40 years – a Quiltshow

As we still can not travel (at least here in Europe) many quiltshows are cancelled at the moment. This is sad but understandable. But …… I do have several thousand pictures of quiltshows in my photo archive. So how about revisiting some shows of the last years?

In 2019 the Quilters’ Guild of Great Britain celebrated their 40th birthday with a quiltshow at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, titled “Spotlight @ 40”. The quilters were asked to interpret 40 in the most creative way. One side of the quilt had to measure 40 inches. The quilts were all made by British members of the guild and they went into the permanent collection of the Quilters’ Guild.

Here are some of the beautiful quilts:


“40 days and 40 nights” by Cag Tyndall
Artist’s statement: Work on this quilt began during the spring of 2019 when my mind turned to the 40 days and 40 nights of Lent. I wanted to celebrate the wonderful variety of colour and texture of different fabrics, as well as how they respond differently to dyes. Linen, cotton, silk, and mixed fabrics were all hand dyed. There are 40 appliquéd circles of each colour. The piece has been lightly quilted. 


“Circuit XL” by Marion McCrindle
Artist’s statement: Each year is a new cycle, hence there are 40 circles to represent 40 years of the guild’s life so far. Just as each year brings its own challenges and developments, so the circles have different patterns, colours and are made from a range of materials: paper, thread, fabric, wood and metal. Some years are good – some do not go as planned. In the life of the guild, some years have been highly successful, others less so. The circle has no end, something we hope for the guild. The circle of friends I found in the guild has a value above rubies. The circles represent a year—each different: some good, some bad, significant years, quiet years.


“40 Layers of Quilting” by Jo Avery
Artist’s statement: When I thought about the last 40 years of quilting and The Quilters’ Guild, I imagined them as layers of sedimentary rock as found in an archaeological dig. The resulting quilt shows 40 different layers of patchwork techniques including miniature log cabins and flying geese, plus layers of improvised and curved piecing. Appliqué, hand quilting and other embellishments have been added to some layers to represent as many aspects of quilting as possible. A fissure was created through the layers with the two pieces brought back together again with buttons representing the ‘make do and mend’ starting point of our patchwork tradition.

Jo Avery wrote a blog post about how she made this quilt and what a terrible mistake she made, which resulted in an even more interesting quilt. Don’t miss it, it’s a lesson in creativity.


“Belonging” by Lesley Brankin
The second line of The Quilters’ Guild Mission Statement reads: “We bring together quilters in a spirit of friendship and learning. We promote quilt-making in all its forms across the UK.” In the spirit of coming together in the guild’s 40th anniversary year, the maker invited fellow regional members to donate squares of cream/white fabric and provide a single descriptive word summing up what membership of the British Guild means to them. The squares were pieced together as a background and the tallied words featured in the ‘spotlight’.

 
“Spotlight on The Guild” by Anne Gosling
Artist’s statement: When I thought about the theme Spotlight@40, I decided to put the spotlight on The Guild, in particular guild membership, to celebrate the 40th anniversary. A crossword in guild colours seemed the most appropriate way to express all that the guild has to offer its members. The quilt is machine pieced but as I love to stitch by hand, the letters are hand appliquéd. The guild logo is the basis of the quilting design which is also hand stitched.

 
“Headline News” by Sabi Westoby
Artist’s statement: The theme was interpreted by focusing on world events that took place 40 years ago. For (british) quilters, the highlight of 1979 was, undoubtedly, the formation of The Quilters’ Guild and this work marks that exciting event. I also refer to other contemporary cultural, historical and political events that still seem significant to me 40 years later.  Red text, a reference to the ruby anniversary, was digitally printed on cotton sateen and the piece was stab stitched by hand.

 
“QGBI Excels” by Jeni Rutherford
Artist’s statement: The inspiration for this hanging is The Quilters’ Guild and how patchwork has evolved in the last 40 years. In 1979 contemporary work was unusual but now the Contemporary Quilt Group is one of the guild’s specialist groups. The hanging is in two parts: the front features QGBI, the guild’s ‘initials’. The back features traditional block designs—where the guild began—but the single colour blocks and quilting are contemporary. It represents all the people working away, in York and around the UK, who are generally unseen but make the guild what it is today. The motifs feature 40 in Arabic and Roman numerals. XL can be pronounced excel—what guild members try to do.

 
“40 Endangered in 40” by Melanie Missin-Keating
Artist’s statement: In the 40 years since The Quilters’ Guild began, the 40 animals, plants and insects shown in the quilt have become endangered to the point of extinction. Will they be extinct in the next 40 years? Can we save them? 


“Region 3 from the Air” by Grace Meijer
Artist’s statement: The landscape of Region 3 was the inspiration for this piece—the beautiful rolling landscape with its many colours, from the white chalk to the acid yellow rapeseed and the little hamlets and farms tucked into the hills. It is also the area where The Quilters’ Guild started; the first AGM was held in Winchester.


“Birthday Celebrations” by Aoibhínn Murray, Ciaran Behan & Aoife Behan
Here the 40th anniversary of The Quilters’ Guild is celebrated as a quilted birthday cake. The cake has three tiers, and each of the three Young Quilters involved designed and created their own section before joining them together. A sewing machine as the cake topper features a patchwork fabric flowing from it, displaying printed photos of 40 quilts from the past 40 years.

This is one thing that I like especially about the British Guild – it really fosters the young quilters. From 5 to 18 years the membership in the guild is free and there are special workshops for them. It’s really a great way to bring children and young adults to quilting. The above quilt is a perfect example of how much this pays off.

So this was our first, private, little quiltshow – with more to come. Come back to check or – even better – subscribe to this blog (enter your e-mail address in the box on the right) so that you don’t miss them.

I’m linking this to Off the Wall Friday, Can I get a Whoop Whoop and to Brag about your Beauties.

 

It’s Spring!

Finally! Today at 10:37 am spring arrived – even for the astronomers. For meteorologists and me spring starts with March 1st.

I decided that this will be the year when I make a quilt for every season. All will be approximately the same size and will be hung at the same place. This is a plan that I had for some years now but I never did it. But this year it will work out. Because of a book I recently bought: “Artful Improv” by Cindy Grisdela. I will tell you all about this book next Tuesday – today I will only say that this is the book I was waiting for. Colorful, graphical quilts with a lot of space for quilting, one more beautiful than the other.

I immediately started my first improvisational quilt with a simple improv log cabin block in the colors of the first flowers of the year (the yellow daffodils, the purple crocuses, the red tulips) mixed with some blue for the sky and some green for the fresh grass. I then surrounded the block with spring green fabric, quilted some wavy lines because spring is rather windy where I live and voilà my spring quilt is finished.

Spring quilt

 

I’m linking this to Off the Wall Friday, Can I get a Whoop Whoop and to Brag about your Beauties.

 

BOM 2021: STAR #3

This is a fast and easy star. So can either relax with one star or make a whole quilt with a lot of them.

Cut (all measurements include ¼ inch (0,75 cm) seam allowance)
4 squares 3 x 3 inches (8,75 x 8,75 cm) in green,
4 squares 3 x 3 inches (8,75 x 8,75 cm) in orange and
4 squares 3 x 3 inches (8,75 x 8,75 cm) in darkblue (background fabric)
Cut each of these 12 squares diagonally to get 24 triangles.

Cut 4 squares 2¾ x 2¾ inches (7,5 x 7,5 cm) in darkblue

Join the triangles to get squares again. Sew
4 squares orange-blue,

4 squares green-blue

and 4 squares orange-green.

Press and cut off the dog ears.

Lay out the star as shown on the picture below.

Tipp: Do this layout as close to your sewing machine as possible so can take the pieces, sew them together and put them back at the appropriate place so that the pieces don’t get mixed up.

Sew the squares together to make 4 rows, then join the rows.

Take 4 of the strips 10½ x 1 inches (28 x 2,5 cm) that you cut from the background fabric previously (see introduction to the BOM here) and sew 2 of them to opposite sides of your block. They are a little bit too long – shorten them to the block size. Sew the 2 remaining strips to the other sides of the block and shorten if necessary. Finished!

As I told you – fun, fast and easy.

If you just found this BOM you can find the general instructions and the previous stars on the Free BOM 2021 page on top.

I would love to see your finished star-blocks. Please post them in the comments at TheQuiltingSpace’s Facebook page, tag me on Instagram @thequiltingspace and/or use the hashtag #thequiltingspace.

See you in April for star #4.

 

I’m linking this to Off the Wall Friday, Can I get a Whoop Whoop and to Brag about your Beauties.

 

Book of the Month: Inspired by endangered species

My Book of the Month for February is

Inspired by Endangered Species by Donna Marcinkowski DeSoto

I discovered this book purely by chance browsing in an online bookstore and after seeing a few pages I just had to buy it. And I’m so happy I did.

After watching volunteers rescue a nest of turtle eggs and provide a safe hatching place for them, Donna Marcinkowski DeSoto started to study endangered species, beginning her research with the Red List of the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources). As a quilter herself she decided that quilts would be the perfect medium to educate people about endangered plants and animals in a non-threatening way.

This led to 182 quilts by 129 artists, each one 24 x 24 inches, depicting an abundance of endangered animals and flowers – breathtaking quilts on one side and alarming facts on the other. The whole collection premiered at the International Quilt Festival in Houston in 2019.

And at the same time Donna Marcinkowski DeSoto edited this beautiful coffeetable-book with all the quilts and interesting details concerning the animals and plants.

Since I got the book it’s on my desk and whenever I’m taking a break I’m browsing in it. The quilts are beautiful works of art and the pictures really do them justice. The information provided is interesting but sometimes rather depressing. But then you can always skip to the end of the book where 4 success stories are told.

I am really happy that I found and bought this book and I’m sure that everybody (not only quilters) will love it as well. Don’t forget to put it on your wishlist.

Inspired by Endangered Species
by Donna Marcinkowski DeSoto
Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., 2019
ISBN 978-0-7643-5220-1

 

BOM 2021: STAR #2

I hope you liked your Star #1 (if you do post a picture in the comments on my Facebook-page – we all would like to see it). Here is Star #2 of my free Block of the Month 2021.

Cutting
All the measurements include a seam allowance of ¼ inch (7,5 mm).
I also name the color I used to make it easier for you to identify the different pieces.

From the yellow fabric cut
18 squares 2 x 2 inches (5,5 x 5,5 cm) – cut all of these squares diagonally

From the dark blue (background) fabric cut
6 squares 2 x 2 inches (5,5 x 5,5 cm) – cut all of these squares diagonally
6 squares 3⅛ x 3⅛ inches (8,5 x 8,5 cm) – cut all of these squares diagonally
4 squares 2¾ x 2¾ inches (7,5 x 7,5 cm)

 

Sewing

Join a yellow and a blue triangle along the long side to get a two-colored square. Sew 12 squares.

Press (I pressed the seam allowance to the blue side). Cut off the dog ears.

Sew a yellow triangle to a blue side of the two-colored square exactely as shown in the picture. Align the bottom sides as shown and start to sew where my scissors point.

Sew another yellow triangle to the other blue side of the two-colored square exactely as shown in the picture. Start to sew where the tips of my scissors point.

Press (I pressed the seams into the yellow triangles). Cut off the dog ears if you want (I did).

Join each of the triangles you just sewed with a dark blue triangle along the long side. Cut off dog ears.

Now you have only squares to join.

Arrange the squares as shown in the picture.

Sew the squares into rows. Be careful not to change the squares or the orientation of the squares.

Join the rows and press the finished block.

Take 4 of the strips 10½ x 1 inches (28 x 2,5 cm) that you cut from the background fabric previously (see introduction to the BOM here) and sew 2 of them to opposite sides of your block. They are a little bit too long – shorten them to the block size. Sew the 2 remaining strips to the other sides of the block and shorten if necessary. Finished!

That was fun! And I really like this block. Imagine a whole quilt with this block, every star in a different color – yummy!

If you just found this BOM you can find the general instructions here and Star #1 is here.

I would love to see your finished star-blocks. Please post them in the comments at TheQuiltingSpace’s Facebook page, tag me on Instagram @thequiltingspace and/or use the hashtag #thequiltingspace.

See you in March for star #3.

 

I’m linking this to Off the Wall Friday, Can I get a Whoop Whoop and to Brag about your Beauties.

 

While surfing the Internet …

… I just found a link that had me clicking for the last couple of hours. A lot to see – beautiful art quilts, traditional quilts, videos about quilt artists and a lot of information. And this link is

https://quiltnsw.com

It’s the website of QuiltNSW – the Quilter’s Guild of New South Wales in Australia. Not only is this guild running special shows and a lot of challenges but it also plays a major role in the founding and the running of Quilt Australia, the Australian Council of Quilters.

If you just click the link above you come to the landing page where you can see all the quilts of the new special show “The New Quilt 2021”. “The New Quilt 2021 is a juried survey exhibition showcasing the art of quilting that reflects the richness and diversity of contemporary expressions of the quilt medium in Australia.” Be sure to read the artist’s statements to learn what the quilts are about (Covid, the devastating bush fires of last season, but also of nature and the joy of creating).

Click on “Exhibition” in the menu bar and then “The New Quilt” and you will find the catalogue to this exhibit. And if you go right down to the bottom and click on “Miss Grace’s Quilt” you will come to the “Australien Museums and Galleries” where you will find antique quilts with their stories.

Back in the “Exhibition” menu you will find challenges with an abundance of challenge quilts and a link to the Sydney Quilt Show 2019 (as 2020 was cancelled) with all the winning quilts.

If you still have time click “Links” in the menu bar. There you will find their YouTubeChannel with interesting artist talks, a link to the blog and to the Facebook Group and last but not least to the State Guilds of Australia where you can loose yourself in more beautiful quilts and interesting blog articles (i.e. the Canberra Quilter’s site with all the winning quilts of their exhibitions).

Don’t tell me that I didn’t warn you. If you go to this website it’s like Alice following the White Rabbit into Wonderland. I will meet you there.

 

BOM 2021: STAR #1

Let the fun begin! Here is Star #1 of my free Block of the Month 2021.

(Click here to find all you need to know about this BOM.)

This is the sewing diagram of the block

Cutting

All the measurements include a seam allowance of ¼ inch (7,5 mm).
I also name the color I used to make it easier for you to identify the different pieces.

A = 1 square 2¾ x 2¾ inches (7,5 x 7,5 cm), yellow
C = 4 squares 2 x 2 inches (5,75 x 5,75 cm) cut once diagonally, pink
F = 4 squares 3⅛ x 3⅛ inches (8,75 x 8,75 cm) cut once diagonally, turquoise

In darkblue (background color) cut
B = 1 square 3½ x 3½ inches (9,75 x 9,75 cm) cut twice diagonally
E = 1 square 5¾ x 5¾ inches (15,75 x 15,75 cm) cut twice diagonally
D = 4 squares 1⅝ x 1⅝ inches (4,5 x 4,5 cm)
G = 4 squares 2 ¾ x 2 ¾ inches (7,5 x 7,5 cm)

Sewing

Let’s start with the “flying geese”.

Lay a turquoise triangle on top of a darkblue piece E, right sides together. Align the bottom lines. Start sewing at the bottom (where the scissors point).

Open the triangle and fingerpress the seam carefully.

Sew the triangle on the other side. Again alining the bottom lines and sewing from the bottom up.

Open the second triangle and you get one finished “flying goose”. Make 4 of them.

Sew the smaller “flying geese” the same way. You need 4 of them as well.

Press. I usually cut off the “dog ears” as I find the resulting patches easier to handle. But that’s up to you.

Now we start with the inner star. Sew 2 squares D in darkblue on either side of a “flying goose”. Make 2 of them. Sew the remaining 2 “flying geese” on the opposite sides of the yellow square A. Then sew the 2 other “flying geese” units to the other sides.

Sew the outer star exactely as you did with the inner star.

Iron and marvel at your beautiful block.

Take 4 of the strips 10½ x 1 inches (28 x 2,5 cm) that you cut from the background fabric previously (see introduction to the BOM here) and sew 2 of them to opposite sides of your block. They are a little bit too long – shorten them to the block size. Sew the 2 remaining strips to the other sides of the block and shorten if necessary.

These strips are our safety net. We will sew them around each block and when we’ve finished all 13 stars we cut them to exactely the same size so sewing them together will be a piece of cake.

I hope you had fun sewing this star. I would love to see your finished star-blocks. Please post them in the comments at TheQuiltingSpace’s Facebook page, tag me on Instagram @thequiltingspace and/or use the hashtag #thequiltingspace.

See you in February for star #2.

 

I’m linking this to Off the Wall Friday.

 

Quiltshow: Road to California

Each year Road to California is one of the most eagerly awaited quiltshows. This year’s “in person” show was postponed to 2022 (January 19 – 22, 2022) but the organizers created a virtual experience called Road@Home.

Road@Home offers an abundance of quilting classes where everyone – from the beginner to the advanced, art quilters, modern quilters and quilters intending to open a business – will find at least one, but generally quite a few classes. And although the event will take place from January 20 to January 23, 2021 I think you can still register for some classes.

And now you are in for some real treat – the winning quilts of Road to California 2020:

https://online.roadtocalifornia.com/awardwinnersroad.php?con=31

You still want more? Here are the winners of 2019:

https://online.roadtocalifornia.com/awardwinnersroad.php?con=30

I assume you are as stunned as I am by all these beauties. And as inspired. So please excuse me I have to go and cut some fabric.

Only a few days left to see these quilts

Two great quiltshows are going into their final days.

At the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky you can see the whole collection of Inspired by Endangered Species. 182 quilts 24 x 24 inches, each of them depicting  endangered animals, insects, flowers or sealife. It’s not only about these beautiful quilts but also about the stories behind them which are educational and sometimes heartbreaking. If you have any chance go see them before the show is closing on January 12.

"Loggerhead Turtle" by Karin Täuber, Virginia, USA

“Loggerhead Turtle” by Karin Täuber, Virginia, USA
can be seen in the “Inspired by Endangered Species” show

 

At the Schweinfurth Art Center in Auburn, New York the 38th annual show of Quilts = Art = Quilts 2020 can be seen until January 10. 71 art quilts from around the world are on display – quilt art at it’s best. Watch this video to see the winning quilts.

If you have the chance go see the shows, if not you still can visit the websites. The Schweinfurth Art Center (https://schweinfurthartcenter.org) has a virtual walk through the galleries on its site and at https://inspiredbyendangeredspecies.blogspot.com you can see some of the quilts from the show.

And whatever you do – stay safe!