Friday, September 20, 2013

Award Winning Quilts From Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza XX

On Thursday, I gave myself a treat and visited the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza, an annual quilt show near Philadelphia.  As usual, there were some truly awesome quilts on display.  Here are a few that really impressed me.

Nocturnal Garden, by Deb Crime of Marco Island, FL
49" by 22"
won blue ribbon for best machine workmanship
As I approached Nocturnal Garden, I thought the applique was done in wool but it turned out to be cotton in rich colors. The workmanship is outstanding. 

Pennsylvania Hearts & Hands, by kelley Cunningham, Stevensville, MD
98" x 74"
won blue ribbon for best interpretation of the show theme
Pennsylvania Hearts & Hands is a reproduction of an historic quilt.  The blocks are about 5 inches square, and even though it uses 19th century reproduction fabrics, it would not look out of place in a modern decor setting. 

The quilt was machine quilted on a longarm, with different motifs in the intersections between the blocks and a sort of feather design in the borders.


On Green Pond, by Judith Wilson, Wheathampstead, UK
62" x 64"
Honorable Mention ribbon winner
Can you believe, this quilt started out as a jelly roll!!!!  The center uses off-center pineapple blocks framed by an intricate machine appliqued border of birds and branches. 

Star Burst, by Mieke Apps, Okaihau, New Zealand
63" x 63"
won blue ribbon for best use of color
The center blocks of Star Burst are irregularly pieced, like a crazy quilt but without the embroidery.  This quilter must have an impressive stash as this quilt used small pieces of hundreds of different fabrics, each piece blending into the next.

Tennessee Treasures, by Linda Roy, Knoxville, TN
72" x 72"
won 3rd place in the traditional category
Tennessee Treatures was designed to showcase authentic Tennessee feedsack fabric.  The sawtooth edge on each block and the border are hand appliqued in place, not pieced.  The top edge and handle of each basket are ruched, providing some nice dimension, while the piecing and quilting are further enhanced by embroidery in what I think is perle cotton.

I noticed that many of the quilts on display are densely quilted with machine quilting.  In a few cases, the quilting was too dense for my taste, when it looks more like machine embroidery that covers the fabric than like traditional quilting.  Quilting that dense must make for a very stiff quilt.  Fine for wall hangings in my opinion, but I like lap and bed quilts to have some drape to them.  My taste aside, there are a number of longarmers out there who are exceedingly talented and have raised machine quilting to its own art form.  I remember when machine quilters mostly duplicated hand quilting patterns, then came the pantograph or edge-to-edge design.  Now the award winning machine quilting is on a different level, producing effects that cannot be done (realistically) by hand quilting.  It is certainly impressive.

I'll save the report of my purchases from the many vendors for another post.

1 comment:

Heather said...

Wow, there is such amazing talented people out there, thank you for sharing! I'm going to a quilt Expo here in Portland today, I'm looking forward to the inspiration.