Friday, August 28, 2015

Best of the 2015 Springville (Utah) Quilt Show (part 1)

We enjoyed our fun trip to the 42nd annual quilt show at the Museum of Art in Springville, Utah. It was very professionally staged and contained some outstanding works of quilting art. Here are our favorites and award winners from top quilters in the state of Utah.

Midnight Wedding Star by Josephine Keasler, quilted by Carole L. Sturgis

A blue ribbon Award of Excellence winner, Josephine states, "Several years ago, I purchased two jelly rolls (strips of fabric that are 2.5" wide), a bright and pastel version of the same colors. When I saw this  pattern, I decided that it was... perfect for my treasured jelly rolls." We loved Josephine's breathtaking quilt, whose cohesive look is achieved by her careful positioning of fabric colors in each block. This is the Bali Wedding Star quilt pattern by Judy Niemeyer. Josephine specializes in paper foundation piecing by this designer.

Close up, Midnight Wedding Star by Josephine Keasler

Jospehine continues, " My friend [Carole Sturgis]  offered to quilt if for me on her home sewing machine and asked me what I wanted quilted on it. "  Each wedge of the double wedding ring was quilted with a small heart and feathers.  The black background was quilted in royal blue thread.with feathers that curve around, ending in hearts.

Dresden of the Sea by Diane E. Miller

Winner of a Judge's Choice and Viewer's Choice award, Diane says, "Quilt teacher Kaye Evans' 'Kaffe and Friends' class made Dresden plate blocks, and we then had to design a quilt using the blocks we had made. It was my idea to incorporate them into a sea scene. "

Close up, Dresden of the Sea by Diane E. Miller

Diane achieved spectacular effects by cleverly displaying her Dresden plate blocks as shells and  sea ornaments in a very decorative underwater world.

Close-up, Dresden of the Sea, by Diane E. Miller

Batik turtles peacefully drift through the seaweed above. The "echo" quilting pattern which follows the outline of the seaweed, enhances the languid, dreamy sensations that are exuded by this fascinating scene.

Worlds Without End by Sharon Aposhian Wright

Another blue ribbon Award of Excellence winner, Sharon notes, "While at the Houston International Quilt Festival, I saw a quilt made by sisters Sue Nickels and Pat Holly  for the Libby Lehman  Benefit Auction. I was captivated by the richness of Dupioni silk, the challenge of making the circles appear as lighter versions of the background fabrics, and the exercise of designing twenty-five different quilting motifs."

Close up, Worlds Without End by Sharon Aposhian Wright

Sharon continues, "I quilted this on my Bernina 440 machine, using silk thread and wool batting." This gorgeous color-saturated silk background reflects the light with a soft glow and shows off Sharon's stunning workmanship.  

Paokalani African Tulips by Karin Crawford, quilted by Pat Gorelangton

Karen writes, "The African Tulip tree has beautiful large blossoms and is one of my favorite motifs in traditional Hawaiian-style quilting.  The pattern was commissioned of John Serrao of the Paokalani School of Hawaiian Quilting in Honolulu. [I] modified the pattern by adding more blossoms and opening the center.  An open center symbolizes a connection with heaven. The batik and ombre fabric was selected for uniqueness and color. It was quilted in the traditional Hawaiian style of echo quilting."  We really admired the graceful,  elegant design of this lovely pattern.

For a close-up photo of this quilt, and more Hawaiian designs, see our Hawaiian Quilts board at Pinterest.

Melissa Wedding Quilt by Katherine Porter, quilted by Virginia Gore

Katherine exclaims, "This girl loves color!"  All [my] grandchildren receive a wedding quilt. For Melissa, I knew it must have vibrant color."  This quilter has certainly been successful in selecting colorful  split-complementary tones of orange, blue, green, and purple, then creating vibrant, eye-catching borders.

Close up, Melissa Wedding Quilt by Katherine Porter, quilted by Virginia Gore

Katherine adds, "The medallion is from the book Material Obsession 2, the rest is original design, and the applique is needle-turn."  We love this cheerful little folk-art bird among the flowers, whose wing contains the same intriguing paisley fabric as the border.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Back to School

This time of year, the school bells ring again for so many of us and our children.  A house on a quilt is a symbol of our community and our lives together in society. It's no wonder that house quilts remind us of comfort and the togetherness of family, friends, and neighbors. They really appeal to us, maybe because "home is where the heart is."

Welcome Home, 64 x 64", by Alex Anderson 

Here's a delightful neighborhood of cheerful houses done in russet and gold. Internationally-famous designer Alex Anderson has brightened the traditional fall quilt by adding contemporary colors of aqua blue and rose pink, which make the maple leaves and houses sparkle against the dark background.

Little Houses, 48 x 60", by Ruth Powers

Ruth writes, "Much of my work is inspired by nature;  my daily walks fill my senses with color and design possibilities." Ruth has done an excellent job of selecting different blues and greens for the sky and earth, which complement the bright orange and orange-red of the homes. Ruth notes that this is a great pattern for using up fat quarters and scraps.

Little Old One Room Schoolhouse,  23 x 27", by Ruth Powers

The traditional schoolhouse of the frontier, complete with a bell tower, beckons us back to learning, as leaves swirl in the early autumn breeze.  Ruth Powers offers this charming scene as a pattern, along with many other creative designs.

Firelight and Chimney Smoke, 62 x 50, by Martha Milne at MachineQuilter (UK)

Martha Milne constructed this beautiful Amish-style schoolhouse quilt out of jewel-tone remnants. The light and bright windows in this quilt give the inviting illusion of a warm, glowing hearth within, which beckons us inside. A free pattern can be downloaded at Popular Patchwork and Quilting. Martha is renowned for her machine quilting; for her DVDs and tutorials, please visit the machinequilter website.

Little Amsterdam by Marilyn Wood

Marilyn Wood notes, "This pattern is from the [ North Sea Quilters of ] the Netherlands. The flowered fabrics in the houses and border are antique Dutch reproduction fabrics from Amsterdam, my husband's favorite city."  Marilyn's striped border adds to the lively, upbeat personality of this quilt, which was shown at the 2013 Arizona Quilters' Guild show.

Pedestrian Friendly, 60 x 60", by Pat Dicker

Pat Dicker used high-energy colors to create a lively town adapted from Sue Garman's block-of-the-month quilt,  All Around the Town.  Pat tells us, "I named the quilt 'Pedestrian Friendly' because the original design has cars on it, and I chose to leave them out, so that the 'residents' would just walk from house to house." 

Schoolhouse Block, 19 x 22, from "There's No Place Like Home" by Sonya Chinn at Sonya's Snippets

Quilter and teacher Sonya Chinn, creator of the Sonya's Snippets blog, sewed this charming scene for a block-of-the-month quilt which she calls 'There's No Place Like Home'. Sonya has added an individualized touch by placing the initials of her children's school on the quaint schoolhouse.  Sonya's complete quilt was based on the "Home Is Where the Heart Is"  pattern, shown below, by The Stitch Connection.

Home is Where the Heart Is by The Stitch Connection

Image credits:  Little Amsterdam was photographed by Quilt Inspiration. The quilts by Pat Dicker, Sonya Chinn, Ruth Powers, Alex Anderson and Martha Milne are shown with permission of the artists and were originally featured in 2010 at Quilt Inspiration.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Free pattern day: Tote bags !

Just in time for back-to-school or holiday projects, we've assembled a collection of 50  free sewing patterns for tote bags, shopping bags, backpacks, and duffle bags.  These are perfect for books, groceries, knitting, or anything else you need to haul around! You might also be interested in free patterns for purses and tablet and laptop cases.  (This post was updated on February 25, 2017). For more free patterns, please follow us on TWITTER at QuiltInspire !
Scroll down the page until you see the quilt you like, then click on the colored letters of the link to the pattern.

Triune Tote bag, free pattern by Pat Bravo Designs

Overnight Bag tutorial by Rebecca from Our Busy Little Bunch as seen at Inspired by Fabric

Pom Pom Tote tutorial by Made by Marion for Camelot Fabrics 

Backpack, free pattern by Robert Kaufman Fabrics

All in a Row tote bag, free pattern at Riley Blake Designs (PDF download)

All Zipped Up yoga bag tutorial at Camelot Fabrics

Easy Messenger Style Book Bag tutorial at Plum and June

Rainy Day vinyl tote bag tutorial at Havel’s Sewing

Ellie Travel Case tutorial at Fabric Mutt

Pastiche Tote Bag, free pattern by Pat Bravo for Art Gallery Fabrics (PDF download)

Tohoku Tote Bag tutorial at I Am Momma Hear Me Roar

Big Bucket Tote Bag, free pattern by Jennifer Mathis at Pellon Projects

Retro Overnight Bag tutorial by The Crafty Kitty for Birch Fabrics

Beach Tote tutorial by Love Elaine for Cloud 9 Fabrics

Sweet and Simple Tote tutorial at Hawthorne Fabrics

A Totebag tutorial at Chic Envelopements

Quick Pool Tote made with laminated cotton, free pattern at Quilt Views

Pocket Tote, free pattern for Free Spirit Fabrics as seen at Cotton Patch

Market Tote trio bag tutorial at Sew4Home

Baker Street Bag tutorial by Sew Sweetness

Quilted Bucket Bag tutorial at Camelot Fabrics

Nap Sack backpack free pattern by Debbie Mumm

Governors Island Backpack tutorial at The New New

Cargo Duffle Bag, free pattern by Anna Graham at Noodle Head for Robert Kaufman Fabrics 

Herringbone Haul it All Tote tutorial by Marion McClellan of My Quilt Dad at Moda Bakeshop

Drunkard’s Path Quilted Tote tutorial at Ricochet and Away 

Clermont Farms Quilted Tote Bag tutorial by Glenn Dragone at Moda Bakeshop (click for pdf)

Simple Six-Pocket Bag, 8 x 10 x 4", tutorial at Better Homes and Gardens

Sewing Mat Carrier Bag, fits an 18"sewing mat, free pattern by Melissa Peda for Free Spirit Fabric (PDF download)

Alex bag tutorial at Claire Turpin Designs 

Fancy Free multipurpose sling bag, free pattern by Melissa Peda at 100 billion stars  (PDF download)

Fancy Free Bag, version 2 by Melissa Peda

Felt Tote Bag tutorial by Martha Stewart

Black and White Currant Tote, free pattern at Henry Glass Fabrics (PDF download

The Big Tote tutorial by Shwin and Shwin (this tote has braid handles and a zipper top)

Meadlowlark Tote, free pattern by Carrie Bloomston for Windham Fabrics (PDF)

Back To School Kid Size tote with appliqued word "read"; tutorial by Christina McKinney for Birch Fabrics

Secretary Bag tutorial by Sara Lawson at Sew Sweetness

DIY Tote with leather straps and snap button closure, tutorial by Bee Inspired as seen at Sew Sweetness 

Ipanema Beach Bag tutorial by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt for Birch Fabrics

Reusable Washable Shopping Bag tutorial at Sue Daurio's Quilting Adventures

Trail tote bag, cross-body style in two sizes with outside zipper, free pattern by Noodle Head for Robert Kaufman Fabrics 

Oversize reversible tote, free pattern by Megan Avery for Windham Fabrics

Dubstepper messenger bag, 10 x 12 x 3”, free pattern at Robert Kaufman Fabrics

Quilted tote bag tutorial at All People Quilt

Take Me To Class tote bag tutorial by The Sewing Chick as seen at Sew In Love With Fabric

Time Warp Tote, 14 x 4 x 12", free pattern at Cloud 9 Fabrics  (PDF download) 

Reversible Tote bag, free pattern at Camelot Fabrics (PDF download)

Market Tote bag tutorial by Bijou Lovely Designs

Canvas Tote Bag tutorial by Mary Pepper for All People Quilt

Fashion Market Tote, free pattern by Whistler Studios for Windham Fabrics

Right Turn Bag, free pattern by Anna Maria Horner for Janome (PDF download)

Placemat Bag tutorial (make a bag from one quilted placemat) by No Big Dill

Lunch Bag tutorial by Ayumi at Pink Penguin

Color Beat Tote, free pattern at Robert Kaufman Fabrics

Square Bag tutorial by Anita at Bloomin Workshop

Mother and Daughter Tote Bag, free pattern at Oliver + S

Bias Tape Tote Bag tutorial at Martha Stewart 

Easy Pleazy Tote Tutorial at Pieceful Kwilter

Lazy Days Quilted Tote tutorial at Better Homes & Gardens

The Big Tote by Terri Stegmiller: here is the original post and the downloadable pattern

Classic Tote tutorial by Irene at Sew Mama Sew

Removable Tote Organizer at Martha Stewart

This handy three-pocket pouch is fashioned from a carpenter's canvas nail apron.  Cut off the apron straps, sew on buttons and twill tape loops, then slip inside a tote bag like the one shown.

Reversible Bag pattern and tutorial at Very Purple Person

Bag with Fabric Panel Insert, free pattern by Eldrid Røyset Førde at Kameleon Quilt

Fat Sack by Terri Atkinson at Atkinson Designs

Offset Chevron Tote tutorial by Mandy from Fabric Paper Glue

Hand Appliqued Petal Bag tutorial by Vanessa Christenson at V and Co

Quilted Chevron Tote Bag by Maureen Cracknell for Riley Blake Designs

Diana Hobo, free pattern at Think Liz

It’s a Cinch Bag tutorial by Sweet Verbena

Scrappy Poppy Bag, free pattern by Virginia Robertson for McCall’s Quilting

Gray and Orange Pocket Bag, free pattern at Better Homes and Gardens

Pillow Cover to Messenger Bag tutorial at Living With Punks

Carry All Tote with Ruffle Fabric by Vanessa Christenson at V and Co

Patchwork Conversation Bag tutorial at Sew Sweetness

Just Beachy tote bag, free pattern at Robert Kaufman Fabrics 

Row By Row H2O tote bag, free pattern at Timeless Treasures Fabrics 

Mesh Beach Bag tutorial by Martha Stewart

Image credits and links: All 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.  If any links are broken, we'd love to know; email us at Quilt Inspiration.
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