Thursday, May 16, 2019

Quilts Celebrating Creativity ! part 2

Welcome to the Santa Clara Valley Quilt Association 2019 show! The Santa Clara Valley lies at the southern end of San Francisco Bay in Northern California. This year's show, titled Quilts Celebrating Creativity,  featured some outstanding works by talented quilters. Here are more of our favorites!

(Note: please check out our E-Bay shop for great bargains on quilt patterns and collectibles ! For continuous free quilt patterns, please visit us on Twitter !)

Samba Selfie, 39 x 39”, by Randa Mulford


Randa Mulford was a featured quilter at this year's show, and we are sharing several of her quilts today.  She says, "A selfie of my daughter and her friend dressed to participate in a samba parade during their student year in Chile was the inspiration for this collage quilt... The background shows the shore of lake Llanquihue in Puerto Varas, Chile, with the Osorno volcano in the background and fireworks over the lake."


Randa continues, "The biggest challenge was creating the contours of their faces and shoulders from printed fabric."  This quilt conveys the happiness and friendship the girls must have felt as they enjoyed the parade!

Radial Sonnet, 42 x 42”, by Randa Mulford


Randa explains that "Radial Sonnet is a kaleidoscope quilt, created for a challenge with the theme “sonnet.” (A sonnet is a 14-line poem with the specific rhyme scheme ABAB-CDCD-EFEF-GG). The central design has 14 wedges and the patterns inside the wedges reflect the rhythm of the poem."


We really enjoyed Randa's fantastic choice of fabrics, along with her use of fancy stitches to quilt the background circles, as shown below.


On Campus: Lewis & Clark College, 26 x 33”, by Randa Mulford


We love map quilts! Randa explains, "I began this quilt in an advanced composition workshop with Valerie Goodwin as a gift for my daughter upon her graduation from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. It features a map of the campus in the center, with an image of the beautiful Frank Manor House (now an admin building) at the bottom and Mount Hood looming over it all (assuming it’s a clear day!)  The closeup photo, below, shows Randa's excellent applique and quilting techniques.


Glorious Clams, 60 x 70”, by Denise Martin


Denise Martin says, "[Fellow quilter] Joni Strother showed me this quilt in Quilter’s Newsletter. Carole Donovan let me use her magazine. This is the result, three years later. I had fun using fabrics from my large stash of beachy fabrics."


The Quilters Newsletter pattern description says, "Foundation piecing and curved seams make this a challenging quilt to make, but the beautiful results are worth the effort."

Sedona Opus, 33 x 69”, by Tracy Visher


Tracy Visher made this outstanding, colorful landscape quilt. She says, "My husband and I have a strong affinity for Sedona (Arizona), Santa Fe (New Mexico), and the surrounding desert lands. I have had a Sedona art quilt in my head for years and finally tackled the “prickly subject”. My personal challenge was to show the depth of the landscape and the many hues of the red rock formations."


Tracy continues,"I further challenged myself to figure out how to make a dimensional foreground, showing some of the native plants that live in these regions (like the agave plant shown above). It is the largest, most complex art quilt I have attempted to date."
The large embroidery stitches on the cholla cactus, shown below, lend an extremely realistic feel!


Image credits:  Photos were taken at the 2019 Santa Clara Valley Quilt Association show.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Quilts Celebrating Creativity ! part 1

Welcome to the Santa Clara Valley Quilt Association 2019 show! The Santa Clara Valley lies at the southern end of San Francisco Bay in Northern California. This year's show, titled Quilts Celebrating Creativity,  featured some outstanding works by talented quilters. Here are a few of our favorites!

(Note: please check out our E-Bay shop for great bargains on quilt patterns, fabric, and collectibles ! For continuous free quilt patterns, please visit us on Twitter !)

From The Golden State by Judy Rudolph

Right now, the Santa Clara Valley Quilt Association is participating in an exchange program known as "Quilts Across the Pacific", where each member has a sister quilter in Australia with whom to share designs, patterns, and quilt ideas.

Judy Rudolph says, "This quilt was made as my exchange quilt for Patricia Keevers in Australia. I drew inspiration from California's state nickname, 'The Golden State'. The center features a Mariner's Compass block using the Ruth Robin Fat Robin ruler. 

Close-up, From the Golden State

Judy adds, "The center was hand appliqued, and the compass was hand appliqued to the background. The machine embroidery design was from the 50 States Collection by Anita Goodesign. The compass was trapuntoed with an extra layer of wool batting and big stitch quilting was used to highlight the star points and the circular designs in the background."  We appreciate all of Judy's hard work and the beautiful results !

Daisy by Mandy Fleig

Here's another quilt made as part of the quilt exchange with quilter friends in Australia. Mandy writes, "This quilt features Daisy, my Australian friend's pup. As I have become acquainted with my friend across the Pacific, I realized how similar we are. I lost my beloved pup that was also a yellow Labrador Retriever several years ago. The pictures of Daisy remind me that no matter where we live, how different we appear, really we are all the same. We all want to love and be loved."

Close-up, Daisy

Wonderful thread painting work here really emphasizes Daisy's friendly countenance and soulful eyes. Mandy has done an excellent job in using a variety of neutral fabrics to highlight this yellow Lab's attractive markings.

Yosemite Falls by Jaunell Waldo

Jaunell explains, "I wanted to create a quilt introducing my new Australian friend to one of my favorite places on the planet. Picking a specific place within Yosemite National Park was tricky, but I finally settled on the waterfalls because it will give her an idea of the overall majesty of the park." 

Close-up, Yosemite Falls

We really admire this very lifelike landscape quilt which captures the texture of the rushing water, the large trees, and the surrounding sun-dappled rocks.

La Passacaglia Unravels by Randa Mulford

Randa Mulford was a featured quilter at this show.  She states, "This quilt was my first foray into English paper piecing-- I haven't hand-pieced a quilt in many years ! It's been a fun journey, which I've been sharing with other quilters making the "La Passcaglia" pattern by Willyne Hammerstein.  One goal of this quilt was to use only fabrics from stash, mostly prints by Paula Nadelstern." 

Close-up, La Passacaglia Unravels

Randa continues, "My innovation on Hammerstein's design was to 'unravel' the portions of the rosettes that lay outside of the rectangular perimeter of her design. This quilt won first prize in the Traditional Quilts category at the 2018 Chicago International Quilt Festival."  We certainly like this quilt, which is full of beautiful jewel-tone fabrics.

Hippie Daze by Mel Beach

To describe her quilt, Mel has selected a quotation from Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu: "Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness." Mel says, "Hippie Daze" originated in response to a particularly negative world news cycle. As I stitched out the background design, I gained a renewed sense of hope. Once the quilting was complete, careful cutwork revealed more of my hand-dyed fabrics hidden underneath.
Wishing all peace, love, and happiness ! "

Close-up, Hippie Daze

These giant vividly colored flowers and the tie-dyed motifs in the center really take us back to our youth in the 1960's ! We think this quilt is so cheery and fun -- a real day brightener.

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

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Bougainvillea and Bouquets: Flower Quilts

Flowers are happy things, and we hope the flowers are blooming in your part of the world.  Capturing the beauty of nature in a quilt is every bit as difficult as creating a painting - and, according to friends who are both painters and quilters, the quilt takes more time!  Here are some fantastic flower quilts we admired at the recent show.

(Note: please check out our E-Bay shop for great bargains on quilt patterns, fabric, and collectibles ! For continuous free quilt patterns, please visit us on Twitter !)

Bougainvillea in the Garden by Jillane Ocano


Jillane Ocano designed this whole cloth panel, then made it into a quilt!  She says, "I took a photo of bougainvillea in my yard and had it printed on cotton fabric (see below for source).  I double batted it and then free motion quilted this using six different thread colors. I began free motion quilting in January 2018."  This art/innovative quilt received an Honorable Mention award.


If you love the look of this panel, you can view and purchase it at Jillane Ocano's shop on Spoonflower (it's still available, at least as of May 2019)!

Bird & Basket by Susan S. Norris


We love the colors in this striking wall quilt, with its inner rainbow border. Susan Norris says, "Bird and Basket was hand appliqued and hand quilted on a lap, from a pattern  I got years ago by Nancy Pearson." (The pattern was called English Garden Basket.)  It has a batik sky background with vivid colors for the flowers, baskets and first border. The basket was made from fabric with stripes that resemble reeds.


Still Life Bouquet by Jo Ann Kilgroe, photo by Quilt Inspiration


We admire the design, applique and quilting by Jo Ann Kilgroe in this lovely work. The background quilting was divided into two sections with a diamond pattern on the left, suggesting the appearance of a window. Jo Ann says, "I drew up a beautiful floral arrangement in a wonderful vase.  Then selected the exact colors I wanted from my stash of batik fabrics." 


The quilt was made with fused applique on a pieced background. Jo Ann's precise machine quilting can be seen in the closeup photo above.

Garden Delight by Brenda Stanway, quilted by Debbie Newell


In this delightful quilt, every basket has different shapes of flowers! Brenda Stanway says, "I started on a pattern and did not like it, used just the basket and developed the appliques.  My first original design."  The flowers were hand appliqued and they have embroidered stems.  Debbie Newell's professional quilting enhances this design, which won Honorable Mention in the Applique - Small category.


Big Dreams Come True by Barb Tatera


Barb Tatera won Third Place for Big Dreams Come True, which is a whole cloth quilt with gorgeous quilting by Barb.  She says, "This quilt is a [fabric] panel designed by Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero and digitally prnted by Hoffman Fabrics.  It was so much fun quilting all of the feathers to make the petals really pop!"
As of this post, you can still see the fabric panels in various colors on the Hoffman California Fabrics website.


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

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Baskets Month by Month

We love scrap quilts and sampler quilts ! Here is a lovely sampler quilt, with a different colorful basket for each month of the year.  Closeup photos of the May, June and July blocks are shown below.

(Note: please check out our E-Bay shop for great bargains on quilt patterns, fabric, and collectibles ! For continuous free quilt patterns, please visit us on Twitter !)

Baskets Month by Month by Jo Ann Kilgroe, quilted by Jessica Jones Gamez


Jo Ann Kilgroe writes, "The appliqued and foundation pieced blocks were adapted from a 2003 Quiltmaker magazine. Made totally from batik scraps.The setting was my original design."  (The patterns were featured as a series in Quiltmaker Magazine 2003.)
The wonderful border of nine-patch blocks, set on point and framed with half-square triangles, certainly adds to the joyous, lively look of JoAnn's quilt.

May block

This May basket has beautiful log cabin-style piecing, with delightful flowers.
One of the challenges of scrap quilts is to create a unified work without making it look too chopped up or disorganized. Jo Ann has done a terrific job of combining the scraps in color groups, so the blocks appear to be very cohesive units.

June block

This little bluebird gives the June basket lots of cheerful energy ! Notice how the entire basket is outlined in fabrics of the same periwinkle blue shade so that the viewer can easily perceive the entire motif. 

July block

What could be more appropriate for a patriotic holiday than vibrantly colored star-shaped flowers? Again, we appreciate how the same shade of batik was carried through to the flag in the center of the basket, giving an orderly look to the entire block. The "secret to success" in scrap quilts may be to organize like-colored fabrics in small sections that can be seen one at a time.


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

Friday, April 19, 2019

Easter Blessings

~ At this time of year we wish you all the blessings of Easter. ~
The flowering crocus can be regarded as an essential symbol of the awakening of nature, resurrection, and the renewal of life.*  We've long admired the beautiful Spring Crocus quilt by Jan Krentz, shown below.

(Note: please check out our E-Bay shop for great bargains on quilt patterns, fabric, and collectibles ! For continuous free quilt patterns, please visit us on Twitter !)

Spring Crocuses by Jan P. Krentz (California) 


The colors of spring crocus are white, light violet,and dark violet. The flowers, buds, and leaves are mainly machine pieced with some applique. Jan Krentz says the inspiration for this quilt was a photo she saw in a Smith & Hawken gardening catalog of a misty, grassy slope scattered with naturalized crocuses in bloom. The design was created in a five-day workshop conducted by Ruth B. McDowell in 1990.


Spring Crocuses was juried into the 2016 Art Quilt Invitational show at the Brigham City Museum (Utah). Jan Krentz is the author of Lone Star Quilts and Beyond and other bestselling quilting books. Ruth B. McDowell pioneered paper pieced techniques as taught in Ruth B. McDowell's Design Workshop and other books.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2017 Brigham City Museum quilt show. *For information on the symbolism of the crocus, see: Kandeler R, Ullrich WR. Symbolism of Plants: Examples of European-Mediterranean Culture Presented With Biology and History of Art: JANUARY: Crocus. Journal of Experimental Botany 2009;60(1):6–8.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Highlights of Quilt Arizona 2019! part 5 (the finale)

Here is the finale of our Quilt Arizona photos! The Arizona Quilters Guild has over 35 chapters, and they all get together annually for the show. The 2019 theme was 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 !)

Spring Cleaning by Patti Kupferer


This adorable small quilt has eight different mini quilts hanging from a clothesline. Patti Kupferer says, "The Gallon Bag Challenge [in my guild] required me to use the 12 different items/collections a fellow quilter had placed in the bag in a wall hanging." We enjoyed seeing the crocheted doll (in the lower left corner), the clothes line and pins, and decorative buttons.


Look at how tiny these little quilts are, compared to the gloved hand (below)!


Extra, Extra, Read All About It by Millie Burgheimer, quilted by Millie Burgheimer


Extra, Extra won a first place ribbon in the Mixed Technique category.  Millie Burgheimer based the quilt on a story of her dad selling newspapers.  The newsboys in this original design were created with thread painting.  The background is made of newsprint-themed fabrics.


Dresden Elegance by Gail Witt,quilted by Jessica Gamez
 

Dresden Elegance won the award for Exemplary Professional Machine Quilting, along with Third Place in the Mixed Technique category.  Gail Witt says, "I am inspired by Di Ford medallion quilts. My original design features hand appliqued center star, swirls and Dresden plates. Jessica Gamez' trapunto feathers and border Gothic arches are beautiful." Here are two closeup photos of her lovely quilting.



Treasures of the Southwest by Judith Tobias, quilted by Karen Toomey


This wonderful quilt features a hot air balloon, pueblo, saguaro cactus, and more.  The pattern is Enchanted Lands at SW Decoratives. Members of Quilts N More, a Fountain Hills (Arizona) group, created this quilt to donate to Quilt for a Cause which raises funds for research, education and treatment of breast and gynecological cancers. The beautiful batik fabrics lend so much beauty to this quilt.


See What You See Under The Sea by Magdalena Castillo-Cockrum, quilted by Eunice Hill


Magdalena Castillo-Cockrum won a First Place ribbon in the Pictorial - Non Original Design category for this collage-style quilt.  She says, "Turtles are beautiful and peaceful. I love watching them swim. Exploring fabrics to fulfill my expectations for this turtle was fun, exciting and adventurous. I am excited with my turtle’s uniqueness." The turtle brings to mind Laura Heine's Seawell Collage Sea Turtle design, enhanced with many other design elements and fabrics.


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