Quilt! Knit! Stitch! Portlandia

I have been rather occupied getting basics done since our move to Portland. My studio has yet to be configured so there is no hope of opening boxes now.

Meanwhile, my sister came for a short visit last week and we went to the IQA Quilt! Knit! Stitch! exhibit at the convention center. The Center is quite lovely, clean and staffed with friendly people. And IQA always does a wonderful job with their exhibits. There is always more to see than time in one day so we attended a second day to make sure we saw everything we wanted to — plus getting back to some pieces that we wanted to see again. I’ll share some of the highlights that I saw here.

International Quilt Festival celebrates 40 years of honoring fiber art/quilts with these exhibits. To commemorate that anniversary the exhibit Ruby Jubilee: Celebrating 40 Years was developed. This was a huge exhibit featuring red and white quilts made since 1974. Here are 7 that I especially liked:

Andrea Blackhurst’s Spools was one of many miniature quilts (click on the image for a large view):


I enjoyed the varied size of spools and the measuring-tape border. Storm at Sea by Ellen Carter, another miniature:


The workmanship and color balance on this mini was stunning. Her Pineapple with Leaves was equally beautiful:


There were very few pieces in this exhibit that were not traditional. I especially enjoyed Betty Hahn’s contemporary Big Apples:


Don’t you just love the apples on the right and the slices on the left? The quilting was dense and varied:


Serena Vrnak designed and Patricia Harrison quilted Decisions, Decisions, Decisions:


This piece was huge and commanded attention. The detail of the design was matched by the detail and exquisite quilting:


Sisters Rosie de Leon-McCrady and Kathleen McCrady set some vintage red-work blocks with 1930’s fabric and had Victoria West quilt it. The result was pure delight:


This quilt was evenly and densely quilted which ensured that it hung square and flat — the look that I always seek with my own work. I thought that the execution of this hand work truly honored the maker, whoever she was.


The final red piece I’ll share here is Dorothy Moreland’s Crimson Garden, a very large, 2-sided quilt inspired by Hawaiian design. Here is the back of the quilt. Notice how the front shadows through?


Only upon close examination did I notice that the sleeve was incorporated into the design. Simply brilliant!


And here is the front with the back shadowing through:


The red on the edge of the above photograph reveals the red carpet treatment that this exhibit had. Well deserved!

The SAQA exhibit Redirecting the Ordinary was fun, especially since I know many of the artists. Each artist took something very ordinary and turned it into some extraordinary. See if you don’t agree with just a few examples here. Gay Young is from Texas and with the weather she has been experiencing it was no surprise to me that she chose an ice-cube for her subject.


Denise Oyama Miller pulled out scissors for her piece titled Shear Delight:


Jean Sredl’s Oats was most impressive with fine detail both in the design and the quilting:


and the detail:


I loved Helen Godden’s depiction of colored-pencil shavings in A Close Shave:


Again, I thought the color balance and the workmanship on this piece were worth lingering over.


Sandra Sider used cyanotype photograms and a wine glass to produce Bottoms Up! Cyanotype printing is one of my favorite techniques — I will be investigating the photogram technique next. Thank you Sandra for the inspiration.


Celebrating Silver was SAQA’s special exhibit honoring it’s 25th anniversary as an organization. Jean Renli Jurgenson used her artistic eye for a different perspective to look back on history with Reflection – World Trade Center.


And finally, the special exhibit African Folklore Embroidery featured Catherine Redford’s incredible hand work and sense of humor. Here are a few of her pieces that brought smiles to my face and true respect to my heart. Here is Tea For Two:


African Rooster 2:


and Sparkly Tortoise:


If you haven’t experienced the thrill of inspiration at an art exhibit lately, what’s holding you back?

8 replies
  1. Christy
    Christy says:

    Thanks for having the tool handy for recording these images, Franki. I had a wonderful time with you, as usual. I was inspired, too, and am wondering how that inspiration is going to manifest itself.

    • Franki Kohler
      Franki Kohler says:

      Amen to that! I think just getting a posting on my blog will have to suffice for manifestation for me — at least for now.

    • Franki Kohler
      Franki Kohler says:

      It was really fun to see your work at the exhibit Gay. Pictures are nice, but the real thing is so much better. Knowing you made me feel like an ‘insider’.

  2. quiltingismyart
    quiltingismyart says:

    WOW! Looks like it was a great show. Now I bet you are really itching to get your studio set up so you can get to work. Just looking at the pieces you showed here was really inspiring. I really loved all the red and white quilts.

    • Franki Kohler
      Franki Kohler says:

      Yes, Kay, you would have loved this show. But then, IQF always does such a wonderful job that it’s a no-brainer to attend. Going through the exhibit made me recall the fun we had in San Diego and Long Beach.

    • Franki Kohler
      Franki Kohler says:

      Getting settled is teaching me new levels of patience so I’m glad to have a few distractions. I’ll be meeting new folks through the SAQA connection next week and I’m sure I’ll be even more eager to get my studio in working shape. *sigh* It will all come together in time.

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