Friday, October 31, 2014

Quilts for Dia de los Muertos!

Dia de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead) is celebrated on October 31st, November 1st and 2nd. The tradition honors those who have passed, whose souls are thought to come back to drink, eat and be merry with their loved ones. It is also a great time to admire Dia de los Muertos quilts!  In addition to the inspiring show quilts, scroll down for some free skull patterns, printables and projects.

Beauty Parlor de los Muertos, 76 x 59", by Nancy Arsenault

Beauty Parlor de los Muertos, which was exhibited at the 2014 AQS - Phoenix show, is another fabulous realistic afterlife quilt by Nancy Arsenault.  The skeletons are engaged in typical beauty parlor activities while under the hair dryer. The woman on the far right is reading a Quilters Newsletter magazine! Nancy says, "This salon scene was inspired by personal experience.  Does it look familiar to you too?"

This good-looking hairdresser is wearing a real white shirt, a tooled vest, and bola tie... in the shape of a skull, of course! Our favorite character is the fluffy white poodle shown below... he is all bones!

Nancy Arsenault is an award-winning Arizona quiltmaker who made the first of her series of Dia de los Muertos quilts in 2006;  you can read an article on Beauty Parlor de los Muertos at Quilters Newsletter. For more quilt inspiration, visit Pinterest and check out Nancy's AZquiltmaker board, Quilts I've Made.

Dia de los Muertos, 39 x 43", by Alice Morgan

In the tradition of Mexican folk art, this quilt is bright and colorful!  The blanket-stitched appliqued skulls are set at a jaunty angle and they have button eyes.  Alice used a broderie perse approach to embellish the blocks with big, colorful flowers. Alice Morgan says, "Don't these skulls make you smile?"

This is an adaptation of a commercial pattern but with lots of embellishments. Alice Morgan's was photographed at the 2012 River City Quilters Guild show in California; the pattern on which her quilt was based is shown below, along with the link.

Sugar Skull, 41 x 44", pattern by Quarter Inch Publishing

Dia de los Muertos, approx 12 x 12", by Rebecca Navarro (Texas)

Rebecca Navarro says, “The Day of the Dead is a time to remember those who have died. The deceased are honored with food, beverages, and flowers."  Rebecca’s original design  was machine pieced, inked, and free-motion quilted. The quilt was embellished with scattered seed beads.

As you can see in the close-up photo above, the flower centers were decorated with tiny skulls. Rebecca Navarro's quilt was exhibited in the miniature quilts exhibit at the 2013 Houston International Quilt Festival.

Jose Guadalupe Posada's Door, 18 x 24", by Cathy Hawthorne (Arizona)

Jose Guadalupe Posada's Door was exhibited in the Mavericks Art Quilters 2013 Door Challenge. The participating artists were challenged to design an 18" x 24" quilt showing the back door that an artist of their choice might have had on their house. This quilt honors the Mexican artist, José Guadalupe Posada (1851–1913) who was renowned for his drawings of calaveras (skulls).

As shown above, Cathy appliqued many fabric skulls on the quilt using broderie perse, and hung a small skeleton holding a mesh bag of skulls.

My Idea of Heaven, 41 x 53", by Janet Windsor

My Idea of Heaven is one of our favorite Day of the Dead quilts.  Janet Windsor explains: "I love the Dia de los Muertos holiday in Mexico.  I cannot imagine a happier place to end up than at my sewing machine. So I borrowed an illustrator friend’s skeleton and took photos of it sitting at a featherweight sewing machine. I did a drawing from those photos which I then fused, appliqued, and embellished with buttons, beads, ribbons, silk flowers, and milagros."  We  featured Janet Windsors' work in a post published in October, 2012.

Life Everlasting by Ann Horton

Ann Horton says, "In the tradition of The Day of the Dead celebrations, this quilt embraces life after death with happy assurance. [It was] inspired by my 89-year-old mother's faith and life."  Eight colorful skulls dance around the center medallion.

The dancing skulls were created with digitized machine embroidery.  We first featured Life Everlasting in our post on the 2013 Houston International Quilt Festival.

The Day of the Dead is becoming very popular in the U.S. Perhaps this is because we don't have a holiday to celebrate and honor our dead.  Here are some free projects to inspire your own celebration!

Free Dia de los Muertos patterns and printables

Sugar Skull, free wall hanging applique pattern by Fun Threads Designs at Craftsy

Sugar Skull pillow, free fabric painting tutorial at Fabric and Art

Sugar Skulls, free printable designs and projects

Above, clockwise from upper left: Free Sugar Skull printable and iron on transfer directions at Dream A Little Bigger; Free Sugar Skull Coloring Pages at The Coloring; Free muertos printable in gold or black by Cocorrina, guest blogger, for My Life Box; Free Dia de los Muertos Sugar Skull Embroidery Pattern at Elemental Stitches; see the pattern here and the finished embroidery here; Easy Halloween décor, free colored skull printable, at Hello Little Home.

World Tour quilt, free pattern by Parson Gray for Free Spirit Fabrics (note: the original skull with crossbones is appropriate for pirates, or make it without crossbones - as shown in our variation below - for Dia de los Muertos!)

World Tour by Parson Gray; variation by Quilt Inspiration

Sugar Skull Dancers by Larene Smith, free quilt pattern for Dan Morris prints at eQuilter

Frida's Garden Quilt, free quilt pattern by Luana Rubin for Frida Kahlo fabrics at eQuilter

Day of the Dead pillowcases, free tutorial for JoAnn Fabrics by Kathy Cano-Murillo; see the tutorial at Crafty Chica

Kathy Cano-Murillo says, "These fabric collage Day of the Dead Pillowcases are great to dress up your bedding, to use for guests or to give as gifts!"

Image credits: All images are copyrighted by their owners. The photo of My Idea of Heaven is shown with permission of Janet Windsor; for her gallery, see her website at Janet  All other quilt show photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.  For the free patterns and tutorials, please respect any restrictions the artists have placed on the use of their designs; complete information can be found at the  websites provided in the links.  Some of these are tutorials while others have downloadable patterns; we have tried to note which is which in the title above each photo.  If any links are broken, we'd love to know; please email us at quiltinspiration {at} gmail {dot} com. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Best of the 2014 Pacific International Quilt Festival - Day 4

The Pacific International Quilt Festival, known as PIQF, is the biggest quilt show on the west coast of the United States. In this series, we're displaying some of the fabulous, innovative, and just plain fun quilts we saw there.  This year's theme is  "The Whole Nine Yards", meaning "to show maximum effort in work or play."  Here is Part 4 of our photos!

Peeking In, 59 x 39", by Anne Marie Miro, Florida

We imagine this must be what fish see when a human peeks into their watery underworld. Anne Marie notes, "For the last 4 years, I have taken classes from some of the top instructors in the quilting industry to develop my skills. What started out as a simple face peeking through some kelp, morphed into 'Peeking In.'"
This stunning quilt contains brilliant high-chroma hues which offer us a glimpse into an enchanted world of sea creatures, shells, rocks, and plants. Anne Marie's original design is hand and machine appliqued, hand pieced, and machine quilted.

Detail, Peeking In by Anne Marie Miro

We loved this darling sea horse on the right hand edge, which hung outside the quilt in his own net bag, adorned with shimmery fabric and ribbon. Along with the ruffled upper border, Anne Marie has done an outstanding job of creating a vivid and enchanting three-dimensional quilt.

To Dream Beneath a Tree by Sarge Furman,  California

Sarge's quilt is included in the traveling exhibit of the 2013 Hoffman Challenge Quilts, which has toured the U.S. for the past year.  Sarge says that this work is "loosely based on a Victorian painting and comic book page."  This work makes wonderful use of a split complementary color scheme of aqua blue, lavender, sage green, and various tints of yellow orange.

Close up, To Dream Beneath a Tree by Sarge Furman

We admired the very unified design effect shown here in the close-up photo.  As you can see, the artist created "sleeping beauty's" dress to have a same flowing, wavy, voluminous line as her strawberry blonde hair.

Celebration, 74 x 65", by Susan G. Cobb, Oregon. Quilted by Betty Anne Guadalupe

Susan writes, "The central panel - Celebration by Keith Mallett (2005) - ends at the thick black line of fabric. My effort to augment the title of the panel and this quilt starts with the blue tulip fabric. The panel's selvage with the makers' name, year, and title of panel is at the back of the quilt. Both Betty Anne and I went our 9 yards  (we hope you'll agree) to augment the celebration."

Close up, Celebration quilt by Susan G. Cobb

In this close-up, you can see the central panel by artist Keith Mallett. Susan has done a great job of incorporating the blues, greens, and golds of the dancers' outfits into the surrounding borders. The original design of the outer borders is machine pieced and long arm quilted.

A Mother's Gift by Mary Mix , California

Mary explains, "Throughout her life, my sister was my mentor and my inspiration. Bonnie introduced me to quilting in the 1980's....and I've become passionate about it throughout the years. When she was diagnosed with brain cancer, she used her remaining time to create quilts for those she loved. Her daughter requested a double wedding ring quilt. In 2013, Bonnie gave me a bag of beautiful fabric. I cut the pieced, and Bonnie sewed all 3,000 pieces. I came home with the crescents completed and finished the piecing and applique. A beautiful collaboration and gift of love. Bonnie passed away in February, 2014. "   We were very touched by the moving narrative of how this lovely heirloom was created.

Close up, A Mother's Gift by Mary Mix

In this close-up, you can see the very pretty fabric roses and vines that meander through the middle of some of the rings, echoing the quilting pattern of roses and vines. Mary has clearly put a great deal of love and care into this impressive masterpiece.

Ombre Odyssey by Ardy Tobin, California

Ardy notes, "Ombre Odyssey was made for a 2014 Mountain Art Quilters'  ( Nevada County, California) challenge called "Wild For Spirals". Working from my own drawing, enlarged to full size freezer paper pattern, using ombres from three different manufacturers, batiks, and one Kaffe Fassett stripe, I used both piecing and appli-piecing techniques." The fun and fanciful quilting patterns you see here were done by Ardy herself.

Close up, Ombre Odyssey by Ardy Tobin

Ardy adds, "Machine quilting was done with rayon, polyester, and metallic threads. There are spirals both in the quilt and in the machine quilting. " We love these radiant cheerful colors of orchid, violet, chartreuse, and aqua. They give Ardy's work so much energy and sparkle !

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration
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