My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

ABC Wednesday: Q is for Quilts! (Quilt Show 2011, Part 1)

How fortuitous that our public library would host its annual Quilt show shortly before ABC Wednesday's letter Q week! :-)

As many of you may remember from my two-part post about last year's show, our local Sheridan County Fulmer Public Library hosts an annual quilt exhibit throughout the month of October, when its mezzanine transforms into a dazzling rainbow of colors, textures and talent displayed in dozens of locally-made quilts.

The official name of the show, an exhibit rather than a competition, is the "Fiber Arts Show," since there are several non-quilt items on display as well, some of which I'll share in one of my upcoming posts. But since quilts comprise the vast majority of it, everyone just calls it the quilt show (as in, "Have you been to the library to see the quilt show yet? It's even better than last year's!") :-) And because I think this year's may have truly been even better than last year's, this is just the first of four posts (I think ~ might be as many as five, since I'm still working on them!), double the number of last year's. And each post will be photo-intensive, as I have no self-restraint when it comes to sharing photos of these beautiful works of art. This year I decided to organize these posts by first sharing a photo of an entire section of the display, followed by closeups of some of the quilts in that section. And like last year, I'm also including notes on some of the quilts, plucked from the artist's accompanying display card, that I thought the quilters among you would appreciate but that even we non-quilters might find interesting.

As always, I encourage you to click on any photo for a larger view and to name and discuss your favorite(s) in the comments! Enjoy! (But Quietly, please, since we are in a library!) ;-)

This first overview shot, taken from the north end of the mezzanine, shows some of the quilts along the mezzanine walls, draped over the railings, and displayed around the bottom of the staircase...

Now let's take a closer look at some of them!

This one, Birds of Summer, is on the far left of the bottom of the staircase railing...

Birds of Summer
Technique: Pieced
Artist & Quilter: Becky Stedtnitz

Here's more detail...

(For you, Spud! Note that the cardinals got pride of place!)

On the far left side of the wall at the top of the mezzanine stairs we find this colorful, cheerful quilt...

Shining Sunflower
Technique: Piecelique, Glue, Sewing
Artist & Quilter: Donna Weeden
"Piecelique is where you cut the pieces larger
and glue them together.
Then you sew them with a sewing machine.
The sewing makes long curved seams very smooth.
The technique is quite intensive; I'll teach it later this year."
(This one makes me think of you, Molly!) :-)

On a short wall around a corner to the right of Shining Sunflower (and so not really visible in the overview photo) were a handful of small quilts, including this one that was made by our friend Joyce, who runs our local health food store (which also has her quilt shop in it!)...

I think she nailed it, what do you think? (*snork*)

What's the Point?
Technique: Mixed
Artist: Joyce Thompson
"After rusting some fabric, I thought it best
to use discharged fabric and rusted nails to finish.
It was just a fun project."

And on the large wall to the right of that, facing the top of the staircase, is this trio of beauties...

The Grandmother's Fan pattern on the left and the Dresden Plate pattern on the right are classic and beautiful, but the quilt in the middle (which I think is an example of a Baltimore Album quilt), called Ladies of the Sea, was one of this year's show stoppers...

Ladies of the Sea
Artist: Susan H. Garman
Technique: Hand Appliqué
Hand-quilted by Judy Peck
"Started Oct 2010, finished August 2011"

Since this quilt was a) so beautifully detailed and b) one of my favorites, I couldn't resist sharing closeups of some of the individual squares and a little information about each ship featured in them, starting with one that has a personal connection for me...

The Mayflower ~ English Galleon, 1620

My great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandparents, John Alden and Priscilla Mullins, arrived in Plymouth, MA on the Mayflower. Ironically, I've never been to Plymouth in Massachusetts despite living much of my life in New England, but somehow I managed to visit The Mayflower's launch site in Plymouth, England! Go figure. Since John and Priscilla had 10 children who survived to adulthood, I am but one of a vast multitude of their descendants and so anticipate a comment from at least one of my distant relatives. (Hey, Cousin Sue!) :-)

Of course, my Italian side needs to get in on this action too...

Piccola Bragozzo ~ Adriatic Coast fishing vessel, 1802

I have no personal connection to this particular vessel, since my ancestors came from Tuscany and were vineyard people, not fishing people - which may help explain my affection for vegan red wine, lol - but it was the only Italian boat on this quilt.

But enough about me! Here's a little nod to our friendly neighbors to the north...

The Bluenose ~
A famous schooner built in Nova Scotia in 1929,
her likeness is on the Canadian dime.
(I love the maple leaves on this one,
posted with AdventureJo, Jane, Izzy & Lesley in mind!)

The Elissa ~ an iron-hulled ship built in Scotland, 1877
(For you, Penny!) :-)

I love some of the details on these blocks, like this anchor...

And here are a few more ships from the past and from around the world...

The Oseberg ~ Viking Ship, circa 875

Chinese Pirate Junk ~ 1807

The Hannah
The first of George Washington's 11 navy ships, 1775
(This one's all yours, Hannah!) ;-)

I was so captivated by the ships, I almost failed to notice the quilt's beautiful border! Here's just one section of it...

Stay tuned to this blog for many more Quilt show photos soon! And if you have no Qualms about embarking on a Quest for more Quintessentially Quirky, Quality, or uniQue (okay, I cheated) Q pictures, visit...

(and be Quick about it!) ;-)


  1. Quite a quilt collection... Very creative designs..

    Pheno, ABCW Team

  2. Beautiful quilts!

    Find out what Quiet is for my kids.

  3. Fancy, having one of Washington's navy ships named after me :-)
    Fab post. So interesting to see them close-up.

  4. Wow, that must have been an exhausting visit to those quilts (never mind the exhaustion from creating them)! I have always admired quilts and quilters - so much patience and creativity.

  5. That's so funny that you wrote that the sunflower made you think of me, because when I saw it I instantly though "Favorite!!". lol

    It's simply amazing what people can create and I can't even imagine what kind of time went into these. I just love them & wish I was that talented. How creative, too, especially with the nails. Gorgeousness!

  6. Some quality quilts there.
    Next week, you could show RED quilts or something.
    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  7. capturedalive ~ I think so too, and am not sure which I'm in greater awe of, the creativity of the designs or the talent and patience of the quilting!

    chubskulit ~ I agree! :-)

    Hannah ~ Ha! I'm positive George named his ship in your honor, and am willing to overlook the suspicions that raises given the fact you're British and wouldn't be born for another 200 or so years. Insignificant details! LOL I have fixed my oversight and added a little shout-out to you and your blog beneath your namesake's quilt block. :-)

    I'm glad you enjoyed the post, especially the closeups. There is so much detail, it's hard to capture it all!

    VioletSky ~ I actually went twice to view them, though only had my camera with me the second time. It wasn't exhausting, but it was overwhelming! Like you, I've always admired quilts and quilters, even though I don't quilt a stitch. I have neither the talent nor the patience for it, at least up till this point in my life!

    Molly ~Well, given our Vegan Mind-Meld thing, there's no way I wouldn't know which one would be your favorite! ;-)

    I couldn't agree with your second paragraph more. Though I too can't imagine the amount of time that goes into these quilts, I'm sometimes amazed at how quickly some of them are completed! The yo-yo quilt (including making the 409 yo-yos) was completed between June and Labor Day of this year. Good grief, I doubt I'd have 1/3 of the yo-yos done yet!!

    ROG ~ LOL, I could, in fact there's a smashing red quilt that will appear in my third post in this series, but I think my timing will probably be off to get it posted next Wednesday!

  8. All those quilts in one place produces quite an effect. It must be fun to hone in on each one close up. I love the details too; those little pumpkins and fruits below the Mayflower are adorable, and I love that anchor too!

    Amazing that you had ancestors on the Mayflower. I know you've mentioned it before, but reading the story is pretty cool. Must be so fun to find that out. 10 kids that all lived to adulthood...they were obviously doing something right! It's just mind-boggling to think that no matter how far you go back in antiquity there was someone on earth alive that is related to you.

    Anyway, back to the colorful. Joyce's quilt is's soft and hard at the same time. Close up the fabric evokes marble and hard stones...especially with the nails and rust, but from afar it looks sort of pillowy and wispy.

    Fun post!!

  9. These quilts are absolutely gorgeous (and thank you for thinking of me!!!)

    I love to go to quilt auctions and shows though I cannot imagine ever creating such things. I tried it once, many, many years ago. It was a church quilting bee and I was by far the youngest one there (save someone's 8yo granddaughter who sometimes came by). The fun was really in the company. I could never do it on my own.

  10. Quintessentially beautiful. Quirky and creative. I love them, thank you. The sunflower gets my vote despite loving the others.
    Before my hands betrayed me I played with patchwork and I am so aware of the blood, sweat and tears involved in these glorious works of art. Thank you.

  11. We used to have a Quilt Expo in Madison that was so huge it was dizzying. Sometimes I had to avert my eyes because all the shapes and colors would be too much to handle. Because it was sponsored by the place I worked, I always spent several hours working at the show, and then more time wandering the aisles. I love being surrounded by quilts!

  12. Howdy and welcome back from Montana. I trust you had a nice visit.
    Absolutely beautiful quilts!! My favorites were, one, the "Ladies of the Sea...... too cool that you (and a million others ;-)~) are related to John & Priscilla. My 7th Great came over on the "Lyon" around 1630 or so and landed near Plymouth...tell you about him later. And, secondly, the beautiful "Birds of Summer", for the obvious reason :-). Thank you... Later, Tater!

  13. Rose ~ It is fun to see the effect of a large room filled with quilts, and then to take time to look at the details of each (though I confess to just zooming right in on the ones that most catch my eye!) I wonder what decisions go in to their arrangement. Don't you love those little Ladies of the Sea details? The two you mention were two of my favorites, and I also love the yin/yang symbol on the Chinese Pirate Junk. There was a Greek vessel with a Grecian urn, a Mediterranean Pirate Ship with a Jolly Roger, and lots more. I wish I could have recognized all the floral/leaf motifs that surrounded each one and what their significance was, but I only recognized about half.

    My paternal grandmother had done all the genealogy on that side of the family long ago, and I got a copy. It was a big deal to her that we were Mayflower descendants, especially of those two pilgrims in particular! I like your mind-boggling observation! As a kid, I'd read "The Courtship of Myles Standish" (which is believed by historians to be a fabrication), but it had me pondering the fact that at any point in our long lines of lineage, two of our ancestors might never have hooked up, and then where (or who?) would we be? :-) Don't you wish you could have a chat with some of your long-ago ancestors? I do.

    I also enjoyed your observation about Joyce's quilt. I hadn't noticed the white wispy stuff on it when I saw it in person, but I sure noticed it on the photos! I don't know what it was (I'll have to ask her), but it really adds to that ethereal, soft, wispy look you pointed (haha, punny) out. :-)

    Lesley ~ You're welcome! :-) I'm very glad you stopped by and got to see this post, and that you enjoyed it!

    I'd LOVE to go to a quilt auction! I bought a quilt at an estate auction once, but it wasn't vintage, just worn out! :-) But I was a newlywed who wanted a quilt, and it caught my eye and fit my budget. I love your quilting bee story! (I could tell from the repeating names and some of the remarks that accompanied the quilts that the quilters here really inspire and teach one another, and they'd be nodding in agreement with you about the company being fun and how much harder it would be to do a lot of this work on one's own). When I was a 12-year old tomboy, my mother and grandmother had a quilt topper my great-grandmother had made that they were finishing by quilting it together with the batting (right term?) and the backing, and they totally strong-armed me into doing a few quilting stitches on it so it would be a 4-generation quilt. That's the extent of my quilting experience! LOL (That quilt hangs in my mom's house now, though I have another of my great-grandmother's quilts on my own wall).

    Ellie C ~ You are most welcome, and thanks for sharing which quilt was your favorite! The sunflower is definitely a fun one! It's such a shame you're unable to do this sort of thing anymore, but isn't it wonderful to be able to sit back and enjoy all the creativity and work (and, as you say, the blood, sweat and tears) of others who can? I really appreciate their sharing their quilts each year, and love passing them along to all of you via my blog.

  14. Andrea ~ I don't know if I'm right, but I imagine the Midwest (especially the upper Midwest!) having the most quilters per capita, and so can imagine a Madison Quilt Expo would have a dizzying number of quilts on display! How fun! And doubly fun that you got to work at it and spend all that time among all those quilts. It really is fun to be surrounded by quilts - I even enjoy being surrounded by the fabrics in quilting shops! When AdventureJo and I travel anywhere together, we always visit a quilt shop so she can pick up a souvenir pattern or fat quarter, and she's always appreciative that I'm willing to do that with her. But even though I don't quilt, I really do love quilt shops! :-) (Jo is currently on a cruise, which is why she has yet to pop up here - can't wait till she gets a chance to see this year's quilt posts!)

    Spud ~ Thanks! It was a quick one, and pretty challenging much of the time, but I had a nicer time than I'd anticipated.

    Ladies of the Sea was BW's favorite too (no surprise there, since the ol' boy is made rapturous by any mention or sight of sailboats! lol). I look forward to hearing about your own pilgrim ancestors! And I'm glad that Birds of Summer is your other favorite in this group. Also for obvious reasons. :-) xoxo

    veganelder ~ I know, sometimes that's all that needs to be said! :-)

  15. Such gorgeous, gorgeous quilts:-) I admire the symmetrical ones and love the individual asymmetric quilts. Such wonderful work - so much patience and effort in each one.

  16. jabblog ~ I love the mix of symmetry and asymmetry among all the quilts too. And absolutely agree about the patience and effort (and no doubt the expense - patterns and fabric aren't cheap!) in each one. I'm glad you enjoyed them!

  17. You live in an are where many people enjoy quilting, I can see that!

  18. EG Wow ~ I think it helps that we live in an area with long winters! :-)

  19. Oh these are fabulous, I don't know which I like best, the ships or the sunflower. The work that must go in to them is incredible. I am seriously impressed about your Mayflower connections! Btw did you get the Jacquie Lawson reply I sent? Your card was such a lovely surprise.

  20. Barbara~ Those are both great choices! It can be so hard to choose favorites, especially when so many of them are so different. And I think the work and time that go into them is mind-boggling! Sure looks like it's worth it though, when the end results are so gorgeous.

    Really? You're impressed with my Mayflower connections? Because when we were in Plymouth, we walked the entire Barbican Way twice and couldn't find the site of the Mayflower's launch (it was all Sir Francis Drake this and the Spanish Armada that! lol) and we finally had to ask at the visitor's center. I was rather disheartened at the small, understated scale of it, as I'd imagined it would be an elaborately designed and crafted display of ostentatious commemoration of a terribly important event in British history. Then BW pointed out that from the English perspective, a small boat loaded with nefarious misfits setting sail for some backwater wilderness was probably more a case of "don't let the screen door hit you in the ass on your way out!" than a "we're so terribly sorry to lose you, we'll hasten to erect a vast and expensive monument in your honor!" event. LOL!

    Yes, I did get your JL reply, and was touched by your mention of my card on your post. Thank you! I'm glad it was a cheery surprise for you. :-)

  21. LOL!!! Your husband creases me up! Although tell him to be really accurate it should probably be 'don't let the front door hit your backside on your way out' :O)
    Am off to a craft fair this weekend if I can manage it, where a very nice lady who teaches all kind of needlecrafts has said she will show me around her studio and discuss quilting classes with me. This weekend is also the judging of the cat photo competition so I will be obviously making use of quantum physics to be in two places at once :O)

  22. OK, It'll be parts 7, 8 and 9 for me because I only got to 1/3 of this one as this is a post I will NOT rush through. I only got as far as the Shining sunflower so I'd have a few minutes left to comment before lunch is over!

    First of all, I'm delighted you are going to share so many photos - you know I won't mind 5 posts on this subject!!!

    Oh, and I'm being very Quiet!! - that was too funny and a fun way to add a Q to your post!!

    The overview shot really impressed me with the quantity they have just in that one spot! Did they have more this year?

    Birds of summer is impressive because I noticed that decoupage (or more appropriately broderie perse) was used to applique the birds over sashing which is a tough technique. (Unless it was a panel print - then not so hard!)

    I've used piece-lique like in Shining Sunflower. The author is Sharon Shamber who I saw in person at the Sauder show - she was the one I told you about who saw colors in people. Anyway, I love this technique and this was a great way to use it! That's such a bright and happy quilt!

    Out of time - can't wait to come back!

  23. Barbara ~ LOL - can you tell he's from Oklahoma and Texas, where they have screen doors? :-) "Creases me up," that was a new one on me. But as I thought about it, it does make more sense than our Yankee version, "cracks me up!"

    Can't wait to hear about your craft fair/needlecrafts studio tour adventures this weekend, so sure hope you can manage it, what with the help of your quantum physics and all. (Or in the case of the needlecrafts, perhaps you're better off using "String Theory!" *snork*) ;-) And best of luck in the cat photos contest! Not that I think you'll need it. I can't imagine you not waltzing away with the Grand Prize ribbon/trophy/certificate-suitable-for-framing. :-) I'll be watching for your post-weekend posts with bated breath.

    Hannah ~ ;-))))

  24. Jo ~ Hmmph, I'd like to think you don't "rush through" ANY of my posts, darling! ;-)~ But I knew you'd want to linger lovingly over the quilt posts, so comment in as many parts as you need to. I've been especially looking forward to your visits to and comments on these posts, and I don't know how you found the discipline to tear yourself away from this one after only making it to the sunflower quilt. I'm impressed!

    Oh, and thank you for being Quiet in the library. ;-)

    I don't think they had more quilts in this year's show than last year's, but it does look like a real abundance of quilts, doesn't it? And not a single re-run from last year!

    I wish I could tell you if that piece with the birds on it was a panel piece or not, but I was chomping at the bit to see and photograph all the other quilts and didn't pay close enough attention. But I love it when you share all your quilting insights like this! And I wondered as I typed that blurb about piece-lique if you'd heard of it, seen it or done it. Not surprised to hear you've used it, but was surprised - and excited - to learn that Sharon Shamber is its author! I hope you'll run into her again someday, she really fascinated me. And I agree that Shining Sunflower is a very bright and happy quilt! There are more bright and happy quilts coming up, so hurry back! :-)

  25. Point taken - I truly don't ever rush through any of your posts but with the quilting posts (same as when I go to a quilt show), I go through once for first impression, a second time for individual attention and then a third for those special details. For quilts I will do that, for most everything else a singe run through is adequate. And then in many shows there's a quilt I'll go back a 4th, 5th and 6th time to examine. I'll let you know if I run into one of those here.

    Also my comment was in reference to my replies - I'm sure I'll say far more than I usually do!!

    I'm glad you did the close-up on the "what's the point" quilt and explained that she had used a technique of rusting some fabric. Those details made the quilt so much more interesting!

    I had to laugh at the end of the post when you showed the border almost as a P.S. because the first thing that caught my eye on the Ladies of the Sea quilt were the mariner's compass blocks on the corners and clearly, your eye's went to the ships first!

    I love that you interspersed your personal history with the different ships - that was fun.

    It's hard to pick my favorite ship block - they are all esquisite!! But I'm particularly tickled you poste the Bluenose for me as it is one of my two favorites. My favorite ship is the Oseberg - just because it's so different and has great detail and my second favorite floral leaf is the one with the Elissa - I love those blue flowers and the leaves. Thanks for the detail on the anchor - that is amazing. Sue Garman is to be commended for a spectacular quilt. I wonder if she designed the blocks?

    Great Part 1. I can't wait to see part 2.

  26. Jo ~ There are a couple of shops in Fort Collins I do that with - one walk through for first impressions, a second to gawk in more detail at the merchandise, and a third to decide what I can't live without. The other stores I can just pop in and pop out of in one go! :-) I'm glad you'll let me know if any quilts here warrant a 4th (or more) visit. Of course, looking at my photos won't be the same as getting to examine all the details of an actual quilt in person, but it'll be exciting if one of them grabs you enough to have you coming back for even more!

    I figured you were referring to your commenting! Comment away, I'm looking forward to everything you have to observe, ask and share on these! You're my resident quilting expert. :-)

    I wondered how one rusts some fabric, and figure you wrap a few rusty implements up in a piece of fabric and toss it in some water. And what, pray tell, is "discharged fabric?" Fabric that's been treated in this way? I thought the rusty nails were a really neat touch. This would be a perfect quilt to put on a bed of nails. (Darn, I should have used that as my caption! LOL)

    Yep, busted! My eyes went to (and stayed on) the ships and their blocks a long time before I noticed the border! But once I noticed the border, it was one of my favorite things about the quilt! I was hoping others might have some personal history to share about some of the ships or something, but so far no one has. And "Cousin Sue" (my high school friend from Maine who is also a Mayflower descendent) never has visited this post! That's so typical of family. lol I'm glad the Bluenose is one of your favorites! I love, love, LOVE those maple leaves around it! I was surprised the Oseberg was your other favorite! It is really pretty, very different and has great detail, though, so I can see why you'd be drawn to it. I'm sure those pretty blue flowers around the Elissa are Scottish bluebells. I loved those clever little details in each block, and thought the anchor detail was really cute! Yes, Sue Garman designed this quilt - here's her blog post about it, with a link to the pattern for sale at her online shop, Quakertown Quilts. She has some beauties! (Her Coxcomb Medallion one is my favorite! I could picture that at Cranberry Lodge!) :-)

    Part 2 is sitting there waiting for you! I'll be doing a SkyWatch post tomorrow, and then my next one will be Quilts Part 3. :-)

  27. Discharged fabric is when you use something like bleach to remove the dye in certain parts of the fabric. It can be really cool if done carefully and with different techniques to control which part is discharged. It's like reverse dying - taking color out.

    the quilt for the Bed of nails was LOL funny and would have been a perfect caption. At least you got to use it on me!!! I LOVED it.


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  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman

There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"

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