Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Highlights of the 2016 AQS QuiltWeek / 3

The 2016 AQS QuiltWeek in Phoenix, Arizona was one of the best shows ever!  With hundreds of quilts and very special exhibits by renowned quilters, it was an incredible show. Here are some of our favorite quilts.
Please note: We're continually posting free patterns on Twitter ! Check us out @quiltinspire. 

Bristlecone Spirit, 33 x 32",  by Barbara C. McElroy (Grand Lake, Colorado)

Barbara McElroy wanted to create a quilt with an ancient tree, and she picked the Bristlecone Pine, which grows between 5,600 and 11,200 ft elevation in Colorado and other arid regions of the Western United States. Barbara loves to create illusion, which is how Bristlecone Spirit came to be. Can you see the Spirit within the gnarled branches of the tree, below?

Barbara used Gloria Loughman's mosaic tiling technique to create the sun and sky behind the tree. The tiled background is created by fusing small rectangles to a background, using a variety of colors, then quilting along the edges of the strips.   This mosaic technique is explained in the book Radiant Landscapes by Gloria Loughman.  You can see the tiled strips in the closeup photo below.

Pop Art Floral, 40 x 43",  by Deborah Lord Treiber (Granby, Colorado)

The show-goers really enjoyed this quilt, and Deborah says that it gave her a chance to have fun with scraps and techniques! She included part of a Dresden plate, Mariner's Compass, folded flying geese, and appliqued circles and strips. The multicolored border fabric and black-and-white checkerboard strips really pull it all together! The Dresden blades are embellished with black and white buttons.

Floral Flashback, 58 x 65", by Jan Frazer (Elwood, Victoria, Australia)

Floral Flashback is Jan Frazers's salute to the flower power of the 1970's.  She calls it "surreal, verging on psychedelic." We'd call it magical! Flowers and leaves pop out from every corner.  Jan's technique is beautiful... the edge of each piece is finished with narrow satin stitching, and each  leaf is quilted with a different design.

Golden Temple of the Good Girls, 50 x 58", by Susan Carlson (Harpswell, Maine)

Susan Carlson is renowned for her pictorial quilts of people, fish, and other creatures.  Golden Temple of The Good Girls is "a shrine to Susan's three animal companions:  Kiiora budgie, Djinni cat, and Kali dog, whom she adores, as others do their special pets."  Susan has inspired many quilters with her technique, which she explains in Serendipity Quilts: Cutting Loose Fabric Collage. The closeup photos below show her creative use of collage to depict her animal friends.

M100, A Subtle Sermon, 52 x 58, by Ann Harwell (Wendell, North Carolina)

And here is a masterpiece by quilt artist Ann Harwell, who was inspired by a photo taken by the Hubble Telescope.  Ann says, "M100 is a spiral galaxy of grand design, 56 million light years distant.  It is a large galaxy with over 100 billion stars in well-defined spiral arms of bright star clusters and intricate winding dust lanes."  She has captured the spiral motion and the inky blackness of the surrounding space with a fascinating variety of fabrics and quilting threads.

To achieve just the right colors and values, Ann selected from prints that even included birds (can you spot the owls and hawks below?)

You can see a photo of the Ann Harwell with M100, A Subtle Sermon, along with more galleries of her work at her website, Ann Harwell Art.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.


  1. Thanks so much for sharing. It is fun to see the ones not published in the magazine. I love Susan Carlson's quilts. She is amazing!

  2. I, too, love, love Susan Carlson's work. Thank you so much for all the close-ups of the details.

  3. Looking back through my own quilt show pictures, I began to wonder if we have moved from "quilts" as in bed covers, mor to "quilts" as in wall art. All are lovely but I feel more like I am attending an art show.


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