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Friday, May 14, 2010

Miami Valley Quilters Guild Show and thoughts on art quilts

Last week was the first day of the Miami Valley Quilter's Guild show in Xenia, Ohio. I helped hang it on Thursday, and vended Friday and Saturday (selling my used books), and helped with take down on Saturday.

The guild is an extremely talented one, with a large number of art quilters in addition to those who do traditional works. You can find more information on the show, the guild and photos of the winners here.

One of our members is Maria Elkins. Here you see a corner of the art quilt section which was one of the largest in the show. Dead on you see Maria's "Wedding Dreams" quilt (the little girl in maroon) next to the wonderful blues in "Teacup." On the left "wall" are examples of pieces done by other guild members in a workshop Maria led.

Here are two of Maria's on the upper left, and her journal quilts (a portrait of her daughter in segments). Fran LaSalle did the sunprint with Seta color and the blue celtic inspired piece.

For more on Maria's work and her view of the show, go here.

I was snapping these shots before I left on can still see the boxes of our hangers and the tables left out. Most of these are art quilts as well.

The piece which most of the people who visited my booth talked about was Maria's piece called "Captivated." It won viewers choice in the art quilt category. I think one of the things which struck a chord with people is that many of us who are avid readers can relate to being transported by the written word.

One of what I think of as Maria's trademarks is the use of patchwork in the quilt in some area...sometimes it plays a major role, and sometimes it is more subtle as in this piece where it is the counterpane in the front.

This dahlia quilt is one which my friend Chris Landis did. I love the colors she used in it, and I should have taken a close up so you could see both the green embellishment she used in the center (which if I remember correctly was a green, hairy yarn).

Here's a full view of Fran's celtic quilt. One thing which is different about this show, is that for the last couple of years, it hasn't been judged by an independent judge. While the categories are loosely described in the forms, it is up to the exhibitor to decide which section the quilt should be in.

The pieces only win viewers choice awards.

The art quilt section was one of the largest, although in general art quilts are smaller than regular quilts (thank heavens! or we would have run out of space). Some of the quilts in the art quilt section are done with kits, some of them are done with patterns, some of them are done in workshops. A couple of us were talking about how perhaps there should be greater definition, although I do admit that the boundaries between contemporary quilts and art quilts are often blurred. One item for thought is that perhaps only original designs of non-traditional work should be in the art quilt section. What do you think? What would you do under similar circumstances?


Maria Elkins said...

Thanks so much for all the nice things you said about my quilts!

Vivien Zepf said...

Wow, that does look like a great show!! Thanks for sharing the pictures and descriptions.

Michigoose said...'re both welcome. I am often blown away by the strength, breadth and depth of the quality of quilting in this area.