Pizzazz! designed and quilted by Ruth Davis — an original pattern!
Never a Blue Heart Made and quilted by Lisa Johnson
Sheryl Gillilan designed and quilted this quilt, titled, It’s All a Game!
The Boys on the Block Designed, made and quilted by Marian Eason
Afternoon Delight Made by Patsy Wall; Quilted by Kim Peterson
Winter Bouquets Made by Katherine Porter; Quilted by Emmy Evans
At first glance, I thought the flowers were broderie perse, but it’s all appliqué!
Ann Larsen started Nature’s Chorus in 1999 and finished about 30 of the blocks. During the pandemic she finished it. Quilted by Shelly Dahl.
I loved the simplicity and elegance of this design, with outstanding quilting.
Pamela (a fellow judge) and Wendy (Chair of Quilt Committee) on the day the show opened. (Lisa’s quilt is in the background.)
Julie Saville first created the borders of her quilt Star Garden, then did the center. She also did the quilting.
I could have looked at this one for hours–sorry about the images. Photographing in high contrast light (like spotlights on quilts) often does funny things. It was stellar, though!
Florence Evans’ Bow Wow Chow Mein Made by Evans; Quilted by Quilts on the Corner
Improv Curves, Made and Quilted by Marian Murdock
Effervescence • Made and Quilted by Sheryl D. Gillilan
I loved this quilt, with all its blues and aquas (my colors!). It is titled Straits of Mackinac and was made by Lani Brower (my second scribe) in a Bonnie Hunter class on Mackinac Island, Michigan. Peggy Cameron did the quilting.
Just a handful more quilts for this post.
Diversity – Unity – Harmony (Mobius Radial Quilt) Made and Quilted by Luanne Olson
I hope you can see what a wide variety of quilts there are in this show!
Andrea Erekson made and quilted Happy Golden Days
Katherine Porter’s Fan Flower • Quilted by Virgina Gore
There were quite a few more quilts, but next year you’ll just have to go and see for yourself. Thank you, Springville Art Museum and the Utah Valley Quilt Guild!
Or really, it started with an email from the Quilt Show Committee asking me if I would consider judging one of my favorite small shows: the Springville Art Museum Show. The quilt show is put on by the museum, but the Utah Valley Quilt Guild provides the bulk of the volunteers, the manpower to get it all put together. According to Wendy, the chair of the Quilt Show Committee, I would be there all day, and they would provide lunch (which was delicious!). It was a 9-5 job, in other words.
Yes, I was a bit nervous never having done this before, so I did pretty extensive reading before I went, carrying copies of the NQS guidelines, and other references I found. In reviewing them the night before, I thought: “After nearly five decades of quilting, I either know this…or I don’t.”
What I wasn’t always aware of was how to compare quilts that are quite dissimilar in style, execution, materials, etc. According to NQS guidelines, it often comes down to the number of design decisions made by the maker. I let that be a guide as I worked through the quilts.
Wendy (shown here at the end of the day when she was relaxed) was my first scribe, and Lani (on the right) was my “interim scribe” when Wendy went to assemble lunch for us all. In the morning, I met my other two judges, Pamela and Chris (our bios are at the bottom of this page), along with our the other scribes. The Museum Curator, Emily, and Wendy gave us instructions.
Each quilt was to be judged twice, but each judge was to only judge a portion of the quilts (roughly 60). We would look at the quilt, check off the items on the scoring sheet, leave a comment or two about the overall impression of the quilt, then the scribe would leave the paper upside-down under the quilt, to be picked up later.
The scoring sheet had the usual items dealing with construction, design, quality, straightness, buckling or cupping of edges, tension of stitches, and so forth. Having participated in larger shows, I was suprised that they didn’t have two categories for machine: stationary head or moving head (long-arm), but instead lumped them all together (I will compose an email to the curator, later). And I was surprised about the fixation with binding on the score sheet — was it straight? was it even? was it filled? I dutifully did my inspection, but thought this was a minor detail overall. I’d heard about this from others, but still roll my eyes a bit.
The fun part was getting to put my hands all over the quilts. I kept them clean, washing them often, but it was necessary to determine — in one case — whether the tiny circles were appliquéd or painted onto the quilt (painted). I had to pull at design motifs to figure out if it was a panel or appliquéd (panel), and check other various parts of the quilt.
I’d read the phrase in my studying, “If you can see it, the judge can see it.” Yes we can. I spent a lot of time picking off threads only to find they were attached, like this one, above. We had about an average of 3-4 minutes per quilt. I’d read that some shows are judged “flat” and other shows are judged “hung.” Ours was obviously hung, so we couldn’t really examine the top corners, but could do the rest of the quilt pretty well. I spent a lot of time running my fingers down the bindings, picking up corners to check for construction.
My scribe dutifully wrote what I dictated. I soon learned that I was better about commenting about the design right off the bat, then could address the “needs improvement” comment after I’d gotten up close and personal. I think that what I said about those first few quilts were a bit clunky, and wish I could go back and re-do some of them, but we had pretty hard and fast deadlines, so I pressed on.
In later afternoon, after we had all judged the quilts, the real discussion began back at the table. We needed to fill out the top winners, settle our differences about what quilts should be elevated to awards, and choose our own Judge’s Choice. I thought we worked really well together as a team.
There were three major awards, with Best of Show being one of them. Then a few more Awards of Excellence, then Honorable Mentions, along with Sponsor Awards, Museum Awards and others. We had a lot of norming of the score sheets to do, which meant running off to see the quilts yet again, discussing them among ourselves. I liked this part of the best, as I felt we each had different tastes and approaches and this gave a good evaluation of which quilts should get an award. I could point out details in the quilts I’d judged, and they could point out details in the quilts they’d closely looked at. Finally our awards lists were complete and we handed them in…early!
Here I am holding my Judge’s Choice ribbon in front of the quilt I chose. There were some specifications for what we chose, but generally we had free rein. Notice the two judging sheets on the floor (we each had a different color), and the paper pinned to the corner of the quilt with the barest amount of info: no names, no stories of the quilt. It was just us and the quilts that day.
I was surprised that they gave me an honorarium, so I promptly went across the street to Corn Wagon Quilts (one of the sponsors) and went shopping. The Circle of a Quilter’s Life, right? I spent the night at my sister’s house in Provo, and over dinner, she dutifully listened while I talked about my experiences. She also had listened to me years before, after I’d gone to Quilt Market; I’m glad she was there.
So, in the end, did I “know it?”Confidently, I can say yes. Do I want to judge another show? Yes. Do I want to judge a show like Quilt Market or Paducah? Heaven’s no! But many small regional and guild shows need judges, and I feel I could do this. Like every quilter, I’ve made a lot of stitching mistakes in my life which brings one kind of education, but being able to go to — and participate in — some of the shows such as Quilt Market, Houston, Atlanta, PIQF, Road to California and other large national/international shows has given me another kind. After participating all these years, I was happy to be able to give back.
If you haven’t entered a Guild Show, or a regional or national show yet, give it a try. They can only say no, and you might be surprised about getting in!
Next post: Many quilts from Springville. Sneak Peek:
It’s February, so I’m leading with hearts…quilted hearts.
My first finish for February, and it seems, like the whole of 2022. The sludge I’m walking through these days seems to be rather marshy and thick, filled with Instagram rabbit holes, fascinating detours, some sighing and looking out the window, but certainly, no energy to Get My Stuff Done (best video ever). All of this is to say, I’m celebrating this pillow’s completion.
It’s month two of a new year for the Gridster Bee, and Shelley has autumn leaves on her mind, as did all the people doing the Riley Blake sampler quilt. I was off to a great start.
I wasn’t the only one having trouble with getting this block together, and I wonder if it was the pattern? My 7th grade Home Ec. teacher taught me that one–that sometimes it IS the pattern and not us.
Got it right, but that wasn’t the first mistake I’d made, either. Back to the pattern thing.
This popped up. It must explain why my energy level is so low, if I’m only getting about three hours of sleep per day. It’s because I’ve been writing patterns. One pattern is massively overdue (Borders for Tannenbaum), but I’ve finished the third draft and it’s 12 pages (I like to explain things). The other is the ongoing (and upcoming) release of Part 2 of Heart’s Garden. I have had hundreds of people get their free download of the Part 1, so look for the next installment very soon. Very Soon. Now to address two sticky issues.
Sticky Thing #1 In my last Road to California blogpost, I celebrated Linda Anderson’s quilt art. I still celebrate it, but my friend Dot commented on how one of the photos in her recent Piecework Magazine was a twin, a clone, to one of Linda’s quilts.
The above photo in Piecework, taken by Eric Sebastian Mindling.
I didn’t see any attribution on Linda’s title cards at the exhibits, so as realization slowly dawned that perhaps this quilt might have been a quilty copy of someone’s photo, I began looking for other similar examples. I found the following photograph online:
I couldn’t find a direct link to it, but it seemed to lead to Eric Sebastian Mindling, who has lived over twenty years in Oaxaca. You can see it behind Linda’s head in the photograph I took of her. I wrote in that post about the moving picture of the mother and child. I found that one on Mindling’s website. And here, below is another photo from Mindling:
This one is Linda’s.
I wrote back and forth to Dot about this copying without attribution. Dot offered, “Perhaps Linda was on one of his tours, and they both took photos of Maria at the same time”? But there are too many instances where the poses are exactly the same, the perspective the same.
When we enter any quilt contest now, we are asked to identify the sources of our inspiration. When I submitted SHINE: The Circles Quilt, I mentioned the ceiling of that church in Ljubljana, Croatia with all its painted circles. I don’t think it takes anything away from any of our creations to acknowledge the spark that led us to our make our quilt. In Linda’s case, and the way quilt shows are run now, if we use someone’s pattern or use a photo, we have to get their permission. It’s a mystery as to why this was not done in this instance, as the quilts are beautiful in their own right, even if they were taken from someone else’s photo.
Sticky Thing #2
This is the title of Mary Fons latest contribution to the quilt world, and is from the short video she recently put up on YouTube. Fons is commenting on the trend that has been around for a few years now: of cutting up old quilts to be re-made into clothing. She has some hilarious examples, some designer examples, some hideous examples. I get that not every quilt is beautiful (I’ve known that for a quite a while), and doesn’t deserve the “heirloom” treatment of a museum storage in acid-free tissue. But does that mean we are all destined for the scrap heap? The cutting room floor? The comment I put up there in support of Mary’s video was quickly rebutted by someone else. I wrote back to the commentor:
“But [Mary’s] larger point, which often seems to be subsumed in many of these tit-for-tat [comment] responses, was the query: is our craft merely to be a tool for someone else’s particular novelty, fame and glory? Or do our quilts, from now and back into the ages, have value by themselves? Can we acknowledge them and revere them or are we quilters just part of the excessive consumer machinery? Perhaps both, but I prefer to think that what I spend time on, and what my mother and grandmother spent time on, have value, and carry their particular history.”
Watch the video. See what you think. Happy Quilting!
Do I start with the stellar and then move to the sort of interesting?
Or, do I lead with the one that everyone breezed through, and finish with the exhibit where everyone lingered?
I’ll do it that way, but first — thank you for all your fun comments; I appreciate them, and am happy to know that you are enjoying seeing Road’s quilts. Another reader (thank you, Dot!) tipped me off to Accuquilt’s run-down of the show in between talking about the virtues of their product. They seemed to really like my Wealth of Days quilt (maybe because they have a die for cutting Flying Geese). My quilter, Kelley Bachi, was also complimented, which made me pleased. We’re at 4:01, in this segment. We’re at 16:04 in this segment. Blink and you’ll miss the quilt, but you’ll see others.
First, the exhibit where I rarely saw people. Sugary and saccharine-sweet, the Diana exhibit took up a large space on both sides of one of the main aisles, and like past Cherrywood Challenges, people made smallish square quilts on a theme. But unlike the last one I saw — of Bob, the painter — no one was lingering here. Here’s a sampling.
My least favorites above don’t have names associated with them. The really least favorite out of the whole exhibit? My, my, I couldn’t say as there were so many to choose from. If you see a name label above, it was one of the few lovely ones. I noticed that the jewelry was often done to excess perfection.
As a reminder: click on any image to make it larger, then hit the small X in the upper right to return to this page.
And then there was the amazing exhibit of the quilts from Linda Anderson (I apologize for the any distortion in the photos; all the quilts were perfectly flat and squared up). Every year Linda puts another masterpiece in Road to California, and I always try to find it. She has her background in painting, and uses that skill, along with raw edge appliqué and free motion quilting, to create these masterpieces.
The figure/s in each quilt draw the viewer in to find clues as to how they are thinking or feeling, or what they are doing. One year, when my grown daughter was really ill, Linda had a beautiful quilt of a mother and daughter that seemed to say to me, “It will be all right.” I mentioned that to Linda and she knew the quilt (not in this group). I was so glad that Road hung her quilts in a special exhibit.
Maria’s Tree, by Linda Anderson
And that’s a wrap for Road to California 2022!
UPDATE: Please see this post for commentary on Anderson’s quilts and correct attribution.
Road Two of Road to California Quilts. You may want to do this in two bites, but we still have Part III coming, focusing on some specialty exhibits (it’s shorter). Click on any image to make it larger, then hit the small X in the upper right to return to this page.
Thought I’d lead with a high-impact quilt.
I just want to know how she kept track of all the circles. Sometimes I wish they’d tell us how long a quilt took, but maybe I don’t want to know.
I liked the shape of the White Spotted Rose Anemone, by Kelly Spell. I kept wondering what the next wave of covid quilting was going to look like, and perhaps these curves against those lines might be an indication: texture?
Now I know what to do with all those labels in my notions drawer that I’ve been saving. I’m pretty sure I could get a pincushion covered…
Road to California has lights at the base of each quilt, and those lower lights really give a sculptural quality to the stitching.
I have a such admiration for all the detail in this quilt:
All those little houses everywhere, and patchwork flags! As a reminder: click on any image to make it larger, then hit the small X in the upper right to return to this page.
Click to see the teensy-weensy strips in this pineapple block. It was in an exhibit labeled Pride.
I appreciate the humor in this quilt. The exhibit was titled Conspiracy Theory Challenge, and most were clever but political (so.tired.of.that). So I focused in on this scene with cows being lifted heavenward by UFOs.
A perfect quilt for this year, but I think the message does not just stop there. That’s one of the interesting things about quilt shows. I see the expression of quilters being themselves, making their art the way they see it. We have all kinds in a show like Road (which is why it is one of my favorites). They strive to represent art, modern, traditional and I like that many quilts which I’d never see are sent to this show. I get to “meet” a lot of new quilters who have chosen the motto “Be You.”
Love the phone in the back pocket, along with scissors.
Pretty sure that fish lady is made of milagros, but not certain. This one and the one below appear to be about 17″ tall, a foot wide, but I’m guessing.
I love the little peoples everywhere.
Last of the smallish quilts. I thought her treatment of the “fringe” was lovely.
This was such an interesting quilt, made with six colors, and shades of gray, black and white.
Making a whole cloth quilt seems like such a challenge.
I loved the eyes, so I made that the big image in this gallery of Road quilts. The full quilt is on the lower left. I never saw the back of the piece; wish I had!
Not square! (big smile)
Colors!! No, they don’t have chains to keep the quilts from running away. Something about protecting the quilts and fire-marshall-said-so business.
Simple shapes, bold colors, value contrast, great design = smashing quilt.
This quilt, made and quilted by Zena Thorpe, is titled Connectivity. I kept zeroing in to see the quilting, as well as the appliqué. She doesn’t say how she did it, but it looks handsewn. Beautiful work.
We’re almost done!
I also wish they’d put the size of quilts on the title card. I’m guessing this is about 24″ tall. Gorgeous work by both artists.
I’ve been focusing on gardens lately [with the Mystery Quilt of Heart’s Garden I’m hosting (free! on this website!]) so I really loved all the details of Hanne Lohde’s quilt in memory of her summer home in Denmark.
And the final quilt in this post is from Janet Stone–who else to lead us out? By the way, it was also a big prize winner at Houston 2021, and their photo is quite a bit better than mine.
And that’s a wrap for this segment. Next post I’ll have the Cherrywood Diana Quilts, a few pieces of clothing, and quilts from artist Linda Anderson.
Thanks for all your comments last go-round. I tripped on my stairs and slugged the wall accidentally, so haven’t had use of my right hand for a few days, but I didn’t want you to think I hadn’t enjoyed your comments. The hand is getting better. I said to my husband, I may be older, but now it is obvious to me that all the guys in the movies are pulling their punches and not making contact. Now that we never leave our homes, does this mean we’ll have higher incidents of injuries in the home? Hope not. We don’t need to add one more thing to our list of Bad Stuff for the Covid Years.
And speaking of that, I also find it interesting that I didn’t see any visual representations of covid. Not one. I’ve always enjoyed Becky Goldsmith’s covid quilt (above), made right at the beginning of our pandemic, and since we are just past the 2nd anniversary of the first diagnosed case of covid, I thought we’d see more. I once drew up a sketch, but decided I didn’t want to spend my time making it. If I do anything, I’ll do hers (it’s a free download on her website; link above).
I’ve had several hundred downloads of the free mystery quilt-a-long of Heart’s Garden, so those of you who are making that, good luck with your EPP sewing. Our hashtag Instagram online is:
Yes, with the heart. I’m finalizing Part II of the mystery, which will drop in February.
My friend Laurel and I headed up to Road to California 2022 Tuesday afternoon, one hour earlier than the “VIP” admissions. We know this show often has slow check-ins and we wanted to get our badges and show bag and figure out where our class was tomorrow. We had time to sit and reflect before it opened on how our own numbers of local quilters has shrunk, through moves or losing interest. One year we gathered almost 20 people for a dinner at a local restaurant; now it was down to just us two, eating our brought-from-home sandwiches, waiting for the abbreviated quilt show to open.
Road to California is a well-established quilt show, running for more than two decades. I have had mostly perfect attendance, ever since moving to Southern California — except for last year, when it was cancelled. Laurel called this year “a year to take a breath” and get your bearings again. When they opened up, we hightailed it to the quilt show area so I could see my quilts. They were still setting up, so the overhead lights were on, a departure from 2020 when I was last here. Everything was so well lighted; we loved it.
We explored the quilts (more at the bottom of this post), shopped the vendors and headed home to get some sleep before our class the next day.
We live about 35 minutes from the show, so I picked up Laurel and off we went. Our class was being taught in a different hotel, so we loaded the wagon, went in and found our places. I had said to Laurel that I was very “covid-nervous” and might have to leave if people weren’t wearing their masks, or taking precautions. We are still under mask mandates here in California, but I got a seat near the door and we left the doors open for ventilation, and class started.
The class was Posh Penelope, taught by Helen and Jenny from Sew Kind of Wonderful — really lovely teachers. At the beginning of class they passed out little goodie kits for us–so welcome! I’d precut and prepped so after the demos, I started right in.
I hadn’t heard from my daughter that morning, and I checked on her IG Story and saw this. Just when I am thinking we’re going to get out of this in good shape! In texting my other children, I found out my son and his family had it last week, another son offered up that his 16 yo daughter had it. Laurel had been tracking news of her BIL who has been in the hospital for over a week, with covid. I felt surrounded by covid, but took a deep breath and kept quilting. It’s still here, but we were at Road — and I consider that a deep breath and a leap back into life.
We took our lunches outside to this gazebo–in the old days we would have cranked away at the sewing machines inside; now we escape to the beauties of the world a little more often.
And then class was over. No, I don’t know what that fabric is I used for the blue, but I plan to make this quilt a few scrappy blocks at a time. It’s such a great pattern, and using their rulers makes it easy. We went back over to the convention center, to grab the last couple of hours of the day. It’s about half the size in terms of vendors, with no large tent this time. I thanked a lot of the vendors for coming, knowing that it’s a hard time for this sort of thing. The quilt show is also smaller, so I was happy to get my quilts in.
Here are some of the quilts we saw: so much beautiful work. Click on any image to make it larger, then hit the small X in the upper right to return to this page.
If you have $75,000, this could be yours.
I don’t have the maker info; I will get it and update this later.
This is a miniature, made out of old sari, and each of the those pieces are about an 1/8″ wide. Here’s the larger view:
I love this title…and the quilt.
I will admit to really loving this one.
I think I am through with the animal section.
Having gone to Guatemala in 2019 to see my sister Cynthia, I could relate to this one a lot, as Cynthia took us to a specialty textiles shop that had handwoven textiles, with a woman out front doing a demonstration of weaving with a hip loom.
About the colors: from standing there, I would say the color was a slightly blue/red, with red being predominant, but when I got in closer, the camera would convert it to magenta. This was a highly detailed quilt, full of wonderful appliqué.
Okay, I know you were waiting for a Janet Stone Quilt. She works with the alphabet, for those who don’t know her work, and always includes a sheep/lamb/ewe somewhere in the quilt. This has them all in abundance.
Back of the quilt. I learned about her thread color, about when she switches threads, and that I continue to stand in awe of her work.
Zina Clark: Love in the Time of Coronavirus and Murder Hornets. If you’d like to purchase it, the price is $3700.
About Going to to a Quilt Show During Covid
I’m writing this long explanation not only for the record of this time, but also because of the questions on Instagram I’ve been asked about how I felt about being there at a quilt show during a covid surge. You have to know, first, that I spent most of 2020 in my house. We timed grocery store runs to every other week and scurried home. When I got the first vaccine in January of 2021 it was like an answer to a prayer, and I received the second one on Valentine’s Day. More mostly staying at home after our “easy summer” ended, and we still watch covid numbers. So yes, you could say I’m a bit anxious about covid.
But I’d been boosted, I’d upgraded to KN94 masks (no more cute homemade cloth ones anymore) and it was time to put my toe back in the quilt world. I felt keenly like I wanted to support Road to California and those vendors and teachers who were brave enough to come here. During an Omicron surge.
I agonized, and talked to my husband (question: do you want me to sleep in the guest room? answer: no), and decided if I limited my time, going in spurts, it would be manageable. The convention center has tall ceilings, they had a mask mandate (about 99% were heeding that), and I saw the beginning of the dip in the charts. But still, here was the info from the week before in San Bernardino, where Road was being held:
Coming to Road was easier for me, because I drove. (I plan to drive next month to QuiltCon, too.) Because this was a “take a breath” time, there was less of everything: some holes in the convention center floor where a vendor had maybe pulled out, quilt exhibits that felt like they were stretching to fill the space, rather than oodles of individual quilts. But I felt okay, after an initial nervousness. I also wanted to do a trial run before heading to Phoenix and QuiltCon in February; my roommate has decided to cancel, so my husband is now going with me. I’m not upset by this; I thought it might be me canceling. It’s a tough time.
I will be going again on Saturday afternoon, to study the quilts one last time, then wait around for my quilts at the end of the show. I’ll post more photos of the show later (I still have quite few to share).