A Big League Quilt Festival

The weekend before last I helped put on a quilt show.  This past weekend I attended one – the International Quilt Festival in Cincinnati.  I much prefer paying admission and enjoying the fruits of other people’s labor to doing the heavy lifting.

For four and a half hours I wandered the exhibits that ranged from modern quilts to SAQA art quilts to traditional quilts to the Hoffman challenge quilts.  And I admired the work of artists from Israel, the Netherlands, Australia, Canada, Japan, and elsewhere.  Yes, I also wandered through the vendor area, though I mostly bought thread.  I did succumb to two Malaysian batik fat quarters, but a mere half yard fabric purchase is almost like fabric abstinence.

Oddly, I found I recognized some of the quilts on exhibit, especially the modern ones. The Quilt National 2011 exhibit allowed me to revisit quilts I had seen at the Dairy Barn.  I guess that’s the downside of the internet’s vast reach.  It also probably reflects the tendency of some quilts to be on “the circuit” of several national shows.  No photography is allowed at the SAQA exhibit, but even so I had seen pictures online of a few works from that exhibit.

Trends spotted:

  • Noriko Endo’s techniques have been adopted by several quilters
  • Glittery embellishments were much less in evidence and used more sparingly
  • Japanese quilters continue to produce immensely detailed work sewn by hand
  • The number of medallion quilts was much less than in previous shows
  • The color palettes used were much brighter and “prettier”
  • There seemed to be less use of variegated thread in quilting
  • Big stitch hand quilting/embroidery was popular.

I plan to post photos of some of the quilts that caught my eye.  I hope to group them by type – art, modern, etc. – but I reserve the right (it is my blog) to change my approach on a whim.

First up, my favorite creatures, a platypus and a kangaroo from Dreamtime by Antonia Hering from the Netherlands:

Dreamtime platypus

Dreamtime platypus

Dreamtime kangaroo

Then, for an amazingly tactile bird, there’s Captain Kimo by Nancy Martin and Karen Sistek:

Captain Kimo

Here’s an owl from the Hoffman Challenge by Christine Bagley.  Love the use of flower petals for feathers:

A Flammulated Owl

Yet more birds by Beth Schnellenberger in Black Beauties:

Black Beauties

More pictures to come in future posts.

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