Friday, November 05, 2010

A Quilt Gathering, Nashua, NH

Rhonda Beyer made this grand prize winning quilt which had the place of honor at the show in Nashua, NH that I went to yesterday with the Bayberry Quilt group. It was a beautiful combination of taupe and black. That it was expertly sewn goes almost without saying. The feathered stars were perfectly made, which is why I include the detail below. In the full size picture you can see that there are designs in black around the inside border -- these were all machine embroidered and each was different.
This quilt is truly a combination of traditional piecing [although probably the feathered stars were paper pieced] along with the technology of what today's expensive sewing machines can do. Add to that the current interest in taupe -- a "fad" imported from Japan where taupe has been very popular for the last 3 or 4 years. It has not been a big hit with American quilters but here it was extremely effective. I totally agreed with the judges that this was the most outstanding quilt in the show.
Otherwise I was under-whelmed by the show. Many traditional designs, mostly using very modern fabrics were well made but very little was unique or able to hold my attention very long. There were only a small handful of what I would call art quilts, of which this is the most unique and interesting one. It was badly displayed at about knee level -- an indication of the quilt show curators of their interest in art quilts.

This bright pineapple quilt was probably the one that will inspire me to make something along the same lines. There was also a Chinese coin quilt that did not photograph very well because what I liked about it was that the fabrics chosen were so well blended they created another fabric. This seems a bit too "sweet" but I could imagine it in other colors working with much more pizzazz.

I was only able to credit the prize winner because it was easy to find her in the show booklet. When I had taken a picture of another I was told by the quilt police [a "white glove volunteer] that I couldn't use my pen to jot down in a tiny notebook which quilts I took pictures of. For some reason that is unfathomable to me, pens and pencils were forbidden on the show floor. Other rules that appalled me were that the volunteers were not allowed to turn over the quilt so a viewer could see the back [which is the usual job of the white glove ladies] and that absolutely no food or drink was allowed on the floor including water. I have never heard anything more ridiculous at a quilt show. No food makes sense the rest is another example of the rampant paranoia that is affecting American society today. We are making ourselves into a self-policed state with ridiculous rules and fears that "something could happens". I for one don't want to live in a society where nothing ever happens.

The show's special attraction was a collection of Amish quilts, many large ones -- but all recent, i.e., from the '50s onward when most of the skill and color sense had been lost, alas, yes, even the Amish are Americanized! They had begun making quilts quickly for sale using pattterns that would sell. Sad. I've seen true antique ones and thought that was what I would be seeing. A nice collection of miniature Amish quilts were older and some really wonderful with startlingly small pieces. Of course all photography was forbidden -- more quilt police, although in this case, they are able to make a reasonable argument for damage being possible from the light although, actually, I don't buy it.

I was not in a good mood most of the day -- the vender section was far larger than the show and they were so crowded movement was almost impossible - plus many women were walking about with huge tote bags bumping and thumping one another. And to add insult to injury the Raddison Hotel which has surely hosted many other large events in those rooms was unable to keep up with the line of people waiting for lunch and not replenishing food quickly. Of course it was over priced but one expects that. I had one positive about the day but I will write about that another time.

No comments :