Joen Wolfrom’s Playing with Color: Celebrating Fall with QuiltsJoen Wolfrom | October 27, 2011
This week the colors of the leaves are getting so beautiful, so I decided we needed to take a breather and celebrate fall with quilts. Some of these quilts are my all-time favorites in autumnal colorings or in theme. They are a wide variation in technique. Some of these quilts were made in the 80s and 90s while others are more recent. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
Autumn Praise by Carol Webb
This is one of my all-time fall favorites! When Carol made this quilt, she lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma. However, she now lives in the Bend, Oregon area. She is a most talented quilter, as you can see. I love the way Carol used value in this quilt, allowing some leaves to evaporate into the leaf background while others catch our attention. If you look carefully at this quilt, Carol has used fillers between each leaf block. These fillers allow her extra space to play in the background. It also gives the design breathing room. Because of the fillers and her value play, this quilt has a very organic feel to it. It’s still one of my favorites after all of these years!
Pieceful Garden by Mary Sorensen and Jan Wildman
These elegant applique motifs were designed by Mary while Jan designed the pieced blocks. The flowers and leaves are very rich and remind me of the colors that are beginning to turn at this time of year. I love the gracefulness of the flowers and leaves. If you’re interested, Mary has made a commercial pattern for this quilt. Her website is http://www.maryappliques.com/. By the way, Mary has other beautiful applique designs available in pattern too. You may be surprised to know that this quilt is all hand appliqued. That’s Mary’s forte.
(Here’s an additional miscellaneous non-color note for some of you who are hand appliquers or who would like to learn hand applique: Mary is one of the best hand applique teachers around. Since she’s not “on the road” a lot, when you see her name listed, I’d jump on it if if it works with your schedule. Since I never seem to have time to take a class, if I ever decide to get back to hand applique again, the first thing I would do is purchase Mary’s new applique video, as I have heard it’s superb. )
Coriolis by Judy Dales
Judy Dales is one of my all-time favorite quilt artists. It’s probably because we both love curved designs—and we love to play with color and value. However, our styles are quite different. Judy’s designs are absolutely amazing and filled with intricacy. Mine are so simple in comparison. I have always loved Coriolis. It is so rich in color and texture. Notice how Judy has moved the values throughout this quilt. If you would like to see more of Judy’s stunning quilts, visit her website at http://www.judydales.com/index.php.
Autumn Perspective by Caryl Bryer Fallert
Autumn Perspective (1984) is one of my all-time favorite fall quilts too. Caryl’s “attic window” variation goes beyond what most people even think to do with this design. Notice how the light hits differently within each row of panes, as well as in each individual frame. Caryl chose to engage our imagination by not making her background realistic. She wanted to present us with the suggestion of the beautiful autumnal glory in the woodlands beyond the window through curved lines and color. Caryl, one of the most talented quilting artists I know—and a friend, creates quilts in many different styles. Her images are usually filled with color and motion. If you would like to feast your eyes on some very beautiful quilts, go to her website at http://www.bryerpatch.com/. Caryl also has patterns, sells fabric, and other items. In addition, many of her works of art are available for purchase. She also teaches workshops—and has a great studio in Paducah.
September Mountain by Carol Ann Wadley
I love this wall quilt of Carol Ann’s. She used the traditional pattern Maple Leaf to create her landscape quilt. What’s so clever about this quilt is the entire design is made with squares and half-square triangles. This quilt was created in 1986 when Carol lived in the Portland, Oregon area. It celebrates the beauty of fall with Mount Hood as its backdrop—Portland’s favorite mountain. Carol was one of the Pacific Northwest’s most talented quiltmakers in the 1980s—–before she moved back to her home stomping grounds in Temple, Texas. We SO miss her here!
Autumn Log Cabin
I love autumn and I had accumulated several leaf sun-prints from a South African fabric artist. Also, I love good old-fashioned, traditional barn-raising log cabin quilts. So it was easy to put these two elements together to make one quilt. This quilt is unusual for me in that I only used a handful of different fabrics instead of my usual dozens and dozens. I do love this quilt, but unfortunately it does not fit the color palette of our home, let alone our bedroom. I’d love to give it to one of my children, but I don’t think there are any takers as yet. Maybe some day.
Forest at First Light
Chris Porter asked me to do a quilt for her tile book, Viva Venezia. The design was based on a selected Venetian floor tile and I was rather excited to do it. I loved the basic design motif. However, once I began, I found I couldn’t follow the directions—not through any fault of Chris’s. My creative spirit couldn’t abide by the basic repetition, although I loved the design—-I just couldn’t make myself do it. I needed to vary it more. I asked Chris if I could make my own variation on the design and poor Chris, what was she to say? Here was her truly errant friend who couldn’t follow directions. So, she said yes—thank goodness. I pulled out all kinds of fabrics that seemed to want to be invited into the quilt. I had a great time playing. What I am most happy about is that Chris gave me a starting point that was different from what I would usually take. It forced me to work in a different mindset. And, I so enjoyed working on this quilt. (By the way, this quilt was beautifully quilted by Karen Dovala from Superior, Colorado. She also quilted the log cabin quilt.)
Well, these quilts should get you in the mood to think fall. I still have a few more to show you, but it will have to be another time. It’s truly a beautiful time of year. There are so many ways you can celebrate fall through your quilts. You can do them in theme, coloring, or both. Perhaps one or two of these quilts will give you an idea for your own fall inspiration. Have fun dreaming about a fall project.
Happy coloring until next week!
Text and photography copyright © Joen Wolfrom
The copyright of all quilt images shown remain with the individual quilt artists.
Joen is a color enthusiast who teaches and lectures on color. She has written three color books: Color Play, Visual Coloring, and The Magical Effects of Color. Her Studio Color Wheel is used to illustrate color concepts in many of these blog posts. She is also the designer of the 3-in-1 Color Tool. Her new book Adventures in Designis now available. Joen’s newest design tool, the Magic Design-Ratio Tool has just been released. All books and products are published by C & T Publishing.