Well, as you read this, I will be getting back to real life.
Yesterday was class day. A lot of people were done with the conference – tired, ready to go home, out of money, etc. I was ready to sew, so a class was just what I needed.
We got up at, what felt like, the crack of dawn and hustled over to the classroom. We wanted to get there a little early because we wanted seats that we wanted. There were two different Janome machines to use. We both chose the 6700 models (I think there were letters after them, but I forget what they were.
Libs Elliott is a lovely person and a great teacher. The content was sufficient to complete in the class and she was available and supportive during the entire class. The class was Dynamic Stripes. If you want more than that, take the class. 🙂
We made stripes from solids and semi solids and then cut them up. There were several options. The strip sets I made were two of the options. One was the regular set and the other Libs called Biggie Smalls. I decided to go with the easiest options so I could get the jist of the technique.
Once I cut up the strip sets, I was able to put the blocks on the design wall and look at them. The triangles don’t all go together, because the fabrics were slightly different. Still, I was pretty happy with my first version.
I moved the units around and then started sewing. I came away from the class with a small finished quilt top and I am pleased. I need to press it a lot better, but I am happy with it.
I added in the solid HSTs to fill in where I was two blocks short. I think this is an ok piece. I think the technique is interesting, but my piece is definitely a practice piece. I’d like to try the technique with actual striped fabric (smaller blocks) to see what I could make. I am not sure I will use this technique in general, but I am glad to know it and I am really glad I took the class.
We are starting to get tired. walking on concrete all day for several days is difficult. The show and the ancillary events are super fun, but also tiring. We went to the main hall to finish looking at the quilts and finish looking at the vendors. Today was also class day for both of us.
Other people are also getting tired, I think because even though people were friendly, they were not as gregarious.
Probably the most important event of the day was the Sarah Fielke class I took. This was a fabulous class on Big Stitch. I was concerned that it wouldn’t be what I needed. I started to obsess about the class being a hand quilting class when I wanted to learn any special techniques to use Perle Cotton. My fears were unfounded. It was a great class. It was, basically a hand quilting class, but Sarah built on my existing store of hand quilting knowledge and refined it so I could wield a needle with Perle Cotton like a pro.
The instruction lasted about 10 minutes, once the introduction was finished and a lot of techniques and information came together in my mind. I finally understand the rocking motion that is so critical to good hand quilting. Not only do I understand it, but I can do it with confidence. YAY! As an added bonus, I got to try out the many spools of Aurifil and Sue Spargo Perle Cotton I have been collecting. But wait! There’s more! It was fun. I enjoyed sitting there and practicing the stitching. The class was totally worth the time and money.
Julie took an Angela Walters class while I was in Big Stitch. We have another class tomorrow with Libs Elliott.
I was pleased to see a SAQA exhibit, Modern Inspirations; Art Quilts From the 1970s through Today, in the back of the hall near the demo station. It was filled with ‘modern’ quilts made over the past 30 years. Some looked like they would fit right in with the quilts in QuiltCon’s 2018 exhibit.
Waves by Etsuko Takahashi, 1998 was one of my favorites in this exhibit. It is made from Pointillist Palette fabric and is such a fantastic use of the fabric that it takes my breath away. Though the fabric is already ombre, the gradation between fabrics is incredible. All of the quilts fit right into the QuiltCon exhibition.
Early in the day, we heard the Keynote Carolyn Friedlander. She spoke about her inspiration, her various fabric lines and a book. One thing she does is make quilts over and over exploring different options in each iteration. I was interested in her talk and thought she did a great job. Many people walked out, grumbling that the keynote wasn’t what they expected. ??? I was confused about that, because I got what I thought I was going to get and thought Carolyn did a great job. People are weird.
The keynote was right at noon, which made lunching difficult, so, perhaps, people were cranky?
I think the vendors were tired as well. They were perfectly friendly and helpful, but not as perky. Early in the day we walked around the hall a little. I bought an interesting template handle. It is much smaller than others I have seen, but I thought it might be useful for my smaller rulers as well.
I also bought a Daylight lamp. It is a small, portable clip on lamp that I hope will illuminate my work surface even more.
We skipped the QuiltCon Happy Hour. Julie went back to the hotel and I went to dinner with Tim and Cyndi at an Italian restaurant. The waiter was fabulous and my pizza was delicious. The restaurant was far away so it took me awhile to get my food. 😉 It was worth the wait.
Day 3 was just as good as Days 1 & 2, but I don’t feel like I saw as much. We stayed mostly in the vendor hall, which also has quilts. All of the winners are in the hall with the vendors and we decided it was time to look at them. I saw so many of them posted on social media that I didn’t think it would be worthwhile to see them in person, but it is such a different experience. Social media is awesome if you can’t be there in person, but I see the quilts differently in person.
We spent the first part of the day looking at the quilts. The winners were pretty amazing in some manner. The secondary winners (challenges, etc) were interesting as well. Once quilt I really liked was Clambake by Heather Black. I liked it when I saw it, but liked it even more after reviewing photos on my phone.
It is a simple design, but not boring.The background red is an interesting shade.
I also really liked the Heart of Gold quilt by Beth Chinderie.
I like it that the pieces that make up the heart are not pieced or appliqued, that they are fused (possibly), then quilted down.
This endeavor migrated to looking at vendors after about 5 rows of quilts.
Michael Miller is collecting charity blocks to make quilts. We got some free charm packs to make blocks for the quilts. After QuiltCon 2017, they made 9 quilts out of donated blocks to donate to kids with cancer. I have a charm pack of 12 charms and I am thinking about how I can use it to make the most 6.5×6.5 blocks possible. I might make some checkerboard blocks just to maximize the number of quilts I can make.
In the Michael Miller booth, as an added bonus, I got to meet HollyAnne, a Twilter, who is the CEO of Quilts for a Cure. She is a lovely person, which made the meeting fabulous. She turned us on to a little giveaway game. We went around to different booths and got punches, chatting with people as we went. In the course of getting punches, I found out that my rotary cutter, which broke recently, has a lifetime warranty! I have to call the customer service number and see what they can do for me.
We also checked out the Daylight Lighting company and I am sorely tempted to buy multiple products. We’ll see what I actually do buy. I plan to to at least buy one of the clip on, portable lights, but may buy a larger one as well.
I did buy some things .There is so much available and I have my limits in terms of space and time. Some of the things shown in the photo (right) were freebies as well.
I found a bag pattern that I had to buy. It is a tool tote with an interesting design and a super cute look. I have a the Oslo Tote by Sew Sweetness, which I think is similar. Of course, the fabric helps to make it appealing. It is a tester for a project on which I might be working (far left, top) and it is called the Tool Tote. It has a frame to keep it wide open (see photos below). I have tried a pattern with a frame, though I have another pattern that calls for one. I am kind of excited about trying out a pattern with a frame. To go with that pattern, I bought Bosall and a zipper. The Bosall is like Soft & Stable, but is fusible. My Organizer Club by Crafy Gemini calls for this product. I thought it was a Soft & Stable knockoff until I talked to the lady at the Elkhorn Quilts booth (great company, fab bag patterns and supplies, BTW). I didn’t realize the Bosall was fusible. I am not sure *I* would use a back like this, but I might and the design is so fabulous.
Gretchen has been talking about the Jelly Roll Rug. I saw a pattern and bought it on impulse. I got a brief lesson on the making of it in the Moda booth and can visualize how it is done in my mind now. I am not sure where I would put one, but may make one anyway.
I bought a few pieces of fabric. I couldn’t find any Northcott charm packs in white, but I did find some by Paintbrush Studios, so I bought those to have on hand when I need to make more donation blocks. These were the one thing I planned on buying. I bought a great red and a text fabric. I am still trying to be restrained.
Not all of the booths were there to sell things. Some were promotional only. I stopped by the Moda booth while Julie was ont he phone and talked with Vanessa Christensen about her new Confetti (metallic dots) Ombre Line. It is Moda, but I love the designs.
Vanessa Christensen was in the booth showing the ins and outs of her ombre/metallic dot fabric. I am particularly fond of the heart quilt. I am not much of a heart person, but this quilt is really great.
We spent time in another lecture today. Today’s lecture was with Pamela Wiley. If you haven’t seen her quilting, it is amazing. She talked about finding your own stitch identity/style. Her talk was about getting inspiration from her surroundings and using the inspiration for her work – what she sees, how she thinking about it, how she tries to translate into something I could read.
Happy was spent at Porto Alegro. We started out there with Tim and Cyndi. When we left, Anna L, Mary C, Amy M, Christina T and Christy were all there as well. We had some drinks, talked about whate we liked and disliked about quiltmaking and the world and generally had a rowdy time.
ColorPlay and the Creative Spark will return soon!
Day 2 of QuiltCon 2018 started out slowly. We didn’t have any classes and our lecture wasn’t until late, so we lazed around a little bit in the hotel. It may not have been the wisest move, because I poured hot water all over my hand and had to stand letting cold water run over it for several minutes. It was painful all day, but after many applications of cream and some Argan oil, I don’t have a blister and it doesn’t hurt anymore.
Once we got to the show, we went straight into the hall that just had quilts. (The other hall has vendors and quilts). It was a nice viewing experience. There was good light and it wasn’t super crowded.
Overall impressions: solids, improv
My favorite quilt, Singularity by Jenn Nevitt of Fort Worth, TX, was almost the first one we saw it was made up of half square triangles. This quilt does not have any improv, which is an added bonus for me. I like the precision, the distribution of color and the varied sizes of blocks. It shows the power of a single block and the impact that one block can have if a design is executed thoughtfully
I thought I would feel resentful at all of the solids, but I didn’t. Some quilts I didn’t care for, but the ones I liked I thought were really well done – good fabric choices, interesting designs. I do know why the Carpenter’s Wheel didn’t get in this year. It wasn’t made of solids.
Canvas Fabric, Day 1 QuiltCon
We haven’t gone through the entire vendor hall, but there seem to be more vendors that last time. We have gone through about a row and a half of vendors and I bought one yard of fabric. It is canvas and I plan to use it for a bag, perhaps the Rockstar bag by Sew Sweetness. Perhaps something else. We will see. I am determined to make something out of it soon and now allow it to lay around.
The FreeSpirit fabrics are flying off the shelves. I saw bolts that had just been cut in almost all of the booths we visited. I am sure the designers, if not FreeSpirit itself, will be snapped up quickly and things will continue, mostly, as before. Still, I guess the smart move is to get your fabrics while the getting is good. 😉
I saw a lot of fabric and supplies I liked, but didn’t want to commit to buying yet. Beyond the Reef had a lot of great fabrics, but I restrained myself from buying the Palm Country Layer Cake and random other yards of fabric from them for the moment. I did want a few of them, but don’t have an immediate use. I may go back and buy some things later, but want to see if I am still thinking about them tomorrow or the next day.
Brooklyn Haberdashery was there and they had a knitting needle case that I covet. It was $95, however, and that is just not happening, especially since I just bought needlecases with some Christmas money.
One thing I may buy is a binding buddy. They are about $17 and slightly too cutesy for me, but they seem really useful. Shari Butler was showing how they work. You roll your binding around the body of the binding buddy, When you are ready to bind a quilt, you put the Binding Buddy on the thread holder, which allows the binding to roll of the buddy either from the back or the front depending on the way it is originally rolled on to the binding buddy. The nice part is that you have somewhere to store your binding while finishing the quilt.
As mentioned we had a lecture yesterday. The speaker was Christopher Tomlinson (IG: the_tattooed_quilter). He spoke about using prints in quilts.
He comes from the fashion industry so is influenced by the work they do when creating fashion lines and color ranges that support those lines. Surprisingly, he uses the focus fabric method (that I describe in one of my tutorials)! Chris, like me, also considers scale while selecting colors. In the process, he uses terms that are more fun than mine. Instead of focus fabric he calls it a Hero print. Large Marge is a large scale print, Tiny Dancer is a small scale print, etc. Perhaps I’ll be up there presenting if I had better terms and was more entertaining. 😉
He admitted to not knowing the technical terms for color theory, so there was some confusion when he was talking about shades and tones, but I ended up getting the jist.
The lecture wasn’t a revelation to me but it also wasn’t boring and was definitely entertaining. The slides were really well done.
Today was also a day of visiting with friends. We ran into a number people from the guild, had dinner with Tim while Cyndi took a class. We ran into Annie Smith in the vendor hall as well.
We were also able to have some coffee with Luana, the owner of eQuilter. We had about 45 minutes to chat and the location was pleasant since we were surrounded by charity quilts.
We chatted briefly with Zina (IG: zanymouse) about dinner.
At one point, Julie wanted to sit down , so I went into the vendor hall. Almost immediately ran into the fabulous Christa Watson (IG: christaquilts). I chatted with her for 10 minutes or so until I had to leave to meet up with Julie. We talked about her new line of fabric and I helped her rearrange her display of quilt samples and books. She told me about her fabric and that she will be coming out with a new line as well. It was great to catch up with her. She is just as positive in person as she is online.
We went to Tokyo Wako, a restaurant across from the convention center for dinner with Tim (IG: timnrwc). It is. The food was really good and the whole experience was fun!! They were very attentive to my #glutenfree needs, which was great.
The chef came over and put on a little show while he cooked on the grill in front of us. He was nice and was able to cook the food exactly to our liking.
It was a great day, though tiring. I look forward to a good day today as well.
We are already having a good time. I drove down to Julie’s house Tuesday and spent the night. I had dinner with her family and looked at all of her quilt stuff before we left. We set off for SoCal on Wednesday.
The drive was not bad. I mean we were in the car for several hours, which isn’t that great, but there was limited traffic. Julie was able to drive the whole way, probably because we needed to stop every two hours or so.
We made it to Pasadena by 3 or so. We checked into our hotel room and got settled a little bit. Sadly, my ladies maid was sick, so I had to do most of the settling myself.
At about 4:40 we headed over the Convention Center to get our badges and enjoy happy hour sponsored by Culcita Fabrics. The line was LONG.
It was fine. We saw some people we knew so we could chat while we waited. They started checking people in a few minutes after 5pm. Julie and I both received goodie bags, which were moderate this time, but had some useful stuff. We met Tim and Cyndi as well as Kathleen and Sarah. The drinks for the happy hour were really expensive, so popped over to the Sheraton and took advantage of their happy hour prices.
We checked out the Culcita Fabrics booth, which was right outside the registration area. They have a modern fabric subscription. They send out bundles of fabric every month or two months. They have specials for QuiltCon. The fat quarter bundles seem reasonably priced, but I thought the half yard options were a little on the pricey side. Of course I am tempted, but 1) space in my fabric closet is at a premium, 2) I have plenty of fabric. They have bundles from past months for sale and I might buy one of those. We’ll see.
Kathleen rushed us off to dinner and it turned out to be a group of 7 – Julie and me, Kathleen, two Canadians, Marianne and Susan, and two ladies from Sacramento, Angelina and Judy. It was great to chat with them. It was a very intelligent group of women.
We gorged ourselves on Brazillian style skewered meat served at the table by cutting off slices. There was also a buffet of a variety of salads. I ate a really nice beet salad, some rice, fruit and cheese.
We had a lot to talk about so the conversation was free flowing the whole time. There were definite opinions about a lot of things (me and improv!).
All this and guess what? The actual show doesn’t start until tomorrow!
Voices In Cloth 2018 Show Celebrates Quilting Diversity in the East Bay
Albany, California, 11 December 2017 – Returning to the beautiful Richmond shoreline at the historic Craneway Pavilion on March 17-18, the region’s largest non-profit quilt show will have lots to offer anyone interested in quilts, textiles, sewing, wearable art, and more. Voices In Cloth (VIC) 2018 will feature demonstrations, delicious on-site catering, specialty vendors, two special exhibits (over 100 art quilts & a curated show of contemporary Korean textiles), as well as scores of quilts by East Bay Heritage Quilters (EBHQ) members.
Our name suggests tradition, but our biennial quilt show is broad, and is neither juried nor judged. The efforts of each individual quilter, whether beginner or experienced – traditionalist, modern, or art quilter – are equally valued and enjoyed on their own merits.
I spent the day at PIQF yesterday with my SIL n.2. I only had one full day to see the show, which isn’t quite enough. We spent most of the day looking at quilts and I didn’t get to see all of them. I missed most of the Threads of Resistance exhibit and all of the modern exhibit, which disappointed me once I realized it. We stopped at about 4pm to look at vendors, though we had visited Colleen to buy solids and drop off a quilt and The Batty Lady to buy Sue Spargo embroidery thread (oooh la la!!!) early in the day as we were heading to the next section of quilts.
The show has the same look it has in the past. There are a lot of landscapes and they are still using black drapes. The move to shake up the vendors by adding new ones and moving continuing ones I discussed on Thursday was good. Colleen was, again, in the front half of the show and seemed to be doing a brisk trade when I stopped by yesterday.
I noticed an unofficial bird theme. Of course, the Peacock is a bird, but I also saw quail, swans, a variety of Australian birds in the World Quilt Competition, some imaginary birds as well as many others. It is always interesting to me to see what snags people’s imagination enough to take the time to make a quilt using that motif.
I didn’t take as many photos as I have in the past. I didn’t see a quilt that stands out in my mind, either. There were a lot of nice quilts with excellent workmanship and interesting motifs. Of course, there were a number that were not to my taste as well.
I was pleased to see Pamela Allen’s Sleeping Beauty quilt. She always enters PIQF and I had forgotten. This quilt has a much more subdued color palette than some of her other work. Her workmanship and quilting have improved so much over the years. It has been a joy to watch her evolve.
Although, I didn’t not look at the Threads of Resistance exhibit, I did get to see Sarah Ann Smith’s quilt in person. I was so pleased since, as you know, she was a huge influence and support on my Down the Drain quilt. I was able to look at the details and take some detail shots, which really pleased me. this is a wonderful quilt. It says so much to me about the strength of women, about the importance of our fundamental rights such as the right to peacefully assemble.
A technique theme I noticed was people inserting a very tiny slice of color into blocks. One of the quilts that included this technique was Eifersucht (Envy) from Martina Hilgert-Vervoort of Germany and another was by Joan B. Dyer of Grass Valley, Calif called Waves. There were more examples, but these were two that caught my attention.
Machine work continues to be a focus. Many of the quilts had lots of tiny machine work in areas around the piecing. There was a fair number of all over long arm quilting designs, which was a shame as they get the quilt done, but don’t always contribute to the overall design look of the quilt.
Yes, I bought a few things. All in all, it was a good day.
I went to the preview of the Pacific International Quilt Show 2017 last night.
The Preview is an hour and a half long. Preview attendees can look at quilts and interact with vendors as on the normal days. The bonus is that it is really empty, so it is much easier to take pictures of quilts that will be mobbed once the show opens. also, if you can find that one thing you want at a vendor booth, it will be there and you won’t have to fight for it.
I did a quick survey of the vendors and, yes, bought a few things. I saw as many of the quilts as I could, but I really didn’t see anywhere near all of them. I didn’t get a chance to look at the special exhibits.
many vendors were in different places
lots of new vendors
same types of quilts – look and feel of the show was the same
I was really pleased to see some new vendors. I didn’t get to look at all of the wares the new vendors had available. I got an idea of what I might want to buy when I go back.
I was disappointed by the New Quilts of Northern California. I didn’t see anything new and must not understand that point of that exhibit anymore.
The Peacock was hanging there. I was pleased with the location. I was pleased to get a good photo of it.
It is really fun to have another quiltmaker around the corner. SIL and I went to Quilting in the Garden out in Livermore on Sunday and had a good time.
Last time I took BART, I think, and Mrs. K picked me up and drove me to the show.
Quilts were hanging right out front of the main nursery building, so we didn’t have to wait to get our fix.The Halloween quilt reminded me of a mixture of two friends: Julie and Gerre. If they made a quilt together, it would look something like that Halloween quilt
While most of the quilts, in general, were much more traditional than other shows I attend, I was excited to see so many quilts. Many of them had aspects I enjoyed. There were also vendors. I bought some new rotary blades (can you believe I ran out? Shocking!) and a ticket to win a cherry red Featherweight. I absolutely don’t need it, but it was very cute.
Edyta Sitar was the featured artist so many of the quilts on display were her quilts and used her color palette: blues and beiges. She had a booth with all of her books, patterns, thread, everything! Otherwise, I didn’t really see her wandering around chatting with people.
Ms. Sitar’s quilts have a traditional feel to them, but there is generally a twist. She uses a lot of different fabrics in the same values to add interest. She often seems to use intricate piecing or applique’.
The three quilts above are three of Ms. Sitar’s quilts that I really liked. I am not fond of her colors, but I can see adding a white or charcoal background to any of them along with some brighter foreground colors. They would make wonderful quilts in my style and colors.
If there was a theme, I would have to say Hunter’s Star. There were a number of Hunter’s Star quilts. SIL noticed them first as she has been making them with the die and ruler she has. They are super fun to play with in terms of colors. We saw probably half a dozen, which was amazing since I don’t think I have ever seen one at a show. Lora Zmak and Lisa Norton of Material Girlfriends had patterns for Hunter’s Star quilts and many of their samples were clever, bright and cheerful.
The version on the left had really fabulous quilting. Though the fabrics were all solids, the quilting made it look like the fabrics were patterned. Zoom in to look at the full effect of the quilting on the left quilt.
The quilting really worked with the blocks and didn’t take away from the overall design. A+!
My favorite quilt was also by Material Girlfriends. They call it Radiant Star. It is a version of the Sawtooth Star and you know I love almost all Sawtooth Stars. Remember my donation quilts and my Star Sampler?
The Radiant Star had good colors, great quilting and I loved the grid on which the blocks were placed. Look how regular the lines of blocks look horizontally, but once you look at them ont he diagonal, something new and different happens. Genius!
I also like the way the maker arranged the blocks from light to dark.
The Fair is held in June and with the YM’s broken ankle and a big new client, it took me awhile to get this post together. Here it is.
I was tempted to call this post 4 Entries, 4 Prizes, but I thought that might a bit too much self congratulation. It is true, however. I entered four items into the fair and received four prizes.
SIL and I have determined that the way to get prizes is to enter items into the non-quilt categories. I received monetary prizes for everything but the quilt, which received an honorable mention and more criticism on my binding as well as criticism that my seams don’t match. I was annoyed at that since there was maybe 2 seams that didn’t match. I work very hard on my piecing so it looks good. I suppose they have to find something to criticize. The point about my binding was grudgingly well taken. I had no idea what they meant, but SIL showed me what she thought they meant and I took her advice to heart when I did the binding on the Peacock.
I need to make another apron, so, perhaps, I will wait and enter that in the fair in 2018. In fairness, my niece has been waiting for this apron, so it might be a little annoying for her to wait another year. Perhaps I’ll make two.
The fussy cutting on the apron was worth it. There was a comment that they really liked the way I used the fabric. They also liked it that I finished the seams.
They did not like that I did not finish the seams on the California shirt. I kind of knew that when I was working on it. I wanted to make French seams like I do on the pillowcases, but just didn’t do it.
Now I want to make another shirt with French or finished seams. It might be a good way to learn to use a serger.
I have lots of pictures of exhibits to show, so I’ll see about writing some more posts on the Fair in general.
SIL and I went to the SF Quilters’ Guild Show yesterday. It is still on today so you can see it if you have time. The show was held at the Event Center at St. Mary’s is located in St. Mary’s Cathedral. The Cathedral is a San Francisco landmark designed by award winning architects Pietro Belluschi and Pier-Luigi Nervi, in case you were wondering.
I had never been to that particular venue, though I have driven by many times. I thought it was an improvement in terms of lighting over the place they used to use South of Market.
Luke Haynes and Freddy Moran both had special exhibits. We were able to catch Freddy speaking but missed Luke. We saw both exhibits, though many of the quilts Freddy had hanging were the ones she showed at the lecture I attended several months ago.
I am always interested to see Freddy’s work. She is getting up there in age and I am inspired by her continued work, visiting classes, etc. She talked about going to Sisters every year and taking classes, which I think is wonderful. Everyone can learn new things.
The show had a very interesting system to determine Viewer’s Choice. They gave each entrant 5 stick-on orange dots. Our job, as viewers, was to stick an orange dot on quilts that were Viewer’s Choice favorites.
While this might have given some quilts an unfair advantage, because people could see the favorites, I thought it was easy to manage. I rarely vote for Viewer’s Choice at quilt shows. Since I didn’t have to try to find the quilt’s number or the ticket box for depositing choices, this was and easy activity in which I could participate.
I have found that each show has a signature or theme. It might only be noticeable to me. I think it can be because of a workshop given where a lot of participants finished their quilts. It can also be that someone showed a quilt and others were inspired. I noticed a LOT of log cabins at this show. There were certainly other quilt designs, though I would say that log cabins dominated. They were certainly not all the same type of log cabin, but there were a distinguishable number.
SFQG now has some modern bees (small groups). One of them purchased the same fabrics. Each member made chunks, then they got together one day and put the chunks together into a really great Improv design.
The cohesive colors definitely help. However, the overall design doesn’t look like it was made by seven people. In addition to the colors, there is also a sense of cohesiveness in the design. Of course, I can’t help liking the colors. 😉
There was also a room full of Antique quilts. Many of these were in amazing condition. I was shocked at how good the colors had held up, especially in one quilt, apparently from the 1880s that a bright and vibrant Turkey red included.
I saw a couple of excellent La Passacaglia efforts. We looked carefully at the quilting of most of the quilts. We weren’t in agreement on all of the efforts, but found a number that could have been improved by better quilting efforts. One quilt made a group of Monkey Wrench (Churn Dash) friendship blocks shine. They could have been set straight or on point and been indifferent, but the artist did a great job.
The vendor mall had a couple of good booths. Serge-a-Lot and Heartway were both there, which was great. The Sashiko booth from which I bought a selection of needles at PIQF last year also set up shop. The Featherweight guy had his fabulously painted Featherweights. I was pleased see he also sells Sew Steady Tables. It is good to have multiple options. There were 3 jewelry vendors and a makeup booth. I found there to be a distinct lack in the vendor department. I wanted to buy some fusible fleece and no booth had it.
We spent about 3 hours at the show and it was a good way to spend a Friday afternoon.
Nota bene: Copyright marks on photographs above are intended to denote my ownership of the photographic image not of the quilt or the quilt design.
Last Sunday, I took some time to visit PIQF, the Pacific International Quilt Show put on by the Mancuso family. It was, again held at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I was pleased that there was no 49ers game (the stadium is across the street) as I had no interest in fighting THAT traffic.
It was the last day of the quilt show and I could tell all of the vendors were tired. I wasn’t able to find any Aurifil #2600 50wt and found that many of the vendors were out of the most popular items.
In general, I thought that the show showed a slight improvement this year. In terms of quilts shown, I found them brighter and more cheerful.
The machine work was still excellent and quiltmakers seem to continue to push the boundaries. The Best of Show was someone new this year, which also pleased me. There were new vendors and some vendors had been moved around.
The modern exhibit was really excellent and number of BAMers had quilts in that exhibit.
I saw many more Southern California and out of state quiltmakers showing than Northern California quiltmakers. I wonder about that: first, is my impression correct; second: why are more So-Cal and out of state people entering and are we Northern Californians not entering as much? I know I did not enter a quilt this year.
I drove with my SIL down to the show. She spent most of the show talking to longarm vendors. I got her take on the machines during lunch and the drives. I was really glad the show provided her the opportunity to talk to multiple vendors in one place. While she was doing that, I walked up and down nearby aisles and was able to look at most of the vendors and quilts while she got the information she needed from various longarm vendors.
I have always wanted to make a season quilt. I don’t know why, but I like the imagery of the seasons indicating the passage of time.
I am not sure I need to make a seasons quilt now as this one is really great. I love the curviness of the shapes and imagery. Of course, there were things I would do differently, so, perhaps, I do need to make one. 😉
I was pleased to see one Tula Pink City Sampler quilt, Teal in the City by Elaine Lindsay, Cupertino Calif. Seeing this quilt inspired me to continue working on mine. I like the way Ms. Lindsay used a cohesive color palette. The blocks really fit together. I also like the different sashing colors for her blocks. That is a good idea. Seeing a done City Sampler in person also gives me an idea of the size. It is large but not crazy large. It would probably fit on our bed, if we needed another bed quilt. 😉
One day isn’t really enough. I walked down a couple of rows twice, once by myself and once with SIL. I found myself not remembering the quilts I had already seen. I consider myself someone with a good visual memory. I may need to rethink that. There is a lot of visual stimulation at a quilt show and even I couldn’t take it all in in one day.
Some themes I noticed:
several Peacock quilts
secondarily, a number of interesting animal quilts – not in a photorealism style, which I appreciated
fewer dark landscape quilts
fewer art quilts, though the ones I did see were interesting.
I noticed a number of brighter, more whimsical quilts
There was a lot more negative space, even in quilts not in the Modern exhibit
Some improvements the Mancusos could still make:
white drapes instead of black would lighten up the whole show.
continue to vett vendors and replace out of date/boring vendors
more modern vendors
require vendors to have new fabrics, not just old stuff they keep in their traveling kit
limit non-quilt supplies vendors
Of course, I am not a quilt show organizer (though I am happy to consult!) and I am glad to have such a large show so close to me. It is easy for me to say what I think should be changed, but it is not always easy to make the changes. Incremental changes are easier to make and less of a risk. I wish they would publish year over year attendance records, so I could see how the changes they made this year affected attendance, though they might not see an increase until next year.
I bought a few things, but not the items that were on my list. The fabric will be a quick quilt for the grandson of one of my Austrian friends. I want to finish (work on??) the Windmill quilt. Since I still have not been able to find the template I bought another. Silly, but necessary. I also am always on the hunt for sharp needles with big eyes. I bought another Tulip brand pack to try them on Under the Sea.
Dates: Saturday, March 19 and Sunday, March 20, 2016
Hours: Saturday: 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.
Sunday: 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.
Admission: Two-day advance purchase tickets are $10 until February 29, 2016; tickets purchased at the door are $15 and children 12 and under are FREE.
Location: The Craneway Pavilion, 1414 Harbour Way South, in the Marina District of Richmond, California. With its huge windows, panoramic San Francisco Bay views and natural light, The Craneway Pavilion makes a spectacular venue for the vibrant quilts and fiber art that will be displayed at Voices in Cloth.
East Bay Heritage Quilters present Voices in Cloth 2016, Extraordinary Quilts by the Bay. Highlights of the two-day show include an exhibit of more than 200 new quilts and wearable art made by guild members; quilts by kids; a stellar lineup of 37 vendors, offering textile and eclectic wares; a Guild Marketplace of Fine Fiber Art; free demonstrations of quilt-making techniques including new ruler-free cutting techniques by Sherri Lynn Wood; bed turnings by the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles showcasing quilts from the museum’s permanent collection; engaging activities for children and introducing new children’s titles from C&T Publishing; and great door prizes.
Voices in Cloth 2016 will as also feature two special exhibits:
“Off the Wall: Maverick Quilts from the Julie Silber** Collection”
Well- known and highly respected quilt authority, Julie Silber curates this special exhibit of 20 of her favorite quirky antique quilts. The pieces all have in common an unusual twist on the ordinary, a certain verve, and a gritty individuality rarely found in more studied and self-conscious quilts. These playful pieces demonstrate that all over America original works of art may be as close as the blankets under which we sleep. Julie Silber will lead a personal tour through the exhibit each day at 1 p.m.
**Julie Silber is best known locally as curator of the world-renowned Esprit Quilt Collection , which was on display at the Esprit Company headquarters in San Francisco in the 1980s. She is the owner of Julie Silber Quilts where she offers a wide range of antique and vintage quilts made between 1800 and 1950. She wrote Hearts and Hands: The Influence of Women & Quilts on American Society, and Amish: the Art of the Quilt.
“Tell Me a Story” A Cloth Doll Challenge
For the first time, Voices In Cloth presents a special exhibit of 36 cloth doll sculptures and their stories. The Challenge is curated by Sondra Von Burg, a local doll artist, teacher and lecturer on the Art of Cloth Doll Making. She states “Dolls traditionally were made to represent the human form in miniature. Contemporary dolls are moving closer to sculpture, but often continue to represent humans beyond just the form and all dolls have a story to tell.” Sondra will be demonstrating “Cloth Doll Finger Turning” during the show and has a vendor booth exhibiting her work.
East Bay Heritage Quilters is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization based in Albany, California. The guild focuses on preserving and continuing the traditions, culture, and history of quilting and textile arts. A significant contribution EBHQ makes to our community is the Deanna Davis Community Quilt Project, through which our members and outside volunteers make and distribute over a 1,000 quilts a year. Recent recipients include First Place for Youth (a home for aged-out foster teens), and survivors of the Lake County fires. In 2016, EBHQ will make monthly deliveries to a Neonatal Intensive Care facility.
There are two Opportunity Quilts that will be featured at the show. Winning tickets in the raffle will be drawn on Sunday, March 20, 2016. Photos and descriptions of Bay Windows and String Theory can also be found at http://www.ebhq.org/quilt-shows/vic2016/vic2016quilts.
42 inches by 46 inches
Raffle Quilt designed by Nancy S. Brown
Appliqued by Nancy S. Brown, Meg Cupman, Cynthia Demidovich Winn, Linda Gavin, Sue Gragg, Linda Gruber, Andrea Hong, Jenny Kolbusz, Liisa Lyon, Lily Pang, Laurel Putnam, Melissa Quilter, Valerie Sopher, Katie Spangler, Carolyn Weil.
Quilted by Laura Lee Fritz.
Photography by C&T Publishing
80 inches by 84 inches
Raffle Quilt by Barbara Ramsey
Quilted by New Pieces in honor of Deanna Davis
Photography by C&T Publishing
East Bay Heritage Quilters, P.O. Box 6223, Albany, CA 94706
I can’t seem to stop writing about QuiltCon. Different aspects of the event are in my mind often.
The thing about this conference was that it was more than a quilt show. It was like a conference I have attended for my professional organization. People knew each other; there were opportunities for learning aside from just quilt classes. Everyone was very focused on a shared set of …values or perceived values. [Actually, I am not sure if that is the right term, but it sort of gets at what I am trying to say.] It was an event with aspects of a quilt show. I wonder if the AQS shows are the same way?
I know I have said before that there was an excited buzz in and around the whole conference. I really liked being in a place where everyone was excited about quiltmaking.
Yes, there were people walking around who looked miserable. Yes, there were people there who were so absorbed by their phones and tablets that they couldn’t talk with anyone. Yes, there were people who only wanted the free stuff. Beyond all that were those who were taking advantage of opportunities. I tried to be one of those people.
I was thrilled to see all the different solids in one place. I didn’t even know Northcott had solids until this show. It was wonderful to see vendors, albeit a small group, with the freshest, newest fabrics rather than the old junk that vendors feel ok with bringing to PIQF. I was thrilled to meet people I follow on Instagram. It was great to see manufacturers there! I was excited to talk with them, see what they brought and, on occasion, play their games. It was great that a few of the vendors brought donation quilt activities with them. It provided a good opportunity to sit and rest our feet while doing some good.
The quilt above was the Viewer’s Choice, Mr. Swirl E. Bones by Victoria Findlay Wolfe. I voted for another quilt, but there was a lot that I liked about this quilt. It is a very interesting use of a panel. I also liked the kaleidoscopic effect she created by putting the different parts of the panels together. I also like the diamonds and the way the piece looks like a flower from far away (upper right photo). You also can’t tell that it is a skeleton panel with just one glance.
Windham gave away pamphlets showcasing their newest fabric designers. The snippets were about half a small page (8.5″x11″ folded in half) and had a few of the forthcoming prints with a headshot of the designer. It was nice to be able to look at a few pieces of fabric that won’t be out for months.
Quilter’s Dream had a very boring looking booth. It looked like they had just curtains up and stack of samples. Samples are always nice. Somehow I ended up in the booth and found out that those boring looking curtains were batting samples! They had unrolled some batting and had hung it up so potential buyers could feel it. What a great idea!!! I liked the thinness of that batting and also the different content they had: silk, bamboo, polyester made from soda bottles and many more. I want to get some to try in a quilt.
I dropped my card off a Schiffer Publishing. I have been wanting to send publishers letters telling them that I write book reviews and post them here. As you may remember, I donate 90% of the books I receive to my local library. My library is part of consortium, so those books are available to people in other local libraries as well. I haven’t heard anything, but my fingers are crossed. Schiffer does a lot of interesting books.
I loved working with the Sizzix in Victoria Findlay Wolfe’s class. I have been looking through their catalog of designs over and over thinking of what I can make.
As I said the other day, we attended lectures almost almost all day on Saturday. I am not sure why I signed up for such a marathon, but with one exception they were all very good.
Victoria Findlay Wolfe
My new hero. Have I said I want to be her new BFF? Actually I want to be her: tall, gorgeous, funny, kind and makes 14-20 quilt tops a week.
VFW’s lecture was called Creativity & Play/Process. This was a new lecture for her, so we were getting the unpracticed version. It wasn’t that she didn’t do a good job; she did. She just wasn’t as familiar with the flow of the words. Any of you who speak frequently in front of a crowd know how it is to work out the kinks on a new lecture.
To her, process and play are the same. Process should not stifle your creativity or imagination. We are often trained out of using our intuition, which means that we don’t know how to use intuition in our work. She encouraged us to think about and document how we work, think about the colors we always buy then rip the process apart and see what comes from changing it up.
She encouraged the audience to put a story into the quilt in order to make a connection with the quilt.
Having an idea in our heads doesn’t mean that the quilt will end up that way, which means we have to be open minded in our quiltmaking. You can always make them into something else by cutting them up or appliqueing on top or….?
Making creative decisions means you are an artist (NO arguing with me or her about that!), which, further, means we are all artists.
The next section of the talk was interesting. She discussed types of creative people. Her types were:
Creative Self Doubter
The Creative Starter Junkie
The Creative Rule Abider
The Creative Free Spirit
One of the things she asked after describing these creative types was which one we thought we were. As she described the types I kept thinking I was this one or that one, then I realized I had elements of all of them in me. I panicked a little until she said she had elements of all in her, too.
Some of the overarching themes I gleaned when she described the types were:
let go, there is always more fabric
If you aren’t having fun, find a new passion. Life is too short and we are all just doing our best.
Making mistakes is a learning experience.
We are all perfect in our imperfections.
Stand up and show your quilt at your guild meeting. That is the only way to find your tribe
Play like children play. They don’t know where the story is going, but they start playing anyway
Chaos and creating go together
Not all great ideas are great, but why not explore them?
Quilts don’t always happen on your timetable.
The more you work on a project and come back to it, the more it tightens up
Surround yourself with creative people
consider the following strategy for people who give unsolicited opinions:
You hear it
You decide if its accurate
Let it go
The more quilts you make the better you get at making them
Slow down. Sit with the pattern or your sketchbook awhile longer. Sitting in the process awhile longer helps you make more connections
Look for opportunities to learn
Repeat techniques you learn so you can really master it
think about what else you can do with a technique – something different than the teacher taught
Make time; break it down into little morsels of time
Every quilt is awesome. Your life will not end if the quilt isn’t awesome. Cut it up, change it, add something to it
I liked her advice and thinking about what she was saying. I realized that I did cut up a quilt once: the Renewed Jelly Roll Race. It was horrible and now it is actually a quilt I am not embarrassed to show people.
If you haven’t seen her speak, get there NOW! If you haven’t taken a workshop from her, do whatever it takes to get into her class. She is awesome.
You might remember that I took a 2 day workshop from her around 2003. I made the Women’s Work quilt, which is still part of a series that I haven’t worked on any further. I will do it; I just haven’t yet.
Gwen Marston is a funny, confident speaker. She engages with the audience very well. I felt mesmerized and riveted by her talk.
She will have a book out in August, A Common Thread, which will be retrospective of her work. [Pre-order now and support the blog by clicking on the title.]
She started making quilts when she saw a quilt show at a Mennonite church in Oregon. After that she went to the quilt group every week the whole year her family spent in Oregon. She only stopped going after er husband;s sabbatical was over and they returned to Michigan. She left with the knowledge to make quilts.
After that she got together with Mary Schafer. They both liked the irregularity of antique quilts and thought newer quilts seemed too coordinated and matchy-matchy. Antique quilts seemed spontaneous. She decided to model her quilts after vintage quilts.
Gwen wants spontaneity in her quilts. She embraced possibilities. She thinks good technique is important, but that an overabundance of concern about precision stifles creativity. She wants her quilts to be square with no ruffly edges.
When she makes a new quilt, she thinks about it as making up a new recipe – she gives herself parameters. She works a lot in solids, but also works with prints.
Gwen also talked about ghost blocks. These are blocks, or pieces of fabric that have no value change, so they disappear. Also, this concept is related to fabrics running together. When fabrics in different blocks run together, because they are the same or have the similar colors and values,they can merge into a block or piece next to them, changing the shape. Add bits and pieces to add interest and create new shapes
She kind of rocked my world about bindings. First, Gwen talked about Amish bindings. Amish bindings are on the straight of the grain. They put the sides on first and then the top and bottom. They do not miter the corners. I have never heard of this and have not checked it out. I also can’t imagine how they would finish the ends of the top and bottoms. Something to contemplate.
Then, she talked about how she uses single fold straight of the grain binding. I have always used a double fold bias binding. That was how I learned and I was always told they wear better. I was justified because I have never had a binding wear out. Gwen’s point was that if the binding wears out aren’t you going to replace the whole binding anyway? <—- Hhmmm
Gwen’s words of wisdom:
Do your own work and don’t worry about what other people are doing
Different sized blocks in one quilt add interest
If you try stuff, some of it will not work. That is part of the game/process. Take a chance!
Think about the practical or smart way to do something not the ‘right’ way.
I think I have a couple of more posts in me about random QuiltCon things, so stay tuned for those.