Road to California–part 2

I’ve had some really good comments from readers about Road to California and it’s interesting how they parallel what I was hearing behind me and around me from the attendees: nice quilts, but I’ll never make one of those.  And certainly I felt that way about the quilts I wrote about earlier.  So, thanks everyone, for writing.

There were a lot of quilts that when I looked at them  I began to ask myself: what is it about these that is different, special?  Here’s some more that I saw.

Beauty Parlor De Los Muertos, by Nancy C. Arseneault is a classic, as she got all the details just right.  She’s from Tucson, AZ.

Notice the clever use of fabric in the floor tiles!

Sunlit Circles, from Ann Petersen of Surprise, AZ uses spiky circles floated over the top of her quilt.  What makes this one really interesting, I think, is that border of quilted circles, with an occasional scalloped edge.

Nice quilting, and while close together, it’s not excessive.

And not one sparkle (yay!).

This is one of those quilts that you had to see to believe.  Titled The Loading Dock, and made by Mary Buvia of Greenwood Indiana, it reminded me of those books by Jan Brett with ornate illustrations all alongside the main panel. Bruvia hand appliqued much of this “during the long hours of chemo treatments” for her late husband.  She made this quilt in homage to him, as Christmas was his favorite holiday.

It was beautifully done.

Yes, it had sparkles, but this is one quilt that should have — to show the snow sparkling in the North Pole moonlight.  Just my .02 worth, here.

There were a series of quilts that used fabric to show texture in interesting ways–another use of hexagons in this quilt by Jean Spring (from Steamboat Springs, Colorado) and titled Three Gulls on a Wall.

Holly Dominie, from Readfield Maine, took Australian fabrics to a class given by Susan Carlson, intending to experiment in the “Pointillism” style.  This portrait of her daughter is titled Queen of My Heart.  It was stunningly beautiful, and I am sad that they hung the ribbon right on this work of art, which was based on photographs Dominie had taken.

I crept in right up to the quilt, then zoomed in, so you could see her amazing work with the fabrics, cutting, laying them down, then the random stitching.  I have to say I thought of one of my favorite blogs, written by Kathy Doughty, who features these fabrics (because she’s from Australia, for one thing) to great effect.

This one of her son is titled Irrepressible.  Same artist, same technique.  When I visited the vendor’s booth that had stocked these fabrics, they were flying off the bolt, snapped up by all of us quilters as we now envisioned what could happen.  Not that we’ll ever do it, of course, but we hope and believe that we can, inspired by these quilts.  And that’s my big gripe with those “show quilts” from the other post.  They DON’T inspire us.  We look at them, amazed by the hours and hours, but the stray comments I heard never indicated that a quilter wanted to go home and fire up her sparkle gun, or get busy quilting with lines 1/16th-inch apart.  I can admire their work, but that’s as far as it goes.  Of course, I could just be weird, an anomaly, but judging from what I heard, I don’t think I am.

This was just the perfect little piece–wavy edge reminiscent of a postage stamp–a tiny snapshot of a day.  And that’s the title: Snap Shot from Seaside, and it’s made by Mary Kay Price of Portland, Oregon.

I was very interested in the edge of that bridge–the spiky grasses, the grayed ledge. The grasses were raw edge appliqued, but really fused down somehow so they looked painted on.  And the edge?  Some fabric paint to blur and soften that so it melted into the picture.  Really beautiful.

Early Snow, by Yuki Harding from Green Valley, Arizona, was based on a photograph she had taken, of what I assume to be cherry blossoms shedding their blossoms.

Or I could be completely wrong, and it IS a first snowfall.  Whatever, it was interesting, and I loved how she created texture with fabrics and thread.

Here was another stunner of a quilt, that unbelievably only garnered a second place.  Titled The World, and made and quilted by Rachel Wetzler of St. Charles, Illinois, is her rendition of the genesis of the world.  It’s a well-balanced composition with great detail and good use of color and technique.  Maybe it only got a second because it didn’t have any sparkles on it? (Can you tell I’m so done with the sparkle business?)

Such an amazing quilt.  I hope it comes to a quilt show near you so you can sit and study it as well.

Kathryn Nolte, from La Habra Heights, California created this visual feast, titled Take in the Night Blooming Jazz, Man.  Sinewy, fluid shapes echo the subject of her quilt, with a real live “piano key” border.

Great quilting, too, putting more motion into this quilt.  Whenever I went by, there were lots of onlookers clustered around this quilt.

Check out the quilting on the piano player’s pants!

Obviously you are subject to my biases and personal preferences, but if I were to consider a quilt for the Best of Show Award, the following would be on the short list.

The Archer was made and quilted by Wendy Knight of San Diego, California.  Unfortunately, it was hung on a side aisle so the lighting isn’t as good I as I hoped for.  This quilt is expertly composed with lots of movement, color shifts and values, detail and on top of that is interesting.  It also had a crowd every time I went by.

Was I influenced by her expert quilting, writing in text into the background of her quilt?  No doubt.  These are words from the teachings of “Bushido–which is the way of the warrior.”  Her husband is a “student of Japanese history, in particular the Samurai culture” and it obviously influenced her subject matter.

The circular piecing and quilting on the horse’s neck really showed the form of the animal.

More detail. . . and more quilts in the next post!  My husband has just made me some fresh-squeezed orange juice downstairs and I’m headed to a late Saturday morning breakfast.  Enjoy your day!

4 thoughts on “Road to California–part 2

  1. Since I saw these quilts side by side with you, it is fascinating to read your well-written reviews of each of them–which mirror my thoughts as well. Only I can’t express them nearly as well. So like I said–I’m just going to link back here. 🙂

    Hope you are enjoying your breakfast…

  2. wow – inspiration indeed – especially the photos using oz fabric – i’m not a fan of oz fabric, (even though i live here!) but the use of them in the ‘photos’ is inspired – brilliantly done….and i’m with you – not a fan of sparkles and frou-frou. really enjoying your insights and commentary on these posts elizabeth

  3. Thanks for sharing Elizabeth – I too enjoyed the pictures, closeups and your commentary. One of the marks of a good quilt is one that makes you stop and look…and then look some more and most likely return to look again.

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