Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Art Show: "Quilts from Nature: Landscapes & Florals" by Lenore Crawford, at The ArtQuilt Gallery in New York

It's that time - The ArtQuilt Gallery has a new show, and once again you all should head over and check it out if you possibly can!  Like their last show that I covered on the blog, "Walking Through Time" by Sue Benner, this collection of quilts bursts with intense colors that seem like they can barely be contained! 

The new show is called "Quilts from Nature: Landscapes & Florals," and features works by Lenore Crawford. These quilts range from medium to large-ish scale and are created using a combination of fusible raw-edge applique and pieced backgrounds.  

Lenore Crawford - The Garden Parasol, Fredrick Fesieke - 2008
"The Garden Parasol, Fredrick Fesieke" - 2008

Ms. Crawford's ability to combine commercial fabrics with hand painted elements greatly impressed me - from a distance her work seems to flow with perfect smoothness from one fabric type to another. When I got closer I enjoyed the challenge of picking out which elements were commercial fabrics from what must be a very impressive stash, and which elements were individually painted. 

Lenore Crawford - Monet's Lily Pond - 2010
"Monet's Lily Pond" - 2010
The show's wall text states,
"Lenore Crawford's fabric art combines her love of France, especially its architecture and gardens, with her passion for color and realism. Lenore's complementary use of texture and painting provide her works with a warmth and vitality only possible with this unique medium. "
The part about warmth and vitality completely made sense to me - these quilts were all able to draw me in and hold my attention for a long time in a way that other works featuring the same subject matter of landscapes and floral designs rarely are able to.  I enjoy both categories of artwork, but generally do not feel compelled by them when they are depicted in other media. 

Lenore Crawford - Hybrid Lily III - 2008
"Hybrid Lily III" - 2008

The fact that both this show and the previous one featured fused fabric with exposed raw edges, plus the fact that in both cases this technique looked excellent and completely professional, makes me want to try bringing some more raw edges into my own work.  In their work Lenore Crawford and Sue Benner use different approaches to how the fabric edges should be secured.  In Sue Benner's quilts, the fused fabric was held securely by quilting motifs that existed independently of the shapes in the cut fabric - the quilting anchored the fabric securely by crossing the raw edges repeatedly over the progress of the design. Lenore Crawford's style involves more use of stitching that catches fabric edges by traveling precisely just along the inside of each design element.  Both methods look fabulous!

Lenore Crawford - House of Roses - 2008
"House of Roses" - 2008

Lenore Crawford - Grand Poppy - 2007
"Grand Poppy" - 2007

This last quilt, "Grand Poppy," is my favorite piece from the show.  In addition to the gorgeous range of colors Ms. Crawford has incorporated into the flower's petals (my photograph seriously does this work NO JUSTICE at all!), the quilt incorporates a beautifully complex background composed of hundreds of tiny pieced squares in an incredible range of colors.  Fields of tiny pieced squares have always been on my list of favorite quilt elements!


  1. It's kind of amazing to me how little these have in common with your art quilts. I think I am only beginning to see the range of what is possible. Thanks for posting these!

    1. Art quilting turns out, as I always suspected, to be the medium where literally ANYTHING is possible. It's an inspiring world to be part of!

  2. Wow! These are all gorgeous. But I especially love the Hybrid Lilly. It is really beautiful. And I guess that would be perfect as wall arts.


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