Friday, December 3, 2010

Four Circular Vine Blocks

Circular vine with grapes, top row, second block from the left
Today's blog is the second in a series of blogs featuring blocks from the Album with Lyre Medallion, and circular vines is the theme. The quilt includes four blocks with circular vines, and each block is unique in its combination of botanical elements. The first block is from the top row, second from the left, and includes leaves and triangular bunches of multicolored grapes in green, cheddar orange, and oxblood/burgundy.

Circular vine with apples and strawberries, third row, left side
The second block may be familiar to those who follow my blog. I've included it in more than one blog in the past. This block is from the third row, far left, and includes leaves, apples and strawberries in two colors. It is one of my favorite blocks because of the way the apple stems seem to bend with the weight of the fruit.

Circular vine with simplified Roses of Sharon, no centers, and buds
The third block is also from the third row, far right. It is made with two-colors and includes Roses of Sharon, simplified without center circles, and buds that look ready to burst open. This circle is a clever solution to the problem of creating an applique circular vine. It is made in pieces with the flowers hiding the breaks in the vine. The wreath is flanked by opening buds and leaves in all four corners of the block.

Circular vine with a selection of summer and fall fruits
The last of the four blocks is from the bottom row, center, and would make a pretty good pie - or two! The wreath includes pears in yellow and green, plums, and strawberries. Small leaves balance nicely with chain stitched stems and the larger open space in the center of the circle. In this block, as in the other three, the applique stems or vines are about 1/4" wide.

Yesterday I posted a link to my blog on the American Quilt Study Group Yahoo Group, and someone asked about whether or not I would make patterns available for this quilt. It's not the first time I've been asked, but my response has remained the same. I don't mind if quilt makers want to study the quilt by recreating parts of it, or even the whole thing with the correct attributions. However, I am not planning to make a published pattern available. In my way of thinking, keeping it out of mass production and the world of commerce is a way I can maintain its status as a unique work of art.


  1. Thanks for posting the individual blocks. It is wonderful to see how someone else works, especially a quilter with such wonderful technique.
    The embroidery detail is just wonderful (as is everything else about this quilt).

  2. It is such a thrill to see these up close (and personal, one may say)The pear, plums and strawberry block is amazing. At first glance the stem of the pears look like a little erroneous (if you see what I mean), and then one sees that they are all made like that. In my mind it shows an artist with an attitude:) I love your last paragraph - it is a unique work of art and should remain that way. It is tempting to try and replicate some of the blocks though. Would that be ok, do you think? Thank you for showing and sharing your passion for quilts. It is inspiring. Beyond belief. Take care. Una in a bitterly cold Norway (-11 celcius now)

  3. This is so fascinating! I keep staring at the blocks and wonder what the quilter might have been thinking when she worked on this quilt. As I look at the second block, the stems in the center are ending on top of the red buds and are tucked under the other end. In most of the modern quilts I have seen them tucked under the fruits or the flowers. I am just in awe!

    I understand you not wanting to re-produce the quilt. It is a piece of art and should remain that way. Great piece of art is a wonderful thing to get inspired by and best left with it's originality.

    Thank you for sharing more pictures of the quilt today!

  4. Glad you're all enjoying the blocks. I learn something new every time I look at this quilt. It was really fun to see Ronda Beyer looking at the quilt. She had some great observations about the construction - things I just don't know because sewing is something I haven't really learned.

    Una- How wonderful to have a reader from Norway! Feel free to make your own studies, and have fun with those. Just don't publish or distribute patterns from this quilt. That's all I ask. :)

    Since I'm not a really quilt maker and don't really know how to sew, it would be hard to say if I'd be tempted to recreate existing quilts. It seems pretty normal among quilt makers, so maybe. I'm just not sure if it would bring as much satisfaction as making up my own ideas. The one textile piece I've worked on - the denim piece seen in the background of Wonkyworld - is in the style of a Gee's Bend work clothes quilt. However, the actual design is something I made up on my own - so it doesn't really match any existing quilt that I know of. In this case, I've allowed myself to be influenced by something without really duplicating it.

  5. I love the combination of fruits in these blocks...not surprising that they lived on a farm! As a quilter I think it is difficult not to be inspired by quilts we see but attempting to duplicate gets a bit tedious. (I expect however I may see more fruit on my next applique block!)

  6. I am enjoying this show so much, Bill. Yes, the quilt is inspirational. I think you are right to avoid a mass production of this quilt. For one thing, I doubt anyone these days could replicate the intense quilting. For me, the quilting increases its charm. Those of us who follow your blog are lucky to see it. Thanks.

  7. Thank you for sharing those wonderful close ups of the quilt.
    The quilting is amazing!!