Showing posts with label beading. Show all posts
Showing posts with label beading. Show all posts

Friday, June 20, 2014

Under the sea

Join us "Under the Sea" today, as we show some very intriguing aquarium and ocean life quilts. Who hasn't dreamed of being a mermaid at some time in life? Put on your swim fins and jump in the water !

Deep Sea Fantasy, King Neptune and Mermaiden, Diptic Quilt
Christina Belding,  Nova Scotia, Canada


Christina notes, "While working on Mermaiden, I decided that she needed an underwater date (thus King Neptune was created).  Both (these images) are mystical sea creatures whom I have yet to encounter in my scuba diving adventures.... The ocean is a magical experience, the colors beyond anything I have seen anywhere else.  Nature at its finest."  We love the innovated, wildly patterned seashell borders that frame these whimsical quilts.

Quilted by Christina Belding and Ken Grantham, inspired by the fabric collage techniques of Susan Carlson.

The Great Barrier Reef by Miki Murakami, Kawasaki-Si, Kanagawa Pref. Japan


Close up, The Great Barrier Reef by Miki Murakami


Miki notes, "The beauty of the The Great Barrier Reef in Australia in which I traveled was inspirational. I got the idea of the quilt design from the trip." For this original design, Miki used machine piecing and applique, satin stitch, fabric fusing, and machine quilting.  Her use of high chroma  complementary paired  hues such as blue and orange, pink and green, and purple and yellow, creates a vibrant, eye-catching display of color.

Aquarium by Yoshiko Miyamoto, Nishinomiya City, Hyogo Ken, Japan


Yoshiko says, "The idea of a pair of quilts is adopted from traditional Japanese sliding doors. I especially tried to detail the muscles, which control the beautifully delicate movement of fins."  The two large quilts were hung exactly side by side, so they are just touching, and the fish were about 3-4 feet tall. Notice the rays of sun shining through the water and the realistic bubbles in this enchanting scene.

Close-up, Aquarium by Yoshiko Miyamoto


In this close-up, you can see some of the very subtle and effective shading of the fish and the background.  We were very impressed by the intricate precision used by Yoshiko to depict these elegant fish. Yoshiko's techniques include reverse applique, painting, and machine quilting.  Her original design was constructed of cotton and the edge fabric tape of a Japanese tatami, a straw mat.

The Magical Mermaid's Castle by Claudia Pfeil, Krefeld, Germany


Claudia notes, ...."Trying to catch my dreams in my quilts, not following the rules- just following my visions! Welcome to the Mermaid's Castle. It is a magical place filled with beauty and wonder. Here, at the Castle, you will find the beauty of the corals, reminders of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Look closely to discover the bubbles, plant life, and underwater wonderland. Watch as the Mermaids invite you in to visit this magical.... oasis."

Close- up, The Magical Mermaid's Castle by Claudia Pfeil, Krefeld, Germany


The Magical Mermaid's Castle was awarded 1st Place - Innovative at the 2013 Pacific International Quilt Festival. A large variety of very admirably done quilting patterns adorn the foreground and background, along with jeweled embellishments.  This fascinating original design is machine appliqued, machine pieced, and long arm quilted.

Mermaid Dreams by Shelli Ricci  Minnesota


Shelli notes, "The inspiration for this quilt came while on a cruise. I wondered, 'Where do mermaids sleep?' Background designs were quilted onto heavy-weight interfacing, trimmed, hand painted with Shiva paint sticks, then re-appliqued onto the quilt. Mermaid and baby were colored with inks, then hand beaded. " 

Close up, Mermaid Dreams by Shelli Ricci


Artistic wavy lines of parallel quilting perfectly symbolize the undulating and ever-changing ocean currents.  Shelli notes of her original design, "The cure for everything is salt water:  sweat, tears, and the sea."

Deep Blue Rhap-Sea-Dy, 30 x 30", by Terri VandenBosch


Wanting to challenge herself,  Terri VandenBosch designed this quilt - from piecing to embroidery designs - in Art & Stitch Software.  She says, "It was so worth the effort to try something outside the box!" The four compass points of the center medallion are embroidered with spirals resembling the nautilus.  The coral and blue fabric is printed with starfish.

Close-up, Deep Blue Rhap-Sea-Dy by Terri VandenBosch


We love these adorable dancing sea horses who appear to almost be kissing among the waving, embroidered seaweed. Terri's embroidery and quilting patterns work very well with the symmetrical curves of this quilt.

Now sing along with us..... ~~~ Under The Sea ~~~


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

All creatures great and small

The squirrel weighs less than a pound, while an elephant weighs up to 15,000 pounds.  Just think of it, though:  on a quilt they can be equally impressive ! We admire the realistic detail on each of these amazing animal quilts.

It's All About Spring by Marjorie Post (Portland, Oregon)


Marjorie Post is an award-winning artist who works in fabric as well as digital art and colored pencil.  It's All about Spring was created with raw-edge machine applique using her own hand-dyed fabrics.  Wonderful texture was added with different quilting designs on the elephant's trunk, face, ears and body and body, as shown below. 

It's All About Spring by Marjorie Post


On her website, Marjorie says that she obtains inspiration from nature. In addition to creating art quilts, she designs quilt patterns for applique.  You can see her lovely floral applique patterns at her site on Craftsy; one of her most famous designs is Rose Rhapsody in Blue.

Tiptoeing into the Future, 65 x 53", by Kathryn Harmer-Fox (East London, South Africa)


Tiptoeing into the Future was designed to honor the African rhinoceros, which is struggling against extinction.  We are impressed by the hazy, almost mystical appearance of the animal as it seems to appear and disappear into the background. Kathryn says,  "I wanted to show this behemoth stepping almost tentatively forward, unsure of what lies ahead; tiptoeing into the future."

close up, Tiptoeing into the Future by Kathryn Harmer-Fox


Even close up, it is hard to discern the individual fabrics and stitches that make up this composition, as they are so well blended.  The techniques used were fiber embedment using scribble stitch, free motion machine embroidery and quilting.  For more information on techniques see Kathryn's article on Drawing with Fiber.  We previously featured Kathryn's wonderful Shattered Face quilt in a 2013 post on the Pacific International Quilt Festival.

Ancient Echoes by Jan Reed (Grass Valley, California)



This incredibly realistic iguana is placed in an intriguing setting.  Jan Reed says,  "This iguana is using his sunbathing hours to reflect on his ancestors' interaction with the past glory of the Mayan culture." There is a Mayan temple in the lower left of the gray background, and a Mayan face in the upper right, just above the iguana's back. Note the way the iguana's tail slips over the edge of the frame, providing further depth to the composition.

close up, Ancient Echoes by Jan Reed


Ancient Echoes won 2nd place in the Art-Pictorial division at the 2013 Houston International Quilt Festival.  Jan explains that over 250 pieces of fabric were used to create this image with both raw-edge applique and reverse applique techniques.  colored pens and fabric inks were used to adjust values. The quilt was also embellished with tiny iridescent beads along the iguana's spine. 

Giant Panda, 37 x 38", by Anne F. Zick and Joyce Freehill (Illinois)


The quilters say, "This quilt resulted from Rob Appell's Endangered Species class at Quilters Affair in Sisters, Oregon."  This is the first Endangered Species quilt we've seen in person, and it was impressive - and larger than we imagined.  The Panda is one of  twelve different animals in the Endangered Species patterns by Rob Appell.

close up,  Giant Panda by Anne F. Zick and Joyce Freehill


Using fusible applique, the Panda's face is created with four different shades of gray and two shades of white/off-white fabric.  The machine quilting created a texture resembling fur.  For another bear pattern in the Endangered Species collection, see Rob Appell's Polar Bear Quilt Pattern.

Desert Entertainer, 40 x 31", by Barbara McKie (Connecticut)


Barbara McKie's work is instantly recognizable for the way in which she merges digital photography with quilting to create artistic portraits in fabric.  For this quilt she used her photograph of a white-tailed antelope squirrel doing pushups on a rock. On her website, Barbara explains: "My love of surface design, photography, and computer graphics, and my travels have influenced my work to make it unique in the art quilt world."

close up, Desert Entertainer by Barbara McKie


This close up photo shows the way in which Barbara used fine thread painting to enhance the image of the squirrel in on the surface of the quilt.

Nemesis III : Elton by Cindy Henneke (Brenham, Texas)



This lighthearted quilt, created with broderie perse collage techniques and Kaffe Fassett fabrics, really made us smile.  Cindy Henneke says:  "I was inspired by my garden and, oddly, the armadillos that wreak havoc on a regular basis." (For those who don't know, armadillos are a real problem for many who live in Texas).   "The large-scale floral [prints] were the perfect medium to create something to laugh at.  This quilt is part of a series.  The more it evolved, the more it took on a happy, flamboyant personality, thus called Elton."

close up, Nemesis III : Elton by Cindy Henneke 


There was a lot of fussy cutting of motifs to make up the garden and the armadillo in Nemesis III.  On close examination, you can also see many fun and interesting details, including metallic thread on Elton's claws, fancy beading around his eye, and strings of tube beads along the spines of the leaves at the right of this photo.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2013 Pacific International Quilt Festival (Tiptoeing into the Future), 2013 Houston IQF (Ancient Echoes, It's All About Spring, Nemesis II) and the 2014 AQS - Phoenix (Giant Panda and Desert Entertainer).

Monday, May 19, 2014

Blooming Beauties: Artistic flower quilts

Here's Part 2 of some of the most fabulous floral quilts we've seen at recent quilt shows (also see Part 1). For some real life "eye candy", click on the links of the flower names included below.  They will bring you to actual photos of the glorious blossoms depicted here.

Spring Storm, approx 29 x 33", by Kathleen Hughes (Wisconsin), shown at the  2013 Houston International Quilt Festival


Kathleen notes, "Tulips are tossed by a gusty spring wind in this tribute to our front garden. All the walkers who pass by our yard look forward to seeing our tulips display, which tells them that spring has arrived."  Through the use of bold fabric shapes, Kathleen has done an excellent job of exemplifying the tulips that make the upper Midwest states of Michigan and Wisconsin a tulip paradise each spring, like the displays of tulips in the Netherlands, Europe.

Close up, Spring Storm by Kathleen Hughes


Notice how clearly you can see the lines of the flowers, done in warm colors of apricot, rose, and butterscotch, against the cool gray colors of the sky. Kathleen's  techniques include raw-edge applique, fabric painting, and free-motion quilting.

Two Tulips by Luella Morgenthaler (Colorado), shown at the 2013 Houston International Quilt Festival


Luella writes, "I wanted to see if I could achieve a watercolor look in a quilt. I liked the quilt version because it gave a second dimension to the art work." Luella's design source is the parrot tulip plant, which produces tulip petals that are flat instead of curved, with ruffled edges.

Close up, Two Tulips by Luella Morgenthaler


Luella achieved these spectacular results through the use of fabric painting, with appliqued accents. The parallel machine quilting lines give an elegant, textured effect to this work which features soft, eye-catching warm hues.

Milkweed and Hummingbirds, 33 x 49", by Sara Sharp  (Texas), shown at the 2013 Houston International Quilt Festival


Sara writes, "I knew to watch for monarch butterflies that are attracted to this milkweed plant, but I was surprised and delighted to discover that hummingbirds are attracted to them as well. The vibrant yellow, orange, and red buds and flowers made a wonderful contrast with the colors of the hummingbirds."

Close up, Milkweed and Hummingbirds by Sara Sharp


Sara based her original design on photos of milkweed flowers and hummingbirds. Her techniques include fabric painting, thread painting, digital photo printing, free-motion quilting, and fused applique.

Close up, Milkweed and Hummingbirds by Sara Sharp


Notice the darling thread-painted hummingbird as she floats from flower to flower among the dappled leaves. Sara has made excellent use of detailed colors and patterns in depicting the hummingbird's body and wings.

Cactus Fireworks, 34 x 43", by Vicki Bohnhoff (Anthem, Arizona), shown at the 2014 AQS Quilt Week


A native of Argentina, the Argentine Giant is a relatively low-growing cactus in the Cereus family that puts out plate-sized flowers.  Widely considered to be one of the most beautiful cactuses in the world, its flowers last for only a day. It has been propagated in Arizona, where this 2014 AQS Quilt Week was held. Vicki says: "The Sonoran Desert’s Argentine Giant is interpreted in raw-edge applique using hand-dyed fabrics and silks." The gold fabric frames the quilt just like a painting.

Close up, Cactus Fireworks by Vicki Bohnhoff


Here you can see Vicki's raw-edge applique done in several shades of pink, along with delicate bead work in the center. She says, "The tactile experience and drama [of the flower] is heightened with beading."

Wisteria, 35 x 54", by Megan Byrne (Wembley, Western Australia),  shown at the 2013 Houston International Quilt Festival


The Wisteria vine with its ethereal, almost fluffy lavender and blue-violet blossoms, is dazzling to behold each springtime. Megan notes, "Plants awaken in the spring and share their beauty as the cold of winter starts to disappear. Wisteria brings drama to my front veranda. The gnarled and twisted trunk suddenly bursts with new growth. The texture of the the red bricks heightens the delicious softness of the cascading blossoms and helps dispel the last of the winter chill. Green leaves will shelter and shade the birdbath, as spring brings visitors to my garden."

Close up, Wisteria by Megan Byrne


Speaking of visitors to the garden, take a look at the colorfully sewn and quilted green and yellow-orange butterfly hovering near the blossoms. Megan has made outstanding use of contrasting colors, as the blues and greens stand out so well against the contrasting orange-red wall bricks. Her techniques include, piecing, plus raw-edge applique and free-motion quilting. Megan has created a pattern for her Wisteria applique wall quilt; the pattern can be purchased at Craftsy 

Star, 32 x 46", by Caryl Schuetz, quilted by Cathy Franks (Indianapolis, Indiana), shown at the 2014 AQS Quilt Week



The stargazer lily is the most famous plant in the genus Lilium.  The quilt was made from Caryl Schuetz’s photo of her star lily plant, which a cousin gave to her.  That was the last time Caryl saw her cousin, who passed away.  The quilt was created in her memory.

Star by Caryl Schuetz, quilted by Cathy Franks


The tropical, exotic look of this stunning lily is enhanced by the sophisticated dark background and the swirled longarm quilting pattern of Cathy Franks.

Image credits: Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.  If you love flower quilts, you can see more than 300 inspiring quilts on our Flower Quilt board at Pinterest.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter !

For at least five centuries now, eggs have been depicted by the Christian Church as a symbol of Christ's Resurrection and the new life of the spring equinox.  Eggs were among the food traditionally given up during the 40 day Lenten season, so Easter Sunday is a day when Christians returned to the use of eggs in their meals. Speaking of food, these lovely eggs below are certainly candy for the eye !

Spring, 18 x 18,  by Jill Sheehan, Woodbridge, Virginia


Jill Sheehan said: "I started this [Arts and Old Lace Art Quilt] challenge with an idea in mind, but had to re-think when even beads and crystals wouldn’t get it to work. I found the answer staring me in the face in the form of a watercolor I’d done years ago – white lace eggs on a background of spring colors. I’ve even used some of the lace that was the pattern for lace in the painting. The eggs were created on tulle and fused and stitched in place. Two of the eggs have lace from old garments from a great aunt."

Close- up, Spring by Jill Sheehan


Jill's quilt was part of the Arts and Old Lace Quilt Challenge Showcase at the 2014 Road to California Quilt Show,  sponsored by the Artistic Artifacts Shop in Alexandria, Virginia. Each artist who entered the challenge was given a packet of materials including fabric swatches and pieces of lace, some in shades of white, and some colored. Artists could use the fabric provided to them, or they could substitute their own fabric.  The finished quilt size had to be 18 " x 18 ". 

In this close-up, you can see how carefully the delicate lace has been added to the tulle, then fused to the background, which is embellished with tiny beads. We think Jill did a fabulous job of creating such a fresh, vibrant, and beautiful work.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Highlights of the 2014 Arizona Quilters Guild show : Day 1

This is our 5th year attending the spring Arizona Quilters' Guild show.  It's always like finding treasure in the desert!  As you can see, many folks from around North America agree.  It was fun to see cars from Alaska, California, Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota... plus Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario (among others!)


Agave Sunset by Jo Ann Kilgroe


Jo Ann says, "Working from an agave (cactus) in my yard, I created this design. I pieced, appliqued, and painted colorful batiks." We loved this stunning quilt which depicts the flora of the Southwestern U.S. so well.

Close up, Agave Sunset by Jo Ann Kilgroe


Agave Sunset won the City of Mesa, Arizona Award exemplary work and also won Second Place for Best Mixed Technique in the small quilts category. Here's a great example of how to blend traditional techniques with a contemporary motif:  Jo Ann made a "flying geese" patchwork panel and spiky piecing to enhance the colors of this vibrant quilt.

O Burrito Mia by Margot McDonnell


Second place winner for Large Pictorial Quilts, Margot says,"From children and a donkey, inspired by a 1970 greeting card, I added background details, employing applique, paint, and embroidery for a folk art effect."

Close- up, O Burrito Mia by Margot McDonnell


This adorable landscape quilt, showing a peaceful village by a mountain lake and darling children off to an adventure on their pet burro, really inspired our imagination. We were impressed by Margot's use of vibrant, clear colors.

Purple Agave by Vicki Bohnhoff


Second place winner for Digital Imaged Quilts, Vicki notes of her original design, "I used a negative, purple, variegated Agave image by photographer Camille Spurlock to print with archival inks onto silk charmeuse for a cactus beaded quilt."

Close up, Purple Agave by Vicki Bohnhoff


Vicki embellished her work with elegant, tiny blue beads which outline and enhance the luminous quality of these spiny, symmetrical leaves.

Koi Pair by Georgia Heller


First place winner for Pictorial Small Quilts, Georgia explains, "[This original design was] made for a 2013 exhibit at the Phoenix Japanese Friendship Garden. A vital part of the beauty and ecology of a Japanese garden are the colorful koi [fish]."

Close up, Koi Pair by Georgia Heller


We enjoyed this lovely machine applique work, along with the pretty thread painting of the undersea plants along the bottom of the quilt.

Roman Tiles, 76 x 76", by Ann L. Petersen


Best of Show and First Place - Large Pieced Award winner this year, Ann writes, "My original center star, borders, layout, and painted quilting designs were added to Norah McMeeking's  St. Mark's Wallhanging  pattern of Roman mosaic tiles."

Close up, Roman Tiles by Ann L. Petersen


Ann notes that after quilting the motifs around the star, she painted them with metallic paint to give them added luster and clarity. This show stopper also won the award for Excellence in Machine Quilting at the 2013 Road to California Quilt Show.


Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day (part two!)

To celebrate Valentine's Day on Friday, February 14, here are some really fun heart quilts from California, Florida and Virginia. For Kaffe Fassett fans, there is an award-winning Hearts and Flowers quilt made in The Netherlands!

Tatted Hearts, 64 x 68", by Cheryl L. See (Ashburn, Virginia).  2013 Houston IQF and 2014 Road to California


Cheryl See says: "[This is a] contemporary design of hearts and circles with both vintage embellishment (20 yards of my Great Grandmother's hand tatted lace and doily) and modern "bling"- 1,980 Swarovski crystals."  Cheryl adds, "In the quilting, you will find a necklace, ring, two eyes, and a tooth. The edge is hand embroidered."

Close up, Tatted Hearts by Cheryl L. See


Cheryl included cording, trapunto, and custom hand quilting in this wonderful piece, which is all done by hand. Her original design was inspired by a pattern printed on a gift bag.  We first saw the Tatted Hearts in November 2013 at the Houston IQF, and a few months later at the Road to California in January 2014. At the Road to California,  it won $1,000.00 for Excellence in Hand Quilting, sponsored by Bohin France.

Graffiti Heart by Susan Bianchi, Saratoga, California


Susan notes, "The inspiration for this quilt came from a photograph my husband took of some graffiti in San Jose, California. I wanted to play with translating this highly graphic, textured image in buttons and beads. The quilt was made with cotton batting stabilizer sandwiched between black silk and cotton. The combination of new and vintage buttons and beads were hand sewn." This charming miniature quilt is only about 12 inches square.

We've never touched a quilt show quilt in our lives (and will never do so), but we were sure tempted with this one ! We loved the intriguing texture !

The Road to Love, 40 x 46", by Elizabeth Dackson


The Road to Love was one of 32 quilts in the first AQS Modern Quilt Challenge. These quilts will be traveling for one year and seen by thousands at AQS QuiltWeek events across the country. We loved the way in which Elizabeth Dackson's colorful string-pieced blocks stand out on the neutral gray background (made with Essex Yarn Dyed Linen Blend in black by Robert Kaufman).

Close up, The Road to Love by Elizabeth Dackson 


To construct the heart, Elizabeth used Madrona Road fabric by Violet Craft. The background is comprised of large strips of sashing, which Elizabeth added first at the sides, then at the top and bottom. This very fun work was free-motion quilted by Elizabeth herself. You can read about the design of The Road to Love at Elizabeth Dackson's blog, Don't Call Me Betsy.

Hartjes en Bloemen by Trees Bol-Dingjan, Houten, The Netherlands


Winner of a Judge's Choice Award, along with a Second Place Award in the Novice category of the Open European Quilting Championships, Trees says, "I love this quilt, 'Hearts and Flowers', especially because of the colours and motifs. During my quilt course, when we started to learn applique, I immediately decided, this is the one !" This colorful, adorable work is all hand-pieced and hand-quilted.

Close up, Hartjes en Bloemen by Trees Bol-Dingjan


This Hearts and Flowers quilt pattern is by Kim McLean of Australia.  It was published in Kaffe Fassett's book Quilt Romance: 20 Designs from Rowan for Patchwork and Quilting.

Healing Hearts, 66 x 68", by Pamela McIntyre, Gainesville, Florida, 2014 AQS-Phoenix


This quilt won Honorable Mention in the Wall Quilts-Computer Aided category at the2014 AQS (Phoenix). The embroidered applique designs are by Sarah Vedeler. The designs remind us of Norwegian rosemaling

Close up, Healing Hearts by Pamela McIntyre


We enjoyed Pamela McIntyre's cool color scheme and precision quilting, along with the many decorative stitches. Pamela's beautiful work is certainly proof that a hearts- and- flowers motif does not need to be done in pink or red to make a quilt worth celebrating on Valentine's Day!


Image credits: Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.
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