03 November 2014

Rising Star Guild quilt show

Sunset at the Lake, Nancy Howard.

When looking at the quilt above, by Nancy Howard, I felt I was saying good-bye to summer itself. Nancy's wonderful quilt was displayed in the annual show of the Rising Star Guild, held on October 24 and 25, at St. Brigid's Church, Lexington, Massachusetts.  As always, the variety and breadth of designs, as well as the exquisite workmanship, made this an enjoyable show; a few of my personal favorites are shown below. (Click on any image to enlarge it.)

Quilts on display.

Some quilts demonstrated that relatively easy-to-construct patterns can have a big impact....

Hip to Be Square, Penny Sander.

Beautiful machine quilting by Laurena McDermott.

Other quilts display meticulously pieced points, such as the delight below, in red, white and black.

Kaleidoscopic Illusions, Kathleen McCormick.

The modern quilt movement was well-represented too.  What are the features of a "modern quilt"?  Lots of neutral-colored negative space, geometric prints, great machine quilting and undiluted colors.

Dots in the Park, Christina Crouch.

Dots in the Park, detail.

Flowers Grow in the Cracks in the Pavement, Ginny Leonardas.

The pattern in the quilt above is a modern riff on the traditional Grandmother's Flower Garden; although it's hard to see in my image, the off-white background fabric has a pattern of urban buildings and streets, so Grandma has moved to a cool pad in the city. Good for her!

While many quilts in the show feature traditional patterns, or contemporary versions thereof, some of the quilts are unique statements, such as the quilt below, by Atara Halpern.  Made for her daughter who, according to the show notes, requested something urban and industrial, the quilt has computer parts incorporated into the design, as well as buttons and other found objects.

Homage to the Machine, Atara Halpern.

Homage to the Machine, detail.

Another unique quilt appears below; Stephanie Shore printed her own photographs of roses onto fabric to create this homage to the blooms of summer. Petal and leaf detail are created with expertly contoured machine quilting. Do I detect hints of spice and clove?

Fenway Rose Garden, Stephanie Shore.

From portraits of roses to a portrait of man's best friend. Artist Penny Sander pinned over one thousand small pieces of variously-colored batik fabrics to a backer fabric, then stitched them all down in this example of raw-edge applique.

Maggie Mae, Penny Sander.
Maggie Mae, detail.

I always admire hand-embroidery, as featured in the narrative quilt below. The neutral colorway also keeps this design from attempting to portray snow and sky too literally - the subtlety allows us to complete the wintry setting in our imaginations.  Pieced and embroidered by Jo-Anne Granger, the quilt was machine-quilted by Lynn Irish.

Over the River and Through the Woods, overview and details. Jo-Anne Granger.

As do many guilds, Rising Star set some challenges for its members. A quilt challenge is usually presented as a theme, with dimensional limitations. The small quilts are displayed as  group and it is fascinating to view the variations on the theme.  I noticed two sets of challenge quilts - "transportation" was one theme; "sun" formed the other challenge. Two of the transportation-themed quilt are shown below.  Massachusetts residents will recognize the view of the Longfellow Bridge in the image immediately below.

1 if by Land and 2 if by Sea...and 1 in the Air, Sue Collozzi.

En Velo Rouge, Carol Miller.

As for the "sun" challenge, with the return of Standard Time, and 4:00 pm twilight, we need all the sun we can get.

Left: Andean Sun, Linda Whitehead. Right, Self-Portrait, Nancy Wasserman.

Fortunately, as natural light diminishes until the winter solstice, we compensate with festive lighting, including illuminated fancy dress for our normally staid evergreens.  It's fun to see quilts which celebrate holiday decorating with sparkle and shine. 

Holiday Trees, Becky Toland.

Holiday Trees,  detail.