Monday, March 30, 2015

Beating the heat at the 2015 Arizona Quilt Show!

It's already 95°F in Arizona... but, as they say, it's a dry heat! Moreover, it's the perfect occasion to enjoy an air-conditioned quilt show.   This is our 5th year of attendance, and we always look forward to seeing the variety and creativity displayed by members of the Arizona Quilters' Guild.  Let's beat the heat with a look at this year's fantastic quilts! Here is part 1 of our virtual show.

A Splendid Display, 80 x 80", by Cindy Seitz-Krug

This stunning quilt was awarded Best of Show along with 1st place in the Pieced - Large Quilt category.  Cindy Seitz-Krug says, "I have a 'thing' for peacocks, so when this line of fabric came out, I had to make a peacock quilt."  (We recognize the peacock from the 2012 Plume Collection from Timeless Treasures.)

A Splendid Display was hand appliqued, machine pieced and machine quilted.  In the photo above, the tiny stippling, done in blue, makes the gold-outlined feathers really stand out. Here is another closeup photo of the outstanding quilting:

We can't imagine the number of hours that must have gone into this masterpiece; it's no wonder this quilt won the top award at the show.

Spirit of Sedona by Margot McDonnell, Wanda Seale, Evelyn Link, Patricia Bliss, Barbara Janson and Georgia Heller. Quilted by Evelyn Link

This showstopper won the Arizona Quilters Hall of Fame award, which is presented each year to a quilt deemed worthy of special recognition.  A photo of Sedona, Arizona, was first divided into 6 equal vertical pieces. Each piece was made into a quilt by a different person, and then the finished quilted panels were sewn together.

Textures were created with printed/dyed fabric and thread painting.  The fabrics perfectly captured the colors of the bright blue sky, red rocks and green trees we associate with the landscape surrounding Sedona, Arizona.

Later Bob, 36 x 36", by Ann Gonzalez

First Place winner in the pieced-small quilt category, the colors of this quilt capture the colors of the high desert. Ann Gonzalez says, "My daughter and I designed and pieced this quilt for the 2013 Hoffman Challenge, where it received first place for use of challenge fabric."

The quilt was based on traditional log cabin and New York Beauty blocks enhanced with simple yet effective machine quilting.

Lisbeth Lizard and Little Ones by Ruby Koch

Lisbeth Lizard won second place in the Mixed Technique - Small Quilt category. The background  is made of canvas that was painted to resemble a stone wall.  The flowers and leaves in the upper right corner, which resemble bougainvillea, were hand-dyed. Ruby says that the background was the biggest challenge for this quilt. 

The lizard is made with fabric collage.  Ruby says that the collage was inspired by Susan Carlson.  The lizard was enhanced with many decorative threads as shown above.  Small lizards were stenciled on the canvas as shown below.

Tucson Remembers Baltimore by Maggie Hagen

Winner of Honorable Mention at the show, Maggie says that this quilt is her Arizona (Tucson) version of a Baltimore Album quilt.  It was done on “copper” fabric rather than white or ivory, "because Arizona is the copper state."  The blocks include some quilt basket patterns by Helen Frost. The center medallion shows the famous Mission San Xavier del Bac (the White Dove of the Desert) in Tucson.

The block below features the javelina, which can be found in the desert and low mountains surrounding Tucson!

Here is a pretty floral wreath surrounding a heart.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

William Morris for applique lovers

William Morris (1834 –1896) was an English textile designer associated with the Arts and Crafts Movement. During his lifetime, Morris produced over 600 designs for wallpaper, textiles, and embroideries. Some of these elaborate designs have been translated into applique patterns by Michele Hill (William Morris in Applique and More William Morris Applique) and Rosemary Makhan (Floral Abundance: Applique Designs Inspired by William Morris).  Here are some William Morris-inspired quilts!

Strawberry Thieves by Donna Viitanen, quilted by Anita Shackelford

At the 2014 Tucson, Arizona Quilt Fiesta, Donna and Anita's work won two awards: one for Exemplary Hand Applique, and a second place award for Two Person Appliqued Quilts. Donna notes, "Michele Hill's William Morris pattern, "Strawberry Thief", influenced my version of this pattern, Strawberry Thieves."  A cheerful red border makes the perfect frame for this beautifully executed design.

Close up photos, Strawberry Thieves by Donna Viitanen

Imagine the hours of hand applique work that went into creating this pastoral outdoor scene. What fun it must have been to select fabrics for such a lovely creation !

Do you love the birds in your garden, only to have them eat the fruits and vegetable plants you're trying to hard to grow every spring and summer?  Well, that appears to be what's happening here. These bluebirds are getting away with some delicious-looking strawberries which will be a real feast for them !  Bright colors, plus Anita's  intricate background quilting really make these birds and their stolen treasure "pop".

A Matter of Morris by Mary Mix, quilted by Janice Skiles

Mary explains, "I have always been intrigued with the Arts and Crafts Movement and the fabrics that were a part of that time. In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in the quilt world as well as the availability of many wonderful William Morris fabrics. I found a lovely, yet challenging pattern in the Arts and Crafts style that was a perfect fit with the fabrics I love." We really admired the excellent workmanship and the gracious symmetry of Mary's quilt.
The pattern is from the book, Floral Abundance:  Applique Designs Inspired by William Morris, by Rosemary Makhan.

Close up, A Matter of Morris by Mary Mix

Mary continues, "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." In this elegant center medallion, you can see how Mary's use of soft neutrals really enhances the elegant curved vase and  the sophisticated curve of the twining leaves.

Remembering William Morris by Catherine Vaught,  quilted by Carolyn Helvie

An Arizona Quilter Hall of Fame award winner, Catherine states, "Selecting fabrics for each block was a two-year quilting adventure. Hand embroidery gave the fused elements definition and brought this piece to life. " Catherine adds that her work was inspired by Picasso and DaVinci.The stunning center medallion is from the book More William Morris Applique by Michele Hill.

Catherine has expertly rendered these fanciful flowers in shades of soft purple, pink, and green. Playful bunnies and birds add a springtime feel to what appears to be an enchanted garden.

Nature's Treasures by Diane Abram, United Kingdom

Blue-ribbon winner for "Best of Country" at the 2015 World Quilt Show, Diane writes, "Three books of William Morris inspired designs were used for this original quilt. The center is from Rosemary Makhan's "Floral Abundance.". The other designs are taken from Michele Hill's books on Williams Morris applique."

Close up, Nature's Treasures by Diane Abram

Diane continues, "I didn't use all traditional Morris fabics, preferring instead to try to see if I could give the design a different feel with a more modern choice. Metallic thread has been used to edge the applique and to give it sparkle."

Image credits: Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.
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