Tuesday, January 10, 2017

An Homage to Amish Quilts

Amish quilts are typically created with solid, bold and saturated colors, with black used as background. This striking contrast of intense hues on black creates a vibrant, exceptional quilt. The simplicity and beauty of Amish quilts have helped to generate a new interest among contemporary quilters, who often combine Amish design with modern color combinations and quilting designs. Here is an homage to Amish quilts.

Arizona Amish by Ann Novak, quilted by Ann Novak

Almost all Amish quilt patterns are composed of geometric shapes, and most consist of a central design surrounded by borders. Quilts with large, geometric pieces of solid-colored fabric, such as the Diamond in the Square design, are among the most popular of all Amish patterns. Inspired by Amish quilts, Ann Novak says: “My Amish-style quilt was started in the 1980’s. Early in 2013, I was challenged to complete an unfinished quilt. The outside border and binding completed the quilt.”  

Arizona Amish was beautifully hand quilted by Ann Novak.  It was exhibited at the 2014 Arizona Quilters’ Guild show.

Balinese Lone Star by Joyce C. Heuett, quilted by Pennie Crouch

As Kimberly Wulfert explains at Womenfolk, the Amish liked the large central Star pattern known as Bethlehem Star or Lone Star. Joyce Heuett’s Balinese Lone Star was inspired by the traditional quilts, but the star itself was made with batiks. Joyce says, “My son serves in the US Embassy, Jakarta, Indonesia. He misses the sunsets of AZ. The quilt’s colors will remind him of home skies.”  

The Balinese Lone Star quilt was exhibited at the 2015 Arizona Quilters’ Guild show.

Little Bit Amish by Charlotte Angotti 

Little Bit Amish, made by teacher and author Charlotte Angotti, was exhibited at the 2013 Houston IQF. Charlotte has been teaching nationally/internationally since 1991 and now lives in the Lafayette, LA area.  We admired the elaborate machine quilting on this wall quilt.

Lancaster Rose, 88 x 88”, by Janet Davis (Colorado)

Janet Davis was inspired by a miniature Variable Star Ohio Amish quilt dated 1895. You can purchase a pattern for this Lancaster Rose quilt at Fons and Porter. The rose quilting was a variation of Feathered Rose Collection by Judy Allen

Amish Schoolhouses, 53 x 53”, by Cathie Hoover

Cathie Hoover says, “Amish quilts have delighted me ever since Roberta Horton’s 1982 Amish quilts class at the Cotton Patch quilt shop in Lafayette, California." Amish Schoolhouses was published in the book Amish Quilts—The Adventure Continues, which was featured at the 2014 Road to California quilt show. There are sixteen 8-inch schoolhouse blocks in this quilt, which was hand quilted. 

Cathie continues, "Once a week for twelve weeks, I journeyed 150 miles round trip to attend [Roberta Horton's] class. It was delightful to work with solid colors and learn to assemble a number of different quilt blocks and quilts in the Amish palette… we studied photographs of Amish quilts from other books to get a sense of their color use, and we learned that the Amish always seemed to choose the easiest method of quilt construction. The Amish choice of quilting patterns was also a joy to follow."

Half-Square Triangles with Zig Zag Border, made by Gwen Marston

This is the cover quilt from the book Free Range Triangle Quilts by Gwen Marston and Cathy Jones. It was shown in the AQS Authors’ Exhibit at the 2016 AQS show. The book features traditional and improvisational quilts based on the triangle shape. Straight line looping quilting helps to emphasize the diagonal lines.

Black Stars, 77 x 92”, by Patricia Bailey (Hayward, California)

This wonderful scrap quilt was paper pieced and longarm machine quilted using an allover curved quilting design. The black background fabric makes all the other fabrics pop. This quilt was shown at the 2016 Pacific International Quilt Festival.

Image credits: Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Southwestern Quilts

On these winter days in the northern hemisphere, we're looking to the southwestern United States for some warm and sunny inspiration! Here are highlights of quilts with a southwestern theme.

Please note: We're selling beautiful quilting and crafting books and fabrics at low introductory prices on e-Bay! Also, we're continuously posting free patterns on Twitter!

Kayenta Formation by Ann Petersen

Blue ribbon winner for Best Pieced Small Quilt and Exemplary Machine Quilting at the Quilt Arizona ! show, Ann says of her original design, "Originally a Hoffman Fabrics Challenge quilt, [this] remnds me of the layers of rocks in northern Arizona called the Kayenta Formation , [which often is comprised of tall vertical cliffs that are red or brown in color]."  We are impressed with the way that Ann set some of the blocks en pointe or on the diagonal to convey the impression of the vertical cliffs.

Closeup, Kayenta Formation

We love these intriguing quilting patterns which add so much to the beauty of the quilt. Ann quilted this herself on a stationary machine.

Dancing to the Sky, 41 x 64", by Janet Haefner (Arizona)

Dancing to the Sky was juried into the 2014 American Quilting Society Show in Phoenix, Arizona. This quilt was based on a clay sculpture Janet Haefner made in 1983 of Kachina children climbing a ladder to a mesa top for a dance. The figures were extensively embellished with beads, charms, buttons and embroidery threads.

She painted silk for the feathers because real feathers were too fragile. For more information on Dancing to the Sky, see the description at The Quilt Index

Faux Navajo Rug, 54 x 60,  by Cindy Seitz-Krug

Cindy notes, "I've always loved Navajo rugs and dreamed of owning one. But they are quite expensive ! So I decided that until I save up enough money to buy my dream rug, I'd make a quilt that resembled one"

Cindy continues, "This really isn't done in traditional Navajo rug colors, but it's beautiful nonetheless and definitely has a Southwest feel."  Cindy's striking contemporary work is machine pieced, paper-pieced, and machine quilted.

Fade In, Fade Out by Melissa Dunworth

Melissa explains, " I was inspired by the Native American rugs that my parents had hanging in our house when I was a child. The spiral quilting was done to represent ripples in a pond, as each of our lives adds ripples to the world around us, whether we realize it or not."

Closeup, Fade In, Fade Out

Melissa adds, "I wanted to keep the colors simple with a bright pop right in the center." We think the spiral quilting is very effective and perfect for this pattern, as it contrasts beautifully with the strong angular, geometric patchwork.

Desert Rose Serenade by Nancy M. Howell

Third place winner in the Small Pieced Quilts category at the Quilt Arizona ! show, Nancy's quilt is based on the Two For Us BOM quilt by Sue Nickels and Pat Holly for The Quilt Show in 2013. We admire the primitive motif style of the small turquoise bears, which add southwestern charm to this work.

Deep teal blue provides an excellent contrast to the overall rust and cinnamon colorways on the ivory background. 

Kathi's Round Robin by Kathi Martin

A "Round Robin" is the construction technique of multiple quilters adding to a quilt one by one, because the quilt is passed around the group, from one person to the next. Kathi notes, "I made a 24 inch quilt center and sent it on to 4 friends to each add a 6 inch border, then finished it off with 3 more borders."

Closeup, Kathi's Round Robin

We loved the vibrant colors of the center of Kathi's quilt, which are comprised of 8 inch blocks, done in southwestern colors of teal, orange, and copper. Kathi quilted her pretty creation herself, using a track-mounted machine.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.
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