Friday, July 25, 2014

Modern Quilt Month

We're celebrating Modern Quilt Month at Q.I. This is the first of four feature posts, and we couldn't be more excited about these fun quilts!  So, what makes a quilt modern? According to The Modern Quilt Guild, the characteristics may include the use of bold colors and prints, high contrast, graphic areas of solid color, improvisational piecing, minimalism, and expansive negative space.  Well, some of these quilts don't fit the definition, but they do have modern themes and/or colors!

Alien Eyes by Keith Dommer

We loved the 1960's op art flair of this design.  Keith Dommer says, “I’ve been fascinated by Notan and bold graphic images for a while now and tried to use them in my first quilt in kind of the modern quilt style. The applique is turned-edge machine applique.”

close up, Alien Eyes by Keith Dommer

Keith adapted the pattern from Hajime Ouchi’s Japanese Optical ArtAlien Eyes won Honorable Mention at the 2014 Tucson Quilters Guild show.

Be Yourself - Everyone Else is Taken, 40 x 40", by Meg Cowey (Fremantle, Western Australia)

Meg Cowey created this quilt for a new baby of modern parents, "with blessings for strength of character and independence."  The title of the quilt is from the quote by Oscar Wilde.

close up, Be Yourself - Everyone Else is Taken by Meg Cowey

We love the way in which the red triangle is soaring away from the rest of the flying geese.  The swirls, depicting the wind, are a clever part of the design.

Coloring with Kate by Jane Bromberg (Kansas City, Missouri)

We like the modern minimalist design of this woven-looking quilt.  The orange squares were arranged in groups of two and three columns with a space in between, adding interest to the design. Coloring with Kate was exhibited in the AQS Modern Quilt Challenge, which is traveling to all of the AQS shows in 2014. 

close up, Coloring with Kate by Jane Bromberg

Jane Bromberg, a professional long arm quilter, used a simple but effective quilting design that did not detract from the color blocks.  For more information on the quilt, see Jane Bromberg's website.

Lost and Found by Jacqueline Skarritt (Kalamazoo, Michigan)

The AQS Modern Quilt Challenge included many quilts that broke the traditional rules with new approaches to fabric combinations, piecing, construction methods, and motif quilting.  In Lost and Found, some diagonal design lines are formed by the touching triangles.  The triangles stand out starkly against the blue field but there is plenty of negative space to rest the eyes. 

close up, Lost and Found by Jacqueline Skarritt

The straight-line quilting complements the strip-pieced triangles and alternates directions, adding texture to the surface of the quilt.  The traditional prints make an interesting juxtaposition with the bright solid background.

Log Pyramids by Liz Havartine

Liz Havartine says, “This design was inspired by traditional log cabin blocks, using an equilateral triangle for the center 'hearth' instead of a square. I wanted to have uniformly sized 'pyramids' with precise piecing but add randomness with the width of the 'logs'. I had an acrylic triangle template custom made to facilitate trimming the blocks down to size while keeping everything centered.”  As of this writing, you can find a Log Pyramids Quilt Along at Liz Havartine's website, Lady Havartine.

close up, Log Pyramids by Liz Havartine

Log Pyramids was included in the Best of Quilt Con exhibit at the 2014 Road to California show.  The exhibit featured quilts from the inaugural 2013 Quilt Con Show.

Obsession, 63 x 63", by Meg Bauer (Crestwood, KY)

Obsession by Meg Bauer was awarded Third Place in the Wall Quilts - Traditional category at the 2014 AQS Quilt Week in Phoenix, Arizona.  Mary says that she became obsessed with modifying traditional blocks to create mini quilts; she stitched the mini quilts together to make Obsession.  These little quilts did not have pieces as small as traditional miniatures, however, they were still a challenge to piece.

close up, Obsession by Meg Bauer

The mini quilt blocks were quilted in spirals that were centered over each of the blocks; the quilting lines overlap at the four corners of the blocks.  We like the aqua, chartreuse and orange color scheme of this quilt.

Buckles and Belts, 39 x 49", by Linda Hungerford (The Villages, Florida)

On her blog, Linda Hungerford says, "I named my quilt 'Buckles and Belts' because the chevron and solid diagonal prints weave in and out of blocks that look like buckles. The woven effect was accomplished, in part, with hand appliqué."

close up, Buckles and Belts by Linda Hungerford

We enjoyed seeing Linda Hungerford's interesting design and quilting. After completing all the machine quilting, she hand quilted the solid strips with big stitches, using DMC #8 Perle cotton.  Buckles and Belts is traveling around the country as part of the AQS Modern Quilt Challenge exhibit.

Charming Chevrons, 48 x 56", by Christa Watson

Christa loves solid fabrics with lots of machine quilting, which was done on an older Bernina 1630. On her blog, Christa says:  "When I started Charming Chevrons I’d just barely heard of the modern quilt movement and was wanting to go a little bolder with my quilts." "It was inspired by a pack of bold and beautiful [Kona cotton] charm squares and the desire to quilt the heck out of something!"

close up, Charming Chevrons by Christa Watson

Christa used pebble quilting within the chevrons, and straight line quilting in the negative spaces.  A pattern for the Charming Chevrons quilt is available at Christa Quilts.  The quilt was exhibited at the 2014 AQS Quilt Week in Phoenix.

Image credits: Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

West Coast Wonders

At the West Coast Wonders exhibit at the 2013 Houston International Quilt Festival, we saw some gorgeous quilts with scenes from the Golden State, California. They reminded us of the technicolor postcards sent to friends and family from favorite vacation spots. We hope you enjoy the great artistry of these "postcards in cloth."

Storm over the Golden Gate by Linda Stone, California

Linda's original design was based on a vacation photograph. She says, "this picture was taken as we went under the Golden Gate Bridge on a cruise ship. We went on a Mexican cruise and ended up in San Francisco, due to the swine flu. This is the first in [my] California Landmarks Series of photo realistic quilts. It is machine appliqued and machine quilted using fusible products." Linda has used her excellent sense of perspective to perfectly depict the massive size of the bridge, which stands in resplendent orange-red against a complementary hued backdrop of blue-violet, red-violet, and lavender.

Hollywood and Highland, 39 x 42", by Linda Stone , California

Here's another one of Linda's California Landmark Series quilts. This time, she's at the intersection of Hollywood Blvd. and Highland Ave. in downtown Hollywood, site of the famous ACL Chinese Theatre, the Dolby Theatre, where the Academy Awards are presented, and a shopping mall.  The right hand panel of the quilt shows the enormous elephant sculpture at the entrance to the mall, and the top panel depicts the beloved "Hollywood" sign mounted on the hillside by real estate developers in 1923, which has been restored several times.  Linda notes, "There is so much history of the film industry within and in view of this mall." 

Close up, Hollywood and Highland by Linda Stone

A lifelike pair of feet stand on the cement  path as a visitor studies the  footprints and handprints of many current and past movie stars preserved in the cement. We loved the very creative machine quilting which accurately depicts the weathered pathway, host to millions of people from around the world. Also note the realistic turned-up jeans cuffs, which were finished with blanket stitching.  Linda's original design was machine and hand appliqued, hand-embroidered, couched, painted, and inked.

Monterey at Dusk by Melinda Bula, California

Here's another sophisticated art quilt whose original design is based on a photo. Melinda says, "We walked along the beach at Monterey Bay at sunset. I started taking photos as the sunset reflected off the water and the fog. The sailboats were bobbing in the water. Seals were barking on the rocks below."   This idyllic, peaceful setting is captured by Melinda's fused applique technique. We gazed at this quilt for quite a while, marveling at this artist's ability to perfectly place some very tiny pieces of fabric into the scene.

Close up, Monterey at Dusk by Melinda Bula

Melinda has achieved an elegant, soft watercolor effect with her expert use of pastel fabrics in cool tones.  She notes, "A local couple walked by us and joked that I was taking too many pictures trying to capture this moment. They commented, 'Honey, you can't take it with you.' And I said, 'Oh yes I can.' Little did they know it would soon be a quilt."

Monet in Pasadena by Melinda Bula (California)

Melinda writes, "California has many beautiful gardens, and I plan on seeing them all. At Huntington Gardens in Pasadena, I was inspired by the morning light hitting the lily pond. The water shimmered with reflections made me think of what the painter Monet must have seen. I always take my camera with me just for moments like this."

Close up, Monet in Pasadena by Melinda Bula

Melinda adds, "I created this quilt by using my fusible technique which approaches quilting as if I am painting. Only I do not use any paint; it is all fabric. I have hand-dyed most of the fabrics to get the colors that Monet might have used."

Tributary by Phyllis Cullen (Hawaii)

Phyllis has created a colorful depiction of a pristine hillside stream as it flows over rocks and past native flora. She states, "The beautiful and rugged California coast features river that flow from mountain to sea."

Closeup,  Tributary by Phyllis Cullen

In this close-up, you can see the black background fabric between the  raw edge appliqued pieces, which gives this eye-catching quilt the look of a leaded, stained glass window. Free motion quilting in horizontal wavy lines gives an energetic, rippling effect to Phyllis' work.

Pelican Express by Phyllis Cullen (Hawaii)

Phyllis notes, "The colors of a West Coast sunset are reflected in two of its most endearing birds [the pelicans]."  Phyllis' design is adapted from a stained glass panel by the Paned Expressions Company. To create this stunning quilt, Phyllis used the stained glass and fusible applique technique, plus free motion quilting.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2013 Houston International Quilt Festival.
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