Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Quilt Show - Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza 2019

In mid-September I attended a quilt show put on by the Mancuso organization, Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza. It is held annually in suburban Philadelphia, a little over an hour's drive from where I live in New Jersey.

I've attended this show most years but the quality keeps declining, making me wonder about the future of quilt shows.  Have the internet, blogs, Pinterest, and Instagram filled the need for inspiration and contact with other quilters such that quilt shows no longer serve the same purpose?  While there were some outstanding quilts on exhibit in the show, I also saw a lot of quilts on display that in my mind fell far short of quilt show standard - uninspiring design and inferior workmanship.  I don't expect to like every quilt displayed, nor do they all need to be perfect, but they should inspire in some way and exhibit superior workmanship.  Elizabeth of OccasionalPiece-Quilt blog had a similar experience at Pacific International Quilt Festival, another Mancuso show.  So if you've been thinking about entering a quilt in a show,  just do it!   They appear to be in need of exhibitors and your work is probably much better than you think.

Okay, enough negativity.  Like I said, there were some fabulous quilts.  You can see the prize winners here.   And plenty of very cool quilts that didn't win prizes; I'm showing you a few of my favorites here.

The quilt below was a raffle quilt.  It caught my eye and I knew there was something familiar about it.  On closer examination, I recognized the fabric collection as Garden Delights from In the Beginning fabrics.  I have jelly rolls and fat quarters from this fabric collection in my stash, waiting for a use to present itself and this quilt gave me some ideas. 

I knew this next quilt was in the show and was looking for it.  I am a follower of Wendy Welsh's blog, where this quilt made its original appearance.  Wendy has won prizes for her quilts in her native New Zealand and in Australia and mentioned that this quilt had been selected for an international tour.  This quilt, Vibrant Curiosities, was English paper pieced in mostly Tula Pink fabrics then hand quilted. 

The primary shape is an octagon.  It must have taken ages to piece this 80" by 80" quilt!  The mix of colors is really fabulous - there are so many different prints and colors, it could easily have turned out a hot mess, but no, it is very striking.

This next quilt, Sexie Hexies, was in an aisle that displayed quilts by quilters who were teaching at the show.  Sarah Bond had several quilts using wedges and curved piecing, all part of a series she calls Coming Full Circle

Sarah Bond teaches at shows, including the 2020 Modern Quilt Guild show.  This is something I'd like to learn to do. 

She made great use of color in this block. 

 The show also included an exhibit of quilts from Kaffe Fassett books.  I liked this one, called Ripples (from Quilts in Ireland), in softer colors than I associate with Kaffe Fassett designs. 

Lots of half square triangles here!

 This last quilt is called Confetti Star, by Missy Bauer.  She made it using a jelly roll then it was quilted by Nora Dougherty.  The quilting is absolutely fabulous, especially in the open spaces.  I've seen other examples of this kind of lopped off lone star and am putting it on my to-make list. 

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Friday, October 25, 2019

Log Cabin Finished Quilt Top

I've been absent from my blog too long, but I do have something to show for my time.

Over the summer, I worked on a log cabin quilt using fabric from stash, actually leftovers from some prior projects.  I joined the blocks using the Fields & Furrows (or Streak of Lightening) setting.  The quilt top is 80" by 80", too big for Mr. Main Street to hold up by himself, so I waited for a visit from Miss Main Street.  Even with both of them, holding it up was a job, and both were impatient to leave the house as we were on our way out to dinner. 

The quilt turned out to be an excellent stash/scrap buster.  All I bought was was the pale aqua fabric that alternates with the white on the "light" side of each block.  The white was in my stash and the fabrics for the "dark" side of the blocks were left over from prior quilts.  I even have fabric in my stash for the quilt back. 

The logs are one inch wide finished and the blocks are 10 inches square.  I used a pattern called Sweet Escape by Thimbleblossoms but changed the setting. 

I just have to get the backing together then I can send this off to my longarm quilter.

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