Archive for November, 2015

There was a quilt at IQF, International Quilt Festival in Houston that has stayed on my mind.

It was not a prize winner, so I don’t have a professional picture of it, just my own.  I hope you can see it enough to appreciate it.

Not only is the piecing well thought out, but the quilting is genius. I admire it so much because I could simply never do something like that.  It is peaceful, yet engages the mind at the same time.

Green Trees, Clouds and Walt Whitman, by Victoria Findlay Wolfe, quilted by Karen McTavish.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

I am so thankful I was able to retire from my day job last year and enter on a new life as full time artist. This is my 6th year of making art quilts.  I have so much to learn, yet I’ve gained such precious knowledge. I wish I could spend every minute of every day making and reading and looking and absorbing art and art quilts.

But much else in life calls to me. Food, cooking, family, the garden, and walks outside.

We watched The Theory of Everything last night.

Perhaps a theory of everything will one day bring the many joyful parts of my life together.

Green Trees, Clouds and Walk Whitman, Victoria Findlay Wolfe, quilted by Karen McTavish

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I am one of only a few Art Quilters in the traditional quilting group, Quiltessence Quilters, so I was so pleased that our guest speaker this month was an Art Quilter. Her name is Joyce Hughes, and she is an original voice. She is in her 7th year of art quilting, only a little longer than myself. As a child she hated to sew – felt the sewing machine was her enemy. Her sisters and mother were accomplished quilters, and the comparison didn’t encourage her! As an adult she decided with some friends to make tee shirt quilts as gifts. None of the group even owned a sewing machine. Joyce researched what to do on line, and just got started, borrowing her mothers Bernina.  Her first quilt was for her daughter’s boyfriend, who enthusiastically encouraged her. Only when his quilt turned out well did her daughter relinquish some tee shirts for her own quilt. She went on to develop her own methods: fussy cutting and fusing elements of fabrics, such as flowers, and organizing her compositions. Her first piece, One Sweet Day, ended up with a viewers choice award in a quilt show in Lancaster. She showed us many of her pieces over the years, always full of color and exuberance.  When she began teaching she started up utilize fabric panels to encourage her students to enhance them with stitching. Naturally the resulting piece cannot be called completely original, but she has achieved some stunning results by rearranging the elements and stitching. You can decide for yourself – see Panel Play on her website. http://www.joycehughesoriginals.com/home.html

Cheers, Joyce! I was so glad to have met you.

Last week I wrote about my visit to the International Quilt Festival in Houston. This week I will continue with some more of my personal favorites.

Here we go!

Duet #4

Duet #4 by Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gantry, Port Townsend, WA, 30 x 30. Honorable Mention in Art — Abstract, Small. “About birds that mate for life. The piece is abstract and not meant to depict a specific species.”

A Toast to Toulouse Lautrec

A Toast to Toulouse-Lautrec, by Katherine Donges & Susan Slaton, Suches, GA. 50 x 45. Judges Choice of Patt Blair.

Ghosts

Ghosts, Ruth Montalvo, Madison Heights, MI. 48 x 64″ Third piece in Innovative Pieced.

Bleiweiss

Tutti Frutti Alleyway, Sue Bleiweiss, Pepperell, MA. 33 x 45″ Third Prize in Art — Whimsical

Golden Girl

Golden Girl, Hollis Chatelain, Hillsborough, NC. 24 x 60″. First Prize in Art — Painted Surfaces.

Kan Oh Chi Rai (Prediction by Studying the Past) by Yoshiyuki Ishizaki of Ashiya, Hyogo. Japan. 79.5 x 61.5 Second Prize in Innovative Pieced.

Kan Oh Chi Rai (Prediction by Studying the Past) by Yoshiyuki Ishizaki of Ashiya, Hyogo. Japan. 79.5 x 61.5 Second Prize in Innovative Pieced. “The present become the past quickly and will be reborn to the new present soon.”

Leafless

Leafless, Janet Steadman, Langley, WA, 54 x 45″ Second Prize, Abstract small. “Bare Tree branches in fall and winter inspired this quilt.”

Mysterious Letter

Mysterious Letter, Noriko Nozawa of Chiba City, Chiba, Japan. 80 x 82″. First Prize in Art, Abstract, large. “Kana letter, which is a Japanese traditional letter, is the main theme of this piece.”

Out on a limb

Out on a Limb, Thelma Bearden, Tullahoma, TN. 56 x 83.5. Second Prize in Art — Abstract, Large

Reborn

Reborn, Molly Hamilton-McNally, Tehachapi, CA, 50 x 55. First Prize in Innovative Applique.

Tagged

Tagged, Patricia Kennedy-Zafred, Murraysville, PA. 84 x 45. First Prize in Digital Imagery. “Executive Order 9066 forced nearly 120,000 people of Japanese heritage living along the Pacific Coast into internment camps.”

I accepted an invitation to attend this year’s International Quilt Festival in Houston, the 41st in its history. Studio Art Quilts Associated (SAQA) invited artists with a piece in either of the two SAQA shows on display at IQF to come to speak about their works.

“Sure!” I said. I had never attended IQF, and couldn’t quite picture exactly what it was, or how all of the exhibitions I saw on their website fit together.

I wandered the immense George R Brown Convention Center in a daze, along with some 60,000 other attendees (over the course of a week). There were some 45 special exhibits.  Some were categories, like Traditional Pieced, Traditional Applique, Small Abstract, Art — Painted Surface, Art — People and Figures, or Art — Whimsical.  Other shows were themed: Affinity, Viewpoint, Digital Alchemy or National Parks. My one piece was in the SAQA show Wild Fabrications, but many women had pieces in several shows.

Traditional Quilts and Modern Art Quilts co-existed in apparent harmony. I read this bit written by Mary Fons last year, which seemed to describe the relationship:

“The biggest trend of late is seeing the modern and traditional worlds blending, maybe in the nick of time. For some years, we had a bit of a standoff between the two groups, which was a shame, but probably only natural. It was like the Protestant Reformation!” she continues, “But traditional quilters can’t help but love beautiful quilts of any kind, and a lot of modern quilters are obsessed with [some traditional methods.]  If people are making quilts, that’s good. Period.”

I agree.

Oh, did I mention there were 1000 vendors booths? It was very hard not to load myself down with the beautiful fabrics and threads so that I couldn’t walk!

I joined the International Quilt Association, so that I will be more on top of the entries to IQF next year.

Enjoy these pictures. 

Cuban Ballerina, Jennifer Day, 38 x 36. Thread painted.

Cuban Ballerina, Jennifer Day, 38 x 36. Thread painted.

Not a City, Betty Hahn, AZ, 52 x 28.

Not a City, Betty Hahn, AZ, 52 x 28.

Vermeer Meets Fassett, Lynn Czaban, OR, 19 x 30

Vermeer Meets Fassett, Lynn Czaban, OR, 19 x 30

Ewe Are My Sunshine, Janet Stone, 63 x 72. This was selected Best in Show, for a $10,000 award. The richness, originality and workmanship cannot be captured in a photo.

Ewe Are My Sunshine, Janet Stone, 63 x 72. This was selected Best in Show, for a $10,000 award. The richness, originality and workmanship cannot be captured in a photo.

Breaking Wind, Peggy Kragnes, MN 80 x 55

Breaking Wind, Peggy Kragnes, MN 80 x 55

Technicolor Deco Shirley Gisi 35

Technicolor Deco,Shirley Desi, CO