Thursday, May 5, 2011

Paducah 2011: details count!

Details are what really makes a quilt a winner...even if the judges give an award to a different quilt, the special touches are what the quilters are looking at during the show (and possible what got the quilt juried in).
Although we like to ask why one quilt is not awarded a prize, or how that other one could possibly have a first place ribbon, it boils down to some details that perhaps only the judges could see.
Here are some inspirational details from quilts seen at the AQS show last week. Not all took a ribbon...but considering the competition, just getting juried in was a honor.
detail from "Aunt Hettie's Doily" by Becky Weiland
Small Wall Quilts, Home Sewing Machine
Ever wonder what to do with that heirloom needlework? Just getting the doily stitched down properly would be a feat, let alone all the applique and piecing in this whole quilt!

detail from"Autumn Beauty" by Barbara Shapel
Small Wall Quilts, Pictorial
The complete quilt features two Great Blue Herons and a red maple tree. I wanted to take a closer look at the moon, beautifully done in threadwork to make it look almost real.

detail from "Moonlit Night Fantasy"
Large Wall Quilt, Home Sewing Machine
This is DeLuna's favorite quilt of the whole show! Two sweet bunnies are sitting at the edge of a bamboo grove, looking at a full moon. I'd say they are about 4 inches high, and the quilt is 65" x 59"! Yet they seem soft and fluffy.

detail from "Baltimore Album Vase" by Melinda Bula
Large Wall Quilt, Pictorial
There were far more pictorial quilts of all sizes, except maybe the Bed Quilts categories. What caught my eye  was this carefully draped 3-D handkerchief...possible to miss with the massive flower bouquet above it! And not to mention the calico kitty at the opposite corner.

detail from "Counterpoint" by Pam Hill
Small Wall Quilt, Longarm/Midarrm
HandiQuilter Wall Longarm Workmanship Award
After a great conversation with a guild member who said she could always tell the difference between longarm and home sewing machine quilting, I was on the lookout for some comparisons. These little orange-peel shapes are about the size of a fingerprint....and go all around the border of this 40" square quilt.
I did take some pictures of the sample size ones done by a home machine, but don't you know those were out of focus! I could not tell any difference.

detail from "Wrought Iron and Roses" by Jaynette Huff
Bed Quilts, Home Sewing Machine
Second place
 Bed Quilts,Home Sewing Machine is not a large category, but the "smallest" one was 67" x 82"...and this one is 96" square! So, yes, it can be done!

detail from "Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining" by Susan Stewart
Bed Quilts, Home Sewing Machine
First Place
The fabrics are shiny, the thread is metallic! And the lace was made by her machine, too...except when I say the machine did it, I mean it did with her input and quality control. Even using computer programed motifs requires a good amount of skill, beacuse it still has to be done well. Often embroidery is the wrong scale (usually too small) for good design balance.

detail from "Mystique" by Sharon Schamber
Large Wall Quilts, Longarm/ Midarm Machine
First Place
At 102" square, this is the biggest wall quilt! But we are looking at details, and you have to check out the insertion lace (somebody please tell me what that fancy French term is...) at the border, corners and around the large central on-point medallion. The description says it has filigree work with hand turned cording and is quilted with silk thread. That is black thread, too, I may add!
OK, enough with quilting..time for one last pictorial!

detail from "A Day in the Life of a Diner Booth" by Linda Cantrell
Large Wall Quilts, Pictorial
Third Place
What a story teller Linda Cantrell is! People are always gathered around her quilts to see all the action. This quilt tells the story of 24 hours of different occupants in the same booth at a diner. Here the police are enjoying a doughnut. I hope you get to see the other 11 stories at another show or in a magazine!

Well, it is not just the details in the quilts that are important to a show.
It's also important how the show is hung:
detail from "Mary Simon Rediscovered" by Nanct Kerns
Best Handwork Award
AQS 2011 show in Lancaster PA
I saw -and appreciated- this detail in several places around the show, including the old store buildings where this picture was taken. Quilts that are too tall for the stands are carefully draped at the floor with plastic underneath...and the corner turned in! Better to miss seeing some small details than to have a foot planted on top of something that took hours of labor. Some other very big name shows could learn from this!


Pat said...

Thanx Sunnie for the pics from Paducah. And for your descriptions. I think the French word you're looking for is Entredeux. It is a strip that has holes which enables you to join 2 pieces of lace for Heirloom Sewing.

Anonymous said...

Sunnie, it is called entre-deux, literally "between two." Most likely Sharon created her own, rather than purchasing a ready-made trim. And thanks so much for showing the details -- I couldn't really see or appreciate them from the catalog photos.

Sunnie said...

Thanks for the much-needed French lessons! I am positive Sharon Schamber made all her own embellishments for the two quilts entered in this show.