At last, my International Quilt Festival 2016 photos are white-balanced and processed. Titles and artists have been added.
I especially enjoyed the exhibit of Kathy York’s colorful quilts featuring 3-D elements and tiny worry people. They were very inspiring. I’m really encouraged by the use of shape and negative space in color quilts like hers, and in some of the Modern quilts on display. It’s something I’m exploring in my designs now.
There were a couple of award winners that were especially inspiring to me. One, ‘Suwon Hwasung’ by Mikyung Jang, was a spectacular wholecloth art quilt, drawn with thread. It was a monument to architectural rendering through stitching. I had the great pleasure of sitting with the artist at Quiltapalooza for dinner, and she showed me some of her quilt portraits as well. Her work is gorgeously lifelike and stunningly accurate.
Another was ‘Silk Road Sampler’ by Melissa Sobotka, an extraordinary appliqué work of art based on an Istanbul textile market. The colors and placement of fabrics were so exact that it could be mistaken for a photograph itself from far away. It really knocked my socks off (speaking figuratively, as it is extremely unlikely that I was wearing socks at the time).
And, of course, I can’t let the 2016 show post go by without mentioning the fabulous ‘Crocodylus Smylus’ by Susan Carlson, part of a special exhibit of her work. This quilt is 20 feet long, just like it’s subject, the largest reptile in the world, the Australian saltwater crocodile. It really dominated the walkway down the middle of the convention hall. It was easy to get lost in the patterns, looking for the connections that made the fabric prints meld into the planes of the beast. Glorious!
I got to take a few classes this year, and of course it was my first year to attend the International Quilt Market, the trade and professional show that immediately precedes festival. I got a lot of good information at Market, including a really great seminar about Copyrights, Trademarks, and Patents. I also got to take a free-motion quilting class about texture in pictorial quilts, which is obviously right up my alley. I ended up with a sampler of elemental quilting at the end of that one. It seemed like the Festival was bigger this year, too – the quilts definitely took up more space in the hall than I’d seen previously, and the vendors spread out a bit. Wider aisles in the vendor section made shopping and navigating much easier than previous years, for sure. Plus this year the organizers had added small “lounge” sections to the vendor block, where there were clusters of chairs and tables. Those were so useful – I wish they did that in the exhibit areas, too! What I wouldn’t give sometimes for a chair to rest in among the pipe and drape!
So, in 2016 I learned a lot, came home with some amazing door prizes and samples, and was inspired by some of the best quilt artists working right now. I count it as a win.