Monday, July 25, 2016

Quilt Odyssey

I arrived home last night after spending 4 days at the Quilt Odyssey show in Hershey, PA.  I taught 4 hand's-on longarm classes, which went wonderful, but the highlight was most certainly being invited to have a retrospective exhibit of my quilts.  I sent 17 quilts, spanning 21 years of my I told people if you start at the current end of the exhibit and walk backwards, you'll see the "good, the bad and a few ugly".  It isn't an entire lie :-)
For the most part, the exhibit was chronological, but this little beauty (choke, choke) somehow got placed among some of my 2012 quilts.  I nabbed it from my mother's house, as it is her's.  I got several "thank you's" from other quilters for daring to include what is the oldest and most definitely ugliest quilt I had access to.  I did make quilts prior to 1995, but the earliest went to Goodwill over 6 years ago and the other resides with my brother (unless they have trashed it by now too).  This is classic-ugly though with it's blue and peach and green calico fabrics, and absolutely no design sense whatsoever.  It is hand quilted.  Everybody starts somewhere; this is mine.
When my daughter was born, I started three wall-hangings -- this is one of them.  They were to be my "Legacy Quilts".  Each is different, but they all share some of the same fabrics.  Two of them are finished, and I sent this one to hang at Hershey.  It's also hand-quilted.  My color and design sense is at least tolerable here!
In 2008, I started this quilt for my daughter's bed.  She was two.  They are hand appliqued, and it is also hand quilted.  It goes on her bed part of the year, when she has the fancy to use it.  Being that she is now making quilts, there are three others that this gets to alternate with!  It's called d"Girly Fun". Alas, I have learned that quilts need to be named and labeled!  This went to the Maine Quilt Show in 2009 and got a whopping Honorable Mention.  
The quilt hanging beside it ("It Takes a Village") is also my mom's.  It is one of the first that I quilted on my longarm.  Stitching is very simple as I was much more interested in the piecing.  My quilting skills had not been honed.
I'm a bit out of order by a year or so, but this ("My Summer") is a little mini I made after making a similar one for a swap partner.  It' raw-edge appliqued, which I NEVER do, and machine quilted using my domestic machine.  I was never very good on the DSM, and it was the fact that I wanted to make bigger quilts that motivated me to buy the longarm in 2009.  Never the less, I really like the beachy scenes because the beach is just about my favorite place.
 If I were really being accurate, I would have sent my first accidental show quilt, "Summer on the Beach".  For those interested, search the blog back to April 2010 (MQX).  But, seriously, this quilt has horrendous piecing faux-pas and less-than-mediocre longarm quilting!  It, however, was THE quilt that spawned my love of making show quilts.  It is the reason you have the rest of these to see.
The above piece "Primavera" is from 2010.  It's hand appliqued batiks, and is longarm quilted.  It did go to a couple shows.  Mostly it lives in my study.  The colors are me, as is the medallion style.

The quilt on the left was actually started in 2009 at a Karen K. Buckley class on hand applique.  If there is one person who I can say has influenced my style most, it's probably her.  Learning a few of these techniques fostered my love of applique and handwork, which is actually seen on many quilts over the past several years.
 "Sea Glass", on the right is a fall 2011 finish, and one of two I have done that is not a symmetrical medallion style.  Being the engineer, I feel most comfortable designing and quilting the medallion quilts, so this will just never be one of my favorites.  One viewer asked me if the blue swirls were an octopus!...It's supposed to be a wave.  My now-12 yr old loved to go hunting for sea glass at the time this was made.
<>This is my 2011 quilt, and first intentional show quilt.  "Cartoline da Venezia (Postcards from Venice)", made to depict an inlaid Italian floor, was also my first Best of Show, earned from the Maine Quilt Show.  I hate the colors in this - they are not me and the experience of making and showing it taught me to follow my own inclinations about color.  Quilts for show are often very colorful. 

So that is exactly what I did..."Zen Garden", which is very recognizable with the viewers since it went to nearly 2 dozen shows, and has been in several magazines including a MQU cover-girl, is all me.  It's scrappy, pink green and purple.  It has a couple BOS's in it's history.  It was supposed to be in a book too, but we can thank AQS for all of it's mis-doings in closing their book publishing.  More on that crap another day.
This is another of my 2012 quilts, "Meet Me at Giverny".  It shares many of the same colors, and is named for the lavender print which always reminds me of the Money water lilies paintings when seen up close.  On this, I hand-painted a detail for the first time.  This quilt too has a couple of BOS's, but is lesser known to viewers than Zen Garden.
"Shenandoah Falling" (2014) was made as a modern quilt, but it was never modern enough for any of the judges, despite the quilting being  much more edge and graphic.  It's my other non-symmetrical quilt.  After the first crash-n-burn with brown, I did go that route again, but these colors are more pleasing to me.  It earned a couple of ribbons, but its claim to fame is probably having been on a bill-board and much of the 2015 Paducah signage and advertising!

The small quilt above on the left "Kaleidoscopic Calamity" is another 2013 finish.  Though this has shown well, even earning a top-8 award at AQS Paducah in 2014, its not the "love of my life" by a long stretch.  The fabrics were ordered sight-unseen.  I didn't really like how thick they were, but being frugal, I made the quilt anyways.
Everyone knows about Rainbow Nouveau (2012) and it's bleeding problem.  It is the reason I can so intelligently and passionately preach prewashing (and Vicki Welch's advice on how to get rid of a bleed!).
"Autumn's Surrender"(2014) is my first of the silk Radiance quilts -- the beginning of a passion that I don't see ending too soon.  Viewers love the way the quilting looks on both of these silk quilts I sent to the show.  Simple piecing, gorgeous quilting.  This isn't my typically chosen color scheme, but the icy colors sure do personify the stitching.
"The Jester's Folly" (2015) is one of my faves.  Doesn't get much better than pink and green.
The last one, and she hung on the backside of the aisle, is "Big Bertha" (2013).  Though many of my quilts have won Best of Shows, this was the first one that truly surprised me.  It was MQX, and I just never saw it coming.  OK...correction, I never really see them coming, but I didn't expect to BOS at MQX well, ever!   The lighting at this quilt was fantastic, and judging by comments I overheard, it was a favorite of viewers.
Looking down the aisle...
...ok, just a couple more
This time with a goon in an orange shirt...
I did have two quilts that were actually in the competition part of the show. "Illuminations" won a 1st, and my white silk "From the Bride's Trousseau" got a 2nd.  They kind of took second fiddle to seeing all but 3 of my quilts in one exhibit though.  Yup...three of the most recent quilts are off in AQS's hands for their summer shows. Fingers crossed...

Thanks for looking~


Vicki W said...

Awesome show!

Becky (My Fabric Obsession) said...

OH!! Congratulations on the special exhibit! And thanks for sharing it with those of us who couldn't be there. How great to see so many of your works in one place! And congrats on all the classes. One day, I hope to get to take one!

Pam said...

Congratulations! i especially admire that you showed quilts that were to you "not perfect" but rather your earlier work. They are all so beautiful.
I bought the Machine Quilting Unlimited Jul/Aug issue which has your thorough and well illustrated article on dense fillers.

LoriM said...

Fabulous! Thanks for the tour.

Susan Lawson said...

What a tremendous honor! Your amazing! Congratulations Margaret!

Marlene said...

Fantastic show. Thank you for sharing with us all in blogland.

Sylvia said...

Congratulations on the retrospective! It's so wonderful you included early quilts so that we can all see there's hope for us! :)

I'm very curious about the AQS thing, so please do elaborate in a future post! I found out about it when they told me they wanted me under contract for a book ASAP, then starting two weeks later ignored emails and calls for months and finally shipped my sample quilt back with a terse letter. So since they wasted several months of my time I'd love to know what the heck happened.

kupton52 said...

What a wonderful might just be my favorite yet! Thank you for sharing photos of your Quilting Retrospective...I was so disappointed not to make it to Hershey this year...but this made up for it. True eye candy. "Amazingly awesome" doesn't come close to describing your work.

Bunny said...

You are an inspiration. I have loved your Sea glass quilt since I came across it years ago.. I have been a sea glass collector for over 40 yrs. we used to vacation in Lavallette NJ when we lived in USA we are back in Canada. I wish you had a pattern for sea glass I would love to make one. Thanks for the amazing show of your work.

San Francisco Stitch Co. said...

So enjoyed seeing your history! And loved all of it. <3

Татьяна Белякова said...

Congratulations on your victory!!!