Monday, March 28, 2016

Desert Adventure: Quilt Arizona ! 2016

Warm sunny weather greeted us upon our desert adventure to Quilt Arizona !, the new name for the 2016 annual show of the Arizona Quilters Guild in Mesa, Arizona.  Here's part I of the highlights of the show, plus some of our personal favorites.

Two Sisters - Out To Lunch by Margot McDonnell

The turquoise ribbon you see on the upper right of this quilt is the Judges Special Choice Award, and the red ribbon is the Second Place award in the Art Quilts- Innovative category. Margot writes, " When wacko siblings lunch, what do they do?  Wear masquerade masks, of course, and act silly." Margot's work, with its brilliant colors, whimsical theme, and appliqued floral border done in the Broderie Perse technique garnered lots of compliments from the numerous viewers.

Margot's original design in fused, painted, and machine quilted. What fun to see the merriment on the faces of two sisters who are clearly each others best friends.

Dream Color by Janice Sanders, quilted by Sharon Brooks

Third Place award winner in the Medium Size Pieced Quilts category, Janice wanted a challenge and based her quilt on "Brilliant Beauties of Joy pattern by quilt artist Jacqueline de Jonge.  She enjoyed picking out each colorful fabric. Working on the quilt only part time, it took Janice eight months to complete the quilt.  

In the center of this block, a colorful sun overlooks a rainbow of spiky hues.

Sandy R's Round Robin by Sandy Rauperstrauch, quilted by Sandy Strunk

Sandy states, "The 25-inch center was made by me. Each friend added a six inch border of her choice, with the color to coordinate with the center. Black and red hues dominate." The beige colored inner border is decorated with pink and green squares of chenille fabric, which gives a very interesting texture to this piece.

Close-up, Sandy R's Round Robin

Fake fur adorns the butterfly's body while its antennae of yarn is carefully couch-stitched into a curved design.

Sherry's Quilt by Reni Dieball, quilted by Diane Pitchford

Winner of the Founder's Award for Exemplary Workmanship and second place winner for Group-Sewn Quilts, Reni explains, "The top was started by Sherry Erway in 2001 and finished by 2003. This wonderful hexagon top was given to me by Sherry upon my leaving Arizona in 2013. I made additional hexagons to fill the dips and valleys and added the borders in 2015."

Reni's pattern is based on the lovely vintage "Grandmother's Flower Garden" design and the English paper piecing technique. An  innovative zebra-striped fabric comprises the inner border and provides intriguing contrast.

Sewing in Circles by Pam McMahon, quilted by Jessica Gamez

Best of Show Award winner, Pam notes, " The stars were designed by Judy Martin and were pieced traditionally. The "Flying Geese" triangles and circular triangles were paper pieced.  The quilt center layout design was by Linda Peck of Oregon, and the outside borders were designed by myself."

Elegant, traditional, very precise longarm quilting by Jessica Gamez highlights each individual block, as well as the large feathered star design in the center.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Happy Easter

In celebration of Easter we bring you our photo of this beautiful silk and cotton quilt adorned with crosses in the warm colors of the Southwest. The Cross, the all-pervading icon of Christianity, is an integral element of Easter. It is the symbol of life over death.

Santa Fe Memories by Marilyn Alice Fashbaugh, quilted by Holly Casey

"Santa Fe Memories" brings to mind the religious iconography of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Marilyn Alice Fashbaugh designed the quilt in the folk art style using cottons and silks. Here are some photos of the beautiful quilting by Holly Casey.  In the photo below you can see a cross that was quilted into the background.

Image credits: Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2015 Springville (Utah) quilt show.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Highlights of the 2016 AQS QuiltWeek: Exemplary Applique

The 2016 AQS QuiltWeek in Phoenix, Arizona was one of the best shows ever. With hundreds of quilts and very special exhibits by renowned quilters, it was an incredible show. Here are some exemplary applique quilts from the show.
Please note: We're continually posting free patterns on Twitter ! Check us out @quiltinspire.

Daisy by Dianne S. Hire

This spectacular quilt was featured in App-2-Applique by Dianne S. Hire (2016), a book and compact disc ( CD) of applique designs and ideas. Dianne entered "Daisy" as part of the "Author's Showcase" of quilts, a special, non-judged exhibition.

Close up, Daisy by Dianne S. Hire

Close-ups like this one always remind us that applique requires hours of painstaking work, but the results are often stunning !  Notice the delicate embellishment of small beads along the quilt binding.

Exuberance, 48 x 48", by Zena Thorpe (Chatsworth, California)

Zena explains that she made this quilt simply for the fun of mixing exuberant colors and designs.The trapezoid-shaped inner border gives a very pleasing three-dimensional effect, almost as if the center is surrounded by an outward-curving frame.

Close up, Exuberance by Zena Thorpe

Zena adds that her original design was a joy to work on from start to finish.She won Third Place in the "Handquilted Quilts" category.

Journal of My Journey, 77 x 88,  by Teri L. Cherne (Henniker, New Hampshire)

After surviving cancer twice, Teri created this fabulous quilt while touring in a camper across the United States. She says that it brought her comfort during her healing journey. The gently curving border adds to the romance of this elegant, vintage-inspired work.

Close-up, Journal of My Journey by Teri L. Cherne

Look at the pretty dragonfly that has been quilted just to the upper left of the dark green leaf ! Teri's design source is the "Applique Takes Flight" pattern from Jane Townswick's Applique Takes Wing: Exquisite Designs for Birds, Butterflies, and More

Spring Dance, 79 x 79",  by Barbara Clem (Rockford, Illinois)

Barbara notes that tulips are her favorite flower, and she used the leaves from trees and bushes in her back yard to make the leaf motifs. We especially love the bright blue fabric, which brings such a cheerful effect to this gracious, stately quilt.

Winner of the "Best Hand Workmanship Award",  Barbara's quilting and applique work here show off her impeccable talents.

Ben's Midnight Garden, 86 x 82", by Barbara Korengold (Chevy Chase, Maryland)

 Second place winner in the "Handquilted Quilts" category, Barbara explains that Ben's Midnight Garden was inspired by a 19th century American rug in the collection of the Museum of American Folk Art in New York. Barbara did an outstanding job in creating a real masterpiece of applique. After viewing this extremely, labor-intensive work, we're going to stop complaining about the hours needed to complete our own  quilting projects !
Close-up, Ben's Midnight Garden by Barbara Korengold

We loved this darling bunny as he scampers happily through this gorgeous garden. As we are familiar with the habits of wild bunnies  (or at least jackrabbits out here in the West where we live), we imagine he is treating himself to nibbling on some of these delectable blossoms !

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Celtic Quilt Inspiration

Happy St. Patrick's Day (17 March!) The holiday commemorates Saint Patrick, the primary patron saint of Ireland, and celebrates the heritage and culture of the Irish.  To honor the occasion, we're featuring a selection of Irish themes and some beautiful green quilts.  Erin Go Bragh!
Please note: We're continually posting free patterns on Twitter ! Check us out @quiltinspire.

Faerie Quilt by Bobbie Bergquist at Quilters Treasure (New Hampshire)

Fairies feature heavily in Irish mythology. This stained glass quilt features hand-marbled fabric and the following Celtic patterns from Quilters Treasure: Celtic Fairie, Fairie Lights, Hazel Fairie, Ivy Fairie, and Willow Fairie.  The stained glass is made with LeadLine, a narrow (3/16") flexible bias tape.  The braid is colored with metallic Tsukineko ink.  Here is a closeup of the Celtic Faerie:

Book of Kells by Karen G. Fisher

Book of Kells won 1st place in the Mixed Techniques - Small category at the 2015 Arizona Quilters' Guild show.  It was inspired by medieval manuscript illustration, beginning with the Book of Kells from Ireland. Gold fabrics and embellishments honor the use of real gold on the original manuscripts.

There is an amazing amount of detail in Book of Kells including bias strip appliqued circles and ovals, piping, appliqued crosses, and borders of tiny blocks.

Pixie Fairy by Margie Huber (Kingman, Arizona), quilted by Stephanie Davis

Pixie Fairy is based on an original drawing by Pandi Patterson, re-designed by Sharon Schamber and Margie Huber.  The face was painted by Sharon Schamber.  Sharon Schamber's art quilt techniques are explained in her Quilt Fairy DVD. Check out the yarn for hair on the fairy and for the flower centers.  

My Two Color Quilt by Gloria Jean Hartley (Mapleton, Utah), quilted by Carole Lifferth

For this quilt, Gloria Jean Hartley used only two colors of fabric:  10 green and 9 cream. The additional color you see is in the machine embroidery threads that surround the applique.  Gloria's lovely creation is based on the Sincerely Yours machine embroidery pattern by Smith Street Designs.  We love the soothing spring color scheme and leafy fabrics.

March Mania mini quilt by Kathy Stark (California)

Cathy Stark says that March Mania is her take on a Courthouse Steps pattern.  We love the shamrock fabrics and the meandering border design! It was begun as a calendar quilt block in a class taught by Megan Selby and Cindy Sloneker.  

Tree of Life by Karen G. Fisher

This beautiful Tree of Life wall quilt won 2nd place in the Pieced-Small Quilt division at the 2015 Arizona Quilters' Guild show.  The beaded tree, created with iridescent beads, can be seen because of its sparkle.  Karen says, "Our lives should sparkle to light up a sometimes dreary world."

Karen G. Fisher is the author of Easy Grid Quilts published by AQS.  This quilt is a miniature version of her Herringbone Grid design.

Learning to Navigate, 94 x 89",  by Barbara Henderson (Pinetop, Arizona), quilted by Pat Doro

This quilt inspired us with its beautiful forest green color scheme.  Barbara Henderson did a spectacular job with the fabric selection and piecing. The description reads, "Barbara arrived at a Judy Niemeyer Mariner's Compass class totally unprepared for the complexity of the design.  With scraps of green and gold fabric, she took a deep breath, tried not to cry, and pushed on."  The quilting by Pat Doro was done in gold thread, which really stands out against the dark background.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2015 Arizona Quilters' Guild show (Book of Kells, Tree of Life, & Pixie Fairy);  the 2015 Springville Quilt Show (Utah; My Two Color Quilt); the 2015 Diablo Valley Quilters' Guild show (California; March Mania); the 2016 AQS QuiltWeek (Learning To Navigate).  Bobbie Bergquist was on the Special Faculty at the 2014 Road to California (Faerie Quilt).

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Highlights of the 2016 AQS QuiltWeek / 5

The 2016 AQS QuiltWeek in Phoenix, Arizona was one of the best shows ever. With hundreds of quilts and very special exhibits by renowned quilters, it was an incredible show. Here are some more of our favorite quilts.
Please note: We're continually posting free patterns on Twitter ! Check us out @quiltinspire.

Dazzling Dahlia, 58 x 32",  by Andrea Brokenshire (Round Rock, Texas)

Andrea Brokenshire specializes in appliqued botanical quilts, and Dazzling Dahlia was inspired by a flower from her mother's garden in Oregon.  Andrea loved how light danced and reflected off the vibrant color and delicate texture of the petals and bud.  We are fascinated by the way in which Andrea translates her photographs into cloth.  As you can see from the blue ribbon, this quilt won 1st place in the Wall Quilts - Home Machine Quilted category.

Starry Ocean - For All Mother Humpback Whales, 59 x 48", by So Young Chung (Yongin, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea)

So Young Chung says,  "This quilt expresses a mother humpback whale's sacrifice for her baby as she protects and guides it through the ocean.  So Young was reminded of her daughter studying abroad in the U.S."   Using dark and light raw-edge strips, So Young created a scene that looks almost like a painting.  We hope the detail shows in the close-up photos below.

The King, 43 x 36", by Sherry Turpenoff (Glen Carbon, Illinois)

On a trip to Kenya, a male lion walked by the safari vehicle that Sherry's family was in.  Her daughter's photograph caught the lion's strength and beauty, thus inspiring The King.  The quilt is made with applique and extensive, artistic quilting.  Some of the texture you see on the lion's is from the batik print fabric, which is then overlaid with thread sketching.

You can see more of Sherry's art quilts at Mad Kat Lane Designs.

Chateau de Vincennes, 34 x 35", by Jan Soules (Elk Grove, California)

We were so happy to come across Chateau de Vincennes by Jan Soules, whose work we admire.  Jan was enchanged by a chateau in Paris and wanted to convey her joy in this fanciful quilt!  The quilt began in a class with Barbara Olson where Jan drafted her own pattern.  Each of the  pieces is fused to the background, then finished with blanket stitching. The colors and stitching are beautiful.

Family Circle - Farmer's Delight, 41 x 41",  by Julia Graber

You might recognize this quilt from the cover of the 2016 QuiltArt Engagement calendar!  Family Circle was displayed in the Author's showcase at AQS.  We love the pieced design, Dresden plates and gorgeous red colors.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.
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