Monday, April 19, 2010

Groovy times in Chicago!

There were so many beautiful quilts on display in both the competitive exhibits and in the vendor booths. They ranged from the traditional log cabins and historic Baltimores through the very contemporary art quilts. The things they all had in common was the maker's love of fabric and the incredible craftsmanship.
It was obvious that those women making quilts in the 1800s didn't have any TV to distract them. I think some of them could hand sew stitches that are smaller than my machine makes! They knew "green" before eco-friendly was trendy. Today's traditional quilters are almost as amazing. Some still hand quilt and some have adopted using the machines - with incredible precision. Some still stick to the traditional colors and some use contemporary colors in the traditional design - a nice juxtaposition.

The art quilts ran the gamut from the ridiculous to the sublime. Many of them were made by the SAQA (Studio Art Quilters Association) members. There were abstracts, experiments, humor and real artistry. Some had incredible workmanship, some had incredible concept and some had real artistic sophistication. A few had it all!

I am not including any photos of the quilts here, because the devil/beauty is in the details in these quilts; The way the light hits the quilting, the stitches, the subtle shifts of color, the difference between a fused or raw edge, the sheen of the fabric or embellishments. It is so very hard to get that from photos - especially lo-res on the web! Photos boil it all down to subject matter and composition - not always the strongest elements in quilting! However, many examples can be found on the show website

Beyond the exhibits were so many activities! Saturday night the “Make It University” (a hands on exhibit sponsored by Quilting Arts magazine and a million supply vendors) held a 60’s runway competition. We had about an hour to make a 60's costume out of the supplied craft supplies… It was goofy and frenetic… as we also had to answer trivia and dance to get many of the supplies. I ended up winning (and the judges said it had nothing to do with the granola bars I bribed them with - or offering a "toke" of my pipecleaner pipe!) first place - about a gazillion dollars worth of dyes, paints, books, videos, supplies etc. It was such sweet retribution to have all my misspent youth pay off!

My friend, Maggie, and I also walked the runway with a couple of my reconstructed sweaters in the “Stitch in Time” fashion show. It is were those who have created garments may model them for the viewing audience. It was very fun and nice support from the viewing audience! (Hope some of you that asked for cards and info are reading this!)

Anyway - it was all a fun weekend that will never have a repeat, the show is moving to Cincinnati next year, and the busload I have gone with to the show for the past 7 years will not be happening. Ann and Gloria - thanks for all the fun, and Goodbye to the “Bloomers”!

1 comment:

FairyFiligree said...

Now I know I said before that I don't really like lion and tiger prints - but your black &* white coat on stage is stunning. wow!