Here is Day 3 of the Long Beach International Quilt Festival, with an emphasis on international quilts and contemporary depictions of traditional patchwork patterns.
Portugal Folkloric Dancers, 92 x 118", by Leslie Gabrielse, The Netherlands, at Gabrielse.com
Leslie Gabrielse writes that she was inspired to make this "upbeat piece" in remembrance of the folklore festivals she observed in several villages and towns as she traveled through northern Portugal. She explains, "All the village roads were decorated with colorful arches, and I tried to capture the movement of the dancers... and the variety of the colors of their folkloric costumes."
We would call this piece more than 'upbeat'.... we would call it jaw-dropping in terms of its lifelike qualities ! Notice how the dancers almost seem to be illuminated from behind, as Leslie has very skillfully placed the lighter values of fabrics in the center of the piece to create a focal point for the viewer's eye.
Portugal Folkloric Dancers, close-up
Take a look at the incredible detail of the fabric piecing in this close-up. Beautiful hand embroidery accentuates the outlines of the dancer's costume.
Orphan Blossoms, app. 60 x 60", by Timna Tarr, at Q Tailored Quilts
The International Quilt Association used Timna Tarr's "Orphan Blossoms" on the cover of the program and the tote bags for this year's Long Beach Festival, which was a great idea, because these traditional Dresden Plate blocks just about jump off of the vivid lime green, pink, and lavender background. Timna found the antique Dresden Plate blocks on e-Bay and wanted to use them in an updated setting. She notes, "I took the Dresden Plate off its original muslin background and laid it on top of fabrics on my cutting table. When I saw how well the Plate fabrics looked on top of green hues, I knew I had to keep experimenting. Even though the Plates and center Arcs are made of old fabrics, I used new fabrics for everything else, including the one inch circles around the plates."
Orphan Blossoms by Timna Tarr, close-up
We loved the lively, swirling energy of this happy quilt, including the very cheerful "bubbles" carefully appliqued around the outside of the Dresden Plates. Timna has done a fabulous job updating one of the most popular traditional quilting patterns in the history of fabric art.
Majestic Bugs, app. 90 x 90 by Irena Bluhm, at Irena Bluhm Designs
Irena Bluhm writes, "This quilt was stitched first, then color was applied using colored pencils. Double batting was used to create the raised design effect for each colored piece of fabric."
What our camera does not show here, is the exquisite hand-embroidery stitching on each one of the stars, points, and apricot shapes. So many enthusiastic quilt fans were standing and admiring this piece, that we could not get near it for a close-up. This was one of the prettiest traditional-design quilts we saw at this show.
First Snow in Kyoto, by Christina Lauchenauer, Switzerland, at Quilt-Art
Here's a very original and effective use of hand-sewn and hand-quilted blocks, done in elegant apricots, oranges, and cocoa tans and browns. Christina Lauchenauer says, "I tried to capture the feeling of a first cold ( autumn) morning in Kyoto, Japan. A little snow covers the last bright leaves, and the rooftops of old houses." Christina adds that she wanted to create a beautiful hushed, muted atmosphere, evocative of the "contemplative quiet and peace of its (Kyoto's) temples."
First Snow in Kyoto, close-up
Christina explains that her inspiration to create this quilt was based on her fascination with sashiko stitching and patterns. In this close-up, you can see the variety of lovely embroidery designs she has created for each block.
My Double Wedding Ring, by Keiko Goke, Japan, at Quilt Wonderland
From Miyagi, Japan, Keiko Goke created this beautifully colored machine-pieced, machine-quilted, and hand top-stitched contemporary version of the beloved Amish double wedding ring pattern. Keiko worked without any templates to create sophisticated oval shapes that show off a variety of purples and lavenders against the solid gold and green backgrounds.
Autumn Splendor, by Susie L. Anderson
Susie notes that she was inspired by a Kaffe Fassett design to create this traditional baby blocks pattern in a fantastic color-saturated rainbow of monochromatic solids. We're very impressed by the quilter's fabric selection, as her careful use of light, medium, and deep values allows the viewer to clearly see each face or side of the baby block, thus enhancing the three-dimensional effect.
Birds Return, by Kayoko Oguri, Japan
Here's one of several magnificent quilts we saw with the theme of birds in flight. Kayoko Oguri says, "I like red colors. The pattern of the curves was arranged in my own way. The birds that returned to their nests in the evening sun was depicted." As you can see above, the birds seem to be flying through waves or streams of sunbeams, which were created by the use of shiny gold quilting threads applied to mirror the shape of their wings.