Friday, 9 January 2015

IQF 2014 in Photos Part 2: Coloursssss

For my last day in Ireland, a dull, grey, miserable, rainy day, I've decided to look at the quilts popped into my Coloursss category! Colour is so subjective, so I don't for a second expect these quilts to necessarily appeal to all of you. I did an interesting exercise for myself a month or so ago. I went through my Inspiring Quilts pinterest board which has over 250 quilts on it, and asked myself which ones would I actually consider putting on my own bed. I came out with only 14 quilts. I couldn't believe it but my personal style, which I couldn't have described before this exercise, is for lots of colour, almost always includes shades of pink, and shapes I find relaxing (it is a bed after all). That's not to say I wouldn't choose the other 200 odd quilts for inspiration if they weren't going on my own bed, but I wanted to know about my own very personal aesthetic. I know I've spent most of my time so far making quilts for others so their style has always been the primary concern. Something to maybe think about for yourself?

Anyway, back to Festival!

Yellow Sky by Shirley Gisi
I can't find a website for Shirley Gisi but I did find an interview she did at Festival for Quilt Alliance talking about a different quilt, you can watch that here if you like! I love Yellow Sky, Shirley describes it as depicting scenery from the Southwest with an abstract landscape and geometric quilting shapes. It's entirely machine pieced using freezer paper piecing and then home machine quilted. I've included it here in my colours section but honestly the shapes draw me in just as much, the juxtaposition of awkward angles and big round curves combined with those rich deep colours completely envelop me each time. The darker outer border which is a continuation of the quilt is so clever as a frame, effective but not at all distracting! I haven't even begun to wax on about her use of light and shade, that river! Suffice to say, I love this one and the skills are something to aspire to for me.

Maui Gold by Karen Donobedian
My photograph doesn't do justice to the beautiful colours of Maui Gold by Karen Donobedian. Someone else I've failed to find online, I'll never get a job as a private eye at this rate. This quilt is inspired from a public domain photograph at NOAA which Karen decided to render at sunset rather than the daytime it was taken in. Raw-edged fused applique, with painting and threadwork to define the colours of the ocean and sky. Applique is something I want to explore a lot more this year and it's interesting to see the range of output that can be achieved from the technique. I want to learn more about quilt painting as well - does it render the quilt only useable as art? Can you make a fully functional bed quilt that's painted? I know you can buy inks and dyes that can be heat set, but can you achieve this level of blending and nuance with them? So much to find out :)

Identity Crisis by Suzan Engler
Suzan Engler specialises in digital painting and artistry, she then prints her paintings onto fabric and quilts them with variegated thread on her home sewing machine. I love the result. I would buy this calf and hang him in my apartment if I could afford him. The colours, his eyes, his shiny nose and those big ears. I wonder why Identity Crisis though? Because she straddles several worlds of artistry and creation, maybe? Or does the calf have a back story I don't know? Either way I've toyed with the idea of printing out some of the maps my husband makes at work onto fabric and quilting them, I always want to start bed sized though. Maybe I need to do some small practise ones first!

Tutti Frutti City Skyline by Susan Bleiweiss
Sue Bleiweiss had a couple of quilts around Festival and I think i took a picture of each of them. They are part of an on-going series using hand-dyed cotton, raw-edged fused applique, and machine quilting. Sue describes them as whimsical and the word that comes to mind for me is jaunty. I particularly like the billboard which shows a paler version of the same type of buildings!

In a similar vein is Prince Charming's Shoe Sale by Pam RuBert which really made me laugh.

Prince Charming's Shoe Sale by Pam RuBert
Finally, is Life After 40...From Constriction to Creativity by Betty Hahn.

Life After 40...From Constriction to Creativity by Betty Hahn
The quilt is painted and machine quilted. I think this is my favourite every time I see it. It feels so wild and free and the colours are just fantastic, that deep yellow with the peachy pink and cool bluey-greens - divine. Then you read the thought behind it and for me it gets so much better!

"After all the rules of the years before age 40, the 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s have been                 wonderfully freer and more creative. The lower left corner shows a happy creative life with       rules. The rest of the quilt shows an ever freer sense of creativity."

Maybe by seeing this quilt I can begin to shed my reliance on rules and having the right way or the right answer sooner? Maybe we have to journey through the rules in order to successfully shed them? I don't know, but I love this woman's journey and I love this quilt.


  1. Love these Aoife, the Yellow Sky and Tutti Fruitti in particular - thanks for showing them to us!

  2. Very cool display of quilts, but I would also be interested to see the 14 you would choose for your bed:)


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