Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Amador Valley Quilt Show (California): Day 1

We recently attended the annual quilt show of the Amador Valley Quilters in Livermore, California, with the theme "Colors of the Vineyard". This prolific guild had two big rooms full of fabulous quilts It's difficult to decide which quilts to feature, as they were all wonderful ! Let's get started with Day 1.

(We're featuring fun books, patterns, and fabrics at very low prices on Quilt Inspiration E-Bay !)

Grape Harvest by Marilyn J. Smith and Lynn Drennen-Guritz, quilted by Gina Perkes

"Grape Harvest" is a stunning, very large quilt which displays the fertile farmlands of California's Central Valley, backed by the steep Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. This quilt is based on an award-winning wall mural painted by Jessie Marinas for the city of Manteca, California, which is surrounded by vineyards.

The story continues from the description card: "Lynn saw a picture of the mural and asked the painter's permission to make a quilt. She then asked Marilyn to join her on this project and asked Gina if she would quilt it. The art depicts vineyard workers taking on the grape harvest. The quilters were able to reproduce the painted images using cotton fabric, 200 thread types, and special stitches to create life-like images."

In addition, the card notes "Marilyn takes pride that she does not use paint to create faces. More than 300 hours were put into the quilt. It has been featured in Quilt Life, On Track, Quilting Arts, and I.Q.A. magazines."  We'd like to add that this breathtaking applique project won "Best of Show" at the 2009 Road to California Quilt Show and is certainly very deserving of that honor.

Traveling Mandala by Diane Chambers

Diane writes, "The eye-pleasing circular shape and precision points of this design lured me into taking a paper-piecing project class titled "Mandala".  Loosely translated from the Sanskrit, to mean "circle", a mandala represents wholeness and appears in all aspects of life - the celestial circles of earth, sun, and moon, plus conceptual circles of friends, family, and community. Symbolism aside, I enjoyed making this deceptively intricate looking wall-hanging with 2.5' strips from jelly rolls and other fabrics in my stash."

Diane continues, [This quilt] bears the title "Traveling Mandala" because of the passport fabric in the background." We love Diane's perfect selection of background fabric for this intriguing design, which Diane quilted herself.

Mountain and Water by Christine Sagan, quilted by Melodee Wade

Christine explains, "This quilt was completed during the Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games in China, on 08-08-08. The number eight is considered very lucky and in harmony with nature. The harmony between "Mountain and Water" was one of the themes performed by artists on a giant paper scroll; and thus became the name of the quilt, as it is my interpretation of nature's harmony."


The quilting pattern seen here reminds us of gentle ripples on the surface of a lake and is perfect for Christine's quilt. This pretty French braid pattern was inspired by the book French Braid Quilts by Jane Hardy.

Kitty and Mouse by Helen Rydbeck, quilted by Suzi Dillinger

Helen Rydbeck says, "This quilt is a happy combination of a Bunny Hill pattern, 3 Sisters fabric, 
and Suzi Dillinger's quilting. This is the second quilt I've made at the request of my granddaughter, Isabella, to make her a kitty quilt."

Helen continues, "Look closely; each kitty has a collar and a flower on its tummy."  Also, we'd like to add that next to many of the kitties, there's a "mousie" with a embroidered tail that curls around. We think that Helen's granddaughter is very fortunate to be the recipient of this fun and adorable quilt.

French Country Charmer by Jean Crisp, quilted by Dianne Schweickert

Jean Crisp notes that she took a class at the In Between In Between Stitches Quilt Shop taught by pattern designer Lynn Wilder of Sew'n Wild Oaks.  Jean adds "I was delighted when Lynn asked me if she could share it as an example of her Country Charmer pattern when she made an appearance on Alex Anderson's "The Quilt Show".

For the interior of her quilt,  Jean did an expert job assembling the many small pieces of fabric into lovely star blocks. For the outside, she selected an equally lovely border print, which provides a perfect match to the intricate patchwork. 

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Quilt Arizona 2017! Day 5

For us, springtime in the desert means three things: spring flowers, spring training (baseball), and Quilt Arizona!  This is our 8th year blogging about this fun show, which draws visitors from many parts of North America. Here is our final post from this year's show, with some of our favorite quilts.

Please note: We're continuously posting free patterns on Twitter ! Check us out here !

My Daughter's Gift by Ann Gonzalez

Winner of First Place – Machine Embroidery, this quilt really sparkles. Ann Gonzalez says: “This quilt was offered as a monthly class at a local quilt store. My daughter bought the class, as well as the fabrics and thread. I had the joy of making it, as well as a second one for her."

We recognize this as the Jacobean Journey pattern by HoopSisters. It features a center medallion surrounded by undulating curves and bordered by a curvy applique border.  The quilting design is by Sharon Schamber.

We love Ann Gonzalez' choice of fabrics.  The use of light-colored thread on the dark (green) batiks, and darker thread on the light blue batiks, makes the stitching really stand out.

Bird Dance by Cynthia Lynn

This whimsical folk art quilt was a standout at the show; it won Honorable Mention. Cynthia Lynn says she loves Sue Spargo designs. The wool was collected at thrift stores and/or given to her by friends.Each one of these birds had its own personality.  Cynthia used many creative hand embroidery stitches and embellishments in each one of her blocks.  (The Bird Dance pattern is available at Sue Spargo's website.)

Dragonfly Pond by Carol Carpenter, quilted by Kris Neifeld

Carol Carpenter says, “This pattern by Lynn Majidimehr was altered (with her approval) to include more plants and pond creatures, which was a really fun challenge.“ The applique shapes were finished with satin stitching.

The Waiting Room by Diane Hansen, quilted by Judith Kracker 

We recognize this design as Lucy Boston's Patchwork of the Crosses (the book is by Linda Franz.) The fussy-cut fabrics create a beautiful kaleidoscope appearance.Diane Hansen says, “It took a year to piece this quilt by hand. The work was done while sitting in doctor and hospital waiting rooms." The quilt was made with English paper piecing; the shapes include honeycomb and square templates.  We love Diane Hansen's choice of fabrics and high-contrast design, enhanced by Judith Kracker's wonderful quilting.

Cady by Kathleen Bowers

Cady was designed in a class with Susan Carlson, collage teacher. It was made for a friend in memory of her dachshund, Cady. Many different fabrics were used in the dog and the background. We love the expression on the face, and the heart-shaped dog tag.

Tree of Life by Debbie Stanton

This is an original design by Debbie Stanton, who cut the tree from one piece of fabric. All the edges were turned under and sewn with machine buttonhole stitch. Three-dimensional leaves add a creative touch to this brilliantly colored quilt; there is even a little owl in the tree, shown below.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Faith, Hope and Love at Easter

On Easter, many of us take the time to reflect on the promise of hope and new life in the Easter story. Here is a luminous stained glass quilt with a beautiful message of Faith, Hope and Love.

Rays of Hope - Stained Glass version by Carolyn Morris

This quilt was exhibited at the 2013 Arizona Quilters' Guild show and shown on Q.I. that year. Carolyn Morris says: "Using gradation batiks, each section was cut individually, ironed in place, and quilted with irregular satin stitches.  The trapunto cross was machine embroidered and then appliqued to the front." You can find the pattern at Rays of Hope Quilts at Etsy and see Carolyn explain the full story on YouTube.

The design came to Carolyn Morris on Easter, 2011, in response to her own prayer. Carolyn says: "My life is dedicated to serving others. For many years that involved my three children and their training. Now that they have children of their own, I use the talents that I have to enrich the lives of others. Many of the quilts I make are small 15" squares with embroidery messages or scriptures on them. I give many away to those in need of prayers."

Image credit:  The photo was taken by Quilt Inspiration.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Quilt Arizona 2017! Day 4

For us, springtime in the desert means three things: spring flowers, spring training (baseball), and Quilt Arizona!  This is our 8th year blogging about this fun show, which draws visitors from many parts of North America. Here are some of our favorites from this year's show.

Please note: We're continuously posting free patterns on Twitter ! Check us out here !

Hawaiian Fireworks by Ann L. Petersen

Blue ribbon winner in the category of Pieced Small Quilts and winner for Exemplary Machine Quilting  Ann notes, "This Hoffman Challenge fabric was one I particularly disliked. By cutting it into narrow strips, making stars, and adding a few flowers, I had a quilt I liked."

Ann quilted her stunning original design herself. For fabrics, she used an array of warm hues to set her stars and flowers off against cooler background hues of deep green and violet.

Fantasy Village by the Sea by Amanda Jeffrey

Amanda says, "This was a challenge project for [my quilt group], the Delightful Quilters, for 2016. We had to use a fabric panel and make it into something totally different.  I chose a Thimbleberries Flower panel."

Quilted by Amanda herself, "Fantasy Village" is a charming scene of tiny house surrounded by tranquil aqua-green water which gently ripples in the ocean breeze. She did an excellent job of using a traditional fabric in a contemporary pictorial quilt.

Greta Guineahen by Anna Peterson

Greta notes that her work is hand needle-felted on hand dyed wool. Guinea fowl are native to Africa, but even though they are called "hens", they are not members of the same family as chickens. They often roost in tree-tops, and they travel in large groups, foraging for insects and small rodents. They are very helpful on farms, where they help keep bugs and other pests off of growing crops.

Wool is a beautiful medium, because it can produce such a pretty, soft, wispy texture. Anna did a perfect job in selecting just the right dye colors to define "Greta's" head and feathers against the softly blurred background.

Lady Bird Travels by Karin Scanlon

Third place winner in the category of Medium-Large Applique Quilts, Karin explains, "This is a maze that starts with the lady bird and goes around the quilt to the beetle."  How many animals can you identify in this innovative setting? 

Close-up,  Lady Bird Travels

Gorgeous butterflies provide an enchanting and three-dimensional embellishment to this colorful garden scene.(We're still searching for the source of this pattern.)

Wild Blue Mustard Revolution by Geri Cavanagh

Second place winner in the category of Medium Pieced Quilts, Geri says, "The layout started with a Carrie Nelson design. I altered the blocks around the center, designed the floral applique, and added a border. "

Quilted by Geri herself, this design includes orange-red appliqued flowers which add sparkle and contrast to a neutral background of stars and baskets.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Quilt Arizona 2017! day 3

We're back after a short spring break! For us, springtime in the desert means three things: spring flowers, spring training (baseball), and Quilt Arizona!  This is our 8th year blogging about this fun show, which draws visitors from many parts of North America. Here are some of our favorites from this year's show.

Please note: We're continuously posting free patterns on Twitter ! Check us out here !

Snow Play by Marlu Allan

Marlu says, " [This quilt is] a tribute to my Golden Retriever dogs playing in the snow after a large snowfall in Payson, Arizona [in the mountains of eastern Arizona]. "  By keeping the background colors in winter neutrals of gray and white, Marlu creates a strong focal point for the two dogs in the foreground. We love the alert and intent expression on their faces, with their tails wagging cheerfully behind them.
Close-up, Snow Play

In this close-up, you can see all of the nuanced colors of the dogs' coats. Marlu herself quilted this original design, a beautifully composed and sewn pictorial work.
Toro by Barbara Harrell

Third place winner in the Pictorial Non-Original Design category, Barbara says,  "This pattern is 'Abilene' by Laura Heine for Fiberworks. I made this for my husband to remind him of all the cows we have raised. "
 Close-up Toro

This colorful collage pattern is done in fused applique and quilted by Barbara herself. It looks like such a fun project to work on !

Pacific Northwest Spirit by Constance Clark

Honorable mention winner in the Medium Size Pieced Quilts category, Constance notes, "I used six hand-painted symbols from the Pacific Northwest and their colors to create a quilt that reflects the spirit of the region.
Close-up,  Pacific Northwest Spirit

Bold geometric sashing in red, black, and gray, perfectly sets off these Native American images of the Pacific Northwest U.S.A. Constance herself quilted this striking creation.

Dear Me! Inspired by Dear Jane by Claire Victor

Second place winner for Small Appliqued Quilts and a National Association of Certified Quilt Judges Merit Award,  Claire states, "[This quilt is] an original design; each 4 1/2 inch block is a variation of the tumbling block or a 3-D design using a 60 degree angle."
 We were very impressed by this contemporary interpretation of the traditional Dear Jane quilt blocks.

Close-up Dear Me

Claire's excellent choice of contrasting and monochromatic fabrics provide a wonderful three-dimensional aspect to her work, which she quilted herself.
Kitty Love by Judith Ritner

Judith notes that the original block design was for a pillow; but she enlarged it in order to use it for a black-gray-red fabric quilt challenge.Her wonderful fabric selection and sense of perspective makes the original block into a perfect medallion quilt.
Close-up,  Kitty Love

We admired the fabulous paper-piecing work done on the sleeping kitten's face. Time to curl right up and take a nap !

Moonlit Garden by Kathy O'Brien, quilted by Penny Boese

Winner of a Hall of Fame Award and second place winner in the Mixed Techniques category, Kathy explains, "[This quilt was] inspired by 'The Last Days' pattern by Roxi Eppler Hardegree in the book From the Cover (of Quilter's Newsletter Magazine) .  I designed the border to enlarge it." 

Close-up, Moonlit Garden

Perfectly pieced, the tranquil "Moonlit Garden" uses colors that give it such a mystical and luminous quality. These elegant spiked fans remind us very much of  New York Beauty blocks.
Image credits: Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Quilt Arizona 2017! day 2

We're back after a short spring break! For us, springtime in the desert means three things: spring flowers, spring training (baseball), and Quilt Arizona!  This is our 8th year blogging about this fun show, which draws visitors from many parts of North America. Here are some of our favorites from this year's show.

Please note: We're continuously posting free patterns on Twitter ! Check us out here !   

Lulu by Ann E. Hall, quilted by Marilyn Haskovec

Ann E. Hall selected from her beloved collection of Kaffe Fassett fabrics to create this magnificant creature.  She was inspired by the Lulu Elephant quilt pattern by Laura Heine at Fiberworks.  The geometric quilting by Marilyn Haskovec, along with the neutral background, provide a contemporary setting for the bright floral fabrics.

The elephant's ear was created with fussy-cut leaves, and his eye was depicted by a big daisy, as shown above.

Glorious Tweets by Merci Apodaca, quilted by Cecilia Hosford

The colors really stood out in this beautiful applique quilt! Merci Apodaca says she was inspired by the use of Kaffe Fassett fabrics on the Glorious Applique blog, and the pattern My Tweets by Erin Russek.  Thus, this quilt is titled Glorious Tweets.  The applique shapes were outlined with embroidery stitches, providing extra definition for the birds and flowers.

Mirror Image Clam Shells by Patricia Bliss

This hand-pieced clamshell quilt was entered in the scrap quilt category.  Patricia Bliss selected Asian themed fabrics for a pattern by Kaffe Fassett. The clamshell sashing was done in red with pretty gold accents. She machine quilted each individual clamshell with a branching design that emphasized the clamshell shapes.  We can't imagine the amount of work that went into this perfectly pieced quilt.

Almost Like The Blues by Joan McNamara, quilted by Jessica Gamez

Almost Like The Blues was awarded First Place - Pieced Large. This is an original design by Joan McNamara who wanted to create an equal focus on intricate piecing and quilting.  The intricate piecing reminded us of Burgoyne Surrounded.  Joan says she was inspired by Godwin Weaving.  The quilting by Jessica Gamez was outstanding.

Butterfly by Judith Salb, quilted by Jessica Gamez

This stunning Butterfly won two major awards: Exemplary Professional Machine Quilting (turquoise ribbon)  and First Place - Pieced X-Large (blue ribbon).  This rather famous butterfly pattern is by Tula Pink; this is the first one we've seen in person, and it was stunning. Judith Salb says, "The butterfly counts not months but moments." (Rabindranath Tagore)  "My butterfly is forever!"

Here is more beautiful longarm quilting by Jessica Gamez.  Can you find the quilted butterflies in the closeup photo, below?

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.
Related Posts with Thumbnails