Friday, December 14, 2018

Welcome to Twelve Days of Christmas: Day 6 !

Believe it or not, it's that time of year again: time for Twelve Days of Christmas Quilts ! We are featuring an inspiring quilt each weekday, ending on Christmas Eve.  We wish you a very happy, healthy and creative holiday season.

P.S.-  Check out our many NEW LISTINGS at QuiltInspire on eBay !  And for continuous free quilt patterns, please follow us on Twitter!

Bring Home the Perfect Tree by Constance Clark


 Constance Clark won a Third Place ribbon in the Applique - Small category for this quilt, titled Bring Home the Perfect Tree.  About the name, she says, "My husband spent high school and college summers trimming Christmas trees.  The Bringing Home the Tree pattern [from Buttermilk Basin] evokes cold memories of our searches for the perfect tree."


 In the photo above, the "perfect tree" is carted home in a vintage red truck, and is even accompanied by a wrapped present.  The truck has a wreath on its door.  The cool background color brings to mind snow, and it's not surprising to see appliqued snowflakes falling from the sky!


This little snowman has his own block!  He is embellished with tiny buttons and embroidery stitches.  This close up photo shows Constance Clark's excellent wool applique, embroidery, blanket stitch, and quilting skills ! (She quilted this piece herself).

Image credits: Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2018 Quilt Arizona show.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Welcome to Twelve Days of Christmas: Day 5 !

Believe it or not, it's that time of year again: time for Twelve Days of Christmas Quilts ! We are featuring an inspiring quilt each weekday, ending on Christmas Eve.  We wish you a very happy, healthy and creative holiday season.

P.S.-  Check out our many NEW LISTINGS at QuiltInspire on eBay !  And for continuous free quilt patterns, please follow us on Twitter!

Oh ! Christmas Tree, 55 x 62, by Elizabeth Eastmond  (California)


Oh ! Christmas Tree, designed by Australian quilt artist Wendy Williams, was the subject of a quilt-along by Elizabeth Eastmond at OPQuilt. Elizabeth writes, "I hand-stitched all the flowers and birds while on a trip to Lisbon [Portugal] and Spain in order to complete the quilt in under a year. This pattern... was an inspiration of fun, whimsy, and technique. I did finish the quilt just shy of Christmas Day."

Close-up, Oh! Christmas Tree


Quilt designer Wendy Williams is known for her wool applique and contemporary, simple shapes depicting elements of nature, such as birds, flowers, and trees. They are rendered here in clear, bright wool felt embellished by Elizabeth with embroidery thread that is often in analogous or complementary colors. The beautiful birds and leaves give a sunny, almost tropical mood to this tree of life motif.

Close-up Oh ! Christmas Tree


At the base of the tree is a lovely Nativity scene featuring Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus, with the Star of Bethlehem shining brightly overhead. These pure, color saturated fabrics shown against the white background, along with Elizabeth's beautiful stitchery, provide a joyous sense of energy and liveliness.


Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2018 Road to California quilt show.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Welcome to Twelve Days of Christmas: Day 4 !

Believe it or not, it's that time of year again: time for Twelve Days of Christmas Quilts ! We are featuring an inspiring quilt each weekday, ending on Christmas Eve.  We wish you a very happy, healthy and creative holiday season.

P.S.-  Check out our many NEW LISTINGS at QuiltInspire on eBay !  And for continuous free quilt patterns, please follow us on Twitter!

Heaven and Nature Sing by Ellen Born, quilted by Sharon Elsberry
(Arizona, U.S.A.)

Ellen writes, "Over 2 years in the making, this McKenna Ryan quilt [pattern] was enriched with Sharon Elsberry's quilting! I was so happy to hang it for Christmas."  Ellen's work shows the animal kingdom happily playing on a snowy winter's day. In this scene of 6 panels, you'll find black bears, cardinals, a bluebird, a family of deer with their little fawns, a fox, a racoon, a moose peeking in from the side; and of course, Santa with a sleigh full of toys and 8 tiny reindeer. 
 
Close-up, Heaven and Nature Sing

Ellen's fabulous applique work is complemented by the lovely batik fabrics in various shades of spruce green, cranberry, teal, aqua, icy blue, plus orange and red for Santa's sleigh. We congratulate Ellen on the completion of what is sure to be a treasured heirloom to be enjoyed each Christmas season and into the New Year  for all the years to come !

Image credits: Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2018 Quilt Arizona show.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Welcome to Twelve Days of Christmas: Day 3 !

Believe it or not, it's that time of year again: time for Twelve Days of Christmas Quilts ! We are featuring an inspiring quilt each weekday, ending on Christmas Eve.  We wish you a very happy, healthy and creative holiday season.

P.S.-  Check out our many NEW LISTINGS at QuiltInspire on eBay !  And for continuous free quilt patterns, please follow us on Twitter!

Christmas Ensemble 2018 by Suzanne Hillestad (Provo, Utah, U.S.A.), quilted by Melissa Kelly of Sew Shabby Quilting


Suzanne Hillestad says,  "An autumn pattern was the inspiration for this quilt.  I changed the colors to black and red, paper pieced the poinsettias and added the vines, leaves, and holly berries. This will be donated to the Festival of Trees Quilt Auction."


The beautiful quilting was done by Melissa Kelly, who used wool batting to give it the trapunto look.
As shown below, veins were quilted onto the holly leaves, while the black border was quilted in an overall swirls design. The quilted loops within the large black triangles are the perfect touch.


Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2018 Springville, Utah quilt show.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Welcome to Twelve Days of Christmas: Day 2 !

It came upon us so quickly... but believe it or not, it's that time of year again: time for Twelve Days of Christmas Quilts ! We will be featuring an inspiring quilt each weekday, starting today and ending on Christmas Eve.  We wish you a very happy, healthy and creative holiday season.

P.S.-  Check out our many NEW LISTINGS at QuiltInspire on eBay !  And for continuous free quilt patterns, please follow us on Twitter!

Happy Alps by Enid Weichselbaum (Minnesota, U.S.A.)


Enid explains, "This piece was inspired by travel posters of the 1950's and 60's, with their bold colors, simple shapes, and stylized landscapes. The blue of the shadows in the snow creates depth. Tiny houses, cars, and skiers add more to the story. "


Enid used machine piecing, machine applique, painting, and machine-fused embellishments. Her materials for this charming original design include cotton fabrics, cotton batting, cotton/poly thread, and gold lamé.


Enid's use of bright, happy solid colors creates an enchanting sense of coziness and hominess amidst the snowy mountains. What a perfect place to spend Christmas vacation -- even if you don't ski and are perfectly happy (as we are) to sit by the fireplace and quilt !

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2017 Houston International Quilt Festival.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Welcome to Twelve Days of Christmas: Day 1 !

It came upon us so quickly... but believe it or not, it's that time of year again: time for Twelve Days of Christmas Quilts ! We will be featuring an inspiring quilt each weekday, starting today and ending on Christmas Eve.  We wish you a very happy, healthy and creative holiday season.

p.s. Check out our many NEW LISTINGS at QuiltInspire on eBay !  And for continuous free quilt patterns, please follow us on Twitter!

'Twas the Night by LeeAnne Timpano, quilted by Barbara Futoma


This delightful quilt by LeeAnne Timpano features the opening to Clement C. Moore's Christmas poem, "Twas the night before Christmas", done in the shape of a whimsical Christmas tree. Likely these words conjure images of Santa Claus as they bring a smile to your face.



The quilting was done by Barbara Futoma in an overall snowflake design that fits the holiday theme.  This fun quilt was entered in the Medium/Large Applique category at the 2018 Quilt Arizona show. The fusible applique design, by Emily Cier at Carolina Patchworks, is also available as a printed fabric panel at Spoonflower.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2018 Quilt Arizona show.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving To All

Happy Thanksgiving from Quilt Inspiration! We're very grateful for all our wonderful followers who have joined us during these past eight years ! We'll be spending a few weeks entertaining family and friends, then we will return to this blog and to eBay. Please stay tuned, and we'll see you soon. 

We hope you will enjoy this photo of Margaret Solomon Gunn's award-winning quilt from the recent Pacific International Quilt Festival.

Persistence, 40 x 40", by Margaret Solomon Gunn


Persistence, by Margaret Solomon Gunn, was chosen as Best Wall Quilt at the Pacific International Quilt Festival 2018. She writes, "This original design was an act of persistence from the quilting with contrasting threads to the funky binding. Sometimes the quilter needs to play!"


We think that "Persistence" is spectacular, with a stunning radiant glow. Margaret explains that she started with a piece of silk from her collection, intending to do a wholecloth design on the longarm machine. She  named her quilt "Persistence" partly because one of her challenges involved changing the center medallion, which you can see above. Margaret mentions that she quilted it and unpicked it several times.

Finally, she appliqued a small circle to the very center, then embellished it with crystals around the outside of the circle. If you look at the very center, you can see the crystals. Margaret further enhanced her work by using black thread to emphasize the individual sections of the quilt.  We congratulate Margaret on her breathtakingly successful work. 

For more information on her work, see Margaret Solomon Gunn's blog at Quilts of Love.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Bonita McFadden at the 2018 Pacific International Quilt Festival.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Day of the Dead : Ofrendas

We really enjoyed the ofrendas at this year's Day of the Dead celebration in Phoenix, Arizona. Day of the Dead is not meant to be a sad or frightening holiday, but an uplifting time to remember loved ones who have died.  An ofrenda ("offering") is a collection of objects placed on a ritual display. We've often talked about Day of the Dead quilts, but these ofrendas are mixed media works of art.  We're including the descriptions so you can read about each of these fantastic creations.

Note: For quilt patterns, vintage jewelry,  and other treasures, visit us on E-Bay - We're Top Rated Sellers! And for continuous listings of free quilt patterns, please check us out on Twitter !

Teotl Tonauac by Marco Albarran


The larger-than-lifesize carved figure is embellished with everyday items: hair combs, cloths pins, and bits of metal, as shown below. The heart is depicted with flames around it and with sticks, akin to daggers, through the heart, as is common in Mexican folk art.



Ometecuhtli by Patrick Murillo


Male and female aspects of Ometecuhtli are depicted in the beautifully painted portraits by Patrick Murillo. In keeping with tradition, marigolds, candles, sugar skulls, and corn were used on this ofrenda, which was also decorated with papel picado.




Ometecuhtli by Patricia Silva


The lighted figures, representing opposing forces in the Aztec universe, are wearing elaborate feather headdresses.  They are lighted with a rotating light source that gives them an ethereal, otherworldly appearance.



Patricia Silva says,  "I feel we live in a time where we have chosen to forget about a higher power in which we all were created from.  Whatever your beliefs may be, there is one thing we all share.  We could not exist today without the sun and the moon, male and female, motion and stillness, order and chaos.  My hope is that we learn soon the importance of the balance of all these opposing factors."


El Sol y La Luna (The Sun and The Moon) by Edgar Fernandez


This striking painting depicts the sun and moon as stylized figures, using Aztec imagery in a modern way.  Edgar Fernandez says, "Within this Ofrenda, I have embraced the ancestral importance of how the sun and moon are in union and one cannot exist without the other.... My ancestors captured the beauty of all life in a spiritual way and they understood and celebrated the sacred duality in community and ceremony."


Dualities by Martin Moreno


The images in this altar appear in many of Martin Moreno's works; the balance and harmony of man and woman, yin and yang, life and death. The purple sign urged visitors to "Honor Your Ancestors"; Take a rose petal, write the name of a loved one who has passed on and place it on the altar."  Many visitors participated, as you can see from the piles of petals.



Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix, Arizona.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Highlights of the Pacific International Quilt Festival ! (part 2)

The Pacific International Quilt Festival is the largest quilt show on the west coast of the U.S.A. Many thanks to our good friend, quilt artist Bonita McFadden, for her excellent photos. Let us know which quilts are your favorites !

Note: For quilt patterns, vintage jewelry,  and other treasures, visit us on E-Bay - We're Top Rated Sellers! And for continuous listings of free quilt patterns, please check us out on Twitter !

The Musicians, 76 x 62, by LeAnn Hileman, Arizona


LeAnn explains, "The Musicians is my interpretation of my photo of these two gentlemen playing classical music on a rainy day in San Diego [California]." LeAnn's original design is hand appliqued and sewing machine quilted.
LeAnn has done an excellent job of using very subtle neutrals to depict the lighting on the musician's faces and the shadows behind them.


Coming Through by Cindy Brown (California), quilted by Sheila Connolly


Cindy notes, "This quilt is paper pieced using the Elephant Abstraction pattern by Violet Craft.
Orange is my favorite color. I want to thank Dawna Harrison for helping me pick out the material and Sheila Connolly for the machine quilting. I love that you have to get close up to see all the beautiful quilting. " All of these shades of orange provide a beautiful contrast and highlight the strong geometric components of this fun pattern.

Jazz Sax, 63 x 50, by Colleen Pelfrey (California), quilted by Sandra Bruce


Colleen writes, "I always wanted to play saxophone. When I was in the fifth grade, I told my dad I wanted to play saxophone, and he said, 'Great, we already have a clarinet you can start on!', so I ended up playing the flute into adulthood. The whole time I thought, 'That'll be the day when I can play saxophone!"

Close-up, Jazz Sax


Colleen continues, "When my fifth grade son wanted to play sax, I said, 'Let's buy two saxophones!'. Guess this is the day!" Colleen's original design is machine pieced and longarm quilted. These gold and cream tones work perfectly against the dark background, where very cute musical note symbols were quilted by Sandra Bruce.

Log Cabin Courthouse Steps Quilt, circa 1900 (Unknown Maker; San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles)


From the time of 1900-1910, this lovely antique quilt was a gift of Jennifer Berthold to the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles. The pieces were hand-stitched to a foundation, then machine quilted.
The notes from the museum say, "At first glance, this quilt appears typical in every way to quilts made around the turn of the last century. However, a closer look will reveal quite a bit of interesting 'restoration' work. A variety of very contemporary fabrics have been systematically and carefully appliqued over a number of the 'steps' throughout the design."

Don't Worry, Be Happy by Colleen Granger  (California)


Colleen remarks, "I started with a pile of hand dyed fabrics from Always Unique, and I used my Ninja Star paper piecing pattern to create the rings.  Finally, I just had fun quilting. "

Close-up, Don't Worry, Be Happy

To us, these pretty shapes look like bright spinning wheels of colorful candy ! We appreciate the sense of motion and energy in Colleen's quilt.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Bonita McFadden for Quilt Inspiration.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Highlights of the 2018 Pacific International Quilt Festival ! (part 1)

The Pacific International Quilt Festival is the largest quilt show on the west coast of the U.S.A. Many thanks to our good friend, quilt artist Bonita McFadden, for her excellent photos. Let us know which quilts are your favorites !

Note: For quilt patterns, vintage jewelry,  and other treasures, visit us on E-Bay - We're Top Rated Sellers! And for continuous listings of free quilt patterns, please check us out on Twitter.

Marie's Treasure, 77 x 77", by Marilyn Badger (St. George, Utah)

Best of Show winner, Marilyn says, "This quilt is a tribute to my favorite Aunt. She crocheted doilies like no other. When I saw this hand-dyed doily in [fabric designer] Wendy Richardson's booth, I knew I wanted to make this quilt. Tie that together with some beautiful Paula Nadelstern fabric and lots of beads and crystals; and this is what you get."

Closeup, Marie's Treasure

This stunning center medallion, done in radiant ombre colors,  is actually a crocheted doily carefully appliqued to the quilt background. Marilyn's spectacular original design is machine appliqued and longarm machine quilted. More photos of this breathtaking award winner can be found on The Quilt Show Blog.

In the Old Way, 48 x 36", by Linda Anderson (La Mesa, California)

 Linda explains, " Traditional textiles in Oaxaca, Mexico,  are disappearing over time. Each village has its own design motif that tells their story. Trying to continue this tradition, this woman still dresses her granddaughter in the old way from time to time. That'll be the day when she is as old as gradnma and carries on the tradition of textile with her granddaughter."

Closeup, In the Old Way
Linda's very artistic original design is machine appliqued. This exquisite quilting emphasizes the tender affection expressed by the grandmother as she imparts cherished cultural adornments to her little granddaughter.

My Rhodie, 54 x 46", by Andrea Brokenshire  (Round Rock, Texas)

Blue ribbon winner for Best Innovative Quilt and Viewer's Choice Award winner, Andrea notes, "I made this to celebrate my parents. This quilt was inspired by a visit to the Rhododendron Gardens in Portland during the spring high bloom.

Closeup, My Rhodie

These delicate light and bold deep tones of pink are so lovely!  Andrea's original design is machine appliqued and sewing machine quilted.

Water is Life, So Why Are We Doing This, 61 x 44, by Thom Atkins (Santa Cruz, California)

Blue ribbon winner for Best Use of  Color in an Innovative Quilt,  Thom states   "[This was] inspired by a painting of a breaking wave by F.J. Anderson. I decided to make it a commentary on what we are doing to our oceans, hence the bits of distressed plastic embedded in the foam. "

Closeup, Water is Life

Thom continues, "I machine appliqued cotton fabric and lace, then hand-sewed on glass, pearls, and shell beads around the bits of plastic. I was looking for "beautiful" and "terrifying."  Thom's unique original creation is designed for maximum three-dimensional impact; so the the viewer feels almost like being in the ocean, looking through the pipeline effect of the wave.

In Full Bloom 83 x 69, by Claudia Pfeil ,  (Germany)

Claudia writes, "That'll be the day..........when everything is 'In Full Bloom', a magic hidden garden. The day when you relax and enjoy the peace and nature."

Closeup, In Full Bloom


Claudia's gorgeous, fanciful garden with these vibrantly colored, bead-embellished happy flowers is machine pieced, hand-appliqued, and longarm machine quilted.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Bonita McFadden for Quilt Inspiration.
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