And the answer is . . .
vintage quilts and quilt tops.
No surprises here.
Some of my very favorites of my works are based upon the quilts of these others who have come before me. I see their efforts, and I am inspired to create my own versions, using all the wonderful fabrics available to us now. I’m sure it is because I love this design resource for my quilts that I have developed a love of the scrappy quilts, the ones that use tons and tons of different fabrics.
I am currently working on two quilts that are vintage-inspired, but here are a couple that are completed.
The Light Shines Through
I have written about this one before, but I’ll include something new; a photo of the source quilt top. I saw this quilt during a trunk show by Gerald Roy at a meeting of East Bay Heritage Quilters in 1998. I’m grateful to Lily for the photography, since I could not do my own; those are MY little gloved hands holding the top of the quilt top, since I volunteered to be one of the “handlers” for this show. And I fell in love with this quilt top, and knew I would try to compose my own.
Using a large-scale Jane Sassaman print as the color palette for my quilt, I pulled as many darks, mediums, and lights as I could find in all these wonderful colors. I have described this quilt as having “made itself” because all of these square-in-a-square blocks seemed to get finished in record time. Each time I put two fabrics together to make a block there was already another color combination I was eager to complete. Putting them all together was a joy.
Although I had cut many, many squares for between and around the rows of sticks or “books”, as some viewers have told me they see, I ended up using only the darks, which seemed to work best.
Geometry of Roses
The inspiration for Geometry of Roses is a vintage quilt top that I found at the quilt festival in Houston quite a while ago. I had the quilt top hand-quilted by Quilting Plus, and the resulting quilt is spectacular. This quilt is one of the all-time favorites in my vintage collection, and it continues to sing to me any time it is displayed. Note the one triangle just below center that is pointing in the wrong direction: sweet.
For my quilt I challenged myself to work in a muted palette, browns, gray-pinks, pale yellow-greens, using a dusty roses on tan floral fabric as the focus. This whole process was indeed a challenge; this quilt did not make itself, but it was a very good exercise for me and my color training.
On an historical note, both The Light Shines Through and Geometry of Roses were quilts that were originally intended to be some of the graduation gifts to my daughter’s girl’s group. I could not part with either of these, and therefore had to make even more quilts, preferably ones that I could give away. This whole period was an extremely creative and productive time for me. I sewed so much I looked like this: