Ever wonder what it takes to win at Paducah?...Yea, you and me both. I spent many hours while I was there studying and photographing different aspects of quilts, both winning and not. It is truly the most phenomenal display of talent I have yet to see. I took way too many pictures to count, but I thought I'd show just a few. These in this post are all machine quilted -- some by longarm and some by domestic. Don't get me wrong, the hand quilted quilts were equally as impressive, but the subject of Japanese quilters needs a chapter all of it's own. They will blow your mind completely.
This quilt is by Lois Podolny, "My Journey to Baltimore", and it won 1st in the large wall/home machine quilted category. It is just perfect, in the design of the appliques right down to the tiny details of the machine quilting.
Look out if she enters this in a show near you!...it's a winner for sure. Look at all those tiny circles - You know how much I LOVE making and appliqueing circles on my quilts. Here's another quilter after my own heart. As good as the applique is, the quilting is better.
"Celtic Summer Celebration" by Jaynette Huff took 2nd in the same category. It has TONS of bias applique stitched in a Celtic manner, but the machine quilting took a secondary seat, as there really was very little open space on the quilt.
Janet Stone's "Charm School" is something like her 12th quilt in an alphabet series. I found this quilt a nice departure from the more printed fabrics she often uses. It really showcases her creative machine quilting (done on domestic), not to mention the way that only she knows how to embellish! Without doubt, this quilt now belongs to the National Quilt Museum :-)
Here's a closeup...There was a person sitting by the quilt telling viewers how many yards of thread she used. I think the number is like 50000, but I can't really remember. It's crazy how much though!
If there are any of you out there that have quilts you are wanting to have an edge-to-edge done on, and don't have really tight time constraints, I will be trying to take exclusively this type of quilt throughout the summer. These are easier for me to finish with 3 kids hanging around because they are quicker. Please consider me if you do want to have a simpler quilt finished :-)