Monday, December 5, 2016

Westside Modern Quilt Club November 2016

We had a fascinating presentation at November's meeting. First though, our usual business. Our first "sew-in" for charity was extremely productive. a half dozen ladies met in the lounge for several hours before the meeting and sewed up nearly 20 market bags which we will fill with socks, underwear, and toiletries and donate to the homeless teens of Outside In. At our next sew in (in January) we'll make rucksacks for the same purpose.

Pinecone Kristin told us a little about what she saw at the Houston Quilt Festival (big winners here). The Special exhibits were particularly interesting, including La Passacaglia quilts like the one in progress our own Virginia shared a few months ago, amazing collage quilts by Susan Carlson, and a wonderful range from traditional to artistic. Trends were harder to spot. Nothing really stood out that we haven't already embraced at The Pine Needle. Intense color, soft color, Elizabeth Hartman's Fancy Forest quilt, the Quick Curve ruler, we're doing a pretty good job of staying on top of what's popular.

Geri gave us some inspiration for our then and now challenge, entitled "Transitions." Looking for the emotional element in our work, one idea is for participants to create a modern quilt inspired by a family heirloom. Of course, not everyone has a vintage quilt at hand, so we encourage people to consider alternatives such as inspiration from a book, or by using vintage blocks themselves. Geri shared a book Kristin brought from the Houston special exhibit "Twisted" in which quilter Mary Kerr incorporated vintage blocks into modern settings and had them quilted by some of today's most accomplished long arm quilters. It was fascinating inspiration. We are also planning a "field trip" to the Latimer Quilt and Textile center in Tillamook, OR. Please call the shop if you'd like to sign up to receive more info. We'll have more info at our January meeting as well.

Our main presentation was a fascinating slide show by Nancy Betts of her and her husband's 2011 and 2014 trips to Mongolia. The first trip combined teaching quilting techniques to local women with adventuresome tourism. The second trip was similar, plus added putting on an international quilt show in the main city of Ulaanbaatar. They shared stories of sleeping in tents and gers (yurts), eating unusual foods, traveling many, many miles on unimproved roads in an old Russian van. We marveled at the stark scenery, great open spaces, and conditions completely different than most of us are used to. Thank you to Nancy and her husband for sharing their adventure with us.

Show and Tell was was short but sweet.

Virginia shared her "Admit One" quilt which recently won a prize at the Machine Quilting Unlimited show for Coleen's fantastic quilting. These two ladies make a great creative pair!

Marlene shared two vintage quilts she hopes to use as inspiration for our challenge. This well loved Sunbonnet Sue and Overall Sam quilt belonged to her husband when he was a baby.

Deslie shared  her reimagining of a pattern she found in a book. The original was much larger than she wanted, so Deslie adapted the pattern for a lap size.

Remember Susan B's Tribal Winds quilt with the silhouetted chief wrapped in a blanket? Check out what she made with her leftover blanket strips. We love the graphic punch of this!

Susan D shared a gorgeous purple quilt she recently finished.

Last but not least, Mardi shared a fantastic "fidget quilt" she made for a friend with dementia. She came up with all the fun, interactive blocks herself.

We won't be having a December meeting, so we wish everyone a happy, healthy, remainder of the holiday season and transition into the new year. We look forward to seeing everyone again in January.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

2016 Quilt Festival Houston

Last week our Pinecone Kristin went to the International Quilt Festival in Houston, TX. This annual show is the largest quilt show in the world and a pilgrimage for many a quilt maker and enthusiast. Here's a few things that caught Kristin's eye:

The venue: the George R Brown Convention Center. With it's exhibits, vendors, dining area, classrooms and lecture halls, IQF actually fills this entire, enormous, building.

Looking down onto the vendor side of the floor. This is maybe a quarter of the booths!

A typical vendor booth. This one is Modern Quilter.

And here's the Sew Kind of Wonderful/Quick Curve Ruler booth. 

The vendor booths are a great place to find inspiration, and to shop hundreds of different quilt shops in the same place.

In addition to the vendors, a huge part of the festival is the World of Beauty judged show and about a dozen additional special exhibits. Here, a visitor takes a closer look at the Millefiori Quilt special exhibit.

The Millefiori exhibit was built around this quilt, La Passacaglia, by Tula Pink, which inspired a renewed interest in English Paper Piecing and the original book by Willyene Hammerstein.

Another special exhibit was the collage quilts by Susan Carlson. Above is a detail of Dixie Dingo Dreaming, one of Kristin's favorites because of the Australian fabric used in it.

Susan's life sized alligator, Stevie, is impressive on so many levels. Note the people for scale.

Kristin's flag quilt, 'Murica was part of the Quilt National 15 special exhibit.

Another friend of The Pine Needle, Coleen Barnhardt's Color Me Quilted, was accepted into the World of Beauty Show.

Speaking of the World of Beauty show, that's the main draw of the show. It's the largest, most varied exhibit and is where the big prize winners are.

Kristin's favorite winner was this silk stunner, October Sky, by Bethanne Nemesh. You can see all the winning quilts here on IQA's website.

In the Traditional Pieced category, this grouping was dynamic and fresh. From left to right, Flight Path by Mary Menzer, Amsterdam View by Carolina Asmussen, and Wall of Sound by Maria Shell (also below).

The quilt show is a great place to look for trends, patterns, and inspiration.
How about super skinny lines:

Fire in the Stone by Kimberly Lacy.

Summer Solstice by Leah Gravells.

String Theory by Heather Pregger.

Kristin's friend Deborah, suspects that custom digitized embroidery will be the next big thing. We'll be seeing more and more of it incorporated into quilts in sophisticated ways.

This prize winner, Old Denim Square by Noriko Nozawa, cleverly pairs piecing, custom embroidery, and unconventional materials.

Old Denim Square, detail.

It was unclear if the quilting on this "whole cloth quilt" was digitized or not, but regardless, it's a beautiful modernization of a classic idea.

Detail of You've Got To Start Somewhere by Karl Burkett.

Our Westside Modern Quilt Club's challenge theme is Then and Now, and the above quilt is an interesting take. There was also a special exhibit titled "Twisted," which was also inspirational in it's use of vintage blocks in modern settings.

Stirring the Coffee from the Twisted exhibit.

Homespun from the Twisted exhibit.

Victoria Findlay Wolfe is a master of removing sections of traditional blocks (by making the same as adjacent blocks or background) and thus transforming the look. Can you find the basic block in this quilt? It's a variation on Arabic Lattice.

More inspiration found in the exhibit of quilts by Laverne Matthews. The Lincoln Quilt uses postage stamp blocks in an effective way.

Other inspirations seen:
How about the colors in Autumn Wedding by Rita Schormann.

Bargello made easy with ombre fabrics, as seen in the Joy's Quilts booth.

Subtle but beautiful use of shirt and suit style prints in Winter Garden by Jennifer Emry.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Westside Modern Quilt Club October 2016

Despite rainy weather we had a great turnout. Looks like after a few months off, we were all ready to get back into the swing of things again.

Speaking of the swing of things, we'd like to make charity sewing days, like the one Pam R hosted, a regular thing. The Pine Needle can accommodate small groups in the lounge and has started a sign up sheet for an informal sew afternoon that will meet prior to next month's meeting. Quilts made will be donated to CARES NW.

Also back for another year will be our challenge! At this year's Expo, our Tribal Winds exhibit was shown alongside an informative display of PNW Native American history and culture from the Historical Society. The combination was very well received, so we'd like to do something similar for 2017. Our theme will be "Then & Now" which we hope to pair with something from the Latimer Quilt and Textile Center. Lori and Lily have already volunteered to organize a field trip to the center for inspiration. Our challenge will be to take an older quilt -- perhaps from your family or collection -- and interpret it in a modern way. There will be no size restrictions. Stay tuned for more details in the new year.

Our speaker this month was Lori Friedman, who spoke about her work with the Oregon Quilt Project. The Project was started in 2009 by Martha Sparks and Bill Volkening and reorganized in 2012 as a project of the Willamette Heritage Center with a 10 year mission to train local museums on how to document the quilts in their collections, and to document quilts in private collections in Oregon.

Lori brought a fantastic crazy quilt she found at a thrift store many years ago and used it to illustrate how The Oregon Quilt Project documents things like the provenance of the quilt, it's design, colors, size, etc. Lori brought a few reference books and a collection of vintage fabrics and blocks which she uses to help date quilts. The documentation the Project creates gets added to the national Quilt Index, and given to the quilt's owner.

Lori strongly encourages everyone to label their quilts with at minimum a date and name for the benefit of future "quilt detectives" like her. If you would like to take it a step further and register a family quilt, or otherwise special quilt, with the Project, click on the link above and call the phone number to find out when and where the next documentation day is.

After Lori's engaging talk was Show and Tell. First up was Darlene who brought a quilt with a fun story. After purchasing fabric for a quilt, her daughter thought no, it needed to be a different color. Darlene used the rejected fabric to test out this Twisted Sister block, and wouldn't you know it, once finished her daughter loved the quilt and wants it back!

After investing much brain power into her Tribal Winds quilt, Deslie was ready for something quick and easy, so she used aboriginal Australian fabric recently added to her stash to add excitement to simple blocks and create a simple but satisfying quilt.

Cathy E brought a work in progress (WIP) which could be perfect for our upcoming Then & Now exhibit! She's taken a traditional basket block from a Baltimore Album quilt and deconstructed it. We know that Cathy does amazing machine quilting, so we are all waiting excitedly to see how she transforms those temporary blue likes with intense stitch.

Marjorie shared her beautiful Tribal Winds Heron quilt inspired by Susan Carlson's book. 

Linda B also shared her Tribal Winds quilt, this one inspired by petroglyphs in the Columbia Gorge.

Robin S shared her dramatic peacock quilt made with The Big Easy pattern for her daughter, initially as a wedding gift but sped up to become an engagement gift.

Finally, Lisa G brought her modern churn dash quilt which she had with her in order to find backing fabric, but was encouraged by the group to share!

Thank you to everyone for coming and sharing your inspiring work. We look forward to seeing everyone again in November -- on the last Wednesday of the month.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Community Quilting Day

Thanks to Pam Raby, one of our amazing instructors, The Pine Needle recently hosted a Community Sewing Day to make quilts for Cares NW, a local charity. 

Pam has been inspired by the heart quilts that so many guilds have made for communities affected by tragedy. Cares NW has long been near and dear to the Portland community and especially the Pine Needle.Thinking about how she might contribute, Pam offered her time as a teacher and presented construction techniques as well as heart quilt ideas which she discovered online. It was a wonderful day! A lovely group of generous, kind hearted women came to our community service day. Pam (and probably everyone there) especially enjoyed the collaborative, willing spirit everyone brought. As quilters, we often spend many hours alone happily stitching the hours away. It is refreshing and gratifying to pitch in and work together to create quilts for kids in need of comfort in our town.

Part of the group was busy working in our Lounge.

While still more people worked in the Classroom.

Some of our Pine Needle regulars, and prolific quilters for CARES: Charlotte, Pam, and Margaret.

Master coordinator, Karen, working behind the scenes organizing and making kits

Kathy's work in progress.

Kathy's finished quilt top (Illumination, designed by Pam Raby).

Beth's hearts in progress.

Nikki's citrus themed quilt top.

Another heart top in progress

Heartfelt thanks to everyone who participated. The event was so fun and productive that we will definitely be doing again.