Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Best of the Road to California - Day 2

More than 39,000 visitors from all 50 U.S. states and several foreign countries come each January to visit the Road to California show in Ontario, California.. This quilt show features traditional, art and modern quilts. Here are some of the award winners and our own favorites from the 2018 show !

Also check out our E-Bay shop for great bargains on quilt patterns, fabric, and vintage jewelry!
For continuous free quilt patterns, please visit us on Twitter.

Fifteen by Joyce L. Carrier (Bluemont, Virginia)

Joyce explains, "This photo, taken 8 years ago, was recognized by the zoo attendant on another recent visit. 'Oh, that's Fifteen !', she said. The birds were originally numbered, and Fifteen came to recognize his name, so he remains Fifteen."  Color and the pose of this Lorikeet inspired me to bring him to life in a quilt."

Close-up, Fifteen

Joyce continues, "I used collage, free motion embroidery, and thread painting, with a tiny bit of fabric inks."  It's easy to tell that this gorgeous bird has a lively and intelligent personality.

When My Spirit Is Set Free by Teri L. Cherne (Henniker, New Hampshire)

Third place winner in Mixed Techniques Wall Quilts, Teri comments about her original design,  "[This quilt] was designed so I could have fun with metallic threads. I also enjoyed using my beautiful heavy threads for hand couching and bobbin work."

Close-up, When My Spirit Is Set Free

Teri adds, "Wonderfil's metallic threads were a pleasure to work with on my Innova. A layer of  Hobbs Silk and  Hobbs wool were used for the battings, plus a layer of  Hobbs Polydown was used for trapunto."  Teri has made an excellent choice of metallic threads for this vibrantly colored contemporary work. 

Polish Pottery by Chieko Shiraishi (Saitama, Japan)

Chieko states,  "I got inspiration from Polish pottery and made it a quilt. The appliqued flowers are handcrafted crochet lace. I made a quilt that has a new sense [of technique] by combining quilting and crocheted lace."

Close-up, Polish Pottery

Look at these exquisitely crocheted flowers around the inner border,  which is also surrounded by more hand crochet work.  We admire the amount of time and patience it takes to produce this lovely needlework.

Rainbow Star by Elsie M. Campbell (Ponca City, Oklahoma)

Elsie notes, "The rainbow of colorful fabrics I used for this quilt make me happy. Inspired by a tree I passed on my daily walks, I plucked one of the very large sycamore leaves and used it as the pattern for the rainbow of appliqued leaves on this quilt."

Close-up, Rainbow Star

Elsie continues, "The machine quilting was done on a small domestic sewing machine ( Bernina 730), hand guided, with no aid of ruler or stitch regulator."  Elsie's elegant quilting motifs are perfect for embellishing the white space on this multi-hued work.

Spot On by Gail Stepanek, quilted by Jan Hutchison (Sedgwick, Kansas)

Third place winners in the Mixed Techniques category, Gail and Jan write of their original design,  "Gail hand appliqued the blocks and set them surrounded by a pieced background. Jan used colorful cotton thread and silver metallic thread to create the quilted design. "

Close-up, Spot On

We really admire the delicate intricacy of these snowflake-like designs, enhanced by excellent workmanship in hand applique. Jan's award-winning quilting is evident throughout this piece.

Stepping Out by Patsy Kittredge (Sedona, Arizona)

Patsy says, " As a first-time mother at 40 years old, I took a lot of photos of my twin daughters. With
my husband's gentle presence behind them, they took some of those first steps on a grassy lawn. There may be a lot of difficulties in being a parent, but watching them here was nothing but wonderful."

Close-up, Stepping Out

Patsy's has very realistically depicted the determined look on the faces of toddlers who are learning new skills every day. She has captured the bliss and innocence of childhood extremely well.

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

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Best of the Road to California - Day 1

More than 39,000 visitors from all 50 U.S. states and several foreign countries come each January to visit the Road to California show in Ontario, California.. This quilt show features traditional, art and modern quilts. Here are some of the award winners and our own favorites from the 2018 show.

Also check out our E-Bay shop for great bargains on quilt patterns, fabric, and vintage jewelry!
For continual free quilt patterns, please visit us on Twitter.

Erin by Sandy Curran (Newport News, Virginia)

Erin was awarded a first place ribbon at the Road to California show. Sandy Curran says, "To me, my daughter, Erin, is one of the most beautiful people on earth. I have been afraid to do a portrait of her because I believed I could never do her justice. So, I created an unlikely color scheme and a simplified pattern. You can still recognize Erin, but, because it is not literal, I don’t have to agonize over whether or not I captured her."

Santorini Sunset by Melissa Sobotka (Richardson, Texas)

Santorini Sunset won the Best Use of Color award. Melissa Sobotka says, "I desperately tried to photograph the golden hour (sunset) in Santorini Greece, but that was an image so many had already captured. So I added a new twist, and challenged myself to turn the sunset-washed town into an abstract for a new perspective."

Melissa’s photo-realistic style of quilting is created by appliquéing numerous pieces of raw edge fabrics, and then enhancing them with inks to give them greater depth. You can see more examples of her work at her website, MSfiberart.

Rainbow Dash by Michelle Howe (Irvine, California)

Michelle Howe says that Rainbow Dash was completed in one week in a class given by Susan Carlson.  We admire Michelle's clever use of batik fabrics in creating this collage quilt with raw edge applique.

Remembering Roatan by Pamela Kuck (Shawano, Wisconsin)

Pamela Kuck achieved a remarkable realism in this seascape. She says, "This view of the sunset is from our home in the Western Caribbean Bay Island of Roatan. This piece uses raw-edged fused applique, thousands of ¼-inch fabric bits, a layer of tulle, and embellished with 500 Swarovski crystals to help the water sparkle."

Gilded Roses by Susan E. Stewart

Gilded Roses won the Best Domestic Machine Quilting award. Susan Stewart says, "this quilt was inspired by the lacy, watercolor-y rose machine embroidery design from Urban Threads, in a variety of soft colors to make all the roses just a bit different. The gold swirl designs are from OESD; the fold lace motifs are John Deer's Adorable Designs. All the quilting was free-motion on an APQS George."

Your Place or Mine by Marva-Lee Otos (Ketchikan, Alaska)

This quilt design was a block-of-the-month project by Australian designer, Wendy Williams. Vibrant fabrics by Kaffe Fassett enliven this quilt. Marva-Lee Otos says, "I have always been inspired by Wendy Williams' vibrant use of color. This quilt was a personal challenge to myself as it used non traditional applique techniques."

Marva continues, "I liked the combination of needle turn and wool applique on the pieced cotton background. That, coupled with use of a creative variety of embroidery stitches, allowed me to express my artistic options."
Image credits: Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Our Canine Friends

Dogs are often our best friends, which explains why more than a third of all homes own at least one dog. As the book Marley and Me: says: "A dog has no use for fancy cars, big homes, or designer clothes. A water logged stick will do just fine. A dog doesn't care if you're rich or poor, clever or dull, smart or dumb. Give him your heart and he'll give you his.” Here's a tribute to our canine friends, as shown by some of our favorite dog quilts from the 2017 Houston International Quilt Festival.

King Charles by Virginia Greaves (Georgia, USA)

We loved this handsome dog portrait by Virginia Greaves.  Virginia says, "This is my little contribution to the 2017 IQA Silent Auction. It’s from a picture I took some time ago, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel that I saw in passing."

On her website, Virginia Greaves says: "Through the progression of years, my work has become more focused on portraits. I find them challenging when portrayed in fabric, both commercial prints and hand dyes, and I delight in finding that little spark in each individual and showing it in my work."

Cruisin' by Lea McComas (Colorado, USA)

This is the third in Lea McComas' series "A Dog's Life." She says, "This is a great way to spend an afternoon - the wind in your hair, the sun on your face, and your human at the wheel." The composition was inspired by a photo taken by Alicia Urie of Boulder, Colorado.  The image was not printed to fabric, but was the inspiration for the pattern that was made and used for this piece.

Cruisin' was created with fused applique and thread painting.  Lea McComas used commercial and hand-dyed cotton fabrics; polyester organza; and a variety of threads to create this piece.

Daddy's Boy by Kay Donges (Georgia, USA)

Kay Donges says, "A trip to our local quilt store inspired me to create this quilt. The owner of the store had her dog, Chester, there because the dog gets upset when her husband has to travel. My husband had placed his jacket and hat on a bench by the door. We walked away, then turned around, and Chester was lying on the coat and hugging the hat."

Kay used fusible applique with cotton and suedecloth fabric to create Daddy's Boy.  She really captured the dog's emotions in those eyes!

Cookie? PLEEEZE Cookie! by Sarah Ann Smith (Maine, USA)

This little quilt was created by Sarah Ann Smith to honor her beloved pug.  Sarah says, "I wanted to try a portrait in completely non-representational colors.  For the Dallas Quilt Guild 2010 challenge, I used the opportunity to make our pug's portrait.  I selected lights, mediums and darks... the turquoise became the background, quilted with doggie cookies in his dreams."

Sarah Ann Smith was one of two debut artists in the Rising Stars exhibit at International Quilt Festival Houston 2017. You can see a photo of Sarah with her dog on her website.

Green Dog with Orange Ball by Cindy Cooksey (California, USA)

Cindy Cooksey says, "Inspiration can appear like graffiti, often unbidden, and it is the job of an artist to recognize and interpret it however she can. In this case, I was inspired by the soulful gaze and graceful pose of my sister-in-law's dog, Gaia.  I attempted to elevate her into an iconic figure, and I added the orange bll, just because she seemed to need one."

Cindy achieved a wonderful modern art effect with her choice of colors, fabrics and motifs. Green Dog was hand embroidered, machine appliqued and quilted, and painted.

Puppy Love by Lea McComas (Colorado, USA)

Lea McComas says, "There is nothing so pure and joyous as the unconditional affection of a new puppy.  We should all wag more and bark less."

Puppy Love was created with fused applique using commercial and hand-dyed cotton fabrics.  The thread painting was done with cotton and polyester thread.

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

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Exemplary Cat Quilts

If there are any animals who seem to really love quilts and are curious about them, it has to be cats.
Here's a tribute to our feline furbabies, as shown by some of our favorite cat quilts from the 2017 Houston International  Quilt Festival

An Interrupted Still Life by Pamela Seaberg , Washington, U.S.A.

Pamela says, "Last summer, I set up a still life of flowers on an old chair for a watercolor painting. Omar, my curious cat, turned my still life into this quilt."  Here's Omar, standing on his hind legs, tentatively trying to figure out the purpose of a vase on a chair, as cats will do. This quilt is made from hand-dyed and commercial fabrics, cotton, rayon, and silk embroidery threads, plus polyester threads.

Close-up, An Interrupted Still Life

We really admire Pamela's beautiful and accurate technique !  She used hand applique, hand embroidery, painting, and thread painting.

Sami, aka Tree Kitty by Lisa Steinka, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

Lisa writes,  "This is a reproduction of an original photo of my cat, Sami, that I took, developed, and printed over 40 years ago. The applique was done in the style of [quilt artist] David Taylor."

Close-up, Sami a.k.a. Tree Kitty

Lisa's original design uses cotton fabrics and cotton batting, with hand-piecing, hand-applique, and embroidery. She has done an excellent job at conveying the dignity and nobility of Sami in his devotion to enjoying life in the tree tops.

Kitten's Dreams by Hiroko Miyama and Masanobu Miyama, Tokyo, Japan

The quilters explain,  "This [work] expresses the kitten's desire to look down on dogs that chased her whenever they met. The flowers are original design, manually punch and machine embroidered. The kitten and dogs are also original design and were appliqued by using an original applique technique."

Close-up,Kitten's Dreams

What a wonderfully realistic depiction of this sweet kitten's face !  Hiroko and Masanobu used machine piecing, fused applique, machine embroidery, and original digitized embroidery to create this adorable quilt.

Can I Keep It, Pleassse?  by Kay Donges, Georgia, U.S.A.

Kay notes, "I was asked to make a quilt to be donated to the International Quilt Association to be placed in their silent auction at the  Houston International Quilt Show. The inspiration was a stock photo I purchased to use. It is fused applique and thread painting.
It is titled, "Can I Keep It, Pleassse?", because I believe that the girl is pleading  [with her voice and emphasizing the word 'Pleassse']  with her parents in order to keep this soft kitty.

Close-up, "Can I Keep It Pleassse?"

Kay has done an amazing job of  capturing the intent expressions of both the little girl and the kitten. It appears that the kitten wants to stay with the little girl as much as the little girl wants to keep it ! We also admire the elegant thread painting on the face and head of the kitten.

Cats on the Roof by Cecilia Koppmann, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Cecilia comments, "Every December, we wrap up the year with a celebratory breakfast that I host for all my students. It's a really fun party. I asked the students to bring with them a piece of fabric for me, from which I cut the cats and built this quilt. Now I have them 'meowing' in my studio all year
We think that a breakfast party is a wonderful way to honor the students, and it looks as if the cats here are getting ready to do a little partying of their own !  

Close-up,  Cats on the Roof

We love Cecilia's arrangements of colors in creating a high contrast, vibrant, contemporary design that shows these nocturnal kitties with their prominent whiskers, out enjoying the night sky amongst the tall buildings.
Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2017 Houston International Quilt Festival.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Free pattern day: Lattice and Woven quilts

Here are 50 free patterns for lattice, basket weave, interlocking and "plaid" quilts! Lattice quilts are made with strips that form a grid over the background blocks, and "woven" or "plaid" blocks have strips that appear to weave in and out. To go to a pattern: Scroll down the page until you see the quilt you like, then click on the words "PDF download" (or the hyperlinked website name) in the title above the quilt.

Also check out our E-Bay shop for great bargains on quilt patterns, fabric, and vintage jewelry!
For more free quilt patterns, please visit us on Twitter.

Criss Cross quilt, free pattern by Emily Herrick for Michael Miller Fabrics (PDF download)

Blue Serape quilt, 68" square, free pattern at Windham Fabrics (PDF download)

Points of Hue quilt, 65 x 75", free pattern at Blank Quilting (PDF download)

Coastal Chic Batik quilt, 52 x 65", free pattern at Maywood Studio (PDF download)

The Great Divide, 56 x 56", free pattern by Larene Smith for Hoffman Fabrics (PDF download)

Rubick Cube quilt, 52 x 64", free pattern by Heidi Pridemore for Benartex (PDF download)

Coquet quilt, 80 x 80", free pattern at Art Gallery Fabrics (PDF download)

Cut Loose quilt, 68 x 85", free pattern by Denyse Schmidt for Free Spirit Fabrics (PDF download)

Cherry Pop quilt, 63 x 73”, free pattern by Amy Shaw for Wilmington Prints (PDF download

Quilt Blocks, 57 x 65”, free pattern by Ellen Luckett Baker for Moda Fabrics (PDF download)

Plaid Quilt, 78 x 80”, free pattern by Wilmington Prints (PDF download


Felicity quilt, 81 x 98”, free pattern at Wilmington Print (PDF download

Tropical Punch quilt, 45 x 54”, free pattern by Karen Montgomery for Timeless Treasures (PDF download)

Lattice quilt made with ombre fabric, 36 x 44”, free pattern at Robert Kaufman (PDF download

Through the Lattice quilt, 35 x 45”, free pattern by Patti Carey for Northcott (PDF download

Rainbow Twist quilt, 62 x 71”, free pattern by Laurie Shifrin for In The Beginning Fabrics (PDF download)

Crossroads quilt, ~70 x 88”, free pattern by Siobhan Rogers for Windham Fabrics (PDF download

King’s Cross quilt, 60 x 60”, free pattern by Tara Faughnan for Michael Miller Fabrics (PDF download

Cracker Lattice quilt in Portico, 51 x 68”, free pattern by Camelot Fabrics (PDF download)


Lattice Quilt, 68 x 86”, free pattern at Robert Kaufman (PDF download)

Tonga Dazzle Interspectrum quilt, ~63 x 81", free pattern by Hanna Bourque at Timeless Treasures (PDF download)

Simply Woven quilt tutorial by Jess Kelly for Moda Bakeshop (PDF download

The Lattice quilt, ~51 x 66", free pattern by Beth Donaldson at Quilt Doctor (PDF download)

Abacus quilt, 60 x 80”, free pattern by Alison Glass for Andover Fabrics (PDF download)

Liberty Woven quilt, 62 x 72”, free pattern by Benartex Studios (PDF download)

Pique Nique quilt, 57 x 57”, free pattern at Robert Kaufman (PDF download)

Plaid on Point quilt, 100 x 100”, free pattern at Robert Kaufman (PDF download)

Woven Essentials quilt, 55” square, free pattern by Nancy Mahoney (PDF download)

Changing Seasons quilt, 74 x 98”, free pattern by Classic Cottons (PDF download)

Boomerang quilt, 80 x 80", free pattern by Emma Jean Jansen (PDF download)

Stories We Weave, 70 x 90”, free pattern by Leslie Sonkin for P&B Textiles (PDF download)

Nexus quilt, ~55 x 61”, based on a design by Jane Snedden Peever at McCall’s Quilting (PDF download)

Freeform quilt, 66 x 77”, free pattern at Paintbrush Studio (PDF download)

Lattice Be Scrappy quilt, 52 x 60”, free pattern by Kaye England for Wilmington Prints (PDF download)

Mix Basics quilt, 64 x 76", free pattern by Denise Russell for Timeless Treasures (PDF download)

Coastal Getaway Quilt, 62 x 74", free pattern by Monique Jacobs for Maywood Studio (PDF download)

Twist Ties quilt, free pattern at Country Junktion (PDF download)

Garden City quilt, 64 x 80”, free pattern by Jackie Robinson for Benartex (PDF download)

Suzette quilt, 57 x 69”, free pattern by Stephanie Sims for Clothworks (PDF download)

Rose Trellis quilt, 78 x 78", free pattern at eQuilter (PDF download)

Designer Garden quilt, 64 x 64”, free pattern by Stacey Day for Windham Fabrics (PDF download)

Fresh Connections quilt, 71 x 88”, free pattern by Jean Katherine Smith for Windham Fabrics (PDF download)

Tropical Breeze quilt, 52 x 62”, free pattern at Benartex (PDF download)

Midnight Maze quilt, 65 x 65”, free pattern by Nancy Mahoney (PDF download)

Bella Verona quilt, 76 x 90”, free pattern by Toby Lischko for Timeless Treasures (PDF download)

Wildflower lattice quilt, free pattern at Fabric Editions (PDF download)

Impressions quilt, 70 x 70”, free pattern at Art Gallery Fabrics (PDF download)

Twist and Turn quilt, free pattern by Toby Lischko for Hoffman Fabrics (PDF download)

A Brand New Day, 42 x 54”, free pattern for landscape panel by Vicki Stratton for Hoffman Fabrics (PDF download)

Country Plaid quilt, ~68 x 86", free pattern at Connecting Threads

Panel Plaid quilt, 84 x 105”, free pattern by Susan Rooney for Benartex (PDF download)

Nutmeg and Cinnamon quilt, queen size, free pattern at McCall’s Quilting (PDF download)

Mad for Plaid quilt, ~60 x 66”, free pattern by Anna Maria Horner (PDF download)

Plaid Sash-ay quilt, 48 x 70", free pattern at Wilmington Prints (PDF download)

Indo Ikat quilt, 58 x 70", free pattern by Heidi Pridemore for Michael Miller Fabrics (PDF download)

Bed of Roses quilt, free pattern by Marinda Stewart for Michael Miller Fabrics (PDF download

A Red Letter Day, 57 x 73”, free pattern by Wendy Sheppard at Ivory Spring (PDF download

Scottie Toss quilt, 57 x 71”, free pattern by Susan Emory for Michael Miller Fabrics (PDF download)

Maya lap quilt, ~59” square, free pattern by Shannon Ownby at Fabrics n Quilts (PDF download)

Slip Knot quilt pattern, 72" square, free pattern by Nancy Zieman (PDF download)

Twisted Craze wall hanging, 44 x 44”, free pattern by McCall’s Quilting (PDF download)

Finally, if you enjoy dimensional quilts, you might also like our Free Pattern Day for Attic Windows Quilts!

Image credits: This post was updated on January 30, 2020. 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 photo montage shown on this page is a derivative work that is the property of Quilt Inspiration. If any links are broken, we'd love to know so we can fix it. Please email us at QuiltInspiration {at} gmail {dot} com.
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