On Saturday 8th September, the Bainbridge Island Modern Quilt Guild hosted the 6th annual Quilt Fest in downtown Winslow. Last week, I posted photos of an overview. In this blog and my next one, I will highlight a few quilts that particularly appealed to me.
Off to Work, was made by Liz Walters who upcylcled thrift shop finds, using a wonderful selection of ties set on a background of men’s shirts. The pattern came from the 2016 Art of the Quilt Calendar by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr. Liz opted to arrange the tie blocks vertically rather than horizontally.
I love this double sided quilt, Color Play, by Katie Wilson. The two sides are so different but they work together. The back is playful and fun. Katie’s quilt is based on the Power of Nine pattern by Sheri Noel using Sheri’s quilt as you go tutorial.
On the left, 680 Nanometers, (which is the wavelength of red light), was made by Erica Page Johnson. Erica challenged herself to work with a dark, low-contrast palette, but could not resist adding the pop of bright red. The quilt is the result of a Katie Pedersen’s Psychedelic Baby workshop. The large stitch quilting is by hand. On the right, Desert Knock Off, was made by Honora Dunkak and quilted by Marybeth O’Halloran. The pattern is by Valerie Wells and Honora found it when visiting Valerie’s store, The Stitchin’ Post, in Sisters, OR. Honora diverged from the pattern, choosing different colors and placements of the blocks. This is a spectacular quilt.
Last Saturday, the Bainbridge Island Modern Quilt Guild hosted the 6th annual Quilt Fest in downtown Winslow. For the sixth year in a row, we were blessed with dry weather. It was a grey day, but the display of over 200 quilts made a colorful splash along our main street. The event was well attended and much appreciated by locals, and folks coming from further afield. Here’s an over view showing just a sampling of these beautiful quilts. The first quilt is one of two of mine displayed, Easter Morning, made from my original 16-piece Bargello blocks and featured in my book, Bargello Quilts with a Twist.
The show was started in 2013 by local fabric store owner Barbara Kirk, modeled on the outdoor annual quilt show in Sisters, OR. Guild members work with local merchants and landlords to accomplish the logistics of hanging all of the quilts with clothespins or clips from lines or poles. This is becoming an annual tradition which we hope will continue. In subsequent blogs I will highlight some individual quilts.
In July, I taught a two-day workshop for the Kenai Peninsula Quilters in Soldotna, AK.We did Bargello Quilts with a Twist making my 16-piece Bargello blocks and then designing with them. I love to teach this as a two-day class because students have enough time to complete a good number of blocks and reach the creative part of arranging them to generate many patterns. It was a big group with 18 students. We had a wonderful time and they delighted in seeing the variety of blocks and layouts from all the different fabric choices.
We began by making 16 blocks, but some students had time to make extras for a larger quilt. One lady even completed her quilt top of 24 blocks on-point with setting triangles. Here’s a selection to give you some idea of the many possibilities from working with this block.
During my recent visit to Kodiak Island, AK, I went to the Baranov Museum. These two salmon quilts were hanging in the gift store for sale. Both are made by the same local artist, Sally Troxell. The fish panels are made from Shibori dyed fabric, printed with hand carved stamps using Daniel Smith oil-based water-soluble ink. Commercial prints surround the panels and the quilts were machine quilted on a domestic sewing machine.
The Reeds, depicts seven salmon swimming through the reeds.
The River, shows the salmon swimming upstream. The combination of watery colors punctuated with orangish-red make beautiful settings for both of these quilts. The quilting designs add to the pleasing effect. Salmon play an important part in this corner of the world and Kodiak Island is a hub for the fishing industry. There are reminders of this all over the place. In downtown Kodiak, the garbage cans are made to look like the salmon cans from the 1950’s. Here’s an example.
The large salmon sculpture by the harbor is made from marine trash from the ocean and designed to draw attention to ocean pollution and the damage that it is causing in the ecosystem. Iqalluk, Alutiiq Salmon was made by art students at Kodiak Middle School and High School with teachers Bonnie Dillard and Marcin Mazurek with support from KIBSD and the AK State Council for the Arts.
On my recent trip to Kodiak, AK, I saw this attractive triptych wildlife quilt hanging in the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center. I was in Kodiak to teach at the Kodiak Bear Paw Quilters and was able to stay additional days to explore. Members of this lovely group made this quilt and donated it to the Visitors Center in 2007. It hangs near the entry way in an area with seating where people may watch a video about the wildlife on Kodiak Island. I love the animals and wildflowers. Check it out if you are in Kodiak.
The Project was coordinated by Darsha Spalinger, Ilva Fox, Christy Kinter and Sheila Wallace. The quilting is by Sue Thompson. Here are some detailed shots.
Fireweed by Becky Applebee. Fox by Elsa Dehart
Otter by Christy Kinter. Puffin by Mary Buben.
Bear by Sandy Peotter. Forget-me-nots by Sheila Wallace.
Salmon by Ilva Fox.
I’ve just returned from a teaching trip to Alaska and had the good fortune to spend time on Kodiak Island with the Kodiak Bear Paw Quilters. We had three days of workshops and then I stayed an additional three days to explore the area. I went on a trip of a life time, bear watching. We flew in a float plane for an hour to a remote area on the Fraser River near a fish ladder where we could observe Kodiak bears fishing for salmon. We saw five bears. The 900 lb mama with two second summer cubs were the most photogenic. This was an incredible experience! Despite the mist and rain, we had excellent views. The bears crossed the river and came up on the trail very close to us. Our pilot was not concerned and reassured us that these bears are well fed on salmon and salmon berries and were not interested in us!
The following day, I had dinner at the Old River Inn and spied this bear quilt on the wall. There was no label on the back and the restaurant staff did not know the maker of the quilt. It’s a pretty good representation, even down to the massive claws!
In May, I taught in Santa Rosa at two quilt guilds and stayed in the lovely home of quilter Janet Tonkin. Several years ago, Janet purchased a Navajo hand woven rug at the Hurbell Trading Post in Ganado, AZ. The 20″ x 30″ rug was woven on a loom by Lenora Davis and the style is Two Grey Hills. Janet has it displayed on a wall in her home. This rug inspired her to design a quilt using the rug pattern as a guide. She was able to break the pattern down into squares and rectangles to piece this beautiful replica. Here are the quilt and rug side-by-side.
As you can see, Janet added red to her quilt and used grey tones rather than the browner tones in the rug. The quilt is about twice the size of the rug. Janet has it folded over the back of a grey couch in her living room where it is a pleasing addition to the decor and can be used as a large lap-quilt on cold evenings.
In early June, I was a member of the faculty at the North Carolina Quilt Symposium hosted by the Asheville Quilters’ Guild. During the Symposium, several of us went on a tour of Chihuly Nights at Biltmore, the first art exhibition in Biltmore’s historic gardens and the first garden exhibition of Chihuly’s works in North Carolina. The Biltmore House and gardens is a spectacular estate officially opened by George Vanderbilt on Christmas Eve, 1985.
We arrived in time to see the house and gardens with Chuhuly’s colorful organic glass creations in daylight and were then treated to a gorgeous sunset.
As darkness fell, the glass sculptures were illuminated and took on a a new dimension and vibrancy. Here’s a daylight and night time shot of the same installation.
The next two use the existing stone wall and statues and the exterior of the house as backdrops to display these amazing pieces. Then follows the Electric Yellow and Deep Coral Tower and the Alabaster and Amber Spire Towers.
As quilters, we don’t always know what exactly inspires us in our work. In addition be being enjoyable, taking the opportunity to look at other art forms is always beneficial and adds to our store of experiences from which to draw our ideas.
I’ve recently returned from a trip to Sisters, OR for the 43rd Annual Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. I was traveling with a P & Q Tours group of 42 quilters from the UK. They began their tour by staying on Bainbridge Island where they joined in the 4th July festivities and watched our home town parade. They had a day to explore Seattle too. On their third day, I did a lecture for them in Port Gamble and they visited our lovely store, Quilted Strait. Then we did an evening boat trip to Blake Island for a salmon dinner at the lodge. We went on to Portland via Mount St Helens and then to Bend for a week of visiting quilt stores, quilter’s studios, sight seeing (Crater Lake and the High Desert Museum), and various quilting activities culminating in the magnificent outdoor show in Sisters. Here are some general views of the quilts all over the buildings and I will post more from a variety of exhibits in the coming weeks.
The UK Quilters brought several quilts for a special exhibit and we had a group photo by their display, (more on their quilts in a later blog).
In early July, I was a member of the teaching faculty at the North Carolina Quilt Symposium hosted by the Asheville Quilters’ Guild. 350 quilters were in attendance for the four days of events and classes from 17 teachers on the campus of the University of NC in Asheville. Their quilt show featured the work of the teachers and I’ve posted pictures of my contribution in an earlier blog. Here, I feature the incredible thread painted quilts of author and quilt artist Lea McComas from Colorado. Leah writes, “My work is representational with visual images that touch memory and emotion, forcing them to come forward in our consciousness for fresh analysis.” Check out her website.
“Crossing over, speaks to the subjugation of one culture by another. The title alludes to the cultural turmoil and change that would be forthcoming.” This is my favorite of Lea’s quilts that was displayed. The incredible detail of thread painting on this pair of quilts bring the scene to life, and she is able to convey all the different textures, creating the figures and their clothing, horses, water and more. These amazing quilts have dimension, depth and richness.
Bike Boys depicts cyclists on the The Fowler Sextuplet which was promoted at the Denver Cycle show in1896. The composition incorporates 91 fabrics in the fabric collage base, and was thread-painted with 114 threads, (approximately 9 miles of stitching!).
The Cobbler, is a portrait of a cobbler in Turkey. Power is Knowledge, shows African boys who live in a village without electricity. A solar lantern allows them to study after dark and education is their bridge to a better life.