Here are some photos from the 2007 San Francisco Quilters’ Guild Show, which is this weekend at the San Francisco Concourse. I was pleasantly surprised. There were a lot of quilts and it was a good quilt interlude in the midst of the winter. They seem to have the lighting thing worked out, so it didn’t look dismal. I was also pleased to see that people in the SFQG use color unlike the entries in PIQF, many of which were so depressing.
My favorite booth was Custom Woodworks by Jeff. I bought three Creative Grid rulers (8″ square, 9″ square and a yard stick ruler) from him and coveted a cutting table with a pull out ironing board. He does beautiful work.
I was also thrilled to see Jennifer of Pumpkin Seed Quilts and Textiles. She a booth there and is trying to see what is next now that the shop is closed. I bought a big piece of the turquoise and grey border print from her.
Books and Media: If you haven’t bought the book, Collaborative Quilting by Freddy Moran and Gwen Marston, RUN don’t walk to the nearest quilt shop to buy it. Collaborative Quilting couldn’t be more perfect. It was only $20, had techniques and NO patterns. The BEST part was that it has color photos on at least 85% of the 255 pages. If you love fabric and learning techniques (not patterns) and making FUN quilts and looking at FUN quilts, then this book is for you. This is the perfect book for me! I can wander through it and look at the quilts and the fabric combinations and read the bits on color that Freddy writes, peruse Gwen’s liberating quiltmaking. This is the kind of book that inspires me to be creative. I am going to look out for more Sterling Press books, because I think they are reaching beyond the pattern books on which most quilt publishers are focusing. They are not pandering to the lowest common denominator; they are encouraging us to reach.
We also ordered the Journal Quilt book. It wasn’t ready to bring to the show, so Patricia Bolton of Quilting Arts magazine and Cloth, Paper Scissors offered us (and everyone else, I suppose) free shipping if we ordered it then and there. I can’t give a complete review, because I haven’t seen it yet, but, again, no patterns. Lots of pictures of the journal quilts. I am looking forward to another source of inspiration.
There were a group of Alzheimer’s quilts at PIQF, which were some of the best quilts there. No pictures were allowed, but they had a CD, which we bought.
Fabric and Materials: The Scrappy Appleyard (alas, no website that I could find) can be reached at (702) 806-8918. They were unbelieveably nice to us when we were looking for a certain pink striped fabric. They let us take a photo of one of their quilts and didn’t act like we were taking food out of their children’s mouths for asking. I am not sure why I am so surprised, but the whole (true or not true?) idea of all quiltmakers being friends was highly overrated in the vendor area. The vendors didn’t really seem happy to be at PIQF this year. There were lots of signs saying not to take pictures of their quilt samples. I can understand wanting people to buy the patterns, but the signage seemed very offputting. I am sure there is better terminology. “Please ask before you photograph” provides a way for the vendors to get people interested in their products and makes a connection with a potential customer.
I love the different widths of that pink stripe and also the pink and white diamond. Nobody else knew what the fabric was, but the owner of the Apple Scrapyard did and we were able to find it on the web. We would have called her and bought it from her, but she said she didn’t have anymore. I believe I have a pink quilt in me that is dying to come out. It needs to get in line!
The Good, the Bad and Not the Ugly: On the way home, we stopped at a store in San Mateo called Always Quilting. We had vaguely tried to find the store before, but were in completely the wrong part of San Mateo. The Bad: The store is hard to find! It is in an anonymous office complex with NO signage outside on the street or on the building. My unsolicited suggestion was a sandwich board or something that they could set up on the street. The location seems to me to be big problem in terms of sales. I am not their financial consultant and I hope their online store is making up for the lack of foot traffic. We perservered, however, and did eventually find it. The good part was that there was PLENTY of off street parking. Those office buildings have huge parking lots and with none of the workers there we didn’t have to lug our purchases very far. 🙂 They said that they were planning to move towards the end of the year to a different space. Good plan! I really wish them well. It is nice to know that there is a nice sized store with great fabrics nearby.
The store also looked like a hurricane had hit it. It was a wreck with bolts of fabric every where. Some of it was that they had so much fabric. I am sure part of it was that they had pulled many bolts from the shelves to gear up for PIQF, but I was tripping over fabric and that was not a good thing. I am sure their new space will be better and I look forward to seeing it.
The Good: They have great fabrics and a big space. I found a great group of snowflake-like dots by Moda that we had not seen before. I have already cut pieces of some of them for Thoughts on Dots and have found the colorways to be quite useful for cheering up the piece.
They also have a long arm machine and may be getting a new one. They give classes on how to use the longarm and that appeals to me. While I may not want to longarm all of my quilts, I am interested in the process and think I could work with my quilter better, if I knew more about the process. They will be giving classes after the first of the year and I will try and sign up for one.
Fabric Chores: I got my act together to wash the fabric and St. JCN, kind and generous soul that she is, pressed and folded it all for me.
The chores fabrics on the bottom in the photo above I plan to use in the Women’s Work series. You can see Women’s Work 1 at Artquiltmaker.com. Another piece, Women’s Work 2, is still in process. It uses techniques and ideas from a Gwen Marston class I took a few years ago.
St. JCN also helped me dig up my front flower bed, get out the bulbs and replant them. We had to buy a few more bulbs, because many had disappeared somewhere unknown and some were rotten. This is the beginning of the landscaping of my yard. This is not something I want to do, but I want it done and St. JCN is good at it and will lead me through it by the hand. HOpefully it won’t be too painful. 😉
Other Thoughts: The show was very crowded and sometimes I get overwelmed with noise and visual stimulation. I thought that, if I were alone, bringing some kind of portable music device (iPod, Discman, Walkman, Muvo, etc.) with your soothing music of choice might be a way of keeping overstimulation to a minimum. It might look a little unfriendly, though.
I attended the Pacific International Quilt Festival and took a few photos. If you’d like to see them, click on one of the links below:
I stayed down in Santa Clara and went to the show Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning. My first impression was that the quilts were reflecting the mood of the world: grim. Lots of brown and grey and beige. I always walk through the quilts first and then go back a second time to take photos. This time some of the photos came out poorly, so I went back to some quilts a third time. I think it is important for me to go through the quilts at least twice. Only on the second viewing did I begin to appreciate some of the finer details of the works. I was able to appreciate some of the quilts the second time around that turned me off for some reason or another the first time through.
I think design is still a challenge for people. While I am not an expert, I think it is something that people in the quilt world really need to work on. As we break out of the block format, it becomes more important to know the principles of design and consider them when making your quilt. Without the block/linear, grid-based format, we don’t have a ready made format for balance, repetition and some of the other elements of a good design.
I think part of my poor attitude on Thursday was that I was pretty uptight from the general things that make you uptight. After a day and a half of being away from the demands, the routine and the money pit I call home, I was relaxed enough to be able to appreciate the details and the overall effect. My one plea after LEARN DESIGN? USE COLOR!!!!
Before PIQF, St. JCN and I also took in the Quilt National exhibit, currently at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles. After seeing it, but BEFORE seeing PIQF, I was, again, less than impressed (hard to please, aren’t I?). With the perspective of PIQF, I realized that there are some great quilts in QN. There were a few, though that made me wonder what the judges were thinking.
We also took in Gee’s Bend at the deYoung in San Francisco. This was my second look. I never blogged about the first one, because I was annoyed at all of the art snobs who were there. Then I was annoyed at my mom for saying they were doing the right thing by looking long and hard at the quilts. Oh how I hate to be wrong! Another thing to work on. I may still blog about it. Better late than never, eh?
The deYoung was supposed to switch out some of the Gee’s Bend quilts at the end of September, so I made a special effort to go before the switch and after, except that they didn’t switch them out! If they did, I couldn’t tell and that means my mother is RIGHT and I didn’t look at the quilts! The quilts will be there through the end of December, so perhaps I will make it again?
St. JCN and I decided after seeing Gee’s Bend and QN that we would try to figure out if a) quilts at PIQF were influenced by the Gee’s Bend quilts and b) whether or not grid-based linear design was making a comeback in art quilts. We found that many of the quilts said in their statements that they had seen the Gee’s Bend exhibit and were inspired or influenced by it. Some of the quilts that looked like the Gee’s Bend quilts are:
One of the biggest disappointments was the dearth of fabric. Normally, we buy a lot between us. This time, I barely bought any and St. JCN did not have to ship her fabric back. There were no fabulous fabrics. The new Robbi Joy fabrics weren’t there, the new P&B Serendipity, the new colorways from Denyse Schmidt were all absent and we saw very few dots. We were told that two printing plants in South Korea had abruptly shut down leaving some of the fabric manufacturers high and dry for their new lines of fabric. I haven’t tried very hard to verify this story, but heard it in two different places. Whatever the reason, it was a disappointment, though my wallet appreciated it. Still, I did manage to find some dots that are finding their way into Thoughts on Dots.
The other problem was that many, many of the fabrics were packaged into packs or into 1 yard sizes. I passed many fabrics by, because I did not want to buy a yard. how many backs does a person need? Graphic Impressions was one booth that had great fabrics in reasonable sizes. Sadly they do not have a website that I have, thus far, been able to find. We were told in no uncertain terms that most quiltmakers don’t want to bother with picking out their own colors for their quilts. I saw packages with patterns and fabrics flying out of the booths. It is a sad day if quiltmakers no longer want to put colors together or choose their patterns. To each his own, I suppose.
One highlight was the lectures. We usually attend the lectures rather than the classes, though we have taken classes as well. We attended Robbi Joy Eklow’s lecture which followed a lecture by Rosario Casanovas.
Rosario Casanovas is a Spanish quilt shop owner and teacher. She is also one of the founding members of the Spanish quilt guild. She lectured on the history of quiltmaking in Spain and about the contemporary work being done. It was very interesting to see their work, becuase there is a tradition of quiltmaking in Spain. The log cabin, though with a larger center than we are used to, is he patern that is the most well known. It is exciting to see their work, too, because of the interesting take on design. It is a sort of no fear approach.
Robbi Joy, as usual, was her funny funny self. She did the whole lecture sitting on the floor directing her slideshow and technology from her computer. She is quite hilarious. She went through a lot of her quilts and showed us a video, which is a quilt geek video. It is for those of us who know nothing about Brittany Spears and would much rather know everything about Robbi Joy and our other quilt celebrities. Apparently, Robbi’s son, Josh, does a video of her every year. His blog is New Roach Motel. The video can be seen there. You have to scroll down to September 25th.
Robbi showed us a number of her quilts.
I guess I like the lectures because we get a small taste of a teacher. I would love to see Mancuso podcast these lectures.
St. JCN is much more eloquent than I on various topics of design, etc. Her thoughts are also much more organized than mine. I steal her ideas occasionally for this blog, because she can describe well what I am thinking and feeling about art, quilts, art quilts and design. I try to get her to write guest spots, but she won’t, so I am forced to do it. 😉 Perhaps someday…. Anyway for more on Gee’s Bend, design and QN, see my post AKA rant from a few days ago.
Mull over these photos from the weekend. Check back, I may annotate them. Until then, make up your own stories!
I love county fairs and wish that more people would enter their work. It is not a “highbrow” art organization, but everyone’s art and every entry is welcome. I also wish people would attend more county fairs.
It is great to see the wonderful and unusual items that people make and enter. It is great to see what people are doing in their homes: what they are collecting, the types of Lego and K’Nex constructions they build, the photos they take, the cakes they bake, the jams they cook and table settings they concoct, etc. I think county fairs are such a community event. You can really see stuff by your neighbors…. if more people would enter and attend.
That said, I have to admit that I didn’t enter something this year. I have done every year for the past several years and I just didn’t have (make??) the time this year. I will for sure next year. It is expensive to attend the fair ($32 for admission and parking), so getting the free tickets and parking passes from entering an exhibit is really worth it.
The boys were really interested in the Junior exhibits. They all reviewed all the Lego and K’Nex constructs very carefully and swore to build something for next year’s fair. We’ll see.
I, of course, went to the see the quilts. There were quite a number of them. I was, however, shocked at the California Living Building and the displays. There were no banners hanging outside. The building has been redone. It is not as light inside as it used to be. In previous years, quilts had been hung high up on the walls -near the ceiling, which made them hard to photograph, but made the building seem very cheerful. This year most of the quilts, even the prize winning quilts, were hung low and draped over something else or hung on racks very close together. At first I thought there weren’t very many quilts, but in the back of the hall I found quite a few, once I looked at the racks. There were some very nice quilts, especially a couple of star quilts that were amazingly intricate.
Mom and I went to the Great Petaluma Quilt Show last weekend (8/13). We had a good time spending time with each other (a rarity these days) and looking at the quilts. We had a nice time – lunch at McNear’s and iced coffees at a smoothie place that was brand new. It wasn’t hot, but I was comfortable in my skort and t-shirt. I had my jacket along and kept putting it on and taking it off as the clouds passed overhead. I was hoping for kind of hot weather as we have seen nothing but fog at home since mid June.
Petaluma is a nice little town, once the egg capital of the world. Kentucky Street has great, period storefronts, both architecture-wise and retail-wise. I bought a couple of Christmas gifts (yes already!) at an interesting shop that I was sure I would remember the name of, but have since forgotten. I also admired the tiles in the entryways of the various establishments. As I am such a fan of tile and mosaics, I took some photos of the more interesting (and clean) ones for future inspiration.
The thing I like about tile and mosaics, in general, is that the designs relate to quilt designs, thus providing inspiration. I also marvel at the workmanship of the designs.
The quilts were hung outdoors along Kentucky Street, which seems to be one of the main downtown streets in Petaluma. I hadn’t been to the show in a long time. Mom claims that we went together last time and it was over 10 years ago. I am not sure about the date, but I am sure I could dig up photos if I looked hard enough.
The quilts were nice, but there didn’t seem to be very many of them. They were getting a bit beaten up, because of the wind. I saw one red and white quilt I liked that had redwork on it. It wasn’t classic redwork, but motifs of a paperdoll and her clothes. The border was of little Mary Engelbreit-esque flowers. I really liked it. It was a good design and I am a sucker for red and white quilts.
Opportunity quilts were displayed as well. We walked by at least 5 guilds with their quilts out selling tickets. I bought a few tickets, but not all. The Marin Needle Arts ladies had a prime spot in front of the town museum.
The town museum used to be a library. It is a gorgeous stone building with two stories, the second of which is in a balcony/mezzanine type configuration, with a huge leaded and colored glass dome in the ceiling. The entry to the building has tile, which says Free to All. My camera was acting up (long story) so I didn’t get a photo of it, but I will sometime. Inside the museum, aside from the local history exhibits, were the Hoffman Challenge quilts. My favorite was a peacock. It was a small quilt, but the tail was heavily machine embroidered. It was fabulous.
The park at the end of the street (closer to the freeway) was filled with vendors.From the vendors, it seemed that they had combined a normal Farmer’s Market Day with the quilt show. As with most Farmer’s Markets, there were fruit and flower vendors. Along with the vegetable and lavender tables were quilt vendors as well. CG was there in her capacity as fabric sales woman and I couldn’t leave without buying some of the fabric I had seen when I picked up my quilts. I bought what CG and her cohorts call “niblets.”
The “niblets” are the red and yellow fabrics. They are from a collection of subtle food fabrics. The icky green is close, but not the same group. I like this grouping of fabrics and may try to keep them together in order to make a quilt sometime. The group is a little on the dark, Autumn side, but not too dark. I am sure the yellow would spark it up enough. Not sure what kind of design I would use, but I have enough projects to keep me busy, so will let it percolate for awhile.
There were a number of vintage quilt vendors. One vendor had bought an old quilt from another vendor and she let me take a photo of one of the blocks. It was a block that was completely on the bias, but I liked it. I’ll have to revise this post and post it later, as those pictures are in a disposal camera that I bought after the battery on my digital failed once and for all.
After the show we stopped at the Quilted Angel. I hadn’t been there in a long time, but it was just as I remembered. They had a room in the back with LOTS of books. I didn’t remember that room from before, so perhaps that room was added since I went there last. I couldn’t resist buying more fabric.
The above picture shows all that I bought. I also love the grouping of fabrics with the dots.
I would love to have a day or two to whip out an easy, but graphic block quilt with these fabrics. I don’t see it happening in the near future.