QuiltCon/Quilt Show Fun

Road Booths1I’ve been entering quilt shows since about the time I moved here to Southern California.  The closest one was Road to California, and in those days, I always was accepted.  Schooling interrupted my quilting, and when I got back to my craft, the ground had shifted underneath me.  I couldn’t get my quilts accepted any more.

I felt pretty badly about this the first time it happened, especially since the quilts I saw at the show seemed to be all spangle and sparkle and glitz and flash, along with quilting that was perfection, due to the advent of the longarm-quilted piece.  To say I was discouraged would be an understatement.

Grading Research Papers

I kept trying, and kept getting rejected. It felt a lot like grad school, where I’d write up my short story, or poem, and take it into workshop and they’d get out their figurative knives, blades, guns and other weapons and slash my pieces to bits, then shoot holes in them.  I think I cried all the way home that first time, but it got easier to separate myself from my work, and take the critiques in stride.  Some were helpful.  Some were NOT helpful.  I had to know that my writing still had value and worth, and to keep going.  It was the work that mattered.

Fast forward to this week, watching the feed blow up on Instagram as people cooed or moaned about their acceptances/rejections to QuiltCon.  Whether the organizers like it or not, they have created a couple of problems and I was watching the fallout happen in realtime, in people-time, as comments started flying.  The problems most prevalent appeared to be:

Sign Quilt Show

1) Too many entries.  This came about because there was no limit on how many quilts could be entered.  I haven’t checked every show, but the ones I’m familiar with limit how many quilts you can enter.  Because QuiltCon had 1300+ entries, and maybe only space for 400 quilts, well. . . you do the math.  But the odd thing was this line in the rejection letter (yes, I got rejected on all three of my quilts): “Please do not be discouraged. We received more than 1,350 quilt submissions and the jurors had to make many difficult decisions.”

This was weird how they commented on the recipient’s emotional state and then flipped it around so that the person being rejected should feel sorry for the jurors and their difficult work of wading through over a thousand quilts in order to chose the ones they wanted for their show.  Just the facts are necessary: “You didn’t get in.  It was a good effort.  Try again next time.”

Timna Tarr’s Valley Snapshots

2) The perception that there is a mysterious criteria that determines who gets in and who doesn’t.  The key word is “perception.”  And the perception, judging by what I read on IG, is that this mysterious set of rules is not given out to mere mortals, but only those in the inner circle, the claque, the clique, the friends and buddies of those running the show.  I can hear the snorting going on now.  Yep.  But this problem persists because the modern quilt movement can’t figure out what it thinks is a modern quilt enough to be able to describe it, or communicate it to the masses.  People like me.  And then they hold a contest in which we are all supposed to submit, which feels very much like going to the top of a busy freeway overpass and throwing our quilts over the edge, watching them sink down into the morass.

On top of that, there seems to be an overabundance of graphic artists at the helm, or with some graphic arts training.  Might this not mean that the graphic punch, that visual snap, the elements of high contrast off the grid have become ascendent?  Maybe.  Then put that into the judging/juror criteria and disseminate it.

When I entered, I was surprised to see there were really no categories to select into.  Yes, there are categories, but I didn’t get to nominate my entries into any of those; the assumption is that those on the other end of my internet connection will do that for me, further confusing the experience.  So I don’t know if my quilt was judged against other similar quilts, or if it was thrown into the pool of 1300+ entires, with bleary-eyed jurors watching quilt after quilt pass by their eyes, until the whole thing collapses into Let’s Get This Done, sort of like I feel when I’ve graded too many papers in a row.  I have total empathy with the jurors, but perhaps there are some solutions that might rectify this difficult situation. I hope they find them.  And I hope the show I’m about to see in Austin in February will put aside some of my concerns and be a great experience.  I am happy for those who got in, and can’t wait to see the quilts.

Sol LeWitt's Patchwork Primer_finalone of my rejected quilts

But in the end, what matters?  Are you only as good as your last rejected quilt?  Or are you the sum total of your work, the cutting, the sewing, the creating?  Given the number of times I’ve been rejected, I could have melted into a puddle on my floor.  But my training in grad school, although sometimes painful, gave me stories like this one:  a famous author used to mutter to himself “I’ll show them this time,” every time he started a new novel.  And the knowledge that I am more than just my latest quilt.  And that I won’t melt if someone tells me “no,” although it feels really good when they tell me “yes.”

colorwheel blossom beauty shotanother rejected quilt, soon to appear here on the blog for the first time–stay tuned!

One lovely side effect of all this sturm und drag (storm and stress) is that I have loved the reading on the #quiltconreject and the #rejectedbyquiltcon hashtags on Instagram.  I’ve been introduced to some fine new quilters, and fallen in love some new works from familiar quilters. It’s been quite the wild ride.


Yes, the modern quilt movement may or may not survive the problems I mentioned above.  But it’s not really my concern.  My concern is to get going on the next quilt, to say a hearty yes to this creative adventure.

Road to California Quilt Show 2013—part III

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


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


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




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.



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.


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


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.


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



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.


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.




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



This quilt is titled Iris.


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.”


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.



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.



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.



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.



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.


Someday I aim to make a pineapple log cabin quilt!


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.


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.











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.


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





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.


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.



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



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.


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.


The beautiful quilting is by Connie Lancaster.





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



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.”



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.


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.


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.


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.

Road to California 2013–part II

The next two posts are photo-heavy, but I decided to put the quilts I wanted to show you up in two, rather than three posts. (BTW, these are in no particular order.)


Laurie Wozniak’s American Spirit, was one of several done for the American Spirit batting display, and for which they handed out calendars with photos of the quilts.  I liked the postage stamp theme.


Lynette Hallmark’s Colorado Evening was the other one in this series that caught my eye.


Bubble-Licious was made and quilted by Karla Dahms of Minnesota, and was inspired by the Beatle’s song “Octopus’ Garden,” from A Yellow Submarine.




Artists Mark McDermott and Cat Larrea of Alaska, participated in a curated exhibit titled “Perspectives: Fantasy and Reality.”  This piece, Chignik Bay Lagoon, is a digital image of an original watercolor, which was then enlarged, printed on fabric and quilted.  Both artists have geoscience backgrounds.



Road to California always has a section of Faculty Quilts, and this very well-known quilt, Circular Reasoning, is by Emily Cier, and is quilted by Angela Walters.



City Edge 1 and 2 (this quilt and the next one) were made by Gerri Spilka and Delia Dungan and are from the Perspectives exhibit.  Both are from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and were inspired by their cityscape.



This quilt by Hollis Chatelain, From Stone, was inspired by a trip to beach near Brisbane, Australia. (from the Perspectives Exhibit)  Confession: I’m always in a love-hate relationship with her quilts.


MidTown A and B (this quilt and the next) were made by K. Velis Turan of New York.  She used fabric, dyes, textile paints, and. . . shrink plastic (what we used to call Shrinky-Dinks) for the cars.  Since so many of us have a love affair with big cities (but often are glad to retreat to the ‘burbs), I thought these quilts were terrific at showing the compressed space of buildings side-by-side, but sited on river-like boulevards.




Allison Aller, another member of Road faculty, made Crazy for Plaid, her version of the traditional Gothic Windows pattern.  She used machine and hand embellishment (below, sorry for the blurry photo).



The main reason I was fascinated by Girl with a Pearl by the Sea, was because of that incredible mass of textured silk on the quilt.  Detail below.  Quilt made and quilted by Sandy Winfree. Can’t decide if I like it or not.  It’s a novelty quilt, and I think sometimes Road goes overboard on those.  Overall, I have to say I think this year’s Road offerings are better than last year’s.  Fewer sparkles for sparkles’ sake, for starters.



Another sea-themed quilt (there were a lot of them this year) was this young boy swimming in a school of fishes.  Sylvia Clary of Florida, titled this Gone Fishing, and is apparently inspired by her real-life young grandson Carson.  It’s the details and whimsy of this quilt which drew me in.


Check out the use of selvages in this waves. The fish were made of her hand-dyed fabric, and this quilt included hand-painted, hand drawings duplicated for use, along with thread play, crystals (this is one quilt that I didn’t object to them being attached to, as they were used in the design, not to overwhelm the design) and lastly, photo collage.  It was a real treat, but as usual, my favorites don’t always get the ribbons.


Ignore the words floating above this postcard, which was the back of the quilt.  Fabulous.



Suzanne M. Riggio, maker and Terri Kirchner, quilter, both of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin (say that quickly) put together this “slice quilt” by the Milwaukee Art Quilters of an old home where they held their meetings.  The Jennings Homestead has applique, fusing, painting, inking, embroidery and discharge techniques.  Is anyone else wanting to do a “slice quilt”?  They are fascinating to me.



Jumping Off the Cliff with Freddy Moran, made by Kathryn Bernstein and Pam Dransfeldt of Los Angeles, California.  It’s fun to see Freddy influences in a quilt again.



Another faculty quilt.  Lone Starburst was made by Kimberly Einmo and quilted by Birgit Schuller. Einmo wanted to create a quilt “one Jelly Roll Bundle plus one background fabric.”  She succeeded.


Monet in Pasadena, was made and quilted by Melinda Bula of California.  She used fusible applique and heavy thread play to create this quilt from her hand-dyed fabrics.  The inspiration was the Huntington Museum and Gardens in Pasadena, CA. Details below.





Two sisters, Sue Nickels and Pat Holly, made this quilt together (Sue quilted it).  It’s titled New York State of Mind, and is part of the faculty exhibit. Didn’t we used to call this orange color “cheddar”?



Old China was made and quilted by Nita Markos, and was inspired by a photo from her childhood.



I’m showing you the detail first on Cynthia England’s quilt, because it’s made of so many teeny tiny pieces.


One Fine Day (from the faculty exhibit) was inspired by a photograph she took of Lake Tahoe, spending a day there with friends and her family,  a good “day to remember” she says.


The pieces in Organic Log Cabin #3, made and quilted by Jennifer Emry, were “scissor-cut. . . without measuring to get that ‘organic look.”


This one was fun to study.  Until I went to the other ballroom to see the quilts, it was about the only “modern” quilt in the exhibit.  Road trends toward the traditional, so I was happy to see a bit of a break-out here.


Another from the Perspectives exhibit was Out of the Box, by Sandra E. Lauterbach from Los Angeles California, and is based on a map of Shanghai, China.


Lorilynn King’s Pocket Full of Paisleys had a “private name” for the quilt while she was working on it (she called it her LOUD quilt).  She decided to learn her embroidery software, and used turquoise thread when testing.  She kept going and this was the result.  (As you may have noticed, some of these quilts are hard to photograph, because they either have signs on stands in front of them, clear plastic tape strung across, or the lighting and/or angles are a struggle to work with.)  I liked hearing that she had an “official name” for this quilt, and a “private name.”  I do the same thing, feeling like giving a quilt a name is sort of like naming a child–you can’t really know what that name is until the quilt is finished.



Helen Remick had an alcove all to herself, showing off some of her quilts.  The one that caught my eye was YoYo 11: Reflections on Changing Technology.  She writes: “As one technology replaces another, some things are preserved, others lost.  CDs in yo-yos hold manuscripts, family history, rituals and vacations.  The collage on the back side is made from images and documents on these CDs.”




I also liked this one, but didn’t catch its name.  It evolves into yoyos at the border.


Deborah Sorem’s My Secret Grandma’s Flower Garden has many allusions and references to her grandchildren in the quilt, and “represents three generations.”  Detail below.



Lupine designed and made by Emily Cier, quilted by Cathy Kirk


I finished the exhibit in the main ballroom, and slipped over to the smaller ballroom, where I found this gem of a display by Robert Kaufman.  Of course, I read a lot of blogs by modern quilters, and this past weekend was QuiltCon–a modern quilt convention (next one is in two years!), so have been surprised that the organizers of Road haven’t yet made a nod to the influences of these quilt.  But here was a small exhibit of some amazing modern quilts.  One frustration was that none were labeled: not the maker, nor the title, which is a glaring oversight, I think. Enjoy the modernism of these quilts. Update:  Leanne of She Can Quilt emailed me all the correct titles.  I’ve amended the blog to add in this new information.

Leanne writes: “The quilts are all from the book called We Love Color, compiled by Susanne Woods, published by Stash Books.”  The one quilt not shown below (but shown above) is TV Color Bars Quilt, designed and made by Betz White.  I hope I put these in all the right places!


Stepping Stones, designed and made by Lisa Call


Orbit, designed and made by Jennifer Sampou, quilted by Angela Walters



Stacked Blankets, designed and made by Valori Wells


Think Big, designed and made by Jacquie Gering, quilted by Angela Walters



Sanibel designed and made by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr


Modern Cross, designed and made by Kathy Mack


Centered, designed and made by Cherri House, quilted by Angela Walters


Color Frames, designed and made by Amy Ellis, quilted by Natalia Bonner


Ladders, designed and made by Elizabeth Hartman


Keys, designed and made by Alissa Haight Carlton


One of the vendors also had a touch of the modern in her display. This was Ginger’s Quilt Shop in Ontario, California, which I found a week later was closing its doors.  I was sad, because they’d been so helpful when I was making my Scrappy Stars quilt, in helping me figure out which color to use to back the stars.  I did go up to one of the closing days, picked up a slew of solids (I’d purchased a stack from them at the show), and said my good-byes to a great quilt shop.

Next post: last of Road to California quilts.


Road to California 2013–part I

Okay, here’s a truth.  When you are sewing your brains out, you aren’t  blogging much.  And since I’ve been on a tear with a couple of quilts, I haven’t yet given the recap of Road to California 2013 version.  I’ve been remiss.  Let’s begin.


As we’ve noticed this week at QuiltCon, the connections we make with other quilters are valuable and as invigorating as creating new quilts, and so I want to start the post by acknowledging my debt to some of my quilty friends–thank you all.  Here we are at the first day’s lunch: Leisa, me, Laurel and Lisa.


Dinner that night was at our local El Torrito, where Jean, Laurel, JoDy, (me) and Leisa ate chips, chewed over the quilt show, inhaled the guacamole.  We sort of do this every year, so if you come, join us.


Last group shot: Debbie from Miss Luella, Cindy from Live A Colorful life and the rest of us.  I am happy to have such great friends.  Now here’s some other people we saw at the quilt show.


Queen of the Nereids: Deborah Levy was the quilter and maker.  This was a lot of fun to look at, ooh over and find the interesting details (like how did she keep those shells on?)


  She’s from New Orleans–the quilter, not the mermaid–so she does know water.  I love the texture in that hair, and she used some of my favorite thread: Superior (I’m a fan!).


Laurie Tigner made and quilted this fascinating homage to ancient religious icons, Silver Madonna -1 .  First she painted silver spandex, then quilted it.  She said the fabric was stretchy in four direction, “but worked beautifully.”



The quilting made me swoon.


Samson and Delilah, by Jerry Granata from California (near me!).  This was such an interesting image, prompted by his love of Art Deco and the art by Erte.


He quilted it all on a regular sewing machine.


Sirena has a secret.


This quilt, by DeLoa Jones (who was on the faculty of Road) lit up this quilt with LED lights and sparkley things that we buy at Disneyland.


visenfishmaid4   Very ingenious.


I couldn’t get a great shot of this, but it was wonderfully made by five different quilters of the Collective Visions quilt group: Kathy Adams, Joan Baeth, Susan Massini, Louise Page, with Kathy Adams as the quilter.


Grandma’s Big Fish was based on a photograph taken in 1959.  Don’t we all want to be like this woman?


Celise, by Carol Swinden, melted my heart, but then again, it was a picture of Swinden’s granddaughter that prompted it.

Celise detail

The quilting was really amazing, drawing in the contours.  I apologize for the harsh lighting, but the colors were more delicate in person.

Celise quilting

Hope you can see this background quilting.


Surrender was a quiet quilt, tucked in among some showier ones, but took my breath away for the depiction of a mother saying good-bye to her newly deceased newborn. Maria Elkins of Ohio, paid homage to all those moms who have had to say farewell at birth.  She dedicated it to her grandchild, “who was given into the loving hands of her daughter and son-in-law.” I studied it for a long time.

Pink Display 2

One of their special exhibits was “Pink,” a lovely collection of quilts with pink as their predominant color.

Pink Display1

Makes you want to go out and get some pink, right?

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.


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.


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

Simple, yet effective rendition of Shelter.

from PurpleYellow.

PurpleYellow group.


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.