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

Simply Flowers

There were dozens of dazzling, grand-scale arrangements at the Philadelphia Flower Show this year:

P1010675   P1010678

P1010683   P1010679

P1010778   P1010779


P1010784  P1010787

P1010680  P1010682

Of course the aromas and the views of these wow’ems from all sides add a whole lot to the horticultural spectacle…sometimes to the point of stimuli overload.

Maybe that’s what makes me gravitate to the small, simple designs. Call me a minimalist, but I defy you not to fall in love with the following charmers. Just one type of flower–and fairly common, affordable ones at that:



Add just one more floral element, twigs, a leaf…



This next one’s gigantic, but it’s only roses and pussy willow, inspired by a future installation at Storm King Arts Center:


A pairing of two common houseplants…but a closer look  reveals a very uncommon placement of buds at the base of the philodendron (?) leaf. Can anyone id either of these plants for me?


By now, you’ve got me pegged as a sucker for singular simplicity. It’s always been that way, I think, even guiding the choices of quilt designs I’ve put into my books.  My “Ttableleaf-rev (2)able Leaf,” from Skinny Quilts & Table Runners, shows how just one  leaf can be quite striking.








In Skinny Quilts & Table Runners II, check out how Jane Davila’s appliqued “Las Hojas” or  Frieda Anderson’s pieced “Blushing Aspens” make one type of leaf in multiple dance across the background.


C-37 BlushingAspens

Or how about a single type of flower, like “Wisteria Lane,” by Melinda Bula, or “The Dahlia is a Diva,” by Julie Popa of Sunflower Hill ?

C-29-Dahlia   C-48WisteriaLane

After working for months on a big, spectacular, multi-block queen size bed quilt or tour-de-force wall hanging, who wouldn’t want the simplicity of a skinny slice of a project, one with just a fewer patterns, ease of assembly, a chance to just dip into a playful, new technique. But what is it about simplicity that makes a design, whether with florals or fabrics, cause our emotions to burst into bloom?

Tell me your thoughts about simplicity or florals in quilts or whatever this blog post inspires you to write in the comment box below. You could be the lucky winner of autographed copies of both Skinny Quilts & Table Runners and Skinny Quilts & Table Runners II!  The Philadelphia Flower Show runs thru Sunday, March 10, and I’ll choose a winner from among the comments at the end of that day.







4 Responses to “Simply Flowers”

  1. While I love the flowershow so much, this year’s theme was especially exciting. However many reviews of the show and the interpretation of the theme were disappointing at best. Oneof the aspects of the show this year encouraged artists to mix plants to make them look like a single plant. I think your photo shows a philodendron and a zebra plant potted together and accented with –dare I say– pink silk buds.

    • Eleanor says:

      You win the books, Barb. If you have them already, let me know how to autograph them. Also, email your mailing address to me–not here, via my email address–elevie@comcast.net–and while you’re at it, tell me what you’ve been up to! Also, if you feel so inclined, subscribe to my blog, and write a nice little review about any of my books on Amazon. By now you’re wondering who’s getting the best out of this deal! At any rate, please tell the husband I said hi!

      Thanks for identifying the zebra plant by its common name, which is good enuf for me! I looked really closely, and could swear those pink petals were botanically, actually, definitely attached to the bases of that philodendron’s leaves…

  2. I’d like to come up for this one year… not this year so I’m glad to see your review. Maybe it’s seeing a picture instead of the multi-sensory experience but the first arrangements are very fussy with no focus. I love the pussywillow and rose explosion. In other art, I enjoy both the simplistic glowing one leaf look, and a fuller arrangement but do not enjoy looking at trad, a flower every 4 inches in regular placement kind of quilts. Like the yards where you see an ornament every square foot, covering the whole yard, there is no respite from stuff. Wish we were just a bit closer so we could do these things together!
    LeeAnna Paylor Not Afraid of Color! lapaylor.blogspot.com
    email address is leeannaquilts@gmail.com

    • Eleanor says:

      LOVED your comments, as always. Just playing fair, and spreading out the gifts. Any chance you’re close enuf to come to my programs for the Quilting on the Line in Fawn Grove, PA Mar. 25 in the evening? I would be thrilled to see you there!

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