Monday, October 18, 2010

Fruits of the Season : Harvest Quilts Part I

Anyone who spends the spring and summer carefully tending crops or working on a farm must surely be pleased when the plants bear fruit that is ripe for picking. This is the joy of harvest season and the feeling of well-being and accomplishment. No wonder that our quilting foremothers used the theme of harvest  in their creations as a way of celebrating the bounty of life.

With this post, we are beginning a multi-part series on quilts with images of pumpkins, pears, apples, and other harvest items. Join us as we browse through lovely quilts with colors and patterns as richly varied as all the goodness of nature.

Pumpkin, app. 16 x 20, by Frieda Anderson

We had such a wonderful time featuring Frieda Anderson's work on our Dances With Nature blog post, that we wanted to bring back her vibrant creations for an encore. Here's "Pumpkin," done in a sumptuous, radiant orange, cradled gently in a bed of protective sage green and pale olive leaves. The vines reach out in whimsical spirals announcing to us that the pumpkin is at its peak of growth.The restful background which elegantly fades to purple, then burgundy,  gives this quilt both a feeling of joy and serenity.  If you click on the image to expand it, you'll be able to see some of  the quilting which perfectly complements the pattern.

Three Pumpkins, app. 20 x 16, by Frieda Anderson

Notice Frieda's flawlessly perfect perspective, as she displays a family of pumpkins from various angles of repose. The stately pumpkins are beautifully contrasted with the sunny green leaves turning out and up to greet the world. One of Frieda's many talents is creating fabric colors with gorgeous, subtle streaks and highlights which really make her background and foregrounds glow as if they are lighted from behind. Her gradations of color are delicious eye-candy, which provide so much fascinating visual interest.

Our readers owe themselves a visit to Frieda's  Friestyle website, where she offers vividly beautiful patterns for quilters. Right now, the Pumpkin and  Petite Sunflowers patterns are on sale for an incredible $3.00 apiece -- what a bargain ! And, what's wonderful is that in addition to the pattern, Frieda sells her gorgeous fabric separately to make these quilts, so you can achieve the same luscious, luminescent effects that make Frieda's work so entrancing.

The Blue Door,  28 x 31, by Ana Buzzalino

Fresh from the Pacific International Quilt Festival, held October 14-17 in Santa Clara, California, comes Ana Buzzalino's entry,  "The Blue Door", a machine stitched, hand-stitched, and hand-painted work. This is actually a wholecloth quilt, dyed with Procion dyes, which work on the fibers from the inside out, giving very intense and pure color to the fabric. Instead of providing a solid color fabric background for the still life display of pumpkins and pears, Ana used a photo of an old door to inspire her. She painted and stitched the background so that it has a faded, lined, weathered look which contrasts with the vibrant pumpkin. Ana explains, "The pumpkin and pears have been touched up with paint and color pencils to create depth and definition."  Ana achieves a very contemporary effect by allowing the bright orange, blue, and chartreuse dye to gently run off the surface that holds the pumpkins, thus enhancing the transparent effect of this work. For more of Ana's captivating work, please visit her Patches and Paint website.


  1. Thank you for this blog. I love coming here and seeing the selections you have chosen for whatever theme is listed.
    There is so much beauty out there and finding it is quite a task.

  2. Those quilts are stunning, I thought the third one was a painting until I scrolled down. The gradations in the dyed fabric seem to work really well in this type of quilt.

  3. Robin, thank you for your kind comment ! We do love the process of discovering all the beautiful work that is out there... we're always thrilled when others are inspired by our "finds".

  4. Pip, you are absolutely right, the dyed fabric adds so much texture and dimension to this type of quilt. We thought the colors in all of these quilts were beautiful... glad you liked them too !


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