Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Quilt National

This past weekend I spent in Athens, OH with three friends attending the opening of Quilt National, the Holy Grail, the Mount Everest, the US Open, the Grand National, the creme de la creme of art quilters everywhere.  I have been several times before and it is always an awe inspiring event for me.  This year there were 85 quilts chosen from the 850 entered, sort of like trying to get into Harvard. I have only entered twice and was rejected twice.  I spoke to Charlotte Ziebarth, who finally got in this year after 9 rejections.  That's 18 years of trying since it is only held every other year.  She got the "Persistence Pays" award for the person who finally gets in after trying the longest.

We usually go in the middle of summer and are in the gallery almost all by ourselves. I wondered if we would enjoy it as much with the throngs of people who were in attendance. We did!  It was wonderful talking to the artists and hearing the inside information on how or why they made their piece. We were also there for the SAQA conference where we got to hear from the jurors and their insight as to why they chose what they did.  And we had plenty of time between talks to go back and look at the art up close and personal.

I didn't think that photos were allowed so I didn't even bring a camera, but people were snapping away left and right. So I got out my iPhone and joined the crowd.  Since I had purchased the catalog, I mostly took details.  My FiberWorks group's challenge for this year is "texture" so I was interested to see how other artists achieved that goal and that is mostly what I took.

 I was fascinated by Deirdre Adam's quilt, Tracings III, which was painted after it was quilted.  This is a technique I had tried before and now after seeing hers I know I want to do some more.

Detail of Tracngs III

I was mesmerized by Paula Kovarik's  "Round and Round It Goes" on which she did the most incredible stitching on a round cotton tablecloth.

I took several detail shots.  It was one of those quilts that you could look at all day and keep discovering new things. What an imagination and impeccable stitching!

Brienne Elizabeth Brown's, Moonset was of a similar vein in which she did fabulous stitching on silk. the silk was the same color throughout, but she changed thread color very effectively to demarcate the circle and the band below.

Detail of Moonset  Look at all the critters and creatures.

The texture in Luanne Rimel's "Enigma with a Flower" was brought about by hand stitching.



I only have a detail shot of Charlotte Ziebarth's "Reverberations: Yellowstone Waters". What wonderful texture!


Shin-heee Chin's "Florence Nightingale" won "The Most Innovative Use of the Medium" award.  It was made from coiled fabric and paper tubing using basket making techniques. It was amazing!


Detail of "Florence Nightingale"

I don't have a full picture of this Best of Show winner by Brooke A. Atherton, "Springfield", which was texture to the extreme.  She used maps, glass, found objects and much much more to achieve her goal.  It was a very large quilt at 97 inches wide. There was so much going on, that I could have taken dozens of pictures.  I just show you two here.

I was going to show you some more, but I'm getting tired of writing and you are probably getting tired of reading.  Suffice it to say that it was a wonderful show.  Get the catalog to see all the quilts.  Of course it's nothing like seeing it in person and QN is open all summer.  Go if you can.


Vivien Zepf said...

I'm so glad you got to go to QN. I wish I could have gone, so I'm thrilled to read/see your recap!

Linda M said...

Thanks for sharing, I'd love to see the quilts in person but I'll have to settle for pictures.