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International Quilt Festival – IQA Competition – Art Quilts – Whimsical

As you can imagine, I photographed MANY of the quilts in the various Art Quilt Categories, so many in fact that I will have to show them for a few posts.  I tried to separate them into their categories, but was not always successful.  Next year, I WILL photograph the category marker too!  These were among my favorites of the entire IQA Show.

Alice's Kitchenby  Miki Murakami, Kawasaki-si, Kanagawa Pref, Japan

Alice’s Kitchen by Miki Murakami, Kawasaki-si, Kanagawa Pref, Japan

Simply charming, with its bright, brilliant colors and excellent interpretation of theme, Alice’s Kitchen won first place in this category.  Miki writes, “In the story of Alice in Wonderland, there is no kitchen scene; however, I think it would be fun if a kitchen appeared in the world of Alice.  So, I imagined such a kitchen in this quilt.”

Did You Wash Your Beak? by David Taylor, Steamboat Springs, CO

Did You Wash Your Beak? by David Taylor, Steamboat Springs, CO

If the picture in this quilt is worth a thousand words, this stitching says it all!  This beautiful piece by David Taylor won the Judge’s Choice award from IQA judge, Carolee Hensley.  He writes, “Birds have always been my favorite subject matter to turn into quilts.  I hope I captured the attitude of the mother bird as she looks appalled at her baby’s manners.  I spent weeks debating with myself over the background colors, and ultimately stayed true to Steve Byland‘s photograph.”

Artie Facts by Joyce Patterson, Ukiah, CA

Artie Facts by Joyce Patterson, Ukiah, CA

I think that I love dogs just as much as birds, and I found several that delighted me at this year’s show.  Artie Facts was a uniquely wonderful interpretation of the theme.  Joyce Patterson writes, “I have long known that dogs have their own set of rules and facts about how the world works.  So, faced with a Mendocino Quilt Artist’s challenge to create a quilt based on the theme Artifact my mind went to dog facts.  Artie is the representative of the dog world and these are some of the known dog facts.”

Mt Ruffmore by Pauline Salzman, Treasure Island, FL

Mt Ruffmore by Pauline Salzman, Treasure Island, FL

There were several quilts that focused on dogs at this year’s show; almost all were whimsical.   Pauline Salzman writes, “These are the President’s dogs:  Bo, buddy, Barney, and Heidi.  Man’s best friend transcends all political party affiliations.”

Fanicful Flora by  Lois Podolny, Tucson, AZ

Fanciful Flora by Lois Podolny, Tucson, AZ

This fanciful floral arrangement in bright, bold colors epitomizes whimsy!  Lois Podolny writes, “This is a fantasy flower arrived at by starting with random shapes and seeing where the journey would take me.  It was inspired by a class with Jane Sassaman.”

Tutti Frutti Main Street by Susan Bleiweiss, Upton, MA

Tutti Frutti Main Street by Susan Bleiweiss, Upton, MA

This quilt by Susan Bleiweiss is just plain fun!  The judges liked it too and awarded it an honorable mention in the IQA competition.  Susan writes, “Part of my ongoing “Tutti Frutti” series of art quilts celebrating the use of vibrant color and whimsical imagery.”

The Birders by Suzanne Marshall, Clayton, MO

The Birders by Suzanne Marshall, Clayton, MO

Closing out this post, I saved my absolute favorite for last.  I simply adore this quilt, in part because of the hilarity of the scene portrayed by the expert hand of Suzanne Marshall.  The workmanship is exquisite and I wonder what went through her mind as she created this quilt.  It was awarded 2nd place in the the Art-Whimsical category. Suzanne writes, “Creating a new and humorous composition, inspired by a manuscript from 1565, made me laugh while quilting by hand.”

 

More art quilts to come . .  .

 

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International Quilt Festival, IQA Competition Exhibit – Art-Painted Surface Quilts

Septem Peccata Mortalia  (Seven Deadly Sins), by Christine Alexious, Unionville, Ontario, Canada

Septem Peccata Mortalia (Seven Deadly Sins), by Christine Alexiou, Unionville, Ontario, Canada

Another of my favorite categories, I seem to be drawn to art quilts.  I viewed and photographed these quilts before the awards ceremony when they were hanging together in the same section.

Septem Peccata Mortalia, by Christine Alexiou, won the World of Beauty Award, and a $7,500 cash prize.  On opening night of Festival, Christine was standing by her masterpiece and turning the pages of the oversized book.  Yes, there are several pages, at least seven, each of which is incredible in its own right.  Christine wrote this about her quilt, “Although inspired by illuminated manuscripts, the them tackles how little human nanture has changed since these manuscripts were first created.  I wanted to explore how these seven failings speak to something intrinsically linked to human nature; why we are, in all our seeming morality, still guilty of these sins”.

Zen Magpies by Helen Godden, Latham, Canberra, ACT, Australia

Zen Magpies by Helen Godden, Latham, Canberra, ACT, Australia

In Zen Magpies, an Honorable Award winner in the category, Helen Godden writes, “What is black and white and quilted all over?  Painted on silk sateen, the magpies sing their song with such joy and freedom.  They are surrounded by extreme quilted doodle-mania, an explosion of decorative free-motion fun.  With over 100 different designs, the quilter has found her Zen!”

Xcaret Orchid Blossoms II, by Andrea Brokenshire, Round Rock, TX

Xcaret Orchid Blossoms II, by Andrea Brokenshire, Round Rock, TX

“This is the second quilt in a series based on my photography taken during a trip to the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.  My favorite thing about the quilt is how the light is captured.” wrote Andrea Brokenshire about her quilt.  Although not an award winner, this is a masterful quilt.

With so many exceptional quilts in the IQA show, just being accepted is an honor.

Carousel Stampede by Cathy Wiggins, Macon, NC

Carousel Stampede by Cathy Wiggins, Macon, NC

Cathy Wiggins wrote, “When I was young, which horse to ride on the carousel was always a big decision.  I would run as fast as I could to get the horse of my choice.  Which of these beautiful horses would you ride?  Beginning with white muslin, I painted the background and horses using textile mediums and oil sticks.  There are about 300 hours of painting, 250 hours of quilting, and 40+ hours to apply the crystals”.

Mark's Magnificent Marlin,  Murphy by Helen Godden, Latham, Canberra ACT, Australia

Mark’s Magnificent Marlin, Murphy by Helen Godden, Latham, Canberra ACT, Australia

Helen wrote, “The mighty marlin twists and turns and bursts from the deep ocean waves.  Created for my dear friend, Mark Hyland, celebrating his joy of deep sea fishing.  Hand painted with Lumiere Acrylic fabrics paint on black whole cloth, free-motion machine quilted.”

Winters Veil by Patt Blair Mt Baldy, CA

Winter’s Veil by Patt Blair Mt Baldy, CA

Winter’s Veil particularly captured my attention as it is an exquisite representation of a songbird during the harsh days of winter.  Patt Blair wrote, “I live in the mountains where winter cold hangs over the landscape for so very long and is represented here by this Snow Bunting standing trapped in nature’s harsh surroundings.  Pigment ink painting, free-motion quilting.”

Winter’s Veil won First Place in this category!  Amazing quilts by some very talented quilters.

Stay tuned . .  .

 

 

 

 

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Home Sweet Home at Thimbleweeds

There’s No Place Like Home!  My favorite things include the wonderful quilters that make up the Thimbleweeds group.   A while back, I was thinning out the old patterns that I had stored in the garage for the past 20 or so years.  It had become obvious that they just weren’t going to sell.  Plus I needed the space.

Homecoming (c) 199

Homecoming (c) 1990

So, I donated all the parts to my Homecoming pattern, written in 1990, sans directions, no bags, not assembled into any sort of order and bundled them all off in Donna’s minivan.

Thimbleweeds Homecoming Devotees

Thimbleweeds Homecoming Devotees from l-r:  Colleen Konetzni, Marlene Walker, Holly Plugge, Mary Moya, Judy Aronow, Ann Driscoll and Anne Townsend.

Imagine my surprise when I showed up at Thimbleweeds and there, along one wall of their meeting room, hung row upon row of Homecoming Quilts in Progress.

Who am I #4

Holly Plugge

Each quilter had made the blocks uniquely her own.

Who am I #2

Marlene Walker

It was great to get to see all of the variations they had created from the base pattern.

Who am I #1

Mary Moya

Each reflected the personality of its maker, like this version in bright colors.

Who am I #3

Judy Aronow

But this version by Anne Townsend gets the prize for the most embellishment.  It is simply enchanting.

Little House with Little Owl

Little House with Little Owl

This little house was so altered from my original design, that all I recognized was the walk.  Check out the owl house!

Little Owl

Little Owl

Complete with a cozy nest hole for the neighborhood owl.

Anne Townsend's Quilts Yes there is more than one!

Anne  Driscoll’s Quilts. Yes there is more than one!

But the prize surely goes to Anne Townsend, who made not one, but displayed two.  This threadwork version is still in progress, and she also showed another that she made from the original pattern, way back in the early 1990s!

Gotta love those Thimbleweed girls!

 

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A Little Help for My Friends, Lynn and Skip

August Folk Dance Camp 2013

August Folk Dance Camp 2013

Shortly after I returned from New Zealand, I was on the road again.  This time my destination was less than 100 miles away, to Socorro, NM where I attended an annual Southwest International Folk Dance Camp!  We stay in the dorms at NM Tech, and dance our little toes into the floor!  It is so much fun and I get to reconnect with friends I see only once a year!  Such was the case this year too!

Lynn St. Pierre

Lynn St. Pierre

Lynn was showing off these handmade dolls that she was selling as a fundraiser for a project to raise funds for women in an rural community in Berekuso, Ghana, West Africa.  Last spring, Lynn taught at the primary school in the village, while her husband, Skip Ellis, taught at Ashesi University,  in Accra, Ghana.  Lynn’s school, in a small village, was constructed of cinder blocks with small or no windows (for security).  There, the children sit at rickety desks on chairs full of splinters and rusty nails.  The teacher has a book and blackboard or concrete wall to write on (if she has chalk) and the students have no books or any educational materials at all.

Lynn teaches her students

Lynn teaches her students

The educational system there is based on the U.K. model that the Ghanaian government continued after they became independent in 1956.  Unfortunately, caning was common when Lynn first worked at the school (the practice of corporeal punishment using a long stick 1/2 to 3/4 inch in diameter to beat the children if they give a wrong answer, are late, their parents have not paid their fees, or they misbehave).  After witnessing a caning of the entire first grade class, she spoke at length with the head master and was invited to do  in-service trainings for all the teachers, kindergarten through 8th grade.  The teachers learned respectful discipline and classroom management as well as engaging the children in active learning via a Waldorf curriculum.

Orphanage in Kpando, Ghana

Orphanage in Kpando, Ghana

At the end of the semester – the teachers chose Adinkra symbols, virtues from their culture, with stamps carved into calabash gourds and ink derived from native tree bark. Each teacher choose the symbols they wanted emulated in their classroom, and stamped them onto woven kente cloth (made in their village of Berekuso).  We then hung the fabric on their canes and placed them in the classrooms, transforming the cane into a meaningful piece of art and a reminder to use better ways of teaching and disciplining the children.

Like many African countries, a large percentage of the children are orphans, or are raised by their grandparents.  Nearly all of the parents of these children have died of AIDS which remains rampant in Africa.  Lynn and Skip are returning to Ghana to teach again in December 2013.  Skip will return to the university and Lynn will again teach at the  school in Berekuso. When I learned that they were taking up a collection to gather school supplies for the children in these schools, I just knew that I had to help!

Stay tuned . . .

 

 

 

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Home Again! And a New Quilt Too!

Climate Change (c) 2013 by Gail Garber and Kris Vierra

Climate Change (c) 2013 by Gail Garber and Kris Vierra

As much as I love New Zealand, it is always good to be home, where I can snuggle with my dogs, visit my friends and catch up on all that has gone on while I was away.  One of the greatest thrills on the return from this trip was the arrival of my now quilted, Climate Change.  Kris Vierra, of Lincoln, NE is my partner on this project and she did all of the amazing machine quilting.   All that was left for me to do was to put the binding on.

Climate Change - Close Up View

Climate Change – Close Up View

Here you can better see some of her amazing quilting.  It has been accepted into the Pacific International Quilt Festival in Santa Clara, CA in October this year!   Many, many thanks to Kris for all her work on this quilt!  I think we make a great team!

 

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On the Coromandel – Morning Stroll

Atop Shakespeare Cliff, Marion and I were very distracted by the small birds flitting around us.  Kerry decided to head off for an invigorating walk along the coast (read Up and Down), while Marion and I tried to capture flying things with our cameras.  We first tried for images of the sweetly singing Grey Warbler, a New Zealand endemic, unsuccessfully.  But,

Fantail

Fantail

this little fellow was far more cooperative.  Fantails are the endemic flycatcher, and the little fellow just followed us around as we kicked up insects for him to eat.

Fantail

Fantail

In fact, he often was too close for a decent photo, plus he never held still for a second.  After 1/2 hour or so, Marion captured this image and we descended the two hundred steps back down the cliff, where we continued our morning walk along the coast.

Looking out on the Bay

Looking out on the Bay

When this very fun beach chair appeared right beside the water, we just had to stop to take more photos.

Baby Goat on Vacation at the Beach

Baby Goat on Vacation at the Beach

Our next mini-adventure was the encounter with a woman and her grandaughter,  walking a baby goat on a leash.  We stopped to chat, only to learn that since the family was going on holiday that they decided to take baby goat along with them!  Then, it turns out that

Inga and Yours Truly

Inga and Yours Truly

Inga was a quilter too, and she had heard that I was in New Zealand.  So we took another photo of the two of us, proof that her story was the ‘real deal’.  It was about then that Kerry called Marion’s cell to inquire as to our whereabouts, so we turned around and headed back to the beach house.

Picking Mandarins

Picking Mandarins

But, we had one last quick stop, to pick the Mandarin oranges that grow in the untended tree right beside the driveway to their home.  There is nothing sweeter than a fresh picked Mandarin.

We said hello to Kerry, who was off with his mates to try their luck, catching our dinner in the sea.  We wished them luck, and soon set off again.

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A Little Wildlife

Pukeko

Pukeko

Wildlife and watching wildlife remains one of my passions.  I clearly remember my very first sighting of a Pukeko, the iconic New Zealand bird.  On this trip, I hadn’t seen any Pukekos and was concerned about where they go in the winter months.  After all, it is a relatively small island!  Then, when we were taking our morning constitutional walk around the lake near her home, there they were!  In fact, they were everywhere, wandering around on the maincured lawns and foraging among the reeds!  Yay!  The trip would have been lacking had I not had another Pukeko interaction to take home with me!

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Taupo – A Geologic Hotspot

Now, lest you think that the Taupo Museum focused solely on fiber arts during my visit, at least half of the facility is dedicated to the natural and geologic history of this area, and of New Zealand.

Taupo Volcano

Taupo Volcano

Having now spent a week in this region, I was well aware of the geologic history, and also current events.  I was in Taupo when the largish earthquakes struck the North End of South Island and also Wellington, at the south end of the North Island.  The smell of sulfur was overwhelming on the days of heavy geologic activity.  The museum covers much of the history of Lake Taupo and its origin.  Taupo volcano last erupted over 1,800 years ago and is now filled by New Zealand’s largest lake. 

Taupo volcano first began to erupt over 300,000 years ago. It is very large and has many vents, most of which are now under Lake Taupo. Geological studies of Taupo show that the volcano makes up only the northern half of the lake and a small surrounding area but there have been numerous eruptions from different sites within this large volcano. Taupo is not a large mountain because the eruptions have been so explosive that all material has been deposited far from the vent and subsequent collapse of the ground has formed a caldera (a collapsed volcano).

Volcanic Rock

Scoria, Volcanic Rock

The museum includes a good exhibit of different types of volcanic rock formed during the various volcanic events.  Above is scoria, which is a frothy volcanic rock formed from cooled anbesite or basalt lava, ranging in color from red to black.  Its formation can occur from fire-fountaining when lava is blown into the air.  The fragments cool to form scoria.

Tongariro National Park

Tongariro National Park

The mountains to the west in Tongariro National Park are all volcanic. The three volcanoes at the heart of the park, the mountains Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu, form the southern limits of the Taupo Volcanic Zone, part of the Pacific Ring of Fire. Volcanic activity in the zone started about 2 million years ago and continues today.  Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe are two of the most active composite volcanoes in the world. In 1995 and again in 1996 Ruapehu erupted in spectacular fashion, sending clouds of ash and steam skyward and mantling the surrounding snow fields and forest with a thick film of ash.

Moa Skeleton

Moa Skeleton

In additon to the exhibit about volcanism, the museum did have one relic of former avifauna, the flightless Moa that was quickly exterminated by the first Maori settlers.This skeleton is of a young Moa, found at the bottom of a deep cave in 1970 by two 13-year-old boys.  The bones are estimated to be about 2,000 years old, although they could be older.  It is thought that this Moa may have taken refuge in the cave during a forest fire or volcanic eruption.  A violent eruption occurred at Taupo about 146 a.d.

The Moa  consisted of nine species of flightless birds endemic to New Zealand. The two largest species, Dinornis robustus and Dinornis novaezelandiae, reached about 3.6 m (12 ft) in height with neck outstretched, and weighed about 230 kg (510 lb).

Totara Waka from Opepe

Totara Waka from Opepe

I found this impressive waka, made from a Totara tree in the south exhibit hall that focused on New Zealand’s human history.  Waka are Maori canoes ranging in size from small, unornamented canoes (waka tīwai) used for fishing and river travel, to large decorated war canoes (waka taua) up to 40 metres (130 ft) long.  It is believed that the first Maori to arrive in New Zealand traveled in waka from Polynesia.  Totara is a species of podocarp tree endemic to New Zealand. It grows throughout the North Island and northeastern South Island in lowland, montane and lower subalpine forest at elevations of up to 600 m.

Taupo Museum Garden

Taupo Museum Garden

While outside in the courtyard, a small, carefully manicured garden created a quiet respite from the noisy rooms within.  It featured native plants and included Maori culture, such as the forest got below.

Te Ihi Kei Roto/Nga Ponga

Te Ihi Kei Roto/Nga Ponga

The Spirit that Dwells within the Tree Ferns – Several ponga tree sculptures present in the garden evoke the handiwork of Patupaiarehe, a tribe of forest guardians said by the Maori to play music and carve artworks.   It seems particularly appropriate as my time in Taupo was rapidly drawing to a close and my next destination was Maungatautari, Sanctuary Mountain, a sacred place to yours truly.

So long Taupo!  It was wonderful to spend some time within your beautiful region!

 

 

 

 

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