Quilt Fiesta 2011: A Quick Look at Great Quilts

Today I spent most of my day at the Tucson Quilter’s Guild Quilt Fiesta quilt show, and it was lovely to see so many amazing quilts and art quilts; I would be hard pressed to say I had a favorite, but I must say I laughed my ass off at Maria Groat’s Anatomy of a Quilt, which featured rows of endearing fabric tiles printed with comments heard/received over the years in judged quilt shows, all paper-clipped together.  If my quilt pal Mary hadn’t pointed it out to me, I would’ve missed it. This photo doesn’t show you the text clearly….

…but this is a bit better…..

…and this is better still…..


How encouraging to see something innovative, funny and a bit iconoclastic at a venue that could benefit from a spirit of  adventure, while at the same time promoting traditional quilting. It doesn’t have to be either/or, it can be both/and as well!

Mary Vaneecke won second place in the art quilt category for her Circlesss IV:

Nice ribbon, Mary! I meant to ask her about the extra “s” consonants in her title and what that means. I should point out that the quilt is straight; it’s the cursed drapery in the background that added unwanted dips and bumps to some displays. I still don’t get it how she got those circles so perfect.

This is a well-done small piece by Sharon Nemirov, whom I met for the first time last year during the Tucson Open Studio Tour; this won a Judge’s Choice ribbon:

I know Nancy Arseneault by sight but not in person, though over the years I’ve seen her Day-of-the-Dead-themed quilts at the quilt show, and they are very well received; this is a very whimsical, clever piece recognized by numerous ribbons:

The white-gloved hostess kindly lifted the skirt of one skeleton, and if you can’t read the text (and you may not be able to, as I can only post small image files which have less detail than the original images), it says: Shame On You. Ha ha ha.

Mary kindly took this photo of me and my quilt, here I am featuring my slenderizing partial-profile:

Mary Vaneecke, in addition to being a talented art-quilter,  is the owner of a small business, El Sol Quilting, and she does fabulous long-arm quilting, for which she’s won many awards. Here’s some of her quilting, on a machine-pieced quilt by Nancy Dickinson called The Badge Sash, which won 1st place in the professionally machine quilted, pieced, small category; the quilt has a Girl Scouts theme and incorporates the quilter’s Girl Scout sashes, I believe:

Here’s some of Mary’s quilting up close…..

This year Best of Show went to an art quilt–The Desert’s Glory, by Lois Podolny–which featured a staggering amount of quilting. It was just nuts in terms of the detail; I mean, technically it is a real accomplishment and dizzying in the most minute attention to the smallest design elements:

Here’s some of the quilting detail up close:

I wish I’d been able to take a better photo of the quilt below, which won 2 ribbons for Best Use of Color, and then 2nd place I think for hand applique, hand quilting; Amy Bright’s Devil’s Claw:

Oops. There’s a 3rd ribbon there. Must be a Viewer’s Choice ribbon. This quilt really made an impact on me, probably because the hand quilting has such a….devotional quality to it. I mean, to do all that quilting by hand you have to really care.  I strongly feel hand quilting conveys an emotional quality that machine quilting just can’t match. Perhaps it’s something timeless.

I met Amy for the first time today while I was taking these photos and she was very gracious. Here’s a close up of some detail from her remarkable piece:

I was happy to get a chance to be at another quilt show in Tucson. This is the 5th time I’ve submitted something for the show. My membership in the guild lapsed in 2009, which was the year my dad’s identical twin died of cancer and the year when I got nothing done, art-wise; so that kind of sucked.

Hope to be back next year!

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