Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Over the River and Through the Woods

Happy Thanksgiving to all!  We're grateful for many blessings and for the chance to share our love of quilting with friends around the world.  The little family in this quilt travels in a horse drawn sleigh through the snowy woods and across the river to Grandmother's warm and welcoming farmhouse. You can practically smell the turkey roasting!

Note: Christmas is coming... We've listed lots of lovely items, including vintage jewelry and quilt books, at low prices at Quilt Inspiration's E-Bay store !

Let's Go to Grandma's by Colleen Earnshaw (Utah), quilted by Cindy Williams


The quilt pattern is "Over the River and Through the Woods" by Meg Hawkey at Crabapple Hill Studio (also available at Amazon).


Colleen explains, "My grandkids love to come to Park City, Utah, to play in the mountains and visit. I wanted to reflect the kind of fun we have while playing together. I ways want it to be fun to go to Grandma's !"


In this close-up, you can see Colleen's incredibly precise embroidery, depicting the snow-covered trees and the little sleigh as it carries its passengers along.


Colleen's "flying geese" border done in contemporary fabrics works perfectly with the traditional embroidery motif on a light taupe background. This is a wonderful juxtaposition of modern and traditional design elements.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2017 Springville (Utah) quilt show.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Highlights of the 2017 Houston International Quilt Festival - part 4

The Houston International Quilt Festival is an awe-inspiring event, with more than 1,600 quilts on display, and over 60,000 visitors!! It's hard to describe the scale and visual impact of this event. Here are more highlights of this fantastic show.

Note: We've listed lots of lovely items at very low prices at Quilt Inspiration's E-Bay store !

Sawyer by Gail E. Thomas (British Columbia, Canada)


Gail Thomas says, "Grandchildren are glorious gifts... I hand-painted [Sawyer's] portrait and the stenciled border on cotton batik fabric. Free-motion quilting and hand embroidery add a bit of depth. I used antique buttons on the jeans to bring the quilt to life."


Cum et Iris by Sandra Ruano Navarro (Madrid, Spain)


The Latin phrase "cum et iris" translates to "when a rainbow." This dramatic, original design uses a combination of geometric forms and optical effects to simulate the swirling motion of a twister, with rainbow color flashes, as seen through a window. The quilting extends the swirled lines to the very edge of the quilt. Machine applique was used to create the swirls.


Lichen by Betty Busby (New Mexico, USA)


Betty Busby says, "I was inspired by the endless variety of lichen a tough little family of plants that can grow even on bare rocks in the desert." Inspired by macro-scale images, she created Lichen with machine applique, fusing, and painting, using silk and non-woven materials.


Victorian Jungle by Barbara McCraw (Texas, USA)


This beautiful quilt won the Ina Stentiford Memorial Floral Quilt award. It was hand appliqued, embroidered and embellished, machine quilted, and hand beaded.


Barbara McCraw says, “My favorite old movies always showed women draped in beautiful fabrics, gathered, ruched and pleated. Fabric covered the walls, and urns were filled with opulent flowers and feathers. I used that inspiration to design my quilt and then used animal prints and African batiks to create the flowers.”

Gossiping Ducks and Hungry Tiger by Linda Anderson (Texas, USA)


This dramatic, photo-inspired quilt was entered in the Painted Surface category. Linda Anderson says, "I saw a Tang Dynasty percussion performance on a trip to China. These three men wear the clothing of that period. The background reflects the title, referring to conversations between “gossiping” ducks, while the large drum speaks of the hungry tiger waiting for his meal." This piece was machine appliqued and painted using cotton fabrics.


Pua Haka (Anthurium flower) by Misa Murofushi and friends (Tokyo, Japan)


The anthurium is also called “pua haka” in the Hawaiian language. This quilt was entirely hand pieced and hand appliqued by Misa Murofushi and friends.  The block design is by Kathy Nakajima,  who has authored many Hawaiian quilt books. You can see another Kathy Nakajima-inspired quilt on our 2015 post, Hawaiian quilts by Japanese Masters.


The dark applique shapes really stand out on the bright floral blocks, pieced from floral and Kaffe Fassett fabrics, making the flowers and baskets appear to be lit from behind.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Highlights of the 2017 Houston International Quilt Festival - part 3

The Houston International Quilt Festival is an awe-inspiring event, with more than 1,600 quilts on display, and over 60,000 visitors!! It's hard to describe the scale and visual impact of this event. Here are more highlights of this fantastic show.

Note: We've listed lovely items at very low prices at Quilt Inspiration's E-Bay store !

Somewhere My Love by Kay Donges (Georgia, USA)


Kay Donges says, "In 2016, I was invited to do a trunk show and lecture at the Russian International Quilt Festival in Suzdal, Russia.  The theme of the festival was Love.  There were reenactments of weddings from different areas and periods of history. The title of the quilt is from "Lara's Theme" from the movie, Doctor Zhivago. The subject is a Russian bride dressed in traditional Russian clothing.  The building behind the bride is the dome of the Church of the Nativity, which dates back to 1528.   I have dedicated this quilt to the loving and gracious Russian quilters."


This beautiful piece was created with cotton and synthetic fabrics, lace, ric rac, various trims, buttons. It was embellished with approximately 15,000 hand-sewn beads.

Women of Color: Jewels of Kenya by Patricia Kennedy-Zafred (Pennsylvania, USA)


Part of Patricia Kennedy-Zafred's "Women of Color" series, this piece celebrates the vivid, colorful personalities of young women in Northern Kenya.  The original images were by photographer Dietmar Temps, with permission.  This piece was created with silk screening and hand-dyed fabrics, followed by machine quilting.  



Hurry on Snowy Road, I am Late! by Keiko Morita (Toyama, Japan)


Keiko Morita says, "I tried to express a snowy morning scene in my daily life by using a Japanese traditional painting method n black and white [fabrics].  I concentrated on quilting the trees and created the sense of car speed with the snow crystals blowing toward me.  I hope viewers feel as if they are sitting in the car."  She used machine piece, applique, and embroidery; and hand applique to create this evocative scene.


Family Portrait by Danny Amazonas


Danny Amazonas created this larger-than-life piece "in remembrance of a family of furry friends who are no longer with us." His spectacular fabric collages draw on the beauty of the original textile designs on each piece of fabric used.  This special exhibit was sponsored by sponsored by FreeSpirit Fabrics & Sew Batik.


Annular Eclipse , 67 x 90", by Fumiko Nakayama (Japan)


Fumiko Nakayama is famous for her mola-style hand reverse applique work. This spectacular intricate piece was published in Art Quilts Internatonal: Abstract and Geometric by Martha Sielman and shown in a stunning exhibit called SAQA: Masterworks - Abstract and Geometric.  Fumiko Nakayama says, "I find constant inspiration from the majesty of our universe."


Summer Memory by Yoshiyuki Ishizaki (Hyogo, Japan)


Winner of Honorable Mention in the Innovative Pieced category, this fascinating quilt was pieced with strips of cotton fabric in a broad range of values, creating a watercolor effect.  Yoshikyuki Ishizaki says, "The best of summer memories is the bicycle trip with friends."



Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Highlights of the 2017 Houston International Quilt Festival - part 2

The Houston International Quilt Festival is an awe-inspiring event, with more than 1,600 quilts on display, and over 60,000 visitors!! It's hard to describe the scale and visual impact of this event. Just weeks earlier, the Houston convention center served as shelter for more than 10,000 people displaced by Hurricane Harvey, yet the Quilt Festival was executed flawlessly! Here are more highlights of this fantastic show.

We've listed lots of lovely items at very low prices at Quilt Inspiration's E-Bay store !

Jake by Carol Morrissey (Texas, USA)


Jake was awarded 1st Place in the Art- People, Portraits, and Figures category.  Carol Morrissey says, "I showed my grandson the electric train I got for Christmas in 1956 and explained to him that it was not working. He held the train’s engine out to me and very solemnly said, “You can fix it.” I took a photo of him at that moment. After playing around with the photo digitally, I interpreted it in circles cut from my hand-dyed fabrics [and fused]."


Revive 1995.1.17 2011.3.11 by Miiko Kuwahara (Tokushima, Japan)


Thousands of hand-stitched hexagons make up the background of this quilt. The angel's hands and the bird stand out from the surface of the quilt, making them appear to fly.  About the title, Miiko Kuwahara says: "There were two big earthquakes in Japan, on January 17, 1995 and on March 11, 2011. Though I didn’t suffer, I wondered what I could do. It is : Don’t forget. I wanted to express that people who lose everything go forward again. Bird, the symbol of rebirth, just takes off."


Revive was made entirely by hand with hand piecing, hand applique, hand beading, hand embroidery, and painting.   In this photo you can see the lace that decorates the angel's gown gown.

Eve by Candice Phelan (Florida, USA)


Candice Phelan says, "Humans have created masks to celebrate significant cultural rituals for millennia. This African mask celebrates Mitochondrial Eve, named by the scientific community to represent the mother of the human race, based on the fossil record, DNA evidence, and migration studies.


Eve is made with machine applique; fused applique; hand embellishment; painting; hand guided, track-mounted applique, thread painting, and quilting using African and other cotton fabrics along with various threads; silk; satin; ribbons; yarn; buttons; and oil paint.

The Monumental Way by Karlyn Bue Lohrenz (Montana, USA)


This stunning piece was the headliner in a special exhibit titled Rising Stars: Karlyn Bue Lorenz. Karlyn says that a snow-filled, cold winter in Montana inspired her to create an atmosphere of the warmth of the desert based on her photos. This stunning quilt was machine pieced, appliqued, and quilted.


She says, “I don’t know how one could take a class [from] Katie Pasquini Masopust and not say to yourself, 'I have to try it!' [Caryl Bryer] Fallert-Gentry’s gradated fabrics gave life to my vision."

Come Into Bloom by Eun-suk Lee (Chungbuk, Republic of Korea)


The glistening lotus pond was expressed in a shimmering triangle pattern with satin fabric. The Korean traditional pattern, Wadang (lotus flower), was created with machine embroidery and quilting.


Eun-suk Lee used machine piecing, machine embellishment, machine embroidery, original digitized embroidery, free-standing lace, and cutwork to create her masterpiece. The materials used included polyester satin fabric, polyester and silk thread, tulle, and wool batting.

Llums by Montserrat Forcadell Blasco (Catalunya, Spain)


“Llums” means “lights.” Montserrat Forcadell Blasco says, "My intention was to create a quilt with light effects on it, therefore the shape of the quilt creates a color and light loop. I wanted to create an effect that would immerse the spectator. Her techniques included fused applique and machine embellishment.


Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Highlights of the 2017 Houston International Quilt Festival - part 1

We just returned from the Houston International Quilt Festival.  It's an awe-inspiring event with more than 1,600 quilts on display, and over 60,000 visitors!! It's hard to describe the scale and visual impact of this event.  Just weeks earlier, the Houston convention center served as shelter for more than 10,000 people displaced by Hurricane Harvey, yet the Quilt Festival was executed flawlessly! Here are some highlights of this fantastic show.

We're continually adding fun new items at very low prices to Quilt Inspiration's E-Bay site !

In the Mood for Love by Jing Chen (Beijing, China)


Created with machine piecing and machine applique, this quilt is inspired by a classic Chinese movie called In the Mood for Love (2000). The main colors in the quilt are red and black, which reflect the tone of the film and highlight the dramatic effect. Jing Chen says,  "The protagonist and background are dealt with in different tones, showing the nostalgia."  A closeup photo of the sepia-toned film strip image is shown below.


Ready by Danny Amazonas (Kaohsiung, Taiwan)


"Ready" depicts a cat with an intense stare, ready to pounce!  It was part of a special exhibit called Freehand Patchwork by Danny Amazonas. He does stunning fabric collages using scraps and slivers of fabrics that are stitched to a background using invisible thread.


Fans of Kaffe Fassett will recognize many of these colorful fabric prints.  Danny says, "Since I'm using fabric to create my artwork, I want to maintain the beauty of the original fabric designs on each piece of fabric used. I was also inspired by hundreds of people, some of them great artists, family members, friends, and especially fellow quilters, who gave me kind words of encouragement and praise." We took many photos of this exhibit, and will show more of his work in upcoming posts!

The End of the Drought by Jan Reed (California, USA)


In the Embellished Quilts category, this small quilt captivated viewers with its beadwork representing drops of rain, some of which dangle off the bottom edge of the quilt.  Jan Reed says, "After worrying for 5 years over our severe water needs due to California's drought, imagine our wonder at finally seeing it rain... and rain... and rain.  It felt miraculous."


Jan Reed used machine applique, fusing, and hand embellishment, along with colored pencils and Neo Color 11 watercolor crayons to create this photo-inspired piece. Strands of seed beads are coiled to resemble a puddle of water inside the hand.

White Knight by Patt Blair (California, USA)



White Knight won First Place in the Painted Surface category within the World of Beauty exhibit.  Patt Blair says, "I love painting powerful animals... I had anatomy drawings for this piece for 3 years before I threw caution to the wind and improvised his mane, which I felt must be massive and majestic."


Jacuzzi Jazz by Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry (Washington, USA)


The vortex in this quilt was inspired by the spiraling designs found in many fractals.  To create an eye-dazzling effect, Caryl used rainbow colors alternating with their complements, an arrangement she calls "intersecting color and value gradations."  The techniques used include machine piecing, hand dyeing, digital printing and painting with cotton fabric.


Slices of Opulence by Randa Mulford


Slices of Opulence won Best of Show in the special exhibit called  A Celebration of Color. The dazzling design was based on Tomoko Tohno's Orange Range quilt, published in the May 2008 issue of Quilter's Newsletter (free foundation piecing patterns can be downloaded here). While Tohno’s blocks had pieced centers, Randa redrafted the pattern so she could feature the radiating medallion designs and different colorways of Paula Nadelstern's beautiful (but out of print) Opulence fabric line.


Magic Towns of Mexico (Pueblos Magicos de Mexico), presented by Quilters de Mexico


Celebrating the 111 named “Magic Towns” of Mexico, more than 70 quilters worked to create this large, beautiful piece inspired by The Berne House Quilt. You can see a photo of the two quilts at the Quilters de Mexico Twitter page, @QuiltersMexico.  Quilters de Mexico representatives were on hand to discuss the upcoming 10th Quilt Expo in Mexico City in February, 2018.  It sounds like a fun show!


The richness of colors in the blocks bring to mind the unique look of these beautiful and historically-preserved cities.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.
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