Fall Quilt Market (a wholesale show) is unimaginably vast and more than a little overwhelming. Since I’m not a quilter myself, there was a fair amount of it that sailed over my head, but the firehose of gorgeous fabrics and quilts will have my head spinning for some time.
What I’d like to write about instead is the giant quilt exhibit that accompanied the show. It was actually a whole bunch of smaller exhibits, representing regional quilt guilds and creative challenges, combined into one deeply inspiring space. Whether you quilt or not, you have to respect the artistry of these makers.
I loved the mix of quilting styles in this show. There were many traditional quilts, but I was more drawn to modern and art-quilt styles. Like this one. It’s hard to see in the photo, but this portrait of two homeless men is rendered in white thread. Goodness.
Quilt by Caryl Bryer Fallert
The intricacy of the quilting here boggles my mind.
Here’s a more traditional quilt. I love the way Emily Nie cut all those florals and re-arranged them slightly in a kaleidoscope style.
This one caught my eye from across the room. When I got closer, I was intrigued by the fabrics and the contrast with the shiny metallic bands. Turns out, the artist printed these fabrics with Spoonflower! The imagery comes from her photos of beautiful old hardware on the Texas state capitol building.
Quilt by Kathy Johnson
I was also drawn to things with dimensional flowers (naturally). Loved the riot of shapes on this one.
Quilt by Keiko Morihiro
I realize that I ended up photographing mostly bold quilts, and that doesn’t represent the whole show at all. There were lots of elegant, subtle pieces like this one. Look at how precise the quilting patterns are within each section of this design! Gorgeous.
This is all applique, my friends.
This is a good moment to talk about something I talked about after Spring Quilt Market. I was again really impressed with the depth of the craftsmanship in all of these quilts. Seriously intricate and perfectly-executed work – the kind that requires many, many hours of practice to achieve.
I feel like, in our neck of the crafting woods, we’re less concerned with this level of expression and more concerned with simplicity and actually getting a project or two done amidst the swirl of our lives. That’s a totally valid approach to crafting, of course, but there’s no denying that being in the presence of deeply-accomplished crafting like this is both inspiring and transformative. And I can’t help noticing that this show was a rather perfect illustration of Elizabeth’s post about the creative value of limiting your internet time.
Then there’s this strip-pieced quilt – impressive in its intricacy, especially near the center, right?
…Well wait, there’s more! That quilt is about 12″ x 12″. Those fabric strips making up that design are about ¼” wide. Gotta respect the ninja-like skill there.
Quilt by Cathy Miller
Just because it blew my mind, here’s another tiny quilt, this time made of fabric hexies. I think they were about 3/8″ across. I cannot imagine working that small.
Back to macro, then, for a section of the show I especially enjoyed. Twelve by Twelve is an international art quilting group that’s based online. Every month, all twelve members make a small art quilt based on a designated theme or color palette. These small quilts were stunning in the breadth of different techniques they incorporated, and in the way they were displayed in groupings, so you could see how each person interpreted the theme.
Here’s more amazing applique. I just loved the subtlety of the curving leaf stems against the bold pop of the flowers. I’m getting bitten by the applique bug, hard. Maybe I should abandon my Gene Kelly plastic canvas project, which is giving me no end of grief, and applique something instead.
Ack! This post is getting ridiculously long. I’m sorry – and rest assured, I haven’t shown you all of it! Here’s one last piece, which is made of woven fabrics and ribbons. I know, right?
If for some reason you haven’t had enough photos of amazing quilting, you can pop over to my Flickr set and see some more.