Thursday, September 29, 2022

Free pattern day! DEER quilts

It's fall in North America and the deer are making their presence known.  We've assembled a dozen FREE patterns for deer quilts to celebrate the season. A few reindeer quilts are here as well! 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" in the title above the quilt.

Also check out our E-Bay shop for great bargains on quilt patterns, fabric, and vintage jewelry!
For more free quilt patterns, please visit us on Twitter.

Rustic Deer wall hanging, ~22” square, free pattern at Hoffman California Fabrics (CLICK for PDF download)


The Stag wool applique quilt, 16 x 14”, free pattern by Betsey Langford for American Quilters Society (CLICK for PDF download)

The Deer’s Alley, 80” x 100”, free pattern at Art Gallery Fabrics (CLICK for PDF download)


Roaring Deer block, 12” square, free pattern and tutorial by Joanna at Shape Moth (CLICK for tutorial)(CLICK for PDF download)


Deer Quilt sew along by Luke Haynes for We All Sew


Fusible Deer applique pillow, free tutorial at The Craft Patch blog (CLICK for PDF template)


Otomi pillow, free pattern by Pat Bravo for Art Gallery Fabrics (CLICK for PDF download)


Antlers block, 12” square, free paper piecing pattern by Sew What You Love (CLICK for PDF download)


Mystic Deer quilt, 70 x 75”, free pattern at Art Gallery fabrics (CLICK for PDF download)


Deer quilt, 20” square, free tutorial at Slice of Pi Quilts (CLICK for tutorial)


Dear Deer quilt, 24” square, free pattern at Art Gallery Fabrics (CLICK for PDF download

North table runner, free pattern at Art Gallery Fabrics (CLICK for PDF download)

Deer Head pillow, free pattern and tutorial at Fleece Fun (CLICK for PDF download)

Reindeer block, free paper piecing pattern by Julianna Gasiorowska at Sewing Under Rainbow (CLICK for PDF template) [first image by RedPatchbyJen]

A Winter’s Dance, free pattern with appliqued reindeer by Robyn Pandolph for RJR Fabrics (CLICK for PDF download

24" square appliqued reindeer

50" square finished quilt

Flannel Christmas Deer pillow tutorial at Flamingo Toes (click for tutorial) (uses commercial stencil; click for Plaid Online stencil)


Image credits:  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. Some of these are tutorials while others include downloadable (.pdf) patterns; we have tried to note which is which in the titles.  We update our links every 6 months as needed; however, websites may change their pages in between updates. If any links are broken we'd love to know; please email us at quiltinspiration {at} gmail {dot} com.


Friday, September 23, 2022

Joy of Handwork: The Quilts of Zena Thorpe

Explore the beauty of award-winning quilts from the artist Zena Thorpe. Her hand quilted and applique quilts have been exhibited around the world and she has been recognized as one of the hundred best quilters in the twentieth century. In 2003, Zena was inducted into the Master Quilters Guild, an institution of the National Quilting Association.

Zena's work was featured at the recent 2022 International Quilt Festival in Salt Lake City. Here are some exquisite quilts from the Joy of Handwork exhibit.

Note: please check out our E-Bay shop for great bargains on quilt patterns and collectibles ! For continuous free quilt patterns, please visit us on Twitter !

Out of the Strong Came Forth Sweetness by Zena Thorpe

This original design was inspired by a tapestry in Lincoln Cathedral, England. The quilt is in the style of the medieval French Mille Fleurs (thousand flowers) tapestries. The flowers are all wildflowers, and many are featured in Zena Thorpe's book, Beautiful Wildflower Applique.  Zena explains that the French medieval tapestries usually had a life form of some sort in the work.  In the detail photo below you can see the magnificent lion surrounded by bees.

Renaissance by Zena Thorpe

Renaissance was inspired by a sixteenth century embroidered valance shown in a Dover book.  Adonis was the Greek god of rebirth and renewal of vegetation each spring, and this he quilt symbolizes the annual renaissance. Some of the amazing details of the hand applique, quilting and embroidery can be seen in these closeup photos.  



Exuberance by Zena Thorpe

Exuberance is hand appliqued, embroidered, and quilted, and the name fits the feeling you get from admiring this quilt.  Zena says that she appliques fantastical flowers because they are so much more exciting to her than real ones. "I think nature does a wonderful job of creating her flowers and I cannot compete with nature, so I make up my own flowers." You can see Zena discussing this award-winning quilt during a 2016 AQS interview on YouTube.


 A Quilters Crest by Zena Thorpe

This little quilt is so much fun! Since many organizations have a coat-of-arms or crest, Thorpe felt the quilt world should have its own. A Quilter's Crest design incorporates all of the components of an official coat-of-arms but adapted to the art of quilting. The "charges" on the shield represent some of the tools of the trade, i.e. pins, thread, scissors, and also the hazards of the trade, drops of blood or "gouttes de sang." The motto on the scroll is Latin for "Always Quilting."

Sunbonnet Sue is shown in a sweet crocheted dress and carrying a quilted bag. Another of our favorite details was the hand, below, wearing a thimble and holding a needle pulling thread. The ends of the "bolts" of fabric are even embroidered with the words, "100% cotton" (shown below).

Kells - Magnum Opus by Zena Thorpe

This quilt was inspired by the Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript produced by Celtic monks around 800 A.D. The quilt was given the NQA Masterpiece Award in 2003.

The book of Kells records the gospels of the four evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, with an ornate title page for the beginning of each of the gospels. Thorpe used the title page from the Gospel According to Luke as the major inspiration for the quilt. All of the Celtic knot interlacing strip designs were taken directly from the Book of Kells, requiring many yards of bias strips to create.

Fun and Fancy by Zena Thorpe

Fun and Fancy is another original design, inspired by various books and magazines. Zena Thorpe says, "When I was a small child, I would ask my mother as she was working on her projects, "What are you making that for?" She would reply, "For fun and fancy!"  This quilt was fun to make, and it turned out fancy." the circles in the inner border add to the playfulness of this outstanding design.

Pageantry by Zena Thorpe

Upon completing To England With Love, which we featured earlier this week, Thorpe realized she had not included the art of heraldry in it. Pageantry would be the remedy. The Oxford Guide To Heraldry defines heraldry as "...art with special rules and methods, a system of symbols denoting prominent families and institutions, a display of pageantry and an invaluable aid to understanding history and genealogy." The quilt is covered with hand appliqued motifs, each one rendered in great detail to bring the art of pageantry to life.



Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2022 International Quilt Festival in Salt Lake City, Utah.

 

Sunday, September 18, 2022

To England With Love

Our thoughts are with the people of the United Kingdom as they mourn their beloved Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-living and longest-reigning British monarch.

In recognition we're featuring To England With Love by renowned applique artist Zena Thorpe.  Although she has been a Southern California resident for more than half her life, Zena Thorpe was born in Derbyshire, England. Her intricate appliqued quilts have won Best of Show in every major national and international quilting competition. 

To England With Love by Zena Thorpe

This work reflects Britain’s ancient history and her love of country and its traditions. Zena's incredible hand applique and quilting can be see in the closeup photo, below. This block honors the Yeoman Warders ( 'Beefeaters') who have been guarding the Tower of London since Tudor times.

To produce this quilt, Thorpe borrowed scenes from the books by James Herriot, the famous veterinarian turned author, who celebrated his and her favorite place in the world, the English Yorkshire Dales.The handmade lace surrounding the center octagon reads, There'll Always Be An England.

The quilt also includes reminiscences by Thorpe about the English town of Whitby where she spent many happy vacations; the country's seasons; favorite legends such as Robin Hood and his merry men; and the Chesterfield Parish Church with its crooked spire.  This enchanting scene, below, features a village with row houses; children skating on a frozen pond; carolers, holly, and a snow-covered evergreen tree.

Image credits: Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2022 International Quilt Festival in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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