Bleeding Hearts

By: Kay Ross
Long Beach, California

My inspiration quilt came from Julie Silber’s collection and has three unique qualities that appealed to me: color, original graphic design, and exceptional quilting. The quilt consists of solid red and green fabrics with a white background providing balance and satisfaction. These contrasting colors were an extremely popular choice for quilt makers in the mid-nineteenth century. There is no provenance accompanying this quilt. However, the colors, diamonds and amount of quilting would suggest it to be from that period.

The original design is composed of two key elements. The center has four green petals, overlapping four red heart shaped flower motifs. A ring of alternating red and green diamonds encloses the heart flowers. Together the color and design make an outstanding graphic statement.

The quilting is truly exceptional. The red and green design elements are closely quilted in concentric circles. The white background is echo-quilted around groups of quilted leaves and is truly stunning. The quiltmaker’s drafting, hand piecing and tiny, even quilt stitches are evidence of her high skill level. I chose to appliqué the center section; hand pieced the diamonds, and quilted it by hand.

The journey of making this study quilt provided valuable personal information. Every aspect of all the skills needed to make this quilt became apparent. I learned the need to improve my drafting knowledge, piecing small pieces on a curve, maintaining small even quilting stitches through seams, and time management. The sewing skills demonstrated in the quilt proved to be beyond challenging for me. I wish to thank Julie Silber for allowing me to use her wonderful quilt for my study project this year.