QFNJ 2010: Part II, More Quilts

March 9, 2010 at 5:00 pm 2 comments

Before I write about the vendors, I have to do some addenda to the Quilts post.  First of all, since I don’t get down to the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival in Hampden, VA, I really appreciate that the ribbon winners from that show are exhibited at QFNJ.  The Best of Show quilt, “Circles of Life” by Linda French, was unbelievable.  It is quite possibly the closest thing to a perfect quilt I have ever seen.  The applique!  The piecing!  The trapunto!  The quilting!  The only word that is adequate to describe it is, “swoon.”

"Circles of Life" by Linda French

"Circles of Life" by Linda French

I wasn’t familiar with Linda’s name, so I Googled her; she’s apparently a professional longarm quilter, and this quilt is just sweeping the awards this year.  Her website doesn’t display previous show quilts, so I don’t know if I should have already known her name or not, but after this show year, everyone will.

I was happy to see that Sieglinde Schoen Smith has a new show quilt this year, “Once Upon a Christmas Night.”  I didn’t get a picture of it, as it was mobbed with people gaping in awe at all the perfect details, very reminiscent of “Mother Earth and her Children.” (An image of it appears here, about halfway down the page, with the rest of the winners from MAQF.)  I did, however, have to ask people to stop touching it (I’ve been White Glove committee chair for the past three guild quilt shows, when I happily embrace the role of Quilt Police) and finally just found the white glove lady and sent her over.  This particular quilt has little Advent-calendar-style doors that open to reveal surprises underneath, and people’s curiosity was getting the better of them.

I completely understand the desire to touch quilts; they are a tactile art form.   But each person’s oils and exertions add up with all the others, and can easily damage the quilt over time.  I’ve heard of one guild that displays an example quilt at the entrance of each show that viewers are invited to touch.  The binding is incomplete so the batting can be seen; examples of hand and machine quilting, applique, etc. are on display so it acts as an educational item.  But whether it’s an uncontrollable desire to touch something tactile, an inability to view displayed quilts as art worthy of preservation, or just a sense of entitlement that the rules shouldn’t apply to them, people can behave very badly at quilt shows.  The people who arrive first thing in the morning with their big styrofoam cups of coffee and are just incensed that they can’t sip them while touring the show are the only ones I’ll specifically mention right now, but believe me, I’ve got stories.

There were many memorable quilts.  Up until this point, I’ve focused on the ones that were memorable for their visual impact and flawless execution.  However, some quilts at every quilt show are memorable for other, quirkier reasons.  I have been, for many years, collecting photographs of quilts I’ve seen at shows that contain nudity, guns, or toilets (I have yet to find one that hits the trifecta; any takers?)  I’ve had to become more selective of the nudity quilts, as that’s become more common and not always well executed, but the guns and toilets rarely disappoint.  As someone who has herself won a Judge’s Choice ribbon for a quilt that featured a labeled anatomical image of the human brain in applique, I am hardly one to question someone’s choice of subject matter in a quilt, but I have to say, this was definitely the first time I’ve seen an appliqued Superman drinking a beer:

Superman with a beer

Detail of "Oktoberfest" by Maki Shimada

This was one of several small quilts on the Oktoberfest theme from the World Festival Quilt Challenge, but it was by far my favorite.  See how the foam is done in little seed beads?  That’s dedication.

I have also now crossed a cultural threshold.  While I’ve seen many, many Harry Potter quilts, Wizard of Oz quilts, Gone with the Wind quilts, I can never again say that I’ve never seen a Twilight quilt:

"Twilight" by Jennie Greenhalgh

"Twilight" by Jennie Greenhalgh

You can’t quite see it in this picture, but she used glitter on Edward’s face so that he’s all sparkly.  Now, I am the last person on Earth to make fun of someone for being a fan of something; I’ve attended three “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” conventions, and at the last two I collected actors’ autographs on muslin squares for when I make my Buffy quilt.  I just hadn’t seen a “Twilight” quilt before, let alone one with glitter on “Edward’s perfect face.” All right, so I’m making a little fun.  Then again, I have seriously considered buying this shirt.

Next post:  Vendors!


Entry filed under: Quilt Shows, Travel. Tags: , , .

Quilt Fest of NJ 2010: Part I, The Quilts QFNJ 2010: Part III, The Shopping

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Pat Pena  |  March 11, 2010 at 9:33 am

    Sarah, As a fan of the Twilight Series Books, I loved the T-shirt and think that you should absolutely have gotten one. The glitter on Edwards face is probably because he tends to glow when in the sun too long. Pat

  • 2. Emily  |  September 3, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Hi Sarah! I happened to stumble upon your blog by google-ing “buffy the vampire fabrics” My college roommate absolutely loves Buffy, perhaps to the point of obsession 😉 and I love quilting/most things crafty. I’m wonering if you could perhaps provide some inspiration for a Buffy themed hand-made gift for my friend 🙂 Have you found any Buffy fabrics?


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