Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Things with Wings

As a subject for a quilt challenge, "Wings" evokes images found in literature, art and our imaginations. It brings to mind butterflies, birds, bees and other winged creatures that enliven our skies.   In compiling the collection, we were inspired by the Quilters' Innovative Design challenge at the 2015 World Quilt Show, but we've included several other fabric art works featuring Things with Wings. 

Butterfly - Barbulètè, 32 x 47", by Lucia Schnog (Curaçao)

Butterfly - Barbulètè was exhibited in the International category at the 2015 World Quilt Competition in Florida. Lucia Schnog says, "[The quilt was] inspired by the blooming of the Ixora – or “Faya Lobi” in our native Papiamentu. It attracts lots of beautiful butterflies."

The butterfly wings were hand appliqued.  The creative, knitted flowers really stood out in this creative piece.  Their color perfectly matches the Ixora flowers that inspired the piece. The large embroidery stitches (upper left) add texture to the leafy forms.  In the upper left you also can see the beading on the butterfly's eye.

Magical Wings by Candice Phelan

Magical Wings was exhibited in the Quilters' Innovative Design (QID) "Wings" challenge.  QID is an advanced art quilt group in Florida.  The intricate pattern of the butterfly wings reminds us of a stained glass window.   The iridescent look of the wings was created with metallic threads and yarn which can be seen in the close up photo below.

Candice Phelan is also a member of Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA). You can see more of her beautiful work at her website, Fiber Art Vision.

Butterfly Ballet by Barbara A. Stewart

Butterfly Ballet has a modern, graphic appearance, which we really enjoy.  The depiction of butterflies in shades of gray really emphasizes the shape, structure and design of the various butterfly wings. Some of the shading was created with applique, while other "spots" were created with stitching, as shown below.

Bad Hair Day by Martha A. Nordstrand (Arizona)

The incredible applique work, fanciful stitching and embroidery really stand out in this colorful quilt by Martha Nordstrand.  She says, "This quilt is a combination of Mola-like birds decorated with embroidery threads using many types of stitches. It is my version of a Crazy Quilt Mola-Style!"

Martha Nordstrand is an award-winning quilter and teacher who has developed her own method of detailed applique.  You can find more information about her technique, along with galleries and pattern books, on her website:  More Quilts Please.

The B Quilt:  Bananas, Birds, Blossoms, Butterflies, Bees, Buttons by Judith Roderick (New Mexico)

This bright tropical quilt was inspired by Judith's many trips to Hawaii. She says, "I combined two of my painted scarves and then added other tropical elements, such as butterflies and hummingbirds... It was a delight to create a high desert dweller’s version of a spring: a green, fertile, busy blooming tropical paradise."

This quilt was hand painted, stenciled, stamped, and machine quilted. We love the colorful buttons that decorate the butterflies and border of this quilt. Judith explains, "The rainbow-blended border of this piece gave me the opportunity to use every possible color of button that I had."

It's All About the Birds, 39.5 x 34.5”, by Toby Gluckstern

Toby says, "This is my second quilt inspired by Escher’s technique of tessellation. I am intrigued by how the birds fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. By using different shades of gray and white, I was able to make some of the birds hide in the background, until you get close."

In this close up you can see the tessellation, along with the quilted wings, whimsical expression and yellow beaks on the birds. The background was quilted in a chevron design, which sets off the birds around the edges.  This quilt was exhibited in the Shades of Gray quilt challenge at the 2015 Florida quilt show.

Sweet Nectar, 31 x 31”, by Barbara Kilbourn (Michigan)

This huge bee is definitely larger than life! This wonderful quilt was inspired by a photo taken by Barbara Kilbourn’s daughter, Anna, in Florida. Barbara loved the way the bee was curled around the flower.   We love the orange and black pattern on the bee's body, the use of batiks for its head and legs, and the quilted pattern on the wings.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2015 World Quilt Show (Lucia Schnog, Candice Phelan, Barbara A. Stewart, Toby Gluckstern); the 2014 Road to California (Martha A. Nordstrand); the 2014 AQS quilt show (Barbara Kilbourn); and the 2013 Houston IQF (Judith Roderick).


  1. "Bee"utifiul.! Especially love the bee. Thanks for sharing these with us.

  2. Wow, I simply love popping in here!
    Such an interesting topic...wings....
    Oh my!! Beautiful, stunning works...
    I really love, "Bad Hair Day" it's brilliant!
    So full and every where you look is full and exciting.
    The design below it too is great, I love the colours
    In that one.
    Stunning as usual!!
    Thank You for showing these :)

  3. I have seen some wonderful quilt shows that have selected a theme and just let everyone come up with their interpretation. Quilters really are creative people. Even those who start out using patterns, after building confidence and skill. tend to start tweeking the patterns and then branching out on their own. I have to admit Escher's work inspires a bit of creative tweaking.

  4. What a delightful virtual quilt show! "Things With Wings" would be a good topic for a guild challenge.


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