Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Amador Valley Quilt Show (California): Day 1

We recently attended the annual quilt show of the Amador Valley Quilters in Livermore, California, with the theme "Colors of the Vineyard". This prolific guild had two big rooms full of fabulous quilts It's difficult to decide which quilts to feature, as they were all wonderful ! Let's get started with Day 1.

(We're featuring fun books, patterns, and fabrics at very low prices on Quilt Inspiration E-Bay !)

Grape Harvest by Marilyn J. Smith and Lynn Drennen-Guritz, quilted by Gina Perkes

"Grape Harvest" is a stunning, very large quilt which displays the fertile farmlands of California's Central Valley, backed by the steep Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. This quilt is based on an award-winning wall mural painted by Jessie Marinas for the city of Manteca, California, which is surrounded by vineyards.

The story continues from the description card: "Lynn saw a picture of the mural and asked the painter's permission to make a quilt. She then asked Marilyn to join her on this project and asked Gina if she would quilt it. The art depicts vineyard workers taking on the grape harvest. The quilters were able to reproduce the painted images using cotton fabric, 200 thread types, and special stitches to create life-like images."

In addition, the card notes "Marilyn takes pride that she does not use paint to create faces. More than 300 hours were put into the quilt. It has been featured in Quilt Life, On Track, Quilting Arts, and I.Q.A. magazines."  We'd like to add that this breathtaking applique project won "Best of Show" at the 2009 Road to California Quilt Show and is certainly very deserving of that honor.

Traveling Mandala by Diane Chambers

Diane writes, "The eye-pleasing circular shape and precision points of this design lured me into taking a paper-piecing project class titled "Mandala".  Loosely translated from the Sanskrit, to mean "circle", a mandala represents wholeness and appears in all aspects of life - the celestial circles of earth, sun, and moon, plus conceptual circles of friends, family, and community. Symbolism aside, I enjoyed making this deceptively intricate looking wall-hanging with 2.5' strips from jelly rolls and other fabrics in my stash."

Diane continues, [This quilt] bears the title "Traveling Mandala" because of the passport fabric in the background." We love Diane's perfect selection of background fabric for this intriguing design, which Diane quilted herself.

Mountain and Water by Christine Sagan, quilted by Melodee Wade

Christine explains, "This quilt was completed during the Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games in China, on 08-08-08. The number eight is considered very lucky and in harmony with nature. The harmony between "Mountain and Water" was one of the themes performed by artists on a giant paper scroll; and thus became the name of the quilt, as it is my interpretation of nature's harmony."


The quilting pattern seen here reminds us of gentle ripples on the surface of a lake and is perfect for Christine's quilt. This pretty French braid pattern was inspired by the book French Braid Quilts by Jane Hardy.

Kitty and Mouse by Helen Rydbeck, quilted by Suzi Dillinger

Helen Rydbeck says, "This quilt is a happy combination of a Bunny Hill pattern, 3 Sisters fabric, 
and Suzi Dillinger's quilting. This is the second quilt I've made at the request of my granddaughter, Isabella, to make her a kitty quilt."

Helen continues, "Look closely; each kitty has a collar and a flower on its tummy."  Also, we'd like to add that next to many of the kitties, there's a "mousie" with a embroidered tail that curls around. We think that Helen's granddaughter is very fortunate to be the recipient of this fun and adorable quilt.

French Country Charmer by Jean Crisp, quilted by Dianne Schweickert

Jean Crisp notes that she took a class at the In Between In Between Stitches Quilt Shop taught by pattern designer Lynn Wilder of Sew'n Wild Oaks.  Jean adds "I was delighted when Lynn asked me if she could share it as an example of her Country Charmer pattern when she made an appearance on Alex Anderson's "The Quilt Show".

For the interior of her quilt,  Jean did an expert job assembling the many small pieces of fabric into lovely star blocks. For the outside, she selected an equally lovely border print, which provides a perfect match to the intricate patchwork. 

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Quilt Arizona 2017! Day 5

For us, springtime in the desert means three things: spring flowers, spring training (baseball), and Quilt Arizona!  This is our 8th year blogging about this fun show, which draws visitors from many parts of North America. Here is our final post from this year's show, with some of our favorite quilts.

Please note: We're continuously posting free patterns on Twitter ! Check us out here !

My Daughter's Gift by Ann Gonzalez

Winner of First Place – Machine Embroidery, this quilt really sparkles. Ann Gonzalez says: “This quilt was offered as a monthly class at a local quilt store. My daughter bought the class, as well as the fabrics and thread. I had the joy of making it, as well as a second one for her."

We recognize this as the Jacobean Journey pattern by HoopSisters. It features a center medallion surrounded by undulating curves and bordered by a curvy applique border.  The quilting design is by Sharon Schamber.

We love Ann Gonzalez' choice of fabrics.  The use of light-colored thread on the dark (green) batiks, and darker thread on the light blue batiks, makes the stitching really stand out.

Bird Dance by Cynthia Lynn

This whimsical folk art quilt was a standout at the show; it won Honorable Mention. Cynthia Lynn says she loves Sue Spargo designs. The wool was collected at thrift stores and/or given to her by friends.Each one of these birds had its own personality.  Cynthia used many creative hand embroidery stitches and embellishments in each one of her blocks.  (The Bird Dance pattern is available at Sue Spargo's website.)

Dragonfly Pond by Carol Carpenter, quilted by Kris Neifeld

Carol Carpenter says, “This pattern by Lynn Majidimehr was altered (with her approval) to include more plants and pond creatures, which was a really fun challenge.“ The applique shapes were finished with satin stitching.

The Waiting Room by Diane Hansen, quilted by Judith Kracker 

We recognize this design as Lucy Boston's Patchwork of the Crosses (the book is by Linda Franz.) The fussy-cut fabrics create a beautiful kaleidoscope appearance.Diane Hansen says, “It took a year to piece this quilt by hand. The work was done while sitting in doctor and hospital waiting rooms." The quilt was made with English paper piecing; the shapes include honeycomb and square templates.  We love Diane Hansen's choice of fabrics and high-contrast design, enhanced by Judith Kracker's wonderful quilting.

Cady by Kathleen Bowers

Cady was designed in a class with Susan Carlson, collage teacher. It was made for a friend in memory of her dachshund, Cady. Many different fabrics were used in the dog and the background. We love the expression on the face, and the heart-shaped dog tag.

Tree of Life by Debbie Stanton

This is an original design by Debbie Stanton, who cut the tree from one piece of fabric. All the edges were turned under and sewn with machine buttonhole stitch. Three-dimensional leaves add a creative touch to this brilliantly colored quilt; there is even a little owl in the tree, shown below.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.
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