We All Sometimes Need Embellishing

Good Morning from 24 Blocks! Many of us who grew up with a mother who taught us that “less is more” in dress and in design have a secret yearning to create something riotous in color and texture and depth. We’re the ones who might wear lace underneath a dull grey suit or, if wearing pearls with a little black dress, layer on a few more stands and, like Coco Channel, let a few drape backwards. Our toenails are probably painted red for much of the year. And sometimes we just really, really want to embellish our quilts. It’s an inner drive. We’re going to turn something staid and predictable into art.

The Victorians did it. We think that those silk and velvet crazy quilts with all that intricate embroidery weren’t just created to show off needle working skills. They came from an inner drive to “feel”, to be tactile and to be visually rich. The societal norms, the tight corsets, the obsession with mourning and black and the dour could all be transcended in a quilt in which there really was no mistake. Those crazy quilts were like jewels, rich in fabric and adornment.

Recently, three of our readers have shared photos of quilted art with their embellishments. Here they are. Two, Linda and Barbara, have added embellishments to some of the most traditional designs we have in quilting: the “Baltimore Album” and the “Colonial Lady” (sometimes called “Southern Belle” or “Umbrella Girl” or “Parasol Lady”). Adding embellishment to “Colonial Lady” is a bit like adding bling to “Sunbonnet Sue”. It may be lace and pearls now, but once you cross that line you just know there will be an iPhone in there next. 🙂 The last photo, from Annie, shows an adorable, more country, piece with a name added and a 3-D flower. We’re not sure if it is an iPad cover, but it could be very useful and it is certainly visually appealing.

from: Linda Deis: “A few years ago I took a Baltimore Album class at my local quilt shop. After we made the first couple blocks we did rushing. All of a sudden my brain said, “Hey, i can embellish quilt blocks!” These next few pictures are the result of that light bulb going off. I haven’t quilted yet – only quilting I can see is hand – I can’t really figure how I am going to get these embellished blocks in the frames. If you have any ideas, please share. The first pic is the whole quilt followed by some block close ups.”

from: Linda Deis: “Again the trim around the center ring is two silk cords twisted and stitched down. Flower centers are beads and the buds are more upholstery fringe.”

from: Barbara Gibson: “I post this with a HUGE thank you to Linda Deis for encouraging me to embellish my quilting with beads :>))”

from Annie Gouret

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