Thursday, May 1, 2014

More thoughts on Paducah quilts

Okay today I went through my Paducah photos and pulled quilts that I had comments on, either about their composition, technique, and so on. This is just a subset, I will probably have a few more of these posts! So, in no particular order...

First off, while every quilt in the show had impeccable quilting, I was surprised by how few really blew me away with the quilting design. This was really the only one where I was floored by way the quilting took a more plain quilt and turned it into a show stopper.  Click the photos to enlarge, you won't be disappointed!
"Evening Bloom" by Thelma Childers, quilting by Judi Madsen.

Seriously, wow. I don't know how you manage such perfectly aligned straight lines behind and between all that applique.

This next one was quite unique for its use of ombre. It looks like my flash went off and washed out part of the quilt, but that's actually how it looked! I'm not sure that I like it, but I also don't hate it. I'm just not sure what effect the artist was going for since the pale portions don't form a consistent design or anything. I bet she was going with her heart and gut instinct. :) "Wrought" by Margaret McDonald.

Now there were a few quilts in the show that struck me for their use of what I would consider ugly fabrics. In fact there was one that really blew my mind at the National Quilting Museum, but photos are not allowed there. Here is a shot of it from Quilt Index:

It's calle Joie de Vivre by Candy Goff and won Best in Show in 1999. I wish I could show you a close-up, but you will have to trust me that all those bright beautiful fabrics were actually pretty dull and old-fashioned designs. I was blown away when I got up close to it.  So I definitely saw some quilts like this at the show as well. 

This one is obviously gorgeous, but when you get up close that fabric is pretty old-fashioned florals that I probably wouldn't consider for a quilt. This one is "A Truly Feathered Star" by Karen Sievert.

And here is another one. Beautiful, right?

Check out the close up below. Each of those fabrics are ones that I would consider pretty ugly on their own.  Now this isn't meant to be a negative on these quilters - it's a real complement how they are able to make such amazing compositions such that the fabric's best qualities stand out. It really is amazing! This is "Song of the Earth" by Etsuko Uto.

Okay now this is just on I wanted to share because it's such a neat optical illusion. This is one where I would have liked some details in the program about how she did it. Are the bubbles just painted on top? I don't know! This is "Sedona Dew" by Colleen Wise.

Now I'm going to share a few quilts that I was not a fan of. This one below is just a twister quilt. The pattern itself is pretty bland and the colors are equally blah. The reason it got in , in my opinion, is that she hand satin stitched around EVERY SEAM. But WHY?? It doesn't enhance the quilt to me. I would have not put the time and energy into something like that. Unfortunately I didn't include the label in my photo so I cannot tell you who made this.

This one is lovely, but look at the photo up close and the red and green plaid basically makes you go cross-eyed. Otherwise It's pretty darn awesome. And I don't think I noticed that plaid at all when I was actually at the show, only when looking at the photo later. This is "Cheers!" by Kyoko Inagaki.

This one got an award for impeccable workmanship...but those colors...aside from the fact that they are a bland grey, they are all so similar to one another that you can't actually see the designs in each block. This is another one where I can't really fathom putting the time and effort in if your work can't be appreciated! This is "Oriental Puzzle" by Hitomi Kanazawa.

And this was this year's Best in Show, which you have already probably seen around the internet. The details are really amazing, but what I don't like about it is that it looks a lot like a fabric or design from Provence, so much so that it's look printed to me. It's hard to describe, but somehow it just doesn't look as incredibly detailed as it actually is to me. I guess, it reminds me of a tablecloth. And it's totally sacrilege for a quilt with that much time and effort to be even thought of in the same category as a tablecloth, but I can't help it. This is "Elated" by Ted Storm.

Here's just one close-up showing the details..hand quilting, embroidery on each piece, and so on.

Okay now we are back to some quilts that I did enjoy! This was another one where I thought the colors were bland, but at least this had a purpose: It depicts snowy winter scenes. And since I've been dreaming of making a snowglobe quilt, the snowglobe theme of this got me pretty excited. This is "Snowy Town" by Hiroko Suzuki.

I was surprised at how few Baltimore quilts were in the show. There were a few, but I was expecting more. There were a lot of hand applique quilts that were more medallion-style. Anyways this one stood out because somehow she was able to make everything look so three dimensional. This is "Sleigh Ride" by Michele Byrum and Laurel Keith.

Check out the close-up below. Are those flowers painted? Do hand applique artists just have amazing abilities to find perfectly shaded pieces of fabric? Seriously, this boggles my mind. It looks so good!

Here's another close-up. I wasn't a complete fan of the quilting. The quilter tried to create a secondary design with the blocks in which she quilted curves, but to me it just came out looking like she got sick of making curves and stopped part of the way through. But look at that shading on those petals! Do they just find ombre fabric??

Okay this one both annoyed me and made me sad. The quilter put a heck of a lot of time and effort into making this Hawaiian quilt, but made one glaring mistake. Can you see it?

Okay, aside from the colors, which I find rather garish and clashing, she picked a partially see-through fabric and didn't line it, so the seam down the center is just completely obvious and glaring. It's a shame to have a quilt with some much time and effort in it have such a basic mistake. I am sure she sewed the two pieces together before she did much sewing down, so I'm surprised she didn't just correct it then. This is "My Favorite Quilt" by Machiko Kunimoto.

Okay we can't end on that depressing note, so here is a fun one for you:

All of the amazing designs on these blocks were thread painted. Some of the tan shading looks like it may be fabric paint, but everything black is thread. They look like sketches, don't they? I didn't really such much thread painting at this show at all, so this quilt was a real treat. This is "The Value of Gears" by Judith Phelps. Check out Mr. Moon!

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