QuiltCon Inspiration…

QuiltCon East 2017 is in the books.

QuiltCon East in Savannah was the fourth Modern Quilt Guild conference – the first two were in Austin, Texas in 2013 and 2015, and QuiltCon West in Pasadena was last year, 2016.  I have been to the last three and every year, it’s an exciting, energetic event.

One of the highlights this year was the attendance of Brigitte Heitland of Zen Chic.

In addition to teaching fellow quilters how to create quilts to fit the color scheme and style of their homes, Brigitte had two quilts on display in the show.  This is On The Ball.

As for the rest of the quilts hanging in Savannah, just as it is for every art form, the styles represented aren’t easily classified.  Many quilts are made entirely with solids, some made with all prints and some are made with a mix of the two.  Denims and silks, vintage and decorator fabrics, anything that meets the description of “fabric” is used.  Threads of every weight, color and fiber are used in quilting and for embellishment. And while there are many Improv style quilts, there are almost as many that are well-planned and created with intent and a clear vision of the design.

So what does this mean?  Don’t ask me what makes a quilt “modern”?

Some are easy.

This is Bling by Katherine Jones of Chigwell, Tasmania, Australia.

Inspired by a princess-cut diamond, Bling is foundation paper-pieced using solid fabrics.  Machine-pieced and machine-quilted on a “domestic or mid-arm machine where the quilt moves under a stationary needle.”

It measures 90″ x 90″ – and it is spectacular.

This is the award-winning Waiting for Sanity by Kristin Shields of the Central Oregon MQG.  Machine-pieced and machine-quilted, this quilt was started in a Gwen Marston class.  Kristin calls it a Liberated Hourglass quilt.  (I call it awesome – the mix of fabrics, movement and quilting is all spectacular.)

Infused Plaid by Cassandra Beaver of the Central Ohio MQG features a simply pieced central design that allows the linear matchstick quilting to become the star of the quilt.  The thread colors match the fabrics they pass through, allowing the color of the piecing to extend across the surface o the quilt and create a plain pattern.  (This quilt is featured in the current issue of Fons’ & Porter’s Modern Quilting magazine.)

Finding the One by Miriam Coffey of the Asheville MQG almost shimmers – especially from a distance.  It was inspired by the notion of human companionship.  Machine-pieced and machine-quilted.

This is Ode de Yoshiko by Marilyn Farquhar of the Grand River MQG in Ontario, Canada.  It is machine-pieced using hand-drafted paper-piecing and long-arm quilted using digitized designs created by Marilyn.

The story behind the quilt: A friend of Marilyn’s purchased a meter of Yoshiko’s signed, hand-stamped fabric at QuiltCon 2015, inspiring her to create a quilt using Yoshiko’s minimalist color palette.  She hand-drafted a complex circular pattern and extended the points to the corners to form the square.  The narrow circle running around the quilt is single piece of the featured fabric, and the quilt includes quilting cottons, Japanese fabrics, silks and vintage linens.

Lincoln by Kim Soper is based on a WPAP (vector-based geometric pop art) image of Lincoln by Ihsan Ekaputra.  It is machine-pieced using improv-piecing and machine-quilted.  Lincoln won a First Place ribbon in the Improvisation Category.

One of my favorite things about quilts at QuiltCon is the wonderful use of thread and stitching – this is a close-up of #CUquilt by Ginevra Martin of the Sydney MQG.

Machine-appliquéd, machine-quilted and hand-quilted, this quilt celebrates the beauty and visual interest created by slight imperfections, the signs that art is made by people.

This is Canary Meets Gold Mine by Stephanie Ruyle of the Denver Metro MQG.

Machine-pieced with improvisational piecing, hand-embroidered and machine-quilted.

Mixing an assortment of on-hand garment and quilting linen of differing weights, quilting cottons and “shared material”, Canary has a somber color palette that is broken up with pops of neon pink and mustard yellow.

Just as it was last year, one of my favorite quilters is Tara Faughnan.

This is Zig Zag Quilt – paper-pieced on the machine and hand-quilted.  From the colors to the varying lengths of zig zags, I love everything about this quilt.

And this one – Bazaar.

This improvisational quilt is made with folded pieces of fabric that were layered and stitched into place.  The design and color placement were created as Tara went, row by row without an idea of the final outcome.

Bazaar is machine-pieced and machine-quilted.

Light and Shadow by Rebecca Loren of the Boston MQG is machine-pieced and long-arm machine-quilted by Linda Wolyniec.

building on a star design seen on quiltindex.org, Rebecca designed the color plan beforehand and pieced the quilt improvisational to achieve the wash effect.  The color value was intentionally graded in both the star and field blocks to create a flicker effect similar to shadows thrown at dust.

As before, I am always inspired and dazzled by the quilts at QuiltCon.

Whether it is in Pasadena, California next February – February 22 – 25, 2018 – or in Nashville, Tennessee in 2019, I hope you get the chance to attend.

Happy Thursday!

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14 comments on “QuiltCon Inspiration…

  1. Ruth says:

    Is there ever, ever, ever any kind of major quilt convention in the NYC area? We have a small Mancuso show in NJ this weekend, but I want a biggie! Folks from New England and the metro-NY area would come in droves. You guys have influence; give us a convention, please.

    • Heather Grant says:

      I’m the show organizer for QuiltCon and can answer this question. I think there’s two reasons why there isn’t. The first is that the tri-state area is VERY expensive since it is a desirable area for people to have conventions. Secondly, it’s an area of the country that requires union labor in convention centers, so on top of high rental prices, hotel requirements, you also have incredibly high labor costs. Most quilt shows have dozens of Mom & Pop vendors and just can’t afford to have a booth at that type of show.

      It’s a great part of the country, easy to get to for airlines, high population to draw attendance, but since it’s so great, it’s also very expensive.

  2. I agree with Ruth. We need a show in NY or Ma. We have small local shows but nothing big. Albany, Hartford, Boston. Let’s do it!

  3. Kathy says:

    In total agreement with Ruth and Maureen. I’ve been wondering for years why the east coast doesn’t have a big show. We have the quilters and the interest. New York would be a great venue for so many reasons.

  4. stitches4you says:

    The Bling quilt is really awesome.

  5. Kristi says:

    Thank you for the overview of the show. I consider myself a “traditional” quilter but I am very impressed with these beautiful contemporary quilts. I just finished a quilt made with more modern fabrics (which, by the way, I won from a Miss Rosie’s Quilt Co blog giveaway) and I love how it turned out! I need to step out of my quilting box more!

  6. dondim says:

    All of these quilts are stunning. I love how every quilt you ever show us is so very unique. I am constantly amazed at how much talent and creativity each person on the earth has!

  7. eellis727 says:

    The show was fabulous! This was my first time to QuiltCon although I have been to many other shows including many trips to Houston. I was so surprised at the difference. I saw things …..and vendors….I never run across in previous shows. I also liked the fact that is wasn’t too, too large. The classes were great and we had a wonderful time. Looking forward to Nashville in 2019.

  8. Ann Puchany says:

    Where might one find a,pattern for the Bling quilt?

    • Carrie Nelson says:

      Hi Ann – This is an original design and to the best of my knowledge, there isn’t going to be a pattern for the quilt.

  9. Julie says:

    Wow, amazing designs, amazing quilts at all to be found at quiltcon! So priviledge to be permitted to view these quilts. Thank you for sharing the pictures.Julie Beard Adelaide Australia.

  10. Thanks so much to Moda for featuring my quilt Ode De Yoshiko that placed first in piecing–I am so appreciative to Aurifil for sponsoring this prize. I am also grateful to be part of the Quilt Your Desire ad campaign for Handi Quilter and am one of thirteen in the Inspiration Squad. I will be sharing inspiration of my quilting on various quilts for the next year. Please feel free to follow along at Handiquilter.me/quiltyourdesire/ or my Facebook or instagram marilynjfarquhar #handiquilter #inspirationsquadqyd #quiltyourdesire

  11. Sarah Craig says:

    QuiltCon 2017 was quite an experience, and it is wonderful to see your recap of it! I was amazed at how many fabulous quilts were on display – inspiration everywhere! And I really enjoyed stopping by the Moda booth with Kate Spain and meeting Lissa Alexander and Denyse Schmidt! That was one of the highlights of my trip!

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