Thursday, August 29, 2019

Quilts from the Springville Museum of Art (part 1)

Each year, the Springville Museum of Art (Utah) has one of the best quilt shows around.  It features award-winning quilts from Utah, a state blessed with an abundance of accomplished quilters. Here are some highlights of this year's show!

Note: please check out our E-Bay shop for great bargains on quilt patterns and collectibles ! For continuous free quilt patterns, please visit us on Twitter !

The Circle of Life: Sunshine and Shadows by Shirley Olsen

Winner of a ribbon for Best Solitaire Machine Quilting, Shirley writes, "This quilt was begun in the 2016 Utah Quilt Guild "Quilt Fest" class taught by Jacqueline de Jonge, the pattern's creator. I love its complicated and intricate design and how it depicts the sunshine and shadows of my life."

Shirley continues, "I chose all of the fabrics from my stash and created my own quilting designs." The quilting was done on Shirley's Bernina 820 machine. Her precision workmanship on all of the delicate spiky points, plus the feathered quilting patterns, make this quilt a real show-stopper.

Caleb the Camel by Katherine Porter, quilted by Virginia Gore

Katherine explains, " This has been my year to explore new techniques. I was drawn to this particular pattern for two reasons: first, the bold beautiful colors, and second, its relationship to the Sahara Desert."

Katherine continues, "Every time I have flown over that huge space and on one occasion stood on its very edge, I have wished to be exploring the mysteries it holds. I still wish for that, but age is creeping in, and it may only happen in my dreams." Katherine has done a spectacular job on using applique and collage techniques to give the camel a dynamic and energetic look. Pattern by Laura Heine. 

Twilight by Judy Fitzgerald, quilted by Xenia Stirland

Judy notes, "This quilt was designed by Wendy Williams from Australia (Urban Owls pattern). I loved being able to use my own colors and embellishments. I loved doing the machine applique."

We love owls, and these are some of the cutest applique owls we've seen. They studiously observe the vibrant garden beneath them.. There are so many fun motifs to look at in Judy's quilt, that each section brings a fun new discovery.

Caribbean Dreams by Ruth Davis

Ruth explains, "I sit on the beach, listening to the waves crash against the shore. The hues of turquoise and teal against the cream-colored sands radiate warmth. Tropical birds perch in nearby trees with their songs, a joyful ode to the perfect weather. The sun dips below the horizon.....and [the stars] twinkle like a nursery rhyme."

Ruth adds, "I take the final stitches on my quilt using "Pearl and Mermaid" colored threads, couching re-purposed silk yarns onto the stars as the snow falls outside my window, and I dream of the Caribbean. This quilt was made using 'Lone Star' blocks made over 2018 in the Kaffe Club taught by Kaye Evans. I went totally off task this year and made my Kaffe [Fassett] fabrics the background and the cream fabric the stars! The appliques and quilt layout are my own designs." 
We love Ruth's idea to use cream fabric for the stars, and the Kaffe Fassett fabrics work beautifully, especially for the vividly colored bird sitting placidly amongst the eye-catching tropical foliage. Ruth's wonderful quilt is a great success.

Impressions of Brugge by Florence Evans

Winner of a Blue Ribbon Award of Excellence from the Utah Valley Quilters Guild, Florence says, "Brugge, often called "The Venice of the North", is a beautiful city in northwestern Belgium, full of canals, cobbled streets, and medieval buildings. This quilt is a compilation of the images of the city rather than a depiction of an actual street/canal scene."

Florence continues, "The churches, bridges, tiled roofs...and stair-step gables of Dutch architecture were constructed individually using improvisational piecing techniques. The elements were then fitted together, and the water and sky were filled in. The dense machine quilting (done on a traditional home sewing machine) adds details and texture to the piece."
Florence has done an excellent job of selecting fabrics, piecing, and quilting to emphasize the architectural details of Brugge, and the care she has taken in her work is reflected in this lovely quilt.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2019 Springville Museum of Art show.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

International Quilt Invitational Exhibition 2019 - Part 2 of 2

"Out of this world" quilts from around the world are presented each summer at the Brigham City Museum of Art and History in Brigham City, Utah. We think you'll agree that each of these quilts is a masterpiece.

Note: please check out our E-Bay shop for great bargains on quilt patterns and collectibles ! For continuous free quilt patterns, please visit us on Twitter !

Esfahan by Megan Farkas (New Hampshire, USA)

The inspiration for this quilt captured Megan Farkas' imagination two years before she felt she had the skills to actually attempt making it.  The design was inspired by a tile mosaic in the Jameh Mosque, Esfahan, Iran, and was based on a photo by Sebastia Giralt (used with permission). Completing it took three years of intensive work; Megan estimates it took at least 3.000 hours.

At first, Megan thought she might be able to draft a pattern based on the underlying geometry; she says this was overly optimistic.  She ended up creating one set of floral filigree templates for each block type. The completed blocks were reverse appliqued into a single piece of fabric. Esfahan was beautifully hand quilted by Megan herself.

Once There Were by Kathryn Harmer Fox (South Africa)

This quilt is a magnificent tribute to rhinos, which are an endangered species. Kathryn Harmer Fox used several photographs of both rhinos and birds to create this image. She says, "These glorious thundering behemoths are on the brink of extinction - the unreasonableness of it all saddens Kathryn to the core."

The quilt was created with assorted dress materials and sewing threads, using free motion machine embroidery, fiber embedment using scribble stitch, and quilting. The layering of fabrics and threads creates a gauzy, artistic image.

Zoologist's Quilt by Karen Miller (Oregon, USA)

Karen Miller's passion for Japanese stencil dyeing (katazome) is matched only by her love of nature.  Originally a marine biologist, she transferred her love of the natural world to art 22 years ago when she learned this amazing technique, used in Japan for 600 years. She hand cut a paper stencil and used it to apply a rice paste resist before indigo dyeing.  This quilt was made for an exhibit in Japan, thus the names of the animals are in English and Japanese around the border, as shown below.

The Trouble With Magenta - Hot or Not by Annelize Littlefair

Annelize Littlefair was inspired by the color magenta.  She asks, "What color is a car that is described as hot magenta?" That is the question she sought to answer, asking her friends to write on a piece of paper what color they thought it was.  She made the quilt using all the colors they suggested. She says that it took longer to stitch out the background of the outside border than it did to stitch the center section.

The materials used were radiance silk and kimono silk threads.  This stunning piece was created with machine quilting and freehand needlework. The whole quilt took around three months from start to finish, working on it most days.

Choose to Bloom by O.V. Brantley

Choose to Bloom is a delightful folk art sampler quilt made with an array of brightly colored fabrics and an impressive amount of detail: flowers, baskets, trees, leaves, animals, birds, fruit, and more. About the name, "Choose to Bloom", O.V. Brantley says: "I believe life is about choices.  We can choose to accept our circumstances or we can get busy changing them. We all bloom in different ways. How will you bloom?"

The quilt, based on a pattern by Kim McLean, was lovingly appliqued using a wide variety of fabrics to convey the diversity of choices.  The African fabrics give the quilt its uniqueness (see the closeup photo, above.)  It was custom quilted by Ina Sanders.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the Brigham City Museum.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

International Quilt Invitational Exhibition 2019 - Part 1 of 2

"Out of this world" quilts from around the world are presented each summer at the Brigham City Museum of Art and History in Brigham City, Utah. It's always a delight to view the outstanding works of fabric art at this exhibit!  (If you're going, we also recommend the Idle Isle Cafe on Main Street for comfort food in an authentic diner setting.)

Note: please check out our E-Bay shop for great bargains on quilt patterns and collectibles ! For continuous free quilt patterns, please visit us on Twitter !

Take Me to Church by Alice Beasley (California, USA)

The stunning art quilt is one of a series of underwater ballets created in fabric by Alice Beasley.  This one is based on Hozier's song [titled "Take Me To Church"] and Sergei Polunin's masterful dance interpretation of the same.  It was created with cotton and silk fabrics which were printed. The colors and textures of the fabrics, and the asymmetric border, lend a truly realistic underwater appearance to the scene.

On her website, Alice Beasley, says, " I find color, light, shadow, line and value in the pattern of ordinary household fabrics. From these I snip small pieces which I arrange and fuse into a figurative composition."

An Early Spring Day by Noriko Endo (Japan)

Noriko Endo's signature style can be seen in its full glory in this colorful art quilt. She says, "In an early spring, Noriko hiked and found that very fresh green leaves were peeking out and birds were singing songs." It is created with hand-dyed cotton and tulle. 

Reminiscent of an impressionist landscape painting from a distance, Noriko uses small fabric pieces (confetti) that are covered with tulle, then quilted.   Some accents are painted on top for a beautiful effect.

Moonset by Karen Miller (Oregon, USA)

Since beginning the study of katazome (Japanese stencil dyeing) in 1995, with the American master John Marshall, Karen Illman Miller has become an expert in this traditional Japanese dyeing technique. In this piece, dawn and the setting moon combine to make a cool and tranquil scene.  The stencil-dyed tree is the Oregon White Oak, the quintessential tree of the Willamette Valley (Oregon) where Karen lives.

Jester's Pond by Donna Deaver (Idaho)

Jester's Pond was inspired by a friend's backyard pond.  To stand at the edge, hearing the water trickle and the birds sing, brings about an indescribable peace.  The reflection of the sky, interrupted on the surface only by the gentle breeze on the water and the occasional appearance of koi, transports us from this busy neighborhood to a place deep within.

Donna has expertly created the real-life appearance of water and the reflection of leaves on the pond, using hand-dyed cotton, which is fused and stitched.

Misty Morning by Noriko Endo (Japan)

Most of Noriko Endo's work as a fiber artist focuses on landscapes.  She is interested in the idea of line drawing of objects with white polyester threads.  Her favorite subjects are woodland, trees and leaves.

The foxes and deer in this piece are drawn with thread painting, and the misty atmosphere was created with quilting lines of leaves.  The piece is created with hand-dyed cotton, luminescent fibers, tulle, and polyester threads.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Welcome to Modern Quilt Month ! part 5

We're celebrating Modern Quilt Month at Q.I., and we couldn't be more excited about these fun quilts!  This is the fifth of five feature posts.  (We're headed to the International Art Quilt Exhibition in Brigham City, Utah, TODAY... we'll post those photos beginning next week !)

Note: please check out our E-Bay shop for great bargains on quilt patterns and collectibles ! For continuous free quilt patterns, please visit us on Twitter !

Dahlia Dazzle by Marilyn Giblin

First place winner in the category of Pieced Small Quilts, Marilyn states, " I have always admired Dahlia quilts and wanted to make one. The templates by Marti Mitchell made construction easy. The grid design quilting techniques taught by Cindy Seitz-Krug make it special. "

The dahlia pattern is sometimes considered to be a traditional motif; however, Marilyn's excellent selection of fabric colors gives this quilt so much transparency, that the effect is very contemporary. If you look at the outside of the petals for awhile, you'll see that the light and dark shades seem to "spin", almost like an op-art image.

Montana Night Sky by Sharyl Sheppard

Sharyl says, "Foundation paper pieced stars and trailing trapunto stars depict the multitudes seens in rural Montana nights where the absence of man-made light leaves vast empty space between them."

Sharyl did a fabulous job of quilting this work herself. These elegant elongated shapes are reminiscent of shimmering points of light dancing off into the surrounding universe.

Shimmer Me by Chris Saper, quilted by Darlene Girton

Chris states, "Design, movement, and well-designed visual resting spaces are exciting to me. Jenny Bowker's 'Shimmering Triangles' pattern lets a quilter explore it all."

Chris adds, "[This quilt displays] inspiration, blooming cactus, and a rare nighttime rain." Chris has enhanced this pattern of half-square triangles by expertly selecting fabrics in eye-catching contemporary shades from the Kaffe Fassett Collective. 

I Can Do Hard Things by Kate Gunther

Kate explains, "This quilt is a tribute to the many people who have taught me simply that I can do hard things. One person taught me this importance of passing this [knowledge] onto the next generation, and I plan to do just that."

Contemporary pen-and-ink printed fabrics make an intriguing background for this motivational and inspirational work, which was quilted by Kate herself.

Made for Melissa by Bonnie Bobman

Bonnie writes, "This improvisational quilt was made in the Phoenix Modern Quilt Guild ( PHXMG)  swap just for Melissa ! [It is] personalized with an 'M' ! ( Shown here on the lower right-hand block) .

Bonnie continues, "Each quilter was given hints about the recipient's favorite colors. It was free rein from there!" Bonnie's charming and lively pattern is no doubt much enjoyed and appreciated by her recipient.
Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2019 Quilt Arizona show.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Welcome to Modern Quilt Month ! part 4

We're celebrating Modern Quilt Month at Q.I., and we couldn't be more excited about these fun quilts!  So, what makes a quilt modern? According to The Modern Quilt Guild, the characteristics may include the use of bold colors and prints, high contrast, graphic areas of solid color, improvisational piecing, minimalism, and expansive negative space.  This is the fourth of five feature posts.

Note: please check out our E-Bay shop for great bargains on quilt patterns and collectibles ! For continuous free quilt patterns, please visit us on Twitter !

Angles by Penny Morris

Penny notes, "This quilt top is made entirely of silk. [It was] inspired by exercises in Jean Wells' book Intuitive Color and Design. 

Penny quilted this beautiful work herself. These rich, color-saturated fabrics in cool hues, complemented by elegant gold accents all work perfectly together. 

My Rooster by Mona Adams

Mona explains, "This design is by Helen Godden, called Year of the Rooster. The rooster is painted on fabric and embellished with fabric applique. This is my first endeavor into the world of painting on fabric."

Mona herself quilted this very eye-catching, intriguing work. All of the varied quilting patterns really  add a three-dimensional look to this contemporary project.

Guiding Star by Hildegard Pressesky

Hildegard states, "This small quilt ( size 28" x 36") was made in memory of  [fellow quilter] Carol Current , who left me the triangular scraps and who taught me so much about life, friendship, and quilting. [It is] machine pieced and hand quilted."   We admire the lovely workmanship and precision that went into Heildgard's thoughtul work.

Emiliania Huxleyi by Frances Murphy

Red ribbon second place winner in the category of Best Art Abstract quilts, Frances writes, "Emiliania Husleyi was inspired by the Emiliania Huxleyi algae in our ocean that not only help in the formation of could cover and precipitation, but also absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere."

Frances herself quilted this fascinating and original work, with the striking aqua hombre background fabric which provides a very realistic image of sunlight shining into the water from above.

Classy Clams by Penny Morris

Third place yellow ribbon winner in the category of  Best Hand-Quilted Quilts, Penny says, "The top is 100% silk. It is hand embroidered and hand quilted."

Clamshell pieces in these pretty and restful hues are the perfect design motif for showcasing all the different stitches here. We always enjoy seeing fabulous handwork like Penny has accomplished on this project.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2019 Santa Clara Valley Quilt Association show (Guiding Star) and the 2019 Quilt Arizona show (all others.)
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