Monday, May 19, 2014

Blooming Beauties: Artistic flower quilts

Here's Part 2 of some of the most fabulous floral quilts we've seen at recent quilt shows (also see Part 1). For some real life "eye candy", click on the links of the flower names included below.  They will bring you to actual photos of the glorious blossoms depicted here.

Spring Storm, approx 29 x 33", by Kathleen Hughes (Wisconsin), shown at the  2013 Houston International Quilt Festival

Kathleen notes, "Tulips are tossed by a gusty spring wind in this tribute to our front garden. All the walkers who pass by our yard look forward to seeing our tulips display, which tells them that spring has arrived."  Through the use of bold fabric shapes, Kathleen has done an excellent job of exemplifying the tulips that make the upper Midwest states of Michigan and Wisconsin a tulip paradise each spring, like the displays of tulips in the Netherlands, Europe.

Close up, Spring Storm by Kathleen Hughes

Notice how clearly you can see the lines of the flowers, done in warm colors of apricot, rose, and butterscotch, against the cool gray colors of the sky. Kathleen's  techniques include raw-edge applique, fabric painting, and free-motion quilting.

Two Tulips by Luella Morgenthaler (Colorado), shown at the 2013 Houston International Quilt Festival

Luella writes, "I wanted to see if I could achieve a watercolor look in a quilt. I liked the quilt version because it gave a second dimension to the art work." Luella's design source is the parrot tulip plant, which produces tulip petals that are flat instead of curved, with ruffled edges.

Close up, Two Tulips by Luella Morgenthaler

Luella achieved these spectacular results through the use of fabric painting, with appliqued accents. The parallel machine quilting lines give an elegant, textured effect to this work which features soft, eye-catching warm hues.

Milkweed and Hummingbirds, 33 x 49", by Sara Sharp  (Texas), shown at the 2013 Houston International Quilt Festival

Sara writes, "I knew to watch for monarch butterflies that are attracted to this milkweed plant, but I was surprised and delighted to discover that hummingbirds are attracted to them as well. The vibrant yellow, orange, and red buds and flowers made a wonderful contrast with the colors of the hummingbirds."

Close up, Milkweed and Hummingbirds by Sara Sharp

Sara based her original design on photos of milkweed flowers and hummingbirds. Her techniques include fabric painting, thread painting, digital photo printing, free-motion quilting, and fused applique.

Close up, Milkweed and Hummingbirds by Sara Sharp

Notice the darling thread-painted hummingbird as she floats from flower to flower among the dappled leaves. Sara has made excellent use of detailed colors and patterns in depicting the hummingbird's body and wings.

Cactus Fireworks, 34 x 43", by Vicki Bohnhoff (Anthem, Arizona), shown at the 2014 AQS Quilt Week

A native of Argentina, the Argentine Giant is a relatively low-growing cactus in the Cereus family that puts out plate-sized flowers.  Widely considered to be one of the most beautiful cactuses in the world, its flowers last for only a day. It has been propagated in Arizona, where this 2014 AQS Quilt Week was held. Vicki says: "The Sonoran Desert’s Argentine Giant is interpreted in raw-edge applique using hand-dyed fabrics and silks." The gold fabric frames the quilt just like a painting.

Close up, Cactus Fireworks by Vicki Bohnhoff

Here you can see Vicki's raw-edge applique done in several shades of pink, along with delicate bead work in the center. She says, "The tactile experience and drama [of the flower] is heightened with beading."

Wisteria, 35 x 54", by Megan Byrne (Wembley, Western Australia),  shown at the 2013 Houston International Quilt Festival

The Wisteria vine with its ethereal, almost fluffy lavender and blue-violet blossoms, is dazzling to behold each springtime. Megan notes, "Plants awaken in the spring and share their beauty as the cold of winter starts to disappear. Wisteria brings drama to my front veranda. The gnarled and twisted trunk suddenly bursts with new growth. The texture of the the red bricks heightens the delicious softness of the cascading blossoms and helps dispel the last of the winter chill. Green leaves will shelter and shade the birdbath, as spring brings visitors to my garden."

Close up, Wisteria by Megan Byrne

Speaking of visitors to the garden, take a look at the colorfully sewn and quilted green and yellow-orange butterfly hovering near the blossoms. Megan has made outstanding use of contrasting colors, as the blues and greens stand out so well against the contrasting orange-red wall bricks. Her techniques include, piecing, plus raw-edge applique and free-motion quilting. Megan has created a pattern for her Wisteria applique wall quilt; the pattern can be purchased at Craftsy 

Star, 32 x 46", by Caryl Schuetz, quilted by Cathy Franks (Indianapolis, Indiana), shown at the 2014 AQS Quilt Week

The stargazer lily is the most famous plant in the genus Lilium.  The quilt was made from Caryl Schuetz’s photo of her star lily plant, which a cousin gave to her.  That was the last time Caryl saw her cousin, who passed away.  The quilt was created in her memory.

Star by Caryl Schuetz, quilted by Cathy Franks

The tropical, exotic look of this stunning lily is enhanced by the sophisticated dark background and the swirled longarm quilting pattern of Cathy Franks.

Image credits: Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.  If you love flower quilts, you can see more than 300 inspiring quilts on our Flower Quilt board at Pinterest.


  1. oh that 2 tulips is outstandingly beautiful...and the lily too....and such excellent workmanship in all of them, but those 2 are my faves...

  2. The best thing about those flower gardens is they bloom forever. (and no weeds)


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