Wednesday, March 30, 2011

New Jersey Quilt Fest pics!

As promised here are pics from the New Jersey Quilt Fest held earlier this month.

Once again I created a SmileBox slide show, because with 51 pics, it was toooooooo many to copy here one by one.  Most have the signage showing title of quilt, quilter and data about the quilt, but some, I just got carried away and started taking pics :-).

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Hope you enjoy the show :-)


Monday, March 28, 2011

In the Spotlight wins Honorable Mention at the Empire Quilter's Show!!

This past weekend one of the guilds I belong to, Empire Quilter's, held their bi-annual show:  Urban Inspirations 2011.  I was lucky enough to have two quilts in the show.  In the Spotlight and A Blaze of Glory.  If you remember, these are the same two quilts that were juried into the Mancuso, Virginia Quilt Fest.  Well, In the Spotlight won an Honorable Mention, in the Art Quilts category....  WooHoo!!!

Blaze of Glory was in the Wall Quilts category...

I really chuckled when I read the judges comments, because if you remember I felt kinda bewildered after reading the comments from Va Quilt Fest.  But thankfully, these judges gave both compliments as well as suggestions for improvement,...  like on Blaze, here are two of the comments:  1)  Scale of quilting is perfect for the design of the quilt, and 2) When using flange on a quilt try to make sure it is the same size all around the quilt.  Boy, I couldn't agree more and remember considering taking off the binding when I first finished the piece to try and fix the piping.  Compare those two comments to the comments from the Va show:  1)  Your quilting was all the same size, flattening the otherwise very daring composition., and 2) Like the use of piping.  So I guess as the saying goes, take a judges comments for what they are worth and move on :-).

And that is what I am going to do.  I submitted both of these quilts and a third in another show at the end of April.  I don't know if they will be accepted, but it will be interesting to hear what those judges have to say.

Anyway, for some reason, the colors and quality of my photos from the show aren't great, so I am only going to share those that are half decent.  Enjoy....

I love the beading on this piece.  The bodices on the dresses as is the bottom border are hand beaded!

The center applique figure is a pattern, which the quilter embellished with bead work.

Believe it or not, this was a Kaffe challenge.  All the skirts are made from Kaffe fabric.

I find this peice visually striking and her detail is exquisite!  Too bad I didn't get a close-up so you could appreciate the quilting.  Sorry :-)

This piece reminds me of many of my doodles, that have yet to be turned into a quilt....  oh well ...   The quilting really enhances the effectiveness of this piece.

Well hope you enjoyed the show!  I have pictures from two more shows that I have to share...  AQS Lancaster and Quilt Fest NJ.  Since I am traveling, maybe the nights in the hotel room will let me catch up.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

You know when it just isn't right..

Tonight I spent 2 hours frogging.  That's right I ripped out last nights quilting and it took me a full 2 HOURS!  Ughh...

But, I am sure this won't be the last time.  Funny thing is, last night I stopped quilting a piece I had been working on for the last week.  I am quilting a Christmas quilt for a friend.  I was very pleased with the feathers I did in the bowtie blocks last week.  Monday night I finished the sashing.  So I thought I would sail right along last night and quilt the boarder.  Well I practiced two different designs, decided on one and quilted 1 1/2 sides.  Then, I lost my mojo.  I just didn't feel like quilting anymore.  So I listened to my senses and called it a night.

Tonight when I sat down at the machine, I knew immediately why I stopped last night.  The quilt pattern just wasn't right for the piece.  My husband looked at me with two heads when he saw all the ripping out I was doing.  But, I know in my heart it was the right thing.

So back to the drawing board tomorrow....  or should I say, back to the sketchpad to find the right design for this quilt.  My friend keeps my husband and son in baked goods.  So I definitely need to make sure it is just right :-).


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Current Work In Progress

This started as a retirement present.  But not anymore.  I like it so much, I am keeping it for myself :-).  But first of course, I have to figure out how to quilt it.

I have had a lot of fun with this piece.  First when researching correct abdomen definition of male ballet dancers for when I quilt it, I found quite a bit of discussion on why modern day male dancers of all types stuff their fronts!  You know for definition below the abs :-).  Second, I have had the fabric I used for the outer boarder for awhile.  It was inspiration for the color palette for the piece.  But when it came time to actually add the boarder, I could not use the fabric as it came off the bolt.  The circles were too big and too far about for my needs.  So instead, I had to fussy cut the circles from their existing black background and with fusible create the new boarder fabric.  I rather like the effect with the half circles circling the top.  Next, I started having fun with how I will embellish the dancer.  He is actually wearing a loincloth underneath the ribbon sheath I have pinned on.  But I know once he is quilted, I will shape the sheath and add additional embellishments.  More fun waiting to happen.

I know I want to do some type of hieroglyphic quilting in the background behind the dancer.  I have a Superior Rainbow that will just blend right into the background, while still adding a punch.  I know from my research, I want to add some definition to the dancers abs, to make him not only look more realistic, but also to provide for even quilting in the center.

The piece measures just under 48" x 60".  It is a lot bigger than I originally envisioned, but I am loving every inch!

Hugs, Renee

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Who's going to MQX East in Providence, Rhode island next month?

I am excited. For the first time since I started machine quilting, I am going to attend MQX East this year..... WooHoo!!

So who will I meet? Will you be there? I will arrive sometime on Thursday the 14th and be in Providence until Sunday.

Any recommendations on things I should do?


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Quilt show judge comments

So my quilts came back today from The Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival. I was so happy to have them juried into the show, but getting them back was just as exciting. Why you ask? Because one of the reasons I wanted to enter such a large show and have my quilts judged was to start getting comments from some well known, international judges. I am emotionally ready to grow from comments/critiques made by 'the experts'.

Well I must say, I was a little disappointed. Yes, there was some constructive criticism if that is what you call it..... "Your quilting was all the same size, flattening the otherwise very daring composition.". So am I supposed to interpret this to mean that I executed the daring composition nicely, but ruined it by making all the quilting too uniform in size?

I did enjoy one comment on the same quilt, which read.... "Van Gough would have appreciated your choice of color, as he once said, there is no blue without orange and yellow".

I was disappointed reading the comments on my latest piece, "In the Spotlight". The only two comments read: like the boarder treatment on the ride and bottom, and like the subtle use of beads. It was is they didn't have time to provide real input, so they stated the obvious.

Yes, I know judging 200 quilts is a real daunting task. And no my work is not up to par with some of the internationally known Quilters who had quilts in the show, but I was hoping for either some real insightful comments or a number rating that would have given me a view of what they thought of where my work sat in areas of composition, choice of color and fabric, quilting, etc....

Oh well, they came back today and Saturday I take the same two quilts to be judged for the Empire Quilters 2011 Urban Inspirations Show, later this month at F.I.T in NYC.

Let's see if I am just expecting too much :-)