I just love the Fall. If I had my way, it would always be Fall. Perhaps I'm so enamored because I grew up in San Diego, where Fall is more a designation of time than an actual season, and now the beauty of the New England Fall has enchanted me. Maybe it's because I love the feel of the cool, crisp air on my face or the sound of crunching leaves beneath my feet as I walk. Honestly, it could be as simple as the fact that my favorite colors are orange and red.
Whatever the reason, Fall inspires me. It signals that the year is drawing to a close, and in response I instinctively find myself reflecting on the past. Though we here at Quilting Arts are always looking to the future for the newest techniques and the most talented up-and-coming art quilters, I thought it would be a fun ode to Fall to take another look at some of the autumn-inspired art quilts from past Fall issues of Quilting Arts Magazine. So put on a light sweater, grab some hot chocolate, and enjoy!
Let's start with the appropriately named "Septober," Nancy Simonelli's piece from the October/November 2010 issue. I love the Fall leaves!
Nancy actually pounded maple, oak, and birch leaves into PFD fabric and used cloth markers and free-motion quilting to enhance their effect. She then attached silk leaves and three-dimensional fabric leaves, many of which she hand beaded to add a little sparkle.
This next image comes from the August/September 2007 issue. Entitled "A Fruitful Harvest," this work by Kirsten Chursinoff makes me think of Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday.
To create this scene, Kirsten used cutout cardstock stencils that she traced onto different fabrics using a fabric-marking pen. She then appliquéd the shapes onto her backing fabric and free-motion stitched contrasting colors for the leaves' veins and other details. Lastly, she used free-motion machine embroidery on water-soluble materials to create "skeletal leaves."
This quilt, "Leelanua Autumn," is a much more subtle tribute to Fall. Artist Desiree Vaughn created this work as part of a collaboration with fellow quilters Kathie Briggs and Peg Keeney. The article in the Fall 2006 issue of Quilting Arts, in which this piece is featured, describes how these three artists shared space and tools, offered suggestions and feedback, and inspired each other to branch out. This particular quilt is an example of Desiree's minimalist approach and use of bold graphics.
Finally, we have Linda Turner's "Rivanna Memories" from the August/September 2009 issue. Though it is more an ode to a particular place, I can't help but get an autumn vibe from this piece. After printing sepia-tone photos onto batik fabric, Linda pieced the photo images with colored fabric scraps and free-motion stitched the entire thing. She then used fabric paints and permanent pens to blur the boundaries and added the finishing touches—yarn for grass, three-dimensional flowers and leaves, and pebble beads.
I hope you enjoyed this homage to Fall. Now it's your turn! Tell me your favorite thing about Fall, or share your ideas for a seasonally appropriate quilting project. Ready, go!