Tuesday, August 28, 2018

International Quilt Exhibition 2018 (3)

Quilt art, sometimes referred to as “soft paintings,” has more in common with fine art than it does with 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 these outstanding quilts!

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Cool Camels of Egypt, 70" x 54.5", by Barbara Barrick McKie (Connecticut)

This wonderful photorealistic quilt by featured artist, Barbara McKie, was a standout at the show. McKie and her husband visited Egypt in 2007. The background is a heiroglyphic from a temple that she saw.  The quilt features seven delightful camels; their funny expressions caught her eye, and she recorded them with her camera.

Many of the camels she saw had pompoms and tassels, so she embellished all the camels in the quilt with yarn.  Trapunto was used to make the camels stand out and to sculpt their heads.

David by Gilli Theokritoff (United Kingdom)

This outstanding mosaic quilt is adapted from Michelangelo's statue of David. Gilli used photos of the statue as her inspiration and put the image through a cross-stitch program which converted it to pixels. The quilt is 76 inches tall and is made with 300 different fabrics, cut into 13,800 3/4" squares that were appliqued to a background.   The piece is quilted with the story of David's rise and fall from grace.

It took Gilli a year to plan the design for the quilt in her head, and to collect fabric when she visited shows and quilt shops.  She even cut up some of her family's clothing.  Then she had to wait three months for her husband to build a table large enough and high enough for her to start the quilt.  The quilt was completed in three months.  David won First Place in the Large Wallhanging Category at Quilt champion UK at Sandown in 2015.

Orvieto Memories by Lisa Walson (Australia)

This quilt was started while Lisa Walton was teaching in the beautiful Italian village of Orvieto.  All the fabrics were created from white cloth using a variety of surface design techniques such as dyeing, painting, rubbing, and foiling.  The overlay motif is a copy of a semi-circular, wrought-iron frame over the door of Walton's favorite coffee shop in Orvieto.

Orvieto Memories was part of Lisa's exhibition celebrating her Jewel Pearce Patterson award for quilting teachers, displayed at the International Quilt Festival in Houston in 2011. For more information on the quilt please see Lisa Walton's website.

Mill House by R. Leslie Forbes (Canada)

R. Leslie Forbes is currently living in Western Canada in a wine- and fruit-growing region. Her family spent summers at their cottage at "Trail's End" near the town of St. George.  She and her three siblings would wander the small town savoring ice cream cones, but the area by the waterfalls and the mill was strictly off limits.  On a return trip with her sister as adults, they wanted to explore the mill.  Forbes took the picture that inspired this quilt, which was fabricated exclusively with Forbes' own hand-dyed and painted fabric.

We are fascinated with her dimensional use of translucent and metallic fibers to re-create the shimmering waterfall, shown below.

The Botanical Gardens of Balboa Park by the Bobbin Buddies of San Diego (California)

The Bobbin Buddies quilt group selected the Botanical Building in Balboa Park, San Diego, California, as their subject to celebrate the park's centennial and to coincide with the San Diego Quilt show's theme, "A Walk in the Park." To see how realistic the quilt is, compare it with this photo of the Botanical Building by Bernard Gagnon.

The quilters enlarged a photo of the building to 60 inches by 40 inches, and divided it into 24 pieces.  The pieces were shuffled and ranked as easy, medium, and difficult, then distributed equally to the group.  Each of the eight members did not know what the final product would look like and were given pieces without knowing who got what. The pieces were then expertly matched, quilted, and bound.  In the photo below you can see where 4 sections come together.

After a win in the San Diego Quilt show, the Bobbin Buddies entered the piece into the American Quilters Society's competition in Paducah, Kentucky, and won First Place in Group Quilts.  The piece was purchased by the Balboa Park Conservancy and has been on display in its Visitors Center.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.


  1. Gorgeous quilts! The water at the mill house looks real!

  2. Thank you for telling us the background stories for these wonderful quilts. Amazing!

  3. All are such amazing quilts. So much talent is almost overwhelming.
    xx, Carol

  4. Oh boy, more eye-candy. When I see these I wish I was a fly on the wall, watching the process.


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