Thursday, April 27, 2017

Windy City Wrap Up

Once again, we travel to Chicago to view some of the quilts that I (Kara) couldn't fit into last week's post. The quilts I have to share with you are all over the map in regard to genre, so I was pondering how to tie this post together. It came to me that one of the "threads" that binds these quilts together is that the maker was inspired by something that pushed him or her to create the quilt. However, what inspires one quilter may not inspire the next in the same way. 

We, as quilters, come in all different shapes and sizes; we all have different likes and dislikes. That is why going to a show—such as Quilt Festival Chicago or Houston, or the AQS show in Lancaster, or even a local quilt guild show—offers something for every quilter's taste and inspiration. Here are just some of the amazing quilts (of many genres) at Quilt Festival Chicago.

Spring at the Watery Place
by Jin Dong

Old Denim Square
by Noriko Nozawa

The Ant's Square Dance
by Diane Tenney
quilted by ladies in Indonesia

Mamaw's Puzzle
by Valli Schiller

If You Give a Friend a Fat Quarter
by Madelyn Bell
quilted by Susan Corbett

Saying Goodbye
by Shelley Landon
quilted by Yong Hui Torske

Allyson's Wedding Quilt 
by Gail Battista
quilted by Erica Barrett
Design source: Jinny Beyer's Lotus quilt pattern

Hazel's Diary Quilt
by Linda Kowalski
quilted by Shelly Pagliai

Rhapsody Over Ancient Days
by Masako Sanada
(fabrics of old kimonos and futons were used) 

Faces of India
by Helen Godden and Jonathan S. Evans

Detail: Faces of India

My Emily Munroe Quilt
by Susan Calhoun
quilted by Terry Kramzar

Silk Road
by Kumiko Frydl

Larger Than Life
by Karen Amelia Brown

A Cancerous Turmoil
by Karen Capozzoli

by Betty Busby

On the Same Page
by Linda Anderson

Kaleidoscope 1 
by Julie Schlueter

Free at Last
by Joy Palmer

Not Now, Maybe Never
by Joan Dorsay

What a variety of quilts! The fabric and thread are consistent throughout, but what the quilter has done with that fabric and thread is what makes them unique. While not all the quilts will appeal to everyone, they will to someone—and that's what gives spice to the quilting world's life. 

P.S. A shout-out to our faithful reader, Wendy Caton Reed (The Constant Quilter) and her beautiful quilt. I loved seeing your quilt again!

No Bake Appliqué, Wendy Reed; Maine, USA

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Kindness of Quilters and the Chicago Quilt Festival

As we mentioned in our post, Going Global, My husband and I (Kara) will be heading to Germany in June. Before we make the big move overseas, we wanted to take a farewell trip to see our parents in Ohio and Michigan. Was it a coincidence that our midwest tour coincided with Quilt Festival Chicago? Nope! No coincidence there. It actually worked out quite well, as my sister lives in Rockford, Illinois and she and her family were willing to meet us there. Also, my quilting aunt, from Michigan, was going to be going with some of her quilt sisters, so the festival was shaping up to be the venue for a mini family reunion.

Our view as we walked in the door

We all made plans to meet together on Friday during the festival, so my dad dropped my mom and I off at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, and we were ready to roll. Upon entering the convention center, a lady came up to us and asked us if we needed tickets. We, of course, said yes, and she proceeded to give us two passes that would allow us to get into the show. She then asked if we were meeting any others, and did we need more tickets. My sister and two nieces were going to be joining us, so she gave us the rest of her passes. We were so grateful and surprised with this random act of kindness. This lovely lady, a vendor, had been given these passes but had not found anyone to give them to, so we were the lucky recipients!

Since Teri had been able to get a press pass at the Lancaster Show, (you can read about that here) I thought that I would see what was available at this show. The front desk very graciously gave me a badge, a media ribbon, and an exhibitor ribbon. While I didn't get a tour like Teri, I was still quite happy.

Feeling pretty fancy with my ribbons!

As we set foot into the exhibit hall, the first quilt we saw was this enormous forest scene. From left to right, it starts out as a photograph and finishes as a quilt. You can read more about this quilt and others like it here.

Northwood Awakening
by Anne and Steve Loveless 

Detail: Northwood Awakening

My mom and I moved rather quickly through the quilts, as we wanted to see as many as possible before we had to meet up with our family. We took quite a few pictures in that short time so we could share them with you, but we weren't able to catch them all. Here are a few of the winners:

The Grand Prize winner, Slices of Opulence 
by Randa Mulford

Detail: Slices of Opulence 
This is an absolutely stunning quilt; I wish my picture-taking skills did it justice.

First Place Traditional
Mystical Garden 
by Mary Alsop

Chatting with the quilter of
Mystical Garden, Mary Alsop

First Place Modern: Playing Well Together
by Jackie Nixon-Fulton

When we did our post about the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Show, Put a Bird on it, we shared that birds were somewhat of a theme there. If I were to theme the Chicago show, I would have to go with "floral." There were so many amazing quilts with flowers as a centerpiece (pun intended).

Gladiolus and More 
by Marianne R. Williamson

Petunias on Parade
by Barbara McKie

Aussie True, Oh Dear, We're Blue
by Denise Griffiths

Detail: Aussie True, Oh Dear, We're Blue:

A Sunny Day in April
by Emily Parson

by Emily Parson

Pink Tulips
by Emily Parson

Flower Field: Daffodils
by Emily Parson

Of course, I had to have some family pictures taken in front of our Fairy Tale Album quilt. Showing the quilt to my family members attending was a special treat!

My Aunt Carol, the quilter
My mom, sister and nieces

After our first round of viewing the quilts, we decided to visit the vendors. My niece, Julie, and I took off at racing speed to see as much as we could in the time we had left. She is a speedy walker and was very patient with my fabric purchasing. One of my favorite stops was Bungalow Quilting and Yarn. I was so impressed with the variety of fabrics Judy carried. Stop by her Etsy store and see all the beautiful and varied wares she carries! We also stopped by to see our friends at Paper Pieces and Sew-Cherished and then continued our way through, enjoying the plethora of fabrics, quilts, and vintage wares.

So many lovely quilt patterns were available

The Menidy Quilt booth with some amazing quilts from the tentmakers of Cairo

Love, love, love this vintage trim!

I'm still not sure why this didn't come home with me

The Quiltmania booth was quite busy!

As we toured through the vendors we made a point to stop by and see Cindi Egerton, of A Very Special Collection. Cindi is the gracious lady we met as we came in the door. Our day of family and quilts was made more special by her act of generosity. We visited her booth to thank her again and we were happy to see that she was quite busy, but not too busy to take a picture with me.

Demonstrating her patterns
Thanks Cindi!

I had such a great time with my family and enjoyed seeing so many amazing quilts and vendors. This was just a small taste of Quilt Festival Chicago. Next week we will share more pictures of this wonderful show and a little bit about a popular exhibit. 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

AQS QuiltWeek Lancaster: The Rest of the Story

In the last post, "A Peek Into the Quilter" at AQS QuiltWeek Lancaster, we spent the morning on the first floor of the quilt exhibit. I (Teri) had noted that I was impressed by the variety of styles of quilts, but then almost every quilt I'd photographed from that floor was an appliquéd quilt. Well, I'm about to prove my statement true: on the next two floors, there indeed were many techniques demonstrated—and I even have pictures!

Best Wall Quilt Award
STICK WITH ME KID, Jan Berg-Rezmer; Gladwin, MI

Best Original Design Award
MOONFLOWER, Molly Y. Hamilton-McNally; Tehachapi, CA
Detail of Moonflower, by Molly Y. Hamilton-McNally
I love how the quilting mimics the flowers in the quilt!

Best Use of Color Award
GARDEN PARTY #2, Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry; Port Townsend, WA

First Place: Wall Quilts – Stationary Machine Quilted
THE VENETIAN, Jan Soules; Elk Grove, CA 

Annabelle's Wedding Feast, Kathleen Roundtree; Castro Valley, CA
I am in awe of this exquisite machine quilting!

Fever Dream, Amy Pabst; Le Roy, WV

Detail of Fever Dream, by Amy Pabst
From a distance, I just saw three large white circles on a red background, but there is so much skill involved in these tiny log cabin blocks. The fabric choices give such richness to the overall quilt. 
I can't imagine the patience it required!

First Place: Wall Quilts – Movable Machine Quilted
IT’S NOT EASY BEING GREEN 5, Simone de Haan, Beverwijk, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
More circles! 

Celtic Fox, Kathy McNeil; Tulalip, WA

Detail of Celtic Fox, by Kathy McNeil
I had to take a close-up of this owl for Kara. Doesn't it almost look real?

I...Reflection of Life, Olga Gonzalez-Angulo; Sant Feliu de Guixols, Spain
My mind raced with stories about this one, wondering what that young man was pondering as he looked at his reflection.

An Early Spring Day, Noriko Endo; Tokyo, Japan

Details of An Early Spring Day, Noriko Endo
At first glance, we thought perhaps this effect was achieved by fabric painting (the bird was), but upon closer scrutiny, we could see that she had used tiny scraps of fabric secured under a piece of tulle that was then machine quilted. What an interesting technique!

Otaru Winter, Cynthia L. Vogt; Kennewick, WA

Details of Otaru Winter, by Cynthia L. Vogt
As was the case with Fever Dream, this one had little appeal for me at first. It was interesting, but it wasn't sparking any stories in my mind—until I saw it close-up. And then, I was intrigued. I could almost feel the cold of the bleak winter; and yet, I could see the depth and richness of the snow's beauty in the silk log cabin blocks. The workmanship of this piece of fabric art was amazing.

Second Place: Wall Quilts – Movable Machine Quilted
Tuscany Village, Claudia Scheja; Werne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Detail of Tuscany Village, by Claudia Scheja
What incredible quilting!

The next quilt had to be shot from three different angles. Magical Toys, made by Flora Joy of Johnson City, TN, won third place in the category Wall Quilts – Stationary Machine Quilted. The artist uses a fascinating technique of pleating her pictorial fabric so that a different image is seen from different angles. In each corner of the frame, there is an embroidered challenge. One read: "Un-Zip this challenge: If all three of these critters lived in your house, tell what a day in your life might be like." Oh, so many stories are stitched into this quilt!

 Magical Toys, Flora Joy; from the left 

Magical Toys, Flora Joy; from the center

Magical Toys, Flora Joy; from the right

Cabin Fever, Patti Sandage; Middleton, TN
My friend, Barb, told me this one reminded her of my quilt Turning to Him. Mine was not nearly this elaborate, but we did both use twisted log cabin blocks. (To see my quilt, click here.)

First Place: Wall Quilts – Landscape
SUMMER SOLSTICE, Leah Gravells, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 

Details of Summer Solstice, made by Leah Gravells
A masterful use of fabric and color; what tiny, skinny strips of batiks stitched together to create this longest day of the year. And it's a quilt about my birthday! 😃

Drawing Nigh, Betty Jo Tatum; Ashburn, VA

Details of Drawing Nigh, Betty Jo Tatum.
No shortage of stories stirred in my imagination by this quilt!

First Place: Wall Quilts – 1st Entry in an AQS Lancaster Quilt Contest
MY LITTLE ENCHANTED COMPASS, Cristina Arcenegui Bono, Alcalá de Guadaíra, Sevilla, Spain
I can conjure images of many an adventure in this enchanted forest!

Magic Carpet Ride, Cathy Bingham; Knoxville, TN
More adventures!

Detail of Magic Carpet Ride, by Cathy Bingham

Rain Forest Fantasy, by Rina Galant
Kara missed a lot of birds in Lancaster!

Love My Flowers, Sandra Mellinger; Prairieville, LA

~Special Exhibits~

Cherrywood Challenge 2016: The Lion King

First Place: The Rising Son, Jill Cranford; Ottowa, IL

Second Place: Who Rules, Pat Hilderbrand; Columbia, MO

Third Place: Zazu's Report,  Sheila Riess; Ellicott City, MD

Shadowlands, Karen McGregor; Brunswick, Australia

Detail: Shadowlands, by Karen McGregor
The storytelling in this quilt is chilling. This one was my pick for Viewer's Choice in this exhibit.

Left: Mufasa, Devon Pfeif; Marietta, GA
Right: Rafiki – The Great Mystic, Deb Berkebile; Conneaut, OH

Left: Fifteen Warthogs, Marilyn Smith; Columbia, MO
Right: Detail of embroidered warthogs

The Journey of Life, Anita Whichello; Baxter, MN

Focus and Fiber: Quilts by Melissa Sobotka


Venetian Menagerie, Melissa Sobotka, 2011; Detail above

La Rocca, Melissa Sobotka, 2009

SAQA: Made in Europe

Castelliccio—The Ghost Town, D. Arnoldi & M. Sarzi-Sartori; Italy

Detail of Castelliccio—The Ghost Town, by D. Arnoldi & M. Sarzi-Sartori

Black Sun, Karin Østergaard, Denmark

AQS Authors Showcase

Frame of Mind, featured in Trispective: The 3-n-1 Quilt, Flora Joy

Jane Sassaman's FreeSpirit Designs

We had just enough time to visit the remaining vendors. I purchased Karen Kay Buckley's Perfect Adjustable Square™ and some Rustic Wool Moire thread, and then we searched for some reproduction fabric. Barb was looking for border fabric to go with a Seven Sisters top that she hand-pieced (in honor of the seven sisters in her family.) She bought the pattern and fabric in 2010, on our first trip together to Quilt Festival in Houston; she said it was only fitting that I help her find the border fabric. Unfortunately, we only had this photo from a text she'd sent me as she was assembling the quilt top. 

Yoko M. of Lancaster Traditional, above, was a great help to us, as we dug through her piles of beautifully assembled packages of coordinating reproduction fabrics. I wanted to get some of everything, but realized that purchasing large quantities of fabric that I would have to go home and pack for our move might not make sense. I did, however, find a print that I think might work to stitch a flower in a block we are creating based on one we saw in a Baltimore Album Quilt that we viewed at Lovely Lane. And we found a stunning border for Barb's quilt. I convinced her to buy it (I love spending other people's money!) and promised that if it didn't work, I'd buy it from her. Well, it looks like I won't get to take it off her hands; she loved the border and is making plans to do some broderie perse and appliqué some of the flowers from the extra border into the quilt top. Yay, Barb!

We closed the show, with two sewing machine purchases amongst the seven of us. One of the sisters had to buy a sewing/embroidery machine when she found out that her niece would be able to get a free machine. What a great aunt! (I hear that her niece has been busy sewing all week!)

We had seven women, including a teenager, in two adjoining rooms, and we spent the evening celebrating a birthday. The "birthday girl," bedecked in a plastic tiara, led a rousing game of none other than Pin the Tail on the Donkey, which none of us (except the teen) had played in about 40 or 50 years. We laughed until we cried. What a gift it is to have been adopted as a "sister" into such a loving family of sisters! 

The next day, we hit the outlets for a short shopping trip before heading home. Quilts, laughing, games, shopping, sisters—all in all, a PERFECT weekend!