Organically Gramma™ presents Red Sand Blossoms, a flower basket quilt design inspired by the picturesque America Southwest desert. Hand-dyed cotton and wool appliqué, embroidery and bead embellishments.
Journal Entry: November 29, 2020
The last appliqué flower basket quilt in the Organically Gramma™ Pretty Pot series was inspired by our travel through southeastern Utah and northern Arizona. In the design of Red Sand Blossoms, I wanted to capture the essence of the rock outcroppings, the red sand that surrounds them and flowering succulents.
Traveling the Southwestern Red Sand Route: Colorado –> Mexican Hat, Utah –> Tuba City, Arizona
Striated red rock outcroppings…
I’d venture to guess Native American baskets were the first to appear in the United States. We can see the colors of natural red rock and white-gray sand in the forms of their artistic legacy.
Hardy succulents of greens, whites and reds…
A couple of sources inspired ideas for the colors and shapes of succulents found in the Southwest. I purchased several plants from our local Home Depot last summer and remembered seeing rows and rows of them from the visit. The snap below shows a great variety of succulents!
A couple of additional books were useful to identify flowers. I learned more about the types of succulents and their particular shapes by studying Peterson Field Guides Southwestern and Texas Wildflowers.
Embellished Wool and Cotton Hexagon Flowers
The imagery found in one of Quiltmania’s publications, Voyage autour de la Laine (A Trip Around the Wool) by de Segolaine Schweitzer, really inspired me. My first thought for the flowers in Red Sand Blossoms was to create only embellished wool-filled hexagons, embroidered with a sampling of southwestern flowers. Here’s a few I made to test the concept.
Then, looking back at the succulent photo I’d taken at Home Depot, I changed my mind. I decided I really wanted Red Sand Blossoms in my flower basket quilt to be more simply colored. So, I dyed more Kona cotton fabric, this time with shades of red and green for the appliqué flowers.
And I made more hexagon ‘flower’ clusters with wool and dyed cotton. These were embellished with green and teal Perle cotton embroidery and copper beads.
Finally, I sprinkled in a few mini hexagon flowers and small embroidered flowers to add filler to the flower basket quilt.
The Organically Gramma™ Pretty Pot Flower Basket Quilt Series
I began the Organically Gramma™ Pretty Pot series a little over a year ago. When I finished the first flower basket quilt, I had no idea that we would be facing a major pandemic in America–one that would keep us in masks and social distanced for so many months. That first quilt started a binge to design and make a collection. I’m extremely grateful the project came along to keep my mind active and my hands busy during this challenging time. I send a special thanks to Karen Gibbs, Design Director of Banyan Batiks Studio at Northcott for staying in touch this year. And, for providing one my favorite fabrics to appliqué from her new batik collections.
Click on the following to read the backstory for each of the Organically Gramma™Pretty Pots.
What’s next? Visit my journal again to find out…
Wishing you quilty fun,