Road to California 2014, part II

There was a great exhibit of quilts from the book I was lucky enough to be in: Amish Quilts, The Adventure Continues.  As always, seeing them in person, beats a flat picture or a digital photograph any day. (How has that changed what we esteem as “good” quilts?  Just something to think about.)  That’s why quilt shows are so valuable as they allow a viewer to fall in love with quilts again.

LucyOceanWaves

Suzanne Keeney Lucy’s Ocean Waves

WeberHipToBeSquare_1

Two views of Michelle Webber’s It’s Hip to Be Square

WeberHipToBeSquare_2

YostenBonner_2

Two views (one to show the quilting) of Reflection of the Times, made by Angela Yosten and quilted by Natalia Bonner

YostenBonner

Likewise there were some quilts from QuiltCon.

FriedlanderLocalQuilt

I took a shot of this one because I love Carolyn Friedlander’s fabrics, but it is true that this quilt is lacking some contrast.  It’s not just the photography.  The title of this one is The Local Quilt.

GeringDeconNinePatch

Deconstructed Nine Patch by Jacquie Gering

HartmanHoneyInSpace

Honey in Space, by Elizabeth Hartman

HarvatineLogPyramids

Log Pyramids, by Liz Harvatine

HeitlandYouRule

You Rule, by Brigitte Heitland

HutchinsonLongConversation

and lastly, A Very Long Conversation, by Rossie Hutchinson.  I was pretty sure I had a photo from Christa Watson’s String of Pearls (using Lizzy House’s fabric–a great design) but it’s too blurry to post, so go *here* to see that fun quilt. . . and her (more on that later).  There were a couple of quilts I was sure I had a photo of, but when I looked at them, I must have been taking them on a fast run past.  Maybe it was because I had too many bags around my shoulders?

charm display quilt

At this point, don’t you think we need a little retail therapy?  This is the little quilt in the charm booth–a way to display those little pins we all love.  This group had figured out how to make earrings out of them, so they had a lot of people crowded around.

Fabricworm Booth

Fabricworm’s first time at Road.  Judging from the crowd at their booth, I think they’ll be back.

floor mat and chair

Loved the chair AND the floor mat.  The floor “rug” looked like just patches with some sort of matte finish brushed over it.

Quilters Who Lunch_Friday

And LUNCH!  From left, Leisa, Lisa, Lisa’s sister-in-law Betty (who came from another state just for Road), me and Simone.  Get your scrolling fingers ready, here come more quilts!

HirthLooseLeafEarl Grey

Janet Dorsey Hirth used lots of different piecing styles in her sampler quilt, titled Loose Leaf Earl Grey.

FMQingRoad

Random snapshot of free-motion quilting

FeitelsonMusicofSpheres

This is a terrible picture of a fabulous quilt, by Ann Feitelson, titled Music of the Spheres.  Google it and you should find a better photo.  It’s really amazing.

FeitelsonBasketWeave

Here’s another Ann Feitelson.  I think she never sleeps.  This one is titled Basket Weave II: See Saw.  There was a lot of math that went into this quilt, judging from her description.  She writes “The titled also refers to seeing and have seen, the way vision shifts in every blink.”

FeitelsonBasketWeave_2

BrunyBlastPast_1

Kim Bruny’s Blast from the Past is so named because all the bright designs and paisley prints remind her of her childhood.  Well, now we know how old she is!  (Kidding, Kim.  It was a terrific quilt.) I have several photos, showing details.

BrunyBlastPast_detail

detail

She used the “tiling” method of creating her top: appliquéing her patches to a single piece of fabric, keeping the pieces an even distance away, so it looks like tiles have been laid down.

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And in the borders–broderie perse, a technique of using specific cuts of the printed fabric to create the design.

BrunyBlastPast_detail3

I liked this quilting because it wasn’t so dense.  Lately quilters have been quilting their quilts so densely, they could stand up as a room screen by themselves.  This is a nice change.

DelmanMarksburyKartwheels

Sandi Delman’s Kartwheels was started in 2009, and took several raids of her fabric stash to make the rings, arcs, borders and stars.  Kerry Marksbury quilted it.

BirchTequilaSunrise

Eva Birch’s Tequila Sunrise was a more modern quilt with lots of interesting quilting in the negatives spaces.  Even though the photo above looks washed out, the background fabric was deep-toned. Two more detail shots:

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Nancy Rink and I

I spent the better part of Friday afternoon tearing back and forth between the Superior Thread Booth and the booth where my quilter Cathy Kreter was working, talking about threads, designs, colors, etc.  I was successful in choosing a thread, and on the way back, I stopped by Nancy Rink’s booth to show her my quilt (she designed this quilt).  She obliged me with a photo.  Yes, I carried that king-sized quilt top around all afternoon (which may account for some of the blurry photos).

Leisa and I

After a long day (as both Leisa and I woke up too early that morning and couldn’t go back to sleep) my little gang, The Good Heart Quilters, took ourselves to the local El Torito, where ten of us gathered round the table, including Cindy of Live A Colorful Life and Deborah of Simply Miss Luella. (They’ve adopted us Good Heart Quilters.)

Gang Out for Dinner

A few went back home to our town, and those of us who were staying the night gathered together in mine and Leisa’s room, did Show and Tell and talked shop.  I’m not letting those others go home next year, and think we ought to order in some chocolate cake and ice cream for fun.

Hotel View

You’ll hear us Southern Californians complain about our drought (those mountains ought to have WHITE tops, not brown), but you can’t beat waking up to this on a January morning.  We’re in for a doozy this summer in terms of water rationing.  Expect me to come and see you for a shower this summer.  Okay, last batch of quilts.  Here we go.

AdairGiddiness_1

Pat Adair’s Joyful Giddiness used a few of Kim McClean’s patterns to create the appliqué in this quilt.

AdairGiddiness_2

A lovely quilt, as evidenced by the use of color, piecing and quilting (and that blue ribbon!).

AllenAlmostSymmetry_1

Almost Symmetry, by Nicki Allen (quilted by Kathy Gray).

AllenAlmostSymmetry_2

This was made for the EZ Dresden Quilt Challenge, an online challenge sponsored by the Salt Lake Modern Quilt Guild.

BelfordAndromeda

Marilyn Belford used all varieties of fabrics and techniques to create this masterpiece titled Perseus Saving Andromeda.

Belford_detail

That rough water is raw-edge appliquéd, as is most of the quilt.

BergmanFracturedStar

Fractured Star was made by Linda Bergmann and quilted by Debbie Lopez, and is a Karen Stone design.

BianchiGraffitiHeart

So is Susan Bianchi’s Graffiti Heart a quilt? Since she created her design out of beads and buttons on whole cloth?  I remember that controversy came up with Hollis Chatelein first debuted at Houston, with her whole-cloth painted quilts.  (She earned a blue ribbon that year.)  Whatever, this was one of two of these button/bead quilts in the show, fascinating collages utilizing hard surface design.

And now it’s time for the Ugly Quilt Award.  Every year I try to pick the ugliest quilt.  It could miss on overall composition, surface design treatment, overreaching in the skill department (think: Peter Principle), or by the fact that somehow, it was just plain.  And ugly.  A very subjective category, but in walking around with some of my quilter friends, a number of them pointed out candidates for this award, so I know it wasn’t just me.  All of these are nameless, maker-less.  And in full-disclosure, any one of us could in any given year qualify, so no hubris intended.

Ugly Quilt_7

From the plastic doll, to the overly busy background to the tassels, andthat 3D hair, this is a sure qualifier.

Ugly Quilt_6

Another angel candidate, with her strangely proportioned torso to that gift-wrapped bow on the corner.  Hmmm.

Ugly Quilt_2

Meant to evoke a haunting response from the viewer, of the souls of lost native Americans now inhabiting the abandoned-dwellings-now-a-National-Park (I suppose) instead this just came off as creepy-looking, kind of like a cartoonish dead baby head filling a sacred space.

Ugly Quilt_1

Update: While I originally noted the fine quality of the quilting and the good design and composition of space, I panned this quilt for the drawings, as they looked extremely juvenile.  My sister, the historian, called me tonight to tell me that she thinks they were based on well-known (to historians) primitive drawings done by Native Americans at some of the critical battles.  She’ll let me know the source, and then I’ll add it here.

Ugly Quilt_1 detail2

Ugly Quilt_1 detail

If it is true that this quilt was based on those historical drawings, it obviously needs to be moved from this category.  (However, I still stand on the unfortunate quilted swirls on the men’s faces.)

Okay, Ugly Quilt Contest over.  Later on I’ll show you my favorite quilt, and I’ll tell you why.  (The ones I love usually never win at this show.  But I was happy to see this week that one of my favorites from last year went on to Win Big at other national contests.)  Okay, back to the quilts.

ThompsonModernAlphabet

Modern Alphabet, made and quilted by Gerrie Thompson.

ThompsonModernAlpha1

Yep, I’m pretty much fixated on DSM quilting this year.  My apologies.

WolfeKABOOM

Patricia Wolfe titled her innovation of a traditional Bear Paw block KABOOM! Bear Paws Gone Wild.  She also quilted it herself.

WilsonMischiefMaker

Titled Mishief Maker, Sue Wilson both made and quilted this octopus quilt, hand-painting the design on linen.  I walked around with my friend Simone and she gave me a lesson on borders, and why are quilters so attached to their borders?  As a trained graphic artist, she showed me several quilts that would have benefitted from “breaking the borders,” as the traditional use of that space enclosing a design cramped the artistry of the quilt.  This was a successful breaking of the border, she noted.  We both loved it.

QuiltersWhoLunch_day2LUNCH! (Day Two) with Cindy, Deborah, me, Leisa and Christa of ChristaQuilts.  It was a great conversation about quilting, the industry, design, breaking news and old news, one of the advantages of getting together at a quilt show.

Okay, last gasp of quilts, then my favorite.

UptonOdinTrilogy3

One of a trio of quilts, Linzi Upton’s quilts were tucked away at the back of the hall.  Another quilt, Silver Madonna won big last year, and these look like they follow in the same trend of using metallic fabric, then painting it, then quilting it to achieve the texture.

UptonOdinTrilogy2

The title of the three together is Odin’s Triology, and Upton made and quilted them all.

UptonOdinTrilogy

TaylorLonelyCrowdedRm

Another strong black and white quilt, ChrisTaylor’s I have felt lonely in a crowded room brought in architectural features of doors, windows and line to portray that feeling of being “alone” yet feeling “comforted by memories.”

TarrSnapshots

Inspired by the Holyoke Range and the Connecticut rivers near her home, Timna Tarr created Valley Snapshots, a rich mix of shape and color.  This was almost my most favorite.

TarrRequestDedication

Timna Tarr was busy this year, getting two quilts into Road.  This one, titled Request and Dedication, started out as a Wheel of Fortune block, but “after ten years of marriage [to a musician], he finally rubbed off on me and I unintentionally made a record quilt.”

TarrRequestDedication_3

I had to show you close-ups of the quilting.

TarrRequestDedication_2

SchlotzhauerSpillingOver

Spilling Over was made and quilted by Sharon Schlotzhauer, her inspiration coming from the loss of a treasured quilt, and from the “faith. . . [and] loving thoughts and prayers from friends and the quilting community.”

OKellyCitrusSlices

Citrus Slices by Marie O’Kelley was dear to my heart, as we live near the Citrus Experimental Station of the University of California–Riverside.  She writes “This quilt commemorates my brother’s career at UCR hybridizing new citrus varieties.  Included are the names of his hybrids and those of more common citrus types.”  By the way, if you like the little easy-to-peel Cutie (brand) tangerines, you have the scientists at UCR to thank.

MoonAutumnWhirlpool

Autumn Whirlpool, by Bobbie Moon.

MurphyBanderitas

Banderitas, by Victoria Murphy

MyersDaisyDance

Daisy Dance, by Susan Meyers, from a pattern by Kathy Munkelwitz

TaylorWashBeak_front

And now my favorite quilt of the show.  It’s not flashy, overly huge, stylized with 300 pounds of crystals and bling, but it’s a perfectly executed gem of a quilt.  Titled, Did You Wash Your Beak, it comes from a nature photograph of Eastern Bluebirds by Steve Byland.

TaylorWashBeak_quilting

The quilting appeared to be in a heavier weight variegated thread, which shows every flaw.  I couldn’t find any.  Taylor had put more leaves in the background of his quilting, surrounding those with small stippling stitches.  The branch had more texture added by the quilting.

TaylorWashBeak_back

The white-gloved lady held it up to show me the back.  Exquisite.  Taylor writes “I believe this is my most accomplished quilt to date.  The technique I have been trying to master for the past 12 years. . . was to create an appliquéd quilt that appears to be a photograph or painting at first glance.”  I’d say he succeeded.

TaylorWashBeak_detail

All of these feathers, the claw, all pieces really, are needle-turned appliqué, with the quilting enhancing the shading and structure. A masterpiece of a quilt.  While some might aspire to be the big old blue ribbon winner at the front of the hall, by the CD-selling harpist, I aspire to create quiet quilts of detail and story like this one.  I loved it!

Road to California Logo

And that’s all folks–see you next year!!

Road to California 2014, part I

Plaid Geese Quilt

No matter how many times I go, I’m always excited to walk in the front door of the convention center, see these hanging quilts (this one is by Nancy Boyce Geese in the Fields) and know that the quilting game is ON, specifically that the Road to California show has opened for another year.

Road to California Logo

I’m trying something different this year.  I noticed that the Road to California has put up good, high-resolution photos of the quilts that far surpass any of my snapshot renditions (largely because they are able to go around earlier, with a tripod and a good flash camera), plus they have many of the quilts that I may pass by.  Click *here* to go to that listing and enjoy their show.  What I’ll do below, is list some of the ones that interested me, make some commentary here and there (good and bad) and sum up the social aspect of the show.

Schamber Grand Prize

This is the Big Kahuna of winners, and no surprise, it was won by Sharon Schamber.  Titled Once Upon a Time, she started making it in 2000, then put it aside for over 10 years.

Schamber Grand Prize2

I’m interested in her quilting, for that it how she gained her fame.

Schamber Grand Prize3

See

Cheryl See’s quilt, Tatted Hearts had 20 yards of her great-grandmother’s hand-tatted lace and a doily. Never could locate the doily, so I assume it was used in the construction of this whimsical quilt, but the yards of tatting are evident.

WilsonMagicCarpetRide

Magic Carpet Ride reflects the childhood of maker Janet Wilson, when she noted that she grew up with Turkish carpets all over their floors.  She set out to create a design that was a colorful quilted, version of these carpets.

WilsonMagicCarpetRide_3

This is a quilt that gets a thumbs up on the use of crystals (generally, I think it is WAY overdone in show quilts), as they were used to be a integral part of the design and only for accent.  But using French knots would have been okay with me too, in those spaces where she put some bling.

WilsonMagicCarpetRide_2

How do you like that fringe?  Wilson is a clever quilter, and skilled with her quilting (below is the back):

WilsonMagicCarpetRide_back

GunnZenGarden

Zen Garden was made and quilted by Margaret Solomon Gunn, and is based on the “Blooming Carpenter’s Star.”  She noted that all the fabrics she used were from her stash (certainly noteworthy!) and she used a longarm machine to complete the quilting.

GunnZenGarden_detail

On this next quilt, first I’m going to show you some of the details before showing you the full quilt:

CrineWillow_detail2

CrineWillow_detail3

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CrineWillow_detail1

CrineWillow

And here it is: Willow, by Debra Crine.  She used hand-dyed fabrics over a silk background, and her technique was to fuse them, then appliqué them with a double blanket stitch.  She also quilted it.  This was not a large quilt, nor was the Magic Carpet Ride.  Crine doesn’t say whether it was a domestic sewing machine (DSM) that she used to quilt it, or a long arm.  Of course, my bias is to see people quilting on a domestic machine, as that’s what most of us have.

I love reading Linda’s blog, Flourishing Palms, as she is trying to adapt many of the longarm techniques to our DSM, applying some of their tricks and tips so that the resulting finish can have a similar technical excellence to them.  I began to look for quilts that indicated that they’d used a DSM, chuckling a bit at the phrase “hand-guided longarm quilting,” although I know that this label is appropriate.

LegerMarinerCircle

When I read in MaryPat Leger’s artist’s statement that her quilting was inspired by Leah Day’s free motion quilting class, I knew I was seeing a quilt that was done on a DSM.  Leger tried out many different patterns on her Mariner’s Circles, and although the next picture is blurry (they have strips of plastic stretched across the quilts so it does make it hard to get good photos), you can see how many different stitches she tried on her quilt.

LegerMarinerCircle_detail

CrineTasteofParadise

Debra Crine’s been busy.  This is another quilt of hers, titled A Taste of Paradise.  Taken from an illustration, she hand painted the fabric with acrylic paints and a used a variety of threads for the thread painting.  She also quilted it, but no word on whether it was a DSM or a longarm.

CrineTasteofParadise_2

CrawfordBrittany

Lenore Crawford came upon an art class of teenagers sketching in the streets while on a trip to northern France, then returned home to create her quilt Capturing Brittany from what she saw.  She used raw edge fused appliqué, and quilted it herself.  This was another quilt that we were prevented from seeing up close, due to the barriers.  I just wanted to stand there all day, enjoying her scene and her skills at bringing this to us.  Click on this quilt on the Road website to see it larger.

We interrupt this quilt show to bring you an advertisement for more sparkles.

Sparkles 1

Sparkles 2

This is the BACK of the quilt, a sign proudly proclaiming “over 22,000″ crystals.  Would it surprise you to know that this quilter had a booth, and was selling crystals? Certainly a masterpiece of quilting and technically perfect with applied crystals, it represents the high point (or low point, depending on your point of view) of the Crystal/Sparkle/Bling phenomena.  (I don’t know who the maker was because I was not impressed with the front, and I don’t like to give out the names of quilts I diss.)  We now return you to our regularly scheduled quilt show.

WilliamsPrettyPieces

Lorraine Williams, who made this quilt titled All The Pretty Pieces, notes that it comes from a pattern, but doesn’t mention which one.  (I’m guessing this one from Jen Kingwell Designs.)  But it was lovely and refreshing and I’ve already participated in helping to make a variation of this pattern for one of our Mid-Century Modern Bee quilters.  I like the look of this one, as if someone had been piecing blocks all along, and then it just came together naturally.

WilliamsPrettyPieces_2

Williams also quilted her blocks differently, letting each stand out.  I thought she used varying backgrounds quite successfully, and her color palate was harmonious and brought the quilt together.

Gallery of Flowers

One of the odd (and maddening) things about the way they hang their quilts at Road, is this unfortunate habit of grouping all like things together (p.s. have they ever heard of “habituation?”).  The downside is that a viewer’s eyes begin to glaze over. . .oh, another flower. . . oh, another animal. . . oh, another whatever. . . after seeing 10 of the same subject in a row.  The upside is that you can always find them again if you want to find them again “It’s in the flower section,” like we are at a garden show and all the lilies are grouped together or all the orchids.  It’s been this way for quite a few years, and nothing I ever say will change that–it’s just one of Road’s idiosyncrasies.  But since I’m trying to bring you the essence of Road, that’s just part of it.

TurnquistSunflowersWept

Sue Turnquist started her quilt Even the Sunflowers Wept shortly after her mother passed away in 2009, and she referred to it as her “mourning quilt.”  I’ve seen a few of these in quilt shows over the years, and I like the idea that a quilt was made to help process grief and in remembrance.  She writes “Even though the sunflowers weep, one cannot remain sad in their presence.”

GunnRainbowNouveau

Rainbow Nouveau is by Margaret Solomon Gunn, using batiks, hand-dyes, and gold acrylic paint for accents.  She quilted it herself: “quilting is hand-guided,” meaning longarm machine.  Her original and whimsical appliqué kept my eye moving over the quilt.  It was fun to look at.

GunnRaindowNouveau_2

Random Quilt

I apologize for not having the maker’s name, nor the title, but I found it on my camera.  Something about it caught my eye.  If anyone has any information about this, please let me know.  I really liked the use of those four small squares set on point to act as a type of sashing.

ElenbaasBeauchampHappyHauntings

Always fun to have a Halloween Quilt! Debra Elenbaas pieced the top and Diane Beauchamp quilted Happy Hauntings.  It’s taken from a pattern by Verna Mosquera of The Vintage Spool, and has lots of appliqué.

HappyHauntingsdetail

I thought the spiderwebs in the borders were classic!

LabodaStarsLightYourWay_front

Kay Laboda made and quilted Stars to Light Your Way, a black and white quilt where each block is different from the others.  She says she “loves paper piecing” and gave this to her son and new daughter-in-law.

LabodaStarsLightYourWay_detail

KayQuilted Northern

Now I’ve seen everything.  Yep–the title of this is The Real Quilted Northern.  Maker and quilter Jerry Kay writes “The TV commercial showed little old ladies with knitting needles making quilted northern.  I wanted to show the ‘REAL’ thing!”

I’m going to close out this post (there’s more coming–stay tuned) showing one reason why there are fewer and fewer judged quilts at Road.  It is because these collections of quilts — sponsored (read:$$) by a shop owner or a store or a corporation — have become numerous.  I counted about five different ones, but here’s two.

Gallery Show Angels at Road

This one was huge (I’m only showing half of it) and had mounds of white fluffy batting to denote “clouds” as this show was about angels.  Some of the quilts were interesting, but many were not.  Wasted space.

Gallery Show at Road

Because I’m involved in an on-line art group, I took time to look at this gallery of “art quilts,” also 12″ square. I thought some were interesting, but many were not (sound familiar?).  Some wasted space.

I’m guessing that the economies of sponsorship outweigh the showing of quilt-show quilts, but am saddened by the shrinking number of quilts, and wish, somehow, we could have more individual quilts, fewer galleries of quilts.  The category of wearable art seems to have disappeared this year, and the doll exhibit was substantially reduced.  Here’s a couple:

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And one doll from my favorite doll maker: Elinor Peace Bailey.  She’s the best.

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This traditional Dresden Plate design is updated in a pink and green setting with central blocks to allow for fabulous quilting.  Quilting designs are “hand-guided.”  Margaret Solomon Gunn titled this Big Bertha, and it was a stand out quilt, as you can tell by that fancy ribbon hanging on the side.

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At the front of the hall, just behind the harpist selling his CDs, was this exhibit which was a communal effort of many quilters.

SacramentoRiver

And the Sacramento River ran through it all.

IrvineChinaGardens

China Gardens by Roblee Irvine

BurrisTableMountain_river

Table Mountain in the Bend Area, by Alice Burris, Violet Skeeters and Beula Alioto

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Sims Flat by Patty Schuler.  She says the three women about ready to head into the river “represent my sisters and me.”

WhiteSouthFork

Headwaters Along the South Fork of the Sacramento River, by Jacque White

Part II of Road to California 2014 will follow, which will include my favorite quilt and my nominees for the Most Ugly Quilt (I actually have several this year).  I just found out that the Quilt Inspiration blog has also liked some of the same ones I have.  Click *here* to see their first post, then follow the links to their second post.

Amish Quilt, in progress

AmishWithATwist2Top

Finished the inner top.  Put on two borders and still have one border to go this gigantic quilt (finishing at 105″ square).  What was I thinking?

AWAT-detail Jan_2014

I was thinking I loved the colors, the sparkle of the brights, and the use of solids.

Quilt Border Fail

This picture is titled Border Fail.  They sent me 2 5/8 yards of Blue Coal (it’s a nighttime photo, so all the colors are wacky), and after dinner I was tired but wanted to push on to finish the quilt.  So I came upstairs and whack, whack, whack started cutting crosswise strips to piece together for the outside border.  After I’d cut about half the strips, I realized they sent me enough to do a lengthwise cut for that outside border, which would really stabilize the quilt.  I slumped into my chair, and yes, got all teary about how dumb I was.  I was tired.  My husband said some “there, there, theres” and I ordered a new swath of Blue Coal from an online shop, which should be here by the end of next week.

Lessons learned: husband is a gem, mistakes can be made, especially if I’m tired, and beware of cutting after dinnertime.  I’d already put on the first inner border, and the little squares border.  Now that’s an exercise in frustration.  Those squares NEVER fit, so you go back in and stitch another 1/16″ of a seam on a few squares, inching it down to fit. If you want to see what I’m working toward, here’s a photo of Amish With A Twist–II:

AWAT2_someone else's

Here’s Amish with A Twist–Version I, and it’s really big, too.AmishWithATwist2011

Found this on the web when I went searching for ideas on how to quilt my quilt.  Which won’t be done until NEXT week now.

So the center of my version, Amish With A Twist-2,  is this lighter set of fabrics, so that would call out for beige or cream or light gray or something.  But then the outer is darker, so that indicates black or dark gray.  And I’m having this done by my long-armer, and to keep it affordable, I’ll probably do an edge to edge design.

AWAT1 quilting

This quilter had hers done in colorful variegated thread, which she showed on another page.  That’s certainly an option, as it does melt into the light-colored fabrics.  But I’m not too crazy about how it looks on the dark black.  My version doesn’t have that dark black thing, so maybe it will be okay.  What would you choose?  Road to California is coming up in a couple of weeks and I can pick up some Superior Thread there.  Any ideas?

Road to California Logo

And if you are going to Road to California, want to try for a meet up–say Friday, late afternoon?  That will give the out-of-towners time enough to get there, and by then, I’ll be ready to call it done for the day.  If you are going, leave a comment, and we’ll figure out a place.  Possibly near the ice cream cones.  Or cookies.

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Reminder: my blogging software will occasionally place an ad on this page.  It’s the way I can keep blogging for free, so it you see one, it’s for them–not for me.

Road to California Quilt Show 2013—part III

This is the final post on the quilts I saw at Road.

BuckleyQuilt

Fiesta Mexico was made by Karen Kay Buckley and quilted by Renae Haddadin.

BuckleyBack

The back was amazing, with all the colored thread.  Details of the front are below.

Buckleydetail1

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Chromaticquilt

Chromatic Transitions.  Rachel Wetzler adapted a late 1800s Minton tile pattern to make her quilt.  Four tiles pivoting on center makes one block and there are 25 blocks in the quilt.  She played with the placement of values to de-emphasize some shapes and empasize others.  Details below.

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This quilt fascinated me by the way she appliqued it.  Some swirlies were turned-under (freezer paper method?) and then appliqued using a small zig-zag.

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And then there’s this section which is raw-edge appliqued.  I love the combo of both in one quilt.

Cranes

Cranes in Motion was made by Gloria Gilhousen and quilted by Jean McDaniel of Oregon. So you’re thinking: nice birds, nice autumny background.  And then you realize that the background is all flying geese, set on the diagonal.  Clever.

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Inspiration came while she was vacationing in Florida where “cranes are ubiquitous and sunsets are an extraordinary visual experience.”

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FantasyLandQuilt

Sheil Frampton-Cooper is the one who put together the Perspectives exhibit where you saw lots of landscapes yesterday. This is her quilt, Fantasyland.  She writes: “Created during an emotionally challenging time, working on this quilt was an escape to a fun place.  It was my ‘amusement park’ and regardless of what I had to deal with, as soon as I entered my studio and felt its vibrant energy, I was comforted and full of excitement.”  She is from California.

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GreenMiles

I included this quilt because when was the last time you ever saw a cream and green quilt?  Green Miles was made and quilted by Peggy Kragnes of Minnesota.  She writes that it was made “using green fabrics gathered on a 7,000 mile road tip with patient husband.”  No kidding.  There are many different fabrics in here and the quilting is wonderful, too.  Detail shots below.

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GuerreroConverge

Annette Guerrero made two solid-fabric quilts.  This first one is titled Convergence.

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GuerreroIris

This quilt is titled Iris.

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She included a quote from Emile Zola on her sign: “If you asked me what I came into this world to do, I will tell you: I came to live out loud.”

HexiesQuilt

Lily Pad, made by Patti Van Oordt and quilted by Cory Allender (both of St. George, Utah) is a paper pieced design that had its origins in a class by Claudia Meyers.  Since I’ve been working on a hexie-shaped quilt for eons, I was interested in how she displayed the pieced hexies against the rusty-orange background.

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McTangerine

This little stunner, titled McTangerine Rose, was the 2011 Block of the Month patter by Sue Garman for “The Quilt Show.”  Lynn Droege, the maker, added an additional border.  It was quilted by Lisa Sipes; both are from Kansas.

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MiniLogCabin

For a change of pace, here’s a miniature quilt.  Kaye Koler of Ohio, “set out to see how small I could make a log cabin.” Each block is ONE AND ONE-HALF INCHES!!  Which means, my thumb (and yours) would just about cover one log cabin.  She used 172 different fabrics.  All of the miniatures were amazing, but because of the plastic tape, I couldn’t really get in to see them.

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Moose

Pam Hadfield, from California, saw a trivet in the airport, and used it as inspiration for her quilt We Moost be in Yellowstone.  I have a Christmas ornament similar to this from when I visited Yellowstone: a moose filled with designs.

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PowerSuits1

Another exhibit in the show was something called “Power Suits,” and each quilter used their own ideas to depict the theme.  I liked some of these very much.

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Someday I aim to make a pineapple log cabin quilt!

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The annual awarding of The Ugly Quilt came from this exhibit, but this year we had a tie.  You’ll find them at the end of this post.

rarebirds

Remember the swirly quilt above in yellows and blues?  Well, Rachel Wetzler did it again: Rare Birds is a quilt depicting the six of her friends in a their quilt critique group: (l to r) Denise Havlan, Rachel Wetzler, Annette Hendricks, Beth Gilbert, Ann Fahl and Robbi Eklow.  That’s quite a group!

Along the front wall of the ballroom was a Route Sixty-Six quilt.  It consisted of large panels with lots of small quilts adhered to the “road,” showing off the sights in the area of the cities along the route.  Here are some of the panels, with some close-ups of the mini-quilts as well.

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I included this one because my daughter used to live in Kingman Arizona, and I’m pretty sure the movie Cars was based on some of the scenery around there.

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We have a giant orange stand like this in Riverside, in our State Citrus Heritage Park.

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Rte66-quilt

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sleepingcats

Let Sleeping Cats Lie, by Cheryl Giovenco (quilted by Sheila Osbrink, both of Corona, California).  This quilt is made of 19 different batik fabrics, and was designed by Helene Knott.

starrynightquilt

Vincent–Haunted Genius was made and quilted by Danna Shafer of Temecula, California and is her interpretation of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night.”  She used fused appliqué, secured with monofilament thread; it was five years in the making. Detail below.

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TeaPartyQuilt

This is for you applique fans.  Joan Lebsack made Welcome to My Tea Party, based on a pattern by Verna Mosquera.

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ThelmaChildersFlag

The sign next to this quilt was wrong, so I have no idea who made it or what the title is.  It’s really lovely.

ThelmaChildersREDquilt

A couple of years ago (March 2010), there was an exhibit of red and white quilts in New York City, “Infinite Variety: Three Centuries of Red & White Quilts,” which took us all by storm.  Thelma Childers made this quilt as an homage to that amazing show, but also as a way to show many different quilts, and how one might have obscured the other as a person walked through that show. I’m a fan of Thelma’s, so was really excited to see it in person, as I read about on her blog as she made it.

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The beautiful quilting is by Connie Lancaster.

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ThelmaChildersStarquilt

This is another Childers’ quilt: Two Score and Seven Stars, and it is quilted by Judi Madsen (both are from Illinois).

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TreeLifeQuilt

Tree of Life, by Allison Lockwood of California, was based on a trip to Thailand, where she was “enthralled with the color and sparkle of Thai Buddhist temples.”

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TwoCrows

What made this quilt by Gayle Pulley stand out for me was not only the coloring of her hand-painting on a whole cloth, but also where the color isn’t, and how the stitching fills in.  Two Tenacious Crows are certainly having their feast in a cornfield.

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And now I bring you my truly subjective category: Ugliest Quilt.  One is easy and you’ll probably agree with me.  This first one, however, may make you howl, especially if you loved this Award-winning Quilt.  I couldn’t find anyone who did, so I think there are more that might give me a thumbs’ up on my awarding of this quilt one of two in the Ugly Quilt category.

UglyFeathers

I like red.  I like gold.  I’m not opposed to feathers.  But I couldn’t make any sense of this one, other than it was one of those quilts that was just a show-off for technique, and not for design, or cohesiveness.  It’s made by a couple of big-name artists (I never reveal my Ugly Quilt makers), and while a lot of times I see their quilts up here on Winners Row at Road, this one just made me scratch my head and realize that my puny efforts will NEVER get in, if this is what the winning quilt looks like.

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This is just all wrong on so many levels: the art, the composition, the appliqué wads of dyed cotton batting for hair.  It has nothing at all to do with the subject matter, just like the quilt above.

I guess I look for quilts that have some intrinsic beauty, when I pick out my favorites, or colorations or design elements that are interesting.  I also appreciate technique, but “over” technique is just as big of a sin to me as is “under” technique.

Other observations: The people that hang the quilt show still have that affliction of hanging subjects together, such as all the flowers together, all the birds together, all the zombies together (I didn’t show any but we did have some Halloween quilts) so that you don’t let the quilts interact in a more natural way.  Wish that would go away.

I think the show overall was better than last year (it could only go one way), but I was not as charged up about the vendors as I usually am.  Perhaps that’s just because I’ve gone too many times and seen everything that is brought to the show (or maybe I have just too projects on the back burner with too many yards of fabric home in the closet).  I did buy a bead bracelet (quilt shows are a great place for jewelry), and some solids from Ginger’s, but other than a few bits here and there, it wasn’t a Big Haul.  I think the group that we were with didn’t buy as much as usual, either.

I do appreciate having a quilt show nearby, and look forward to Long Beach the first week of August.  The best time of all was with my friends–both new and old–eating together, doing Show and Tell, taking a break. See you all next year!

And that’s a wrap for 2013.

Long Beach–Final Post

It’s the final post because it’s time to move on, maybe moan about the first week of school where my classroom was 83 degrees.  Whose idea is it to begin school in the middle of August, anyway?  Okay, enough moaning.  Here is the final set of quilts.

I wrote some time ago about the Masters Books, and my lucky day arrived, for they had sample albums related to the published works.  The quilts could jump off the page and I could touch and see and figure out how they did things.

Alice Beasley’s wonderful portrait.

On the left, are some pieces of fabric that Beasley used, and on the right, Beatrice Lanter’s sample.

There’s my thumb on her sample, just so you can appreciate the scale.  Teensy-weensy little squares.

This sample on the right is from my favorites: Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade.  If this post weren’t so photo-heavy, I’d paste in some more of their work, but use the link above to the Masters Book to see more.

ConText, by Pat Kroth

I keep thinking that little white strip of text looks like the flag in a Hershey’s kiss candy.  Maybe it was time to break for lunch, which I did.  While eating a (lame) salad (the food at the convention center is in dire need of an overhaul!), I received a text that my son had gotten a job!  So the title of this quilt, based on the idea of texting, had resonance for me.

Ladybug Garden, by Collen Harvey in the Hoffman Challenge series of quilts.

Detail of the quilting and fabric use.

This quilt is from where my mind was feeble and I completely forgot to get info about it.  If anyone knows, leave a comment and I’ll update.  It’s a shame not to acknowledge such an interesting quilt.  Please forgive.

My Friends Made Me Do It, AKA Starlight Garden, by Betty Brister
She has great friends, if this is the result.  Detail below.

In her artist’s statement, it comments on the supple stems and perfect circles. Here’s a detail version of those.

M. C. Bunte was driving across the Indiana countryside during an approaching storm.  As she watched, a shaft of sun lit up a small church and the surrounding trees.  In this quilt, Shelter in the Time of Storm, she felt it was a message that even when “situations appear threatening, hope — God’s protection for the spirit — exists.”

She had quilted what looks like text into the fields of crops, but I can’t decipher what it says.

Pamela Druhen created this exquisite small quilt that just pulled me in like some of the larger, showier quilts can not.  She used the techniques of dye-painting, free-motion embroidery and free motion quilting to create Vas-Y, which according to her artist’s statement means “Let’s go!” in French (since it is a French bicycle).

Detail of Vas-Y.

This quilt, titled Totally Insane, is from the Nearly Insane book by Liz Lois.  The maker, Loretta Duffy, wanted to recreate the 1879 Salinda Rupp quilt that, according to her artist’s statement, is composed of 98 blocks.  Working with such small pieces, like block #18, which contained 229 tiny pieces, was quite a challenge, but nothing compared to the satisfaction of seeing the completed work.”   I’d be totally insane, too, if I tried this.

I don’t know which one had 229 pieces, but all of them are heavily pieced blocks.  It was an amazing quilt and always had a crowd around it.

Carol Bryer Fallert became famous for her impeccably pieced flying geese in loop and swoops and swirls over the face of her quilts.  She continues her pristine piecing in Checks & Balances, which is machine pieces, machine quilted and painted.

Did I mention she was known for her machine quilting, too?  Amazing.  Those cloth shadows really make the figures feel dimensional.

First, notice the interesting binding — it’s turned to the back, leaving a clean edge on the front.

Since Connie Fahrion’s quilt has a lot going on (but it was wonderful to look at in person) I think her choice of the clean edge was masterful.  She says the design source for A Fine Pastry came from “the desire to depict how it feels to be part of a communication gone wrong. . . . A poor choice of works, misunderstanding all around and, voila! you have created, as my Italian neighbor would say, ‘un proprio pasticcio’ — a fine pastry.”

I’m a sucker for text in art.  Yessirree.

Since I’m the kind of person who always wants to know “how did you do that?” I tend to focus on technique.  Sometimes this frustrates, like when I’d like to create a text quilt like the one above and I don’t feel I have the artistic chops to do something like that, but other times my interest in technique lets me appreciate a quilt like this one by Helen Godden, titled Good Onya Sonya Onya Bike!  This hand painted, whole cloth quilt allows the free motion quilting to really shine.

Annette Guerrero in her quilt, Gridlock, used a two-line motif in the shape of a modified T to create her quilt.  From the smallest to the largest piece, you can see the T-construction.

Cool quilting, too, carrying out the theme of the grid.

Mrs. Lindberg’s Neighborhood, by Martha Lindberg.
Apparently she designed this quilt, then started a house swap with some friends, inspired by a quilt she saw at the Dallas Texas Quilt Show.  Her friends’ blocks, and her own houses, populate this neighborhood.

Nice quilts we weren’t supposed to photograph.  Or maybe it was okay to photograph them, but I was too tired to get all the info about them.  Even though you might feel like you’ve seen every quilt in the exhibit, trust me. . . there were a lot I didn’t put in these posts.

Danielle Reddick, from Picton, Ontario, Canada was inspired by the fields in rural Prince Edward County to make Sunflower Heart for Alice, in honor of her daughter’s 21st birthday.

I’m including two detail shots because it’s not until you look at for a while that you realize you are seeing cut-up cast-off shirts.  Note the button-front, above, and the pockets, below.

Eat Your Vegies, by Judith Roderick, a long time vegetarian.

I love her quilt even though she misspelled “vegies.”  It’s veggies, if you are going to abbreviate it, but I have to admit that’s one of my “fingernails-scraping-on-the-chalkboard” words.  I hate it.  But I love this quilt!

Springtime in the Garden, by Mary Schneider, uses raw edge machine appliqué along with hand appliqué to create this sublime field of flowers.  She made some changes to a pattern, to put her own stamp of originality on this creation. (I wished she’d given us the source of her inspiration, though.)

Pretty sure there was an exhibit on text, as there does seem to be quite a few quilts using letters and words in the design.  This one, The Word Gets Around, by Louisa Smith, uses commercial fabrics that she manipulated by painting, dyeing and overdoing to obtain the colors she wanted.  Her idea for the quilt came from the fact that “our lives are surrounded by text. . . [in] newspapers, advertising and street signs.”

The backside of her quilt.

Gaudi Star, by Lisa Walton  Influenced by the architecture of Anton Gaudi in Barcelona, Spain.

This is one of those quilts where the the parts are greater than the sum.  The parts (above) are fascinating, both in the use of shape and color and the screen printing which she did. Really beautiful, up close.

Terry Waldron is a favorite quilter of mine, a local gal who has had some fame and success, but still found time to write me a congratulatory note when she saw my quilt hanging in a show.  So I thought it good to end these few posts with not only a lovely quilt, but a lovely quilter.  The title of her quilt is A Gentle Heart, based on George Herbert’s statement, “A gentle heart is tied with an easy thread.”

This quilt is hand appliqued, hand beaded and machine quilted.

What do you feel like after you leave a quilt show?  A lot of times my wallet and my hands hurt from gathering up treasures from the vendor malls.  But aside from that, are you inspired?  Overwhelmed?  On overload?  Me, too.  And then it’s time to climb back into our lives, into the reality that we don’t have enough time or energy to make all those quilts we dream about, so we just choose what we can and make what we can.

But it’s always great when a quilt show comes around.

Long Beach Quilt Show: Log Cabins

I’m just sneaking in a little slide show here before I finish up the Long Beach quilt posting.  This collection of quilts belongs to Claire McKarns, who has been “collecting, buying and seeling antique quilts for 30 years.”  Most of the makers are unknown, but they date from the late 1800s on up into this century.  A special note to one of my favorites (shown below, but above the slide show).

I especially like that modern touch of high voltage cables and plugs decorating the bottom border of the quilt.  Enjoy the slide show.

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Some information on the names and the patterns are found *here* and *here* (you can also search the web for more).

Long Beach, Part 3

Let’s see if I can roll these out for you.  I’m watching the Closing Ceremonies of the Olympics and all this music has me typing quickly.

Karen Eckmeier’s quilt, Aegean Memories, was a masterpiece of tiny pieces, yet it really evoked the Greek Isles, fresh in her memory from a recent visit.  She used collage, paint, machine quilting and couching to make this.

She used the applique-under-tulle netting approach that she did in her other quilt (Black, White, READ).  I think this would be a really good way to control all all those tiny pieces.

Detail.  Maybe this is where she used the paint?  But no, all those little squares look like scraps of cloth.

Harumi Asada had her first granddaughter (her son’s daughter) and she made Happy Birthday to commemorate that first year.  There are growth records, pictures of the baby throughout this first year and flowers flowers flowers!  I was happy to get a nine-patch quilt made when my grandchildren were born.  This was really a stunner.

Here you can see a couple of the baby’s photos at different stages of that first year.

All those circles!  My Karen Buckley circle templates would have gotten a workout. I turned off the flash to show the hand quilting, but it does produce a slightly soft focus.

Here’s some of aforementioned flowers.  All hand appliqued.

But this wasn’t the only Asada quilt.

In this quilt, Harmony in Nature, she wanted to express that all living things are linked.  She made it for a conference on biodiversity in Nagoya, Japan.

I could have taken billions of photos, but mostly I just stood with my jaw dropped and sighing at her exquisite details.  This is the central medallion of a large quilt — close to a queen size.

Since I spent a year in Washington, DC, I fell in love with this depiction of when cherry trees bloom. The title is Spring Blossoms by Terry Aske.  If you look in the background, you can see a row of trees, as well as the soft carpet of pink blossoms under the tree–so very typical of what the blossoming trees are like.  Aske, however, is from the West Coast of Canada.  I guess cherry blossoms are a universal.

An excellent use of floral fabrics to suggest the individual blossoms.

Here’s another quilt from Terry Aske, titled Spring Beauties.  It’s those stripes that pull me in, as well as the plaid leaves.  Such inventive use of fabric to depict a “local patch of tulips.”

And look at this “border”– outlined, subtly, with the use of the striped fabric again, and the background flowing over into that border area.

Cricket on the Radio, by Elizabeth Bren.

Sometimes simple quilts can be very effective.

NASA Wind Tunnel, by Linda T. Cooper.  Highly graphic use of shape and color.

Another Whimsical Garden, by Tina Curran

Fused flowers, but they are all different and wonderful.

Bodil Gardner must be a favorite of those who put on the show, because I’ve seen her quilts multiple times.  Always interesting, though, with her free-form shapes and almost troll-like faces and bodies. This one’s titled Nine girls a dancing.

Spiral Fever, by Jane Lloyd

Spiral Fever, detail.  She says she likes to work in a series, and the ideas for the next quilt come to her while working on her current project.

In the center of one of the areas, they had this display of a little village of houses, organized by Kathy York.

I’m convinced some of these quilt artists never sleep.

And now it’s time for the Ugly Quilt Award.  Again, this is only my very subjective opinion (and certainly some of mine could qualify.)  To protect the innocent, no names are revealed.

It’s not necessarily the head-on shot that reveals its place as the winner this time.

It’s the side view (and I realize it’s a pretty ugly photo, but again–the lights here are challenging), that shows the 3-D effect of purple pipe cleaners.  I know nothing about the quilt artist and I do have to applaud her inventiveness, but maybe some things just shouldn’t be tried.

YoYo2: Trip Around the World, by Helen Remick

Native Market, by Phyllis Cullen and Annie’s Star Art quilt group members. This is one of those quilts where they take a photograph and cut it into pieces (in this case, twelve) and each member interprets the section s/he has.  I like how they sliced this one into irregular pieces, rather than the usual strips.

Native Market, detail.

Watt & Shand # 6 is by Sue Reno, who was documenting the conversion of an old department store into a convention center and hotel in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  These images  are from her own photographs of the reconstruction.

Reflections, Glass Walls, La Defense, Paris, France var. 3 by Barbara Schneider.

This quilt was in the quilt show booklet, as it is such an interesting quilt.  It is dyed, overdyed, painted, collaged, fused and machine stitched in order to show “the contrast between the patterns in the glass and the structural gridwork” (artist’s statement).  The quilt below is another variation in her series, but I couldn’t find the title in my notes.

This one’s for all the hexie fans out there.  This is the popular rose block that is being constructed by many quilters, using hexagons (or parts of hexagons) in the English Paper Piecing method of construction.  The title of this is Rose Garden and it is made by Ardie Skjod and quilted by Dorothy Burnett.  She used a pattern from an Australian magazine, designed by Dale Ritson.

Here’s another one by the same quilter, Ardie Skjod, but this one is quilted by Debbie Blair.  Star Garden is inspired by a photograph she saw in an old magazine, but designed it herself.

I had to zoom in on that one block, as the use of the stripe really skewed it visually for me, but I think it makes the quilt more interesting.  Some blocks look like Tumbling Blocks and some have those diamond stars, but all of them are a large hexagon.  It didn’t say if this was hand-pieced.

Springtime in the City, by Cynthia St. Charles.  Her city of inspiration? New York City.  This quilt is hand-painted, block printed and machine quilted.  It’s really quite full of beautiful springtime colors.

Detail.

Portraits of Flora, by Timna Tarr originally started out to be done in taupes and neutrals, but then her “love of color took over.”  The circles are hand appliqued onto a square, and these squares were pieced together to make the quilt.

I hope you don’t find these detail shots tedious.  Used to be in the OLD days of blogging, you could click on a photo and it would enlarge, but now I find that lots of blogs limit the size, so a detail shot is needed in order to see what’s going on in the quilt.

Her tight quilting made the circles pop into a bas relief.

Baskets Made With Love, by Connie J. Watkins.

I haven’t figured out yet how these quilts come to be displayed — is there some entry form I don’t know about?  Are these quilts from another show merely transported into the Long Beach festival?  It might be interesting to know as we Southern Californians don’t see a lot of coloration like the browns palette in the quilt above, which speaks to the idea of “importation.”

One more post and then I’m done.  School begins today so I really need to get going on that, but to close, here’s what I finished during the Olympics:

Long Beach, part 2

Leaving behind the Twelve by Twelve exhibit, IQA has a several other mini-shows within the big show.  There was a general quilt section, some small created houses on a platform, SAQA, a series of quilts from the book Masters (and their accompanying sample books), and a series of antique Log Cabin quilts.  A lot to take in.  No photography allowed on some exhibits, which makes me less inclined to “interact” with it, as I’m definitely one who likes to take photos, but they were all interesting.

Day and Night, by Grace Errea, depicts a day at a Southern California beach.  It was a lovely riot of applique and quilting, so interesting to look at.

Diane Goff drew on her memories of childhood to create Clovis Bounty, a tribute to her grandfather’s farm where they grew amazing Elberta peaches.

I love the pintucks on the dress bodice, and the quilted curls along the top of her face.

“Yeeee-ha” It’s the Texas State Fair, was created by Karen Harting.  There are lots of nice details here, but as I mentioned before the lighting was a challenge and I hate to post blurry photos.  I thought the use of fabric to be quite creative, esp. that blue in the background.

This one is titled Capital Hardware, even though the inspiration was the Texas State Capitol building.  I couldn’t decide if it was a typo, or if Frances Holliday Alford was making a statement about the importance of the hardware–maybe both?  Alford had her photographs printed up by Spoonflower into fabric that she used to create the quilt. I could relate–I have lots of photos of the nation’s government buildings with their decorative hardware.

Full view of the quilt.

These blue oblongs, sticking straight out from this quilt are the first thing you notice.  Then you step back, look, and . . .

…Kathy York’s Central Park comes into focus, with those blue oblongs representing the tall buildings around the perimeter of the park.  Since I’ve taken two trips to New York this past year, I was intrigued and delighted by York’s work.

Detail. Note the transparency of the bushes in the lower area.

A highly graphic design, Karen Eckmeier’s Black, White and READ Village has text taken from her morning journals.  She created the fabric, then built the town.

Detail of the buildings.  She’s layered tulle netting over the town and machine-stitched the applique pieces down.

Love the found phrase: “CHANGE your life Princess Today.”  I’m a sucker for text.  Always.

In An Orderly World, by Linda R. Syverson Guild was inspired by an Art Deco picture.  At the bottom of her sign she writes “In An Orderly World, the borders aren’t the end” reflecting her breaking of the borders with her design.

After twelve years of living in a leafy Baltimore suburb, Cheryl Sleboda moved back to her hometown of Chicago, with its bright lights. I liked the composition of the quilt, Road to Home, with its bold hues in the foreground and the larger shapes in gray in the background.

Detail of the quilting.  I liked how the green patches and their row quilting imitated farmland.

Answering Nature’s Call, by Kathy Augur Smith (quilted by Wilma Cogliantry) pays homage to an earlier time in America, when homes didn’t have indoor plumbing.  A poem around the outside edges makes a rosy reference to going outside for Nature’s call.  Frankly, I am happy to have indoor plumbing and a hot shower every morning.

Detail of the hollyhocks.  They were created separately (I’m guessing) and appliqued.

Quilting detail.  I love the texture of this “jaggedness” in between the smooth lines. She notes that there is photo transfers as one of the techniques, but I kept wondering if the outside writing was stenciled onto the quilt.

Aryana B. Londir created Compartments #1 of blocks and strips in just four colors.  This graphic design was then channel-quilted in rows.

Detail of the quilting.  According to her statement, this quilt is an allusion to the tight housing found in “big cities and poverty-stricken areas of the world.”

I’ve got some more to show, but I wanted to close (and watch the final of the Women’s Beach Volleyball) with these photos from a vendor of her quilts (yes, I obtained permission).  One quilt is a bunch of dirndl dresses and the other is matryoshka dolls.  Loved them both, with their individual details and charming subject matter

Detail. This would be a great Christmas quilt, made up in holiday colors.  My friend Judy, who has a German heritage, would broaden the red and green to include blue, commonly seen in Christmas decorations in Germany.

This is the back of a quilt by Julie Herman, of Jaybird Quilts.  I had purchased her book, Skip the Borders, the day before and in my quiet night at the hotel, read it from cover to cover.  I was quite intrigued at how she constructed her backs, piecing in her label, then sandwiching the “label strip” into between two other large pieces of fabric, securing the label from being cut off if the quilt was ever stolen.  So I went back the next day and took a photo.  I just like how it looks.

And today’s happy news?  My Far Flung Bee blocks arrived from Holly of TwoCheesePlease in Australia.

I love the look of all the postage and Holly’s washi tape decor.

Yes.  I’m a mail dork.  I love the back too.

And yes, I’m going to torture you with all the photos of the process of discovery.  I like how she taped a little note to the package for me with more washi tape.  The design for the Far Flung Bee logo is one I put together and I’m glad she liked it.

Holly’s the organizer of our bee.  Yes, Holly–I’m glad I joined too!

I had asked for text fabric to be used in the design–either in the background, or in the tulip.

So very cute, both of these!  Thanks, Holly!

Now, off to see who wins the gold: May-Treanor/Jennings or Kessy/Ross.

Long Beach Quilt Festival–Part I

Where have I been?  Where all of you have been. Watching the Olympics.  For those of us Stateside, “Happy and glorious” is a phrase from the British National Anthem, “God Save the Queen [King]” but wouldn’t you just love to have this patch?  My hand’s raised.  I’ve also been washing sheets and towels after all my company and writing my syllabus, but the quilts from Long Beach deserve some attention, too.

As I said to a friend, the quilt show has really improved from the last time I saw it.  And as she said, Well, it only had one way to go. . . and that was up.  It’s a different kind of show from Road to California, which is all about crystals, glitz, flash, heavy quilting for the winners (so-called “Show Quilts), but this show is quieter, with multiple points of focus.

The one that for me was the most intriguing was the display by twelve quilt artists in an international offering titled “Twelve by Twelve.”  Their website, Twelve by Twelve, can give more information about each of them, and I must admit, better pictures.  (This quilt show is held in a cavernous hall, partially underground with high contrast lighting.)  I started into this exhibit in a rush, then forced myself to slow down, slow waaay down and appreciate what I was seeing.  The above is Orange.

Each collection is made by one of the artists in the collaborative, with different techniques, materials, designs.  Each hanging is twelve different ways of interpreting a theme.  Each has twelve little quilts–and it took me a while to figure out that I could really learn from them if I took the time.

This is BrownSageBlue.  They had three exhibits here: Themes, Colors and Numbers.

So what would you design, if the theme was BrownSageBlue?  Would you remember how landscapes look from an airplane?  Neither would I.

Three squares from Chairs.  Above is the first, the other two follow.

Yum! Chocolate!

And a woman posing with the God of Chocolate?  Maybe she’s a quilter.  No, she’s a nursing Mom, according to the blog post about this piece.

This piece is from the theme Community.

Window.  Already you can see all the different ideas playing around in this piece.  A lot of these “quilts” in this theme have zig-zagged edges for a finish.

Introspection is the title of this piece from Windows.  It’s a photo from her optometrist visit.

Rainbows and Sun Breaks from the Water grouping.

Twelve is the theme here.

Twelfth of Twelve, a mandala that contains references to her other pieces in the series.

Spice.  Are you tired of these yet?  I hope not, because I wish I had a group like this who would make little art quilts with me.  That’s the effect it had on me–I realized it was at once collaborative, yet individual.  And it would force you to work in quick succession–no getting bogged down or tired of a quilt.  They found each other via their blogs, and many of them have met each other.  They reveal their creations every two months after receiving their theme.

A piece from Rusty. A star within a star and then embellished with a swath of rusty-colored beads and textiles across the top.

Shelter.

Who can resist these planted birdhouses?  I love the background of patched greens.

Simple, yet effective rendition of Shelter.

from PurpleYellow.

PurpleYellow group.

Mathematics. 

Teensy little square illustrating the principle of randomness. Or not.

I took this shot to show that they had affixed their squares to a piece of black felt.  I saw this technique for joining small pieces also in Road to California, as typically a quilter is only allowed to enter one piece–even if that is composed of multiple parts.  The tree in the upper left is Fractals.  Fascinating.  I loved it.

How did you first learn to count?

Last one: Pink.

St. Rose and her Pinking Shears, by Terry Grant.

She writes: “St Rose came to me in a dream with her PINKing shears. Later I discovered the real St. Rose of Lima was patroness of embroiderers and lacemakers and supported her family as a teenager with her exquisite needlework.”

I’m moving on in the next post, but am still thinking about these twelve artists and their accomplishments.

Long Beach Quilt Festival, classes

I still have a bag or two to unpack, but I wanted to post about my days at International Quilt Association’s (IQA) Quilt Festival at Long Beach.  I went two years ago, when the quilt portion of it was okay with a couple of stand-out exhibits, missed last year, but happy to report that this year’s quilt display was waaaay better than the first time I saw it.  Or as my friend says, they only had one way to go–Up.  And they did.

I left my town at 6 a.m. on Thursday morning, headed through the Los Angeles traffic to Long Beach, arriving there around 8:15 a.m.  I left my car at the hotel, along with my luggage, and their shuttle gave me a ride over to the Long Beach Convention Center.  I stayed at the Hilton, only about a 10-minute walk, but there are three hotels that are closer if that’s too far.

Kaari Meng of French General fame.  She’s wonderful as a teacher, explaining everything crystal clear.

This was on our table when we arrived: the jewelry kit, tools and a fat quarter of her fabric to use as a working mat.  Like many others, I tucked the fat quarter away in my bag–no way I was going to get glue on that!

Pieces spread out: the cabochons and the bezels and the charms.  You had to be there.

Gluing done, we worked on attached things with jump rings.  I learned a lot, which gave me confidence to do the kit I ordered from her store over six months ago, and which has sat unassembled as I had no idea what I was doing.

The bracelet, modeled.  I put this and a few other pictures on my Instagram account: occasionalpiece, if you are interested in following me there.

She had a few other kits there to buy, so I took this one home.

I took two classes from Karen Stone, who is amazing, lovely and has great lines that she’s always throwing out in class:  “Have I told you more than I know?” and when working with piecing curves, she noted that instead of wishing away our troubles with piecing, we should “Learn to love the devil that you know.”  Good advice on so many fronts.

Karen Stone makes me laugh.  Like when she brought out this first quilt (above, and detail just below it), a sample for another class, and asked, “Do you want to see some irrelevant quilts?”  Of course we did, and I loved this one with all the raw edge applique leaves coiling around.

This sample was for another class also, but her combination of colors is just inspiring–not any that I would have gone for but that work together beautifully.  She says to mix everything up: batiks, 1930s prints, modern, calico, Kaffe Fassett. . . everything.

An earlier quilt, which she says was  snapshot of who she was as a quilter at that time.  As I work on my Quilt Journal, I feel the same way about my earlier quilts.

Clamshell quilt.  A lovely and invigorating riot of textures, design, colors.

All of these were laid out on the floor, so you are looking at a tilt in all the photos.  (Sorry.)

Hexies.  One-inch hexies, sewn by machine.  And that was the thrust of our class: Old Favorites, New Ways.

It looks like a puzzle on the back.  Using a lightweight cardboard template, iron just three sides of the hexagon, then fit them together, joining them with a narrow zig-zag stitch done with monofilament thread.

A closer view.

Lay out the hexies on heavy-duty water-soluble stabilizer, using a paint brush with water to “glue” down the pieces.  Notice how we are weaving them: raw edges under a pressed edge.  When I first started this technique, I was thinking how wierd it was.  But as I picked up speed, using the grid to align them and glueing them down as I went, I thought about the possibilities.

My sample complete, but not yet stitched down.  I then took it to the machine and zig-zagged along the folded edges.  It’s practically invisible that way.

And now the New York Beauty class, the block that catapulted her to fame and reknown.  I had purchased her book at the end of my first class and that night went home and read it from cover to cover.  It’s a great book with lots of tips and tricks about how to assemble these blocks, as well as a whole section on color selection.

Showing us how to cut curves–use the natural movement of the arm to cut an arc.

It was interesting to me as she talked about fabric choices, that it makes a difference when picking fabrics for the pieced arc, as to which fabric is used for the pointy things and which is used for the background.  Choose the fabric that pops off the other, she said.  In this photo you can see she draws from many many fabric types and colors, but she noted that each block should have the colorway of the whole quilt so it’s harmonious.

Upper corner of this quilt, showing the borders.

“Irrelevant quilt,” as she would say, but I was interested in how she used interior piping to set off a series of blocks as the borders of the quilt.

Demo-ing the piecing of the arcs.  “Learn to love the devil you know.”

My little wobbly block.  She said don’t trim them, as it will all work out.  I was interested that these fabrics “worked” together, as I never would have chosen them.  But this block does work and that interesting animal spots background that changes sizes works to pull the viewer’s eye into the block.

After classes, we all headed into Preview Night, where we could get first crack at the vendors and see the quilt show.

Here’s the booth selling Ghanian fabrics.

Another vendor booth showing a bright Log Cabin quilt.

Julie Herman of Jaybird Quilts–I follow her in Instagram and also read her blog.  She’s written a book and I’m happy to say that it’s a solid effort, with clear concise directions, and few new tips and lovely quilts.  She is very talented and recently relocated to Southern California from Philadelphia.  It’s a family affair–her mother was working the booth, beaming from ear to ear at her very talented daughter.

Sandy Klopp, of American Jane.  I told her my camera was a “younger-lighter” brand, explaining that it was magic and made the person in the photo look 10 pounds lighter and 10 years younger.  We wish.

Jane Tenorio-Coscarelli of Quarter-Inch Publishing.  Amazing coat.

The last night I was there, the traffic was backed up all over the freeways, so I parked the car after dinner and went in for the last hour.  All the tour busses had gone home and the vendor area was pretty empty.  I felt like this guy, tired and wanting a nap.

So I went over and found my friend Heather, of Superior Threads, and we walked around.  It was pretty interesting being at the side of a vendor, as she greeted her fellow vendors.  I told her was like those children’s stories that when after the children are tucked away and are asleep, all the toys come to life.  She laughed, but agreed.  I have to remember that I show up at quilt shows a few times a year, but all these people see each other about every month.  She knew their stories, asked them about their vacations, commented on new products they had in their booths.  When I’m there, I just see them as temporary brick-and-mortar shops where I can glean new quilt fabrics and buy the latest.  But with her, I realize that we are all part of a large industry, all of us like pieces in a incredibly wonderful quilt.

More, next post, on some incredibly wonderful quilts in the show.