I love seeing exhibitions of quilts in museums, and enjoy visiting quilt museums. Those usually provide contemplative, intimate experiences, by allowing the visitor to examine quilts up close while surrounded by a peaceful quiet.
Quilt shows, however, are an entirely different beast. Crowded, noisy, brightly-lit and packed-full with amazing works of art and an array of booths, quilt shows are a sensual overload.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of visiting the 2018 Pacific International Quilt Festival at the Santa Clara Conventions Center. I came out exhausted and energized at the same time. The show displays a huge array of quilts of many different kinds and techniques, made by people from all over the world. It gives a glimpse of human creativity that is truly inspiring!
I was awed by many quilts at this show, and wish I could shown you all of them. Sadly, I can only share a few here. Choosing which ones was not easy!
Some quilts had elaborate patterns and intricate quilting. This is “Majestic Mosaic” by Joyce Payment:
And this is “Marie’s Treasure” by Marilyn Badger:
And up close:
Karen Eaton Garth’s “Reborn” had truly impressive quilting as well:
“Exploring Colour” by Catherine McDonald had beautiful stitching with a different flavor:
And up close:
Sandi Stone’s “The Thread and Nothing but the Thread” was a very different kind of quilt. Hers was made not of patched fabric but .. of quilted thread!
As you can see up close:
Kimberly Lacy’s “Sunset on Coyote Buttes Mosaic” truly did look like a mosaic, and probably incorporated fabric paint:
Some quilts were magical. This is “Do Dragons Like Cookies” by Tanya Brown:
There were many impressive quilts of animals, such as Leigh Layton’s “Jag,” which included a lot of machine embroidery:
“Sisters/Best Friends” by Sandra L. Mollon:
“Keeping Up Appearances” by Jan Reed:
Or “Heron’s garden” by Susan Smith:
I also liked the shredded fabric that Hiroko Soeta used to create “Peacock:”
There were quilts that used traditional imagery from other parts of the world. This is “African Sunset” by Claire Wallace:
Some were modern, like Ziva Keidar’s “Movements Catalog:”
Pat Archibald’s “Hong Kong:”
Or Kristin Shields “Rhythm of the Rails:”
There were even political quilts made by high school students:
Some quilts were fun and whimsical, like “Strut Your Stuff” by Sheila Collins:
“Portrait: Holiday Relatives” by Lynn Dinelli (who was even there!):
“Face by Ahni” by Eleanor Balaban and Marina Baudoin:
And there was even a quilt of a quilt show: “Show Time!” by Cynthia England:
One of the quilts that impressed me most was “Reflections of Cape Town,” which took Cynthia England a year and 8,400 fabric pieces to make! This is me admiring this quilt:
And the quilt itself, which could be mistaken for a photo from afar:
And up close:
Even the back of this masterpiece was pretty!
Did I give you enough reasons to go? If not, perhaps mentioning the many vendor booths might help: quilt lovers, you can find everything here, from thread to fabric to patterns to machines to finished artworks, and even clothes and accessories!
The show runs through Sunday (Oct. 14th), so if you’re in the Bay Area and have time to spare this weekend, make sure to go!
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