Salmon Quilts, Kodiak, AK

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.

“Home” exhibit at Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (1)

“Home” is a group exhibition featuring twenty-five artists from the Puget Sound Region. A few weeks ago I posted twice about this exhibit opening at Olympic College in Bremerton, and showed some of the work of the other artists. Now the exhibit has moved to the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, where it will remain until June this year. The “Home” group exhibit was organized by a partnership between Olympic College, Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (BIMA) and Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network (BARN).

I feel honoured to be a participant. As a previous exhibitor at BIMA, I was invited to submit any works pertaining to the theme of “Home”. Interpretation of the theme could be very loose. Two quilts were selected for BIMA. I offered two bed quilts, one contemporary and one traditional: every home needs at least one bed with a quilt! The contemporary one hung in the Bremerton show and BIMA selected this traditional one, Trip Around the Garden, which I designed and pieced. My good friend Wanda Rains machine quilted it beautifully on her long-arm machine. This quilt is featured in my book, Traditional Quilts with a Twist.

 

As for the Bremerton show, my other piece on exhibit is Toto’s Garden, a decorative wall hanging for a child’s bedroom. Toto’s Garden, was made by me to be featured in a special exhibit, Quilts for the Young at Heart, at the Houston International Quilt Festival several years ago. The exhibit was sponsored by David Textiles Inc., who produced a Wizard of Oz line of fabrics and invited various quilters to use these to make Wizard of Oz themed quilts. I was invited by merit of my work teaching children to quilt and several kids made patchwork pillows and one made a lap quilt under my supervision. These all appeared, along with my offering, in the exhibit. Look closely to see the Cowardly Lion’s tail, the Scarecrow’s hat, Dorothy’s shoe, the Tin-man’s axe and the quilted tornado. This whimsical quilt was fun to make and rather atypical of my quilts which are not usually pictorial or applique. I like the way this quilt is paired with colorful glass fused bird houses in this exhibit.

“Home” exhibit at Olympic College, Bremerton (2)

“Home” is a group exhibition featuring twenty-five artists from the Puget Sound Region. “Home” celebrates the opening of Olympic College’s Instructional Center and is a partnership between Olympic College, Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (BIMA) and Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network (BARN). The exhibit is in their brand new building, in the gallery, and will be there until 2nd March, 2018. I feel honoured to be a participant. As a previous exhibitor at BIMA, I was invited to submit any works pertaining to the theme of “Home”. Interpretation of the theme could be very loose. Two quilts were selected for Olympic College, and there will be more when the exhibit moves to the larger space in BIMA in March. See my blog last week for my bed quilt and additional pictures of some of the other works of art.

This wall hanging would be fun and appropriate to hang on the wall of a child’s bedroom in a home. Toto’s Garden, was made by me to be featured in a special exhibit, Quilts for the Young at Heart, at the Houston International Quilt Festival several years ago. The exhibit was sponsored by David Textiles Inc., who produced a Wizard of Oz line of fabrics and invited various quilters to use these to make Wizard of Oz themed quilts. I was invited by merit of my work teaching children to quilt and several kids made patchwork pillows and one made a lap quilt under my supervision. These all appeared, along with my offering, in the exhibit. Look closely to see the Cowardly Lion’s tail, the Scarecrow’s hat, Dorothy’s shoe, the Tin-man’s axe and the quilted tornado. This whimsical quilt was fun to make and rather atypical of my quilts which are not usually pictorial or applique. Here are some more pieces from the “Home” exhibit which captivated my interest.

On the left, Cedar Mesa Ruin, by Kay Walsh: scanned 4×5 black and white carbon pigment digital print. On the right, Home, Sweet Home, by Bill Walcott: acrylic on canvas.

On the left, On the Street Where You Live, by Max Grover: acrylic and collage on board. On the right, American Pie, by Karen Hackenberg: wood matchsticks, aluminum pan and scale-model figures.

 

“Home” exhibit at Olympic College, Bremerton (1)

“Home” is a group exhibition featuring twenty-five artists from the Puget Sound Region. “Home” celebrates the opening of Olympic College’s Instructional Center and is a partnership between Olympic College, Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (BIMA) and Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network (BARN). The exhibit is in their brand new building, in the gallery, and will be there until 2nd March, 2018.

I feel honoured to be a participant. As a previous exhibitor at BIMA, I was invited to submit any works pertaining to the theme of “Home”. Interpretation of the theme could be very loose. Two quilts were selected for Olympic College, and there will be more when the exhibit moves to the larger space in BIMA in March. I offered two bed quilts, one contemporary and one traditional: every home needs at least one bed with a quilt! They chose the contemporary one shown above, Retro-Radiation, made from my original Op-Art Kaleidoscope blocks and quilted by Wanda Rains. Here’s a selection of some of the other pieces from a variety of artists. My second quilt and more of these will be posted in my blog next week. Curator, Greg Robinson, has as outstanding eye for placing different media together into a coherent and beautiful exhibit.

These are the nests. On the left, Fledged, by Kris Ekstrand in charcoal and mixed media. On the right, Nests, by Carla Grahn in hand formed and hand sewn nickel coated wire.

Here’s Bird House, by Diane Bonciolini and Gregg Mesmer of Mesolini Glass: cast, slumped and fused glass work. On the right, Out on A Limb, by Karen Hackenberg looks like a home made by bees. Karen constructed this amazing piece from wooden matchsticks, a madrona branch and scale-model figures.

Quilt Artist, Kathleen Bond, Prescott, AZ (2)

In October, I taught at the Thumb Butte Quilters’ Guild in Prescott, AZ. I stayed at the lovely home of the Programs Chair, Kathleen Bond. Kathleen has an impressive body of work including many hand applique quilts. Her fabric choices and combinations are unusual and often very busy, but she has a way of pulling them altogether to make stunning quilts. Last week, I posted pictures of two of her quilts and this week I am presenting another three.

This Serptentine 1930’s Fans quilt was made from blocks that Kathleen purchased at a Guild rummage sale. She assembled them in this striking layout and filled in the white spaces with beautiful quilting using her long-arm quilting machine. Of course, the person putting the blocks in the sale loved the finished quilt and regretted parting with them!

Pretty Rosettes, is Kathleen’s original design. The nine sunflower blocks were hand-pieced and appliqued. Once again, Kathleen has used an eclectic selection of fabrics to create this beautiful quilt. Surprisingly, the wide striped sashing and wide borders work well to display the attractive blocks.

Going Away Eagles, is a quilt made from eagle blocks appliqued by Kathleen’s friends and given to her when she moved from Colorado to Arizona. The fabric in the border is Colorado toile depicting historical Colorado scenes. I love the triangles separating the eagles in the center from the border and adding more contrast to the piece to make it alive and to highlight the toile fabric.

Kathleen’s quilts are inspiring. As well as making a strong initial visual impact, they display her attention to detail as well as fine workmanship. It was a delight to stay with her and to be privy to her work.

Quilt Artist Kathleen Bond, Prescott, AZ

In October, I taught at the Thumb Butte Quilters’ Guild in Prescott, AZ. I stayed at the lovely home of the Programs Chair, Kathleen Bond. Kathleen has an impressive body of work including many hand applique quilts. Her fabric choices and combinations are unusual and often very busy, but she has a way of pulling them altogether to make stunning quilts. My next couple of blogs will feature some of her work.

This hexagon quilt was one of my favorites. It was hanging wrapped around a curved wall in the Kathleen’s hallway. Large print fabrics are featured in windows created by English paper-pieced hexagons with rows of diamonds in between. The pattern is 13 Panel Hexagon Quilt, designed by Brigitte Giblin.

Kathleen made this gorgeous applique bed-quilt using a pattern by Jan Patek. She calls the quilt, Cowboy Christmas because many of the fabrics included are cowboy themed. It’s a little hard to see this, but there are fabrics with cowboys on horse back, horse shoes, cowboy hats and boots and more. This quilt is stunning from a distance and so interesting close up to see the variety of fabrics used and what is hiding in there.

Antique hexagon quilt at Lanhydrock House in UK

I saw this stunning hexagon quilt on display at a National Trust property, Lanhydrock House, in Cornwall, UK when I was there at the end of July. The house was built in the early 1700’s and then renovated in Victorian times after a bad fire. The quilt was on the bed in the nanny’s room. My guess is that it dates from the late 1800’s, judging by the Turkey red and the patterned fabrics. On the detailed shot you can see some embroidered crowns on some of the blue hexagons, so perhaps it is from even earlier. If any of you readers can date it more accurately, please write me a reply.

Someone spent hundreds of hours piecing this beautiful quilt and planned the pattern of the colors of hexagons carefully. I love the arrangement of the concentric rings of hexagons with the defining red rows. Even the areas between the red hexagon outlines are well planned in regular patterns with symmetrical spacing of the colors. This is a magnificent quilt.

Grant County Piecemakers’ Quilt Show, John Day, OR

Last week, I posted pictures of my quilts hanging in the John Day quilt show at the Fairgrounds on 19th and 20th May, where I was the featured artist. Here is a sampling of some the other quilts in the show made by guild members and locals. The first is a Carpenter’s Wheel, made by Dotty Parsons and machine quilted by Mary Lou Drury. Dotty made this quilt for her grand daughter, Halle. I love the blue background to offset the the horsey, western themed fabrics.

The delightful farm quilt was made by Karen Hinton. The hearts quilt is another by Dotty Parsons made for her grand daughter, Halle and quilted by Mary Lou Drury.

Karen Hinton made this curved strips quilt. I love her arrangements of the colors and all the different fabrics.

This denim Memory Quilt won the People’s Choice Award. Faith Hundley used materials collected from her relatives. Her Mom, mother-in-law, grandmother, aunts and daughter gave her fabrics, trims and pillow cases. There is white silk from a World War II parachute and fabric from a wedding dress. Faith combined these beautifully and the outstanding machine quilting by Nancy Rowland really enhances this charming quilt.

Featured Artist at Grant County Piecemakers’ Quilt Show, John Day, OR

Last month, I drove across the mountains on a long teaching road trip to northeastern and central Oregon. I was invited to be the featured artist at the Grant County Piecemakers’ quilt show in John Day on 19th and 20th May and then taught my Bargello Quilts with Twist workshop there the following day. I took about fifteen of my quilts representing my work over the last 20 years, plus an addition 12 Bargello block quilts. Seeing them all hanging together was quite something. Many of the large quilts stay at home when I travel to teach and even those that travel frequently are never hung altogether, but usually shown one at a time during my lectures. I have to admit to having a, “Wow, did I make all of those!” feeling!

These four are Glacial Stars (the blue and white one), Trip Around the Garden, Celestial Garden and Stars Around the World. I designed Glacial Stars for the 2017 Kitsap Quilters’ Guild raffle and worked with other guild members to piece the quilt top. Barbara Seitz, one of our guild members, won the raffle and kindly let me borrow the quilt so that I could display it at the show. The pattern is available at my on-line store. Trip Around the Garden is featured in my book, Traditional Quilts with a Twist. Celestial Garden was a finalist in the 2003 National Quilt Museum’s contest, New Quilts from an Old Favorite: Feathered Star. It placed 5th in that contest and hung in the museum in Paducah for three moths before touring the US for another 18 months. My most recent quilt, Stars Around the World, was made for my daughter and son-in-law using 64 fabrics that they collected from 27 countries on their one-year trip around the world.

I displayed several of my template-free Kaleidoscope quilts including the two Op-Art Kaleidoscope quilts on the left of each picture, Retro-Radiation and Tropical Matrix. Dragonfly Dance has on-point Kaleidoscope blocks. There are three Bear’s Paw variation quilts, all featured in Traditional Quilts with a Twist. The quilt with the large green triangles is my Almost Modern Jacob’s Ladder, a finalist in the 2013 National Quilt Museum contest which also hung in Paducah and traveled around US. Down at the far end is my black and green Radiant Feathered Star. Patterns for the template-free Kaleidoscope quilts and the Feathered Star are available at my on-line store.

The right picture shows my Mongolia table where I had items for sale to raise funds for the Mongolian Quilting Center. Both pictures include examples of my Gateway to Mongolia design (pattern available) which is one the most popular classes that I teach. The Woven Rainbow is a relatively recent piece and I’d like to experiment more with this idea. The black, white and red quilt is my Original Octangles in which a large print is featured in an octangle surrounded by triangles. Further down the row is the tree quilt made First Graders at Blakely Elementary School, with hands for the leaves of the tree and woodland animals drawn in the borders. This quilt is featured in my first book, Creative Quilting with Kids.

I had a large class with 18 students the day after the show in the same hall at the Fairgrounds. We left all the Bargello block quilts hanging to inspire my students. These are all featured in my book, Bargello Quilts with a Twist (available for mail order at my on-line store).

Quilting with Kids – 5th Grade Project

In January and February, I made several trips to Chestnut Hill Academy in Bellevue to quilt with the 5th Graders in collaboration with my daughter who is their science and math teacher. I loved the fresh enthusiasm of these kids who embraced both hand and machine sewing and were so excited to see the two quilts come together.

There are two classes of 15 kids and each class made a quilt. We cut out 45 hearts backed with fusible webbing, ensuring that every kid had a nice variety from which to pick. This is where having a good fabric stash comes in handy! I included some really funky fabrics and was surprised that the kids thought that they were cool, e.g. spoons and forks, clocks, and water melons. We fused the hearts and then taught the kids how to hand blanket stitch around them. For some this was really challenging, but they persevered and everyone finished.

We gave them a choice of fabrics for the corner triangles on the blocks and I took two sewing machines into the classroom working with two kids at a time for the sewing. They practiced on graph paper to get the feel for the stitching speed and sewing in a straight line before sewing the triangles.We made color photocopies of all the blocks and put them up on the bulletin board. The kids each received a copy of their block for their work portfolio too. After I had assembled the quilt tops and we had basted them, I went back into the classroom with my sewing machine and worked one-on-one as each child machine quilted around their heart. Then, I finished the quilts.

The quilts will were auctioned in early March at the annual school fundraiser. Here are some detailed shots.  I have to smile every time I see the heart with a grinning dinosaur and the cartoon eyes in corners of the block.

 

The kids were very enthusiastic about the project and excited to see the finished quilts. It was a rewarding experience for me and I’m really proud of the job they did. I encourage you to quilt with kids, girls and boys, to keep this beloved tradition alive and to have the joy of completing projects together.