Friday, May 13, 2011

Purchased in Paducah

You know it's true...everybody really just wants to know, "What did you buy at the quilt show???"
I remember being very exhausted when taking this picture, or I'd have spread out the fabric to make it look more exciting! This is the fabric from Hancock's of Paducah. DeLuna's is the in the clear bag (you get a nice big bag if you buy more!) and mine is in the white bag.
The black & white piece is a batik that looks like either a spine or tire tracks. The rest is mainly for backs of charity quilts. That was my shopping plan, to keep from being distracted by beautiful fabrics that would cause me to start creating a bunch of brand new projects!
I was also on a mission find a very dark purple for Rita, but it was not to be found anywhere.
Hancock's back room

While I enjoyed the hours we spent in there, I have to say that we had been warned by One Who Knows that the famous back room at Hancock's was not as well stocked as in the past. There was plenty there, but I was not finding the treasures expected. But getting the backs for a couple quilts was fine, especially at sale prices. The cost of cotton has sky-rocketted this year, so any sale is good.

My favorite purchase at any show is these wonderful embroideries from South Africa, made by women who live in the north near the Zimbabwe border. Each one tells part of a folk-tale. The designs are standard, but each woman adds her own touch in choosing the colors and sometimes her intials or a slight change in the background. I really should buy several of the same design...a good idea for the next time I see this lovely lady:

Ina le Roux is responsible for this colorful business that helps women make money to send their children to school or even just provide meals and basic needs.  The pieces come in various sizes, are washable,  and some are done on white cloth. The story is included with each one, and a little card about one of the women who do the embroidery. I always keep the link on my sidebar: Tambani Textiles.
After the class with Velda Newman last month, I was also checking out all the special hand dyed fabrics.
Over at the Rotary show you can always find Cherrywood Fabrics. For years thery have made a fabulous cotton that looks like suede.
A Grab Bag for Crazies, indeed! I keep buying this stuff and not using it...which is truly a shame, as it is beautiful. When I do make something, I'll be sure to post it, since the plastic bag does not allow you to see how nice this is!
These are the pieces of Carol Bryer Fallert fabrics from Benartex that I talked about in the last post. You can see the influence of all those fruits and veggies from Velda's class...better than I can paint myself!
The one that shades from grey to white is just perfect for a project I've been planning for tooooooo many years!
Now, how about THIS:

Three yummy pieces hand dyed by Frieda Anderson! And we had a nice chat with Laura Wasilowski and Frieda as we tried to keep our drooling under control around all that luscious fabric.

So, Dear Friends, that is it for Paducah 2011!
In the course of writing these posts, I have finished the binding and sleeve on a quilt I can hardly wait to tell you all about!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Bryerpatch visit in Paducah

Carol Bryer Fallert, a well-known quilt artist, has her Bryerpatch Studio open in Paducah during Quilt Week, and it's always a treat to visit there. The building was designed to match the surrounding Lower Town Arts District and provides space downstairs for a teaching studio with a retail area. Upstairs is Carol's home and personal studio.

Look for the large brick house with a white porch on the is the backyard! When the weather is good, it's wonderful to walk around Paducah, especially this neighborhood with the old houses and so many artist studios.

During the quilt show, Carol has a selection of her fabrics for sale in the teaching studio.
Benartex has printed yardage inspired by Carol's hand dyed fabrics, with vibrant colors that range through several values or different hues from one selvedge to the other. It's a great way to get a lot of color in just one piece! In fact, I liked the Rainbow Gradient so much last year, my guild picked it for one of the QuiltFest Challenge fabrics!

Color, color everywhere!  Who wouldn't enjoy this little bench...especially along with the quilt on the wall!

The studio is decorated with Carol's quilts. What fun to be able to get up close and see her award-winning stiching! And not just her own quilts...there was also a show of other people's work, in cluding Ann Fahl's quilts from her book "A Black and White Tale" about Oreo the cat.
But our great treat this year was to take the upstairs tour of Carol's house!
I did not feel comfortable about taking pictures of her to-die-for 2-story living room, with the ceiling painted like the sky, or her fabulous kitchen that can serve 30 people...but you can be sure I wanted to record her own studio space!

Thse blue & yellow floor tiles are as functional as the ones in the teaching studio. I learned that Carol likes to work on the floor, trimming and blocking her quilts on this carpet. You can see her in action in "Stitched! The Movie"...get the DVD! It shows Carol, Hollis Chatelaine and Randall Cook as they prepare their art quilts for the 2010 AQS show in Paducah and the IQA show in Houston.
I know what you are really wondering: What sort of stash does she have?

That's one side of the room! It does show how you can get a lot in...and with good organization, you can even find what you need!
If I had a house and studio space like this, I would want to show it off, too...but it's still very gracious of Carol (not to mention the guests she had  staying there!) to allow us to have a tour and share her beautiful home.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Antique quilts turn into Paducah scholarships

Quilt Week in Paducah has quite a few "must sees" besides the show. One of my favorites is the local Rotary Club hanging a collection of antique quilts, with the admission fees going to their scholarship and educational programs fund. The Rotary Education Assistance Program (REAP) has raised over $750,000 since 1989.
Check that Tuesday afternoon sky! When we got back to the motel, the desk clerk told us not to worry about the message light flashing on the was "only" a tornado alert!
But when there are quilts to see, who cares about the weather?
The display was curated by Sue Reich, and titled"A Quilted Garden: The Beauty of Flowers & Gardens in Quiltmaking".

Medallion Tulip Applique c.1930
This one was hand and machine appliqued, for those who think only "real quilts are made totally by hand".
But then, I doubt anyone who really believes that is reading this blog!

Whole cloth quilt c. 1830
I love to see this sort of fabric...not what I would use today, but that's not the point. You can really appreciate why it was a whole cloth quilt (too beautiful to cut up???). But if you only had a yard, what a broiderie perse you could make by cutting out all the motifs and creating your own scene!
These birds look awfully familiar...I'll have to see if they appear in any previous years' photos!

Red and Green Applique Quilt c. 1860
I hope I have this one right, as I neglected to mark my info sheet! But here we have the ultimate "dinner plate flowers" just for Cherry-Cherry. The quilt has nine blocks so each flower must be at least 20". Check out the quilting inside the flowers. Hmmmmmm....this detail shot would make a good idea for a fabric postcard!

Redwork Penny Square Quilt c. 1900
This is an unusual redwork quilt. It appears to have been made with designs printed 9 to a piece of fabric, but not cut into smaller squares. There are several of the same "design sheets" used in the quilt.

Garden Bouquet c.1930
Nancy Page design
Something a little different for hexagon fans. It's great to be inspired by vintage quilts...this would be cute made with yo-yo flowers, should you be so obsessed.
For those who are learning about quilt documentation, the triangles are the classic 30's color Nile Green.

The National State Flower Quilt c. 1933
This is one of two state flower quilts done with embroidery. Those are the Ohio carnations at the top of the picture. Don't you love that llittle star in the border? I think it was also embroidered.

This is from a vendor's booth (shame on me for not noting which one!). The Rotary show is definitely the place to look for antique quilts and blocks if you are collecting. And in a way, it's comforting to see so many blocks and tops, establishing the UFO as a true Quilting Tradition!
The reason I took this picture is that the sashing has what looks like floating squares on point...another wonderful inspiration, especially if you wanted a very wide sashing to make a quilt bigger (generally not a recomended proceedure!) or to set off some big plain blocks featuring lots of quilting.  Upon closer viewing, I saw that there were formerly green squares alternating with the red ones! Fantastic! I love it either way.

Last, but never least, the Rotary show always has one of the traveling Hoffman Challenge exhibits (they are broken into several collections each year). It's fun to see what people have done with the fabric and get a peek at next year's print.

When we meet again, we'll make a visit to Caryl Bryer Fallert's studio, the Bryerpatch.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Paducah 2011: details count!

Details are what really makes a quilt a winner...even if the judges give an award to a different quilt, the special touches are what the quilters are looking at during the show (and possible what got the quilt juried in).
Although we like to ask why one quilt is not awarded a prize, or how that other one could possibly have a first place ribbon, it boils down to some details that perhaps only the judges could see.
Here are some inspirational details from quilts seen at the AQS show last week. Not all took a ribbon...but considering the competition, just getting juried in was a honor.
detail from "Aunt Hettie's Doily" by Becky Weiland
Small Wall Quilts, Home Sewing Machine
Ever wonder what to do with that heirloom needlework? Just getting the doily stitched down properly would be a feat, let alone all the applique and piecing in this whole quilt!

detail from"Autumn Beauty" by Barbara Shapel
Small Wall Quilts, Pictorial
The complete quilt features two Great Blue Herons and a red maple tree. I wanted to take a closer look at the moon, beautifully done in threadwork to make it look almost real.

detail from "Moonlit Night Fantasy"
Large Wall Quilt, Home Sewing Machine
This is DeLuna's favorite quilt of the whole show! Two sweet bunnies are sitting at the edge of a bamboo grove, looking at a full moon. I'd say they are about 4 inches high, and the quilt is 65" x 59"! Yet they seem soft and fluffy.

detail from "Baltimore Album Vase" by Melinda Bula
Large Wall Quilt, Pictorial
There were far more pictorial quilts of all sizes, except maybe the Bed Quilts categories. What caught my eye  was this carefully draped 3-D handkerchief...possible to miss with the massive flower bouquet above it! And not to mention the calico kitty at the opposite corner.

detail from "Counterpoint" by Pam Hill
Small Wall Quilt, Longarm/Midarrm
HandiQuilter Wall Longarm Workmanship Award
After a great conversation with a guild member who said she could always tell the difference between longarm and home sewing machine quilting, I was on the lookout for some comparisons. These little orange-peel shapes are about the size of a fingerprint....and go all around the border of this 40" square quilt.
I did take some pictures of the sample size ones done by a home machine, but don't you know those were out of focus! I could not tell any difference.

detail from "Wrought Iron and Roses" by Jaynette Huff
Bed Quilts, Home Sewing Machine
Second place
 Bed Quilts,Home Sewing Machine is not a large category, but the "smallest" one was 67" x 82"...and this one is 96" square! So, yes, it can be done!

detail from "Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining" by Susan Stewart
Bed Quilts, Home Sewing Machine
First Place
The fabrics are shiny, the thread is metallic! And the lace was made by her machine, too...except when I say the machine did it, I mean it did with her input and quality control. Even using computer programed motifs requires a good amount of skill, beacuse it still has to be done well. Often embroidery is the wrong scale (usually too small) for good design balance.

detail from "Mystique" by Sharon Schamber
Large Wall Quilts, Longarm/ Midarm Machine
First Place
At 102" square, this is the biggest wall quilt! But we are looking at details, and you have to check out the insertion lace (somebody please tell me what that fancy French term is...) at the border, corners and around the large central on-point medallion. The description says it has filigree work with hand turned cording and is quilted with silk thread. That is black thread, too, I may add!
OK, enough with quilting..time for one last pictorial!

detail from "A Day in the Life of a Diner Booth" by Linda Cantrell
Large Wall Quilts, Pictorial
Third Place
What a story teller Linda Cantrell is! People are always gathered around her quilts to see all the action. This quilt tells the story of 24 hours of different occupants in the same booth at a diner. Here the police are enjoying a doughnut. I hope you get to see the other 11 stories at another show or in a magazine!

Well, it is not just the details in the quilts that are important to a show.
It's also important how the show is hung:
detail from "Mary Simon Rediscovered" by Nanct Kerns
Best Handwork Award
AQS 2011 show in Lancaster PA
I saw -and appreciated- this detail in several places around the show, including the old store buildings where this picture was taken. Quilts that are too tall for the stands are carefully draped at the floor with plastic underneath...and the corner turned in! Better to miss seeing some small details than to have a foot planted on top of something that took hours of labor. Some other very big name shows could learn from this!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Paducah: AQS show cannot be stopped!

The AQS staff pulled off a miracle last week and presented the Paducah show in all its glory.
In case you don't understand what the problem was, this is it:
The building is the Convention Center, and the thing in front of it is the flood wall...with the gates installed.
If you've been to the quilt show, you've probably walked through here many times and didn't even think about it.
But when the Ohio River started rising due to Spring rain and snow melt-off, the city officials decided to put the floodgates up to protect the town. That gave the AQS staff about 12 hours to figure out if...and where...the show could be held. They managed to visit locations around the city and put together the deals needed to provide the all the required space for classes, quilts and vendors.

First Baptist Church must be the biggest venue in town, and certainly was a great place for all the classes, lectures and the wall quilts. This is one of Sue Nichol's quilts in the Chapel where the lectures were held.
Members of the church turned out to help show-goers find their way around the building and to provide some very good food.
The buses had to run extra hard duty, as the church is on the other side of town from the Pavilion (also known as the Bubble or Marshmellow). That's where all the large quilts from the Expo Hall ended the vendors from that room.
Special exhibits were shown with the remaining vendors at two empty buildings out near the mall: the former Office Max housed the ones which had been in the Pavilion, and the old Circuit City held the ones from the Convention Center ballrooms.
Nothing was missing:
The Boy Scouts' strawberry shortcake was in full supply at the Food Tent, conveniently located in the Farmers' Market lot across from the National Quilt Museum. I see Eleanor Burns knows a good advertising opportunity!

Despite the continuing bad tornado-spawning weather through Wednesday night, the sun was out for the rest of the show and everyone had a marvelous time. I talked with two ladies from Pennsylvania who were in Paducah for their first visit. They had been to many other shows, and were totally enjoying this one.
Maybe ignorance is bliss, but I believe the truth is that this show is so good and so well-run that even with trials and tribulations it still comes off as the
best show in the country.
This is the Pavilion, AKA The Bubble or Marshmellow! It's an inflatable building on a permanent concrete foundation...which acts as a handy seat both inside and out. How does it stay up? With giant air pumps and airlock-style doors.
I got this "action shot" while DeLuna and I were sneaking around to the back entrance! Well, what else can you do when a giant tour bus unloads right before you get to the door? It helps to know the lay of the land.
Meanwhile, inside the Bubble (most popular name this year) it looks like this:
The light is nice and most of the time it is spacious. If it gets too crowded, you just leave and head over to get some strawberry shortcake...which will be closer next year, as the food tent should be back in front of the Convention Center.
What? You want to know about the quilts?
OK, here's the best of show:
So that must be the Best Quiltmaker, Pat Holly! "Paisley Peacock" came from the Large Wall Quilts, Home Sewing Machine Quilted category. The workmanship is splendid...tiny buttonhole stitching around all the zillions of shapes. Believe me, the machine does NOT "do it all for you"!!!
She often works with her sister Sue Nichols. They have several quilts in the museum, including the ever-popular "Beatles Quilt".

More Paducah adventures to follow...but until then, to see pictures of the winning quilts:
While you are there, look over on the left side of the home page and click on the AQS blog for Bonnie Browning's tales of how the show was saved and the judging done during a tornado alert!