Friday, November 16, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving To All

Happy Thanksgiving from Quilt Inspiration! We're very grateful for all our wonderful followers who have joined us during these past eight years ! We'll be spending a few weeks entertaining family and friends, then we will return to this blog and to eBay. Please stay tuned, and we'll see you soon. 

We hope you will enjoy this photo of Margaret Solomon Gunn's award-winning quilt from the recent Pacific International Quilt Festival.

Persistence, 40 x 40", by Margaret Solomon Gunn

Persistence, by Margaret Solomon Gunn, was chosen as Best Wall Quilt at the Pacific International Quilt Festival 2018. She writes, "This original design was an act of persistence from the quilting with contrasting threads to the funky binding. Sometimes the quilter needs to play!"

We think that "Persistence" is spectacular, with a stunning radiant glow. Margaret explains that she started with a piece of silk from her collection, intending to do a wholecloth design on the longarm machine. She  named her quilt "Persistence" partly because one of her challenges involved changing the center medallion, which you can see above. Margaret mentions that she quilted it and unpicked it several times.

Finally, she appliqued a small circle to the very center, then embellished it with crystals around the outside of the circle. If you look at the very center, you can see the crystals. Margaret further enhanced her work by using black thread to emphasize the individual sections of the quilt.  We congratulate Margaret on her breathtakingly successful work. 

For more information on her work, see Margaret Solomon Gunn's blog at Quilts of Love.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Bonita McFadden at the 2018 Pacific International Quilt Festival.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Day of the Dead : Ofrendas

We really enjoyed the ofrendas at this year's Day of the Dead celebration in Phoenix, Arizona. Day of the Dead is not meant to be a sad or frightening holiday, but an uplifting time to remember loved ones who have died.  An ofrenda ("offering") is a collection of objects placed on a ritual display. We've often talked about Day of the Dead quilts, but these ofrendas are mixed media works of art.  We're including the descriptions so you can read about each of these fantastic creations.

Note: For quilt patterns, vintage jewelry,  and other treasures, visit us on E-Bay - We're Top Rated Sellers! And for continuous listings of free quilt patterns, please check us out on Twitter !

Teotl Tonauac by Marco Albarran

The larger-than-lifesize carved figure is embellished with everyday items: hair combs, cloths pins, and bits of metal, as shown below. The heart is depicted with flames around it and with sticks, akin to daggers, through the heart, as is common in Mexican folk art.

Ometecuhtli by Patrick Murillo

Male and female aspects of Ometecuhtli are depicted in the beautifully painted portraits by Patrick Murillo. In keeping with tradition, marigolds, candles, sugar skulls, and corn were used on this ofrenda, which was also decorated with papel picado.

Ometecuhtli by Patricia Silva

The lighted figures, representing opposing forces in the Aztec universe, are wearing elaborate feather headdresses.  They are lighted with a rotating light source that gives them an ethereal, otherworldly appearance.

Patricia Silva says,  "I feel we live in a time where we have chosen to forget about a higher power in which we all were created from.  Whatever your beliefs may be, there is one thing we all share.  We could not exist today without the sun and the moon, male and female, motion and stillness, order and chaos.  My hope is that we learn soon the importance of the balance of all these opposing factors."

El Sol y La Luna (The Sun and The Moon) by Edgar Fernandez

This striking painting depicts the sun and moon as stylized figures, using Aztec imagery in a modern way.  Edgar Fernandez says, "Within this Ofrenda, I have embraced the ancestral importance of how the sun and moon are in union and one cannot exist without the other.... My ancestors captured the beauty of all life in a spiritual way and they understood and celebrated the sacred duality in community and ceremony."

Dualities by Martin Moreno

The images in this altar appear in many of Martin Moreno's works; the balance and harmony of man and woman, yin and yang, life and death. The purple sign urged visitors to "Honor Your Ancestors"; Take a rose petal, write the name of a loved one who has passed on and place it on the altar."  Many visitors participated, as you can see from the piles of petals.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix, Arizona.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Highlights of the Pacific International Quilt Festival ! (part 2)

The Pacific International Quilt Festival is the largest quilt show on the west coast of the U.S.A. Many thanks to our good friend, quilt artist Bonita McFadden, for her excellent photos. Let us know which quilts are your favorites !

Note: For quilt patterns, vintage jewelry,  and other treasures, visit us on E-Bay - We're Top Rated Sellers! And for continuous listings of free quilt patterns, please check us out on Twitter !

The Musicians, 76 x 62, by LeAnn Hileman, Arizona

LeAnn explains, "The Musicians is my interpretation of my photo of these two gentlemen playing classical music on a rainy day in San Diego [California]." LeAnn's original design is hand appliqued and sewing machine quilted.
LeAnn has done an excellent job of using very subtle neutrals to depict the lighting on the musician's faces and the shadows behind them.

Coming Through by Cindy Brown (California), quilted by Sheila Connolly

Cindy notes, "This quilt is paper pieced using the Elephant Abstraction pattern by Violet Craft.
Orange is my favorite color. I want to thank Dawna Harrison for helping me pick out the material and Sheila Connolly for the machine quilting. I love that you have to get close up to see all the beautiful quilting. " All of these shades of orange provide a beautiful contrast and highlight the strong geometric components of this fun pattern.

Jazz Sax, 63 x 50, by Colleen Pelfrey (California), quilted by Sandra Bruce

Colleen writes, "I always wanted to play saxophone. When I was in the fifth grade, I told my dad I wanted to play saxophone, and he said, 'Great, we already have a clarinet you can start on!', so I ended up playing the flute into adulthood. The whole time I thought, 'That'll be the day when I can play saxophone!"

Close-up, Jazz Sax

Colleen continues, "When my fifth grade son wanted to play sax, I said, 'Let's buy two saxophones!'. Guess this is the day!" Colleen's original design is machine pieced and longarm quilted. These gold and cream tones work perfectly against the dark background, where very cute musical note symbols were quilted by Sandra Bruce.

Log Cabin Courthouse Steps Quilt, circa 1900 (Unknown Maker; San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles)

From the time of 1900-1910, this lovely antique quilt was a gift of Jennifer Berthold to the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles. The pieces were hand-stitched to a foundation, then machine quilted.
The notes from the museum say, "At first glance, this quilt appears typical in every way to quilts made around the turn of the last century. However, a closer look will reveal quite a bit of interesting 'restoration' work. A variety of very contemporary fabrics have been systematically and carefully appliqued over a number of the 'steps' throughout the design."

Don't Worry, Be Happy by Colleen Granger  (California)

Colleen remarks, "I started with a pile of hand dyed fabrics from Always Unique, and I used my Ninja Star paper piecing pattern to create the rings.  Finally, I just had fun quilting. "

Close-up, Don't Worry, Be Happy

To us, these pretty shapes look like bright spinning wheels of colorful candy ! We appreciate the sense of motion and energy in Colleen's quilt.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Bonita McFadden for Quilt Inspiration.
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