Sunday, May 1, 2011

Spring Has Sprung!

I love this time of year in my little corner of the world -- when the flowers start blooming, the weather is lovely, and it's pleasant to be outside. Despite the fact that many of you believe I am extremely productive, this month I have proven to be quite the opposite: I have nothing new to show you! I spent most of my quilting hours in front of myBaltimore quilt - I've finished hand-quilting 12 of 16 blocks and most of one whole border - but I have nothing else to show you. Never fear, however, I have a stash of old photos to share! The first one is an old pictoral quilt of mine: The Garden Lady. I have fun making "thematic" quilts, where I choose a theme and then flesh it out with all the accoutrements that go with that theme. This month's whole blog is devoted to the theme of "flowers." Enjoy!

The Garden Lady, Susan H. Garman

This next quilt, "Spring Beauties," was made by Terry Aske of New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada. In describing her quilt, Terry says, "Every spring, I eagerly await the first tuplis poking through the hard ground. Aftera along, dark winter, I marvel at the incredible range of colors that these spring blooms display." Terry'sgreatest challenge was deciding which colors to include or omit in her quilt.

I loved seeing Roxane Lessa's "Angel's Trumpets" at the quilt show in Houston last year. She hails from Raleigh, North Carolina, and angel's trumpets bloom in many of the neighbors' gardens. The flowers are very large and droop down - presenting waht Roxane calls, "a bewitchingplant!"

The quilt below, "Sunflower I" by Patricia Schumacher of Lawrenceville, Georgia, is part of a sunflower series that Patricia has done. She says that her rheumatoid osteoarthritis causes severe joint pain, so the time that she spends with her flower quilt garden replaces time she might otherwise spend in a garden - and relieves the pain as she becomes involved in making the quilts. I'm sure that many of us find comfort and "therapy" in quilt making!

Lest you think that Patricia's sunflower quilt is simple... look again! Patricia's quilts have an enormous amount of embellishment, with the sunflower center composed of dozens of different colors and shapes of tiny beads. See the close-up, below....

Pat Kroth's "Florilegium II" uses hand-dyed, raw-edge fused applique. This Verona, Wisconsin quilter has created the "glorious perennial garden in my mind's eye." But she confesses, " my intentions are always grand in the spring, but with art-making and sewing as priorities, somtimes by late summer, the weedsmake a better showing." We can probably all identify with that statement!

"Still Standin'" by Pamela Druhen of Northfield, Vermont, gives us a view of the cottonwood treesthat line the west shore of Isle LaMotte on Lake Champlain. A violent storm wiped out many of these trees in 2008 - but these two are still standing. Pamela's techniques included dye painting, heavy threadwork, and heavy machine quilting.

Melinda Bula's "Rain Drops," below, is full of detail. Her choice of color - and added color - is amazing. Try taking your camera out into the garden and photographing a few flowers. Transfer the outlines of the flowers onto paper and develop a pattern for your own realistic pictoral flower!

The small quilt below - smaller than a handkerchief - is the third in Houstonian Kumiko Frydl's "Mission" series. She traveled extensively for a number of months and had little time for quilting - so she made it her mission to create and completel a project in a limited amount of time. Wouldn't you love to see her other miniature quilts?

Hallie O'Kelley's "Tropical Beauties," below, was inspired by her husband's striking photo of a brillian tropical flower. Hallie dyed the fabrics - and screen printed the border fabirc.

"Jill's Geranium," by Jean K. Smith, was designed when her daughter asked her to make a quilt of her favorite flower, the geranium. Jean resorted to buying a live geranium and with freezer ppaer on her design wall and an overhead projector, she had all of the ingredients for her quilt.

Barbara McKie's "Under the Sunflowers," below, started with a photo transfer. These exuberant sunflowers grew in a neighbor's garden in Lyme, Connecticutand inspired the quilt . They seem to want to reach out and touch the gorgeous sky!

And here is another set of flowers - daffodils - by Barbara Holtzman. Inspired by a photo by Desirae Nelson (who gave permission for its use), Barbara says she gets new energy every spring when she sees the daffodils popping up.

Last, but far from least, here is a quilt by Andrea Brokenshire of Round Rock, Texas. Her "A Great Garden Discovered," was based on the discovery of a garden of irises growing along a stream that cascaded down to a creek below, near Laek Georgetown, Texas. This quilt is a wonderful example of the artistrythat can be created when painting on silk.

I hope you've enjoyed this snapshot tour of spring quilts - and I hope that your garden overflows with the brightness that the season brings into our lives.

Until next month... happy sewing --

Sue Garman

(c) 2011 Susan H. Garman