Thursday, May 09, 2013

Some Thoughts from Paducah

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!'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.
I have seen this at least once before, but Terri Doyle never disappoints with her whole-cloth quilts.  It is called "Secret Garden", and took 2nd in Large Wall/Longarm quilted.  This is the category that my Zen Garden quilt was in.  If you double click, I think some of the details of her quilting are more visible.  I don't really know how AQS or any show can fairly judge a top that has no piecing whatsoever with others that are heavily and accurately pieced, but that is how they do their categories.  Seems like there might be more such beautiful whole-cloth quilts if they had their own category...JMHO.
1st in my category is Mark Sherman's "Poppy's Rainbow".  It is a very large and impressive quilt.  Much of the quilting is in coordinating threads so it is hard to see.  On top of that, it is displayed with a chain so you can't even get within 6-8 feet of it.  It's turned edge applique, stitched on the machine, and embellished with lots of twinkle.
I didn't take pictures of all of the bed-sized quilts that were machine quilted -- just the ones that I really loved.  This is a part of Jan Hutchison's "Remembrance".  You can go to her blog on my sidebar to see other pictures that she took.  It's a wholecloth, thread painted and trapuntod.  It is absolutely gorgeous in it's design and execution.  FYI- that green is a Kaffe shot cotton, and is dreamy in person.  She should have taken first in her category (if I was a judge!) - her quilt blows the competition away!
One of the things I noticed about this show is that the quilts downstairs (which included the hand and machine quilted bed and wall quilts) in general were much more impressive than their smaller wall counterparts.  So many more of the larger quilts were just jaw dropping.  The contingent of Japanese hand stitchers thrown into this mix (and they were largely downstairs too) was so amazing.  Going to see the smaller quilts, sadly, left me mostly underwhelmed and just wanting more detail.  It's hard to say that because there were good ones up there.  Heck, even I had a small wall quilt in the show.  But so many of the non-ribbon winners downstairs blew your mind, but only the ribbon winners upstairs were in that position.

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 :-)
This post is a wee scattered in that I have shown several good quilts, but failed to show the Best of Show.  I have seen this amazing quilt before last year.  It's the dynamic duo of Karen Kay Buckley (who has now published this as a pattern) and Renae Haddadin, "Fiesta Mexico".  If there was any doubt that these two would produce a show stopper, there shouldn't be.  You ought to see it from the back !...white backing to showcase all the threadwork.  I have a picture from April 2012, MQX if you are interested.  Another quilt going to the museum...
 Sue McCarty's quilt is also headed for the museum, where she has at least one other one residing. It is a wholecloth quilt exclusively created with thread.  There may be a little bit of painted items too, and a ton of crystals as well.  It's mind-boggling to see in person.
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!
 I'll end this with a couple others that caught my eye (of the machine quilted ones).  Karen McTavish quilted this quilt (like we couldn't tell from the narrow and graceful feathers everywhere!).
 And this quilt just satisfies my eye's need for certain colors.  I like it.
I have been busily working through the quilts in my backlog, trying to get as many of them behind me before my kids are out of school next month.  I do have a few I could share in a future post.  I am also in the process of creating the design for my silk quilt, as I hope to quilt part of that in a week or two.

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 :-)


Gramma Quilter said...

Awesome quilts. Thanks for sharing!

Quiltdivajulie said...

Interesting (VERY) to read insights from your perspective . . .

Jan Hutchison said...

Thanks Margaret - I wish you were a judge! Congratulations on winning a ribbon in your first try at Paducah. Does it make you wonder how Big Bertha might have done?