Saturday, November 6, 2010

Quilt Show

Today I drove up to Nashua, NH, to visit the annual A Quilters' Gathering show. This show used to be in Westford, MA. and was the first large show I ever attended. At the time I can remember being blown away by the quilts. The next time I attended the show it was to meet with friends who I had only known On-line. It has been many years since I first attended those shows, and some of my on-line friends are still friends, some have slipped away from quilting, and some are gone. Since that first show I have attended many other "large" shows, the largest being Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas. It wasn't feasible for me to go to Houston this year so I attended this show instead (this year they are the same weekend)

There isn't any comparison as far as quantity of quilts, Houston is by far the larger show, esp. if you count all of the special exhibits. But Nashua usually manages to have a couple of exceptional quilts in the show. I did feel that the overall quality of the quilts this year wasn't as high as it has been in the past. For a judged show there were some quilts that I had to wonder about. But I think the Judges of this show have always tried to be inclusive, unlike Houston Judges who seem to want to just wow us.

Unlike some quilters I have never taken a lot of pictures of quilts at shows. I did a couple of years ago, but that was because I was going to use the show and the quilts for a class project. This year I don't have the same reason. However I did want to have some images for the blog so I did photograph a few quilts. Not the necessarily the winners. The top winner was a quilt by Linda M. Roy. It is a beautiful quilt, and unusual for many of the top winners now a days, hand quilted. But I have seen Linda's quilts before, and to be honest while this is a lovely quilt it is for me a been there done that quilt. She does beautiful work, but you know it is her work when you see the quilt.

Below is a fun quilt, hard to see without a close up, but in each section of the star is a figure of who could be considered someone's idol.  I like this quilt, it is fun, and bright and is called Who's Your Idol by Connie Farrington.

My fellow quilters who have known me for a while know that I love batiks and have collected over the years quite a stash of them. Below is a batik quilt that I think is lovely. I esp. like that she didn't put plain borders on this quilt but went to the effort of creating pieced borders for it. Though they are a lot of work pieced borders can really enhance the look of a quilt. So below I give you Bob's World by Kathleen Lavalee. Hmm I wonder if all Kathleen's who quilt love batiks? Maybe it is something that goes with the name. 

This next image was done by a quilter whose name is new to me, Ronda K. Beyer.  This is what happens when you stop reading all the quilt magazines, you (meaning me) loose track of who is doing what in the quilting world. This quilt attracted a lot of attention from the show goers, in fact this quilt attracted more attention then one of her other quilts that also won a top prize. The black and tan combination is very visually dramatic, and all of us were trying to figure out how lace centers for the outer stars was done, by machine, by hand, that is the question. I don't have an answer though I have a feeling much of the work of creating the lace was done on an embroidery machine. Though you can't tell from the photograph she also added swarovski crystals to the surface which adds spark and glitter to the quilt. The name of this quilt is Stars for Arden. I love feathered stars and really enjoyed this quilt.

The three quilts I have presented here are just a sampling of the quilts in the show. There was an entire exhibit of beautiful minature reproduction Amish quilts which I could not photograph, and also a collection of full sized Amish bed quilts. Both exhibits were very interesting, but I was esp. drawn to the minature quilts, which were machine pieced but hand quilted, very beautiful.

I leave you with one final image, taken on grounds outside the hotel. It was a lovely day for a quilt show, it would have been improved by meeting and chatting with friends, but that wasn't to be this year. I was very good though, and while I visited the vendor booths I only purchased 4 spools of quilting thread. Next post will be more of my art work.