Quilts by Lorrie Faith Cranor


Huppa, 1993
hand pieced and embroidered (stuffed with batting, but not quilted) ~58 in. x 60 in.

This was my first quilt (although it wasn't actually quilted!). I made it for our wedding canopy. I hand sewed the whole thing because I didn't have a sewing machine. But I didn't really know what I was doing.... I used a back stitch about a quarter inch from the edge rather than a hidden aplique stitch. My mother donated my brother's old rainbow sheets for the rainbow, which made that part much easier. Notice the rainbow is shaped like the St. Louis arch (we were living in St. Louis at the time).

Tau Beta Pi, 1994
hand pieced and embroidered (stuffed with batting and hand quilted around the edge) 12 in. x 21 in.

This wall hanging depicts the "bent" symbol of the engineering honor society. I decided to try English foundation piecing. But I ended up sewing it on the wrong side, so you can see all the stitches. The circles were quite a challenge.

Ron's Quilt, 1997
hand pieced, machine quilted, ~30 in. x 30 in.

I hand pieced this quilt using the English foundation piecing method -- but this time I used freezer paper and stitched it on the correct side. I wanted to do a design based on triangles as I had done some interesting triangular plots as part of my thesis work. Triangles are actually somewhat tricky to work with... especially this design I made up. I bought my sewing machine while working on this, so it was my first opportunity to try machine quilting. I used metallic thread to give it a little sparkle.

Wedding Quilt for Ginny and Jeff, 1997
machine pieced and quilted, ~40 in. x 40 in.

I made this quilt for my sister-in-law and her husband. This quilt uses a traditional ribbon star block, with a somewhat unusual arrangement of colors. I used MS Powerpoint to experiment with different ways of coloring this quilt. Ginny and Jeff's names and wedding date are machine embroidered in the border, and a heart-shaped piece of the hem from Ginny's dress is appliqued to the border at the top.

Virtual Community Block, 1997
machine pieced, 20 cm x 20 cm

I made this block for a contest sponsored by IEEE. I didn't win, but I had fun making it. I designed it using MS PowerPoint.

Starburst, 1997
machine pieced and quilted, ~20 in. x 20 in.

This was my first attempt at paper foundation piecing... and I was instantly hooked! I reverse engineered the templates from a picture of a quilt on the cover of a "Quilts and Other Comforts" catalog. Originally I was going to use the star for the back of a jacket I was making, but it came out too big, so I decided to make it into a wall hanging instead.

Thesis (in color), 1998
machine pieced and quilted, 81 in. x 65 in.

I started this quilt in March 1998 as my husband was writing his doctoral thesis. This quilt took me about 6 months to complete. It was my first really big quilt. I designed it using MS PowerPoint. It was going to be a smaller wall quilt, but as I began choosing intense bright colors for the fabric, I decided that the quilt really wanted to be big. So it's about the size of a twin bed quilt, but it's designed to hang on a wall. Unfortunately we don't have any walls big enough in our apartment for it! I used paper foundation piecing for the blocks, which worked really well. Machine quilting such a large quilt was the big challenge in this project -- I felt like I was wrestling with the quilt. Read more about how this quilt was made....

Blocks World, 1999
machine pieced, appliqued, and quilted, roughly 60 inches at widest and tallest points

This quilt is based on a photograph of a painting by Victor Vasarely that appeared on the cover of the September 1998 Communications of the ACM magazine.
The Vasarely painting on which this quilt was based
The painting is mostly blue/grey tones, and has a small red diamond inside every blue diamond. My interpretation adds more color (shades of purple and pink) and texture (patterned diamonds rather than solids). And I used hot pink diamonds rather than red diamonds, and I used a lot less of them. This quilt took about 6 months to complete. The first 3 months were spent mostly trying to find lots of different shades of blue and purple fabric. I thought about dyeing fabric for this project, but I like the serendipitous aspects of creating quilts out of "found objects" (found by visiting lots of fabric stores!). I used MSPowerPoint to draw this design and experiment with color before I started cutting fabric. I cut out almost all the diamonds and stuck them up on my design wall before I started sewing them. Sewing them into straight rows with perfectly matched corners was a challenge (and sadly, not all the corners actually match). I experimented with a variety of methods of attaching the hot pink diamonds, and eventually settled on fusing them to the larger diamonds and then outlining them with machine applique. I used verigated metallic thread for the machine quilting. The final challenge was applying the binding to a quilt with 24 corners! This quilt is named for the classic set of artificial intelligence problems that involve stacking and unstacking blocks.

Baby Quilt for Elana, 1999
machine pieced and quilted

I went to a fabric store and found lots of cute "juvenile" prints and then tried to figure out how I was going to put them together into a quilt. The pattern is a very simple variation on the log cabin (with a square and only one layer of logs). This was my first attempt at machine quilting shapes, and it turned out reasonably well. Look for the five-pointed stars in the detail. The backing fabric doesn't really match the rest of the fabric, but I really like it and thought a baby would like it too.

Pinwheels, 2000
machine pieced and quilted, 20 in. x 20 in.

I designed this block for paper piecing and used Power Point to experiment with a variety of block arrangements and colors.

Groovy Garden, 2000
machine pieced, appliqued, and quilted, 23 in. x 28 in.

I really liked the interesting pattern formed by the dye in this batik fabric. I machine appliqued a few reeds, a fly, and a frog to create this composition. The quilting is all free-motion machine quilting.

Sline-N-Dice I, 2000
machine pieced and quilted, 15 in. x 19 in.

I bought a fat quarter of this funky batik fabric and sliced it into thin strips. I sewed the strips together and then sliced them again. I sewed them back together with purple stripes in between. The quilting is free-motion machine quilting, with some straight line machine quilting too. The back features "millenium" fabric I bought on sale at the end of the year.

Potato Chip Baby Quilts (Bet I Can't Make Just One!), 2000-2001
machine pieced and quilted, approximately 36 in. x 45 in.

These quilts are fast and fun to make. It takes about 3 hours or so to cut and piece the tops, and another 3 hours to baste, quilt, and bind them. Picking out the fabric is lots of fun too, and they are great for practicing free-motion machine quilting.

Matching Game Baby Quilt, 2001
machine pieced and quilted, approximately 38 in. x 44 in.

Each block in these quilts appears twice.

Postcard Quilt, 2001
machine appliqued and quilted, 4.2 in. x 6.25 in.

I made this quilt in a David Walker workshop. I fused together scraps and embelished with zigzag and straight stitching.

Seasons, 2001
machine appliqued and quilted, four panels, each 5 in. x 7 in.

This series of postcard quilts was also inspired by David Walker. Each panel represents one of the four seasons. Each includes a photograph from the season it depicts. I took all except the summer photo in my back yard. I took the summer photo in Kiel, Germany. I also included two hearts and a piece of sheer fabric in each panel. Other than the hearts and the photos, nothing in these panels was planned -- I "improvised" with fabric from my scrap bag, making it up and fusing and sewing as I went along. These collages were a lot of fun to make.

See also my quilts made after 2001 and my quilted clothing page.

Last updated 9 July 2003 by Lorrie Faith Cranor