Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Welcome to the 2017 Pacific International Quilt Festival: Day 1

Welcome to PIQF! This annual quilt show takes place each October in Santa Clara, California. Here are some of our favorites and some of the highlights of this show. We'd love to hear which ones are your favorites.  Let's start with Day 1:

The Sprinter, 38 x 80, by Birgit Schüller (Germany)

Blue ribbon winner in the Innovative Quilts category, Birgit comments, "I'm not a sprinter, but I am a runner. I run for different reasons -- out of habit, to sort my thoughts....to calm down, to experience physical exhaustion."

Detail, The Sprinter

Birgit adds, "To me, running is freedom; running allows me to break free from the stress and restrictions of everyday life !" We were really intrigued by the tiny running figures that Birgit quilted into the background of this striking contemporary work. Her original design is machine appliqued and longarm quilted.

Eternal Beauty, 94 x 94,  by Sherry Reynolds (Wyoming)

"Best of Show" winner,  Sherry says, 'Eternal Beauty' is dedicated to my mom. When I look to the heavens and talk to her, I always see her beauty. The struggles I encountered while making this were nothing compared to her lifelong struggles with Multiple Sclerosis, but her perseverance always prevailed. Four years and 15,000 pieces later, my perseverance prevailed on this quilt. ....My mom's beauty is eternal."

Sherry's breathtaking original design is machine pieced, hand-appliqued, and sewing machine quilted.  Incredibly, this quilt with all its precise Mariner's Compass points, is almost 8 feet square !

This quilt is a real stunner, and unfortunately, photos do not do it justice. We hope that you will be able to see this quilt in person at a quilt show near you. Be sure to look for the tiny crystals that radiate light in all directions.

Joshua is Jazz, 50 x 35, by Linda Anderson (California)

 Second place winner in the Wall Quilts category, Linda explains, "This is one of the geniuses of jazz, Joshua White, who came in second place in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition a few years ago. Many people walk around with spellbinding talent within. Joshua is local to where I live, and we go to see and hear him often when he's in town."

Linda adds, "[He is] a true magician at the keyboard. This [original design]  art quilt is raw edge appliqued, hand painted pieces, machine stitched and sewing machine quilted." We really admire the life-like qualities and dimensionality of Linda's expertly designed and constructed work.

Maddy Swims with the Turtles, 40 x 30, by Miechelle Pape (California)

Miechelle made this quilt in honor of her daughter, who was out snorkeling in the ocean in Hawaii and suddenly went swimming away from the family as she chased a sea turtle. The family caught up with her; and all was well, so Miechelle preserved the memory in the form of this pretty quilt !

Miechelle notes, "I have only been quilting since 2012. I started quilting after my mom passed away. It got my mind on something else...I love creating quilts from from my fabric and sharing them and giving them as gifts.Quilting has enriched my life in so many ways." We love the embellishment that Miechelle has done with the tiny gold beads!  Miechelle's sparkly, eye-catching work is hand-pieced, hand-appliqued, and sewing machine quilted. Pattern by the Pacific Rim Quilt Company
The Egyptian Goose Family,49 x 54, by Kathryn Harmer Fox (South Africa)

Blue ribbon winner in the Innovative Quilts category at the World Quilt Show, Kathryn writes, "On a day so hot it could have melted rubber, and wishing I were a frog, I trudged longing towards the green-slimed dam. I came upon a family of geese resting in a pool of dappled light. The parents stood on one-legged guard, hissing at my approach, and the puddling of goslings separated into a stretching, preening duo."

Kathryn continues, "I use a technique I call fiber embedment, using scribble stitch together with free motion machine embroidery. These two techniques combined allow me to 'paint' with fabric and 'draw' with thread. " Kathryn's fascinating, detailed original design is machine pieced, machine appliqued, and sewing machine quilted.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

All Hallow's Eve and Day of the Dead

The Mexican holiday known as Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) overlaps with the Western Hemisphere  tradition of All Hallow's Eve (Halloween), the night before All Saints Day.  Here are colorful quilts that reflect the upcoming holidays!

Este es mi Vida by Linda Redwood-Martinez , Arizona

Linda states, "[This quilt is] representing a page torn my from life story and honoring those I love who are gone, but never forgotten. Viva el dia de los muertos !"

This detailed skeleton's appearance is embellished with the addition of flowers in her hair which match the autumn-hued flowers on the outside border.

More interesting details are shown here, as this skeleton is part of a duo playing musical instruments.

Day of the Dead by Marietta Champlin , California. Quilted by Marietta Champlin


Marietta explains,  "Inspiration came from several trips to Mexico during Dia de Los Muertos, a time when family and friends honor their dead. the belief is that the spirit of the dead visit their families on October 31 and leave on November 2. Altars are created in homes and public spaces with favorite food, drink (tequila), special bread, and personal mementos of the deceased." 

Detail,Day of the Dead

Marianne adds, "Highlighted by the Virgin of Guadalupe, patron saint of Mexico, altars include significant decorations of sugar skulls, marigolds, and paper banners. I chose [artist] Frida Kahlo as a centerpiece (shown above) to honor her tragic life." 

Halloween Fun by Elizabeth Huff , California.  Quilted by Elizabeth Huff

Elizabeth says, "I enjoyed cutting up a Halloween panel and figuring out a way to emphasize each block by using borders, diamond, and flying geese. It will make a perfect and colorful Halloween decoration."

Detail, Halloween Fun

We really admire Elizabeth's wonderful hand-quilting skills, as her stitches are so precise ! In this close-up, you can see how she hand-quilted a spider web to match the surrounding fabric pattern.

EEEEK! by Marianne Maiorana , California. Quilted  by Marianne Maiorana

Maryann notes, "I fell in love with this pattern [byVerna Mosquera] about 2 years ago and decided that I would hand applique instead of fuse the characters. I thoroughly enjoyed choosing the fabrics for each one. If you look closely, you will see the names of some of the potions reflect those in the 'Harry Potter' series."

Maryann continues, "This was done at my granddaughter's request. I can't wait to display it this Halloween."

Which Witch? by  Kathy Schmitz, California. Quilted by Kathy Schmitz


Kathy writes, "I saw this 'Which Witch' pattern [by Crazy Old Ladies] and thought it was a clever and humorous way to look at Halloween... concentrating on the witches' fashion sense!"


Kathy adds, "It was fun to put together, and it was my first experience with fusible applique." We really admire Kathy's excellent workmanship and accuracy which shows throughout this whimsical and colorful quilt.

Image credits: Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Diablo Valley Quilters' Guild Show Day 3

The 2017 Diablo Valley Quilters Guild show was recently held in Walnut Creek, California. Here are some of our favorite quilts!
Note: For great deals on quilt books and fabric, please visit our eBay store!

Furry Friends by Audrey McInerney

Audrey explains, " I fell in love with this pattern, but was was a little intimidated by all the applique. Nevertheless, I plunged in - my motivation being a new grandson. I found a new embroidery stitch (the Palestrina) for the wording on the borders, which was great fun to do."

Detail, Furry Friends

Audrey continues, "My husband is not quite ready to part with it, so I am waiting for my grandson to get his grown-up bed to part with it." This adorable pattern was designed by Holly Mabutas for Eat Cake Graphics , and the quilting was done by Kathy August.

Strips and Stripes by Valerie Heltgren-Lempesis

Valerie notes, "I wanted to use my collection of stripes to create a happy quilt that would take me out of my comfort zone of combinations. It did !"

Detail, Strips and Stripes

All of these happy, vibrant colors work so well together ! This work was quilted by Kerry Reed.

Silk Baby Blocks by Diana McClun


This quilt was inspired by a class with Rami Kim at Empty Spools SeminarsDiana learned to weave silks into the baby block pattern. They were silk scraps from Talbott Ties in Carmel Valley, CA.

Detail, Silk Baby Blocks

The "piano key" border and intense color-saturated fabrics give this traditional pattern a very attractive, contemporary look. Diana's original design was machine quilted by Beth Hummel.

Storm at Sea by Joan Scott

Joan writes, "This quilt started as a kit for a small quilt. It added matching batik fabric to make a bed-size quilt.  The colors are arranged to make rivers or highways."

Detail, Storm at Sea

Joan herself quilted her work, using lovely even stitches that accent the curvature of traditional, pretty  pattern. Her fabric selections show a nice choice of both light and dark batik hues.

Autumn Sentinel by Sandy Johnson

This restful, serene setting with a very pleasing array of colors depicts a lone tree at sunset overlooking the ocean. Sandy herself quilted the work, and the design was made by Cathy Geier. We loved the use of complementary hues, plus light and dark values to highlight the foreground against the background.
Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Diablo Valley Quilters' Guild Show Day 2

The 2017 Diablo Valley Quilters Guild show was recently held in Walnut Creek, California. Here are some of our favorite quilts!

Note: For great deals on quilt books and fabric, please visit our eBay store.Also, we're posting free patterns continually Quilt Inspiration's Twitter page !

Pacific Fisher by Nancy Tietz

Nancy explains about the cute little animal depicted here in her original design: "Fishers belong to a family of mammals that includes weasels, minks, and otters. They live in low-to-mid elevation forests and require cavities in trees to safely rear their young. This quilt was made for my daughter-in-law who just received her Ph.D. from U. of California, Davis, using the data she collected from the U.S. Forest Service for her dissertation.
I learned this applique technique from David Taylor, a well-known applique artist that taught classes at The Cotton Patch in Lafayette, California. Kerry Reed did the longarm quilting for me. "

Modern Plaid by Sally Socolich

Sally notes, "This pattern projects a more modern dimension to traditional plaids. Please see the other side of the quilt (shown below)  for my take on making the most of leftover plaid units for an even simpler modern effect. "

Back of quilt, Modern Plaid

Quilted by Sally herself, this could be a wonderful way to re-fashion plaid shirt fabric into a wonderful, cozy quilt.  The original pattern was created by Mabry Benson and published in a Quilters Newsletter magazine from 2001.  You can see a photo of "Plaid Stars" by Mabry Benson in an article at eQuilters.

Winter Stars by Karen Michaels

Karen notes, " This quilt began 24 years ago, with a photo in a quilt magazine. It contains blocks made by 9 members of my guild's block exchange group. I named the quilt early on, and every winter, I'd wonder where where it was. Over the years, it morphed from the photo's simple straight set with no sashing, to the current look. "

Detail, Winter Stars

Karen continues, "I quilted it myself, though it was really too large for me to handle. I'm certainly happy that this was the year to finally finish my winter quilt!"  We admire the excellent workmanship and lovely en pointe setting of these star blocks.

Rainbow Ride by Janice Spahn

Janice says, " A few years ago, during a quilt shop-hop with some very dear and fun friends, we challenged each other to make the quilt "Four Play."  It is a four patch scrappy pattern with a fun name and one inch strips." The pattern is found in the book .Small Pieces, Spectacular Quilts, by Mary Elizabeth Kinch and Biz Storms.

Detail, Rainbow Ride

Janice continues, "When I started my quilt, I decided to add discipline to the blocks by using a rainbow color concept. Once I made the smaller blocks, I just had to add more blocks and change the layout of the blocks. The result is the quilt before you." Janice quilted this work herself, and Kathe Hayden and Annette Biggs helped with the block positioning.

Out of the Blue by Diane Chambers

Diane writes, "Out of the Blue" was assembled from a Craftsy kit of Kaffe Fassett fabrics, bought to nudge me out of my comfort zone. Much to my surprise, I had to fight my controlling tendencies with some of the print combinations. I liked the end result; so I dubbed it 'Out of the Blue.' "

Detail, Out of the Blue

Diane quilted this work herself, and she adds, "I used the expertise of published quilters
Angela Walters, (triangles), Lori Kennedy (straight and curvy juxtaposition) and Sally Terry
(feathers without backtracking) to inspire me in my choice of Free Motion Quilting motifs.
 More details can be found in my April 20, 2017 and August 15, 2017 Blogspot posts at Diane Loves 2 Quilt.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Diablo Valley Quilters' Guild Show Day 1 : Featured Artist: Diana McClun

Diana McClun was the featured artist at the 2017 Diablo Valley Quilters Guild show in Walnut Creek, California. Diana is the co-author of the well-known, beloved classic book Quilts, Quilts, Quilts ! along with Laura Nownes.

Color Study II by Diana McClun

For this quilt, Diana used some 30 year old quilt blocks, which are basically half-square triangles sewed side-by-side to create strips of diamonds. They are the 5 rectangles you see above:  from left, the blue/ neon orange, the purple/yellow orange, the red/green, and the grape/yellow. She used them as flower vases to collage flowers and make bouquets.

Here's a close-up of the bright, whimsical flowers which fit into the rectangular vases. What a wonderful use of 30 year old blocks from vintage fabric ! This fun, vibrant work was machine quilted by Alethea Ballard.

Addie's 13th Birthday Quilt by Diana McClun

An original founder of the famous .Empty Spools Seminars in Pacific Grove, California, Diana was inspired by Anelie Belden's Empty Spools class. Diana made this quilt in honor of her granddaughter Addie's 13th birthday.

These giant circular plates, done in restful marine colors, almost look as if they are floating languidly in a under-sea world !  Victoria McEnerney machine quilted this elegant work.

Tulips by Diana McClun

Diana explains, "The inspiration for this quilt came from tulip images on a napkin and paper plate. The design was free-hand drawn with a permanent marker and a ruler onto a grid of 6" squares of muslin pinned on a design wall."

Diana's brilliant skills in composition are highlighted here, as the giant eye-catching flowers comprise the foreground, while the tone-on-tone blues, beiges, and whites add just the right proportion of background space. Tulips was machine quilted by Victoria McEnerney.

Colorful Circles by Diana McClun 

This just looks like so much fun to design and make ! Diana's original design was inspired by a class with Rosalie Dace from South Africa at the Empty Spools Seminar.

This triadic color scheme of pastel pink, lime green, and apricot orange works beautifully together, especially when touches of silver gray are added to the background. Alethea Ballard machine quilted this lively, sophisticated work.

Trees, Trees, Trees by Diana McClun

Diana's contemporary, geometric work was inspired by a painting by German-born, American modern artist Wolf Kahn.  These strips of varied sizes of rectangles give this dazzling quilt an almost Bargello-like appearance.

Diana's original work was machine quilted by Alethea Ballard. These lovely corals and aquas are so gorgeous, especially with the hint of lime green.Trees, Trees, Trees was one of our favorites works of this show.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.

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