Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Quilts of Curaçao

There are incredibly talented quilters everywhere... including Curaçao, an island in the southern Caribbean Sea.  A constituent country of The Netherlands, Curaçao has a population of 150,000 and a vibrant art scene. Here are some fascinating quilts from Curaçao.

Caribbean Beauty, 24 x 33, by Lucia Schnog

Lucia explains, "[This is] my own interpretation of a painting by the Swiss artist Jean-Etienne Liotard. With the original headscarf on the painting, I went a bit "out of the box." What Lucia means is that instead of plain white cotton for this beautiful girl's scarf, Lucia used strands of gorgeous white crinkled organza fabric. We love Lucia's creativity in choosing the organza fabric, as it gives such a fashionable, stylish look to her work. 

Close up, Caribbean Beauty by Lucia Schnog

Inspired by a painting, Lucia's work is hand and machine appliqued.The visage of this lovely young woman with exquisite, soulful eyes is embellished with a three dimensional pearl necklace and a gold circular earring. In addition, the neckline of her dress features long three dimensional black and white fringe which looks almost silver in the photos.

Here's a close-up of the crinkly organza fabric for the headscarf.  Don't you want to reach out and touch it to see how ruffly it is?  We surely did; but we restrained ourselves and kept our perfect record intact of never touching a quilt in a show !

The wide range of historic buildings in and around the capital of Willemstad has resulted in the city being designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Here is a photo of Willemstad harbor (below).  You can see why the name "Curaçao" has become associated with a shade of blue, because of the deep-blue version of the liqueur named Curaçao (also known as Blue Curaçao): 

The houses of Curaçao are depicted in fiber by Nel-An van Eenennaam:

Curaçao Houses, 33 x 25,  by Nel-An van Eenennaam

Nel writes, "As a paintress, I produced a lot of watercolors with topics of our island. Most of those are of houses and small streets. This is because our houses and streets are very colorful and show typical influences of the Dutch and Spanish cultures, which give them a very special character."

Close up,  Curaçao Houses by Nel-An van Eenennaam

We really admired the  elegant lace, ric-rac, and cording Nel-An used for embellishment on this original design.  It is hand embroidered and hand appliqued, with some use of a sewing machine.

In The Countryside, 32 x 20,  by Lucia Schnog

Lucia notes, "This quilt was inspired by the old kunuku houses of our island. I love to incorporate knitted or crocheted pieces in my work to create a three dimensional effect." 

Close up, In The Countryside by Lucia Schnog

Here you can see Lucia's excellent yarnwork in the form of the roof and the nearby cactus. The knitting and crochet provide a unique and innovative look to the traditional art quilt. Lucia's original design is hand appliqued with some use of paint.

Caterpillar 46 x 32, by Lucia Schnog

Lucia says, "When the Frangiani [Plumeria] is blooming, lots of huge caterpillars love it as much as I do. Then they gorge on the leaves." 

Close up, Caterpillar by Lucia Schnog

These dainty, delicate pastel pink organza flowers with their petite stems and petals lend such a contrast to the large dark, (and probably squishy !) caterpillar.  Lucia's intriguing embellished quilt was inspired by a picture in 2013 and is hand appliqued, with knitting, crocheting, embroidering, and beading.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2015 World Quilt Show in Florida.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Another dimension in quilting: 3D Quilts !

Who says a quilt has to be two-dimensional?  We love quilts with 3D shapes.  With the advent of fusible webbing and spray products, many quilters are  making bouquets, landscapes, birds, houses, and other fiber art creations, as you'll see here.  And at the end of this post, you'll find some free tutorials for 3D flowers and leaves!

Nantucket Window Box by Suzanne Ashmead

In this wonderful quilt, all the elements were 3 dimensional: the shingles, flowers, and colorful bird.   Suzanne says, "I enjoy the brightness of a planted window box, and was intrigued by Joan Shay’s method of adding a 3-dimensional quality to flowers and leaves. Not having found the right fabric for the shingles, I dyed one to the color I wanted – fun!"

The colorful impatiens flowers make a pretty impression in this window box.  This pattern and many other 3d patterns are available at Joan Shay's Petal Play.

On Oyster Pond by Helene Blanchet (Nova Scotia, Canada)

Helene Blanchet says, "I am a folk artist from Nova Scotia. When our children left home I wanted to make a commemorative piece of the place where we raised them in the small village of Oyster Pond – complete with all of our gardens, favorite activities and all the birds that used to come to our feeders (but you have to peek under the leaves to find them!)"

The leaves have finished edges, and each leaf was quilted with veins, then appliqued to the background.

In the Potting Shed by Georgia Thorne (Threadplayers Fiber Art Group)

This delightful spring quilt won a blue ribbon for 1st place in the Art/Innovative category at the 2014 Arizona Quilters Guild show. Georgia Thorne says, "In the winter, the empty flower pots inspired me to “Plant” them with color. I tried new products: Stiffy, Terial Magic, Glass Bead Gel, and Jacquard pearl paint."

The Philip Jacobs purple fabric was perfect for the lattice work background, and the flower pots, leaves and flowers were so realistic they almost jumped right off the quilt. 

On a Cloudy Day, 43 x 49”, by Jeannine Smetana

We spotted this cheerful origami-style sunflower at the 2015 World Quilt Show in Florida. The sunflower is both hand and machine appliqued with detail of stitching on petals and leaves. The on-point blocks are edge-stitched with green thread in a non-traditional form. The pattern is an original design by Jeannine Smetana.

Saturday Market Bags, 57 x 67”, by Tina McCann (Depoe Bay, Oregon)

We were intrigued by Saturday Market Bags, which was exhibited at the 2014 AQS Quilt Week in Phoenix. Tina McCann says that piles of newly dyed wool fiber and silk, followed by a trip to the Saturday Market with piles of fruits and vegetables, inspired the quilt.  Here is a closeup of the felted bag, with grape leaf decor.

3D Fabric Tutorials: You can find a whole collection of books and videos on 3D quilt art by Diane Savona, Jane LaFazio and other authors at the Interweave Store.  Or, checkout these fun and free tutorials we've collected from around the web !

Row 1: 3D leaf tutorial by Eva Paige Quilt Designs;  Fabric 3-D applique shapes tutorial at QuiltScapesRow 2: Shabby Chic pillow tutorial by Jennifer Heynen for Thermoweb; Flowers by Barb Forrister, tutorial at Quilting DailyRow 3: Love is in the Air wall hanging project by Jackie White for Pellon Projects;  3D Foliage using Misty Fuse, tutorial by Barb Forrister.
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