Passionflower

Passionflower was an experiment in hand quilting using two threads in the eye of that tiny needle! I used a pale lavender cotton thread and a sparkly pink rayon thread to add a touch of shine to the quilting. All cotton fabrics, but featuring several purple Nancy Crow fabrics. size: 54"x 54"

Passionflower was an experiment in hand quilting using two threads in the eye of that tiny needle! I used a pale lavender cotton thread and a sparkly pink rayon thread to add a touch of shine to the quilting. All cotton fabrics, but featuring several purple Nancy Crow fabrics. size: 54″x 54″”Passionflower” features vibrant contemporary fabrics in a traditional pattern named Blazing Star, Star of Bethlehem, but today is most often called Lone Star. According to quilt historian Barbara Brackman this center medallion star pattern dates from the 1830 era proving the versatility of this diamond shaped eight-pointed star.

 

“Make visual decisions visually!” Lorraine Torrence

“Passionflower” began in a class taught by Jan Krentz who is the best teacher I have experienced. She taught from her book Lone Star Quilts and Beyond. The book contains careful instructions on how to strip-piece the accurate diamonds needed to create each of the eight section of the star. Another section of the book gives multiple ideas on possible designs to fill out the eight spaces around the star. We were encouraged to mix and match the techniques to create our own unique Lone Star!

Because each individual diamond forming the star has multiple bias (and very stretchy) edges this can be a difficult quilt to create and to lay flat. Historically many quilters have abandoned their unfinished top because it would not lay flat. The other innovation I appreciated using in Jan’s class was a hinged mirror placed by the tip of a small mock up we each created of the fabrics we proposed to use in the large diamond. The mirror reflected the mockup into a full star allowing us to preview the color combinations. If we did not like the reflected image we could adjust our fabrics before piecing.

Each step of the way Jan showed us how to avoid potential problems and how to double check our work insuring that we would not be disappointed with the outcome. She brought lots of useful tools to class for us to experiment with. Jan provided helpful insights when her input was requested. In fact, the orange accent color around the star points was her suggestion. I appliqued that tiny line of orange to the setting squares and setting triangles behind the star points. The rest of the quilt I pieced on my vintage Singer Featherweight.

Since it was a one day class the other of the design ideas evolved later. I am pleased with my choices, especially how the spiky star points contrast with the enveloping circle composed of the same shaped star points. I believe those contrasts help keep the eye engaged. I also believe that introducing the orange and turquoise accent colors in that outer circle enlivened the color scheme.

Then there are the bold purple/indigo fabrics designed by Nancy Crow. These appear in the center, around the star points and a different version appears in the four corners. Using a bold, printed fabric in each of these spots is one mark of contemporary design. I began the quilt in August, 2002. The top was finished in October, and I finished the hand quilting in March of 2003.

I used a bold Hawaiian flower filled fabric with a black background for the backing. The label contains a passionflower printed on fabric. I named this quilt because it recalls the wild passionflower vines that I remember from my childhood in Miami Springs, Florida. The flowers of that vine are a delicate swirl of elements around a dark center.

This pattern intrigued me to create three more Lone Star quilts–all very different:

"Pine Cones for Winter Solstice: Greenery to Honor the Rebirth of the Sun" The curved beauty of the Eastern White Pine Cone is featured in this border print fabric carefully cut to frame the star. 62" x 72"

“Pine Cones for Winter Solstice: Greenery to Honor the Rebirth of the Sun” The curved beauty of the Eastern White Pine Cone is featured in this border print fabric carefully cut to frame the star. 62″ x 72″

 

"Richmond, 1898" reproduces the quilt I imagined my maternal grandmother and her older sisters were working on in Richmond where they all lived. I used reproduction fabrics common to that time period. size: 61" x76" Made in 2003.

“Richmond, 1898″ reproduces the quilt I imagined my maternal grandmother, Mamie Coghill, and her older sisters were working on in Richmond where they all lived. I used reproduction fabrics common to that time period. size: 61″ x 76″  2003.

I discovered this fabric, called "Georgia" in honor of the artist Georgia O' Keefe who often painted thse moonflowers, after teaching a Lone Star class at Spinning Stars. I knew I wanted to feature this fabulous fabric in the eight setting squares of a lone star. I was so enthusiastic about this new project that by the next week I had pieced the central star. After reading Ruth McDowell's book on color I was inspired to experiment with weaving color in and out to suggest transparency in the outer series of diamonds. This original design is the fouth in a series of lone star quilts from 2003. size: 59" x 73"

I discovered this fabric, called “Georgia” in honor of the artist Georgia O’ Keefe who often painted thse moonflowers, after teaching a Lone Star class at Spinning Stars. I knew I wanted to feature this fabulous fabric in the eight setting squares of a lone star. I was so enthusiastic about this new project that by the next week I had pieced the central star. After reading Ruth McDowell’s book on color I was inspired to experiment with weaving color in and out to suggest transparency in the outer series of diamonds. All the Moonflower fabric sections are hand quilted. This original design is the fouth in a series of lone star quilts from 2003. size: 59″ x 73″

 

 

 

 

 

This entry was posted in Black Accents, Contemporary Design, Hand Quilted, Lone Star, Paula's Quilt. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Passionflower

  1. Diana Capen says:

    Beautiful quilts! The Georgia quilt, with the moonflowers, is my favorite of this group.

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