A month ago today I was in Sisters, Oregon with Vincent van Gogh. And I have the picture to prove it:
I must say, even with a bandaged ear Vincent is looking pretty cheerful. Not at all like the unsmiling tormented soul we see in his self portraits.
So what’s this all about? In 2017 Cherrywood Fabrics issued a challenge for quiltmakers to interpret the paintings and life of Vincent van Gogh in a 20″ square quilt. Contestants were required to use three saturated blues and one black — all hand dyed fabrics by Cherrywood — in their creations. The company received 465 submissions and ultimately selected 200 to be included in two traveling exhibits, one called “the Dutch Gallery” and the other “the French Gallery” to represent the time van Gogh spent in his home country and the country where he spent the last years of his life.
The 2018 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show included a special (indoor) exhibit of the French Gallery. I went to the exhibit near the end of the day and quickly snapped a few photos of the quilts in groups:
I’m amazed at the artistry, creativity, and skill displayed by these quiltmakers. I could have spent hours at this exhibit and probably would have had I arrived there earlier in the day.
If you look carefully at the last photo, you’ll catch a glimpse of “Vincent” between the first and second vertical panels. He was standing against a backdrop of The Starry Night holding an empty frame and a bouquet of sunflowers. His colleague was encouraging viewers to stop for a photo op. So I did.
The dates and venues of both traveling exhibits can be seen here along with the names of the quiltmakers and close-ups of the quilts made by the five winners of the challenge. If you get a chance to see either one, I highly recommend it.
Having viewed the French Gallery, I am now very keen to view the Dutch Gallery. I see that it will be in Spokane, Washington Oct. 19-21, at the Washington State Quilters Show. That’s only 350 miles from my home in Portland, Oregon. Road trip?!
Here, without further delay, are just a few of the quilts that caught my eye at the 2018 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show on the 14th of July. On that day the tiny town of Sisters in central Oregon filled with 10,000 quilt lovers and other sightseers who strolled around town on a very hot day looking at the quilts displayed on the outside of buildings along the town’s main and side streets. With 1300 quilts on display, it was impossible to see every single one but we all did our best.
The first 10 you see below were made by quiltmakers who taught during Quilter’s Affair, the five days of classes and special events preceding the Saturday show. These quilts were on display in the Teachers Tent.
That’s quite an eclectic group of quilts, isn’t it? The quilts outside the Teachers Tent were just as varied in design and technique. Take a look:
The Portland Modern Quilt Guild had a special exhibit of word quilts, the result of a challenge the guild issued to its members. My favorite was this one:
My photo of the label identifying the following quilt was too fuzzy to read. If anyone reading this post knows who made and quilted this quilt, please let me know, and I will update the information:
This next quilt has a special story. It was made by Jane Humphrey of Escondido CA, who lost her home — and a lifetime of fabric and quilt projects — in the 2007 Witch Creek Fire in San Diego. In her own words, “I naturally had to start rebuilding both. A pretty daunting task at 81. So much new, pretty fabric to buy! When I saw this pattern in the May/June 2010 issue of Quiltmaker, I immediately knew it was the quilt to make with all my new fabrics. That was the most fun, choosing the fabrics that would look delicious together! It was a difficult pattern for me but rewarding. At 92 now, I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. I have too much new fabric!”
Here is Jane’s lovely — and lively — quilt:
The last quilt I want to show you wasn’t in the quilt show. In fact, it’s not quite finished but it’s so spectacular I just had to share it with you — with the permission of its maker, Frances Barnes of Portland OR:
I first saw this quilt in June, when I was teaching at a quilt retreat in Washington State. Frances brought it along to work on. She’s quilting it by hand using a utility stitch. I didn’t get a picture of it at the retreat so when I ran into Frances during a Quilter’s Affair class and saw she had the quilt with her, I jumped at the chance to take a photo.
The quilt was inspired by Sujata Shah, author of Cultural Fusion Quilts: A Melting Pot of Piecing Traditions (C&T Publishing, 2014). Sujata was a guest speaker at last year’s Quilter’s Affair, and both Frances and I bought her book after hearing Sujata speak and seeing a selection of her colorful quilts made using free-form blocks.
Then last fall Frances saw the cover of Issue #10 of Simply Moderne magazine, featuring a quilt called Paper Beads designed by Sujata Shah:
Paper Beads is composed of free-form string quilt blocks. Frances combined Paper Beads with blocks from the Cultural Fusion Quilts book and came up with the vibrant quilt you see above. Who knows? Maybe it will be in next year’s Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show!
Before more time flies by I want to show you some of the projects my friends and I were working on in Sisters, Oregon during the week leading up to the July 14 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. Normally the group consists of the Quisters (Quilt Sisters), a small group I’ve been a part of for many years. This year Quisters Peggy and Vickie couldn’t make it. Happily, two other good friends, Nancy and Vivienne, were able to take their places.
All four of us took classes during the week organized by Quilter’s Affair. When we weren’t in class, we were back at our rented house sewing in the bonus room over the garage. Here’s Deborah, who just finished layering a darling baby quilt made from the pattern Just Can’t Cut It:
See the blocks with dinosaurs? She’s planning to quilt dinosaur tracks onto the quilt. Won’t that be cute?
Deborah was also working on hand appliqué blocks for her Vintage Moments quilt designed by Marsha McCloskey. The quilt finishes at 90″ square so it’s a large and very ambitious undertaking. She brought along the center medallion as inspiration:
Here’s Nancy with a newly completed quilt top:
The pattern, called High Fashion, is from the book More Layer Cake, Jelly Roll & Charm Quilts by Pam and Nicky Lintott (F & W Media International, 2011). Nancy’s handbag quilt was made from a Layer Cake, a set of 10-inch squares from a line of fabrics made by Moda.
Nancy was also working on a second design in the book called Twisted Braid:
This one is made from a Jelly Roll, pre-cut strips of fabric 2½” wide, also from a line of fabric by Moda.
I don’t normally work with pre-cuts because I like to wash my fabrics before using them. However, exceptions can be made! During one of the Quilter’s Affair events, I won a door prize: the Charm Pack you see below. It’s a set of 5-inch squares from the fabric line “Blue Carolina” by Riley Blake:
It’s pictured with the book mentioned above because I’m thinking of making a smaller version of the cover quilt from this Charm Pack. If I do, I’ll shorten the handbags so they look more like baskets.
Vivienne was working on a very scrappy Trip Around the World quilt made with squares that will finish at one inch. I wish I had a photo to show you but I’m sorry to say I didn’t get any pictures of Viv with her project. She does such beautiful work! I have never seen such perfectly stitched and pressed blocks. In the evenings Viv was knitting a beautiful and intricate scarf and again I missed out on getting photos. I hope she will forgive me.
As for moi, I finished piecing a top based on Corey Yoder’s Idyllic block:
Those blocks range in size from 14″ to 21″ square.
I also experimented with Dancing Churndash, the delightful pattern Jenny Pedigo and Helen Robinson of Sew Kind of Wonderful designed for Cut Loose Press in 2014:
I used up all of the focus fabric I had from a previous project but I like this checkerboard effect well enough to make an entire quilt out of another set of black-on-white and white-on-black companion prints.
Speaking of Jenny Pedigo and Helen Robinson, they were part of Quilter’s Affair, giving a lecture and trunk show during the week and demonstrating the Quick Curve Ruler on the day of the quilt show. I had the pleasure of meeting Helen last year and was delighted to meet Jenny this year. Here I am flanked by Jenny on the left and Helen on the right:
I’ve been a fan of Jenny’s since since she introduced the Quick Curve Ruler several years ago. To date I’ve made 10 quilts using Sew Kind of Wonderful patterns and there are more on the horizon because the SKW sisters keep coming out with tempting new designs.
Coming up in my next post: pictures of quilts from the 2018 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show that caught my eye.
I just got back from eight days in Sisters, Oregon — home of the “Largest Outdoor Quilt Show in the World.” Three friends and I rented a house in town so we could work on our own projects, take classes at Quilter’s Affair (five days of classes taught in Sisters by local, national, and international teachers), enjoy the July 14 quilt show, and have one more full day of sewing before heading home. You can expect my next few posts to be about the quilt show and some of the projects my friends and I worked on.
First up, a block I made to get back on schedule with my goal of making a block a month in Hazel’s Diary Quilt, the stunning samper quilt designed by Shelly Pagliai of Prairie Moon Quilts. I didn’t get my June block done so I have two to make in July.
This block is Aunt Ruby’s Choice, with directions in Shelly’s book A Simple Life: Quilts Inspired by the ’50s. Here is Shelly’s original block . . .
. . . and here is my block — minus the white sashing strips around the block, the center appliquéd flower, and the outer appliquéd scalloped border around the block:
As I’ve done with the first five blocks made so far, I redrafted the block so that when it’s set on point (as in the finished quilt) it will look like Shelly’s original design. Here’s the block next to my rough sketch on graph paper . . .
. . . and here it is on point:
I followed Shelly’s color scheme pretty closely on this one. The prints are from two lines of fabric designed by Jill Finley of Jillily Studio. Don’t they play nicely together?
The next block in the quilt is called Domestic Bliss. Do come back soon for a look.
And now . . . my final post on the quilts displayed for one day only (July 8) at the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in Central Oregon, starting with one of my favorites:
When I saw the next quilt from a distance, my first impression was that it was inspired by Native American or perhaps Inuit art. Imagine my surprise to learn it was based on a winter vegetable garden!
Sometimes the simplest quilt designs are the most striking. I love how the two quilts below, made primarily of blue and green batiks, make such a strong visual impact (despite the distracting effect of the sun’s rays):
Some of my friends have made quilts based on designs in Lori Holt’s delightful Farm Girl Vintage book. I know they will enjoy seeing these two versions:
Carol’s quilt was made with 1930s-era feedsacks. Check out the vintage fabric on the back of her quilt:
Fans of foundation paper piecing and the designs of Judy Niemeyer will appreciate the work that went into this beauty:
There was one quilt on display at the show that is very special to me: Lee Fowler’s Pickle Dish quilt. My photo failed to do Lee’s quilt justice, not only because the photo was taken in the harsh afternoon sun but also because I inadvertently included my thumb in the photo. This photo, taken in 2013 just after it was completed, gives you a better look at it:
The quilt was made by Lee with the help of several friends and completed two weeks before her untimely death in July 2013. You can read more about Lee and the Pickle Dish quilt here. My favorite photo of Lee’s quilt is this one, taken in a park in Sisters in 2015:
And there you have it. Over the last three posts I have shown you about 50 of the nearly 1500 quilts on display at the show. Though the percentage is small, you can see that the quilts cover a wide range of styles. That’s one of the things that makes a quilt show so enjoyable: there really is “something for everyone.”
I didn’t have a quilt in the 2017 SOQS show but I did have one on display for a few seconds one evening before the show. A few seconds? Yes! You see, during Quilter’s Affair (the week of classes and special events preceding the outdoor quilt show), quilters who’ve taken classes in previous years can show their completed work during an evening event that also features quilts made by this year’s group of teachers. Each quilt is walked across the stage so that audience members can get a good look at it.
In 2015 I took a class from Karla Alexander based on her design Rewind and made a quilt I named Where It’s @. When you see the quilt, I think you will understand the name. Since I was on stage when my quilt was shown, I didn’t get a photo. On my way out of town after a wonderful week in Sisters, I stopped at a particularly scenic spot and took this photo:
Thanks for taking a virtual stroll with me through the 2017 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. See you next year!
Here you go: more quilts from “the biggest outdoor quilt show in the world,” held in Sisters, Oregon last month. The first ones you see were displayed in the Teachers Tent and were made by quilters from near and far (i.e. local, national, international) who taught classes in Sisters the week before the show:
A few more quilts in the Teachers Tent were featured in my last post, in case you haven’t seen it yet.
The Portland Modern Quilt Guild had a special exhibit showcasing challenge quilts:
Every year quilts made by employees of the Stitchin’ Post are hung on the side wall of the quilt shop:
One of my favorites in this year’s group was this one:
Speaking of the Stitchin’ Post, Helen Robinson of Sew Kind of Wonderful was invited by the shop to demonstrate the Quick Curve Ruler and the QCR Mini on the day of the quilt show. When I heard she would be in town, I just had to meet her!
Check out the quilts behind us — they’re all Sew Kind of Wonderful designs.
My third post on the 2017 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show is coming up in just a few days! Do come back for a look.
Almost 1500. Fourteen hundred and ninety-seven, to be exact. That’s how many quilts were on display Saturday, July 8, at the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in the tiny town of Sisters, Oregon in Central Oregon. An all-time high. The quilts are up by 9:00 am and come down starting at 4:00 pm the same day. I did my best to see as many of those 1497 quilts as I could and to photograph the ones I found most striking.
We start with the ones featuring hand appliqué, as this was on my mind after taking an excellent class on needle-turn appliqué from Australian quilter Sarah Fielke, subject of my last post, during the week of classes known as Quilter’s Affair that precedes the quilt show.
I was in Sisters that week with my quilt group, the Quisters, and this is one of the very first quilts we saw as we headed out on Saturday morning:
There were plenty more.
The proud fellow in the the photo below is the husband of the quiltmaker, Nancy Payne-Schomaker. He was clearly delighted with the positive comments he was overhearing about his wife’s quilt, so of course I had to ask him to pose with it:
It was her first appliqué project; no wonder he is proud!
Christmas in July, anyone?
This quilt by Carolyn Friedlander was part of the QuiltCon exhibit:
Carolyn Friedlander was one of the teachers taking part in Quilter’s Affair. This quilt of hers was hanging in the Teacher’s Tent:
This is another quilt in the Teacher’s Tent featuring hand appliqué:
I took a class from Laura a couple years ago and loved her whimsical style so much I bought one of her quilts. It hangs in my sewing room.
You saw this quilt in my last post but I have to show it off again. It was made by Sarah Fielke, inspired by an old quilt in the collection of the American Folk Art Museum:
This quilt was made by a woman who took a Quilter’s Affair class in 2015 from Sally Frey (I wish I had taken it, too!):
Look at this beautiful Baltimore Album-style quilt:
Guess what? It’s not hand appliquéed! I couldn’t tell it was raw edge appliqué until I got right up next to it.
There were a few other raw edge appliqué quilts at the show that caught my eye, including this one by Deborah Boschert, another teacher at Quilter’s Affair:
This quilt by featured quilter Tamra Dumolt (also a teacher at Quilter’s Affair) is from a forthcoming book:
And look how cute this wool appliqué quilt is, instantly recognizable as a Bonnie Sullivan design:
These quilts run the gamut from traditional to contemporary to modern. And there were so many more . . .
Thanks for stopping by. Please check back in a few days for another post about the quilts of the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show 2017.
I took a needle-turn appliqué class last month from Australian quilter and designer Sarah Fielke. She was teaching at Quilter’s Affair in Sisters, Oregon. Quilter’s Affair? That’s the week of classes leading up to the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, which is always held on the second Saturday in July. My quilt group, the Quisters, goes every year and we all take at least one or two classes.
Sarah created a series of contemporary quilts based on old quilts in the collection of the American Folk Art Museum, making both “a direct interpretation” and “a modern reinterpretation.” The class I took was called I’ve Got Sunshine, also the name of a quilt in her book Old Quilts New Life (CICO Books, 2015). Our class project was a block from that quilt.
We spent the day learning how to appliqué sunflowers, leaves, and hearts. Here’s my block, still under construction:
Here’s a look inside the book:
On the right you see Sarah’s quilt I’ve Got Sunshine and on the left the quilt that inspired it: Sunflowers and Hearts, made sometime between 1860 to 1880.
Sarah teaches the classic needle-turn appliqué technique in which shapes of fabric are attached to the background by hand, using a sewing needle to turn under the seam allowance. It’s a technique I have yet to master, despite having taken two other classes on it. This was by far the best of the classes I’ve taken. With the others we spent too much time getting the design ready and not enough time stitching. In Sarah’s class we had needle in hand within the first hour, and she circled the room several times to give us individual attention, gently correcting our techniques and providing tips as well as encouragement.
And I am encouraged. My plan is to spend a couple hours every week working on my practice piece. There are at least three quilts I want to make that require lots of appliqué; more on them in a future post.
Sarah had a couple of other quilts on display in the Teacher’s Tent at the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. Take a look at this one:
It’s an improv quilt — no templates and certainly no needle-turn appliqué. The apples and stems are cut free-form and sewn by machine on different low volume background fabrics. I was totally charmed by the fabrics Sarah chose for her apples. The only thing these fabrics have in common is that they are mostly red. They couldn’t be more different:
Getting back to needle-turn appliqué, this is Sarah’s quilt Sweet Home, inspired by a Whig Rose Quilt made in 1857-58:
It’s not the best shot as the quilt was backlit by the sun but here’s a charming detail that highlights Sarah’s hand quilting as well as her appliqué skills:
Having taken this class from Sarah two days before the quilt show, I found myself drawn to quilts featuring hand appliqué. In my next post I’ll show you several examples from the show.
The DH and I got home today from a week-long road trip that took us north into Washington State and British Columbia. Our goal was to watch a minor league baseball game every night. (Yes, I do love baseball that much.)
Mission accomplished: seven games, six stadiums, and about 1250 miles of total driving. The trip was fun and relaxing and totally enjoyable. We took our time each day, taking secondary roads when we could and really enjoying the scenery. I’ve lived in the Pacific Northwest my entire life and never cease to marvel at its natural beauty.
Coming home to triple-digit temperatures was not part of the plan. The temperature is expected to hit 105 degrees in Portland today and 106 degrees tomorrow. My sewing room is on the second floor of our 1913 Craftsman house. Air-conditioned? Nope. Guess I won’t be spending much time up there the next couple of days.
The night before we left on our trip I finished the baby quilt top I’ve been working on:
This is a variation of the Pineapple Plus design by Karin Hellaby. Adding white sashing strips to lessen the intensity of the stronger colors was a good call. I added an outer border of the birdie fabric (Garden Birds by Pam Kitty Morning for Lakehouse Dry Goods) and love how it turned out. The top now measures 46″ square.
The only problem is I used up almost all of that birdie fabric. On a whim I decided to check the Internet to see if it was still available. You know, just in case. Not only did I find another yard of the fabric, I discovered it also came in a green background color called “lettuce.” Well, you know how much I love green . . .
Look what was waiting for me when I got home:
Do you ever like a fabric so much you search for more more when you’ve used it up? Surely I’m not the only one.
Our road trip involved stops at quilt shops in some of the smaller cities where minor league games are played. My sweet husband even made a list of shops for me to visit. Be it known: I did not come home empty-handed.
While I wait for temperatures in Portland to drop — the forecast is for another week of temperatures in the low to mid-90s — I’m going to hunker down in the basement where it’s nice and cool. Instead of sewing I’ll continue editing the photos I took at the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show last month. The plan is to have a couple of posts about that in the near future. I hope you’ll check back.
Aren’t these lovely? They are the first group of Mini Mod Tile blocks coming from the second group of quilters attending the Pine Needle Quilt Shop’s retreat in western Washington last month. (You can read all about the first group’s output in my preceding post.) The blocks you see above were made by Sandra and Dena (top row) and Linda and Barbara B. (second row).
Here are the second group of blocks:
These were made by Lorri and Barbara S. (first row) and Liz and Roxanne (second row).
The venue for the retreat was St Andrews House on Hood Canal near Union, Washington. In my previous post I showed you the view of the Olympic Mountains from the long porch at St Andrews House. Here are some photos of the house itself starting with the porch, which runs along the back of the house:
The view from the parking lot:
The herb garden:
A pleasant shaded seating area:
Such a lovely retreat and conference center!
Now for more blocks. These blue and white blocks were made by Joyce . . .
. . . and these were made by Sue and Lisa:
So far all the blocks you’ve seen measure 11″ unfinished and were made with the QCR Mini, the small version of the original Quick Curve Ruler by Sew Kind of Wonderful. Kay was one of those making my “supersized” version of Mini Mod Tiles in which the blocks measure 18″ unfinished:
What about those three blocks on top? Kay was also working on a second project, making Ribbon Star blocks from the Missouri Star Quilt C0. It’s pretty clear Kay likes color!
Another quilter making colorful supersized blocks was Kristine:
Missy was making the mini version using a palette quite similar to Kristine’s:
Three of my students were using the original Quick Curve Ruler to make different designs by Sew Kind of Wonderful. Janna started with the free pattern Spring Fling from SKW but departed from the design to do her own thing. Here’s her first block:
Katie fell in love with the pattern Dancing Churndash designed by SKW for Cut Loose Press. Here are her first two blocks:
Delia chose SKW’s Chic Diamonds design:
With the second group of students I was much better at getting pictures of them with their projects toward the end of our time together. Here is Rosalie with her five beautiful blocks:
Barbara B. completed a runner . . .
. . . and had enough fabric left to make a mini Fun Poinsettia block:
Here’s Missy with her four blocks sewn together:
Do you see how there’s a fifth block in the center that is made up of partial blocks from the four? This is an example of a secondary block design being the same as the primary.
In addition to their blocks (shown behind them), Dena and Kristine made self-binding baby blankets in soft flannels:
Dena showed several quilters how she mitered the corners on her baby quilt. Joyce practiced the technique, making a square with mitered corners in addition to her lovely runner:
Another vision in blue and white is Roxanne’s quilt top:
Linda decided to change the 3 x 3 setting to 4 x 5 to make a bigger quilt. Here is half of her Mini Mod Tiles quilt sewn together:
Mini Mod Tiles looks wonderful in both traditional and modern fabrics. Here is Sandra with her four-block runner in soothing muted colors. . .
. . . and Lorri with her five-block runner using bright Tula Pink prints:
Lisa’s runner makes me think of pink lemonade:
Or maybe raspberry sorbet?
Liz completed her purple pansy runner and made a second one with a charming pinecone print:
Sue departed from the original design by incorporating sashing strips inside some of her blocks:
Remember Janna’s bright batik block? Here is her quilt top complete with narrow and wide borders:
Here is Katie with her four Dancing Churndash blocks:
Can you believe Katie is working on her very first quilt? Amazing! She has a bright future as a quiltmaker.
Katie’s sister Barbara S. was originally planning to make a runner but she liked her blocks so well she kept making them and wound up with a quilt top!
In this photo Kay has laid out her supersized blocks and is auditioning the scrappy connector strips between blocks:
Kay also made a few more fabulous Ribbon Star blocks:
During her time at the retreat Delia finished quilting a quilt begun in an improv class with Jean Wells:
The back is as interesting as the front:
It was all quilted on Delia’s domestic machine. She was on deadline: her quilt needed to be in the mail the following week to Sisters, Oregon where it will hang in the world’s largest outdoor quilt show on Saturday, July 7.
That’s the perfect segue to let you know I am in Sisters right now with my quilt group, the Quisters. We’ve taken classes this week put on by A Quilter’s Affair and we will all be at the quilt show tomorrow where a record 1,497 quilts will be hung for one day. Of course I will be keeping an eye out for Delia’s quilt.
I hope you have enjoyed seeing the beautiful blocks, runners, quilt tops, and other projects created by my students at the two Pine Needle retreats!