Modern Applique Illusions: Still Life

Hello, and welcome back to the Modern Appliqué Illusions blog tour! Thank you so much for following along. Today, click over to Pink Chalk Studio to see what Kathy Mack has to say about the book!

Yesterday’s post was a little art history-heavy, and today’s touches on art history, too. My Still Life quilt, subtitled “Homage to Juan Sánchez Cotán,” is based on the enigmatic still life paintings of a seventeenth-century Spanish painter. Sánchez Cotán was known for placing dramatically lit foods on mysterious ledges–historians still aren’t sure if they are supposed to represent window sills, pantry shelves, or something else. The lack of specified setting in Sánchez Cotán’s works greatly influenced his fellow painters in Spain and throughout Europe, and it makes his masterfully composed paintings of humble objects seem especially minimalistic and modern even today (see his masterpiece, Quince, Cabbage, Melon, and Cucumber, at the San Diego Museum of Art).

When I was looking for ideas for three-dimensional quilt compositions, Sánchez Cotán’s paintings came immediately to mind. I thought it would be fun to remake one of his iconic paintings into a sewing-themed wall hanging, so I replaced his fruits and vegetables with sewing tools. I kept the stark contrast of highlights and shadows, though, to retain the drama and strong three-dimensionality of the original paintings.CaseyYork_StillLife

I quilted this one with simple straight lines, and found the perfect sewing machine themed fabric to back it with. I was particularly happy with how the print lined up on either side of the selvage when I pieced the backing together.


I have another bag of scraps and some more Pellon 805 Wonder Under to give away to a commenter on this post; same format as before–I’ll randomly draw a winner at midnight in three days (so, on Nov. 16).

I hope you are enjoying learning more about the quilts in Modern Applique Illusions, and that you’ll continue to follow along with me and with the other stops on the tour!

11/10: C&T Publishing
11/11: Jenifer Dick/42 Quilts 
11/12: Debbie Grifka/Esch House Quilts 
11/13: Kathy Mack/Pink Chalk Studio 
11/14: Shannon Brinkley/Bottle Tree
11/15:  Pellon 
11/16: Kevin Kosbab/Feed Dog Designs
11/17: Generation Q Magazine
11/18: Krista Robbins/Sew What’s Cooking?
11/19: Fat Quarter Shop/Jolly Jabber
11/20: Violet Craft 
11/21: Kristy Daum/St. Louis Folk Victorian
11/22: Cindy Lammon/Hyacinth Quilt Designs
11/23: Modern Quilts Unlimited


7 thoughts on “Modern Applique Illusions: Still Life

  1. Both quilts are amazing! I’ve been wanting to make a sewing machine block or a mini for my sewing room. Looks super as a quilt!

    Thank you for a super giveaway and a chance to win some awesome scraps.


  2. I liked reading the inspiration behind the quilt. When I first viewed the quilt I was puzzled but seeing the painting which inspired the design puts it in perspective and makes me appreciate your connections.

  3. Pingback: Modern Applique Illusions Blog Tour - |

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