Saturday, March 23, 2019

Highlights of Quilt Arizona 2019 ! part 1

The Arizona Quilters Guild has over 35 chapters, but they all get together annually for the Quilt Arizona show. The 2019 theme is Jewels of the Desert: "Every quilt is like a gemstone, the dancing colors play through patterns to endlessly fascinate and amaze. This year your quilt should convey Arizona's iridescent beauty, from golden sunsets and emerald cacti, to clear sparkling memories."

Note: please 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 !)

Desert Jewel of Happiness and Joy by Lois Wendling, quilted by Donna Goldbeck

Lois Wendling won Third Place in the Theme category for this Arizona themed quilt.  Lois says, "I saw the 'Panel One Block Wonders' on Facebook and decided to try my hand at it. The colors in the panel are definitely, to me, like jewels in the desert. It was so fun playing with all the variations." We enjoyed Lois' design, and Donna Goldbeck's fabulous quilting, which include quilted pots in the top and bottom borders. The colorful kokopelli panel is shown below.

The technique uses a fabric panel in the middle, and one-block-wonder hexagon blocks cut from additional panels in the rest of the quilt. (Kokopelli is a Native American fertility deity, usually depicted as a humpbacked flute player, often with feathers or antenna-like protrusions on his head.)

Summer's Bounty by Jan Mawk, quilted by Jan Mawk

Jan Mawk won First Place in the Applique - Small category, along with an Exemplary Hand Quilting award.  The floral sampler is from the book Beautiful Botanicals by Deborah Kemball.  The applique, embroidery, and quilting were all done by hand, and then prairie points were added.  Jan Mawk says, "I spent 2299 hours on this quilt."  We've never seen such tiny, perfect hand quilting stitches:

Keeping the Peace by Barbara Miller, quilted by Cindy Stohn

Barbara Miller won a Judge's Choice ribbon for this lovely portrait, inspired by an original photo of their dog Shiloh.  This was her first attempt at using a collage technique, and the results were impressive!

Summer Dream by Vicky Button, quilted by Samantha Wright

This beautiful rainbow star quilt won a well-deserved Judge's Choice ribbon. Amazingly, this was Vicky Button's first paper pieced project. (The Summer Dream pattern is by Jacqueline de Jonge.)  She says, "I am still amazed that I was able to create this striking quilt!" 

Daddy's Delight by Ann Gonzalez, quilted by Ann Gonzalez

The beautiful desert colors make this quilt a standout.  Ann Gonzalez says, "This quilt is designed to be done in English Paper Pieced Style but I drew the seam lines on the back of each piece and stitched them by hand.  I then appliqued the top to the background."

We recognize the design as La Passacaglia Quilt - Millefiori Quilts by Willyne Hammerstein.

Margarita! by Mardi Schock, quilted by Kim Rensch

Margarita won First Place in the Theme category.  Mardi Schock says, "Margarita is a template-made quilt from Margaret Miller's book.  It was a challenge from finding right fabrics, cutting the mirror images and then finding multiple pattern mistakes! Worth it though!"

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2019 Quilt Arizona show.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Celebrating Green Quilts!

We're celebrating St. Patrick's Day, which honors the patron saint who brought Christianity to Ireland in the 5th century A.D.  Here are some exemplary quilts that feature the color green!

Also please 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 !)

Crazy About Ireland by Linda Redwood-Martinez

Winner of Honorable Mention at the 2018 Quilt Arizona show, Linda Redwood-Martinez says, "Visiting this land of beauty, history, lovely beauty and fascinating fable inspired the design and creation of my first Crazy Quilt. Both were a delightful experience".  The nine blocks in this hand embroidered and embellished quilt are filled with charming details.

At her Desert Rose Quilt Company shop on Etsy,  Linda says, "Each square represents elements of Irish culture – from the legend of the Selkie Seal, to the music and camaraderie at the local pub, all the way to politics and religion." "Many of the figures in the quilt were designed, painted and hand embroidered as individual pieces then appliqued to the background block. Each block was then trimmed with laces, ribbon and other fibers, then hand embroidered with more detailed artwork. A great variety of embellishments were then added."

Scrappy Wedding, 38 x 38",  by Lorraine Woodruff-Long (San Francisco, California)

Scrappy Wedding is a twist on the formal, traditional structure of a classic double wedding ring pattern that is contrasted with the modern, improvisational green pieced fabric interiors, which range from yellow-green to forest green. The white "rings" provide a calm contrast to the multi-hued scraps.  This lovely quilt is machine pieced, appliqued, and sewing machine quilted.

Acer Macrophyllum, 34 x 44", by Lisa Jenni (Redmond, Washington)

Acer Macrophyllum was awarded a blue ribbon for Best Sewing Machine Workmanship at the 2017 Pacific International Quilt Festival. Lisa Jenni says, "This quilt is a small tribute to our native Northwestern big leaf maples, some of the most impressive cold-climate deciduous trees. In the more humid parts of its range, as in Olympic National Park, its bark is often covered thickly with epiphytic moss and fern species."

Mossy Radiation by Connie Myers

Mossy Radiation is based on a published design by Kaffe Fassett. Connie Myers says, "The challenge on piecing [this quilt] was to keep each section square. I quilted this on my Sweet Sixteen sit down quilting machine."  We really enjoyed Connie's selection of "mossy" fabrics, and her beautiful machine quilting!

Image credits:  Photos were taken at the 2018 Quilt Arizona show (Crazy About Ireland, Mossy Radiation) and the 2017 Pacific International Quilt Festival (Scrappy Wedding, Acer Macrophyllum).

Thursday, March 7, 2019

The Best of Digital Quilts (2)

Digital printing technology has changed every industry it has touched, including quilting. Anything you can view or design on a computer can be printed onto fabric, then quilted ! We're featuring award-winning fabric artists who have inspired us with their creative works.

P.S.Check out our E-Bay shop for great deals on quilt patterns, fabric, and books ! For continuous free quilt patterns, please visit us on Twitter !

A Shared Destiny by Patricia Kennedy-Zafred, Pennslvania,  photo by Quilt Inspiration

Patricia notes, "The dramatic faces of these Native American chiefs inspired the bold colors and patterns of the hand-dyed fabric and mandated the bold, impressive size; yet, the softness in their eyes seems perfectly suited to the quilt medium. (The original images are by Edward S. Curtis, courtesy of the Library of Congress).

Close-up, A Shared Destiny

Patricia did an outstanding job of creating a multi-colored quilt which displays the dignity, intensity, and purposeness of these chiefs. Her techniques include machine piecing, fused applique, hand-dyeing, and silk screening. For materials, she used cotton fabric, Procion dyes, textile inks, fusible web, and rayon and cotton threads.

Blossoming by Diane Rusin Doran,  Maryland,  photo by Quilt Inspiration

Second place winner in the Surface Design Category at the 2017 Houston International Quilt Festival, Diane explains, "This is an interpretation of what I see when standing underneath one of our cherry blossom trees in full bloom, backlit by the afternoon sun. I created the image using digital surface design techniques and digital collage, enhancing it with free-motion machine quilting."

Close-up,  Blossoming

We love this gorgeous array of sunset colors - peaches, pinks, apricots, and mauves which make it easy to visualize the light shining through the trees. Diane's technique was digital and professional fabric printing on hand-dyed cotton sateen fabric, with cotton threads for machine quilting.

Happy 80th Birthday, Mama, by Sarah Ann Smith

Sarah Ann notes, "My mother's 80th birthday quilt depicts three generations. My mother worked in Japan in 1946-47 and fell in love with the country, so I selected a Japanese theme. On the top is Mom's family. In the center is my immediate family and Mom's siblings as adults. Finally, the youngest generation, including my sons, is at the bottom."

Close-up, Happy 80th Birthday, Mama

Sarah Ann's wonderful work is machine appliqued and quilted. It will surely be a treasured family heirloom.

New York Windows 1449, by Marilyn Henrion 
New York

The description card reads, "As a lifelong New Yorker, Henrion's work is always deeply rooted in the urban geometry of her surroundings..... This is one of a series of works that focuses on the metaphorical implications of windows....Windows are the visual bridge between inside and out. Though transparent, the window may serve as the barrier or the link between the viewer and the world beyond. To those outside, it may reflect the world or provide one with a glimpse of the inside. To those inside, it may shield them from the reality outside of offer a connection to it.

Close-up,  New York Windows

This quilt depicts Trinity Church in downtown Manhattan surrounded by the megalithic structures of Wall St. commerce. The three concentric circles of the quilting design symbolize the Christian Godhead. Marilyn's techniques included hand quilting with the contemporary technology of digitally manipulated photography, along with pigment printing on silk. We really admire how Marilyn has fused the present and past by using both traditional and contemporary techniques in working with this intriguing subject matter.

Slate Mine Vanadium by Susan Szajer
New Mexico

Susan writes, "In the copper-rich hills of southwest New Mexico, basic shack-like structures house mining shafts and equipment used many years ago. These abandoned structures have outlived their use and are examples of irresponsible industrial practices and abuse of our natural resources."

According to the Live Science website, Vanadium is a medium-hard, steel-blue metal. Although a lesser-known metal, it is quite valuable in the manufacturing industry due to its malleable, ductile and corrosion-resistant qualities. 

Close-up Slate Mine Vanadium

Susan's techniques include hand-embroidery, machine-piecing and quilting, along with photo transferring, hand-dyeing, and dye painting. Her work makes an important statement on a very timely and relevant topic.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2018 Brigham City Art Quilt Invitational (New York Windows) and the 2017 Houston International Quilt Festival.

Friday, March 1, 2019

The Best of Digital Quilts (1)

Digital printing technology has changed every industry it has touched, including quilting. Anything you can view or design on a computer can be printed onto fabric, then quilted ! This week and next, we're featuring award-winning fabric artists who have inspired us with their creative works.

p.s. Check out our E-Bay shop for great deals on quilt patterns, fabric, and books ! For continuous free quilt patterns, please visit us on Twitter !

Icons in Blue by Suzan Engler (Texas)

Suzan Engler holds degrees in Computer Science and Business Administration, as well as a Master’s degree in Fine Arts. On her website, Suzan Engler says, "My art is a collaboration of photography, digital painting and manipulation, and contemporary art quilting."

Icons in Blue was based on a commercially licensed photo which was digitally manipulated, printed onto cotton fabric, and then machine quilted by Suzan.  The background of the image features numerous icons, including the word "artist".  For more of her work, please see Suzan Engler's website.

This Land Was My Land by Patricia Kennedy-Zafred (Pennsylvania)

Patricia Kennedy-Zafred says, "The striking image of a young Navajo man in 1906 speaks not only to the forced migration of Native Americans during that historical period, but also to the battle being fought today by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe... Their stories are an essential part of our diverse American fabric."

This original photo was obtained from the Library of Congress.  This piece was hand-silk-screened, transferred, machine pieced, and quilted. Patricia's prize-winning works have been exhibited nationally and internationally; for more of her work, see her gallery page.

My Arizona by Maureen Tollman

Artist Maureen Tollman says,  "As a native of Arizona, I chose to use a few of my own photographs to depict places in the state.  The background fabric is silk and the photos are mounted onto suede and burlap.  Photographs were printed on treated roller shade fabric using an inkjet printer." 

The rustic feeling of this piece  is enhanced by the addition of metal gears, burlap flowers, and other embellishments.

Birds Eye View, 60 x 24", by Wen Redmond (New Hampshire)

Birds Eye View really caught our eye with its ethereal imagery and pieced-image construction.  Wen Redmond says, "Glancing upward while at a stop sign, I spied a bird sitting high on a branch.  This observation took me on a short reverie, thinking about what the bird was thinking, watching all of us scurry and hurry about our day. This moment gave me back perspective, to remember how precious life is, and to remember the fleeting beauty hidden in today."

Birds Eye View was created by melding several photographs and printing onto prepared canvas.  The fiber photograph is mounted onto sections, which were then stitched, and tied together using dyed pearl cotton.  In the closeup photo above you can also see that the edges of the individual sections are embellished and sealed with metallic paint.
To learn more about her techniques, check out Wen Redmond's 2017 book titled Digital Fiber Art: Combine Photos and Fabric - Create Your Own Mixed-Media Masterpiece:

Mudra, 75" x 51", by Melissa Sobotka (Texas)

Melissa Sobotka’s artwork can be found in many private collections and in the National Quilt Museum. Mudra won an Honorable Mention award at the 2018 Road to California quilt show.  This striking, large wall quilt was based on Melissa Sobotka's own photograph.  She says,  "Mudra is a spiritual gesture and an energetic seal of authenticity employed in the iconography and spiritual practice of Indian religions.  Some mudras involve the entire body but most are performed with the hands and fingers."

The authenticity of this piece is greatly enhanced by the loops of wooden beads that embellish the bottom edge of the quilt, as shown above.  For more of her work (and information about workshops), please visit Melissa Sobotka's website.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2018 Road to California show (Mudra), the 2015 Quilt Arizona show (My Arizona), and the 2017 Houston International Quilt Festival (Icons in Blue, Birds Eye View, This Land Was My Land).

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

The Quilts of Karlyn Bue Lohrenz

Karlyn Bue Lohrenz of Montana started taking quilt classes as a way of coping with the stages of grief after her sixteen year old daughter tragically lost her life in a car accident in 1989. As her success grew, she was invited to display her work in the "Rising Stars" exhibit at the 2017 Houston International Quilt Festival.
We greatly admire Karlyn's fantastic work, so we'd like to share it with you !

Calamari Time by Karlyn Lohrenz

Karlyn's inspiration for this amazing contemporary art quilt was a photo of a water fountain. She says, "Fiberart is such a wonderful medium to use in creation. From vision to image, every step fuels creativity. I challenged myself on working with gradation values in fabric, precision, shading, depth, and creativity in free-motion quilting. It is humbling to be part of the community who utilizes this medium. "

Close-up, Calamari Time

Rich, complementary color-saturated hues of purple, orange-yellow and apricot really bring out the sparkle in this pattern. Calamari Time is machine pieced, appliqued, quilted, and trapuntoed.

Bengal Peace by Karlyn Lohrenz

For this fabulous piece, Karlyn was inspired by the teachings of quilt artists Hollis Chatelain and Barbara Olson . Karlyn remarks, "I studied and explored the Royal White Bengal. The White Bengal is believed to have been extinct from the wild since 1958. Less than 400 were in the captive world at the time I made this quilt. What fun it was to take this quilt from thought to reality."
 Close-up, Bengali Peace

We were impressed by the amazing life-like markings on the tiger's face and its piercing eyes, which seem to follow the viewer's gaze. This stunning work is machine quilted and painted.

Montana Tigers by Karlyn Lohrenz

The design source for this vibrant work was photos of tiger lily flowers. Karlyn notes, "These beauties are in my flowerbeds every fall. We are so blessed to work in a medium where we can create these image that float in our heads.I tried to give them the attention they deserved. A quilt is complete when it is shared."

Close-up, Montana Tigers

This beautiful threadwork replicates the tiny lines and veins in the flower petals which give them such a depth of color. Montana Tigers is machine-pieced, appliqued, and quilted, plus trapuntoed.

We're Not In Kansas Anymore II by Karlyn Lohrenz

Karlyn's design source for this magical, imaginative quilt was the great story, "The Wizard of Oz" by L.Frank Baum. She states, "This was a challenge that tried my patience, tested, my discipline, and stirred up pleasant memories from childhood. I hope my interpretation of the journey to the Emerald City sparks the enthusiasm of the child in all of us."

Close-up,  We're Not In Kansas Anymore II

Here's the beloved characters of Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, and of course the Lion on their way to a marvelous adventure down the yellow brick road

And of course,  the adorable Toto is included, against a beautifully quilted background. Karlyn's techniques include machine piecing, applique, quilting, and thread painting.

It All Comes Around by Karlyn Lohrenz

Karlyn's inspiration for this gorgeous quilt were circles and a path to and from Montana and Germany. Karlyn writes, "I watched my 17 year old granddaughter apply, interview, and accept a full ride scholarship to study abroad. We went through many emotions as a family. I finished this quilt the day she was greeted by her host family in Germany."

Close-up, It All Comes Around

Karlyn's spectacular work is machine pieced, appliqued, and quilted, felted, and overlaid. The lovely warm colors really create a glowing effect for this contemporary quilt.

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