Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pittsburgh Does Houston

Debby and I have just returned from a wonderful trip to International Quilt Market in Houston! Pittsburgh was well represented at this trade show in several different ways, quilt contributors, the best shop owners, the weather (grey and overcast). The photo above is of the Pittsburgh Project quilt that is the centerpiece of the quilt show section. The quilt is beautifully presented and the shear size of it is amazing. I stood for quite awhile waiting for the woman in the photo to move so that I could get an undisturbed photo, but she was intent on being in my picture. Now I am glad that she is there, she helps you to see just how large this project is! - Beautiful!

The goodies that we purchased are all being shipped home, so I thought that in the mean time I would share a bit of the quilt show with you.

We spend most of our time at the other end of the convention center, sifting through aisle after aisle of amazing merchandise that we purchase for the store, but I always try to take at least one quick walk through the show to see the amazing work from all over the world. This time I actually remembered to take my camera and snap a few shots on my way to the ladies room.

This piece caught my eye immediately. Earlier this month we had a shop display of the One Block Wonder quilts that have been created in our class program. While this quilt, hanging at one of the most prestigious shows in the country, is beautiful. Using those standards, the quilts that were flipped over our railing for customers to enjoy rank as spectacular! I hope this encourages more of you to display your work and enter contests. - YOU can do this!

My favorite quilts in the show are never from published books or patterns. I like to look at the off the wall, optical illusion quilts. This one was particularly appealing because it is part traditional piecing, part illusion, part art, yet it was still a quilt. It is an "art quilt" that was made using traditional methods. I have "issues" with artists that glue, pin, and generally stick stuff to a hunk of wrinkled fabric and call it a "quilt". Fiber Art, maybe. Quilt.... I don't think so.

This type of piece takes a special talent. One with a mastery of piecing, design and color. It is very impressive.

That isn't to say that I don't like Fiber Art. I do! This is a close up shot of a piece that was the first thing I was attracted to. What fun! The texture was amazing. You could stare at this for hours and find something different in every inch. Much of what you would find would make you smile. Candy wrappers, small toys, paper clips, fabric scraps, ribbon and tons of thread. There is no denying the fiber, I will leave the decision as to whether it is "art" up to you.
It had me thinking of that old saying "One mans trash is another mans treasure".

I truly appreciate fine workmanship even when I don't necessarily find the color of the quilt appealing. I marvel at the hours that someone will put into constructing the tiniest of details. This photo is of one of several bed size quilts that were constructed from the same type and style of fabric. My snarky comment is usually that the maker should probably be prescribed some anti depressants. All that work and no "pretty" fabric! But there is no denying the work that went into constructing this beauty.
The style and color pallet is what we refer to as Japanese Folk Art. The fabrics are all shades of taupe with very little contrast, but the results are beautiful. Below is a close-up of just one square and the side border. The log cabin blocks in the border are 1/2 inch strips that were assembled into blocks and then border and then appliqued. Notice that the horizontal sashings are completely different than the vertical ones. The vertical sashing was not only hand quilted, it was beaded too! The tiny flowers and leaves on those odd shaped blocks are all hand appliqued too!

I hope you are inspired to go sew something!

1 comment:

Kris said...

Miss you already, my quilty friend!!! Hugs to you and Deb!!