Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Best of AQS Quilt Week 2014 - Part 2

From February 5-8 the American Quilters Society held a Quilt Week® in Phoenix, Arizona. What a spectacular show! Here is Part 2 of our photos of our favorite quilts from the show.

Hurricane, 78 x 68”, by Janneke de Vries-Bodzinga (Kollumerzwaag, Friesland, Netherlands)

The amazing Hurricane won the AQS award for Best Wall Quilt.  Janneke says:  "Every year all over the world, people are afraid of the deadly destroyer, the hurricane."  You can see the "eye" of the hurricane in the upper right, next to the award ribbon. The applique work was so expertly done that it was difficult to discern the fabric edges.  The overall effect, with its explosions of color, reminded us of a painted composition. 

close up, Hurricane by Janneke de Vries-Bodzinga

The machine quilting was fascinating; different areas of the composition were expertly quilted in different textures and colors, as shown in this close-up photo.  Janneke is a professional art quilter in The Netherlands; you can see more of her incredible compositions at Janneke Quilt Studio.

Cycles 2, 37 x 39”, by Leanne Chahley (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)

Cycles 2 won the award for First Place, Wall Quilts - Modern. It was the quilted texture that really drew us to this otherwise simple quilt.   Leanne Chahley explains, "The colors reflect sun-bleached sand, sky, and the ocean at the beach, while the modern, industrial, matchstick quilting evokes the weathered driftwood and rock textures."

close up, Cycles 2 by Leanne Chahley

The quilting lines, which were approximately 1/8" apart, appeared to be done improvisationally with a medium stitch length, creating the enticing texture of wood on the surface of the quilt.

The Spirit of Many Moons, 42 x 58",  by Sue Kluber (Guernsey, Iowa)

Sue Kluber says:  "The moon in its phases amazes [me] with its beauty, mystique, and ability to affect everything."  We enjoyed this original art quilt, which was done with raw edge applique in a collage style with interesting fabrics, many of which look to be hand-dyed.  The large blue circle was textured with pebble quilting, reminding us of the craters on the moon.

close up, The Spirit of Many Moons by Sue Kluber

The Spirit, with its serene, womanly face, has large, expressive eyes.  She is surrounded by trees, and her hair is made of autumn leaves.

Gilding the Arbor, 60 x 60", by Bethanne Nemesh (Allentown, Pennsylvania)

Made with dupioni silk, Gilding the Arbor by Bethanne Nemesh won First Place, Wall Quilts - Computer Aided. Despite the modern colors, the feeling created by the quilting was one of an ancient tapestry.  This quilt was inspired by Bethanne's love of wholecloth quilting, Asian silk embroidery and antique botanical prints. 

close up, Gilding the Arbor by Bethanne Nemesh

The design elements can be recognized in her garden photography, as well as images from gardening catalogues and Dover design books. On her website at White Arbor Quilting, Bethanne explains that all the flora and fauna was free drawn on the quilt with chalk and refined with a wash-out pen before quilting.   Bethanne explains:  "While a stitch regulator was used periodically, all the designs in this garden fantasy were completely hand-guided free motion quilting."

Upper Body Workout – Improved, 45 x 50”, by Laura Trendeath (Pavillion, WY)

Winner of First Place for Wall Quilts-Traditional, we were intrigued by the intricate quilting on this whole cloth quilt.  The quilter, Laura Trendeath explains:  "Victorian scrollwork has always appealed to Laura for its elegance and graceful lines. Using metallic thread on a black background, she attempted to re-create the beauty of craftsmanship from a bygone era."

close up, Upper Body Workout – Improved by Laura Trendeath (Pavillion, WY)

With its extensive and exquisite quilted surface, we could easily see why this quilt was named Upper Body Workout !

620 – Keep It Simple, 48 x 60”, by Jodi Robinson (Enon Valley, PA)

Winner of the AQS award for Best Modern Quilt, Jodi Robinson pieced this original, simple quilt and added some interesting and unique texture with her quilting designs. We liked the Asian-inspired feeling of the quilt along with its attractive, minimalist design.

close up,  Keep It Simple by Jodi Robinson

Jodi Robinson is the author of Modern Simplicity – Machine Quilting Designs for Modern Quilts.  As you can see, she divided the plain gray areas into a grid, then filled each element of the grid with concentric circles, which echoed and complemented the yellow circles in the pieced panels. 

Image credits: Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Best of AQS Quilt Week 2014: Phoenix, Arizona

From February 5-8 the American Quilters Society held a Quilt Week® in Phoenix, Arizona. What a spectacular show! We hope you enjoy these award winning quilts.

Wandering ‘Round My World, 60 x 38”, by Beth Schillig (Columbus, OH)

Winning the award for Best Innovative Quilt, this quilt really drew us in with its beautiful hand-dyed green, blue and purple color scheme and intriguing textures.  We felt as if we were looking down on the oceans from far above the earth. The construction was also fascinating; the large and small circles float atop the heavily quilted panels.

close up, Wandering ‘Round My World by Beth Schillig

This original piece features turned-edge machine applique enhanced with decorative machine stitches. Each circle is filled with stylized floral appliques. Beth Schillig used  lots of freehand machine quilting and hand beading to adorn this beauty.

Magnolia, 84 x 84”, by Claudia Clark Myers and Marilyn Badger (Duluth, MN)

Magnolia is another show-stopper and crowd favorite by Claudia Clark Myers and Marilyn Badger. The machine appliqued flowers almost appear to be spinning on the surface of this quilt.  The flowers involve a new technique Claudia wanted to try, which was to piece the block, applique the flowers, then assemble and embellish the quilt.

close up, Magnolia by Claudia Clark Myers and Marilyn Badger

We loved the kaleidoscopic effect of the fabrics at the center of the flowers, and the lovely feather quilting, which really showed up in the white flower petals.

Isabelle, 93 x 93", by Kathi Carter (Vineyard, UT)

It was hard to get an unobstructed photo of this Best of Show quilt, as it was surrounded by throngs of admirers.  We were impressed with the dramatic, Asian-inspired design of circles and waves, which were decorated with thousands of turned-edge machine-appliqued leaves (approximately 2800, to be exact).  Kathi Carter says that she worked on Isabelle off and on for over 4 years and it is the most challenging quilt she has ever done.

Isabelle by Kathi Carter

The leaves were appliqued with nearly-invisible monofilament thread. In this photo you can see the embroidery on top of the leaves.  The quilt design is based on the Japanese Garden pattern by Karen Kay Buckley and the quilt is named after Kathi Carter’s new great-granddaughter, Isabelle.  For more information on techniques, see this interview with Kathi Carter.

Savoring Twilight in Venice, 35 x 42”, by Patsy Kittredge (Sedona, AZ)

Savoring Twilight in Venice is another award-winning, photo-inspired quilt by Patsy Kittredge.  We really enjoy the lifelike quality and artistic composition of this piece.  Patsy says, "This quilt is all about the light as evening approaches. Day gives way to night as Patsy’s daughters enjoy a quiet moment in Venice."

close up, Savoring Twilight in Venice by Patsy Kittredge (Sedona, AZ)

There is so much detail in every element of this piece.  In this photo you can see the wood grain texture which was quilted onto the wooden railings, and the many-colored fabrics which lend a shimmery quality to the girls long hair.  Patsy won a third place ribbon for this quilt.

A Pocket full of Paisleys, 57 x 71”, by Lorilynn King (Longmont, CO)

This stunning and sparkling quilt, A Pocket Full of Paisleys, has been racking up awards over the last year, including this blue ribbon in the Wall Quilt - Innovative/Art category. Lorilynn says:  "I decided to really, “really” learn my embroidery software so I digitized the designs myself." The paisleys were machine embroidered, then attached to the luminous quilted background. 

A Pocket full of Paisleys by Lorilynn King

Lorilynn started digitizing the designs in mid-2010 and began stitching the final version in March of 2012; from that point, the quilt took 10 months to complete.  Each paisley petal is made of individually embroidered pieces.  The scalloped edges are made with many individual half-circles with piping on the edges.  Here is one more close-up photo...

The embroidery detail is so impressive on this quilt.  Lorilynn King used Isacord embroidery threads, Superior Kimono silk thread, Yenmet metallic thread, and YLI Candlelight thread.  The hand-dyed fabrics provide a rich backdrop for this quilt.

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.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day !

As a theme, hearts and valentines are beloved by quilters around the world.  Here are some beautiful quilts from Japan and the United States.  Happy Valentines Day on Friday, February 14 !

Gathering Hearty Roses by Aiko Miyata, Norimi Tashiro, Nobuko Kotani, Reiko Terui (Setagaya, Tokyo, Japan) - 2013 Houston IQF

Second place winner for Group Quilt, these quilters write, "This is a group quilt done by four members who have been quilting together over twenty years. We put each favorite color of hearty roses together and made a wish that we can work together forever." All the hours of loving work in using these beautiful pastels and pure clear solid colors has really resulted in a spectacular creation.

Close up, Gathering Hearty Roses

Look at the fabulous bouquet that has been created within each heart ! The pattern was designed by Kathy Namajima, and the group used hand applique and hand quilting techniques on cotton fabric. 

What Shall We Do by Junko Hashijume (Saitama, Japan) - 2013 Houston IQF

This quilt is from the World of Mother's Dream exhibit of designs by Reiko Kato, sponsored by Quiltmania.  Junko writes,  "[These] Sunbonnet Sues are framed by hearts. I put the hearts at random."  A gingham border gives an especially cozy, folk-art touch to this quilt that contains very popular figures from the world of Amish patterns. 

Close up, What Shall We Do by Junko Hashijume

Here's a close-up  of Junko's wonderful applique work which surrounds the adorable sunbonnet children. Horizontal quilting with decorative stitches provides a nice contrast with the curved forms of the valentine hearts and the outlines of the children.

The Love Quilt by Christine Nelson - 2014 Tucson Quilt Fiesta

We enjoyed all the various backgrounds and quilting patterns, which brought so much visual interest to this original design done in pinks, purples, and oranges. Christine writes of her art quilt, "Children expressed what thought love was. Their ideas are so perceptive and thought provoking. I had to share them and what better way than to incorporate them into a 'Love' quilt." We certainly agree with this quilt artist !

Close up, The Love Quilt by Christine Nelson

Here's a close-up of some of the embellishment around one of the very sweet messages written by children.

A Cascade of Hearts by Joelyn Fevurly (Leavenworth, Kansas), quilted by Theresa Ward,  shown at AQS Phoenix - 2014

This quilt won the Out of the Box Quilting Award in the GO! Have Fun Quilt Challenge sponsored by AccuQuilt.  Joelyn used the heart and scallop dies from AccuQuilt.The hearts were finished with a candlewick stitch in the embroidery hoop.

Close up, A Cascade of Hearts by Joelyn Fevurly

We really enjoyed the way that the hearts cascade in color as they move down the quilt, along with the fanciful feather-and-swirls quilting by Theresa Ward.

Vintage Valentine by Sherall Donovan, 2014 Tucson Quilt Fiesta

And finally, the very best Valentine's Day present we can think of : a quilt gift for your "sweetie", no matter who he or she is. Sherall notes, "I am dedicating this quilt to my wonderful husband of 50 years, Pat Donovan. From an unknown author: 'Love put the fun in together, the sad in apart, and the joy in a heart.'"  Sherall's fabulous creation is primarily hand-appliqued.  This Vintage Valentine quilt is based on the design by Verna Mosquera at The Vintage Spool.

Close up, Vintage Valentine by Sherall Donovan

Elegant deep rose pinks, whites, and soft tan colors along with painstaking hand quilting all combine to form what appears to us to be a very Victorian-themed vintage  quilt, adorned with very cheerful flowers.

Image credits: Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration. Stay tuned for more valentine quilt favorites later this week!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Free pattern day: Thousand Pyramids quilts

Here are some wonderful FREE patterns for Triangle and Diamond quilts, also known as Thousand Pyramids. Use them to design your own "pyramid scheme"!
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.

p.s. Check out our E-Bay shop for great bargains on quilt patterns and collectible items! For continuous free quilt patterns, please visit us on Twitter!

Ambience quilt, 79 x 87", free pattern by Matthew Boudreaux for Art Gallery Fabrics (CLICK for PDF download)

Bias Tiles quilt, 43 x 57", free pattern by Marinda Stewart for Michael Miller Fabrics (CLICK for PDF download) 

Jewel Tones quilt, 60" square, free pattern by Makower UK (CLICK for PDF download)

Equilateral Quilt, ~64 x 70", free pattern by Tula Pink for Free Spirit Fabrics (CLICK for PDF download) 

Heart Beats quilt, 68 x 72", free pattern by Tula Pink for Free Spirit Fabrics (CLICK for PDF download)

Mountains Quilt, 36 x 50", free pattern at Art Gallery Fabrics (CLICK for PDF download)

Argyle Style, ~41 x 60", free pattern by Kathy Doughty for Free Spirit Fabrics (CLICK for PDF download)

Tri Love Quilt, 88 x 90", free pattern by Melissa Lunden for Birch Fabrics (CLICK for PDF download)

Peppered Cottons quilt, 66 x 74", free pattern by Pepper Cory at Studio E Fabrics (CLICK for PDF download)

Confetti quilt, 64 x 76", free pattern at Art Gallery Fabrics (CLICK for PDF download)

Prisms quilt, ~57 x 72", free pattern by Heidi Pridemore for Timeless Treasures (CLICK for PDF download)

Triangles quilt, ~66 x 80", free Kaffe Fassett pattern at Free Spirit Fabrics (CLICK for PDF download)

Perfect Harmony quilt, 57 x 72", free pattern by Heidi Pridemore for Benartex (CLICK for PDF download)

Karakoram quilt, free pattern at Art Gallery Fabrics (CLICK for PDF download)

Three Times Around quilt, 57 x 66", free pattern by Valori Wells for Robert Kaufman Fabrics (CLICK for PDF download

Modern Lace Stars at Midnight, ~46 x 68", free pattern by Amanda Murphy for Blend Fabrics (CLICK for PDF download) 

Prismatic quilt, 40 x 60", free pattern at Cloud 9 Fabrics (CLICK for PDF download)

Patchwork Prism Quilt, 70 x 76", free pattern by Anna Maria Horner (CLICK for PDF download)

Soundscape quilt, 80 x 95”, free pattern at Robert Kaufman (CLICK for PDF download

Crystalia quilt, 65 x 73”, free pattern by Denise Russart for Hoffman Fabrics (CLICK for PDF download)

Prism quilt, 40 x 60”, free pattern by Marinda Stewart for Michael Miller (CLICK for PDF download)

Carnival quilt, 60 x 70", free pattern by Ashley Newcomb for Windham Fabrics (CLICK for PDF download)

Meadow Quilt, 54 x 58", free pattern by Beth Studley for Makower (CLICK for PDF download

Park Slope Triangles Quilt, 49 x 61", free pattern by Michael Miller Fabrics (CLICK for PDF download

Alfresco, 80 x 96", free pattern by Jean Ann Wright for Marcus Fabrics (CLICK for PDF download)

Note: This post was inspired by the 2014 Winter Olympics, which took place in Sochi, Russia.  The theme was based on the patchwork quilt! The Sochi designs resemble Thousand Pyramids and Diamond quilts.

The orange Olympics banner reminded us of Jan Krentz's classic "Indian Summer" quilt:

Indian Summer by Jan Krentz from Quick Diamond Quilts and Beyond

Image credits and links: This post was updated on October 6, 2023.  All 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.  If any links are broken, we'd love to know; email us at quiltinspiration {at} gmail {dot} com.
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