Tuesday, August 21, 2018

International Quilt Exhibition 2018 (1)

Quilt art, sometimes referred to as “soft paintings,” has more in common with fine art than it does with the traditional quilting. The Brigham City Museum (Utah) is presenting the 46th International Quilt Invitational Exhibit from June 16 through September 1, 2018. The exhibit features universally prized quilts by artists from Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States. We hope you enjoy this selection of outstanding quilts!

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Rolling Into Spring by Sonia Bardella (Italy)

When Sonia Bardella saw her two-year-old grandson somersaulting on a patch of new, soft, green grass on a cold winter day, the quilter knew she had to capture the moment with fabric and paint.  Her grandson's innocence and playfulness brought a breath of fresh, spring air to all those watching him.  This quilt was created with hand-painting using pastel oil, embroidery, applique, and snippets (small pieces of cloth) and is hand- and machine-quilted.

Sonia says the somersault surprised a bee who flew low over the water making concentric rings on its surface.  The closeup photo shows the snippets of fabric and the embroidered bee detail.

Anhinga by Barbara Barrick McKie (Connecticut, USA)

Barbara McKie is the Featured Artist at the Brigham City Museum's 46th Annual Invitational show. She specializes in digitally created nature quilts based on her own photographs and surface design. The inspiration for this quilt was from McKie's visit to the Florida Everglades, where she saw an anhinga spreading its wings against a background of water surrounded by green plants.

Anhinga was created with disperse dyed polyester print, free-motion machine applique, trapunto, thread painting, machine quilting, and several layers of wool batting.

Heart of the Alps by Michael Fitchett (United Kingdom)

Bold graphic images of vintage travel posters inspired artist Michael Fitchett's design for Heart of the Alps. The location is in Murren, Switzerland, where Michael Fitchett was looking for a scene suitable for a quilt design.  Suddenly this view suddenly presented itself.  The northern flank of the Eiger rose sharp in the clear air. Although winter has passed, its legacy of snow is at its thickest.

Their color and style of vintage travel posters lent themselves well to working with blocks of plain color fabric. The choice of fabrics was guided by color and tonal values, with careful planning heightening the effect of sunshine and shadow. The quilt was constructed with bonded applique and machine stitching.

St Mary Axe by Greta Fitchett (United Kingdom)

The stimulus for this quilt is a bullet-shaped, 41-story, modern building in London, constructed with 745 huge diamond-shaped panes of glass.  In medieval times, St Mary Axe was the name given to the street where the building is located.  The composition includes three high-rise office blocks with one disappearing upwards.  A red crane represents the construction work underway in the area at the time.

Fitchett created the design by taking photographs of reflections on the glass surface of the building and turning them into drawings... working from the final drawing, she used free cut patchwork and constructed each diamond segment by machine.  The diamonds were joined with 1/4" wide sashing to represent the window frames.
You can read more about Greta Fitchett and Michael Fitchett at their joint website, Heatherlea Design.

Nature's Floating Sculpture by R. Leslie Forbes (Canada)

This scene is based on R. Leslie Forbes' photos of icebergs off the coast of Newfoundland.  Her granddaughter challenged her to make a quilt with an iceberg after the two of them viewed photos of "sculptures in ice" from her school's science project.  Forbes took artistic license and added mountains to the background to contrast with the shimmering white/blue of the ice floating in the North Atlantic Ocean.

Some of the wonderful fabrics and embellishments can be seen in this photo.  R. Leslie Forbes says her goal is to paint with fabric and thread, honoring four generations of quilters in her family. Nature's Floating Sculptures was made with commercial and hand-dyed fabric, dyed wool, and shells.  It was machine assembled and machine quilted, and tsukineko ink was used for highlights.

Barcelona Sunset by Lisa Walton (Australia)

This stunning quilt really drew our eye.  It was inspired by the artwork of Antoni Gaudi (Barcelona), who animated the surfaces of his work with floral or reptilian metalwork, bright ceramic tiles, and patterned brick or stone. The tile floors of two of Gaudi's buildings were structured like clusters of lily pads.
A single piece of hand dyed fabric was cut and pieced to create the background of Barcelona Sunset. A tile design was quilted over the top and then hand painted with fabric paints. You can find more information about this and other works of art on Lisa Walton's website.

Image credits: Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.


  1. Beautiful quilts but Rolling Into Spring just blew us away! Extraordinary work!

  2. Wow!!! These quilts are masterpieces. They blow my little mind, LOL. I especial like the first one, the topic touched my heart :)

  3. I just love the concept and execution of St Marys Axe! All these pieces are awesome :)

  4. Very creative quilt art. I wonder what they do with those when the show is over.

  5. wow - amazing quilts! thanks!


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