Quilting with Machines, Part III: The Quilts

October 20, 2010 at 1:28 pm 1 comment

This was the first year that QwM incorporated an actual quilt show.  Last year, they had a small but extremely impressive display of teacher quilts, including Sharon Schamber’s “Spirit of Mother Earth,” which I could not stop scrutinizing:


Detail, "Spirit of Mother Earth," by Sharon Schamber

Detail, "Spirit of Mother Earth," by Sharon Schamber


It was really great to see QwM supporting the ultimate result of all the learning in machine quilting they promote, by offering a venue for the student attendees to show off what they can do.  If I had a criticism, it was that the room housing the quilt show and vendors was way too small.  I suspect they ended up with more quilts than they had bargained for.  As it was, the aisles of pipe-and-drape for displaying the quilts were so close together that I couldn’t get any straight-on pictures of the bed-size quilts because I literally couldn’t get far enough away from them to get the whole quilt in the frame without backing into the quilt opposite; that’s why all my trying-to-be-full-view photos are from an angle.  I considered buying the offered CD of the show, but it was $22 (!!), more than twice what they charge at the Quilters Unlimited show.  Besides, I was mostly interested in detail shots of the quilting, anyway, which I was more than capable of photographing myself.


"My Majestical Sunflower," by Kathryn Gostola

"My Majestical Sunflower," by Kathryn Gostola


I failed to mention the space issue in the vendor post, but it presented a challenge in their half of the room as well.  The aisles of vendors were packed so tightly together that there was really only room for about 3 people to walk abreast down the aisle between the booths.  If two booths opposite one another had items displayed along their front tables and shoppers were perusing them, that closed up the available walking space pretty quickly — and that was normally just the spot that one of those, “Oh, hi! didn’t know you were coming, great to see you, let me show you what I bought!” conversations would spontaneously take place.

Add to this the fact that the vendor booths were pushed up against the side wall so that you could only move from aisle to aisle at the one free end, and had to retrace your steps to get back out of the aisle, and you have a recipe for pedestrian traffic jams.  I don’t necessarily attribute this to bad planning, but just to unexpected success:  this was the first year in a new venue, the first year with a quilt show, and I would have rather kept things the way they were with the number of quilts and vendors than to have had fewer in either category.  I am very impressed with the QwM committee, their willingness to learn from experience, and their eagerness to solicit suggestions from attendees; I have no doubt that they plan to address and mitigate this situation for next year.

Anyway:  quilts!

The quilts were very impressive and represented a wide spectrum of complexity, skill level, and professional status.  There were quilts by international names such as Claudia Pfeil, who won the Viewer’s Choice ribbon, hung alongside quilts by amateur quilters making family gifts.  Several of the faculty had entered quilts, including Dusty Farrell, Shirley Stutz, and Sandra Soni:


"Tanzanite Star of Africa," by Sandra Soni

"Tanzanite Star of Africa," by Sandra Soni



Detail, "Tanzanite Star of Africa," by Sandra Soni

Detail, "Tanzanite Star of Africa," by Sandra Soni: Wow! I bought a spool of gold metallic thread after seeing this


And speaking of faculty, it was fun to see quilts displayed that used recognizable techniques taught by QwM faculty like Patsy Thompson and Renae Haddadin.  I can’t wait to use my Mini-Ray tool!


Detail, "Oh My... Stars," by Sandra Soni

Detail, "Oh My... Stars," by Sandra Soni, using techniques and tools developed by Renae Haddadin


I got many wonderful ideas for my own quilting, such as this beautiful embellishment-without-distraction of an appliqued vine:


Detail, "For the Love of Gracie," by Sandra Stitt

Detail, "For the Love of Gracie," by Sandra Stitt


There were object lessons in how the right choice in quilting design can make the piecing “pop”:


Detail, "ZigZag Madness," by Barb Beer

Detail, "ZigZag Madness," by Barb Beer


…and all the many, varied, wonderful things that those quilted feathers I’ve been trying so hard to master can do:


Detail, "Blue Beauty," by Janet Joehlin

Detail, "Blue Beauty," by Janet Joehlin


My personal pick for Viewer’s Choice was a wedding quilt made for the quilter’s daughter:


Surrounded by Eternal Rings of Love

"Surrounded by Eternal Rings of Love," by Terri Vanden Bosch


And no, I didn’t vote for it just because it was taupe!  Although I loved the fabrics and the quilting, what really set it apart for me was the fact that she incorporated bits of needlework, tatting, and hankies made by or at least belonging to various ancestors, and even used photo transfers of love letters sent by the bride’s grandparents during the Korean War:


Detail, "Surrounded by Eternal Rings of Love"

Detail, "Surrounded by Eternal Rings of Love"


I think it was the air mail stationery edging that set me off.  Anyway, the quilt was not only so lovely but so saturated with love and meaning, that to me it summed up everything emotional and transcendent about Why We Quilt.

Good show.


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

Quilting with Machines 2010, Part II: The Vendors The Airing of the Quilts 2010

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Terri Vanden Bosch  |  May 21, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Hi Sarah–Eternal Rings of Love is my Daughter’s wedding quilt and I just found your blog with it on today–It just made my day to know that you chose it for your viewer’s choice vote!!! I always like to put a ton of meaning and love into the special quilts I make for my family– If you would like to see a photo of them using it as a canopy at their wedding–just let me know!! Well my DH and I were up at 4:30AM to sort and load hogs this morning–and I still have 2 t-shirts quilts to piece before tomorrow–so better get off the computer and to work!!


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