Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday Inspiration - Pinwheel Quilts

Since we began the week with pinwheels, it seems right to end with them too!  I've always liked pinwheels, so it's no surprise that I really like pinwheel quilts.  I've never made one, but am planning to change that soon!  Doing a little research into pinwheel quilts, I was surprised to learn they've been around for a long time - at least since the late 1700's in the US.  There might be countless different patterns you can make with a pinwheel design, from simple to quite complicated. 

c. 1850 - 1875, cotton

This pinwheel quilt from the Quilt Index and the Connecticut Quilt Search was made sometime between 1850 and 1875.  It was hand pieced and hand quilted from cotton fabric.  The red pinwheels in the center are really eye catching, next to the darker pinwheels that surround it.  I wonder who made it and who used it?

1930, wool and cotton

Setting the pinwheels in diamond shapes gives them a feeling of movement!  This quilt was made in 1930 by an unidentified Amish quilter in Indiana.  We know his/her initials were J.L. as they were embroidered in the center along with the date it was finished, January 23, 1930.  It's now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  If you go to the museum's page on it, you can magnify the picture and look at the intricate quilting - done by hand.

 I love the bright colors used with these two modern day pinwheel quilts.  The quilt on the left was created by Australian quilt artist Brenda Gael Smith.  She works with bright colors and lots of fun geometric designs - be sure to check out her gallery. The gorgeous rainbow pinwheel quilt on the right was designed by Texan quilter Martha Tsihlas.  I know I'm partial to anything rainbow, but this one really stands out nicely against the black background.  She used just the right progression of colors to give a smooth transition along the spectrum, too.  Her gallery has more great pieces!

If you're becoming inspired to create your own pinwheel quilt, so am I!  RJR Fabric's site has free instructions for this quilt designed by Jinny Beyer.  It would work real well for making a rainbow or color wheel quilt.

However .... I think this one is going to find it's way to the top part of my "quilts to make soon" list.  Rachel Griffith at p.s. I quilt featured a set of quilt along tutorials showing how to make this pinwheel sampler.  I can definitely see it with these 1930's style fabrics I've been eyeing at my local quilt fabric store! I've just got to get a few almost done projects finished up first!

Happy Creating!  Deborah

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