There was a great exhibit of quilts from the book I was lucky enough to be in: Amish Quilts, The Adventure Continues. As always, seeing them in person, beats a flat picture or a digital photograph any day. (How has that changed what we esteem as “good” quilts? Just something to think about.) That’s why quilt shows are so valuable as they allow a viewer to fall in love with quilts again.
Suzanne Keeney Lucy’s Ocean Waves
Two views of Michelle Webber’s It’s Hip to Be Square
Two views (one to show the quilting) of Reflection of the Times, made by Angela Yosten and quilted by Natalia Bonner
Likewise there were some quilts from QuiltCon.
I took a shot of this one because I love Carolyn Friedlander’s fabrics, but it is true that this quilt is lacking some contrast. It’s not just the photography. The title of this one is The Local Quilt.
Deconstructed Nine Patch by Jacquie Gering
Honey in Space, by Elizabeth Hartman
Log Pyramids, by Liz Harvatine
You Rule, by Brigitte Heitland
and lastly, A Very Long Conversation, by Rossie Hutchinson. I was pretty sure I had a photo from Christa Watson’s String of Pearls (using Lizzy House’s fabric–a great design) but it’s too blurry to post, so go *here* to see that fun quilt. . . and her (more on that later). There were a couple of quilts I was sure I had a photo of, but when I looked at them, I must have been taking them on a fast run past. Maybe it was because I had too many bags around my shoulders?
At this point, don’t you think we need a little retail therapy? This is the little quilt in the charm booth–a way to display those little pins we all love. This group had figured out how to make earrings out of them, so they had a lot of people crowded around.
Fabricworm’s first time at Road. Judging from the crowd at their booth, I think they’ll be back.
Loved the chair AND the floor mat. The floor “rug” looked like just patches with some sort of matte finish brushed over it.
And LUNCH! From left, Leisa, Lisa, Lisa’s sister-in-law Betty (who came from another state just for Road), me and Simone. Get your scrolling fingers ready, here come more quilts!
Janet Dorsey Hirth used lots of different piecing styles in her sampler quilt, titled Loose Leaf Earl Grey.
Random snapshot of free-motion quilting
This is a terrible picture of a fabulous quilt, by Ann Feitelson, titled Music of the Spheres. Google it and you should find a better photo. It’s really amazing.
Here’s another Ann Feitelson. I think she never sleeps. This one is titled Basket Weave II: See Saw. There was a lot of math that went into this quilt, judging from her description. She writes “The titled also refers to seeing and have seen, the way vision shifts in every blink.”
Kim Bruny’s Blast from the Past is so named because all the bright designs and paisley prints remind her of her childhood. Well, now we know how old she is! (Kidding, Kim. It was a terrific quilt.) I have several photos, showing details.
She used the “tiling” method of creating her top: appliquéing her patches to a single piece of fabric, keeping the pieces an even distance away, so it looks like tiles have been laid down.
And in the borders–broderie perse, a technique of using specific cuts of the printed fabric to create the design.
I liked this quilting because it wasn’t so dense. Lately quilters have been quilting their quilts so densely, they could stand up as a room screen by themselves. This is a nice change.
Sandi Delman’s Kartwheels was started in 2009, and took several raids of her fabric stash to make the rings, arcs, borders and stars. Kerry Marksbury quilted it.
Eva Birch’s Tequila Sunrise was a more modern quilt with lots of interesting quilting in the negatives spaces. Even though the photo above looks washed out, the background fabric was deep-toned. Two more detail shots:
I spent the better part of Friday afternoon tearing back and forth between the Superior Thread Booth and the booth where my quilter Cathy Kreter was working, talking about threads, designs, colors, etc. I was successful in choosing a thread, and on the way back, I stopped by Nancy Rink’s booth to show her my quilt (she designed this quilt). She obliged me with a photo. Yes, I carried that king-sized quilt top around all afternoon (which may account for some of the blurry photos).
After a long day (as both Leisa and I woke up too early that morning and couldn’t go back to sleep) my little gang, The Good Heart Quilters, took ourselves to the local El Torito, where ten of us gathered round the table, including Cindy of Live A Colorful Life and Deborah of Simply Miss Luella. (They’ve adopted us Good Heart Quilters.)
A few went back home to our town, and those of us who were staying the night gathered together in mine and Leisa’s room, did Show and Tell and talked shop. I’m not letting those others go home next year, and think we ought to order in some chocolate cake and ice cream for fun.
You’ll hear us Southern Californians complain about our drought (those mountains ought to have WHITE tops, not brown), but you can’t beat waking up to this on a January morning. We’re in for a doozy this summer in terms of water rationing. Expect me to come and see you for a shower this summer. Okay, last batch of quilts. Here we go.
Pat Adair’s Joyful Giddiness used a few of Kim McClean’s patterns to create the appliqué in this quilt.
A lovely quilt, as evidenced by the use of color, piecing and quilting (and that blue ribbon!).
Almost Symmetry, by Nicki Allen (quilted by Kathy Gray).
This was made for the EZ Dresden Quilt Challenge, an online challenge sponsored by the Salt Lake Modern Quilt Guild.
Marilyn Belford used all varieties of fabrics and techniques to create this masterpiece titled Perseus Saving Andromeda.
That rough water is raw-edge appliquéd, as is most of the quilt.
Fractured Star was made by Linda Bergmann and quilted by Debbie Lopez, and is a Karen Stone design.
So is Susan Bianchi’s Graffiti Heart a quilt? Since she created her design out of beads and buttons on whole cloth? I remember that controversy came up with Hollis Chatelein first debuted at Houston, with her whole-cloth painted quilts. (She earned a blue ribbon that year.) Whatever, this was one of two of these button/bead quilts in the show, fascinating collages utilizing hard surface design.
And now it’s time for the Ugly Quilt Award. Every year I try to pick the ugliest quilt. It could miss on overall composition, surface design treatment, overreaching in the skill department (think: Peter Principle), or by the fact that somehow, it was just plain. And ugly. A very subjective category, but in walking around with some of my quilter friends, a number of them pointed out candidates for this award, so I know it wasn’t just me. All of these are nameless, maker-less. And in full-disclosure, any one of us could in any given year qualify, so no hubris intended.
From the plastic doll, to the overly busy background to the tassels, andthat 3D hair, this is a sure qualifier.
Another angel candidate, with her strangely proportioned torso to that gift-wrapped bow on the corner. Hmmm.
Meant to evoke a haunting response from the viewer, of the souls of lost native Americans now inhabiting the abandoned-dwellings-now-a-National-Park (I suppose) instead this just came off as creepy-looking, kind of like a cartoonish dead baby head filling a sacred space.
Update: While I originally noted the fine quality of the quilting and the good design and composition of space, I panned this quilt for the drawings, as they looked extremely juvenile. My sister, the historian, called me tonight to tell me that she thinks they were based on well-known (to historians) primitive drawings done by Native Americans at some of the critical battles. She’ll let me know the source, and then I’ll add it here.
If it is true that this quilt was based on those historical drawings, it obviously needs to be moved from this category. (However, I still stand on the unfortunate quilted swirls on the men’s faces.)
Okay, Ugly Quilt Contest over. Later on I’ll show you my favorite quilt, and I’ll tell you why. (The ones I love usually never win at this show. But I was happy to see this week that one of my favorites from last year went on to Win Big at other national contests.) Okay, back to the quilts.
Modern Alphabet, made and quilted by Gerrie Thompson.
Yep, I’m pretty much fixated on DSM quilting this year. My apologies.
Patricia Wolfe titled her innovation of a traditional Bear Paw block KABOOM! Bear Paws Gone Wild. She also quilted it herself.
Titled Mishief Maker, Sue Wilson both made and quilted this octopus quilt, hand-painting the design on linen. I walked around with my friend Simone and she gave me a lesson on borders, and why are quilters so attached to their borders? As a trained graphic artist, she showed me several quilts that would have benefitted from “breaking the borders,” as the traditional use of that space enclosing a design cramped the artistry of the quilt. This was a successful breaking of the border, she noted. We both loved it.
LUNCH! (Day Two) with Cindy, Deborah, me, Leisa and Christa of ChristaQuilts. It was a great conversation about quilting, the industry, design, breaking news and old news, one of the advantages of getting together at a quilt show.
Okay, last gasp of quilts, then my favorite.
One of a trio of quilts, Linzi Upton’s quilts were tucked away at the back of the hall. Another quilt, Silver Madonna won big last year, and these look like they follow in the same trend of using metallic fabric, then painting it, then quilting it to achieve the texture.
The title of the three together is Odin’s Triology, and Upton made and quilted them all.
Another strong black and white quilt, ChrisTaylor’s I have felt lonely in a crowded room brought in architectural features of doors, windows and line to portray that feeling of being “alone” yet feeling “comforted by memories.”
Inspired by the Holyoke Range and the Connecticut rivers near her home, Timna Tarr created Valley Snapshots, a rich mix of shape and color. This was almost my most favorite.
Timna Tarr was busy this year, getting two quilts into Road. This one, titled Request and Dedication, started out as a Wheel of Fortune block, but “after ten years of marriage [to a musician], he finally rubbed off on me and I unintentionally made a record quilt.”
I had to show you close-ups of the quilting.
Spilling Over was made and quilted by Sharon Schlotzhauer, her inspiration coming from the loss of a treasured quilt, and from the “faith. . . [and] loving thoughts and prayers from friends and the quilting community.”
Citrus Slices by Marie O’Kelley was dear to my heart, as we live near the Citrus Experimental Station of the University of California–Riverside. She writes “This quilt commemorates my brother’s career at UCR hybridizing new citrus varieties. Included are the names of his hybrids and those of more common citrus types.” By the way, if you like the little easy-to-peel Cutie (brand) tangerines, you have the scientists at UCR to thank.
Autumn Whirlpool, by Bobbie Moon.
Banderitas, by Victoria Murphy
Daisy Dance, by Susan Meyers, from a pattern by Kathy Munkelwitz
And now my favorite quilt of the show. It’s not flashy, overly huge, stylized with 300 pounds of crystals and bling, but it’s a perfectly executed gem of a quilt. Titled, Did You Wash Your Beak, it comes from a nature photograph of Eastern Bluebirds by Steve Byland.
The quilting appeared to be in a heavier weight variegated thread, which shows every flaw. I couldn’t find any. Taylor had put more leaves in the background of his quilting, surrounding those with small stippling stitches. The branch had more texture added by the quilting.
The white-gloved lady held it up to show me the back. Exquisite. Taylor writes “I believe this is my most accomplished quilt to date. The technique I have been trying to master for the past 12 years. . . was to create an appliquéd quilt that appears to be a photograph or painting at first glance.” I’d say he succeeded.
All of these feathers, the claw, all pieces really, are needle-turned appliqué, with the quilting enhancing the shading and structure. A masterpiece of a quilt. While some might aspire to be the big old blue ribbon winner at the front of the hall, by the CD-selling harpist, I aspire to create quiet quilts of detail and story like this one. I loved it!
And that’s all folks–see you next year!!
18 thoughts on “Road to California 2014, part II”
Thank you for posting pictures of some mighty incredible quilts. It fuels my creativity. And that is a good thing.
I have so enjoyed looking at all these wonderful quilts – thank you for sharing and for the narratives! The “Road” is now on my bucket list and tied with the annual show in Sisters, OR. And you nailed the least favorites, I think!
Thank you very much for sharing pictures of these quilts. As someone who loves your blog, and really admires your work, could I very humbly suggest that constructive criticism is great, but your ugly quilt contest borders on cruel.
Whenever someone makes something it is a triumph over inertia. When someone makes something and submits it to public view it’s really brave. I’d be astonished, hurt and humiliated if someone commented on my blog to the effect that something I’d made came off as “creepy-looking, kind of like a cartoonish dead baby head filling a sacred space”, or had an “…um…harmonious color scheme” and I don’t know if it’s any more appropriate here. It’s okay not to like but….
I guess what I mean to say is that I really value the supportive nature of the online quilting community – I don’t want to start a war:-)
They are so amazing. Your favorite is incredible. The detail is so fabulous. The only thing better is the friends who were able to share the days with you.
Thanks for giving me a chance to visit “Road” once again. We moved away from Corona almost 4 years ago and I haven’t made it back for the show and missed it!
Thank you for sharing your pictures. I also had a quilt in “Amish Quilts: the Adventure Continues,” which I quilted on my domestic machine ;-)….and which was in the exhibit at Road 2 Ca. I wasn’t able to attend, and have been scouring blogs hoping to see a picture of my quilt, which is how I came across your post – thanks again for sharing and giving those of us who couldn’t attend a chance to experience a slice of it! And congrats for being in the book!
Wow oh wow! So much to take in. Some of these are just amazing. Makes me feel a little flat about my own efforts, but I will continue to enjoy my little hobby : )
Yesterday I was unable to comment for some reason. I enjoyed both posts and thanks for the link.
Really enjoyed these posts about the Road to California – I have saved them to go back and see them again. I am going to go to Paducah in April (a birthday gift from my DH), and am enjoying this exhibit as much as I am sure I will that one. Love your in-between photo commentary, too. So glad you got to go have some fun!
Well, wow. Thanks for the tour. I’ve got three things to say.
1. I love David Taylor. I took a class from him a couple years ago. Haven’t worked on the project since, but he is an incredible artist and really nice guy. I got to actually touch some of his masterpieces.
2. Those ugly quilts were astoundingly ugly. Makes me wonder how they get into big name shows like that.
3. Your first lines about photography and “good” quilts could fill pages, I think. It goes to the whole blogging/modern/digital/magazine quilt world vs quilt shows and quilts in real life.
Thank you for taking the time to share your pictures. I enjoyed it.
Wow! You did such a great job with your reporting 🙂 This is good enough to go in a magazine!! I love that you carried around that king sized quilt. Too bad I didn’t get a chance to see it in person.
Thank you for the gallery of photographs. I felt like I was there, which was a real treat. However, negative critique may be best omitted, as it may discourage some from continuing on in their quilting journey and refining their skills. I do not think anyone would have entered the show had they thought their quilts were ugly. Perceptions vary, and I suspect the creators of all the quilts are emotionally invested and did not intend to submit work your friends would find unappealing.
Is the quilt you made from Nancy Rink’s pattern the one that was in the Amish book? It’s beautiful. Again, a wonderful tour of the show. I have to agree with you on your favorite–what amazing artistry.
Spectacular. People are so passionate and talented. Thank you for sharing. The fractured star is incredible. Inspiring, how blessed to see them in person.
Wow! So much amazing. If someone held a gun to my head and said – pick one! It would have to be blast from the past. Beautiful and right in my wheelhouse!
Wanna know something funny? I have a weird quirk – I’m very tactile and have to touch everything. I do it all the time and dont even notice it. Whenever I go to a museum or quilt show, I have to keep my hands in my pockets or full of things. Otherwise, I touch. I nearly touched a Monet and didnt even realize it until the museum guy yelled at me! Its crazy. 🙂
You are quite the reporter Elizabeth. Well done. David Taylor’s work is so amazing. Actually most all the quilts in a good show are something to strive for. I can never imagine doing the kind of quilting that is done for show quality quilts. Also it really looks like you had a fun time with good friends.
Thanks for sharing! I wish I could have been there!