Quilt Show Eve

The quilts are all hung, the ribbons attached.  Our guild members have been busy today “getting the show on the road.”  Well, not on the road, but ready for viewers to enjoy.

Here are some teasing photos of ribbons awarded.  These ribbons are awarded in ten categories by votes from guild members.  Some quilts have more than one ribbon, being blessed with bling.  All the quilts there are wonderful, and have stories to tell.

It’s no surprise that the most decorated quilt is a Baltimore Album quilt by Joyce Jones.  Joyce is ninety-something and is a shining light in our sisterhood.  She reminds us that we are never too old to learn, to teach others, and to set a good example.  We all hope to be like Joyce when we grow up.

I wrote about Joyce when this quilt was in progress here.

I’ll share more stories later, but for now, enjoy some sights from the show.  These sample images might whet your appetite.  We are hoping you will come see us at The Methodist Childrens’ Home (the Rumford Center), 304 Pierce Avenue, Macon.  Hours are 10:00 until 5:00.

Click on any image to enlarge and zoom in.  Know that these were taken at night with an iPhone, so some low light conditions prevail.

Quilt Show Time

One of the delights in my life is the family that has come to me in quilting.  The work entailed in getting ready for our quilt show every two years is rewarded by the opportunity to spend three days with my closest friends.  As with any family, reunions are treasured times together.

Sharing our quilts with non-quilters is important, too.  We hope to educate people about the joys of quiltmaking, the processes involved in that endeavor, and the love that goes into every stitch. We always meet fellow quilt makers and want-to-be quilt makers and I never know which is more fun – talking with new friends who are already addicted, or sharing the fun with people who are just getting interested.

In between meeting and talking with new quilt friends, there is time to visit with fellow guild members.  For me, one of the biggest pleasures at the quilt show is examining each others’ quilts and sharing details of the techniques involved.  Just visiting.  As I’ve heard Susie say before, “it’s OUR three-day party.”  Though we see each other at meetings once a month, that’s only a couple of hours, and we are sometimes busy with, well, business.

But at the quilt show, the work has been done ahead of time.  We spend one day hanging the quilts and setting up, then the two days of “the show” to admire our collective work and visit.  On the evening after the quilts are hung, our spouses join us to see the display as we vote for our favorites.

The idea of reunion is continued here.  Jim and Ted reconnected at our guild’s show in 2012, having not seen each other since Army days 40 years prior.  Ted’s wife is a quilter, too, and seeing an announcement on Facebook about our show brought the guys together!  Such fun we always have visiting with them!

The photos here are from past shows. Like the photos here, if you visit with us, you will see quilts of all colors and sizes, using varying techniques and fabrics.  I hear that the total on display next week is 147 quilts.

 

This year, the show is March 9 and 10 at the Methodist Childrens’ Home in Macon.  This is a new location for us, and oh, so appropriate, since every resident at that facility is given a handmade quilt as they are settling in.  This tradition is nearly forty years old!  Some of those quilts have been made by members of my guild and by members of other quilt guilds in Georgia.  Stories of those quilts and the impact on the lives of the recipients can be found in a book entitled Patches of the Quilt.

If you live nearby, I hope you will join us.  If you aren’t close enough to come to our guild’s show, I’ll bet there’s one near you.  Spring is a popular time to schedule a quilt show!

The basket quilt you see at the top, and the closeup photo featured is by Alice Smith.

Earlier posts about quilt shows are here: http://sandygilreath.com/the-ribbon-maker/ and here: http://sandygilreath.com/my-new-friend-janet/ and here: http://sandygilreath.com/deadlines-are-good/.

Paducah 2017

The annual quilt contest of the American Quilters’ Society in Paducah, KY, was held last week and I was there. Two of my quilts were there, too. Jim and I drove up for a couple of days at the show.  As usual for us, the journey was as important as the destination, so back roads and side trips were a big part of the week’s adventure.

As wonderful as the show was, and always is, highlights of the trip included an overnight stop in Desoto Falls State Park, AL and a two-hour visit to Bell Buckle, TN.  In Kentucky, we spent time at Land Between the Lakes, then driving through stunningly beautiful scenery of green hills and blue barns as we headed east toward Berea.  We stopped for a visit to the city voted “the most beautiful small town in the US,”  Bardstown, then retraced steps from a trip 25 years ago, spending a night at the Boone Tavern Inn and visiting craftsmen and women in Berea.  Heading east to Waynesville, NC, we explored Cumberland Gap National Park. Our last night on the road was spent at a favorite B & B.

All these adventures held conversations with interesting people, photo opportunities that beg to become quilts, and stories to be told.  Later posts will detail some of that. But, for now, my impressions of the quilt show.

This year’s show included 404 quilts from 44 US states and from 14 other countries competing in 16 categories.  Prize money totaled $125,000 and more than 30,000 people attended.  More than 300 vendors were on hand to help me find supplies to make my next project.

I’ve attended this show at least six times, sometimes with friends, and staying four or five days.  But when Jim and I go, I can see it all in two days. This time, I saw all the quilts twice, took lots of photos, and visited the vendors I wanted to see on Tuesday evening and Wednesday afternoon.

The winners this year were stunning, as always.  Photos of the top winners are here.  All of the quilts are inspirational, and I walk around taking photos and making voice notes on my phone of details I want to study later.

Many of my notes this year were about Japanese quilts.  That’s not unusual.  I love the Japanese sense of color, their attention to detail, and the embroidery that often accompanies their appliqué.  This year, all three place winners in the hand quilting category were Japanese.  There were other categories where the Japanese aesthetic was notable, too.  I realized that  several of the Japanese quiltmakers (winners and non-winners) used a background fabric that was gradated.  They cut it and assembled it so that the center was dark, graduated out to lighter, then back again to darker.  You would be right to imagine that I headed to the vendor’s booths to see if I could find some of that.  I did!

I was pleased that most of the winning quilts have elements of traditional quiltmaking.  In recent years, some have been so densely embroidered by machine, or so encrusted by crystals, that it was hard to see evidence of human hands at work.

One of the features I’m always examining closely is the quilting, especially the machine quilting, since that’s what I enjoy most.  I expected this year to be full of ruler-guided quilting.  There was some, especially in the modern quilt category, but not as much as I would have predicted.  One phrase I did hear a lot at the awards ceremony was matchstick quilting.  This term refers to closely spaced parallel lines.

There was a lot of English paper piecing, and what seemed like more of the Baltimore Album style quilts than usual.

The quilts in the vendors’ booths are always inspirational, too.  New patterns, new fabrics, new tools have the cash registers singing.  My favorites include Wendy Richardson’s hand-dyed fabrics, seen in the photo above (with her permission).  Wendy dyes yardage of solid fabric with beautiful blends of many colors.  She also overdyes vintage linens and commercial fabrics in unexpected ways.  I always make my way to her booth on Tuesday evening to get first choice!

Other favorite booths for me include Primitive Gatherings, Front Porch Quilts, Fabric  Peddlers, Cherrywood and Liberty Homestead.  I saw a few other booths with intriguing merchandise, but I didn’t give a second glance to batiks or commercial fabrics. I have plenty of both of those categories.  The booths that caught my eye had interesting selections of unusual fabrics.  I did come home with some Japanese woven fabrics, some shot cottons, and some sueded hand-dyed cottons.

All my purchases have now been pre-washed and ironed and I’m ready to cut it up and sew it back together!  I have many ideas for new projects, and one of them includes a journal quilt commemorating this trip.

Photo details: You can click on any photo and it will open in another window with more detail.  You can zoom in even more in that view.  The featured photo (you don’t see this one if you read the email version, it’s on Facebook and on the website) is of the booth for The Sampler, which sells Kaffe Fassett fabrics exclusively.

The first photo (featuring leaves) is a closeup of Autumn’s Master Painter, by Anna Reich, Lewisville, NC.

The one with the ribbon is Karen K. Stone’s Wonderful World. Next is a closeup of A Time of the Madder Red, by Toyoko Nakajima of Kirya, Gunma, Japan; then My Baltimore Journey by Darlene Donohue, Hilton Head, SC.  The one with all the hexagons is Cache of Carats, by Gail Stepanek and Jan Hutchison of New Lenox, IL.   Later you see Cherrywood’s booth with all the solids and a couple of photos show some of my purchases.  Below are photos of my two quilts, Mom and Apple Pie, and Walker’s Pasture.  I’ve blogged about Walker’s Pasture before (here).  I need to tell the Mom and Apple Pie story, I guess.  Soon.

The Ribbon Maker

Version 2

Just look at these ribbons!  My local guild is preparing for our upcoming quilt show.  My friend Tess has been making award ribbons for this show since 2008.  A cherished award in any show, a ribbon from our quilt guild is a work of art in itself.

Last week I visited with our local Queen of the Ribbons.  Her quilts have won many prizes, and her sewing room is overflowing with awards.  This photo shows the ribbons she has made for this year’s show.  A first, second, third, and honorable mention in several categories makes for a dazzling array.  The log cabin blocks on point (those are tiny logs) are all painstakingly pieced.  And the design each year is unique, Tess choosing an element of the show’s raffle quilt each year.

Tess has an amazing assistant (her husband) who puts his engineering skills to work to create the graphic design for the wording on the ribbon and for a label for the back of the quilt block.  With the tiny quilt blocks, glue gun, and miles of ribbon, Tess astounds us anew every show.  Maybe that’s one reason we are willing to work so hard to prepare for our biennial show…the hope that one of those ribbons will ride home on one of our quilts.

And, if you noticed the rosettes that go to Best in Show winners, there is a show pin in the center.  Tess designed the show pin, as well.    She is a gem in our guild’s crown.  And, she will likely get to keep at least one of those ribbons because her quilts are fabulous, too.