Detail from "Rain Dance," an original quilt by Sherrie Spangler

Friday, November 25, 2011

More from Artistry of Quilts in Gig Harbor

Detail from "Art Doesn't Have to Match Your Sofa,"
by Pat Rosenthal.

Let's get right down to it -- individual quilts from the Artistry of Quilts exhibit at the Harbor History Museum in Gig Harbor, WA. I gave a little overview in the last post, and here are some details. I'm sorry the photo quality isn't that great, but we couldn't use flashes.

My advice is to see them in person, and you have until Dec. 4. See the museum's web site here --  -- for directions, hours, etc.

"Yesterday," by Ruth Newell Reilly.
The show has everything from antique to traditional to contemporary art quilts. Above is a superb tumbling block quilt by Ruth Newell Reilly with 936 different fabrics. (She works at the local quilt shop, which might explain her access to that much fabric.)

"Louise," by Ruth Newell Reilly.

Here's a different style of quilt by Ruth. "Louise" is colored with crayons and embellished with hand embroidery, like we did with our guild's raffle quilt shown in the last post.

Detail of "Louise"
"Christmas in WaCAMONGA," by Carol Arnold.
Here is an example of beautiful applique and hand quilting by Carol Arnold, who started the Comfort Quilt Project that I've blogged about often. I thought WaCAMONGA was an exotic real location, but Carol said it's a name she made up using Washington and California. Look at all those circles and movement!

Detail showing fine applique and hand quilting.

"My Garden of Wool Flowers," by Susan Lester.
Here is a folk art applique quilt, above, by Susan Lester. She made hers with wool instead of cotton.

Detail of  "Nostalgia," by Kat Baasch.
Kat Baasch makes beautiful hand embroidered quilts, like this sweet one called "Nostalgia."

"Nostalgia" embroidered quilt by Kat Baasch.

Antique crazy quilt, "Signs of the Times," circa 1880s.
Here is a more complex type of embroidered quilt, above. It's an antique crazy quilt with a dazzling variety of embroidered stitches between the crazy patches. The quilt is one of Janet Larson's many antique quilts that are on display in the exhibit.

"Crazy Safari," by Janet Larson.
Janet Larson is one of our queens of crazy quilting, and you can tell why from the detail of her hand embroidery on this African inspired crazy quilt.

Detail of "Crazy Safari"

There is a large display of African inspired quilts and authentic African art in the show, including this:

The sculptures seem right at home next to Peter Gaunce's quilt, "African Beauty."

Detail of "African Beauty," by Peter Gaunce.

"African Eye Dance," by Pat Rosenthal.

I couldn't get a closeup of the quilt above because it was hung so high, but it vibrates with energy. You can almost feel the African drum beats when you stand below it. It's by Pat of the red sofa art quilt.

"Summer's Sudden Shower," by Delaine Gately.
The quilt above is a dazzling example of Delaine Gately's art. She's known for her shimmery, sparkly, embellished quilts and wearable art. I thought I had a closeup of this, but I don't. You'll have to see it in person.

Detail of "Finding Fishy," by Andrea Van Outryve.
I had the opposite problem with "Finding Fishy," above. I have a great closeup but somehow missed getting a photo of the entire quilt. Again, you'd better get down there in person. It's a really fun, beautifully colored quilt that caught the attention of all of my friends who I took to the show.

"Organza Four Patch," by Sherrie Spangler.
Here are two of my contemporary abstract art quilts, above and below. These are made with sheer white silk organza that I painted and layered to create shifting colors.

"Organza Four Patch" is a takeoff on the traditional "four patch" quilt block, which is a simple square patch made with four smaller squares.

"Searching" also has some painted cotton and metallic fabrics. They're both machine quilted, as opposed to many of the other quilts shown that were hand quilted or embroidered.

"Searching," by Sherrie Spangler.

Detail of "She's Come Undone," by Sherrie Spangler.
I hope this little taste of the exhibit will entice you to come down to the harbor and see the entire show in person. It's not huge, but it's well done. The museum and other organizers did an excellent job of giving viewers plenty of information about each quilt, as well as a good understanding about the art of quilting in general. Hope you enjoyed it!

Have a colorful day

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Artistry of Quilts exhibit

You have until Dec. 4 to get down to the Harbor History Museum in Gig Harbor, WA, for a fabulous quilt exhibit (yes, I'm biased, I have three quilts in it) that showcases the artistry of quilts from antiques to contemporary, with influences ranging from African, Hawaiian, native Northwest and more.

Click the museum's web site for more info:

The rest of the museum is also a treat, with exhibits of beautiful native basketry, the local fishing and boating history, and even an old schoolhouse. If you're lucky, you can see an expert boat restorer at work. The harbor lies just beyond the museum and there are many shops and restaurants nearby.

"Searching" by Sherrie Spangler
I was thrilled to see that they used my quilt (above) as the background for one of the signs. It looks like they increased the saturation, so the colors are bolder in the sign.

This is a portion of what greets you in the main room. That's a Hawaiian exhibit in the foreground case, antique quilts along the back, and a portion of the African corner to the left. My sheer organza quilt, "She's Come Undone," is hanging from the ceiling with the light shining through.

Turning to your right, you can see these fun contemporary quilts and crazy quilt stockings.

This is the African corner, with some beautifully beaded dolls from Africa. I'll show closeups in my next post.

The antique quilts were extensively documented. Here are some, above, with part of the information sign below.

This rich velvet log cabin is from the 1860s. It's a good thing it's behind glass, because it just cries out to be touched.

The kids activity corner is one of the best I've ever seen at a quilt show. Besides providing paper, crayons, a felt design board and other supplies, the flip-display gave an excellent overview of how kids can design their own blocks:

My next post will zero in on individual quilts. Today was just an overview -- didn't want you to go on overload with too much eye candy at once!

Have a colorful day

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Pirates, parrots, and pretty posies

Detail of first quilt pieced by a local 13-year-old boy.
I was sitting in the foyer of our Harbor History Museum this afternoon doing hand embroidery and selling tickets for our guild's opportunity quilt when a couple carrying a big bag stopped to chat.  Soon I was being treated to a show-and-tell of the treasures in the bag: a full-size pirate quilt meticulously pieced by the couple's 13-year-old grandson, plus embroidered pillowcases and a parrot pillow by grandma.

This is only HALF of the quilt, which is the first quilt made by Rhys, of Buckley, WA. He selected the fabric and did almost all of the piecing, and his grandmother embellished it with the machine embroidered black skull below.

I was so excited about discovering that a kid had done such a terrific quilt that I asked to take photos for my blog. Then grandma and grandpa pulled out the next treasure, this pillow that she embroidered with colorful parrots. They got the idea for it after seeing a bumper sticker that said,

"A parrot is my co-pirate."

As if that wasn't enough fodder for the blog post, the final treat came out of the bag:

 Pillowcases with pirate skulls machine embroidered
with GLOW-IN-THE-DARK thread!

 So what do pirate skulls have to do with the flowery quilt below?

Well, the "Whimsical Garden" quilt is the opportunity quilt I mentioned earlier. If I hadn't been sitting there selling raffle tickets for it I never would have met the proud grandparents and seen the pirate treasures in their bag.

Members of our Gig Harbor Quilters guild colored the flower drawings with crayons and heat set them before outlining the shapes with hand embroidery. Lynne Burkhardt did a beautiful job of designing the quilt and putting together kits for each block.

Have a colorful day!

Friday, November 18, 2011


Two happy customers. Thanks!

The scarves sold out! Everyone's happy! My sewing will pay for the next few months of iced mochas!

Pam displays her bowl selection while I covet her skirt.

The black and white scarf went right away, and two more people ordered similar ones. As much as I love bright colors, I had a feeling the neutral one would sell early on because it's versatile. I'll keep that in mind for future bazaars.

Cards and coiled fabric bowls.

This was my first foray into selling greeting cards made from my photos, and I'm thrilled to report that I sold enough to pay for the box of 100 embossed photo mount cards and envelopes (and the photos) and still have enough blank cards left over for this year's Christmas cards.

Here are two of  the cards with sunset photos that I took in Gig Harbor. Even a technologically challenged person like me can insert the text with Picasa in seconds.

Art is life and life is art

The colors of the leaves in our yard, in my scarves, in Pam's skirt ... it's all art!

Have a colorful day!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Bowls full of Bunners

That bad boy Bunners wouldn't cooperate when I tried to photograph him in my fabric bowls, but I did get a few shots before I gave up.

I've been churning out bowls to sell at the holiday bazaar this Thursday. I call them:

Bowls of Color

They're a good excuse for diving into my most colorful fabrics, plus I like the meditative mindlessness of sewing around and around and around.

Now I have to figure out how to price them, which is complicated because each one is a different size. I tried to stick to just a few sizes but that took the fun out of it, so I just sewed each one until I either got tired or ran out of cording.

I should make a few more in Christmas colors, and maybe some black and gold ones for New Year's Eve. But my favorite ones to make have hot pink, orange, yellow and bright green.

Bunners likes the green ones, too.

Have a colorful day