Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Retreat--Nashville, IN (1)

I am blessed to have the chance to attend several retreats during the year. Right now, I'm in Nashville, Indiana, for a retreat. These ladies meet at the Cornerstone Inn twice a year. Nashville is such a pretty little town with lots of shops and restaurants. I enjoy the retreat, I enjoy visiting with friends, and I enjoy shopping and eating here in Nashville.

This retreat is a good mix of people from Tennessee, Indiana, Ohio, Minnesota, and (I'm sure) other states. Everyone works on their own projects. Several of the ladies work on charity quilts and Quilts of Valor. There is usually one or more product/technique demonstrations going on in the room at any given time. There are many stories told and lots of laughter coming from our room during our time there.

Let me share a few pictures with you from the last couple of days.

We started out with spool cookies complete with needle and thread.
So far, I have finished six of my 365 Project blocks I brought with me. I have another project going, but it is a secret--shhhhhh...
Robin finished a wedding quilt and a baby quilt (for different people).
Jan finished a charity top.
Bernice finished a quilt she said she has been working on "for awhile."
Sissy brought back a project she had worked on at the retreat last January.

We always enjoy going out to eat and doing a "little" shopping in Nashville.
There are lots of other things being completed; it is hard to get pictures of them all. I'm hoping to get some pictures during Show & Tell (if we have one), so I can share some more with you in the next few days.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Is It Finished?

I have been working on a 1/2" hexagon quilt off and on for approximately four years. I did a lot of the work on it when my husband and I were traveling. It has accompanied me to Niagara Falls, many times to Arkansas (where my son lives), Tennessee, New Orleans, Virginia, Colorado, New England, Chicago, Lake of the Ozarks, numerous quilt retreats in numerous locations, St. Louis, and MANY other places. This week I FINALLY added the last pieces to the original design.
You think I would have been anxious to finish this piece, but I was surprised to find that I really procrastinated on finishing this quilt. I think I didn’t want it to end. Why would that be? Well, I have given this some thought and have found a couple of reasons.

Maybe it is because the quilt is an "odd" shape, and I really don't have any idea how to do the finishing. (The edges are VERY irregular with big red spiky things sticking out on many sides.) Or maybe it is because this project has been my fairly constant companion for the last four years, and I'll miss working on it. (When I finish a BIG project like this, I find myself a bit lost. Do you?)

Anyway, it is time for me to consider what I need to do to “finish” this quilt. I’m thinking I have two options. At first, I was thinking of doing some more hexis to finish off the edges so they would be a bit more regular. I drew up a design to see if I would like it and have decided against this. I just didn’t like how it took away from the “simplicity” of the original design.

My second option is to appliqué the piece to a background. There are a few drawbacks to this option. I’m worried about there being too much "blank" space around the outside of the quilt because of its shape; although, that might be a nice place for some beautiful hand quilting.

Another drawback is the physical part of actually lining up this BIG (85” X 91”) project onto a BIG piece of background fabric—getting it straight, getting all the wrinkles out, actually finding a place large enough to lay it all out and work on it without hurting my already aching back.  Another concern is how to remove the papers from the edge pieces of the hexagons. I’m thinking that if I go with the appliqué option, I could cut the background from behind the pieced hexis and remove the papers then. Would that work?

Here is my last concern. What color background will make the piece pop? One of my friends says that she has always seen it on white (when I take a pic of it on my design wall—my design wall is white), and she likes that. I think I’ll try some fabric out on my design wall, rehang the quilt on those different fabrics, and photograph those to see what looks good with it. Any suggestions? I’m thinking I’d need to use quilt backing fabric since I don’t want to have seams to deal with. Would that limit my choices for a background too much? Is the quality of background fabric as good as other quilting fabric?

Please weigh in with some answers. I’d really like to get started on this new adventure!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Declaration of Sentiments 1848--The Struggle Continues

Last week, I got word that my "protest quilt" (I wrote about the making of it here.), Compare and Contrast, was juried into the SAQA (Studio Art Quilts Association) Regional Exhibit Declaration of Sentiments 1848--The Struggle Continues. This is a regional exhibit in which SAQA members from KY/TN, IL/WI, IN/OH, and MO/KS/OK were eligible to enter. 

If you don't know, the Declaration of Sentiments is the foundational document for women's rights drafted in Seneca Falls, NY, July 1848 at our nation's first women's rights convention. Some of the wormen's concerns at that time were employment, educational opportunities, voting and property rights, and social and religious degradation. 

This exhibition celebrates women's accomplishments and honors their struggles throughout American history. The pieces may be abstract, graphic, or representational and illustrate the artist's passion, anger, hope perseverance or celebration of women's rights. 

The "protest" part is quilted into the stripes of the flag. The blog post about the making of this quilt lists the quotes. The quilt didn't get into the exhibit it was originally made for (Threads of Resistance), but I'm happy it will "see the light of day." The making of this quilt helped me to work through some of my feelings about the current state of politics in this country. That is the real value of this quilt to me. 

For the Sentiments Exhibit, I had to cut down my artist statement to something like 200 characters, but my "full" artist statement for this piece is--"In the Declaration of Sentiments, women were fighting for equality and the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. If the Declaration were being written today, I would hope that in addition to women, minorities, immigrants, the disabled, the LGBT community, and the free press would all be included. All have recently been “attacked.” I believe that those of a like mind—those who believe in principles like those put forth by the Declaration of Sentiments—must ban together to fight ignorance and disrespect. 

For me, the American flag represents all that is right about America. I honor those who have sacrificed for the rights “most” of us have in this country. A waving flag is a symbol of patriotism for me and for most people. I want those first viewing this flag to feel that patriotism. However, upon closer inspection I want them to discover the quilted quotes that illustrate the disrespect shown for women, Mexicans, Muslims, the free press, etc. My way of fighting such ignorance and disrespect of women (AND others) is this piece which compares and contrasts two very different and conflicting views of America." 

The premier location for the exhibit is the AQS Show in Paducah, KY, September 13-16, 2017. At this time, I don't know if it will be exhibited anywhere else, but I certainly hope so. If you are planning to attend the new fall AQS show in Paducah, check it out.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Sacred Threads Trip

My husband and I wanted to see the Sacred Threads Exhibit in Herndon, VA, so we planned a vacation around the "Artists Weekend" dates. We had gone to the exhibit two years ago (when I had two pieces in the exhibit) and had REALLY enjoyed it, so we had planned the vacation for this next show regardless of whether I had a piece in the exhibit or not. Luckily, I DID have a piece chosen to be in this exhibit and to travel for the next two years with the Sacred Threads traveling exhibit. We used some time-share points to spend a week at National Harbour, Maryland; and from there, we drove over to Sacred Threads. 

The Sacred Threads Artists Weekend started off with a talk from Vikki Pignatelli, the founder of Sacred Threads and a welcome from Lisa Ellis (the person currently "in charge" of the exhibit).
(Lisa is on the left and Vikki on the right.) Vikki's quilt that "started" it all is shown on the right. After she read the responses about this quilt from the judges at the Houston Quilt Show, she started thinking about an exhibit where the stories behind the quilts could be shared. At the Sacred Threads exhibit, the story of each quilt is printed and posted beside the quilts. Many of the artists did an audio recording of the quilt story.  If you'd like to hear the story behind the quilt, use your phone to dial 1-703-520-6404; enter the audio number I have listed with each quilt (if there is one) followed by the # key. You will hear the story of the quilt in the artist's own voice. 

Sacred Threads is divided into sections--Joy, Inspiration, Spirituality, Healing, Grief, Peace/Brotherhood. At the exhibit, each of these sections is separate from the others. Here are a few pictures from the show. I'd like to share at least one quilt from each category. (The first pictures show quilts that are made by people I know. Mary, Barb, and I all belong to Studio Art Quilts Associates of IN. Valerie and Joni are friends of mine.) 

My piece, Black Beauties (20" X 33.5), was entered in the Peace & Brotherhood section.
If you'd like to hear the story of my quilt, dial the number above 1-703-520-6404 then enter 621#. You will hear what I have to say about the quilt. 

Mary Bunte also had a quilt in the Peace & Brotherhood section--Promise of Peace (46" X 59").
In the Spirituality section, I'm sharing Barb Triscari's quilt La Chiesa di Bolzano Vicentino (27.5" X 24.5"). 
To hear her story, dial the phone number above and enter 350#. 

In the Inspiration section, I have two quilts to share. There is Always Hope (31" X 40") is made by Valerie White. Valerie and I first became friends when we took an advanced independent workshop with Jane Dunnewold.
Dial the phone number above and enter 252# to hear Valerie tell her story. 

The next quilt, Warping the Fabric of Space and Time (17" X 18"), is made by Joni Seidenstein. I met Joni at the Sacred Threads exhibit in 2015. We spent a lot of time discussing the quilts. She told me she would like to have a quilt in the next exhibit, and she did it! It was fun to see her again this year. 
If you'd like to hear Joni speak about her quilt, dial the phone number above and enter 244#. 

In the Joy section, I'm sharing a quilt by Jane L. King called Boundless Joy, The Red Balloon (31" X 49").
Listen to her story by dialing the number above and entering 117#. 

My choice in the Healing section is a quilt by Wen Redmond called Rocks are Smiling (48" X 32").
Listen to her story by dialing the phone number above and entering 435#. 

I'd like to share Jackie Manley's quilt, Obituary (54" X 82"), in the Grief section. Listen to Jackie's story by dialing the phone number above and entering 521#.
I was really touched by this quilt. She printed words and phrases from the obituary of her husband onto a layer of tulle and attached this over his image. The story and the quilt are powerful testiments to love and loss. 

What a show! I have LOTS more pictures of quilts I loved--WAY too many to share. If you EVER get the chance to go to this exhibit, DO IT!!! If you'd like more information about the show and the traveling exhibit, check it out at Sacred Threads.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Baby/Baby Quilt

I've been traveling A LOT lately (for the best of reasons); we have a new grandbaby in Arkansas--10 1/2 hours away from us. Asa Gene was born July 2nd weighing in at 9 lbs. 14 ozs. and 22 1/4 inches long. I made him a baby quilt and actually had it done in time for his birth!!!
 He sure is a sweetie. I hate being SO far away from him. 

This week I'm in Maryland for vacation. From there, we will be heading to Herndon, Virginia, for the Sacred Threads Exhibit. I have a quilt in this exhibit and will be attending the "Meet the Artist" activity in the afternoon and the dinner for the artists in the evening. I'll be taking some pictures while I'm there, so stay tuned.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Exploring Texture & Pattern

I have neglected my blog lately because I have been busy with several things—deadlines for shows, a quilt retreat, company, travel, and an embroidery class. The class is what I want to talk about today.   

I follow www.textileartist.org and receive their newsletter. Check that out here. It is a great resource. If you have never checked it out, you definitely should. They have such wonderful fiber art articles. Anyway, they recently offered a class called Exploring Texture & Pattern taught by Sue Stone. This class is NOT a “how-to” class. Each student works on a project (challenge) totally their own. So far, I have worked on projects (called a Creative Challenges) for the first three classes. There is a private Facebook group for the class where students share their questions, concerns, and pictures of their projects. It is really fun to see how each student interprets the challenges.

For the challenges, we are not to work for perfection; these are samples only. We are to explore and see what works and what doesn't. We are to experiment with each of the concepts presented in the classes.

Right now, we are concentrating on the simple running stitch. For the Class 1 challenge, we were to explore the potential of the running stitch. To vary the look of each of the four squares on the cloth, we could change the threads we used and change the spacing. We were limited to using ONLY a horizontal running stitch. Here is my sample.  
For Class 2, we still used the running stitch. This time the challenge was to vary the look of each of the four squares on the cloth by mixing the threads in the needle. We were still to limit our stitches to horizontal running stitches. In the first square we were to use different tones of threads, in the second we were to use threads in complementary colors, in the third we were to use threads that are texturally different, and in the fourth we were to use threads that are texturally and totally different. Here is my sample.  
I am currently working on Class 3 and the Creative Challenge that goes with it. I’ll report on that when I finish my sample(s). I am enjoying this class VERY much. I like the structure, design limitations, and challenges of the class. It is really stretching my thinking about the simple stitches I use in my work. If you think you might be interested in the class, check it out here. You can find out about the class and what is covered in it (and start saving up your money). Registration closed as of June 23 for this run of the class, but I'd think it would be offered again.   

Monday, June 19, 2017

Form, Not Function 2017

Form, Not Function: Quilt Art at the Carnegie is a MUST SEE exhibit held at the Carnegie Center for Art and History in New Albany, Indiana. That is what I said in a blog post about last year's show. I'm doubling down on that statement this year because I have a quilt in the show!!! My piece, Scorched Earth, was chosen. Here are some pics--in progress and finished. (The finished photo--the last of the four--has terrible lighting. I apologize. The right side looks really dark; it isn't. The piece was hanging on my design wall, and I took a quick pic. Come on out to the show to see it in person.) 
I can't even tell you how excited (and humbled) I am to be in this exhibit. This year's show will be held July 21-September 16, 2017.

"Form, Not Function: Quilt Art at the Carnegie" explores the world of contemporary art quilts. This annual, juried exhibit draws works of art by artists across the United States and celebrates innovation and creative thought in the increasingly popular medium of art quilts." Again, that was the description of the show from the Carnegie's website last year (I shared this with you on this blog last year.) I have been informed that this year, 284 quilts were submitted for consideration and work from 26 artists was juried in. 

The Carnegie has now updated their website with information about this upcoming exhibit. There is a list of artists included along with dates for specific activities concerning the exhibit. If you'd like more information about this exhibit and to see the list of included artists, click here. Please make an effort to see this exhibit and let me know what you think.

I have to tell you a funny. When I got an email that "said" my piece was chosen for the show, I couldn't believe it. I sent an email to the curator of the museum just to make sure. He reassured me by saying, "Yes, it was accepted, Beth. "Scorched Earth" was unanimously voted in by all three jurors." I whooped out loud!!! I did another big whoop today when I saw the list of accepted artists. I have been following the work of many of these artists for several years. To be included with them is quite an honor for me. A couple of days ago I took my piece down to the Carnegie. I took the acceptance letter with me "just in case"--like I might have to prove my work actually belonged in the show. LOL! Thankfully, I didn't have to show it to anyone. My name was right there--listed as an artist for the exhibit. (I wish you could see my BIG smile.)

A great time to see the exhibit would be to come to the opening reception on Friday, July 21, from 6-8 Eastern time. Music will be provided by the Jamey Aebersold Jazz Quartet and there are usually light refreshments. I don't know how many of the artists will be there, but it is a chance to meet and talk to some of them. I'm planning on attending.

There are other activites put on by the Carnegie during the run of the exhibit. One of those occurs on August 15, from 12:00-1:00 (Eastern time) there is a Lunch and Learn with "Sunshine" Joe Mallard. I have met Joe and can't recommend this Lunch & Learn enough. The postcard describes the event this way--"Come meet this local treasure and learn about his life and work as a quilter, fiber artist, and teacher." You must register for this event, but I believe it is free. You can register by calling 812-944-7336. I've also been in contact with SAQA IN (Studio Art Quilt Associates of Indiana). They will be having a meeting at the Carnegie followed by a tour of the exhibit. I'll be there for that meeting (tentatively scheduled for 1:00 pm (Eastern time) on August 29). Anyone interested in finding out about SAQA (or just to see what it is all about) is welcome. There is also a "Mix & Mingle" on the last day of the exhibit, September 16 from 1-3.

I sure hope to see you at one of these events!!!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Catch Up

I've been to Memphis for a week, Arkansas for several days, and at a retreat for four days. I HAVE been busy, but I (personally) don't have much to show for it. I DO, however, have pictures from the retreat.


 I worked on some 365 Challenge blocks. These will finish at 3 inches. (I also worked on a "top secret" project that I can't show right now. I WILL show it to you later. It is adorable!)
These are my friends.
They got LOTS done!
I'm working on my hexagon projects in my spare time (and while traveling). Hopefully, I'll have something to show before too long.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Making of a "Protest" Quilt

I have never made a "controversial" piece of art. I probably never would have; but with things as they are today, I felt compelled to do SOMETHING--ANYTHING. I needed SOME way to express my frustration/disdain/disappointment. Because I'm worried about how things are going in our country and how out of control things are, I needed a way to have SOME kind of control over SOMETHING. 

I'm surprised at the disquiet I feel about this quilt. It isn't the quilt itself; it is my fear of the reactions of my friends who have VERY different political views than I do. I do hope it makes EVERYONE (friends and foes) think.

Women have been making quilts of protest and political quilts for a long time. There seems to be a BIG divide in the quilting community about whether these "protest/political" quilts should be displayed at quilt shows and whether they should even be made. (Fiber art is my only artistic outlet, so I really have no choice of medium.) Check out this really good article from the Chicago Tribune on quilts and quilters expressing themselves through their art.

First, let me say that, to me, the flag represents freedom, justice, and pride (as it does to many other Americans). I realize and am thankful for the sacrifices made on behalf of the US by the veterans of all our wars. I mean no disrespect to them or to the flag. I DID, however, feel that the flag was the best way for me express my (I'm not sure what to call it.) "dismay."

I've heard it said that art should provoke conversation/thought/discussion. I hope that is what my latest quilt will do. I think you can zoom in on these pictures to see what the quilt actually says. I quilted Trump's words (in orange) in the red stripes. I quilted quotes by Presidents in the white stripes. The quilt is called Compare and Contrast. I have included the quotes I used at the bottom of this post in case you are interested.
Close up of quilt.

My quilt was not one chosen for the Threads of Resistance exhibit. Once I saw what quilts made it into the show, I realized my quilt was probably really tame compared to many that were chosen. See one of the quilts here--"Poisonous Words" I had intentionally made the quilting subtle (rather than "in your face") so the viewer would see it as just a patriotic flag. Upon closer inspection, the words would come into view. I like that "surprise" aspect in art--that "hidden-message" effect. I'm glad I made it and hope I can find a place to display it.  The quotes quilted into the flag are shown below.

Trump quotes--
Red stripe 1-Grab them by the pussy. Such a nasty woman
Red stripe 2-They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists.
Red stripe 3-He's not a war hero. He's a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren't captured.
Red stripe 4-The FAKE NEWS media is not my enemy; it is the enemy of the American People.
Red stripe 5-The only kind of people I want counting my money are little short guys that wear yarmulkes every day.
Red stripe 6-I know Mark Cuban well. He backed me big time, but I wasn't interested in taking all of his calls. He's not smart enough to be president.
Red stripe 7-Look, in the meantime, I guess I can't be doing so badly because I'm president and you're not.

Presidential quotes--
White stripe 1-Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.  Kennedy
White stripe 2-The American Dream is something no wall will every contain.  Obama
White stripe 3-There is nothing wrong in American that can't be fixed with what is right in America.  Clinton
White stripe 4-Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.  Kennedy
White stripe 5-I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday. Lincoln
White stripe 6-Absolute freedom of the press to discuss public questions is a foundation stone of American liberty.  Hoover

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Paducah 2017--NOT Losers

Paducah is one of those quilt shows where you are a winner just by being juried into the show. I tend to take pictures of quilts that didn't win awards at the show. I figure everyone will see all the winners numerous times in magazines and at other shows. There were LOTS of quilts that did not win awards that I thought were fabulous. If you have been to the show at Paducah, you will know that getting good pictures is VERY difficult because of the angle at which some of the quilts are hung. I apologize up for that up front. Also, if the tag is visible in the picture it includes the name of the quilt, the maker, and the city and state in which the maker lives. You can enlarge the pics to see any of those more closely. Generally, the full quilt is pictured on the left; the detail picture is on the right.
The machine quilting on this quilt is fabulous (as you can see). It makes this relatively simple quilt spectacular. The same is true of the next couple of quilts.
In this last picture, all the circles and flowers you see are quilted--the colored quilting makes the design in the background.
The circular quilting designs in this quilt definitely enhance the piecing.
The top left picture is of the full quilt. The other two sections are detail shots of the quilting. Although the quilting is spectacular, it really doesn't change the look of the quilt itself.
I really liked this quilt. I think the orange dots drew me in. (Orange is my favorite color you know.)
I'm a cat lover, so this quilt was definitely one of my favorites. The thread work on the cat made it look like you could pet it. The fur looked SO real; I could almost hear him/her purr.
I liked the unusual colors and geometric nature of this quilt.
I really liked the vibrant colors of this quilt.
I LOVE this saying, "Art does not have to match your sofa!" Many traditional quilters (and others) don't understand the concept that art doesn't HAVE to match ANYTHING. I have actually had more than one person say (about a piece of art I had made), "That doesn't go with the colors in your house. What are you going to do with it?" I think I replied with something like, "Well, I doubt if Picasso worried about whether his art matched his sofa!" (Insert smiley face here.)

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Show & Tell--Paducah Spring 2017

One of the things I look forward to the most when my friends and I attend a quilt show is the "show & tell" after we get back to the hotel. We "show & tell" all our purchases with each other. It is always fun to see what different things we have found. I'm amazed by the things my friends purchased that I didn't even see. How did I miss them? Usually, we have to go back to the show the next day to pick up some of those things we missed. This year I didn't buy much. I really didn't buy anything I'm excited about. Part of the problem is that "I have it all." Well, not really; but if you'd look at my studio, you might think I do. I bought things I needed for my sit-down long-arm machine and a few other things.
I know, this is kind of sad for a "show & tell" isn't it. Let me tell you about what I bought. 
  • Beginning from the left-hand side, you'll see a "buggy" fat quarter. I thought I might be able to use that for some interesting fussy-cut hexies. 
  • Above that are some "silk cloud minis"--silk waste yarn--that I will use for my extreme embroidery pieces. 
  • On top you can see a Quilt Pounce containing pounce powder that irons off. I'm planning on using it with stencils I have purchased to mark quilting designs on my quilts. It doesn't come off until it comes into contact with heat. 
  • As I said, I bought a few things for my sit-down long-arm sewing machine--oil, a bottle with a really sharp applicator for oil, needles, and bobbins. 
  • I got some REALLY cute tiny scissors. The little lime green pair you see at the top has an attached blade cover which is so nice. I already have a yellow pair just like this and LOVE them (and they are REALLY inexpensive). You can never have too many scissors! If you know me, you know I love orange. I couldn't resist the little orange-handled scissors you see. 
  • Last, I bought some back issues of Simply Moderne magazine. I think that is my very favorite magazine. It is expensive, but I think it is worth it.
Wouldn't you know, as soon as I took the above picture, I emptied another bag and found yet another purchase.
This is a small rotating cutting mat recommended by Sue Daley. She has several hexie tutorials on line and uses this mat when she is rotary cutting the pieces for her blocks. I just purchased a new hexagon book and am going to give this mat a try. I did make a purchase I'm excited about from Massdrop. I ordered the entire set of acrylic templates and paper pieces for The New Hexagon book by Katja Marek. (It hasn't come in yet but is on its way; otherwise I would have shown you a pic.) I want to try my hand at fussy cutting the fabric for the blocks in the book. Now I'm thinking I want to order the "add-on" acrylic templates and paper pieces to do The New Hexagon Millefiore Quilt Along Katja is running on her site. If you might be interested in this too, go to the Massdrop link here. Once you get to the "Inactive Drop" page, click on the "Requested" button" to show your interest in a "drop" for those products. Clicking DOES NOT commit you to buying; it just shows that you are interested. If there is enough interest (i.e. enough requests), Massdrop will create a "drop" for the products and let you know when the "drop" for the requested products occur. Once you see the price, you can then decide if you are interested or not. The more people that are interested, the more likely they will have a "drop" for those products.  If you can't tell, I LOVE EPP (English Paper Piecing). What about you?

Sunday, April 30, 2017

SAQA Exhibit in Paducah--Made in Europe

This year (2017) the Paducah School of Art and Design is hosting the SAQA Exhibit called Made in Europe. It is an exhibition of 30 art quilts from makers in the Studio Art Quilt Association (SAQA) European and Middle Eastern Region. The exhibit is in the Bill Ford Gallery within the PSAD's 2D and Graphic Design Building at 905 Harrison Street, is free, open to the public, and runs through May 18. Here are some of my favorites. (I'll list the title and maker in the narrative unless it is visible in the photo.)
(The left picture is the whole quilt; the photo on the right is a detail shot.) This quilt is called Fire and Ice (28" X 39") and is made by Maryte Collard from Lithuania. I like this one because of its graphic nature and hand stitching. I also like the color combination and work in those colors quite often myself.


(Again, the left picture is the whole quilt; the right is a detail shot. I'll post like that for all the photos unless I tell you otherwise.) This quilt is called Castelluccio--The Ghost Town (39" X 39") by DAMSS D. Arnoldi & M. Sarzi-Sartori from Italy. This is a VERY textural piece. It really reminds me of my trip to Italy a few years ago. I love those Tuscan colors.
This quilt (30" X 51") from Germany by Uta Lenk was intriguing to me because of a quilt I just finished on which I machine quilted several quotes. I know how difficult that was, so I could really appreciate the work that went into this quilt. Each letter has been (what looked like to me) free-hand machine embroidered onto the fabric. (You can see that on the inset detail shot.) The texture was REALLY nice.
I liked Troubled Waters (26" X 57") by Frieda Oxenham, United Kingdom, because of the handwork and beading. You can see that in the closeup shot. I also liked the flow of the pieces across the quilt. These peaceful water colors are more my sister's preference; she is an Aquarius. I, on the other hand, prefer the hot, hot red and orange fire-sign colors; I'm a Leo. 
This quilt, Black Sun (37" X 52") by Karin Ostergaard from Denmark, caught my eye because of the hand stitching at the top of the quilt. If you look closely you will see black stitching that represents those "clouds" of birds that morph into different shapes in the sky. I am ALWAYS amazed and fascinated when I have the privilege of seeing it. I also liked the subtle shapes of the birds and circles in the quilting around the large grasses in the bottom right of the quilt (and bottom right pic). I could almost imagine those "clouds" of birds moving and morphing as I looked at this quilt.
One Day (28" X 55") was made by Sandra Newton from the United Kingdom. This is another one of those quilts containing words. I am really drawn to text on quilts.  I don't know about you, but I really think that fiber art shows--quilt shows in particular--miss a really unique opportunity when the story of the piece is omitted. Case in point--the quilt above. I'd LOVE to know the maker's story of this quilt; I'm sure there is one. Don't you wonder what it means? I know I would enjoy the piece more if I knew.  I've heard fiber artists and gallery reps say things like, "Adding the story of the piece would not allow the viewer to interpret the piece the way they want to. It would give them "too much" information." Well, I (personally) don't think it takes anything away from the art to know the story. I go to museums and get the headsets so I can hear the "story" of the "fine art" paintings there. I find I have a better appreciation for and better understanding of the piece when I know more about it. I think the same would be true of quilts. My next post will include pictures from the show itself. I try to take pictures of quilts that did not win awards but are spectacular (or draw me in for some reason). I figure you'll see pictures of the winners in blogs, magazines, classes, TV, etc. I'm also going to have a "show & tell" of my purchases at the show. Check back.