PIQF 2016 Review

Last Sunday, I took some time to visit PIQF, the Pacific International Quilt Show put on by the Mancuso family. It was, again held at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I was pleased that there was no 49ers game (the stadium is across the street) as I had no interest in fighting THAT traffic.

It was the last day of the quilt show and I could tell all of the vendors were tired. I wasn’t able to find any Aurifil #2600 50wt and found that many of the vendors were out of the most popular items.

In general, I thought that the show showed a slight improvement this year. In terms of quilts shown, I found them brighter and more cheerful.

detail of Ophelia by Marilyn Farquhar, Heidelberg, Ontario, Canada
detail of Ophelia by Marilyn Farquhar, Heidelberg, Ontario, Canada

The machine work was still excellent and quiltmakers seem to continue to push the boundaries. The Best of Show was someone new this year, which also pleased me. There were new vendors and some vendors had been moved around.

The modern exhibit was really excellent and number of BAMers had quilts in that exhibit.

I saw many more Southern California and out of state quiltmakers showing than Northern California quiltmakers. I wonder about that: first, is my impression correct; second: why are more So-Cal and out of state people entering and are we Northern Californians not entering as much? I know I did not enter a quilt this year.

I drove with my SIL down to the show. She spent most of the show talking to longarm vendors. I got her take on the machines during lunch and the drives. I was really glad the show provided her the opportunity to talk to multiple vendors in one place. While she was doing that, I walked up and down nearby aisles and was able to look at most of the vendors and quilts while she got the information she needed from various longarm vendors.

Untitled by Linda Evans of Murrieta, Calif.
Untitled by Linda Evans of Murrieta, Calif.

I have always wanted to make a season quilt. I don’t know why, but I like the imagery of the seasons indicating the passage of time.

I am not sure I need to make a seasons quilt now as this one is really great. I love the curviness of the shapes and imagery. Of course, there were things I would do differently, so, perhaps, I do need to make one. 😉

Teal in the City by Elaine Lindsay, Cupertino Calif.
Teal in the City by Elaine Lindsay, Cupertino Calif.

I was pleased to see one Tula Pink City Sampler quilt,  Teal in the City by Elaine Lindsay, Cupertino Calif. Seeing this quilt inspired me to continue working on mine. I like the way Ms. Lindsay used a cohesive color palette. The blocks really fit together. I also like the different sashing colors for her blocks. That is a good idea. Seeing a done City Sampler in person also gives me an idea of the size. It is large but not crazy large. It would probably fit on our bed, if we needed another bed quilt. 😉

Cactus Fish, a collaboration between Freddy Moran and Alethea Ballard, Walnut Creek, Calif.
Cactus Fish, a collaboration between Freddy Moran and Alethea Ballard, Walnut Creek, Calif.

You might remember that I talked about Freddy Moran’s new ‘appliquilt’ style of work. I was pleased to see one of her quilts, Cactus Fish, a collaboration with Alethea Ballard, in this style at the show. It was one of the quilts she showed in July. I just can’t remember if it was finished at the time or if it was still in progress.

One day isn’t really enough. I walked down a couple of rows twice, once by myself and once with SIL. I found myself not remembering the quilts I had already seen. I consider myself someone with a good visual memory. I may need to rethink that. There is a lot of visual stimulation at a quilt show and even I couldn’t take it all in in one day.

Some themes I noticed:

  • several Peacock quilts
  • Ophelia by Marilyn Farquhar, Heidelberg, Ontario, Canada
    Ophelia by Marilyn Farquhar, Heidelberg, Ontario, Canada

    secondarily, a number of interesting animal quilts – not in a photorealism style, which I appreciated

  • fewer dark landscape quilts
  • less photorealism
  • fewer art quilts, though the ones I did see were interesting.
  • I noticed a number of brighter, more whimsical quilts
  • There was a lot more negative space, even in quilts not in the Modern exhibit

Some improvements the Mancusos could still make:

  • white drapes instead of black would lighten up the whole show.
  • continue to vett vendors and replace out of date/boring vendors
  • more modern vendors
  • require vendors to have new fabrics, not just old stuff they keep in their traveling kit
  • limit non-quilt supplies vendors

Of course, I am not a quilt show organizer (though I am happy to consult!) and I am glad to have such a large show so close to me. It is easy for me to say what I think should be changed, but it is not always easy to make the changes. Incremental changes are easier to make and less of a risk. I wish they would publish year over year attendance records, so I could see how the changes they made this year affected attendance, though they might not see an increase until next year.

PIQF 2016 Purchases
PIQF 2016 Purchases

I bought a few things, but not the items that were on my list. The fabric will be a quick quilt for the grandson of one of my Austrian friends. I want to finish (work on??) the Windmill quilt. Since I still have not been able to find the template I bought another. Silly, but necessary. I also am always on the hunt for sharp needles with big eyes. I bought another Tulip brand pack to try them on Under the Sea.