Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A Few Pics From the Quilt Show

Here's a few pics from the NCW Quilt and Fiber Arts Festival. As always, I tend to go up and down aisles, taking in every single quilt. From there I kind of wander around to get that second long look at all my favorites. There were many, very nice looking quilts, even some in the Blackbird Design style that so thrilled me 5-8 years ago, and of course lots and lots of machine quilting efforts.
Made by the guest quilter, probably her darkest quilt there

Honestly I have very mixed feelings about this show. Very fun to walk in knowing a few quilts were my own. I was a bit incredulous actually, as this was one of those shows I attended way back when and sort of cowered from awe and intimidation. 'I'll never be able to quilt like this!' and yet, here I was, funnily enough, with a pickle dish quilt {of all complicated patterns to choose from} hanging in the very same show year later! Who would have ever thunk it?
A fun looking quilt
There is {still} so very, very much to learn about fabric, color and design. I know and relish that thought and want to continue to push to learn and grow! The quilt above had a very enjoyable color and fabric usage. It was so nicely done! Very eye-catching and yes, playful, viewed from across the room. While not especially a lover of foxes, I do much appreciate whimsy in quilting.

So yeah, it's a great feeling, being part of this particular show that scared the socks off of me and made me positively yearn to learn how to be a better quilter. And yet, I don't feel like my quilts really 'belong' here. Maybe at the Buggy Barn quilt show if it was still a happening thing! Not that I was treated badly. Don't think that. In fact, the few guild members I talked to were very friendly and welcoming. But my quilts? They looked a little out of place to me--the odd ones out. I felt sorry for how drab they looked in comparison. Sort of soft, naive and hillbilly instead of bright, shiny and modern like the strawberry quilt pictured below. Honestly, my quilts would have probably looked better at a flea mart, a thought that just makes me laugh!

So ironic since that soft, cozy, almost vintage look is the self same style I've been working toward for like, years? What am I whining about? But no, the whole point of putting them in this show was so I could clearly see my efforts hanging up there on the wall, mixed in with all different styles. Be able to look at them from a distance and maybe understand a little more about my own quilting voice and style. Am I able to convey the things that I want my quilts to represent? Maybe yes, maybe no. It's still an ongoing work in progress.
My quilts fit in just fine with this style of quilt!

One of my favorite quotes is 'Comparison is the thief of joy'. It's one I think about a lot because we are somewhat conditioned to be herd-like, from grade school clear through to adults, learning to garner the easy approval as children and then following along with marketing and trends in later years. I've never been especially afraid of being different {growing up in very large family well prepared me for always being different}, but I do understand the caution of picking and choosing the environment in which we deliberately choose to 'stand out'. If there wasn't the occasional prim., cottage style applique or vintage quilt in this particular show, I'd probably never enter another quilt here. No reason to deliberately poke myself in the eye!
The colors in this quilt make me happy!
I really appreciated this particular interpretation of an antique quilt. So inspiring! It was positively cheerful and happy looking in these colors, and the Liberty prints{used in the blocks} have a vintage-look connection that I adore. Trying for an interpretation of a vintage or antique quilt is something I need to remember to do on occasion as it seems to ground me a little and wake me up to the value of personal choice.

And as always, I'm intrigued by piecing play with stripes. Wouldn't this look fabulous in recycled shirtings? I would have been drooling instead of merely admiring it and yes, it was very well done in beautiful fabrics. It's so interesting how our tastes change throughout the years and where our new interests are leading us to! I know a lot of us can thank Kaja for continually showcasing the interesting effects of using upcycled fabrics!

The butterfly sample quilt was a very fun, interesting example of playing with sampler blocks, something I've always enjoyed.  Any young woman would probably love having this quilt! I considered what it would look like pieced in a more improv. style. How hard would it be to end up with a definite butterfly shape and would that ruin the feel of the quilt or would it make it even more interesting looking. Sort of a wild butterfly?

That's probably the main thing that caught me off guard this year. I spent more time wondering what a quilt would look like if it was done a little differently, in color, piecing or fabric choice. Isn't it great to be a quilter in today's world of abundance and access to inspiration? I'll try and post my quilt pics in the next post, though you've already seen them here on the blog before!


  1. If there's one thing that stands out as outstanding in this post, it's the quote you cited. With only one or possibly two exceptions the quilts here while very nice, do not excite or inspire me, yours do. So, my friend, go forth and quilt, and never doubt your inner muse.

  2. I am in a fairly small town south of Pittsburgh. Our Washington , Pa ( yes, Washington slept here :) quilt guild has a show every two years.

    You can probably go onto my blog and just type in QUILT SHOW in the Search Section to see at least 4-6 posts on the show, because there was such a huge variety of impressive quilts there in 2015.

    I was happy to see so much hand quilting still going on in my area but these quilts were of all styles and genre. That is what makes the shows so interesting.

    Audrey, your quilts are always interesting / every single one. Your quilts belong there as much as anyones :)

  3. I'm going to Paducah this week for the fall quilt show and there will be many quilts I like or would make - but chances are there will be an overabundance of art like quilts. Quilts that are pretty and unique but way out of my comfort zone. There will be tons of machine quilting but normally I am attracted to the hand quilted because that is what I do mainly - your quilts are interesting to you and all of us - congrats to you for entering to begin with - I don't bother! I really have no interest in entering - but I sure do like looking!

  4. It's amazing the variety of styles and genres of quilts. It's hard not to compare ourselves to others, but we need to just keep making and exploring the the quilts and the directions we want to go.

  5. The thing I remember is that each of us is a creator. We have the opportunity to express ourselves, rather than someone else, if that's what we want. We can also use a pattern or finish a workshop quilt. Sometimes that's what we need in order to learn a style.
    I like to look at each quilt in a show and find something to admire: the piecing, a color combination, an embellishment. It makes me slow down and really look at each work. You're doing the same here.
    Thanks to all the quilters who display their work.

  6. The joy of a quilt show is seeing so many different types of quilts I am sure yours looked very much a home and what is so lovely about yours are that they are all individual not a pattern from a book etc but so much has been poured into the creation of them

  7. Keep entering your quilts. There will always be someone who is looking to see your style of quilt. As a longarmer I see many beautiful quilts that are never seen in shows for the same reasons you argue, but at the end of the day, they are the quilts being made NOW, they are relevant and have a voice. Well done for contributing to the show. Thanks for the photos.

  8. I love that quote! Comparing one person's work to another is entirely subjective. I like the little fox quilt, but I can honestly say none of the quilts here have inspired me. When I look at one of your quilts (even those VERY few ones that I have not absolutely loved) I think, p.k., she has really inspired me this time. Your quilts always speak to me. I come away from your blog saying, hmmm, let's see how we can create something fun today. Thanks!

  9. I've only entered a quilt show once. You're right, it was interesting seeing my quilt hanging with the rest. The comments on the judges form were not what I expected. Because they didn't have my vision things didn't mesh for them. They even said my curved piecing wasn't right when it was actually appliqué. They said it needed more quilting when the whole point was to leave some places open. I now quilt for myself, not the judges, not the viewer, just me.

  10. I hope you'll keep working with your very unique style Audrey !

  11. I would have been so thrilled to view your quilts in person, I think you could do trunk shows that would thrill and inspire! Thank you for the thought provoking post. Do you read niftyquilts.blogspot.com? I adore her upcycling bravery, and use of color, & whimsy..

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  13. This post struck a chord with me. I have walked around quilt shows a couple of times, feeling that what I make just isn't in line with what other people are showing. Your quilts are lovely and I'm glad to think they are out in the world - I'm sure there will be people who walked around unmoved until they saw them and then felt excited/inspired to see what you do. Thanks for the mention too!


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