The Children of Lir

Many years ago in ancient Ireland lived a King and ruler of sea called Lir. He had a beautiful wife, called Eva, who gave him four children – eldest son Aodh, a daughter called Fionnula and twin boys, Fiachra and Conn. When children were young, their mother Eva died. Lir and children were very sad, and King wanted a new mother for his young sons and daughter, so he married Eva’s sister Aoife who, it was said, possessed magical powers.

Aoife loved children and Lir at first, but soon she became very jealous of time that King spent with Aodh, Fionnula, Fiachra and Conn. She wanted to have all of his attention for herself. One day, she took children to swim in a lake while sun was hot in sky. When they got there and children took to water, Aoife used her powers to cast a spell over children, which would turn them all into beautiful swans.  http://irelandofthewelcomes.com/the-children-of-lir/

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This quilt represent the story of the “Children of Lir”.  The fabric in the center of the quilt is hand dyed.  The orange and yellow fabric in the border represents the burning jealousy of the step mother.

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The knotwork represent the children that were turned into swans.

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The illusion of the step mother is painted on the fabric with Paint Stik.

The quilt is machine and hand quilted and is approximately 56in x56 in.

 

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Infinity and Beyond

Imagination makes us aware of limitless possibilities. How many of us haven’t pondered the concept of infinity or imagined the possibility of time travel? In one of her poems, Emily Bronte likens imagination to a constant companion, but I prefer to think of it as a built-in entertainment system. Alexandra Adornetto
Circles are such a universal symbol of timelessness, eternity, cycles of life, completion, unity, regeneration and on and on.  The Celts used spiral and circles in so many of their decorations and I am intrigued by the never ending variety of them.

I found the background fabric for the spirals on a sale table in a shop in Virginia.  I couldn’t bear to cut it up, so decided to put the spirals on the top of each so the wonderful marbling on the fabric could still show.  The quilt is then outlined with random length blocks to show off the designs.  Aiden Meehan has done a series of books that are extremely helpful in drafting celtic designs and he also does a wonderful job of historical and developmental aspects of the designs.

Here are close ups of two of the spirals.

The quilts is 50×64 inches.  Designs are hand appliqued and the quilt is hand quilted in black thread.  Here’s a peek at the back.

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Dreaming of Spring Again

dreaming 2The sky is gray, the atmosphere is very gloomy and it is so cold outside.  But I got some great news today.  My quilt that has been on loan to the “500 Traditional Quilts” tour is going to make it’s final appearance in the International Quilt Festival in Chicago from April 4 through April 7, 2016.  It was really exciting to get this news.

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More Celtic Dreams

Am fear nach cuir a shnaidhm, caillidh e chiad ghrèim.
The man who puts not a knot on his thread loses the first stitch.

I love the intricacies of celtic design.  Aidan Meehan has published a series of books on Celtic design that are an excellent help when it comes to drafting the designs.  He is also very informative about the origins of the designs.  In this quilt I used a lot of his drafting techniques and design elements.

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Knot work is, of course a large part of celtic designs.  Zoomorphic design is also a key element.

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The design in the four corners of the quilt is after a Commaccio Flagon Mount, Italy, about 325 BC.  In the outline, you can see the mask, with the drop shaped eyes and bulbous nose.   In the corners are dragon shapes and in the triangles, griffin shapes.

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This is a close of of the knot work.

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This is a closeup of the central spiral.

The quilt is approximately 58×58 inches.  It is hand appliqued, and hand quilted.  It is finished with a corded edging.

Finished 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Winter has come!

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”
Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

 

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This morning I woke up to this scene in my backyard!

My quilt guild has an annual quilt challenge and show in December.  This year the challenge was to take a picture from nature and use the colors in the picture to create a quilt.  It didn’t have to be a copy of the picture by just the colors from the picture.  I had taken a picture last winter of a leaf desperately hanging on to a branch after the first snow.IMG_0281

The quilt is approximately 40 inches by 26 inches.  It is hand appliqued and hand quilted.  The picture frame border is  finished with a piping edge and the center design is outlined with double piping.

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Chevrons

“Nana, I really like this design, do you think you could make me a quilt like this?”  grandson

1 - 1 (1)Is there a grandmother out there that could resist a request like that?  I certainly couldn’t.  He even went with me to the fabric store to select the colors.  It all started because the last quilt that I made for him wasn’t long enough to cover his feet anymore.

1 - 1 (2)Here, the blocks are laid out and ready to put together.  It was strip pieced, cut into triangles, sewn into long strips and then joined together.

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Here’s what we came up with.  I think that it will cover him for at least a couple of years!

The quilt is about 72×84, machine pieced and machine quilted

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Celtic Spirals and Knotwork

Cha sgeul-rùin e ‘s fios aig triùir air.
It’s no secret if three know it.  Celtic proverb

I have become intrigued with ancient Celtic art.  Aidan Meehan has published a series of books of Celtic design that cover the history of the patterns and good instructions for drafting the patterns.  I’ve been studying particularly the spiral  and knotwork patterns.  As quilting is my art expressions, I couldn’t resist incorporating some of the designs into quilts.

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The blue  triangular knotwork is an Ulbster knot and is seen in the Lindisfarne folio.  Most knotwork is seen in stone carvings.

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The knotwork was bias binding made out of variegated blue fabric and hand appliqued on to the back piece.

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The central design is a triskele roundele.  The golden age of triskele roundels was approximately 650-850 AD.  The triskele is highlighted with copper colored fancy cording couched around the design.

The background and outside borders are hand crosshatched with a spiral highlighted in each corner.

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The piece is approximately 52 x 52 inches and is hand appliqued and hand quilted.

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