Wednesday, September 29, 2010

October Opportunity Quilts and Shows !

Can you believe that October is here already (this Friday?) This month brings a flock of fantastic opportunity quilts, shows, and exhibits. We're making this a regular monthly feature, so you can check each month to see if there is a show near you  (and let us know if there are any we've missed !)

Row 1, L-R: Nimble Fingers Quilt Group (Oct 15-16, Maryland); Durham-Orange Quilters Guild (Oct 22-24, North Carolina); Chaska Area Quilt Club (Oct 1-2, Minnesota); Courthouse Quilters, (Oct 1-3, New Jersey).  Row 2Morningstar Quilt Guild (Oct 1-2 , New York); DeKalb County Quilters Guild (Oct 2-3, Illinois); Blue Mountain Quilters Guild (Oct 16-17, British Columbia, Canada); 15th Annual Quilt and Needle Arts Show (Oct 9-10, Connecticut). Row 3Prairie Star Quilters Guild (Oct 15-16, Illinois); River Valley Quilters Guild (Oct 8-9, Minnesota);   Pine Belt Quilters (Oct 8-10, Mississippi); Quilts in the Barn (Oct 15-17, Victoria, Australia);   Row 4: Aurora Blue 38th Annual Quilt Show (Oct  15-24, Oregon); Tidewater Quilters Guild (Oct 15-17, Virginia);  La Crosse Area Quilt Guild (Oct 16-17, Wisconsin); Village Quilters (Oct 9-10, Tennessee).   
More October Shows and Raffles: Chantilly Sewing and Quilt Expo (Sept 30 - Oct 2, Virginia);  Oxford Quilters Guild (Sept 30- Oct 2, Ontario, Canada); Tavern Quilt Guild (Oct 1-2, Virginia); Quarry Quilters (Oct 1-2, Indiana);  Quilt Fest 2010, La Conner Quilt & Textile Museum (Oct 1-3, Washington); Vernon Silver Star Quilters (Oct 1-2, British Columbia, Canada); Crossroads to Texas Quilt Guild (Oct 1-2, Texas); Piedmont Quilters Guild (Oct 1-3, North Carolina); Northern New Mexico Quilt Guild (Oct 1-3, Santa Fe);  Heart of the Pines Quilt Guild (Oct 1-2, Michigan); Durand Quilt Show (Oct 1-2, Michigan); Red River Quilters (Oct 1-3, Louisiana);  Valley of the Mist Quilters (Oct 2, California); Pine Needle Quilters (Oct 2, Wisconsin); Ladies of the Lake Quilt Guild (Oct 2-3, California); Simi Valley Quilt Guild (Oct 2-3, California); Darting Needles Quilt Guild (Oct 2-3, Wisconsin);  Great Lakes African American Quilters (Oct 2-3, Michigan); Magic Needlers Quilt Guild (Oct 2-3, South Dakota); Columbus Star Quilters and Evening Star Quilters (Oct 2-3, Indiana); Quilters United in Learning Together, Schenectady  (Oct 2-3, NY); Cashmere Museum Apple Days (Oct 3, Cashmere, Washington); Quilting in the Tetons (Oct 3-9, Wyoming);  Utah Quilt Guild (Oct 5-9, Utah);  41st Annual Riley Festival (Oct 7-10, Indiana); North Central Washington Quilt Guild (Oct 8-9, Washington); San Juan Quilters Guild (Oct 8-9, New Mexico);  Brant Heritage Quilt Guild (Oct 8-9, Ontario, Canada);  Happy Hearts Quilt Guild (Oct 9, Illinois);  Starlight Quilters Guild (Oct 9-10, Kansas); Red River Quilters Guild (Oct 9-10, Texas);  Northeast Quilts Unlimited (Oct 9 - Nov 11, New York); Georgia Quilt Show (Oct 14-16, Georgia); Berks Quilters Guild (Oct 15-16, Pennsylvania); High Plains Quilt Festival (Oct 15-16, New Mexico); Grouseland Foundation Festival of Quilts (Oct 15-16, Indiana); Museum Quilt Guild (Oct 15-16, New York);  Staying in Stitches Quilt Guild (Oct 15-16, Georgia);  Washington State Quilters Spokane Chapter (Oct 15-17, Washington); 22nd Annual Quilt Show, Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center (Oct 15-17, Florida); Rising Star Quilters Guild (Oct 16-17, Massachusetts); Marquette County Quilters Association (Oct 16-17, Michigan);  Queensland Quilt Show (Oct 20-24, Brisbane, Australia); Kansas City Sewing & Quilt Expo (Oct 21-23, Missouri);  Valley Forge Homestead Quilt Guild (Oct 22-23, Pennsylvania); Blount County Quilters Guild (Oct 22-23, Alabama);  West Sound Quilters (Oct 22-24, Bremerton, Washington); Independence Hall Quilters (Oct 22-24, California); Milk and Honey Quilters Guild (Oct 23-24, Vermont); Twin Rivers Quilters Guild (Oct 29-30, North Carolina);  Champlain Valley Quilters Guild (Oct 30-31, Vermont).   
International Shows:   Pacific International Quilt Festival (Oct 14-17, California); The Knitting and Stitching Show 2010 (Oct 7-10, London, England).
Exhibits opening this monthQuilt Visions Biennial 2010 (Opening Oct 24, Oceanside Museum of Art, California); Unpacking Collections: The Legacy of Cuesta Benberry (Oct 8-10, Michigan State University Museum); Quilts: Masterworks from the American Folk Art Museum (opening Oct 5); African-American Quilts Today  (opening Oct 23, at the NE Quilt Museum)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Autumn Leaves Quilts

Autumn is one of the best seasons to enjoy the glorious colors of our changing environment. Mother Nature brings out her prettiest deep greens, sunny golds, and vivid oranges and reds before beginning her winter repose. We've assembled a collection of quilts to celebrate the beauty of autumn leaves as portrayed in the textile arts.

Third Weekend in October, 85 x 110, by Ruth Powers, at Ruth Powers Art Quilts

A well-loved favorite at quilt raffles and shows, "Third Weekend in October" captures the very essence of sun-dappled warm hues. Ruth sprinkled fabrics with lighter values diagonally across the quilt and placed some leaves overlapping the borders. This technique gives the quilt a very natural, realistic, outdoors look, much as we might view a display of leaves on our front lawn. We think that this artistic, unstructured look is one of the many keys to this quilt pattern's success. Ruth writes that "Third Weekend In October" was released in 1997 and has consistently been Innovation's best seller, having sold almost 28,000 copies in the first 10 years that it was available. For the pattern, visit Ruth's pattern page. A wall hanging version of the quilt is also available; see New Leaves.

Autumn Wind Art Quilt With Embroidery, 32 x 34, at Advanced Embroidery Designs

The three very creative designers at Advanced Embroidery Designs, Sophia, Venelina, and Helen, combine their talents to produce some of the prettiest and most elegant embroidery patterns we've ever seen. Here they have combined their patterns of Lady Autumn, the FSL Autumn Leaves, and the Maple Leaves to fashion a lovely tribute to the changing season. They encourage quilters to use their imagination in adding small embellishments to this art quilt, such as beads, charms, cords, ribbons, and floss.  In the quilt shown above, they have couched a sparkling gold cord over the individual pieces, especially Lady Autumn's graceful garments. To see the detail and obtain the pattern, visit the Autumn Wind project page.

Scrappy Leaves, 77 x 83, by Ilene Bartos, at Ilene Bartos Designs

If you love the idea of an autumn leaf quilt, but you want to add in some summer and winter colors in addition to traditional autumn hues, then this Scrappy Leaves pattern will be perfect for you. Ilene used purples, pinks, blues, and greens to fashion this rainbow colored quilt. She selected 132 different leaf fabrics and cut them into 2.5 inch strips.

Scrappy Leaves is the gorgeous cover quilt for Ilene's book, Maple Leaf Quilts. Her book includes 12 different maple leaf quilt projects, and focuses on imaginative and original ways to construct Maple Leaf blocks.  Ilene offers very helpful suggestions for creating the sharp, accurate points which gives this pattern its well known crisp and clean look.

Ilene shows several other beautiful quilts on her Gallery of Leaves page, including the bright and sunny "Scattered Leaves" quilt below.

Indian Summer, 60 x 69, by Judy Niemeyer, at Quiltworx

In this quilt of the energetic color combinations of orange, teal, burgundy, and olive, the clean geometric lines create delicate pinwheel images. As the eye glides over the pinwheels, they seem to rotate gracefully, symbolizing the dance of leaves as they drift in the breeze to the ground.

Artist Judy Niemeyer remarks on her Quiltworx website, " Indian Summer was designed as a tool to teach foundation paper piecing in an afternoon class. I wanted to design a quilt that did not require figuring  yardage or picking out color. This quilt is surprisingly fun and simple to make. "

For another glorious quilt in fall colors, also see the Autumn Splendor design by Bradley and Judy Niemeyer.

October, 48 x 64, by Barbara Persing and Mary Hoover, at Fourth and Sixth Designs

Award-winning quilt artists from Jersey, England, Barbara and Mary were born the 4th and 6th children in their family. After moving to the United States, they developed their quilting talent into a full time career. They now travel extensively, giving workshops and seminars on quilting. Barbara Persing also provides long arm quilting services. They are proud to announce their first book, Strata Various Quilts from C and T Publishing.

One of Barbara and Mary's trademarks is their successful use of dazzling, pure colors against a contrasting background. You can see this skill applied in the "October" quilt, as the brilliant leaves are appliqued on a background of soft neutrals. Background strips of off-white and ecru evoke an image of a pale yet luminous landscape, as nature reposes for the season. The muted background tones cause the vibrant orange leaves to pop off the quilt with almost a three-dimensional effect. A stunning reminder of the beauty of autumn and winter, the "October" pattern is available at JWD Publishing and also from the catalog at 4th and 6th Designs.

Below, you can see the beautiful fused applique technique and thread painting on the close up of one of the leaves of "October."

Image credits: Images are shown with the generous permission of the artists.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Our Town Part 2

We've decided that some of the cutest quilts in the world are the ones with houses on them. They really appeal to us, maybe because "home is where the heart is."  Part One of Our Town was posted earlier this month.  Here are some more house quilts which really caught our eye.

Schoolhouse Block, 19 x 22, from "There's No Place Like Home" by Sonya Chinn, at Sonya's Snippets

Long-arm quilter Sonya, creator of the Sonya's Snippets blog, sewed this charming applique scene as one of the blocks for a block-of-the-month quilt which she calls 'There's No Place Like Home'. Sonya has added an individualized touch by placing the initials of her children's school on the quaint schoolhouse. The quilt was based on the "Home Is Where the Heart Is"  pattern.  The entire pattern is available from The Stitch Connection, which sells an array of seasonal block-of-the-month quilt patterns.

Little Amsterdam, 72 x 72, by the North Sea Quilters

The North Sea Quilters have produced this beautifully pieced and intricately quilted work which shows the classic houses of Amsterdam, plus one of the famous canals. Owned by Maria Laza, Leslie Carol Taylor, and Marybeth Tawfik, the North Sea Quilters in The Netherlands offers long arm machine quilting, workshops, retreats, fabric, and patterns. The North Sea Quilters website sells the Little Amsterdam Pattern Book, with a full set of instructions on creating this award-winning quilt, as well as a complete kit.  They have an interesting North Sea Quilters blog where they write about the quilt shows and workshops of Europe and the United States.  Products can be ordered directly from the North Sea Quilters, who are also launching a distribution channel in North America.

Pedestrian Friendly, 60 x 60, by Pat Dicker

Pat Dicker used high-energy colors to create a lively town adapted from Sue Garman's Block of the Month Quilt,  "All Around the Town".  Pat tells us, "I named the quilt 'Pedestrian Friendly' because the original design has cars on it, and I chose to leave them out, so that the 'residents' would just walk from house to house."  The result is a fascinating "green scene",  greatly enhanced by the playful polka dots and the serene striped border.

Here's a vivid close-up of "Pedestrian Friendly", where you can see Pat's excellent applique technique (click to enlarge the image). Can you spot the people in the house?  Pat writes,  "Here I had a little fun with crowds in the window and added the poppies, since they are the California state flower."

Magnolia Quilt,   64 x 61,  by Sue Spargo, at Sue Spargo Folk-Art Quilts

The gracious old homes and flower gardens of  Magnolia, Ohio, inspired Sue Spargo to create her enchanting appliqued "Magnolia" quilt. Her accompanying book and quilt kits for "Magnolia" are sold at Sue's website, where she also offers lovely hand-dyed wool and textural fabrics, patterns, books, and embellishments. Sue writes,  "My folk-art imagery reflects my multi-cultural background and my fascination with folkart from around the world. Inspiration comes from memories collected during my African childhood with its animals and grasslands, a sojourn in the green South of England and time spent in Connecticut, Tennessee, Utah and Ohio." For great photos of the creations from her latest class,  please take a look at Sue's blog to see how well her students are doing. "Magnolia" and other projects are also in the new book called Contemporary Folk, published by Quiltmania.

Row Houses,  86 x 104, by Flavin Glover, at Flavin

Named one of the 100 Best American Quilts of the 20th Century, "Row Houses" was inspired by Flavin Glover's fascination with landscapes and architecture. The contrasting roofs, windows, and border really help the quilt sparkle with light and dark values.  As well as teaching classes, designing, and conducting workshops, Flavin is the author of a great book,   A New Look At Log Cabin Quilts,  which gives clear, easy-to-understand directions and ideas for creating many different patchwork designs in the log cabin format. Flavin Glover's online gallery also has many different houses which are fun to look at.  Flavin is a renowned teacher; to see if she is visiting a town near you, please see her workshop schedule as well as pattern information.

It Takes A Village,  44 x 36,  by Pippa Moore, at Kitambaa Designs

Pippa Moore is a Canadian quilter whose creations are inspired by the 3 years she spent living in Lesotho, South Africa.  Pippa says,  "I love working with rich, bright, saturated colour -- from the warm and vibrant colours of Africa and Mexido, to the blues and greens of my home in Vancouver Island."  Pippa has recently launched Kitambaa Designs, which features fabrics, patterns and kits like the one above, buttons, and African art. For news about Pippa's travels, classes, and workshops with the quilters of Uganda, please take a look at her blog  Kitambaa: The Colourful World of Pippa Moore.

Image credits:  Images are shown with the generous permission of the artists.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

ABC's of Quilting (Alphabet Quilts)

Alphabet quilts have a timeless appeal for children of all ages (and adults, too).   Some truly fabulous new fabrics and patterns inspired us to write an entire post about alphabet quilts ! 

This wonderful Alphabet Quilt, circa 1930-1950, is in the collection of the International Quilt Study Center & Museum at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (accession #2000-004-002).  The colors are still vibrant after more than 60 years.   The quilt was made with feed sacks and other reclaimed fabrics, making it a vanguard of the modern trend towards the use of reclaimed clothing in quilts. In fact, this quilt was featured in a 2009 exhibit called Recycling and Resourcefulness: Quilts of the 1930's. To read about this and other outstanding alphabet quilts from history, visit the Quilt Study Search Collections page; simply type "alphabet" in the Keyword Search box (we love this search feature... if you try it, you'll be hooked too!)

Alphabet Soup, 76 x 54, by Kellie Wulfsohn, at Don't Look Now

This cheery quilt is a(nother) very clever design by Kellie Wulfsohn.  Large and small, upper- and lower-case letters mix with ampersands, making a true Alphabet Soup.  The quilt uses simple, raw edge applique,  and just look at the trapunto ... Kellie's easy method of trapunto makes the letters really stand up! The quilt can be customized to your own size requirements, and fabrics. The Alphabet Soup pattern is available at Kellie's site: Don't Look Now! (I mean, that's the name of her website! DO look now, at all of her sumptuous patterns!)  Patterns are available online and many other places.

H is for Hannah, approx. 42 x 55, from the My Name Collection, by Lisa Davis at Creative Quilts

When we came across the My Name Collection by Lisa Davis, we were soooo excited. The collection is a series of 26 quilts - a different one for each letter of the alphabet, beautifully designed  among a collection of pictures with the same initial.  Thus in "H is for Hannah", above, you'll find a horse, hearts, hen, holly, hummingbird, hat, horn, house, and hibiscus ! The name shown on the picture will not be printed on the pattern: the pattern will be blank in this area, ready for you to add your desired name from the full size lowercase alphabet provided.

Illuminated Alphabet, by Zena Thorpe, at Zena's Quilts

Zena Thorpe is an award-winning artist whose achievements include membership in the Master Quilters Guild established by the National Quilting Association.  Zena Thorpe is also the author of  Beautiful Alphabet Applique, a 64-page book published by AQS, which contains the full-color illustrations and elaborate appliques for all 26 letters of the English alphabet,  plus the L,O,V, E letters shown above, and the applique in the sashing and borders. Each letter is a miniature work of art !

Alfabeto Italiano Collezione, at Michael Miller Fabrics

The new Alfabeto Italiano Collezione at Michael Miller Fabrics is so.... grande.  Look at the adorable "Grande Alfabeto" quilt, below, designed by Marinda Stewart.  The quilt measures 39 x 45, and each of the delightfully illustrated letters in the fabric panel is about 3 inches tall.

To view the entire fabric collection, visit Michael Miller Fabrics. Two different quilts have been designed for the collection: the "Grande Alfabeto" pattern by Marinda Stewart, above, and an "Alfabeto Italiano" quilt by Heidi Pridemore.  Both free patterns can be downloaded from the Michael Miller patterns page (note that the large files may take a few minutes to load).

Alphabet Quilt, 82 x 90, by American Jane Patterns

The oh-so-cute Alphabet Quilt by American Jane features nine applique blocks filled with classic toys such as trains, teddy bears, sailboats, drums, toy soldiers, and stuffed animals. Each individual pattern can also be made into a pillow or wall hanging, as shown below.

And here is something brand new from American Jane: the ABC quilt shown below (38 x 48), which is made from the totally charming Punctuation fabric line and panel by American Jane for Moda (it's in stores now !)

Alphabet Quilt Blocks, at Block Crazy

The pieced alphabet blocks shown above are very similar to those in the 1930's alphabet quilt shown at the very beginning of this post. Hmmm... imagine the possibilities. Depending on your choice of fabric, these pieced letters could be made to look either vintage or modern. And here's the good news: the entire set of A-Z block patterns is available at Block Crazy. How crazy is that ?!

More ABC fabrics and patterns: Check out Jen Duncan's ABC's quilt at the Moda Bakeshop; and Jen's pre-cut fabric ABC's - available in five colors - on Etsy. You might also want to see Animal Alphabet Games by J. Wecker Frisch for Quilting Treasures; Wee Woodland Alphabet ABC by Keiki for Moda; Now I Know My ABCs by Kate Honarvar for Timeless Treasures; the Child's Play flannel collection by Sherry Berry for Northcott (the related "Nate and Kate" patterns are at Quilt Woman); and the adorable Aldo to Zippy fabric line by Jenn Ski for P&B Textiles (sold out in most places, but we found a few kits at Pipers Girls).   For fanciful alphabet appliques with dragons, gryphons and other beasts,  see Creative Medieval Designs for Applique by Eileen Campbell.

Image credits:  Images are shown with the generous permission of the artists.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Quilters Remember September 11, 2001

In response to 9-11, many quilters expressed their sorrow, compassion and love, in words and in cloth. We feel privileged to be able to share some inspired and inspiring works with you, on the eve of 9-11.

Flight 93 Memorial Quilt, by 911 Memorial Quilts, including detail of the Flight 93 block, below

"Days after September 11, 2001, Jeannie Ammermann founded America’s 9-11 Memorial Quilts Organization. Jeannie began her quest with a few people who believed in her mission, and today, more than 500 volunteers across America have joined in this thread-of-life memorial. It is our hope to memorialize those we lost in a compassionate and uplifting way, with great respect, dignity and honor, to heal hearts and preserve memories for years to come. ~Teri Jahn

Editor's note: To learn more, visit the 911 Memorial Quilts site. Also, see these articles: Monumental Quilt Honors 9/11 Victims, and America's 9-11 Memorial Quilts: Quilters Pay Tribute to 9-11 Victims, their Friends and Families.

9-11 Quilt, by Jennifer Myers, at Art Quilts by Jen

"The background for this quilt was designed and completed about a year before 9/11 happened. It sat on my design wall all of that time because I didn't know how to finish it. Then when 9/11 happened, it finished itself. The twin towers are hand beaded with hundreds of tiny beads. The blue streaks represent the blue lights that shone in the New York sky following the disaster, and the windows and doors at the bottom of the quilt represent the debris." ~Jennifer Myers

Editor's note: The 9-11 quilt by Jennifer Myers is in the private collection of Susan Wildemuth, who recently wrote about the quilt on her own blog, Eye of the Needle. For more works by Jennifer Myers, see Little Store Quilts & Fiber Arts.

River of Tears, by Helen Simon, at Helen's Harvest

"This quilt, published in America from the Heart, expresses my anguish and hope for America." ~Helen Simon

Editor's note: The book America from the Heart is a powerful tribute to September 11. All of the quilts were made in the five short weeks following the tragedy so they could be displayed at the 2001 International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas. "River of Tears", by Helen Simon, perfectly captures the emotions of the day; the quilt was purchased by an anonymous collector at the 2001 show. Helen Simon's art is now focused on melted glass; for more information visit Helen's Harvest of Lampwork Beads.

Ground Zero Quilt, by Lois Jarvis, at Lois Jarvis Quilts

"I hope (the quilt) will show the viewer that the individual people on this quilt, the happy smiling people at work and at play, the brides and grooms, the fathers and mothers, the young so full of promise and the old with so much still to offer, who all perished that day, are the important things to remember." ~ Lois Jarvis

Editor's note: The Ground Zero Quilt has been viewed by over 2,000,000 visitors through Lois Jarvis' website, and installed at 90 group and solo exhibitions nationwide. The quilt traveled with the American Spirit Quilt Collection, which was a collection of twelve quilts that showed how the American spirit triumphed over the events of September 11, 2001. For more information, visit the Ground Zero Quilt website and the Rust-Tex website.

New Tears, by Kim Ritter, at Kim

"Tears that burst from my eyes were unlike any I had ever shed before - sad, angry, jagged, unbelieving." ~Kim Ritter (published in America from the Heart)

Editors note: Kim Ritter's fabulous art quilts can be seen in her online galleries. She recently retired from art quilting to focus on her interests in art cars, costumes, fused glass and metalworking; for more information, visit Kim's weblog.

Waves 1, by Beth Carney, at Beth Carney Studio

"I looked out my window and saw the candles flickering as flags waved in the wind. Our colors were standing strong and proud. Wave after wave." ~Beth Ann Carney (for the full quotation, see America from the Heart)

Editor's note: Beth Carney is a dancer, choreographer, director and art quilter.  Her art quilts have been exhibited at Quilt National, Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center, and many other venues. Her sense of movement is clearly communicated in the magnificent "Waves" shown above. For more visual inspiration, visit Beth Carney's online galleries.

Twin Towers Quilt and Pattern, by BJ Reed, at Piecemaking, LLC

"The three dimensional design represents the Twin Towers in New York City and, on reflection, how our lives in the USA will forever be changed." ~BJ Reed

Editor's note: We first featured BJ Reed's stunning Twin Towers quilt in our special article on tumbling blocks quilts, called Cubic Construction. To see BJ's beautiful pink, black and white version of the design, visit her online gallery. The pattern for Twin Towers can be obtained at Piecemaking, LLC.

Lady Liberty, by Gretchen Crozier, based on the design by Linda Hibbert at Silver Linings Originals

Editor's note: Some of the most enduring images of 9-11 were those of the Statue of Liberty, holding her torch high, amidst the smoke and destruction. We will never forget those who lost their lives, or their families and friends who will always mourn their loss. The Lady Liberty quilt by Gretchen Crozier, shown above, was not specifically designed as a tribute to 9-11, but we think that the quilt is a beautiful rendition of the statue and its symbolism. The pattern is available at Silver Linings Originals, where you can see Linda Hibbert's original red, white and blue version of Lady Liberty.

Image credits: Images are shown with the generous permission of the artists.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Our Town

This time of year, the school bells ring again for so many of us and our children.  While researching an article on traditional Amish "schoolhouse" quilts,  we found so many darling quilts with houses, that we decided to expand our post to include all kind of wonderful house patterns.

A house on a quilt is a symbol of our community and our lives together in society. It's no wonder that house quilts remind us of comfort and the togetherness of family, friends, and neighbors.

Welcome Home, 64 x 64, by Alex Anderson,at Alex Anderson Quilts

Here's a delightful neighborhood of cheerful houses done in russet and gold. Internationally-famous designer Alex Anderson has brightened the traditional fall quilt by adding contemporary colors of aqua blue and rose pink which make the maple leaves and houses sparkle against the dark background. Easily pieced using half square triangles, "Welcome Home" has become a classic best-seller from JWD Publishing. You can view all of Alex Anderson's books and patterns at Alex Anderson Quilts.

At The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims, you can sign up for podcasts with instruction from other top name quilters, contests, a block-of-the-month program, a fabulous quilt galley, and a store full of wonderful products and DVDs. Take a look, as it's great fun to browse through all these goodies.

Little Old One Room Schoolhouse,  23 x 27, by Ruth Powers, at Ruth Powers Art Quilts

The traditional schoolhouse of the American frontier, complete with a bell tower, beckons us back to learning, as leaves swirl in the early autumn breeze.  Prolific quilt designer Ruth Powers offers this charming scene as a pattern on her website, along with so many other beautiful patterns.

Little Houses, 48 x 60, by Ruth Powers, at Ruth Powers Art Quilts

Ruth writes, "Much of my work is inspired by nature;  my daily walks fill my senses with color and design possibilities." In creating Little Houses, Ruth has done an excellent job of selecting different blues and greens for the sky and earth, while selecting the complementary colors of bright orange and orange-red for the homes. Ruth notes that this is a great pattern for using up fat quarters and scraps, so let your imagination run wild, and let the stash-busting begin ! Ruth also composes a very interesting blog, where she updates everyone about her latest projects and patterns.

Hillside Houses, 29 x 36 by Daphne Greig and Susan Purney Mark

We love the idea of a village of houses nestled cozily together, their rooftops peeking out from one another. Daphne Greig was very kind to give us some background on this enchanting quilt. She writes: "Bright houses perched on a hillside are the inspiration for this quilt. You will see these along the coastlines of Italy and Greece and even in Newfoundland. The piece was designed for my book, co-written with Susan Purney Mark, Simple Stained Glass Quilts, Krause Publications, 2008. Our unique "whole cloth" technique makes construction of stained glass quilts easy and less labor-intensive than other methods."  Autographed copies of the book are available through Daphne's website,

Wonky Houses, 44 x 60, by Carol Morrissey, at O Carol Designs

Wonky Houses is an irresistible quilt pattern, because the fairy-tale cottages and trees at their lilting angles provide such a whimsical, fun effect. Carol Morrissey created this quilt as an easy paper piecing pattern, with clearly understandable directions and full size paper templates. The triangles that dance through the quilt and the vibrant orange-red border against the blue sky really make this dazzling pattern "pop". What a great opportunity to use up bright fat quarters and scraps.   Carol notes that "variety is the key to success of this quilt". For more great patterns, and a fabulous gallery of photos, visit  O Carol Designs.

Firelight and Chimney Smoke, 62 x 50, by Martha Milne, at machinequilter

Martha Milne, who is based in the UK,  constructed this beautiful Amish-style schoolhouse quilt out of jewel-tone remnants. She had just completed a Jewel Box quilt for her daughter, and fell in love with the jewel tones against the black. The light and bright windows in this quilt give the inviting illusion of a warm, glowing hearth within, which beckons us inside. She writes: "I did want to create the effect of light shining in the darkness. The idea was for each house to have its own personality. I had fun playing with my fabrics to achieve this." Extensive instructions and an easy-to-follow pattern can be found at Popular Patchwork and Quilting.  Martha is renowned for her machine quilting; to see the quilting detail, click on the image of the full quilt, or the photo below.

Martha Milne is an inspiring teacher, because she believes that everyone can learn to do machine quilting; see her fascinating video on You Tube. Also don't miss her demonstration of The New English Quilter, which converts your home sewing machine into an affordable version of a professional long arm machine  (it's also available in the US !)  At Martha's machinequilter website you can purchase The New English Quilter, the first of a series of Line Dancing DVDs, and the amazing JUKI sewing machine (have you heard of it?)

Last but not least... here's Martha Milne's "Little Houses in the Big Woods".  This quilt was published in Popular Patchwork in 2007 (subscriber access).  The quilting was done with a Juki machine and the New English Quilter. The detail of the red houses, and the quilted chimney smoke, can be seen on Martha's blog.

More Houses: Teacher, author, and quilt artist Freddy Moran is internationally acclaimed for her unique and original house quilts. You can see brilliant photos and read about her designs in Freddy's House: Brilliant Color in Quilts.  In addition,  from her quilt images, Freddy has created House Party Quilts Gift Wrap, which would make a lovely gift in itself ! 

Don't miss Our Town Part Two, where we show more stunning quilts with houses.
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