Monday, April 30, 2012

Quilted Tapestries: the Bargellos of Dereck Lockwood

Here is part 4 of our four-part series on bargello quilts. Today we're featuring the intricate and colorful designs of Dereck C. Lockwood. His designs incorporate zig zags, spheres, medallions and diamonds in geometric patterns that often include mirror-image and other kaleidoscopic effects. His distinctive and elaborate bargellos bring to mind the 17th century tapestries that inspired the genre.

Lazy Lagoon, 50" x 64" or 90" x 117", by Dereck C. Lockwood at Lockwood Quilts

Here is a new style Bargello quilt forming a medallion in the center of the quilt; the curved bargello radiates away from the center like ripples in a pond. The fabrics are from the Shadow Play Collection by Maywood Studio.

Lavender Blue, 78 x 87", by Dereck C. Lockwood at Lockwood Quilts

"Lavender Blue" was designed using analogous hues of Lavender, Blue and Green. It is easily made by sewing panels in specific color sequences and then re-cutting them into specified strip widths which are sewn together to make a row of the quilt following a printed color chart. It is surrounded by a border of strip-pieced blocks that adds to the dimensional appearance of the quilt. 

Night Lites, 89 x 96", by Dereck C. Lockwood at Lockwood Quilts

In this bed size quilt, the interlacing of the colors creates a striking and contemporary effect. Dereck says that it is easy to make with his strip piecing technique. We first came across this great design, in a smaller size, at a quilt show last year (shown below).

Bargello Quilt by Beverly Hasslinger, Arizona Quilters Guild 2011, photo by Quilt Inspiration

This beautiful quilt by Beverly Hasslinger won honorable mention for a First Time Entrant.

Disco, 59" x 63"by Dereck Lockwood at Lockwood Quilts

We love the bright colors and interesting patterns in "Disco", which is the third pattern in Dereck Lockwood's series of strip pieced Bargello Designs. This vibrating design is made with the Shadowplay line of fabrics by Maywood Studio or you can use up some of your stash to make it more personally yours.

For these patterns and more, see the Bargello quilts page at Lockwood Quilts. You can also see Dereck's newest bargello, Mystic Nites, on his New Quilts page.  It is fun to browse his galleries of applique and pieced patterns; check out the beautiful appliqued quilt called Swans.

Image credits:  Images are shown with the generous permission of Dereck C. Lockwood.

Friday, April 27, 2012

More fabulous bargello quilts !

Join us today for more fabulous bargello quilts, as we take a look at the wonderful work of New Zealand artist, designer, and teacher, Ruth Blanchet. Well-known for her numerous award-winning quilts, Ruth is the owner of Arbee Designs. Her company publishes quilt patterns in New Zealand and the U.S.A, supplying the major countries of the world with innovative designs.

Bargello Blues, 24 x 36, by Ruth Blanchet at Arbee Designs

When a quilter designs a bargello quilt, she traditionally begins by drawing a wavy line on paper or a computer screen. She then designs rectangles and squares of fabric which follow the wavy line in a stair-step or offset pattern. That way, the straight edge of the fabric is able to approximate the wavy line. This pattern is known as "the bargello curve."  When you look at a bargello quilt, you will always be able to see the curve  that defines the pattern; and you will also be able to see the rows of fabric adjacent to it, whose arrangement echoes that curve.

In the case of "Bargello Blues",  the bargello curve is a very sophisticated type of whorl or vortex, done in deep midnight blue to clearly define it.  Gorgeous monochromatic and analogous colors of icy blue, mint green, and shades of cyan blue follow the curve and create a glowing, beautiful background. This bestselling pattern can be found at Arbee Designs, and Ruth also teaches an online class for this advanced design at Quilt University.  In addition to the smaller size wall hanging, you can choose to make this quilt in size 47 x 51.

Bargello Swirl, 45 x 45 by Ruth Blanchet at Arbee Designs

In "Bargello Swirl" you can see 5 distinct bargello curves which create a fantastic pinwheel or kaleidoscope effect. Ruth writes, "This colorful bargello is circular rather than the standard rectangular shape. The bargello is created with a 9 degree wedge ruler, and after the piecing is all finished, it is sewn to the background square. The raw edges can be turned under and stitched in place, or finished with a binding edge. Afraid of small pieces ?  Don't be. This design is strip pieced, and then wedges are cut from the pieced block, making them much more manageable."  Ruth teaches a class in this circular bargello - and other patterns - at her own website, Academy of Quilting.

Color Connections, 35 x 52, by Ruth Blanchet at Arbee Designs

This dazzling quilt is comprised of three interlocking bargello curves which use monochromatic colorways to produce a very intriguing three dimensional effect.Notice that they are pointed both at the top and the bottom, changing the traditional bargello flame shape to more of a curved diamond effect.

Ruth says,  "Color Connections" is an advanced bargello design using three color gradients of fabric on black. This design lends itself to any color combination. Imagine using the primary colors red, blue, and yellow, or the secondary colors green, purple, and orange. You can also use just two color gradients making the two outside links of the same color set. The ideas are endless.  This pattern comes with full details on how to piece and quilt this beautiful design and also includes a full color insert grid so you can follow the directions with ease."

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

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Twist-and-turn Bargellos

This week, we are learning more about Bargello quilts and the artists who design and sew them.  Eileen Wright was born and raised in Canada and has been sewing and knitting since she was very young. Vancouver Island has been Eileen's spiritual home since her very first visit, and she has lived there for almost 20 years. She fills her days with designing and creating quilts.

Surf Song, 98 x 96", by Eileen Wright as seen at Martingale & Co

Surf Song, above, is one of the most popular of the 11 designs in Eileen Wright's Twist and Turn Bargello Quilts.  The stepwise progression of blues from dark to light - in about 12 steps - gives the waves their dimensional appearance. Kathy at Tamarack Shack Longarm Quilting (Manitoba) has some wonderful photos of her guild's Surf Song raffle quilt; you can see the finished quilt here and some handy design tips here.

Cosmic Twist, 60 x 80", by Eileen Wright as seen at Martingale & Co

In "Cosmic Twist", Eileen combined floral prints, swirls, dots and batiks in an analogous green-yellow to blue color scheme with a tropical flair.  These print fabrics create an interesting surface texture. The detail, including the beautiful quilting by Nadia Wilson, is shown in the close-up below.
Close-up, Cosmic Twist by Eileen Wright, quilting and photo by Nadia Wilson at Nadia Wilson Designs

Nadia Wilson, a representative/dealer of American Professional Quilting Systems (APQS) did the lovely quilting which you can see above.  She quilted from corner to corner along the lines of the Bargello design.  In this photo you can also see the piecing scheme, and the way in which the rectangles become narrower at the points of the "flames".

Infinity Bargello, 50 x 57", by Eileen Wright

We've seen this stunning "Infinity Bargello" in blue and red, but this version - done in pinks and fuchsias - really glows. All of the designs shown here (and more) can be found in Eileen's bestselling Twist-and-Turn Bargello Quilts (Martingale & Company). One reviewer has said: "I love the fact that she teaches you how to make the simple, traditional bargello and then brings you into the world of twisted bargellos, which are quite complicated and a little challenging."

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Fabulous Bargello Quilts: An Introduction

We're fascinated by the art of constructing bargello quilts,  made of small squares and rectangles of fabric, which produce intriguing swirls and flame-shaped peaks. This week, we are learning more about bargello quilts and the artists who design and sew them. Today we are featuring well known quilt artist Eldrid Røyset Førde, who lives in Bremanger, an island on the west coast of Norway. She has exhibited her quilts around the world, including Great Britain's National Patchwork Championships, the European Quilt Championships, and the U.S.A.'s Pacific International Quilt Festival.

The Long Serpent,  150 cm x 190 cm by Eldrid Røyset Førde at Kameleon Quilt (Norway)

About Eldrid's stunning "Ormen den Lange"  (The Long Serpent) quilt above, she writes, "This is my second Bargello quilt, which I designed myself. It is machine pieced and machine quilted. It was shown at The National Patchwork Championships at Ascot, Great Britain, and at several places in Norway after that. It has been published in "Popular Patchwork" in 1995 and in Norsk Quilteblad in 1996."

One of the many things we enjoy about this quilt is Eldrid's thoughtful and perfect color selection of yellows, corals, and apricot colorways to perfectly complement the grapes, magentas, and orchids of the background. If you'd love to make this gorgeous quilt, the pattern is available for purchase at Eldrid's Kameleon Quilt website. Eldrid has also written an interesting description of the construction process for this quilt, explaining how she pieced the yellow swirl which comprises the serpent, then the background, all on her design wall first, before sewing.

Blue Borealis, 38 x 48", by Eldrid Røyset Førde at Kameleon Quilt

Eldrid writes, "This quilt was made for my eldest sister when she turned 50. I found some black and white photos from childhood and youth, scanned them, and fixed them up in different ways, then all were converted to a blue color to fit in with the overall plan for the quilt. She had recently moved to Hammerfest in the north of Norway, so I thought the Northern Lights could be a fitting theme for the quilt. I selected the fabrics and worked bargello-style to create the sweep of light."

We are very impressed by the creativity Eldrid displays in constructing the background in long dark strips in order to provide a well-defined contrast for the white curved design that showcases her sister's photos. This pattern is also available for purchase on Eldrid's Kameleon Quilt website.

Bargello Flamme 2,
 22 x 30", by Eldrid Røyset Førde at Kameleon Quilt

An interesting variation on the traditional Bargello pattern, this quilt has solid color spacing between the flame medallions. Therefore, the pattern  looks as if  the medallions are divided into individual blocks, which highlights their colors and their unique shape. Eldrid's downloadable pattern contains instructions for strip-piecing this quilt in two sizes:  a wall hanging 22 x 30 inches, and a large quilt 70 x 82 inches or 80 x 90 inches with a wider border.

"Flame" hand-stitched bargello pillow
by Jonathan Adler

Are you interested in learning more about the history and design process for creating Bargello patterns?  The name "Bargello" refers to a type of needlepoint embroidery consisting of upright flat stitches laid in a mathematical pattern to create motifs. The name originates from a series of chairs found in the Bargello palace in Florence. Bargello patterns are formed when vertical stitches are stepped or offset vertically. The patterns in the steps combined with color changes determines how the overall pattern will emerge. If vertical stitches are stepped down quickly, the design forms sharp points or zig-zags. This type of bargello motif is often known as "flame stitch" as in this hand-embroidered pillow above, designed by Jonathan Adler.

In addition to Bargello embroidery, there are Bargello quilts in which the patterns are constructed with strips of fabric of the same height but different widths.If steps are gradual, then the design will appear to be curved, as in this black and white quilt below seen at a Mennonite auction.

Image credits
The quilts by Eldrid Røyset Førde are shown with the generous permission of the artist.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

And now, for something modern: Quilt Otaku

This post is for anyone who loves modern houses, quilting, Japanese fabrics, or hand applique.  Marisa Zucek is a quilt historian, appraiser, designer, and instructor whose blog, Quilt Otaku (which means "Quilting Nerd") features all of the above. We are enamored with her stunning Modern House blocks, which were inspired by homes in the California Bay Area. Marisa says:  "I have been having a great time designing this modern's been a labor of love." There will be a total of 12 patterns in the finished quilt.

Modern House Block #1 by Marisa Zucek at Quilt Otaku

Marisa explains her inspiration for the project: "I really enjoy seeing all the modern architecture that we have here in the California Bay Area. I started to research some local modern architects, and the buildings they created, to get inspiration for my applique work. Then I decided to visit a few houses and photograph them in person to get a feel for how they look in real life. It takes a lot of design thought, but I eventually sketch applique quilt blocks based on things I see in the photos. My goal is to capture the spirit of the house in applique, not to make an exact representation. I often simplify the design or alter it a bit to help it fit into a square format."  The block shown above is available for purchase (as a PDF download); the photo inspiration is shown below.

Modern House Block Inspiration, house by Malika Junaid, photo by Marisa Zucek at Quilt Otaku

Modern House Block by Marisa Zucek at Quilt Otaku

Marisa has been creating these blocks and patterns as a BOM project for the hand applique class she teaches at A Verb For Keeping Warm. In the fabulous block shown above, which was inspired by a house with a view of the Pacific Ocean, you can see a representation of the ocean waves at the far right.  The balconies and several windows are represented by hand embroidered lines, and the large exterior fireplace is made in a Japanese taupe fabric to give the appearance of concrete. 

Modern House Block #8 by Marisa Zucek at Quilt Otaku

The photo above is the 8th block in Marisa's series of Modern Houses. She says: "The house itself is located in Berkeley, CA and is known as the Fish House by locals but is actually the Tsui House. It looks like it would be more at home under the sea than on a relatively normal street. I used taupe fabrics that sort of looked like the ocean to me."  In this close-up photo you can see the marvelous applique detail which Marisa has created in the windows, exterior walls and trees.

Quilt Otaku Modern House Block by Marisa Zucek at Quilt Otaku, inspired by Dwell

Marisa has been selling physical full size copies of the patterns at the Verb for Keeping Warm shop. The 10th block pattern is releasing in her class on Sunday, April 22 2012, and the last 2 patterns will be released in her May and June 2012 classes, respectively*. To see more blocks as they will look in the finished quilt - and a photo of Marisa herself - check out her recent post titled Voices in Cloth 2012.

*About the patterns: Marisa also has been working on posting the blocks for PDF purchase at her website, Quilt Otaku. About the patterns, she says:  "I do not include applique instructions with the blocks. A quilter would need to have advanced applique skills in order to make the blocks successfully without joining our class. If folks do want to make them and have never done applique before, I do work with people of all experience levels in class."

Image credits:  Images are shown with the generous permission of Marisa Zucek. Marisa is a California native who learned quilting from her mother at a young age and doesn’t intend to stop anytime soon. Her aesthetic is deeply rooted in an appreciation for Japanese textiles. She enjoys designing applique blocks and teaching traditional techniques of applique, piecing, and quilting to modern quilters. Marisa likes to talk about her love of quilts, both American and Japanese, in her blog: Quilt Otaku.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Quilt Inspiration Classics: The Best of Basket Quilts

There is no doubt that baskets are among the most popular themes in quilting.  Filled with flowers or fruit, basket quilts are perfect for spring and summer. As you will see in this Quilt Inspiration Classic, there's almost an endless variety of pretty basket blocks.  If you love romantic, graceful patterns that evoke the elegance of yesteryear, we think you'll love these quilts. 

Virginia Bouquet by Pearl P. Pereira at P3Designs

As a guest artist and teacher at the esteemed Elly Sienkiewicz Applique Academy in 2010, designer Pearl Pereira created this beautiful Virginia Bouquet. Her stunning design features a tall basket with curved handles that reflect the curves of the stems of the delicate dogwood blossoms, bluebells, and berries. The fruit-laden vines that drape languorously from each side provide a lovely symmetry to this work, while the proud cardinal and inquisitive bumblebee add a joyful touch. The complete quilt, with its red swag border, is shown below.

Virginia Bouquet - full, 26 x 26, by Pearl Pereira

For Virginia Bouquet and more delightful patterns from Pearl, please visit her website, p3designs.

Flower Basket Medallion, 84 x 84, by Kim McLean

Kim McLean has created a marvelous, richly detailed quilt pattern with fabrics designed by Kaffe Fassett, whose bold colors explode right off the page. Brilliant orange-reds, blue-violets, and pinks create a vibrant basket bouquet medallion, surrounded by borders of absolute floral delight. You can purchase the pattern, along with a separate starter fabric pack at Glorious Color.

Sixteen Baskets, 38 x 38, by Kay MacKenzie

These adorable baskets by Kay MacKenzie are brimming with the bounty of life, including flowers, food, valentines, and best of all -- fabric ! The red, white, and blue motif provides country charm to this darling design, and the dogtooth border adds extra sparkle. All 16 of these basket designs are available at her Quilt Puppy website. Kay also has a wonderful blog, All About Applique.

Bekah's Basket Sampler Quilt,  84 x 84, by Betsy Rickles

The irrepressible gaiety of Kaffe Fassett's fabrics are featured in his book Country Garden Quilts,  which includes this delightful variation of a Cherry Basket pattern by Betsy Rickles.  Instead of a single large appliqued handle, there are smaller handles on each side of the basket, separated by a stack of cherries piled in the basket, which gives a pleasing symmetrical effect. Like most basket blocks, these blocks are set on point, and the vibrant border of half square triangles mirrors the half square triangles of the basket blocks.

Delphia's Baskets, 80 x 80, by Denice Lipscomb at Common Threads Quilting


We were so excited to discover Common Threads Quilting. The bricks-and-mortar shop is in Waxahachie, Texas, but many products are available online, including the pattern for the cheerful red-and-green quilt shown above.  Delphia's Baskets was inspired by an antique quilt in Denice Lipscomb's collection, and the quilt was named in memory of her great-grandmother, Mary Delphia Lowrance. This is just one of Common Threads' original patterns.

Ashley's Flower Basket, 18 x 18, by Sue Nickels and Pat Holly

Sue Nickels and her sister Pat Holly, both award-winning quilters, have designed an applique guaranteed to brighten up any room in your home. Sage green, tomato red, and sky blue blend together perfectly for this basket design, and the red border with prairie points adds an extra pop to the background. Suitable for a confident beginner, this quilt pattern is available from Sue Nickels' website. As a bonus, the pattern is included for the sprightly feather quilting design around the border. For more ideas on creating appliqued floral displays in containers, please see Sue Nickels' and Pat Holly's book, Stitched Raw Edge Applique.

Hawaiian Rainbow Basket Quilt, Red and White Variation, by Lisa Boyer

For a basket quilt with a modern twist, here's an adorable cherry basket quilt made from a variety of luscious red fabrics. For a traditional look, Lisa has pieced one large wide triangle for the main part of the basket, with two small triangles for the base.  She has then turned the square block on the diagonal and appliqued the curved handle. Lisa has achieved a lovely contrast by using white background fabric to really make the baskets come alive. The pattern can be obtained at Lisa Boyer's website.

Image credits: Images are shown with the generous permission of the artists. These quilts first appeared in Basket Quilts Part 1, Basket Quilts Part 2 and Inspired by Red and Green.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Free Pattern Day: Chickens

Chickens bring to mind sunny breakfasts in country kitchens.  Here are free patterns for flamboyant roosters and funky chickens!  To go to a pattern: Scroll down the page until you see the quilt you like, then click on the words "CLICK for PDF download" (or the hyperlinked website name) in the title above the quilt.

Also check out our E-Bay shop for great bargains on quilt patterns, books, and vintage items!
For more free quilt patterns, please visit us on Twitter

Chicken Coop quilt, 48 x 64", free pattern at Moda Fabrics (CLICK for PDF download)

Jaunty Rooster, free pattern by Julie Lynch for Benartex (CLICK for PDF download)  

Flock Party quilt, free pattern at Dear Stella Design (CLICK for PDF download)

Just Us Chickens quilt, 32 x 32", free pattern by Swirly Girl Design for Michael Miller Fabrics  (PDF download)

Hen block (shown in a doll quilt), tutorial at Sew Inspired (CLICK for tutorial)


Chicken Quilt by Emily Dennis at Quilty Love, based on the free block pattern at Sew Inspired (CLICK for tutorial)

Heads or Tails quilt, 32 x 21", free pattern by Denise Russart at Just Quiltin' (CLICK for PDF download)

Birdbath quilt, free pattern by Denise Russart at Just Quiltin (CLICK for PDF download)

Barnyard Chicken, free pattern at Wee Folk Art (CLICK for PDF template)

Chicken block, free pattern by Sally Trude at The Objects of Design (CLICK for tutorial)

Farm Babies pillow, 16 x 16", free chicken applique pattern by Casey York for Windham Fabrics (CLICK for PDF download)

Weathervane wall quilt, free pattern by Debbie Busby at All People Quilt (CLICK for tutorial

Spring Chick block and table runner, free pattern by Pat Sloan (CLICK for PDF download)

Mr. Rooster, free pattern by Caroll at West Michigan Quilter (CLICK for tutorial)+(CLICK for PDF template)

Cat's Rooster, free 5" block pattern by Jennifer Ofenstein at Sew Hooked (CLICK for PDF template)

Birds of a Feather wall quilt by Cynthia Scott at Janome (CLICK for photo)+(CLICK for PDF template)

Rise and Shine Placemat Tutorial by Vicki Welsh (CLICK for PDF download)

Chickens in the Coop, inspired by “Birds of a Feather” from Kevin Kosbab, made by Laura Boehnke for All People Quilt (CLICK for tutorial)

Cocks Crow in the Morn, free pattern by Kaaren Johnston at The Painted Quilt (CLICK for PDF download)

Hen Peck wall hanging and quilt by Denise Russart at Just Quiltin' (CLICK for PDF download)

Note:  For free patterns for turkeys, see our Free Pattern Day for Thanksgiving.

Image credits:  This post was updated on January 20, 2023. Individual images are copyrighted by their owners. Please respect their generosity in sharing their free patterns, and the restrictions they have placed on the use of these designs; complete information can be found at the designers' websites provided in the links. The image mosaics shown on this page are the property of Quilt Inspiration; please do not copy them without permission. If any links are broken, we'd love to know; email us at Quilt Inspiration.
Related Posts with Thumbnails