Monday, February 15, 2016

Highlights of the 2016 AQS QuiltWeek in Phoenix, Arizona / 1

The 2016 AQS QuiltWeek in Phoenix, Arizona was one of the best shows ever!  With hundreds of beautiful quilts and some very special exhibits, there was plenty of eye candy to fill our memory sticks.  Over the next few weeks we'll be sharing photos of our favorite quilts from the show.
Please note: We're continually posting free patterns on Twitter ! Check us out @quiltinspire.

Yellow Sky, 58 x 42", by Shirley Gisi (Colorado Springs, Colorado)

Since the show was in Arizona, it seems perfect to lead off with this Southwestern abstract landscape with its angular cliffs and art deco clouds.  Visually and technically stunning, Yellow Sky was awarded the blue ribbon in the Wall Quilts-Landscape category.  The description says, "The Southwest theme offers an opportunity to use vivid colors which Shirley loves." The angular cliffs reminds us very much of the style of the renowned Arizona painter, Ed Mell.

A Passion for Purple, 37 x 32", by Andrea Brokenshire (Round Rock, Texas)

A Passion for Purple was the second-place winner in the Wall Quilts - Landscape category. Andrea Brokenshire specializes in appliquéd botanical quilts, and her work is photorealistic, larger-than-life, and simply luminous.  It is nearly impossible to tell that this flower is made with pieces of fabric.  We took several close-up photos to show the way in which Andrea creates texture through quilting. 

Look to the West, 41 x 51", by Leah Gravells (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)

The colors of the sunset inspired Look to the West, which  drew a crowd of admirers, all debating how the quilt was made.  It turns out that Leah blended two hundred 3/4" strips to create this original design.  She used the quilt-as-you-go technique to piece the strips, which were absolutely, perfectly, straight.

Leah says, "The prairie earth is reflecting the colors in dot batik fabrics... look closely to see all the dots." The dots make the quilt almost shimmer from a distance.

My Brunette Whig, 87 x 87", by Gail Stepanek and Jan Hutchison (New Lenox, Illinois)

My Brunette Whig, which was entered in the Large Quilts - Longarm Machine Quilted category, won BEST OF SHOW.  This quilt is made of Whig Rose blocks on a brown background, so Gail named it, 'My Brunette Whig'.  As you might expect, this quilt is perfectly executed in every way - design, applique, and quilting. Thanks to some excellent lighting at the show, Jan Hutchison's award-winning quilting really stands out on the dark background.

On her blog, Jan Hutchison explains that My Brunette Whig was quilted with several colors of Wonderfil metallic thread; dark brown, copper and red. She also used Superior So Fine and Aurifil threads.

Kiku, 53 x 67",  by Sandy Clark (Fresno, California)

Kiku was awarded Third Place in the Wall Quilts - Longarm Machine Quilted category. Sandy Clark found this technique in the book Tile Quilt Revival: Reinventing a Forgotton Form by Carol Gilham Jones and Bobbi Finley.  The scalloped border echoes the rounded shapes of the applique pieces.

Sandy quilted this beauty with overlapping circles reminiscent of a double wedding ring, then filled the circles with feathers, bubbles and arcs. Even the small spaces between the applique pieces were quilted, and crystals were added for sparkle.

September, 34 x 44", by Cindy Seitz-Krug

Cindy Seitz-Krug was the featured artist at the show, and the extent of her mastery was evident in the many quilts shown in the special exhibit.  This quilt really drew our eye with its realistic depiction of an elk.  Cindy says, "Anyone who knows me knows that I am passionate about elk. I used Melinda Bula's fusible applique technique to create this magnificent bull. There are approximately 100 different fabrics in this quilt."

On her website, Quintessential Quilting, Cindy explains that making the quilt even more beautiful through quilting is the part she enjoys most. "I quilt all of my quilts on a Bernina 440 QE."

Come a little closer, and you can see that the thread painting on the elk was done in various shades of brown and beige that both matched and blended the underlying applique shapes with each other...

Quilted spirals in the sky remind us of the September winds that herald the coming autumn...

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.  Stay tuned for more quilts from the 2016 AQS Quilt Week!


  1. what a beautiful quilt show -- it seems that the quilting is so much a part of the quilt now - it really adds another dimension.

  2. What fabulous quilts but the passion flower is just unbelievable! What a sensational job!

  3. What stunning work! And this is just the first post?
    Long ago I got a book called "Quilting makes the Quilt" and that author has probably never seen machine quilting.

  4. Hi,

    I wish to say marvelous quilts. Really appreciated.

    Thanks for the collection
    inspirational quotes for life

  5. Thanks for sharing these...that Passion for Purple really caught my attention. It was AMAZING!

  6. wonderful quilts. that sunset quilt is so innovative and incredible!


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