Saturday, April 14, 2012

Machine Quilting Expo. Providence, R.I.

I went with a group of Bayberry Quilt Guild colleagues to the Machine Quilting Expo in Providence, R.I. on Thursday. I took very few photos. I did not fall in love with most of what I saw. Some small whole cloth machine quilted pieces were awesome -- in its proper usage. Of the "how did anyone have the patience to do something so perfectly?" Those are quilts I just look at with my jaw agape and do not aspire to do. I felt that many of the "regular" pieced quilts were marvelously done, a little baroque and not especially interesting. I felt a sameness, a lack of inspiration. Two pieces of thread painting by Barbara McKie which I'd already seen in magazines, a Sheltie and a cat lapping water from a running faucet were brilliantly done. The cat looked most amazing in a magazine, but looking at them I found the Sheltie more appealing. Funny, as I've mentioned often, what photographs can do.
I have been watching the advance of the so called "modern" quilts which are, in effect, a return to quite simple piecing, often one patch, with lots of white or carefully chosen, relatively muted colors. A pair of young men quilters had a display of at least a dozen such quilts. These two photos are theirs. The machine quilting on them is close together but very simple, usually straight lines, not even stippled. I find this simplicity refreshing after the over the top piecing and embroidery that is on most of the quilts that win ribbons in shows today.


The convention hall in Providence is a very nice venue for a quilt show. The lighting is uniformly excellent. There is plenty of space for this show and for the many vendors -- many, of course with long arm machines that cost almost as much as compact car. Ah, but with them, one can start a cottage industry and earn the money back ... with a lot of hard work, of course. I am not a proponent of technology for it's own sake but I think the initial gaga reaction to long arm quilting is giving way to more judicious practices. Good.

3 comments :

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

June -- I have always had a great admiration for quilters -- both those that have passed on and those that are what I refer to as modern quilters. Probably because I love the touch of a hand in any form of art work. I believe it would be difficult for me to transition my appreciation to the new techniques you speak of in this post. But -- I do believe that one can teach an old dog new tricks.

Ladydy5 aka: Diane Yates said...

Woof! Woof!

June Calender said...

A lot of the new tricks depend upon having extremely expensive machines. Much quilting is technology overlaid on the original creativity. I'm enough of a Ludite to dislike when the technology seems to be esteemed more than the creatitivy. That's why I especially liked the fairly simple quilts in the photos and didn't feel inspired to take photos of the very complex quilts.

Thanks for your comments. I think Ladydy means she's learning new tricks - but I know it's not the ones that require multi-thousand dollar machinery.