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.
The Bainbridge Island Modern Quilt Guild, a local affiliate of the National Modern Quilt Guild organizes the Bainbridge Quilt Festival. 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 Guild and several local businesses pitched in with Barbara to make the first show in 2013 a great success. I missed the show as I was away teaching in CA, but I entered two quilts. There are photos of the show on both the websites linked above.
At our recent 4th July parade, the organizers had a booth promoting the upcoming show which will be on 13th September. The beautiful tree quilt, designed by Carolyn Friedlander and quilted by Marybeth O’Halloran, is being raffled as a fundraiser. If you are in our area, I encourage you to enter quilts and/or to come and see the array of quilts which will be hanging all over Winslow our downtown on Bainbridge. The entry fee is only $10 if you also volunteer to work at the show for just two hours. Festival day also includes a sew-in for American Hero Quilts at the Bainbridge Museum of Art. It should be a fun and festive day.
One of the many exhibits I enjoyed was the Modern Quilt Guild Showcase 2013. This fresh approach to quilting using sold colors often on a background of white, is popular, often appealing to younger quilters who want to make more contemporary looking quilts. Here’s a sampling from the exhibit in which members from chapters of Modern Quilt Guilds around the world were invited to submit their works.
Bull’s Eye 1 by Colleen Wootton of WA, is digitally printed and machine quilted. Colleen was inspired by Frank Stella and Ellsworth Kelley. She has used geometric shapes in designing two and three dimensional works for corporate America for almost 50 years and became adept at drawing these using the computer.
Fireworks Quilt was designed and made by Tara Faughman, CA. Tara writes, “I was working with the idea of broken lines for this quilt, playing with the interaction of spaces where the quilt blocks come together,” This is an explosive lively design which I love.
This grey-tone quilt made by Leslie Tucker Jenison, TX, is named Fifty Shades of Groovy for a little dot on the map of the cultural zeitgeist. Leslie improvised the Log Cabin piecing technique and was inspired by her love of dots and greys. The large print on the back of the quilt is awesome – I wonder where she found that fabric!
On the left, Sparkler, by Lee Heinrich, WI, and quilted by Jeny Pedigo is a modern interpretation of the tessellating Pudding and Pie block. The solids on the white background give it a new look and the color transition is pleasing. Rhythm and Blues by Anne Deister, CO, makes me think of the view of sky scrapers through blinds, but Anne was inspired by studying design elements in woven interior decorating fabrics. She writes, “I was interested in the interweave of colors that occur with the strong horizontal format of the weave. As the idea progressed, I became more intrigued with the vertical movement that could be created as different groups of lines interact with each other. The quilt morphed into a digital representation of the sound bars on digital recording equipment and Rhythm and Blues was born.” The graphical qualities of this quilt really appeal to me and of course the blue, which is my favorite color.
Continuing on the theme of Spring Quilt Market in Portland, OR, I thought you might like a tour of some booths that caught my eye. This is a trade show where the manufacturers and distributors sell to quilt stores. It was huge, with 480 booths spread over 24 aisles. If I owned a quilt shop and was buying, I would be totally overwhelmed. Below, the colorful displays at Moda Fabrics and Finca threads.
It took me a whole day to walk through all the booths in the exhibit hall. There were fabric manufacturers (over 100), publishers, and suppliers of every imaginable quilting notion and tool. I stopped by three booths that had interesting new rulers (more on these another time). Some of the vendors went to extraordinary lengths to make their space special and to stand out from all the others. Anthology Fabrics Incorporated had an elaborate pieced canopy, spectacular quilts and extra lights to enhance their booth.
Michael Miller Fabrics had neon orange, pink and yellow modern quilts and a giant swan.
It was fun to see two vendors from home, Bainbridge Island. Here I am with Kathy Mack of Pink Chalk Studios. A few aisles away, Laura Jones and Lynnette Sandbloom were there with their Beach Garden Quilts patterns.
I loved pattern and fabric designer Tula Pink’s booth. Here I am with Tula and I couldn’t resist a closer shot of that gorgeous butterfly quilt made from a variety of “modern” quilt blocks. It was inspiring to attend and a great opportunity for me to reconnect with old acquaintances in the quilting industry.
My quilt, Almost Modern Jacob’s Ladder, (78” x 78”), is a finalist in the National Quilt Museum contest, New Quilts from an Old Favorite 2013. Each year there is a quilt block theme and contestants are challenged to create an original design derived from the block. My design idea gelled when I found the perfect large scale prints. I emulated today’s “modern quilts” by enlarging the Jacob’s Ladder block and including large areas of negative space. However, this quilt is contrived, with fussy-cut fabrics and a precise border, so it isn’t entirely “modern”. Then again, it was made in 2012, so by definition, it must be modern!
The quilt was completed in collaboration with my good friend Wanda Rains, who did an outstanding job on the machine quilting. Here’s a detailed shot which I hope will showcase her beautiful work.
The quilt will be displayed in the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky from March to June this year. Then it will tour the United States for another 18 months, so when I sent it away in December, it was good-bye quilt for two years. It will also appear in the AQS book – Jacob’s Ladder, New Quilts from an Old Favorite, available soon. If you attend the AQS show in April, be sure to make time to visit the wonderful museum and to see all the finalists in this contest.