This year I went to Quilt Odyssey with my friend, Karen Jones Jantzi. We first visited the exhibit and discovered an inordinate number of beautiful but very traditional quilts. They far outnumbered the art quilts. Since our interest was in the art quilts we were able to see those quite quickly. Here are the highlights.
Claudia Pfiel’s In Full Bloom stole the show as far as I was concerned. Her work sometimes goes over the top with psychedelic tendencies for my taste but this one just nailed it. The detail in the background, the repetition of color from one area of the work to another, and the balance was all just great.
Maasai Women of Kenya was a group quilt made with wonderful embellishments. So much beading and lovely tassels! The women looked bold and beautiful.
My friend, Anna Chupa, an art professor at Lehigh University, won first place in Wall Quilts (Mixed/Other Techniques category) She photographs flowers and creates digital compositions which she then sends out to be printed on fabric. She did a great job with her intense longarm stitching.
Stars Can’t Shine without Darkness, by Claudia Scheja was a very touching work. She wrote, “More than 25 years ago our daughter Johanna was born with a brain tumor. She live only for ten weeks. With her 25th birthday, my desire grew, to make a quilt in remembrance to my little star in heaven. She makes the star more colorful for me.” Notice how the border gradation of color is reversed on the top and left as opposed to the bottom and right to provide contrast.
Sandy Curran won Best Pictorial with Rain. Just outstanding!
She also won third place with Erin, in the Wall Quilt (predominantly appliqued category).
Margaret Solomon Gunn’s Persistence, was instantly recognizable as hers with it’s intricate perfect subtly colored stitching on a solid silk background.
Sue Turnquist won Best Machine Quilting with Lovin’ Old Moses.
When My Spirit is Set Free, by Teri Cherne won best innovative. This quilt features metallic threads, hand applique, couching and trapunto. Amazing.
Marie’s Treasure by Marilyn Badger just takes the traditional medallion and pumps it up with breathtaking wow factor. This incorporates a dyed hand crocheted doily, ombre fabrics, embroidery and beading to produce a truly amazing work.
We then went to visit the vendor mall and discovered the same imbalance we had seen in the exhibit. There were many vendors who catered to traditional quilting tastes but very few who supplied items required for art quilting or innovative surface design.
We were so happy to find the Handloom Batik booth full of ikat and hand stamped fabrics from India.
I noticed the improv quilts in her booth made from her fabrics and Usha, the vendor, explained that they were made by Rayna Gillman. Rayna had loved the fabrics and felt that people needed to see how they could be used in their quilting.
This one is similar to the one featured on the cover of her new book, Make Your Own Improv Quilts.
Here is another delightfully wonky quilt using her fabrics.
Perhaps this will inspire you to join our Improv Quilt Challenge in the Artful Quilting and Sewing Facebook Group. You may join this group to find like minded and supportive people here.