Friday, November 16, 2018

Album Quilts: Honoring Sue Garman and Esther Blair Matthews

There is so much to share from International Quilt Market that I (Teri) will have to do so in several posts. If you've followed our blog for any time, you may have noticed that we love appliqué, and being members of the Baltimore Appliqué Society, our eyes are always drawn to the album style quilts. And there were plenty of those in Houston this year. 

The first exhibit I visited was the Texas Guilds' Award-Winning Traditional Quilts, with quilts from the Lone Star State that had previously won awards in their guild competitions. A few jumped out at me; all were album quilts with patterns by Sue Garman. 

I love Kathleen's use of color in this quilt, and her workmanship is incredible! If you aren't blown away by each of the blocks, just study that border. Wow.

But wait, there's more by the team of Kathleen and Angela. All those perfect  little circles and tiny quilted feathers!

I never tire of studying these Baltimore Album replicas. The charm they hold equals the love that is stitched into each block. A perfect example of history repeating itself, even in our art. Baltimore Album Quilts will continue to live on into the future—an amazing connection with the women who originally stitched these works of art some 170 years ago.

Probably one of my favorite special exhibits was Beyond the Valley—A Tribute to Esther Blair Matthews (1776-1866)

Esther lived in the Shenandoah Valley with her daughter's family when she made this quilt. It is the only of her quilts known to have survived, and it belongs to the collection of the Virginia Quilt Museum. I encourage you to check out the blog by the Shenandoah Valley Botanical Album Quilt of 1858 blog to read more about this Sew Along project, to see her original quilt, and to find out more about the quilt and Esther herself. It will give you a deeper appreciation of the beautiful quilts made in her honor. I was enthralled by the variety of techniques used to replicate her original beauty, while not compromising its theme and overall message. Enjoy!

I love the way Gail fussy-cut the fabrics in a broderie perse style for her flowers.

Krista achieved a much different look with wool.

Harolyn's version is in the redwork style of embroidery, though colorful and embellished.

Carolyn used crayons to color the flowers and outline-embroidered them in this miniature reproduction.

Suzanne machine-appliquéd her blocks, using hand embroidery and fabric paint for embellishment.

Karen's use of the dark background really sets it apart.

And a totally different look and feel on Wendy's cheddar background. She used the potholder method, quilting one block at a time. I love her quilt name!

Annie's use of pastels creates a softer impression. Her fabric choices remind me of my great-grandmother's quilt made with aprons and dress scraps in the 1930s.

What a creative way that Laurie stitched her connection with Esther!

Nancy used Civil War reproduction fabrics, most appropriate to Esther's story.

Doreen's color choices make my heart sing!

 Kay, fellow Marylander and BAS member, did a spectacular job of reproducing Esther's quilt!

Can you see why this was one of my favorite exhibits? It was fascinating to study how different fabric choices, techniques, and colorways changed the look of the quilt—never straying too far from the original. I believe Esther would be delighted to know that she inspired such a group of talented needle artists to stitch her quilt pattern, and I wish that I had taken photos of each and every one. I'm sorry I missed this Sew Along. It must have been fun to meet new stitchers on this journey together.

There are more appliqué and album quilts, but I think that is enough for today. Even though you aren't standing on concrete floors for hours looking at them, I still don't want you to get too tired. Looking at them makes me want to sit down and do some appliqué. How about you?

I hope you enjoyed these lovely quilts as much as we did. Keep checking back for more. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

A Few Highlights from the International Quilt Market

A couple of years ago, Kara and I made our first trek to the International Quilt Market in Houston, Texas. It was an exciting one, as we had a quilt, our Fairy Tale Album, on exhibit in the show. You can read about the highlights of that trip by clicking here. Unfortunately, with Kara in Germany, it wasn't possible for us to attend together this year, so our good friend and official pattern-tester, Barb, joined me (Teri) for the trip. Enjoy this photo-journal of some highlights of our Market experience. 

We left before dawn and flew over Baltimore as the sun was rising.

The hotel restaurant had some tasty table-side guacamole, which served as our lunch after we checked into our room.

We wandered over to the convention center and got a peek of the beginnings of the quilt exhibit set-up. What a lot of work to be done!

Just as we were ready to head out to explore the city, a massive storm hit, so we just hunkered down and enjoyed dinner and happy hour in the hotel. This is the view of Houston through the rain-covered window of our hotel room. It was just as well, since we'd be up since 3 AM and were going on a bus trip to Galveston in the morning. Sleep came early.


We arrived a day early, so we could take the bus trip to Galveston. Our first stop was at this quilt shop, which spanned six or seven rooms.

The shop was displaying a collection of HERstory Quilts—A Celebration of Strong Women

This quilt and pattern by Georgann Wrinkle was stunning. I had met Georgann at the Appliqué Academy many years ago and was thrilled to see her amazing work on display. This rose is breath-taking!

We headed toward Galveston as the blue sky tried to break through the clouds.

Our destination was the Bishop's Palace—The 1892 Josephine and Walter Greshem Home, a magnificently elaborate home filled with stitching ideas.

 The inspiration began with the arch over the front door.

 From the floors... the ceilings*... the staircase: so much attention to detail.
The ceiling on the left is pictured above*, but this time from the vantage point of the top of the table pictured on the right.

 Do you see embroidery designs? I do!

Another fascinating domed ceiling

Door hinges...

...and wallpaper offer design opportunities.

The chapel had some stunning stained glass, which always speaks to me.

They certainly didn't have boring ceilings! This, from the chapel.

Beds, his and hers

Mrs. Greshem was an artist and painted these flowers in her bedroom, as well as the border beneath the ceiling in her room, above right.

A state-of-the-art bathroom for its time...

...with a stitch-worthy sink.

This beauty that greeted us as we left the mansion just added to my inspiration.

Bishop's Palace, the 1892 Josephine and Walter Greshem Home

Schoolhouse Highlights

The next morning, we arrived bright and early at the convention center for Schoolhouse, a day filled with half-hour sessions packed with information. We were amazed by the progress on the quilt exhibit that had been made in a day and a half: look at all those quilts hanging! A few people must have had a couple sleepless nights.

An appropriate quilt for the registration desk

We were greeted by Northcott, celebrating the tenth anniversary of Stonehenge fabrics.

Learning about Treenway silk threads

Gelato ombré fabrics from Maywood Studios

Valdani wool fabric and threads

These are just a few of my classes. Barb and I divided and conquered and then shared information at the end of the day. I confess, I was overloaded with new information and ideas. It was a long but productive day. But the fun was not over yet...

We still had sample spree to experience. Yes, we spent a bit of money. Yes, it was CRAZY! But YES, it was fun!!

Just a few more highlights

On the vendors' floor, we visited our friends at Weeks Dye Works and got some samples of their wool and pearl cotton #3 threads to use. We love their colors!

Glad to see we aren't the only ones who love fairy tales!

Kaffe Fassett working on one of his designs

Some fun new YLI materials to try

And some beautiful, sharp scissors by Famoré

Stonehenge 10 Year Anniversary

A wooly exhibit at EE Schenck Company's booth

And of course, there were lots of quilts, but we will save those for another day! There was so much to see and so many people to meet. It is the best place to meet people from all over the globe who share the passion of stitching.

But alas, all good things must come to an end, and within minutes of that closing announcement, boxes were packed, quilts were moved, and vendors began preparing for Festival. Stop back to visit soon! I have lots of quilts from some fabulous exhibits to share with you.

Until then...happy stitching!