Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Purrrrfectly cute cat quilts

As animal lovers, we're always thrilled to find quilts that showcase some of our favorite creatures, including cats.  We came across some great quilts featuring fun felines in recent shows.  We hope these brighten your day! (Note to cat lovers:  also see our 2010 series on The Best of Cat Quilts, and our Cat Quilts Board at Pinterest.)

Flower Queen Kitty, 47 x 59, exhibited by Mary Fish


Mary notes, "This quilt was my 'thank you' gift for serving as a 2009 River City Quilters Guild Quilt Show co-chair. Thank  you to [all who worked on my quilt] including , ShirLee Belisle, Nancy Causey, Nancy Gangler, Nancy MacDonald, Kathy Mitchell, Phyllis McCalla, and Annette Blandin. I will treasure it always. "

Close-up of Flower Queen Kitty


We love the whimsical face and fanciful long whiskers of this giant purple kitty.  The striped inner border in extra-bright colors provides this quilt with a glowing, surrealistic, Alice-In-Wonderland look.

Let Sleeping Cats Lie by Jane Chiles


At the 2012  Arizona Quilters Guild Show, Jane noted,  "I started this at Quilt Camp in 2006 and finished it this past year. I am a new quilter, and this has been my biggest challenge!"

Close-up of Let Sleeping Cats Lie


The center spiral of these blocks is formed by the cats' tails all cozily curled up together. The center of this pattern is based on the traditional "Snails Trail" quilt pattern. The pattern, by Helene Knott, can be seen at Alderwood Quilts.

Holiday Party Kitty,  47 x59, exhibited by Paulette Trafecanty


Paulette exhibited this adorable black, white, and red cat quilt at the 2012 River City Quilters Guild Show in Sacramento, California. She explains,  "I was one of four ladies that put on the River City Quilters Guild Quilt Show. I never expected to get a quilt. But lo and behold, Phyllis McCalla and her great group of ladies made one for each of us. I absolutely adore it!  It is now hanging on my living room wall."

Close-up of Holiday Party Kitty


So much personality is imbued to this crazy cat by its heart-shaped nose, striped bow-tie collar, and red bell around its neck. The echo quilting or outline quilting around this center panel really gives a wild, zany energy to this delightful work.

Sleeping Cat, 27 x29,  by Dorothy Findley


At the 2013 Flying Needles Quilt Guild Quilt Show in Woodland, California, Dorothy writes, "This quilt was made just because I love cats. I designed the whole quilt. The flying geese were made for another project that didn't work out. So, I put them on this quilt. "  We are impressed by the contrast shown between the bright, energetic border, and the graceful, serene pose of the dozing kitty.  Can you see the little gray mouse at his feet?
 
2009 Co-Quilt Show Chair Quilt, 47 x 59,  exhibited by Diana Muenzler


Diana exhibited this whimsical cat quilt at the 2012 River City Quilters Guild Show in Sacramento, California. She says,  "I was absolutely thrilled to receive this quilt. Thank you so much to Phyllis McCalla, ShirLee Belisle, Nancy Causey, Nancy Gangler, Kathy Mitchell, and Nancy MacDonald." 

Close-up of 2009 Co-Quilt Show Chair Quilt


This kitty is done in neutral, calm earth tones that would blend well with the décor in any room of the house. But, that's about the only thing 'restful' about him. The way his fur is styled to fly out wildly in all directions leads us to believe he's really a wild partier ready to dance the night away.

Sleeping Yellow Kitty, 15 x 26, by Monica Kaseman


At the 2013  Guild of Quilters of Contra Costa County Quilt Show, Monica explained, "This quilt hangs over our bed, inspiring sweet dreams!  The cat was paper pieced. The pattern for the cat is by Maureen Sparrow on the Paper Panache website and is called Sleeping Cat."

We really like the "album quilt" effect of the traditional Amish  patterns in matching colors which surround this kitty, who apparently snoozes without a care in the world. 

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.  We have not yet identified the patterns for the Holiday Party and Co-Chair quilts; if anyone knows the source, please let us know.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Free pattern day: Sun and solstice quilts

The June solstice is here once again, marking the longest daylight period of the year and the start of astronomical summer in Earth’s northern hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, it is the shortest day of the year. We thought it would be fun to celebrate the solstice with sun quilts ! Here are free patterns for sun, sunrise, sunshine, sunsets and summer themes (this post was updated on June 5, 2014).


Trilogy mini quilt series, free needle arts project by Victoria Gertenbach as seen at Lark Crafts


Aurora Sunshine quilt, 10 x 14",  free pattern by Marlis Bennett for Bernina 


"Aurora Sunshine" is an older pattern that may only be available for a limited time; if you are interested, download it now.

Summer wall hanging tutorial by Teje at Nero’s Post


Here is a close-up of the Summer Wall Hanging showing Teje's pretty quilting:


Sunburst block, 10 x 10", free pattern with templates by Marsha Evans Moore at Fairfield World


Sun and moon applique, 6 x 6", free pattern by Kimara at Wee Folk Art 


Sunburst applique block, free pattern by Kimara at Wee Folk Ar

 
Swirly Twirly Dresden block, 10 x 10",  tutorial by Vicki at Quilting Lodge


Sending a Little Sunshine Mug Rug tutorial by Chrissy at Sew Lux Fabrics

 

Mango Salsa Stars quilt, 40 x 40", free pattern by Konda Luckau for Timeless Treasures 


Golden Wreath mini quilt tutorial at Purl Bee


Sunshine mini quilt by Faith at Fresh Lemons Quilts (Faith used the template from Purl Bee to make this sunny variation):


California Dreamin' quilt, 46 x 46", free pattern by Marsha Evans Moore for Free Spirit Fabric
 

Sunny Skies quilt, 54 x 54”, free pattern download at Connecting Threads


Eclipse pillow cover, free pattern by Sarah Vedeler for Auribuzz


Starburst Pillow cover tutorial by Mary from Lake Pulaski as seen at The Intrepid Thread



Placemat No. 1, 18 x 14”, free paper piecing pattern by Deb Karasik

 
Caribbean Sunset, 60 x 70",  free pattern by Ellie Brown at McCall's quilting (photo below by Ellie of her sister Ria)
 


Sunshine and Marmalade by Susan Guzman, free pattern for queen size quilt at McCalls Quilting

  
A fabric kit for the lap size  version shown above can be found at Quilt and Sew 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.  Some of these are tutorials while others have downloadable (.pdf) 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 Quilt Inspiration

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Two-million-view milestone: Part 3

~ Stay tuned for our Free Pattern Day this Friday, June 21 ! ~
Quilt Inspiration recently hit a major milestone, with over 2 million page views.  We're taking the time to say THANKS to the many talented artists who inspire us all.  We initially planned a 2-part retrospective, but we couldn't resist sharing some of our favorite applique designs and some never-before-seen photos from our archive.  So, here is Part 3 of our retrospective.

Flower Basket Medallion by Renee Caswell, design by Kim McLean


We first featured Kim McLean's glorious Flower Basket Medallion in a July 2010 post, Basket Quilts Part 2. We were excited to see this design in person, in a beautiful quilt by Renee Caswell, which won 2nd place in the Applique-Large division at the Arizona Quilters Guild 2013 show. Here is the basket detail:


... and the complete quilt:


Renee's quilt was done with machine applique, using "happy Kaffe Fassett fabrics", as you can see below.


The Flower Basket Medallion pattern and fabrics, and other glorious Kim McLean designs, are available at Glorious Color.

Snake Charmer by Pamela Allen 2008 Road to California quilt show


Pamela Allen is an award-winning artist, quilter and teacher based in Ontario, Canada.  The fantastic quilt shown above, "Snake Charmer", was exhibited at the 2008 Road to California quilt show.  On her website, Pamelart, she explains: "I hate vacuuming. The machine is loud and heavy and anyway the house needs cleaning again in a weeks time! I want to conjure up a magical Hoover that does my bidding. If only I could turn a mindnumbing task into an exotic past time!"


In the closeup of the Snake Charmer face you can see the detail of the raw edge applique, hand embroidery, and exotic ephemera; her hair is adorned with colorful safety pins, and she is wearing a necklace of clothspins with bright beads.  As shown below, aluminum hair rollers decorate the side of the skirt. 


We first featured Pamela Allen's work in an April 2011 post, Humorous Quilts: Three Women at the Hilton. "Three Women at the Hilton" won Most Humorous Quilt at the Road to California, 2010.

Illuminated Alphabet by Zena Thorpe, 2008 Road to California show


Zena Thorpe is an award-winning artist whose achievements include membership in the Master Quilters Guild established by the National Quilting Association. At the 2008 Road to California show, where this quilt won 1st prize in its category (traditional large applique). In her artist's statement, Zena says: "I have long been fascinated by the ancient illuminated manuscripts which usually began with a large embellished capital letter."


We first featured "Illuminated Manuscript" in a September 2010 post called The ABCs of Quilting:  Alphabet Quilts. The patterns are detailed in Zena Thorpe's book, Beautiful Alphabet Applique, a 64-page book which contains the full-color illustrations and elaborate appliques for all 26 letters of the English alphabet.  Each letter is a work of art!

Lily Rosenberry by Sue Garman, quilted by Denise Green


Sue Garman is a preeminent U.S. (Texas) designer of applique quilts with traditional motifs. The name of this quilt, "Lily Rosenberry", is no secret: the quilt is full of lilies, roses, and over 1000 berries! This beautiful quilt is based on a traditional block, but it is set with an unusal swag border.  We first featured this quilt in a November 2010 post called Inspired by Red and Green. For more information see Sue Garman's blog; the pattern is available at Quakertown Quilts.

Friends of Baltimore by Susan Garman and colleagues


"Friends of Baltimore" by Sue Garman was the first place winner for Group Quilting at the 2011 Houston International Quilt Festival. Sue Garman notes, "Although inspired by many old Baltimore Album quilts, I designed this quilt to suit my own desire for a uniquely elegant quilt." We featured this beauty in a November 2011 post, Houston International Quilt Festival - Part 3.  The pattern and BOM kit are available at Quakertown Quilts.

Teacup, 42 x 42", by Maria Elkins


Maria Elkins designs highly original art quilts that range from the abstract to highly realistic portraiture.  We featured her work in a January 2011 post, Maria Elkins Art Quilts. "Teacup", shown above, was created in 2002, when her quilt guild challenged its members to create a quilt using only blue or white. Maria says that she machine pieced the curves of the cup and saucer, then used a print fabric of blue and white plates to cut out, fuse, and machine applique them.  For more information see her website, Maria Elkins Art Quilts.

Image credits:  Photos of Lily Rosenberry and Teacup are by the artists and are used with permission.  The other photos are by Quilt Inspiration and, with permission, by G. Weake.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Two-million-view milestone: Part 2

Quilt Inspiration recently hit a major milestone, with over 2 million page views.  We're taking the time to say THANKS to the many talented artists who inspire us all.  Here is Part 2 of our retrospective, with some contemporary quilts we've featured.

Reversible patched pojagi table runner by Victoria Gertenbach


Pojagi stitching, as explained by Victoria Gertenbach,  is a Korean art of seam construction which produces beautiful flat reinforced seams that add to the visual appeal of  works, especially with  bulky denims or delicate thin silks or voiles. For more information see our October 2011 post, Modern Quilting at The Silly Boodilly

Sparkling Spools by Laura Nownes 
 

We love simple patterns that look spectacular. "Sparkling Spools" is just one of Laura Nownes' Simply Strip Pieced Patterns. For more information see our June 2011 post, Simple Shapes by Diana and Laura.

Walks In the Woods by Frieda Anderson


Frieda Anderson's quilts almost always reflect her fascination with nature, and what she sees on her walks. This quilt celebrates the trees in the woods, with golden sunlight shining through the leaves.  For more information see our 2010 post, Dances with Nature: The Quilts of Frieda Anderson.

Totally Tubular Triangles by Rita Hutchens


We love the contemporary design and colors of this quilt, which is the subject of one of Rita Hutchens' workshops. Her tubular strip-piecing techniques, which are a cross between Seminole and Bargello, are the subject of her book of Totally Tubular Quilts.  For more information see our July 2012 post, Totally Tubular Quilts by Rita Hutchens.

Tiny Town, 17 x 17", by Karen Eckmeier at The Quilted Lizard


Wouldn't it be fun to live in this miniature village with its brilliant hues?  Tiny Town is a collage of small overlapping fabric pieces cut into rectangles, triangles, stair steps, window and door shapes.  For more information see our October 2012 post, The Quilted Lizard: designs by Karen Eckmeier.

Shots and Stripes quilt by Kaffe Fassett and Liza Prior Lucy


The 2013 book Shots and Stripes: 24 New Projects Made with Shot Cottons and Striped Fabrics by Kaffe Fassett and Liza Prior Lucy is the newest of the books that showcase Kaffe's fabulous fabrics. One of the intriguing projects is this contemporary take on the traditional "Lady of the Lake" pattern.  For more information see our April 2013 post, Winner of Kaffe Fassett Quilts: Shots and Stripes.

Paisley by Bruce Seeds


Bruce Seeds' quilts are composed of small triangles that are grouped into hexagons, each hexagon resembling the view through a kaleidoscope. In "Paisley", Bruce created the illusion of a third dimension by placing some of the lighter blocks on top of a black inner border and frame. For more information see our February 2011 post, Seeds of Genius.

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