Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween from Houston

Welcome to the Houston International Quilt Festival, everyone !

The Toad Collector by Deborah Quinn Hensel 


Quilt Inspiration is thrilled to be in Houston, Texas for the biggest and best known quilt show in the entire world.  As part of the doll display here, "The Toad Collector" by Deborah Quinn Hensel from the  Material Girls Cloth Doll Club wishes everyone a very Happy Halloween ! ( Check out the little frog that she's cuddling on her lap)

Let's get right down to business !  We know you're waiting to see the award winners !

Chihuly's Gondola by Melissa Sobotka, Richardson, Texas


$10,000.00 Best of Show Award goes to Melissa Sobotka for this resplendent, stunning quilt depicting the glass art of Dale Chihuly.  Melissa says, "Art reflecting art. This is my interpretation of a photograph I took as the sun set on a reflecting pond at the Dallas Arboretum." The gondola of glass balls was part of the installation exhibit  Garden and Glass by Dale Chihuly, sponsored by Cirro Energy.

Close-up, Chihuly's Gondola by Melissa Sobotka


We were delighted to meet and chat with Melissa, who has a degree in Fine Arts and who enjoyed a successful career as a graphic designer. Her extraordinary work is an original design, done in batik fabrics and Tsukineko inks, with raw edge applique and machine quilting.

We'll be adding more photos soon !  Stay tuned.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Free pattern day! Shoo Fly and Churn Dash quilts

Here are free patterns for Shoo Fly and Churn Dash quilts!  It's amazing how many variations are possible with this simple Amish pattern.  Other names include "Monkey Wrench" and "Hole in the Barn Door".  (Note: this post was updated on September 30, 2017.) Scroll down the page until you see the quilt you like, then click on the colored letters of the link to the pattern. 
NOTE:We are now a "Top Rated Seller" on eBay... check out the great bargains on quilt books and fabrics at our eBay store!


Churn Dash quilt, 68 x 68", free pattern in 3 colors by Heather Jones for Robert Kaufman Fabrics


Churn Dash baby quilt, inspired by "Sash and Dash" by Dolores Smith and Sarah Maxwell of Homestead Hearth,  free pattern at All People Quilt


Churn About quilt, 53 x 66", free pattern at Robert Kaufman Fabrics


Hi De Ho Cheerio mini quilt, 28 x 28", free pattern at Me and My Sister Designs


Butter and Eggs table runner, 20 x 54", free pattern at Robert Kaufman Fabrics


X's and O's Table Runner quilt, free tutorial at Art Gallery Fabrics


Blooming Batiks wall hanging, approx 37"square, inspired by the "Garden Medallion" pattern by Kim Diehl, free pattern at All People Quilt (note: the center applique pattern download requires a free registration)


Tropical Dash quilt, 64 x 64", free pattern by Linda Ambrosini for Hoffman Fabrics (PDF download)


Circa 1934 quilt, 72 x 84", free pattern by Cosmo Cricket for Moda Fabrics (PDF download)


Bella Solids Churn Dash quilt, 60 x 72", free pattern at Moda Fabrics (PDF download)


Indigo Dash quilt, free pattern by Alexia Abegg at Cotton + Steel (PDF download)


Tic Tac Toe quilt, 50 x 60", free pattern with shoo fly and star blocks by Diane Nagle for RJR Fabrics (PDF download)


Monkey Wrenches quilt, 54 x 52", free pattern by Airborne Heirlooms for Inspired by Fabric (PDF download)


Tangled quilt, 72 x 72", free pattern by Rita Hodge for Robert Kaufman Fabrics


Menagerie quilt, 71 x 78", free pattern at Dear Stella Design


Tweet for Two quilt, free pattern by Nancy Rink for Marcus Fabrics


Candy Cane Quilt, free pattern by Darlene Zimmerman for All People Quilt


Bursting in Air quilt, approx 62 x 72", free pattern at Robert Kaufman Fabrics


Shoofly Lullaby quilt, 40 x 58", free pattern by Nannette Berkley at Kona Bay Fabrics  (PDF download)


Classic Colors quilt, 51 x 60", free pattern at Robert Kaufman Fabrics



Shoo Fly bed quilt, approx 58 x 87", free pattern by Malka Dubrawsky as seen at Lark Crafts: also see the tutorial at Sew Mama Sew 


Giant Block Throw, 75"square, free pattern inspired by Malka Dubrawsky for All People Quilt (each of the four blocks measures approximately 35" square!) 


This free pattern, above, is a small version of the Supersize Shoo Fly quilt by Malka Dubrawsky, which was featured in the August 2012 American Patchwork and Quilting magazine


Popsicle Summer quilt, ~49 x 69", free pattern by Jocelyn Ueng for Windham Fabrics


Hang Time quilt, 75 x 75", free pattern by Melissa Corry at Happy Quilting Melissa


Holiday Churn Dash quilt, approx 45"square, inspired by a pattern by Brenda Hawkes, free pattern at All People Quilt


Twisted Churn Dashes quilt, approx 29 x 36",  inspired by a quilt from collector Pam Buda, free pattern at All People Quilt


Hourglass Stars wall hanging, inspired by "Spiced Cider" by Jan Ragaller, free pattern at All People Quilt


Wrench It Up! quilt, free pattern by Scott Hansen for the "Be a Man" collection at Free Spirit Fabric (PDF download


Annandale Quilt, 78 x 78" by Candy Hargrove, fabric by Jo Morton, free pattern at Andover Fabrics


Amish Glow quilt, 62 x 74", pattern by John Kubiniec at Big Rig Quilting;  free lap quilt pattern download at McCall's Quilting


Wonky Shoo Fly block tutorial for the April 2010 Block Lotto by Jean-Sophie Wood at Sophie Junction


Skinny Churn Dash blocks by Corey Yoder at Little Miss Shabby; see the tutorial at Hoosier Toni



Image credits:  Individual images are copyrighted by their owners. Please respect their generosity in sharing their free patterns, and the restrictions they have placed on the use of these designs; complete information can be found at the designers' websites provided in the links. The images shown on this page are derivative works that are the property of Quilt Inspiration; please do not copy them without permission. If any links are broken, we'd love to know; email us at Quilt Inspiration

Thursday, October 24, 2013

2013 Pacific International Quilt Festival: Part 3

Here's Day 3 of magnificent creations by the quilters at the Pacific International Quilt Festival in Santa Clara, California !  This year's theme is "Indie", short for the word "Independence." 

Magnolia, 63 x 63", by Sylvia Gegaregian


Sylvia writes, "My independence allows me the freedom to reach out of the box with a new challenge or technique that is thrilling, yet daunting. This quilt was constructed with hand dyed cotton satin and hand dyed cottons and a few commercial fabrics."
We really like how the graceful shapes of the tree branches on the outer border are mirrored by the quilting pattern, as they convey an elegant sense of three dimensions.

Close-up, Magnolia by Sylvia Gegaregian


In this close-up, you can see the detail of the beautiful  machine quilting. Sylvia notes, "[This quilt] has two layers of batting - the bottom layer is cotton and the top is wool. It was quilted with silk thread. The center flower and tree trunks were quilted with 30 weight rayon threads."

Shattered Face Quilt by Kathryn Harmer Fox, East London, South Africa


Kathryn states, "I needed to demonstrate some of the techniques I teach in my workshop entitled, 'Using Your Sewing Machine as a Creative Tool'. So, I sketched an eye onto a scrap of canvas and began teaching. My students offered me the pile of scraps left over from the workshop, and I completed "Shattered Face" on my return to my own studio. I used fiber embedment with scribble-stitch, free-motion machine embroidery, and quilting in this work."

Close- up,  Shattered Face Quilt by Kathryn Harmer Fox


In this close-up, you can see the single teardrop with outline stitch on the face, which is an important part of this very moving and intriguing work.

The Unicorn's Garden, 60 x 61", by Eileen Campbell , Kew, Australia


Eileen says: "[This is] one in a series of fantasy quilts designed around unicorns. The background fabric is subtly shaded Japanese kimono silk, and I wanted bright, happy colors on it. The three-dimensional birds were made separately with padded bodies and some of the wings left free. Appliqued, embroidered, and quilted on a domestic machine. "

Close up, The Unicorn's Garden by Eileen Campbell 


Look at the excellent background quilting done on a domestic, stationary sewing machine! It really helps the unicorns with their metallic gold manes and tails to stand out in the foreground of this enchanting work. 

Naturally Crazy, 67 x 67", by Linda Steele, Park Orchards, Australia


Blue ribbon winner for Best in Country- Australia, Linda Steele has created a dynamic show-stopper in this hand-appliqued and hand-embroidered quilt. On her website, Linda Steele Quilts, she explains, "[This is a] hand-embroidered crazy quilt featuring Australia in the centre, surrounded by 12 other countries or continents, including North America, South America, South Africa, China, Japan, India, Egypt, New Zealand, England, Scotland, and Spain. I was asked to teach Quilting All Over the World, but I thought it too large and the circle setting too difficult, so I designed a new quilt with a simpler setting and smaller size."

Close up, Naturally Crazy by Linda Steele


In this close-up of the center medallion, you can see some of the fabulous, embellishment, as well as a tribute to the wildlife of Australia.  We love the delicate flowers and butterflies,  plus the little green frog who is so full of personality. 

Cactus Flower, 30 x 32",  by Darlynn Evans


Darlynn notes, "My independence as a woman enables me to freely express myself artistically. I believe this is exemplified by the creativity, originality, and flare of my art. This piece is constructed by using fusible applique."  We love the color-saturated "ice cream sherbet" look of the raspberry, tangerine, and lemon yellow hues of the flower. 

Close-up, Cactus Flower by Darlynn Evans


In this pretty  machine quilted work, Darlynn has a created a perfect satin stitch around each petal of the cactus flower to provide texture and realism. The thread ties represent the spines on the cactus and provide interesting visual detail.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.

Monday, October 21, 2013

2013 Pacific International Quilt Festival: Part 2

Welcome to Day 2 of the 2013 Pacific International Quilt Festival!  This year's  theme is "Indie". The quilt artists were asked to explain what the concept of independence meant to them and the ways that they demonstrated independence in their work.

Venetian Menagerie, 60 x 66",  by Melissa Sobotka


Blue ribbon winner for "Best in World" at the 2013 World Quilt Competition, this quilt is a most impressive show-stopper.  Melissa says, " [I was] inspired by a photo I took of a display window in Venice, Italy. The dramatic still life was a menagerie or masks, art, and oddities. [This technique is] raw edge fused applique constructed from cotton batiks and enhanced with Tsukineko inks."

Close up, Venetian Menagerie by Melissa Sobotka


Innovative and elaborate machine quilting is part of Melissa's spectacular work.  

Ulu, or A Tribute to the Longevity of Marriage, 43 x 40", by Pamela E. Foster


Pamela notes,  "My pursuit of traditional, fully hand-sewn applique and quilting is in dramatic contrast to my high tech equipment that I use as a laparoscopic surgeon. I use cameras and log instruments to reach deep inside the abdomen to perform complex sewing tasks, pushing the limits of my abilities and imagination.....to help ailing patients. However,  with quilting, I enjoy being in full contact with my project, working with  whole cloth projects and seeing designs emerge from a blank slate. This juxtaposition between my personal and professional life epitomizes my independence.

The traditional "ulu" or breadfruit design was copied from a photograph of a 200 year old quilt from Kauai, Hawaii. The quilt is dedicated to my in-laws ad my parents, both celebrating 50 years of marriage."   We really enjoyed Pamela's lovely creation, in shades of cream and tangerine orange, which was hand appliqued and hand quilted. 

Life at the Water's Edge by Ann Horton


Blue ribbon winner in the Wall Quilt category, Ann writes, "Looking down through the branches, life by the edge of a stream is viewed with all of its activity. Digitized embroidery that has been shaped in software has been enhanced with free motion thread play. The animal tracks were stenciled and then quilted for the highlights. I used my felting machine for the next and embellishments on the rocks and logs. Adding a few bird feathers was the final bit of glory. "

Close up, Life at the Water's Edge by Ann Horton


Intricately embroidered bluebirds perch amidst the white blossoms, peering intently down at a lively woodside setting.  Their vibrant color and realistic appearance creates a perfect focal point for this very eye-catching machine appliqued and machine quilted work.

Kaleidoscopic Calamity, 35 x 35", by Margaret Solomon Gunn


Margaret states, "I wanted to make a quilt from exclusively solid fabrics. Some days, this experiment felt like a content comingling of color, while other [days] , it was a full-blown kaleidoscopic calamity." 

Close-up, Kaleidoscopic Calamity by Margaret Solomon Gunn 


Margaret adds, "The quilting is done in an "overlay" style using Filtec's Glide threads." The soft pink inner diamond really helps the stars "pop" on this very pretty solid color quilt.

The Favorite Place, 61 x 66",  by Kayoko Fukui,  Japan


Kayoko notes, "I grow herbs and flowers in my 2700 square foot garden. I tried to profile the flowers which always soothe my mind in this quilt. I used the Cathedral [Windows] technique, painting on the small flowers and a stitched outline."

Close up, The Favorite Place by Kayoko Fukui , Japan


Tiny white flowers in between each block add a delightful charm and delicacy to Kayoko's work, which is hand pieced and machine quilted.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.
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