Wednesday I attended an all-day lecture/class taught by precision piecer Sally Collins. In stark contrast, Sally's exquisite work is painstakingly accurate and detailed. This Lotus Flower quilt of hers measures a mere 7¼" square so you can only imagine how tiny those HSTs are. All seams are still ¼". A few may be graded afterward to press well – mainly those of pieces that are less than ¼" in size – but initially seam allowances are all ¼"! Photos really do not do her work justice. I saw and could touch and handle a great number of her quilts at the class. I was in awe seeing, in person, the limits to which patient, dedicated workmanship can take the art of quilting.
I learned a fair amount of good techniques that I can apply to my own piecing, but miniatures are not my thing. Sally kept emphasizing she is in this for the process, not the product, so I can relate to that aspect of her specialty. I love to quilt but just how many bed covers or decorative throws can you use? She also advises, "Focus on how well, not how fast, you make your quilts." This resonates with me too. Piecing is my favorite part. Why race through it with an over abundance of speed methods and assembly techniques that randomize fabric placement?
I thought it ironic and amusing that these two quilters, so different in their artistry, were at the same show. I saw them talking with each other and I asked them to pose for a photo together. They agreed that I could pass this on. If you did not already know, could you guess by how they are dressed who is who?
As featured artist Freddy Moran had almost 150 quilts in the show. Sally Collins had about 30 or so. Quilts submitted by local quilters numbered on the order of 100 or so. The rest of this blog will take you on a tour of a few of the quilts that I caught my eye or displayed a creative idea I liked.
Also at the show entrance was this cheerful Chickadee quilt, a local entry titled Fat Chicks. It made me want to get better at appliqué. A bit of whimsical appliqué easily brightens up a quilt!
I happen to have a fondness for flying geese. Having so many gathered in one spot was engaging, especially when you notice a few reverse the position of the geese and the sky just to mix it up and add interest. It is like the ornithological parallel to the proverbially black sheep. This quilt Freddy titled The Gee's Bend Triangles.
The Good, Bad, and Ugly (GBU) projects was a fun category for the local quilters. For $20 they could buy a pre-filled bag of two yards of "Ugly" fabrics from our shop in Livermore, In Between Stitches. A portion of bag purchase price goes to breast cancer research (GOOD). Not all bags contain the same fabrics and quilters do not know the contents when they purchase it (BAD). I learned that over 40 bags were sold! Quilters were required to use at least 50% of those fabrics (UGLY) to make a quilt top with a minimum size of 32". Show-goers then voted on their favorite and the winner would get a gift certificate to the shop. No – winners were not restricted to using the gift certificate to buy "ugly" fabric. (My husband came up with that tongue-in-cheek question.) The entrants did such a good job, I had a hard time telling which were the "ugly" fabrics. This quilt was my favorite. It reminded me of the It's A Small World attraction at Disneyland. I may try this next year just for kicks.
I like the way the flying geese in this quilt, again by a local, were bordered by HSTs. It gives the borders an ordered, tidy, and more substantial look and adds a third color of interest.
This quilt is remarkable in the 3D effect it projects through clever use of color placement. The local quilter who made this titled it A-MAZE-ING.
This quilt caught my eye (any my husband's eye, too) maybe because the Singer Featherweight I just acquired is fresh in my mind. The seed packets and newspaper print border lend to its vintage feel. The technique in this one that appeals is the way the quilter incorporated different size panel prints into one cohesive unit.
On Saturday night all the quilts are taken down and then rehung on Sunday morning. My husband and I were volunteers that helped with the take-down. The nursery has a pulley system strung among the trees and each line is numbered and coded with the quilt numbers it holds. There is an organized method to lower the clothes line, remove the clothespins, fold the quilt, load into pre-number bags and stack onto waiting wagons. It ran as smooth as silk. Ladders are needed in only a smattering of special locations. Here is the tail end of the take down.
Sunday morning at 7:00 am the process to re-hang the quilts will begin for the second day of the show. I think the cow may get to leave her sweater on overnight. It does get chilly here after the sun sets.