Saturday, October 17, 2009

Houston Quilt Market - A Few of the Quilts on Exhibit

Here are just a few of the quilts exhibited that particularly caught my eye. A sampling, if you will, of the extraordinary quilts on display. I didn't get around to all the exhibits, so this sampling only represents a few of the quilts in all the various displays. I hope you enjoy them. This is Shannon's Bantam, by Denise Havlan, from Plainfield, Illinois.

Woman Waiting #2 - by Pamela Allen, from Kingston, Ontario

Seedpods, by Laura Wasilowski from Elgin, Illinois

Spring Field by Akiko Kawato, Japan

And Show me the Road to Timbukto, Take my Hand and let us Go, by Bodil Gardner, from Lystrup, Denmark.

More to come . . .

Friday, October 16, 2009

Quilt Market - Houston

Quilt Market in Houston each fall is a huge affair - literally hundreds of vendors and even more shop owners. I went alone this year, so was hugely grateful to meet up with Jean Boyd from Brockville, Ontario, who helped me set up my booth and with "Sample Spree", and relieving me so I could go and investigate the booths of other vendors.
Here's a glance at the shoppers lining up for "Sample Spree" - a 2-hour frenzy during which all sorts of bargains can be found. I don't know if I had more fun shopping or meeting people at the Kitambaa table. Yes I do. It was the shopping.
The whole event is unbelievably stimulating. Enjoying the quilts that others have designed, admiring their quilted clothing (I love this mock mudcloth design for a jacket!), participating in "Schoolhouse", and teaching at "Take and Teach". Even the twinkly lights outside the Hilton had me mesmerized.

And of course there were the quilts. The standard of quilt work is so high now, it can be quite intimidating. I will share a few of my favourites over the next few posts, starting with this quilt by Ann Bird, from Ottawa. Ann is renowned for her medallion quilts. The difference with this one is that it is made with African fabrics she purchased in Rwanda and also from Uganda (through Kitambaa Designs). When she asked me for as much fabric as I had of the "wild and crazy birds", I couldn't imagine what she was going to do with it. But isn't this magnificent?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Ferns, Flowers, and Other Follies - an Original Application

Sue Robertson from New Brunswick recently sent me this "quilt" resulting from a Ferns, Flowers and Other Follies workshop I gave back east last year, and certainly it qualifies for the most original application of an Art Deco-inspired piece that I have seen to date. She travels a fair bit, so decided to incorporate her design into a garment bag. I love it!
Meanwhile I am down in Houston at Quilt Market. The third of my new Art Deco designs accompanied me here - an adaptation of Jocelyn's quilt, that I showed you in August. I've called it Faith, and it will be available for order by the end of November. Here's a peek at it in its unquilted state.
Made up in turquoisy-greens, and then pinky-purples. For any of you who have read the children's story of Miss Rumphius, it may have particular meaning. In our family, that story is an all-time favourite.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Quadra Island, Serendipity

Last weekend I had the pleasure of giving my Trunk Show, "Travels with my Treadle", and teaching my workshop "African Sunrise", on Quadra Island. And through the generosity of one of the members of the local Guild, I was able to spend the weekend at a charming log cabin overlooking the water. My idea of heaven. I had brought some brightly coloured fabrics with me, and played with them all day, working on something "just because", and not in response to some impending deadline (the current deadline has me getting patterns ready for Quilt Market in Houston next week). It reminded me again how important it is to spend "moodling" time ("moodling" is a word coined by Barbara Ueland, who writes about the the writing life, something that has a lot in common with the artist's life, and the quilting life). She says "So you see the imagination needs moodling - long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling and puttering." It seems, for me at least, that I need to be away from home for this to happen. Away from the screaming "shoulds", not to mention the phone, the computer, the television. It's been my dream to have my own "little log cabin in the woods" to retreat to for most of my adult life. And one day it just might happen. In the meantime, I am thankful to others who have shared their cabins with me.
When I returned home, it was to put the finishing touches on a couple of new pattern designs, both inspired, once again, by the Art Deco period of design. I've called this one Serendipity, and you can see it pictured here in pinks on a dark purple background, and in yellows on a blue-green background. The flowers themselves are fused, and the stems are made of couched yarn. Beads in the centre of the flowers were added for the final touch.