Feb 19, 2012

Quilt show visit #1

Yesterday I went to the Bear Creek Quilt Guild show. The theme was "Quilts Across America." It was held at a very nice conference center. This is the first show I got to go to without my kids. I got to read every sign and take my time. The quilts were beautiful but I don't know if I should share the pictures, they said personal use only. My pictures were also fairly blurry because of the low lighting. I'll just share my thoughts instead.

This year I found myself looking closely at the quilting itself and how it related to the quilt top. I felt very humbled about how far I thought I've come on my free motion skills, but I noticed that most quilting looked too perfect. They looked stitched on the long arm machines with extremely even stitches. I did read that most quilts had credited a different quilter then piecer. Though, there was a pretty modern 1st place winner that credited Lea Day's Free Motion Quilting site for the filler patterns. I saw a lot of wonderful curved quilting in simple squares that really made the quilt pop. I also saw a lot of pantographs that didn't do anything for a quilt and it might as well have been done in a large stipple. My tastes have definitely changed over the last year that I've been watching Leah Day's site and practicing my own free motion quilting. I just don't find the stenciled patterns as nice on a quilt. I love the more free-form, irregular, organic lines and the stitching that shows off skill rather than just binding the layers together.

I'm also in awe of the skill of the hand applique-ist. There were many amazing and cute pieces that obviously were a labor of love. The best of show was a large applique quilt.

The pieced quilts are generally my favorite. I love looking at the minis and getting inspired at what can be done on such a small scale. The paper pieced New York Beauty type blocks were also great in so many variations. I saw a lot of Bonnie Hunter quilts that were amazing. I want to make one so bad but I don't feel I have the scraps to do it with. I love the curved pieced quilts and saw a really funky one with irregular edges that I want to try. It was made with these templates, check out her gallery. I should have looked into them at the show but didn't because I have enough templates. All the modern quilts got my attention. There weren't very many of them but they got me excited about tackling my own projects. That's what I love about quilt shows the most, all the inspiration on display for you to just soak up. I'm looking forward to going again next year.

I don't know how much I like the shopping at a quilt show. I rarely ever buy anything but this time I did find something on sale at the Cabbage Rose booth I was willing to splurge on. 
I got this Tend the Earth jelly roll and charm pack. I'm not thrilled about the bird print, but the others are divine! I wanted the Good Fortune one but she was all out. I don't know if it's because this line is new but I couldn't find much about it on the web and there are no free patterns. I did search everywhere for a jelly roll pattern and I think I'll make a bento box quilt after I get a nice background fabric which gives me plenty of time to change my mind.. I also bought my first show pin at the raffle table. It's really cute and I might start collecting them.

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