Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Not Your Grandma's Sawtooth Block.........



We had a quilters' day out recently. We drove south [towards civilization!], stopped at one of the area's best quilt shops, effortlessly whiled away a couple of hours, and did our bit to stimulate the economy....[code for "bought fabric," shhhh!].

Then the highlight of the outing---we went to the American Quilt Society's traveling exhibition of the winning quilts from their 2008 "New Quilts from Old Favourites" contest.


This is the First Prize winner, called "Berry Patch."




What would Grandma have thought? Likely her mind would reel, as mine did. I can tackle pretty much any pattern, with adequate instructions.......




But the quilts in this show were made by a whole 'nother level of quilters; people who are artists first, and just happen to express their creativity through cloth, rather than paint or clay. My pictures don't come close to capturing the details of piecing and quilting, but they were amazing.....



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Each quilt in the exhibit was gasp inducing, for the design and the workmanship certainly,




but most of all for how each quilter took the simple, traditional




and let her imagination soar. Compared to the twists and turns and pirouettes they put that simple block through to arrive at their finished quilts, my imagination is a sorry, earth bound thing, fit only to drool in disbelief at what can be done when you shake off the shackles of traditional techniques.




Amazing to me was how each quilter had the same set of guidelines, yet each quilt was stunningly different from the one hanging next to it.




Some of the quilts did not stray far from Grandma's methods, updating her Sawtooth block with stunning colours.....




and unusual positioning of blocks.....




Others, like this quilt from a Japanese quilter, painted bold, sweeping strokes of colour with her fabric. Only when you looked very closely could you see the enormous amount of intricate piecing that went into creating something that looks so spontaneous and exuberant.




And do I hear you asking "What about the quilt in that first picture?" "A Gathering Of Geckos" was my favourite quilt in the exhibition. I studied it up close,




and from a distance, bemused by how the quilter had come to the idea of this particular design. It probably had a little to do with her living in Arizona. It had a distinctly Southwestern feel to it. The Bean is not much interested in quilts. He will give an opinion on colour, design, whatever, if asked, but when he saw a picture of this quilt in a newspaper article on the exhibition, he excitedly declared "That's the quilt I want!" I wouldn't, however, be holding my breath if I were him!

Aren't those quilts amazing? And now, if you'll excuse me, I have to finish this month's humble little basket applique block......

15 comments:

persiflage said...

These are all quite bedazzlingly beautiful and wonderful, and your photos are perfect. While I do love fabric art, I can neither sew or imagine the composition of a quilt - but these are great. What superb use of colours.

peppermintpatcher said...

Thanks for sharing those. They are truly remarkable! I love berry patch.

Pauline said...

what a splendid tour - thanks! sometimes you have to stand in awe of what people are capable of when they "shake off the shackles"

Thimbleanna said...

Oh Yay! A Molly Post! Beautiful quilts Molly -- I think I might have to go with your vote for favorite quilt. And might that be a little glimpse of you studying that quilt???

Calvin said...

Wow. These are beautiful.

StitchinByTheLake said...

I am sitting here with my mouth hanging open. Oh...my...goodness. I think I'll go sit in the corner now. Where I belong with my simple quilts. blessings, marlene

Julie's journey said...

I am stunned - those quilts did my head in. LOL I am still grappling with the basic log cabin design. As usual your photos were perfect.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Molly, I think even this Philistine is beginning to see the light. Those quilts were really works of art.

Ali Honey said...

Oh Yes they are amazing...they make my heart sing. I love the colours, I love the creativity and individual approach.
I want to rush off and start something way out and different. Just lovely Molly - I wish I could see them in person. Thank You!

Isabelle said...

Well, they're amazing. How does anyone have the time to do things like that? The mind boggles.

And that is indeed you, isn't it?

heartinsanfrancisco said...

These are all amazing! I absolutely love quilts and have been to many exhibitions, but have never seen any like these which seem to be in motion. I am breathless.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

I now need a Gekko quilt . But there's no way I'm going to be able to make one , which is why it was very unkind of you to let me see it !
I'll have to settle for a Ninepatch in those colours , I think .

rhubarbwhine said...

Of course, you know I will love the first one. I adore geckos and lizards. This would go well with my collection.... (snicker)

Mercurious said...

Quite amazing. Having almost no craft ability myself, I'm always amazed at how much artistry can come to bear on this kind folk craft.

riseoutofme said...

Whats that I hear??? The sound of shackles shaking???? I'll be watching for the postman ....

And how is it that YOUR masterpieces are not on view???