:  The photo was taken by Quilt Inspiration.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

A bevy of bunny quilts for Easter

Those of you who have been following us for a while know that we love Easter time.  Quilts with chicks, eggs, bunnies and baskets are at the top of our list of favorites.  Here are some delightful bunny quilts we think you'll love!

Rabbits in the Woods by Kathleen Bond

This quilt was made by Kathleen Bond for her daughter, and exhibited at the 2013 Arizona Quilters' Guild show.  This charming pattern is "Les Lapins Dans Le Bois" (Rabbits in the Woods) by Kimberly Rado at Starry Night Hollow.  We love the French themed floral fabrics which Kathleen used for her inner and outer borders.

Close-up, Rabbits in the Woods by Kathleen Bond

Here is one bunny sitting on a checkerboard fence.  The rabbits were hand appliqued.  You can see more of the applique and quilting detail in the closeup photo, below.

Close-up, Rabbits in the Woods by Kathleen Bond

Bunnies prefer Coco (aka Rabbits Prefer Chocolate) by Fleda Gorbea

Here is a gorgeous "Rabbits Prefer Chocolate" quilt by Fleda Gorbea, also shown at the 2013 Arizona Quilters' Guild show.  She says:  "I had a lot of fun picking out my fabrics and trips for this Anne Sutton pattern [Bunny Hill Designs]. My cat's name is Coco and nicknamed Bunny, thus the name change".

The scalloped inner border and the creamy pastels of the bunny blocks are a perfect backdrop for the colorful blocks.

Close-up, Bunnies prefer Coco (aka Rabbits Prefer Chocolate) by Fleda Gorbea

Inspired by vintage chocolate molds, each block in this quilt has its own personality.  Here is a handkerchief bunny toting a blue-and red egg, which is embellished with a heart shaped button.  The pretty quilting was done by Ann Skitt.

Close-up, Bunnies prefer Coco (aka Rabbits Prefer Chocolate) by Fleda Gorbea

We love these colorful fabrics, including the orange gingham wings and tail feathers on the chicken.

Bunnies on the Champs-Elysees by Jan Soules

This adorable quilt by Jan Soules, which was exhibited at the 2012 River City Quilters' Guild show, features a bunny dressed for every month of the year.  The pattern is the Bunny Block Sampler by Sue Garman at Quakertown Quilts. Jan Soules cleverly used a Paris map fabric as the background, hence: "Bunnies on the Champs-Elysees."  The machine quilting was done by Debbie Lopez.

January block, Bunnies on the Champs-Elysees by Jan Soules

This bunny has been to the January sales and scored a hat - with the tag still attached. The bunny is appliqued with a blanket stitch; his whiskers, mouth and eyes are hand embroidered.

February block, Bunnies on the Champs-Elysees by Jan Soules

The February bunny is holding a vintage valentine; the hat reads "I Love You".

March block, Bunnies on the Champs-Elysees by Jan Soules

This March bunny is flying a kite... his ears are even blowing in the wind!

May block, Bunnies on the Champs-Elysees by Jan Soules

July block, Bunnies on the Champs-Elysees by Jan Soules

This bunny is wearing a red, white and blue top hat, jacket and pants, all ready to celebrate the Fourth of July.

December block, Bunnies on the Champs-Elysees by Jan Soules

Last but not least, how about this Santa bunny for December? 

Image credits:  All photos are by Quilt Inspiration

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Fun in the Sun: Day 7 of the Arizona Quilters' Guild Show

What could be more entertaining than a show full of beautiful quilts?  Here we go for Day 7 of  "Fun in the Sun"  from the 2013 Arizona Quilters' Guild Show. You be the judges and let us know which ones are your favorites, in the Comments section below. 

Lilies, 50" x 35", by Rita Blocksom

These beautiful day lilies make an excellent subject for a quilt, as so much of the detail of their intricate petals, stamens, and pistils shows up perfectly. Second place winner in the Art/Painted or Digital quilts category, Rita writes, "This is from a digital image I took outside my dad's back door at the family farm in Illinois." The quilt is made on one sheet of fabric, not tiled like so many digital quilts are done.  Rita has been been teaching imagery on fabric for 20 years; you can see her website at Rita

Close up, Lilies by Rita Blocksom, quilted by Sharon Brooks

Sharon Brooks' excellent longarm quilting skills really show up here, especially on the gorgeous blended hues of reds, corals, and pinks which create a striking monochromatic and analogous color scheme.

Sundance, approximately 12 x 12", by Christy Schliesmann

Blue ribbon winner for miniature quilts, Christy says,  " The Cindy Richards design uses twenty different fabrics cut into 325 pieces, giving a twirling effect around the golden sun." 

Close up, Sundance by Christy Schliesmann

These tiny, perfectly sewn pieces measure anywhere from one-fourth inch to one inch long in a great display of Christy's workmanship.

Wild Woman by Donna Goldbeck

Donna says of her self-portrait, "The 3-D effect was achieved using yarn colors and textures. The paint makeup gives her [face] the wildness that I may have secretly longed for when I was younger." This quilt really appeals to the tactile senses with the juxtaposition of dozens of different yarn types, colors, and thicknesses.

Little Amsterdam by Marilyn Wood

Marilyn notes, "This pattern is from the [ North Sea Quilters of ] the Netherlands. The flowered fabrics in the houses and border are antique Dutch reproduction fabrics from Amsterdam, my husband's favorite city."  Marilyn's striped border adds to the lively, upbeat personality of this charming quilt.

Close up, Little Amsterdam by Marilyn Wood

Floral fabrics are perfect for portraying the highly stylised, almost baroque facades of traditional Dutch and Flemish architecture.

Jeremy's Quilt by Joan McNamara

Joan says, of her quilt in the Nearly Insane pattern, " I did this to learn to piece. Each block was drafted from a picture and some 6" blocks had over 280 pieces. Over 100 fabrics were used."  Joan has truly created a fascinating array of challenging block patterns, using predominantly reds and purples against a soft taupe background.

Close up photos, Jeremy's Quilt by Joan McNamara, quilted by Jessica (Jones) Gamez

Here's a montage of the intricate and precisely sewn 6 " x 6" blocks, many of which contain more than 50 pieces of fabric.

Quilt Inspiration has previous featured the Nearly Insane quilt pattern, which was inspired by an 1870's sampler quilt by Salinda W. Rupp.  In recent years, the Nearly Insane pattern has been re-created and popularized by quilt teacher and author Liz Lois. We've never seen a Nearly Insane quilt in person; it was fascinating to see Joan McNamara's quilt!

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Fun in the Sun : Day 6 of the Arizona Quilters' Guild Show

Join us for Day 6 in the desert at the Arizona Quilters' Guild 2013 show. We have some eye-catching quilts to show you, whose colors and patterns embody the spirit of the American Southwest !

Delightful Arizona Centennial Challenge by CJ Fuhrmann

C.J. writes, "Delightful Quilters Centennial Challenge - my version. The applique motifs came from Fat Cat Patterns, and I designed the pieced blocks.  If you can't tell,  I LOVE copper!"

Close-up, Delightful Arizona Centennial Challenge by CJ Fuhrmann

The phrase "Centennial Challenge" comes from the Arizona Centennial celebration of 2012, in which Arizona celebrated 100 years of statehood. In the copper setting triangles, you can see the sunburst pattern, which replicates the sunburst on Arizona's state flag.

Jezebel by Monika Hancock, quilted by Debbie Stanton

Jezebel impressed us as having very lifelike, striking features. Blue ribbon winner for Best Pictorial Small Quilt, Monika says, "I enjoyed doing this pattern, which I enlarged by 50 percent." We recognize this as a pattern designed by Toni Whitney.

Close-up, Jezebel by Monika Hancock, quilted by Debbie Stanton

 Longarm quilter Debbie Stanton won an aqua ribbon award for Best in Show - Exemplary Machine Quilting for Jezebel.  Notice the careful rows of curved, parallel quilting on the horse's white mane, which gives texture and dimensionality to this pattern. 

Rusty Blues New York Beauty by Leslie Milde, quilted by Jessica Jones Gamez

Rusty Blues won the 2013 Arizona Quilters Hall of Fame Award for a quilt deserving of special recognition.  Leslie Milde writes, "This is my first New York Beauty [pattern], paper pieced using batiks.  It is machine quilted and embellished with crystals and thread. "

Close-up, Rusty Blues New York Beauty by Leslie Milde

 In this close-up, you can see the careful placement of many crystals along the seam lines of the blocks and the detailed quilting of each segment by longarm quilter Jessica Jones Gamez.

5 Seasons by Sue Rathjen

Sue writes,  "A tree evolving through five seasons  (two winters) in unison with earth and sky background changes. Machine pieced and quilted." Sue has done an excellent job of choosing the background colors, especially the right and left backgrounds next to the border, which symbolize the pale, icy, almost luminous skies with the high thin clouds of winter.  

Infused with Turquoise by Magdalena Castillo-Cockrum

Magdalena notes, "[This quilt was part of ] the Endless Possibilities Round Robin Challenge." In a round robin challenge, the quilt is started by one person, then a second , third, and fourth person adds more fabric and patterns, until the quilt reaches its desired size.  Infused with Turquoise starts as a traditional Dresden Plate block in black and white, then alternating borders of turquoise and black and white prints are added. The flowers you see on the white background at the top and bottom borders of the quilt are appliqued on the fabric in broderie perse style.  They are cut from the same fabric that comprises the black and white setting triangles on the right and left sides of the quilt.  

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration

Friday, March 22, 2013

Fun in the Sun : Day 5 of the Arizona Quilters' Guild Show

Are you looking for some "eye candy" to inspire you to start a new quilt or finish one that's currently under construction?  Here are some more fantastic quilts from Mesa, Arizona, home of the 2013 Arizona Quilters' Guild Show.

Flutter Garden by JoAnn Kilgroe

This dazzling show-stopper is the aqua ribbon winner for Best in Show Workmanship and blue ribbon winner for Best Small Quilt Using Mixed Techniques.  JoAnn writes of her pieced and appliqued creation,  "I used wonderful batiks to paint a water color of four butterflies surrounding a radiant Lone Star center.  The quilting totally completes my flutter garden." 

Close-up, Flutter Garden by JoAnn Kilgroe

These gorgeous butterflies in each corner are cleverly camouflaged as floral bouquets. Jo-Ann has made a very effective use of a split complementary color scheme of soft yellows, oranges, and corals juxtaposed with shades of violet.

Quilting detail, Flutter Garden by JoAnn Kilgroe

In this close-up, you can see the outstanding quilting patterns done by longarm quilter Jessica (Jones) Gamez.

The Harvesters by Vera Burns

Vera writes,  "This quilt was inspired by a poster put out by the U.S. government after World War II. It was encouraging home production of food." A colorful inner border of randomly pieced half-square triangles accentuates the colors of the earth and sky,  while giving  a cheerful rustic appearance to Vera's creation. This quilt won second prize in the Pictorial-Small category.

Close-up of The Harvesters by Vera Burns

Vera has done a wonderful job of capturing the look of rugged determination in the detailed facial expressions of  "The Harvesters."

A-mazing by Monika Hancock

Monika notes, "I found this pattern in a quilt magazine and thought it would be fun to construct. Debbie [Stanton's] longarm quilting made it even more interesting." Monika's very effective use of solid fabrics in dark, medium, and light values create an intriguing sense of three-dimensionality when viewed from a distance. This quilt won Honorable Mention in the Pieced-Large category.

Close-up of A-mazing by Monika Hancock

In the close-up photo you cannot see the illusion... it is only apparent when you step back!  (Note: The "Labyrinth Walk" pattern was published in the April/May 2012 issue of Quilt Magazine; the back issue can be purchased here.  The original design, inspired by a tile floor, is by Christopher Florence at The Guilty Quilters.)

Time Share Quilt #6 - Dresden Plates by Susan Norris

Susan says of her quilt with the vintage design,  "Dresden Plate [blocks] from the 1930's, hand appliqued on Amish colored backgrounds. Hand quilted designs with Sulky variegated 12 weight thread."  We loved the homey, inviting appearance of this quilt, especially the very cheerful hearts which comprise the center of each block. 

Close-up of Time Share Quilt #6 - Dresden Plates by Susan Norris

Susan has done a very interesting and effective hand quilting pattern which shows up especially well on the solid color background squares. In addition, this close-up of the Dresden Plate blocks shows the original fabrics produced in the 1930's.

Image credits: All photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Fun in the Sun : Day 4 of the Arizona Quilters' Guild Show

Quilt Inspiration is back in the Arizona desert today for a continued visit to the 2013 Arizona Quilters' Guild Show.  Here are four lovely quilts which really caught our eye at this fun quilt show. 

Swallowtail Summer by Patsy Kittredge

Patsy notes, "Using three photos taken in my garden, I constructed the butterflies, and then tried a lot of layouts until coming to the design that conveyed movement. "

Close-up, Swallowtail Summer by Patsy Kittredge

Here you can see the beautiful detail and careful applique work done by Patsy to make the delicate and graceful butterfly appear very life-like.

Sunlit Circles by Ann L. Petersen

Blue ribbon winner for Best Pieced Quilt of medium size,  Ann writes, "Sunlight through star windows is shown with pieced spiky blocks pieced into an asymmetrical setting, balanced with repetition of circles and lines across the quilt. The muted blue background contains its own set of deeper blue circles, designed to accentuate the lighter circles in the foreground."

Close-up, Sunlit Circles by Ann L. Petersen

The backgrounds on the offset center medallion are pieced to depict windows through which the viewer can look outside to see nature, including a variety of flowers and a butterfly.

Close-up, Sunlit Circles, border by Ann L. Petersen

In addition to a blue ribbon, Ann also won the aqua ribbon for Exemplary Machine Quilting on a Stationary Sewing Machine. This photo shows her outstanding work on the quilt's scalloped border, which is enhanced with yellow piping. For more close-up photos of this work, see our Exemplary Quilting board at Pinterest.

The Nest Quilt by Carrie Bloomston

Honorable Mention winner for Best Pictorial Large Quilt, Carrie says,  "The Nest Quilt came to me all at once on a hike up Piestewa Peak. It comes from my life as an abstract painter." 

Close-up, The Nest Quilt by Carrie Bloomston

In this close-up, you can see the raw-edged fabrics comprising the outside of the nest, as well as the longarm machine quilting of the backbround, whose smaller circles match the ones found on the focal point, the two white eggs.  Note added on 6/24/13: The pattern for The Nest Quilt is available at Such Designs and you can read Carrie's post about the quilt at her blog: suchity such.

In Bloom by Renee Caswell

Second place winner for Best Pictorial Large Quilt, Renee writes, "This is an original design started during a Jane Sassaman workshop. I had fun with trapunto and embellishing [with beads] to bring the bloom to life."

Close-up, In Bloom by Renee Caswell

In Bloom was one of the favorites at this year's show, (judging by all the complimentary remarks we heard). "The puffy flower" as it was admiringly called, displays such a lively personality through the juxtaposition of a variety of mauve, green, and orange plaids, checks, and prints.

Image Credits: Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.
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