Tuesday 3 March 2015

.: QuiltCon 2015 - (but wait, there's more) quilts - post three :.

OK everyone we are on to post number three in sharing some of the amazing quilts of QuiltCon 2015.    I'm still only scratching the surface - I wish I could have taken pics of ALL the quilts!  Click through if you would like to see posts one and two - and google 'QuiltCon 2015' to keep finding other blog posts sharing more pics of more quilts.  The MQG blog has heaps of pics and stories.  Tomorrow (or *the next day*) we will be moving on to gorgeous quilts by Australian quilters and group quilts. 

First up today is "Facets" by Liz Harvatine of Los Angeles MQG (who I met at the MQG Leaders' drinks on the Friday night of QuiltCon - she was very lovely and I was very happy to meet her).  In Liz’s words, she “wanted to design a quilt around a simple, line-drawn diamond.  This quilt is NOT paper pieced.  The neutral background pieces were cut using templates and the coloured lines are fabric strips sewn in-between”.  Liz “loves the crisp look of pressing seams open and the process of traditional piecing”.  "Facets" was in the Piecing category of the show.  I stopped and looked at this quilt several times, as I was really drawn to the design and colours. 

This next quilt was shown in the Minimalist Design category.  “Diamonds” is by Shannon Page of Dallas MQG (Shannon is also the Region 2 representative on the MQG Board).  “This was made to compete in the Michael Miller Pinwheels Challenge.  The diamonds are my own design and the background was made to reflect facets of gemstones”.   The quilt is a mix of machine and paper-piecing.

“Profits & Losses” by Gina Pina of Austin MQG was shown in the Piecing category.  Gina wanted this quilt to “look like a P&L graph showing a business cost vs expenses. Running a small business myself I know all too well it takes money to make money.  I wanted to show all the paperwork and used some fussy cut Yoshiko Jinzenji pieces to show unplanned life expenses, business purchases and bills and different shades of green shot cotton to show money flow.  I used wool batting, gold thread and a subtle change in quilting density”. 

This next quilt is really lovely and gentle. It was shown in the Improvisation category.  "Fade to Black" is by Sarah Lowry of Triangle MQG (which is in North Carolina ... not to be confused with Triad MQG which is also in North Carolina - it seems there are quite a few towns located in a triangular-shape from each other in North Carolina, who knew!?). 

Sarah's quilt started with a charm pack of Carolyn Friedlander's Botanic's line.  Sarah sorted the fabrics by colour intensity.  “As soon as I did that, this quilt design came to me.  I wanted to create movement for the eye to follow across the quilt and dimension through simple fabric arrangement.  The unexpected quiet space in the middle of the quilt before the colour changes to gray reminds me of the soft colours of the evening when the day fades to night or the colours of the day all fade to black".

"Knit Snippet" by Lotje Meijknecht, an individual MQG member from The Netherlands, was shown in the Piecing category.   Lotje's inspiration came from a a torn knitting pattern snippet.  “It is intended to give you the look and feel of craftsmanship, handiwork and creative inventions based on available materials and circumstances.  No one block is the same in the end, yet the result is complete and balanced”.

Now for a couple of very awesome pixelated quilts!  "Holy Sh*t Sherlock" is by Kristy Daum of St Louis MQG and was shown in the Piecing category.  In Kristy's words, “[t]he ridiculousness of building a cultural icon in tiny bits of fabric intrigued me.  A fun-loving admiration for BBC’s Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch, I practiced a hybrid-pixel method of construction, using squares and rectangles, resulting in 2,389 separate pieces.  What I love about pixelating is you can only see the image far away; the closer you get, the more unrecognisable the image becomes”. 

Also in the Piecing category was "Little Brother" by Stacey Murton of Vancouver MQG (who is really nice + fun, we met when we 'crashed' the Canada MQG meet-up on the Wednesday night before QuiltCon started!).  Stacey was “inspired to make this pixel quilt by the other pixel quilts [she] had seen, including the Ron Swanson and Sherlock quilts".  Stacey's quilt depicts Austin-native actor Jared Padalecki from the TV show "Supernatural" (though I remember him from "Gilmore Girls"!).  Stacey "had researched techniques on how to make a pixel quilt but didn't really get movitated until I discorered You Patch software.  The quilt is made with 2,941 individual pieces.  The quilting is a flame pattern which allows different thread colours to intersect”.  Stacey's quilt is amazing in person - the first time I walked past it, I honestly didn't recognise what it was, I thought it was an abstract quilt.  If you look at it through a camera lens, Jared's face is immediately clear.  Each time I saw it later during the show, the image was very clear, and I couldn't believe I'd missed seeing it in the first place!

Stacey's quilt was created from a pattern, which in turn was created from a photograph using You Patch software.  Andi and Dan from You Patch had a booth at the show, and were part of the Australian contingent to QuiltCon.  Their booth was consistently busy.  Their product is excellent, and they are very clever, great people.  I need to decide on a photo to turn into a quilt!

Now for an amazing graphic quilt, which was shown in the Use of Negative Space category.  This is "Building Bridges" by the wonderful Jacquie Gering of Kansas City MQG (and chair of the MQG board).  Quilted by Sheryl Schleicher, "Building Bridges" is a “graphic representation of a move from one city to another and from one life to another”.

“Steal this Quilt” by Chawne Kimber, an individual MQG member from Pennsylvania, was hung in the Minimalist category of the show.  The minimalist design of this quilt “captures the puckish mood of the midcentury US counterculture movement.  A direct reference to Abbie Hoffman’s ‘Steal This Book’, the text can be seen as instructional.  There are many connotations of the word, including one that is often whispered in polite conversation.  The Helvetica Neue text was produced using a traditional Italian trapunto (stuffed work) technique with modern organic linear quilting fills.  Overall, pink pinstripes and strategic shrinkage of the natural muslin give the feel of aged woven French linen”.  

Kim Soper, an individual MQG member from New York State, won first prize in the Modern Traditionalism category for "Long Island Modern Sampler".  In Kim's words, the quilt "feels like a quilted love-note to the online quilting community.  I get so much  inspiration from these bloggers, it was fun to see many of their tutorials come together in this sampler.  The entire quilt is pieced using Carolyn Friedlander’s Botanics mixed with Kona solids.  Quilted using simple 1/2 inch lines”.  Kim credited her design sources for the quilt:
- Flock of HST's by 13 Spools
- Figgy Pudding by Moda Bake Shop
- Rainbow Starflower by Ellison Lane
- Bowtie by Canoe Ridge Creations
- Double Z & Cross Roads by Swim Bike Quilt
- Wonky Star by The Silly BooDilly
- Arrow by Grace and Favour
- Sliced Scrappy & Radiant Ring by Don't Call M

Also in the Modern Traditionalism category was "Ducks in a Row" by Rebecca Bryan of Houston MQG and quilted by Angela Walters.  Rebecca was first inspired to make this quilt as she was “eating barbecue at one of [her] favourite restaurants in Houston, Texas.  One of the western themed textile pieces caught [her] eye and [she] thought it would make a fabulous quilt.  The quilt is made using pieces cut from templates”.  We ate plenty of Texas BBQ in Austin - mainly at Iron Works and Cedar Door - and I love that Rebecca gained her inspiration from something as simple, enjoyable and everyday as eating barbecue!  Next time I'm drinking a margarita and thinking of Austin, I'll be looking around for quilt-inspiration. 

In the Spring Cotton Couture Fabric Challenge category was "Lucky Day" by Cynthia Frenette, of Fraser Valley MQG in Canada.  This quilt was improv-pieced and inspired by candy coloured rainbows, happy rain and candy.  

The colour saturation in this next quilt is just beautiful.  "Tessellation 3" is by Nydia Kehnle, an individual MQG member from New York State, and quilted by Karlee Porter.  Nydia had no colour plan or picked palette when she began this quilt, but focussed on each individual triangle when she sewed, “varying the pieces by value or relating colours.  Sorting them into colour groups allowed the colours to develop the movement of shapes.  Karlee Porter’s signature style of ‘graffiti quilting’ adds a distinctive, fluid layer of texture”.  The published 'Tessellation' pattern is by Nydia and Alison Glass, though the layout and colour choices for this quilt have been made by Nydia.  The quilt was made from a combination of machine and paper-piecing.  

And now for a few quilts shown as part of the Applique section of the show.  First up, is "Rocket 88" by Latifah Saafir of Los Angeles MQG and quilted by Lisa Alexakis.  I so wish I'd met Latifah - I saw her a few times, and Lorena met her in her first Carolyn Friedlander class!  Latifah designed this quilt to "highlight the large bold prints in Jennifer Sampou’s colour:FULL fabric line".  In Latifah's words, bias tape appliqué “makes this easy and quick while still maintaining a bold statement”.  This quilt is seriously eye-catching and gorgeous in person, I kept noticing it each time I walked through the quilt show. 

"Bowls and Balls #2" is by Rachel Kerley of Portland MQG.  Rachel has free-pieced curves for the bowls, and hand-appliqued the balls.  She is “endlessly inspired by the bubble shape and love[s] to see it play and interact with line”.

"The Dishes Can Wait" is also by Rachel Kerley, and was awarded second prize in the Applique category in the show.  It was inspired by mid-century textiles and is the first "in what has become a series of free turned applique quilts.  Looking for inspiration around me and to communicate my modern world, I was inspired by the dishes I let stack up on a counter while my hubs was travelling.  The background is an interpretation of the side of the neighbour’s house after the rain".  Most of the shapes have been machine appliquéd.  The soap bubble ‘balls’ are hand appliquéd. 

"Hometown Quilt" by Gina Pina of Austin MQG is a striking, gorgeous wall of colour - also shown in the Applique category (Gina also made the wonderful "Profits & Losses" quilt above).   Gina asked every visitor to her quilt studio during the 2014 East Austin Studio Tour, to write the name of the town where they were born onto a fabric scrap.  Gina quilted all the strips down onto an extra wide whole cloth using her long arm machine, to create a modern signature quilt.

Alison Chambers of San Antonio MQG created "The Conan Quilt".  She enlarged the Conan O'Brien logo and overlaid it with a grid so she could create Conan's patchwork orange hair.  After sewing the patchwork, Alison cut out the outline of the hair and appliquéd it to the face and background.  The back of the quilt includes the words ‘Team Coco’ (which hopefully means something to fans of Conan O'Brien!).  Alison hopes to visit California to give the quilt to Conan in person! 

"Anniversary Quilt" by Katrina Hertzer of Calgary MQG, won first prize in the Applique category of the show (I can't find a blog or instagram link for Katrina).  Katrina's inspiration was Massimo Vignelli, the designer of the Stendig Calendar, who passed away recently.  “In celebration of his life’s work and my love of typography, I made this quilt as a way to celebrate my wedding anniversary.  I appliquéd the letters and numbers in Black Kona Cotton.  I added various snippets of my favourite fabrics  to the face to make it playful.  I used a 12 weight thread to quilt the loops".

In the Piecing category was Shannon Page’s huge "Feathers" (well, each feather is huge, rather than the actual quilt being huge!) - made for the Riley Blake Basics Fabric Challenge (in which it came second).  Shannon “enlarged and manipulated a paper pieced block to achieve the desired scale”.  She added a solid for every challenge fabric to create a cohesive palette.  The original feather block is here and it was also published in 'Fresh Quilts' magazine. 

It was an absolute treat to see "Catenary" by Carolyn Friedlander in person.  Carolyn is an individual MQG member from Florida.  "Catenary" “refers to a natural arch that’s created by a cord hanging from two points”, such as the shape of the Gateway Arch in St Louis.   Carolyn liked the "simple elegance" of the design and was "interested in working with this shape and this group of fabrics because of how they work together.  The fabric is angular, masculine, and raw, whereas the arch is a graphic curve with some softness.  Together, I find the balance to be well suited”.   The quilt is machine pieced and quilted, and hand-appliqued. 

It's just so beautiful.  The hand-applique is perfection.

Finally for today, the quilt that won Viewers' Choice at the show and which was in the Use of Negative Space category - "Quilt for Our Bed" by Laura Hartrich of Chicago MQG and quilted by Nikki Maroon.  The back of the quilt is gorgeous too - a lovely white-gloved volunteer showed it to me - I wish I'd taken a photo.  If you click on Laura's name above though, you will go right to her blog post where she writes about the quilt and shares lots of progress photos.  Laura was inspired by Jen Carlton Bailly’s “phenomenal ‘SHTP Squared’ quilt, which used a quarter circle in a way that almost looked like letters.  With that inspiration I made letters from quarter circles, squares and triangles.  The words, my husband and I say to each other every night, I figure, if I stay up too late sewing, the quilt can say it for me”. 

And we are done for today.  Are you quilted-out yet?  Maybe I'll take a break for a day while I gather pics and words for my next post about Australian quilters and group quilts at QuiltCon - and after that, there is still Gee's Bend to share AND all the lovely people I met and and didn't meet, plus classes and lectures.   There is still so much awesome for you to see.  Enjoy your Monday - it's too hot and humid here in Brisbane - I'm wishing I was back in the cool, sunny days of Austin!   xoxo cat


  1. They are such lovely quilts. I wish I could have seen them in person. Katrina's instagram link is here: http://iconosquare.com/viewer.php#/user/176785544/ and I think her blog link is on her profile.



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