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

Buckleydetail2

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.

Chromaticdetail1

Chromaticdetail2

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.

Chromaticdetail3

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.

Cranesdetail

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

Cranesdetail2

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.

FantasyLanddetail
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.

GreenMilesdetail1

GreenMilesdetail2

GuerreroConverge

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

GuerreroConverge1

GuerreroIris

This quilt is titled Iris.

GuerreroIrisdetail

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.

HexieQuiltdetail1


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.

McTangerinedetail

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.

MiniLogCabindetail

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.

Moosedetail

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.

PowerSuits2

Someday I aim to make a pineapple log cabin quilt!

PowerSuits3

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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Rte66-5

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Rte66-8

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Rte66-11

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Rte66-13

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.

Rte66-14

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

Rte66-15

Rte66-quilt

Rte66

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.

starrynightdetail

TeaPartyQuilt

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

TeaPartydetail1

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.

ThelmaChildersREDdetail1

The beautiful quilting is by Connie Lancaster.

ThelmaChildersREDdetail2

ThelmaChildersREDdetail3

ThelmaChildersREDdetail4

ThelmaChildersStarquilt

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

ThelmaChildersStardetail

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.”

TreeLifedetail


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.

TwoCRowsdetail

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.

UglyQuilt

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.)

AmerSpirit

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.

ColoradoQuilt

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

Bubble1

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.

Bubble2

Bubble3

ChignikQuilt

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.

Chignikdetail

CircularReasoning

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.

CircularReasoningdetail

CityEdge1

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.

CityEdge2

FromStone

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.

MidTown1

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.

Midtown2

Midtowndetail

CrazyPlaidQuilt

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).

crazyPlaiddetail

GirlPearl

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.

GirlPearldetail

GoneFishin1

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.

GoneFishin2

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.

GoneFishinBack

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

GoneFishingDetail

JenningsQuilt

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.

Jenningsdetail

JumpingQuilt

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.

Jumpingdetail

LoneStarburst

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.

MonetQuilt

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.

MonetDetail

Monetdetail2

Monetdetail3

NYStateQuilt

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”?

NYStatedetail

OldChina1

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

OldChina2

OneFineDaydetail

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

OneFineDayQuilt

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.

OrganicLogCabindetail

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

OrganicLogCabinQuilt

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.

OutBoxQuilt

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.

PocketPaisley

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.

PocketPaisleydetail

Remick

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.”

RemickQuilt1

RemickQuiltBack

RemickQuilt2

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

SecretGardenQuilt

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.

SecretGardendetail

SolidsSign

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

SolidsExhibit

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!

Solids1

Stepping Stones, designed and made by Lisa Call

Solids2

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

SolidsQuilting

Solids3

Stacked Blankets, designed and made by Valori Wells

Solids4

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

Solids4a

Solids5

Sanibel designed and made by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr

Solids6

Modern Cross, designed and made by Kathy Mack

Solids7

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

Solids9

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

Solids10

Ladders, designed and made by Elizabeth Hartman

Solids11

Keys, designed and made by Alissa Haight Carlton

SolidsVendor

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.

Group1

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

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.

Lunchgroup

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.

queenmermaid1

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?)

queenmermaid2

  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!).

Saint

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.”

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saint3

The quilting made me swoon.

samson1

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.

samson2

He quilted it all on a regular sewing machine.

Vixenfishmaid

Sirena has a secret.

vixenfishmaid2

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.

visenfishmaid3

visenfishmaid4   Very ingenious.

Grandmafishing1

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.

grandmafishing3

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

Celise

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

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?

Road to California–In Perfect Harmony

I’d Like to Teach the World the Quilt in Perfect Harmony
Bert Garino, Florida

Before I get to the wonderful quilt above, made by a friend of mine, I’ve had some interesting responses on my posts about Road.  I hope I made it clear I was not denigrating any of the quilters who made the snazzle-dazzle quilts.  They’ve spent hours and hours on their creations and while I may moan about the proliferation of these types of quilts at this particular show, my observations should in no way imply that their quilts are deficient in any way.

Bert notes that: “Bling” was the keyword for winners at Houston this year too.  I find it interesting that so many of the prizewinning quilts show up at so many different shows.  It seems to be a business for the winners, and the rest of us lifelong quilters just go to see what they have come up with each year.  I’ve been a “quilt angel” in Houston the last few years, and so I got to hear a lot of comments from quilt viewers.    It seems that a lot of the quilts are more intimidating than inspirational to a lot of quilters.

Rachel says: I think your observations have really been spot on.  Perhaps the reason we are more inspired by the vendors is because they are making/selling the kinds of quilts we want to make.  I’ve noticed the trend toward show quilts.

Kris made the comment that: I agree that show quilting has gone to a whole different level, but I think that it is worth mentioning that the “bling” quilts you are showing were designed for the art or non-traditional innovative quilting categories.  They were specifically not made as traditional quilts and as such really can’t be compared to them.

Now back to this quilt.

Bert Garino, who served as President of the Mt. Vernon chapter of the Quilters Unlimited Guild in Virigina (a HUGE guild of 11 chapters) shortly after I left DC, made this quilt for the guild’s quilt show in February 2009, where the challenge was “All the World’s a Stage.”  She says that she “loved this little quilt so much, I thought more folks should see the message written on it,” and she enetered it into Houston where it was juried it as “Art – Whimisical.”

“The letters written across the earth were done with a permanent pen, and then I quilted around each of the letters.  The legs, arms and quilts were done with fabric pens.  Each of the little quilts was then quilted individually before being appliqued to their little person in the larger quilt.  On the sun I trapunto-ed the Chinese symbols for harmony and the doves flying in the sky are carrying various thread bits.    The quilt was made to bring a smile to people’s faces and to share in the joy of each quilt maker’s journey.”

Bert writes “It just smiled on the wall hanging amidst all these ‘thousands of work hour’ quilts, wondering how it got there.  I think we all need to just enjoy the art and hard work of all the quilters, and know that we all have our favorites that we would like to emulate.  For me, the favorite quilts that I’ve made have been given to soldiers returning from Iraq, families in shelters or given to new babies, family and loved ones.”

Thanks, Bert.  Sometimes we get all wrapped up in the business of quilting, that we forget its origins as a necessity, as well as a way for early quilters to express some of their creativity.  I love that Bert sent me these pictures and the last one with her radiant smile helps me to remember why I quilt.

Happy Quilting!

Road to California, 2102–part 4

Sorry about finishing up the last Road post so abruptly.  I was headed out to have lunch with my son (a monthly event that had gotten sidetracked by my surgery) and to visit Purl Soho’s location in Tustin, California.  It’s sort of a non-fabric, fabric store, meaning all the inventory is there, but it’s warehouse style.  The ladies there are cheerful and helpful and I visited with them as I looked around.  They have a whole room of fabric and a whole room of yarns–so beautiful.  My fat quarter in Friday’s post was from there.  I bought it as much for the Purl Soho ribbon as the colors.

I’d like to finish up Road in this post, so forgive if it’s photo-heavy.

Mabel-A 1952 REO, was pieced and quilted by Susan J. Cane and is a depiction of the first antique truck that she and her husband purchased.  The techniques in this quilt came from a workshop by Katie Pasquini Masopust and include edge-turned machine applique and textile paint.

A View from Above, by Sheila Frampton-Cooper of Van Nuys, California began as a small color study, but began to grow.

Terrific, with fabulous quilting.

I call these two quilts “tablecloth” quilts as they are basically old lacy linens laid over a backing fabric, then quilted.  They are both by Cindy Needham of Chico, California; this one’s titled The Nuns Quilt as the linen was handmade by nuns in the 1900s.  This was hand-quilted and beaded.

Infinity (below) has beads and pearls added (no sparkles!), as well as a doily added to the center for embellishment.

Detail of Infinity.

I turned off the flash on the camera so as to show the quilting and detail better, so it might be slightly blurry.

I was getting tired by this point, so many of these I have no names for.  This was an interesting black and white quilt in Ricky Tims’ curated exhibit, which also included a whole passel of fabulous brilliantly colored quilts.

This is from the faculty section and this quilt is Karen Eckmeier’s: Seeking Balance.  Quite of few of our little quilting group head to this show, and at this point, I was walking with Laurel–this was her favorite.  We got up very close to see how it was done.

All these little houses are raw edge applique, overlayed with tulle, then quilted, a technique that’s been on my radar for some time now, but have never tried.

FriendLilyBlossoming, by Cynthia Neville, Karen Fitzpatrick, Mary Kay Runyon of St. Louis Missouri, and was quilted by Cynthia Neville.  These group of friends got together to create this quilt, a stunning pictoral image of lillies.

This glorious crazy piece quilt made a lot of us stop in our tracks because the colors are so un-typical of that type of quilt: bright greens, pinks, purples instead of the browny reds, navies and gold of antique crazy pieced quilts.

The title is Crazy for Flowers, and is made by Allison Aller.  There was a grouping of interesting crazy quilts in an exhibit, much like the faculty exhibit and the Ricky Tims collective of quilts.  I saw more of these at this year’s show, including an incredibly mediocre collection from a shall-not-be-named quilt guild from another part of the country, which was Sponsored By a retail establishment which shall also not be identified.  From there, I draw the Award Winners for The Ugly Quilt, a tradition on this blog.

Ugly #1.  This poor little quilt has nothing going for it: not design, fabric, balance, nor technique.  The overly plump flower petals distort the backing, pulling it out of square.  I can forgive some of this because this was her first quilt.  You’ve all seen mine and if I were to exhibit it in a Road to California setting, I could surely have won the Ugly Quilt award.

But Ugly Quilt #2 surely has no excuse: a hideous use of fabric/textile/yarn/whatever along with an edging that makes you scratch your head and wonder what was going on in HER head?

And here comes my bit of sour grapes.  Ahem.

When I see valuable floor space given over to these “Sponsored By” exhibits, I begin to wonder what in heaven’s name was going on the organizers’ heads (?) to admit these quilts onto their exhibit floor.  I’ve talked it over with a few people and it probably all comes to down to two things: time and/or money.  Time–it takes time to look through all our applications, sift through them, write us back, but all of that has been streamlined by a process where we upload online, pay online, type in our own blurbs by ourselves.  Money–For each quilt submitted, there is a ten-dollar fee, so Road extracted thirty bucks right out of my pocket.  That’s the game if you want to enter, and I get that.  They also took 20 more dollars out of my pocket (two days of entry).  So all told I “donated” fifty bucks to them even before I bought anything (of which the vendors pay rental, and if I’m not mistaken, a percentage of their sales to the Quilting Establishment).  While we think of this as a Quilt Show, it’s really a Business.  Fair Enough.

But when my quilts don’t get in, or the quilts of my friend Leslie, or the supposedly hundreds of other quilts that applied and were rejected–and then I see Ugly #1 and Ugly #2 in a “Sponsored By” booth–I begin to realize that these quilts are in here because somebody sponsored the group they came from (think $$$) which allowed them to claim floor space at Road.  I see the same thing at Long Beach–a really sparse exhibit, filled in only by groupings Sponsored By someone or another, but theirs is not a juried show.

Some exhibits are fascinating.  Some are of a single quilt artist, like the “quilt” of a foreclosed house by Susan Else, and are worth having.  But I saw too many in this show that, while there were some standout quilts, the bulk of the exhibit was a waste of my time and my money.  Is this the direction quilt shows are going?  They have to stay alive, as does any business, but when the value given is not worth the cost of the part of the consumer, the balance shifts.

For me, the balance has shifted to the vendors and their booths.  That’s where I am getting my ideas for quilts.  That’s where the “heart” of the show is now–with bright sunny smiles like that of Eleanor Burns–who understands the balance needed to keep the customer happy.

And I have to say, that the allure of shopping at a quilt show–with its variety of booths and vendors and different types of fabrics, has diminished now with the availability of fabrics over the internet.  Indeed, two of my favorite vendors didn’t make an appearance this year, but no worries– I’ll go and look them up online to peruse their wares.  And while nothing can substitute for seeing the quilts in person (and the reason I will probably always go to this show year after year), I can get a lot of this online from Flickr sites, blogs, and from magazines.

One favorite is Susan Gower of Nifty Thrifty Dry Goods, who comes with her van all the way from the other side of the country. I have a couple of her button and bead bracelets.

A new one: Traditions at the White Swan, all the way from Maryland.

Jillily Studio, with her clever and fun watermelon quilt pattern and a new line of fabrics.

And while I didn’t get a photo of their booth, with their fabulous quilts and ideas, I always stop at Superior Threads to say hi to Bob and Heather and see what’s up with thread.  (In fact, look for a giveaway from them later this month!)

Well, rant over.  I want to continue to go to this quilt show without feeling like I’m being sold down the river, or taken advantage of.  Perhaps the Powers That Be need to understand what a lot of our local quilt shops have figured out: customer service, good value and attention to the local clientale.

I’m leaving you with a few more photos, then will intersperse more over the coming weeks as needed.  Hope you’ve enjoyed a trip to the quilt show!

A Time for Healing–The Wannabees 1,000 Crane Quilt was made by a group of quilters from San Mateo California, in response to the tragedy of the tsunami in Japan last March.  They had all their friends from all over make and sign cranes, and were able to raise money to send for relief efforts.  It is truly a work of love and skill, and carries such a powerful message.  I could never find a time when someone wasn’t standing in front, reading the names on the cranes.

Detail.  I focused on this because I was gimping around, just after surgery, hoping to regain my health, but the idea of healing and hope and the thousand cranes is a resonant message, bringing solace to many.

And I’ll close with another image of me with a friend, a perfect bookend to the opening shot of Leisa and I standing together at the beginning of the show.  For over a year now, I’d been following Cindy on her blog, Live a Colorful Life.  I had first contacted her because of her pin cushions made out of selvages, offering her up some of my selvages.  I sent off a little package, glad that someone was using some of my fabrics in some way, and a few weeks later, she sent me a little box, with a sweet and wonderful pin cushion inside.  Through comments and emails, we moved from a more casual conversation to that of “pen pals,” if you can do such a thing electronically.  She wrote saying she was coming to Road, and I was able to meet up with her and her husband for lunch, and then we walked the floor for a while before I left for the day.

For I think we quilters really do like the community of quilters–we read and comment on each others’ blogs, we take ideas from one another, we link up for Works In Progress, Scraps, or various other online “bees”–a modern adaptation of the more traditional potluck-tie-a-quilt gathering of pioneer days.

Keep On Stitching!

Road to California–part 3

To start off this post, I thought the Baltimores would be a good thing, and since we already know from past posts that the person that hangs this show groups everything in a clump (Hello?  Have you heard about habituation?) it’s easy to find them. Oh, yes.  I get that I’m doing habituation too.  (Life’s little irony.)

The Bizzy Bird Farm is made and quilted by Julie Prose of Ottumwa, Iowa.  She writes that she did a lot of fussy cutting from Kaffe Fassett fabrics.  It’s a variation of  Kim McLean Roseville Album pattern, but Prose notes that she changed the borders.  Sorry about the mediocre picture–those shiny lines are the plastic tape they use to keep up from the quilts.

Detail.  I love the background fabric she used.

I’m a fan of the “pencil” fabric from Kaffe Fassett, used here for the logs in her log cabin.

Several members of the  Shadow Mountain Quilters, a guild from Pahrump Nevada, got together to made this quilt, titled American Tradition. While it looks like the borders are a free-floating zig-zag, the quilt is actually rectangle, with deep navy blue edging on the outside of the white vine border.  It was a beautiful quilt.

A little less traditional Baltimore Album quilt is this one, titled Our Garden, His and Mine.  It’s made by Judith Ledford, of Oceanside, California and quilted by Shawn York of Elfin Forest, California.  It took her nearly thirteen months, working every day to complete this.

Detail, showing the garden rake, trowel and plaid gloves by a pot of blooming red flowers.  I also love those blue morning glories, dangling down near her pieced triangle sashing.

Susie Wimer of Ranson, West Viriginia didn’t want to make a quilt like everyone else’s, so she went miniature in Mon Petit Baltimore.  She began by making one small block, then another, and another, using fabric left from other projects.  She used themes from antique albums and other 19th century genres.  She writes “For the cutouts, I just put scissors to paper and experimented.”

Close-up showing quilting.  The hand quilting took two months, stitching every day.

I think this is a type of Baltimore, although it doesn’t have the traditional white background.  Instead, Denise Nelms of Irvine California, chose to work her magic using wool instead of cottons on a black background.

The title of this beauty is Home and Harvest.  When you look closely, you can see the blanket stitches around each piece.  This is her second quilt using wool.

I took about three pictures of this block, trying to replicate the rich black background and the vibrant colors, but the massive overhead lights distorts everything.  You just have to know it was beautiful.

Mary Kay Davis’ quilt, A Sprinkling of Stardust, was made for a McCall’s quilting challenge and uses only two blocks: Delectable Mountains and Lone Star.  It positively glowed.

She made good use of Jane Sassaman fabrics.

Rare Catch is made and quilted by Diane Steffan of Lake Ozark, Missori.  She writes: “Blue lobsters are very rare genetic anomalies, a one in five million occurrence.”  This is both machine pieced and quilted.

I snapped a close-up to see the interesting variety of stitches used in the quilting.  These quilts, a pair, were some of my favorites.

Such a good use of fabric and quilting.  And because I am not a judge, I may not know what I’m talking about but to me a good quilt makes good use of both the medium and the way its used.  This quilt qualifies.

Ann B. Feitelson depicted the Ice on the Sawmill River with her pieced quilt.  This was another little gem of a quilt, tucked away without fanfare or ribbons that was beautifully executed.  She used different colors to represent snow, ice and water, and over-dyed African fabrics (the birds) to represent “what remains animated despite frigid temperatures.”

Detail, both of piecing and of the over-dyed bird fabrics.  Her use of stripes was masterful.

I can’t read the sign on this exquisite little pieced quilt of hexagons and free-form piecing.  It’s probably 2 feet high by about 18″ wide, and I loved it. [UPDATE: it is "Peace by Piece" by Violet Cavazos.]  It was hanging in the hallway near the back of the show along with what we called the Cow Quilts.

Holy Cow! by Melody B. Macfarland; quilted by Pam Dransfeldt.

To go along with the theme of “holy” she had sewn milagros in among the cow’s spots.

Apparently these are all from a book by Mary Lou Weidman, and her cow quilt, above is titled Psy-COW-delic.  It was quilted by Kathy Woods.

Pana-Moo-Canal, made and quilted by Susan Typpi, was inspired by a quilting cruise she took with Mary Lou Wiedman and all the mola (fabrics) she purchased while on the cruise.

Veggie Cow, made and quilted by Kathy Collins.

COWmen Miranda, pieced by Sue Kresse, quilted by Kathy Woods

Road to California–part 2

I’ve had some really good comments from readers about Road to California and it’s interesting how they parallel what I was hearing behind me and around me from the attendees: nice quilts, but I’ll never make one of those.  And certainly I felt that way about the quilts I wrote about earlier.  So, thanks everyone, for writing.

There were a lot of quilts that when I looked at them  I began to ask myself: what is it about these that is different, special?  Here’s some more that I saw.

Beauty Parlor De Los Muertos, by Nancy C. Arseneault is a classic, as she got all the details just right.  She’s from Tucson, AZ.

Notice the clever use of fabric in the floor tiles!

Sunlit Circles, from Ann Petersen of Surprise, AZ uses spiky circles floated over the top of her quilt.  What makes this one really interesting, I think, is that border of quilted circles, with an occasional scalloped edge.

Nice quilting, and while close together, it’s not excessive.

And not one sparkle (yay!).

This is one of those quilts that you had to see to believe.  Titled The Loading Dock, and made by Mary Buvia of Greenwood Indiana, it reminded me of those books by Jan Brett with ornate illustrations all alongside the main panel. Bruvia hand appliqued much of this “during the long hours of chemo treatments” for her late husband.  She made this quilt in homage to him, as Christmas was his favorite holiday.

It was beautifully done.

Yes, it had sparkles, but this is one quilt that should have — to show the snow sparkling in the North Pole moonlight.  Just my .02 worth, here.

There were a series of quilts that used fabric to show texture in interesting ways–another use of hexagons in this quilt by Jean Spring (from Steamboat Springs, Colorado) and titled Three Gulls on a Wall.

Holly Dominie, from Readfield Maine, took Australian fabrics to a class given by Susan Carlson, intending to experiment in the “Pointillism” style.  This portrait of her daughter is titled Queen of My Heart.  It was stunningly beautiful, and I am sad that they hung the ribbon right on this work of art, which was based on photographs Dominie had taken.

I crept in right up to the quilt, then zoomed in, so you could see her amazing work with the fabrics, cutting, laying them down, then the random stitching.  I have to say I thought of one of my favorite blogs, written by Kathy Doughty, who features these fabrics (because she’s from Australia, for one thing) to great effect.

This one of her son is titled Irrepressible.  Same artist, same technique.  When I visited the vendor’s booth that had stocked these fabrics, they were flying off the bolt, snapped up by all of us quilters as we now envisioned what could happen.  Not that we’ll ever do it, of course, but we hope and believe that we can, inspired by these quilts.  And that’s my big gripe with those “show quilts” from the other post.  They DON’T inspire us.  We look at them, amazed by the hours and hours, but the stray comments I heard never indicated that a quilter wanted to go home and fire up her sparkle gun, or get busy quilting with lines 1/16th-inch apart.  I can admire their work, but that’s as far as it goes.  Of course, I could just be weird, an anomaly, but judging from what I heard, I don’t think I am.

This was just the perfect little piece–wavy edge reminiscent of a postage stamp–a tiny snapshot of a day.  And that’s the title: Snap Shot from Seaside, and it’s made by Mary Kay Price of Portland, Oregon.

I was very interested in the edge of that bridge–the spiky grasses, the grayed ledge. The grasses were raw edge appliqued, but really fused down somehow so they looked painted on.  And the edge?  Some fabric paint to blur and soften that so it melted into the picture.  Really beautiful.

Early Snow, by Yuki Harding from Green Valley, Arizona, was based on a photograph she had taken, of what I assume to be cherry blossoms shedding their blossoms.

Or I could be completely wrong, and it IS a first snowfall.  Whatever, it was interesting, and I loved how she created texture with fabrics and thread.

Here was another stunner of a quilt, that unbelievably only garnered a second place.  Titled The World, and made and quilted by Rachel Wetzler of St. Charles, Illinois, is her rendition of the genesis of the world.  It’s a well-balanced composition with great detail and good use of color and technique.  Maybe it only got a second because it didn’t have any sparkles on it? (Can you tell I’m so done with the sparkle business?)

Such an amazing quilt.  I hope it comes to a quilt show near you so you can sit and study it as well.

Kathryn Nolte, from La Habra Heights, California created this visual feast, titled Take in the Night Blooming Jazz, Man.  Sinewy, fluid shapes echo the subject of her quilt, with a real live “piano key” border.

Great quilting, too, putting more motion into this quilt.  Whenever I went by, there were lots of onlookers clustered around this quilt.

Check out the quilting on the piano player’s pants!

Obviously you are subject to my biases and personal preferences, but if I were to consider a quilt for the Best of Show Award, the following would be on the short list.

The Archer was made and quilted by Wendy Knight of San Diego, California.  Unfortunately, it was hung on a side aisle so the lighting isn’t as good I as I hoped for.  This quilt is expertly composed with lots of movement, color shifts and values, detail and on top of that is interesting.  It also had a crowd every time I went by.

Was I influenced by her expert quilting, writing in text into the background of her quilt?  No doubt.  These are words from the teachings of “Bushido–which is the way of the warrior.”  Her husband is a “student of Japanese history, in particular the Samurai culture” and it obviously influenced her subject matter.

The circular piecing and quilting on the horse’s neck really showed the form of the animal.

More detail. . . and more quilts in the next post!  My husband has just made me some fresh-squeezed orange juice downstairs and I’m headed to a late Saturday morning breakfast.  Enjoy your day!

Road to California-I

I started going to this show about 20 years ago, give or take a year or two, when it started out across the street in the Marriott hotel, so I know its history.  It was an offshoot from a local fabric shop and in those early years most of the displays were home-grown, local quilt artists and so you went to see people you know.  The woman who ran the show put on a good game, with lots of good vendors; she had a knack.

About 3 or 4 years ago (or so the scuttlebutt goes) she hired a new person to help her hang the show, run the displays, and since that time I’ve seen it tilt heavily to overly quilted quilts with lots of spangles and sparkles.  This year, I’d have to say that the show has hit a new low, and I started referring to it as Road to Las Vegas.  This is not to dismiss the workmanship of the quilts that were displayed.  The technical skill and stitch quality of the top prize-winning quilts cannot be disputed.  What can be disputed is whether I liked it, or the ladies next to me liked it, or if  using a million crystals (Swarovski or not) or ten miles of embroidery thread enhances a quilt or if I found the quilt show interesting, or inspirational, or motivational (as in: I want to make that quilt!).  Enough yakking.  Here goes.

The title of this is the Magical Mermaids Castle, [sic] by Claudia Pfeil from Germany.  The workmanship is exquisite, with quilting no more than 1/4″ apart, and embellished to within an inch of its life with those aforementioned 40,000 crystals.  Shimmer.  Shine.  Sparkle.

She obviously has spent a long time on this.

I turned off the flash so the quilting lines would stand out, so sorry that it’s blurry.  When I walked through with Cindy, from Live a Colorful Life (more on our meeting up, later), she had tried some of the crystal work and noted that it must have taken this quilter “hours and hours.”

The back.

Back, detail.  Obviously this quilt is about what you can do with a longarm, what you can do with embellishment.  I finally heard a term that described what these types of quilts are: “show quilts.”  That term came from a quilter, shown below, who was standing beside her quilt, talking about it, and she said she tried to make at least two “show quilts” a year.

It was hanging on a side aisle, the shot angle is a bit skewed (sorry).  The title is Witches Brew [sic] and it is a clever quilt, made by Cathy Wiggins from Macon, North Carolina.  In the accompanying sign, she tells the story of her quilt, plus adds “There is [sic] over 250 hours of hand-embroidery on the scroll.”  I liked how the scroll was like a hand-written recipe, with things crossed out and changed.

NOTE: I keep writing [sic], which means “this is how I found it in the original source.”  I don’t know whether it was the quilter, or the people who printed the signs, but there were lots and lots of typographical/grammar errors everywhere.

Witches Brew, detail

William and Tony’s Magical World is pieced and quilted by their mother, Kristen Vierra and it also shimmers and shines.

Magical World, detail

The Director’s Choice blue ribbon went to Sherrie Reynolds of Laramie Wyoming for her quilt America, Let It Shine.  An absolutely stunner of a quilt, I had her pose by it–she was there a lot, standing by her quilt like a proud Mama (and she should have been proud–it was beautiful).

This is the only shot I could get of the quilt without someone beside/in front of it.  It’s a simpler design in some ways, with a central medallion and detailed borders, but she also used embellishment extensively, as well as a tremendous amount of quilting.

Back of the quilt, held up by the white-gloved hostess.  This shows you the amount of quilting that was on it.

Border detail

Detail, word strip.  The sign reads “5121 Swarovski Crystals represent the words of the Constitution, Star Spangled Banner, Pledge of Allegiance and the age of America. The 13 colonies are represented by using 13 points on outer blue rays and red triangles. The 50 states are represented with the ring of 50 stars.”  And my favorite words of all; “free motion quilted on a Bernina 1001,” or a home-sewing machine.  So, no long-arm, but as you can see, she has a lot of skill in her FMQ.

I remember reading that this got high honors in Houston and it got high honors here as well.  It is heavily (and I mean HEAVILY) quilted with gilt and regular threads, with lots of embellishment.  I should point out that the award winners are at the front of the exhibition hall all in a row, with signs by each one, as they are in other shows.  So, I’m showing them in a cluster as well.

Detail, lower left corner

Backside of lower left corner, showing that there is more thread than fabric showing here.

Detail of the cherry blossoms–all done with thread.  So essentially this is a three-ply thread painting.  Whether or not you like it depends on your own sensibilities, but there is certainly a LOT of work in this quilt.  The title is Harmony Within, and it’s a tribute to marriage by Sue McCarty from Roy, Utah.  Below is another thread design, based on a photograph.

This is a depiction of a potter from the Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico, as was her mother before her, and it titled Grace. It’s made by Jennifer Day, from Santa Fe, New Mexico, who printed the enlarged photograph on fabric and then went to town, quilting it and covering the face and hands with thread, using sixty-six colors and one-and-one-half miles of thread total.

Detail.  They put tape across each section of the display so it’s hard to get a full-on quality shot, but I think you can see how densely she “painted” with thread.  It’s remarkable how she was able to shade and color the face with all those threads.

Yes, those women really are striding into the scene of helping to put up a quilt show, somewhere in Australia.  She created the figures separately and they are attached to some black tulle netting for support.  Clever, I thought.  Titled Color Comes to the Back of Beyond, it was based on a painting by Pauline McPharlaine.  The makers are Pam Holland, Jan Munzberg, Pauline McPharlaine, and Jeanette Coombs (all from Aldgate, Australia) and was quilted by Pam Holland, the true heroine, for making the quilting integral to the quilt.  I stood at found detail after detail, in this not-so-large quilt.

At first I thought those were dropped glass-headed pins, but they were in other places in the quilt as well, so I decided they must be itty-bitty flowers.  Do you like thread-painted quilts?  The jury is still out for me, but I did like this one.  What you can’t see very well is the texture of this quilt–it really has a lovely quality to it that makes you want to touch it (I didn’t!).

Two more Big Fancy Quilts, then more in the next post.

Deruta, by Suzanne Marshall of Clayton, Missouri. She notes that Deruta is a town in Italy well-known for its hand-painted pottery (yep–I’ve been there!), and that her quilt was inspired by some plates she has with beasts on them.

What’s hard to see about this in the photographs is that she apparently has couched a thicker thread all along the edges of her applique pieces, giving them a harder edge.  Quite remarkable technique and skill.

Calling all you hexie lovers!!  Cheryl See of Ashburn Virginia has made a quilt for you to emulate!  Titled Star Struck, it has 12, 256 hand-pieced hexagons in this quilt. It was stunning, as you can see.  Here are some detailed photos (below):

What’s interesting also is how she used the printed fabric hexies to blend and smooth to the solid-fabric hexagons, which act as borders and as outlines.  And guess what?  No sparkles anywhere!  You CAN make a quilt without quilting it to death or turning it into a Las Vegas Showgirl! More, next time.

Road to California 2012–Preamble

Yessirree! Road to California welcomes you–with a typo.  (Maybe only English teacher types would notice?  Certainly the lady I showed at the official booth had no idea what was wrong with the sign, and I have to admit it’s the first time I’d seen a verb with an apostrophe).

My friend Leisa picked me up early, and we were there in the show by 9:40 (we had to wait for the end of the line to arrive so we could get in after them).  After going to this show for umpteen years, we’ve seen a lot of changes and have perfected our plans.  I always head to the quilt show first, and she likes to give the booths a once-over before doing that.  Really the best time to see the quilts in the show is around 4-6 p.m., when all the busloads of shoppers have gone home and it’s cleared out, but I didn’t know if I would last that long.

I don’t like to show too many quilts until the event is over, so watch for upcoming posts, if you’re interested.  But I will show you some of the things I bought–surely there’s no harm in that.

Flying Geese ruler, Kaffe’s latest violets (in multiple colorways), print fabric, notecard, a set of leather handles for a tote bag and a pattern.  When I told my mother that I could fit everything I bought into my one tote, she said “You must not have been feeling well.”  I was a little under the weather due to complications with the recent surgery, and I felt shopping was like trying to eat dessert after a Thanksgiving feast–you want it, but your heart’s just not in it.  No one had the typewriter fabric I was hoping to find.  Bummer.  And I avoided too-crowded booths (gimp girl, here).  I loved seeing all the quilts that the vendors had decorated their booths with.  Hold onto that thought because I’m coming back to it in my wrap-up at the end.

We had a great day, yummy lunch (box lunches from California Pizza Kitchen) and saw lots of interesting things, but by 3:00 I was ready to go.  So we hopped in the car for the ride home.  Many thanks to Leisa for taking me there!