Last week I showed some street pictures from our Bainbridge Island Quilt Festival and a couple of my favorite quilts. This event is sponsored by the Bainbridge Island Modern Quilt Guild and Esther’s Fabrics. The quilt show is open to any quilter wanting to display their quilt, but many of the quilts are submitted by members of the Modern Quilt Guild. “Modern” quilts typically have a large amounts of negative space which is often white, and they tend to lack borders. The patterns are often large, relatively simple, and in bold colors. Here are some examples of quilts that I would regard as “modern”.
The quilt of the left, Polka Dots, is made by Tammy Abuan and quilted by Gladys Schulz. Tammy used a pattern, Raindrops, designed by Kimberly Jolly, Sarah Price and Jocelyn Ueng. The polka dot fabrics in combination with the solids make a great 3-dimensional boxy look and it is nicely done. On the right, Kathy’s Taking Turns, was made by Kathy Loveless from the pattern Taking Turns, by Monica Solaria-Snow.
These zig-zags make a striking statement and are made more interesting by the variety of fabrics of each color that are used. This quilt, Last But Not Least: A Quilt For My Angel, was made by Dawn Weber and quilted by Gladys Schulz. I love the quilt on the right, Double Trouble Take Two, made and designed by Katie Pedersen. Katie writes, “I created this fun quilt to show alternative layouts for my Double Trouble workshop. The technique merges traditional half-square triangles and improvisational stitch-and-flip triangles. I love the boxy effect of turning the blocks on point and mixed use of fabrics from my scrap bins. Even the little bits can be salvaged.” This seems like a great technique to try and I like the use of scraps for a fresh and contemporary look. Using five large Double Troubles and four smaller ones makes a strong visual impact which is appealing to me.
Our 4th Annual Bainbridge Island Quilt Festival took place recently on Saturday, 10th September. This is the fourth year in a row that we have been blessed with glorious sunny weather for hanging all these quilts outdoors for the day. There were 190 quilts displayed and they made a colorful show along our main street in Winslow. We had a good attendance and the public were very appreciative. Here’s an overall view and I’ll post more pictures in the coming weeks. My Original Octangles quilt is the black, white and red one in the center of the top left picture.
This Festival was initiated in 2013, by Barbara Kirk, owner of Esther’s Fabrics on Bainbridge Island. Barbara was inspired by the joy and beauty of the annual Sister’s Quilt Show held outdoors in Sisters, OR and wanted to put on a similar but smaller venture on Bainbridge. The Bainbridge Island Modern Quilt Guild collaborated with Esther’s Fabrics and other local businesses make this happen.
Here are two of my favorite quilts.
On the left is Temperance, by Marybeth O’Halloran. Marybeth writes, “I am a Leo, so of course this pattern spoke to me. It is entirely paper pieced, with almost 200 individual paper pattern pieces.” The pattern is The Lion by Violet Craft. On the right is Chromatic Hex Flowers, also by Marybeth O’Halloran. “This project was done long distance with my creative friend Jenn Rhoads. She moved to New York State, and so we mailed fabric and finished blocks back and forth. This is my finished quilt from those exchanges. I modified the pattern, Hexie Garden, by Atkinson Designs.” Marybeth is an accomplished long-arm quilter on Bainbridge Island – here’s her website.
I am always awed by a visit to Durham Cathedral which is a World Heritage Site and is filled with majesty and beauty. I was there last month when I stayed in Durham for three days.
Check out the scale and proportions of the building; the height, length, the size of the arches, the way the circular inlay on the floor mimics the large circular stained glass windows above the altar. This is brilliance in design and we should pay attention. Scale and proportions are both so important in designing quilts and adding borders.The mosaic tile floors and ornamentation around the pulpit of geometric shapes includes our beloved Flying Geese, stars, diamonds and more.
Repeated elements, e.g. triangles, made in a variety of sizes will make your quilt much more interesting than simply using triangles that are all the same size. Adding appropriately sized borders will greatly enhance your quilt top. I recommend auditioning different widths, (as well as a variety of fabric options and considering pieced borders), to help you in the decision making process.
In August, I spent two weeks in the UK visiting family and friends and some amazing places. My sister took me on holiday to Scotland and we went to the magical sacred island of Iona on the west coast of the highlands. While we were there, we took a boat trip to the Isle of Staffa, an uninhabited hunk of rock which is the Scottish end of the Irish Giant’s Causeway.
The pictures shows the spectacular basalt columns and down below is Fingal’s Cave, the very same that inspired Mendelssohn when he wrote his Hebrides Overture in 1830. The photo below is taken inside Fingal’s Cave and there is a detailed shot of the rocks, showing a cross-section of the basalt columns.
60 million years ago, Scotland and North America were torn apart by continental drift of the tectonic plates. Molten lava erupted through the cracks and cooled to form the basalt columns. As it hardened, it shrank and fractured into regular columns. The rate of cooling varied, so some of the columns are perfect hexagons, but most are hexagons with irregular sides and some are pentagons. I’m telling you all of this, because as a quilter (and a fan of geomorphology), I am fascinated by how all the pieces fit together and am inspired by these patterns presented to us in nature. I usually can’t pinpoint exactly the source of my quilting inspiration, but know that experiencing amazing places like this makes a significant contribution.