Monday, April 14, 2014

Springtime in California: Concord quilt show

Sometimes we find the prettiest, best made quilts at our hometown quilt shows!  That was certainly the case at the Guild of Quilters of Contra Costa County show on April 6. Here's a look at some of the fun quilts we saw.

Atomic Spring, 80 x 80, by Phyllis McKenna

This quilt was based on the Atomic Bloom design by Wendy Williams at Flying Fish Quilts (Australia). Phyllis says of her mixed technique and machine quilted creation, "[I] just loved the pattern !" So do we, as it was one of the happiest and most radiant quilts that we saw all day. The checkerboard pattern adds extra personality to this very lively work, and we loved the bright Kaffe Fassett fabrics.

Amazon Star 104 x104, by Nancy Ritter

An award winner at this show, Nancy Ritter's dazzling Amazon Star was based on the design of the same name by Judy and Bradley Niemeyer at Quiltworx. Nancy notes that she made it for a friend during a six month Block of the Month program. It was machine quilted by Diana Johnson.

Close up, Amazon Star by Nancy Ritter

Sophisticated batiks and an updated, spiked border give this traditional star pattern such an elegant, contemporary look. We really admire all the work that Nancy put into her super-sized masterpiece.

Sleep Tight 46 x 54, by Sandy Butner

Another award winner, Sleep Tight, was based on the Sweet Dreams Lily design by Anne Sutton at Bunny Hill Designs. These darling appliqued designs remind us of some of our beloved stuffed animals that we owned as very young children.

Close up, Sleep Tight by Sandy Butner

Restful pastel rose plaids and prints are livened up by the polka dot border and outline quilting. Look carefully, and you'll see the words "Sweet Dreams" printed on the background fabric. Baby quilts don't get much cuter than this gem !

Springtime , 34 x38, by Audrey L. McInerny

Audrey writes, "I attended Nancy Rink's class on invisible machine quilting and fell in love  with this pattern. Her class was so helpful in all the little things you need to gather and the techniques needed......that I actually went home and started the project!"   Audrey's adorable quilt with its vibrant border and eye-catching blossom of various size valentine hearts earned many compliments from viewers at this show. The quilt is based on the Have a Heart pattern by Nancy Rink. 

Thousand Pyramids 90 x 99, by Shirley Wilson

Shirley states, "My mother pieced this quilt in about 1990, using a cardboard template to cut it out. She had about 3/4 of  it hand quilted, then put it away. When she moved to California in 2003, she gave it to me. I finished hand quilting the triangles, then added the 2 outer borders and quilt them. ...This is another of my three generations quilts, using my grandmother's 1930's and 1940's fabrics, then my mothers fabrics from the 50's and 60's. Most of the pieced border fabrics are contemporary."  We think Shirley did an excellent job of designing the border, which really complements and magnifies the painstaking patchwork and color arrangement of the quilt center.

Kaboom! 52 52, by Donna Brooks

Donna notes, "I wanted to challenge myself with a new techniques. I jumped at the chance to take a course based on  Kool Kaleidoscopes by Ricky Tims and taught by Valerie Yeaton. I succeeded in challenging myself !"

Close up, Kaboom by Donna Brooks

Donna's work is pieced and machine quilted with dynamic spirals on the outer blue star and contemporary bubbles on the inner star.  Gorgeous complementary colors of blue  and orange-yellow really add sparkle to this intriguing medallion quilt.

Antitude , 56 x49,by Sharon Manzanec

We used to sing an old Girl Scout song, "The ants go marching one by one.....", and they do........right onto this cheerful and comical quilt! Sharon writes, "When I saw this fun quilt at ThimbleCreek Quilt Shop, I knew I had to make it. ...I was able to use fabrics I had on hand, and that pleased me. Love to applique, and it was easy. It was machine quilted by Kamala Alahan. "   The Antitude pattern is by Corey Blunt at Chitter Chatter Designs.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Highlights of the 2014 Arizona Quilters' Guild show - Day 3

We've saved some of our favorite quilts for Part 3 of this series.  Here are more highlights from the 2014 Arizona Quilters Guild Show,including quilts inspired by Kaffe Fassett and Picasso, along with original fabric art!

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall by Brenda Archambault

This quilt is a wonderfully creative rendition of Girl with a Mirror by Pablo Picasso. Brenda Archambault says:  "A storybook challenge spurred me on to combine Snow White's wicked stepmother's image with the fair Mona Lisa.  Thanks to Pablo [Picasso] and Leonardo [da Vinci] for the inspiration."  The project was inspired by a Modern Mystery Quilt Challenge by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr.

Hippocampus, Uniquely Mine by Mary Patrick

We were enchanted by this colorful, decorative seahorse with its frilly orange and purple mane. Mary Patrick says,  "While seahorses are truly unique in nature, mine became even more so with the fabric color combination it seemed to demand."

Close up, Hippocampus, Uniquely Mine by Mary Patrick

In this closeup photo you can see the many bits of fabric that were combined in raw-edge collage fashion to create the cheerful seahorse, which floats in a garden of seaweed.
Wildfire by Christy Schliesmann

This miniature quilt really stood out with its crisp piecing and fiery colors.  Christy Schliesmann says,  "Foundation piecing was complete, but I had no reason to finish.  Then the Granite Mountain [hotshots] fire news came.  What an inspiration to complete and dedicate this quilt."   The quilt was dedicated to the memory of the 19 firefighters who lost their lives in 2013 in the Yarnell Hill fire, the deadliest fire ever in Arizona.

Close up, Wildfire by Christy Schliesmann

In this close up photo you can see the flame-shaped quilting and the crystal embellishments.  The quilt was based on the Circle of Fire design by Pat Wolfe, published in American Quilter in 2009.

AQG President's Quilt by Kathe Carolin, quilted by Jeannie Rogers

Winner of a blue ribbon for Group Quilt, Kathe Carolin says:  "The bold, bright colors and expansive white background are reflective of the influence of the modern quilt movement." Kaffe Fassett fabrics were featured prominently in cool and warm color blocks connected with fabric strips and bordered with flying geese. 

Close up, AQG President's Quilt by Kathe Carolin, quilted by Jeannie Rogers

We enjoyed seeing the longarm quilting done by Jeannie Rogers, who used the Modern Ogee quilting design by Anita Shackelford for the Statler Stitcher.  Here is a closer closeup that shows the pretty variegated thread:

Desert Solitaire by Margit Kagerer

For this original landscape art wall hanging, Margit Kagerer chose locations from Edward Abbey's Desert Solitaire including Arches National Park and Canyonlands.  She says:  "I share his love of the Southwest."  Margit incorporated the natural tones of earth and rocks and the brilliant blue of the Southwestern desert sky. 

Close up, Desert Solitaire by Margit Kagerer

The geometric piecing brings to mind the sun's rays shining through clouds to illuminate the natural rock formations.  The mini quilts were separately quilted and then attached to the quilted background.  Margit Kagerer is an accomplished art quilter who has created 250 quilts since 1993; to see more, check out her website and book at Artrageous Fibers.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.
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