Thursday, February 22, 2018

Quilts of the The Animal Kingdom

Here's a tribute to some of the wondrous forms of our animal friends who share the earth with us. We're always amazed by the beautiful and various ways that quilt artists are able to use fabric to capture the species of the animal kingdom !

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Melman - The Vulnerable Giraffe by Jane Haworth (California)

Jane writes, "After watching a documentary about giraffes by the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF), I realized that giraffes are on the Vulnerable list, and their numbers are falling.  I want to bring awareness of their current plight, and I will donate half of the sale of this quilt to the GCF."

Close-up,  Melman

Jane's technique for this quilt is raw-edge collage applique, and her materials are upholstery fabrics, damask, burlap, commercial cottons, hand-dyes, batiks, linen, cotton batting, and cotton thread. Her design source was Pixabay, where all images are copyright-free. We think that Jane did an excellent job at capturing Melman's face and beautiful markings.

When The Aspens Turn by Cindy Seitz-Krug

Close-up,  When The Aspens Turn

Cindy notes, "Every September, my husband and I spend most of the month in the state of Colorado. We usually arrive early,  the aspens are still green, and the bulls are quiet - not bugling yet. But, when the aspens start to turn yellow, the rut kicks in, and the bulls get pretty vocal. It's a magical time to be in the Rocky Mountains !"

Cindy's techniques include fused applique, thread painting, and machine quilting. She's done a lovely job of making the aspen leaves really "pop" against the autumn sky which we imagine to be swirling with clouds.

Llama Drama by Barb Neiwert (Idaho)

Barb exclaims, "I'm a firm believer that quilts should be fun ! And, what is more fun than not one, but two posing llamas? I love everything about this quilt, from picking out the fabric to piecing it, and finally quilting it."  (This is the Lloyd and Lola quilt pattern by Elizabeth Hartman)

Close-up  Llama Drama

Barb continues, "The free-motion squarish swirls add a playful touch. And as the final touch, the binding displays the same colors as the llamas' serapes. Llamas just want to have fun!"  Barb's choice of teal, aqua, and burgundy really enhance this delightful quilt.

Old Timer by Suzan Engler (Texas)

Susan quotes American activist Maggie Kuhn as saying, "[Old age] is strength and survivorship, triumph over all kind of vicissitudes, and disappointments, trials, and excesses."  For her impressive and meaningful portrayal of this wizened old-timer, Susan used digital and professional fabric printing and digital manipulation of the photo, on digitally printed cotton. Her design source was a photo from Graphicstock/Storyblocks, with purchased commercial reproduction rights.

The Bonds by Takashi Kusaka and 7 Friends (Japan)

Takashi notes, "This quilt is made through two different techniques: crazy quilt for the elephant and reverse applique for the zebra."

Close-up, The Bonds

We admire Takashi and friends' use of stunning colors, with soft pastels in the background, enhancing the vibrant, high-contrast hues of the foreground.  This technique for this work is all hand-applique.

Image Credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2017 Houston International Quilt Festival (Melman, The Bonds, Old Timer); the 2016 Arizona Quilters Society QuiltWeek (Phoenix); and the 2017 5Bee Quilters' Guild show (Idaho).

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Freehand Patchwork by Danny Amazonas

Danny Amazonas is a fabric artist who uses thousands of different fabrics to create brilliant, colorful images of people, animals, flowers, and other subjects. The result is a combination of realism with an almost dreamlike quality, unlike anything we've seen in the quilting world. These pieces are often 4' or 5' across, or even larger, for great visual impact.  Read on for a closer look at Danny's amazing works of fabric art.*

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Intermission, 66 x 58", by Danny Amazonas

This piece certainly reminds of the famous paintings of Edgar Degas. Danny says,  "Against the blinding light from the window, one could still catch a glimpse of colors on the tutus and the floor." Slivers of fabric are used to create the appearance of many folds of the ballerinas' tutus.  In the photo below, notice how Danny used a tiny bit of orange print fabric to suggest the shape of the dancer's ear.

Spirit by Danny Amazonas (Kaohsiung, Taiwan)

Danny Amazonas was born in Taiwan. When he was a teenager his family moved to Brazil and subsequently to New York City, where he worked and also studied at the School of Visual Arts. In the artist's description of Spirit, he says, "Cherish the sacred heritages of a nation. [With this quilt] I hope to invoke patriotism."

Swirl by Danny Amazonas

The hot pink, orange and purples hues laden with flowers are featured in this quilt, which celebrates Flamenco dance. Looking closely at Danny’s work you can see numerous fabrics from the Kaffe Fassett Collective.  The small pieces are cut from larger strips of fused fabric, which are prepared beforehand.

Stallion by Danny Amazonas

A handsome wild stallion is the inspiration for this piece; the animal seems to be leaping out from the surface of the quilt, its mane blowing in the wind.

Pinky by Danny Amazonas

Danny Amazonas says,  "It was interesting trying to express the rough skin yet depict the tenderness of this majestic creature. This artwork was inspired by Sophie Standing."  One of the elephant's eyes can be seen in the closeup photo below.

Iguana , 45 x 32", by Danny Amazonas

Danny explains, "While creating this master of camouflage, a stash of fabrics with special patterns must be collected in order to illustrate the texture of the skin."

The closeup photo below shows the way in which Danny finishes his work by over stitching the fused pieces with invisible thread using zigzag stitches.

Peonies II by Danny Amazonas

Peonies signify wealth and royalty. The contrast of dark background and different values in the petals make the subject appear three-dimensional.

*Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2017 Houston International Quilt Festival, in a special exhibit titled "Freehand Patchwork by Danny Amazonas."

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Heart quilts for Valentine's Day!

We're sending hearts and flowers to all quilters via this post ! Here are some beautiful quilts to warm your heart and inspire your own creative projects.

p.s. check out our E-Bay shop for great bargains on quilt patterns, fabric, and vintage jewelry. We are Top-Rated Sellers !
For continuous free quilt patterns, please visit us on Twitter.

Hearts and Nine by Ilene Atkins (Ontario, Canada)

Hearts and Nine was selected for the special exhibit, A Canadian Nine Patch Celebrating Canada’s 150th Birthday, shown at the 2017 Houston International Quilt Festival. The quilts were selected to represent Canada’s history, geography, and culture as expressed by each artist.

Appliqued hearts, placed in white blocks, are used to define the outline of a large heart in this quilt. Ilene Atkins says the heart theme was inspired by Canada's incredible "diversity, acceptance, wide open spaces, and friendly cities, along with many cultures and varied communities." Many different fun fabrics were used to construct the blocks.

Heart Sampler by Laurene Sinema, 1992, quilted by Una Jarvis

Heart Sampler, with nine different hearts, was in a special exhibit of Laurene Sinema’s work at the 2017 Quilt Arizona show. Laurene was a published author and she founded the Arizona Quilters Guild. It is entirely hand appliqued, hand quilted, and adorned with a border of heart-shaped leaves.

The pattern for this quilt was published in Laurene’s 1992 book, Applique! Applique! Applique! (still available in used books on Amazon).  The book teaches applique and decorative stitches, reverse applique (mola), stained glass and Celtic applique, Hawaiian, broderie perse, and shadow applique.

Heart Throb by Kris Lovetro, quilted by Debbie Stanton

Kris Lovetro says, "I had such a good time making this quilt, I made six of them, but this one in Kaffe Fassett fabric was the most fun." We love the way Kris set the pixelated heart within a neutral field composed from two different cream colored fabrics. The floral squares were quilted in back-and-forth loops, while the neutral background was quilted with an overall design of small hearts, shown below.

You can see more examples of pixel heart quilts at Blue Elephant Stitches; there is a free pattern for a bed size pixel heart quilt at Robert Kaufman Fabrics.

My Valentine by Angie Oswald

This cheerful quilt is hand appliqued, embroidered, and hand quilted. We loved Angie Oswald's choice of fabrics, which included some 1930s reproduction fabrics.  Angie says, "Hand work has become my favorite part of the quilting process."  My Valentine was exhibited at the 2017 Springville (Utah) quilt show; we're still searching for the design source.

Yo Yo Hearts by the Piecemakers Quilt Guild (Utah)

Yo yos make a great take-along project! In this clever but simple quilt, each heart was created from 16 yo yos.  The blocks and hand quilting were done by Linda Boyer, Marianne Breitenbeker, Cecile Eden, Kathy Lyon, JoAnn Mildenhall, Dawn Mumford, Cathy Prows, Diana Shurtlett, and Becky Young. It was made for the Ruby Jubilee of the Utah Quilt Guild, and exhibited at the 2017 Springville (Utah) quilt show.

Hearts and Flowers by the Knotts Quilting Bee Guild (Utah)

Another beautiful hand quilted piece in Utah's Ruby Jubilee exhibit! This sampler quilt combines pieced sawtooth stars, an appliqued vintage heart (in the center), four redwork embroidered baskets, a flying geese inner border, and appliqued flower vines on the outer border. The charming redwork embroidery really stood out on this quilt. (We're searching for the pattern source.)

Grandma's Love by Charlene Day, quilted by Connie Myers

This quilt was made with red and white gingham fabric; the small gingham squares were embroidered so as to create the shapes of hearts, then machine quilted. Connie Myers says, "My mother created 14 chicken scratch squares and I created the final two and pieced it. Mom saw the finished quilt 3 days before she died." Grandma's Love was shown at the 2017 Quilt Arizona show.

Image credits:  Photo were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2017 Houston International Quilt Festival, Springville (Utah) Quilt Show, and Quilt Arizona show.
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