The end of October and beginning of November was full of quilting this year! I started off with two days at Quilt Market (an industry trade show not open to the public). This was my first year at Market as I helped another designer and explored the floor for myself and overall, it was a great learning experience. Since it’s a trade show, the focus is obviously different — instead of tons of retail booths selling directly to quilters, Market is full of designers and companies selling new products to shop owners and looking to network and find new business opportunities. I didn’t have any personal goals beyond simply taking things in and using my experience to hopefully form a plan of attack for next year. Still, I was able to meet and chat with a lot of people I’ve followed online — not to mention buy quite a bit of fabric to use over the next several months (or year) as I work on some new patterns.
After my Quilt Market experience, I went back later that week with my friends Jenn, Cindy and Maura a week later for Festival! We kicked off the day with an amazing breakfast at Snooze Eatery near downtown and then hit the convention center. We spent several hours walking the retail side (with a break for lunch in the middle) and then ended the day with a walk through the show side to admire the amazing work on display. Every year, I leave so incredibly inspired by all these beautiful works of art! Here are some of my favorites:
Annular Eclipse by Fumiko Nakayama
This quilt had me walking quickly across the floor to get a close up look! It was made with a reverse applique technique and hand-embroidered with additional details. And if you know me at all, you won’t be surprised to hear yet again how much I love any combination of space + quilting.
Shiprock by Cat Larrea
Years ago on my way to California for grad school, my dad and I drove past Shiprock, New Mexico and art based on the geologic feature has caught my eye ever since. I love how graphic this quilt was, and the bright, bold colors used.
Sine Me Up by Kent Williams; By Land and By Sea by Betty Busby
These two quilts were in different sections but for me they’re both examples of turning neat patterns into quilts. The one on the left uses clever (and precise!) piecing to create a series of overlapping sine waves. The one on the right reminded me of tiles or cracked glass. The soft and blended colors are a result of using watercolors, marker and paint on silk.
The Straight and Narrow #1 by Denyse Schmidt
I loved all the texture on this quilt — proof that using a monotone color scheme can be anything but boring!
Feast II by Danny Amazonas
One exhibit featured several of these colorful, pictorial quilts by Danny Amazonas — they were absolutely stunning. This particular quilt was created after he studied hundreds of photos of koi that he’s taken over the last decade.
Top: Moody Blues by Betsy Terrill; Vincent by Pamela Kuck; Bottom: Zephyr: The Most Pleasant of the Winds by Lesly-Claire Greenberg; Stained Glass Starry Night by Rachel King
Cherrywood Fabrics hosted a mini quilt challenge with Van Gogh as the inspiration, and featured many of the best at Festival this year. There were dozens of mini quilts based on this theme in so many different styles! It was one of my favorite exhibits this year, and really inspiring to see how quilters can take a single theme and color palette and run with it!
Central Pivot by Kim Eichler-Messmer
As usual, the Modern Quilt Guild had a showcase area and several of the quilts there were very familiar to me after seeing them online. But I was happily surprised to see a few new-to-me pieces. This one was inspired by circular farm fields as seen from a plane. (I’ve been wanting to make a “seen from the air” quilt for years! Need to get on that.)
Madonna by Brittany Bowen Burton and quilted by Natalia Bonner
I had seen and admired this quilt online, but seeing it in person made me appreciate it even more. The overall design is wonderful to begin with, but what you can’t see in a photo of the full quilt — and what I therefore hadn’t picked up on before — is that there are so, so many lovely little hand-quilted and embroidered details. It was beautiful. This, to me, is modern quilting at its best!
Bazaar Quilt by Tara Faughnan; Not Easy Being Green by Mary Keasler
I follow Tara Faughnan online and I’m so fascinated with her use of color — it’s not bright but not dark, not loud but not quiet. She has an incredible knack for picking shades and tones that come together well. This quilt is one of several she’s made using folding and layering instead of straight piecing or applique.
The quilt on the right caught my eye with it’s asymmetry and great mix of bold greens with tiny bits of other colors.
Rich and Exotic by Judith Ross
Slices of Opulence by Randa Mulford
Cinco de Mayo by Jeanette Sanford
Diamond Effervescence by Beth Nufer and Clem Buzick
File these in the category of quilts that are so amazingly intricate that I’m honestly not even quite sure how they were made! This type of quilt — one that so obviously took hours upon hours of dedicated effort to create fantastic result — are so impressive to me. Part of me wants to dive into a similar type of project…and part of me is totally intimidated!
Afternoon Delight by Sue Garman
Omigosh and Postage Due, both by Sue Garman
Lily Rosenberry by Sue Garman
There was a large exhibit dedicated to the work of Sue Garman, who was a prolific quilter with an impressive career at Johnson Space Center where I work! (She held several positions over the years including Associate Center Director.) She passed away last year and while I never met her, my friend Maura knew her quite well through her quilting, and was able to walk us through the exhibit and tell a lot of little anecdotes about many of the quilts.
A Village for All Seasons by Karen Eckmeier; Cut et Iris by Sandra Ruano Navarro
I loved the whimsical, rainbow goodness for this quilt depicting a town along a river, and all the different seasons along the way. And this bold, swirling, twisting design drew me in from all the way across the room.
Blue-Sky Thinking by Sara Impey
This quilt begged a closer look, because I could tell that the quilting was unique. According to the statement: “This quilt is an exercise in empty political rhetoric. The text purports to be a rallying speech by a political candidate who could belong to any political party, since the promises and policies are so commonplace and vague.” Ha! It definitely made me chuckle.
Annnnd that’s a wrap. I already can’t wait for next year!