Monday, September 30, 2013

California Fall Quilt Show: Part 5

The Diablo Valley Quilters 2013 show in California was so interesting, that we still have lots of lovely quilts to show you ! 

Sally's All Stars, 90 x 100", by Sally Socolich 

Sally says,  "Sandy Klop's (designer for American Jane Patterns)  updated interpretation of a strip-pieced star was a challenge and great fun. Loved using all my happy fabrics!"  We think that Sally did a super job of combining contrasting solid and print fabrics in such a way that these star blocks really sparkle.  An interesting print border really helps play up the soft apricot, peach, and gold tones of the blocks.

My Partner - My Pal, 30 x 36", by Lynn Hart 

Lynn notes,  "Andor [the German Shepherd] was my son's working partner on the police force for many years.  His Dad and I are very thankful that he worked beside our son, keeping him from harm. The dog is now retired and living out his retirement in the home of my son and his wife........ I began this project in July by taking a class in Sisters, Oregon, with June Jaeger. She's a wonderful teacher, and the class,  'Best Friends', was terrific."

Freddy's House, 70 x 72", by Debbie Pryor

Debbie writes,  "I took the workshop [to create the Freddy's House pattern] with Freddy Moran in April 2012 through Diablo Valley Quilters, and she was such an inspiration to just 'go with the flow'. I'm very pleased with all the colors in this quilt."

Close-up, Freddy's House by Debbie Pryor

If you look closely at the windows of these cute houses, you'll see all sorts of people and creatures peeking out of them. Debbie's very effective use of an array of rainbow colors has resulted in a vividly eye-catching quilt. 

Maryland Memories, 78 x 91", by Audrey Mantle

Log cabin quilts are always a traditional, beloved favorite pattern, and this expert rendition is no exception. Audrey designed, pieced, and quilted this spectacular creation herself. She has even added a log cabin pieced border to complete the graceful symmetrical look of her work.

Close-up  Maryland Memories by Audrey Mantle

In her excellent workmanship, Audrey used mostly cool blue tones and pale neutrals, always a winning combination.  The green vine  around the center medallion and the gently curved flower provide a very pleasing contrast to the angular geometric composition of the square blocks.

Grandma's Butterflies, 85 x 108", by Kathy Fitzpatrick

Kathy states, " The butterfly applique blocks were made by Bob Jellison's grandmother, Linda; and I chose the fabrics. I pieced the top and did the hand quilting for them."  We really liked this romantic design and the vintage, classic look of these graceful blocks.

Close-up , Grandma's Butterflies by Kathy Fitzpatrick

Soft pastels and muted prints enhance the delicate, ethereal look of these butterflies, which appear to float dreamily above the neutral background.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.

Friday, September 27, 2013

California Fall Quilt Show: Part 4

Happy Friday!  We hope you're in the mood for some more quilt inspiration. Here is Part 4 of our photos from the recent Diablo Valley quilt show. As you can see, there was an incredible variety of fabulous quilts at this show!

Calligraphy Quilt, 87 x 87", by Layne Rahbar

Layne Rahbar is a fiber artist in the San Francisco Bay area in California. She has been quilting and weaving for decades and most of her designs are original (she designs in EQ). Her “Calligraphy Quilt” was inspired by a small black and white graphic design of Islamic callligraphy; each triangle spells the word Allah in Arabic.

close up, Calligraphy Quilt by Layne Rahbar

Layne Rahbar designed, pieced and quilted this outstanding quilt, which features an ornate trapunto design in the borders.

Cathy's Quilt, 90 x 108", by Netty Soares, quilted by Suzi Dillinger

Netty Soares made this gorgeous hand appliqued floral quilt for her sister Cathy.  We enjoyed her beautiful hand work, the 18 different pots and flowers, and the pieced and appliqué border. (We recognize the pattern as Floral Delight by Lori Smith at From My Heart to Your Hands).

close up, Cathy's Quilt by Netty Soares

The background was quilted by Suzi Dillinger who echoed the floral shapes and then filled with waves and swirls.  In this close up photo you can also see some of the charming prints that were used by Netty Soares; the bright blues and coral reds really light up this quilt.

Assorted Blocks, 80 x 112", by Jerry Theobald

Jerry Theobald states that "Assorted Blocks" was inspired by a book of Kaffe Fassett quilts.  In this sampler quilt there are 21 different blocks including stars, pinwheels, flying geese and squares within squares.

close up, Assorted Blocks by Jerry Theobald

Here is a close-up photo of one of the sparkling paper-pieced stars done in colorful Kaffe Fassett fabrics, set off by purple millefiore print sashing.

A Mermaid's Dream by Cyndy Rymer

Cyndy Rymer is a former book editor at C&T Publishing, as well as a quilt designer, teacher (at Wooden Gate Quilts) and author. She says that the seashell fabric, used in the border, inspired her to design this original quilt. Each block features a different underwater theme with a shark, dolphins, anemone, a turtle, jellyfish starfish, and a boy and girl mermaid.  Laura Fraga helped with a few of the applique blocks.

close up, A Mermaid's Dream by Cyndy Rymer

Our favorite block was this mermaid holding the world in her hands. Cyndy Rymer says: "This is the first quilt I quilted on a longarm machine with Deb McParland’s help."

Sedona Circles by Cindy Sloneker, quilted by Genese Hoskins

Cindy Sloneker says: "My daughter moved to Phoenix, Arizona and wanted a quilt depicting the desert. The quilt is based on the pattern  'Autumn Luster' in the book Quiltastic Curves by Tammy Kelly."

close up, Sedona Circles by Cindy Sloneker, quilted by Genese Hoskins

Cindy Sloneker chose gorgeous low-contrast batik fabrics for this subtle, rich design. If you look carefully you can see the pieced circles that are formed at the intersections of the blocks.

Image Credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.

Monday, September 23, 2013

California Fall quilt show: part 3

Here are some inspiring contemporary quilts from the recent quilt show of the Diablo Valley Quilters in California.  As you can see below, all of these quilts feature motifs that incorporate curves or circles in their design.

Zen Bird, approx. 33 x 20", by Suzi Dillinger

Suzi says, "This is the first in a series of quilts based on Zentangle pen and ink designs. The design was freehand quilted on a longarm, then hand painted, [with] some inking."  (Quilt Inspiration note : Zentangle is a method of learning to draw using parts of structured images).

Close-up, Zen Bird by Suzi Dillinger

This fabulous pattern is actually a whole cloth quilt. Suzi painted the background, then left the foreground in neutral black and white. Working in very small spaces, she did an outstanding job with a variety of designs on the longarm machine.

Circles and Lines, 19 x 27", by Carol Roach

Carol writes, "[At] Quilter's Affair 2012, I took Hilde Morin's Curves and More class. This technique allows you to play and construct. The result is always a delightful surprise."   Carol used a variety of  prints, batiks, and stripes to construct her intriguing and imaginative work, which she quilted herself.

Where No Man Has Gone Before, approx 30 x 42", by Sally Socolich

Sally explains,  "I challenged myself to make a quilt using my extensive collection of hand-dyed fabric. My ice-dyed fabrics conjured an image of celestial bodies, my Shibori dyes, the Milky Way.  This is for all the 'Trekkies'  (fans of Star Trek) in our family. "

Close-up,   Where No Man Has Gone Before by Sally Socolich

Sally quilted this work herself; and this close-up shows her careful and evenly spaced quilting patterns, along with the fascinating color variations which give an other-worldly aspect to her hand-dyed fabrics.

Swirls 'n Whirls, 56 x 56", by Ginny Lee

Ginny notes:  "This is my entry for the Arty Chicks [of Diablo Valley Quilters] Circles and Lines Challenge, using some of my personal hand-dyed fabrics. The math required for the layout gave me a headache!"  Ginny quilted this fun creation herself.

Close-up,  Swirls 'n Whirls by Ginny Lee

We loved Ginny's use of complementary and analogous colors in these very eye-catching patterns ! They're reminiscent of giant lollipops that we used to see in our childhood at the candy store.

4 square in N.Y. Beauty, 41 x 41", by Nancy Bourns

Nancy states, "I started quilting in 2006 and right away took a class to learn how to make a New York Beauty block from Vicki Wind at The Cotton Patch Quilt Shop. There has been a lull between class attendance and project completion !"  This vibrant work with the colorful foreground and very modern background prints was quilted by Nancy herself.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Featured Artist: Nancy S. Brown

Internationally known quilter Nancy S. Brown from Oakland, California was the featured artist at the Fall 2013 Diablo Valley Quilt Show.  In her Artist's Statement, Nancy writes, "I make animal quilts because I have always loved animals. I feel that they are wonderful and important parts of our world and should be celebrated and preserved."  Her outstanding animal and portrait quilts were a highlight of the show!

Giraffes, 68 x 50, by Nancy S. Brown

Nancy says,  " [This quilt was] inspired by a trip to the Portland Zoo, where one could walk up a hill and come face to face with the giraffes. I used several giraffe photos that I had taken in various zoos over the years as the inspiration for the individual giraffes in this quilt." 

Sunday in the Park with Mittens, 58 x 47,  by Nancy S. Brown.

"Mittens is the cat in the tree watching over the scene at the local dog park", says Nancy. "Most of the dogs belong or belonged to friends and family over the years. A few were "adopted" from shelter sites on the internet to show that there are great dogs out there waiting for their forever homes."

Close-up, Sunday in the Park with Mittens by Nancy S. Brown

Nancy's expert use of light and shadow gives these very life-like dogs a tremendous personality and presence. They really seem to pop right off the quilt.  Her caring and concern shows in their beautiful faces. The colorful background of the sky and trees helps to focus the viewer's attention on the many varied neutral tones of the dogs' faces and bodies.

Close up, Sunday in the Park with Mittens by Nancy S. Brown

And here is Mittens up in the tree at right, calmly and regally surveying the playful scene below, including the dog with the tennis ball in its mouth.

Elvis and the Penguins, 53 x 53, by Nancy S. Brown

Nancy writes,  "It is a little known fact that before Elvis became famous, he toured with a band of penguins. Due to nightly squabbles over the dinner menu  (Elvis did not want sardines on his fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches), the band broke up and Elvis became -- Elvis. The penguins went home to South America. It is also a little known fact that Elvis did not die- he is down in South American with his old friends." 
(Editors' note:  It is also a well-known fact that Nancy has a great sense of humor and spins a wonderful yarn.)

Close-up, Elvis and the Penguins by Nancy S. Brown

Here we see one of the penguins carefully standing watch over Elvis, against a background of log cabin blocks. This quilt is one of Nancy's many original designs, which are hand-appliqued, hand-quilted, and machine pieced. We really enjoy Nancy's wonderful quilts, because her very expressive artwork lets us look through the faces and eyes of all living creatures and into their hearts and souls. For more information on her quilts and classes, please visit Nancy's website:  Nancy Brown Quilts.

Image credits: Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration and are shown with the generous permission of Nancy S. Brown.

Monday, September 16, 2013

California Fall Quilt Show: part 1

Welcome to the 2013 Diablo Valley Quilters Show ! We had a great time at this Northern California Bay Area event where there were so many gorgeous quilts on display.

All Because I Bought a New Rug, 68 x 68", by Kathy Quinn Arroyo

This quilt was featured on the cover of the August 2011 Quilters Newsletter. Kathy says,  "New rug for the dining room- therefore, new quilt for the table. "

Center Medallion, All Because I Bought a New Rug by Kathy Quinn Arroyo

The vivid contrasts of the warm and cool hues give this quilt a sparkling, dynamic appearance.

Close-up,  All Because I Bought a New Rug by Kathy Quinn Arroyo

For her background, Kathy used a solid chambray blue denim. We have never seen blue denim used as a neutral tone before, but in this case, the results are spectacular. The Bethlehem star pattern and the surrounding whimsical flowers really "pop" against the softly muted background.

Monet’s Garden, 53 x 37", by Barbara Brown

Barbara notes, "I was inspired to create this quilt after a trip with my niece to Monet's Garden in Giverny, France.  I took a class from Freddy Moran who taught us how to glue the pieces in place before quilting. "

Close- up, Monet’s Garden by Barbara Brown

Barbara did a wonderful job of creating a  very pretty three dimensional effect by loosely attaching the leaves and  tiny flowers to the exterior of the house.

Purple, 85 x 96", by Jerry Theobald

This design is Facet Diamonds by Kaffe Fassett, page 107 in the book Simple Shapes, Spectacular Quilts.

Close-up, Purple by Jerry Theobald

Jerry notes,  " [I was] inspired by a class of different blocks using Kaffe Fassett fabrics." Jerry has made excellent use of a split-complementary color scheme of greens, blues, and purples, contrasted with eye-catching clear, vivid orange.

A Matter of Morris, 80 x 80", by Mary Mix 

This is the "Flowering Urn Medallion Quilt" pattern by Rosemary Makhan from the book Floral Abundance: Applique Designs Inspired by William Morris.  The quilt artist writes, "I have always been intrigued by the Arts and Crafts Movement and the  fabrics that were a part of that time.  In recent years, there has a resurgence of interest in the quilt world,  as well as the availability of many wonderful Willliam Morris fabrics. I found a lovely, yet challenging pattern ...  that was a perfect fit with the fabrics I love. I enjoy applique as well as piecing; and this pattern mixed the two so well with these fabrics. This quilt was a joy to create despite the time and challenges it presented."

Close- up, A Matter of Morris by Mary Mix 

In the center medallion, it's easy to see the graceful and lovely symmetry of  this well-balanced design,  enhanced by echo quilting on the pure white background. We especially enjoyed the cheerful and sprightly bluebirds.

Meet Ellie, 59 x 76" by Debbie Pryor

The "Ellie" stained glass elephant pattern is by Barbara Jones at BJ Designs and Patterns. Debbie Pryor added colorful print borders to turn the wall hanging into a quilt.

Center Medallion, Meet Ellie by Debbie Pryor

The quilting design, which enhanced the African theme, reflects the rays of the sun.

Close- up, Meet Ellie by Debbie Pryor

Batik fabrics with a silky patina and varied foregrounds of both larger and smaller prints give Ellie's creative face both personality and dignity.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Remembering 9/11 : Red, white and blue quilts

Each year we commemorate September 11, 2001 with quilts to remind us of those who were lost, their families, and the freedoms we cherish.  Today we are sharing a wonderful variety of red, white and blue quilts from our post archives.

Waves 1, by Beth Carney, at Beth Carney Studio

"I looked out my window and saw the candles flickering as flags waved in the wind. Our colors were standing strong and proud. Wave after wave." ~Beth Ann Carney.  This quilt was included in the book, America from the Heart: Quilters Remember September 11 2001.

The Freedom Quilt Experience, commissioned by The Peter A. Kudla Family Foundation, designed by Cynthia Martin, quilted by A Better Quilt Inc.

The installation was made from ten unique quilt panels which form a display 16 feet high and nearly 30 feet wide. The two center panels mimic the two shafts of light representing the Twin Towers. Each panel was designed and sewn together by a different individual or quilt guild.

New Tears by Kim Ritter at Kim

"New Tears" by Kim Ritter was published in the book America from the Heart: Quilters Remember September 11, 2001.

Scarlet and Indigo by Judy Mathieson

"Scarlet and Indigo", which was made for the AAQI World Series Challenge, is a small version of a portion of a quilt called "Cinnabar and Indigo" by Judy Mathieson.

Red, white and blue, 24 x 32", by Marina Lynn at Quilt Inspiration

This project, made with cyanotype stars and batik fabrics, was inspired by an antique commissioning pennant.

Celebration of Freedom  by Judy Laquidara at Patchwork Times

Made in 2005, "Celebration of Freedom" became the focal point of an auction by The Defense Credit Union Council, with the proceeds going towards the Pentagon Memorial Fund.

Attic windows - a Soldier's Quilt, 42 x 56, by Darlene Douglass at Douglass Arts

"Attic Windows - A Soldier’s Quilt" was machine pieced by Darlene Douglass and quilted by Sandy Henricks of Sun City Quilters. The quilt was presented to a wounded soldier at Ft. Hood, Texas, in April 2008.
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