Saturday, November 21, 2009

"A Page from my Journal" quilt challenge

This week my quilt guild, the Choo Choo Quilters, revealed the results of its annual Guild Challenge. From a small guild of about 18 members, there was an excellent response—including an entry from a visiting quiltmaker. The 9 journal quilts on display illustrated memories of people, special occasions, and trips to places far and near in a variety of fabrics, stitches and trims.

The Challenge, entitled "A Page from my Journal," asked participants to take a page from their life's diary and document it in a 16" x 16" quilt. With a reference to the crazy quilt era in which fragments of clothing, decorative stitching and other embellishments were incorporated into quilts, entries were required to have at least 5 different woven or non-woven fabrics, 3 different decorative trims and include hand or machine embroidery in the composition. The quilt style could be pictorial, abstract, collage, pieced or appliqué.

Congratulations to all the participants and Challenge winners! Here are their "stories in cloth."

"Bad Hair Day" by Kim H.

"Pennsylvania Snow Day" by Deb H.

"Julia's Girls do the Town" by Cristy C.

"Ireland's Treasure" by Mayrelou S.

"Memories of Gram" by Veronica H.
Best Workmanship award
Viewers' Choice/Best of Show

"A Travel Journal" by Vista M.
Most Variety of Fabrics and Trims award
Best Use of Embroidery and Embellishments

"A Day in the Garden" by Sherry B.

"Birthdays" by Delores D.

"Pink is my new Favorite Color" by Ginny M.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A beautiful blend of tradition and contemporary fine art

My good friend and quilt group "sister," Tari Ristorcelli, sent me this video link of the "Rooted in Tradition" and "Sew—It's Art" quilt exhibit currently on display at the Florida International Museum at St. Petersburg College, in St. Petersburg, Florida. Tari's wool log cabin quilt was one of about 40 quilts juried into the "Sew—It's Art" Best of Pinellas County quilt exhibit. (Look for the orange, yellow and red quilt above the blue and purple star quilt.) She designed her piece in response to a guild Challenge.

Other quilt artists whose pieces are included in the exhibit are Yvonne Porcella, Carol Bryer Fallert, Pauline Salzman, Ann Johnson and Richard Schultz. See how history and tradition have influenced today's quiltmakers through these exquisite quilts.

Congratulations, Tari, on your beautiful quilt!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Inkle Weaving with Ann Mullican

If you've ever had an inkling about weaving, you might try an Inkle. Inkle weaving is a centuries old craft with many practical and contemporary uses.

Textiles woven on an inkle loom are long and narrow and lend themselves to items such as belts, bands, straps, trims and other narrow-format pieces. The inkle looms are portable, easy to use, and perfect for beginners.
I attended an Inkle Weaving workshop this weekend with instructor Ann Mullican from Hendersonville, NC. Ann is a wonderful teacher and a very accomplished weaver. The workshop was sponsored by the Riverbend Fiber Arts Guild in Chattanooga.

At the workshop, students used tabletop inkle looms to weave long pieces approximately 1.75" wide. The woven bands were then sewn to form a tetrahedron and made into a 3-dimensional doll.

Ann taught us how to design and graph the pattern, warp the looms and make a "butterfly" of the weft threads.

Here I am with weaving instructor, Ann Mullican (center), and Pat (right), a fellow fiber arts guild member and  fellow NIU (Northern Illinois University) alum.
These are the 3/2 pearl cotton warp threads on my inkle loom. The chartreuse thread wound into a butterfly is my weft.

Our inkle loom "dolls with character."
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