NW Quilting Expo: Bridges of Portland Challenge Quilts

Last Friday four friends and I spent the entire day at the 14th Annual Northwest Quilting Expo. It’s a three-day event, and we could easily have gone back and spent another full day. What a great show! More than 600 quilts were on display, along with a half dozen special exhibits and, of course, an enticing vendor mall.

One of the eagerly anticipated displays was the Portland Bridges NOW exhibit sponsored by the WestSide Modern Club. The club was started in 2012 by Geri Grasvik, owner of the Pine Needle Quilt Shop in Lake Oswego. At a meeting of WestSide Modern last year, Geri issued a challenge for quilters to create modern quilts inspired by the 12 bridges of Portland. The quilts had to include one or more fabrics from the Waterfront Park line designed for Michael Miller Fabrics by Portland’s own Violet Craft.

By the time the deadline arrived, 42 quilts had been submitted. Some of the makers are friends and guild mates. Others I know of by reputation. I am completely in awe of their imagination, creativity, and talent.

Here, in no particular order, are a few of the quilts on display:

Bridge Challenge, Matching Expectations! by Virginia Hammon
Matching Expectations! by Virginia Hammon

 

Bridge Challenge, Sunset Under the Morrison Bridge by Judy Liebo
Sunset Under the Morrison Bridge by Judy Liebo

 

Bridge Challenge, Gothic Beauty by Gerri Thompson
Gothic Beauty by Gerri Thompson

 

Bridge Challenge, Somewhere Over the Fremont by Peggy Friedl-Yee
Somewhere Over the Fremont by Peggy Friedl-Yee

 

Bridge Challenge, A Path to St Johns, Carol Wilborn
A Path to St Johns by Carol Wilborn

 

Bridge Challenge, Fremont Modern by Sally Mayer
Fremont Modern by Sally Mayer

 

Bridge Challenge, Morrison Bridge at Night by Lisa Crnich
Morrison Bridge at Night by Lisa Crnich

 

Bridge Challenge, Stumptown Steel, Beth Wells
Stumptown Steel by Beth Wells

 

Bridge Challenge, Tilikum Crossing by Jolene Knight
Tilikum Crossing by Jolene Knight

 

Bridge Challenge, The Latest and Greatest by Valri Chiapetta
The Latest and Greatest by Valri Chiapetta

 

Bridge Challenge, Cathedral Park, AnnMarie Cowley
Cathedral Park by AnnMarie Cowley

 

Bridge Challenge Burnside Bridge by Connie Brown
Burnside Bridge by Connie Brown

 

Bridge Challenge, Celery Green Crossing, Barbara Isom (Fremont)
Celery Green Crossing by Barbara Isom

 

Bridge Challenge, Linda Dyer's quilt
Bridge Lift by Linda Dyer

The label on the back of the quilt is part of Linda’s bridge story:

Bridge Challenge, Linda Dyer's label
Linda’s Label

 

What’s more, Linda made a second version of her quilt — in stained glass:

Bridge Challenge, Linda Dyer's stained glass
Bridge Lift by Linda Dyer (Stained Glass)

 

Here are her two creations, side by side:

Bridge Challenge, Linda Dyer's side by side
The Hawthorne Bridge in Glass and Fabric

 

All in all, a terrific show. And guess what? The quilts will be seen by an even bigger audience! The exhibit will be on display in December at Portland International Airport.

 

 

 

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10 Responses to NW Quilting Expo: Bridges of Portland Challenge Quilts

  1. Margaret says:

    Wow! Those quilts are amazing. Such talent and imagination. I wish I could see them in person, but, while I know I won’t be coming to Portland soon, I’m glad that many, many people will be able to see them at the airport. What a great idea! Bring the art to the places people go. Thanks so much for posting the photos on your blog.

  2. Amazing quilts, thank you for sharing Dawn.
    I’m working on Four Patch Wonder with a Twist. I’ll show it to you when it’s finished.

  3. Leslie Goldsmith says:

    Our daughters were born and raised in Portland. The Hawthorne Bridge with its grated surface was the “tickle bottom bridge”. And, anyone who ever heard that name still considers it to be the real one.

    • Dawn says:

      My siblings and I called it “the airplane bridge,” Leslie. Our family moved to Portland when I was seven. Sitting in the back seat of our Ford Fairlane as it crossed the bridge, we always heard airplanes flying overhead. Of course, it was the noise made by the tires on steel grating.

  4. Diane says:

    I remember “the airplane bridge” too Dawn, but I think the “tickle bottom bridge” is so much cuter!

  5. What a fantastic exhibit! Very inspirational – thanks for sharing Dawn!

  6. Jennifer B says:

    I was lucky to see these quilts in person at the show on Saturday. I think they will be even more stunning when grouped together at the airport, which I hope to go see as well.

  7. Linda D says:

    Thanks Dawn for putting my quilts (and my special label) on your blog!

  8. What a fantastic exhibit! Very inspirational – thanks for sharing, Dawn!

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