Thoughts on PIQF 2019

The Pacific International Quilt Festival was held this past weekend (plus Wednesday, Thursday and Friday) at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I really only had Friday to attend. This was a shame, because the quilts were actually more interesting this year than they have been in past years.

Julie and I met up at 11am and walked the show. I didn’t take as many photos as I have in the past. I wasn’t in the mood, I guess. I was in the mood to shop and bought a few nice things, including the Mary Poppins bag I was looking at last year. I also bought the various foam pieces I needed so I don’t have to scrounge around for those. I saw Odicoat for sale, but when I went back to buy it, they had sold out. I can get it easily on Amazon or Sew Sweetness, but I thought picking it up at PIQF would be easier since it was available. Oh well.

I was able to pick up a few things for raffle prizes for BAM next year.

The Secret Life of Carrots by Elaine Barnard
The Secret Life of Carrots by Elaine Barnard

My favorite quilt, I think, was The Secret Life of Carrots. This is a quilt by Elaine Barnard of South Africa, which Friend Julie pointed out to me.

One thing I like about it is the simplicity of the title, which hides the complexity of the design.

The Secret Life of Carrots by Elaine Barnard detail
The Secret Life of Carrots by Elaine Barnard detail

I also like the hangy-downy threads. I have often thought that art quilts use threads hanging off the quilt badly. They don’t fit in with the design and make me think the maker was lazy. This quilt uses that concept very well.

One big thought I had while looking at the show was that symmetry was not as much in evidence. I greatly admire the artistry of art quilts, improv quilts and modern quilts. However, one of the things I love about quiltmaking is blocks and, especially the symmetry of blocks and quilts made up of blocks. I didn’t see that people were using fresh, modern and contemporary fabrics to explore symmetry and blocks in a  new way. I guess blocks seem old-fashioned and everyone wants to be modern or make contemporary quilts. Even my quilt, FOTY 2017, which was on display, isn’t exactly a block quilt.

I really need two days for this show. It can be viewed in one day, but we spent 8 hours looking at quilts and shopping, I think, and that was really pushing it in terms of being on our feet. I felt rushed. I would have also liked more time at the vendors, but I didn’t NEED that.

Author: JayeL

Quiltmaker who enjoys writing and frozen chocolate covered bananas.

4 thoughts on “Thoughts on PIQF 2019”

  1. I agree about quilts and lack of symmetry. I guess that’s why I’m so traditional in my quilting. I do seem to be branching out into rows though. That’s something, I guess. I enjoy pictorial quilts but can’t picture myself ever making them.
    The carrot quilt was perfect for the hangy down threads. I can picture a dream catcher quilt or a quilt of something with fringe working also, but otherwise the threads would drive me nuts too.

    1. Have you ever read Ruth McDowell’s book Symmetry? It talks about 17 different types of symmetry. I think there is a lot in piecing yet to be explored. I admire art quilts, but if they are trying to replace photography, I do object. I guess people should make what they want. I love piecing and blocks.

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