Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Cynthia in Texas - Broderie Perse Applique

Cynthia in Texas has been busy stitching her Baltimore Garden Quilt blocks with a beautiful twist. She is adding a broderie perse technique, cutting motifs such as flowers and birds from various fabrics. Cynthia is a master at finding just the right fabrics, and using them to their best advantage.

We have seen Cynthia's Block B1 in a previous post, and I've been anxious to share more of her blocks. Now she has finished several more blocks, and here they are (with Cynthia's permission, of course). This one, a floral block with trios of roses in pinks, reds, and burnt orange. Check out these bursting rosebuds, with just a bit of the rose motif in the calyx, and added sets of newly formed rosebuds.

Then, Cynthia completed a wreath with four open blooms - not sure what the flower is called, but it sure is appropriate for this lovely wreath.

Next, a sprouting garden of pinks and iris, and a wreath of old fashioned roses. Several leaves are also carefully cut from her focus fabric.

Here is Cynthia's version of a Woven Basket. Are you noticing all the little tendrils? There are even some tiny morning glory buds to promise more blooms for tomorrow.

And a coordinated vase of full-blown roses, of course, complete with their buds and leaflets.

Perfect for a four-block set!
Cynthia continues on, (there is no stopping her!) to make the same Vase block again, this time, featuring a cutout of a maiden pouring water from a jug. Quite an inspiration for creative use of printed fabrics, don't you think? (And look closely - there are TWO birds in there!)

Note From Cynthia:  The floral fabric is Love Letters by Laundry Basket for Moda. The toile border (and a bit on the baskets) is Garden of Enchantment by Maywood Studio. The background toile is Reflections by Ro Gregg for Paintbrush Studio. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Baltimore Garden Quilt Fabric Suggestions

The search for just the right fabric continues!

Quilters have sent me questions and suggestions about fabric choices for their Baltimore Garden Quilts, and other 1850s reproduction red and green quilts. As fabrics go out of print and new ones become available, I will try to post more suggestions. Several stitchers are doing blocks with broderie perse fabrics. Those I will list in another post very soon, with lots of photos!

Here are some fabric lines suggested by friends, and shop owners, and some that I have used. The first ones listed may be available now, or have been out for a year or two. Later in my list are newer lines coming soon.

Turkey Red РThere are a lot of nice Turkey red solids and subtle prints available all the time. However, I would NOT recommend Kona Рit is too thick and heavy for fine appliqu̩ and especially too thick for multilayer flowers.

Here is a red fabric that I have really enjoyed using for multilayer flowers, Robert Kaufman "Fusions" Screen Print D# 5573 (pictured below). This multilayer flower is from the Block B3 pattern; the most complex layered flower in the book, Baltimore Garden Quilt. See how the subtle shading makes it look like each petal was stitched on separately?

For greens and yellows, the following choices are wonderful, if you can still find them:

Windham Fabrics - Baltimore Album ca 1847 – Mary Koval

Windham Fabrics - Mary’s Blenders – Mary Koval

Andover Fabrics - Crimson and Clover – Jo Morton
http://www.andoverfabrics.com/Grid.php?GroupName=Crimson and Clover by Jo Morton

Andover Fabrics - Crimson Bouquet – Jo Morton
http://www.andoverfabrics.com/Grid.php?GroupName=Crimson Bouquet
(A-5085-Y is a fabulous golden yellow!)


A friend who recently attended Quilt Market posted an update of future fabric ranges on her blog. Here are some you might want to consider for your Baltimore Garden Quilt.
Here is a fabric line I am really looking forward to! PERFECT yellows, PERFECT greens, and one potential Turkey red print (available 11-20-2012):

Windham Fabrics, New Colonies by Nancy Gere:

Blue Hill Fabrics has some good candidates for yellows and greens in Pomegranate – Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum:

There might be a green candidate here:

Marcus Fabrics - Tavern Collection Greens – Paula Barnes

The next two collections will be popular for Baltimore Album quilts – definitely also on my list:

Newcastle Fabrics - Prussian Blue – Pamela Weeks

Little Pink Stars – Margo Krager

If you find other great fabric candidates, please post a comment!

Here is another find (thank you Charmaine!) from Andover Fabrics - IQSC Square in a Square (available September 2012)
http://www.andoverfabrics.com/Grid.php?GroupName=IQSC Square in Square

Friday, July 6, 2012

Morning Glory Bluebirds

Following up on an earlier post, More Excuses to Buy Fabric (as if we need excuses), I suppose that post was a bit of a teaser, since I didn't show the whole quilt. So here is a picture of the whole quilt.

Morning Glory Bluebirds, 63"x63" made by Barbara M. Burnham

This quilt is one of my favorites, as I am a HUGE bluebird fan. We are so fortunate to have bluebirds raise their young in a nestbox in our backyard every summer.

The morning glory wreath block is from a series of applique patterns called "Joyce's Garden" in the 1980s. The first blue block turned out so pretty, I made a pink one. Those two blocks languished in a closet for years. Then one day, I decided to try designing some bluebirds on the blocks. They turned out pretty too, but then they sat in a closet for a few more years. Later, we moved to our current home and immediately put up a bluebird box. Within 15 minutes, we had bluebirds inspecting the box! Ever since then, we have had bluebirds nesting in our backyard.

To quote my friend, Wendell Long: "Nothing exceeds the wonder and magic of the first flight of a bluebird." You wait for hours to see each nestling take that first scary flight from the safety of their nest and head for the trees, or sometimes, land somewhere totally unintended. They are SO much fun to watch as they learn to hunt for bugs and chase one another around the gardens. That is what inspired me to design this quilt’s border with the fledglings hiding among the morning glories, begging for caterpillars.
For the hand quilting, I used a stencil with a woven trellis design (for the morning glory vines to climb on), and Quilter’s Dream Request Cotton. It was a challenge to keep the overs and unders of the trellis marked correctly!

This quilt has won some ribbons, some of them blue. One of the judge’s comments said the birds did not have enough contrast (blended in too much). They didn’t realize that my intent was to emulate nature’s camouflage – that was kind of the point of blending them in. You have to really look for them. I think judges often don’t have much time to enjoy the quilts.