Tuesday, October 10, 2017

All Hallow's Eve and Day of the Dead

The Mexican holiday known as Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) overlaps with the Western Hemisphere  tradition of All Hallow's Eve (Halloween), the night before All Saints Day.  Here are colorful quilts that reflect the upcoming holidays!

Este es mi Vida by Linda Redwood-Martinez , Arizona

Linda states, "[This quilt is] representing a page torn my from life story and honoring those I love who are gone, but never forgotten. Viva el dia de los muertos !"

This detailed skeleton's appearance is embellished with the addition of flowers in her hair which match the autumn-hued flowers on the outside border.

More interesting details are shown here, as this skeleton is part of a duo playing musical instruments.

Day of the Dead by Marietta Champlin , California. Quilted by Marietta Champlin


Marietta explains,  "Inspiration came from several trips to Mexico during Dia de Los Muertos, a time when family and friends honor their dead. the belief is that the spirit of the dead visit their families on October 31 and leave on November 2. Altars are created in homes and public spaces with favorite food, drink (tequila), special bread, and personal mementos of the deceased." 

Detail,Day of the Dead

Marianne adds, "Highlighted by the Virgin of Guadalupe, patron saint of Mexico, altars include significant decorations of sugar skulls, marigolds, and paper banners. I chose [artist] Frida Kahlo as a centerpiece (shown above) to honor her tragic life." 

Halloween Fun by Elizabeth Huff , California.  Quilted by Elizabeth Huff

Elizabeth says, "I enjoyed cutting up a Halloween panel and figuring out a way to emphasize each block by using borders, diamond, and flying geese. It will make a perfect and colorful Halloween decoration."

Detail, Halloween Fun

We really admire Elizabeth's wonderful hand-quilting skills, as her stitches are so precise ! In this close-up, you can see how she hand-quilted a spider web to match the surrounding fabric pattern.

EEEEK! by Marianne Maiorana , California. Quilted  by Marianne Maiorana

Maryann notes, "I fell in love with this pattern [byVerna Mosquera] about 2 years ago and decided that I would hand applique instead of fuse the characters. I thoroughly enjoyed choosing the fabrics for each one. If you look closely, you will see the names of some of the potions reflect those in the 'Harry Potter' series."

Maryann continues, "This was done at my granddaughter's request. I can't wait to display it this Halloween."

Which Witch? by  Kathy Schmitz, California. Quilted by Kathy Schmitz


Kathy writes, "I saw this 'Which Witch' pattern [by Crazy Old Ladies] and thought it was a clever and humorous way to look at Halloween... concentrating on the witches' fashion sense!"


Kathy adds, "It was fun to put together, and it was my first experience with fusible applique." We really admire Kathy's excellent workmanship and accuracy which shows throughout this whimsical and colorful quilt.

Image credits: Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Diablo Valley Quilters' Guild Show Day 3

The 2017 Diablo Valley Quilters Guild show was recently held in Walnut Creek, California. Here are some of our favorite quilts!
Note: For great deals on quilt books and fabric, please visit our eBay store!

Furry Friends by Audrey McInerney

Audrey explains, " I fell in love with this pattern, but was was a little intimidated by all the applique. Nevertheless, I plunged in - my motivation being a new grandson. I found a new embroidery stitch (the Palestrina) for the wording on the borders, which was great fun to do."

Detail, Furry Friends

Audrey continues, "My husband is not quite ready to part with it, so I am waiting for my grandson to get his grown-up bed to part with it." This adorable pattern was designed by Holly Mabutas for Eat Cake Graphics , and the quilting was done by Kathy August.

Strips and Stripes by Valerie Heltgren-Lempesis

Valerie notes, "I wanted to use my collection of stripes to create a happy quilt that would take me out of my comfort zone of combinations. It did !"

Detail, Strips and Stripes

All of these happy, vibrant colors work so well together ! This work was quilted by Kerry Reed.

Silk Baby Blocks by Diana McClun


This quilt was inspired by a class with Rami Kim at Empty Spools SeminarsDiana learned to weave silks into the baby block pattern. They were silk scraps from Talbott Ties in Carmel Valley, CA.

Detail, Silk Baby Blocks

The "piano key" border and intense color-saturated fabrics give this traditional pattern a very attractive, contemporary look. Diana's original design was machine quilted by Beth Hummel.

Storm at Sea by Joan Scott

Joan writes, "This quilt started as a kit for a small quilt. It added matching batik fabric to make a bed-size quilt.  The colors are arranged to make rivers or highways."

Detail, Storm at Sea

Joan herself quilted her work, using lovely even stitches that accent the curvature of traditional, pretty  pattern. Her fabric selections show a nice choice of both light and dark batik hues.

Autumn Sentinel by Sandy Johnson

This restful, serene setting with a very pleasing array of colors depicts a lone tree at sunset overlooking the ocean. Sandy herself quilted the work, and the design was made by Cathy Geier. We loved the use of complementary hues, plus light and dark values to highlight the foreground against the background.
Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Diablo Valley Quilters' Guild Show Day 2

The 2017 Diablo Valley Quilters Guild show was recently held in Walnut Creek, California. Here are some of our favorite quilts!

Note: For great deals on quilt books and fabric, please visit our eBay store.Also, we're posting free patterns continually Quilt Inspiration's Twitter page !

Pacific Fisher by Nancy Tietz

Nancy explains about the cute little animal depicted here in her original design: "Fishers belong to a family of mammals that includes weasels, minks, and otters. They live in low-to-mid elevation forests and require cavities in trees to safely rear their young. This quilt was made for my daughter-in-law who just received her Ph.D. from U. of California, Davis, using the data she collected from the U.S. Forest Service for her dissertation.
I learned this applique technique from David Taylor, a well-known applique artist that taught classes at The Cotton Patch in Lafayette, California. Kerry Reed did the longarm quilting for me. "

Modern Plaid by Sally Socolich

Sally notes, "This pattern projects a more modern dimension to traditional plaids. Please see the other side of the quilt (shown below)  for my take on making the most of leftover plaid units for an even simpler modern effect. "

Back of quilt, Modern Plaid

Quilted by Sally herself, this could be a wonderful way to re-fashion plaid shirt fabric into a wonderful, cozy quilt.  The original pattern was created by Mabry Benson and published in a Quilters Newsletter magazine from 2001.  You can see a photo of "Plaid Stars" by Mabry Benson in an article at eQuilters.

Winter Stars by Karen Michaels

Karen notes, " This quilt began 24 years ago, with a photo in a quilt magazine. It contains blocks made by 9 members of my guild's block exchange group. I named the quilt early on, and every winter, I'd wonder where where it was. Over the years, it morphed from the photo's simple straight set with no sashing, to the current look. "

Detail, Winter Stars

Karen continues, "I quilted it myself, though it was really too large for me to handle. I'm certainly happy that this was the year to finally finish my winter quilt!"  We admire the excellent workmanship and lovely en pointe setting of these star blocks.

Rainbow Ride by Janice Spahn

Janice says, " A few years ago, during a quilt shop-hop with some very dear and fun friends, we challenged each other to make the quilt "Four Play."  It is a four patch scrappy pattern with a fun name and one inch strips." The pattern is found in the book .Small Pieces, Spectacular Quilts, by Mary Elizabeth Kinch and Biz Storms.

Detail, Rainbow Ride

Janice continues, "When I started my quilt, I decided to add discipline to the blocks by using a rainbow color concept. Once I made the smaller blocks, I just had to add more blocks and change the layout of the blocks. The result is the quilt before you." Janice quilted this work herself, and Kathe Hayden and Annette Biggs helped with the block positioning.

Out of the Blue by Diane Chambers

Diane writes, "Out of the Blue" was assembled from a Craftsy kit of Kaffe Fassett fabrics, bought to nudge me out of my comfort zone. Much to my surprise, I had to fight my controlling tendencies with some of the print combinations. I liked the end result; so I dubbed it 'Out of the Blue.' "

Detail, Out of the Blue

Diane quilted this work herself, and she adds, "I used the expertise of published quilters
Angela Walters, (triangles), Lori Kennedy (straight and curvy juxtaposition) and Sally Terry
(feathers without backtracking) to inspire me in my choice of Free Motion Quilting motifs.
 More details can be found in my April 20, 2017 and August 15, 2017 Blogspot posts at Diane Loves 2 Quilt.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Diablo Valley Quilters' Guild Show Day 1 : Featured Artist: Diana McClun

Diana McClun was the featured artist at the 2017 Diablo Valley Quilters Guild show in Walnut Creek, California. Diana is the co-author of the well-known, beloved classic book Quilts, Quilts, Quilts ! along with Laura Nownes.

Color Study II by Diana McClun

For this quilt, Diana used some 30 year old quilt blocks, which are basically half-square triangles sewed side-by-side to create strips of diamonds. They are the 5 rectangles you see above:  from left, the blue/ neon orange, the purple/yellow orange, the red/green, and the grape/yellow. She used them as flower vases to collage flowers and make bouquets.

Here's a close-up of the bright, whimsical flowers which fit into the rectangular vases. What a wonderful use of 30 year old blocks from vintage fabric ! This fun, vibrant work was machine quilted by Alethea Ballard.

Addie's 13th Birthday Quilt by Diana McClun

An original founder of the famous .Empty Spools Seminars in Pacific Grove, California, Diana was inspired by Anelie Belden's Empty Spools class. Diana made this quilt in honor of her granddaughter Addie's 13th birthday.

These giant circular plates, done in restful marine colors, almost look as if they are floating languidly in a under-sea world !  Victoria McEnerney machine quilted this elegant work.

Tulips by Diana McClun

Diana explains, "The inspiration for this quilt came from tulip images on a napkin and paper plate. The design was free-hand drawn with a permanent marker and a ruler onto a grid of 6" squares of muslin pinned on a design wall."

Diana's brilliant skills in composition are highlighted here, as the giant eye-catching flowers comprise the foreground, while the tone-on-tone blues, beiges, and whites add just the right proportion of background space. Tulips was machine quilted by Victoria McEnerney.

Colorful Circles by Diana McClun 

This just looks like so much fun to design and make ! Diana's original design was inspired by a class with Rosalie Dace from South Africa at the Empty Spools Seminar.

This triadic color scheme of pastel pink, lime green, and apricot orange works beautifully together, especially when touches of silver gray are added to the background. Alethea Ballard machine quilted this lively, sophisticated work.

Trees, Trees, Trees by Diana McClun

Diana's contemporary, geometric work was inspired by a painting by German-born, American modern artist Wolf Kahn.  These strips of varied sizes of rectangles give this dazzling quilt an almost Bargello-like appearance.

Diana's original work was machine quilted by Alethea Ballard. These lovely corals and aquas are so gorgeous, especially with the hint of lime green.Trees, Trees, Trees was one of our favorites works of this show.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Welcome Fall

Fall is arriving in the North, and we've selected some autumn quilts to share.  We hope our readers had a healthy, safe and happy summer!

Note: for continual free patterns, please visit us on  Twitter!  For great bargains on quilt books and fabric, check out our eBay store!

Golden Leaves by Virginia Standley

Virginia Standley says, “The skeletonized leaves are highlighted with a wax metallic finish. They are stitched to samples of drapery fabric and framed by a small gold silk border. The piece is mounted on my ice-dyed fabric, which I could not bear to cut, so it became the background for this art quilt.”

Maple Leaves in a Color Study, group project, quilted by Audrey Hutchinson

The maple leaf blocks were made by members of the Progressive Party Friendship Group of the Amador Valley Quilters Guild and the final project was quilted by Audrey Hutchinson. Audrey chose purple for this color study. “I made one block and packed my bag with all the purple fabrics I had from the palest lavender to the deepest purples. Each member made 1 or 2 maple leaf blocks. I set the blocks on the diagonal and when completed had almost used up my purple stash. Almost !”

My Pumpkin Patch by Janice Brook, quilted by Dianne Schweikert

The pattern for this quilt was from a book called Country Quilts of Friends by Margaret Peters and Anne Sutton. Janice Brooke bought the book in 2004; she made the pumpkin blocks, then put the quilt on a shelf until last year when she decided to finish it. The leaves, stems and pumpkins were beautifully embroidered.

Wild Pineapple quilt by Susan Benson, quilted by Dianne Schweikert

Susan Benson says Wild Pineapple began in a class taught by Jean Impey. "It was a fun class given by a fun teacher who had an infectious enthusiasm. I took this home and then took it on a trip up the coast, sewing away everywhere we stopped... As with all my quilts, it’s not perfect, but I love the colors. [It was] quilted beautifully by Dianne Schweikert of Livermore (California).”

Autumn Blessings by Kia Johnson

Kia Johnson used an embroidery machine to create the blocks for this stunning quilt, which was based on the Baltimore Autumn pattern by Pearl Pereira at P3 Designs.  There is an amazing amount of applique detail in the blocks, which include all the themes of autumn: leaves, squirrels, wheat stalks, and pumpkins, in wonderful colors.

For free quilt patterns for Autumn, please check out our FREE PATTERN DAY !

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2017 Amador Valley Quilters Guild show (California).

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Free pattern day: Easy Modern Quilts (2)

Here are 25 more free and easy patterns, for a ton of quilt inspiration! This collection includes brand-new designs along with some fantastic legacy patterns. Many of these are big block quilts that go together quickly.   
Scroll down the page until you see the quilt you like, then click on the colored letters of the link to the pattern.  Did you miss Part 1 ?  Click here: Free Pattern Day: Easy Modern Quilts

Note: for continual free patterns, please visit us on  Twitter!

Here and There Squares, 96 x 96”, free pattern by Bonnie Vangool for Windham Fabrics 


Thea’s Puzzle quilt, 64 x 64”, free pattern by Amy Butler (PDF download)

To see an interpretation of Thea's Puzzle in prints, check out the quilt by Naturemomm at Flickr.

Brick Path quilt, 60 x 60”, free pattern by Alexia Marcelle Abegg at Cotton + Steel

Make Your Mark quilt, 60 x 76”, free pattern by Heather Jones for Robert Kaufman Fabrics (pattern in several colorways) 

Retro Plaid quilt, 55 x 61”, free pattern by Suzy Quilts for Birch Fabrics (PDF download)


Tiger Plant Quilt, 52 x 60”, free pattern by Sarah Golden for Andover Fabrics

A Blue Moment, 55 x 64", free pattern by Jean Ann Wright for Benartex (PDF download)

A Blue Moment is a wonderful design for large-scale prints.

Piece of Sky quilt, 64 x 72”, free pattern by Kenna Ogg for Hoffman Fabrics

Piece of Sky is created by slashing and sewing 1” strips in each block.

Relay Race quilt, 72 x 80”, free pattern by Alison Glass for Andover Fabrics

This variation of a "coins" quilt uses fussy-cut strips of floral fabric to separate the columns.

Cobblestone II quilt, 60 x 70”, free pattern by Alison Glass for Andover Fabrics (PDF download)

The Cobblestone Quilt uses improvisational piecing to create columns of strips; there is no template.

Bloominescent quilt, 48 x 54, free pattern at Robert Kaufman Fabrics

Bloominescent is made with big rectangles that create an overlapping illusion.

E-block quilt, 70 x 70”, free pattern by Brandon Mably for Westminster Fabrics (PDF download)

A great modern design by Brandon Mably for one of his early fabric collections.

Fat Quarter Fizz, free pattern by Fat Quarter Shop 

Simple Streamers quilt, 70 x 70”, at Robert Kaufman Fabrics

These blocks are made from large (19-22” long ) rectangles. The ends of the streamers are finished with flying geese blocks.

Lark quilt, ~ 72 x 72”, free pattern by Amy Butler Design (PDF download)

Made in Cherry, ~80” square, free pattern by Sarah Fielke for Lecien Fabrics (PDF download)(pattern in several colorways)

Made in Cherry by Sarah Fielke, blue colorway, on the wall

London Star quilt, 41 x 41”, free pattern at Robert Kaufman Fabrics

Sapphire quilt, 61 x 61”, free pattern by Stephanie Sims for Clothworks (PDF download)

The Sapphire quilt is made from 16 half-square triangle blocks that finish at 15” square. This pattern is retired, but we saved the PDF.

Shibori Star quilt, 56 x 56”, free pattern at Robert Kaufman Fabrics (pattern in several colorways)

Tropical Dash quilt, 64 x 64”, free pattern by Linda Ambrosini for Hoffman Fabrics

Double Cross quilt, 48 x 48”, free pattern by Pam Rocco as seen at Quilter’s Newsletter


Fractured Jewels quilt, 54 x 54”, free pattern by Debby Kratovil for Windham Fabrics

Liberated String Medallion, ~38 x 38”, free pattern by Gwen Marston for American Quilters Society

Lights On Broadway, 51 x 53”, free pattern by Leslie Tucker Jenison for Hoffman Fabrics

ustic Autumn quilt, 86 x 103”, free pattern at Art Gallery Fabrics  (PDF download)

Greek Key quilt, 40 x 54”, free pattern by Pam Rocco at Quilters Newsletter


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 photo montage shown on this page is a derivative work that is the property of Quilt Inspiration. We have uploaded several (retired) patterns to Google Drive for sharing; please do not copy and post the PDFs to your own website. If any links are broken, we'd love to know so we can fix the problem. Please email us at QuiltInspiration {at} gmail {dot} com.
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