Judge’s Choice! Woo!

My entry in this year’s Quilt Alliance contest was chosen by judge Linda Pumphrey for her Judge’s Choice Award! Here’s the quilt:

quilt alliance contest

For Quilt Alliance contest 2017, 16″ x 16″

And here’s Linda’s comment:

I love the graphic abstract and bold colors of this little quilt. The quilt is beautifully executed with strong visual impact.

Of course I am thrilled to be chosen!

All quilts entered in the contest will be displayed at QA’s “Quilters Take Manhattan” event as well as at International Quilt Festival in Houston. They will then be auctioned to raise money to support the Quilt Alliance’s many projects.

Here’s the link to the auction site, where you can see all quilts entered in the contest:

Quilt Alliance Auction 2017

Advertisements

Vermont Quilt Festival–Favorite Quilts Part 1

Here are a few of my favorite quilts from the Vermont Quilt Festival. Please note that a few of these really are not square. Others do have straight sides with 90 degree corners, but the picture is off because I had the camera in one hand and a glass of champagne in the other ūüėÄ

First, this is one of the youth quilts, made by a 3-1/2 year old!¬† Entrants in this category made the quilt top themselves, but may have had help with quilting. Janome is a big sponsor of the VQF, and each youth entrant was given a sewing machine!¬† This tot had to get help to carry hers from the stage ūüôā

youth entry VQF

As always at VQF, there was a wonderful exhibit of antique quilts.¬† This next one was my favorite:Antique quilt, VQFThe Instructors’ Showcase made me wish I’d taken some classes.¬† This first one is by Augusta Cole, whose scrappy designs I admire and have used from time to time.Vermont Quilt Festival 2016And this one by instructor Katie Pasquini Masopust was very unusual.¬† I would like to know more about her techniques.VQF instructors 2016There were a number of other special exhibits and I didn’t take pictures of all of them, though they would have been worth it!¬† This bargello quilt caught my husband’s eye:Bargello quilt at VQF 2016Here are a few more of the fairly traditional ones that I especially liked.¬† Note that one got a purple ribbon for a very high score on the judging criteria I showed last week.VQF11VQF18VQF16VQF12Finally, here is an absolutely spectacular applique quilt.¬† Everyone stood in front of it admiringly, so I had to wait my turn to take a picture:VQF4Next week I’ll show you the more modern quilts that caught my eye.

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Vermont Quilt Festival, Part I

I love the Vermont Quilt Festival (VQF) for several reasons: Vermont in June, great exhibits, and the opening reception with champagne and chocolate!!! ¬†(I’m showing a few of the beautiful quilts today, and I’ll have more later.)

However, my very favorite part is that each quilt is judged on its own merits. Every quilt is rated with published criteria and may (or may not) be awarded a ribbon, based on its score.¬† I love this idea because, as I’ve said elsewhere, the idea of “competitive quilting” doesn’t compute for me. With the VQF system, your primary competition is yourself. Then, if you just have to try to beat other people in a given category, they do have the usual “best machine quilting”, etc.

VQF

This quilt involved extensive work and I think it is very “artistic”. It got a 3rd place for workmanship, but it also got the Best Modern Quilt award.

Here is the way quilts are judged, taken from the VQF website:

Each judge evaluates all entries, scores the quilts using the point system below, and provides a brief written critique. The final score for each entry is the average of the three judges’ scores. Score sheets and critiques are returned to contestants with their quilts.

POINT SYSTEM (100 points total)

  • Visual Impact: 15 points maximum
  • Design: 40 points maximum
  • ¬†¬†¬†¬† 20 points: use of pattern and design
  • ¬†¬†¬†¬† 10 points: effectiveness of color in overall design
  • ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 5 points: suitability of materials
  • ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 5 points: border treatment
  • Workmanship: 45 points maximum
  • ¬†¬†¬†¬† 20 points: precision of work, top and back
  • ¬†¬†¬†¬† 20 points: quality of quilting and/or needlework
  • ¬†¬†¬†¬† 5 points: binding and edges

RIBBON CATEGORIES

  • Exceptional Merit (purple): 98 -100 points
  • First (blue): 95-97 points
  • Second (red): 92-94points
  • Third (yellow): 88-91point
Modern quilt from Vermont Quilt Festival

Here is a modern sampler that I enjoyed. It got a 3rd place ribbon.

Although I didn’t win any of the “big” categories, I did get a (3rd place) ribbon at VQF this year. ¬†As you can see, that amounts to a “B” grade, so I’m pretty happy. ¬†The comments were useful, as well, so I know what to do the same and what to do differently next time.

Round quilt from VQF

This quilt, made from a pattern, got a 3rd place ribbon as well. The circle is on a black background, so the quilt is square.

I certainly wish other shows would adopt a similar system! ¬†I’m sure it is expensive, since VQF has 3 judges for each quilt and they have to make comments and take time to score each one, not just look at it once and move on. ¬†But for me, as a quilter, it makes the VQF show much more worth the effort of entering. ¬†Here’s my quilt:

modern quilt

Happy Squares, designed and made by me.

Does anyone know of other shows with a similar system? ¬†I’d like to consider them when planning next year’s entries!

2014 Projects, Part 2

To continue a review of projects from 2014, the point of this exercise is to get together a gallery page for each year I’ve done this blog.

I made “Drunk in the Garden” both to use this beautiful floral fabric that reminded me of Texas and to practice cutting and piecing gentle curves.

Drunk in the Garden, the original quilt

Drunk in the Garden, the original quilt

Despite the beautiful fabric, the overall design never looked right to me, primarily because the gold fabrics varied too much in value.  I eventually cut this quilt up and made some place mats, which were much more successful.  You can see them here, if you like.

I designed a quilt for the Michael Miller challenge and, though it sank without a trace in the challenge, I liked it.  The design was improvised based on the little scan codes made up of triangles at my local garden center:

Michael Miller challenge quilt

Packet of Posy Seeds

Also in 2014, I designed a quilt and pillow for Modern Quilts Unlimited magazine.  Here is the picture from the magazine:

quilt photo

Zippy Star Quilt and Pillow as shown in Modern Quilts Unlimited, Summer 2014

And here is the “practice” quilt I made first to work out the details:

modern quilt

Zippy Star I, which sold at the Asheville Quilt Show in September

As if one Michael Miller challenge weren’t enough, I made this quilt for another later in the year:MM-finish1

And finally, I finished this quilt, which I had been working on for years.  Literally.

Spring Sun, a design by me, using blocks paper pieced from a totally different Judy Niemeyer pattern!

Spring Sun, a design by me, using blocks paper pieced from a totally different Judy Niemeyer pattern

And that was it for 2014! ¬†One thing that is obvious from reviewing some of these pictures is that I have improved my photography since 2014. ¬†For which I’m thankful.

Coming up next: a report from the 2016 Vermont Quilt Festival!

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Projects from 2014

As part of my effort to develop galleries for this site, here is a review of my projects from the first half of 2014.

The design and tutorial for this zippered pouch came from Noodlehead.

zippered pouch

I made a series of these little zippered pouches, and they have been useful.

These next two bags were made from a book entitled Ruby Star Wrapping.  You can read my review of the book here, if you want.

I continued my interest in improvisational piecing in 2014, making this confetti block…

improv quilt block

Confetti Block, 2014

…and this entry for the Quilt Alliance annual contest:

modern art quilt

Whirlwind, my 2014 Quilt Alliance challenge quilt

I made this quilt for the Pantone Challenge.  It looks better in person than in this picture, and now is used to decorate one of the rooms at our local free clinic:

Applique quilt

Radiating Orchid, my mini-quilt for the Radiant Orchid Challenge

As always, I made a number of donation quilts for Ronald McDonald House.  I used them to try out a variety of techniques and other experiments:

I made this baby quilt because I loved the fabrics:

baby quilt

Baby Dots–Front

baby quilt

Baby Dots–back. ¬†I may like it even more than the front!

And I participated in several swaps, including one involving these blocks. ¬†Don’t even think about¬†the 88 little pieces in the block on the left!!!

I’ve reached my (self-imposed) length limit for a post, so the rest of the 2014 review will be coming up next week! ¬†Please come back ūüėČ

Save

Save

Save

Save

More Inspiration

I bought two of Gwen Marston’s books some time ago…

and have been channeling her in my designs for over a year (you can click on the pictures below to see their captions):

Recently I saw that the (relatively) new iQuilt platform had two video classes taught by Gwen Marston. ¬†The class¬†I chose was quite short–a little over 2 hours–and I decided to watch the class over a weekend and make several little quilts using her techniques.

I’d already made a refrigerator quilt in Gwen’s style for an upcoming guild challenge,

art quilt, gwen marston

Refrigerator quilt inspired by Gwen Marston. Bev Manus came up with the idea for refrigerator quilts.

so I decided to make the new quilts 12″ x 12″ as well. ¬†This is a great size for trying new things because there isn’t too much commitment of time or materials.

The first quilt was composed of half square triangle blocks, so I was able to try out the (fairly expensive) Loc Bloc ruler I recently bought to make trimming these blocks to size easier.  The ruler worked great with just a little practice, and I got to practice my machine quilting on the finished quilt.

refrigerator quilt

Quilt Front

Gwen’s instruction was to pair the triangles up into squares just as you picked them up, with the caveat that the pairs should have contrast between the fabrics. ¬†Then the squares were to be sewn together into rows just as they were picked up. ¬†She did allow that it would be OK to lay the rows out and look at them before sewing them together, but advised against spending a lot of time fussing over the exact layout.

Refrigerator Quilt

Quilt Back

I was pleased with this result. ¬†The class doesn’t really cover anything that isn’t in her books, but I was happier watching a little and sewing a little than I am to just sit down and read a book. ¬†I made a couple of other quilts, too, and¬†I’ll show them next week.

 

Quilt Alliance Contest

Here’s my entry for the 2016 Quilt Alliance contest, “Playing Favorites “. The design is inspired by Gwen Marston’s work, and the piece is titled “Gwen Visits the Farm”. The black fabric has animal sounds printed on it: “peep” etc.

improvisational quilt

“Gwen Visits the Farm”

The “Playing Favorites” theme of the 2016 Quilt Alliance contest is intended to capture a picture of quilting in 2016 by asking contestants to make quilts using their favorite techniques. ¬†I love improvisational quilting, and Gwen Marston was doing it long before anyone thought of the “modern” quilt movement!

In addition to making the quilt in Gwen Marston’s improvisational style, I quilted it using decorative stitches. ¬†I’ve used several of the decorative stitches on my machine for quilting for a long time now. ¬†However, I recently took a Craftsy class in which Jackie Gehring suggested using even more of the decorative stitches. ¬†I think the stitching reflects the state of the art of quilting in 2016, as well.machine quilting

I’ve been thinking for YEARS of doing a series of quilts in the styles of my favorite quilt designers, so this is the first in that series. Please stay tuned!

Only as Good as Your Last Quilt?

There’s a cynical phrase, common in professional sports, that is used often in other arenas as well: You’re only as good as your last game. It’s a commentary on public opinion. Unfortunately, there’s a corollary in our everyday judgments of ourselves.

Michael Miller Challenge 2013

This little quilt, “Packet of Posy Seeds”, did NOT win anything.

One of the modern guilds I belong to had an interesting discussion last meeting about which quilts are selected for QuiltCon, and why.¬† We pretty much all agreed that the show is used to further the MQG’s own definition of modern quilting rather than to reveal the depth and breadth of the modern quilt movement.

modern quilt

This little quilt was published, along with an article I wrote

So, am I a good quilter because my quilt was juried into an AQS show? Or a poor quilter because SEVERAL quilts were rejected for a QuiltCon show? A good quilter because I’ve designed quilts that were published?¬† Or a bad quilter because every magazine doesn’t love every one of my proposals?¬† There’s a temptation to feel great when a quilt wins a prize and to feel a bit down when one is rejected.¬† But does that make sense?

modern quilt

Happy Squares, designed and made by me. I love it, but nobody wants to publish the pattern.

Of course there are some “competitive quilters”, but most of us quilt because we enjoy it. My quilts are made to please myself, not to please other people.¬† Even when I make a quilt for a challenge or show, I make it the way I want it, and I expect that is true for most people.¬† I doubt that quilting is a road to fame and fortune for most of us, and that’s fine.

Modern Quilts Unlimited magazine

Zippy Star quilt for Modern Quilts Unlimited. I won a contest with this design.

So, if QuiltCon didn’t accept my quilt, it is NOT a personal judgment about me, it is a programmatic judgment about where the MQG folks want the definition of modern quilting to go. And if some of my quilts are published or win prizes, that’s dandy, but I still made them to suit myself.

improvisationally pieced quilt

“In Fairyland” has been in 2 shows but won no¬†prizes.

So much of life involves following other people’s rules, sometimes for good reason and sometimes not.¬† Although I’m a serious quilter, I want to do it by my own rules.¬† I’ll still submit to shows because I like to see my quilts displayed.¬† But really, the quilt is an end in itself.

Spring Sun, a design by me, using blocks paper pieced from a totally different Judy Niemeyer pattern!

I designed Spring Sun using blocks paper pieced from a totally different Judy Niemeyer pattern. It was juried into an AQS show.

My friend Melanie has written a couple of posts on why we quilt.  You might enjoy them:

Make Good Art

Saturation Point

Final Finishes!

I got these two quilts back from the quilter last week, so I put the binding on and have my final 2 finishes for the year!

modern quilt

This binding was made from the remaining black and white chevron fabric

I finally finished the eternal paper piecing for this quilt and I’m having fun arranging the blocks.

modern quilt

The pattern is Lombard Street, by Sassafras Lane Designs

Here are a few¬†of the other projects I’ve done this year. ¬†You can click on any of them for more detail.

And finally, here are a couple of things I had published in Modern Quilts Unlimited:

Can’t wait to start next year’s projects! ¬†Woo!

Anniversary!

Zippy Quilts is now two years old! I’m still having fun, so I’m signing up for another two years.
Here are a few pictures of projects from the past two years and links to popular posts:

Rising star art quilt

Rising Star, made for the Quilt Alliance TWENTY contest in 2013

This is ‚ÄúRising Star‚ÄĚ, a quilt I made for the Quilt Alliance ‚ÄúTwenty‚ÄĚ contest back in 2013. ¬†It’s still one of my favorite quilts, which is why it’s still featured on the blog’s header.

Here is a quilt I made for Modern Quilts Unlimited, where they did especially beautiful photos of it.

quilt photo

Zippy Star Quilt and Pillow as shown in Modern Quilts Unlimited, Summer 2014

Readers seem especially to have enjoyed posts with pictures from various quilt shows, and I know I appreciate those posts when others do them for shows I can’t attend. ¬†Here are links to a few of those:

Here’s a picture from the post on QuiltCon Fashionistas, which was popular:

QuiltCon Fashionista

Julia of the Houston MQG

And here’s one from the post on AQS Charlotte, where I found the talented Jean Larson and her tessellation quilts:

modern quilt AQS

This quilt by Jean Larson won the Original Design award at AQS-Charlotte

Finally, here’s one from the post on the Vermont Quilt Festival, one of my all-time favorite shows:

pieced quilt

Fill the Void by Cinzia Allocca–my FAVORITE!

In the coming year, I’m planning to update the blog, of course. ¬†I’ll first revise my “About” page, then get to work on adding a gallery. ¬†Please stay tuned! ¬†I appreciate your comments.