Monday, February 21, 2011

Primrose Surprise

Chicagoland is in the throes of a “wintry mix” of weather... but this basket full of springtime color reminds me that the gloom won’t last forever. My dear quilt friends brought me the primroses as a birthday gift. Aren’t the colors amazing? They match this quilt so well that I thought I'd share it today.

stitched this little signature quilt 15 years ago for a reunion of friends who were turning forty. Each of us signed a block, commemorating our many years of friendship. 

This unnamed quilt block appears in the book, Remember Me, by Linda Otto Lipsett. According to quilt historian, Barbara Brackman, about 30% of the quilt patterns made before 1900 have been published without names.

The fabrics aren't my usual fare, but I enjoyed working with a brighter palette. The tone on tone prints give the quilt pure colors and subtle textural interest at the same time. I created contrast by setting warm colors (pink, orange, yellow) against cool colors (blue, green). You can see this best in the border, where contrast creates a zigzag design. The cool colors recede into the background while the warm colors advance, creating an almost 3D effect.

Lordy, Lordy, We're Turning Forty!
20" x 25"
machine pieced, hand quilted
© Diane Burdin, 1996

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Cooped Up

I have a confession to make… a pretty embarrassing one. If the results hadn’t turned out so well, I’d never tell you about it. But they did, so I will.

I sent one of my quilts halfway across the country to be photographed by a blog friend with her chickens. As ridiculous as the idea sounds, I had a feeling that Jessica at j.m.b.mommy would agree to it and also embrace the idea as a creative challenge for herself.

But the absurdity didn't stop there! Jessica was pregnant when she said “Sure, send me your quilt.” Two months later found her traipsing through the chicken yard with a brand new baby strapped to her chest, staging and shooting photos of my chicken themed quilt. Somehow, she got her poultry to pose and made my handiwork look great in the bargain.

William and James, post pox.

The quilt is one I made for my boys when they were young and actually had the chicken pox. We were "cooped up" for three weeks, in a house without air conditioning, during a 90+ degree heatwave. Having the chicken fabrics on hand, I was able to make the quilt (and maintain my sanity) without ever leaving the discomfort of our home.

The pattern is "Folk Art Chickens" from Gwen Marston's book, Folk Art Quilts.

Enjoy the brilliance of Jessica's photography by clicking the photo below. When you link to the YouTube video, you can switch to full screen by clicking the arrow icon in the lower right corner.

Never underestimate a featherbrained scheme.
The result might be awesome!