Quilt Shows, Judges, New Goodies, and Awaiting the Beginning of my Year – October 1, 2017

I attended a local quilt show yesterday and again I was again disappointed!  The show consisted of  pretty quilts and plenty of old quilts that were showcased in order to have an adequate number of quilts to show to the public.   I had attended the Dallas Quilt Show this year for the first time which was a very EXPENSIVE trip and a show that I have no desire to return to.  There were some beautiful quilts that were totally ignored by the Judges only to award a Modern quilt the Best of Show.   For some reason entering quilts in show is no longer desired by traditional quilters because of the bias Judges, not interested in competition, or there are fewer quilters that want to participate in a Guild.   I am also very concerned that the Vendors participating in the Quilt Shows will become extinct because it is difficult for them to financially break even at shows due to having to complete with On-Line Quilt Shops.  This is the way the world is going and I guess we must all adjust to change – whether we like it or not.  I happen to be a “shopper” and if I can save some $ and buy more fabric or tools for my quilting projects, I will.  We have all seen some of our favorite quilt shops closing because of the low volume of sales.  It is sad to see these changes.  But when we are having to pay $12 – $13 a yard for our fabrics, paying less means more for the customer.

NOW, having said all of this,  do not take my opinion as a negative because it is just a fact of life for Traditional Quilters like myself.  We are old relics to the quilt world, we do not understand the “Modern” quilt, do not understand why a quilt has to be quilted by a long arm machine that leaves little of the craftsmanship covered up and why hand work is no longer valued!  I do not want my quilts to be so stiff with quilting that they can stand up by themselves!  I say that there should be a Modern Quilt Show and a Quilt Show that showcases REAL quilting!  Keep them separate and do not continue trying to eliminate all traditional quilts.  Young quilters need to learn the basics of quilting, then branch out into the field that intrigues them the most!  Just like learning the history of our country first, then move on to current times!

We quilters who love to enter Quilt Shows wonder lately, “what were those Judges thinking”?  Well wonder no more.  It is important to read the bio of each Judge to see what quilts will be winners.  Here in South Texas, a Reproduction quilt does not have a chance in winning, nor does the traditional needle turn applique quilts.  If it is not an Artisan quilt, a machine embroidery quilt, or a long arm “heavily” quilted with feathers and other “fill in all spaces” quilting, there will be no ribbons for your quilt.  I began to see this change in judging in 2012.  The machine work is more valued than the hand work.   The Long Arm business is booming, but the shows are really suffering because those who are the traditionalists are not going to participate in a show where it is well-known that the judges are biased toward machine work only.

In my opinion, Modern quilts are quilts that are made by quilters who want to make a quilt a week without having to think, enjoy math, or dive into a challenging quilt pattern.  Kits are another way to circumvent the joy of selecting the fabrics, feeling the quality, cutting the fabric, and then sewing it together.  Accuquilt machines might be great for some but is robbing the young quilters of the basics of quilting.  Modern quilts are in the abstract, and to me they have not reason or logic in the pattern or selection of fabric.  AGAIN, I am not being critical of anyone who prefers the Modern quilts.  It is just my opinion of the Modern quilt world.

I have only been quilting since 2003 and in 2006 I began to enter my quilts in the local quilt shows for the sole purpose of helping me become a more precise quilter.  Yes, I am retired and have a lot of time (LOL – not this past 5 months though) to quilt each day.  I still enjoy the challenge in the entire processes involved in making a quilt.  I had entertained the idea of one of those Go Cutters, but quickly realized that I would never be being able to make a quilt that would turn out 100% square.  For a show quilt it is one of the most important rules when a quilt is judged!  It took me a couple of times to really think this through, but when making a quilt, I always add 1/8″ to the cutting directions.  To be held to a definite 2 1/2″ strip would be devastating to me.  One can only do so much with a scant seam line to make up the difference when squaring each HST, etc.

In 2003 I attended the Houston show for the first time.  By then I was very familiar with the Designers at that time and the fabric lines.  It was also a time when “Contemporary” versus “Traditional” quilts was a very popular discussion.  Neither a Contemporary or Traditional quilter understood the other!  Artisans became involved in our little “traditional” quilt world with their loud splashy colors.  It took me some time to make a quilt using Kaffe Fassett fabric and I have not made another, although I did purchase some fat quarters in the last year for a specific quilt and will probably never buy anymore.

There are so many wonderful techniques to learn in the making of a quilt.   When the Reproduction Era started I was slow in buying in to that, but now that is all I want to make along with my beloved Batiks.  I just knew that Batiks were a “fad” fabric when they came into the quilting world, but I started working with them and fell in love.  I only subscribe to Quiltmania magazine and purchase a lot of books from the Australian quilters/designers.  The quilts are mostly based on reproduction quilts and are very unique and highly challenging.  The regular US magazines became too “easy” and “no challenges” in making them.   The bottom line to this ranting post is to bring to light the path that the Quilt Shows and Guilds are heading and it is not a pretty one at the end.  Maybe in 2076 there will be another revival of quilts like 1976!  Think So.

Now on to the positives of the show yesterday.  I purchased some background fabric from Moda for $8.50 a yard and happy with that purchase.  I believe it is from E. Sitar’s Snow collection.

Next I purchased some new stamp pads from By Kate (a dear vendor friend) and have one of her new patterns that supports the Millefiori  book pattern, La Passacaglia.  I have decided to play with a block and let Kate know if there are any problems. This is Kate’s 28th year in the quilt world, by providing an alternative to paper piecing.  She uses rubber stamps that stamp the design on the back side of the fabric and then hand sew the block.  Please check out the web site – she has a link to show her technique.  She is one of my favorites.  Of course, I did not have the Millifiori Book 1, 2, or 3, so I went to  Paper Pieces and purchased Book 1.  I  like the pattern, but not so many different colors that are in the original quilt.  There is nothing to draw the eye to the quilt – the fabrics are just too busy for me.

I visited Memories By the Yard quilt booth and they were showcasing the CutterPillarGlow – LED light pad for Crafters.  This is a new product and I ended up purchasing one!   Take a minute and look at the video – I did not purchase the one that can be run on a battery because there is not a way to change the battery if it dies!  Neat product.  I also ordered the glass cutting mat that will be sent to me in a week or so.

All in all, I visited with Kate,  Rosie , and J. Michelle Watts  all of whom I have supported throughout my quilting years!  Great ladies!  Michelle designs the most wonderful Southwest patterns, Rosie carries so many beautiful Redwork patterns and Presensia embroidery thread, and of course Kate does some fantastic things with her stamp technique.  Hoping to see them all next year at the New Braunfels and Austin Shows.

AND by the way – I have no more hands to be operated on!  My plan is to be back to the serious quilting no later than the first or second week of October.  I call this time the “Beginning of my New Year”.  Well, it is the beginning of the 4th quarter of 2017, so I am a few quarters off who cares!  We will see what I can accomplish with two hands again.  All Unforeseen Requirements since May are resolved and the path is open to a “no stress” remainder of 2017!

Happy Quilting.


Brinton Hall, Fabric, and Anna Brereton

Good Saturday morning from South Texas – where we love the 100+ degree weather and humidity….. OK – July Fool!  They “say” we are sending the heat high to the Southwest next week – around 1 August!  If that happens and we have rain in August we are in a new cycle of weather!   Walking in this weather is great – allows me to take at least 2 showers a day!  I will miss them when winter gets here (LOL).

Our lives have returned to normal (with a few sad moments) it is unbelievable what stress can do to the body and mind – it is a killer.  I am so enjoying life again and my freedom from interruptions and other issues.  Now the only interruptions are when Clay and I interrupt each other when we are working on our projects!  Looking forward to the trek to Arizona more and more.  So many things coming down the road that are exciting and so looking forward to the change in scenery.   The word for August is “Concentration” because I am slowly getting it back!

Well, here is an update on the Brinton Hall quilt.  When I received my Quiltmania, #108, and started reviewing Part 2 of the project, I decided to look further into this quilt.  Evidently the quilt was inspired by an original piece made between 1803-05 by Anna Brereton who lived from 1756-1819!  WOW!  Can you imagine if the quilters of today will have their work copied, or new interpretations of them in the year 300?  Wonder if anyone will still be on this old earth by then!

As I began to review Part 2, I wanted to learn more about the original quilt and quiltmaker.  Here is a picture of the original quilt – it is absolutely beautiful – what a bed to die for!   Janet Rae has a book that was published in 1987 on “The Quilts of the British Isles” where Leigh Latimore found this quilt and made her interpretation using Kaffe Fassett fabrics and Reproduction fabrics.  (I found the book on Amazon and ordered it as it should be a good read).   It is a pretty quilt, but of course we all are individuals in our color/fabric selections and that is what makes Quilters unique!  They bring their own preferences in fabric and color when making a quilt.  This is what makes our hobby unique!   This quilt is an absolute work of art.  If you wish to know more click on this link – Frayed Fabrics

Original Quilt by Anna Brereton

Original Quilt by Anna Brereton

There are 2 other Bloggers (USA) who are working on the Brinton Hall quilt project – LuAnn and Karen H.  PS – Thank you Karen for the tip on the ‘hyperlink’  you saved me some time in learning that one!

So on to my progress.  I am currently working on cutting out a million hexagons (not really) for this quilt.  I have all of the tone on tone fabric hexies cut and working on them in the evening. Now I need to cut more for the remainder of the Medallion.   I love pulling fabrics and cutting them up into pieces – weird huh?  When I saw this pattern I immediately went to my Asian fabric stash, that has been sitting patiently waiting for at least 7 years, and of course my batiks (they have missed me since I went back 200 years to Reproductions) to select my favorite colors that will blend nicely with the Asian.

After reviewing Part 1 and 2 of Brinton Hall from Leigh Latimore I have decided that I will continue on with the Medallion, but after that I have a new interpretation of Anna’s quilt.   I used EQ7 yesterday and designed the quilt – at least I think I know where I am going with this.  I should have better control over the outcome than I did on my previous disaster – Enduring Legacy!

Here are some of the fabrics (first pull) that I will be using!  I am really excited about working on this and it seems I am developing a love for EPP – need to with all the money I have invested in Paper Pieces  and Stamps by Kate products!

Asian Fabric for Brinton Hall

Asian Fabric for Brinton Hall (Upside down bird) Notice the hexies on the top fabric background!

Batiks for Brinton Hall

Batiks for Brinton Hall

Hexie Flower

Test Hexie Flower

To shift gears…. I think it was during April that I went absolutely nuts on purchasing two (2) old Singer sewing machines – First I purchased this Singer 301 and then purchased the table that it sits on!  Of course during the course of that purchase I heard about the Singer 401a and what a workhorse it was!  So I purchased one of those.  I will tell you that I have not taken the time to sew a lot on the 301, but I can attest to the soundness and what a workhorse the 401a is.  I was blessed in purchasing to fantastic machines – both in perfect looks and perfection in performance.

Singer 301

Singer 301 sitting on a special made table made from a Singer Treadle Machine

I hope that everyone has a wonderful week-end of quilting while we are in the heat of Summer!  Good time to work on UFO’s or new projects.  Until next time – take care and have a blessed life.  I do!