08 November 2010

A Quilter's Gathering 2010

Miniature quilts on display.

A Quilter's Gathering is the finale of my quilt show season. The highlight of this year's show, whose theme was "Plain and Fancy! From Amish Design to Modern Times," was a sizeable display of little quilts. These miniatures, pieced by the late Dorothy Bosselman and hand-quilted by Mrs. Bosselman and other quilters, are replicas of quilts featured in books on Amish quilts and culture. The workmanship of the quilts is exquisite and they demonstrate just how scalable is excellent design. Big or little, these designs sing.

Photography of the quilts was not allowed, but I hope my distance overview gives an idea of the display, without offense. This way of exhibiting small quilts - grouped on flat, cloth-covered panels - also shows them to best advantage and should be modelled by other quilt shows, where, all too often, miniatures are pinned up on flapping drapery.

Detail of hand-quilting on full-size quilt.
Made by Ann and Ray Kisinger.

According the show program, Mrs. Bosselman also collected full-size Amish quilts, with a focus on quilts that Amish women used themselves, as opposed to those made for sale. My quick analysis is that the quilts for their own use feature a wider, and often lighter, color palette, occasional use of print fabrics, and quilting that, while still engaging, is more utilitarian.

DH at the entrance to the Radisson conference center
housing the show.

The show is held in New Hamphire and, no matter how many times I encounter it, I find this mash-up of Tudor architecture and chain hotel styles morbidly fascinating, although the location is unquestionably convenient.

Most classes are held in conference rooms, and it's a credit to the teachers that they are able to work in such un-supportive spaces. In my dreams, every quilt conference would be held at an educational facility with studio art rooms. Dream on.

Detail, Passion Flower, by Liz Fortino.

Most award winners this year featured virtuoso machine quilting but for me the "wow" factor wears off quickly and much of the intense stitching doesn't enhance the piecing or applique as much as fill up the interstitial spaces.

Detail, Passion Flower.

In the quilt above, however, the solid fabrics show-case the texture and thread color very nicely, and the piecing and stitching interact independently, but harmoniously, to create some contrast and interest.

My quilt, well below eye level, but in good company next
to a quilt by Stephanie Shore.

Quilt by QC member Nancy Wasserman.

My guild, Quilters' Connection (QC), was well-represented, as usual.

Another feature of most quilt shows is "Raffle Alley", a hallway with area guilds selling tickets for their raffle quilts. Here, with two smiling volunteers from my guild, is our whole cloth quilt. Not quite finished yet, but this ambitious project will completed in plenty of time for our show in June 2011.