Inspiration. How does it work? I honestly don’t know. But what I do know, is that I find inspiration (or it finds me) in all sorts of ways. What inspired my Crossed Canoes quilt, here in the Longsmith Cottage Quilt Shop? Four things:
Crossed Canoes Quilt made by Katie Longsmith / Size: 58″ x 83″ / 100% cotton and batik fabrics / Crossed Canoes quilt block / Sound waves quilting design
In her book Quilting with Style/Principles for Great Pattern Design, Gwen Marston (renowned quilter and quilt historian who passed in 2019) explained that, in the study of quilts, the best way to understand a quilt is to make it. And that is the story behind the Nine Patch quilt found here in the Longsmith Cottage Quilt Shop.
The International Quilt Study Center & Museum at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has a quilt in its collection entitled Nine-Patch, made by Mrs. Eshleman, probably in Lancaster County, PA, c. 1860. I’m not sure why I was so drawn to this quilt. I decided to recreate it, using fabrics I had on hand as much as possible. After all, that’s probably what Mrs. Eshleman did. I learned so much in how the quilt maker used color and value in creating the nine-patch blocks set on point. The golden yellow sashing and pink border are not colors I would normally gravitate to, but they work! The result is a striking contemporary version of a beautiful antique quilt.
Nine Patch Quilt made by Katie Longsmith / Size: 64″ x 88″ / 100% cotton fabrics / 9-patch quilt block / tulips quilting design
I’ve just finished the first quilt in what will be a series of three, for the Easter season. For Lent, I decided to give up buying any new fabric, and so these quilts will be made with fabric from my scraps and stash. This first one is called Good Friday.
My inspiration came from the Crown of Thorns quilt block used in this quilt dated 1936, made by Anna Miller Yoder of Garden City, MO. The block represents the crown made of thorns that Jesus wore before and during his crucifixion.
My modern version is purposefully more graphic and chaotic, with “thorns” covering the entire quilt. I find respite only when I rest my eyes on the “crowns” themselves – of my Lord and my God.
The Good Friday Quilt by Katie Longsmith / Size: 80″ x 96″ / Crown of Thorns quilt block / Flames quilting design