October 24, 2011

State Flower Quilt by Vicki Haninger

State Flower Quilt - turkeyfeathers.typepad.com
Today I'm excited to tell you about a wonderful embroidery and quilt project by Vicki from the Turkey Feathers blog. I just know you're going to love this! Over a period of many months she embroidered every single (US) state flower and then she turned them into a quilt. It's beautiful and inspiring!

You should check out Vicki's blog, Turkey Feathers. And her shop, PatternBee! PatternBee is a wonderful resource for vintage embroidery patterns which Vicki restores and sells both as PDF and iron-on patterns.
She is also an author of two books: Embroidery Craft: Stitching Through the Seasons and Blanket Statement.

I asked Vicki a few questions about the project and here's what she had to say. You can also read more about it on her blog. Thank you, Vicki!


(All images with kind permission of Vicki)

Tell us a bit about yourself
My name is Vicki Haninger, and I live in the beautiful Willamette Valley here in Oregon with my husband and two youngest daughters and various adorable critters, including some that run wild through my backyard on a daily basis!

State Flower Quilt - turkeyfeathers.typepad.com
When did you start stitching?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been sewing and stitching.  Like most stitchers, the biggest influences I had growing up, came from the women in my family who always seemed to have a project of some kind in their hands, mostly out of necessity. But there was also much joy in the making.  I found this out early when at the age of five, I was handed a needle and thread and completed my first embroidery of a tiny cross-stitch chick.  It was a defining moment for me I guess, because I can still remember the thrill of that simple task (over fifty years ago now, ahem!), and then, to realize where it’s led in terms of what I am doing today.

State Flower Quilt - turkeyfeathers.typepad.com
What inspired you to start the State Flower Quilt?
The State Flower Quilt Project was the result of a basic pattern restoration.  (That’s primarily what PatternBee offers, in an attempt to keep the old vintage patterns, which are under public domain, available so that others can access and use them more easily.)  Sometimes an old pattern has little things about it that could be made better though and this was the case with the state flower patterns.

So I tweaked the typography, changed the awkward shortened state names to two letter abbreviations, and made slight changes to the flower blocks themselves.  Then I began stitching them, one by one, and sharing them on my blog as free pattern downloads.  The finished blocks and free patterns can also be found on the Turkey Feathers Flickr page, and the pattern is also available from the PatternBee website as a PDF and as an Iron-On Transfer.

State Flower Quilt - turkeyfeathers.typepad.com
How long did it take to finish the quilt?
My State Flower Quilt was completed in about 18 months, but I didn’t work on it every day or very fast, so that’s maybe an average timeframe for a quilt like this.   The flower blocks are easily done though, with just a few basic stitches, and being small they are travel-friendly; a nice size to stow in your bag and take with you to pass the time while you wait somewhere.  So the fact that there are fifty of them shouldn’t be too daunting!  But if it is, you can always just omit the lettering and use the flowers individually for other projects.

11 comments:

  1. How lovely! I have a similar, old, rather creased iron on transfer pattern of all the US state flowers. It came from an old lady (now deceased) who lived in Indiana and who was my step father's mother.( I am in the UK) It was something she sent off for from a woman's magazine or newspaper but unfortunately I can't find a date anywhere on it. I have been meaning to make up a similar quilt for ages so seeing this post has prompted me to get started.

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  2. This is incredible!!!
    So much time and talent went into that quilt!!

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  3. This is so beautiful and inspiring. Thank you for sharing this!

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  4. This is so lovely! My family has a state flower quilt that my grandmother made. But instead of embroidering the flowers, she actually used fabric markers (or something similar) and then quilted along the pictures, which gives it the appearance of being embroidered from a distance. It's still a beautiful quilt, though. :) I'd love to make one of these someday.

    ~Kristin

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  5. how neat! i never knew the flower for the state i currently live in: Forget-me-not! awesome! i would like to do something with all the flowers of the states i have lived in...hmm....

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  6. I have an old pattern set for the state flowers and birds somewhere in my stash. One of these days I'll get it out and give it a go! Most of my patterns go back to the 50's and 60's. I few are older.

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  7. How beautiful! I have always loved the combination of embroidery and quilting. Seeing this (and reading Rose's comment above) has inspired me to start a state bird quilt. I love birds and the thought of combining that with the states and the vintage appeal - lovely!! I would love to see more vintage work on here!

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  8. It's really amazing. I've been following Turkey Feathers on and off for awhile. Vicki is inspirational!

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  9. A nice quilt with lots of details - it is great with all the flowers :-)

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  10. I've been watching the progress of this and have to say the finished product is absolutely fab!!

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