There were several special exhibits displayed at the AQS QuiltWeek in Des Moines. One was The World Painters Challenge. In 1995, a group of quilters from Japan formed the Nihon Heritage Quilters Guild. They participate in an annual quilt challenge and every few years, the challenge is extended to include other nations. A list of 30 world-famous painters was chosen for 30 quilters from Japan, France and USA. Each quilter was assigned an artist and challenged to design a piece of fiber art either representing a work of their painter of making a design of their choice in the style of that painter. Here are photos of four of the quilts that particularly appealed to me. The famous painters are easily recognizable in these creative pieces.
Benedicte Hanot from France made the Salvador Dali piece. She painted plain white fabric with acrylic paints and machine and hand appliqued a variety of textiles including leather. There is embellishment with embroidery, pearls, driftwood, sequins and machine quilting. The Vincent Van Gogh piece was made by Nancy Kibbey from OR. Her inspiration came while sketching a lawn chair which reminded her of Van Gogh’s painting of The Chair and the Pipe. She included themes from other paintings too, including The Harvest. She used cotton fabrics, both commercial and hand painted, which are fused with raw edges.
Joan Miro’s work is represented by Ginny Steller from OR. Although much of Miro’s artwork is childlike with a sinister twist, she chose a lighter moment depicting a cat in a garden. Dark lines and solid colors define the shapes. Jae McDonald, also from OR, interpreted Gustav Klimt’s Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer. Jae writes, “I’ve often thought of Klimt as a very “quilterly” painter, with his peculiar use of shape, pattern and color.” This is made from hand-painted cotton and lamé, and commercial fabrics embellished with acrylic inks, fabric paints, metallic threads, gold-plated paillets , beads and wire.
I am so thankful for my amazing quilting adventure: the friends I have made; the places I have been; the joy of sharing my quilting passion when I teach; the opportunity to keep on learning from my students; the inspiration from the work others and the patterns that surround us every day; and the excitement of exploring the endless possibilities of new designs and techniques.
I saw this wonderful sewing machine quilt at the AQS QuiltWeek show in Des Moines. Quilting with Silk, 34″ x 29″, was made by Charlotte Noll, of Lauderhill, FL
The judged AQS show at Des Moines had almost 200 contestants. Here is the quilt that won Best Hand Workmanship. My Sweet House with Kirara, 68″ x 76″, was made by Ayako Kawakami from Chiba, Japan.
From a distance this quilt looks complicated, but not particularly striking because of the low contrast in the values of the fabrics. However, the closer you get, the better it gets, and up close it is amazing. The details in the hand embroidery on the delicately pieced blocks, quilting, pictorial applique and embroidery embellishments are beautiful. This is an exquisitely made quilt which must have hundreds of hours of work invested in it. Here are some detailed shots.
In honor of Veteran’s Day, I thought I should revisit the American Heroes Quilts project. At our Bainbridge Island Quilt Festival this September, there were several American Heroes quilts exhibited and the opportunity for show attendees to stitch quilt blocks at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art. Our local American Heroes quilt group meets on the third Thursday of the month at Esther’s Fabrics and is open to all. You can also pick up American Hero blocks at Esther’s to make at home. (This may change as Esther’s is about to have a new owner).
The American Heroes Quilts project was established in 2004 to provide recognition and appreciation to wounded service men and women who served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The quilts are like metaphoric hugs and a way to express gratitude. There are over 800 volunteers participating in the program. As of the January 2016, over 21,500 quilts had be given to deserving service men and women and their families. The quilts are sent to Madigan Hospital at Joint Base Lewis McCord, other Warrior Transition Centers in the US, and directly to bases in Afghanistan.
The quilts are made using red, white and blue fabrics, often with patriotic prints. Quilters seem to be generous by nature and this is one of many examples of the outreach projects in which they participate.
The judged AQS show at Des Moines had almost 200 contestants. Here is the quilt that won Best Original Design. It is Ewe Are My Sunshine, 63″ x 72″, by Janet Stone from Overland Park, KS. This quilt is one in a series of alphabet quilt designed and made by Janet. Her goal is to make 26 alphabet quilts and she is now over half way. Many of her previous quilts have also been major award winners and I have admired them over the years.
Janet’s design sense and attention to details are incredible. She uses vibrant colors in this quilt, beautifully combining applique, piecing and free motion embroidery. The quilting is exquisite and all done on her home sewing machine. Each block is a little master piece. Here are some detailed shots that give you a taste, but the pictures don’t do it justice.