2018 QuiltCon :: 4 :: The AIDS Memorial Quilt

One of the special exhibits I was really looking forward to was the AIDS Memorial Quilt: The Names Project.  I had never seen any part of this in person before QuiltCon.  This is a tiny fraction of the whole project.  This is just 12 sections and the whole thing weighs 54 tons.  One thing I never realized is how big the individual quilts are.  The standard size is 3'x6', the size of a coffin.

This was incredibly moving and so full of love.  Mary Fons curated this exhibit.  With something so huge I have no idea how she was able to winnow it down to just 12 panels.  Mary also did a lecture about this exhibit called The AIDS Quilt: Comfort, Compassion, & Change.  If you ever have a chance to see her do a lecture it's well worth attending.  She's so dynamic and even her serious lectures such as this one include humor and are very engaging.  She talked about this history of the AIDS epidemic, the history of the quilt project and mourning quilts in general.

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2018 QuiltCon :: 3 :: Color (or Not)

 Singularity by Jenn Nevitt (MQG's 2017 Quilts of the Month)

Singularity by Jenn Nevitt (MQG's 2017 Quilts of the Month)

Today's category includes those quilts that have a way with color (or no color), but didn't fit in the previous two posts.  Singularity was the very first quilt I came upon in the show and it is a stunner. Jenn's use of color is amazing!  I really have no interest in making this design (it's available for MQG members as a free pattern), but I can definitely be inspired by the color.

 Grandmother's Life on Mars by Diana Vandeyar (2nd Place in Modern Traditionalism)

Grandmother's Life on Mars by Diana Vandeyar (2nd Place in Modern Traditionalism)

This quilt is just so interesting.  It is created with an improv hexagon technique.  I have not heard of that before, but it's super cool and no surprise it got 2nd place in its category.

 Mod Drunk by Wanda Dotson (Modern Traditionalism)

Mod Drunk by Wanda Dotson (Modern Traditionalism)

Mod Drunk is a fantastic take on the Drunkard's Path block.  This quilt explores variation in value placement in a regular block.  This sort of concept is always interesting and a great way to break out of the box if you are a very traditional quilter.  You can have the most perfect points and stitching technique, but also play with color and design.  This quilt is also hand quilted which adds a lovely dimension when you get a closer look.

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 Mirror Ball by Maria Shell (2nd Place in Piecing)

Mirror Ball by Maria Shell (2nd Place in Piecing)

My friend, Maria, got 2nd place for her quilt Mirror Ball!  I always take a photo of the quilt information, but often don't get a chance to read it until I do these posts.  Maria says that this quilt is composed of the remains of strip sets that she created for other quilts.  She says she often finds her next quilt in the scraps next to the cutting table.  That's true for me too.  How about you?  If not, are you missing your chance to make a fabulous quilt?

 Aerial Grove by Carolyn Friedlander (Carolyn Friedlander special exhibit)

Aerial Grove by Carolyn Friedlander (Carolyn Friedlander special exhibit)

Aerial Grove is another favorite from Carolyn.  I love the colored "squircles" and the neutral background.  I took some extra photos, again for quilting inspiration as I have something in progress inspired by this one that I started during the Maine retreat when I had a class with Carolyn.  It was my car sewing that summer as we drove across the country from Massachusetts to Oregon.

Aerial Grove is inspired by her having grown up in Florida citrus country.  She is also inspired by aerial views (see the last photos as well).   You'll also see this sensibility in her fabrics.  By the way, Carolyn was the featured speaker and her lecture was a very interesting retrospective on her life as an architect, fabric designer and quilt pattern designer.

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 Word Play by Jill Ault (SAQA Presents:  Modern Inspirations- Art Quilts From the 1970s Through Today)

Word Play by Jill Ault (SAQA Presents:  Modern Inspirations- Art Quilts From the 1970s Through Today)

The SAQA exhibit had many wonderful quilts, but this one stood out for me.  Jill says she "pieced a word chain of related words.  Each word is connected to the next in some way, although the spelling may change.  The letters are pieced as black on white, followed by white on black."  It can be challenging to read this one, but what an interesting concept!

 Bay City Balconies by Donna Brennan (SAQA Presents:  Modern Inspirations- Art Quilts From the 1970s Through Today)

Bay City Balconies by Donna Brennan (SAQA Presents:  Modern Inspirations- Art Quilts From the 1970s Through Today)

I also really liked this small piece.  This is created with just machine stitching on white.  It is based on a photograph taken by the artist's husband.  I love this quilt interpreting a simple line drawing.

 Maps by Carolyn Friedlander (Carolyn Friedlander special exhibit)

Maps by Carolyn Friedlander (Carolyn Friedlander special exhibit)

Another favorite by Carolyn.  These are in her book, Savor Each Stitch, but I had not seen them in person until now.  This project was inspired by a design in her first fabric collection which was inspired by a drawing of a map of St. Louis.  I love that this triptych includes hand quilting, machine quilting and hand tying.  This inspires me to try something like it.

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2018 QuiltCon :: 2 :: Improv

 Altered Squares by Cathy Perlmutter (Small Quilts)

Altered Squares by Cathy Perlmutter (Small Quilts)

I have combined quilts from various categories to show my favorite improv quilts from the show.  This is not an exhaustive list though, I'm sure there were many wonderful quilts I missed.

Altered Squares is such a show stopper with those amazing colors.  I really love this one!  It really has a Gwen Marston feel too.  

 Clinging to the Edge by Irene Roderick (Improvisation)

Clinging to the Edge by Irene Roderick (Improvisation)

Clinging to the Edge is a playful and happy design.  These colors work perfectly together and the neutral areas have so much interest.  I love the variety of shapes. This is a great quilt!

 Desert Garden by Jennifer Emry (Improvisation)

Desert Garden by Jennifer Emry (Improvisation)

I like Jennifer's quilts so much that I've highlighted two of them here.  I like the shapes and lines in this one.   The color palette is wonderfully calming.  That hand quilting is something else too!

 Fractured Reality by Mary Elizabeth Kinch (Group or Bee Quilts)

Fractured Reality by Mary Elizabeth Kinch (Group or Bee Quilts)

Fractured Reality was created by a group that includes Elisa Sims Albury, Lynn Carson Harris and Chawne Kimber.  The title refers to what is happening in society today.  Future proceeds will go to the ACLU.  I was impressed by the unusual color palette and the combination of tiny piecing with string sets.  All those tiny triangles are pieced.

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 Serendipity II by Sarah Hibbert (Improvisation)

Serendipity II by Sarah Hibbert (Improvisation)

I loved Serendipity II as soon as I saw it.   It's the combination of the color palette and the fabric prints.  Sarah says this is made from her large collection of hand printed fabrics.  She incorporated two of her father's drawings which she photocopied onto white fabric and tea dyed.  I am not sure which fabrics those are, but I love the whole combination here.

 Strip Tease by Jennifer Emry (2nd Place winner in Handwork)

Strip Tease by Jennifer Emry (2nd Place winner in Handwork)

This lovely quilt by Jennifer won 2nd place in Handwork.  Again, I love the color palette and the arrangement of shapes.  The hand quilting is exquisite.

2018 QuiltCon :: 1 :: Handwork

 One More Block by the Kansas City MQG (Charity Quilts) 

One More Block by the Kansas City MQG (Charity Quilts) 

Today I'll start a series of posts about QuiltCon.  This year it will be a little bit different. I didn't take nearly as many photos as usual.  Partly because I was only at the show for 2 days rather than 4.  Also, I've decided to categorize them differently.  Some of these quilts were actually in the category I have put them in.  Others I have reassigned a category that makes more sense for the posts I'm going to do.  I'll include the QuiltCon category as well, so you can see how it was originally assigned.

The first quilt I've posted here was my favorite at the show although it wasn't actually in the show.  One More Block is a charity quilt.  It was in the lobby where anyone could come in to see it.  What struck me about this quilt was the lovely handwork.  It was also completely different than any of the other charity quilts.  The guilds were given a palette of colors to use any way they liked.  All the other guilds used fabric in those colors.  The Kansas City MQG only included the colors in the thread used for the big stitch quilting.  The other thing I love is that it's not just any handwork.  This free form/improv style stitching is so exciting.  Every block is different.  This quilt should make its new owner very happy!

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 Unplugged by Rachel Singh (Handwork)

Unplugged by Rachel Singh (Handwork)

Unplugged is a lovely example of a handwork quilt.  So many stitches!  It is made completely by hand, including the binding.

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 Some Kind of Special Something by Kim Eichler-Messmer (Handwork)

Some Kind of Special Something by Kim Eichler-Messmer (Handwork)

Some Kind of Special Something is a marvelous wholecloth, hand dyed quilt.  I was able to attend one of Kim's lectures during the show and it was so interesting.  This is made with machine sewn shibori and indigo dye.  

 Gestures by Eva Schwarz (Youth)

Gestures by Eva Schwarz (Youth)

The Youth category this year was particularly wonderful.  In fact, I think it was more exciting than many other parts of the show.  More to come on that in a future post.  This quilt is just so lovely and it's her first quilt!  She did the hand embroidered hands based on her own sketches and pieced the curves to echo the gestures.  What a marvelous concept and execution!

 Geese Study #1 by Heather Kinion (Handwork)

Geese Study #1 by Heather Kinion (Handwork)

I like Geese Study #1 for its beautiful stitching with color and pattern created mainly with thread.  I also like that if you look closely you'll see that there are irregular interruptions in the stitching, they are not just straight lines.  

 Botanics by Carolyn Friedlander (Carolyn Friedlander Special Exhibit)

Botanics by Carolyn Friedlander (Carolyn Friedlander Special Exhibit)

Botanics is one of my favorite quilts of Carolyn's.  I have made this design, though it's still just a top and I took these photos for quilting inspiration.  I love her use of color as well.

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Home from QuiltCon

 Rhythm of the Rails

Rhythm of the Rails

My quilts just arrived home from QuiltCon so I thought I'd share the judge's comments which I always find interesting.  My comments follow.

Rhythm of the Rails was in the Improvisational Category.  

  1. very cohesive overall
  2. quilter's voice shines through pattern
  3. colors are chosen well

I really like comment #2 for Rhythm of the Rails (more photos here) because I think that's true.  This one really feels like me.  It's also nice to know they thought the design was cohesive and that the colors are chosen well.  As far as the colors, they were pretty intuitive for me.  I didn't plan anything out or create a palette before starting.  I started with some scraps and picked out cut yardage to go, but I also had other colors I didn't end up using.  In this design, there was a very particular tomato red (one of my favorites) that I was running out of and just couldn't find the right substitute for.  My friend Jan gave me a piece that she had in the just the right color and I think it makes the quilt.  You might have another idea of what color makes the quilt.  Jan actually told me she thought it was the mustard color that did it.

     Arches and Tunnels

    Arches and Tunnels

    Arches and Tunnels was in the Small Quilt Category.

    1. quilting supports the theme
    2. color palette is cohesive
    3. variation in sizes of arches and tunnels energizes design

    My favorite comment for Arches and Tunnels is #3 (more photos here).  It was my intention from the beginning to make the sizes vary.  None of this was cut from templates so that was pretty easy to do.  I used a fold and cut technique, but it was all cut freehand.  I also like that they thought the quilting supported the theme. I was actually unsure of that.  The color palette on this one is cohesive, but also awfully bold.  If I had started this one today I think I would have toned it down a bit.  

    QuiltCon was really just a two day affair for me this year as I left early to spend the weekend in San Diego with my daughter.  It was a good time though and I went to some amazing lectures.  I will have a couple of posts about the show coming up in the next few days.

    PS- Here's another post about judge's comments in case you're interested.