As soon as I got off work on Friday, my friends were waiting for me out front. I hopped in Kaci’s car and we headed to the Fauntleroy Ferry. My parents departed from Sequim around the same time and we all met up at Island Quilter on Vashon Island to check out the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild‘s Binary Two Color Quilt Challenge Exhibit. The challenge was just what it sounds like – using two colors to create a quilt. The creativity and array of ways this challenge was interpreted was a treat to see.
When I first learned that the opening reception landed on my dad’s 62nd birthday, I told him he didn’t need to spend his birthday at a quilt show. His response was, “There’s nowhere else I’d rather be.” How nice is that? I’m truly one lucky person to have so much support in my quilting endeavors. Being able to peruse the exhibit with my parents and four of my closest friends made the evening even better. Here’s a look at some of the quilts at the show — they were stunning from afar and up close. If you’d like to see them for yourself, they’ll be on display until Thursday, February 6th, 2014.
Upon arrival, I noticed that Carrie’s yellow and gray quilt was one of the two quilts displayed in the front window.
The detail on her quilt was intricate and innovative. I liked how she mostly used solid fabrics, but included a few prints.
I was so excited to see Allison’s quilt displayed in the front window too. She truly is a freezer paper piecing champion and I enjoyed watching parts of this quilt come together as she pieced blocks and free motion quilted at sew-ins.
One of the things I appreciate about Allison’s quilt is that she free motion quilted the entire thing on her home machine. Her quilting design was ambitious and I love that she jumped in and went for it, even with a large quilt.
The back of Allison’s quilt was a magnified version of the block she used on the front, which I thought was an excellent choice. The quilting stood out beautifully on the gray negative space.
Sandie’s quilt was a joy to see in real life. I had a deeper appreciation for this quilt after reading her blog post about her first attempt at a two color quilt, which was destined to become a gorgeous 2+ color quilt instead. I’m impressed with people who are willing to let go of one idea when it doesn’t feel like the right fit and wait until another option comes to them. Because she realized that her original quilt for this challenge would be better off including more than two colors, all of us get to enjoy this blue and white quilt, which is such a perfect fit for this challenge.
Her quilt was gorgeous from afar and had so much more character when examined up close.
I enjoyed chatting with Sandie at the reception about how much she enjoyed using Krista Withers‘ longarm to quilt it. Sandie quilted almost everything except for the feathers, which Krista did since she has so much practice at quilting feathers.
You can read more about how this quilt came together by reading Sandie’s post about quilting it with Krista. I’m always fascinated by people’s stories about their creative process.
A joke in the guild was that this challenge could have easily been named the Season Evans Challenge, since she has a signature style of commonly using two colors. She has a real eye for keeping quilts simple and elegant. I love that she used a red binding on the section beside the red triangles and a white binding for the rest.
Season recently started selling her quilts on her website S.D. Evans Quilts. The picture above is from her website and depicts one of her quilts that she recently sold. She said she used the extra red and white half square triangles from the quilt she sold to create the quilt she displayed at Island Quilter.
I first chatted with Debbie at the PNW Meet-Up of local modern quilt guilds in Portland, which is when I learned that she blogs on a daily basis. Go Debbie! When I asked some people from the guild a few months ago if they’d be interested in helping make quilts for a memorial quilt project at the non-profit where I work, Debbie immediately stepped up and offered to put bindings on three quilts. Not only is she a talented quilter, but she’s a giver.
When I first saw her quilt at a Show and Tell, I assumed after looking at it from afar that the different shades of green were from a printed fabric. However, when I looked at the quilt up close and asked her about it, I realized the greens were pieced together! Impressive.
At another Show and Tell, I first saw Louise’s paper pieced alligator. I’m so impressed with people who can paper piece on a machine — it’s definitely a quilting skill I want to learn in 2014.
I love that when I go to sew-ins I get to see quilts in a variety of stages. At one of the last sew-ins I attended before the exhibit, I got to chat with Martha about how her two color quilt was inspired by Anni Albers’ weaving.
One of my favorite parts of Martha’s quilt was her pop of fabric showcasing chairs. She came up with the name “Albers’ Orange Chair” for the quilt at one of the sew-ins. I thought that was quite the creative way to give credit to Anni Albers for the inspiration and point out the orange chair in one of the triangles. Whenever someone includes one or two pops of an unexpected fabric, my mom and I call that piece of fabric a “Denyse” — we came up with that name after noticing that Denyse Schmidt commonly adds pops of unexpected fabrics in her finished quilts.
I’m always intrigued when people are creative with the bindings on their quilts. It’s so easy to just choose one fabric for the binding and call it a day, so I appreciate that Martha took the time to add the extra layer of interest by including a splice of the chair fabric in the binding at the top of the quilt. The little lines of white are from the legs of the chairs.
When I attended my first Seattle Modern Quilt Guild meeting, one of the books I had checked out from the library at the time was Quilting Modern: Techniques and Projects for Improvisational Quilts, which Katie wrote with Jacquie Gering. The quilt Katie submitted for the show at Island Quilter was one that was almost included in the book, but didn’t end up in the final version. Lucky us it met the criteria for the two color quilt challenge! Haven’t seen the book yet? I’d recommend checking it out.
The quilting up close was stunning and was done by longarm quilter Angela Walters.
Chandra’s quilt ingeniously includes the words “Kerplink Kerplank Kerplunk” from the children’s book Blueberries for Sal. Talk about a cute and creative baby quilt — it even encourages literacy! I was sitting beside Chandra at a sew-in when she realized she didn’t have enough purple fabric to make the entire background of her quilt. This was one of those moments where she had to decide what to do and she went with using a slightly different shade of purple in addition to the one she already had. I’m glad this happened because the two shades of purple fabric added a new dimension to the quilt.
Chandra’s free motion quilting was gorgeous to view up close. With all the quilts I’ve seen made by Chandra, her quilting adds a totally new layer to the finished quilt. Looking at different sections of this quilt showcased her range in ability to make different quilt designs.
My submission was a two-sided quilt I made for my co-worker Carl, which I entitled “11:40 PM with Carl”. I’ll provide the background story and how I made this quilt soon. Being able to have a quilt included in the show was such a treat.
Here’s to hopefully more quilt shows and more challenges! I really enjoy being part of such a thriving quilting community.