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International Quilt Festival, IQA Competition – Miniatures

The quality of the quilts entered in the two different IQA miniature categories, “Miniature” and “Art-Miniature” was absolutely mind-blowing!  I have combined the images from both categories in this post in order to condense the overall number of posts about Quilt Festival and to bring you images of my favorite quilts sooner.

Wind by  Masanobu Miyama, Chofu-City, Tokyo, Japan

Wind by Masanobu Miyama, Chofu-City, Tokyo, Japan

“Wind” won the Superior Thread Master Award for Thread Artistry.  What an incredible quilt!  The threadwork that creates the image draws one right into the quilt, where you could easily imagine being there with that happy dog on a windy day!

Masanobu says this about Wind, “My dog’s long fur was streaming in the wind while I walked her at the riverside.  I thought it might be fun to express the invisible wind with streaming fun, waving grass and so on.  The original micro-fused applique technique is applied to create the dog precisely.  I also hand-dyed almost all of the fabrics I used to match the color”.

Life on the Mesa by Mary Ann Hildebrand, Comfort, TX

Life on the Mesa by Mary Ann Hildebrand, Comfort, TX

This beautiful miniature won 1st place in its category, Art-Miniature.  Mary Ann wrote, “I participated in a challenge in which I was to interpret a quilt passed to me.  The quilt was a southwestern scene with a mesa in the background.  I chose to concentrate on the mesa and depict it as realistically as possible”.

Miniville  .  . .or It's 5 o'clock Somewhere by Karen Eckmeier, Kent, CT

Miniville . . .or It’s 5 o’clock Somewhere by Karen Eckmeier, Kent, CT

This stunning little quilt almost escaped from my camera lens and then I took a second look.  Wow!  What detail, and in such a small scale!

Karen Eckmeier writes, “Three days without electricity during a winter storm prompted me to start a collage project so small that it could fit only my living room table and be seen with my hiking headlamp!”

Miniville detail

Miniville detail

And what detail there is!  I still can’t quilt believe that Karen could create this diminutive piece with all this detail.  It was the 2nd Place winner in its category.

House in the Valley #5 by Laura Wasilowski, Elgin, IL

House in the Valley #5 by Laura Wasilowski, Elgin, IL

Third place was awarded to this whimsical piece, created by Laura Wasilowski.  She says that this piece is a view of her house as observed by a busybody bird!

Mission San Juan Capistrano by Sharon Schlotzhauer, Castle Rock, CO

Mission San Juan Capistrano by Sharon Schlotzhauer, Castle Rock, CO

The threadwork in this piece was amazing.  Sharon Schlotzhauer writes, “Founded n 1776, San Juan Capistrano is the seventh of the California missions and is designated the “Jewel of the Missions”.  This quilt depicts one of its lovely courtyards.  I visited this historical site as a child and again earlier this year, which was the inspiration for this piece”.

Eagle Eyes by Margery Hedges, Kingwood, TX

Eagle Eyes by Margery Hedges, Kingwood, TX

Of course, it is nearly impossible for me to not photograph any of the quilts that feature birds, especially when as well executed as Eagle Eyes.  Margery Hedges writes, “I enjoy doing close-up views of animal faces, and this look of intense concentration makes you feel as if you are really face-to-face with this awesome eagle”.

Tranquil Swim by Melanie Marr, Houston, TX

Tranquil Swim by Melanie Marr, Houston, TX

Another masterful piece, Tranquil Swim features the incomparable Wood Duck, among nature’s most dramatically plumaged birds.  “This quilt was inspired by a photo taken of a Wood Duck at the Houston Zoo.  The ripples in the water made the perfect background with abstract patterns,” writes Melanie.

Dutch Flowerpots by Lahala Phelps, Bonney Lake, WA

Dutch Flowerpots by Lahala Phelps, Bonney Lake, WA

This traditional miniature won honorable mention in its category and captured my attention with the lovely contrast between the red and cheddar as well as the fine detail.  Lahala writes, “A favorite quilt of mine is Pots of Flowers pictured in the book, A Flowering of Quilts, by Patricia Cox Crews.  I thought why not try making a miniature Pots of Flowers quilt?  I designed my own and used a cheddar background seen in many Pennsylvania Dutch quilts”.

Betwixt and Between by George Siciliano, Lebanon, PA

Betwixt and Between by George Siciliano, Lebanon, PA

No miniature exhibit would be complete without at least one piece by George Siciliano, and the IQA exhibit featured two of his. He says, “This quilt is a micro-mini version (one-fourth the size) of my miniature quilt called Crop Circles.  My new, self-taught, silk techniques have enabled me to sew a one-inch square block with 49 individual pieces.  This quilt has over 2,874 pieces of 100% Dupioni silk fabric.”

Some Assembly Required by Gerge Siciliano, Lebanon, PA

Some Assembly Required by George Siciliano, Lebanon, PA

Closing out this post is George’s other entry that contains 4,860 pieces.  “When all the pieces of silk were laid out, and in order,” George wrote, “A funny thought crossed my mind.  In 1975, my partially-blind son was six years old.  We passed a flatbed tractor-trailer, and it was loaded with all the raw materials needed to build a house from roof trussed to flooring.  My son whispered under his breath, “some assembly required.”  These are my thoughts exactly.”

Congratulations to all whose quilts were accepted into these two categories.  The competition was intense.

Stay tuned . . .

 

 

 

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International Quilt Festival: Special Exhibits – Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative

Taking a short break from the competition quilts, I want to focus on the incredible work of one woman, Ami Simms, who started the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative back in 2006.  Ami began this journey after her mom, Beebe, developed the disease, and she struggled to find medications and treatments for this terrible disease.

Ami Simms, Founder of AAQI

Ami Simms, Founder of AAQI

Ami had this to say about AAQI, “When I created the AAQI back in 2006, I never expected it to become so successful! I also never imaged how much work it would take to keep it going. What began as one person’s response to sorrow and frustration has grown into a national charity embraced by a large portion of the quilting community. More than 13,000 quilts have been donated, turning sweat equity into over $973,000 for research as of the beginning of Quilt Festival. For many donors these quilts were healing works of art which helped them grieve as they stitched for the greater good. Hundreds of thousands of people have seen the AAQI’s two traveling quilt exhibits about Alzheimer’s. Through this artistry came the realization for many that they were not alone on this journey of heartbreak; others understood, perhaps for the first time, what a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s really means.”

As some of you know, my own mom, Sylvia, was stricken with Alzheimer’s Disease and succumbed in November 2012 after and eight and a half year battle.  I have been active in the effort since the beginning.

Wednesday night, Preview Night at the show, the AAQI booth was hopping!

Priority Alzheimer's Booth 2013

Priority Alzheimer’s Booth 2013

And, by noon on Thursday, Ami and her cadre of dedicated AAQI volunteers topped their goal to raise $1,000,000!!!

“Together quilters have funded 17 research studies at universities and medical schools. More studies will be funded in early 2014. Because of the AAQI, scientists know a little bit more about Alzheimer’s than they did before. Hopefully this understanding will bring us all closer to a cure.”

Please check the link to the AAQI site to read more about Ami’s journey and that of all the others who have joined in the effort.  Way to go Ami and Co!

 

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