Friday, July 25, 2014

Modern Quilt Month

We're celebrating Modern Quilt Month at Q.I. This is the first of four feature posts, and we couldn't be more excited about these fun quilts!  So, what makes a quilt modern? According to The Modern Quilt Guild, the characteristics may include the use of bold colors and prints, high contrast, graphic areas of solid color, improvisational piecing, minimalism, and expansive negative space.  Well, some of these quilts don't fit the definition, but they do have modern themes and/or colors!

Alien Eyes by Keith Dommer

We loved the 1960's op art flair of this design.  Keith Dommer says, “I’ve been fascinated by Notan and bold graphic images for a while now and tried to use them in my first quilt in kind of the modern quilt style. The applique is turned-edge machine applique.”

close up, Alien Eyes by Keith Dommer

Keith adapted the pattern from Hajime Ouchi’s Japanese Optical ArtAlien Eyes won Honorable Mention at the 2014 Tucson Quilters Guild show.

Be Yourself - Everyone Else is Taken, 40 x 40", by Meg Cowey (Fremantle, Western Australia)

Meg Cowey created this quilt for a new baby of modern parents, "with blessings for strength of character and independence."  The title of the quilt is from the quote by Oscar Wilde.

close up, Be Yourself - Everyone Else is Taken by Meg Cowey

We love the way in which the red triangle is soaring away from the rest of the flying geese.  The swirls, depicting the wind, are a clever part of the design.

Coloring with Kate by Jane Bromberg (Kansas City, Missouri)

We like the modern minimalist design of this woven-looking quilt.  The orange squares were arranged in groups of two and three columns with a space in between, adding interest to the design. Coloring with Kate was exhibited in the AQS Modern Quilt Challenge, which is traveling to all of the AQS shows in 2014. 

close up, Coloring with Kate by Jane Bromberg

Jane Bromberg, a professional long arm quilter, used a simple but effective quilting design that did not detract from the color blocks.  For more information on the quilt, see Jane Bromberg's website.

Lost and Found by Jacqueline Skarritt (Kalamazoo, Michigan)

The AQS Modern Quilt Challenge included many quilts that broke the traditional rules with new approaches to fabric combinations, piecing, construction methods, and motif quilting.  In Lost and Found, some diagonal design lines are formed by the touching triangles.  The triangles stand out starkly against the blue field but there is plenty of negative space to rest the eyes. 

close up, Lost and Found by Jacqueline Skarritt

The straight-line quilting complements the strip-pieced triangles and alternates directions, adding texture to the surface of the quilt.  The traditional prints make an interesting juxtaposition with the bright solid background.

Log Pyramids by Liz Havartine

Liz Havartine says, “This design was inspired by traditional log cabin blocks, using an equilateral triangle for the center 'hearth' instead of a square. I wanted to have uniformly sized 'pyramids' with precise piecing but add randomness with the width of the 'logs'. I had an acrylic triangle template custom made to facilitate trimming the blocks down to size while keeping everything centered.”  As of this writing, you can find a Log Pyramids Quilt Along at Liz Havartine's website, Lady Havartine.

close up, Log Pyramids by Liz Havartine

Log Pyramids was included in the Best of Quilt Con exhibit at the 2014 Road to California show.  The exhibit featured quilts from the inaugural 2013 Quilt Con Show.

Obsession, 63 x 63", by Meg Bauer (Crestwood, KY)

Obsession by Meg Bauer was awarded Third Place in the Wall Quilts - Traditional category at the 2014 AQS Quilt Week in Phoenix, Arizona.  Mary says that she became obsessed with modifying traditional blocks to create mini quilts; she stitched the mini quilts together to make Obsession.  These little quilts did not have pieces as small as traditional miniatures, however, they were still a challenge to piece.

close up, Obsession by Meg Bauer

The mini quilt blocks were quilted in spirals that were centered over each of the blocks; the quilting lines overlap at the four corners of the blocks.  We like the aqua, chartreuse and orange color scheme of this quilt.

Buckles and Belts, 39 x 49", by Linda Hungerford (The Villages, Florida)

On her blog, Linda Hungerford says, "I named my quilt 'Buckles and Belts' because the chevron and solid diagonal prints weave in and out of blocks that look like buckles. The woven effect was accomplished, in part, with hand appliqué."

close up, Buckles and Belts by Linda Hungerford

We enjoyed seeing Linda Hungerford's interesting design and quilting. After completing all the machine quilting, she hand quilted the solid strips with big stitches, using DMC #8 Perle cotton.  Buckles and Belts is traveling around the country as part of the AQS Modern Quilt Challenge exhibit.

Charming Chevrons, 48 x 56", by Christa Watson

Christa loves solid fabrics with lots of machine quilting, which was done on an older Bernina 1630. On her blog, Christa says:  "When I started Charming Chevrons I’d just barely heard of the modern quilt movement and was wanting to go a little bolder with my quilts." "It was inspired by a pack of bold and beautiful [Kona cotton] charm squares and the desire to quilt the heck out of something!"

close up, Charming Chevrons by Christa Watson

Christa used pebble quilting within the chevrons, and straight line quilting in the negative spaces.  A pattern for the Charming Chevrons quilt is available at Christa Quilts.  The quilt was exhibited at the 2014 AQS Quilt Week in Phoenix.

Image credits: Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

West Coast Wonders

At the West Coast Wonders exhibit at the 2013 Houston International Quilt Festival, we saw some gorgeous quilts with scenes from the Golden State, California. They reminded us of the technicolor postcards sent to friends and family from favorite vacation spots. We hope you enjoy the great artistry of these "postcards in cloth."

Storm over the Golden Gate by Linda Stone, California

Linda's original design was based on a vacation photograph. She says, "this picture was taken as we went under the Golden Gate Bridge on a cruise ship. We went on a Mexican cruise and ended up in San Francisco, due to the swine flu. This is the first in [my] California Landmarks Series of photo realistic quilts. It is machine appliqued and machine quilted using fusible products." Linda has used her excellent sense of perspective to perfectly depict the massive size of the bridge, which stands in resplendent orange-red against a complementary hued backdrop of blue-violet, red-violet, and lavender.

Hollywood and Highland, 39 x 42", by Linda Stone , California

Here's another one of Linda's California Landmark Series quilts. This time, she's at the intersection of Hollywood Blvd. and Highland Ave. in downtown Hollywood, site of the famous ACL Chinese Theatre, the Dolby Theatre, where the Academy Awards are presented, and a shopping mall.  The right hand panel of the quilt shows the enormous elephant sculpture at the entrance to the mall, and the top panel depicts the beloved "Hollywood" sign mounted on the hillside by real estate developers in 1923, which has been restored several times.  Linda notes, "There is so much history of the film industry within and in view of this mall." 

Close up, Hollywood and Highland by Linda Stone

A lifelike pair of feet stand on the cement  path as a visitor studies the  footprints and handprints of many current and past movie stars preserved in the cement. We loved the very creative machine quilting which accurately depicts the weathered pathway, host to millions of people from around the world. Also note the realistic turned-up jeans cuffs, which were finished with blanket stitching.  Linda's original design was machine and hand appliqued, hand-embroidered, couched, painted, and inked.

Monterey at Dusk by Melinda Bula, California

Here's another sophisticated art quilt whose original design is based on a photo. Melinda says, "We walked along the beach at Monterey Bay at sunset. I started taking photos as the sunset reflected off the water and the fog. The sailboats were bobbing in the water. Seals were barking on the rocks below."   This idyllic, peaceful setting is captured by Melinda's fused applique technique. We gazed at this quilt for quite a while, marveling at this artist's ability to perfectly place some very tiny pieces of fabric into the scene.

Close up, Monterey at Dusk by Melinda Bula

Melinda has achieved an elegant, soft watercolor effect with her expert use of pastel fabrics in cool tones.  She notes, "A local couple walked by us and joked that I was taking too many pictures trying to capture this moment. They commented, 'Honey, you can't take it with you.' And I said, 'Oh yes I can.' Little did they know it would soon be a quilt."

Monet in Pasadena by Melinda Bula (California)

Melinda writes, "California has many beautiful gardens, and I plan on seeing them all. At Huntington Gardens in Pasadena, I was inspired by the morning light hitting the lily pond. The water shimmered with reflections made me think of what the painter Monet must have seen. I always take my camera with me just for moments like this."

Close up, Monet in Pasadena by Melinda Bula

Melinda adds, "I created this quilt by using my fusible technique which approaches quilting as if I am painting. Only I do not use any paint; it is all fabric. I have hand-dyed most of the fabrics to get the colors that Monet might have used."

Tributary by Phyllis Cullen (Hawaii)

Phyllis has created a colorful depiction of a pristine hillside stream as it flows over rocks and past native flora. She states, "The beautiful and rugged California coast features river that flow from mountain to sea."

Closeup,  Tributary by Phyllis Cullen

In this close-up, you can see the black background fabric between the  raw edge appliqued pieces, which gives this eye-catching quilt the look of a leaded, stained glass window. Free motion quilting in horizontal wavy lines gives an energetic, rippling effect to Phyllis' work.

Pelican Express by Phyllis Cullen (Hawaii)

Phyllis notes, "The colors of a West Coast sunset are reflected in two of its most endearing birds [the pelicans]."  Phyllis' design is adapted from a stained glass panel by the Paned Expressions Company. To create this stunning quilt, Phyllis used the stained glass and fusible applique technique, plus free motion quilting.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2013 Houston International Quilt Festival.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Quilt as Art by Leslie Gabriëlse

We were really excited to see this piece by artist Leslie Gabriëlse at the 2014 AQS show.  Featured in the SAQA Masters II exhibitWoman with Two Gents gives the appearance of an impressionist painting when viewed from a distance.  This lovely scene is constructed with large and small pieces of textiles, which are stitched together by hand and augmented by acrylic paint. Like the great painters, Leslie imbues the scene with light. 

Woman with Two Gents, 60 x 78", by Leslie Gabriëlse (Rotterdam, Netherlands)

In the description of Woman with Two Gents, Leslie Gabriëlse says:  "The interaction between the woman and the men is obvious. The sun becomes her halo. She has a string of flowers around her. The setting: plants, beach, and sailboat make it all complete." Perhaps as a result of the fabric textures, this piece reminded us of an impressionist painting, not unlike that of Renoir.

close up, Woman with Two Gents by Leslie Gabriëlse

The close-up photos show the details of the three figures.  A wide variety of textiles were used, ranging from plaids to prints, solid color fabrics and what appears to be batiks. You can see various embroidery stitches that connect and embellish the elements.  

One side of the woman's face is rendered in cool tones, as if in shadow, while the other side is done in warm hues reflecting the sun above.  The woman's beauty seems completely natural. 

Her dress is made with cheerful print fabrics, which lend a natural simplicity to her figure.  Woman with Two Gents was featured in Lark Books' Masters Art Quilts Vol. 2.  As of this writing, this work of art is available for purchase at the SAQA store. For more inspiring works of art, see the gallery at Leslie.Gabrië

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2014 AQS Quilt Week in Phoenix, Arizona. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Quilt as Art by Jennifer June

Contemporary textile art has some or all of the basic structural characteristics of a traditional quilt, but incorporates contemporary techniques and materials to create an original work of art. We are continually amazed by the way in which quilting has evolved to become an incomparable art form. This week we're featuring some inspiring examples of portraiture in fabric.

Woman at Rest, 49 x 43", by Jennifer June (Whispering Pines, North Carolina, USA)

The beautiful composition, lush fabrics and textures really drew us to this quilt.  The composition is distinguished by flowing lines in the woman's form and dress, and in the paisley shawl that extends across the background.  The shawl is quilted with swirls and embellished with fringe. There are many more details to be seen, including the fan lying on the floor in the foreground.

close up, Woman at Rest by Jennifer June

The woman's face appears to have been created with fabric paint.  While the figure seems to be resting in languid repose,  the viewer cannot discern what is going through her mind.  Jennifer June says that the quilt was made for all those who suffer from hidden illnesses and pain.  Notice the way in which Jennifer created dimension by placing a gray shadow behind the woman's shoulder.

close up of quilting, Woman at Rest by Jennifer June

We love the idea of creating the two-dimensional quilted dress with pieces of fabric that might be used to construct a formal dress in real life.  Here, luminous satins and/or silks were used in various hues to depict shadows and highlights.  Each of the curved pieces was quilted with a different design.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2014 AQS Quilt Week in Phoenix, Arizona.  For contact information and more quilts see Jennifer June's page at My Quilt Place and at Craftsy.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Fourth of July 2014

Independence Day is one of our favorite holidays, with its festive red, white, and blue colors, parades, picnics, and evening fireworks underneath the summer sky. Here's a fabulous flag quilt in honor of this celebration. Happy 4th of July, everyone !

One Nation Under God by Janice Jones. Quilted by Penny Allen

Janice writes, "Two design ideas developed into this quilt: the Feathered Star center (from a class by Jean Biddick) and a patriotic quilt that contained 50 stars [for each of the 50 states].  Traditional and paper piecing  (small stars and log cabins) were used in this original design." We  love the vibrant contrasts of this patriotic quilt from the 2014 Tucson Quilt Fiesta in Arizona.

Close- up, One Nation Under God by Janice Jones

Janice's feathered star has five borders surrounding it. The innermost solid red border works as a great background for Penny Allen's quilting design of elegant scrollwork. The checkerboard and star borders provide a symmetrical, geometric motif which enhances the star itself. We especially like the angled red and white pattern of the outer border, which reminds us of the flag waving in the wind. This border gives an imaginative sense of movement to this design.

Close- up of quilting, One Nation Under God by Janice Jones

Each tiny red square in the checkerboard border was quilted to look like a cathedral window. Notice that the blue checkerboard squares have a variety of prints on them, which lends a vintage, scrap-quilt look to Janice's work.
If you'd like to make your own feathered star design, here's a feathered star variation that is a free pattern from Fons and Porter as of this date.  We hope that your quilt turns out just as gorgeous as the one above !

Image credits: Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.
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