Thursday, 31 March 2016

QuiltCon Best of Show

Melissa Averinos: My brother's jeans
Icame across a strong critique of the Melissa Averinos ' "My Brother's Jeans" quilt which won Best of Show on Katie's Quilting Corner blog and posted the following comment. There were many previous comments, measured and by no means vituperative, but few who approved of the judges' choice.
QuiltCon16 was my first QuiltCon. I have been to Houston and Paducah. I recognise the amazing technical and artistic skill required to make the winning quilts at these latter events but I feel they are very laborious and ticking lots of technique boxes to the point of deadness in some cases. I have found the Modern Quilt world to be a breath of fresh air with newer younger women exploring our craft from a standing position but making quilts out of their heads rather than a book or picking up on piecing ideas on the internet and using fresh modern fabrics to make them. As time has gone on I have noticed a  tendency for the quilts to move off beds onto walls and for people to bring a high level of skill to the making. Please don't make the QuiltCon judging a matter of squareness and binding corners - let quilts be about our life as women (or men)  in this world today. Setting the back story of the BOS aside this quilt had resonance because of the worn and recycled materials, its restraint and it's size. The rain and cloud quilt (on Katie's blog post) had graphic impact because of its directness and simplicity but one would soon cease to look at it while the BOS quilt would yield new things for years to come and respond to touch as well - definitely one for the bed. It stood apart from the rest. I like the fact that non quilters but with other takes on the visual world are included in the  judging as they are less likely to be less distracted by technical details but see the quilt as a whole. I liked the fact QuiltCon is a celebration of the modern quilt movement as a whole; I'm sure many excluded quilts were technically better than those that got in. But let not all the entries aspire to one thing, technical excellence, box ticking and catching the eye of the judges. Let them be quilts we have made because we wanted to and needed to regardless. I thought Victoria Findlay Wolf's  technically assured, joyful and very original quilt an understandable and very deserving winner of the Viewers' Choice award too - there is room for both.
Victoria Findlay Wolf: Mr Swirl E. Bones

On display at the show

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Difficult working conditions

What with decorators and travels I haven't been able to sort out my purchases. I have a serious overflow of stash but I find it surprising just how often an older fabric comes in handy so I'm not ready to dispose of too much just yet. However in order to "shop" the newer stash  I need for some current projects it needs to be on view so I am going to photograph yardage that I shall pack away in smaller bags into a bigger container all labelled. Then I'll have space to range the newer stuff on shelves.  If I haven't missed or needed it with a reasonable time I shall be hiring a table at the next stash sale.
Horrible mess

Despite the horrible mess I have been working. Before I can start on my Shimmer Octagons I need to  cut up fabric for a previous Shoo Fly/8point star project as my choices overlap. When using some b/w grid fabric for the latter I realised I needed to keep some back to sash and border  the U3A jelly roll quilt so I cut those lengths out before proceeding further . . I made rough test blocks in hand dyes of the star blocks to check sizes and then a test block in my chosen fabric to recheck my final decisions and to check pressing options. I think I'll really like this quilt.
8 pointed star

Shoo Fly

Meanwhile I've enjoyed hand quilting the Thimbleberries quilt and yesterday I attached the binding. I need to catch the binding down on the back, remove tacking stitches and wash it to remove the markings.
Thimbleberries for my husband


Saturday, 19 March 2016

Two more from QuiltCon

Here a couple more from the Modern Traditionalism section:
Dora Cary says Patch Nine came about when she was asked to make a quilt using Carolyn Friedlander fabrics and that she loves orange. She feels the quilt has a minimalist vibe arising from the neutral centres and sophisticated fabrics.

The Ripple Effect is by Janice Ryan who writes "[It] is a variation on the half square triangle block. One block is repeated throughout the quilt to create vibration and movement."

Friday, 18 March 2016

Modern Tradionalism quilts at QuiltCon

I think this is Stacy Day's Corsage created for the
Riley Blake Challenge with Amy Gunson's Roundabout
pattern as the design source. There were several versions of
this one.
I took these pictures on Sunday when time was running out and I find I  haven't been so disciplined in rationing the number of pictures taken and to compound matters I renamed the quilt photos  so that labels and quilt pictures became separated. Some were easier to match up than if there are any misapproriations I apologise and will be happy to substitute correct versions.
Karin Jordan's Melon Wedding Ring
The melon shapes were cut out with a Sissix
plate from roughly pieced strips.

Wildfire by Kirsty Cleverly
Log Cabin in 2 colours in varying proportions
set on point; asymmetric design morphing
from light to dark

Detail of Blue Spiderweb

Leslie Schmidt: Blue Spiderweb
She enjoyed making this exuberant version of this
traditional pattern in which the blocks spiral
out of control.

Detail of Dunes

Dunes by Jenna Brand inspired by Latifah
Saafir's Glam Clam quilt pattern but with
improvised curved inserts.

This is a "don't know"

I think this is by Latifah Saafir,
 She is the inspiration behind many bold
interpretations of curved patterns.

Shades of a distant Lancaster by Tomi Levin,
a controlled improvisation of the Amish
style using favourite solids.

Blueberries for Sal by Elisa  Albury
Deconstructed Bear's Paw blocks: two "children"
get separated from their mothers.

Christa Watson: Focal Point made following
advice to go more asymmetrical, create a cropped
design and include a focal point.

I think this is Kristen Shields' Fruity Star
in which the solids are string pieced with
 neutrals so that the tips might disappear
giving the impression of the star floating on
the background.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Youth section at QuitCon

The Youth section at QuiltCon was quite impressive and I was drawn to many of the items, partly because they were at my level. Some of the entrants had quilting relatives as mentors.
Staircase by Ginger Conner with small amount of help from her aunt, Tina
Faughnan (who had quilts juried into  QuiltCon too)

Gabriella Grove's Spunky Squares using jelly rolls
donated to her junior MQG.

This is My Quilt by Lulu McMahon

Macy Grable: Stripy stripes; her mother
showed how to use a longarm to
quilt it

Itsy Bitsy  Hexie Quilt  EP pieced over half nch templates
 by Sofia Locke from Australia who must be blessed with
patience and persistence.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

This and that

With dad  (who did our decorating) and brother

Next time I saw her in this it was coordinated with navy tights and a very nice hooded
cardigan. A very successful outfit.

Life has been a bit hectic lately with three weeks of decorating and general upset and lots of last minute commitments. When in Pasadena I bought some clothes for myself and braved a hectic Gap outlet for clothes for my granddaughter tried on here at our mother's day meet.
 It was also the last day of the current U3A session - we start again in September with Margaret at the helm so I hope to be able to catch up with more of my own work. Sheila  who very much has her own style brought in a hexagon piece she has been working on. She has lots of dressmaking scraps to draw on.
Sheila's bright hexagons with very effective black "flower" centres.

Margaret's stained glass fish which will be the basis for a larger finish in a
day design at her workshop in May.

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Quilts of the Month at QuiltCon

Attitudinal Ecosystem by Michelle Wilde

This explains all

Road To Pasadena by Kendra Nitta inspired by the
notoriously winding Arroyo Seco Parkway.

Boids by Gillian Smith

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Handwork at QuiltCon

Although most quilts were quilted by machine, many with a walking foot on a domestic machine, others displayed handwork, whether quilting or piecing.
Hexie Beast by Liz Havratine ; the idea of huge hexagons
paper pieced on 32" wide poster boards was a quilt joke,
difficult to hand sew but  worth it for the chuckles.

Collection by Carolyn Friedlander, an exploration of shape and colour and the tactile qualities of handwork including
needleturn applique.


Everglade by Carolyn Friedlander inspired by a road trip sighting of a lattice pattern.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Gwen Marston at QuiltCon

Gwen on the right with helpers/friends at her  lecture.
An important reason for my taking a 10 hour flight to attend this show was the presence of Gwen Marston as keynote speaker with a special show of her quilts. She was a fantastic speaker, very lively and witty, held her audience in thrall and received a standing ovation at the end. Even we undemonstrative Brits stood up. Her quilts build on those who have gone before who, often isolated, pieced in an improvisational way and in turn pave the way for the modern movement who improvise with alacrity.
Medallion with three triangles

Strippy II

Liberated Log Cabin in  neutrals, blacks and
reds (detail)

Detail showing a limited use of print amid
the solids

Red Square VI

Liberated log Cabin with applique borders