Now we have the first installment of the Improvisation category from the exhibitions at QuiltCon 2016. In Pasadena this year, QuiltCon is put on by The Modern Quilt Guild. Though there is a large curated and juried exhibition, Quiltcon is also a conference with classes and workshops, lectures and events. Everything is great, but for me, the quilts are the highlight. Enjoy!
QuiltCon 2016 was in Pasadena this year. Next year it will be in Savannah! My main aim is to see all the quilt exhibitions and photo them for The Plaid Portico (and my own pleasure) but since it was in California, we had big contingent from the Northern California modern quilt groups and guilds so it was fun seeing friendly faces all around. Truth be told it’s a friendly event anyway – there is just a good vibe in general, plus it is well-organized so things go smoothly.
I did manage to take photos of all the quilts in the exhibitions so we will be winding through them all in the next few months, including the special exhibitions of keynote speaker Gwen Marston and 70’s art quilter Molly Upton. I’m not going to highlight all the winners nor review or comment. One thing is clear to me–we all see things a little bit differently. So I am sharing what I get to see and you can decide for yourself what interests you.
I curate what I cover at general quilt exhibits, and “modern” is generally what I shoot, so I might only take photos of 10% of the quilts. At QuiltCon I think it would be a disservice to only show 90% as there are probably only about 10% I am ho-hum about. So they are all here, even the shots I couldn’t control the light on.
First up is the Handwork category. Enjoy!
Sherri Lynn Wood‘s new book, The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters is not like any other quilting or sewing book. I like the tagline as much as the book: “A Guide to Creating, Quilting and Living Courageously”. There are no specific projects shown step-by -step, long a formula in sewing and quilting books. That would not work here as it would take the improv out of improv! Sherri Lynn Wood‘s unique solution to this dilemma is a combination of a meditation on improv quilting, and a guidebook to the world of improv, through the use of “scores”.
The “scores” are a way for readers to create their own unique quilts “from a set of parameters as a guide” that act as a starting point. It doesn’t constrain you from being unique and improvisational, just sets you on a path and you can go where you want. Never fear, she does cover techniques, both improvisation and patchwork as well as finishing techniques, and she also explores aspects and moods of color in detail. What is quilting without color?
This book is thoroughly original in its format, tone and content. A perfect union to the subject matter of creating original improv work. The photography by Sara Remington is scrumptious.
Over 250 quilters signed on to test quilt the ten scores for the book. In the end only 22 quilts made it into the book though all of the quilts undoubtedly informed the final version of the book. And we can show you some of the other quilts here. And I am sure more will be popping up in modern quilt shows around the country as I have seen many already in the exhibitions at QuiltCon and other regional shows. Here are just a few from the score “strings”. To see more from the strings score than I can show, here is a link to them on Daintytime.
You can also visit these sites to hear more about the different techniques shared in the book and see more of the inspiring creations to come out of Sherri’s workshops.
May 4: STC Craft – Score for Rhythmic Grid Gallery
May 4: Plaid Portico – Score for Strings Gallery
May 6: During Quiet Time – Test Quilter Amy Friend
May 8: Wise Craft Handmade – Score for Get Your Curve On Gallery
May 11: Studio Notes – Test Quilter Penny Gold
May 13: Quiltville – Score for Modern Block Improv Gallery
May 15: Peppermint Pinwheels – Test Quilter Stacey Sharman
May 18: Quirky Quilts – Test Quilter Kim McPeake
May 20: PoppyPrintCreates – Score for Patchwork Doodle Gallery
May 22: The Last Piece – Test Quilter Sara Fielke
May 25: Cauchy Complete – Score for Layered Curves Gallery
May 26: Diary of a Quilter – Score for Bias Strip Petals Gallery (you are >HERE<)
May 28: Getting Stitched on the Farm – Score for Improv Round Robin Gallery
May 29: Spoonflower – Score for Showing Up Gallery
May 30: Fresh Modern Quilts – Test Quilter Rossie Hutchinson
We just HAVE to start out with a quilt by Jacquie Gering, author of Quilting Modern, renowned teacher, on the board of The Modern Quilt Guild, QuiltCon organizer and just about everything. Besides, negative space in quilting is one of her trademarks. I admit, I’m a fan.
Yes, handwork and modern quilting do go hand in hand. Actually almost all quilting traditions and techniques can be seen in some way in the quilts at QuiltCon and other modern quilting exhibitions. Maybe it’s the aesthetic that defines the modern quilting “movement”?, and that in itself is also broad. But there is definitely something going on! And I like it.
The Handwork category was sponsored by Sulky. There was more than one quilt (and even in other categories) that were made as a call to create quilts using one of Sherri Lynn Wood’s improv scores from her new book The Improv Handbook for the Modern Quilter. To honor that we’ll start out with one of Sherri Lynn Wood’s quilts and will end, as usual, with the winners of the category.
Here are the quilts from the handwork category, QuiltCon 2015:
One of my favorite categories, here are half of the quilts from the Improvisation category this year at QuiltCon 2015. The other half, including the prize winners will be up next post. Several of these quilts were also test quilts from Sherri Lynn Wood‘s new improvisational quilting book, The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters. We’ll be giving you a preview of that also here on the Plaid Portico in a few posts. It’s really wonderful.
Please enjoy all the joy in these quilts!
What a fun day we had the last day of the Stitch Modern 0214 show, having an improv quilting workshop with Sherri Lynn Wood in the middle of the exhibition space. Techniques were taught, but mostly this was about taking ourselves to places we would never go, working on each other’s quilts, collaborative quilting. We worked fast, and mostly silently, without rulers even. Fears melted away, instinct took over. One could not have replicated this experience alone in one’s own studio. Don’t want to give it all away in case one of these comes to an area near you, so I’ll let the pictures do the talking.
As the day came to an end our improv quilts started getting a bit bigger, and one could find many a quilter laying the quilt they just got passed out on the floor and contemplating how to continue the quilting conversation.
And in the end, we went outside on a beautiful day and all looked at our work product. We could each see our hand in several quilts! It was amazing how they all turned out. With all that spontaneity and miss-mash of fabrics, some interesting compositions emerged. But no mistake about it, this was about process, and the experience of it all, though we all still did get a mini quilt top to take home with us…:)
As part of the East Bay Modern Quilt Guild‘s show, Stitch Modern, they had a number of special events. One was a panel discussion on fabric design which I got to participate in which I enjoyed thoroughly, particularly meeting the other designers and sharing notes. But I have to say the highlight of the whole show, AFTER seeing all the great quilts, was the talk I went to by Sherri Lynn Wood.
As you may know, I am now dipping my hand into quilting, just for the fun and art of it, and I really connect with many of the modern quilts I am seeing out there, and I really like the improvisational quilting style in particular. I don’t really want to make quilts that look like someone else’s or follow a specific tradition or direction. In my work, I design all the time for the commercial market, so when I sew I want to sew what I want to sew. Period. So hearing Sherri Lynn Woods speak about the improvisational process was just what I needed to really dig into the improv quilt I had started and make it happen. And I did finish it shortly after. ….Ahem…. except the binding, but I will post when it is all finished.
Another very cool thing that Sherri talked about was Passage Quilts. She works with people ” through collaboration, consultation and commission to make improvised quilts from the clothing and materials from everyday life”. Love this concept. Hits me right in that spot. And she showed us one she made for her mother, Linda Susan Wood (1943-2003) which she describes as a “passage, bereavement, memorial quilt made from my mother’s casual clothes, Sunday dresses, bathing suit, robes and the dress she wore to my wedding”
Sherri is SUCH a good speaker, highly recommend if you get a chance. With a long resume of exhibitions, artist residencies and workshops, and with masters in both fine art and theology, she has a lot to share. Here are a few shots of the quilts she shared that day, but you might want to check out her site, daintytime.net for more!