Thursday, December 18, 2014

Happy (quilted) Holidays! The Best of Christmas 2014 (part 3)

There's something about the December holidays and the art of quilting that goes together perfectly. Maybe it's the opportunity to share our creative talents and ideas with others in the spirit of the season. In that spirit, we're showing a very festive collection of quilts each week until Christmas. Here is Part 3 !

Spirit of Christmas, 61 x 54", by Cathleen Anderson (California), 2014 PIQF

Cathleen Anderson says, "I used The Whole Nine Yards in various techniques of embellishing... I put my own twist to this pattern and had great fun with the quilting." This quilt is based on a pattern by Melinda Bula in the book Candy Cane Lane: Quilts and More to Sweeten the Holidays (That Patchwork Place).

Close up, Spirit of Christmas by Cathleen Anderson

Cathleen Anderson made this fantastic quilt with hand and machine applique, paper piecing, chenille, couching, yo-yos, hand beading, fixed crystals, 3D application and machine embroidery.  We loved the MERRY CHRISTMAS greeting spelled out in fabric tags.

The Royal Firs, approx 22 x 37", made by Marilyn McGinnis,  quilted by Rose Flannigan, 2014 AZQG

Marilyn McGinnis says, "These stately firs reflect the beauty of batik fabrics.  What a great way to use my scraps and attempt beading for the first time!" The beading, which is not visible in this photo, was done along the edges of several of the miniature trees.  The quilt was inspired by the Jeweled Forest pattern by Renee Peterson.

Will It Be A White Christmas? 26 x 34", by Kellie Willey, 2014 RCQG

This quilt really puts us in the Christmas spirit! Kellie Willey won a blue ribbon in the Pieced-Medium category for her adaptation of the First Snow quilt pattern by Tina Curran.   Kellie says "I reduced the pattern to 65% and rearranged the blocks.  It was fun picking through my Christmas stash and adding decorations to the trees."

Close up, Will It Be A White Christmas by Kellie Willey

We loved seeing all the cute beads and fussy cut blocks in the tiny houses.  In the red house above you can see gingerbread men in the windows and on the rooftop. The green house has a candy cane roof with rick rack trim; a snowman, mouse and cat are peering out of the windows.

 Angels Among Us, made by Felicia Brenoe, quilted by Lisa Sipes, 2014 AZQG

Felicia Brenoe says, "I love the idea of loving and protective angels all around us. [This quilt is] hand appliqued and embroidered, and longarm quilted."  Peace, Joy, Hope, and Love are appliqued on the quilt.

close up, Angels Among Us by Felicia Brenoe

In this block an angel places a golden star atop the Christmas tree as children, holding hands, look on. Felicia Brenoe's lovely feather quilting can be seen throughout the design.  For some close up photos of the angels, see Felicia's website at Felicia's World.

Baltimore Christmas by Sue Maitre, quilted by Linda Hrcka, 2014 AZQG

This stunning quilt won First Place in the Applique-Large category, and Exemplary Machine Quilting - Track Mounted, at the 2014 Arizona Quilters Guild show.  Sue Maitre says, "Being a Santa collector, I knew Baltimore Christmas had to be a part of my collection."  The Baltimore Christmas pattern is, of course, by Pearl P. Pereira at P3 Designs.

Close up, Baltimore Christmas by Sue Maitre, 2014 AZQG

We enjoyed the outstanding applique and quilting by Sue Maitre and quilting by Linda Hrcka, respectively.  Check out the feather quilting coming out of Santa's pipe: it is done in charcoal thread to represent smoke. And what would Christmas be, without a Partridge in a Pear Tree?

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

African Folklore Embroidery (Happy Hanukkah !)

This year, the beginning of Hanukkah gives us an opportunity to feature a truly multicultural craft form. We first came across African Folklore Embroidery when we spotted this intriguing Judaic African Collage at a 2014 quilt show.  The designs and quilt are by artist Leora Raikin, who was born in South Africa and has lived in California for more than 15 years; she was taught this creative needlecraft by her mother. 

Judaic African Collage by Leora Raikin at the 2014 Road to California quilt show

The blocks, which contain many Judaic designs, are embellished with strips of woven bead work, additional embroidery, and gold buttons.

We learned that Leora Raikin is not only the artist but also the owner of African Folklore Embroidery, a rapidly growing business offering patterns and supplies for African Folklore, animals, birds, flowers, Judaica, and more. 

At yet another quilt show, we spotted a quilt that features six beautiful African Folklore Embroidery flower designs.

A Window of Many Flowers by Christine McCollum, quilted by Kathy Harris

The African Folklore Panels were hand embroidered by Christine McCollum, who used only two types of stitches: chain stitch and French knots.  A collection of light and dark batiks join and frame the blocks in a braid pattern [Braid in a Day by Eleanor Burns.]  This quilt was exhibited at the 2014 Tucson Quilters' Guild show. You can see Christine's beautiful embroidery in the closeup photos below.

The extreme contrasts of brightly colored threads against the black fabric make these flowers both striking and beautiful.

Coming up:  The January 2015 Road to California quilt show will feature the largest exhibit of African Folklore Embroidery that the state of California has ever seen.  For more information on the show and on Leora Raikin's workshops and patterns, see the African Folklore Embroidery website.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.
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