Friday, September 30, 2011

Diablo Valley Quilt Show

There's nothing more fun than a local quilt festival and the chance to see some real home-grown talent right in your own neighborhood ! On Sunday, September 25, we visited a wonderful show put on by the Diablo Valley Quilters, based about 25 miles east of San Francisco, California.

Expanding Star, 79 x 77",  by Judy Mathieson at Judy's Place

Judy Mathieson creates magnificent half-wheel designs from her precise paper-piecing techniques. This kind of piecing requires a high contrast between the foreground and the background, so that the viewers eye can take in the pointed symmetry of the diamonds and triangles. Judy says that this design was inspired by an ornamental gate that she saw at the San Francisco Legion of Honor in 2005. 

Cosmati Star, 79 x 77", by Judy Mathieson at Judy's Place

The term "Cosmati" refers to 13th century mosaic designs by a family of Italian craftsmen who had a distinctive artistic style.  Judy drew her inspiration from marble and wood floors with the beautiful stars and fan design shown on the inner border of this quilt.

Scrappy Happy Houses, artist unknown

This quilt show included a "challenge" contest to see who could make the most interesting quilt with the theme of little houses.  The artists' names were intentionally left off each quilt, so that the quilt could be anonymous.  Guests at the show were then given a ballot and asked to vote for their favorite  "Scrappy Houses" quilt.  Because we saw so many really cute quilts, it was difficult to make up our minds.  Here's one of our favorites: a Christmas sugarplum village, all ready for the holidays.

Scrappy Happy Houses, artist unknown

Here's a quilter who's very talented at working with miniatures, including incredibly small pieces of cloth. Look carefully, and you will see the tiny people in the windows. We love the dazzling periwinkle or blue violet Bali batiks that she used for the sky.

Scrappy Happy Houses, artist unknown

A lively four patch border set en pointe complements this enchanting "Main Street" theme, whose blocks are all tied together with a white picket fence and a lamppost.

Scrappy Houses, close up

Look at the adorable details on this little house ! Click on the photo to expand it, and you will see the sign which reads, "We love quilts." 

Stack n' Whack Fans, 79 x 80", by Faith Andresen

Faith used a beautiful color combination of copper, terracotta reds, black, and camel beige to design this sophisticated and exotic quilt. She explains that she drew her inspiration from Bethany Reynolds' book, Stack-n-Whackier Quilts.

Flowers and Gears, 27 x 38", by Lynne Douglas

Lynne writes, "I took a class at the Empty Spools Seminars in Asilomar, California [to learn how to create this kaleidoscope pattern quilt] and I feel that parts of this resemble a flower, and the other parts resemble a gear." We really enjoyed the wild, frenetic energy generated by these quilt blocks. They seem about to jump right off the quilt and have no intention of becoming tame and placid anytime soon. 

Homage to Jane by Bonnie Sherr at Quilterbbs's blog

Bonnie writes,  "When I read Brenda Papadakis' book in 2003, I never thought I'd be able to complete all of the little squares and triangles.  My Dear Jane quilt group, led by Laura Frage (known affectionately as "Mama Jane")  encouraged me. Visiting the Bennington Museum to see the original quilt provided more inspiration." To learn more about the engrossing world of Dear Jane® quilting, which was inspired by Jane A. Blakely Stickle's 1863 quilt, please see our blog post, Crazy About Jane.


  1. That seems to have been quite a show and the quilts you share are truly inspiring.
    Last year (I think) at the Yokohama quilt show, there was a theme of houses too and many small wall quilts were displayed around the room. I'll have to check back to my November post to make sure. Most of the quilts were no pictures allowed but I did take a few of the houses. I was amazed at the variety that those quilters came up with.

  2. I looked back and found the houses on my Nov. 26,2010 post.

  3. Lovely work. Thanks so much for sharing.

  4. Thanks for sharing- love Judy Mathieson's quilt!


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