Tuesday, June 3, 2014

All creatures great and small

The squirrel weighs less than a pound, while an elephant weighs up to 15,000 pounds.  Just think of it, though:  on a quilt they can be equally impressive ! We admire the realistic detail on each of these amazing animal quilts.

It's All About Spring by Marjorie Post (Portland, Oregon)

Marjorie Post is an award-winning artist who works in fabric as well as digital art and colored pencil.  It's All about Spring was created with raw-edge machine applique using her own hand-dyed fabrics.  Wonderful texture was added with different quilting designs on the elephant's trunk, face, ears and body and body, as shown below. 

It's All About Spring by Marjorie Post

On her website, Marjorie says that she obtains inspiration from nature. In addition to creating art quilts, she designs quilt patterns for applique.  You can see her lovely floral applique patterns at her site on Craftsy; one of her most famous designs is Rose Rhapsody in Blue.

Tiptoeing into the Future, 65 x 53", by Kathryn Harmer-Fox (East London, South Africa)

Tiptoeing into the Future was designed to honor the African rhinoceros, which is struggling against extinction.  We are impressed by the hazy, almost mystical appearance of the animal as it seems to appear and disappear into the background. Kathryn says,  "I wanted to show this behemoth stepping almost tentatively forward, unsure of what lies ahead; tiptoeing into the future."

close up, Tiptoeing into the Future by Kathryn Harmer-Fox

Even close up, it is hard to discern the individual fabrics and stitches that make up this composition, as they are so well blended.  The techniques used were fiber embedment using scribble stitch, free motion machine embroidery and quilting.  For more information on techniques see Kathryn's article on Drawing with Fiber.  We previously featured Kathryn's wonderful Shattered Face quilt in a 2013 post on the Pacific International Quilt Festival.

Ancient Echoes by Jan Reed (Grass Valley, California)

This incredibly realistic iguana is placed in an intriguing setting.  Jan Reed says,  "This iguana is using his sunbathing hours to reflect on his ancestors' interaction with the past glory of the Mayan culture." There is a Mayan temple in the lower left of the gray background, and a Mayan face in the upper right, just above the iguana's back. Note the way the iguana's tail slips over the edge of the frame, providing further depth to the composition.

close up, Ancient Echoes by Jan Reed

Ancient Echoes won 2nd place in the Art-Pictorial division at the 2013 Houston International Quilt Festival.  Jan explains that over 250 pieces of fabric were used to create this image with both raw-edge applique and reverse applique techniques.  colored pens and fabric inks were used to adjust values. The quilt was also embellished with tiny iridescent beads along the iguana's spine. 

Giant Panda, 37 x 38", by Anne F. Zick and Joyce Freehill (Illinois)

The quilters say, "This quilt resulted from Rob Appell's Endangered Species class at Quilters Affair in Sisters, Oregon."  This is the first Endangered Species quilt we've seen in person, and it was impressive - and larger than we imagined.  The Panda is one of  twelve different animals in the Endangered Species patterns by Rob Appell.

close up,  Giant Panda by Anne F. Zick and Joyce Freehill

Using fusible applique, the Panda's face is created with four different shades of gray and two shades of white/off-white fabric.  The machine quilting created a texture resembling fur.  For another bear pattern in the Endangered Species collection, see Rob Appell's Polar Bear Quilt Pattern.

Desert Entertainer, 40 x 31", by Barbara McKie (Connecticut)

Barbara McKie's work is instantly recognizable for the way in which she merges digital photography with quilting to create artistic portraits in fabric.  For this quilt she used her photograph of a white-tailed antelope squirrel doing pushups on a rock. On her website, Barbara explains: "My love of surface design, photography, and computer graphics, and my travels have influenced my work to make it unique in the art quilt world."

close up, Desert Entertainer by Barbara McKie

This close up photo shows the way in which Barbara used fine thread painting to enhance the image of the squirrel in on the surface of the quilt.

Nemesis III : Elton by Cindy Henneke (Brenham, Texas)

This lighthearted quilt, created with broderie perse collage techniques and Kaffe Fassett fabrics, really made us smile.  Cindy Henneke says:  "I was inspired by my garden and, oddly, the armadillos that wreak havoc on a regular basis." (For those who don't know, armadillos are a real problem for many who live in Texas).   "The large-scale floral [prints] were the perfect medium to create something to laugh at.  This quilt is part of a series.  The more it evolved, the more it took on a happy, flamboyant personality, thus called Elton."

close up, Nemesis III : Elton by Cindy Henneke 

There was a lot of fussy cutting of motifs to make up the garden and the armadillo in Nemesis III.  On close examination, you can also see many fun and interesting details, including metallic thread on Elton's claws, fancy beading around his eye, and strings of tube beads along the spines of the leaves at the right of this photo.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2013 Pacific International Quilt Festival (Tiptoeing into the Future), 2013 Houston IQF (Ancient Echoes, It's All About Spring, Nemesis II) and the 2014 AQS - Phoenix (Giant Panda and Desert Entertainer).


  1. The very realistic animals are amazing but that fancy armadillo takes the cake!

  2. I am always amazed at the details of quilts like these and also the floral ones from your previous post. I would love to make a floral quilt someday with this type of detail and intricacy.

  3. Amazing........I lernt free motion at the moment and hope I can make so a beautiful pictural quilt anytime.......I love it.
    Thanks for the post.
    Greatings from Germany


We love reading each and every comment... thanks for visiting our blog!

Related Posts with Thumbnails