Flowers, Flowers, Everywhere

Exploring the world of florals within the framework of textile art from the collection of The National Quilt Museum

A Mandala of Flowers (1997) by Noriko MasuiThe National Quilt Museum

Flowers, Flowers, Everywhere

This online exhibit is an explosion of flowers.  The artists present the florals in a variety of ways; utilizing realism, abstraction, and imaginative, fantasy images. Some of the artists incorporate their flowers into traditional quilt patterns while others make the images so large that the flowers are the quilt. No matter how the flowers are depicted, they are wondrous. Enjoy your exploration of these flowering beauties.

Unexpected Beauty (2004) by Sandra LeichnerThe National Quilt Museum

With an eye to a more realistic representation, Leichner says, “I am passionate about the traditional framework of the American quilt, and that unique style is always reflected in my work. I personally refer to what I do as ‘illustrating with fabric and thread.’ The lesson I learned was to approach any artistic medium with the same view: that technique is an integral and essential step in the overall success of the final piece and its overall impact. My quilts are designed to specifically incorporate techniques that force me to stretch my abilities. 'Unexpected Beauty' took seven months to complete. Its creation departed from my usual tradition-based style in order to see if I could translate one of my watercolor illustrations into fabric."

- Sandra Leichner

Hollyhocks (2002) by Velda NewmanThe National Quilt Museum

Hollyhocks is a vibrant burst of color, with realistic blooms. The top and bottom borders with deep pinkish-red waves form a framework, barely containing the blooms.

Hollyhocks (Alcea) are popular garden ornamentals native to Europe and Asia and widely grown from seed in North America. The tall, single stem plants flower in a wide variety of colors, from white and pastel pinks, purples, and yellows, to deep red and nearly black maroon.

Raggedy Sun Worshippers (1996) by Jane BlairThe National Quilt Museum

On a spectrum closer to realism, these sunflowers exhibit a life well-lived, and fill the quilt space.

“For me, flowers mean summertime, and sunflowers are the epitome of summer. My daughter lives near a field of sunflowers and as I watched this field one year, I marveled at the ragged, disheveled look of these beautiful flowers as they progressed through their life cycle. In this quilt I tried to depict that stage at which time their heads hang and their leaves curl.”

- Jane Blair

Wisteria (2008) by Mark ShermanThe National Quilt Museum

Wisteria fills the entire frame of this work, resembling a stained glass window. The design for Wisteria is modeled after a window by Louis Comfort Tiffany titled "Snowball and Wisteria," circa 1907.

"Quilting for me is a road, one filled with many choices and many ways to achieve a goal. Quilting has shown me how much my family loves me and wants only the best for me. It's just like life. Thank God for quilting and quilters."

- Mark Sherman

The Charm of Small Pink Roses (2012) by Keiko MinamiThe National Quilt Museum

Although a more traditional star pattern, the design of the contemporary, almost abstract roses, gives this quilt a non-traditional look.

"One of the most difficult things about making this quilt was how I could subtly devise tints of colors in order to express transparency. I like making design with great interest in beauty that various colors and shapes create. What I feel most about quilting is not only the flexibility of cloth but also the tenderness and heart of the producer.”

- Keiko Minami

Summer Garden (2003) by Cynthia MorganThe National Quilt Museum

Summmer Garden is one of a series of impressionistic quilts. It was designed intuitively, working with small remnants of dyed fabrics to create the impression of a walkway through a beautiful garden.

Through her quilts, Cynthia Morgan wants to make the viewer aware of the beauty of the natural environment that is being gradually eroded by man's uncontrolled intrusion.

A Mandala of Flowers (1997) by Noriko MasuiThe National Quilt Museum

A Mandala of Flowers is traditional in structure. The checkerboards lead the eye around the circle, fading into the floral ring. The eye is drawn to the central square filled with a floral bouquet.

"My quilt was inspired by Tibetan sand mandalas. It is my present to all the people who have kindly assisted me on the various scenes. I think, in quilting, colors, combination and design are indeed profound and they are measures of my self-expression or expression of one's sense of beauty."

- Noriko Masui

Thank You Gratitude (2014) by Akiko MatsumuraThe National Quilt Museum

A trailing vine filled with roses flows around the quilt, giving the artwork its shape and form.

"The inspiration for the design came from when I was visiting my uncle shortly before his death. There was a single beautiful rose outside his room, which I had never seen before. After he died, the image of the rose stayed with me, and I wanted to let many more roses like it bloom in my quilt."

- Akiko Matsumura

A Rose Garden In A Blue Fence (2008) by Keiko MiyauchiThe National Quilt Museum

The quilt framing depicts appliquéd "fencing" based upon the lace window designs of French buildings. The strength of the blue makes the roses pop. The symmetry of the design is pleasing, and reminds one of a well-loved garden.

"I began making quilts in 1981. I have been making quilts and teaching quilting ever since. I entered a quilt in the American Quilter's Society contest for the first time in 1993. Since then, whenever I make a quilt, I enter it. I already have seven dogwood ribbons (first place awards). Recently some of my pupils have won awards in Japan and the United States. I'm proud of them."

- Keiko Miyauchi

Floral Symphony (1998) by Betty Ekern SuiterThe National Quilt Museum

"Floral Symphony is a copy of a carpet by Asmara, with permission. All the colors and flowers are different. This quilt depicts the lyrical elegance of the time of Louis XVI."

- Betty Ekern Suiter

Floral Urns (1992) by Debra WagnerThe National Quilt Museum

"Floral Urns is a traditional design. It resembles a Baltimore Album quilt with the squares of floral abundance, contrasted with solid negative space.

I am a traditionalist in design, if not in technique. My main interest is developing machine methods for traditional quiltmaking. My favorite quilts have challenging piecing or appliqué with lots of quilting and trapunto."

- Debra Wagner

Sedona Rose (2006) by Sharon SchamberThe National Quilt Museum

Sedona Rose is a fantasy floral with beautiful blooms created from the imagination.

"My Aunt Joe taught me to sew at the age of 76. At the age of 12, I made my first formal dress and at 19, I started my own company creating bridal and pageant wear. Sedona Rose started as an idea from a tiny piece of lace. The corner border comes from my bridal and pageant background and is all made by me. The crystals on the back - approximately 130,000 - were heat set Swarovski crystals and took many hours to set. It was a challenge to make all these bright colors work together. My advice to anyone starting out as a quilter is practice, practice, practice. This means you have to have the dedication to spend many hours learning all of the steps necessary to create your quilts. It also means that you must really love what you are doing."

- Sharon Schamber

Winter Garden (1996) by Patricia B. Campbell and Betty CarpenterThe National Quilt Museum

This colorful triptych is a fantasy of vines winding around one another with entwined blooms.

"As the glorious flowers of summer fade away, I recall them in fabric to brighten my winter days."

- Pat Campbell

Momma's Garden (1992) by Anne J. OliverThe National Quilt Museum

"Each time I do a white whole cloth quilt I find only one drawback - I miss color. Momma's Garden remains a white whole-cloth, but it was easy to add the color in the appliqué design. Another benefit of adding the color allowed me to make a small dent in the huge stack of prints I kept buying. The design was inspired by a Mennonite pattern based on a Marseilles counterpane."

- Anne J. Oliver

Flower Power (2008) by Philippa NaylorThe National Quilt Museum

Flower Power is a subtle quilt, with delicate shades of yellow, green, and orange. Technically a whole cloth quilt, these shades are created solely by the quilting thread and the sun and floral machine embroidery. Naylor creates a beautiful pattern of florals and circles, leading us around the quilt.

Credits: Story

The National Quilt Museum is pleased to offer this exhibit, as well as other quality quilt exhibits, as a loan.

Traveling exhibits for loans can be customized to the desired subject matter and size, depending on availability. Museums and galleries interested in these exhibits should call the The National Quilt Museum at 270-442-8856.

"Flowers, Flowers, Everywhere" was digitally curated by Nancy Eisenmenger, Curatorial Intern, Summer 2020.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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