QuiltCon is a rush, and it is an absolute pleasure to get to work behind the scenes on the crew to help create the best quilt show and convention possible. This year I had the pleasure of working closely with Lindsey in workshops, and after another week to forget the hard work, I’m sure I’ll be more than ready to go for next year in Nashville. I’m getting over the post-exhaustion crud (a bit of a cold that came on the moment I got home), and I am excited to have a few photos of quilts to share from the show this year. To be perfectly honest, I am exhausted.
I just happened to catch Cheryl from Meadow Mist Designs when she was near her quilt, Pop Rocks, which hung in the Michael Miller challenge. Lucky timing! Cheryl and her Modern Plus Sign Quilts book co-author, Paige from Quilted Blooms, were kind enough to visit with me several evenings late at night.
Speaking of Paige, her Michael Miller challenge quilt, Casting Shadows, won second place in its category!
I nabbed unsuspecting bystanders to photograph me next to my quilts in the show, and it was great to see the charity quilt I collaborated on with the Blue Moon Quilters (Renee from Quilts of a Feather, Afton from Quilting Mod, and Sarah from Blue Quail Studio), which hung right by registration.
I will say that the quilts that spoke to me this year are not easy quilts. They are quilts that demand some time and thought. What follows are the quilts that literally stopped me in my tracks in the time I had to view the show.
Black, Brown, and White in Orange by Karen Maple.
The United Stated incarcerates 3.5 times the number of people than European countries. African-American and Hispanics have much higher imprisonment rates than whites in the U.S. Regardless of color or economic background, many prisoners are forgotten by society and spend countless hours alone in their cells with nothing to do. How would you spend your years in prison in orange garb?
Words Matter by Robert Bosscher.
Now more than ever, our words matter. Words are used to hurt and attack, accuse and belittle. Destructive words can be delivered from the anonymity of social media completely avoiding accountability. Our silence matters. The words we don’t say are as much of a statement as the words we do say. Words can also build, support, uplift and create. Our words matter. Let’s choose the world we want to live in.
B4U by Juli Smith.
B4U, hate was hiding, but LOVE will prevail.
In memory of Heather Heyer and all those who have lost their lives while fighting against hate and intolerance. I will stand with you always.
I am enough. by Jessica Levitt.
This quilt is a way for me to be vulnerable in my struggle. I often feel I’m not ________ enough — not pretty enough, talented enough, nurturing enough driven enough…
Creating is the best way I know to be open about my shame. The path to more love and belonging in my life is to believe that I’m worthy of it. In all the many competing messages in my head, the one I want to be simple and clear is that I am enough, just as I am. This quilt isn’t perfect — but it is enough.
This year the youth category was truly amazing, inspiring, and powerful. Again, I didn’t have much time, and the photos I took are of the quilts that stopped me in my tracks.
Say Their Names by the Social Justice Sewing Academy.
Twitter Tantrums by Carina Cabriales.
I created this social justice art quilt during the ‘Stitch. Resist. Persist.’ program that the Social Justice Sewing Academy provided. I chose to design this quilt which I titled, Twitter Tantrums because Trump’s Twitter rants are inappropriate and have negative impacts on society. I chose to use raw edge appliqué and hand embroidery to complete this quilt.
America the Beautiful by Ann Guiam brought me to tears. Which was apparent because the photo I took of the description was too blurry to share.
I created this quilt because of the mass shootings and terrorism that have occurred during my lifetime have unfortunately led me to question the true beauty of America. These acts of violence have impacted the lives of so many people both directly and indirectly and I hope this quilt will serve to bring awareness to this societal issue and also honor the lives of those who were harmed. The bottom half of the quilt is simultaneously supposed to symbolize the American flag and a classroom because I worry that kids in school are learning to normalize these horrible events because they are so frequent.
Get Woke, by Chawne Kimber.
Meant to transcend the moment at hand, this quilt is in reaction to and encouragement of the current social awakening in the US.
Canterbury #2 by Debbie Grifka.
The stunning beauty and grace of gothic architecture never fails to inspire me. This quilt is based on a picture of a corridor near the cloisters in Canterbury Cathedral (Canterbury, England). Eliminating everything except the bare bones of the architecture keeps the focus on the hallway itself as it draws you to follow deeper into the cathedral. Restricting the color palette to black and white avoids the distraction of color and keeps the attention on the architectural lines. The quilting further separates the path forward from the beautiful, airy space around it.
Ohio Snowball was conceived with a blown up flowering snowball block, choosing to emphasize the small square formed between the petals. I knew that I wanted to create a secondary pattern and chose the Ohio Star for its easily recognizable nature. Since I very often play with overlapping patterns for my quilting designs they pull from how one might quilt an entire quilt of flowering snowball blocks, as well as repeating both the Ohio Star block and flowering snowball petals, playing with scale, and quilting in a traditional border.
And last but definitely not least is Mod Garden by Jack Weise, which I think is my favorite quilt from the show. Jack, his wife, and his son all had quilts juried into the show. How awesome is that?!?
I attempted to transform a traditional double tulip quilt block into a more modern graphic by using only two colors in the block. As an architect, I am trained to design in plan and elevation views and this has carried through into my quilt design.
Through the traditional lines in the pieced blocks, the tulip is seen in elevation view. The quilting hints at a tulip in plan view with the stitches defining the extent of the petals and the colored square representing the bulb. The two views of the flower provide a new twist on the double tulip.
To see all the winning quilts, visit the 2018 QuiltCon Winners page posted by the Modern Quilt Guild, and visit the Instagram Hashtag #QuiltCon2018 to get a bigger view of the quilts on display at the show.
I’ll be back to share about the 3 hour class I took and offer a giveaway for those who were not able to attend, so stay tuned!