Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Welcome to the 2017 Pacific International Quilt Festival: Day 1

Welcome to PIQF! This annual quilt show takes place each October in Santa Clara, California. Here are some of our favorites and some of the highlights of this show. We'd love to hear which ones are your favorites.  Let's start with Day 1:

The Sprinter, 38 x 80, by Birgit Schüller (Germany)

Blue ribbon winner in the Innovative Quilts category, Birgit comments, "I'm not a sprinter, but I am a runner. I run for different reasons -- out of habit, to sort my thoughts....to calm down, to experience physical exhaustion."

Detail, The Sprinter

Birgit adds, "To me, running is freedom; running allows me to break free from the stress and restrictions of everyday life !" We were really intrigued by the tiny running figures that Birgit quilted into the background of this striking contemporary work. Her original design is machine appliqued and longarm quilted.

Eternal Beauty, 94 x 94,  by Sherry Reynolds (Wyoming)

"Best of Show" winner,  Sherry says, 'Eternal Beauty' is dedicated to my mom. When I look to the heavens and talk to her, I always see her beauty. The struggles I encountered while making this were nothing compared to her lifelong struggles with Multiple Sclerosis, but her perseverance always prevailed. Four years and 15,000 pieces later, my perseverance prevailed on this quilt. ....My mom's beauty is eternal."

Sherry's breathtaking original design is machine pieced, hand-appliqued, and sewing machine quilted.  Incredibly, this quilt with all its precise Mariner's Compass points, is almost 8 feet square !

This quilt is a real stunner, and unfortunately, photos do not do it justice. We hope that you will be able to see this quilt in person at a quilt show near you. Be sure to look for the tiny crystals that radiate light in all directions.

Joshua is Jazz, 50 x 35, by Linda Anderson (California)

 Second place winner in the Wall Quilts category, Linda explains, "This is one of the geniuses of jazz, Joshua White, who came in second place in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition a few years ago. Many people walk around with spellbinding talent within. Joshua is local to where I live, and we go to see and hear him often when he's in town."

Linda adds, "[He is] a true magician at the keyboard. This [original design]  art quilt is raw edge appliqued, hand painted pieces, machine stitched and sewing machine quilted." We really admire the life-like qualities and dimensionality of Linda's expertly designed and constructed work.

Maddy Swims with the Turtles, 40 x 30, by Miechelle Pape (California)

Miechelle made this quilt in honor of her daughter, who was out snorkeling in the ocean in Hawaii and suddenly went swimming away from the family as she chased a sea turtle. The family caught up with her; and all was well, so Miechelle preserved the memory in the form of this pretty quilt !

Miechelle notes, "I have only been quilting since 2012. I started quilting after my mom passed away. It got my mind on something else...I love creating quilts from from my fabric and sharing them and giving them as gifts.Quilting has enriched my life in so many ways." We love the embellishment that Miechelle has done with the tiny gold beads!  Miechelle's sparkly, eye-catching work is hand-pieced, hand-appliqued, and sewing machine quilted. Pattern by the Pacific Rim Quilt Company
The Egyptian Goose Family,49 x 54, by Kathryn Harmer Fox (South Africa)

Blue ribbon winner in the Innovative Quilts category at the World Quilt Show, Kathryn writes, "On a day so hot it could have melted rubber, and wishing I were a frog, I trudged longing towards the green-slimed dam. I came upon a family of geese resting in a pool of dappled light. The parents stood on one-legged guard, hissing at my approach, and the puddling of goslings separated into a stretching, preening duo."

Kathryn continues, "I use a technique I call fiber embedment, using scribble stitch together with free motion machine embroidery. These two techniques combined allow me to 'paint' with fabric and 'draw' with thread. " Kathryn's fascinating, detailed original design is machine pieced, machine appliqued, and sewing machine quilted.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

All Hallow's Eve and Day of the Dead

The Mexican holiday known as Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) overlaps with the Western Hemisphere  tradition of All Hallow's Eve (Halloween), the night before All Saints Day.  Here are colorful quilts that reflect the upcoming holidays!

Este es mi Vida by Linda Redwood-Martinez , Arizona

Linda states, "[This quilt is] representing a page torn my from life story and honoring those I love who are gone, but never forgotten. Viva el dia de los muertos !"

This detailed skeleton's appearance is embellished with the addition of flowers in her hair which match the autumn-hued flowers on the outside border.

More interesting details are shown here, as this skeleton is part of a duo playing musical instruments.

Day of the Dead by Marietta Champlin , California. Quilted by Marietta Champlin


Marietta explains,  "Inspiration came from several trips to Mexico during Dia de Los Muertos, a time when family and friends honor their dead. the belief is that the spirit of the dead visit their families on October 31 and leave on November 2. Altars are created in homes and public spaces with favorite food, drink (tequila), special bread, and personal mementos of the deceased." 

Detail,Day of the Dead

Marianne adds, "Highlighted by the Virgin of Guadalupe, patron saint of Mexico, altars include significant decorations of sugar skulls, marigolds, and paper banners. I chose [artist] Frida Kahlo as a centerpiece (shown above) to honor her tragic life." 

Halloween Fun by Elizabeth Huff , California.  Quilted by Elizabeth Huff

Elizabeth says, "I enjoyed cutting up a Halloween panel and figuring out a way to emphasize each block by using borders, diamond, and flying geese. It will make a perfect and colorful Halloween decoration."

Detail, Halloween Fun

We really admire Elizabeth's wonderful hand-quilting skills, as her stitches are so precise ! In this close-up, you can see how she hand-quilted a spider web to match the surrounding fabric pattern.

EEEEK! by Marianne Maiorana , California. Quilted  by Marianne Maiorana

Maryann notes, "I fell in love with this pattern [byVerna Mosquera] about 2 years ago and decided that I would hand applique instead of fuse the characters. I thoroughly enjoyed choosing the fabrics for each one. If you look closely, you will see the names of some of the potions reflect those in the 'Harry Potter' series."

Maryann continues, "This was done at my granddaughter's request. I can't wait to display it this Halloween."

Which Witch? by  Kathy Schmitz, California. Quilted by Kathy Schmitz


Kathy writes, "I saw this 'Which Witch' pattern [by Crazy Old Ladies] and thought it was a clever and humorous way to look at Halloween... concentrating on the witches' fashion sense!"


Kathy adds, "It was fun to put together, and it was my first experience with fusible applique." We really admire Kathy's excellent workmanship and accuracy which shows throughout this whimsical and colorful quilt.

Image credits: Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration
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