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.
At the beginning of June, I was a faculty member for the North Carolina Quilt Symposium, hosted this year by the Asheville Quilters’ Guild in Asheville on the campus of the University of NC. It was a wonderful four day event with 17 national teachers and 350 attendees. I taught two full-day workshops and one half day. It’s always a joy to see my students’ work develop and there is such a variety of fabric choices making for very differing results. Here’s a sampling from my Op-Art Kaleidoscope class, where students made large Kaleidoscope blocks, cut them into nine pieces and rearranged the parts to create these new blocks. This technique works well for batik fabrics, as shown below.
The multicolored scrambling of the block parts rather than only using two fabrics, made for an interesting variety of blocks. This student went to town on her assembly-line piecing and created quite the pile of kite and wedge pairs! Another student from my other full-day class, the Gateway to Mongolia, worked in the dorm room to complete the whole quilt top which she brought to show me at the end of the symposium. I love the enthusiasm of these ladies and thoroughly enjoyed my time there.
May your 4th July holiday week be festive! Even if you don’t see any fireworks, perhaps you’ll be inspired by your firework fabrics, or a patriotic collection of red, white and blue. These have been in my stash for a while, still awaiting just the perfect project. Fun to pet, even if I’m not quite ready to use them!