Monday, March 15, 2010

Searching for the indefinable....

I had forgotten that last weekend was the annual quilt show of a local quilt guild, but I decided to make time to run over late Sunday afternoon before it closed at 6:00 p.m.  When I was first learning to quilt many years ago, I loved going to quilt shows -- carefully examining each quilt and reading each story of inspiration and perspiration.  I soaked up everything and loved every minute of it.  I still like quilt shows because I love quilts and I make quilts, but besides just looking to admire, I find myself looking for inspiration and excitement.  What's new?  What's different?  Who's got a modern twist on an old idea?  How have color, design, cloth, and thread been utilized in unique and beautiful ways?

I have to admit that this show left me somewhat disappointed, not unlike the quilt show I attended in September. I saw some beautiful workmanship, including excellent quilting (both hand and machine), but little to truly excite me.  Maybe I'm being silly, but I want that excitement -- like a child on Christmas morning.  I have that experience all the time in blogland and on Flickr.  Quilts that make me sit up in my chair and exclaim out loud, even though I am alone in the room.  I don't always know what I'm looking for, but I sure know it when I see it!

Here are a few pictures of quilts that for one reason or another stood out to me:

Oddly enough, for someone looking for "new", I am starting with an old quilt.  This yo yo quilt was made in the thirties by someone with a lot of patience and/or persistence.  But I love yo yos and this one was impressive!

This is probably a weird reference, but in one of the later seasons of the show, Friends, Phoebe was living in the spare room of Chandler and Monica's apartment, and she had a gorgeous yo yo quilt on her bed.  I'm remembering it with lots of mint greens in it.  One of those older patterns that looks great in even modern decorating styles.  Oh, how I covet Phoebe's (or was it Monica's) quilt!

I thought this one was interesting in terms of colors/fabrics chosen, and the fact that it somewhat camouflages that it is actually a nine patch quilt.

See them?

I like the solids and color play in this Michael James design.

Close-up of the machine quilting.

I love when these types of pale neutrals are done well in a quilt (see also Julie Herman's recent quilt).

I really liked the idea of this one. 81-patches made up of 1" squares + sashing.  I'm just now noticing in the picture that there is a very subtle X going through the middle of the 81-patches.  See the pink and blue diagonal lines?

This quilt really stuck out as unique. It was described as a one-patch quilt based on a 60 degree diamond and fussy-cut from stripes.  The idea is from a Kaffe Fassett book.  

The diamonds were divided into fussy cut nine patches.  There are 56 different stripes, framed in black and white fabrics.

This one caught my attention because of its use of the large scale floral in the border which has been blended into center of the quilt.  This one didn't really photograph very well.  It didn't look quite so "busy" in person, as I remember.

See how the appliqué overlaps and blends into the rest of the quilt?  The idea is from Blended Borders, a book by Pamela Mostek.

This is Kaffe Fassett's "Square Clamshell" pattern from Museum Quilts.

Gorgeous colors!

I will close with the Quilt Bug, especially for Aneela (comfortstitching), because she got such a kick out of my quilted car pictures from the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in July.  She's going to need to explain this to me though.  With so many projects piling up, I can't imagine making a quilt to cover a car.  I just don't get it.

With wishes, true and kind -- Joan


  1. I love them yo-yos, too. But the quilt in "Friends" my daughter and I both made, our own versions,too, was- the red and white checkerboard that was on the back of their loveseat, do you remember that one? Your post made me have to share *smile* pokey

  2. The yo yos are incredible, but I'm in love with the VW bug quilt!!!! How cool is that?

  3. Wow, I think we must really have similar tastes in quilts and quilting trends. I had so much to do today, but there is a lot personally going on (very sick friend) and I spent the day mindlessly reading quilting blogs and looking are fabric online. Yes, I think I actually ordered some. I'm sure it is my fabric therapy in response to my friend being so ill. I feel inspired by the quilts I see online. But now I have used up all my "free" time and here it is 8 p.m. and I have to finish working. *sigh*

  4. I was there. There was some really cool quilts. Glad you enjoyed it.

  5. I was there on Friday. I thought I recognized some of the quilts. When you showed the Quilt Bug I knew it was the same show from the Portland EXPO. I wished that the featured quilter wasn't so busy with classes during the show. We didn't get to meet her.

  6. I don't get to go to many quilt shows, so whenever some lucky duck does and then shares pictures...I'm ever so grateful! Thank you for all the wonderful pictures!

    I know what you mean about looking for something. Sometimes, I find it, and oftentimes, not! But I love to look at the eye candy!

  7. I went to this on Friday with girlfriends from Guild and I too was a bit disappointed. I loved that diamond quilt and I liked a simple asian indigo quilt with red accent. I thought it would be great in green/blue and orange.
    I found a kaffe roll that I couldn't leave there.. so that was fun ...

  8. I have never seen a quilted car - that is hilarious!

  9. thanks for the awesome pics Joan! I know exactly what you mean when you say you want to see something that makes you exclaim, even often without realizing the "wow" is coming out of your mouth! Those quilts are amazing! I love the diamond 9 patch and the yo-yo for sure.

  10. Wow, it looks like there was a lot to be inspired by at that quilt show. Good thing you were able to go at the last minute! I love those camoflauged 9-patches, the color play and that quilt bug! A Sunday afternoon well spent!

  11. I want that car! I am a big VW fan, and a quilted one is just over-the-top perfect.

    Also, the yo-yo quilt is really impressive.

  12. I also attended the show on Friday. I was confused by Mary's comments above about the featured quilter. It wasn't a woman, it was a guy named Anton Hass, Jr, and he was standing in front of his quilts (behind the quilted bug) talking to people and answering questions the entire time I was there! Maybe Mary means the featured SPEAKER, who was Judy Niemeyer....

    At any rate, I thought the show was great fun. I was disappointed in the small number of vendors that were there, but as far as the show itself, I was happy to have some new eye candy to look at!

  13. Thanks for sharing pictures from the quilt show! Too far for me to go :). Love the quilts you posted about!

  14. Thanks for the virtual Quilt Show, Joan. ; ) It was lovely! That Kaffe inspired 9 patch diamond is AMAZING!?!?!? And, that Quilt Bug is TOO fun and FuNnY!!! I'd drive it!!!

  15. Thanks for sharing, your photo choices were terrific! I love the quilted car covers~people are so creative. Have a good week, Joan!

  16. Gorgeous quilts! Love the yoyos & that car is amazing! Thanks for sharing!

  17. I know what you mean about the excitement factor! I would love to see some modern quilt guild shows, although there are none in my immediate area.