Thursday, March 27, 2014

Evolution of Applique Inspiration: Kim Diehl's Country Whig Rose Pattern

Country Whig Rose pattern by Kim Diehl from her Simple Blessings book, photo by Martingale
So, do those applique blocks look familiar to anyone?  Today I stumbled across Kim Diehl's original Country Whig Rose applique pattern, from her 2004 book Simple Blessings (which Martingale just rereleased in 2013, available here).  This is the pattern that inspired Joyce Stewart to make her Village Gardens quilt, the one I saw featured in the September 2006 Quilters Newsletter magazine:

Now that I've found Kim's original pattern, I can see how Joyce changed the pattern by adding a third layer to those large flower petals, changing the orientation of the leaves and berries on those little twig branches, and altering the proportions of the stacked circles that form the flower center.  She also chose to set her blocks on the diagonal and added those little bullseye appliques at the block intersections.  If you look carefully, you can see that Joyce's flower petals are more curved in the center rather than pointed like Kim's were, a detail that really appealed to me for the country French vibe of my inspiration fabric from Vervain.

Now in my version, inspired by Joyce's quilt, I've swapped the hearts out for vintage style tulips, added some berries, and am changing up the flower centers as well, adding berries or seeds or whatever in an outer ring:
My Version: No Hearts for Rebecca!
I'm thinking of setting my blocks straight like Kim's, but with alternate "blank" blocks for some special quilting.  What do you think?  Both Kim's and Joyce's quilts have a deliberate American country folksy appeal.  I'm going for more of an antique quilt style, like this gorgeous Whig Rose quilt that I found on Pinterest today:

Whig Rose variation by Lavinda Rudicil Rubottom, circa 1865

Kim's pattern was of course originally inspired by the many surviving 19th century Whig Rose applique quilts, of which Lavinda's quilt is just one variation. 

Of course, if I REALLY wanted my quilt to look like an antique, I would have used a solid white background fabric and a solid emerald green instead of insisting on combining as many print fabrics as I could possibly get away with.  Ah, well -- I seem to have an aversion to plain white fabric.  I'll have to work on that.  Anyway, I thought it was neat to see how this design evolved from Kim's original concept to inspire other quiltmakers, especially since I had only seen Joyce's quilt when I started designing my own version. 

Coincidentally, I discovered that another quilt blogger is currently using Kim Diehl's Country Whig Rose pattern in one of her current projects.  Click here to see how Karen of Quilts... etc. is using this applique pattern as an alternate block with red and black 9-Patch blocks.


Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

I love your version! isn't it amazing how we can find a block and make a few changes by adding or deleting something and make it look totally our own!

Nancy said...

I think both versions work. I think your version is perfect for the "feel" you want. I think it's amazing how a change in color/color combinations can change the feeling of a quilt (usually, but not always).

Jenny K. Lyon said...

I like the idea of a straight set with blank squares for quilting-oh what you can do there! Your tweaks on this traditional pattern are lovely-adds a bit of elegance to the pattern

Alexandra said...

Oh, what memories! My mother was a quilter and spent happy last years of her retirement in her group of quilters. To see them at her funeral, I knew, she had made new friends in this last season of her life. Quilting is truly a community act.

Carrie P. said...

I love that antique quilt and I think the way you are going to set the blocks will be really nice.