Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Vintage Hexagon Quilts

At the recent 2013 Arizona Quilters' Guild Show, we enjoyed a lovely display of vintage hexagon quilts from years past, along with some more recent variations on the theme. It was heartwarming to see these obviously well-loved quilts, which were in excellent condition.  We'd like to share these photos of the hexagons, a geometric shape with 6 sides. (For information on how to hand-sew a hexagon quilt, please see the excellent instructions from Sharon at Simple Things).

Hexagon Medallion quilt, exhibited by Cherry Ehrhardt


Imagine the work that went into this intricate pattern, done in rich autumn colors of russet, olive green, and burgundy. We love the look of all-hexagon blocks here, even the hexagon border, which creates an eye-catching "prairie points" effect.

Large Hexagon quilt, exhibited by Vicki Bohnhoff


 Large hexagons of alternating solids and stripes give an almost "snowball look" to this quilt, which would brighten up any room in the house. A matching solid red outer border adds to the cheerful effect created by these blocks. 

Close-up of Large Hexagon
 

This fabric seems as if it might have been manufactured in the 1930's or 1940's, maybe even from cotton feed sacks, which comprised many quilts made of early 20th century. We always love to see hand-quilting, especially with small, evenly placed stitches, as some very patient quilter has created here.

Hex Lily quilt, exhibited by Pam Green


This calm, soothing color motif of sage green and white lilies is comprised of larger hexagons, which are placed point-to-point with triangles in between. It's tricky to discern the way in which the flowers are pieced, as their triangle points of the lilies extend over into the next block.

Close-up of Hex Lily


Notice the leaf-shaped quilting pattern which  surrounds the center white lily and carries out the floral theme of the quilt.

Stars and Hexagons quilt top, exhibited by Marge Imperatrice


Some people see six pointed stars in the expertly pieced colorful fabric surrounding the large hexagon centers, and others see tumbling blocks tilted on their side.  Can your eyes pick out both patterns?  

I Dare You, exhibited by Sheila Arnold
 

This darling mini-quilt is enhanced by beautiful crewel embroidery around the center of each star, lending texture and a floral effect to these tiny blocks.  

Six Point Star quilt, exhibited by Sheila Arnold
 

Soft blues and oranges, brightened up by raspberry pink, make this quilt with its zig-zag border so cheery and homey !  The artist did a wonderful job of selecting fabric colors that created a very pleasing and definitive contrast in each block. 

Close-up, Six Point Star, exhibited by Sheila Arnold
 

Even though this quilt has seen years of use,  you can  see the attention that went into what is apparently hand piecing of this quilt. The fabric may have been very soft, loosely woven, and without much stabilizer, but still the quilter put a lot of loving care into making sure that the centers of the star met as closely as possible.  We will always admire the patience and dedication of our quilt-making foremothers.   

Hexagon and Ohio Star quilt, exhibitor unknown


Set "en pointe", these blocks in the Ohio Star pattern, alternating with hexagons and quarter-square triangles create a more contemporary, modern look to this traditional pattern. Soft blues, reds, taupes, and cream hues create a gently sparkling effect and cause the hexagon "flowers" to really pop out as the focal points.

Close-up of Hexagon and Ohio Star quilt, exhibitor unknown


Look at the pretty quilting pattern on the background surrounding this hexagon flower !  This curved pattern perfectly complements the strong geometric lines of the surrounding blocks.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day 2013

Memorial Day is a time to remember the more than one million men and women who have died in military service to the USA.   On this day the flag is lowered to half-staff, where it remains until noon.  This lovely flag quilt is quilted with the lyrics to the national anthem.

Old Glory by Lucy Wong-Leonard


Lucy Wong-Leonard, who pieced and quilted Old Glory, says: "This quilt is to commemorate the Chinese veterans of WWII, disabled veterans, and the fallen."

close up, Old Glory by Lucy Wong-Leonard


Metallic thread was used to quilt the words of the U.S. National Anthem in the cream-colored areas. We love the use of cream and orange-red for the "stripes". The red-and-cream pieces are offset as in a bargello quilt to create the wavy lines across the surface of the quilt.  However, instead of using straight squares, each block was made by sewing a small triangle in one corner of the square.  This creates smooth lines rather than the jagged look of a typical bargello.

close up, Old Glory by Lucy Wong-Leonard


It is all but forgotten that 20,000 Chinese Americans served in World War II. Their all-Chinese American units served a special mission: to assist American Flying Tigers pilots and train Chinese Air Force ground crews to defend against Japanese invasion. They flew the "Hump" (the lower range of the Himalayan mountains), drove the legendary Burma Road, performed troop transport, repaired planes, and did crash recovery. For more information and photos see this article by Victoria Moy.

Image credits:  Photos are by Quilt Inspiration.  "Old Glory" was shown at the 2013 Arizona Quilters Guild show.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Q.I. classics: Free Pattern Day ! Patriotic Quilts

'Tis the season for red, white and blue ! Next week is Memorial Day, June 14 is Flag Day, and America's Independence Day is just around the corner.  This post was originally published on May 2012 and was recently updated... here are 30 free patterns for quilts, wall hangings, pillows and table runners !


American Glory quilt tutorial by Stefanie Roman for Moda Bakeshop


Stars and Stripes by Heidi Pridemore for P&B Textiles


Uncle Sam's Quilt by Andie Johnson for Moda Bakeshop


Variable Star Quilt by Alex Anderson, free pattern for Quilting for a Cause as seen at C&T Publishing


Patriot Proud by Janet Mednick for P&B Textiles


 Flag of Valor pattern by Polly Minick and Laurie Simpson for Moda Fabrics


American Pinwheels Quilt tutorial by Crystal Hendrix for Moda Bakeshop


Stretching to the Stars quilt, free pattern by Janet Wickell at About.com


America quilt, free pattern by Leere Aldrich for Clothworks


July Star Blocks tutorial by Allison Harris at Cluck Cluck Sew


A Cry for Freedom,Ohio Stars and Rails quilt, free pattern by Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville


Nine Patch and Four Patch Stars by Kate Laucomer at Quilters World
 

Flag Fanfare Quilt, free pattern by Retta Warehime at TLC Home


 Betsy Ross Flag quilt, free pattern by Stephanie Kepecs at Sewing with Nancy


American Beauty quilt, free pattern by Leslie Sonkin for Windham Fabrics


Army Star Quilt Block tutorial by Lynne at Lily's Quilts


Fourth of July wall hanging, free pattern at Sew Bitter Sweet Designs


Patriotic Star Pillow by Kimberly Walus at bitty bits and pieces


Stars and Stripes Quilt, free pattern by Stacy Harpole, fabric by Pat Sloan for P&B Textiles


Vintage View - 10¢ a chance, free vintage quilt pattern at McCalls Quilting


Another Quick Flag Quilt tutorial by Tia at Tia Curtis Quilts


Scrappy Squares and Bars quilt, free pattern by Cindy Carter at Carter Quilter


A Real Firecracker table topper, free pattern by Diane Volk Harris for Quiltmaker


American Flag Wall Hanging tutorial at Jill Made It


Long May She Wave mini quilt tutorial at Mel's Own Place


Old Glory quilt by Maggie Hall, free pattern for Quilting for a Cause as seen at C&T Publishing

 
 Quilted Fireworks Table Runner, free pattern by Calli at Make It Do


Sweet Liberty Table Runner tutorial by Julie from The Intrepid Thread as seen at The Quilted Fish


Patriotic Table Runner, free pattern by Sheila Reinke at The Heart of Sewing


 Patriotic Hexagons table runner, free pattern by Sherri McConnell at All People Quilt


Americana Summer Quilted Table Runner, free pattern at TLC Home


American Flag Quilt table runner, free pattern by Beth Lancaster at Moonlight Quilts


Patriotic Pillows tutorial at Sewn Studio


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.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Q.I. Classics: Quilts of Guatemala by Priscilla Bianchi

From her home in Guatemala, Central America, Priscilla Bianchi creates quilts, fabrics, and quilt patterns in a dazzling array of color. Her quilts are inspired by the vibrant "huipiles" or tunics, woven by the native Mayan women in patterns that are unique to each village. We first featured Priscilla's work at Quilt Inspiration in April, 2010.

Natura Florida II by Priscilla Bianchi


The Mayan people of Guatemala live in the highlands jungles, where vividly colored flowers and tropical plants have flourished since the beginning of time. This quilt showcases the lush magenta, fuchsia and lavender hues of exotic orchids and other captivating blossoms which have long inspired the lovely textile art of this region. Natura Florida II also celebrates the rich geometric patterns of the native villages, along with the traditional indigo blue and cochineal red fabric dyes used for centuries.

Colors of San Ildefonso, 59 x 71", by Priscilla Bianchi


'Colors of Ildefonso' is inspired by the orderly, geometric shapes on the 'huipils' (women's blouses) from the village of San Ildefonso. Choose interesting stripes and coordinating colors for a vibrant quilt with clean lines and high visual impact. This is one of the art quilt patterns available at Priscilla Bianchi's website

Mayan Kente by Priscilla Bianchi


Phyllis says, "I've long been attracted to 'randas', the heavily embroidered decoration found on the front of native Mayan women's skirts. Its linear nature suggested 'weaving' to me. The continuous motion of weft over and under warp is the fundamental essence of textiles. As I worked the design, it reminded me of Kente cloth from Africa." Mayan Kente is Phyllis' tribute to weavers around the world, whose skill with color and design creates a legacy of functional, beautiful clothing.

Cruz de Chichi (Chichi's Cross) by Priscilla Bianchi as seen at El Azar Cultural 


Made with Guatemalan hand-woven textiles, Indonesian batiks, and commercial cottons, "Chichi's Cross" symbolizes the community of Chichicastenango united around the sign of the cross. The intricately detailed kaleidoscopic center contrasts with the simple, large areas of deep color around it. This stunning quilt was featured in a 2011 exhibit of Priscilla Bianchi's work at Museo Ixchel (Guatemala).

Guatemalan Reflections by Priscilla Bianchi


Here is one of Priscilla Bianchi's quilt patterns which is made as a string quilt; strip sets are made and then cut into triangles which are pieced together.  This quilt is a great way to feature colorful Guatemalan fabrics, or, to use up scraps.  You can read more about the design, including fabric requirements, in an article at Simply Quilts on HGTV.

1000 Rainbow Pyramids by Priscilla Bianchi


1000 Rainbow Pyramids is a "charm quilt", a type of construction in which no two fabrics are similar throughout the entire quilt. This work utilizes 480 different fabric triangles. It leads the viewer's eye along a pathway of both contrasting values and warm and cool hues, in which the entire color spectrum is explored.

Guatemalan Flora by Priscilla Bianchi


Guatemalan Flora is a free, downloadable quilt pattern which Priscilla Bianchi designed for Robert Kaufman Fabrics. You can see her love of bold, bright, strong prints which characterize much of her wonderful work.  Plenty of quilt inspiration and patterns also can be found in Priscilla's book, Caliente Quilts.



Guatemalan fabrics, similar to the ones shown in the cover quilt above, can be purchased at Priscilla Bianchi's online store, here.
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