Monday, March 20, 2017

Miniature Works of Art

Let's begin the week on a small scale! In a true miniature quilt, the blocks are often scaled down from 12" to only 1". Some of the pieced quilts have over 1,000 pieces of fabric, and many pieces are smaller than a centimeter!  To create your own miniature work of art, scroll down for a FREE miniature quilt pattern from AQS!

Please note: We're continuously posting free patterns on Twitter ! Check us out here

In Flanders Fields by Robin Gausebeck


Winner of Best Miniature Quilt at AQS - Paducah in 2014 and other awards, Robin explains, "Honoring veterans of all wars - the survivors and the dead in Flanders fields and elsewhere - this miniature quilt celebrates the poppies of remembrance. The title pays homage to the extraordinarily moving poem by John McCrae  which was written in 1915."  These pale blues, greens, oranges, and light reds look beautiful against the dark background.

Closeup, In Flanders Fields 


Robin's quilt is machine-stitched and fused with raw-edge applique. It is also hand embroidered, hand couched, and machine quilted on a domestic machine. For this lovely original design, Robin used commercial and hand-dyed cotton, silk thread, and perle cotton embroidery thread.

Blocks and Blooms by Marjorie Imperatrice


We photographed Blocks and Blooms with a hand in front (not touching) to show the small scale of the blocks. Winner of an Honorable Mention Award at the Arizona Quilter's Guild 2015 show in Mesa, Arizona, Marjorie writes, "I hand-pieced the mini Tumbling Blocks with traditional piecing. I used pictures from a Helen Stevens book to build the [hand-embroidered] border." 

Closeup, Blocks and Blooms


We marveled at how these tiny little pieces were so accurately placed together. Marjorie did an outstanding job with her hand quilting and embroidery.


Here is Marjorie's mini-quilt shown with the award ribbon, so you can get additional perspective of the size of her quilt.

Forest Aglow by Julie Mossier


Another Honorable Mention Award winner at the Arizona Quilters' Guild show (in 2014), Julie notes, "I enjoy the challenge of working small. This little quilt is paper pieced and has over 1200 pieces." The inspiration for this quilt came from George Siciliano's Tree Dimensional pattern.

Closeup, Forest Aglow by Julie Mossier


Julie's elegant, precise motif reminds us of tiny pine needles reflecting the light of the morning sun. We can only imagine the patience that went into piecing this fabulous creation.

La Petite Chef D'Oeuvre by Helen Williams Butler


Winner of Award of Excellence at the 2016 Springville (Utah) quilt show, Helen Butler says: “La petite chef d óeuvre means “my little masterpiece.”  I have always wanted to make a true miniature and I have been amazed at the seemingly endless number of decisions necessary... just to complete the quilt." The tiny flowers are invisibly hand appliqued with a trapunto effect.

closeup, La Petite Chef D'Oeuvre


La Petite Chef D'Oeuvre is machine quilted. Helen says, "After completing this little challenge I now know there will never be another one."

Dutch Flower Pots by Lahala Phelps


Dutch Flower Pots won a Judge's Recognition Award at the 2014 AQS QuiltWeek in Paducah.  It was inspired by the full-sized Pots of Flowers from the book A Flowering of Quilts by Patricia Cox Crews. Lahala decided to make this miniature version using a cheddar-colored background seen in many Pennsylvania Dutch quilts. It is hand appliqued and hand quilted with stitches so tiny they appear to be pin pricks.


Some Assembly Required by George Siciliano (Pennsylvania)


George Siciliano is famous for his intricately-pieced miniature quilts.   This masterpiece is foundation pieced with 4,860 pieces of jewel tone Dupioni silk.  George explains that the name of the quilt came to him when all the silk pieces were laid out in order.  His family had once passed a flatbed tractor-trailer loaded with all the materials needed to build a house, and his then-young son whispered, “some assembly required.”

closeup, Some Assembly Required


We'd say that some precision is needed to piece these tiny bits of silk.  Here is another photo of Some Assembly Required (with a hand in front, not touching, to show the scale):


Dancing Ribbons, 12 x 12", by Cindy Rounds Richards, free pattern for AQS


Here is a classic that has inspired many quilters! Random colored swirls of hand-pieced shot silk from Thailand give the appearance of ribbons dancing across the surface. Dancing Ribbons was the winner of the First Place prize, ART-MINIATURE from “Quilts: A World of Beauty” at the 2008 fall show of the International Quilt Association.  The process of creating this quilt started with Richards drawing the pattern onto woven fusible interfacing, then numbering and lettering each patch according to her diagram.  You can download this *free* PDF quilt pattern at the American Quilters' Society website.


Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration. Dutch Flower Pots was photographed at the 2016 Brigham City Art Quilt Invitational exhibit. In Flanders Fields and Some Assembly Required were photographed at the 2013 Houston International Quilt Show.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Enchanted Garden

Our featured quilt this week celebrates all things GREEN.  Enchanted Garden is an original design by Cathleen Miller, who is renowned for her hand quilting. Cathleen moved from Wisconsin to New Mexico in 2004.  She explains that she moved from an area of rich black soil, where gardening was her passion, to a land of sand; she turned her passion into designing a garden with fabric.

Please note: We're continuously posting free patterns on Twitter ! Check us out here !

Enchanted Garden 81" x 80.5" by Cathleen Miller (Albuquerque, New Mexico)


Enchanted Garden took Best of Show at the 2013 Denver National Quilt Festival and Second place, Bed Quilts - Hand Quilted at 2013 AQS QuiltWeek in Lancaster, among other awards.  We photographed it at the 2016 International Quilt Invitation Exhibition in Brigham City, Utah.


Cathleen Miller chose beautiful, bold colors for her applique.  The close-up shows Cathleen's award-winning hand quilting. The applique is many-layered, as vines twine around, under and over the layers of flowers and leaves.  The flower petals are outlined with hand quilting and embellished with beads. 


The leaves are hand embroidered to suggest veins. Leaves and flowers were also created with trapunto, adding even more depth to the quilt.



Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Free pattern day: St. Patrick's Day

Here is a Q.I. classic! St. Patrick's Day is often celebrated with parades, green attire, and green beer. How about an Irish Chain quilt? Here are free patterns for shamrocks, Irish chain and Celtic quilts, table runners and pillows. Scroll down the page until you see the quilt you like, then click on the colored letters of the link to the pattern.


Irish Chain quilted table topper tutorial at The Cloth Parcel


Celtic Twist lap quilt by Susan Purney Mark (top, original Celtic Ballad Quilt by Susan Purney Mark; below, free lap quilt pattern at McCall's Quilting)



Clover mini quilt, 15" square, tutorial by Natalia Bonner at Piece and Quilt


Clover quilt block tutorial, 12" or 18" or 24" sizes, by Natalia Bonner at Piece and Quilt


Clover block, The Goddess Project block #10, 12" square, free pattern by Needles in a Hayes Stack (this project uses the Goddess tool)


Shamrock block, 8.5"square, tutorial by Sarah Fielke at Generation Q Magazine


Irish Chain quilt by Heather Jones, free video tutorial at Missouri Star Quilt Co


Baby Nine Patch Quilt, free pattern at Connecting Threads


Double Irish Chain table topper, free pattern at Quilt Bug


Ireland Quilt, free quilt block patterns by Laura Roberts for McCalls Quilting

Fairies and Flower Petals, 12" block at McCall's Quilting
Celtic Twist, 12" block at McCall's Quilting
Celtic Knot, 12" block at McCall's Quilting
Fairy Ring, 12" block at McCall's Quilting
I Left My Heart in Ireland, 12" block at McCall's Quilting
Irish Cross, 12" block at McCall's Quilting
Seven Lucky Shamrocks, 12" block at McCall's Quilting
Lucky Clover, 12" block at McCall's Quilting
Movement in Squares quilt, 54 x 62", free pattern by Wendy Sheppard at Ivory Spring


Fresh Connections quilt, 71 x 88 , free pattern by Jean Katherine Smith for Windham Fabrics


Green Pinwheels, free quilt pattern by Cori Derksen and Myra Harder for All People Quilt


Florence interlocking squares quilt, free pattern by Larene Smith for Hoffman Fabrics


Celtic Squares quilt, 47 x 47", free pattern by Fabric Freedom


Zenith quilt, 64" square, free pattern by Gail Kessler for Andover Fabrics (PDF download)


March Candle Mat, approx 9 x 12", free pattern by Mari Martin at Connecting Threads

St. Patty's Day Pinwheels mini quilt, 22" square, tutorial at Fort Worth Fabric Studio


Shamrock quilting tutorial by Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt


Luck of the Irish table topper by Ribbon Candy Quilt Company as seen at Moda Bakeshop


Lucky Table Runner tutorial by Lindsey Weight at Fort Worth Fabric Studio


Irish Chain table runner, 17 x 28", free pattern by Quilt Bug (PDF download)


William Morris Table runner, free pattern by Fabric Freedom (PDF download)


Shamrock Wall Hanging with gold coin charms, free pattern at Better Homes and Gardens


Shamrock table topper by Run and Sew Quilts,  based on the pattern by Susan Druding


St. Patrick's Surprise quilt by Beth Lancaster at Moonlight Quilts


Leprechaun's Hat Mini Quilt by Lyn Brown


Spring Shamrock embroidery by Victoria Findlay Wolfe for Auribuzz


Shamrock Applique by Kimara at Wee Folk Art


Lucky Shamrock pillow, tutorial and free shamrock pattern by Lindsey Weight at Fort Worth Fabric Studio


Criss Cross Pillow tutorial by Lindsey Weight at Fort Worth Fabric Studio


Endless knot by Brooke Johnsen at Pitter Putter Stitch; based on the Interlocking Seasons Quilt Block Tutorial at The Parfait Cafe


Celtic Knots: Here are some designs that can be constructed with quick, fusible bias tape  (for sources see Quilter's Fancy and Clover and the article How to Use Fusible Bias Tape).  The patterns shown below have free downloadable motifs.


Above, Row 1: Hair of Neptune by Lies Bos-Varkevisser at Lies Bos Quilts. Row 2: Free Celtic Knot Patterns at Marcel's Kids Crafts; Free Celtic Knot Cross at Ireland Fun. Row 3: Rectangular Celtic Knot and Celtic Knot in Square at Wikimedia Commons.

Fair Isle Baby Quilt by Leah Douglas at Moda Bakeshop


Tavern Collection Green quilt, 84 x 97", free pattern by Nancy Rink for Marcus Fabrics (PDF download)


Double Irish Chain quilt, free pattern by Jinny Beyer


Steps in the Forest quilt, 57 x 74 , free pattern by Heidi Pridemore for Michael Miller Fabrics


Image credits: Individual 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. The montages shown on this page are derivative works that are copyrighted by Quilt Inspiration; please do not copy images without permission.   If any links are broken, we'd love to know; email us at quiltinspiration {at} gmail {dot} com.
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