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More from AQS Chattanooga – Prize-winning Large Quilts

Oh, my!  These were nothing short of amazing!  I cannot believe the quality and creativity embodied by these masterpieces.  There were others, of course, and I couldn’t photograph them all, so I hope you enjoy the selection below.

Greg's Song by Cheri Meineke-Johnson and Linda V. Taylor, Corinth TX

Greg’s Song by Cheri Meineke-Johnson and Linda V. Taylor, Corinth TX

Hadassah, by Audra Rasnake. Meadowview VA

Hadassah, by Audra Rasnake. Meadowview VA

Hadassah Detail

Hadassah Detail

Not only was Hadassah intensely quilted, it was quilted by hand.  Amazing!

Fire and Ice, by Kimberly Einmo, Manassas VA

Fire and Ice, by Kimberly Einmo, Manassas VA

Isabelle, by Kathi Carter, Vineyard, UT

Isabelle, by Kathi Carter, Vineyard, UT

Magnolia, by Claudia Clark Myers, Duluth, MN, and Marilyn Badger, St. George, UT

Magnolia, by Claudia Clark Myers, Duluth, MN, and Marilyn Badger, St. George, UT

Big Bertha, by  Margaret Solomon Gunn,Gorham, ME

Big Bertha, by Margaret Solomon Gunn,Gorham, ME

Blue Rhapsody, by Carolyn Rider, Portsmouth, OH

Blue Rhapsody, by Carolyn Rider, Portsmouth, OH

A Splendid Display, by Cindy Seitz-Krug, Overgaard,AZ

A Splendid Display, by Cindy Seitz-Krug, Overgaard, AZ

A Splendid Display detail

A Splendid Display detail

One of the most noticeable commonalities in all the prize-winning large quilts was the amount of quilting in them, both those quilted by machine and those quilted by hand.  To me, it seems that one of the biggest changes in quilts of today is the quilting!  Touche to everyone whose quilt was accepted into this prestigious show.

Stay tuned!

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AQS Chattanooga – Cartwheel Constellation Class

Cartwheel Constellation © 2010 by Gail Garber and Donna Barnitz

Cartwheel Constellation © 2010 by Gail Garber and Donna Barnitz

My first day-long class at AQS QuiltWeek Chattanooga was a freezer paper foundation piecing class, using the pattern Cartwheel Constellation.  The skill level was intermediate, although to be honest, foundation piecing is pretty much all the same technique.  The complexity comes in the assembly.  Students started off by making the quilt center parts with the pineapple block set inside the star points.  It is always best to make the toughest part first.

Using the Add-a-Quarter Ruler

Using the Add-a-Quarter Ruler

In all of my foundation piecing classes, we trim using the Add-a-Quarter ruler.  I try to make this technique, which is not intuitive to novices, as structured as possible.

Ripping off the freezer paper

Ripping off the freezer paper

Once the foundation pieced sections are done, the paper is removed before stitching the parts together.    It wasn’t long before the first star points began appearing.  See the photos below.

Star Point by Jacqueline Fulginiti

Star Point by Jacqueline Fulginiti, Reston NY

Star point by Diane Hermann, Middleburg, FL

Star point by Diane Hermann, Middleburg, FL

Star point by Connie Gratias, Alexandria, MN

Star point by Connie Gratias, Alexandria, MN

Star Point by Cheryl Smith, Chattanooga, TN

Star Point by Cheryl Smith, Chattanooga, TN

What a fun and enthusiastic group of students participated in this class!  I love how all the pieces turned out so differently despite the fact that everyone used the same pattern.

Cartwheel Constellation Class

Cartwheel Constellation Class

Day one of classes was definitely a success!  I can’t wait to see the photos of the finished quilts!  Great job, ladies!

 

 

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AQS Chattanooga – The Tentmakers of Cairo

I had heard about the remarkable work of the Tentmakers of Cairo, men who ply the needle so expertly and with such great speed that they create a huge body of hand appliqued quilts unique to their region.  Sadly, their work is not highly appreciated in their own country, but thanks to Jenny Bowker, Bonnie Browning and the American Quilters Society (AQS), word about their art is spreading.  AQS also has committed to establishing a long-term market for these quilts in the United States. It was my first stop at the show.

Stitch Like an Egyptian

Stitch Like an Egyptian

I began photographing the wide variety of quilts, all various designs in hand applique.

Egypt 2

 

This large quilt caught my eye immediately and it also was positioned in the front of the exhibit.  I also saw the empty bench in the middle of the display where Tarek Abdelhay was plying his needle.  But, he was on his lunch break, which is precisely the only time that I could visit.  So, I  continued photographing.

Egypt 6

Some of the quilts were whimsical, like this one, and sizes ranged from quite small to bed size.  Prices ranged from $100 – $2,000 for the quilts, a bargain in my opinion.

Egypt 9

Among my favorites were the incredible Arabic calligraphy quilts.

Egypt 3

Some were so detailed it boggled my mind!  Each was more beautiful than the last.  But, my lunch hour was coming to a close, and I had to return to class.  Darn!  I planned to be back as soon as class ended.  So . . .

Tarek Abdelhay

Tarek Abdelhay

A little after 4 pm, there he was!  Tarek Abdelhay, one of the many appllique artists from Cairo, was there and I have never in my life seen anyone stitch so fast and so accurately.  It was just as amazing as promised.  And, he didn’t even use a thimble.  I watched for a long time, gaining an even greater appreciation for the work in the display.  I viewed the exhibit again, this time with awe.

The next few quilts follow without my commentary – as no words can adequately portray the beauty of  each.

Egypt 7

Egypt 10

Egypt 8

 

Egypt 5

Egypt 4

Such beauty!  I bought the book about their work (it is available online from the American Quilters Society.  One of the quilts came home with me too.  Can you guess which one?

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A Visit to eQuilter

How time flies when you are having fun!  Just last month, I enjoyed the wonderful hospitality of Maine Quilters, while August was much about family and friends in Colorado, our neighbor to the north.  My sis, Ann Rhodes, has lived in Boulder for many years.

The Flatirons west of Boulder, CO

The Flatirons west of Boulder, CO

Typical of other visits to Boulder, our days began with hikes in the open space west of the city, marveling at the majesty of the jagged peaks.  One morning, I set off alone, aiming to climb to the top of the NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research) hill.  Huffing and puffing, I made it to the top only to find a lone

Deer

Deer

deer.  Since no hunting is allowed in the city of Boulder, open space included, the deer are remarkably unconcerned about the presence of people, so this one just gave me a quick look and resumed nibbling on the tender shoots.  There is much to do in Boulder besides hiking!  It also is home to eQuilter founded and owned by Luana and Paul Rubin.

Luana Rubin at her desk

Luana Rubin at her desk

Luana’s background was in fashion design with a specialty in imports, working in New York City and traveling the world.  She loved New York and the fashion industry.  After she met and married Paul, they moved to Colorado to he make their home.  Luana signed up for a Log Cabin quilting class and fell in love!  From then on, there was no looking back and she took as many classes as possible with just one problem — she couldn’t find all of the fabrics she wanted for her quilts.

So, Luana and Paul started eQuilter in the basement of their home in March of 1999, 15 years ago.  Paul was a web designer, who had the expertise to create their website.  Initially, they specialized in Asian fabrics and a three year business plan.  They exceeded that plan in only 60 days!

eQuilter Warehouse

eQuilter Warehouse

Today, their expansive warehouse holds 18,000 – 20,000 items at any given time with over 1,000 new products every month.

Designed by Stephanie Brandenburg for Frond Fabrics

Designed by Stephanie Brandenburg for Fernhill Fabrics

This includes an amazing array of fabrics, including this new line  by Stephanie Brandenburg,

Every solid color in the world

Every solid color in the world

and just about every imaginable solid color in the world.

Orange Fat Quarter Packs

Orange Fat Quarter Packs

Lime Fat Quarter Packs

Lime Fat Quarter Packs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I loved all the bright fat quarter packs in lime, orange, yellows and more!

Luana and Yours Truly with a terrific bolt of fabric!

Luana and Yours Truly with a terrific bolt of fabric!

After our tour, Luana and I had fun at the cutting counters, before we headed off to lunch and I learned more about this remarkable woman and the charity work of eQuilter.  Stay tuned . . .

 

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Welcome to Maine Quilts

What a terrific state Maine is!  It’s so very different than my home in New Mexico and chock full of adventures waiting to happen.  It just so happens that I am here to teach at Maine Quilts, the annual statewide show, hosted by the Pine Tree Quilters Guild, and held in Augusta each year.  Augusta is the capital of Maine. The city’s population was 19,136 at the 2010 census, making it the third-smallest state capital and the eighth-largest city in Maine. The show takes place in the August Convention Center.

Maine QuiltsIt is a welcoming group, friendly and helpful!  We got a sneak preview of the quilt show last night before classes began today.  I was full of anticipation to see the quilts of the far northeastern United States.  I was not disappointed. Here is a small selection.

Springtime in the Geisha's Garden by Margaret Solomon Gunn

Springtime in the Geisha’s Garden by Margaret Solomon Gunn

Springtime in the Geisha’s Garden, by Margaret Solomon Gunn won Best of Show.  It is an amazing quilt set apart from the others by the fine use of color, the detail, and the quilting.  “The fabrics and original design are reminiscent of an Asian Garden.  The quilt has accents of silk fabric and silk embroidery.  The quilting designs are free-handed and the quilt includes hand applique, hand and machine piecing, hand embroidery, embellishment, and is machine quilted.

Geisha's Garden - Back View

Geisha’s Garden – Back View

Here’s a look at the back of this magnificent quilt.  Except for this quilt, the others in this post are all bed-sized quilts and winners in the juried show.

Lotsa Lemoynes by Daniel Perkins, Rangeley, ME

Lotsa Lemoynes by Daniel Perkins, Rangeley, ME

Lotsa Lemoynes was created by piecing the center section, placing it on point and then filling in the corners.  Daniel Perkins says that the quilt was created using Studio 180 design’s Rapid Fire Lemoyne Star tool and techniques.  It is an original design, machine pieced and quilted by Daniel and Carol Perkins.

Lotsa Lemoynes - detail

Lotsa Lemoynes – detail

The quality and intensity of quilting in all of the award winners was simply astounding.

LZ8 by Sharleen Fields, Buxton, ME and quilted by Margaret Solomon Gunn,

LZ8 by Sharleen Fields, Buxton, ME and quilted by Margaret Solomon Gunn,

Sadly, the aisles in the show were not wide enough to capture the entirety of the large quilts, so these are cropped.  LZ8, by Sharleen Fields, was named for the landing zones used in Vietnam to ‘dust off’ the troops.  Sharleen writes, This looks like 8 birds (i.e. helicopters) heading in to land.  My husband, a Vietnam veteran, helped me pick out some of the colors.  The source is “Amazon Star” workshop taught by a certified Judy Niemeyer instructor.  It is paper pieced, hand appliqued, and  . . .

LZ8 detail

LZ8 detail

professionally machine quilted by Margaret Solomon Gunn.  Lovely!

Nantuckety Day by Wendy Coffin, Rye, NH

Nantuckety Day by Wendy Coffin, Rye, NH

Wendy Coffin writes this about her quilt, Nantuckety Day.  “Blue and white are quintessential Nantucket colors and, in my quilt, remind me of a perfect summer island day with gorgeous blue skies and water, blooming hydrangeas and blueberries, white caps and clouds.”  The source is Weekend: Quilts and Projects by Barb Adams and Alm Allen, “Lazy Morning”, Blackbird Designs.  It is machine pieced and

Nantuckety Day Detail

Nantuckety Day Detail

professionally machine quilted by Margaret Solomon Gunn.

What struck me most about these first quilts was the way the quilting complemented the designs, enhancing the the piecework and applique.  As I was processing these images and looking them up in the show catalogue, I noticed that three of the four were all quilted by Margaret Solomon Gunn – she is one heckuva great quilter!

Stay Tuned . .  .

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Quilt in Progress – Round 2

Thank you all for your lovely and thoughtful comments about my quilt in progress that I posted back in May.  I appreciate all your suggestions too!  But, in case you missed that post, this was the photo I posted then.

Quilt in Progress

Quilt in Progress

Here’s what I asked:  It currently measures 66″ x 75″.  Do you think it needs one more border to be complete?  If so, what would you recommend as the outermost border?
Thanks for any suggestions.  And, here’s what I did after reading your comments.

Quilt in Progress - Round 2

Quilt in Progress – Round 2

What do you think?  It has gone off now to Kris Vierra, of Lincoln, Nebraska, for her magnificent quilting.  Many thanks to  Donna Barnitz and Afton Warrick for collaborating and partnering with Kris and me on this one!

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Meet Veronica Puskas, Ontario Quilter

I meet the  most interesting people in class.   Such was the case when I was teaching at Quilt Canada in St. Catharine’s, Ontario.  Veronica Puskas was my assistant in class and what an assistant she was!   We hit it off immediately and, although I often lack a helper in class, Veronica soon became indispensable.  During breaks in the day, I learned more about this remarkable woman.

Pillars of Strength by Veronica Puskas

Pillars of Strength by Veronica Puskas

A former resident of Nunavut and the Northwest Territories who grew up in Nunavut’s Kivalliq region,Veronica won the award for Excellence in Work by a first-time exhibitor award at Quilt Canada’s national juried show.   I saw her amazing quilt in the exhibit and she later send me a photo.  Veronica has this to say of  “Pillars of Strength”,  I designed it from a 1950 photograph of my Mom and Gramma, taken near Rankin Inlet, Nunavut.  It shows the difference in Inuit traditional clothing between a married woman and a teen-ager.  Notice the flaps.   After fusing the applique to the quilt top, I did some thread painting on it as well.” CBC North and Nunavut News published an article about Veronica and her quilt, rich in the cultural heritage of her family.

Although I have only been home from Quilt Canada for about a month, Veronica has completed a quilt that she had started earlier but wasn’t satisfied with.  It also has strong cultural significance, “Brian’s Kite.”

Brian's Kite, by Veronica Puskas

Brian’s Kite, by Veronica Puskas

She says, “It is in abstract form but my inspiration of the flying geese and mountains came from your quilts.  I took photos of Brian kite-skiing on Great Slave Lake 3 years back.  I incorporated my Inuk-ness (if there is such a word) – strip of sealskin, an orphaned ivory/steel ulu earring, stylized Inukshuk, and machine quilted an igloo.”

Brian's Kite - Detail View

Brian’s Kite – Detail View

The detail image above shows the sealskin trim, the ulu, and the Inukshuk.  An Inukshuk is a stone landmark or cairn built by humans, used by the Inuit, Inupiat, Kalaallit, Yupik, and other peoples that travel the Arctic region of North America. These structures are found from Alaska to Greenland.

Inukshuk from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

Inukshuk from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

Above is a small Inukshuk that I purchased when I was teaching in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, several years ago.  I fell in love with the remote sub-Arctic landscape, beginning to understand the challenges of traversing the mostly featureless landscape.

Sub-Arctic landscape of Northwest Territories

Sub-Arctic landscape of Northwest Territories

I was told that one should look through the openings of in the Inukshuk to see the next cairn in the trail.  It left me with wonderful memories of a beautiful land and my new friend, Veronia Puskas.

 

 

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The Best Part of My Job is YOU!

Turtle by Alexis Mongeau

Turtle by Alexis Mongeau, Perth, Ontario

Without a doubt, my email box is better than checking the mail box outside!  I’ve just returned from Ontario, where I taught for the Lanark County Quilters in Perth, about an hour south of Ottawa.  Check out the first three quilts in this post!  Alexis Mongeau is new-ish to freezer paper foundation piecing and look what she created in less than three weeks, a marvelous, original design.

Valetta Hudson, Ottawa Ontario

Valetta Hudson, Ottawa Ontario

Valetta was in the same class in Perth, also new-ish to freezer paper foundation piecing.  She chose to use the free-form fillers to feature and enhance the oriental woman in one beautiful piece of fabric.  It’s gorgeous!  Then, just today . . .

Valetta Hudson, Ottawa, Ontario

Valetta Hudson, Ottawa, Ontario

Valetta sent me another photograph!  This time, she made one block of the Wheel of Fortune pattern in my book, Flying Colors.  Simply Superb!

But, I also have received several more images of student works.  Check these out below!

Carol Hesse, Annandale, MN

Carol Hesse, Annandale, MN

Carol Hesse took my class at Quilting in the Desert in Scottsdale, AZ this past January.  I just love the contrast in her pieced filler strips, particularly the Mountains and Valleys filler.

Mary Kay Eklund, Payson, AZ

Mary Kay Eklund, Payson, AZ

Mary Kay Eklund took my class in Payson, AZ about a year ago.  She has this to say about her project and the class: “Thanks for the encouragement on my quilt….it was fun and I hope to do more using your techniques.  Remember if/when you have a chance to come to Payson, you have a place to stay!”

Vivian Pinto, Brazil

Vivian Pinto, Brazil

Vivian was in my class at Houston’s International Quilt Festival a while back.  I love the movement that she got with the strategic placement of fabrics.

What a joy it is to see where you take the techniques learned in class!  Some of my best friends in the world are people I meet in quilting classes! Keep those pictures coming!

 

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