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Inspiring Quilting: Elly's blog to boost your creative IQ


Horticulture inspired by the arts–that’s the theme of  the 2014 Philadelphia Flower Show.


Picture frames invite you to see the floral designs as art forms.


At its most exciting (for me), the floral arrangements immediately call to mind the work of specific celebrated artists. For example, spheres of blooms may appear as  Seuss-ical celestial systems. But step directly in front of the frame, and Wassily Kandinsky is in the room.



Bet you can guess whose work inspired the following vignettes…

3   3a



5a  5b





For some reason, I’m not quite sure why, the priceless fine art masterpieces cannot be exhibited alongside the arty horticulture. I do think that showing printed images of signature artworks would help folks make the parallels, give this show many teachable moments, and make fine art accessible to a new crop of viewers! After all, you might go Mmmm at these compositions, but the satisfaction is so much greater if you are familiar with Mondrian, Monet, Matisse, and Magritte.

So how great is it when the actual painting that inspired the floral design can be and IS exhibited alongside it. Paintings by students at PAFA–the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts have mood and color palettes picked up by the floral designer. Sooo cool.



As always, I loved being at the Philadelphia Flower Show–especially just after yet another snowfall and with wind chill temperatures dipping down to the ridiculous.

In a future blog post, I hope to point up with my pics how floral designers in this show successfully use the elements of art: color, texture, line, rhythm, balance, unity, and so on.

But I can’t sign off ’til I touch on quilting! Don’t wanna get into that timeworn debate of quilts as art vs. craft. Except to opine that taking a traditional craft form and infusing it with all the elements of art takes it to a different realm. Whether your palette is paint, or flowers, or fabric, all you need is inspiration!

Do add your comment! I’d love to hear how ART is at the heART of what you do, and if you draw on fine art as inspiration for your quilting.


5 Responses to “Art-i-culture”

  1. Eleanor, thanks for the eye candy! This is how I feel about the Rose Parade (a couple of miles from my house). We usually go – because the floats are truly original works of art, in the ways that they convey texture and meaning. Also, there’s something about being in the presence of large amounts of greenery and color that’s intoxicating!

  2. Kullie Mellor says:

    You certainly made a great choice of the visual delights at the Flower Show for your blog.I agree that a great teaching experience was missed in there being so few explicit links between the gorgeous creations and the artists who inspired the exhibit. It was an amazing show—how can I find anything wrong with it?? What a thrill to have so much space and easy viewing from my wheelchair yesterday!And how great it was to see you and to introduce you to some of my great family.

  3. Maggie Winfield says:

    Elly, thanks so much for sharing those amazing photos of the flower show. I also enjoy flower shows and those colors and beauty were amazing. Very inspirational. Maggie

  4. Sue Andrus says:

    I so love to get to the Philly Flower Show! I always find inspiration in the flowers and wonderful displays…. but then I am a total plant and flower geek with my degree in floriculture… I have always loved seeing displays where floral designs are inspired by paintings, fashion, and more…

  5. You sure look spunky and artsy posing there! I am doing a two year challenge interpreting the great art masters, so I like seeing them in flowers and am going to link you to my group so they can see.
    LeeAnna Paylor

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